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.

"I Am a Survivor" (Part 1 of 2)

Cheryll Snow's article appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness. With permission, I've excerpted part of it, which is a letter to an uncle who molested her.

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For many years I battled depression and anxiety. I tried various things to ease the pain, not knowing where all this emotional trauma was coming from. Then after recalling the abuse, enduring years of helpful but painful therapy, and seeking God's guidance . . . I can look back and say that most of my life has been . . . shame-based. And it's all because of you.

Ashamed as a child because no matter how hard I tried, I never felt good enough. Ashamed of my changing body during puberty, then later using my budding sexuality by acting out with boys, and beating myself up emotionally for years because of it. Even so, I still deal with issues concerning body image, intimacy, trust, inadequacy, and a profound fear of failure.

I give that shame back to you. It is not mine. It's yours.

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