Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Learning to Walk

(This post comes from Roger Mann.)

My wife’s grandson, who soon will be 9 months old, is starting to walk. He crawled for a bit a month ago but soon got the hang of that and pulled himself up to a standing position when he realized he could. It wasn’t long before he’d stand up all by himself, balancing well for a child his age. Two weeks ago, he started taking tentative steps. Now, although he falls frequently, he can manage four or five good steps at a time. He’s ahead of the game right now. I can see him running around before long with us having to chase him down.

It hit home that this is kind of like God giving me a picture of growing and walking in the spirit with Him. He’s given me a cool illustration of how difficult it is at first and how much grace I should extend to myself and others. The kid falls a lot, mostly on his butt, but occasionally he will wander near something hard and edgy and end up with a small bruise or mark on his face or head. Thank goodness for a cushy diaper or his butt would be black and blue.

It’s not just his lack of skill and balance that gives him trouble. Sometimes he’ll go exactly where he knows he shouldn’t. He’s learning the word no and what that means for him. Of course, he can’t understand why we get firm with him around electrical cords or things that could break. He just knows we’re restricting his freedom and he’s not happy about it.

That too reminds me of myself. There are many pleasurable things in the world that I’d love to indulge in, but Daddy says, “No.” Sometimes I’ll try to sneak off and indulge anyway. When I do, eventually (and sometimes immediately) I find out why they’re on the restricted list.

The point is this: Like God, I’m not angry with the kid. I’m trying to save him grief or permanent injury. I grew up with some scars for that very reason. I don’t want to have any more than necessary, but some seem to be necessary if I'm going to grow and learn.

As Darwin pointed out, there are those that live and learn; and those that just live.

Lesson: I cut myself some slack. I’m human. But in this vast universe of His, I’m a child, and Father knows best.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I Dreamed

(This comes from an anonymous reader.)

I awake to a memory of a girl I worked with. Can’t remember how it came up, but she was bragging that she couldn’t be raped because being limber she could cross her legs and lock them so no one could spread them. I just shook my head and walked away, remembering my arms locked around my legs, my knees under my chin lying on my back.

I don’t remember the pain. I do remember the smells: sweat, Old Spice, and poop. I remember the shock of cold as I was cleaned up. I remember using a bar of soap and hot water on the cloth in the morning so no one would see what was on it. I remember using the same cleaning technique on underwear when necessary. I remember telling myself it didn’t happen.

There are things I’ve locked away in a dark corner of my mind never to be remembered. Things I promised to take to my grave. But some things won’t stay. Truth can set you free, but it can also break your heart over and over. So what does one do with such things?

I write them out, trying to get them out. I try not to be numb about it, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I let myself feel I’ll be unable to stop the tears ever.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

From the News

In the 8 years I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve never quoted from a news report, but I think this piece from the Inquisitor is worth reading. It was posted on February 6, 2018. Terry Crews is an American actor, artist, and former American football player and was included in the group of people named as TIME Person of the Year for 2017.

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In October 2017, Terry Crews tweeted a series of honest, sad, and alarming messages.

“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to me.” He began to describe an encounter with an at-the-time-unnamed male executive who groped his genitals.

Terry said he feared how the incident would be reported, afraid that he could end up in jail. Hollywood and the public alike were shocked by Terry’s Twitter confession.

However, Terry’s unfortunate and frightening experience helped him understand those who have gone through similar things. It also helped him understand why victims of sexual harassment often choose to remain silent, he wrote in the same series of Twitter messages.

On the other hand, this has perhaps helped the rest of the public understand that these things can happen to anyone. Even men, former NFL players.

The public paid attention to Terry’s tweets, but until today, he had not addressed the elephant in the room properly — masculinity. The actor tweeted an interesting message today, along with a link to Esquire. Terry has finally spoken up what he calls the “man code.” He considers this phenomenon to be a subtle, unspoken cult of masculinity.
It’s the backlash I experienced when I came forward with my story: men who were angry that, at first, I didn’t name my abuser; men who questioned why I didn’t fight back, who said I let him do it, who said I must’ve wanted it, who said I must be gay. The man code is why I endured the male version of a female survivor being asked, “What were you wearing?”
Celebrities like Isaiah Washington, Gabrielle Union, and Tyler James Williams expressed support for the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor, BET reported, after the same online magazine had pointed out lack of Hollywood’s response to Terry Crews’ attempt to call out his assaulter.[1]

[1] https://www.inquisitr.com/4774448/terry-crews-on-metoo-and-the-backlash-he-experienced/

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A note from Cec's assistant: As you may know, Cec's new book, More Than Surviving: Courageous Meditations for Men Hurting from Childhood Abuse, is scheduled to release soon and is available for pre-order now. We've recently learned the significance of pre-orders.They give the publisher leverage to convince retailers to carry the book and to give it a spot on their shelves. And we want the book to have as much exposure as possible! It carries an important message of hope and offers healing to hurting men. If you plan on ordering it, would you consider ordering it now and encourage others to do the same? Thank you for your help in making sure More Than Surviving is successful!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


By Roger Mann

Every now and again I hear a word or phrase that triggers me for some reason. The other night in a playful mood my wife said something about me deciding to attack her or not. Don’t really remember the whole thing but that word attack hit me cold.

​I’ve been attacked. I don’t remember ever attacking anyone else. I was always pretty sensitive to whether someone was “interested” or not, and if not then nothing happened.

​I don’t want to attack anyone. I want everything to be mutual and feel good. I’m not into pain at all. Been there, done that, applied the ointment.

​Words, a song, even someone just looking at me in a certain way can stir emotions spontaneously. I guess this is normal. I don’t know.

I do know it's annoying and sometimes disruptive. I’m trying to desensitize myself by examining and being mindful of what's going on when that occurs. I don’t want to be so sensitive that I miss out on good moments by having something ugly pop up all the time and throw me for an emotional loop.