In Seach of Hope

At the beginning of my first marriage, I realized I was in real trouble with my personal life. I felt out of control and angry; I was sad most of the time. This affected my work, marriage, fathering of my children, and spiritual life. At the time, I didn’t realize what the problem was. I was dealing with symptoms and pretending successfully that the real trouble didn’t exist.

Some years later, after my divorce, therapy helped me begin to accept that treating symptoms wouldn’t help much longer. I needed to open up and address the problem, which started a harrowing journey.

Amid that journey, hope for resolution began to fade. It was taking too long. It was hurting too much. I was getting exhausted from 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 reading other stories of people going through similar journeys online, some wonderful and thoughtful person posted a fantastic 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 again in my heart.

I can’t count the number of times I returned 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 willing to come back and give hope to those of us who were sinking in despair. It means a lot coming from someone who honestly says, “I’ve been there, and it does get better.”

When I finished my therapy, I told myself that I never wanted to hear about sexual abuse 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.

Roger Mann

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