Category Archives: Suicide

Only a Personal Choice is the Right Choice, for Coming Out as LGBTQ

Inspired by this article by Kile Ozier on the Good Men Project:

Stand up. Be visible. Contribute to the solution.

I wanted to share my thoughts on “coming out” via pressure from others.

I was looking forward to seeing the comments on the above article, but I fear the approach may be too draconian and a bit too guilt-trippy for most folks to want to engage with it. Especially when most closeted LGBTQ people aren’t just wary of a vague threat of not being accepted or losing a job. Actually, losing a job these days can ruin somebody’s life and their ability to feed their children. Plus, there is the very real, local and immediate threat of bodily harm and even death for some, according to where they live. Spouses could take away kids and never allow the person to see them again (since the media and society love to spread the lie that “gays are dangerous and will molest kids”). Many are not willing to risk these things, and like the concept of reporting one’s rape, coming out needs to be a personal choice with risks, pros and cons assessed. If fictitious Josh Smith comes out at the urging of others before he is ready, loses his family and ends up committing suicide because the loss of his kids forever is too much to face, what have we, the LBGTQ community, gained? A soundbite? A platform point? Josh is still dead. Likewise, if his neighbor shoots him dead because he doesn’t want “one of them” around his sons? Ignorance and bigotry is killing people right and left these days, so it’s not a vague threat. It is another risk to be carefully considered. Now Josh may kill himself because the loneliness, self-hate, and lies of the closet can cause depression and despair, too, so it’s all a risk – to come out or to not.

I have never been “closeted” as a bisexual; I spent my life hiding my abuse and rapes and didn’t much care if school peers called me gay or beat me up for it. What was that, compared to my home life of abuse? None of them hit harder than my father.

My boyfriend is partially in the closet. He started therapy now to deal with a past of parents who neglected and ignored him, while his father would beat him at any sign of “being soft”. His father spoke almost daily about how “those gays should just be killed” and the threat was not veiled at all what would happen if they knew he was gay. He tried suicide by drinking bleach as a child and his mother only said, “Don’t embarrass the family.” The “gay goes to Hell” was a constant theme, too. As a child, he believed it.

He only has a few friend groups that he thinks don’t know (though I suspect they do and don’t care) but he needs to work that parental BS and abuse out of his mind and heart and then choose for himself to come out fully. He probably has low risk of real danger, as he’s nearly a mascot to the police and the bikers around here. Still, like reporting rape, it is a crucially personal decision. Since each person is the only one who knows their risks, others can urge, but should not try to force or guilt trip that person into taking risks that could end in another person’s death or the ruin of their life.

I never reported my abusers as a child because I would have been killed. I watched them kill others, so it wasn’t an idle threat. As an adult, it took years for the “they’ll find me and hurt me” fear to fade, and to some degree it’s still something I struggle with. Yet I assessed risks and decided to tell, to speak out, to help others.

I have been fortunate, in that I am still alive and I am protected by a new and loving family. Many teens and even children as young as ten are struggling in homophobic homes and are terrified to come out. Some who do are killed, sometimes by their own parent or community. Others are cast out to be homeless, at risk of rape, murder, drugs, prostitution, or starvation. Some kids are bullied to the point of suicide on the mere accusation of being LGBTQ when they aren’t, let alone what happens to the ones who are. The “It Gets Better” video campaign has been helping those kids. So does the Trevor Project. Alas, there are next to no similar help resources for adults.

We also need some serious public relations improvements. If enough of society still hates/fears LGBTQ people and see us as a threat to them and to their children, we need to show them we are not a threat. We need PSAs and other media and laws changed and better examples set. We need to eradicate the lie that “Gays harm boys”. A gay man is attracted to a man, not to his seven-year-old son. Homophobes equate gay with pedophile, and that is the root of the Boy Scouts not allowing adult LGBTQ people to be involved. Pedophiles infiltrate organizations where they will have access to kids. Yet the Boy Scouts of America think boys are being raped because there are gays involved. This is a prime example of a wrong public perception that we need to debunk. Prove to society that LGBTQ is not a threat; that is why the younger generations don’t worry about who is homosexual or not – they don’t see LGBTQ as a threat.

Personally, I know many LGBTQ people in committed relationships who feel most Pride parades don’t represent them at all. When the parades turn into an excuse to have a drunken/drugged barely clothed orgy on a public street, you will have some in society using that as “proof” that LGBTQ is a threat. I’m not telling anybody how to enjoy Pride – just wanted to point out the possibly irrationally unpopular opinion that many family-oriented LGBTQ folks have. Most of them I know avoid Pride because drunken debauchery is not kid-safe. Basically, party wild if you want to folks, but don’t be surprised if Pride footage on the news is used as “proof” that LGBTQ is a threat.

I understand the frustration and the sense that, being on the other side of it without loss of one’s life, a person can look back and say to the closeted person, “Go ahead, it’s okay.” But we usually don’t know the risks they face, and we shouldn’t be so impatient that we are willing lose lives by not giving each person the right and space in which to decide for themselves.

Now that my words will probably be taken as well as a stick hitting a hornet nest, I’ll go sit in my bunker and wait to be attacked over them in general, by whomever.

I appreciate the passion of articles like the one above; but as a rape and abuse survivor, I only see that people need the right to assess risks they face that we don’t know about, and then make a personal choice for themselves. That way, it will be the right choice for them and it will give them strength to face the results of their choice. In the end, community spirit aside, we all have to face those risks and consequences alone, one way or another.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 6/19/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Male Rape Exists & It’s Not Going Away If You Ignore It

The following is an expansion of my comment on this excellent article on the Good Men Project, by Kile Ozier:

Men are Being Sexually Assaulted in the Military, but Nobody is Talking About it

I am a male survivor of rape as a child and as an adult, though I was never in the military. I was born into and grew up in a child sex ring, run by my father. I was raped by both men and women as a toddler and older. The first rape was by my father, when I was four years old. By age five, I was rented for sex and used in the making of child porn. There were many children in the ring, and several of them were boys.

The sad truth is that most people just don’t want to hear that males can be and are victims of rape. Even fewer want to hear that some males are raped by females, and not always in a statutory rape situation. These ignorant people believe males should be strong enough to fight off a rapist, even a small boy should be able to fight off a grown man. They don’t seem to hear how ludicrous they sound. A male can be (and they are) raped in many of the same ways a female is raped, such as ambush, weapons used, rape by a person they trust, drunk victims raped, unconscious victims raped, the list goes on….

I believe and stand by everything Kile Ozier said in the article linked above. I fervently wish fear, disgust, ignorance and resentment wouldn’t blind the majority to the particular horrors that male rape victims and survivors face.

Yes, rape is a horror for female victims and survivors, too. Yet most people don’t doubt that a female can be raped. Doubt and even the refusal to believe (for many ignorant reasons) that males can be raped, along with all the sick stigma and demonizing of homosexuals, are the prime reasons male victims and survivors stay silent.

On the subject of stigma, female victims don’t often have their status as “a woman”, in the cultural sense, thrown into question (and ridiculed) because of rape. Male victims and survivors experience this questioning and ridicule nearly every time if they report the crime, whether officially to authorities, or just to people they know. They are also sometimes attacked, even beaten up, because they were raped. I’ve experienced these things personally.

I can call a male rape victim’s silence self-preservation, because it often is exactly that. Male victims also remain silent and fall into drug and alcohol abuse and suicide because males are told they “can’t” show emotion, ask for help, or tell anybody that they are in terrible pain due to rape.

Male rape, just like female rape, isn’t going to go away or stop by ignoring it. It doesn’t matter if the topic makes you uncomfortable. If your neighbor, brother, son, or best male friend were assaulted with a hammer and needed to heal, would you judge, shun or loathe him? Probably not. So why are male victims of rape judged, shunned or loathed? They are the same man or boy you considered a friend or loved family member before the rape.

Why is “gay” all mixed up and demonized in the stigma surrounding male rape? Rape DOES NOT change sexual orientation. Homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, queer and transmen are raped just as straight men are raped. Being “gay” or not has nothing to do with “asking for it” anymore than a woman wearing a short skirt is “asking for it”. Also, when most male rape help resources only cite “Don’t worry, rape can’t make you gay”, that is a stab in the ribs to any homosexual or GBT rape victim or survivor who comes to your site hoping to find help. Perhaps we need an additional “Don’t worry, rape can’t make you straight” platitude for LGBTQ victims/survivors?

Most males who rape males are not “gay”. They are “straight”. Most pedophile males who rape boys are not “gay”, they are “straight”. So please, America, stop making sick rape jokes about a boy “being gay and getting some” because a male pedophile raped him. Also, a boy is not “lucky” if a hot teacher rapes him. Gay or straight, that boy is raped. If you wish to dispute these points, and you are not a male rape victim or survivor, please sit down and go research statistics on male rape.

I also encounter (many times) a certain type of feminist (though not all of them are like this) who get angry in general if male victims and survivors of rape are mentioned in any context, for any reason. This type of feminist, man or woman, tries to silence me and push their agenda right over me. To my ears, their agenda appears to be this: “Only female victims of rape exist, and even if males are raped, they don’t matter as much as female victims.” Now for those who want to jump in and attack me over this paragraph, you may be the problem. Please sit down and go research the prevalence of male rape.

One of the worst stigmas may be the common rape center/org mantra: Teach Men Not to Rape. How about if we teach all people not to rape? Because some women are rapists, and we should teach girls not to rape right alongside the boys. The prevalent and ignorant notion that “only men rape, only women are raped” needs to be stopped, and stamped out. Why? Because, like it or not, some women and girls rape, and some men and boys are raped.

As a male survivor of rape, I am sick of seeing and hearing others say I don’t exist. Male rape victims exist, folks – whether you want to believe it or not. You can’t make us disappear just because the crime that is destroying us too makes you feel uncomfortable.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 5/21/2013
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 rape children. 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.

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

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?