Beyond Survival: Voices of Healing – DJ’s Story

my name is DJ and I am a male survivor for the last seven years I have been
trying to reconcile all of those different challenges of my lives and
trying to make sense of who I am and growing from this experience and one of
the most helpful things is to talk about, is to share, is to you know be open,
transparent, authentic about my story and about my healing and reaching out to
other survivors and providing the space and compassion and you know
opportunities for them to share and be open and honest. And that’s what’s been
really helpful for my healing. I go to therapy. I’m continuously involved in
12-step recovery. I’m open to you know group therapy. There’s just so many
different ways to heal and each avenue I take I learn
something. So if I share my story by you know, helping other survivors,
creating space for healing one day at a time,
I continue to grow. Just this past year and a half I took a
new direction. My husband and I adopted a son, and I wasn’t prepared.
(chuckles) I thought I was gonna be prepared but I wasn’t prepared for what
triggers would come up for me and my abuse history. I’m very protective of my son; he’s autistic, and so I have to have more of my eye on him, and my attention on him. And he doesn’t have all the words that he would need to communicate if
something were to happen to him and so, it’s been really hard for me to allow my
son to spend time with adults, caregivers, teachers, therapists, and not hover. I try
to accept that these healing professionals would not cause harm to my son; and I have to extend a little faith. You know I I didn’t get sober overnight
I had to do the work and part of my work of you know accepting that I’m a
survivor and that I can protect my son is to have a little faith that my higher
power that has guided me and protected me will also guide and protect him. And
it gives me some sense of peace. The most joyful part of being a father is
(laughs) my little boy is so creative. Just seeing him
test the waters, just seeing him take opportunities and take those healthy
risks. But my son is quite intelligent and that provides me a lot of joy to see him
be his own unique self. I don’t think that I could have been a father if I
have not done this healing. I think it’s necessary that I continue to do my work
so I can be a present, proactive, and involved father. I think if you know, I
had tried to have kids many, many years ago but it just didn’t work out and I
think it wasn’t right, I wasn’t ready. I needed to be in this place where I could work on healing my own inner
child before I could have a child. you

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