Tonight's special guest is Thomas Edward from San Jose, an abuse survivor and activist who for the last 14 years has had a passion for male survivor resiliency coaching through the Healing Broken Men Center. "Although very challenging in overcoming the taboo and stigmas surrounding male sexual abuse," he says, "it's rewarding to help other men reclaim life." Thomas was sexually abused, raped, cut with glass, burned with cigarettes and tortured starting at around age 6. The childhood abuse was perpetrated by male and female relatives and friends. "At times the devastating trauma left me curled up in a fetal position under my bed, avoiding any type of human contact," he says, "not going outside." Into his adulthood he craved safe healthy touch and affection. "Spirituality was important for me, but when I began to experience flashbacks, triggers, somatic problems, emotional issues, suicidal ideations from the abuse, my faith community abandoned me." During a final suicide attempt a friend reached out and intervened, setting him on a new healing path. It includes an exploration of many Eastern and Western therapies and spiritual techniques. "In 2001, I decided to take what I had learned on my healing journey to begin coaching and helping other male survivors and founded Healing Broken Men," he says. Today as a male survivor resiliency life coach, he conducts workshops and weekend retreats. Thomas has written several books: “Scared Boys, Terrified Men” and is finishing up “19 Million and Counting: male survivors rising from the ashes of childhood sexual abuse and betrayal.” Thomas says, "Today I have a smile."
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