The Journey of SWL through a different point of view. Hi folks, my name is Andy and I reached out to Eryn because I’m huge believer in SWL.
Most if not all the posts here are from women, which is awesome, but I’m not a woman. I am however still So Worth Loving! Although it took me a long time to get it through this thick skull of mine. Maybe that was part of my problem. Maybe I thought that in order to be a man, I had to push down and internalize all of my struggles, to not express my humanness. I am someone who pretty much gets along with everyone. This certainly helped during high school. I was what you would call a floater. I floated between clicks. I was on the Varsity football team, and a solid athlete, but I was also in the Games & Recreation club (think D&D and overall geekiness). The problem with this scenario was I never knew who I truly was and at the time I didn’t really care. I always felt on the fringe.
It turns out, most of this stemmed from my earlier childhood. You see I am a victim of sexual abuse. The mind is a wonderful thing. I was actually able to push all memory of what happened to me, deep into my sub-concious, but the lasting effects of what happened manifested itself in my behavior. Very specifically around self-acceptance. Finally, one day the memories let loose and I was confronted by a reality that I didn’t want to admit to. I sank into depression, began drinking and using drugs, until I got to a point in my life where I had to decide whether to live or die. In fact I was extremely close to committing suicide.It was a miracle that I didn’t and that I was saved.
I crawled out of that well of despair, discovered who I was and who I wanted to be. Most importantly I discovered that I was worth something. I was worth loving. Some of you might be wondering how I did this. Well to be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure. In fact, a very dear friend of mine asked me this question "Where do you find the want to live again? " Wow, what a question. I don’t have a particularly good answer, even if there is such a thing, but I will do my best to frame the question through my own lens.
When I was…scratch that…When I am confronted with this question I really struggle with it. Mostly because I’m so focused on the moment. The emotional storm that’s raging inside me, that I can’t see beyond the tears. I can’t seem to remember that there’s something beyond me. I become withdrawn. I become only focused on me, and that’s where the problem starts. If all I know is my own anger and pain how can there be any hope. So what do I do? If I continue to focus on the past, how can I live my life?
Things That I do:
Realize that I’m not alone!! Instead of choosing death, I reached out for help. I realized I couldn’t do this alone. It took an incredible amount of courage to reveal my deepest secret, but it was so worth it.
Write. I keep a journal. I write my thoughts in my private journal. There’s something very freeing about getting all of my thoughts on paper, and releasing some of that tension. It’s like purging the negativity.
Forgive. I gotta say, I choke on that word everytime I say it, but I say it nonetheless. While forgiving others of the pain they caused me is difficult. Sometimes, the most difficult part is to forgive myself.
Trust. Understanding that my past experience doesn’t mean I will continue to have negative experiences. I have to trust myself and in this journey.
One Breath. Living in the present is huge, and exploring the present can sometimes really help me find ways of enjoying my life at the moment.
Keep trucking. I try not to let the past dictate my future, so I keep walking. The past no longer exists, and by reflecting on it, I rob myself of the gifts that the present is offering me.
So, no real answers, just what helps me. Sadly, I know my story isn’t all that unique. There are a lot of men and women who have been abused. I’m hoping that they all understand that it was not their fault and that what happened doesn’t define them. I used to think that I was less of a person because of what happened, but I’m not. I’m more of a man today then I ever was.
Remember to never give up hope. You don’t know what’s around the corner and it could be something spectacular.