My last blog was titled Where do I go from here? I really didn’t know where I was going with my blog or sharing my journey to help others heal. I took the last 4 months to listen, reflect and then move forward in the direction I believe I am being lead. I like the direction and the new adventures I have taken and will take over the next 12 months. The first important change in my life has taken the last 2 years to accept and know it is the best decision for the business and myself. I am promoting a well deserving person to President of my company and I am moving to CEO. The time has come to give someone else the day-to-day controls. As I approach 27 years in business, I know this is the time to make the change in leadership. To start a business from scratch and give someone else control is exciting and scary all rolled into one.
My wife and I took a life changing adventure to Europe this pass fall. It was our first trip to Europe. It was more amazing than I imagined. My love for architecture, construction and the architectural history I studied was finally seen by me in person. I marveled at the construction and design of these structures, some 1,000 years or more old. I would just stand or sometimes sit for hours and just feel the energy of the buildings. I would try to figure out how did they build these massive structures with no electricity, tower cranes, concrete trucks, earthmover, or gas engines. Riding in the water taxi in Venice was like being at Disney World, it just didn’t seem real to me. I realized how old the world really is and how small the world is today. I spent 18 great days and saw so many amazing things and places. This trip confirmed I had made the right choice for promotion to President of my company. This was my first trip where I didn’t say I was ready to come home, I could have continued traveling for a long time. I felt free and at peace. I had no worries of panic attacks and no triggers that cause my PTSD to act up. I really enjoyed how I was feeling for those 18 days.
The biggest change I am making is going to Harvard in January for their Advanced Leadership Initiative program. It is for CEO’s with at least 20-25 years experience that want to do something that can make a change in the community, and the world. I have learned in the last 2 years sharing my journey of healing has been a big help to many other survivors of different types of traumas. This will also help me bring closure to my past. I have beat myself up for years for not speaking up and letting my abuser go free and possibly hurt others. My blog, speaking at events, and now this program at Harvard will help me accept I am doing everything possible in a positive way to help others know we not only survivor but we can thrive. This is giving me closure to my past. I might not have spoken up as child, but I will speak up now and share my journey so others can heal and enjoy a great life. I am no expert by any means, I just remember in 1992 when I finally told my wife (the only person I had ever told) about being sexually abused as a child. How my body reacted a few months later with panic attacks and then PTSD was scary and sometimes an unreal experience. There was no one to turn to that had shared the journey of going through panic attacks and the affects of PTSD from childhood sexual abuse. In 1992 I had a nervous breakdown but I had to keep working. My wife who is a registered nurse put me together daily so I could function. I use to say I came as close as possible to having a nervous breakdown without having one, my wife nicely says to me, you had a nervous breakdown, but I just you kept functioning daily, and God gave you the strength to endure and heal. God’s grace, my wife’s love and her hard work and my determination not to let my abuser abuse me again if I didn’t heal, today still drives me. It is interesting how it has taken me 48 years to say the effect on being sexually abused as a child causes so many hurts and problems for the victim. This is why I speak up, so many victims don’t have the support system I had, and feel so all alone. I am no longer ashamed to say I have panic attacks, PTSD and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1992, all from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. The damage done is for ever, but us victims can overcome and enjoy a great and happy life. My goal is to help others heal, and my mind is open to the best way I can help. I am no expert, just a survivor that is no longer ashamed of my past and willing to share my journey to help others be free and heal.
Please enjoy some pictures from our trip to Europe. I saw some of the most stunning sunsets and sunrises I have ever witness. I will keep you posted on my journey and I pray that anyone that suffers from any kind of trauma, will get the help needed to continue to heal. Life is great and the journey is awesome. I love you all and my blog has now been read in 100 countries. Enjoy a link from a article on my journey in Huffington Post.