Child abuse survivor bicycling 3,000 miles across the U.S. to raise awareness | #childabuse | #children | #kids

LAS CRUCES – On Sept. 29, Tim Markison set out on a 3,000-mile bicycle ride from San Diego to Jacksonville, Florida. The goal? To raise awareness about child sexual abuse and get abusers to stop abusing.

Markison, 60, of Mesa, Arizona, is a survivor of sexual abuse. He is now the founder and CEO of Athalonz, a golf shoe company, and a lawyer. 

He said the abuse happened from when from he was 5 years old to 13 years old, solidifying a narrative that he was worthless and couldn’t do anything right. Fear and isolation were constants in those eight years and beyond, he said.

“My defense mechanism was to just forget, so disassociate during when the abuse was happening and then forget it as soon as the event was over,” Markison said. “For the most part I have very, very limited memories prior to being age 16.”

Markison went on to attend college — an option he had never considered before — where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. Later, a run-in with the courts for outstanding medical bills related to his infant daughter inspired him to study for a juris doctorate.

Tim Markison, center, a child sexual abuse survivor, took on a 3,000-mile bicycle ride across the country to increase awareness of child abuse prevention and promote healing for those who are victims of abuse. He stopped in Las Cruces on Oct. 11, 2021, along with colleagues Tim Taylor, left, and Jeremiah Johnston.

He and his family were doing well until his eldest daughter, Amy, turned 5 — around the age his abuse began.

“I started having flashbacks of what was happening to me. And it really knocked me out,” Marksion said.

He was working as a patent agent at the time, attending law school and had a wife and two young daughters. Markison said he started attending therapy and in those sessions, the memories of abuse started coming forward. He said he began receiving inpatient treatment for depression and PTSD.

More:New Mexico Bike Packing Summit to be held in Las Cruces

But slowly, he started to process his trauma and feel better about himself. Over the next several years he was able to move forward with his life and work through the issues. However, in 2015 the flashbacks returned. 

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