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.

Feeling My Feelings

(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)

My major coping method of survival from abuse was not to feel. When the emotional level got heavy, I went numb. I didn't do that consciously, but it was my way to handle the trauma of childhood. Once I became aware that numbing was what I did, I also realized that I needed to feel my pain—to re-experience the hurts of my past—if I wanted to be free from the past.

Here's how I did it and this may work for others. Each day I said, "I feel my feelings." I usually looked into the mirror and spoke to my image. I wanted that message to get into my core being.

Although I hadn't talked to a therapist or a pastor, I sensed that facing the hurts and feeling them once again was a step I had to take.

It took months before I became aware of how I felt; it took even longer before I fully accepted the abuse of my childhood. It took years before I knew I had been healed. It wasn't easy and it hurt. At times I felt alone, unloved, unwanted, unworthy—and many negative emotions flooded through my soul.

Each time I felt my emotions, the pain seemed to lessen a little. Now, years later, I can honestly feel my emotions.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Today I am "feeling my feelings" in the area of abandonment. Something has triggered my fear that someone will leave me or be taken away from me. Reality does not support what I am feeling.
I am realizing that this fear is the very same fear / voice, that tormented me as a child - when I was afraid that the one person who represented safety to me, would be mysteriously taken away.
So, today, I am allowing myself to feel the fear of abandonment. I'm not trying to fix it on my own by being clinging with friends, or by trying to cast it out, or by buying a package of chocolate chip cookies! Rather,as I experience these feelings, I am reminding myself the Jesus has promised to never abandon me, and that He has given me His Spirit has my constant companion.
This makes it safe for me to feel my feelings. He's not going to leave me, so I won't be destroyed by my feelings; He's not angry that the fears of a little child are being allowed to surface in this middle-aged man.