My Story: Breaking The Cycle

Don’t quit before the miracle – Theo Fleury

Let me prelude this by saying that I would not be writing this today without the strength that I have been given over the past 6 years. I am so thankful for the folks who gave me their strength that I am not even sure I deserved. Thank you to my wife, Christina for her rock steady support through all of the phases of my journey. She was there the day I broke out of the cycle and she still remains my biggest ally. That kind of loyalty does not come from anyone, it comes from someone special. And thank you to those who I have shared my story with. You have not only believed me, but you believed IN me. Your willingness to help has given me the inspiration that I can trust in people again. Thank you to Theo Fleury. His story had a profound impact on me during a very crucial time and I am so glad that he spoke up and became an advocate for childhood trauma.

Now, onto my story.

It became unbearable at times. My conscience heavier as each day passed. Sometimes I could bury it, other days it occupied me like an unwanted house guest. I was consumed by it. Two-thirds of my life had been spent concealing my torment; I had forgotten who I was. In retrospect, I don’t even think I ever knew. I had built up an impenetrable wall around my secret and my emotions that even I couldn’t get through it. I had become reclusive.

The day I held my son for the first time, I knew I was going to have to reveal everything. I had no choice. I have to protect him, no matter the cost. I could not allow the cycle to continue. I just didn’t know when I would have to blow up my world. I had eventually become an anxiety-filled wreck. My wife had enough of the emotional void. She grew impatient with the years of constant mood swings and erratic behaviour. I had become extremely self-absorbed. I could no longer absorb emotion and the only emotion I could let out was anger. I was a mess. Finally, it came to a head. Finally, I have had enough. She had enough. In July of 2009, my secret would be revealed in a mid-afternoon emotional talk. I told her that I was sexually abused as a child. I was about 10 years old and I was abused by someone I trusted and looked up to. There was no going back now. I was exposed.

I cannot put into words how that moment felt when I had finally threw that huge wall of emotion at her. I had never felt a rush of emotion like that. I hope I never have to again. In one second I felt angry, ashamed and then a moment later I felt incredibly scared (that chilled to the bone scared). Yet, I had felt an overwhelming feeling of freedom. I have often wondered if this is what a person who has been captive for years feels like after being released. I was so thankful that she listened to me and didn’t pick up our son and leave. If she had, I am not sure what the hell I would have done. I desperately needed her to stay by me, I had just put my life in her hands. I will always be thankful to Christina for being by my side. At that time, she was the only person in my life I trusted. Only after would I begin to allow and trust other people back into my life; well some people.

At this time I am not going to divulge who my abuser was. I will let the justice system handle that in due time. You see, I am not trying to protect this person. I am only trying to respect the process. This is my story, not theirs. I am not looking for any retribution for the wounds that were inflicted on me. I went to the police to protect other people, to hopefully stop any future abuse. I have forgiven my abuser, to not forgive would be allowing them back into my life. To not forgive gives them power over me. In fact, I hold no ill-will toward this person. I will just not have them in my life in any capacity. I sometimes get disappointed with myself when -during a moment of weakness- I think bad thoughts or speak badly of this person. I am once again allowing them occupancy in my head. I strive to not have that.

I would be insulted if you thought of me as a victim. I am a survivor! Six years ago it took every ounce of energy just to share this secret with my wife. Four years ago it took a little more out of me to share this with some of my family.  Two years ago, it took some real soul searching to proceed with telling the authorities. Along the way, I have shared my story with those who I thought could help me and I them. Now, here I am telling you; the world.

There are some days where I hit an emotional wall, days that I cannot achieve real happiness. I feel broken on those days, but never unfix-able. It has taken me awhile, but I have identified what that wall is. I am not being true to myself, I am not being transparent to everyone; I am hiding just in case I open up too much. I am being selfish. I need to get myself to the next level by helping others with the experience that I have gained. I want those who are struggling with their own hidden stories that they too can come forward. Had others before me not come out and shared their abuse stories, I would likely still be suffering in silence right now. The more of us that come forward will break the cycles of abuse. I am hopeful, that our broken silence will make those who have sick and abusive thoughts, think twice. Hopefully, they will get the help they need before proceeding with ruining lives.

Over the next few blog postings, I will share with you my healing as it has progressed over the past few years.  If anyone finds solace in my words or if anyone can find an ounce of strength from my experience, then I know I have done the right thing. That is all I can do, I cannot change the past. All of us are given a monumental challenge at some point in our life’s journey. It is how we grow from those challenges that will define our legacy. I am going to define mine now. I have broken the cycle, I have disturbed the silence, I cannot wait to hear the noise!

Please, share this story with whoever you feel could find benefit in it.

Part 2: Consuming Guilt

Part 3: Where Is the Trust?

Part 4 (final): I Am a Survivor

924 / 1000 KMs walked |  41 / 50 blog posts | 16 / 10 books read