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.

“You’re Not Alone” (Part 2 of 2)

We battle alone, but we also need to know others are there to support us. We can ask the questions, and others can make suggestions, but it’s still a personalized, individual battle that only we can fight for ourselves.

Others can help by their presence and caring. A common biblical story inspired me when I was going through a dark period. In the book of Exodus, chapter 17, the Israelites are fighting their first battle with the Amalekites, led by Joshua. The leader, Moses, stands on a mountain with his hands raised as a symbol of victory. Joshua’s troops are winning.

Moses’ arms grow tired and he starts to lower them. When he drops his arms, the Amalekites prevail. Two men, Aaron and Hur, make Moses sit on a boulder and they get on either side of him and hold up his arms. And that continues until they thoroughly defeat their enemy.

Holding up our tired arms makes a powerful image for me. We get frustrated, confused, and feel lost. One of my problems was that as memories came back, my deep resistance was to say, “That’s only your imagination. That’s not true.” But when I told the two people who held my arms, they helped me accept the truthfulness of my flashbacks and memories.

When I doubted that I’d ever get healthy, they assured me that I would. They held up my weak, weary, and discouraged hands until my biggest battles were over. We all need those caring people who are there to lift up our arms.

Who is holding up your arms?


Roger Mann said...

Right now the only person is my spouse. And the problem is she cannot be there for me when in certain struggles I need her. She is too close to the situation and tends to personalize my struggle and make it about her.

I really do need someone and we are starting to attend a new church where I believe there may be those there that can help me in a biblically supportive way. I hope that will be true but I plan on taking it slow. Life is lonely. It was not meant to be but because of our fallen nature it seems to always be headed that way.

Larry Clemson said...

"Never Alone!"

Larry Clemson said...

Roger - I don't really have another person either. How do we find that person to walk that journey with us? I have been praying about it - & have given up on it to be honest about it. I do know the God is there & I am not really alone but it would be nice to have someone....

Anonymous said...

It is a lonely struggle. My wife supports me and I have shared it all with her, but she did not experience the abuse, and I don't think she will ever completely understand. I'm glad she does not completely understand because I think you would have to experience it first hand to understand the shear terror and fear. My abuser held a gun to my head during the rape and threatened that if I ever told that he would kill me, my mother. Brother and sister. I wouldn't wish this on my very worst enemy.

Cecil Murphey said...

Larry, Roger, and Anonymous, thank you for your comments. One of the big risks we have to be open to is trusting someone. For some of you, it's a daunting challenge.

And why wouldn't it be? For many years you felt alone and, like me and hundreds of other men, you felt no one cared.

Sometimes we have make our pain known for another to care.

Mark Cooper said...

My experience is different from what has been mentioned by the others. I do have another person to help hold up my arms. I have a Godly and wise buddy who accepts my struggle, including my battle with homosexuality.

I have two other buddies who also know the worse about me, and yet love me and encourage me.

I know some of you might envy me for the friendships I have.

However, I am single; I find myself envying married men since I have no wife to offer any encouragement or support. And that feels very lonely to me. I hurt, ache, and long knowing I may never enjoy the most intimate human relationship that God has created man and woman for, and in part that is because I was raped as a little child.

I guess what I'm taking away from this discussion is none of us get to escape loneliness. None of us has someone to help hold up our arms every time we feel the need or longing for that support.

I realize I may be sounding overly negative. I don't mean to be; this is just where this writing and discussion has struck me.

Thank you.