Friday, May 21, 2010

A Brutal Experience Reading Cec's Book

(By Andy Hines)

I recently ordered Cec Murphey’s new book, When A Man You Love Was Abused, written to spouses of men who were sexually abused as young men. I didn’t order it for my wife, I ordered it for me. It is clear to me that I have to deal with this issue and I understand so little of it. Cec is a man of wisdom and has plowed this field before. I want to hear what he has to say on the subject.

When I arrived at the bookstore, I picked up the book and began reading it immediately. It was a brutal experience. Page after page was like one stomach blow after another. Several times I had to quit reading, lay the book down, look away and stop to catch my breath. Cec had read my mail. I suppose 70% of the incidents he described in the book I had experienced. As I read, I prayed under my breath for the Lord to help me stay steady. I paused a couple of times and thought about the events that brought me to this point in my life. On one page, Cec described an event where a man was talking to his counselor and when describing the abuse he described it rather matter of factually. There was no emotion tied to the experience at all. It seems the counselor responded rather forcefully that the entire episode was terrible and ugly. The man had not buried the memories, but was completely devoid of any emotion associated with them. I have had the same experience. I am blessed beyond measure with a Godly counselor. She told me virtually the same thing. I have minimized the entire experience and done everything possible to bury it and hope it will go away. It hasn’t gone away and I can’t beat it.

Cec talked of having flashbacks and the impact they have on your life. I’ve had them for many many years. They are horrible. They are frightening and they pierce my heart like an arrow. He mentioned how certain things can trigger these flashbacks. A random smell, a piece of gum, the smell of toothpaste or a song on the radio can trigger a flood of events that threaten to overwhelm you. I’ve had the same experience. I wanted to attend a "Walk to Emmaus" weekend many years ago. Unknown to me or anyone involved in the event, the entire process including the campgrounds were an almost carbon copy of the camp where much of the abuse I suffered happened. I crashed and burned big time. Few people could understand my reactions. I didn’t at the time. I do now.

Many times today I closed my eyes and began to see things that happened to me when I was 14. It was like a news reel from an old movie. I saw the fights with my dad. I saw the sexual assaults in the military school. I saw the mental hospital and the jail. Then I saw her. I saw the French teacher. I swallowed hard and put Cec’s book down.

You can read the rest of Andy’s comments on his blog:

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