Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lies I Believed

(This is an encore post from "J".)

Among the worst of the many lies I have believed about myself is that the abuse in my childhood was my fault. It's common among victims to believe they brought the abuse on themselves or caused it to happen. I've learned that the abuse was the sick choice of the abuser and not my doing.

I was about 16 before I understood that men had sex with women and not just with other men or boys. I knew that men liked to look at women, but the abuse was so pervasive in my life that I didn’t understand the basic physiology of the human body.

Gender confusion and identity struggles haunt me to this day. A therapist had to tell me I had been abused. It didn't occur to me that something was wrong with the people who touched me and used me.

The lie that I caused those broken people to have sexual contact with me has affected me throughout my life. The sexual confusion alone is devastating, but there are many more consequences that victims experience because of that distorted belief. Here are a few of mine:

* A sense of chronic failure; 
* The feeling that I have no control over my emotions or my body; 
* Problems making decisions;
* Compulsive behavior.

The best thing that has happened is gaining the understanding that I did not cause the abuse—not any of it. I participated at some level because I didn’t know that it was abuse or that I was being taken advantage of.

I was a child. I didn’t understand what was happening. It was not my fault.


Roger Mann said...

I can relate to this a lot. I did not understand what happened to me was abuse or wrong. It was my father, what could be wrong with that? We just were having some really close bonding of sorts. Also it must be ok to do this with other boys if they want, even other men.

I knew men were supposed to have sex with women to make babies and have families but this stuff that was happening to me was just some fooling around harmless fun that only boys can do.

I was in my forties before I began to read about the effects of this stuff and realized I had all those effects in my life and that is why it was so crazy. Indeed at times I thought I was crazy.

Having been in recovery for over ten years has helped me gain some healthy perspective on what went wrong and how to put it right. God did not intend for this kind of behavior and God had good reason to say don't do it. Not because God didn't like it, but because it damages us and those around us in terrible ways.

Joseph said...

I lived for 60 years believing in the back of my mind that I had caused the molestation to happen. What a chain-breaking moment when I could look at myself and say, "I didn't start it; a man will twisted and evil lust started it." True, I made bad choices of casual sex after that, but I was not the one who went looking for an adult male to have sex with me. However, as an unloved adolescent boy I responded, and didn't realize for a long, long time that what happened was wrong. By that time, patterns were set.

Cec Murphey said...

Roger and Joseph, thank you for transparency. You make it easier for other survivors to speak up.

Thank you.