I had the privilege to speak with a man I will refer to as M several months ago. He shared his healing journey. M was an only child living with his mother in the Boston area. He described his experience as one of “15 years of intense ritualized mother-son abuse.”
I asked what was an important turning point in his healing journey. He shared, “The most important moment was when I was 17 and I was part of an after school program at my synagogue. One of the options for credit was to do a summer trip to Israel with other teens. We were going to live with a local family, travel and work there.
My mother did not want me to go. She was so scared. Every evening, for months, she would try to dissuade me from going, until I was sobbing. And yet I went. I call this my birth or rebirth because that was the first time I did something big which she opposed.”
While in Israel, he stayed with a family for three weeks. “They were warm and kind to me and did not abuse me. It was great to see another way of being in a family.” The experience of stepping out on his own and living with a healthier family for this short time was a turning point in his journey.
M went on to college, moved to California, discovered a love of dance, met a man who became his husband and moved to Mexico.
When I asked what he would like to say to other men, he responded: “You are ok. I love you. I am really happy, glad and proud that you survived, whatever you survived, so you can live now.”
I’m grateful for his bravery and willingness to share his story with me and with all of you.
What about you? In your journey of healing, journey of life, what are some of the turning points? If you’d like to share them with other men, feel free to drop me a note, email@example.com or leave a comment. You can do so anonymously.
You can find more stories of healing at https://menhealing.org/alumni-projects/male-survivor-stories/.
Be well. Stay safe. Take good care.