Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's the Problem Here?

Sexual assault involves sex. Many of us faced physical beatings or verbal abuse; some of us endured all three.

But when we talk about sexual assault, a significant element comes into focus. We physically responded to the molestation.

"It felt good," *Hal told me before he dropped his head and the tears flowed. "It should have felt terrible, but I liked it."

He had yet to realize, as many of us have accepted, that his penis functions the way God created it to work. Whenever anyone stimulates our sex organs, we respond.

As children, we were helpless and trusting. I particularly remember Mr. Lee, the pedophile who assaulted me. He whispered, "You're a special kid. I love you . . ." Those were tender words no one in my family had ever used. No one else held me, kissed my cheeks, or stroked my hair. Of course his abuse felt good, and he knew exactly how to entice me to come back when he wanted me.

That happened when I was a child, and I didn't understand my response was normal for a lonely, unloved kid.

A major step for many of us is to be able to say, "Yes, it felt good, but it was still rape and I was a victim."

To admit the stimulation felt good doesn't make you less a man; it does make you fully human.


Mark said...

Thank you for this reminder.

I've been in my recovery journey for a good while already. But as recently as last night a friend asked me "Why are you believing you deserve to be punished?"

One of the first things that leaped into my mind was "I deserve punishment because I liked what was done to me."

Robert said...

This is so helpful, it has haunted me for years that it felt physically good during the events and that I sought it out at times with my abuser. It was all due to physical arousal and being accepted and cared about by an older male, it was what made me feel like I belonged.

Joseph said...

Thanks. Because there was pleasure and because I felt accepted for a few minutes as the events happened, I felt like I was the one who had started it all--for a long, long, long time. A compassionate counselor helped me understand that I did not start it, and that my body responded as it was designed to respond to those kinds of touches. And yes, although I understand now I was not the instigator, there are times the old "am I to blame" feelings come back. We have keep reminding ourselves.