I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Why Did I Go Back?

(This post comes from a reader named Roger.)

I have shared with only two people that I did go back—long after I no longer needed to, and long after he was probably through with me. After the divorce from my first wife, I spent a holiday weekend with my parents. That first evening, dad told me I could have his bedroom and he would sleep in their camper/trailer.

Later, I turned out the light to go to sleep. Tired as I was, I found myself alert and lying once again in the dark, a 10-year-old kid in a 33-year-old body. Sometime after midnight, I heard familiar sounds outside my door. Without thinking, I pulled back the covers so he could see me.

Why would I do that? At that point in my life, I was well aware of what we were doing and how wrong it was. What did I want/need from him? It was just as unsatisfying as it was 23 years earlier, but now it was embarrassing, humiliating, and I ended up feeling like crap. Why did I feel the need to surrender access to me? Was it familiarity, guilt, a chance to rewrite history? Or maybe I thought it was a chance to talk about what we were doing.

Of course, the next day it was as if nothing had happened. He was my father and the pastor of my church all my life.

How long would this go on?

Dad took that terrible dilemma out of my hands with his suicide years afterward. But I'm still left with the question of why I went back, and whether I would have continued.

Not many of us incest survivors have to face those questions and doubts, but I understand the terrible pull to accept that phone call, answer that text, or open the door to someone whom I know is going to hurt me.

5 comments:

Mark said...

I really relate to Roger's post. My abuse was also incest. As an adult I recognized that if my abusers came to me again, I would be vulnerable to saying "yes".

Thank you Roger for being willing to share sometime so painful.

Anonymous said...

This is why I would go back:
Although I was in my mid-teens, I always see myself as a 12-year-old when I remember the event. My first experience was in a bus station men’s room stall. A man had invited me, a lonely, rejected boy, to come in. I didn’t run away, but accepted. I’ve blocked out the actual event, but he must have performed oral sex on me.

At first I didn’t know that it was wrong; so, that’s what I began looking for. I didn’t know it was called cruising. I just knew I had found acceptance in a public men’s room. I had never been accepted at home or by class mates at school. I was the klutz; the last one chosen every time. At last I had something that caused me to be accepted by men, if only for a few minutes, and there was comfort in that.

And guilt afterward, when I finally knew it was wrong; however, the pattern was set. And so it went for 60 years.

Even after I married I would give in to the cruising lust. I didn’t actively participate, but there were cruising places where I could watch anything going on. And there was acceptance even there, for I was allowed to be “in the group” as a looker-on.

The results of such actions was devastating to my sexual relations with my wife. I was not the lover or husband God intended for me to be to my wife. And I grew up in a culture were sexual problems or issues were every talked about. And preachers preached that sex would send you to hell. After my wife died, things began to gradually close in and temptations increased to a point I was scared to death about what I might do. Only then did I desperately seek out a Christian counselor and with his Christ-like gentleness, I began to find freedom.

The temptations of 60 years are still there to battle, but I have many more victories than I have lost skirmishes. I never felt like a man until I faced the demons of the past. What a blessing to have told everything to a Christian who didn’t want to “stomp the hell” out of me, but instead help me up and show me direction out of the prison of the past.

I needed this post, Rodger, because yesterday I went to a men’s room where there is a peep hole, and sat in the stall and waited till I copped a look. That look was enough to make me also feel like crap, for I had not yielded to that temptation for a number of years. So, thank you for your transparency. Sometimes, I feel like I am the only one with such a battle, but I know I’m not. Yes, it is a battle, but I will win, for I have no intention of ever giving up the battle.

Cecil "Cec" Murphey said...

(This is a note from Roger.)

Mark, it is astonishing what a hold over us that someone can have. I was young, very needy, and impressionable and willing to do anything to be loved or feel like I was loved. I was shocked to find that was still lying under the surface ready to reveal itself at the slightest provocation. I am learning to find my needs met in Christ who I know really loves me just for me.

Cecil "Cec" Murphey said...

(This is a note from Roger.)

To Anonymous

Yes, it is a battle and I too found myself in my thirty's doing things I had no explanation for. It was going back to church, getting involved with good Christian men who would pray for and support me that helped me through some very tough times. I realized what I was really looking for was the attention, and affirmation from other men that I was accepted and loved in Godly healthy ways. I was seeking it the only way I felt I could get something close to that and that was the price I had to pay. Dad taught me that was the price for acceptance and approval. I have learned to ignore that lie but it took some time and work and healthy reinforcement to do it. God bless you and know it was not your fault, you are not alone. There is life after abuse.

Anonymous said...

It was almost 60 years later that I realized my first encounter was abuse. And it was continued abuse even when I sought out encounters, because I was underage for 4 years after that floodgate of perverse attention was opened. And all those many years after I knew it was wrong, I thought I was the instigator of my desires. That was a false assumption. An evil man was the instigator. I still fight the urges, but I do fight and I will win. So will you, Roger. God desires us to be the winners.