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.
This is how I am known. Sure, it is who I am, but I am so much more.
What most people in my world don’t know is I am also a horrifying statistic.
I am ONE of the one in six men who has been sexually abused or assaulted. I am a survivor of seven years of child molestation.
My way of handling it for many years was by burying it as deep as it would go. I built a good life, but I had constant struggle and pain.
Eight years ago the good life I spent twenty-nine years building after my molestation started to crumble around me. The trigger was someone I cared about deeply, my oldest child. My beautiful six-year-old daughter’s age and innocence gave me a true glimpse into the magnitude of the crime committed against me. I struggled to look at her. My joy and happiness were overshadowed by anger, sorrow, and fear.
I was fucking terrified. For the first time, I understood what I lost. Even worse, I feared my little girl might lose her innocence too.
Over many years, I have learned to live with my physical and mental abuse. Survivors often have a huge fucking tolerance for personal pain. However, I couldn’t allow my pain and its collateral damage to spill over into my daughter’s world. She deserved better. She was worth fighting for.
Later, I realized I am worth fighting for as well. My oldest girl took a stick of dynamite to the world as I knew it and I will be eternally grateful. She also gave me the clarity I needed to rethink my broken pieces. She is my bridge to the life I truly deserve.
I’ve suffered depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, self-doubt, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, and alcohol abuse over the years. But, I wouldn’t change one fucking thing. It has all led me to where I am today. I made the decision to face my demons head-on and I continue to dig deep and peel back my layers.
With each passing day, I grow one percent better. Today, I know who I am, what I want, and why I want it. I have a beautiful life and I am surrounded by people I love. I am The Sunrise Warrior and my struggle is my strength. My obstacle became the way.
I am now mentoring men like me to find their inner sunrise warrior. It turns out my story gives others HOPE and STRENGTH. It’s the perfect therapy for me while I set out to share my secret with the important people in my life for the first time. It’s also the ultimate “fuck you” to the monster who tried to extinguish my light.
My path isn’t always pretty and I don’t give a shit. I am on a mission to put an end to our abuse. I’m also committed to protecting future generations of children.
I’ve frequently asked myself “Why me? Why was I molested?” Now I know the answer. God has a plan for me and it’s time to get to work.
I look forward to our collective sharing and growth together as thrivers!