As a child who never experienced love or affection from this father, I was easily marked for victimization. But more than that, I gravitated toward any male who showed me affection. Mr. Lee, the pedophile who molested me, intuitively grasped my neediness.
For a long time I struggled with an attraction for any man who reached out to me. As a young adult, I didn't yield but the feelings and the temptations were there. Of all the residual effects of sexual abuse, same-sex attraction has been for me the most shameful.
I blamed myself for being needy and vulnerable.
As an adult, I've learned to say that I had what someone has called "a father wound" and another refers to as his "father hole." It's that inborn need for a healthy, significant male figure in my childhood. I needed affection and the loving physical touch of a caring man.
If that hole isn't filled in a healthy way, acting on same-sex attraction is one way to get a temporary fix—a very temporary fix.
I think of a woman who came to my office years ago. She had gone through countless affairs and said, "I wanted love and I settled for sex."
That's the sad story of too many abused men.
The things that have an unhealthy attraction for me
point to those unmet needs of my childhood.
(This post was adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)