However, Theo spoke primarily about the devastating affect sexual abuse had on his life and the healing work he's done in recent years. Roaming calmly back and forth across the stage, Theo talked with confidence and, at times, intensity about his experiences of abuse, addiction, healing, and recovery.
From what I've read in his book and what I heard the other night, I would guess that for Theo, being sexually abused by his hockey coach was probably one of the worst betrayals he could have experienced. Theo had been passionate, determined, and intently focused on hockey as a boy. He spoke of how hockey filled his mind and life when he was young. So, to begin finding recognition and success in his beloved sport, and then to be sexually abused by his coach, must have sent that young boy reeling into confusion, terror, and despair.
These are common reactions to childhood sexual abuse, and Theo conveyed the impact of his experiences with power, honesty, and serenity -- evidence of the great amount of work he has done to help himself and to reach out to others.
I admire and commend Theo for speaking so openly and publicly about his struggles and his glories along the healing road. I appreciated the straightforward, real way in which he talked with the audience. His air of gratitude and comfort in his own skin felt real and natural. We could all have been sitting around his kitchen table having a cup of coffee together.
If you'd like to know more about Theo's powerful advocacy regarding sexual abuse, click here to check out his website, http://www.theofleury14.com/. Read about his energetic work on behalf of other children who have been and are being sexually abused. On Theo's website you'll find links to several organizations, two of which I list here:
- The Men's Project: "... a non-profit charitable men's counselling agency that has been providing services to men and their families since 1997. The Men's Project provides individual and couple counselling, as well as a specialized healing program for men who have experienced sexual or physical abuse as children, anger management, emotional intelligence, and fathering."
- 1 in 6: "...To help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. This includes providing resources for people who care about them."
It was not your fault. Period.
You don't have to carry your feelings & memories alone; help is available.
Unfortunately, many children get abused sexually, but healing is truly, absolutely possible.
Theo Fleury and I are two examples of that truth.
Please, ask someone for help. Read some books. Click here to read my other blog posts about sexual abuse.
Life can be better.
One of them
I read Theo's book a few months ago