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From Attempted Suicide to Marrying Miss USA: How I Overcame Childhood Molestation

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I always wanted to be normal, but I never really got a chance.

In 4th grade an older kid in the neighborhood molested me. I knew something was off, but he convinced me this was normal. It wasn’t, and when I hit puberty in junior high I concluded I was a freak and damaged goods.

And then the bullying started. Maybe it all stemmed from a growing self-hatred, but I made a promise that no one would ever see my pain. So, I crafted a carefully designed, bullet-proof image and act.

I kept everything perfect on the outside because everything was collapsing within.

And I withdrew and became lonely, but no one knew. In between classes, I went to the bathroom to hide and wipe my face from anxiety-induced oil and sweat. I was tardy daily, hoping to avoid the dreaded section of the hallway where bullies would mock me.

Then New Year’s Eve my sophomore year came, and I no longer had friends. My parents and sister were celebrating with their friends. I was home alone watching some music video countdown.

Where were my mom’s keys? She always put them on top of the bread box. I wasn’t 16 yet, so I wasn’t going to drive. I was going to commit suicide.

I frantically looked everywhere to find them, but nothing. Finally I went down to the kitchen and pulled out a knife. I was tired of the mask. It would be better for everyone to see my misery this way. My parents would finally understand.

But, before I could do it, I laid down and started crying.

For I know the plans for you. I have plans for hope and a future.

It was the first time I heard from God. Not an audible voice, just a whisper only my  soul understood. A peace came over me, a vision of hope, and it was enough for me to put the knife back in the drawer.

I would’ve missed out on so much. I would’ve missed the friends who came into my life a few months later. I would’ve missed being on student council. I would’ve missed speaking at graduation. I would’ve missed becoming radically popular in college: president of a fraternity, Greek God, Homecoming King. I would’ve missed becoming the #1 sales representative in my company. I would’ve missed winning a bodybuilding competition. I would’ve missed moving to Los Angeles, and becoming friends with other movers and shakers. I would’ve missed meeting Kristen: Miss USA, my dream girl, and now my wife. I would’ve missed the most amazing close group of friends a former lonely guy could’ve asked for.

You are not alone.

It’s the worst lie you could ever believe. Have you heard the statistics? 1 in 6 guys are sexually abused before 18, and this is probably an underestimate.

You do have hope and a future. It might seem hopeless this moment, but hold on…there is greatness waiting for you.

Is everything perfect for me now? No, but I’m on a worthwhile journey, and you can start too.

The first step starts with transparency.

It was my junior year of college when I finally opened up to my fellow campus ministry leaders. One of the girls on the team told me a few days later she was sexually abused by her dad.

The more I shared, the more I discovered there were many others battling just like me.

We’re all fighting great battles. Don’t do it alone. 

Each time I’ve shared, I’ve taken another step to discovering my greatness.

One of the bullies asked me a few years ago if he was a jerk to me in high school. He apologized, and said it was because he was jealous of my accomplishments.

Have you shared?

Thank you Lewis Howes for opening up and being authentic. You’ve inspired me to write this, and I hope many more men will open up and find healing.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. While it’s difficult to write and share knowing it’s now solidly revealed, I hope others find hope through my story. For more information, go to RAINN.org and 1in6.org.

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17 Responses to From Attempted Suicide to Marrying Miss USA: How I Overcame Childhood Molestation

  1. 1 + The One May 12, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey, Your story is an inspirational one and I believe that many people will be blessed by reading about the faithfulness of God in your life and the fact that He has a purpose for every single person, irrespective of what has happened or how you feel about yourself. He thinks the world about each of us and nothing could change that. God bless you Kris

    • Kris Wolfe May 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      You are so right. There is hope for every single one of us. We aren’t judged by a worldly standard, but an all-inclusive standard where each of us are deemed worthy.

  2. tyler ward May 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Beautiful Kris. Thanks for the vulnerability. It will help many.

    • Kris Wolfe May 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      I got so many messages yesterday. If one person was inspired, it was worth posting this article. I’m overwhelmed by the response.

  3. Jorge M May 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    The greater
    the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. I truly admire you Kris. Have a
    great week. PEACE

    • Kris Wolfe May 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Thank you Jorge. I truly believe the Creator can take what was intended for harm and turn it into good. It’s a message everyone need to know.

  4. Davis Orders May 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    This is going to change lives. Thanks for being transparent Kris.

    • Kris Wolfe May 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Thank you. I really believe transparency is the only way to healing.

  5. jarid tolson May 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Hey Kris! I got it working, just registered my email. What I was going to comment was that of course you know this article touched my heart for sure. I am glad to see that openness and honesty is setting people free from core based beliefs! Daily I see more and more people finding hope through your articles man.
    Good stuff
    Jarid

  6. Barbara Carnes Braud May 17, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    I have a 6 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. Is there anything I, as a parent, could do to prevent that from happening to them, or at least recognize signs in their behavior if it already has?

    • Ruben May 17, 2014 at 5:27 am #

      Yes. Have them do the Landmark Forum for Young People ages 8-12. Kids there learn how to effectively deal with bullying, kids with past sexual abuse learn how not to be defined by it, they learn leadership skills, and much much more. I did the one for adults 6 years ago and healed past abuse and created a whole new future for myself.

    • Kris Wolfe May 20, 2014 at 1:47 am #

      That’s tough Barbara. It’s very important to keep the lines of communication open, especially during the teenage years. The only signs my parents had were my behavioral issues at school.

  7. Brook Clemenson Harden May 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    Kris,
    Thanks for sharing and for being willing to be vulnerable for others. I am so glad that you are at peace and that God is using your life for good. He truly works all things together for good for those who love Him…Romans 8:28.
    Blessings-

    • Kris Wolfe May 20, 2014 at 1:48 am #

      Considering you were one of those friends God brought into my life, and you were the first person I told, I’m forever grateful to have had a friend like you who prayed for me daily.

      • Brook Clemenson Harden May 20, 2014 at 2:12 am #

        I always knew God had great plans for you. It brings me joy to see that you are living a victorious life. 🙂

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