Fear Causes Closed-Mindedness

man wearing white dress shirt near sea

Fear causes Closed-Mindedness and leads to false truths we tell ourselves. 

As a sexual abuse survivor, I am learning during my healing journey that I have hidden or lost my Inner Youth based on the things others told me or what I told myself (programming) to try and comprehend and understand why the traumatic event(s) happened to me in the first place. I accepted that I was not worthy and that it seemed easier to dispose of me as I tried to wrap my teenage mind around why I was selected or picked out by my abusers. 

I struggled to deal with the fact that the abusers were always lurking in the back of my mind and forever connected with me in one way or another. Somehow it was always my fault, that I must have caused this to happen, and that I must have wanted it to happen. 

I tended to negate those adult figures, society, teachers, coaches, and how the church influences children's and teens' minds by enforcing the belief to listen, respect, and obey without questioning authority. I even blamed God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for allowing this to happen to me. I figured I had to blame someone or something outside myself to put distance between the events and myself to function as "normally" as possible daily. I repeatedly shrouded myself with negative self-talk and accepted these lies as truth to the point that I created a false self. 

As a male survivor, I blamed myself since my programming reinforced that real men are protectors and can fight back; sexual abuse cannot happen to males unless they allowed it--wanted it--were homosexual.

Society perceives boys abused by adult women as lucky to have a "caring adult" introduce them to manhood. Yet, that male child may not know what to do or how to comprehend the meaning of such an event. According to Arain et al. (2013), "The development and maturation of the prefrontal cortex occurs primarily during adolescence and is fully accomplished at the age of 25 years." How can a child understand the enormity of such an engagement? 

man standing in subway

Photo by Warren on Unsplash

Photo by Warren on Unsplash

There is an imbalance of power when adults engage in sex with a child or teen simply because of mental development. A male child may be able to perform physically. However, the event's comprehension, understanding, and whole meaning remain unattainable to the child. Confusion is compounded by society praising boys for becoming men, mainly induced by an adult woman. The male child is left to try and figure out the meaning for himself because adults do not want to talk about abusive sex. Even movies like The Teacher (2013), The Diary of an Innocent Boy (1968), and Private Lessons (1981) glorify male teens having sex with older women. 

If you are a male child abused by an adult male, you are left alone, struggling with the societal norms and myths and questioning yourself: Why me? Why did he pick me? What did I do to provoke this? What does this say about my sexual orientation? Religion sets standards causing the male victim to feel ostracized as a sinner. We are programmed to remain silent and keep it a secret. 

This constant negative self-talk causes male victims to lose connection with their inner youth and true self, which starts the slow and lengthy process of aging and dying before their time. Many male victims think they can handle the events since the adults around them instilled "what it is to be a man." Many males do not get the professional help needed to heal and attempt to suppress the ordeal until it resurfaces later in life and overwhelms them to suicide. 

The good news is that the Inner Youth is still inside us and always has been. Survivors have hidden or buried it beneath the lies and false beliefs we continuously tell ourselves. We can reconnect with the Inner Youth and start shattering the myths that have held us captive. It is our birthright to live a prosperous and fulfilling life, and all we must do is start recognizing the truth and changing our Self-Talk.

About the Author:

John-Michael Lander is a Survivor, Advocate & Public Speaker

He is also the founder of An Athlete's Silence: www.anathletessilence.com

Published by SurvivorSpace, an initiative of Zero Abuse Project