- On January 30, 2017
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25 Years Ago, the Journey Started
I was thinking about my mother-in-law recently and I realized it has been 25 years since she passed away from a brain tumor. Then I quickly remembered that 25 years ago this month, my life changed forever.
I had planned to take a childhood secret to my grave – something I never admitted to myself or anyone else. Then one evening 25 years ago, my wife Karla and I found out someone we knew had been sexually abused as a child.
For some reason – against all my internal warnings – I blurted out to my wife that I too had been sexually abused. I had no idea that saying those few words would change my life forever.
I often wonder whether I made the right decision saying those words out loud. Soon thereafter, the panic attacks started. I experienced a complete nervous breakdown, and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) started happening.
The damage is real and lifelong from childhood sexual abuse. The day I said the words, “I was sexually abused as a child” aloud, everything changed in my life. That’s why we must do everything we can to protect children from predators. Remember, more than 80 percent of the time, the sexual predator is a family member or someone close to the family. I was abused by a male teenage son of our regular babysitter.
Even though my story could be considered a sad story, it is also story of triumph, healing and joy. If I hadn’t say those words 25 years ago, I would have eventually just crashed and burned out and never have known why.
Before saying those words 25 years ago, I stayed busy, and lived in constant state of worry about anything and everything. After receiving counseling and learning about the effects of childhood sexual abuse, I understood better why I stayed busy.
It was so I didn’t have to think about what happened to me as kid. I worried needlessly because of the effects of childhood sexual abuse.
Even after saying those words 25 years ago and the ensuing panic attacks, a complete nervous breakdown and the effects of PTSD, I don’t regret finally revealing my secret.
Saying those words 25 years ago freed me from my past and allowed me to get proper counseling. Most importantly, it gave me the courage to speak up and write a book to help others heal.
So whenever my anxiety increases from the effects of childhood sexual abuse and I wonder whether it would have been better to never speak up, I tell myself that I am glad I said those words 25 years ago. I am now free and I am helping others.
We all have a story to share. It’s estimated that there are 42 million childhood sexual abuse survivors just in America alone. One in 10 children will be sexually abused in the USA during their lifetimes. Many survivors fall into destructive lifestyles to hide the pain.
Regardless of our pasts, we can still achieve incredible and happy lives. We not only survive; we can thrive.
I thank God every day for providing the people and the love necessary in my life for me to heal, and to have the courage and energy to share my journey to help others heal.
Please enjoy my book, “Fighting Through the Fear – My Journey of Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse.” You can buy it from Amazon, or from moodyspeaks.myshopify.com for an autographed copy.
Support your local child advocacy center and other organizations that help survivors heal. Please see the pictures with information from darkness to light. Check out the Darkness to Light website for helpful information and training.