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 Ongoing Process (Part 3 of 3)

My friend and fellow survivor Gary Roe once talked about his sexual assault and added, “As a result, I have certain struggles or handicaps. I’m convinced that learning to deal with those handicaps and to heal is a lifelong process.”

Not only is healing an ongoing process, but it demands courageous vigilance to survive the barrages of hurt, sorrow, and self-accusation. The more we trudge forward, the stronger we become. The scars are subterranean and insidious, but there is healing.

At the beginning, we probably assume full healing is imminent—which I did—because we’re unaware how severely we were damaged or didn’t understand that our wounds had been festering for years.

For many, the abuse itself took place during a short period. It could have been a one-time assault, or something that happened repeatedly for three or four years. Regardless of whether once or forty-six times, the molestation worked like an undetected virus that invaded our souls, went systemic, and infected every part of our psyche. Among other things, abuse destroyed our ability to see ourselves as we are.

I hope you read that previous sentence correctly. We’re born with the need to be whole. Or another way to say it is maturity and wholeness means being able to see ourselves as we are. Many of us still don’t see clearly.

This morning I read his post. While ostensibly responding to a question, he wrote a 300-word self-promotion piece. He does it every time. A few years ago I gently commented on one of his sales pitches.

The shock on his face made me know he had no idea what I meant. I don’t know if Tony was sexually assaulted (and I never asked), but his behavior is like that of many of us who lack self-awareness. He can’t see in himself what is so obvious to many of us.

Our journey is a search to know ourselves.


Roger Mann said...

"A search to know ourselves"

I have no idea what that means. My entire life I had no idea who I was, who I was supposed to be. I wanted to be like all the other guys. They knew who they were. Maybe imitating them would help me discover who I was. It didn't work. I was just a bad copy of another broken individual. I am still not sure who I am today but I am happier with whoever this is under my skin. My young self and my old self are getting along better if that makes any difference. I will never know who I was meant to be but I am more comfortable now that I ever was with who I am now, whoever that really is.

Cec Murphey said...

You may know the term, Roger, but your post says you're doing it.

Congratulations on your growth.


Cec Murphey said...

nOOps. Sorry, I meant you may NOT know the term...