I think most of the books you can read or see try to temper the titles to attract readers and a certain type of readers. I think this book just says it out there, who it was written for, but not altogether. I think anyone who has had any contact or wishes to help someone who has suffered any type of abuse, should read this book. It is one of the most helpful, comprehensive guide to actually helping someone. I applaud the author for having the guts it took to write this book as it is really hard for men to admit they suffered at the hands of another. It is even harder to get the people who really need to read this book, to read it. I could think of several people that I wish would read it. But as the title says, it is written for people, who when someone you love, has been abused. This is a book for mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, brothers, fathers, whoever cares enough to actually understand the abused person, wants to know how to help them, reach them and be there in a way that can actually help…not harm. I think one of the biggest thing in this book that touched me was the fact that Cecil touched on things bothering a person that have nothing to do with abuse on the surface. He mentions how he hates raspberry jam and it triggered a very bad reaction with him emotionally. He was, as an adult still confused by why it triggered such a reaction for him emotionally, until his sister reminded him that his abuser would use crackers and raspberry jam to lure him to his room.
Cecil is gentle, he is caring and really helps people to see that in this horrible pain, there is hope and healing, and even though the scars remain, he has suggestions to help the healing. I highly recommend this book…..even for those helping female abuse victims. It is excellent! – Martha
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Kregel Publications (April 7, 2010)
***Special thanks to Danielle Douglas of Douglas Public Relations for sending me a review copy.***
Cecil Murphey has written or coauthored more than one hundred books, including the bestselling book Gifted Hands which has sold more than three million copies, the autobiography of Franklin Graham, Rebel with a Cause and the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven. Murphey currently resides in Georgia.
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (April 7, 2010)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
A Word about the Names in This Book
When I write nonfiction books I like to provide the full name of the individuals involved. I believe it adds integrity to the material and shows theyre not made-up accounts or composites. In this book, however, I cant do that. This material is much too sensitive and personal.
If I gave my name, one man said, my family might find out, and they wouldnt forgive me. His stepfather had been the perpetrator.
Others who talked to me gave no specific reason other than to say, Im not ready to tell this publicly or Id rather you dont use my name.
Out of respect for these individuals, Ive disguised their identity. If you read only a first name, its for one of three reasons:
1. The person requested I not use his name.
2. Several of the groups in which I participated are like AAand we use only our first names. I tell the story of a man named Red, for example, so called because thats the only name by which I knew him.
3. I no longer have contact with the person and couldnt get permission.
How to Use This Book
Ive designed this book in two parts, and it doesnt matter which you read first.
Part 1 focuses on male sexual assault and its effects. This part is basically informative, and its purpose is to help you understand the problems that male abuse victims face.
Part 2 is the practical section. The purpose is to show youa woman in the life of a man who was molested as a childwhat you can do to help him.
I n t r o d u c t i o n
If Youre an Important Woman in His Life
He was molestedor at least you suspect he was. That means he was victimized by someone older and more powerful than he was. The man you care for might be your boyfriend, husband, brother, father, or son. He is someone you care about deeply, and because he hurts, you hurt.
He hurts because he was victimized in childhood. Many therapists dont like the word victim or victimized and prefer to speak of survivors. They also dont like the word abused and usually opt for assaulted. The media tends to use the word molested. In this book, I use the terms interchangeably.
Regardless of the word used, something happened to himsomething terrible and frighteningthat will affect him for the rest of his life. Something happened to him that affects your life as well.
How Can You Help?
Because you care about him, you have also been victimized. Because of your love for him, youve been hurt, and you may have suffered for a long time. But the man you care for didnt hurt you intentionally. He was trying to cope with his problem.
Perhaps years passed before you knew about his childhood pain. During that time, you may have sensed something was wrong. Statistics indicate that men tend to reveal themselves more readily to a woman, usually a wife or girlfriend.
But even if you knew about his experience, how could you have grasped how it would impact your relationship? Because he battled the problem that he couldnt talk about, he did it privately and sometimes not too well. How could you not feel rejected or hurt when he shut you out?
Even if he faced his abuse, he may have excused the perpetrator. Although the man in your life was the victim, he may have felt guilty for the abuse. His undeserved guilt is real. And he hurts.
Because he hurts, you hurt too.
Thats part of your victimization. His reactions, attitudes, and behavior caused you to assume blame and guilt, and youve asked yourself, How did I fail? You may not have voiced those words, but you felt you were the flawed person in the relationship.
If this describes you, you may already have gone through a lengthy period of wondering what was wrong with you. You tormented yourself with questions:
Why does he shut me out?
Why cant I help him?
Why cant I take away his pain?
Why wont he talk to me or allow me into his private world?
How did I fail him?
I love him and try to show him that, so why wont he trust me?
If youre reading this, it means you know, or seriously suspect, that an important male in your life was assaulted in childhood. You love him and want to relieve his pain, but you feel helpless. Or youre sure there must be something you can do to fix him. If you could just figure out the hidden weapon, the magic pill, or the right words, hed be all right.
It isnt that simple. Besides, you cant fix him.
In this book, though, I provide suggestions in part 2 to help you understand and accept him. As you accept his situation and his resulting problems, I hope youll feel better about yourself and accept that his problem is not your fault. You may often need to remind yourself of this fact: it is his battle. You cant fight his inner demons, but you can stand with him when he fights them. He must work through it himself. You can assist him by being available to him, and Ill suggest ways to do that. But it is his struggle and his journey into wholeness.
You may feel more at peace with your inability to heal him if you can think of him as a once-innocent child who was victimized by a predator. This isnt to deny your pain, but you can help him and help yourself if you can start with understanding something from his past.
His experience and his response to it are complex. He has been wounded in several ways, the old wounds reopen in unpredictable ways, and you cant do anything to make him into a whole person. You can stand with him as he seeks and discovers his own healing. As you accept his situation and his resulting problems and behavior, I hope youll feel better about yourself and accept the reality that his problem isnt your fault. He must work through his own emotional issueswith your assistance of love and encouragement.
I want to make an important distinction here. When an adult sexually abuses a boy, many people think of that as a sexual act. Thats not correct. The perpetrators actions werent about sex, and they werent about love for the child. Those who molest have deep-seated problems that go far deeper than sexual exploitation of a child. For the perpetrator, sexual gratification at the expense of a child is a symptom of deeper problems that go beyond the scope of this book.
When adults are attracted to childrencompulsively attractedwe call them pedophiles. Although there are variations in the definition of pedophiles, heres a simple one: the term comes from two Greek wordspaidos, children, and philia, a word for love. It refers to anyonemale or femalewho is sexually attracted to prepubescent children. Ill say it even stronger; they are compulsively attracted. Generally, that means the objects of their desire are children younger than thirteen. Therapists have recorded that some pedophiles visualize themselves as being at the same age as the children they molest. Other therapists would say that pedophiles are adults who are fixated at the prepubescent stage of life.
Just as all assaulted boys wont become homosexuals, the male perpetrator may not be gay. Most of those convicted of molesting boys vehemently deny that they are homosexual and insist they are heterosexual.
Regardless, when an adult molests an innocent child, thats sexual abuse. My intention is not that you try to understand the abuser, or that you feel sorry for that person. By the end of the journey, though, I hope you and the man in your life will be able to forgive and to feel sadness for such individuals.
The perpetratorwhether male or femaleis a sexual abuser of children. Thats the one fact to bear in mind. Sometimes it makes no difference to the perpetrator whether the victims are male or female. This is an important concept for you, the woman in the victims life, to understand. The result of his abuse carries long-lasting effects, and he may not want to talk about the issues related to the abuse for fear of being labeled as homosexual. Or he may feel he is gay because it was a man who molested him. You may need to help him accept that child sexual abuse is not a heterosexual-homosexual issue. Its a crime and a sin that was perpetrated against him.
He probably doesnt understand all that. He may still feel conflicted about what happened to himand about the theft of his innocence. For now, the onceabused child needs support and encouragement. He needs someone he can trust as he copes with his pain and his problems. He needs you.