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.

These Ashes

This post comes from Daniel Eichelberger.
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I’m like a man poking through the cold ashes of a long-dead fire—bent, intently combing, sifting, and looking for remnants of a childhood untouched by pain, and where innocence is unshattered by the knowledge of forbidden things. I’ve been poking for a long time and coming up with nothing.

What kind of treasures can I really find in the leftovers of an inferno, the heat of which reduces everything to a substance nearly as light as air? If sifting through them is futile, why don’t I just give up the search? Why can’t I just leave them alone?

Some of my true friends probably silently ask the same question as they observe my persistent behavior. What power is there in the remains of experiences long past? They never ask those questions in my presence. A few of them even poke around with me in this gray-and-black mess. Although I appreciate their support, they really don’t know what they’re looking for or understand the attraction such a fruitless task holds for me.

Neither do I.

Maybe the remnants of a childhood aren’t what I seek. Perhaps it’s redemption.


Preston Hill said...

Thank you for this honest, refreshing, and salient post. These are well said and well felt words. Bless you on your journey. It is good and right to name the fruitless feelings amid what seems only a slender possibility of redemption. May that redemption shine through more and more as we toil in this labor of brave healing. And may we be kind to ourselves as we toil.

Roger Mann said...

I admit that on rare occasions when the ache of it all with the renewed strength of some errant flashback seems to demand I poke through my own ashes one more time, I will. I don't want to and am actually afraid of what I might find instead, but the pull can be strong and I can be weak.

It doesn't happen as often as it used to and probably because I can become nauseated if I linger to long. I keep telling myself to leave it alone, move on and enjoy the time you have left.

And that I think is my best plan. One day at a time. So to change metaphors, I try not to poke the tiger. Because I fear it really can bite me.

Just my thoughts

Anonymous said...

I also experience these times of dwelling in the past. I know what I am searching for: either 100% physical proof that all of my memories are real or 100% physical proof that all my memories are false. I recently have stopped dwelling in the past because I have come to the realization that yes it did happen. Now comes the time to forgive him. I'm not saying that what he did was ok, what I am saying is that I have to forgive him and move on. I am tired of the chains of the past dragging me back to that time over and over again. It is time to break the chains. I have recently shared with two men at church what happened to me, and I believe that action began breaking some links in the chain. I do admit that after I shared with them, I absolutely freaked out for a week. I was so upset with myself for sharing. It took me a solid week before i could tell my wife. The fear was overwhelming. The secret was out. I guess it was all the threats I had received from him, that if I shared that my life would end or crumble and no one would believe me. But a family friend believed me immediately, no questioning me. Come to find out, his wife had been abused too. Cec, thank you again for your ministry in this blog, and thank you for sharing so openly. I watched your YouTube videos before and after I shared, your videos gave me strength to share. But I am still not ready to put my name out here on the internet for everyone to see, maybe one day. But I really don't have that overwhelming need to share my name anymore since I shared one on one with someone else. Have a great weekend and my God be with all of us as we deal with these issues. God bless all of you.

Cecil Murphey said...

Anonymous, you took a powerful step in telling two others. Congratulations. Even though I don't know you, I'm proud of you for taking such a powerful risk.
Many of us understand that--and also remember our confusion afterward. As other readers of the blog will tell you, it does get easier.

Anonymous said...

Thank you