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 Can Handle It Alone."

In 2004, I recorded a dream that occasionally troubles me. In my dream, I helped a man. He thanked me and said, "How may I help you?"

"I'm fine," I said and started to walk away.

“That’s your trouble," he said. "You’re all for helping, but you’re no good at receiving.”

I started to defend myself and four other people stood beside him, pointing at me. A woman said, “You don’t trust us enough to ask for our help, do you?”

I awakened and got the message. I determined that I would let others help me and I'd be more trusting.

A decade later, I haven't done much reaching out for help. Instead, I've said, "I can handle it."

The dream, however, reminds me that I'm still not able to trust others. I can blame my sexual assault in childhood, because that's where I lost the ability to trust. In my case, I'm still a sucker for people who know how to use the con-artist type language. And they've taken advantage of me, often causing me to lend them money, which they never repaid.

But the other kind of trust—the deeper level—I tend to guard and have been skeptical. As I've struggled over this, I figured out one thing. I don't open up to ask for help because I don't want to be rejected.

As a child, I could never depend on help from either of my parents. On the few occasions when I asked, I was rebuffed.

I grew up learning to depend only on myself. In my early twenties, I underwent a conversion to the Christian faith, and that helped.

Yet I still struggle. I don't want to hear that accusing voice, "You don’t trust us enough to ask for our help, do you?”

I'm learning.

Slowly.

But even slow progress is still progress.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

Trust has always been a real problem for me. I could not trust my dad. I could not trust my mom to keep me safe from my dad. I could not trust my sister who was always blaming me for things she did. I was on my own. At that age I could not verbalize it but I knew it as sure as I knew the sky was blue.

God was the only one I could trust but He was invisible and it was easy to forget at times that HE was there.

Back in those days it was hard to talk about even if you did find someone you could trust. So I kept it buried.

Eventually I guess we all come to a place where it is talk about it or go mad. I'm not real sure I didn't go mad first but I did finally open up and that was the beginning of healing and learning to trust once again. I am not so sure the two aren't necessary at the same time for progress to be made at all.

It was for me anyway and I am also slowly learning to reveal myself not just in facts and details but in the real me who has lived in desperate silence oh so many years.