FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --For the first time since he can remember Jim Bartko is sleeping well again.
According to the Fresno State Athletic Director-- he allowed over 40 years of shame and anxiety to build up before recently checking himself into an Arizona treatment facility to deal with insomnia that has plagued him since he was a kid.
"I feel great, I'm thankful for the people here in Fresno and Oregon and around the country, cause I've had a lot of emails but it's not about that. It's about what can I do next so that other young kids don't have that guilt for 44 years-- that's a long time to hold it in and I held it in."
Bartko held in decades of bad memories from getting sexually abused between the ages of seven and nine by his family priest while growing up in the bay area.
Bartko's parents, wife, friends-- no one knew the feelings he was carrying inside until he opened up to a therapist during his 19 day stay at the Arizona facility.
"I kept quiet for so long, now it's time to turn the tables and make those that made me feel guilty make them feel guilty and I'm going to work my tail off to do that, but not effect what I'm doing here at Fresno State."
The priest who molested Bartko was later convicted of child molestation and spent six years in prison before his release in 2010.
Bartko said his mission now is to do whatever he can to help kids who may be going through similar situations.
"It's hard when you're 8 years old, it's very hard and there's no magic wand to say here's what you got to do. I would say don't hold it in, tell your parents, as hard as it may, be tell your parents, tell your family, cause I held it in too long and it effected everything I do."
Bartko is not planning to file charges against the priest who molested him but wants him to know what he did hurt him and a lot of other people. In fact one of the first thing's he did when he returned from Arizona was to email the priest and tell him the pain he caused him all these years.