Hi OrganicFamilyCEOs! It’s Courtney sharing a more personal project + message today. 🤍
Being a new parent or CEO is a major undertaking any day (let alone doing both at the same time!) + as coaches for family-centered CEOs, we aim to give support wherever we can by sharing our education alongside our experiences to make that undertaking feel a little less overwhelming.
In general, we share our stories to show + remind parent entrepreneurs like you that you are not alone. Yes, there are “regular” people who are raising real babies while running real businesses (or even multiple businesses) + they’re having their own life behind-the-scenes just like you are.
Our experience as parent CEOs has been no exception. We have our own personal traumas + family drama. Nobody’s life is perfect.
We’ve found that sharing our story has been an important part of helping other parent entrepreneurs move through their own limitations. So with that goal in-mind today, I’m highlighting a personal storytelling project from my favorite author + strongest person I know, my husband, Kevin Gilroy.
Meet The Kid Upstairs
Kev is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse from a close family member.
When we were walking through this trauma together as a married-couple-turned-new-parents, we exhaustively searched for a story we could connect with to see the light on the other side of the darkness.
To our disappointment, we found next to nothing about a family man’s honest experience that wasn’t covered in influencer publicity or overwhelming self-help task lists.
When Kev’s trauma resurfaced, we had just become new parents to our first child + had so much — too much — on our plates. We were tired + feeling defeated. We needed someone who was one to two steps ahead to demonstrate that there was possibility beyond the pain: proof that this difficult reconciliation wouldn’t last forever.
What we needed at the time was pure, gentle goodness with no expectations or agendas attached.
And while we ultimately learned through lived experience that the ugly uncovering doesn’t last forever, we didn’t find the resources we needed while we were going through the tough situation in real-time. Searching for some guidance felt unnecessarily hard.
So, in true entrepreneurial form, Kev decided that someday, when he could share from a scar + not an open wound, he would invite people into his well-documented perspective.
In 2020, Kev felt ready to write + self-publish his deeply personal healing process through childhood sexual abuse aptly named “The Kid Upstairs”.
Perhaps this is the resource someone else is desperately searching for to start navigating their own pain, too.
Why Talking About Childhood Sexual Abuse of Men Matters
Researchers have found that at least 1 in 6 men (21 million men) have experienced sexual abuse or assault, whether in childhood or as adults… These statistics are probably underestimated.－ 1in6.org
According to 1in6.org, a non-profit supporting men who experienced childhood + adult sexual abuse, “only 16% of men with documented histories of sexual abuse (by social service agencies, which means it was very serious) considered themselves to have been sexually abused, compared to 64% of women with documented histories in the same study. 7“
I’m taking that to mean that men might minimize or mute their experiences more than women.
And that’s why paying attention to this reporting gap is critically important to the well-being of the individual + their families: suffering in silence may only exacerbate any negative consequences experienced later on. We don’t need anyone suffering more than they’ve already suffered.
Men who’ve had such experiences are at much greater risk than those who haven’t for serious mental health problems, including:
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder + depression.1, 2, 8
- Alcoholism + drug abuse.1, 9
- Suicidal thoughts + suicide attempts.1, 9
- Problems in intimate relationships.1, 10
- Underachievement at school + at work.1, 10
Having such an experience does not mean a boy or man will definitely suffer significant long-term negative consequences. That depends on several factors, including how many times it happened, how long it went on, who else was involved, whether the boy told anyone and, if so, the response he received.－ 1in6.org
As an entrepreneurial family, we can say that we did not have any substantial time available to simply start processing all that came crashing into our seemingly perfect life unexpectedly.
We had to take our business + family foundations down to the studs to make room for this “new addition” to our life + The Kid Upstairs shares what that processing looked like.
And it’s our shared hope that if this resonates for your own experience, or you know someone who could benefit from reading this, you won’t let suffering happen in silence. Sadly, the childhood sexual abuse experience is much more common than what we may assume + what the statistics show. You are not alone.
Kev + I both love previewing the first few pages of any new book, so we’re dropping the real introduction from The Kid Upstairs here for your ease. ⬇️
The Real Introduction from The Kid Upstairs Book
A 6-year-old boy’s world was shattered that August.
Those who were supposed to help me pick up the pieces were so caught up in their own version of shit that they could never see the broken son or brother that looked back at them.
“Be strong for your mother.”
“This is normal.”
“Men don’t cry.”
As I reflect back on my journey, these quotes that were told on a consistent basis shaped my life in incredible ways. Most of them negatively. But that’s for the rest of these pages to tell.
I want to get one point across before diving in. I am not a licensed professional, psychologist or academic. I have done no research to scientifically back up any claims in this book. That is not what my intention is.
These pages are my story. They are part of my raw healing process through writing: my journey through abuse, loss, depression, grief and a few highs mixed in. You can’t get this from reading a book on the way you need to think through things. Believe me, I have read and listened to anything and everything, and spoke to more doctors than the average bear. But they never gave me clarity on how to find peace and thrive in my thoughts. How to use it to my advantage: not as a disability.
The major theme of my story is the shadows. Reflecting on my first 30 years, this is where Kevin Gilroy operated, struggled and eventually succeeded. The shadows, at times, were a very dark place for me to be and, eventually, became a place of comfort. Always out of sight, but not completely gone. Waiting, watching, observing. Hurting, crying, breaking. Loving, living, healing.
My whole life the message has been that I was chemically imbalanced and needed to be fixed. I became a cocktail of medicines that only led to higher doses. It wasn’t until I became a father that it hit me; my shadows were a part of me that could be leveraged for good. And my peace would never come until it was found within them. I needed to be vulnerable to the outside world and let myself be loved while maintaining the safety I had created.
I hope my story can help those who are stuck in their own shadows to find the peace and happiness they deserve. And inspire others to share their stories with those around them and BE LOVED. You don’t need to write a book and release it to the world. But you need a release all the same.
Well, that’s where the self-help for you ends and mine begins. This is where I begin to embrace (and you get to know) the kid upstairs.
Sharing is Caring
Since quietly self-publishing, Kev has received messages from all over the world that this book has, in fact, been that intentional light. Readers have shared how our marriage represents what opening up the communication lines fully can do for a couple. They’ve shared their own intentions to write their personal healing stories.
Some have even shared how Kev’s writing saved them from taking their own life.
We’re sharing this today because we want you to remember that your raw story matters — whether you self-publish it in a book or write it for yourself.
Write the real story. Sit with it. Then, consider sharing what you needed with the next person in-need a few steps behind you. And know that every single parent entrepreneur is navigating their own versions, too.
We’re also sharing this today because in the spirit of giving, we’re donating 100% of proceeds from sales of The Kid Upstairs to child sex abuse recovery + prevention through 2 of our favorite charities: Safe from Online Sex Abuse + OUR Rescue.
Whether you purchase the book from Amazon for yourself or someone you know, please know how grateful we are for your contribution that helps other victims turn the page in their own stories.
We’d love to know: will you join us in spreading this book + message?
Please tag us on Instagram @organicfamilyceo with your shared posts, so that we can say thank you!