…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

It Comes Back


By Rex Goode


Impending Disaster

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me, but it began over a year ago. I wrote about it on another post on another blog, Thud and Blood. The short version is that I went ATVing on some trails near Sandy, Oregon and wound up face down in the dirt with my leg bleeding.

On Wednesday evening, November 3, 2010, I was sitting at m laptop working on the billing for my work, which was due on Friday. I felt I was getting sick, like a flu of some kind. I couldn’t remember coming into contact with someone who had the flu, but in my work, you never know.After I got my billing done, I went to bed. As I placed my left leg on the edge of the bed to get in, I felt pain. I looked at it but didn’t see anything unusual. Over the next twenty-four hours, as my fever seemed to increase, the leg seemed to hurt more. By Friday afternoon, I looked at it and saw that it was starting to turn red. I recognized it right away–cellulitis.  I got it in the same leg right after the accident. It was the second time I had it. This is the third. I’m lucky to be able to recognize it when it happens.

As the article at WebMD says, it can be dangerous. This condition can come back. The two times I had it before, it was related to falling an injuring my legs. Now, without warning, it can reappear.

I’m on antibiotics again. There’s no reason to believe it has gone far enough to cause any serious damage. My diabetes doesn’t help it much.

It is early this morning, around 4:00AM. I’ve been awake since about 2:30AM. I think it’s the antibiotics that mess with my sleep schedule. I usually don’t get up until 3:30AM.

Even though my leg was itching like crazy, it wasn’t the cellulitis or the antibiotics I was thinking about when I woke up. Yesterday, after I got home from the doctor and the ordeal of getting my antibiotics from Walmart, I put up my leg and took a nap. When I woke up, a friend had texted me that Oprah was doing a show on male survivors of sex abuse. I tuned in late but caught most of the second part. I had known she had done a Part 1 the week before. I missed it.

I’m not sure I’m glad I saw this one. I’ve done pretty well, over the course of a lifetime, dealing with my own abuse, but it is still difficult enough that shows like this bring up a lot of emotions. It isn’t surprising I had a hard time sleeping. No matter how much progress I make in dealing with having been abused, sometimes it comes back.

I won’t win any popularity contests by disagreeing with Oprah Winfrey or her expert guests, but there were some things that bothered me. For one, I never agree with people who say for sure they know how or when people become gay. The doctor on the show at least acknowledged the complex nature of how orientation happens. I deal with it myself and I’m not certain.

Still, there’s no denying for me that my same-sex attraction and my sexual abuse survivorship are somehow linked. I don’t believe that one caused the other, but I find it impossible to say they aren’t related. The causes and effects of both combine in ways that have formed my personality, choices, and feelings all of my life.

One thing that really stuck out for me is that almost all of the stories told in Part 2, and not many of them were, seemed to be more about the kind of sexual abuse where the perpetrator somehow grooms the victim with displays of affection or seemingly positive attention. I think most people think of this as the way boys always get abused.

Of my closest friends who were abused as boys, all of them had much different experiences. Rather than being groomed and led slowly into being molested, we were terrorized and beaten into it. These friends and I didn’t participate because we were talked into it or made to feel special by a pedophile.

For me, it happened over a period of years in a pattern of psychological, emotional, verbal, and mental cruelty. The only protection from this was to give into sexual abuse, to make him want to not hurt me by letting me doing something else for him.

After decades of practicing forgiveness, having boundaries about my relationships with men, striving to not feel obligated to please, feeling safe, and working at recovery, some of the effects of sex abuse can come back. I don’t know of any warning signs. I think it is good for Oprah to highlight the issue, but a television show, a comment by someone, even seeing someone on the street who looks like my abuser, can rattle me and bring it back.

Cellulitis and childhood trauma can come back at any time. They are both dangerous for me. Yet, there is a third thing that can come back, something that is always welcome. That something is the comfort of the Holy Ghost and the testimony that Jesus Christ has not only suffered for my sins, but also my sorrows and my pains.

I received a blessing this week from my home teachers and have felt at peace about my leg injury. I was genuinely frightened that the antibiotics were working. I looked at the doses left in the bottle and my leg and thought it impossible that it would clear up before I ran out.

I was blessed that the doctors treating me would be wise and guided by the Spirit. The antibiotic I had been taking had been prescribed over the phone by a doctor who had never seen me and didn’t know how big I am. He had prescribed a dosage for a little person and I’m hardly that. The doctor I saw in the office doubled it. I thought of the blessing.

Therapy was a good thing for me in dealing with my sexual abuse. Cellulitis and sexual abuse issues sometimes come back. The healing of the atonement dwells deeper within me than either of those things. It doesn’t have to come back. It never leaves.

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3 Responses to “It Comes Back”

  1. Deanna said:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry that the leg and abuse issues have come back, but I’m glad for the reminder of the comfort of the Holy Ghost and testimony of Jesus Christ. It is a good reminder. I hope the cellulitis and abuse issues get better for you.

  2. Art said:

    I just went to the link you shared (male survivors of Sexual abuse) and it showed the first show. The 2nd one has not been put up yet. I also read most of the 160 comments given about the show.

    I don’t wish you the difficult emotions you went through as a result of watching the show but I’m grateful to know that difficult emotions are not exclusive to me as I watched and read. Sometimes I feel really secure within myself and pretty well put together. Then things like this happen and I feel like I’ve gone to pieces again. I wish griefwork had an end! It helps me to know that this additional griefwork wouldn’t be happening if I weren’t ready for it to happen and if there were no more griefwork to be done.
    I know there’s no way to know for sure (at least not in this life) but I believe that I would not have done the wrongs I have done if I had not been molested first. Saying this doesn’t mean I place the responsibility and guilt, for the sins I know I chose to do, on the shoulders of the people who molested me. I just recognize that my wish that the past, both mine as well as the past of those whom I have hurt, could have been different than it was. Just typing that and I feel so sad to tears.
    Thank you for your courage to share your feelings and the permission it gives others to share theirs.


  3. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Deanna and Art. An update on the leg: After three rounds of antibiotics, it seems to have cleared up. On Monday, I slipped on some muddy, slimy leaves and landed on my right knee. I kept thinking that leg would also develop cellulitis. On the contrary, it has also healed up nicely.

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