Monday, May 07, 2012

Continuation of my story...

I posted the first part of my personal history several years ago (in My long, strange trip, part I). A few commenters had indicated that I needed to finish the story, and I've been dragging my feet, in part because it will expose part of me that very few people know about, and it would also highlight certain aspects of my past that I would rather forget and wish had never happened. I don't plan to go into great depth (nothing sordid), but I am still mustering the courage. At the same time, I think it will be beneficial for those who have followed a similar path and are trying to find a way back.

Dawn Eden has been making the rounds with her new book, My Peace I Give You. I can't give a précis on it other than to say it discusses sexual abuse and sexual wounding and how one comes back to faith from such an experience. The National Catholic Register interviewed her recently, and she said something that completely hit home for me:
I think that people who were sinned against sexually are much more conscious of lustful thoughts — by which I don’t mean simple feelings of attraction, which are not sinful in themselves, but lustful fantasies and the like — because they knew where those thoughts lead
I had a discussion about sexual morality on these pages a few years back with S.M. Stirling, and although I was certainly expressing certain moral arguments about sexual activity correctly, I didn't touch upon this point... and it's one that troubles me. I am particularly, acutely aware of lustful thoughts because I know where they can lead. I think St. Augustine also developed his reputation as a Puritan from his own experience.

Dawn also related something else that perfectly fit my experience:
When writing The Thrill of the Chaste, I consciously knew that I had had those experiences — they were not repressed memories — but I had not “written” them in my mind as abuse.
It’s a very common experience of abuse victims, particularly those who experienced childhood sexual abuse, to fail to mentally categorize what was done to them as “abuse.”
I can say personally that I felt conflicted about my experience and never knew what box to place it in. But for now, I'll leave it. I will be working on part II soon. Your prayers are always gratefully appreciated.
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