On March 15, 2020, I will be joining Team Safe Horizon and will be running the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon 2020.
I never thought I would be running the half, given the series of surgeries on my leg from 2015 - 2018, but after tons of physical therapy and taking it slow, I'm finally back on my feet, healthy and stronger than before!
I'm excited to be parterning with Safe Horizon for the NYC Half because of its paramount mission of fighting against violence and abuse in NYC through its extensive programs of empowering and giving hope to victims and survivors. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go these programs to help victims and survivors heal.
This following personal story is something that I have probably only told two people in my life, and it's why I want to do this charity run with Safe Horizon.
A couple years ago in college, I found out that one of my closest, best friends was physically and mentally abused from when he was a toddler to middle school. His parents, first generation immigrants, who came to America in the late 80s, were both working really hard to provide for him and hired a nanny to watch after him. Little did his parents know, the nanny would slap him, throw him across the room, refuse to feed him if he pissed her off, yell at him for doing anything and everything wrong, and made his life a living nightmare. His parents had no idea what was going on and he continued to be under the care of this nanny from hell for years. He always thought that he was being punished because he was a bad kid so he wanted to hide that like any child would, and so this abuse continued for years under the nose of his parents. It was normalized to him. It wasn't until one day his parents finally uncovered the abuse from seeing physical marks and fired the nanny. His mom quit her job immediately and began to take care of him herself.
However, the damage had been done.
As first generation immigrants from Asia, his parents didn't understand the effects of the abuse. They wrote it off as something you can get over with time and they didn't understand how much of an impact that abusive childhood could affect his future life negatively. I didn't either. Growing up he was constantly pressured to be the best at everything: academics, music, and sports... And he was. He had top grades in his classes and was an excellent athlete. He was also cheerful and treated everyone with respect. He had a lot of friends, and he was always laughing and smiling. No one knows for sure when or what happened, but one day, that all changed.
At first, his family and myself all blamed him for his anger, his disinterest in life, and his usage of drugs and alcohol. It wasn't until he opened up what he replays every single day, how he feels, did we realize how much his childhood had impacted him.
To this day, the mental and physical effects of that abuse as a child are still with him. Every day he has to live with the trauma, and his parents continue to blame themselves for letting that happen to their dear child. He has been suffering from that childhood abuse his whole life... impacting every part of his life, and yet he is fighting to get better.
Now, his family is taking his condition and past childhood trauma seriously. His family and I have been and are looking for treatments for him. He has been going to therapy and he is beginning to have a self awareness for his condition and his past trauma. There's still so much work to do but we're all positive and working towards providing the support and assistance he needs to recover.
And this is why I'm running with Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon not only provides support for victims of childhood abuse, but any kind of violence or abuse that someone has gone through. This support can be so impactful to victims of abuse and violence, and turn their lives around 180 degrees. This is so valuable and incredibly important.
If you would like to donate, it would mean a lot to me! Of course, there's no pressure. Thanks for reading up to this point and thank you for all your support.