The hardest and bravest thing I ever did was to stop subjecting myself to a cruel, abusive and hateful family. It took me until age 47, but I finally reached the point where I could endure no more. I had given all I had, including my savings, my retirement account, my home, my career, and my soul.
Throughout my childhood I was indoctrinated to believe that love means absolute obligation, unselfishly and sacrificially giving, and literally giving my life and all I have to narcissistic people, just because they are the family unit I was born into. It was the power my father had to sexually and physically abuse me, and the power the remaining family members used to cover it all up. I continued to 'honor my parents' into adulthood, by granting their greatest wish: keeping silent and portraying a wholesome, evangelical Christian family.
When I had nothing but the very last ounce of dignity, I took that thimbleful, ceased communication with the abusive people, and turned to face the wrath of God I had been brainwashed to believe I would have coming to me if ever I cared for and protected myself.
If anyone has 'forgiven' their pedophile parent or sibling and that person continues abuse in different forms, please, for your sake and those who love you, leave those people in your past. I learned a valuable lesson:
Martyrdom is NOT a noble character trait, nor is it the earmark of integrity. It is voluntary, unnecessary, unfruitful self-victimization.[i][/i]
I have taken to the stand-up comedy stage to educate other male survivors and those who try to love them. I blog about my isolated religious upbringing where physical and sexual abuse were commonplace and I serve as a facilitator of a weekly support group for men who have suffered sexual assault.