A Male’s Brave Journey to Becoming a Survivor

Meet Nathaniel.

A rounded glasses kind of guy wearing a baggy sports t-shirt, he sits in a cozy chair reading a book, sipping on a Starbucks drink he blended into the mall atmosphere. To many he looks like the average guy. There is something more to Nate, however. He has a special story to tell.

Nate’s personal journey is beyond average. His story begins with a childhood of violence, but because he allowed hope to be an important aspect of his story he has chosen to become a survivor of violence. Nate’s story is one not of despair, but of hope and courage. It’s a story of healing that will make anyone weep, but also smile because of Nate’s strength to pick himself back up. His story is one that should be shared broadly to other survivors.

Nate is also on this path to heal others because of his own experience with childhood abuse. As Nate bravely opened up about his story of physical, verbal and mental abuse along with being trafficked as a child, he realized he dissociated himself for years to protect himself growing up. The memories continued to stay in his body and mind. Over twenty years later he is coming to terms with his violent childhood experiences. He struggles to face the violent memories, but he is no longer willing to let it control his life. He is a fighter, a searcher and on his journey of discovering what it feels to be a survivor.

Two of Nate close friends have committed suicide because they were no longer able to deal with the memories of their violence. They no longer had hope. It scared him almost to death. Nate had a choice: He could choose to live or he could also choose not to. Nate made the choice to live and help others live too.

He remembers what it felt like to be at his friends’ funerals. He knew death wasn’t the answer for him, but in order to fully understand this he had to dig deeper into his trauma. That meant not covering it up with alcohol, like he did in the past. Rather, he had to put the pieces together in a way that he knew would allow him take back control of his life.

Every day is a battle, but Nate won’t give up. He has hope. He understands his violence does not define him as a person. He is smart, funny and can connect with people on a deeper and very personal level because of his experience. Nate is the definition of a survivor. And survivors everywhere honor and support him as he continues his journey.

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