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.

Innocence Lost

I used to wonder why victims of molestation feel responsible for the damage done to them by sexual abuse. I was one of those who felt responsible even though I had no control over my innocence being stolen from me.

In my own story and in the stories I know of other men who have been molested in childhood, we felt guilty. We were unable to reason out that the wrong was done to us, not that we were wrong. The self-blame seemed to come from realizing we suddenly "know too much." The culpability I accepted kept me from talking to anyone, or seeking safe adults to whom I could talk.

An insight, which helped overcome my sense of guilt, was to realize that I wasn’t the one who was tempted to do something that went against the laws of nature and God. Something abusive was done to me. By realizing that truth in my journey of seeking healing from the damage of the abuse, it becomes easier to believe that it wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could have done differently.

I’ve also considered how my own abuse isn’t an excuse for actions that I’ve taken because of my brokenness. I’ve never sexually abused anyone, yet I’ve acted out of my own woundedness and I have hurt those I love the most. If people can still love me in spite of that, who am I to withhold love, grace, and forgiveness when I’ve been wronged?

I was never a perpetrator, but I might have been.
They assaulted us, and they are also victims.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I know my grandfather was an abuser. My father related an incident in which he did something to my sister when she was young. She told my mom and dad made him leave and never come back. I did not learn of this till decades later but it made me wonder if my dad has been molested by his dad. It would explain much. I know my father was tortured over what he did to me. I can see the symptoms in looking back over the years at his behavior and some things my mom said. His innocence was probably taken from him back when no one spoke about such things.

I know from the one thing that my father did say about it all that he may not have felt that it was all that harmful. I was in my 40's I guess and and I had told him of my attraction to men. He was upset but later that night out of the blue he stated that he did not realize what child abuse was back then. I suspect that was a common feeling back then, that it was not really abuse. I was his, he was the dad and could do what he wanted so long as he was not 'hurting' me.

I never complained too which I assume fed the lie. So my innocence was stolen and the cycle continued. Being a Christian enabled me to find the strength to stop the cycle, see the lie for what it was, and say no to self gratification. With out the strength of a faith and trust in God and the desire to be obedient to God's commands I don't know how anyone else in my position could stop the cycle.

I guess the fear of the Lord really is the beginning of wisdom, and healing for that matter. I don't know where my dad is now. He died by his own hand years ago and was unable to find the strength to say no to the drive as you put it. That said, I do hope God had more compassion on him than I did as I began to see all the damage done to me because of it. I am learning to forgive.