I Share Hope

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Story. Action. Hope.

Stories about hope and ways to share hope

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Michael Broussard

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“There was a time in my life where I looked up and I did not see white or hope at all. I didn’t feel like things would ever change and for me hope has become defined as the understanding that things can and will change and you, as an individual, have control over what direction that change takes and have control over seeing hope. It’s a point of view, it’s a perspective thing. It’s hard to get to when you’re in a very dark place, but I’d just like to tell everybody out there who may be in that place, that tomorrows can be completely different from your yesterdays. Hope that it’s going to get better, do things to make it better and it will. I’m Michael Broussard, author and performer of the interactive stage show Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor, and I Share Hope.” – Michael Broussard

“Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor” author and performer Michael Broussard is the producer, director and emcee of the Five Minute Follies, Philadelphia’s only ongoing family friendly vintage variety show. He is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Michael’s abuse came at the hands of a trusted guardian, his stepfather. While children are often warned about “stranger danger”, studies show that 75% to 90% of offenders are known to the child. Often they are a family member, a friend, or a well respected person in the community.

The long term effects of this abuse have followed Michael well into adulthood and have affected every aspect of his life. Every relationship, whether personal or professional, has been colored by the abuse.

Like many survivors, Michael struggles daily with a host of mental health conditions, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and chronic low self esteem.

“Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor” is Michael’s way of taking back the power from his abuser and reaching out to his fellow survivors to tell them they can do the same. And while the show is fairly intense and sometimes dark in nature, it also includes a healthy amount of humor and, ultimately, a very positive, empowering and triumphant message of hope and healing.



 

38: Michael Broussard – Ask a sex abuse survivor about hope – #isharehope

“There was a time in my life where I looked up and I did not see white or hope at all. I didn’t feel like things would ever change and for me hope has become defined as the understanding that things can and will change and you, as an individual, have control over what direction that change takes and have control over seeing hope. It’s a point of view, it’s a perspective thing. It’s hard to get to when you’re in a very dark place, but I’d just like to tell everybody out there who may be in that place, that tomorrows can be completely different from your yesterdays. Hope that it’s going to get better, do things to make it better and it will. I’m Michael Broussard, author and performer of the interactive stage show Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor, and I Share Hope.” – Michael Broussard

Intro:
Welcome to I Share Hope! The podcast where world leaders share their real stories of hope and how you can use actionable hope to start changing your life today and now here’s your host, Chris Williams.

Chris Williams:

Michael Broussard is with us today sharing hope, so if you don’t know who Michael is yet, you will soon. Michael is a guy who has turned his story into a story… I don’t know how else to say that. He’s got a performance and a set of things that he does on stage, I’m trying not to let the cat out of the bag here, and ways that communicates to certain groups that is really powerful and takes something tragic and brings it back around to hope and a place where people can actually talk about something they may have never talked about before.

So Michael, we will get more and more into that I’m sure, but first of all tell us a little about you. Where are you at today, what are you up to in life?

Michael Broussard:

Well, I’m working very heavily in theater. One of the additional things I do is I produce, direct and host a show called The Five-Minute Follies which is a variety show. Have you ever seen the old Ed Sullivan Show?

Chris Williams:

Absolutely.

Michael Broussard:

It’s that idea. It’s comics, magicians, jugglers, all kinds of crazy acts and that’s the thing I do for fun. I have a great time in seeing those and telling stupid jokes and presenting all these great stuff. We get families coming to it, we’ve had three generations of families coming to it, so that’s probably the thing I do that gives me a great, great amount of joy in life.

Chris Williams:

That’s cool. I love it. So, Michael you get to jump in here and I’m going to ask question one through five and you know how this goes. We ask 1000 people on the globe from all walks of life these same five questions and we’re compiling that in a form of a research project and now obviously a podcast people can listen to.

Question 1: What is your definition of hope or your favorite quote about hope?

Michael Broussard:

I think my definition of hope has grown over the years I’ve been on this planet basically. Not that I was on another planet before, but there was a time in my life where I looked up and I did not see white or hope at all. I didn’t feel like things would ever change and for me hope has become defined as the understanding that things can and will change and that you, as an individual, have control over what direction that change takes and have control over seeing hope. It’s a point of view, it’s a perspective thing. It’s hard to get to when you’re in a very dark place, but I just like to tell everybody out there who may be in that place, your tomorrows can be completely different from your yesterdays.

Hope that it’s going to get better do things to make it better and it will.

Chris Williams:

Man that’s really good. I love the part about you have control over how you’re working through that and it really does sometimes seem like we don’t have any control, it’s too dark, but you’re right. There is more tomorrow and there is something you can do about it.

Michael Broussard:

Absolutely.

Chris Williams:

Well, with that definition then,

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you? Who has really given that to you in life?

Michael Broussard:

I would like to talk about two different people that I’ve got, well two different avenues that I’ve gotten hope from, first is my wife Christy. I went through a lot of very bad relationships in my life and they were often negatively affected by the trauma and the difficulty that I have seen in my life. Christy was the first person to patiently walk me through the stress and the trauma and support me while I was growing, getting better and finding hope in life and finding reasons to be happy. She’s been an immense, immense influence on my positive outlook. I cannot thank her enough.

The other thing that gives me a great amount of hope specifically in reference to the show that I do is that we now have something called social media. When I was growing up – now when you say specifically what I went through with childhood sexual abuse and that has an immense far-reaching effect on your psyche. It can leave you in a place where you feel very shut off, very alone, you don’t want to talk to anyone, you’re afraid to talk to anyone and when I was a kid, there was no Facebook, there was no Twitter, there was none of these stuff. Now, we have all these social media outlets so these people like myself, who maybe at that stage when they’re sad, when they’re afraid, when they think if they talk to anybody about this they’re going to run away, can establish relationships with people at a distance via social media and can find other people who’ve been through the same trauma by searching out pages and searching out advocacy groups and searching out peer to peer support groups online.

So, we who cannot face people yet and speak to them in person can grow our ability to speak in person about this, can grow our ability to make human connection through social media. That is giving me an enormous amount of hope not just for healing for people who have been through what I’ve been through, but also for the potential change we can affect in the way the justice system sees these crimes, in the way clinicians, psychologists treats patients, in public policy the more of us there are and the more connected we are the more we can do.

I would like to speak specifically of this organization called Safe Kids International. One of the things they do and their main thrust is they advocate for kids who have been taken out of the home away from their protected parent – that’s the one who’s looking after them and either given to the parent who abused them or put into a foster home. What they do is they do direct advocacy to get that kid back with the parent who will protect them. Without social media, those kind of campaigns would not be possible. So, the whole social media thing as much as it gets knocked sometimes, for survivors like myself, is the biggest, most important asset we have.

Chris Williams:

I couldn’t agree more. I really couldn’t agree more. I’m thrilled and agree with you on Christy, your wife, I her position in your life in sharing hope, the same story of hope. I’m a survivor of sexual abuse as well, childhood sexual abuse and my wife has been tremendous. But you’re right, the ability to tiptoe into a conversation when you can still stay a little private and not expose everything and doing that online is so helpful because it just gets you started. Wow man, that’s good.

Michael Broussard:

It’s interesting that you say you are also a survivor because – I don’t know if you’ve experienced this or not, but there’s a thing with survivors where sometimes you can kind of feel it coming that someone else is going to turn out to be a survivor as well. I felt a little of that in your tone, but I was just waiting to see how the conversation opened up. There are people who, literally, I have sat down with, looked at across a table, I’ve never met before and they say one thing and my mind goes, “they’re one of us”.

Chris Williams:

I know exactly what you mean. It’s weird isn’t it?

Michael Broussard:

Yes, it’s weird and it’s wonderful. It bring us together and it bridges that gap where most people are terrified to speak about whatever is inside them that is making them feel so lost. Bridging that gap is like an amazing moment in life that hardly ever happens, but when it does happen it’s just magical.

Chris Williams:

It is. I think I get more out of that when I get to share a little of my story with somebody else who is just beginning the journey. I grow and heal so much. You think, well I’ve already healed, no, you’re healing constantly and no matter what trauma you’ve been through in life, if you get to a point where you can start sharing your story and helping somebody else, that’s a huge part of the healing. That’s great.

Michael Broussard:

Wow. Yes that is. It’s so nice to actually talk to another person who gets that completely, so thank you.

Chris Williams:

Yes, thank you. Well Michael, you’re on that note, you’re sharing way more about you and your story than most people that I’ve heard of. If it’s one in six people who have been abused between age 0 and 18 as children or if it’s 1 in 20, whatever statistics you follow in that range, there is still way too many and with that huge number there are very, very few who actually communicate their story and really, publicly address this issue. That’s what you do.

Question 3: Take us back to a time and help us see what was going on when you were at that hopeless place you mentioned ago because a lot of people would look at you and say, well your past that you feel, it must not have been that bad. I could never end up like you with this much hope. Well, where did you come from?

Michael Broussard:

I have to tell you that first of all and I’m sure you will understand this and many people in the audience will understand this as well, to say that I’m “past it”, that will never be 100% true. One of the things that came up in therapy was I kept going to therapy thinking it was going to fix me and one day I was going to wake up and I was going to be fine and I wouldn’t have to try anymore to deal with this stuff. What I learned from the good therapist I’ve had is that it’s more about managing it. You learn to manage it so you can do something that you need to do.

I will tell you right now, I think this is important for everybody to know who’s gone through trauma or has these kinds of life difficulties, my therapist, my most recent therapist and the one before that said the same thing to me:
If you have a time, a day where you wake up and things are so bad that you can’t deal, don’t deal. Watch TV, read a book, catch your way through it because you need that energy to go to the next thing.

The next thing, like you say, what I do, I get out on stage and I tell my story. This is a very private story. To do that, I need to take care of myself as well. It is actually a great and very hopeful thing that we can manage so we can function. It just takes a lot of time. Going back to what happened to me, I was molested by my stepfather, a trusted guardian. I think that’s something that people need to understand too. It’s that children are always warned about stranger danger, but statistically it is far more likely that the person that molests you is going to be a family member or a family friend or a trusted person or can even be someone you know. That just completely screws with your head because you’re looking at this person who’s supposed to take care of you and they’re putting pain into you and they don’t care how you feel. It doesn’t matter to them how you feel. It’s only about how they feel.

At that time, over the course of the time that I was being molested, my psyche – you’re talking about a kid that’s seven years old. My psyche, I’m still creating who I’m going to be. I’m still creating my outlook in life. My outlook became life will always be pain. I am not important. I just have to live through it and that’s it and just deal because this is the way life is going to be. That was a very dark time for me and that didn’t end. I mean I was molested by several other people before I was 13, but even after that, that didn’t end. That went well into my teen years and into my 20s and into my 30s. It grew a little bit, but there was this dark outlook on life.

One of the first things that changed it for me, this sounds kind of silly, but when I was in my early 20s, I was to the point where I was agoraphobic where I was terrified to go out the front door that I couldn’t walk outside without getting a panic attack so bad that I couldn’t breathe. I would just tremble from head to toe. Nothing would get me out that front door because I was so horrified by the idea of other people. Back then, we didn’t have social media, so what I did was I joined a bunch of sci-fi fan clubs. I was a sci-fi geek through the mail and I got myself some pen pals, people like to talk to at a distance in the same way we were talking before that safe distance that social media now forwards. I was also a Doctor Who geek an I got a flyer for a Doctor Who convention. Now as I said, I was terrified to go out my front door, but the doctor I was watching on television, Tom Baker, was going to be in Boston. I lived in Massachusetts at the time. Boston is a short bus ride away.

It’s really ironic and kind of funny that nothing could get me out the front door except the chance to see Tom Baker because my God, will he ever come back? My God, that’s my doctor and at the time the doctor meant a lot to me because I have a friend now who is also a Doctor Who fan who says the same thing who, like me, he didn’t have a male figure in his life, he didn’t have a father figure in his life. His mother was largely absent and my mother was largely absent. The doctor to him, the doctor’s heroic attitude, the doctor’s pacifistic outlook that war was the last option, that the first option was talk and understand, that he was this character you could look to and say there’s principle and there’s ethics I could follow. He meant so much to me. This is a TV character, but being in that state and alone and no one to turn to, that was my example of what a great man was. That dragged me out of the door. I went to a convention. I looked at my shoes, I stood in the autograph line and tried not to talk to anybody because I was terrified, but I got cornered by other fans into talking about things and before I knew it I was talking to people who wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about and who weren’t so scary after all.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened over time. I got involved in a Doctor Who club, I started hanging out with people more, I basically learned how to socialize through fandom and learned how to make friends and how to have human relationships through fandom. The same friend I was talking about before, he made a comment at one point that when we were young, we were geeks, we were nerds, we were the people in school nobody talked to, so we never learned our social skills through high school the way some people do. We learned our social skills through fandom and it was just as effective. Knowing that there were people I could talk to, knowing that there were people that were like-minded made me feel less alone. The big, huge, gigantic turning point came when I finally met a fan who I felt close enough to that I could tell her about the abuse with still that little fear in the back of my mind if they found out this, they’re going to not want to deal with me, they’re going to run away and they’re just like – I can’t even talk to you.

This woman, when I told her, she held me and we cried. I told her how horrible my home life was, I told her about the violence and the terror of the way that I lived, the fact that no one would let me talk about the abuse, no one would let me share, no one would let me try to process it, I was just told to forget it and put it behind me by everybody in my family, I told her about all these stuff. She said why don’t you come down here – this is in the Philly area, why don’t you come down here, stay with me while you get a job and get on your feet so you can escape? That was a gigantic turning point in my life. I was able to get away from all of the darkness. I was in a small town, a tiny town which meant everybody knew your business, so while people didn’t know what I’ve been through sexual abuse wise, they did know I was this weird kid who looked at the floor and didn’t talk to anybody. That made me a target, that made me a figure of mockery, that made me somebody to pick on, basically I was a weirdo.

Getting away from that town and all those people and getting away from the people, my horrible, horrible, terrifying home life, violent home life, getting away from all of that, getting away from this gag order that had been pushed down upon me by my family, that was like a weight coming off my chest. That was the real, absolute turning point in my recovery. It was getting away from that and learning to stand on my own two feet and learning that thing were different in other parts of the world, learning that people were different, learning that not everybody wanted me to shut up, learning that people were supportive, learning that people cared, that was a gigantic thing for me.

Chris Williams:

Wow, man that’s great and so cool that this woman gave you an open door to take. Wow. So few people have the insight to do that. Most people, when they hear somebody’s tragedy, they don’t know what to say and they think maybe the best thing to do is just pull back and not get in somebody’s business. That’s great. Wow. With that moving forward, I see that progression of you obviously coming through the process and getting more and more freedom and more and more light shining into your heart and your soul, your background that became so dark, you’re doing a lot now.

Question 4: So, tell us more, what are you doing now, today, as far as you’ve come and still healing, as you said, we’re always healing, what are you doing now to share hope with other people?

Michael Broussard:

I have this show that we’ve alluded to a couple of times called Ask A Sex Abuse Survivor. It’s a stage show. It is a one-man show, but it is interactive and I designed it basically around the way that I process information. It’s not scripted per se, I have an outline and I know what I’m going to talk about and I know the story I’m going to tell because it’s my story. I get up there and I tell my story. One of the unusual things that I do, I did not realize how unusual this was until someone pointed it out to me, is that throughout the performance, there are moments when I would tell part of my story then stop, then go to the audience for comments and questions and sometimes people tell their own stories.

So, I allow that break and that conversation to affect the way I tell the next part of the story. Each performance is a conversation about childhood sexual abuse, about my experiences, about the experiences of people in the audience, about things that we can do to change things and help about things we need to talk about, it becomes this conversation.

I have found that by doing it that way, I have actually helped people, survivors who have come to the show to be more hopeful about their future and about how they can manage and how they can actually flourish as opposed to just survive. That’s been a wonderful surprise for me because for me, I was up there and I want to have this conversation, this is going to be good for me and I want to also tell – I mean from the beginning I was like, I want to reach out to my fellow survivors because I want them to know like I know now that we’re not alone, but I didn’t realize how much it would succeed.

The first time I did the show, the show ends on a hopeful, healing not and there’s several bits throughout the show that talk about that and talk about how we can manage things. I had a survivor, a person I’ve known for years – so I didn’t know she was a survivor until I did the show, walk up to me afterwards and tell me that she just wanted to run around the room screaming at the top of her lungs that everything was going to be okay now because of the experience she had just had. That just made me feel so incredibly fulfilled and happy. I had set out to try to get people hope that there is a future and I was giving people hope that there was a future.

The other thing I would like to mention is the fact that the second time I did the show in November, an entire male peer support group made it their outing for the day. They came up afterwards and the group of us had this wonderful conversation about stuff that you connect if you’re a male survivor and they were all much more positive and had made me – see, I feel like I’m giving them hope, but at the same time they’re giving me hope. Each time I do the show I get stronger. Each time I do the show I feel like things will continue to get better. I think that it’s not just a question of sharing hope with people, I think it’s sharing hope with people back and forth, giving and taking because my hope and my healing improves every time I do this. Every time I do this.

Chris Williams:

Yes. I experience the same thing. You, at a much higher level obviously because you’re seeing way more people. So, right now I’m on your website and if you want to go check out the website, it’s sexabusesurvivor.com and at the top it will say Ask a Sexual Abuse Survivor. You’ll see there a picture of Michael holding a teddy bear on stage. This is really, really brave stuff and the way you’re communicating this, you’ve been showing family photos, you as a kid, there’s some humor, I’ve seen some of these videos, it’s lighthearted at times, it’s dark at times, but it’s kind of group therapy theater in a way I’ve never, never seen it and never, until talking to you, never thought that there was anything like that out there. I would’ve never dreamt it up myself. It’s really a great opportunity.

Michael Broussard:

The ironic thing about being so different is I think one of the reasons it’s so different is not necessarily because I’m so revolutionary, but because I wrote it and created it to work to my strengths as a performer. My strengths are improvisation, my strengths are that sort of connected, no-wall kind of theater. So, I wrote it toward that going, well this is going to be the best way for me to communicate and it’s my show, so it’s going to be my way of communicating and I keep getting these stuff. People are like, wow, that’s so amazing, it’s so revolutionary, we’ve never seen it before and honestly that’s not what I was thinking. I was thinking, here’s how I can tell my story and I can feel comfortable telling my story.

Another thing that happens during the show, when I was putting the show together, as I would go through my story, as you start out telling it to the mirror and figuring out how you’re going to do this and what you want to talk about. Every time I ran into something that made me cry or hurt me or made me feel shaky, I just said, okay, well let’s keep that because that’s the real stuff, that’s the important stuff. Basically in order to do this, I had to go there and rip up all the stitches. That’s a scary thing to do and it’s been very difficult. It’s a big challenge, but at the same time the reward has been, when I’m on stage and I rip out those stitches and I do break down and I do cry in front of other people, I get nothing but support from them in return. So, instead of this being this horrifying, isolating moment, it is this beautiful, connected moment.

Chris Williams:

Yes, you can see that. Wow.

Question 5: You’re the expert here. How can we begin to share hope? What are the A, B, Cs of getting started either in sharing hope with somebody else who’s been in the abusive situation or if we are a survivor of abuse, how can we begin to build hope in our own life? Either way you want to go with that or both.

Michael Broussard:

I think one thing I would say is seriously take a look around you in your life because, you talked about the one in six, there’s one in six and that’s men who have been sexually abused. There is the one in four that I think has recently jumped around to one in three of girls who have been abused. The odds are high that you know somebody who’s been abused. Take a look around, look in the eyes of the people who are in your life and your friends, okay, because when you really look in their eyes, you can see if there’s something dark there. It may take a little while to notice, but once you notice it, the greatest thing you can do is be there for them when they want to talk. Understand that no one is asking you to fix their problems. No one is saying, how do I fix this, just tell me how to fix my life.

That moment of an outlet, of a supportive outlet of somebody who quietly listens and then gives back supportive and encouraging words, that is, I think, the most powerful thing you can give to a human being who has been through any kind of trauma and yes, we’re talking about childhood sexual abuse, but there’s also trauma in war, in battle.

There’s trauma for people who have been victims of robberies or had been terrorized in other ways or trauma if you’ve been involved in a situation, in a natural disaster. There is trauma and there are people who need someone to talk to and I think ‘tthat is a fantastic way that you can share hope. Just be a person who listens.

The other thing I would suggest is be a person who talks. If you have something going on in your life, if there’s something that you held in all your life that’s very difficult for you, share that either with your spouse or the person you’re with or a friend and yes, it is true that some people will not be able to handle, that maybe back away – don’t judge them. It’s an understandable human reaction. Know that if you stick with that and you talk to people, eventually you’re going to find that person who will listen and beyond that, if you are a survivor of some kind of trauma, go on the internet. I know people cannot be in the internet all the time, but go on the internet. Those are people – you put up a message on one of these group boards and the responses are: (a) responses would say “I understand that, I understand exactly what you’re saying and let me tell you why” and you find kindred spirits. You find kindred spirits.

So, be there and reach out. Those are the two things you can do. I think, from my point of view, that would really give people hope.

Chris Williams:

Good points again. So, just to go back and review to make sure I’m getting it right. What you’re saying, Michael, is putting my own space, the space that I’ve got in my life, making it available for somebody else who has a story that they need to talk about and we’re all busy, we all have a lot in our minds and we all have our stresses and sometimes we don’t want to take on somebody else’s. You don’t have to inherit their entire set of problems. Just listen and say hey it seems like something is going on with your life, love to hear about it if you just want to sit and talk. Guys, girls, it doesn’t matter. People who are ready to start healing or ready to start talking – that’s number one.

Number two is if you’ve experienced trauma or anything that you experienced in life, we all have a story and some are extremely traumatic, some are not but don’t measure in those terms and think about little minds not big enough to be sensational, that’s not the point. Just share what’s going on as you’re healing with other people and you’ll begin to heal more and more and you’ll also find a lot of people who are really ready to join you in that journey and support you or heal you.

Michael Broussard:

That was absolutely beautifully said. Absolutely beautifully said and the thing you said about the size of your issue, you know, the scale of what you think your issue is or what you’ve been through, that’s an important thing that I’ve – I’ve had a lot of conversation with fellow survivors about this. There are people who will say, well you were physically raped. I was just touched. While you were touched, I was just showing something I shouldn’t have been showing by an adult and so my pain is not as bad as you pain, so I shouldn’t talk. That’s not true. The reality is, I think, personally, personal pain is personal pain. There is no scale of one is more intense or worse or better or deserves more attention than the other. With what you’ve been through, how can I even talk? You know what, we’ve all been through the same thing. That trauma is trauma and there is no scale to measure that. What you’ve been through is incredibly important, so don’t measure a pain scale against somebody else and decide that you don’t need to talk.

Chris Williams:

Yes, seriously, so true. Michael, so we’ve talked about your website, sexabusesurvivor.com, where else can we find you? So, social media, things like that, where are you so we can engage in a conversation for anybody who would love to reach out?

Michael Broussard:

Sure. On Facebook, facebook.com/askasexabusesurvivor is the page and on Twitter it’s twitter.com/askasurvivor and that’s it.

Chris Williams:

So, as a survivor, if I wanted to reach out and say hey I’m dealing with this too, but I’m scared to death that once I do that I’m now on record somehow, is there a private way to reach a community that’s not going to expose my Facebook account or leave some trail on Twitter? How do I do that?

Michael Broussard:

There is absolutely. There are a couple of private groups on Facebook where only the people – you can set up a Facebook group to be private which means only the people who are on it can see what’s posted and so you can have that conversation with people who are looking for the same kind of security. If anybody wanted to write to me and get links for those things, I would be more than happy to do so. The other way, there are tons and tons of advocacy groups and therapy organizations online, on Facebook. If you go to my website, you will see down the right hand side there is a link of help for survivors. There are a lot of organizations that offer free counseling and therapy, so you could go either on a peer to peer group or you could go and just talk one on one with somebody. So, if you financially can afford to go get therapy, but you want to talk about this with fellow survivor or you want to talk about this with a clinician, there are organizations that could do that. Like I said, there’s a ton of them on my website, there’s also a ton of them on Facebook. I think pretty much in most areas in the country there are some places that offer that kind of thing. So again, I’m more than happy if people have questions and are looking for something, they can contact me and I can help them out with that.

Chris Williams:

Great. Great and obviously a great resource for all of us if we can find the show that you’re doing near our location. Well worth your time. Well worth your time.

Michael Broussard:

Actually, we’re going to be doing a tour very, very soon. So, I’m also looking for people to email me and let me know if they want me to come where they are, so let me know.

Chris Williams:

Well, hit the website, sexabusesurvivor.com. All the resources mentioned are there. I’ll also re post all of those at isharehope.com along with the show notes and pictures and videos, everything about Michael and what he’s doing and refocusing back to his resources that he’s already listed. Michael, just wonderful stuff. Tremendous, tremendous time. You’ve shared so much hope with me. I mean that sincerely. You’ve given me so much hope. I’ve got kind of a renewed energy to start working on reaching other people on that specific issue and new energy just to take some more looks into my own life and keep moving because it’s easy to get stuck. It really is easy to get stuck. It’s just hard, so thank you for your time and thanks for sharing with me and the many, many others. We’re in dozens of countries and I don’t know who listens to all these things. I just know there’s a bunch of folks out there and please check out Michael’s work and what he’s doing. If you know anybody or if you’ve been affected by childhood sexual abuse, it’s a great resource.

Michael Broussard:

Thank you too for opening up and this has been a wonderful, re-energizing experience for me, so thank you.

Chris Williams:

Enjoy your day sir and wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing.

Michael Broussard:

You too. Okay thanks. Bye.

Chris Williams:

Bye.

You’ve just listened to I Share Hope. If you’re ready to make a change, head to our website at isharehope.com and claim your free copy of the Top Ten Actions of Hope from World Leaders to use hope in your own life. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

Chris Williams:

In a lighthearted sense, I don’t mean this in a heavy way, but you walk out on stage and expose your most intimate secrets. How in the world and are you just scared to death each time you roll out on stage?

Michael Broussard:

Oh absolutely. I’m terrified beyond all reason and I think that, in a way, just feeds it. I’m so scared that I have to focus on one thing which is the story I’m telling to shatter all the fear. That doesn’t necessarily always work, but the reality is I’m scared and people then reassure me and those breaks give me reassurance, so yes, every time I go out there I am terrified.

Chris Williams:

You’re one of the few people I know that if you Google your name and look for images, most of the images that pop up are you holding a teddy bear.

Michael Broussard:

Yes they are. It’s funny about that because it’s about the fact that I had a teddy bear until fairly late in my teens because I was so scared of everything. The teddy bear, he’s kind of become my buddy and my co-star now. When I was looking for a teddy bear, I was trying to find something that was reminiscent of the bear I had as a kid and the bear I had as a kid was long gone because I got the flue so bad I threw up on him and he smelled and there was no way you could get the smell out of him. So as an adult, I was looking for this teddy bear and I find this teddy bear, the one you see in the picture, with these long, spindly arms and like, my God, that’s me as a teddy bear. That’s my alter ego. So, I have this thing that I’m clutching to my chest that becomes my object of security, but now my object of security is me.

Chris Williams:

All right, so music for you, if you’re just needing something to put in your headphones when you’re traveling or just out and about town and just kind of picks you back up and gets you rocking again, what are you going to listen to?

Michael Broussard:

Oh, anything by Bobby Darin. Bobby Darin is my number one man. Maybe because he’s so talented and he’s also done every kind of music. You can hear blues, you can hear country, you can hear swing, you can hear rock and roll. Bobby Darin’s my number one.

About Chris

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