When I first emerged on the literary scene in 2011, I quickly learned that there were opportunist hidden around every corner. People that were watching you; some hoping that you would fail...and others hoping that you wouldn't so that they could hang on to your coat tails and obtain the recognition that they thought were due. I have also met some wonderful people; people that were amazing...people that lifted you up when you needed that reassurance that you were making a dif
I met Jimmy when I was thirteen years old. He was the so-called boyfriend of a girl that I had become enamored with when I was in the eighth grade. I referred to him by a different name in my book, “Groomed.” But his real name was Jimmy. It’s important to acknowledge him by his real name because to do so lends to the reality of what happened when he raped me. I couldn’t say the words out loud until recently. But it’s necessary to deal with the pain still left behind. I me
After writing “Groomed” I took a long hard look at my life. You know they say that hindsight is always 20/20. I know that what happened to me was awful. It was awful in the sense that the adult men that took away the innocence of my youth had no regard for my mental well-being. There were three perpetrators that for one reason or another decided that a thirteen year old boy could willfully consent to having sex with them. The tactics that they used on me are no different
When I was thirteen years old, I was abused by three different men. The abuse happened back to back; separated by several months or weeks before the next assault occurred. I wasn't scared when these events took place. In some of the assaults, I felt as if I were a willing participant in what took place. It was in that willingness that my silence was purchased...bought and locked down by my abuser. For years, I thought that I was alone in what happened to me. I thought tha
I have interviewed many women who have been the victim of abuse and sexual assault. I’ve heard their stories and as moved as I was in the moment, I moved on to the next interview after giving pause to their stories almost as if they hadn’t said anything at all. When you hear the same story repeatedly…so often that it becomes normalized. Except sexual assault should never be normalized. Assault at the end of the day is assault. And trauma is trauma. It should not be acce
The Survivor’s Club. It’s a club that I never wanted to belong to. I never signed up for it and it was given to me without my consent. But I’m seeing that millions of women belong to this club; and surprisingly, a countless amount of men do too. The Survivor’s Club is one where inductees suffer sexual abuse at the hands of another and is then forced to carry around the stigma of said abuse in silence and oftentimes in shame. We don’t come forward when the abuse occurs beca
I think that most men cannot identify with being a victim. It is completely normal for us to be heads of households, leaders, husbands and fathers. We are ambassadors of compassion, fairness as well as the moral compass of our families. Being a victim isn’t contained in that resume and yet it is written onto the invisible resume of millions of men in this country. We take an event(s) that occurred in our past and hide it behind layers of denial and repudiation. We believe
Why did I decide to tell my story after all this time? That's a question that has been asked of me many times. It's a question that I ask myself from time to time. After all, what good could come from all of this? What good could come from talking about something that happened to me in the seventies?
But I'll try to explain it to you.
For decades, I've always thought that something was wrong with me. I couldn't put my finger on it directly, but I
Even though the book has been written, I still feel a little uncomfortable in telling my story. It's not that I didn't think that the story didn't deserve being told. It's not that I am uncomfortable with what happened to me at the age of six and thirteen. It's not even that I was ashamed of my thought processes in choosing a partner to spend the rest of my life with.
The issue is that although I have no regrets about writing the book, I wonder what the fallout is going
On April 2, 2012, I conducted an interview with Patricia McKnight. At the time, I was a writer for an online publication entitled, "The Examiner." Ms. McKnight is an advocate for child abuse, domestic abuse and as of late has become one of the many voices that speak out against human trafficking. In addition to advocating for the rights of the defenseless, she also heads up a radio program entitled "Your Voice Radio Network." Ms. McKnight is an abuse survivor and although