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.

A Letter from a Female Reader

The letter below comes from Jen Puckett, a female follower of this blog.

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Dear Cec,

I want you to know what your willingness to share about your abuse has meant to my husband and me. After reading your book, my husband felt understood and not alone or like something was wrong, defective, or disgusting about him. We’re especially grateful that as a Christian man you were gut honest about same-sex attraction and the struggle that causes when you genuinely love your spouse. I read your book for wives too and found encouragement in your words and in the ways you said your wife supported you most, even when she least knew how.

My husband is reading More Than Surviving right now. He appreciates knowing he’s not alone. He's 48 years old, and his abuse happened from childhood through age 16. It's been a long road. We've been through intensive individual and marriage counseling over the last couple years and are rebuilding our seventeen-year marriage.

A few years ago, I felt a desire to write a book of my own from the wife’s perspective—before we were ever ready ourselves—and treasured it in my heart until now. I struggle to tell the agonizing stories, but my husband and I agree that unless the raw truth is told, it won’t help other survivors’ wives. Your honesty and transparency in writing are what enabled him to open up toward healing.

We both know the price in exposing the truth is high. My husband’s ministry could be devastated, or we could have a shift in the way people look at abuse—especially male sexual abuse among Christianity. The chasm between true compassion and hope for the hurting and the shock or discomfort with the symptoms of abuse seems insurmountable; therefore, the church often refuses to acknowledge it. But you gave it a voice long ago, and voices are beginning to join yours. Ours will. Others will too.

We sincerely thank you, Cecil, for sharing your harrowing journey. You risked so much to help other hurting men heal and know they’re not alone. You exposed light into the darkest places of unspoken shame. You opened never-before-opened doors for abused men and showed them firsthand the courage it takes to walk through them. As a wife to an incredible survivor, I am beyond blessed that you chose to use your voice and write your words.

God bless in every way,

Jen

3 comments:

Mark Cooper said...

Jen, I think your writing a book about you and your husband's journey through his healing would be a powerful tool.

My best buddy was, like me, abused as a young boy. His wife once commented to me how little information is available to spouses of male abuse victims. Your firsthand input would be valuable to many.

And yes, it would be scary. It is always a leap of faith when we choose to open up about our hurts and struggles. But I truly believe that, in the end, we end up more free. For me, sharing my story of abuse and resulting battles with homosexual attractions, has helped me break free from feeling my story is a huge, dark secret.

I think you are wise that you have waited to write your story, until you both are ready. Whenever that time comes, I know you will help many.

Caroyn Ruch said...

Praying, this morning, for the words to come, Jen, and for the wisdom to know when to share them.

Roger Mann said...

For me, this is very encouraging. I let my wife read Cec's books that I bought and it really did help with understanding where each other was coming from. It opened up some lines of communication I probably would have been to afraid to open. Thank you for your courage and compassion for the many still hurting.