I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

My Name Is Joseph #1

Whenever another man bares his soul and writes about the depths of his pain and his journey into healing, I'm deeply touched. The post that follows along with two others came from the same man.

Thank you, Joseph, for your willingness to open your heart to the rest of us.

Please note that Joseph speaks about the help of a trained counselor. Some of us took different paths toward healing, but we had someone there for us—not always a professional. We didn't do it alone.

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My name is Joseph. After being a widower for 2 years, I made an appointment with a counselor.

Living alone in my house with a computer brought all kinds of old lusts and memories that called me to surf the net. I needed help. My secrets went back to when I was five years old and a boy a little bigger than I wanted to play cow, and he had me be the cow. I have a vague memory of his crawling onto my back.

The other secrets began the summer I turned 17. A same-sex event, but for the first time in my life I felt wanted. I never told anyone—not even my wife who loved me unconditionally and would have loved me no matter what I confessed to her. Instead, I built walls.

My wife died in Oct. 2010. In January 2013, I met with the counselor for the first time, determining beforehand that I would trust him and puke it all out. It has been a life-changing experience. I would still be in my prison of the past if I had not talked to a man about what happened to me.

If you think it will help, you’re welcomed to post it under the name Joseph.

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