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.

Excusing

“She couldn’t help it,” I once said of my female perpetrator. “Her father made her his sexual partner after the death of his wife.”

For a long time, I used that as a way to excuse her. “She couldn’t help it. It was behavior she learned as a child.” That’s true, but it doesn’t pardon her for sexually assaulting me.

I excused the old man who molested me. “He was such a lonely man.”

More than just excusing the culprits in my life, by defending them (and I was defending), I didn’t face my anger.

But one day that changed. I went out for a late afternoon run by a small lake and (fortunately for me) no one else was around. For at least an hour I raged at the two now-dead people. I was angry at myself for defending their actions. After the venom poured out, I allowed myself to grieve over my stolen childhood.

I finished my run, sank on a bench, and cried for a long time. “I’ll learn to forgive you,” I said to both culprits, “but right now I want to feel my anger. You hurt me and made my childhood sad and lonely. I didn’t deserve what you did to me!”

It was almost dark by the time I left the park. I didn’t feel vindicated or happy. At the time I was worn out, but deep within was the sense that I had faced reality. I had pronounced them both guilty of murdering the innocence of my childhood.

When I no longer defend the guilty,
I can have compassion on the innocent.

4 comments:

Andrew Schmutzer said...

Some very important points here, Cec. You illustrate the distinction between JUSTIFYING and EXPLAINING what our abusers did. And you also show how toxic ways of relating can be trans-generational, with women as perpetrators, too!

But I also like your context of EXERCISE. It's so important to help address mental health and allow the body "burn off" feelings anger and cortisol build up!

Thanks

Cecil Murphey said...

Thanks for your gracious (and usual) response.

Dan said...

I had to come to that point where you completely crash and you feel the pain, shame, hate, anger and sadness. Once I felt all the "stuff" and poured out my heart to Christ (sometimes I did that for 60-90 min. I didn't know I could pray that long, nor be that extremely angry.) However once I did that I started to gain ground.
I found in order to heal I needed to hit that spot in my soul that screamed NO and cursed the evil that it did. I also had to come to the realization that it was not my fault, and stop Satan's lies in their tracks. You have to fight lies with TRUTH, and if you do that you will slowly move up the mountain...or through the valley. I prefer to look at it as a mountain...if I do I can tell that it will be hard, long, uphill, maybe windy, I might have to rest here and there, but I know there is a great ending point. And when I reach the top....I will sit with Jesus and I will be healed, but untill then I keep climbing if one little step at a time. I do not want to go back to the dark valley where it seems evil lurks, and the shadows are scary. The ledges are scary, and so are the drop offs but I like the analogy better.

Cecil Murphey said...

Dan, we all heal differently, and I'm glad you've found what works for you. It's a long road, and it is one step at a time, Juat keep going forward.