• We have chosen to do our project on a man from England that was sexually abused at the age of 12.• His story made us think and was very unique. Geoff Thompson; now a Martial arts instructor, teacher and author of 34 books. He had also made a short movie named ‘Romans 12:20’
• Whilst working to earn some money for himself and his mother, he was confronted my a man he so truly respected and trusted, his martial arts instructor.• He said to Geoff that his mother had given him permission to sleep over at his house and help clean the aikido mats.• The martial arts instructor set up a tent in his living room for him.
• When Geoff arrived at His martial arts instructors house there was no-one there but his instructor.• Geoff was dragged into the tent and sexually abused.• Geoff said ‘My martial arts instructor was a charismatic man who took me under his wing. I was in awe of him and after a short period of subtle and insidious grooming, he asked me and some of the other boys to stay over at the club to help fix the aikido mats. That night I awoke to the feeling of a hand on my bare leg. The level of the sexual abuse that followed was not extreme, I was not raped, but the level of betrayal proved to be catastrophic. Most of that night is lost to my memory but I remember waking up the next morning knowing my childhood had ended.’
• He lost all trust from everyone even his closest of relatives.• When he was 15 he was kissing a girl on the farmers field and her face transformed into the man’s.• He had uncontrollable fantasies and horrors about him.• Uncontrollable nightmares.• Never felt safe.
• At 28, Geoff became a nightclub bouncer in a bid to mould a bit of himself spine. He was a man with a lot of underlying rage and Geoff displaced his anger on anyone that stepped into his orbit. It took a decade of extreme violence before Geoff realised that he was out of control. When he almost killed a man in a car park match fight, he knew it was time to leave. He wrote a book about his exploits, left the doors and renounced violence.
• During his violent days, Geoff thought forgiveness was weak and meant letting people off. That changed when he started teaching forgiveness to his own martial arts students. Certainly he understood forgiveness intellectually but didn’t understand it in practice until, one day, Geoff was sitting in a café and saw his abuser sitting on the table opposite. For a split second it was almost like he was twelve again, quivering with fear.
• Forgiveness is the only revenge. You can have your day in court, some people need that, but if you want total freedom, forgiveness is the only way.• I came to realise that if someone abused me twenty years ago and I did not forgive them, they were still abusing me now, today, in fact they were literally holding me in stasis. Forgiveness gives you power not only over the here-and-now and over the future, it also deems you impervious to your past. It literally allows you to dismantle historical trauma.
• But Geoff walked over to him. He introduced himself and told him what he had done to him as a child and how it had affected him. His abuser was a big man, and he tried to stand up and protest. Geoff put his hand out and told his abuser to sit down. He obeyed immediately. Geoff told his abuser that despite what he had done Geoff was going to forgive him. He told him twice. The abuser looked totally broken. It was as if Geoff’s forgiveness shattered him. As Geoff went to walk away, his abuser put his hand out. Geoff hesitated. Geoff wanted to be free from this man’s memory and he knew that the only way to be free was to properly forgive him. So Geoff shook the abuser’s trembling hand. When Geoff walked away from that cafe he felt the most powerful man in the world. Geoff had taken all my power back from him.