This is the first in a series of stories of my incredible and innovative journey beyond sexual assault. It will hopefully open up healthy dialogues about sexual assault in our LGBT communities.
It seems like my journey has elements of the Star Wars opening crawl. It is as though November 12, 2015 was indeed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. So much better am I because I began (and have continued) this innovative therapy to start openly and often talkingabout my sexual assault.
And this has all given me the chance to start doing just that: talking about my trauma. One person at a time. One day at a time. That’s how you heal from sexual assault and other traumas. Despacito or light speed works just fine. The most important thing to remember is to just keep moving forward each day.
On that autumn day it was then that I walked up to the first stranger I’d meet to get support for all my efforts on this quixotic journey. It has been my therapy to re-engage with society again after isolating so badly from PTSD. Meeting total strangers has become my daily regimen to recovery.
Enter Joshua on that pre-Thanksgiving day. He allowed me to walk up to him and share my story with him. I told him what happened on that suicidal night when that moment of laughter changed my life. Thus I explained the significance of Stephen Colbert and my big goal to become a guest on his show.
Joshua is one of the most important people I’ve met…ever. Had he (the first person) dismissed me completely that day, I might have just given up on this therapy. It could have destroyed all hope that was in me. And that just might have turned me to the dark side for good.
He wasn’t dismissive of me though. He used no mind tricks on me to have me go away. He simply listened. And that is incredibly powerful and helpful for survivors of sexual assault. We need people to do just that…listen to us and hear our stories.
Joshua is the only person I’ve met on this 1,288 day cross country journey who saw a blank poster board. And yet he signed support on that first board for all my efforts to overcome PTSD and get on that show.
His actions said it all. I believe you. I support you. The first two very important steps to help sexual assault survivors as found in the STARTBYBELIEVING.ORG site. Please visit this site.
That first message came to represent something amazing on this journey. It is a moment of fear overcome not once, but twice. We fear what we do not know. I did not know Joshua. He did not know me. He took a chance on me. I took a chance on him.
Many months later, I would meet a group of strangers taking a break outside an improv theatre. I learned something from those guys and gals puffing on their Parliaments that gave me a better understanding of how to manage this thing called fear.
They told me the main tenet of improv is to follow the fear. It is only when you follow the fear that you truly realize the magic on the other side. And these wise Jedi masters passed that knowledge on to me.
Every day on this journey I’ve had little reason to use my light saber. Fear was not to be my enemy. I’ve embraced that fear and used it to make me stronger and find that magic every day. And I’ve done that now with tens of thousands of complete strangers I’ve personally met across the U.S. over 1,288 days.
There are now 28,921 moments of fear that have been overcome (twice) and are represented on 443 giant foam poster boards I’ve carried on this journey to vanquish my Death Star (sexual assault and PTSD) as I also gather support to become that guest on The Late Show.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about THE QUESTION that pops up during this journey. It’s a question that can impede the ability for many in our LGBT community to begin healing from sexual assault.
On the 13thday, I took a deep breath and answered the question for the first time. And I nervously waited for a response…
Editor's note: This article of hope and support is brought to you by that guy with a lot more to share. That guy with more stories than One Kansas City Place is Ron Blake. You can find him on Facebook here.