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.

Hope in Despair

(This is an encore post from John Joseph.)

When it comes to recovering from childhood sexual abuse, hope is essential. Without it, there’s no chance of holding on until things get better.

Hope is an anchor tossed into the future to help us get there. Hope is the soul’s seed that grows the healthy crops of emotional wholeness. We all need hope, especially survivors.

At times, hope seems elusive. As a recovering person, I've gone through many seasons of outright despondency. I can’t count how many times my future seemed so dark and empty that I found myself depleted and discouraged. That's when my addictions can kick in, which leads me deeper into gloom and self-loathing. The vicious cycle of hopelessness, despair, and acting out fuels more vicious cycles.

As a survivor, I tend to turn small problems into catastrophes. The future can be habitually in a state of calamity in my mind, and remembering hope is one of the greatest tools I’ve found to bring me out of it.

Hope rises to the surface of my soul when I take a few moments to meditate on the current good in my life. It settles me down again in a way that nothing else can. My goal is to learn how to live in hope every day.

3 comments:

stanw said...

HOPE for sure. For me also it was fully embracing God as my Father. It is so comforting to know He will never leave me and I can count on Him completely. It keeps me going each day.

Joseph said...

Stanw, I too have hope and assurance in my soul that I will continue to recover. Not only that, but I have come to see the hope in having victory over addictions that resulted from the abuse--and that, too, is because God my Father has promised never to leave or forsake. Sometimes--no many times when I pray just before going to sleep, I pray something like this, "My Father, I'm still the lonely little 5-year-old boy who has no memory of being held by my daddy. As I sleep tonight, cuddle me in your arms while I sleep." And I am content.

Roger Mann said...

It was hope that kept me alive during my worst periods of despair. I just so wanted to die rather than face that person in my mirror another week. It was the faith in my Heavenly Father's love that my mom had instilled in me as a small boy that kept me waking up one more time.

Today, I moderate and help run a website for other men sexually abused and dealing with the long term effects. My one goal on that site is to offer hope that there is life after abuse recovery. That one can overcome and become the man they were meant to be. Hope is the flotation device that keeps your head above what is trying do drown you. Take that away and it's all over. Sometimes I talk to a man on the edge of giving up and I have learned to just get them to promise me one more day. It is amazing what just one more day can bring. I know.