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A Balcony View: Aftershocks from a difficult revelation

January 04, 2011

As you might expect, I am looking forward to tearing into the Advanced Development & Investment Inc. story.

But before I begin to tear at that bone, I need to clear up a bit of business from 2010, not for myself, but for those who may be weighing out the idea of revealing that they are victims of sexual abuse as I did. You need to know the potential consequences.

I wrote a column in November revealing that I had been sexually abused as a child by two perpetrators. I did so because of statistical data revealed on Oprah, indicating that one out of every six men has been sexually abused. I calculated that aside from myself, there could be nearly 16,000 men living in Glendale who were sexually abused.

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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.

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