If you look at me you will see a healthy-looking young man. You will see a successful person who’s married and has a family and business. You will perhaps even be jealous of me.
However, if you look into my soul, you will see a dark, empty and cold cavity. It’s filled with nothing but pain, shame, and guilt. Instead of the normal sense of entitlement and self-love that everyone is born with and further nurtured throughout their childhood by their parents, I had self hate and depression. I had an inner critic that was placed in me by my mean and selfish abuser. He placed it in me at his first attack and then watered and nurtured it every time he sexually abused over the next five years.
When he was done with me, he left me with his damage. The critic yells at me every day telling me how worthless I am and how I don’t deserve anything. How my entire sense of worth and entitlement was to give over my body to be used and now that I finished that mission, I was now worthless. I learned to hate myself and hate my body. I’ve learned that I’m different than anyone else out there and if anyone would only know my secret, they would run away from me.
I walked around this way for many years. No self. No inner happiness or joy. No sense of pride in anything I did. I got married but was a hollow walking shell. I walked down the chuppah looking whole but I was really a shadow of a person. I spent the next few years of my life in my own quiet misery.
I went to therapy but when asked that painful question, “were you ever touched inappropriately?” I always answered “no”. I said no because how can I say my secret? If anyone would know the real me they would be so disgusted from me. So although my soul was screaming “yes” to that question, my mouth said “no”.
It was at one session, a few years into therapy that I finally said the truth. It was an unbearably painful experience but the weight that I felt leaving my chest was enormous. I’ve been working in therapy for years trying to recuperate from my childhood abuse however I still felt so much shame and embarrassment from my story.
This all changed with one phone call. I will never forget that call. I dialed the number and with a quivering voice that ended up with me crying bitterly, I told JCW my story. They listened with compassion that I’ve never witnessed before. The validation that I’ve felt then and the many follow up phone calls and emails is beyond description.
They took away my shame and gave me a voice. They taught me that it wasn’t my fault and that I was simply another one of the many victims out there. They connected me with other victims. They help fund some of my therapy. I once had an extremely hard day recently and called my case worker crying and poured out my heart and at the completion of my call I felt a million pounds lighter. I’ve also had late night texting conversations helping me get through some rough moments.
In short, JCW saved my life. They saved my soul. They gave me a voice. They taught me that I’m worthy of help and care. They proved to me time and time again that I’m worthy of help. They taught me that there are some people in the world who genuinely care for righteousness and will do everything in their power to protect victims and shut down abusers. And when I say everything, I mean everything!
I plead with you, if you are a victim of abuse, you know exactly what I’m talking about, however, if you were lucky enough to not have been sexually victimized you have no idea of the pain that we go through. Words can not describe it. It’s pain on a whole new level.
I ask you and plead with you to open your hearts and donate to an organization that has saved my life. It’s an organization that is very dear to me. May God repay you with the biggest blessing that I, a survivor, can give you and that is that you should never have to make that phone call for yourself or any of your loved ones!
Help support JCW’s lifesaving work. TODAY, every dollar you donate will be quadrupled! $1 = $4 www.charidy.com/JCW