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.

Loneliness

A frequent contributor, Mark, sent me an email in which he spoke about his intense loneliness, which I've paraphrased.

"I go to bed at night feeling a void that's been there since I was a child—a void that causes me either to fight illicit thoughts or give in to them. It's hard to believe that God isn't angry with me for the mess that's still a part of my heart, mind, and soul."

Loneliness is common to us survivors—and perhaps to most people. We yearn for those who can truly see into our hearts, know us, and still love us.

Maybe we need to reach out to others more readily, but that's not easy. We were the kids who trusted the wrong people. The theft of our childhood made us feel different, isolated, and unwanted. We didn't know whom to trust and the more we held back, the deeper our estrangement.

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Loneliness has often intruded in my life, but most acutely since my wife died in the spring of 2013. On January 1 of 2015, the loneliness became so acute I went for a four-mile walk and kept praying, "God, help me embrace my loneliness. It's part of who I am. I'm tired of trying to run from feelings of isolation."

Nothing happened that day, but within a week I realized the loneliness was present, but I didn't fight it. That may not sound like much to others, but for me, it made feeling alone bearable.

I've accepted my loneliness. I don't know the cure for it and maybe it will always be there. Maybe that's simply part of what we call the human condition. But I also remind myself those are emotions. And my emotions fluctuate constantly. I know I'm loved by God, by others, and have finally learned to love myself.

When I feel lonely and isolated
I remind myself, "Those are my emotions. They aren't reality."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I go to bed at night feeling a void that's been there since I was a child—a void that causes me either to fight illicit thoughts or give in to them. It's hard to believe that God isn't angry with me for the mess that's still a part of my heart, mind, and soul."
Wow that sums up my life the last two years after my ex wife made my abuse public.

jonathan ashton said...

I found the courage to speak about my childhood abuse by my family to my ex wife and her family and friends and was offered no help or understanding.
I've learnt to paint to stop my depression and memories of severe childhood abuse I also have a severe stammer, try to find a hobby.
Hope it helps x

Cecil "Cec" Murphey said...

Paul emailed with this message:

Thank you for all you do. I am sorry you feel lonely! I also have struggled for years with the same feelings. Knowing you and others are there and feeling some of the same things I do helps me find peace and reminds me that both God and other people do love me, even when I am not aware of it. I hope others will write you back too. Your sharing is a gift that means a tremendous amount to me.