Five years ago today, I joined a group of childhood sexual abuse survivors. At that time, I was at my lowest in terms of finding others who were like-minded to support me with the journey that I had begun at 18. I had told myself that if this group didn’t work out, I was done with trying to connect with others. Was I in for a ride!
I was scared to talk to a group of other men who I had no idea what they had been through. I was hopeful, though, that I would find a group of men who would accept me, understand what I had gone through, and encourage me to heal the best way possible. Not only did I find that, but I found a group of life-long friends who bonded with me with every word that was spoken between us.
Not only did I rapidly find friendships and heal from the hurt that paralyzed my ability to connect with others, but I also found that I could take my recovery to a new level. God showed me that He never intended for these acts to happen to us, but He would be there in so many ways to show me how much He loved me. I was able to see just how much He loved each and every man in that group.
Additionally, the group encouraged me to write about my story, resulting in publishing two novels about childhood sexual abuse. I never knew that I could experience so much therapy and recovery by fictionalizing the abuse that had happened to me as a young teenager. Although it’s still difficult to sit down with my stories, I see how God works through all of our journeys to help us understand how we can heal from any hurt that we experience.
I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences with numerous brave men, who have really thrown caution to the wind when talking about their experiences as a survivor. I would encourage anyone who is a survivor and not told their story to someone else, to find a person to talk with. If that isn’t where you are at right now, write your experiences down. You don’t have to publish a book, but that act will relieve a great deal of burdens from you. You are braver than you realize.