“But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put my childish ways behind me.”… And now three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. The Bible: 1 Corinthians 13: 10 – 11, 13.
One day at a nudist beach a grown man took advantage of my innocence and took me into a new world. Within minutes my view on the world changed forever, and a sheet seemed to hurtle out of the sky with the words the end emblazoned on it. The youth I was before this event was lost somewhere back on the beach, and a new child rode his bike home.
Some years later I found myself strolling down an infamous street in a Sydney suburb called Kings Cross. With sleazy strip joints and street walking prostitutes and every form of pornography available to me, you can’t imagine a youth with money to spend and an appetite for adventure would find to much trouble entertaining himself. I didn’t. Within hours, I was being undressed by a pretty girl, who took great pleasure in showing me the delights offered by the female body.
Whilst I found both experiences enjoyable, I found no real solutions for my soul in either. In fact, after the molestation on the beach by a man who should have known not to abuse my trust, my experience in church was irrevocably changed. Suddenly I had not only lost my virginity and had my sexuality awakened, but the enormous guilt that came with me enjoying orgasm seemed to create a wedge between me and my God.
How was I to know that our inner child suddenly has to grow up in a flash to cope with this new situation? I hadn’t even heard of the term until over ten years after the initial event. I didn’t know that sex was a spiritual act. But I knew when I was a boy, that sex had definitely changed how I felt spiritually. And suddenly church didn’t seem to have the answers I was looking for.
I’d like to tell you here that I found all the answers you are looking for. And yes I can share that I have totally healed my inner child. But whether the answers I found to my grief and my confusion may not be what you are looking for. Because those answers are found in one name only. Jesus Christ.
Now if that name is a word that offends you in some way or represents a path you don’t want to follow, I can understand. Really, I can. I must have slept with two hundred women in my life looking for love. I have searched multi level marketing ideas, have been to the best seminars on self growth and read scores of books on recovery. When I searched for my answer, I truly left no stone un-turned. I looked everywhere, read everything I could find and listened to a lot of people. I tried drugs, pornography, religions, self help groups, counseling, and even churches. Nothing seemed to work for me. And that was the most annoying part, because I am a persistent little guy.
I wish I could share with you that repressed memory techniques worked for me. Or that I worked out all of my hurt through therapy, or through a healing process called disassociation. I wish I could sprinkle some magic potion over you, or use an incense that will soothe all your pain. I wish I could tell you that I found another god to worship and another faith that really worked for me. I have wished sometimes that I did go immerse myself in witchcraft as my dealings with it have always seemed to show me its powerful. But alas I stayed clear. I wish I could tell you eastern religion holds all the answers, and yet I have found no religious teaching under the sun works. The answer I found is in the Bible, His name is Jesus Christ and the principle of forgiveness the answer to all my hurt and pain.
The inner child: When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child and I had the innocence of a child. Then one day in one incident, my childhood innocence was stripped away. There is a beauty in innocence and a blessing in being ignorant. I’ll admit having someone’s else put food on the table and provide money for clothes, education, and a roof over my head, is a whole lot easier then doing the work it takes myself. All of these things are taken for granted by a child. A child would simply die if left to their own devices in a room without its parent.
Being a parent, seems to be a big responsibility. You become responsible for another living thing, and this child of yours depends on you for such simple things as being fed, clothed and protected. They desire warmth, love and affection and are helpless if these basic emotions are denied them. A child like myself growing up who rarely sees his father, can’t do anything with the pain inside his chest that cries for the attention. A child who yearns for his father’s loving hands and touch can’t make his father work regular hours no matter how much he cries. A child whose father isn’t around anymore can’t bring this missing father back. And so the blessing of ignorance and innocence can in reality work against a child’s reasoning abilities.
The little boy you were at six, has memories that have lasted to now, and the little girl who wore pretty ribbons in her hair still exists today as a teenager or woman. Our memories are stored, whether good or bad, and each of them fires up with the simplest of triggers. Every time you were spanked. Every time you were praised, every time you did wrong, every time you were proud, every time your father shouted, every time your mother smiled at you. All of these images are in your head, and all of them make up a memory and all of those memories are what makes you into the person you are today. Your child, your little boy or girl remembers the pain, the good times and the bad, and that little child was making decisions back then to try their best to control different situations and problems it was faced with.
I chose to get very upset with my daddies long absences from home. My brother chose to be jealous of all the attention I got as a baby and saw fit to bash me up repeatably and violently. I chose to play up to get attention from my mother and father, and wore the consequences. My mother chose to smack me one day and say, “I don’t want your hugs Matthew, I want your obedience” and my little child took her for her word. From that day on I never hugged my mummy again. My father couldn’t control me, and I was different to the other children. I never admitted to being wrong and would never accept the blame for any of my actions. This insolence was my child pleading to be heard and listened too. My mother and father saw it as lack of respect.
I grew sick. I consciously brought sickness on by my will and tried to get attention, pity and love from my actions. Then one smart psychologist put a stop to that by working out my game. He told my mother that I only did it for attention.
I willingly pushed my father past explosion point until he belted me. My backside throbbed with pain. But I’d take all the beltings in the world for that little phrase my father always said beforehand. “Matthew, you know I love you. And you know I have to do this to make you behave properly.” Those words were so precious to me, and the attention in my room alone with my father was special to me. I had his un-divided attention in a family of four children. Of course I wanted that, but as a child that wasn’t the best way of getting affection. But I was a driven little child also, and once I’d set my sails and felt the wind, I wasn’t going to change direction by pulling down what was working.
Now what’s changed
Now I live restored to my former glory. I have taken what was my natural temperament and forgiven myself and others for all the abuses I have suffered and taken the responsibility for my own life. I love me for who I was created to be and by healing all of my memories in forgiveness, I have let go of the power they held over me. I have climbed the hill of victimhood and cast the ropes free.
I write to you dear survivors of sexual abuse with a new hope in my heart and with a new and restored me, and say in love, that you too can cast your ropes off one day. Come take my hand, and let me whisper hope into your ears and lead you into this paradise I have found. Come see the view from the mountain and smell the freshness of this pure air. Breath in the oxygen of creativity and experience the colors of this world in a new way. Come walk with me and feel my strength. Lean on me for support and know where I have been, you too can go. Trust in me. Follow me, and let me show you a better way. For the way is Love, the method is Forgiveness and my guide is the Way, the Truth and the creator of all Life, Jesus Christ..
A prayer of healing:
( I encourage each of you to pray this simple petition ) Please take me as I am. I am a person who likes to believe and one who has feelings like the rest. Please take the time to understand my pain before you try and mend my wounds. Be patient with me. Help me to see the truth you share freely. Open up my eyes, so that I can see the answers. Thank you.
My prayer for you: Please accept this prayer of healing Jesus. Accept this honest plea from one who is hurting. Lead them into all knowledge and give them the answers they seek this day. I pray your blessing upon their life. Amen.
Another incest victim sees her child this way. Today five years hence her site isn’t at the old address I had.
As hard as this is to admit, there is still a little girl of ten trapped inside me. I don’t know how it is or how it came to be but I know she is still there. It’s the ten-year old in me who is still fearful at times, who is still plagued with phobias.
Yes, I grew and matured on the outside as well as on the inside, I have come a long way. But… until I claim that girl as me, as one with myself, I will always be faced with the demons that have plagued me since then.