Tonight's special guest is David (Bill) Lester from Pensacola, Florida, a child abuse survivor who says, "The basic facts about my life made me a victim at first, but have now turned me into a Survivor Forever. I do not share these things to garner any pity, sympathy, empathy or the like. I do this to help others and to 'Shatter the Silence and Shine A Light Into the Shadows'." Bill's had many trials in his life but has emerged thinking himself as being graced. "My dad died when I was 2 years old," Bill says. "My family life would have to be classified as dysfunctional. We grew up in the church." He goes on, "When I was around 9 years old the Director of Music and Christian Education started grooming me for the many years of sexual abuse and rape to follow." Bill was bullied by his older brother and in school, and notes he's come "with-in a razor's edge of suicide" a number of times, a victim of racist attacks during his middle and high school years. "I lived in that 'silence and darkness' until my 40's," Bill writes. "My carefully wound up secrets started escaping from the walled off compartment in my brain. It took a while but I forgave my abuser. That was my best gift to myself from God." He started his own successful business, got married and had a daughter. Things were looking up. Then 'life-on-life's terms' interceded, in the form of a couple of car accidents that left him with major traumatic injuries, and he lost the business. He went through rehabs and recovery from drug use, but he's emerged determined to use his story to help others. As Bill says, "Men and women need to know that they do not need to feel shame from what happened. They need to know how strong they are for having survived and the shatter the silence that has kept them trapped."
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