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.American SPCC believes that childhood should be fun for kids. Childhood shouldn’t hurt. Every day we ask the question, what can we do to have a positive impact on the lives of children today, tomorrow, and in the future? Join us, as we promote social impact to end abuse, leading to a safer, healthier, and happier world for children. Click here to Get Involved and start making a difference in a child’s life today.
October 26, 2017
Help others by sharing your story of inspiration and hope.