I came across a great analogy recently, from a support site for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse:
occurred to me that Superman is a great allegory for what we are, who
we are forced to become. We are forced to become Supermen, or die.
Our home planets were destroyed by disaster (our childhoods were ripped apart from us).
had no identity (we are aliens), and we're forced to hide (Clark Kent)
behind a self imposed veneer of ridicule and shame and embarrassment. We
stumbled around mankind attempting to awkwardly fit in by mimicking
others. Interestingly, we're seekers of the truth (news reporters @ the
But we discover, sooner or later, that we have
super powers. We have incredible insight. Incredible empathy. Incredible
understanding of the depths of the human soul. We'll see things about
humanity that most people will never see (X-ray vision).
we must battle all these evil creatures, and endure through them. We
must fight, we must be Supermen. It is our destiny.
I proudly claim this as my own heritage. I AM SUPERMAN!
Survived Hell. My little one made choices the resulted in my SURVIVING.
I'm alive, and now I'm waking up to who I really am. The incredible
strength, the incredible passion, the incredible insight.
spent most of my life thinking I wasn't human. I was sub-human. Now I'm
starting to see it -- because of my abuse, I am destined to become a
I forged through the depths of hell alone, and came
out ALIVE! I'm HERE! I somehow navigated through the psychological
labyrinth of mayhem and confusion and can see the light at the end of
the tunnel. I CAN CHANGE! I HAVE POWER!
I AM SUPERMAN! (YOU ARE TOO!)"
I've been working through my "issues" for several years now. Well, sort of. Mostly I've been giving myself permission to acknowledge to myself, and a few others, what happened to me......and then either trying to forget it via drugs/alcohol, or allowing myself to wallow in negative emotions over it all. Or both.
I've struggled greatly with seeing myself as a survivor, rather than as a victim. Survivors move forward, not backward. Survivors don't try to kill themselves rather than face the truth.
My perspective has been changing lately though. Maybe I had to go through all of that to get here now. I did what I had to, to get to this moment.....even though I almost killed myself in the process. I survived the only way I knew how.
Knowing that I have the power to choose how I move forward from here on out is humbling.....and scary. I've done a lot of bad things in the course of my "survival". I've hurt people, irreparably. I've stolen from people I loved. I've committed crimes. I've debased myself and let others treat me like shit they've stepped on. I've treated others like they were shit I stepped on. I blamed all of my problems on everyone else....and to some extent, I had every right to blame my parents for screwing me up so badly. But for so many of the choices I made, I only have myself to blame. So, I don't really trust my judgement too well.
When I think about that now, I get very angry at myself for allowing it all to have so much power over me, for so long. I know there's no point in staying mad at myself because (see above) I was doing what I had to survive, the only way I knew how. Does that justify what I did? Yes and no?
Not really sure where I'm going with this, if only to say that I'm still trying to figure all of this out. One step at a time, I'm getting to know myself, and the man I'm trying to become. Superman? Not really, but I'll settle for just a better man.