Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
I started dealing with the effects of being a victim of child sexual abuse in 1990 at the age of 29. It was very difficult period of my life as I briefly discuss in Blog 6, “I’d Rather be Crazy Than This Be Real”. Having post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the abuse is generally viewed as a “mental illness”. In my mind, having a mental illness was a weakness and I had no intentions of sharing that I was weak.
There were other, more significant, reasons why I didn’t want to speak out. First, I couldn’t prove that I was sexually abused. All I had were my third person perspective feeling memories. My memories were like they belonged to someone else and somehow I tapped into them. This made me doubt the reality of my memories. Second, if I publicly spoke about the abuse and who abused me, I would open myself up to potential libel and/or slander claims. The third and biggest reason was that I was afraid. Afraid of the retaliation I was conditioned to expect if I did say anything.
After almost five years of therapy, I was in a good place and enjoying my life. I believed that I had remember all that I was going to remember about my childhood. Even though my memories were third person perspective feelings, they were enough for me to understand the adverse effects the abuse had on me. During my therapy I learned to mitigate the adverse effects. I believed I was done remembering my childhood. That is until a few years ago.
One night about four years ago, I awoke at 2:00 AM to being attacked. I was feeling the pain, the fear, and the pressure in my body. These were no longer somebody else’s feelings, they were definitely mine. That night, I was able to go back to sleep and the next morning I brushed it off as an anomaly. Then, the next night exactly at 2:00 AM I awoke to being attacked, and then the next night, and then then next night. Each night I wished the flashbacks would just go away.
After seven straight nights of flashbacks at 2:00 AM, I got out of bed and went to my home office. I sat in my office feeling the feelings and gradually began to accept the reality of them. Accepting the reality stopped the flashbacks and removed my doubt. There was no question in my mind that I was sexually abused as a child.
With this new acceptance, I decided it was time to share what happened to me, how it affected me, and how I’ve been dealing with it. It became clear to me that if I didn’t speak out, then I was doing just what my abusers wanted: for me to stay silent and to live in fear. Also, if I stayed silent, then my silence is a passive form of allowing child abuse to continue.
I cannot do that, so I will continue to speak out by sharing what happened to me and by supporting organizations that work to prevent child abuse. Presently, we are donating money to the Joe Torre Safe at Home Organization. I encourage all to support the Safe at Home Organization and/or organizations like it. Let’s all work to slow and eventually stop child abuse.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based in Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
Athalonz Supports the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation
Click here to learn more.
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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.