Category Archives: Crossroads


Struggles slow
as the lure of the silence grows
echoes in tired veins
grows louder than
all other rhythmic beats
I know this pain
this whisper of an end to pain
for it thrums in me as in you
Yet I want to align
the unsteady beats
of two poet hearts
until they drown the silence
of the creeping dark
Your ghost words
sent into the ethers
caught in the clinging web
have brought me back
from the shadow’s edge
so I send my words
ghostly, timid
to give them again to you
We have a purpose
songs to sing
words to form
out of the depths
and when our voices and words are lifted
there is nothing
no silence, no shadow
we cannot push back

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 2/1/2012
For CaterinaSky, a poet of beautiful words. Thank you for being here.

Healing Voice

An Open Letter to Adam Lambert
By W.R.R.

Synth notes, a voice, a heartbeat beneath the drums. From the first notes, I took a deep breath, and it was the last breath I managed for awhile. Better Than I Know Myself came into my life, bloomed in my mind, at a bad moment. I wanted to share this with you, to let you know what your music, your voice, and this beautiful new song has meant to me. I wanted to let you know how it helped me.

When I went to therapy on December 16th, there was a new face in the waiting room: a woman. She winced and acted like she was nervous of me when she saw me come in, her behavior giving off the impression that she was afraid of and disgusted by me. The instant I saw her reaction, I knew she was a rape survivor, she had to be. The way she looked at me, she may as well have been wearing a sign.

I was there with my friend, whom I consider my adopted dad. He’s the one who talked me into going to therapy, and my main condition before I agreed was that he would remain with me when I go, even sitting with me in the sessions. He also had to find a female therapist who was willing to agree to my unusual requirements. So there we were, two guys, in a full waiting room populated mostly by women.

Fate hates me; the only open chairs were way too close to the woman who seemed quite upset to see me there. I decided to take the high road and respect her discomfort – I leaned against the wall near the door. Every nervous glance she shot at me began to make me feel sick and stressed out; it made me afraid, too, and almost dizzy. I wanted to bolt out the door, and nearly did. Irrationally, I also wanted to scream at her: “I didn’t hurt you!” This happens to male survivors of rape and child sexual abuse a lot, and each time is once too many. I’m so sad and sorry that she was hurt, but in her eyes, I was a monster just for being male.

The session wasn’t easy, if any of them ever are. We were dealing with my fears of people in general and my ongoing struggles from growing up as a child and teen who was sexually and physically abused by my parents, and my father’s “friends”. I was still terribly upset by that woman’s reaction to me, and could hardly think straight. After the session, I had to spend some time in the men’s room being sick. This is what stress does to me, if I manage to avoid a panic attack. As it turned out, I didn’t avoid it for long.

As we left the office, that woman was leaving too, but she hung back in the hallway to avoid me. I heard her whisper to her lady friend, “Do you think the court makes him get treatment?”

She had assumed I was an offender, a rapist, who had to go to court-appointed therapy. She made this assumption on the simple fact that I’m male and I have facial scars. The dread, hate, and accusation in her eyes terrified me and broke my heart. I was a victim like her, but she didn’t even think that was a possibility, because in her eyes I was an ugly disfigured man, and therefore a criminal.

Her words unraveled me. I am not a monster, I am a survivor. Do not assume I see a therapist to cure me of evil. I am wounded, too. These thoughts chased each other in my head like frightened birds, ramping up my stress.

In the car, stress hitting the red line because I’m terrified to be in cars, it happened; I had a stray suicidal thought. It was so clear, it was practically a vision: I could open the door, fall into traffic, and hope the cars behind would kill me. Right away, I rejected it, but it spiked into a panic attack. In my mind, to drive out the thought, I tried to force it out of my head. I didn’t know I was hitting my head on the door. The door lock cut my forehead and I scared my friend to death. He kept telling me the names of all the people who love me to bring me around. As I began to calm down, he said I should tweet (I’m often on Twitter in unavoidable car rides to ignore my surroundings). Expressing my awful experience and a few thoughts about it on Twitter helped, and I began to calm down more. The kind and supportive responses I received almost immediately also helped a great deal.

At home, I went straight to bed, got a band-aid on my forehead and tried to return to normal. I’ve been in the habit of listening to a collection of interviews of yours, especially the Donor’s Choose series, to calm me when I need to sleep and I’m afraid of nightmares. I promise you I’m not some crazed stalker person, if I ever was in the same room with you, I’d run and hide. It’s just that your voice is soothing. You sound relaxed and friendly in those interviews, and it’s comforting to hear. That day I was too upset though and wasn’t calming down. My family was afraid I’d have another panic attack. My sister had your new song, Better Than I Know Myself, and she sent it to my boyfriend to play it for me. I was expecting the interviews. The music started, and I knew it wasn’t anything I’d heard before. Then I realized what it was just before you began to sing.

The song is beautiful. I know you’ve been told that a lot already by more important people than me. What others don’t tell you enough is how healing your music and your voice is for those in pain. I speak to other fans often who agree with me, that you’ve helped us feel better, even on the worst of days. Your music has given some of us hope, too – just when we were running out of hope.

My boyfriend told me the lyrics meant a lot to him, like you understood how he feels, and he said it was like it was written for us, from him to me. I listened to it on repeat for hours until I could finally fall asleep. I listen to it often, on good days and bad days; and I often wonder if anybody has told you what you mean to them, told you that your voice heals wounds of the heart, the spirit, and the soul. You help us dance, but on bad days, on hard days, you help us breathe, even when you take our breath away. Thank you for sharing your gift. I’m going to listen and breathe, until I’m strong enough again… to dance.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 1/6/2012
For Adam Lambert, my stepping stone; and for all those who have felt the healing spirit in his unrivaled voice. We are still here, and we are listening.


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

I Am I: the Struggle for Identity

As a child, trying to exist and stay alive in the midst of my parents’ sexual abuse, I had no sense of self to speak of. I wasn’t cared for, loved, treated, or even spoken to like a normal little boy. My mother and I developed our relationship in an unhealthy trench bonding setting. We would say “I love you” to each other like two lost tourists who were fishing catch-phrases out of a book, but she rarely acted like a mother. Her main job was picking up the pieces when my father was done with his toy son.

My father liked to invent new ways to hurt and humiliate me; it amused him. With all of his “amusements”, it was a fight to frame the idea in my own mind that I was a human at all. As it was, I had no rights. I was whatever he told me to be. I wasn’t called by my name, either. “Boy” was a favorite. When speaking to my mother, he would say “that thing” a lot. Early on, he’d call me a faggot, a word I didn’t even understand until I was a teen and my peers started yelling it in the hallways.

Poetry came into my life in the form of rare presents from my paternal grandmother, a woman my father seemed to actually fear. She only visited a few times, but she always brought me books and jigsaw puzzles. Once she brought me a huge Shakespeare collection in one book, and then others like Frost, Tennyson, Cooleridge, Thoreau, Auden, etc. The poems fascinated me, and like another child might start to draw because of coloring books, I began to try to write my own poetry. I learned to hide it, after it got taken away and torn up a few times. After that, it became one of my few proofs that I was a person, no matter how I was treated. It was also the only place I allowed myself to admit my feelings, even to myself; or to admit that my life wasn’t right, even if I wasn’t sure what it should have been instead.

A poem that shows how it felt to be me in the midst of my abusive childhood, written when I was twelve:

“I Am I”

I am nothing
I am no one
I am broken
I am I
blank page
torn and stained
I am what I am told
I am beast
I am torn
I am I
filth stained red
there is only
the mask
given, taken
taken away
take it away
and I am gone
I am nothing
I am thing
I am I
© W.R.R. 11/15/1992

Since I escaped at age nineteen and became homeless for a few years rather than allow the abuse to continue, I ended up getting money to survive any way I could. Between that and my abuse, whatever path my orientation might have taken, I ended up identifying as bisexual. Many boys raped by men end up questioning their orientation. It’s horribly confusing and it’s easy to fall into self-blame and even self-hatred, gathering vices and making bad choices as you slowly and painfully grow up. I used to cut myself as a kid, and I ended up smoking at nine (up to three packs a day before I quit some years back). I acquired and quit a handful of drug habits as well. I still have issues with alcohol and pills.

Another area many people never want to discuss with a survivor of abuse is sex. The fact is, I and others like me still grow into adults with a variety of reactions to the subject of sex. A terrible viewpoint some cruel people have pointed out to me in my life is similar to what many women survivors are told: “If you like sex, why should we believe you were raped?” Well, I’ve never seen a study that proved that rape or abuse utterly destroys the human sex drive in a person, and plenty of survivors, men and women, are able to find a partner they love and trust enough to share intimacy.

My abuse altered me from experiencing a “typical response” to intimacy, several repeated events having taught me to confuse pain with pleasure. As a result, I grew up to be a masochist and I have to relearn, through talking with my therapist, that intimacy can be enjoyed without pain or harm being involved.

I also have many conflicting and very confusing viewpoints on subjects such as monogamy, orientation, and my own rights and worth as a human being. This is more common than people who have never been abused may think. Oprah even did a groundbreaking show about her childhood abuse and how abused children sometimes grow up to be promiscuous in unhealthy ways, rather than shunning sex as some believe they would.

One of the biggest lessons I have to unlearn is that I am not required to give sex in order to receive love. All of this has led me to be (by choice) a polygamist in the sense that I have a male and a female partner; and monogamy is a challenge even then. Add the mental illness of rapid cycle bipolar to that soup and I have a lot to process and learn to cope with.

In addition, and working at odds with that, I am also largely afraid of people, and men in particular. Yet I have only a fledgling sense of my own rights to engage in intimacy with others or to choose not to. In the past, taught by abuse that I was required to submit, I have been victimized by others who held little regard for my choice in the matter. In a few cases like this, though my therapist insists I am describing rape, the perpetrator would say it was consensual because I allowed it to happen. These offenders have no idea of the pathology I have been subjected to, but does that make their actions acceptable? Everybody who cares about me agrees the answer is no. Mostly, I live like a recluse and if I do have the courage to go out (usually during my manic cycle) I try to bring a friend or my boyfriend with me so that I have somebody along to stop this ugly situation from being repeated.

My pervading objection is, I should not have to feel like I should be expected to apologize for having any sexual identity at all. That “if you were raped, you now have to hate and shun all sex” mentality; it is ridiculous for anybody to presume they have a say in my sexuality at all. As I heal, cope, and just try to live from day to day, I think being able to trust, and to have a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with my partners is a good thing, my choice, and nobody else’s business. I refuse to live, speak, or act like some sort of celibate monk just because some people think that’s how a boy abused by his parents ought to be in order to “deserve” their sympathy. The abuse was my parents’ fault, not mine; so why should I be punished for it? Why should any survivor?

Sometimes I joke with my friends, online and offline; the people I trust and feel safe with. We have fun conversations about writing fiction stories, or about the actors and singers we have crushes on. It’s normal friendship stuff, and survivors have a right to it. I want to spend time with my friends without feeling worried about what people who know about my abuse might think of me on Twitter when I’m kidding around with friends. To me, this is a normal, healthy, and hard-won aspect of my healing journey.

One of the most horrible aspects of all of this happens when an abused child speaks out and eventually goes to testify in court, entering the “court of public opinion” before that. If anybody sees that child smile, or enjoy a game with friends, some ignorant people say “Look, see? That’s proof he’s lying about the abuse.” As if, having been abused, the child should only appear as a broken victim incapable of hope or healing in order to be believed. That child is often bullied by peers, too, because he was abused. This phenomenon is being observed by the silent victims of rape and abuse too – and what’s at stake is them learning that maybe it’s better not to speak up and tell somebody. This is a result that can end innocent lives.

If you are a survivor of any orientation, or still trying to work through the confusion of what that orientation might be, don’t let anybody make you feel like you have to be one or another. You also don’t have to lock yourself in an ivory tower or cloister, denied the chance to find love. Please don’t suffer in silence. Speak out, tell somebody you need help. Later, when you grow up, learning to want healthy intimacy of any sort with somebody who loves you is your right as a human being. It can help you to heal if you feel it’s right for you, and it does not alter the tragic truth, in court or out, that you were abused or raped. On the contrary, it is proof that your abuse does not define who you are.

We as survivors have the right to heal and become who we want to be. Nobody else has the right to tell you that what you choose is wrong. This goes for children and teens who are being bullied to the point of suicidal thoughts, too. We all have a right to be safe and happy. You have a right to be you.

Carving out an identity that gives you the best chance at learning to be happy is key. It is a struggle; yet not only discovering who you are, but deciding for yourself who you will be, is the most empowering form of healing. Take the phrase “I am I” and make it mean something special to you. Once you do, nobody can take it away from you.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/5/2011
For my fellow survivors and those they choose to be strong enough to love; and for all who don’t feel safe in a world that shuns them. Don’t give up. Speak out.

Concerning Suicide: Don’t Suffer In Silence

The first time I wanted to die was at the age of five when the parental sexual abuse that began a year prior took an even uglier turn. My father had chosen to rent my body to other pedophiles to make a lot of money. This happened in our home. At that time, having been kept from social interaction and most TV all my short life, I had no idea how to die. Later, I tried to kill myself several times. Mostly, my mother found me in time, or one of my two friends stopped me. If my father stopped me, it was with a beating. How dare I attempt to rob him of his property? Throughout my life I’ve considered suicide to be an option, a way to escape a horrid life of abuse by a man whose hobby was trying out ways to torture his son.

The most recent time I almost committed suicide was just a week or so after New Year’s Eve, this year. I’m a rapid cycle bipolar, suffering from agoraphobia along with a grab bag of other phobias. I suffer from PTSD, panic attacks, and anxiety. I have tremor in my hands and other physical handicaps that are hard to live with at times, plus the weight of my childhood horrors compounding the rest. Traumatic events can bring all that down over my head. After New Year’s Eve, I was out in town by myself, something I do sometimes as a way to prove to myself I can manage alone. I live in Texas and I always carry a concealed weapon. That night I got jumped by three men who accused me of raping their sister. I’d never seen them before and certainly never raped anybody, but they kept saying it was a guy who looked like me and that was good enough for them. They said they wanted to go home and tell her they’d gotten “the guy”, so she could stop being afraid. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a guy with tattoos and piercings, dark hair – taking another man’s punishment. I couldn’t get to my gun in the ambush and they beat me very badly. When I finally reached my gun, I shot into the air to make them run and I escaped. I had a mental and emotional breakdown before I finally made it home. Sitting in my kitchen, I screamed at my boyfriend to leave me alone. He left the room. When he turned on some music, Adam Lambert’s “Broken Open”, I had my gun in my mouth. My mental illness had voices screaming in my head about how my family, my children, friends, would all be better off without me. My memories of abuse whispered that I wouldn’t have to think about how I’d been hurt anymore. Then I listened to the words I was hearing with my ears. That song said it was okay to feel broken, but it didn’t have to end me. I could feel that way and learn out of it how to be stronger. I could be safe when I was weak, until I had the chance to grow strong again. I put the gun away, went to sleep, and didn’t tell my boyfriend or anybody else about the incident, or the men who attacked me, for some time.

In spite of all the horror in my life, something in me wanted to live. At fifteen I made a promise to myself. I would try to survive, because children grow up and I hoped when I was an adult, I could escape home and life would get better. The promise I clung to was this: if I reached the age of thirty, if life hadn’t gotten better by then, I would end it. Sometimes when trauma brings it all back like a train wreck, like after New Year’s, I get weak. Yet my life is better now. I have a loving family & children who are my joy, my salvation. I’m in therapy, have been for years, and it helps. In October last year, I turned thirty. It was strange to realize that. This October, I turned thirty-one. My mental, emotional, and physical handicaps still plague my life, my abuse still haunts my nightmares and my waking mind, but I’m still here, I’m still alive.

So now I learn to cope with trauma so it won’t put me in that headspace that makes me consider suicide. Statistics and studies show that men who have been sexually abused as children are often ten times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, more often than I care to admit, I do have those thoughts; but I’m learning how to stop them. I find a loved one to talk to, I get help from my therapist, I work to avoid trauma, and sometimes I just breathe and wait for the thoughts to pass.

I intend to beat the odds; because the life I want is right in front of me now, and I want to watch my children grow up. Whatever the circumstances kids being bullied today may face, these things can and do change. School ends. Bullies move away. You survive, grow up, and your life changes for the better. Tell somebody, let them help you. If the first person you tell won’t help or doesn’t believe you, find another person to tell. Don’t suffer in silence. Silence kills.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/4/2011

Inspired by my friend Steve Gray’s blog, here: Do You Ever Feel Suicidal?

Broken Silence, Shattered Illusions

Those who have read my poetry and essays in my journal blog know that I lived a childhood of physical and sexual abuse from both parents. My mother was a victim too, but it was years later before I knew that the comfort she wanted from me was equally wrong as what my father was doing. It didn’t seem equal to me then; he hurt me, she didn’t.

One of the hardest things for me to process, let alone admit to a living soul outside of therapy, is the fact that not everything my father did hurt. Now I’m told that is part of a pedophile’s plan, to make the victim feel as though they are also at fault somehow. He didn’t buy me gifts or take me to special events to lure me though, because he didn’t have to. As his son, he could raise me as he chose and he chose to raise me to believe that I was his property and that I had no say or any rights to my own body, mind, or feelings. I believed it, too, and survival became a matter of learning how to avoid making him angry. Of course that was next to impossible, because whatever was mentally wrong with him allowed him to be angry at nothing, at any time.

One of the most traumatic nights of my life began as a boy who wanted his mother. She was in the hospital after a beating, but she had “fallen down the stairs”, officially. I kept asking my father where she was, afraid she wouldn’t come back. He told me to be quiet, but I didn’t listen. He was peeling an apple with a long kitchen knife, and he could make the peel come off in one long curling piece. It fascinated me, so I got closer than I normally would have on my own. When I asked about my mother again, he slashed my face with the knife. The blade cut my cheeks and nearly severed my tongue. He waited too long to take me to the hospital, and the tongue healed badly. I was left with scars in the form of a Glascow Smile, and a speech impediment that seems to get worse if I’m emotionally stressed. I collected many more scars over the years, in skin and in the mind. At sixteen, for defiance, my father blinded my left eye with his cigar. Yet I was raised to accept these things as normal punishments for bad behavior and disobedience. The world outside was given excuses and nobody asked. If they did ask, I lied – as I was taught to do.

As a child (the sexual abuse began when I was four), I was desperate to believe that he loved me. Anytime he didn’t hit me, I would take it as proof of love. When he came to my room at night, I tried to obey and be “good” so he would be kind instead of hateful. I never had any other example to tell me that it was all wrong, sick, and horribly damaging. I was raised to think that this was the relationship between all fathers and sons. Through it all, I believed that he loved me. When his illness gave him the belief that he was a god, he taught me to worship him. I was four, and I wanted to be loved – so I never questioned it.

When I turned five, everything changed. I had defied my father by hiding a puppy he had told me to get rid of. He got rid of it in front of me, and I was punished. Soon after, he brought a strange man home and told me to go with him into the downstairs guestroom. I was terrified and confused when I realized this stranger wanted the same things my father had always said were just for him. I tried to fight, thinking the man had tricked my father and I’d be in trouble, but it was useless. When the man left the room, they spoke like friends, and that confused me even more. My mother came to take care of me and when my father came in, I got in trouble for crying, and for fighting the man. I was told I’d better obey next time. The next time was only a few weeks later, but it was a different man. We also had a new television, but I didn’t understand what was going on then.

There were others, and sometimes they wanted to do things I’d never done before and a few of them terrified me. My mother would protest after seeing the bruises and marks, but she just got hit for defiance. The only time my father got angry at one of these men was when a pair of them came over at the same time, and one of them tried to touch my mother. Years later, I realized that she was the one he wouldn’t share with anybody, but the rules were different for me. I tried to lie to myself, any lie that came along, that it didn’t mean he didn’t care.

Indoctrinated from a child to never tell and that other people would only harm me, I never told, and I never ran away. My home life was just how the world was, and all little children owed sex to their parents. If I ran away, my father said he would punish my mother, and some other man would just do the same things to me. Once or twice, away from home, and once when I was in a hospital for a time, that happened just like he said, so I believed it all. I began to believe my father was actually some sort of protector, and I never knew that some people would have helped me, and would never have hurt me. That was fantasy to me, and it didn’t exist in my world.

I overheard a handful of conversations downstairs when I was twelve that finally made me realize my father was being paid money, a lot of it, so that these men could do what they wanted. He had sought them out, discovered their secrets, and provided a safe way for them to experience what they wanted, without fear of being caught. I knew the word for what he had turned me into, and it made me feel devastated and used, made me feel dirty. I wanted to die, but I didn’t know how.

I began to disobey and the beatings got worse. Sometimes I tried to provoke my father into killing me, but he always stopped. He was also angry because I was growing up, and I slowly understood that the men didn’t want a man, they wanted a little boy. My father found ways to work around that problem by adding a few new faces to his now organized group of “clients”, and my life did not improve. Most of that time, writing poetry was my only escape. It became the only place I could admit to myself that my life was wrong. Poetry was also the only thing that could convince me that I was human at all.

I escaped my abusive home at the age of nineteen and lived homeless for a time. I ended up doing the only thing I knew in order to eat, or to buy the drugs I’d gotten hooked on to cope with the abuse – I took money for sex. I had no sense of self, let alone any self-worth, and deep down, I was just hoping somebody would kill me. I almost committed suicide many times as a boy, teen, and young man; but something inside me didn’t want to die. I didn’t know how to live, but I knew I wanted something better, a way out. Eventually, I stopped hustling and became a dancer. When I met the beginnings of my current loving and supportive family, they talked me into stopping all of these nightlife pursuits and letting them take care of me. I had always been a rapid cycle bipolar since childhood, but living on the streets and my life of abuse had given me PTSD and a growing list of debilitating phobias. Recurring panic attacks in public introduced me to a few nights in jail here and there, and I slowly started to see that if I wanted to save my own life, I would have to let the people who loved me take me in and try to help. My new family got me more stable than I’ve ever been, got me into therapy and on medication for bipolar and anxiety, all of which help. Yet the best thing in my life is my new family, these people who love and care for me. Every day, they show me that I’m worthy of love, and work to convince me that I’m stronger than I think I am. They also put up with my reclusive nature and the rules I’ve created for myself so that I can feel safe, limiting how much I interact with the world and others.

My home situation is not a typical one. The abuse left me very mixed up regarding orientation, and I identify now as a bisexual, though I never had the simple ability to discover for myself what I am. I have adopted a gay couple as my new parents, because they saved my life. I have a boyfriend I’ve loved since high school and a girlfriend who was a single mother when we met years ago. She and I have four children. My children have never known abuse of any kind, except that they are aware on a level they can handle that their father was abused. Because of my medical and mental issues, they have to be aware of some things, but we don’t tell them details. The Penn State child sexual abuse case broke, and my oldest, at nine, asked me if that was like what happened to me. I told her it was similar, and that those boys would need a lot of help to heal. We also assure our children that they can tell us anything, and if anybody ever makes them uncomfortable, they are to tell us right away and we’ll stop it.

Many people don’t want to look at these things, but Penn State’s situation and the Catholic Church cases, among others, have made them look, more and more. Some pedophiles are solitary, barricaded by lies and excuses; but others run in packs. When I learned about a national group called NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a group that believes child rape is a “consensual relationship”, I had to be sick. It brought up too many terrible, ugly memories of my father’s friends and their “private club”.

As an adult in my thirties now, I’ve tried to understand my abuse by understanding the sort of people my father gathered to him. They came from all walks of life and most of them were influential in their communities. They were rich businessmen, professionals in different areas, and two of them were doctors. One of those men put me on Zoloft when I was nine, and now I’ve found studies that show that may be a cause of turning bipolar into rapid cycling, one of the biggest handicaps of my life. I never knew their names; as a child I invented names for them. When I became an older teen, they began to drift away. I can only assume they found other children to target, since these people don’t want to stop.

Some people have asked me how I can talk about my abuse, or why I do. Silence kills. Illusions enslave. I have the support of a loving family now and they have helped me to be strong enough to try to help others. There are those who need to pull their heads out of the sand and help children around them who are being abused. There are children who need to know they can tell and ask for help. There are also survivors who never told a soul, and their secrets have almost destroyed their adult lives.

We must break the silence, and shatter the illusions. We must help child victims and adult survivors. We must prevent and break the ugly cycle of abuse. If I don’t speak out, having fought for the strength to be able to do so, then my story can’t help anybody else in pain, and it can’t help educate those who need to understand in order to choose to help.

My voice was shattered, but I can still reach others, and I have made the choice to help in the way that I am able. If my words can help even one other person or child, the pain and anxiety of reliving my past will be worth it.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/28/2011
For those who have been abused, and those who want to help.


Long ago
the dust settled
over the long road
in the wake of something
a child could never understand
Bumps in the road
as if they would try
to separate body from mind
Next to dusty little shoes
a small suitcase sits
full of meager yesterdays
as the road stretched
into uncertain tomorrows
At the edge of the world
as the world stopped
a place of unknown shadows
but no welcome was made
Run, boy, run
the driver called
hang on that bell
but don’t look back
What child would obey?
Catch in dry, dusty throat
as the car, the only connection
sped so fast, so far away
A ringing bell has to be answered
Silence laps at the mind
drawn by fear like the hidden moon
a tide to unravel
the strongest of men
but the child is stronger
Dull click of the lock
the door opens
and a new kind of hell begins
Years pile on hopes
until dust covers all
in a white sheet
yet somewhere
under the ghostly folds
hope still learned to breathe
Now at the other end of an era
a man stands
stronger still
than what tried to mold him
or tried to break him
a spirit of kindness
smiles from his eyes
a shining beacon
as his bell laughter
rings out
in the land of the kind
and gentle people
He is not what his past
tried to create
he is what he chose to be
for choice cannot die
as long as hope lives

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 11/23/2011
For Lorne, 87 years and counting; you give me hope. Thank you.


Unmade, escaped
too soon, too late
left alone and weak
undefended living doll
and one by one by one
they come to play
shaking hands
wipe the filth away
Nothing has changed
lay the lie on the rest
only memory is gone
and in the dark
of an empty soul
reasons to remain
run out like sand

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/25/1999


Dirty washroom
crumpled money
sweaty in pocket
city noise outside
rusted lock clicks
terrible silence
Face the mirror again
reflection cracked
reach out and touch
smooth glass
it lies
Gut twist
a feeling so dark
unknown, unuttered
to make the lie
Reach, pull
metal heavy in my hand
warm from worn jeans
Point the dark tunnel
at the ruin
of a man who is not a man
never was
servile animal
vessel of filth
Make it pay
make it tell the truth
squeeze and the glass
the room
the world
Shower of glass
sharp pins in flesh
traitor eye opens to see
tiny avenging hole
in cold gray concrete
as dead inside
as me
Brush away debris
it shines like diamonds
wipe away little rivulets
of scarlet hope
but leave the dirt
it just comes back
The night waits
city maw opened wide
but never wide enough
Rusted lock clicks
breathe, and go

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 12/24/2000