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.
Thank you for reading.