Child abuse is a subject that keeps coming up around me of late, and not only because I’ve recently re-released my semi-biographical story, “Boy Series – One through…” A few minutes ago a glimpsed on Facebook a photo which made me want to throw up. I refuse to describe it – it’s one of those things that once seen cannot be unseen, and I’m sure I will have nightmares because of it. It’s worse in my mind than anything I could have imagined by myself, and in many ways, so is my series.
I’ve made the decision for a few reasons, to reveal the man behind the story. It’s not a big secret, and I don’t claim to be the one-and-only person to know… but I think having all the information that I’ve researched in one place will make the true story that much more interesting. I’ve been working, therefore, to compile links to interviews and decide what of his work might be most relevant to the story of his life. Strangely, something he said in one of the interviews I read last night cemented the decision in my mind to do this – it was almost as though I received a sign to say that it’s okay to go ahead.
The excerpt from the interview spoke of a song that he wrote about the tragedy of war. He has written several. He said that, (paraphrased) although there is little we can do about it, just spreading awareness that it exists and what it is like for those who are a part of it, whether it is their own decision to be or not, might cause someone to act differently.
And so I believe it is the same for my story of abuse. The more we are aware that it happens, even in our own neighbourhoods, the more we may look for the signs. Though we may not be able to help all of the children everywhere who suffer, if we can be kind to a child who we think may be abused, it might mean the world to that one child.
To Nav, John, Willow, and to all the people who had a hard time reading my series, I thank you for your perseverance. It was as heartbreaking to write as it is to read, just as it was for me to hear of it originally. I hope you’ll all stick around to learn the truth; to see that the man who was the boy has done well for himself despite the odds, even though he still bears the scars of his own, wretched war.