Six months into my PTSD, I was still digesting the repercussions from being named as an aggressor in a drunken 911 call by a live-in girlfriend. I was mired in the aftermath of recovering from a very debilitating domestic violence charge. Arrested without questions yet completely innocent, nary an opportunity to speak towards what didn’t happen, what I didn’t do.
As a decorated Olympian, father, author, and sports coach in the U18 space, having a felony arrest on my record was beyond a set back. It took 2 years to personally heal, then 1 year to find an attorney who was willing to navigate the nuances. Finally, a Superior Court judge heard my case, but not without a rep from the City Attorney’s office. The court did decide in my favor, restoring my ‘innocence’, records destroyed. But I lost three years of being in the world. Job offers were rescinded, restrictions placed against coaching minors, let alone subsequent alienation from my daughter. No one wanted to hear, nor seemed to care, about the physical and emotional abuse I suffered. No way around it.
Evolving from a background riddled with emotional abuse, I rationalized away red flag behavior. I thought things would change; she stated things would change. So, I believed her and not my gut instinct. It all happened so fast. Bail was higher than any professional athlete story involving domestic violence I have seen. It started with her drinking, going through my phone, then my computer, followed by accusations of infidelity, then volatile behavior manifesting blind rage. She did what the Rage and Anger told her to do.
Having done a lot of personal growth work prior to the incident, again I dug into my past, analyzing what remnant energy attracted this twisted, dark energy. It happened to me as a kid from 7-12 and lo and behold, it happened again later on in Life. Same tape different expression. From many introspective angles, I see where I was not strong in setting boundaries, but also where I couldn’t separate from toxicity. The lessons were many.
Invisible shame on my shoulders, I held my head as high as I could, but it has taken years to move on, rebuild. Forgiveness came very slow, both to me and my aggressor. Four years out, the episode still lingers in the shadows. While I respect my healing process, I have a greater appreciation for all those that have suffered this kind of physical and emotional oppression. For what I know and what I don’t know, I remain centered in my Heart, in Truth, knowing that Life is a Spiritual Sport.
Jon Edward Root is a former American volleyball player and Olympic Gold Medalist. He was a member of the United States men’s National Volleyball Team that won the 1986 World Championships in Paris, France, and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. A spiritualist, urban hippie, sports coach, animal lover, teacher, preacher and screecher of all things mystical, magical, and mindful, Jon lives and works in Northern California as a Development Consultant focusing on performance and transformational coaching for young athletes, adults, and professionals. He is the author of Life, The Spiritual Sport, which is part memoir and part manifesto on key metaphysical and physical attributes that affect performance and personal transformation. Learn more at www.jonroot.net.