Podcast

What Sharing My Childhood Rape Taught Me About Being a Loving, Vulnerable, Free Man

211 comments

familyI was 5 years old when he raped me.

The only other memories I had before that vivid experience was my first day at Kindergarden where I colored in an outline of Clifford The Big Red Dog.

The other was taking brownies to pre school for classmates on my birthday.

However, what I experienced after one school day with the teenage son of my babysitter, I may never forget.

I don’t have any other memories before this of my older brother Chris playing his violin, my dad throwing me in the air, or my mom holding me as I cry to sleep.

This picture with my two inspiring and compassionate older sisters Katherine and Heidi, is not a memory either.

I wish I remembered that moment.

Then 2 or 3 years old.  Long flowing golden locks and a smile as wide as the ocean.  Trusting everything and everyone with my huge open heart.

I loved people.

All I ever wanted was people and the world to love me back.

For 25 years I lived in anger, resentment and defensiveness.

And it showed up big time, especially in sports.

No one knew what happened or why I was that way because I was so ashamed of it and though if anyone knew they wouldn’t love me.

To say I felt lonely growing up would be an understatement.  There were many days I told people I wish I were dead due to the shame I felt.

I never understood why this would happen to me, an innocent child who just wanted to love everyone.

Why would someone take this innocence and abuse it emotionally and physically?

It wasn’t until 25 years after that day I started to open up about it.

Facing it was one of the most uncomfortable and emotionally challenging moments I’ve ever had… but it changed my life forever.

In this episode I dive into what happened, the weight I carried for so long and the lessons I learned along the way.

##

I’m so grateful for every experience in my life, including this one, for the lessons it has taught me.  I want to thank my dear friend Jonathan Fields for guiding me during this interview and creating a space for me to share so openly.  You are a generous soul and a healer of hearts.

My friend Chris Lee, who created the opportunity for me to face this in the first place.  Thank you for the dedicated work you continue to do.  You and your humble service are a gift to this world.

Glennon Melton.  You are a graceful angel.  Thank you for your encouragement to share this openly and freely.

My family and close friends I shared this with personally.  Your tender love and acceptance when I finally shared with you allowed me to feel safe again with my child like innocence.  You mean the world to me.

I want the comments section below to be a safe place for you to share openly and free of judgment.  Do you know someone who has experienced sexual abuse or have you experienced this yourself?  What have you done to go through a healing process?  Or are you still holding onto something that isn’t serving you?

I’m here to listen, love and accept you no matter what. If you prefer to share anonymously or message me privately I’m here as well.

I don’t claim to be an expert in this matter, but I do know it’s worth a lot to share your experience with someone to allow healing to occur.  There is also a great charity that has a free support line to do this as well at RAINN.org along with other information and statistics on rape and sexual abuse (as it’s way more common than you think).  And one that is just for men at 1in6.org.

I also recommend listening to Dr. Guy Winch and his talk about healing emotional injuries.

Thank you for allowing me to share publicly with you my story.  I’m so grateful even if you took a moment to read any part of this post.

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196 comments
kaaiiaa99
kaaiiaa99

when i was about 6 years old i was ''raped'' by my brother... i dont know if i can say rape because we didnt put his penis..... he just touched me everywhere and i had to touch his penis... this happened about 3 times.. i didnt know its wrong cause i thought: okay, he is my brother, its okay.. i also kinda enjoyed.. now i am 16 years old... i really love my brother, all this years, when i remembered what we were doing i just thought okay this happened long time ago, he forgot i forgot.. but now i dont know anymore.. now it seems to me that  all the things that he does for me he does them because he is affraid that i am gonna tell parents or something.. sometimes when i am showering he keeps coming in the bathroom.. but i don't want to lock the door because then my parents are giving me a hard time..... now i have a boyfriend.. i dont know if i should tell him or not.. today he touched me (my boyfriend) down there and i cant decide if i liked it or not... i was really excited when he started,, but then i felt so horrible... i cried.. i dont know how to tell him.. and i dont know if all this is because of what my brother did to me.. 

Sandy 2526
Sandy 2526

When I was 11 years old I was staying at a friends place he was 14 I was asleep in the room all I rember is waking up to him on top of me my pants were off my shirt was pulled up I didn't know what he was doing I was in pain and scared the next day I told his mum she told if I said anything she would come after me my brother didn't believe me everyone went out the next day left me and him and this girl jade there jade push me into the room he came in with baseball bat hit it against the wall near my head he put his hand down my pants and done stuff I push him then jumped out the window and I'm not sure if that is classed as rape? Or not? I haven't spoken about this to anyone but I can't help but replay it in my head 24/7 :,(

SheilaJoy
SheilaJoy

This happen to me to, but, like today, when I was trying to explain that I shared my story on Facebook for a college class assignment, all my family, except my parents told me they hated me, that I should keep stuff like this in the family. That my brother Tony who rape me, may lose his job, because of me telling a lie. Until tonight my parents told them it was not a lie. That they have hated me for telling the truth. I forgave my brother long time ago, I'm just tired of God telling us to tell the truth, and I did, and I'm the one that is still been punished for what he did to me. They hate me for the truth, I forgave him and will keep asking God to give me strength. Because reading your story has, given more strength to keep speaking the truth, and trust that God will keep healing me inside and out. I do not know you sir, but, I can say, I love you more than you can understand, your story gives me the strength to trust in Jesus and God, and let my sisters and brothers keep hating me, and their kids even do to. For speaking the truth, and may God one day let all them know the truth, about what he did, and make him speak it from his mouth. 


Thank You 




Sheila 

Letmedie
Letmedie

It happened to me. It happened from age 7.5 to 14. it happened a lot.

Though I was saved by Jesus, I've had to learn to walk this path fully alone. After 30 years, I disclosed about the sexual abuse at the hands of 4 older boys, then my life got even worse.


There is no support out there. I've lost everything the drug and alcohol helped me attain. I've lost my wife, my kids, my credibility, respect. I've found new and amplified shame, self loathing and disgust of the degrading piece of filth i was and covered-up.


Some cultures look at the victim as too foul to accept. I agree (in my case).


I've given post-disclosure, open healing a 7-year attempt...all to no avail. things just keep getting worse and worse. No church will address this...they won't even listen.

When a church bends over backward to help junkies and drunks, but turns away a phenominally depressed sex abuse survivor with PTSD and severe depression...there's got to be a good reason.


All I want to do is die.

Don't send the white-coats and police. I have no plan...no time or date...all I have is a want. All I want is to die.  The depression is too much. the shame is too horrid and solid. All i see in me is a disgusting waste of a life.

This world, this nation, our churches...none of them are ready to look at us without employing the myths and wrong conclusions. Better off dead.

SheilaJoy
SheilaJoy

@Letmedie


I understand, I told the truth, and I got mistreated and no support, but, I want you to know, as long as we who have suffered things like this keep telling the truth, we are not alone. I know we cannot see God almighty but, he will make them all pay. He teaches us to forgive, not for those Ass wipes that hurt us, It is for use so that the Devil will not hurt our life no more here on earth. So I do not know you, and I ask you, live do not give up, Do not let no one NO More still your joy, life, from you. I love you, if that helps, because those of use who have suffered this are not alone. We are family, we are each other strength and support. I hope you will see that , like I did. May God give you strength. 

1331serena
1331serena

@robertblongley @Letmedie i am female but i know every feeling  u feel ,,,all  of it ,,including  the suicide ...i have no clue why i am still on this earth,,,,,some thing out there  just did not  let me die ,,,,i was in  a coma on life support for 2 days ,,,,,  i thought i was  going to end  it all,,,all the  hurt ,lies, pain .....even today it  is  far  far far  from  over ,,,,,i have been waiting  for  justice for  almost 4 years  now ,,,i  had  kept my secret for 35 years  ....im 40 and  still  my  father  walk  free ,,,10 years over 3000 times  he  did  the worst things  to me ,,i was 4 when i first remember him  performing oral sex on me ,,,and    his hairy  nasty  penis  ,omg ....and to top it off he got  another  little girl 9 years old 4 years ago,,,,this is  when i came forward ,,,,there   is  proof  beyond proof  ,,his own hand written  letters ,,,,85 of them we  turned  it all in ,,,,that was  almost 4 years ago,march 3 he  had another  court  date ,,,they  postponed again  until sept 15 of this year .......when i got this news the  other  day  puked  ,cried,,,,can;t eat ...havn;t been  with a man  in  3 years ,,,all  i wanted was  for  some one to care enough  about me to  put  him where  he belongs ,,,,,'',they ''the  system   are  cruel !

Letmedie
Letmedie

@1331serena @robertblongley @Letmedie Serena:  I'm so very sorry to hear this from you; about you.  Humanity is stunningly in-human, and cruel. I am crushed every time I hear of any child being abused, but there is a special pain and hurt associated with a little girl being hurt. 

I no longer have much to offer others in pain, except a virtual hug. I can't even pretend to understand the world that hurt us, except that only the injured seem to understand each other's pain.

brian198
brian198

@Letmedie  I know your pain distinctly I was raped for 6 to 9 and suffered physical and mental abuse from my family till I was 15. I KNOW but the answer is not death nor will it ever be my friend. My savior was a my therapist as hard it was to admit it was even harder to talk about. I want you to think about this as like deep cleaning your house it looks a mess till it is done than it is better. Call your local rape crisis center they have the help you need and most of the time for free. They HELP it will be hard and painful but it works, My friend if you need more help then what you're receiving now than go to a center and get more help. Your life is far more valuable then you may ever believe. If Lewis does not mind I will post my website here also as a male survivor I want you to know you're not alone and it can get better.

SvenCM
SvenCM

@Letmedie I, too, know your pain and suffered rape at the hands of a parent after years of emotional abuse and molestation. I finally found healing through seminars given by jpiihealingcenter.org. Next open session is schedule in June. Be there and get some healing and peace in your life.

robertblongley
robertblongley

@Letmedie A few thoughts - first, you are not alone.  You just haven't met people who can show you the way through this.   Churches are generally not the enlightened places to deal with sexual abuse so just accept that and look elsewhere.  Check out 1 in 6 or RAIN.  

Regarding your thoughts of suicide, who wins when you do that?  I don't think there is anything wrong with you other than you had some terrible stuff done to you as a child.  You don't seem delusional, you are just frustrated.  Suicide by people in your position is generally not the result of depression, it's a lack of problem solving skills.  remember, obstacles in your path are there to make you change direction, not to stop you.  There are so many other outlets to deal with this - write about it, paint it, speak about it, but don't kill yourself.

If not for yourself remember that someone is going to have to deal with your suicide.  I've had to deal with 2 suicides of people in my house in the past.  There's nothing quite like having to rip out all your carpeting because you can't get the blood out. Patching bullet holes is a lot of fun as well.  Don't do that to someone else.

You can't undo what was done to you, but it can be a foundation to build on.  Remember that living well is the best revenge.  

21BioMum
21BioMum

How can you try to heal someone when they aren't open to your help?

My ex-boyfriend (and the father of my daughter), broke up with me before our daughter was born. He had no where near ended his previous relationship (wife), when we got together (but acted otherwise)... so as you can imagine, he doesn't care for me as he would care for a loved one. Recently I found out he was sexually abused by his step-father. Coming to terms with this is difficult in the sense, I want to understand what he's been through but also don't want to makee excuses as to why he left us (especially if it turns out he was just being a dick).

He is unreachable to me. Blocked contact through phone, email etc. But I want him to know he can come to me, and that I am a safe place for him to talk. But I have this feeling he doesn't realise how much good will come of him talking. When I was his girlfriend, I tried to show him he was loved... so I don't understand why he sabotaged what could have been so good, for someone so dangerous (and well known for cheating).

JoseAAlvarez
JoseAAlvarez

Definitely the latter . Hence the poem about the fly who bit me. This incident, combined with my bipolar, have been both curses and blessings. I choose the bipolar as a blessing. I choose the trauma as random chance event which I would like to share now and try to spin into gold, as Lewis has don

I must admit, I found it too difficult to listen to this, one of my favorite podcasts, the entire year I spent processing this. But I'm standing strong with him now. I'm standing strong on my own

Trees that are never stressed grow weak and fragile. These incidents have made me strong like bull

I am thankful every day I wake up because if I'm alive, no matter what's going in with me, there are at least 1 billion more things that are right with me than wrong. Words to live by :-)

JoseAAlvarez
JoseAAlvarez

I meant to write @lewishowes. , not Louis. My apologies, but please see my comment below, which i have posted under my real fb profile #NoShameInMyGame

JoseAAlvarez
JoseAAlvarez

Since I first listened to this when it come out last year , I have spent an entire year working through and processing my own experience , and reminding myself what it was. Pure and simple bad luck.

I think of it as a game of 7 card stud, where - oh well- I drew 2 bad cards (I also have bipolar disorder) but the other five make a royal straight and I'm all in. I'll bet the farm on this one

A small poem I penned for the occasion

To the fly who bit me

Fly, oh fly

Why do you try

To Steal! My Blood from the sky

And yet you succeed

And carry me to the heavens

And allow Me to wonder why

For the flight alone, ¡ thank u! Fly

Sincerely Mine, Me, Myself and I

I would invite you all to read about my own experience at my blog c-strayed-too.tumblr.com. Or to write your own. It's incredibky therapeutic to allow the pent-up feelings to come out or they will manifest in other ways. Thanks as always Louis!

robertblongley
robertblongley

@JoseAAlvarez while I sort of understand looking at it as bad luck,, over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is actually something different.  I think there is a more cosmic connection which you will either get or think I'm nuts for suggesting it.  Basically, whether it is rape, cancer, divorce, etc.  these are all events which can cripple us emotionally,  simply serve as an obstacle that we need to find a way around, or they can become a foundation for us to do something important.  This is where the Victor Frankls and Oprahs of the world come from.  Life changing event equals life changing potential.  It all comes down to where you feel this event fits in your life.  Is it a block to carry, or a block to stand on.  It's still the same block.  It's just a matter of what you do with it.

JoseAAlvarez
JoseAAlvarez

I absolutely agree with Robert that it is the CHOICES you makes in life that 'after.

Lisa Mitchell
Lisa Mitchell

I've been avoiding this podcast ever since it came up on my podcast feed. I know exactly why I felt that way, because I knew that you sharing your truth and experience would challenge me to consider how I've dealt with, or not dealt with, my own experience. Darn you @LewisHowes, I dislike being faced with emotionally difficult situations on a Thursday...or any day really but here I am. Thank you for sharing, for opening your heart, for being a source of strength for others that haven't quite processed everything in a healthy way as of yet. 

I'm kind of done standing in my own way, blocking my ability to connect deeply with people I really love and care about, all because I can't get over myself. Time to take the steps forward and handle this. Thanks Lewis for pushing me to want more and to allow more greatness into my life by clearing the roadblocks like this. 

Stephanie222
Stephanie222

Thank you for sharing your experience. You are a very brave man. It is amazing to see someone like you having the courage to be yourself and share such a difficult experience with the world. I had a similar experience at the age of 3 or 4, it was a kid in my neighbourhood who was visiting relatives. Similarly I only saw him that one time. I'm a grown woman now and I have a 2 year old son. The conversation that you shared has reminded me to always work towards creating a safe place for him so he knows he can be open and honest with us if anything ever happened. Although I have shared my experience with my husband, and with a few others I have never shared it with my parents or my friends. Let alone the world! I have a huge amount of respect for you! So again, thank you!

By the way, your podcast is awesome! I get a lot out of it, so keep doing what you're doing :)

Lisa

ForeverChanged
ForeverChanged

Thank you for sharing. I wish I was brave enough to share. I was raped 36 years ago, when I was a teenager. I was afraid of the response I would get from my parents, especially from my mother, so I never told them. My mother and I haven't spoken in years but I sometimes wish I could tell her now. I only shared about my rape for the first time ever this year, when I told my husband about it.

I'm undecided about telling my mother now, because part of me would be doing it to hurt her for not being there for me, but part of me needs validation I think. I would like to know if she even noticed how my personality completely changed one night. I would like to finally share now that I am strong enough to deal with her reaction. I would also like to have her hold me and tell me it wasn't my fault, like I wished she could have done so many years ago. But I am still afraid...36 years later. Afraid of being rejected, afraid I wont be rejected and therefore i was wrong so many years ago when I didn't tell her.

Do I break our non-communication and finally tell her or do I let her go to her grave without knowing? Who will be hurt if I do tell? What will I gain if I tell...or if I dont?

robertblongley
robertblongley

@ForeverChanged as a parent who has been through this, I think you should tell her.  Depending on the person responsible it may take a while to set in.  In my perspective, the only parents who are to blame are the ones that knew about it and did nothing.  The rest of us were often deceived and manipulated by people we trusted as much as our children.  I don't know if you will get the response that you would like, but you are opening a door that has long been shut.  You can't control what comes through, but nothing will change if it doesn't.  I'm guessing you feel that you are finally growing as a person and that these events are moving from being a weight on your shoulder to a foundation that you can stand on.  You may now be strong enough to help your mother through this since it's going to be hard on her too.  Feel free to reach out if you need help.

SriPabbaraju
SriPabbaraju

Listening to this podcast as I am recollecting what I went through as a teenage kid. Midway through this year, I had the courage to open up about this dark secret that I kept to myself (only my wife knew about it).


I did a video and blog in an attempt to reach out to others who are struggling with similar experiences in their lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

http://businessboosteracademy.com/do-it-now/

LetyM
LetyM

Lewis you are a sweet heart and a hero.  Thank you for sharing <3

anonMLA
anonMLA

Thank you for sharing your experience. I to experienced sexual abuse at the hands of my babysitters teenage son. I was in Kindergarden as well. I am 25 now and I still carry this with me. I didn't start seeing a counselor until a couple of years ago due to an eating disorder. I told my parents the day he raped me. He was found guilty. Once that happened we never talked about it again. If felt like I was just supposed to forget it. The thing I believe is that something like that you never forget. This memory was also my most vivid memory. 

anonymouslady
anonymouslady

Thanks for sharing this story Lewis. I have experienced sexual abuse since the age of 5 and it eventually led to me being raped by my own father. Even up until now I blamed myself because I couldn't understand why these kinds of things kept happening to me and it has affected my life and relationships so much. I still don't know how or if I will ever overcome it but its comforting to see others who have overcome it and are living their lives successfully and able to forgive and move on. 

senostellan
senostellan

@anonymouslady  I'm a journalist for an alternative online magazine called Sensa Nostra (http://sensanostra.com/) and we're currently based in Berlin. Our aim is to give our readers an honest first hand perspective on original experiences and topics which are not often brought up in the bigger media. 


I'm interested in writing an article profile about somone who's been trough this horrible trauma. 


If you would be up for this I would be super grateful and it can of course be

anonymously.

You can contact me on this following email: stellan.seno@gmail.com 

Best wishes

Stellan

Gloria Beckford
Gloria Beckford

Thanks for shearing Lewis, I know you had to dig deep inside to bring that to the surface...

JuliaSkinner
JuliaSkinner

This has been sitting on my list for while and I happened to listen to it the day my Mum disowned me and my sister on FB. It gave me a little reality check and kept me out of the abyss :) I think it is important to share these stories to give other the space to do so, you are very brave, thank you for sharing.

yjones2319
yjones2319

I did confirm that you were a real life person, Lewis Howes.  I am apologizing for doubting Livefyre but I had to confirm that you were real.  It was terribly difficult to share this on the internet for everyone to read.  It is comforting to me that no one knows me personally.  I have to get my act together on get on with my life now.  My past in in the past and my future is going to be better than I ever imagined.  I just feel inspired and so undeniably humble at this moment.  I just can't explain to you what this feels like for me.  Again, I am rambling.  Just simply Thanks.  I have to accomplish my goals and turn my dreams into reality so you may not hear from me for a little while. Wow, I know what the name of your company means now? I get it.  Live Free!!!   Livefyre!!!  See ya around Lewis. 


yjones2319
yjones2319

Lewis, I just think you are the most generous open person I know.  I have never met anyone like you. I just respect you so much!  Thank you Lewis! By the way, you may or may not find this in some way fate that you and I met but one of my Uncle's name is Louis.  He just spells it differently than you do.  I like you Lewis.  I just really like you!!! I am so humbled by your generosity and just thank you for giving me so much.  You did not have to do anything that you did and by giving me access to Livefrye is just one of the nicest things you could do.  I don't know what else to say except... You are making a difference in my life and I am just so overwhelmed with your awesomeness!!!!! 

mbryan12
mbryan12

Your bravery in sharing this painful episode in your life is a part of taking your power back while allowing others to open up and address their own pain of abuse in all form. Thank you for being transparent and loving others so much that you are willing to let us in. If only this type of thing did not exist in our world and wouldn't happen to any child, but sadly it does. My prayers, thoughts of healing, love and peace to you and all of us that have gone down this very painful journey. Namaste and God Bless.

zurinayeem
zurinayeem

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lewis. I was so moved and in tears when I listened to this podcast.


You inspired me to address my own story of being sexually assaulted in undergrad. I didn't tell anyone because I assumed no one would believe me at all back then (and the few people I did tell didn't believe me at all).


I feel a lot stronger knowing that I'm starting the process of healing and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and oddly enough, giving me the strength to share and heal from my own assault.

KristyLabardee
KristyLabardee

Lewis, thank you so much for sharing your story. As a therapist, I have worked with so many adolescent and adult males who have experienced sexual abuse. They feel so alone in their lives and have little to no support available to them because of their fear of sharing their experience. I know how difficult this must have been for you to share, but I hope you know how many lives you will be healing by opening up. I truly thank you. 

pasian1994
pasian1994

Lewis, 

Thank you for sharing the story of your childhood rap, but more importantly for exposing a deep part of yourself that you were so ashamed of. I am not a victim of rape, nor do i know anyone who is, but i understand what it is like carrying a secret that makes you feel weak. My secret is that i am an overeater. It is a habit that i have been battling with for 5 years, and i am desperate to stop. I wish it was as easy as "just stop eating". But to me it is about so much then the food. It is about my feelings and coping with them with food. Before i began overeating i was anorexic, then bulimic. I am 19 years old, and the hatred for my body started when i was 12. I am not over weight, which makes me even more embarrassed that i have a binge eating problem that i can not controll. No one knows, and i am too ashamed to tell anyone, because it makes me feel weak and disgusting. Even though i do not have the courage to tell anyone yet, i am trying my best to handle my problem by listening to your podcast, and trying different techniques such as journalling. Thank you for encouraging your followers to share their secrets like you have shared your. maybe this is the first step...who knows. 

SusanJayne
SusanJayne

Thank you so much  for sharing this and I truly hope you read this comment.  Almost a year ago May 17 my oldest Nephew died of a heroin overdose.  He had recently revealed his father had repeatedly raped him from 10 to 16.  He in turn raped his younger brother.  He also became an addict but has been in rehab for 6 months.  If we'd only known .... this will help me with my younger nephew.

vsalley
vsalley

Very poignant statement “people think they know you”

Lewis you are healing so many little boys and girls that do not have a voice.  Thank you for sharing these emotions with us your audience.

You are this warm, kind & loving person and it is an image that kids who have dealt with this (who are dealing with this) need to see.  Opening up frees you - heals you and allows you to help heal others.


Patti Fish
Patti Fish

Your courage is beautiful and inspiring. A shining example of humanity at its best. A heartfelt thank you.

crystalclear
crystalclear

Your honesty and your willingness to open and share your experience has moved me to acknowledge and perhaps open up and learn to deal with the emotional scars that I have developed from a gang rape over 30 years ago by friends no less! This has been deeply buried in my subconscious for 20 of those years but have been ashamed and afraid to dwell on it.  No matter how long ago it was, it is still an emotional trauma that deeply affects my present state. Your healing gives me confidence that I too can travel the road to recovery.  

Thank you for your strength and your willingness to share such a personal experience.

brian198
brian198

Lewis,

 I understand the process. I went through it just a few years ago. I have since written a book about my childhood. Also I am in a documentary about surviving childhood abuse and sexual assault.. I would like to let you know that if at anytime you need to talk about our adopted pasts my email is always open to you. Please know that I understand the fears and sometimes panic about revealing this inner most secret.

TM Brian Cardoza

OVC Consultant and R.A.I.N.N. speaker

briancardoza198@hotmail.com

LewisHowes
LewisHowes moderator

@brian198  thanks so much Brian I appreciate you for sharing and for the work you are doing to support others who have had similar experiences! 

brian198
brian198

@LewisHowes @brian198 There are many challenges that are always in front of us as humans we just have a few more. So much of what we went through was because someone else took our choices from us. We do have a choice though and that choice is how we handle it. I have chosen to speak publicly and written and  movie and every time I open my mouth I fear someone in the crowd heckling me or not believing me. So believe I know that tension you may be going through the first time is hard. But Lewis think of it this way talking about it is like getting rid of the anger one word at a time. I liken it to kind of like losing a pinky finger you  know that you would be fine without it but just imagine a life without it. I hope your podcast continues to produce your ability to heal. Anytime you need to talk with a stranger who knows what you have gone through don't hesitate.

TM Brian Cardoza

OVC Consultant R.A.I.N.N speaker

yjones2319
yjones2319

@brian198  


Lewis, I was wondering if I would be able to email Brian? I heard him speak and I like what he had to say.  May anyone email Brian Cardoza or was the above email information just for you Lewis? 

SocialSavvyGeek
SocialSavvyGeek

You're very brave to share publicly. Unfortunately, rape is much more common than people know and there is a resistance to talking about it because many people take the side of the perpetrator and want the victim to just shut up about it; it's not a comfortable topic for friends and family on either side of the event(s). I am not ashamed of what happened and have no problem discussing it if the topic is raised, but I don't often bring it up. 

I am the survivor of repeated childhood rape perpetrated by my teenage babysitter, whose family was very close to ours, and occasionally also by a specific one of his friends. It went on for about  5 years before anyone caught on. I didn't tell for two reasons: 1. I was given a choice - me (age 5 when it started) or my younger sister. I chose me every single time. Then I was convinced that I chose it and allowed it, so I was therefore just as guilty as he. and 2. He threatened to kill my entire family while they slept, including the family pets, if I told anyone. I didn't even consider telling. My parents were wonderful and loved me very much, but since I was a very happy child and completely ignored this situation whenever it wasn't actively occurring, they had absolutely no idea. The worst part is that I know it wasn't just me. He got to nearly every one of my age-mates in the neighborhood. 

Want to guess what happened when he was found out? He got grounded for a month and lost his stereo privileges. I'm still best friends with his sister and another friend from that neighborhood, both of whom were also victimized, but we never speak of that. Honestly, it's seldom on my mind. I think of it now because the topic was raised, but I have long since moved on with my life. Once I was old enough to recognize that none of what happened was in any way my fault... I let it go. The only thing that I would have to say to him face to face, should we meet in the future is "I forgive you," not for his sake, but for mine. 

The experience helped to shape my view of the world and in some ways that will always be with me. For example, I never, ever allow male baby-sitters for my daughter and that may not be "fair," but based on my past I feel that I am justified in my decision and I am comfortable with it. I also speak up immediately if something doesn't sit right with me, as an adult, and I have a confidence in myself grew out how I handled myself as a child. It may not have been the "right" way to do things, but I saved my sister from a monster and to this day I am glad.

JulieFriend
JulieFriend

Lewis, I wish I could turn back time and save that little boy, as well as saving all of the little boys and girls who continue to suffer similar atrocities today. I suffered abuse and witnessed abuse by a stepmother to my siblings as well. Your words, your generous, light filled soul are the path to healing self and countless others. I salute you, I cried for you, and I know you will make a difference in this world and turn the suffering to shared wisdom. I admire you and thank you for sharing.

Julie

conniesowens
conniesowens

@JulieFriend  RAINN is sharing APRIL is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, there are ways we can support each other and help to educate others the signs and symptoms of abuse.  Sadly it is generational, we pass it on to our children.  I pray all of us take our experience and learn to share it with others.  Blessings. 

Trackbacks

  1. […] Howes made a huge step when he wrote about being raped as a child. It must have been an enormous work to digest and […]

  2. […] Howes made a huge step when he wrote about being raped as a child. It must have been an enormous work to digest and […]

  3. […] a long process. I finally told my parents just a few months ago. Thank you Lewis Howes for opening up and being authentic. You’ve inspired me to write this, and I hope many more men […]

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