Dear Survivor: Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Dear Fellow Survivor,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a child of God. I am a husband and a father. I am a pastor. And I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. 

The abuse happened when I was in eighth and ninth grade. Its spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical effects on me were devastating. In addition to guilt and shame, I suffered for decades from profound body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a condition when a person cannot see his body as it actually is. Whenever I looked at my body, it was impossible for me to see it as anything other than inadequate and “less than” every other man’s body. It didn’t matter how many times my close friends and later my wife told me that there was nothing wrong with me, that I had no reason at all to look down on the body God had given me. I saw what I saw. And I hated what I saw.

It wasn’t until August of 2021, when my wife finally convinced me to start seeing a therapist, that I was able to start connecting the dots. Through a lot of hard work, I found the ability to call what had happened to me sexual abuse. (That was a very difficult step for me to take.) And I began to see that the body dysmorphia that I was struggling with came directly out of the abuse I experienced. 

I cannot say that I am healed. I don’t know if any survivor of abuse will be completely healed this side of heaven. But I can say that I am healing. And I am writing to you today to invite you to join me on this journey of healing.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing to you, my fellow survivor, about truths that have helped me in my journey. I want to share with you assurances from God’s Word. I want to let you know that you are not suffering alone. I want to share with you my struggles and triumphs in the hope that they may provide you with healing and hope as well. 

So, I look forward to talking with you again next week, God willing. But, in the meantime, please know that the following things are indisputably true, regardless of how you may feel.

You are loved. You are valuable. You are valued. You are a child of God. You are not alone.

In Christ,
Your Brother Survivor

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This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Dear Fellow Survivor