- On November 10, 2013
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Welcome back to moodyspeaks. I have been gone longer than usual between posts since I started my blog. I am being my own science experiment and I wanted to have some observations to share with you on this post. As I wrote in my last post, I was finally at a point in my life to start repairing myself from the damage done from withholding that I had been sexually abused as a child. In my healing process I decided to make my body and mind my personal science experiment. I must admit the last month has been very educational about my own PTSD, panic attacks, and how the body reacts to them and getting through them in day-to-day life. Over the last year or so I read a book called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. There were a couple of key items I took away from the book but had not been able to carry out in my life. My blog and the healing it has done over the last year has been so unbelievable in a positive way for me. I still have moments of fear and the affects of PTSD, but I actually can see a positive change and a beautiful future for me and hopefully for others as I share my story of this journey.
One of the key things I remember from the book by Deepak Chopra and I am paraphrasing, was don’t fight the situation, go with it. Basically stop trying to fight a situation, the situation exist and will run its course, just flow with it and it will pass. I really understood those words, but I have struggled my entire life to adhere to those words. As I have pulled back the layers of my life and really started digging into my core. I realize why I react the way I do to things because of the impact from my past. I have learned so much about myself.
I will talk about a few things I have learned about myself after I said out loud in 1992 I had been sexually abused. I have realized when I feel some one is trying to take advantage of me or what I feel is abusing me. I immediately want to fight back hard and fast. In business or life that is not good. I now realize I have often overreacted in a certain situations. In business, that is not good. I have spent a lot of positive energy, attorney fees over the years ready to go to war over feeling someone was trying to hurt me. Now I will say this, 95% of the time my gut instinct was right that someone was trying to take advantage of me or my business. I just could have spent a little more time trying to work through the situation before I immediately acted as though it was nuclear war. I have realized my childhood trauma and PTSD immediately wants to protect me. Before I ever said I had been sexually abused I didn’t react that way, I actually reacted the complete opposite, I would just say forget it and move on. I just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen as I did for 26 years before I said that I had been abused. I realized now when I finally said I had been sexually abused I had opened Pandora’s box to an emotional side I didn’t know existed. I never knew how bad panic attacks could be or what PTSD can do your body and mind. I was able until 1992, just keep busy and kept it buried. It has taken 21 years to get to the point I am at now to truly understand it all and how to just go with it and don’t fight it.
I have a situation now in business on a project where in the past I would have gone to nuclear war right away. Now I am working more from a place of just letting the facts and documentation speak for themselves and go with the flow of the situation. I find this new and my body wants to still go nuclear but I am in control of my feelings a little better. I have seen so much growth in the last year from writing my blog. I know I will be a better person, and CEO.
I had the honor of speaking at crown forum for my alma mater Morehouse College during homecoming week. That was such a great experience for me to speak to the students about my life and the journey I am taking now to understand my past for a better present and brighter future. I am attaching the link so you can watch the speech if you wish. A couple of things I shared with the students was not to waste the opportunity of being in college and everything that is around them. I asked them not to quit and when people say bad things about you, that when it is all said and done, let the person they find in you be good, with character, love and integrity. My dad and mother taught me this and I have always believed it. That was my greatest fear in speaking up about being a sexually abused victim, how would people treat me? I was scared people would avoid me, think I was a freak. Over the last year people have embraced me and shared their own stories with me. Over the last month I have gotten some very uplifting emails and calls to just say thank you to me for speaking up. I had a close friend for over 20 years tell me a few weeks ago he really enjoyed my blog and then said it happened to him. As I always do, if they want to talk about it I will listen and if that is all they want to say, I don’t pry. I know how tough it is and the damage it does to your self-esteem and well-being. I know my blog and speaking up is helping me and many others heal. It is helping me become a better person.
The other thing I have learned over the last year while digging into my core, is I don’t like to see other people hurt and I want to help others not be in pain. That is good and bad because some people really don’t want help and they drain all of your energy. I am learning to focus on those that want to truly be helped. I also learned I can’t save the world from hurt. I have learned to just work in my small space and do what I can through great organizations that know how to help others get better in life. Over the last month I got two extremely meaningful awards to me for helping others in life. I got the Whitney M Young Jr service award from the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts. This award meant so much to me because what Whitney M Young Jr stood for in his life for service and helping young men have the opportunity to become great men means a lot to me. I was a scout and someone took time with me and scouting helped at a time I needed the outdoors and working on merit badges to keep my mind off what had happened to me as a child. The next award I received was the Partners in Healing award from the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. This award meant so much to me because this organization helps kids that have been sexually abused and they do a great job at helping kids.
I have reached the point in my life now where I can speak publicly about my journey and shed no tears. God’s grace and the last year has truly been a great lesson in life and working to release my past. I know I still have a journey in front of me to get through the panic attacks and PTSD, but with my wife, kids, family, my friends’ love and God’s grace I will have a great journey overcoming my past.
I have posted in the slide show a couple of pictures of my dad in the service for Veterans day. My dad was the first black officer in his company in Panama in 1955. I looked at his picture today as I wrote this post and thought about what it must have been like for him as a 22-year-old first black officer in his company in a foreign land with a 18-year-old bride, my mom. Wow, when I think of them in 1955, I know what they taught me about life and how much they love me has been a valuable lesson in my life. We all have story, make sure to make it a great story over time. Enjoy a quick video I put together of my parents stationed in Panama in 1955 and 1956. http://youtu.be/FkvJpnzFBAw
I thought you might enjoy seeing my speech. Please click on the link below, click watch on the 10/24/13 event, and see my speech to the men of Morehouse. At the 12:25 mark is the intro by the student and at 15:45 mark I start speaking. I really enjoyed speaking to the young men and I hope you will enjoy the speech.
Life is good and I am enjoying being my own science experiment learning about myself. See you and enjoy life. It is great to be alive.