Together We Heal

Together We Heal is for any who suffer from the trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. We are here to provide a safe forum for survivors of abuse to share, learn and heal, give direction to those seeking guidance and to expose sexual predators for what they are and their methods of getting into our lives.


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The Breakfast Club 2.0

A black opera singer, a religion/philosophy major and homecoming queen walk into a bar. No, it’s not the beginning of a tired joke, nor did they walk into a bar. Actually, they and about 5-6 other people from equally different backgrounds sat in a student center of a private, liberal arts university. This conglomeration of typical American diversity decided to call themselves “The Breakfast Club.” Those of you old enough to get the movie reference will appreciate what they meant. For those that don’t, all you need to know is what they were, what they thought they knew and what they would all eventually become would not always be what was anticipated, assumed or expected. Life is full of surprises that way.

For those, who at the age of 18, declare themselves as Religion/Philosophy majors, the irony in it is that they think they know it all already. And yes, I speak from personal experience. What I learned over the next 7 years, was that I not only didn’t know it all, I hardly knew a thing. And to this very day I am constantly learning more and seeing things as I never have before. Thank goodness for that!

How sad would it be to have at 18 the complete understanding of all humanity. What a burden to bear with so little skills as yet gained. Over those 7 years I lived a couple of lifetimes. The college years are like that for most. Like a whole other life. It’s where most learn what they really believe, as opposed to what mommy and daddy told them. Some fall in lockstep with traditional roles. Doctors, lawyers, teachers – then there’s the rest of us. Those who didn’t figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up. I thought I had. Finished with a degree in journalism. Was going to charge hell with a squirt gun and take on all the worlds wrongs and injustices. I felt the “pen was mightier than the sword” philosophy would serve me well as i headed into the profession of broadcasting and journalism. Silly thing happened along the way. Got a shocking jolt of reality. People, at least those in power, don’t really want some sniveling nosed youngster stirring the pot and messing things up. Then a very sad thing happened. I, like so many others, got disillusioned. You think to yourself, it doesn’t really matter what I do because nothing’s going to change.

So we settle. We settle for a “job” that pays bills. We settle for a spouse who will tolerate us. We settle for an apartment because we don’t want to sacrifice what it would take to get a house. We settle, we settle, we settle. Any of this sound familiar? What happened to those dreams and aspirations of our youth? Of being a marine biologist, or a romance novelists or whatever your big idea was? We got disillusioned and settled. Screw that Carpe Diem BS, I got a power bill to pay!

Then 1 year becomes 5. 1 kid becomes 3. And now your 20 yrs. down the road, kids almost grown, and you’ve quite rightly “settled” in to this life. So what now. And why now? Why now are all those thoughts from my childhood creeping back into my mind? Why? Because now there’s nothing to distract me. No midnight keg party, no late night rendezvous, no diapers to change, no soccer practices, no business luncheons, no nothing. Just me and my thoughts.

Now I have the time to remember all the vile things done to me by my abuser. And the really, REALLY crappy thing about it…it’s too late to prosecute them. For you see, back in “our” day the statute of limitations ran out by the time we were 18, or maybe 23 in some places. But it’s too late now. So why bother? Why? Because as you sit here reading this, and as I’m writing it, they are probably already grooming another little “you” and another little “me”. Pedophiles don’t stop. They don’t get fixed. There is no cure.

I still have the majority of those friends who called themselves “The Breakfast Club”. I’m blessed in that. And even more so, they all have been willing to join me in this fight to protect children and help survivors of abuse. So, it took me a little longer than most to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up. Better late than never, right?

So it’s up to me, it’s up to you, it’s up to all of us as adults to stop them. To do what those children can’t do for themselves, speak up. Name your abuser, if it’s a possibility. Tell anyone who is in earshot who they are, what they did and warn those around them. If its not something that can be done, then reach out to other survivors to help them. Help educate the public and those around you about CSA. The children of this generation deserve our protection. And I’m not asking you to do something I’ve not been willing to do myself. I have made sure all those who are around my abuser know EXACTLY what he did to me and many other little boys. Please keep in mind that I’m only asking this of those who are in a healthy enough place to do so. Not those who have just come to terms with what happened.

And I’m asking the same of every person reading this who wasn’t a victim of CSA, but wants to know what they can do to help. Extend your reach to help groups like ours and others, volunteer your time, give of your talents, your resources, whatever you have at your disposal to help those in need.

And once you have gotten to that place of strength and confidence, ask yourself…

…as Sean Connery told Kevin Costner in the movie “The Untouchables” when all hell was about to break loose…

…”What are you prepared to do?”

Copyright © 2014 Together We Heal, Inc.


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Do You Want A Future?

Truth is truth, right? And if it is so, then whether we agree with it or not, it’s still the truth. You may not agree with the concept of gravity, especially if you’re like me when you step on a scale. But if you step off a second floor balcony with no net to catch your fall, you will discover a hard, cement-tasting truth.

Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno and multiple other thinkers were at one time called heretics. In the end, what they found to be the truth went against ALL popular “scientific” notions of the day, religious beliefs or merely values held at the time.

I say this to bring to light the following truth I’ve discovered in my own life –

“You must enter your past to fix your present. If you don’t, you will have no future.”

I know, I know, sounds like a psychobabble cliche, but just as we call something a “generalization”, there’s a reason, that’s because they are “generally” true. So this time, with a non-judgmental or preconceived notion, let me repeat and have you read it once more…

…”you must enter your past to fix your present. If you don’t, you will have no future.”

I admit it sounds a bit ominous. And while it may be hard to hear, I’m merely trying to make a point, emphasizing the truth I discovered in my own life. It wasn’t until I went back to my past; the acknowledgment of the childhood sexual abuse that I endured from ages 12-15, that enabled me to begin to work through the issues of the present of that time. Once acknowledged and beginning to heal, I finally, for the first time in almost 10 years, began to see the potential of a future that lay ahead.

Once upon a time, I was heavily addicted to multiple narcotics to numb myself from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. This led to three arrests, jail time, fines, no drivers license for a year, loss of tens of thousands of dollars in wages from a career I was genuinely passionate about. And in varying degrees, it cost me a relationship of five years, another of four and even an earlier one of six years. This “past” was destroying my “present” and if something didn’t give, my “future” was going to be even more limited than it already was!

But my story is not an isolated one. It’s not even unique and definitely not as harsh, from my perspective, as some others have been through. But that’s just from my life view. We all have a different one.

So how do we do accomplish this task? How do we get from point A to point B? That is to say, how do we look into our past, into that abyss, without falling back in? Then how do we take that information, apply it to our present so that we have the opportunity to move on into a more positive future? A lot of questions with multiple choice answers, I know.

Even if you’re not an addict or alcoholic, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “admitting you have a problem is the first step.” And with survivors of CSA, this saying has some weight as well, just with a different angle. It’s not that we have to admit we have a problem, we have to admit that a horrible event and crime was perpetrated against us. And this is not an easy or small task. In fact, in my case, I made numerous trips to the place where I knew I had to address my abuser. I drove past it, I stopped at the driveway, heck one time I even got out of the car, was walking up the door of the church, when I turned around and drove back home. In total, it took me 6 trips to finally be able to speak out against my abuser. To tell the people in authority above him exactly what he was, what he was capable of, and the danger he posed to the very children he was charged with protecting.

And that last thing i just mentioned was the real motivation behind what i had to do. More than just my own self-serving, self-healing desires behind the action I knew I had to take, more important than shedding the light on the past…even more at stake was the future of the lives of his potential victims.

I know now I wasn’t his first victim, nor was I his last. And how I wished, prayed and pleaded that someone had come forward before he got to me. So now it was up to me. Now I had the strength to face the cold, hard truth. I knew if the young boys he had access to were to have any chance of a future free from the emotional, physical and spiritual torture I experienced, I was going to have to step up and tell the truth of what this monster is.

If I was to have any potential peace with my own future I had to make sure, to the best of my ability, that no other little boy in his life would be molested, abused or raped. And so I did just that. I acknowledged my past, I took action in the present, and I know now I have done all I could within my power to help those boys have a decent future. And in doing so, my future too is one of peace and healing.

So do whatever you need to enter your past in a healthy way. Whether through one-on-one counseling, group therapy or any other professional help you require. Seek it out so you can begin to “fix” your present. And by that I simply mean whatever will help you begin to heal, I know from personal experience nothing gets “fixed” to what it was before. But in doing this, by beginning to heal, you will have a chance to take back what was stolen from you and to have a future and peace you deserve.