Sur/Thriving

For half a century a shame has stalked me. It has left me sleepless. I’d lay still, frozen in a burning flush. Holding my breath I’d wait for it to pass. It was a memory I had to look away from. The feelings were as intense as the aftermath of the public assault. Worse yet,... Continue Reading →

Featured post

so many skins, since

Here, on a crowded beach, is where I met the man who kidnapped me in 1974. Decades later, I stand for a moment of reflection. On this quiet morning, an advertisement grabbed my attention. It’s a PSA for the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The bright message sparked a revelation. What would have once triggered anger... Continue Reading →

Featured post

Monster?

Looking for sleep last night I rolled into a question: How can I look at the sadistic raper with compassion? I have always held him as a monster. The man was a true sadist. He thrilled at taking me to the brink of death. I presume he’s long dead, probably swept away by AIDS. So... Continue Reading →

On and on and…

It can seem we are staring into our navels, repeating and rehashing. These dreadful events happened so long ago. If we are not free of them by now, will re-examining them yet again do the trick? Through the lens of despair, it's easy to wonder if we are building a shrine to our victim-hood. Yet... Continue Reading →

Inspiration & Doubt

These photos mostly inspire me. But when I am low, they taunt me and I wonder: “Am I a fool?” “Should I give up?” “Didn't I start to late?” “I wouldn't have looked like them at their age, why bother now?” I know I would feel worse if I quit. So I plod on and something... Continue Reading →

Before

My biggest victories are invisible. My wins are much larger than the pounds pressed or reps gotten. Below the surface of my bodybuilding there are two key life events. The first is a sweet inspiring moment. The second is bitter. The latter's aftermath threw me into a prison of confusing contradictions. Long before the kidnapping,... Continue Reading →

Battleground

I am tired of fighting for my birthright. My entire life I have balanced two opposing truths. My body is male. But since I was 5, I wasn’t allowed to think of myself as a boy. The assault destroyed that birthright. Believing my father was deeply ashamed and hated me, only compounded it. I have... Continue Reading →

I am a man

This week I benched my body weight. No big deal, guys hit their goals all the time. But that sentence would have been forbidden to me as a child. Not the fact, even if I had, but the aspiration it embodies. My 5 year old brain figured out how to handle the shame from the... Continue Reading →

See Me

Sometimes I need to pause mid frolic and reflect on just how much I have changed. As you may have noticed, I have been having a delightful romp in the land of selfies. This may strike old friends as strange. Not so long ago, I would protest having my photo taken. If they managed a... Continue Reading →

vapor

...Specs of bright metal dashed along the lines. Each of the countless staples glistened obscenely where they pinched the discolored skin.

The ferocity of a child.

I deeply shared a lot about the assault with a friend. Rarely have I so clearly expressed the experience. Gone was my begging permission to feel. I wasn’t nervously claiming my rights to compassion on technicalities. Without shame, I freely discussed the worst day of my life. Giving feedback, he marveled at the “ferocity of... Continue Reading →

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