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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
Hope for the Hidden Monster
By Mike Komisky
I went from being a little boy to a statistic…
When I was growing up, my favorite hobby was reading comic books. I loved pretending to be Batman or Spiderman, saving people in distress. Yet, the one hero I identified with the most was the “The Incredible Hulk.” Let me explain.
I have very few good memories of my childhood. I remember having two wonderful grandmas who I loved dearly. I was raised by a single mother who left my dad at age three due to domestic violence and alcoholism. She tried her best to take care of me. Yet three years of my childhood left scars that would last most of my teenage and adult life.
Between the ages of 8 and 11, I experienced abduction, violent sexual abuse, and molestation. I can remember the sheer panic and overwhelming guilt and shame felt. Sexual abuse is like an earthquake to your soul. You are never prepared for it and the devastation it leaves lasts for days, months, and years. My sense of safety was gone and my identity was ripped to shreds. Growing up Catholic, I knew of God, yet I couldn’t understand why He allowed this to happen to me. What did I do wrong? And where was He when I needed him? I felt abandoned, dirty, and disposable.
After going to a psychologist and being on medication for a year, I felt numb inside and had no one to talk to. I became isolated and like a boy in a bubble. The world was a cold and dark place, but the dominant emotion I felt was pure hatred and rage. That’s where the Hulk came in. That was me.
I could explode at any moment and didn’t care who I hurt. I went from being a little boy to a statistic. Sexual assault or abuse effects the whole physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It destroys your self-image and is the kryptonite that invades the heart and mind. Your voice becomes silent. Statistics say 1 in every 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer abuse in their lifetime.
Fast forward to 1979. I moved to Southern California from New York. My mom felt leaving would put my past behind me. Little did I realize a change in location doesn’t erase scars or wounds. I entered a relationship with Christ in the 80’s, got married, and then had a beautiful daughter. I attended church and read my Bible, yet the mask I wore hid all the unbearable pain I felt inside. Denial became my comfort zone, but my depression and identity crisis were hurting my marriage and other relationships.
In the Bible, there is an account of sexual abuse in 2 Samuel 13:1-13 involving a woman named Tamar. In verse 13, she asks, “Where could I get rid of disgrace?” That’s what victims feel like. Both men and women cry, “Where can I go for help?”
Sad to say, the churches today are mute on the subject. Why don’t they address this issue? It’s so prevalent in our culture today. Broken people are coming to church looking for answers and healing. Yet they walk out of church week after week alone and empty. Men are taught by society to be “macho,” and not to show emotion or let your guard down. However, I learned in the Bible to be strong, you must humble yourself. Weakness and vulnerability are qualities of a godly man.
For those of you who have been abused, my prayer is that you will let go of pride, shame, or anything else that hinders you from stepping forward. It takes real guts to face what’s happened to you. Yes, it’s hard and painful, but Jesus wants to free you of the Enemy’s lies saying that you don’t count, are not worthy, or cannot be forgiven. Jesus was a real example of what a man should be: compassionate, forgiving, and merciful.
Currently, I have forgiven the people that have formerly kept my heart in bitterness. I know this is not easy to do, but for your own emotional, physical, and spiritual health, it’s vital. I finally have forgiven myself, knowing none of my past experiences were my fault. For the first time in my life, I’m starting to walk in God’s freedom by His Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, I want all men to know you don’t have to be silent anymore. Jesus can transform your heart and mind. But you must take the first step. There are many support groups. Get in touch with them. Surround yourself with godly men who have gone through the same struggles. Know you are never alone. There is always hope; it’s found in Jesus. Psalm 121 says, “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Jesus loves you, and His healing is always available.
My healing is one day at a time, but my perspective is now eternal. I don’t know why God allowed the pain in my past. We are in a fallen and sinful world, but I know God was there and what happened to me broke His heart. He has given me a second chance on life. It’s changed my heart. The rage has been replaced with His love, and He can do the same for you. He is good and, most of all, He is faithful.
Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject. But I’m very passionate about being an advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. Today, I’m involved in men’s ministry, mentorship, and am a leader of a survivor of abuse share group. My heart’s desire is to tell others what God has done in my life. I counsel other men and am always willing to hear about their pain. May my story touch your life. He can take a raging Hulk and turn him into his true self, “Mild-Mannered Bruce Banner.”