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.

Why Is It So Hard? (Part 1 of 3)

Healing from any kind of abuse isn’t easy. And those who imply it’s just a matter as simple as saying, “Yeah, it happened to me, but it was no big deal,” are deceiving themselves. This isn’t to castigate them, but only to stress that pain comes before we win over the past.

As I’ve thought about healing and why it’s so difficult, I’ve come up with a few ideas.

First, we need to realize that sexuality involves our total selves—mind, body, emotions, and spirit. God created us that way, and sexuality is a powerful force in our lives for good or for evil.

Second, our abuse took place in secret, and it happened when we were young and innocent. We lived with our hidden anguish for years. I turned 51 before memories flooded over me and forced me to learn to struggle with my painful childhood.

I wish I were totally free, and the best I can say is, “I’m almost healed.”

Murder victims feel no pain;
abuse survivors feel pain for the rest of their lives.


Roger Mann said...

This topic comes up a lot with people I have talked to. Sexual abuse hits right to the core of who and what we are. I can brake my arm and in a few weeks totally forget about it. I can get an infection and be terribly ill, get well and in time never think about it again. Someone can hurt my feelings or betray me and I will be angry but move on with my life too.

But as a little boy someone can touch me and do things to me in my private areas that I will cry about in my 70s still. Why is that? It is a very personal violation and brings up all kinds of questions and doubts about my worth, my sexuality, my safety, and can cause betrayal on a deeply personal level from someone I have been told since birth to trust; parents, or grownups in general.

When you are so little, and the people who you should be able to trust with your body abuse that trust, there is no where to go, there is no one to tell. Suddenly you are more alone that you ever could have imagined. That kind of feeling stays with you and trusting anyone after that is almost impossible.

A child instinctively knows it can and must trust the grown ups around them for everything. When it realizes suddenly that it is no longer true what does one do? Where do you go? What is safe? God in his word asks us to Trust Him. For a child of incest or abuse to trust this invisible presence can be asking a lot.

Why is it so hard? It hits at the very core of who and what we are and seeks to destroy it. In many cases, it succeeds.

Larry Clemson said...

I am broken. All I want is to be fixed.

Roger Mann said...

Fixing is possible but it takes longer than breaking. Probably true of a lot of things.

Joseph said...

With me nearly 60 years after the event, I was stunned to realize I was abused and was not the one who instigated the event. You are so right. Sexual abuse hits every area of the abused one's life.

Mark Cooper said...

Reading this post and Roger's comment this morning is an extension of a conversation I had with my best friend last night.

I told him "The same woman (my mom) who told me how I should feel about God, also told me how I should feel about the man who raped me (my dad)."

I am a step closer to understanding, accepting(?), the confusion I feel in my relationship with God. I prayed with my buddy last night, and told God "I resent you and I'm angry with you." And I didn't go on to tell God that I knew I was wrong to feel that way. It was an act of trust to tell God how I feel and let it go at that.

I was not given that opportunity as a child.

Joseph said...

Mark, I see nothing wrong in voicing to God how you feel, for He already knows. Voicing it does not change His love for us. And in voicing it all, I ask Him for the grace to forgive and to accept the truth that I can leave it all in God's hands. Since I have been transparent with having been sexually abused as a boy (something that I would have hidden at all cost before) I have been able to comfort others who where abused. It's a journey, Mark, and it's painful. However, healing does begin to happen. Don't give up.

Mark Cooper said...

Joseph thank you for your words of encouragement. "Voicing it does not change His love for us...." That is part of the battle I am pushing through. Realizing that I can trust Him to take care of this Father-son relationship, even when I'm mad. That's actually a rather nice feeling. :-)