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.

The Cost of Healing

I understand the desire for complete emotional healing. But there’s a price we pay if we want victory.

Courage is the first word that springs to mind. It’s not easy to face our pain and say, “Enough! I’m determined to be free.”

Time is the second word. We can’t rush healing. An old joke in psychological circles is about the client who was told he would need at least two years of counseling if he came in once a week. “If I come in four times a week, can I get cured in six months?”

It doesn’t work that way. Our abuse took place decades ago. We need to think of healing as stripping away not only painful memories but discarding our coping methods. It helped me to think of my life having a regime change.

Healing entails unwrapping the pain, re-living it when necessary, and then learning how to live without it. We need to absorb the truths we learn about ourselves and use them to help us change our behavior.

It is a process—and process implies it doesn’t happen quickly.

Healing from abuse is a process and not an event.

2 comments:

Joseph said...

The past must be looked at, eyeball to eyeball, and acknowledged. At least for me, that was the start of recovery. To accept that it was abuse, that I did not initiate it, that it was an evil man who saw me as an easy mark for his "acceptance" of me--all that I had to work through with my counselor and with a young pastor who is an exceptional listener and trusted friend. I would still be wallowing in self condemnation and regret had I not been willing to face the past. And for me there has been freedom in talking about the abuse and how it wounded me. I'm old, and if being transparent can help a younger man find recovery, I'm willing to talk. As I have been transparent, there have been two men in my church who have shared with me that they, too, had been molested in their early teens. One did not recognize it as abuse because the young man who did it, was only a year or 2 older than he was. I told him, the age of the abuser does not matter. It's your body, and he violated your body.

Roger Mann said...

When I first realized that I had actually been damaged, broken by what happened tome over the years of my childhood I felt at a complete loss. Hopelessness just overwhelmed me. Then I heard about a men's group at a nearby church that was helping men with sexual dysfunction to put it tactfully. I was given hope and I rushed to join in hopes of being healed in short order. After two years of very difficult meetings and introspection I began to relax and thought I saw a light up ahead.

I still remember the night we all were being particularly honest and open and I talked about my real hurt and the progress I had made. The facilitator cautioned me that this is a journey, not a destination. He said it would likely take ten years for me to come to a place of real healing.

I was crushed. I even thought of giving up as hopelessness once again set in. Instead I sobered up readjusted my expectations and continued if there was any help at all I wanted it.

It has been well over ten years now and in fact I do feel freer than ever before. I am now able to reach out to others on their journey and help them through the pitfalls I encountered. I have a much more realistic idea of what healing is and I accept that there will still be things I will need to work on. It's not just the abuse issues if that weren't enough, it is all the normal stuff too of a maturing soul that I must deal with.

Life is a test of character, not skill. I know now it's not what happens to you, its how you deal with it. Learning to deal with life in healthy ways and looking beyond yourself to those around you is true progress. Full healing will happen to me when I take that last breath and embrace my heavenly Father. My goal is not so much getting fixed, but getting better. It's not where I am at on this journey, it's the direction I am heading that's important.

Just my thoughts.