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.

Where Trust Starts

When I felt safe, I was ready to face the pain of the past. But part of that sense of safety stayed at bay until I was able to trust myself—to believe I was worthwhile and trustworthy.

In several blog posts over the years I’ve written about trusting others, and that’s a big issue for most of us. I’ve discovered that trust issues start with ourselves. Until I sensed I was loved, truly loved, I felt worthless and driven to prove my value to myself.

Healing begins as an inside job. Once we’re able to accept ourselves and feel some level of self-compassion and know we’re worthwhile, we can accept the affirmations and care from others.

My wife and others were expressing their feelings of acceptance and affection for years, and yet, deep inside, I felt they were conditional: as long as I met their standards for my behavior, I was all right.

Trust does begin within, but knowing we’re loved by others sets up belief.

Now I know. I’m all right. I am a creation of God and loved by him.

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