I am a survivor.
I took me over 25 years to tell my family. It took me over 35 years to speak about it publicly. I am a doctor. I am a professional. I am a son. I am loved by many kind and amazing people.
On May 28th, 2019 I introduced myself, while giving a presentation on trauma to survivors of Indian Residential, that I was a survivor of childhood sexual assault. I found my voice.
I was 5, a family member assaulted me sexually for over a year. I remember every smell, taste and detail. I remember going to hockey games, movies and swimming. I remember being told it was our secret.
Today, I am happy. I live day by day expecting better of myself. I choose to ensure my life is grounded in the idea that I must speak the truth – decided what is true, necessary and kind. To do what’s right and not what’s easy. I get beat up – at times – and I keep standing tall.
We are not and should not be defined by how hard we fall but rather how fast we get back up and continue to fight. Shed light on darkness. I share this in a moment of vulnerability. We must rise up against evil. We must find hope in darkness.
I am a survivor, not a victim.