Love And Life Toolbox

I’m a Daily Struggling Someone, Not a Recovering Anybody

The discussion of male sexual abuse is slowly moving out of the shadows.  The following piece is by a male victim of sexual abuse by both of his parents and others beginning early in his life.  He is writing a book of poems about his experiences and hopes to raise awareness and advocate for the victims of abuse…

Being a sexually abused man is difficult enough to talk about in our society. Being abused by your parents is just not the sort of thing you bring up at dinner.  At no point in my journey did I feel I could talk to anyone other than my wife about what I had gone through and was still going through.

I was actively involved with a sex act with my parents at around 4 years of age.

It is my oldest memory.

My ?rst pornographic magazine was at around 5 or 6— Cavalier magazine, I believe. At 11, Deep Throat was the feature at my ?rst introduction to what was called a Porn and Prawn Night for fathers and sons.  At 13, it was Debbie Does Dallas.  I grew up believing Penthouse forums were all true stories, and that was what sex and women were really like.  I left home for the ?rst time at 8, just going to the neighbors’ place.  Finally at 18, I went to South Africa, then to college.  In between that was years of inappropriate touching, suggestions, and watching.  These were weekly experiences.  My early teen years are a muddle of my parents’ parties I had to go to, and the things I had to do or were done to me by family friends, strangers or my father’s girlfriends.  Sex I had to have or watch.

Physical violence was only occasional.

I sometimes wish they had just beaten me, maybe those scars would have healed better—I don’t know.  My father tried to stab my mother with scissors once. I stood in the way and was beaten for it…that’s all I really remember…maybe there is other stuff.  I shielded my sister from most of it.  I took her place and it cost me greatly.  It has cost her everything, she feels so guilty for the things I let them do to me to stop from hurting her.

My experience became one of emotional abuse.

Later in life, I became a magnet for the spiritually manipulative and emotionally abusive. They fed off my brokenness, capitalizing on my need for acceptance and my desire to have a place to belong.  The strange thing is that I never connected the dots until I was in my 40’s.  It all lay in little unconnected buckets, hidden broken shards of memories, disconnected.

Life went on.

I married—way above myself—to the woman who is still my best friend and mentor.  But sadly, over time, I started to break and become a monumental asshole to live with.  We could never figure out the destructive force or reason behind personality changes.  The occasional incidents that turned into episodes.  They went from once a quarter, to weekly, to daily destructive cycles.

My wife started looking for whys.

One day all the pieces came together while I was sitting reading at my shed–like the reel on an old projector, the movie of my life played back, including every disjointed scene.  I knew I was fucked up, but I never realized the extent of my abuse or its effect.  The revelation of what was done to me and by whom, finally broke me.  I was 45.

My wife had studied and read for years, praying and searching for answers, looking for where her husband had gone and trying to lead him home. In July of 2010, she found what she believes was the answer.  We discovered I was probably suffering from something that was brought on as a result of my environment and the years of abuse.  At the time, there was little success with this.  Still today, doctors treat it as an issue of management as opposed to offering a cure.

In June of 2012, I had an event that I’m hoping and believing will change my life forever.  I believe it has given me the tools to manage the devil within.  Not cured yet, but managing.  Not doing well, but doing better.

It is not over. My life is an unfinished project.  I’m a daily struggling someone, not a recovering anybody.  By God’s good grace I will see my life turn around.  The term “victim” is not one I will ever use in regards to who I am.


The Author of this piece and of No Working Title:  A Life in Progress is anonymous but he wants his art to make a difference in the lives of others. There is a small team of people around him who passionately believe in the work and are committed to helping men all over the world. The desire of The Author is that all profits from his book be used for the sole purpose of raising awareness and advocating for victims of abuse.

If this is a cause you are passionate about as well, please consider giving toward making a change. We need help getting the word out about No Working Title on social media, or if you have contacts in the publishing industry that you would like to share, we could use the support.  If you would like to get involved, pre-order a full-length copy of No Working Title, or give financially to the establishment of the Give Them a Voice Foundation to fund victims’ advocacy, please visit our website at

Do you have a personal story about working through an emotional or relationship health issue?  Tell us about it by selecting Real Stories in the contact form for 

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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