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.

Owning the Pain

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

One of the things that has kept me in the pain of my abuse is not owning it. So much of my life was spent avoiding the pain of my childhood abuse that it didn't have a chance to be felt and ultimately healed.

No one wants to feel pain. We're wired to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. The truth about abuse, however, is that it can't be processed and healed without acknowledging it, feeling it, and processing it.

I didn’t know that I had been abused. I was grown when I was driven into counseling through addictive and compulsive sexual behavior. I was out of control and close to losing my marriage. I hadn’t acknowledged the depths of the pain of my childhood; the molesting at four years old; the odd encounters with older boys in my family; what I now understand as a rape when I was ten; and the fact that I was criminally abused by an older man and woman when I was 15 to 18 years old. It was like I was a magnet for abuse.

My pain flooded in when I came to understand that my hyper-sexualized appetites weren’t appetites for sex but an insatiable yearning for acceptance and healing. I'm thankful that the pain isn’t experienced and processed all at once.

I've experienced the pain in doses, some large and some small. There have been seasons of pain and reckoning with it. There have been good times and bad, but I'm continually amazed that owning the pain of it is the only way to process and get it out of the way.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

You nailed it down with this comment: "My pain flooded in when I came to understand that my hyper-sexualized appetites weren’t appetites for sex but an insatiable yearning for acceptance and healing. I'm thankful that the pain isn’t experienced and processed all at once."

They were insatiable yearnings, and for me it was to have fatherly acceptance. And I admit that although I am beyond the mid-seventies in age, there are times that I think how comforting it would be to curl up in a father's arms and be cuddled because daddy love me. I think the absence of a Dad's love was the greatest sorrow of my life. With counseling, however, I have been able to move beyond those longings and enjoy the road of recovery. Thanks, Cec, for your part also.