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.

From a Wounded Man

This comes from Tommy, who gave me permission to post it on the blog. I think it would be wonderful if some of you would comment words of encouragement to him. (Cec)

* * * * *

Through my wanderings searching for help, I found you on the internet and am about halfway through Not Quite Healed.

I am 58 years old, successful, married for 34 years to a terrific woman who I am crazy about, and absolutely devoted to my Boston Terrier who helps keep me sane because he loves unconditionally and is with me nearly all the time.

I have known for many years through a vague and foggy memory that I was severely physically, emotionally, and verbally abused. And yet every psychiatrist I saw asked the same question (paraphrasing): “Do you remember sexual abuse?” I didn’t. But when I read the characteristics of men who had been abused as boys, I met 17 or 18 of the 20 or so bullet points. And then my mom passed away, and as I was going through her things, I found a semi-pornographic picture (for the 1960s) of me. And I felt a flood of memories that were new but still the same fog and vagueness.

Since then, I can remember as clear as day never having privacy in the bathroom no matter what I was doing. I can remember my dad showing me his genitals. I remember “baths” with Dad. And I remember that picture. That picture haunts me. And I remember my mother forcing me to sleep in the bed with her until, at 18, I just said no and left.

I have nightmares. Awful nightmares. Snakes. Demons. Rickety high towers and ladders that make me feel like I’m falling. Rushing water that seems to overtake me. Sleep paralysis that has me neither sleep nor wakeful and yet I see the door to my bedroom opening. That’s all. Just an opening door.

I have inexplicable fits of rage. I have weeping that makes no sense, at a movie, for example. And I have sampled all the evil that this world has to offer, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I know God loves me, but I don’t know how to let God love me. I don’t blame God for what happened, but I do wonder why He let it happen. God help me!

I guess I would have to say that I am either on my first step or maybe a few steps into the realization that “my little boy” was really badly abused. My wife is a bit of a picture person, and there are pictures of me as a youth of various ages around the house. Sometimes I pick one up, with my wife present, and sob, asking, “How in the world could someone do that to that little boy?” My wife is completely supportive and yet clueless as to what to do, as am I.

I suppose I have many years of work to get through this horror that we have all felt and endured. But knowing that others have, helps me know that I can too.

I am seeing a therapist who has helped me get to the point that I am. We will slog on.

Thank you, and God bless you for your work with us.


Anonymous said...

Tommy, thanks for sharing your story - a very brave and necessary step on the healing path. I am 1 year older than you and married for 35 years with 2 Scottish Terriers. I was emotionally abused by my father and step-father and sexually abused by 3 different men from age 5-19. I remember also asking God, “where were you when I was first being abused at age 5?” After intensive soul healing prayer, I saw very plainly the image of Jesus looking down from the corner of the ceiling of that room where I was being abused, weeping. It broke his heart but he wasn’t going to prevent evil from happening - it’s not the way He works. But make no mistake, it grieves his heart greatly and He loves me greatly. That experience brought me great comfort. I pray for you as you are on a rough road to recovery. With God’s help and the support of your wife, family, therapist, God, and yes, your dog, you’ll get there! Keep the book handy - I re-read it all the time. God bless you, Mike

Mark Cooper said...

Tommy, I'm proud of you and your courage.

Even though the healing journey is difficult and at times overwhelming, remember this, you are in a healthy place because you are facing truth about what was done to you.

Reading your story encourages me and the rest of men who are in our own journey. Blessings to you.

(And give your Boston Terrier a pat on the head for me - our animal companions are such gifts to us!)

Daniel said...

Tommy, you are brave and courageous for being so vulnerable and open. It takes guts, brother. Thank you. There is scarcely a man among us that doesn't understand the overwhelming emotions and reactions that come with this. It's awful and confusing, terrible as the day is long. But you are taking steps to deal with it, and that is the important thing.

Be patient with yourself, brother. It's going to hurt like crazy sometimes, but remember even in that you are safe and can never be hurt or used like that again.

God is patient and kind, and He's going to work with you loving Him.

And your dear wife sounds just like mine! I am learning to not really expect answers from mine, but just to accept her support, hold her hand when it's tough, and just trust her love for me. It's embarrassing to me all the tears I've shed, the sobbing, how incapacitated it has made me at times. Yet she has stood by me. She doesn't have words, but she is a pillar that I lean on.

Know that you loved abd appreciated, abd that you are going to get through this. Be patient. One step at a time.

jayrath63@outlook.com said...

I have similar flashes of memory and have been dealing with this openly for about 3 years. I also had bouts of rage which actually disappeared when I began realizing why.
I don't want to face who is with me in my memories. I don't have a face of the person but have a pretty good idea. Like you, I have a wonderful, compassionate and supportive wife. We've been married 30 years. I have been begging God's mercy for about 40 years and believe it's only by grace that I am not a complete ruin, today. Thanks for writing about your experience - we can all make it through this and it helps to know there are others out there. -jay

Cecil Murphey said...

As the "owner" of the blog, I can't begin to express how touched I've been by the comments from you guys--you're so open and courageous. Too many men don't/can't open up, and, of course, they miss the joy and inner peace of being healed.
Your comments have added so much to the blog. This morning I thought, They're writing this blog for me and doing better than I could.


Cecil "Cec" Murphey said...

Here are two comments that came to me through email to encourage Tommy:

(From Kevin) I get you. I too have a loving wife who has stuck by me through the years of issues. Let your wife know that what she can do is continue to Love you.

(From another reader) Thanks for your blog. It has been an encouragement. This is for Tommy. Some his story is similar to mine. Some of my memories are vague. They also involved my mother. I also had to sleep in my mother's bed when younger. Glad he had the courage to share his heart. Thanks for sharing.

Roger Mann said...

I can so relate to the slow dawning of acceptance that I had been abused. I just thought it was my childhood. It was what it was. I survived, I felt ok; I had a few issues but doesn't everyone?

I remember the slow avalanche of acceptance. I was angry, I was sad, I was confused, and I hid in the upstairs bathroom bawling into a towel so she couldn't hear me crying like a baby. My whole life was a sham. I had a terrible childhood. My father was sick and he took it out on me. His fantasies and perversions, something no little boy or girl should ever have to deal with were just part of my life.

So it was painful, confusing, and depressing but I made it through that too. The worst part is over I think. I have made peace with who I am and where I came from. I am not ok with where I'm going and who I'm with.

You too will make it. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel honored to have read it and I'm impressed with that "little boy" who helped you arrive here and now to heal.

Just my thoughts