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.

Onions

(This is an encore post from John Joseph.)

In my experience, recovering from childhood sexual abuse is a lot like peeling onions. I have to do it one layer at a time, and it makes me cry a lot. There’s no way to deal with it all at once. Child abuse rapes the soul and creates abysmal depths of shame, fear, and psychological torment. It would kill anyone to face it all at one time.

The deeper the wound, the longer the healing takes. When the emotional injury of abuse is discovered or uncovered for the first time, often our reaction is to cover it back up and ignore it. Either out of protecting ourselves (or our abusers) we tend toward denial and repression over bold and immediate therapy.

My abuse happened decades ago, yet a therapist had to tell me two years ago that I had been criminally violated. People these days are put in prison for life for doing what they did to me. I'd made many attempts to deal with my past, but it wasn’t until I understood and embraced what really happened that I began to heal. A thick layer of the onion was torn away.

As survivors, it may take us years to deal with the stratum of painful emotions that have compounded one upon the other, tier after tier, until it seems like there’s no way to get to the bottom. But if we can endure the peeling back of tender layers, feel the pain, and cry the tears, one day, we'll realize that our healing was worth the effort.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I have found this to be very true in my recovery. Every time it seems I have mastered a layer of pain and lies and pushed through to reality there is this slight plateau of peace. Then before long I find it just was hiding another layer and once again I am plunged into the journey of becoming real.