Friday, November 20, 2015

"By now . . ."

"By now," a pastor friend said to me, "you should be over all that. It happened so long ago."

"So you have some kind of way to set time limits?"

"No, that's not what I meant," he said. "Just that, well, it happened when you were just a kid."

"Time isn't the healer," I said, angry and ready to walk away from him. He kept trying to say that he didn't really mean those words.

"You're digging a deeper hole each time you open your mouth to explain," I said, "and I'm angry. It must be nice to be someone like you without hang-ups or problems that began in childhood and still continue to trouble!"

The shock on his face told me I had touched something in him.

"I apologize," he said and told me his story of growing up with two bright, ambitious parents who seemed to treat him more as a trophy than their child.

I don't know if he ever understood my pain or if I fully understood his. But his last words to me were, "I know only two kinds of people who had perfect childhoods. Liars and people who can't remember."

I'm not a liar and I remember the pain.
I also know I'm healing at my own pace.


Joseph said...

I'm 77 years old and only in the few years have begun to work through it and realize that it was sexual abuse of my body that cause so much heart ache in my life. I am healing, but I don't think we "get over it"--whatever that may mean to the person saying it.

Cec Murphey said...

Thanks, Joseph. I liked your comment very much. No, we don't get over it, but we do grow stronger. One of my books is called Not Quite Healed and that's my primary point. We mature, we learn compassion for others, and part of "it" still lingers.

I've learned to be thankful for that horrible phase of my life because it pushes me to reach out to other wounded men. The more I connect with other hurting men, the more grateful I am that to still remember what it was like in my worst days.

Unknown said...

Have you ever asked yourself - "Why am I not over it by now?" I have - I don't think we realize how deep the hurt goes. I know I have denied it in my own life & ignored or pushed away some of the results of abuse. I do know I am learning to trust God with this hurt in my life. I am learning to be honest with my self that I am not over it by now but God is there to guide me through this.

Robert said...

I feel like God has given me a gift I want to share . This morning, during my devotions, I was reading from the book of James in chapter 4. I got to verse six , and it says "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". I thought about this and thought about my past. I was raised in a family of five boys, but it appears I was the only one who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a male babysitter and then others. I was the youngest of the five. My older brothers I would say are very proud men, and sometimes look with disdain on Christianity. Having been subjected to the abuse, I always felt less than them, and less masculine than them. This made me a mostly humble person I believe, as I felt so bad about myself . God revealed to me this morning that he has given me much grace in my life and has drawn me so much closer to him. As verse 8 says, "come close to God and God will come close to you, " and in my humbleness, because of feeling shameful and less of a man, I did draw close to God, and God has chosen to draw close to me. He has blessed me with being able to be in ministry, he is blessed me with an amazing wife, and he has blessed me with three amazing children, who are also all in ministry. I have had many life experiences that are incredible simply because God has chosen to draw close to me and allowed me to serve him. He is showing me that he can make something beautiful out of what happened to me, simply because of his grace . I am tearfull this morning realizing that every good thing in my life is because of Jesus, that he won't waste what happened to me, but will use it to make me a person who draws close to him. I weep with joy this morning and For this I am very thankful this Thanksgiving.

Joseph said...

Thanks, Robert, for your post. I have thought much recently about what God prevented even though I was sexually abused. That abuse by an adult male to an early adolescent boy who was ignored by his father, caused me to start looking for other men who would "show me compassion and kindness"--for a few minutes at least. Frankly, it was better that being ignored, and for a long time I didn't realize it was wrong--that I was being sinned against. What God prevented was my not being physically harmed by these men, or going into the porn industry (though one said, "You could make a lot of money in California just having your picture taken.) I was so ignorant I didn't realize he meant porn until years later. God also prevented me from realizing I could sell my body to men. I've come to realize, that although bad things happened that twisted me life, it could have been far worse, and for that I am thankful. Our healing is step by step, and the breaking of old habits is step by step. But progress gives us courage to go on with the process, as painful as it is. And believe me I've shed many tears in my journey with healing. But I say with confidence for tomorrow that it has been a good journey. This has rambled, but I'm gonna post it anyway.