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.

Collateral Damage

The term collateral damage began as a military term to refer to damage done to civilians or unintended targets in warfare. Today, most of us understand it means the undesired consequences of horrific events. For survivors, it’s the harm done to those within our circle, especially family members.

In my own journey, I can think of nothing more difficult for me than speaking to my family of origin about the abuse during my childhood and then informing my own children. The first was more difficult because I assumed they, like me, lived with denial. To my surprise, my three older sisters either said, “I knew” or “I suspected.”

My own children, again to my surprise, handled it well. The thing about which I’m grateful is that I never took my molestation to the next generation—that is, did to them what was done to me.

I’m grateful I caused no collateral damage for my children.

7 comments:

Jesus said...

Hi Cecil,
Long time not replied. Pray you are in favour, blessings and all God has for you right now.
I get posts on my iphone but never too sure if can reply there, so I am replying via myyahoo.com where I also received mail from Shattering the Silence.
I too had disclosed to my children and the older understands more as he is in the Lord, the younger one still 15 but sure will get time to share with him my own abuse. I really never got time to explain much to my mother who was ill from an earlier age and when tried to explain to my FAther, he felt that I could have turned out a worst character. Well am sure he meant that but there was no emotions in that and really after own research that my family was an illiterate emotion family. Well i can see why had problems later in life, teens and adult life.
But am so glad that I have not caused as you referred to - collateral damage.
That is His grace Cecil. I still struggle with this victim triangle one can get into with sometimes triangulated feeling victim - rescued victim - perpetrated victim. As i look to Christ as my rescuer but often turned to feeling perpetrated when feelings of intimacy that are blocked makes me need to assuage myself. Am in a battle with that, but I ask every day our Lord rescuer/saviour for light on my pathway. Am finding more tools/scripture that helps though it is a lonely journey sometimes and not able to discuss in depth with my wife. I know that when I come into the Lord's house, often I come with my own strengths and am now trying come as more a child into His house. I cannot trust myself and own muscle (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
Please pray that my intimacy first his strong with the Lord and restoration of intimacy with my wife.

Blessings
Anthony

Jesus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zale Dowlen said...

Thank you Cec. I am collateral damage of the abuse of another. God is brining healing. Heartsync sessions have been helpful for me. I am less concerned about collateral damage now than what I was a few years ago.

Also, for the previous comment, as I heal, my wife is healing with me. The intimacy is coming back slowly.

God is turning my pain into love and grace for others.

Roger Mann said...

I understand collateral damage all too well. When my first son was born I freaked out. I did not want to become my father so I pushed him away. I did not want to have anything more to do with him than I had to and this ended up hurting him just as much if not more.

My wife not knowing what was going on with me, (not that I did), was hurt and confused and we ended up divorced after 14 years.

I have left a wake of destruction in my flailing around trying to figure out what was wrong with me and trying to find a coping mechanism that would keep me sane. Only God can do that and when I finally did surrender to him I found peace. Nevertheless the damage was done and I will have to live with that.

Cecil Murphey said...

Roger and Jesus, thanks to both of you for honesty and transparency. Your painful words can be a powerful healing source to other men.

Cecil Murphey said...

I meant to include Zale in my previous comment. I especially appreciated your comment that your wife is healing with you. Great news!

Toshiba50 said...

It really annoys me that these comments have godly quotes or whatever you want to call them, my partner was abused by priests who hide behind god