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.

Why Am I Still Not Healed?

(an encore post from Cecil Murphey)

"Why haven't I worked through all these issues? Why am I still not healed?" Most of us survivors ask ourselves that question many times. "I've been on this journey for five years. When does it end?" Those are the questions we ask on our worst days.

On our better days, we examine our lives and remember where we started. In those self-reflective times, we admit we've come a long way. A friend said to me, "In those depressing times when you tell yourself that you ought to be farther down the road, you're probably more healthy than you know."

Maybe he was correct, but it doesn't stop us from asking the question. Why not? Why not?

For myself, I can say this. I keep discovering the insidious consequences of my sexual abuse. It's a good thing I didn't recognize all the effects in the beginning, or it would most likely have overwhelmed and immobilized me. In my darkest moments, it seems as if the healing takes place one day at a time, or perhaps even slower—one small step a year.

I've jokingly said, "If I'd known in the beginning that this would be such a hard, painful journey, I probably wouldn't have started."

In my early days of grappling with the issue, I felt that way because the feelings were too intense and too brutal. But now I add, "I'm glad I struggled and fought. It's been worth re-experiencing the pain. I've learned more about myself. I've not only accepted who I am but I honestly like the person inside me."

Here's something I say to myself regularly: I am not quite healed; I am a healing-in-progress.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I can relate to this. I struggled for years not really knowing why or exactly what I was struggling against. I had a same sex attraction that seemed so out of place in the life that I so desperately tried to have. And yet I assumed most of those years it was just a fixation or perhaps just a porn addiction.

Once I finally began to accept that what happened to me was sexual abuse and that it had deeply affected me, the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. I was excited that I might be 'cured' in short order by jumping through the hoops my therapist and the recovery group suggested for me.

After a couple of years I voiced my frustration at the progress I had made and was told I would probably be working on this for at least ten years based on the length of my abuse history and the effects I had exhibited. I was devastated and very sad. I almost gave up but decided I could not go back to the way I was or even stay where I was at.

If I was to ever heal I had to keep going painful as it was.

I have seen others appear to 'get over' their wounding in what seemed to me a short time only to relapse back into bad behavior.

I guess true healing takes time and in allowing it to run its course, I know I have learned much about myself and how to better cope with life's ups and downs. No pain, no gain and I have certainly gained my life back in ways I could not have imagined.