Welcome back for my latest post. On December 8th, my wife and I were out-of-town in the Bahamas for a friend’s from college birthday party. That Sunday morning I was watching on my iPad a friend’s pastor give a sermon back in Atlanta. The pastor asked “what would an extraordinary person do?” That question started me thinking about something that has concerned me about myself. I have asked myself a certain question over the last few years, “what could I do if I used 100% of my talents, my brain, my heart in everything I did everyday?” The reason I asked this question was over the last few years I finally started to peel back the layers of my life and evaluate how childhood sexual abuse has affected my entire life.
Over the last 15 months since I started my blog, I started to get more information from professionals on the impact of childhood sexual abuse. I really started to understand more about myself and how sharing my story is helping others have hope and heal. I learned most survivors like myself suffer in silence for many reasons. Most people who have spoken out about being sexually abused usually just say they were abused, but few talk about the journey of healing and the impact it is having on their life. After I started my blog and I began talking with professionals on sexual abuse, I realized some one has to speak up and tell the story of the impact of childhood sexual abuse and give hope that we can not only survive but thrive in our lives.
I share my journey in hope I free myself and others from the pain of childhood sexual abuse. I share my story of living with fear, anxiety and PTSD in hopes that it will help someone heal faster and find peace sooner than the 47 year journey I have been on dealing with my childhood past. When I started having panic attacks in 1992, I focused more on understanding panic attacks, my therapist helped me learn they started from me finally saying I had been sexually abused. Unfortunately I spent the next 20 years learning how to manage my panic attacks and PTSD, but I didn’t really dig into the long-term effect my childhood trauma has had on my life. I guess I still wasn’t ready to dig that deep inside. Overall my life is very good and I am very thankful for my blessings in my life. In 2010 I went to visit the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, an agency that helps abused children heal. I meet the executive director Nancy Chandler and after my tears, I felt a desire to learn more about the impact on my life. It would be the Penn State coach sexual abuse scandal that finally made me dig deeper and take a journey into the impact of my entire life from sexual abuse.
As I begin to dig over the last few years into my past and my inner chambers of mind and my heart. I learned some very helpful things about myself. I learned I suffered from many of the same things as other survivors. I also realized there isn’t many places for childhood sexual abuse survivors as adults to go and learn why we feel the way we do, react the way we do from our childhood sexual abuse. The feedback to date and the fact my blog has been read in 65 countries and over 13,800 views confirmed there is a need for a safe place for adult childhood survivors to go and get information about the journey of healing. I am not a professional in any way about sexual abuse, just a man who is sharing his story in hopes we can prevent sexual abuse to children and give other survivors hope for a peaceful and loving life.
Since I have started this journey I have found my senses have been heighten. I see nature more clearly and beautiful. I hear the noises of nature more clearly, I experience love from others more deeply. I use my pictures I take now as a way to tell a story without saying a word. I see through my camera lens more clearly. I look at people now and can feel their energy and no longer waste my time with people who have negative energy or thinking I can save them from themselves.
I am learning not to worry just to worry, I am learning not to live in fear and thinking the other shoe will drop at any minute. I have learned PTSD and anxiety is real and when it hits, I just have to ride it out. In the local paper a few days ago, a 28-year-old sexual abuse survivor spoke at the trial of the person convicted of sexually abusing him as child. He said it so well ” it doesn’t affect me on a day-to-day basis, but it is paralyzing when it does set in”, and he said “I want to let the court know even at 28 years old, it’s still something I deal with”.
This is why I tell my story, I want us survivors to know we are not alone and we can do great things. We don’t have to let it paralyze us forever. I think because I never got closure to see the person punished for their crime probably adds to my anxiety and fears.
I am learning to quiet my mind and enjoy the second half of life with my family, my business and myself. I have no idea where this journey will take me, but I am determined to keep healing and helping others heal and keep going for my dreams. I have promised myself let’s see what I can do if I use 100% of my talents, mind and my heart everyday. In the past I have probably only used 60% of my talents because of my childhood trauma. In the past I didn’t think I deserved anything good to happen in my life.
As I stated in my last post I am using myself as a science experiment on healing and overcoming PTSD and anxiety. Life is good, the future is bright, let’s all keep growing and going for our dreams.
Enjoy the YouTube video I did for my wife a few weeks ago for our 31st wedding anniversary. I thank God everyday for a great family and life. I am going where God directs me with my life, business, and the sharing my journey.
Enjoy the slide show and talk to you soon. Never give up hope, we can overcome any challenges in our life. Smile and make someone else smile today.