Joel’s Impact Story – A Shocking Discovery

Dec 6, 2017 | #EndofYearGiving, Child Abuse, Sexual Exploitation

The Impact of Child Abuse & Bullying

Child abuse and bullying are social health issues. We all know that any form of abuse is devastating to the little lives of many children in America, and for some it’s even fatal. But, did you know that each week in America, the equivalent of a classroom of children is lost forever due to child abuse, neglect, and bullying? – that’s 5 a day! – That’s not acceptable!
Child abuse is NOT OK!  But, YOU can help, by donating today.

A Shocking Discovery
Saying it.
It was as if someone had placed a 9 Volt battery against my tongue and left it there. The acidic stinging was not unbearable, yet it was uncomfortable nonetheless. Driving home from church that day, I found it hard to verbalize any thoughts. My wife asked me “Honey, what’s wrong?” All I could do was grip the steering wheel tighter and faintly breathe, “I’ll tell you when we get home.” I wasn’t ready to speak just yet. I needed to process what was happening to me just a bit longer on my own. To speak the words would mean that it was real. If this had truly happened, I wasn’t going to admit it just yet.
Later that afternoon, my body still electrified with fear, I pulled my wife aside and said, “I think I found out what my core issue is. . .”
We had talked at length over the last few years about exactly what was causing my anti-social and addictive behavior. I had always thought that it had stemmed from my intense grief surrounding the death of my father when I was eleven. I missed him completely as I grew up. I was constantly living in the shadow of my unresolved idolatry of the man I knew as my father.
When I turned 30 I grew tired of grieving and I decided it was time to move on. I chose to celebrate what he added to me in the short time I knew him instead of mourning all that I missed. To mark this epiphany I drove to downtown Colorado Springs and got my first tattoo. I still miss him, his silent absence is a deafening roar in my ears. Somehow after all this time, as we speculated, the death of my beloved father was not my core issue, it was something deeper, darker, more horrible than I wanted to imagine.
(sigh) “This is hard,” I said, “I think. . . I think I was sexually abused as a child.”
I backed away as if this new revelation would somehow cause her to implode in shock and disbelief.
Instead, she looked at me sweetly with kind understanding, and said, “I’ve suspected all along. Do you know who did this to you?”
I knew who it was, but I didn’t want to say his name.
“If you say his name, he holds less power over you and you can begin to heal,” she said to me.
She was right, “She is always right!” I thought.
Quivering in fear, numb in a desire to deny reality, I spoke his name for the first time. “It was, ____”
(My beloved reader, I won’t say his name here. Those who have known me from my childhood know who he is. This is not about him, it’s about healing from the past. Hereafter he will be known as AFB.
“I’m so sorry. What can I do?” she asked me.
“I’m not sure, I never thought this day would come.” I replied.
“Do you know what AFB did to you?”
“No.” I said sadly. “Do you want to know?” She asked.
“Not sure. How bad could it be? It’s not like he raped me. That would never happen, right? Men just don’t do that to boys.”
We went back inside and finished preparing our dinner.
The question reverberated in my mind over and over the next few days “Do you want to know what AFB did to you?” I finally decided that I wanted to know. All I had to go on so far was an overwhelming “wrong erotic” feeling. A feeling on that first day the reality of the forgotten past oozed from my pores. Denial and reality were at war inside me and I wasn’t sure if what I experienced earlier that week was real.
Then one day, I woke up with a strange sensation on my lips. One that I had never experienced in my waking memory. Though, I had experienced it in unconscious nightmares many times over. A distinct taste and feel.  The terror of my healing journey had just begun.


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