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 Did So Much for Me"

"You did so much for me." Monroe ran up to me, embraced me, and thanked me.

He thought I had done so much; I felt I had done so little.

"You listened," Monroe said and hugged me again.

In terms of my doing something, I felt inadequate.

For Monroe, I did the one healing thing I could do: I allowed him to talk and didn't judge him. That’s all he needed—someone to listen and not to tell him what a terrible failure he was.

That incident happened many times when I was a young pastor, and it took me a few days to process. Each time I had kept quiet—not out of wisdom, but out of not knowing what to say. I didn't want to offer advice out of my discomfort, or say something to make the situation worse. So I did the right thing—and, only in retrospect, understood it was correct.

Monroe and the others who came to me didn't need answers, sage advice, Bible verses, or a lecture on healthy behavior. He needed me to care, and I proved I cared by listening and accepting him in his dark moments.

If we want to help but don't know what to say, 
we wisely say nothing.

(This post was adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)


Roger Mann said...

Someone came on my website the other day. A fellow survivor of CSA and hurting. The time had come to open that box and deal with what was in it for him. As I listened and responded to his pain I was comforted to see that he was opening up. He just needed someone to 'hear' him; someone to validate his pain.

It took me back to when I first found some guys who really knew what I had been through and the words I can relate, I get it, I understand were like water to a drowning man. I wept over and over as they responded with words I too could understand and relate to.

Sometimes just to know that you are being 'heard' is healing in and of itself.

Joseph said...

Thanks, Roger. My great chain-breaker was to have a godly man, listen to me spill my painful guts and not be judgmental about the spilled mess, and to not only accept me as a man but to show me God's grace. Three men actually, a counselor, the young (relatively--I was 75!) and a younger associate pastor. Telling them caused me to realize and accept that I was no longer fearful of the past--I had told men about it and they didn't run from me. Amazing grace, my chains are gone!