Communities Build Strength And Are Built One Person At A Time
Developing a community around my dark past was my first step towards healing from the deep wounds of child molestation. Every time I share my story with a person in my life, I heal a little more. I get stronger and more confident. I like to refer to this as getting comfortable in my own skin.
At first, I cared what they thought about me after they learned the truth. Now I don’t really give a shit. This is simply who I am.
For years, I buried my child molestation deep down in the pit of my soul. When I finally found the strength to defend myself and walk away from my monster, all I wanted to do was put that chapter of my life behind me and move on to be a normal teenager.
But I was so fucking ashamed.
I was content never to speak or write a word about my molestation. I was so emotionally and physically exhausted, I simply wanted to turn the page. I wouldn’t call it denial but if I could have wiped that experience from my memory bank I would have done so.
Pursuit Of Normal
That’s how I lived my life back then. My best friends and my family had no idea what I endured and that’s exactly how I wanted it. Their ignorance was my best chance of being perceived as normal. Never speak of this shit!… I can remember thinking when my memories would surface and I was in pain.
If the strong will to move on was all that was necessary to truly heal, I wouldn’t be writing these pages today.
That’s why so many men struggle with their molestation throughout their lives. We put our armor on and battle like hell to move on in life, yet so many of us never process what happened and heal our mind.
I’m not talking about forgiveness. Fuck forgiveness! That shit will come if it is supposed to. I’m talking about fixing us.
This truth took me a while to figure out. I succeeded at moving forward but I was far from being healed. Over the coming years, the events of my childhood shaped who I am at my core, so trying to suppress and ignore them only contributed to a destructive state of mind. I wanted to be someone else…someone normal!
My Solitary Normal
Every time my life would resemble normal, my inner thoughts and negative self-talk would remind me that I was damaged goods. I remained ashamed of the decisions I made as a child. I couldn’t believe I fell for his bullshit. When I looked in the mirror or got into my head my inner voice reminded me…You’re a fucking loser.
Luckily for me, there was this other voice. The one who guided me to use my experience as motivation to be the best man I could be. The voice that helped me surround myself with good people. The voice who pushed me to lead in so many areas of my life. The voice who recognized my resiliency. The voice who told others to put their troubles on my shoulders so I could carry the burden for them. The voice that reminded me I am a good man who is capable of great things.
I’ve always loved that voice. It is one of hope.
These two voices batted in my head for decades. It was a constant tug-of-war between two equally matched opponents. One day it would feel as if my good voice was winning, but the next day my bad voice would punch me in the face. My brain had to work overtime to process the struggle and give order to it all. To say the battle was exhausting is an understatement.
I was going crazy in my own mind. Normal was slipping away.
Community Was The Light And Pain Became My Target
I found the help I needed when I began to assemble a community around my dark childhood experience. This community gave me comfort. But most importantly, this community gave me the confidence to be me. I no longer had to run away from my past. My feelings of shame were replaced by strength and courage.
Community helped set me free. But I had to do the fucking work.
Opening up to others forced me to process and accept who I am. This was a painful process and that’s why most people don’t do it. We are wired to run away from pain. I’ve learned in life that pain is the way. Now when I feel pain, I run at that motherfucker!
That’s a growth mindset.
Building A Community
Community for me started by surrounding myself with good people. Having someone special violate my trust when I was a child has made me hyper-aware of my surroundings. I’m always watching and analyzing. My brain never stops processing.
As a result, I am pretty damn good at identifying quality people. One of the blessings of having been to hell, you develop a bullshit detector. People have to earn your trust. That’s the way it should be.
Community Starts With One Person
The number one person I added to my community was my wife. When we were dating, I decided to tell her that I was molested as a child, I didn’t realize it at the time but my share began the process of setting me free. As I look back, my motivation wasn’t geared toward healing or building a healthy community around my molestation.
My motivation was to let her know I was damaged goods and to give her an opportunity to opt-out before our relationship moved to the next level.
Pretty fucked up, isn’t it? Monsters can really damage your self-image.
Embrace Not Normal
Telling my girlfriend-now-wife made me own my past with someone out in the world. It was a leap of faith. I never trusted someone with my secret before. It was the day I threw out caution and decided to show someone who I really was deep down.
I was still figuring shit out back then, but I took a giant step forward that day. That was the day the world started to learn my story. That was the day that I started to appreciate that I wasn’t normal.
My girlfriend was the first to tell me how strong I was to survive my past. Instead of sending her running in the other direction, it pulled us closer. I didn’t see that coming. After all, I was a weak-ass kid who got duped by a perverted con-man. I was a fucking pussy, or so I told myself.
Who knew my secret was filled with strength and courage? Not me, that’s for damn sure.
My wife was the only one who knew my dark story for many years, but that one share helped me connect with her in a way I never dreamed was possible. More importantly, it started my mind down another path.
Could my childhood experience be a story of strength and courage and not failure and weakness? To find that answer, I would need more time and a larger community. For now, I accepted my win. My super small community provided me with a much-needed dose of self-love and self-confidence. This is critical for victims of child molestation.
Uncommon Among The Uncommon
As I look back, I am filled with gratitude. A seed was planted in my mind that first day long ago. One that would blossom and change who I am at the core. Normal is fucking overrated!
I am uncommon among the uncommon.
To those who believe you can’t heal from such deep-rooted childhood trauma, I say, fuck you!
Life is a tremendous gift and it is mine to live any way I decide! I never want to be normal again.
I look forward to our collective sharing and growth together as thrivers!
The Sunrise Warrior
I am a man living with his family in the suburbs of a metropolitan city. I have five bicycles in my shed, a basketball net in the backyard, and two vehicles in the driveway including a kick-ass minivan. I am a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. I am a business owner recognized as a leader in my field. I am an entrepreneur in search of opportunity in each situation. I am a passionate volunteer for a number of worthy causes. Read More