Tonight's special guest is Brian S from India, a former boarding school student who survived severe long-term physical and sexual abuse. After being sent to live at the school at age 9, Brian disclosed the physical abuse he experienced by the hostel warden and the school principal to his family. Tragically, he was forced to stay at the school being told things like, “you need to learn to be brave and deal with these things,” and, “there are other children living in the same situation as you. If they can manage it, why can't you? Don't try to run away from life. Be brave.” Brian describes feeling worn down physically and mentally after the first few years of enduring constant violence that left him feeling hopeless. It was at that already low point at age 11 when the sexual abuse began and lasted for 4 years. For three decades after leaving school Brian tried to focus on working hard while he continued suffering the impact of trauma including insomnia, flashbacks, an eating disorder, and chronic stress. He was unable to have close relationships due to issues with trust, insecurity, and needing validation. Then about 2 years ago Brian began his healing journey through working with a therapist and psychiatrist for counseling, medication, and EMDR therapy along with listening to Buddhist chants, practicing yoga and meditation, and walking briskly for 45 minutes per day. Brian describes his recovery process, "While I feel much better now, I still have some distance to go in terms of truly loving myself. I still struggle with publicly disclosing my experience. I have so far disclosed only to a very small number of people," he says. We're looking forward to hearing his story and welcoming Brian to the NAASCA family. We invite you to call-in to join the conversation and give your support.
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