By Roger Mann
It was at the beginning of my first marriage that I began to realize I was in real trouble with my personal life. I felt out of control, angry, and sad most of the time. This affected my work, my marriage, the fathering of my children, and my spiritual life. At the time I didn’t realize what the problem was. I was dealing with symptoms and pretending successfully the real problem didn’t exist.
It was some years later after my divorce that therapy helped me begin to accept that treating symptoms wouldn’t help much longer. I needed to really open up and address the problem and that began a very painful journey.
It was in the midst of that journey and that hope for resolution began to fade. It was taking too long. It was hurting too much. I was getting exhausted dealing with one painful revelation after another. The onion seemed to have endless layers and I feared I’d never get to the core. That’s when something beautiful happened.
While online reading other stories of people who were going through similar journeys, some wonderful and thoughtful person posted an amazing comment. They had been where I was. HAD! They had survived, they were thriving and enjoying their new existence and had decided to return to the forums and share their story. Then another posted, and another, and Hope began to grow once again in my heart.
I can’t count the number of times I came back and re-read those posts again. I cried many tears of joy over their words. Hope comes from knowledge and faith. But it also needs to come from someone else who walked that path. Someone who can tell you where the bumps are, where the places to avoid are, and where the milestones are that tell you you’re on the right path to victory.
It’s been many years since then but I still tear up when I think of those who were willing to come back and give hope to those of us who were sinking in despair. It means a lot coming from someone who can honestly say, “I’ve been there and it does get better.”
I told myself early on when I finished with my therapy, I never wanted to hear about sexual abuse ever again. I know now that was selfish and I find myself looking for ways to reach out and inspire hope in others who may be suffering. No one should be left behind alone and with no hope. I’ve joined others who share the desire to bring the hope of wholeness because I know what it meant to me. I’ll never forget the feeling of hope blossoming once again in that dry hard soil of despair.
Posted in: 2022-Sustaining HOPE Project