Dear Survivor: You Are Not Alone


Dear Fellow Survivor,

Few things in my life have made me feel quite as isolated as having experienced sexual abuse. First, there was the isolation of the abuse itself. The secrecy. The shame. The inability to tell anyone what was going on. Then there was the isolation I felt when I began to realize that what I had experienced all those years ago was sexual abuse. No one I knew had experienced anything like what I had experienced. (At least, that’s what I thought.) And the ongoing shame made it seem unthinkable that I could ever share what had happened to me with anyone else, including my wife.

It has taken me a long time to realize—and actually believe—that I am not, and never have been, alone. God has always been with me. God has promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). That promise is true right now. It will be true as I continue this journey of healing. It has been true as I’ve come to terms with the abuse I experienced. And, yes, it even was true when the abuse was happening. (I know that brings up a lot of other questions, but I’ll have to deal with some of those questions in future letters.) I have never been alone because God has always been with me.

Others have been with me as well. I now realize that I am not alone in experiencing childhood sexual abuse. The statistics are sickening. Perhaps as many as 1 in 4 women and as many as 1 in 6 men have experienced some form of sexual abuse. That’s a lot of people. I hate that anyone else has experienced anything similar to what I experienced. But at the same time, I find comfort in the fact that I’m not alone. I am part of a brotherhood and sisterhood I never asked to be a part of, but I am part of it nonetheless. My fellow survivors have been and will continue to encourage me, sympathize with my struggles, and let me know that there is healing.
My dear fellow survivor, I know that you may feel alone. But you are not alone. God is with you. He always has been with you and always will be with you. He has never abandoned you and will never forsake you. I pray that you can find comfort in that fact.

I also pray that you can find comfort in the fact that your fellow survivors are with you, too. You are not the only one who has experienced this. You’re not the only one who feels this way. You’re not the only one who is going through these struggles. A brotherhood and sisterhood of fellow survivors are with you to encourage you and assure you that there is healing. You are not alone.

In Christ,
Your Brother Survivor

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This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Dear Fellow Survivor