I knew my podcast this week would be a tough one for people to listen to. I understand that it is not comfortable to hear about someone being sexually abused. But the reality is that too many people go through it. It is especially tough for a man to admit that he was sexually abused when he was a child, especially when the abuser was a man. That is so taboo! It is tough for many of us to wrap our brains around what that kind of experience is like to live through.
Unfortunately, that is my world. I lived that experience a long time ago. I was 9 when it started. It ended when I was 10. I remember enough of the details to know that I don’t want to explain the details. My counselor has told me that the details aren’t important to relive. What is important is to start to understand the effects that it had and how to overcome those challenges.
Until I began speaking with a professional I had no idea the impact this had on my life. I thought I could bury all the raw emotion and never have to worry about it again. That is not possible. I have been warned that many people won’t understand what happened to me. Some might not believe it. Others might mock me or separate from me. Others will be supportive and caring. Some will have a lot of questions, that I won’t answer. Others just want me to get better.
Why post anything about this? If you had listened to my podcast you would have heard my story about a recent interaction with a teenager after one of my speeches. This student shared with me their experience of being sexually abused for 3 years. That student was 8 years old when it started. That student told me that they have considered suicide because of what they went through. I told the student I had similar thoughts at one time too.
I asked the student to promise me not to commit suicide. I promised the student that life will get better. It got better for me and I know it will get better for them if they keep trying. The student told me that they will not think about suicide anymore. I am hopeful that that is true. On my drive home I cried for that student. I cried for the loss of innocence. I could put myself in their shoes. I prayed to God that He watch over that student and let them know they will be ok.
I wish I had had the strength to do what that student did. They told someone in power that helped them. That student was courageous enough to talk to me and share with me their experience. We are in a rare club that no one wants to enter. We are not here by choice but we must stand together and protect each other!
Everything that happens to us in life is done for a reason. Some reasons we can’t understand. I think I am beginning to understand my life better now. Last week I was placed in a situation to share my story of abuse so I could provide a scared, young teenager hope that their tomorrow will be ok after enduring sexual abuse.
If you want more information on sexual abuse go to the following websites:
https://1in6.org (for men who were sexually abused)
https://nomore.org (campaign end domestic violence and sexual abuse)
https://www.rainn.org (has an online support service for abuse survivors)
I have visited all these sites looking for answers. I have even used the online support service at rainn.org.