Category Archives: Child Abuse

Gordian Knots: My Parents, My Abusers

My parents. My abusers. They both formed me into who and what I am. To heal, I need to understand them. This is how I feel I need to proceed; your path to healing may or may not be similar to mine.


My mother is a complex and very broken person. She was probably raised with being sexually and physically abused, then married my father. While I felt that I loved her, both parents abused me physically and sexually; he mostly hurt me and she rarely hurt me, but sexual abuse damages with or without physical harm. She worshipped him, so leaving to save us both was never considered. My father rented me out to pedophiles for money and my mother would say, “He hit you because you didn’t obey him. Please don’t make him angry.” She would cry and beg me to be “good” to avoid being beaten by my father, and sometimes he would beat her to punish me, too; yet she never could make a leap to the idea that she should get us both away from him.

I am making progress in therapy to see the monster that my father was instead of blaming myself for how I am now. However, it has been far more difficult to see the wrong she did. I often cling to the few good memories as a defense to protect her from my own sense of anger that she also abused me. Therapy and all the research I do is beginning to help me in seeing that maybe I don’t need to feel guilt about laying the blame for her crimes at her feet instead of my father’s, or my own.

Still, the impulse to protect her is strong. We “trench-bonded” in the Hell that was my childhood. She was the only person who said they loved me and I could feel it was true. Tainting that, though, was how she let my need for love and affection twist into incest, to try to fill her own unmet needs.

I know that I need to strip off the blinders with her as I have slowly been able to do with my father. Yet it still feels like a betrayal to call her an abuser, because she was so often my only solace and protection, even if both were minimal and largely ineffective.

This is just one of the fallout damage problems of incest and child sexual abuse. We are hardwired to love our parents and to want and seek (and try to earn) their love. They take that and use it against us.

I am getting better at seeing the monster within my father. I am more able to say, “How could you do those things to me?” Even though he is long dead now, and I can never have the answers I need, at least now I am more able to ask those questions.

My mother lives across the country and she is not allowed any contact with my children, and only minimal contact (phone, email) with me. She has to remain in therapy, or all contact with me will stop. She is not allowed to be inappropriate to me. I maintain contact out of a need for answers, but if I try to seek answers from her, she just cries and breaks down. I know she is so damaged, as I am. Yet the urge to protect and shield her, even from my own horror and anger, persists.

Sometimes the conflict between all of these feelings ties me into a terrible Gordian Knot of guilt, shame, anger, fear, and self-hate. Yet the sword therapy taught me to wield that has helped me to cut down the Father Knot seems useless on Mother.

If I am brave enough to be honest with myself though, I know that what I must do is try to untangle them; even the severed halves I was abruptly so desperate to cut down.

What holds me back is fear: the dread of what horrors and memories may be released as the crusted-over strands are finally loosened.

I see myself in a stone hallway with these tangled masses between me and the healing I work toward. I have to go through them and past them, but the understanding I want probably lies in the untangling, not in merely cutting them into pieces I can move beyond.

As I hesitate, sometimes I’m afraid the strands deep within may only wind tighter; yet the courage to kneel, set down the sword, and get to work, seems to be paralyzed in my chest.

In these moments, it is all I can do to breathe. Still, as I breathe, I feel the fear calming, the courage rising, a little more.

Breathe… just breathe. Someday, when we are ready, we will know it is time to begin.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 4/2/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Canticle I

If so few truly know
and understand me
even those I’ve shared
so much with for so long
then surely
the fault is mine
Yet it is in my nature
forged by those
who first worked this clay
to conceal, hide, protect
Yet true wisdom tells me
as the forge fires cool
that those who drew the map
in my flesh
are only partly to blame
for my unknown core
For it is I and I alone
who mars the map
in such a way
that no other might ever
hope to follow its paths
to pale soul
bled heart
and damaged mind


© W.R.R. 7/2/2011
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

The Source

There is no measure
for all beauty
all compassion
care and kindness
well up from
the same source
Trickling over
hearts of stone
wetting deserts
of punishing loss
it finds the low places
and slowly
fills them
In time others see
the still pool
of sweet water
kneel to drink
and soul is refreshed
Yet the source
of the spring
is not in the earth
it is born in the hearts
that have
bled through tears
of pain and joy
until the water
has no choice
but to rise


© W.R.R. 7/19/2011
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Silence is the Enemy

People often say: “I have no words”. Not me; I have plenty of words. Tracy Morgan speaks about stabbing’ his son to death if he was gay, and this filth surfaces in the comments on CNN’s blog, located here:


June 10th, 2011 1:30 pm ET

Better dead than gay

Tracy’s healthy son likely would agree: It is better to be stabbed to death by dad, than living like a worm in the filth of another male



I am grateful to the many other commentators on that page who vilified Tracy Morgan for his hate and reiterated how horrid it is to threaten to commit murder because a person loves someone of the same sex.

I am a polyamorous bisexual male. I am a father of four children who are loved and will be raised to not hate and to have compassion. My partners, a man and a woman, live with me and our kids. My male partner grew up with a father who harbored Tracy Morgan’s hatred. He hid his gay nature to save his life and yet tried to kill himself a few times as a child and teen due to fear and not being accepted or loved unless he was something he isn’t. Even pretending to be straight, his father beat him and his mother didn’t care if he breathed or not, as long as he did nothing to “disgrace” the family.

I am a survivor of physical and sexual abuse by both of my parents. I am also bipolar and struggle to stay alive on days when my past makes death seem better. Death is NOT better. People who are happy and not afraid of being harmed for no reason don’t consider suicide to be an option. Unfortunately, many people are in fear for their lives, while haters tell them they should die for being who they are.

LGBT PEOPLE (not just youth) deal with hate and abuse every single day, to one degree or another. They can’t marry in most parts of the world. Interracial marriage was legalized bout 44 years ago. Same-sex marriage is not “wrong” just as interracial marriage wasn’t wrong. Murder and assault are illegal. Freedom of Speech, yes, grateful for it; but yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater as a “joke” and see what the police do in response.

Some people, like the hateful one who wrote the comment above, will always be hateful; some can be helped to change their views. But most of the people complaining that gays are too sensitive and should suck it up and learn how to take a “joke”? The offense on that page is largely not about Tracy Morgan’s “comedy”. Gays and friends of gays are offended that Morgan said he would “stab his son to death if he said he was gay.” That’s not a joke, that’s hate.

I love comedy, I love “dirty humor”. I’m a fan of some very foul-mouthed comedians; but the comics I like don’t say things like that. What really makes me sad and angry is that controversy like this digs deep and pulls some ugly filth up from the dregs in the process. I know the LGBT community has come far, but when I read comments like the one above, I realize how far we still have to go. I just hope we’re all along for the ride and that none of our community will hurt themselves because others that spew such hate make them feel that there is no hope. There is hope. It does get better – but not by sitting around telling ourselves it’s going to be ok. We have to act. We have to speak out. We have to MAKE IT get better.

“Speak. Act. Silence is the enemy.”

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 6/10/2011

For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Pretty Maids

Standing quiet
refusing to cry
as tears gleam
on other cheeks
this little doll
with golden curls
smiled to take my pain
The words were said
the play begun
and little kisses
began the rest
tiny red, they whispered
it’s only a game
but those dark things
that had to follow
swept all light away
My pretty maid
so brave and still
a doll to break
for cruel wants
that were never mine
my princess see
all I want when dark is done
is to see you free of me

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/5/1993
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Child sex trafficking rings are real and they exist in all countries of the world. These monsters use living children to make disgusting films and photos, to sell to other monsters. They use children to hurt other children, and the guilt and shame can kill. It will still exist… these children will still suffer… whether you choose to know it or not. Please don’t look away. Knowledge is power, power to save the lives of children.

Pretty Maids II

A princess sleeps
all sorrows done
gather round now, witness
precious curls spun into gold
patina lost in shadows
Porcelain cracked
when she fell
a broken doll
she watches us
defiant stare
melting into peace
the witnesses denied
Behind silent faces
the other toys
listen to the drum of envy
in every fragile chest
Steps behind, they come
bearing cracked and broken things
lay each down beside the one
count the missing pieces
soiled and ready
to be thrown away
No more little kisses
from tiny red mouths
open now in empty cries
More lie here now
than last we played
no names remain
for a pretty maid
no crown will set
on shattered brow
sleep sweet maids
you’re precious now

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 3/14/1994
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Child sex trafficking rings are real and they exist in all countries of the world. These monsters use living children to make disgusting films and photos, to sell to other monsters. They use children to hurt other children, and the guilt and shame can kill. It will still exist… these children will still suffer… whether you choose to know it or not. Please don’t look away. Knowledge is power, power to save the lives of children.

Pretty Maids III

It shines, dancing in the light
smooth porcelain, sharp edge
watch it sway
in shaking hand
Little kisses, tiny red mouths open
fade and swim, unfocused gaze
the chorus joins
like pretty maids
all in a row
Red mouths open
notes drip with need
to sing of pieces lost
Tap the fount
coax it free
to rain upon
what once was me

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 3/30/1994
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Child sex trafficking rings are real and they exist in all countries of the world. These monsters use living children to make disgusting films and photos, to sell to other monsters. They use children to hurt other children, and the guilt and shame can kill. It will still exist… these children will still suffer… whether you choose to know it or not. Please don’t look away. Knowledge is power, power to save the lives of children.

Three Thin Branches

Down the wood path
under loam and leaf
three thin branches lie
a crossroads for tattered ghosts
beneath a cradling sky
Curling in twig fingers
to pluck a slender chord again
this music softly swells, then goes
as stuffed on worm-kissed acorns
come a trio of staggering crows
Give the gift, unburdened be
brittle white they breathless wait
to recall they bear no breath
as wind slips down the mountainside
to bear them into death

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/28/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Wind and Rust

One lone post
metal eye bolt rusts
long gone tattered rope
frayed knot clings
beneath it, nothing grows
sand so smooth
dust devils curl
each grain that settles knows
Beyond the new fence
where old fence fell
rusted chains still creak
swayed by wind
the little seats
like children, rot away
Towering ladder on pipes
metal slide winks in the sun
screech and cry, the rust protests
as flat round circle spins
beams of light through wanton holes
dappled dancing sins
Mold eats plastic
forms blackened tears
of horses gaunt and wild
the wind can’t move them
on rusty springs
they never care
how the chorus sings
or rain that weeps
and wets the grass
swallow fear
this too shall pass
Lure of joy
trap of pain
the little echoes play
don’t look back at the boundary wall
where silent bricks remain

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/29/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Into the Fray

Pain, sharp and breathless
fight for air
untouched but violated
all over again
with no one near
Sounds and smells
invade with pain
the hated feel of being filled
held down, terrified
with the old tastes rising
mixed with the bile
of the present lie
the ghost of the old horror
When it passes
left bereft of will
destroyed in a pool
of fluids, of blood from bitten tongue
as reality, the oldest lie
crawls back up
on shaking legs
These moments
as the soul, the sanity
begin to fray
there is no defense
no succor
as today is eclipsed
and drowned in yesterday

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/19/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

If you suffer from flashbacks, you aren’t alone. Research the term, or talk to a therapist; knowledge is power.

The Bible and Marriage Equality

Scholarly proof the Bible doesn’t hate LGBTQ or Marriage Equality!

Awesome pro-gay marriage posts from real Christians:

(The comments on this one above are amazing too, including one Torah scholar discussing the “abomination” misquote anti-gay people use so much).

This one is great too:

This marriage equality issue and the hate and intolerance shown by so many “Christians” has seriously soured me on religion in general, even without my background of having been abused sexually as a little boy with one of my abusers being a church preacher and most of them were members of a church.

These men who wrote these posts (among a few others) prove that some decent religious people do exist. Just wanted to share….

– W.R.R.

After Court Cameras Turn Away, Healing Work and Suffering Continues

Sometimes after a monumental event like the Sandusky trial thankfully ending in a guilty verdict, many people say, “Well now the victims can get on with their lives.” I know most say this out of ignorance, but the truth is that for survivors of abuse of all kinds, the horror, terror, and hardship doesn’t disappear like a puff of smoke the moment a guilty verdict is read. There remains so much work to do to recover and heal, and for many of us there is physical damage and handicaps to contend with also. For survivors of child sexual abuse and child sex trafficking rings, where abusers are often parents, teachers, coaches, pediatricians, dentists, etc., it can be very hard to face some of these people who can help you, but who remind you of the people who hurt you.

So much is going on in this area for me right now, it feels a little overwhelming at times. I’m used to playing the hermit at home, getting my social life through Twitter, and hiding from the world at large as I work on therapy and recovery. Quite often, unless I’m in the manic cycle of my bipolar, therapy once a week is the only time I leave my home. Agoraphobia, anxiety problems, and PTSD conspire with bipolar to keep me where I feel safe – even though nightmares, memories, and flashbacks can still plague me there, too.

Lately, the physical damage from my abusive childhood has been racking up issues (some merely worse than usual, others a recurring theme) and they are starting to demand attention. I’d rather ignore it all, but I’m reminded that if I don’t tend to medical/dental needs, they can impact my health in ways that can hinder my life far more than the hassle, annoyance, and downright terror of dealing with medical types can.

Dentists, medical doctors, and a pair of psychiatrists and nurses were among my abusers, so it’s not a simple thing to just make appointments and waltz on in. I trust my therapist now as much as I ever trust anybody with a collection of degrees on their wall, and I have found a dentist I can tolerate when I have to. Medical doctors are another matter. No offense to anybody who is one of these types of people, but the bad apples can put an abuse survivor off the whole barrel, to mangle a phrase.

I can’t go to my good dentist this time until I see a new person, a specialist. When I was a young teen, my father struck me on the side of my face with a metal bar. It left a scar and shattered molars. The bridge I needed to fix the damage was first acquired from another of my father’s “clients”; they traded the dental work for sessions of child rape in the man’s office after the appointments. Dental bridges don’t last forever, and it was replaced when needed as a gift from my adopted dad years ago. Now it needs replacing for the second time, and rather than keep doing that, I decided to get implants instead. Enter the specialist. I’m happier knowing I can still see my dentist afterward for follow-ups. She is an amazing person. She lets my adopted dad stay in the room with us, tells me, “If I hurt you, you can hurt me back” with a wink and smile, and she knows the dial on the gas goes up to eleven.

While I try not to stress over dental issues, I have reluctantly agreed to have an MRI brain scan, to attempt to learn what might be causing my progressively worse cerebellar ataxia. Quite a saga went into that agreement, and I have a list of conditions almost longer than my arm detailing what I will and won’t tolerate in order to do this test. The dental implants may be a bigger deal, but the idea of an MRI scan terrifies me. I tried to research it (warning: don’t read about triggering medical stuff on medical websites; they give way too much information and will likely scare you to death in the effort to be all-inclusive). The top problems for me are lying on a table, the possibility of needles for contrast dye or sedation drugs, and the idea that medical people I don’t know may have to touch me, possibly with me in a hospital gown. As an added bonus, there has to be another new unknown doctor involved too, a neurologist. In a nutshell, I’m not sure it wouldn’t be simpler and kinder to cure the ataxic gait problem by just shooting me. My therapist and adopted dad and I discussed and wrangled over this. They agreed to the conditions I listed. After all that, I’m still terrified to take the test. The irrational part of my mind that forgets I’m safe now and away from my abusers, knows that I will likely end up a sobbing mess in the machine, which may ruin the test, and then I will be punished. All I can really do is hold a loved one’s hand, listen to something soothing, and repeat “I’m safe now, they can’t hurt me” over and over like a mantra. None of this will make me relax, but it will hopefully allow me to keep still and tolerate the test.

My current mantra is “baby steps”. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve handed over most of my alcohol from my house to my adopted parents for safekeeping. Many survivors turn to drugs and alcohol to cope and I’m no exception. I gave up hard drugs and cigarettes years ago when I became a dad. I’m probably easily classified as an alcoholic, but I haven’t honestly wanted to quit. It dulls the horror that rampages through my mind every day and every night. Unfortunately, even though I’m mellow and subdued when drunk, alcohol hinders my medications for bipolar and other issues. It’s possible that alcohol is even at the root of the cerebellar ataxia. Therefore, one of my new baby steps is to cut down as much as I can on alcohol without going into detox shock. I have not agreed to quit drinking. We’re saving that fight for another day. For now, I’m going to see if less is better and makes a real change for the better, or not. I have to do this on my own; rehab is another idea that you’d better shoot me before you suggest it. Some things a survivor just can’t cope with, and those things are different for each of us, even when some of them are similar for many.

Here’s hoping this ramble has shown just some of what a survivor has to deal with, many of us for the rest of our lives when physical handicaps are created by abuse. As I go along my personal path of healing, I have to face the fact that some things, like a blinded eye and missing fingers, slashed face and damaged speech can’t be fixed. Even if medical science could fix some things, that doesn’t mean I could cope with what it would take to allow them to try. If you ask why, I may only say two words: Scissor Man. I’m not ready to talk about him here yet, but it’s his abuses in that clean white coat that plunge me into despair at the mere thought of any sort of corrective surgery; even if it means going through my life being called “Frankenstein” by strangers on the street.

It was both stunning and amazing to hear “guilty” pronounced at the end of Sandusky’s trial. The brave young men he abused and terrorized who stood up and testified against him to get that guilty verdict are heroes. Yet when the cameras are turned off and the crowds are gone, we survivors are not wholly “free now”, nor is our work done. Many succumb to the horror and choose suicide. Many choose to fight even when it feels like a struggle for every next breath.

Why am I writing this? To help people understand what we face, in the hope that every person who reads this, or any other survivor’s account of abuse, might rise up and act for changes to help us. Many of us can never have our day in court, even if we could muster the courage to testify. The Statute of Limitations laws for sexual assault of any kind, of any sort of victim, need to be removed. You can prosecute for murder decades afterward; rape of adults and certainly of children need to be able to be prosecuted too. Mandatory sentences are needed for monsters like Sandusky; no more “slap on the wrist” sentencing, like the two year sentence the monster Graham James received in Canada. We need to educate the masses and the children in prevention of abuse of all kinds. We need the penalties for covering up horrifying crimes to be so steep that people in power will choose to protect our children over their sports programs, or whatever else they think may be more important than saving adults and children from rape. We also need to end the stigma and smash the myths about abuse and abusers, so that more victims and survivors will feel safe enough to come forward and get the help they need; and so they might be able to help us all to stop the next Sandusky, the next James.

If you haven’t helped because you don’t know where to start, Google “child abuse prevention” and you’ll see many organizations that can help you to help others, to help your own family. Just a few of the organizations that help me are:

Please don’t wait until it’s your loved one who is raped. If you think it can’t happen where you live, look at the statistics; I promise you, it already does happen where you live. It happens everywhere, to anybody; male, female, boy, girl, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, religious, atheist, the disabled, the healthy, the old, the young. Educate, smash myths, change laws… lock up monsters and keep them locked up. Each of us can save an adult or child from rape and abuse. If we all helped, we could end sexual assault and abuse.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 7/20/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.


when the weight of the day
rolls over heart and mind
and crushes the spirit
when the dark crowds in
sometimes, I want to die
I push and heave the weight away
but it’s never really gone
sometimes, exhausted
I let it cover me, hide me
bloodied useless pawn
I wake from horrors
trapped inside my head
sometimes I sleepwalk
or sleep on the floor
just a dog, just a thing
unable to be dead
I wait for the feeling to fade
sometimes I reach for a cure
but the permanent way
has failed me before
so I wait and try to endure
I fall, give up just a little
as the child deep inside
sits and stares
his tears leak ashes
soot to the chin
he’s locked the door
and won’t let me in
lost in nightmares, I wander
sometimes I cry, scream, shout
nobody listens
and I’ve lost the way out
Sometimes I know I hear
voices outside my head
sometimes it’s monsters
or maybe old ghosts
still trying to hear what they said
I relive it, each day I remember
while forgotten days nibble my soul
never can stop it
or fill it back up
before they eat me whole
I lay quiet
and listen to hope fade
feel it drip down my skin
sometimes I cry out
brittle voice of the damned
but no one hears, knows or cares
that the monsters were never
under the bed
they are getting drunk downstairs

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/24/1994


Spilt Milk

The pressure stills
then silence, a moment
milk spills, not allowed to cry

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/3/1995

Sometimes I Dream of Snow

Lily soft drops of ice coat the world
on the television screen
I creep around the wounded bear
to see
mindful of the cadence of breath

There, white and clean
it waits
children will play in it later
when plows are gone
It’s their bright voices that wake him
He grunts as the bottle drops
to roll on carpet
The eyes find me
the slow smile
makes my body shake

He slaps his thigh and I obey
crawl up as the hands crawl
I stare at the snow
watch it fall
wince when it happens again
Shriek of children
they make a sound
like nothing I’ve ever heard
They sound free
spinning down like snow

I try not to cry out
try not to listen
to the grunts
ignore the rancid breath
block out the burn
I become the snow
cold, frozen, waiting
for the fall to end

The children are dancing
snow falls stronger
hissing down
hiss of breath at my ear
it is over

I close my eyes as he stills
climb down when told
He works the remote
and the children are gone

I sit at the window
touch the cold glass
but outside the world is green
I close my eyes, recall the snow
and wait for the children
to dance

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 6/27/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.