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.

Just Be Over It

By Mark Cooper

This is my story. It is not the same as your story. But I hope my story will encourage you to more fully live your story.

Those of us who deal with trauma recovery are probably familiar with the unhelpful concept, “Just be over it.”

My brother and I were enjoying dinner with friends. We got into a discussion about a former neighbor, a veteran of WW2, who battled alcoholism. My brother told us that the man’s son described his dad crying anytime the subject of the war was broached. My brother explained to us that the trauma of war no doubt contributed to our neighbor’s battle with alcohol. He then went on, “Of course, after a while a person should probably just be over [the trauma].”

I had to fight tears as I heard his words; his words felt like a mockery of my healing journey from abuse, but more than that, they exposed his own battles. My brother knows the pain of trauma in his life, but shows little evidence of facing that pain. His “just be over it” statement, rather than being an expression of callousness towards our neighbor, speaks of the harshness he feels towards himself; an expectation that by now he should “just be over” the pain of his wounds.

Those of us who have entered the healing journey know that we will never “just be over” our wounds. Rather, we have embraced the hard work of dealing with those wounds. We have accepted that our journey will include countless tears, frustration and anger. We know we must continually be honest with ourselves, with others, and with God. We face the raw truth of how we were hurt and how we have caused hurt in attempts to sooth our pain. But as the tough work of healing progresses, we eventually realize that we have more peace—even if it is fragile—than we once thought possible.

That peace would never have come had we told ourselves to “just be over it.”

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A note from Cec's assistant: Cec's publisher sent him a box of bookmarks for his upcoming book, More Than Surviving. If you would like to help Cec by distributing some of the bookmarks, please contact him at cec.murp@comcast.net and give him your mailing address. Thank you!


Roger Mann said...

Even though I told my last two wives that I'd some issues regarding sexual things because of something that happened in my childhood, no details, both apparently assumed I was 'over it' and just a normal guy. In all fairness I should have given more details but I was not fully aware myself of the extent of the damage. I too hoped I was finally 'over it'.

I remember finally opening up in counseling about what all happened and how I felt now. I was told that because of the extent and duration it would probably take ten years or more of work to recover from it's effects. I was crushed. I even thought about giving up and just isolating myself. But I persisted because at that point I couldn't go on like I was.

I am so much better off now that I was back then and I'm glad I chose to continue. I still find things that I've had or done so long I didn't notice anymore that my loving wife will point out and as painful as that can be at times, I am grateful.

Someone once said it's a journey, not a destination. Actually, I'm glad for the journey. It's taken me to wonderful places and peace that I've never known and probably never would've experienced.

just my thoughts

Cecil Murphey said...

Roger, I'm constantly touched with your comments. You make yourself transparent to us. Thank you for GIFT to the rest of us.


Anonymous said...

Troubled - father abused son, did this same man as a grandfather abuse grandson??????????

Anonymous said...

My father, my son, heartbroken if true.

Anonymous said...

Father is dead, no resolution. Only God can heal this pain. I didn't remember what my father did to me, so I didn't know to protect my sons. I am beyond heartbroken. Please pray for me.

Anonymous said...

I always tried to be there for my sons and protect them from stranger danger, I had no idea that the danger was my father. My parents never wanted to watch my sons for us, and I pushed them to watch them. If My sons were abused by him, then I am to blame. Oh Lord, help me, this is killing me.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing I can do about it now, the damage is done. My son us now suffering from depression and hallucinations. But we are going to overcome this with God's help, we are going to find him help.

Daniel said...

Appreciate this post. Very true. There is no "just getting over" it. We're not automatons or machines where a switch can be flipped and presto you're done with it.

I think I feel shame that it affects me even after 3 decades. But such is the nature of things. Being patient with myself and having fantasticly supportive friends is a big help.

Anonymous said...

If that indeed did happen, I am so sorry. Please do get help for your son, any way you can. I will pray for you both.

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thank you. We found him some help today.