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.

Needing to Be Heard

The most courageous step for survivors is to speak about our abuse openly. That was the single most healing step for me. Until I opened up to others, my sexual assault was still something secret. Hidden. And publicly denied.

I needed to speak, to be believed and understood, so I chose my first confidants carefully—and with trepidation. To my amazement, the first two people heard me and supported me. They embraced me with words, but also with their arms that pulled me into a warm embrace.

For me, that was the beginning. I’m a public speaker and appear before various groups, congregations, and organizations. The first two times I referred to my painful childhood, my hands shook and my voice quivered. But I did it.

I make my living as a ghostwriter or collaborator and have taught in 259 conferences for writers. For the past decade, whenever I tell them about me, I mentioned being molested.

Some may cringe or feel it’s distasteful, but no one has ever rebuked me or belittled me for it. In fact, fairly often, a man will come up to me privately and say, “When you talked about your childhood . . .,” and nearly always he also says, “I’ve never told anyone.”

And I wait silently while he tells me his story. When that happens, I feel affirmed for being vulnerable to an audience. I also feel invigorated for helping another man start his healing journey.

Every survivor needs to be heard and believed.
I need to be heard and believed.

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Are there questions or specific topics you'd like Cec to address in upcoming blog entries? If so, please send an email to his assistant at the following address: cecilmurphey(at)mchsi(dot)com.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

This thing about being heard and I mean really heard and believed was a life changer for me and for many of the survivors I have talked with. One man told me that for me to read his story, believe every word and validate his feelings may just have changed his life forever. I was shocked. I have heard from many though who were not believed and some said it was worse than the abuse itself.

While I can understand how many would view some of our stories with skepticism; many are absolutely horrific; it hurts deeply to suffer what many of us have suffered and be called liars and it happens all the time.

I remember the first time I shared some of my story anonymously on a Christian chat site one person did in fact tell me she thought I was making it up to get attention. I never went back.