I have not posted here for a while. One of the reasons is that I find it difficult to talk about the area of abuse; both in my experience and the experience of others. Its easy for me to go back to the memories of those experiences, to be drawn into the pain of what happened and back into the depression and deep feelings of shame and worthlessness.
It’s easy for me to remember the words of criticism. It’s easy for me to remember the words of judgement and the deep deep internal pain and confusion that comes over me, raises up within me and works its insidious destruction within me. And its easy to enter into that box of entrapment and binds of internal pain.
One way I have learnt to survive is through concentrating on mercy and justice. Because I am a Christian this involves my personal faith of concentrating on Gods justice and mercy towards me and the enablement this brings for me to forgive those who have hurt me in the past and continue to do so now. Justice and mercy helps me to survive in the now. It frees me from the grip of the past. And by concentrating on the good in my life helps me not dwell on the pain of the past.
Recently I was involved in a small group setting in which some emotional, mental and spiritual abuse occurred. I came home burdened and heavy and wrote a letter to two of the leaders of that group. I was talking to my wife tonight about the area of abuse and how I would do two things.
- Stand up against any kind of abuse when ever it happened when ever I was able to.
- If I wasn’t able to stand up against it, I would run from it. I would run in a flash for there is no way I would ever allow myself to be subjected to what I had experienced in the past and re-enter into the destructiveness of the internal pain of that experience.
So for a large part, my not posting here lately has been my flight response in fleeing from the memories and the pain it produces when I talk about it. However that doesn’t really help the problem. It doesn’t help the men who are suffering now from the effects of abuse. It doesn’t help the society in which we live to be free from this issue. And it doesn’t bring mercy and justice for those who are clearly hurting from the denial that abuse has happened.
I ask your forgiveness for my cowardice. I ask for your prayers if you are a praying person. I ask that you would pray that I would be strengthened to help fight against the injustice within society for all this affects. For abuse affects men, it affects the women and children involved. And by not acknowledging women do abuse, society is failing to help those women find healing. It is failing to help those kids who are victims of that abuse. And it fails to help the men who are deeply hurting also.
There is a tension that I must walk. There is the side where I can turn and run and avoid my responsibility to help others. And in doing this; avoid re-entering into my own personal pain and reliving the nightmares I once had. The other side is my responsibility within society to help others and in doing so enter into the personal pain of the past and present of those who are deeply hurting today.
Tonight I received a message from a young man, who asked my permission to post my story on his face book page, and link it to this blog. I said yes, go for it. I was deeply touched when I sent him a friendship request and read his status on the link which said,
A very sad story from an inspirational man. Read!
I don’t feel that I am an inspirational man. His words touched me to the core of my being. And it brought about a deep conviction that while I don’t feel I’m an inspiration, telling my story has helped some people and brought a deeper awareness of the hidden problems within society. And in doing so has deeply encouraged me to dig deep and keep working and telling the story of myself and those whom also are deeply hurting within Australia once again.