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 Did It Again."

"I failed." Such a confession has to be painful. "I did it again, even though I knew better." I read or hear similar statements regularly.

I don't want anyone to fall back into unhealthy or abusive relationships. But they happen. It means that person failed this time—but isn't a lifetime failure.

My friend *Patrick has gone back to gay experiences three times in the decade I've known him. After each regression he swears, "It won't ever happen again."

Each time I hope not and I pray for him every day. I've been able to say truthfully, "I'm your friend and I care about you very much. I don't want it to happen again, but if it does, I won't turn my back on you."

Years before I dealt with my sexual assault, I did some work with leaders of Alcoholics Anonymous. One remark stayed with me. "Some people fail to stay sober and they have to return to AA several times before they finally attain an ongoing sobriety."

If you're reading this, please, please don't go back to those unhealthy ways.

But if you do, we understand. Many have temporarily fallen back.

"I've failed again. My second time," *Al said to a group of us. "But even finding sexual fulfillment was brief and I hated myself for doing it."

Spontaneously, we all hugged Al. One man whispered, "I know how it feels. Welcome back."

Failure is awful. Painful.

But life is filled with opportunities to start again.


Jospeh said...

Oh, yes, I've "fallen" more times than I could count until someone was in my life who I could confide in and call to for help. I was starved for a father's acceptance and affection; therefore, when a "fatherly" man in the men's room reached out to me, I was a goner. So began my sexual life--and I didn't start it; someone else who used me started it. But from that point I started "looking for daddy in the men's room." It was the summer I turned 17, but every time I remember the event, I see myself as a 12-year-old lonesome little boy who longed for acceptance and love. I started cruising men's rooms in public places, never dreaming it was dangerous or illegal for a long time. It continued for years--until I talked about it and discovered where my feeling originated. These things have to be faced to be conquered. I've thought about writing an essay titled "Looking for Daddy in the Men's Room," for I'm sure I'm not the only neglected boy that's happened to.

stanw said...

Good words Cec.

"Won't happen again" were the words that crossed my lips many many times. I am so thankful that I never gave up. It took a long time but God was faithful and he is seeing me through, one step, one day at a time. He is never in a hurry, he wants us to be healed, thoroughly.

Speaking of sexual abuse (I was 12), that occurred in my life but I have had little recollection of what actually happened. The other day though as I was thinking about what I do remember, something real pertinent came to mind. I remember distinctly that I was struggling to get out from under him. I moaned so loud that my mother called from the other room if I was okay. I don't think I said anything in response at the time. My conclusion is that it could be called rape because of what I was feeling and that it was scary. It only happened once but it changed me so much from that time on. I ended up hating myself and my body for so long. So glad God stayed with me because it took years to learn to trust him and let him change my life. All the glory goes to him.


Joseph said...

self-hate, oh yes, every time. Stress was the big thing that sent me "looking for daddy" for those fleeting moments of acceptance. It's awful what we become programmed to do. I tell my young men friends who have boys, love them, love them, love them. Put your arm or both arms around them often, and let them know they are worth all the treasures of the world. Oh, how I longed for the human touch that was never, never, never there at home.

But it was not hopeless!!! It took a long long time, but there came a day when I spilled the past to a compassionate counselor, and my healing process began. It's a process and a journey, but I will prevail with God's help will finish my life as a strong man. I may be stooped outside by old age, but inside I'm standing tall--even if I fall again, By God's grace I WILL finish strong.