How "Safe Place" Got Me the Life I Wanted
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- Raj -

What did I want in life: 
 

  • a six-figure career

  • the ability to be loving and affectionate towards my kids

  • to feel comfortable in my skin

  • to retire by age sixty 

  • to have healthy relationship with a partner

  • stop feeling like a loser

  • stop dysfunctional coping habits 

  • weight of guilt and shame lessened

  • stop feeling less than masculine and uncreative 

  • stop people-pleasing

That's it! It doesn't seem like much. Yet after years of therapy, I remained stuck. Finally, I understood some of the complexities of childhood sexual abuse. Still, I had no practical tools or strategies to overcome the small daily dysfunctional habits and patterns that equated to living a miserable life. For example, although recruited as a senior code programmer, impostor syndrome plagued every position. Resulting in being overlooked for promotions or pay increases. In addition, my relationships were bogged down with insecurities to the point where people-pleasing became detrimental. That relationship with her ended with divorce and partial custody of the twins. Finally, let's not discuss the non-existent pool of guy friends or the inability to disrobe in the locker room at the gym. I'm 5'11 at 180 lbs with a BMI of 19. I'm shredded. These were significant lingering issues that the therapy did not address. Plus, although great at theory, my therapist could not impart practical tools. So I chose the coping distraction of being a gym rat attracted to closet porn. I can't believe I am saying this, but if it helps someone else, I'm down with it! Closet porn is a term we used in religious circles where you claimed spiritual fidelity in the presence of other members but struggled with sexual urges, fantasies, and chaos like everyone else. 

 

My initial interaction with Coach T from "Safe Place" was a bit unsettling. It freaked me. It felt different than my therapist. If I didn't know better, you could have convinced me that, like Criss Angel from MINDFREAK, he read my mind. No mind games could be played. But instead, the way he interwove probing, thought-provoking questions while answering my inquiries with cordial, competent insights blew me away. I could not hide. Then I received a 200-page personal transformational binder via mail with a marker set, laminated monthly to-do poster, dry erase markers, pair of noise-canceling headphones, a yearly writing journal, and a birthday gift card for Cold Stone Creamery. I was 44 years old. We worked together for two years. Traveling between states for in-person coaching and hypnosis sessions. He's kick-ass dedicated when you allow him the space to do what he does best, coach, support, and care while holding you accountable to your goals. 

 

Today I'm retired at 54 years old. Not a loser. Enjoying my life, being comfortable in my skin, enjoying time with my kids, and no longer feeling inferior or different. The significant difference for me was the entirety of the coaching. We didn't just work through the past childhood sexual abuse narrative but the areas where it had influenced my life in the present. The bonus for me arrived in the form of being coached by a former executive business coach. As part of the coaching, I hired him to help me create my own business, and I surpassed the six figures. One of the things Coach T always asks when working with survivors is, "How do you plan to give back to this community?" Well, I decided to sponsor a couple of financial scholarships as my ROI. There are no words that can come close to the joyful feelings I experience each day. The network of friends and other male survivors in my life. I shudder to think where I wouldn't be today if I had not reached out to him. My only words of encouragement if you are reading this are, "Don't let anything stop you! Don't be afraid to ask Coach T for help."