Naming Myself


Bio for James Fitzwater
James is 47, an Electrical Engineer who lives and works in Detroit, MI, and surrounding areas. James has a Master’s in Divinity and is on the leadership team of Celebrate Recovery at Grace Church, Allen Park, MI. James admits he is graciously recovering from many bad choices but is growing in his relationship with Jesus.


Hi, I’m James.

Almost 5 years ago, my wife and I had come to a terrible place in our relationship. I was incapable of developing intimacy. In my mind, I blamed her for her disagreeable attitude. Things were spiraling downhill fast as among other things she threatened divorce, left me and the kids a few times, and occasionally slept in the closet. As I tried to understand her behavior, it was suggested that she might have a personality disorder. I became convinced that this was the problem and sought pastoral counseling. When she ran across my email and found out that I had labeled her with a mental illness, she became angrier.

My wife was convinced that I was gay and wanted me to tell her what was going on with me. One night she was determined to get an answer, and under threat of divorce hours into the night—turning lights on and off and throwing water on me—I broke down and confessed that I was sexually abused. I felt relieved to not be in denial or having to keep my secret any longer.

It has been a long journey of seeking help, joining and leaving a survivor’s group, Celebrate Recovery (CR), marriage counseling, and still having significant moral failures before a divorce this year. Now I realize my wife’s issues were primarily brought on by my issues. Beginning in June of this year with Not Quite Healed, I began a real recovery journey finally surrendering to Jesus. Now I’m in therapy, a sex addicts group, Celebrate Recovery, and a home Bible study group.

Sharing my story has been very difficult, the consequences of my sins almost unbearable, but those steps were necessary to get me on a healing journey. They were a tremendous grace extended to me. I am grateful for the mercy I’ve received, the strength to make changes, and the hope that I now have. Taking it one day at a time.

Permission to use: Granted by James Fitzwater and Veteran author Cecil (Cec) Murphey hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now he helps others in pain through his candid interviews, seminars, blog for male survivors ( and his books When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation and Not Quite Healed: 40 Truths for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Another book, More than Surviving, will release in early 2017. (

Posted by Cecil “Cec” Murphey