(By Jackson Douglas)
I’m often hesitant to share my story because it often feels less important than the stories of others. In comparison I was, and am, lucky. But the honest truth is that a small wound unattended can be as dangerous as a major wound that is properly addressed. Many times we are tempted to try to push through the pain and hurt without asking for help.
My own story begins with a young girl leading me away from the other children into another room where she had stayed. A place for us. I remember that I wanted to watch cartoons but she started taking off my clothes and then my mother walked in and stopped us. I was four. Four years old and already I was awake and looking for more. I will not lie to you. My parents were great and my childhood was wonderful. There was no abuse at home, but I still didn’t know how to talk to them about what was already stirring in me.
Then came David. David was the youth pastor at our church and he took a particular personal interest in me and my friends. The four of us were all between twelve and fourteen and he took us out of the Wednesday night service and into a “Bible study” where we talked about sex. It was exciting and we were all curious. I distinctly remember the time when he called me into his office to speak with me privately. Once the door was closed, he asked to look at my genitals to see ‘how I was developing.’ I told him “no” and he accepted it, but later betrayed me and told my mother some of the things that I had been talking about in our group.
David introduced us all to pornography and masturbation during these “Bible studies.” We were less than thirty feet away from our parents in the back of the church, but we were still worlds away. I wasn’t raped or physically fondled so the temptation is to deny that the experience affected me on a deeper level or to convince myself that it is less important or less meaningful. But I struggle to this day to abstain from pornography. Some days I win. Some days I don’t. I see the hurt and shame that it causes my wife and I wonder what type of monster I am that I still keep doing it.
I remember the times that I’ve made her cry and promised that this would be the last time only to disappoint her again days later. I fear for my children and keep an overly vigilant watch lest they fall prey to the same fate that I did. So it has not only affected me deeply but also affected my family as well. David is now dead. He died of AIDS two years ago, but he still haunts me. Don’t cheapen your story because it is not as dramatic or as horrific as another man’s story. Your story has weight because it is your story and it happened to you.
Wow! I don't quite know what to say. I remember saying some of the same things when I first began my recovery such as, "It's not as bad as others' stories." Only to have to tell mine and look at the horror on their faces and hear, "I can't believe you would say that." Having lived most of my life without any memories of such horror, apparently numbed my awareness of the degree of harm and emotion of such. At 39, my memories began resurfacing. It was so horrible and traumatizing. I can't even begin to describe it.
I began a blog once about it, but went back and erased it, not sure I wanted to get that personal with the world. To that end, I have to say that you are one of my heroes. To write what you did is so powerful. When those worrisome thoughts come about exposing this part of your life, just know that God will do something amazing with it!
I am one of those that you have already touched by your honesty. If you remember, I wrote to you a few days ago about devotional writing. I commented on the fact that I connected with yours because they are so "real." Now, I can see why! I honestly believe that there is something within those who have experienced sexual abuse that gives them a passion about their message. I can't explain it, I just know it is a God thing. And I know it is a God thing that I have come across your blogs and devotionals. I have been trying to write a book about my journey through resurfacing memories of sexual abuse. Not that I originally wanted to. I kept giving God one excuse after the other until I heard his "still small voice", which was actually loud and clear, saying, "Each day you put it off you are walking in disobedience." Wow! I could no longer argue about it. But it has been a huge struggle for me. None the less, I press on, claiming His Word, struggling, crying, and seeing him at work in me through it all.
Cec, I pray that God will continue to use you, to use you mightily in this area. It is a much needed and very difficult area to minister in, as you may well know.
Blessings, my brother in Christ and fellow writer in the gospel,
I have read several posts on here and have been really amazed at how many men and women carry this for years, including myself. I know this is a site for men, however, am glad I found it because I, too, have felt awful carrying this for so long.
I was not sexually abused where there was actual intercourse, however, I had a cousin, uncle and a high school teacher sexually abuse me. The uncle would make sure he got his 'feel' and that I felt his 'excitement' while on his lap. The male cousin would be around during 'play time' and when alone, would 'mount' me with clothes on and do his thing. And the high school teacher, he would make sexual comments to me (how he would like to watch me with another girl and I need to wear that sexy top I wore yesterday for him again).
I have toted this for years and now being 45, it has flooded me with emotions along with the emotional abuse and neglect that I received from my parents. (Who knew of the things I mentioned above by the way and didn't want to start trouble). What do you think a child of 8,9,10,11,12,13 years of age is going to do with such events if they are not made to feel protected, secure, valued, etc..?????? We end up on sites such as this trying to 'exist, cope, find closure, love ourselves.
Thanks for letting me share.
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