Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Acting Out

(By Cecil Murphey)

One of the most distasteful sentences I hear from other survivors goes like this: "I acted out."

I call it distasteful because it's a way of hiding from the truth. It's what we call a euphemism. That is, using a nice word or term for things that sounds too direct or unpleasant. By making the cover-up statements, they're not truly facing their actions and the results.

For survivors, I plead, don't use such terms. Either don't tell us anything or say it straight. "I went to a gay bar Thursday night," or "Even though I knew better, I watched porn on my computer." Those words may not be easy to say, but they're necessary if we want to move ahead.

I'm not interested in hearing or reading graphic descriptions; I am eager to hear direct, honest statements. When survivors of abuse say it straight, they move forward in their own healing; they also encourage the rest of us. It helps us to know we're not the only ones who stumble and make mistakes.

To gain the most benefit from my failure, I confess in simple direct words. 
I grow from the experience; I encourage others to grow after their failures.

(This post is adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)

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