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Tyler says he didn't start dealing with his pain until he was 28 years old—the same age at which NFL wide receiver Laveranues Coles decided to share his secret on The Oprah Winfrey Show . As a child, Laveranues was sexually abused by his stepfather, who later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He served three and a half years.

After seeing the show, Tyler decided to reach out to Laveranues. "Anybody watching who has any spiritual connection could see how much pain he was in, and I had endured a lot myself," Tyler says.

Laveranues says Tyler's phone call changed his life. "He understood where I was coming from," Laveranues says. "He was basically just talking to me and letting me know, 'Look, I don't have any motives. I'm just here to help you because I see that you're in a spot that I was in my life before.'"

Tyler urged Laveranues to tell himself aloud that it wasn't his fault he was molested as a child. "The first time I did it I was alone so it felt kind of crazy, but … he said, 'You have to repeat that to yourself to let yourself know that it's okay, and I promise that it will make you feel better,'" Laveranues says. "It made me feel a lot better."

Tyler also encouraged Laveranues to write in a journal and learn more about himself. Although he bought a journal, Laveranues says he's not quite ready to start writing yet, but it's there for when he is. Laveranues now has a special message for Tyler: "I'm so proud to be a friend of yours, and I thank you for everything that you've done for me."
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FROM: The World's Greatest Voices
Published on December 06, 2006

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