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.

"You're Nothing"

I don't recall that anyone ever said, "You're nothing," although I believed I was worthless and a really bad kid. My baby brother, Chuck, whom I am sure was also sexually assaulted, once said—in a moment of rare insight while drunk—"I'm nobody. Nothing. Worthless. And I hate my life."

We were at a family gathering at a park and Chuck turned and walked away from me. That incident happened about six years before memories of my abuse sneaked out of the hidden caverns. And yet I vividly remember his words and the pained expression on his face. Chuck was hardly the introspective type and that was quite an admission from him.

Since then I've met many men who received that message of worthlessness—some being told, others absorbing the concept. Regardless, we believed a terrible lie.

None of us is worthless, but I can't convince anyone of that by words. As I see it, only by our being loved and valued by someone who cares about us can we escape that untruth.

When I know I'm loved,
I know I'm of value.

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