Chris’ Story: “When Sexual Abuse and Manhood Collide”

Purposefully Scarred

“This is the dangerous side to manliness; when it’s used to hide something. Some men hurt others. Some destroy themselves with alcohol and drugs, making certain others see them for how they feel inside. Me? Failure wasn’t an option. I pushed myself physically and mentally to the extreme, with the hope that achievement would solve what was rotting my soul from the inside out.

For the next twenty years, I was a manly machine and shame was the engine.

By the time I turned thirty-five, I had collected a list of masculine titles: Mechanical Engineer. Collegiate Athlete. Navy Officer. Ironman. MBA. Major League Baseball Executive. Veteran. Advertising Executive.

The harder I pushed, the more my shame demanded.

The sad part? I honestly didn’t know what was bothering me. If you were to ask me if I had ever been abused as a boy I would have said no and I…

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