Religious faith has helped restore Raymond’s capacity to trust, and therefore to connect with others. In so doing it is healing the breach created by four years of sexual abuse.
Each morning, Raymond begins his day with prayer, opening himself to the presence of God. Each evening, he ends his day by writing in his diary, relating to God the events of the day. It is not surprising, given the crucial importance of God in Raymond’s healing from four years of sexual abuse as a child, perpetrated by the nanny who took care of him.
But the presence of a healing spirit in Raymond has not always been there. The sexual abuse he suffered between the ages of five and nine robbed him of much of his childhood. It alienated him from the rest of his family. It made him feel alone. It made it difficult for him to trust people. His lack of easy trust made it difficult to experience intimacy, to be open and to communicate freely. As an adult in the work world, it has been difficult for him to deal with authority figures, to trust their power over him.
Raymond’s healing began in his late teenage years when he discovered Christianity. He experienced the presence of a love and grace that continues to infuse his life. That infusion has given him the strength to be open to counseling. In 2004 he answered an advertisement from a group of lawyers offering help for survivors of sexual abuse. With their help, he received the financial aid he needed from New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation.
A trip to California in 1999 opened the door to Raymond’s professional life. In the heart of Hollywood he discovered his passion for film and video. He now owns a video production business, and is at work on his own screenplay.
“For four and a half years, my trust was stolen.” Today, Raymond is rebuilding that trust, in partnership with God, and with the help of counselors and fellow survivors at Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust.