Who Am I?

I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who ask themselves that same question.

A tough reality hit me in my late thirties when I Googled the words anger and abuse. I trembled with fear and my heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest when I came to the painful conclusion about my abusive tendencies. After years of therapy and moments of self-realization, I learned how childhood trauma and abuse can affect our mental health as adults. What I also learned were the necessary skills to reshape my negative beliefs which I aggressively practiced and applied daily. I started to become the potential that others saw and developed self-empowering beliefs that eventually led me to become a public speaker for mental health, an instructor teaching workshops on anxiety and anger and last but not least, an author.

I soon noticed that my friends started opening up the dialogue to me about mental health, then family members did so as well. Eventually strangers started approaching me with their stories of struggle.

I realized that everyone has a story to share and it’s a matter of finding that delicate space to do that in. I found my voice through my book and blogs which connected with people, especially other childhood abuse and trauma survivors.

I discovered that the majority of abuse survivors have been too afraid to share their stories. Like me, they feared being judged or dismissed. And also like me, it was too painful and embarrassing to talk about. But when I openly shared my story to the world, others realized they were no longer alone.

So, who am I?

Other than being a father to a teenage son, I’m the guy next door who experienced childhood abuse, trauma and mental health struggles with family members. I learned that lived experiences and non-clinical perspectives can be invaluable recovery tools because that’s where empathy and compassion can truly emerge.

When I helped others open up the difficult dialogue, I felt they were beginning to break their own barriers. At that point I learned that I can make a difference, thus I began Trigger Happi™.

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Photo courtesy of Kristi MacFarlane Photography