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.

Hiding the Pain (Part 1 of 2)

We hide our pain in many ways. The obvious is by denying it and refusing to admit it. One time, early in my healing journey, I mentioned an abusive experience to a small group and said, "But I'm over it."

One of the men in the small group said, "You're not over it."

"But I am—"

"Your voice and your face show otherwise."

And he was correct. I was hiding the reality from myself. No one ever asked if I had been sexually molested and physically beaten. And that's not a blaming statement, but I had no memories of the sexual assault until I was 51 years old. One day, while running, the painful memories tumbled out and I couldn't stop them.

In retrospect, that experience of being confronted said I was ready to face my pain. It also told me that all those years I had hidden the pain deep, deep within.

Shortly after the memories returned, I had a dream. I was underwater and saw a huge cement structure. As I got closer, I saw it was encrusted with seaweed and rust and sealed with a padlock. I wondered what was inside. I pulled at the lock, it broke and a passageway opened up and I stared inside.

"I didn't know that was down here." Something between revulsion and fear grabbed me even though I don’t remember what I saw. Then I awakened. Later, I realized my dream was telling me that my pain had been hidden and sealed—and had been that way a long time.

Now the lock was broken and the past had been unlocked.

Then the pain began.

But so did the healing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if my former husband will ever heal as he confronts the sexual abuse from a priest, as I think it has slowing been coming to the surface with news through the years. He continues to run away, leaving me in 2012, divorcing me in 2014 and now living with another woman whose husband committed suicide in 2010. I try to look at things from his perspective and read your book, but it hurts to be left after 31 years of marriage and 5 more being together before marriage. There were so many moments of disrespect and anger from him towards me and the 4 children, but there were also sincere moments of love. He buried himself in work and volunteering, but had trouble making money in our first 15 years of marriage, which led to huge debt he is now trying to avoid responsibility for in some ways. I have avoided direct communication with him because it hurts me too much, but want to give him a Celebrate Recovery Bible, in hopes of his healing some day. Could it ever happen?

Cecil "Cec" Murphey said...

Duane emailed with this comment:

Thanks for this entry today, it came at a very dark day to me. I have the bondage of Lust that I didn't ever admit, but today I realize that there are strong holds in my life that my abuse has made, that I can't see, but God can change. Dreams do speak and I think God can use them to speak to me when I won't listen to him any other way. I am over protective of my feelings and emotions. Guard yourself at all cost! It is not working anymore, I have to open up to heal.