The feed back I get on the MS DB is amazing.
The truth is that as a result of being sexually abused, and even more as a result of the coping mechanisms I adopted to hide and deal with the shame and the pain, I am a pretty screwed up person.
That's just the truth. I'm not beating myself up or putting myself down. I'm also a pretty nice guy most of the time, but I am emotionally immature in a lot of ways.
I lied about the abuse for so many years that it still takes me a while to remember how to just tell the truth.
I pretended like I didn't care about what had happened to me, then I started to feel like I didn't care what was ever going to happen to me.
Being sexualized prematurely by the man who abused me, I started to pretend like I was older, wiser, smarter and more mature than I was. I totally missed out on being an adolescent, because I was so busy lying, hiding and pretending like I was untouched by all the shit that comes in the aftermath of being sexually abused.
Thank God, I understand now that I did what I did because that is the best thing I knew at the time. All that doesn't make me a bad person; it means that I am a man who was severely injured on the inside and never felt safe or secure enough to ask for help or even mention the damage to anyone.
I have gained a tremendous amount of forgiveness for myself. I don't hold against myself all the lies, manipulations, cheating, whoring, drinking, drugging and slimy behavior that I evidently felt it necessary to engage in. I lived with an incredible amount of pain for so many years, I thought that was the normal way to live.
So because I can forgive myself of all that I did as a result of being abused, I also have gained the ability to look at myself and say "Hey, you've really made a lot of progress for a sick old redneck." And then laugh at myself for ever imagining that I was worthless or no good.
By the same token, I have the ability to examine my behavior today to make sure that my old coping mechanisms that I practiced for SO LONG because I didn't know what else to do--that I don't fall back on those dubious skills today.
That's why something like helping out my neighbor can be so rewarding and also so emotional for me. My reaction to trauma is something that I have to be aware of so that I protect myself and also act in a way that makes me proud of myself.
I think this time it all worked out very well. But I must say, that without people who understand me and what it's like to live with the effects of sexual abuse, it would not have been so good.
I appreciate all of you guys so much for allowing me to express my doubts, fears, gratitude, amazement and joy.
It really is a great thing to know that I am growing and changing. And it seems like I hear that message most clearly when I hear it from you.
Thanks all for caring,
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"
-Tony Joe White