I also pointed out that most men live their entire lives without telling anyone, and that it is a hidden crime where the victim often carries the burden of shame alone, only to suffer negative emotional manifestations that take a toll on themselves and those they love. These patterns of behavior are common among men who have been sexually abused. Since that was something I could likewise claim, I decided to confront my own demons and find some resolution.
As is often is the case with this column, if my road to self-discovery can assist readers on their own journey, it becomes a positive experience and is worth the effort.
While the column did not reveal the name of my perpetrators, it did reveal that about 25 years ago, I told my sister. What I did not include was at that time, she told me to keep the truth to myself to save the family the anguish it would cause. I did this until the column was published.
What I did not know at the time was what often happens to men who reveal their sexual abuse.
The day after the column was published, my brother flew into town after a five-year absence. My siblings filed a temporary restraining order petition against me, citing bipolar behavior and a few isolated incidents that occurred 30 years ago as reasons to keep me away from my father. (For the record, I have never been diagnosed with bipolar behavior, nor is any family member qualified to make such a claim.)
My sister, who at first expressed remorse for her part in writing, has since decided that I am lying about what occurred. If you think about it, this would seemingly make me the perpetrator of an incredible journalistic hoax.