Feeling Alone, it’s a familiar feeling. It’s altogether too familiar. As a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), I struggled for decades with it. I had it twisted around me like a straight-jacket of discomfort. The result was a never-ending quest for love and acceptance in all the wrong places with none of the right people.
This desperate pursuit eventually had me asking many questions about myself and my life.
Is that why I spent so many years seeking intimacy through empty sexual encounters?
Is that why I would take enough narcotics to drop a work mule and then get out on the road looking for party after party, person after person, hook-up after hook-up, connection after connection.
After I reread that last sentence it dawned on me. It’s that’s word, “connection”. I was looking for a true connection but in the most vile of environments, from the least genuine of people, and in the sketchiest of places with the most dangerous of drugs.
Sadly, when I’d meet a decent person, I’d find a way to sabotage whatever connection was made.
Over the last few years I’ve learned there are different types of “survivors” of CSA. First, there’s the type who grew up with abuse being so much a part of their lives, having no memory of life without it, that it was their “norm”. The second type consists of those who had, up until the abuse began, some sort of “regular” childhood. Once the abuse began, everything changed. Either they became withdrawn or they acted out, with combinations and variations of the two.
From listening to fellow survivors stories, It’s been my understanding that it depended on how old they were when the abuse began, how many years it lasted, who their abuser(s) were, plus a multitude of other factors. But please don’t misunderstand, whether the abuse occurred once or a thousand times, victims are left feeling alone.
To anyone looking at my life, I gave the appearance as if all was fantastic in my world! It would seem as if nothing so evil and certainly crimes so heinous could not be happening to me. After all, my abuser had total control over me. He was in the position of both male AND spiritual authority over me. In essence, he had possession of my mind, body and soul. He convinced me that no one would believe me anyway. And on top of that, the time and place where I grew up, we did not talk about anything negative and we certainly didn’t tell anyone else outside the family about such things. Who am I kidding, we didn’t even tell our family.
For the three years the sexual abuse occurred, no one knew what my youth minister, Frankie Wiley was doing to me, or to any of the boys he was molesting, abusing and raping at the same time. And since all of us felt we were the only ones to which it was happening, we felt completely alone. As I said, a feeling that would become more familiar than any other, and the driving force behind my desire to be loved, to be wanted, to feel “warm and fuzzy”, as the sex and narcotics both temporarily and falsely made me feel.
So as victims of these crimes, what do we do with this feeling of being “alone”? I have described how I dealt with it for the better part of 30 years. In doing so, I destroyed multiple careers, many relationships and almost lost my life.
Once I finally got clean and removed the fog of narcotics hanging over me, I was able to seek the help of one-on-one counseling and support groups that taught me proper coping skills. Now I know what to do when “triggered” or when I become overcome with the guilt, shame and self-blame associated with being sexually abused. I was also very fortunate to have a family willing to help me when I came forward about the abuse. Not everyone is so lucky. They assisted me in getting clean by keeping food in my belly and a roof over my head while I got my head clear.
I’m so thankful for all those who have helped me in the past and still help me to this day. And the reason I’m telling you all of this is to let my fellow survivors and their loved ones know what I’ve learned…help, healing and recovery are all possible.
As many of you know, I’m now married to the most amazing woman who loves me for who I am. Together, we work with victims and survivors. We see their healing begin and are witness to lives changing on a weekly basis.
I am now even able to be an active member of a church again. Having been abused by a minister, I had sworn at one time never to darken the doors of any religious institution. In my heart at that time, I believed God had allowed this and I hated Him for it. I eventually understood there was only one person to blame for the pain; my abuser, Frankie Wiley. And I see clearly now from his actions, he is not a Christian. A true Christian would not sexually abuse multiple boys at various churches over decades of time. Nor should I discount my belief because of what this sexual predator did to me and so many other little boys. I have decided not to allow his crimes to prevent me from receiving joy and peace from my belief.
My life now is one I had not dreamed possible. But when I opened my mind and heart to hope and healing, I began to finally experience what is possible for us all.
And that’s why I want all survivors to know THIS story, MY story, can be THEIR story. Turning your life into one that is both productive and fulfilling is within your reach, if only you’ll reach out to those willing to help you.
We are here to help. And together, we can truly heal.
Copyright © 2014 Together We Heal, Inc.
October 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm
I just read this post. I have dealt with loneliness all my life , and couldnt explain it or get out of the feelings when they happen.
I still dont know how to deal with them. But this message helps identify where and why it comes.
thanks for sharing.
October 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm
Hey nessa, I’ll be posting part 2 next weekend and it will have some pointers that i hope will help out. In the meantime, if you ever want to talk, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org – wasnt sure if i had given it to you. The names on here always confuse me with who the actual perosn is 🙂
October 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm
I understand this profound sense of aloneness completely. I have dealt with this, my entire life, following being abused from birth.
Thank you for writing this, it also helps me to know others understand.
October 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm
Reblogged this on Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD and commented:
This profound sense of alones if something many prolonged child abuse sufferers, can feel. I feel completely alone.
October 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm
Amen!! Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, help, healing and recovery are all possible. I praise God for bringing healing and restoration and using you to touch countless lives with your story. God bless you and your family!
October 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm
Thank you for the comment! Its always a joy to hear when another survivor has found a path to healing 🙂 and blessings to you and your family too!
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October 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm
Oh wow. I’ve struggled for so long with the loneliness, I’ve just grouped it with the abuse. I’ve always justified it by telling myself that it’s just who I am. It helps to look at it from this view. Thank you for sharing. I really look forward to Part 2!
October 21, 2014 at 9:43 am
Thank you Ginger! Be looking for part 2 next week! 🙂
October 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm
Thank you for having the courage to share your story. It is profound, heartbreaking and empowering. Your experience is helping others believe that their is a light at the end of the tunnel. This is so important for cultivating hope in their hearts. God bless you and your wife for the work that you are doing.
October 21, 2014 at 9:42 am
Thank you Jackie. You “get it” and im so thankful to hear when others receive the message of hope and healing we’re sending out. Bless you and yours! 🙂
October 20, 2014 at 1:21 am
Beautiful and realistic written!
This posting may open a door of understanding why after such an ordeal the survivor of abuse for years, some victims even never become survivors, for the darker site of life and by acting like this are victimizing themselves.
IMO because the youth, the dignity and his/her trust in life is damaged so badly that the victim for a long time doesn’t believe in his/her solitude that there are people in this world that can genuinely love them even if they would know about the abuse.
October 20, 2014 at 3:15 am
I too have felt alone all my life. Sadly I’m used to it and quite like being alone. I think hypervigilance and trust issues from abuse will do that to you. I am getting better at accepting people – the good and bad, and trusting my own instincts on who I feel safe to be around.
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October 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm
This is Pam. I too am a survivor of early CSA. Looking back, I think I feel more like I lived a double life rather than having a lot of feelings of loneliness. I had a public image where I was a star student and everyone at school thought I had a perfect life. Then, there were the “family secrets” that were never discussed or brought out publicly. What made the difference for me in not turning to a life of unhealthy addictions is that from a very early age, I had the Lord to lean on through prayer. I also had a best friend in my paternal grandmother whom I always knew loved me deeply. She first shared the plan of salvation with me, she shared a lot of Scriptures with me as a child, and encouraged me to pray about everything allowing the Lord to be my best friend. My prayer is that every abused child would learn to turn to the Lord Jesus to find love, peace, and healing. Christ made the difference in my life, and I believe He can do the same for any other victim/survivor of abuse.
October 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm
“A wounded deer leaps the highest!”-Emily Dickinson
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January 5, 2015 at 2:28 am
Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
Healing from childhood abuse…..