Ok, I am going to call myself out on a contradiction that is staring me in the face. Over the years I have had people tell me that “I am not what I do, that is not who I am.” In the misery of my failures in more than one case of infidelity those words were spoken to me by a Christian leader.

Then came yesterday, when a priest said that his actions didn’t define him. He was extremely detailed in his explanation of his actions. It created a little more confusion in my already confused world.

Yes, I was sexually abused as a child, and that has opened a Pandora’s box of “isms” that have wreaked havoc throughout my life. I was sent on a journey that has been transformed into an even more horrific existence. I have hurt others, abused myself, abandon my children, pulled away from spouses, sabotaged great life opportunities. I have a reputation even among my own brothers who were also abused. It just stinks, all of it!

What I don’t understand is, say, someone is abused and then becomes an abuser, or a rapist, or a murderer, we treat them harshly. In their case we cannot excuse their actions and say “You aren’t what you do, that doesn’t define you”. Better luck next time, there is no next time, usually.

I was abused and yet I am seen from two (or more) viewpoints by society. Some acknowledge that those who suffer in this way are predisposed to some pretty difficult challenges, emotionally, mentally, relationally and even medically (i.e. its lifetime sentence.) While others see no reason not to dismiss the past and place all responsibility on the abused for their growth as they have reached adulthood, or should just be better by now.

Where do you stand? Do you even know? I just spent nearly two months in a psychiatric facility trying to make sense of it all. I am sorry to say it was ineffective at best. I am no more ready to rejoin the human race than I was 3 months ago when this break first began. Confusion reigns triumphant!

(Image from : Author: Jeremy lim License: CC BY-SA)



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