“No Working Title”: An introduction

The Back Story

There are many facets of abuse: emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual.

I was actively involved in a sex act with my parents at around four years of age.

It is my oldest memory.

My first pornographic magazine was at around five or six—Cavalier magazine, I believe. At 11, Deep Throat was the feature at my first introduction, a fathers-and-sons night called Porn and Prawn. At 13, it was Debbie Does Dallas. I grew up believing that Penthouse Forums were all true stories and that was what sex and women were really like.

I was made to have oral sex with my mother at four years of age while my father watched. My early teen years are a muddle of my parents’ parties I had to go to and the things I had to do or were done to me by family friends or strangers, sex I had to have with strangers while being watched, or the sex I had to watch taking place.

My experience then became one of emotional abuse.

Later in life, I became a magnet for the spiritually manipulative and emotionally abusive. They fed off my brokenness, capitalizing on my need for acceptance and my desire to have a place to belong. The strange thing is that I never connected the dots until I was in my 40s. It all lay in unconnected little pieces, hidden broken shards of memories, disconnected.

Life went on.

I got married—way above myself—to the woman who is still my best friend and mentor. But sadly, over time, I started to break and become a monumental asshole to live with.

We could never figure out the destructive force or reason behind personality changes, the occasional incidents that turned into episodes. They went from once a quarter, to weekly, to daily destructive cycles.

One day all the pieces came together while I was sitting reading in my study—like the reel on an old projector, the movie of my life played back, including every disjointed scene. I knew I was fucked up, but I never realized the extent of my abuse or its effect.

The revelation of what was done to me, and by whom, finally broke me. I was 45.

The book No Working Title?

A “working title” is a temporary name given to a project when it is still in progress but nearing completion.

The thought that the life I have now is as good as it gets for my wife, my kids, or myself is devastating. The things that were done to me were wrong, but I am not finished. It is not over. My life is an unfinished project. I’m a daily struggling someone, not a recovering anything. I will see my life turn around. The term “victim” is not one I will ever use in regards to who I am.

No Working Title as a book started some 20 years ago. I look back on these reflections and I was obviously looking for understanding and trying to process my memories. There is a loose chronological sense to the writing. That’s the challenge with memories and emotion, they all lie like sludge in the bottom of a timeless bucket. All old, all new, all timeless all together.

At no point in my journey did I feel that I could talk to anyone about what I had gone through and am still going through. Being a sexually abused man is difficult enough to talk about in our society. Being abused by your parents is just not the sort of thing you bring up at dinner.

I hope the book and the poetry give you a vocabulary, pictures and words, for your walk—but above all else I hope you now know that you are not alone and that victory is an absolute possibility for you.

Here is an abridged version of the upcoming book. More information is available on www.noworkingtitle.org.

Thank you for reading.



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