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.

Embracing Myself

Sometimes the loving rebuke of a friend does wonders for us. Immediately I think of one powerful experience. Four years ago in telling my best friend, David, about an incident, I called myself an idiot for something I had said.

"Why do you talk that way about yourself?" he asked. "You're not stupid and it hurts me when you speak that way."

That's an example of a loving rebuke—and I needed to hear it.

As we continued to chat together, I realized how often I criticized myself. Then David said, "You don't talk about others with that critical tone. Don’t you deserve the same kindness as you give them?"

His words shocked me, but they were exactly what I needed. I was kinder to other people than I was to myself. (And that's probably true with most of us.)

The next day I began to make a self-affirming statement every morning: "I like who I am; I like who I used to be; I like who I am becoming." And I repeated it several times. I still say those words every single morning.

I needed to learn to embrace myself—to love myself and to be patient and kind to Cec. It wasn't easy because I've long held him to a much higher standard than I have others. But I also prayed for God to help me feel compassion for Cec. I tried to envision him as something apart from myself.

That's when I realized he deserved my acceptance and my loving embrace.

I like who I am;
I like who I used to be; 
I like who I'm becoming.

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