Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oprah 200 Male Survivors 5 years later

Its hard to believe it has been that long.  Five years since we were chosen to be part of one of Oprah's last episodes.  It was the two part episode on male survivors.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I still remember it as if I was overtaken by a flood of emotions.

Sitting in that room with 200 other male survivors was an experience unlike any other I have had in life.  I so remember the early days of my recovery when I didn't think anyone else existed and I was all alone.  I remember meeting the first male survivor back in the late 1990's and it helped change my life and helped me recover.

No longer do I worry about the effects of what happened to me.  I know them all too well.  What I am focused on these days are how I continue to move forward and drop ever last single bit of what happened to me.  It isn't easy.  Yes, I can put on a happy face and act like the remnants are no longer there, but then I wouldn't be very honest.

There are many more out there that have been through this and some are too afraid to speak up or seek help.  Its an experience that has so much shame, you barely know there is existence beyond it.

As Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk says in The Body Keeps The Score, "sometimes we remember too much and too little at the same time.

Those that abuse innocent children are not human.  They are monsters.  They are the lowest of the low.  I have heard, that for every child molester, there are an average of 100 victims.  This statistic scares me when I think of the those that abused me.  It also makes me angry because I know there are far too many child abuse victims.

If you've been abused, go get help.  Talk to someone.  It doesn't make you less of a man to reach out for help.  It makes you more of a man.  I realize that in order to survive, you probably had to stuff your emotions, feelings, and fears deep within you, but don't let them stay silent.  Let them out.  Let them speak for they can help you.

There are people that care and there are things that will help.  If you haven't found that yet, don't stop looking, searching and hunting.  Keep trying.  Don't give up!  I know how hard it is to probably accept these words, but I know what the other side looks like.

My heart goes out to anyone who has been abused.  I'm so thankful for what Oprah and 200 male survivors did to hep extend a hand of support to the world.  I'm proud to be a part of that and I will forever carry it in my heart and in all that I do each and every day.

If you would like to read more about my experiences and moments on the Oprah show, please take a look at "Oprah, Male Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse".  I posted it on Oct 29, 2010, before the show aired.

For other resources:

  1. Mike Lew - Victims No Longer (book)
  2. Mike Lew - Leaping Upon The Mountains (book)
  3. MaleSurvivor.Org (Forum and Male Survivor Resource)

Blog Post And Images (c) 11/5/15 by Don Shetterly

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