(Occasionally unsolicited responses come to me personally. This one, from James, touched me and I wanted to share. His entire message covered several pages, but I wanted to pass on to you the first paragraphs. --Cec)
I'm trying to figure this out, and I am just beginning . . .
Twelve months ago, I recognized/admitted that I was sexually abused as a child, but I still struggled to understand what that means, to be abused. Seven months ago, I started more focused therapy for that abuse, and joined a male survivor group. I’ve come a long way since beginning that group, but I recognize that I’ve barely began to peel away the outer layers of the artichoke/onion, to understand and deal with the consequences of that abuse. About two weeks ago, I began reading Not Quite Healed by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe. It feels like I’ve made more progress in these past two weeks than the 12 months prior.
I need to be healed, I need to stay in the fight, there is too much at stake. I am tempted to turn back, to forget, to ignore the problems, to pretend it will all be okay if I turn my back on the process of healing. Because healing requires dealing with the struggle and the pain, dealing with my own shame and failures. It is so foolish to turn back, the struggle doesn’t go away, my childhood has affected all of my relationships, the shame eats at me from the inside; it just remains private. I realize this is going to be a lifelong journey.
“At our core, we are sexual creatures, male and female. This is part of being created in the image of God. When others abuse us sexually, they touch us at the center of our being. Everything becomes skewed and produces a ripple effect that spreads through our entire personhood. The abuse alters the way we see ourselves, others, God, and life itself.”
Some effects of the abuse and unmet needs of childhood: lack of intimacy with my wife, attempt to be in control, lack of self-worth, maintaining silence about my needs and wants, not having a voice / speaking up for myself, sexual deviance. Somewhat related is a desire for a mother love and father love that I didn’t get. I will review these first few chapters again as they have hit so many nerves. I want to go more in depth and explore and identify them more fully.