Night of Healing Newton-Wellesely Hospital, September 20th 2018


Please join me in Boston for a powerful night of healing and awareness.

Taking Back Ourselves and Newton-Wellesley Hospital would like to welcome survivors of sexual abuse and assault to

A Night of Healing

Thursday, September 20th, 2018


Shipley Conference Center
Newton Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington Street Newton, MA 02462

As disclosures of sexual abuse have exploded in the media, it underscores the reality that sexual assault exists in every community.

Whether you have experienced sexual abuse in your family, your faith community, your school, the military, your workplace or elsewhere, we welcome you and those who support you. This Night of Healing will provide a space for survivors of all genders to join together in lifting the veil of secrecy and shame. By bringing the issues of sexual abuse and assault out from the shadows, we hope to create an opening for increased awareness and recognition that healing is possible.

With a special art exhibited curated by Violence Transformed

To RSVP or for more information please contact: or (617) 734-2007 ext.5

Junot Diaz Inspires Conversations About Male Sexual Abuse


Yesterday The New Yorker published a powerful and exquisitely written piece by Junot Diaz. He illustrates how his experience impacted his life and reveals where he still struggles today. At times it felt as though I was reading my own story. I was reminded once again that I am not alone.

Later in the day, a request came in from RAINN looking for male victims of sexual abuse willing to share their stories with Anna Silman of The Cut. Within a few hours we were on the phone. Anna asked the tough questions and I stayed the course with her,. Today the piece went live. It provides an accurate glimpse into what living as a survivor really looks like. I share that with you here.

As always, you can reach me at

The Grass Gets Greener with Melissa Wilson


During my recent podcast recording with Melissa Wilson, we covered a lot of topics. Shame, sexual abuse, bullying, and resilience. Melissa navigated our interview with grace and candor. Each time I have the opportunity to share my story, I am reminded that I am not alone whether it's one aspect of my experience or many. It is good to remind myself daily that healing is possible. I can do that by sharing my truth. You can listen here.


Speaking out on Addictions

I had the privilege of being David Wagner’s guest on his Addictions Podcast.  Up until my decision to publish Breaking the Ruhls, I had kept my alcoholism and sobriety as a private matter. Writing the book helped me see the relationship between my childhood sexual abuse and subsequent dependence on alcohol.

David offered me the perfect opportunity to speak openly and honestly about my own struggles with alcohol and my path to sobriety.

Thanks Dave!

MyNDTALK with Dr. Pamela Brewer Podcast

MyNDTALK  with Dr. Pamela Brewer

This was my first recorded podcast interview for Breaking the Ruhls. While I did feel nervous speaking so openly about my experience, I also felt a sense of calm. I’m relieved that after three and a half years, my story is out, and I have broken my silence as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and complex trauma. 

My thanks to Dr. Pamela Brewer. 

Seeking Solace with the Monks of New Skete


At first, writing my story did not feel cathartic. I struggled to feel safe enough and grounded enough to say all I needed to. Even in my own home. When I set time aside to dive in, I paced, ate, cleaned out a closet, and looked at my phone -- anything to avoid the inevitable daunting task of writing out what I knew I needed to say.

In January of 2015, I decided to go away for a few days, to a safe place where I could write without interruption. I grew frustrated as I searched for retreat spaces, not finding the right fit. I shifted my focus.

I had heard about the monks of New Skete, a small monastic community of Orthodox monks and nuns in New York’s Taconic Mountains. After brief correspondence with Brother Gregory, I decided it was worth the visit. While I myself do not subscribe to any one religion, I held onto fond memories of going to church as a kid: the serene experience drew me in. I felt pulled once again to the music and silent contemplation, and I was curious to learn a new daily structure from these men.

These monks are known for breeding and training German Shepherds as a way to support their community. In terms of their spiritual life, they follow the structure of matins, vespers, and Divine Liturgy. They did not require that I worship with them, but made it clear as an option.

With some trepidation, I made the two and a half hour drive north.

The brothers were warm and welcoming. Some were more gregarious than others, and seemed excited to have a fresh face at their dinner table. Even the more reserved and soft-spoken monks still made it clear that I was welcome.

Over dinner on my first night, they asked me questions. What was I doing there, was I religious, what did I hope to accomplish during my stay, and did I have a family.

I felt my face burn as I confided in them that I am gay and married to a man. I spoke of having been sexually abused by my father and that I was there to write, as I attempted to make some sense and find some peace with my past. I also told them that I am an alcoholic in recovery.

Not only did they show me a great deal of compassion and empathy, but they also shared enough about themselves to let me know I was safe, and understood.

Feeling safe has never come easily for me, but I took a risk and trusted them.

I had not anticipated I would fall so easily into their daily routine. I rose at dawn each day to attend Matins, and spent the time before lunch helping them with whatever tasks needed to be addressed. I could not hide my enthusiasm when I was asked to help feed the newest litter of puppies, and to play in the snow with their regal mother.

The afternoons, after lunch, were mine, and I spent those daily three hours writing ferociously. I was amazed at how much I wrote. The stories of my mother, my childhood, the history of perpetration, my sexuality, and my addiction poured out of me unapologetically. When the tears came, I let them happen without embarrassment. When my hands shook from fear or disgust or rage, I knew I was safe to really feel each emotion.

And after each day of writing, I attended evening Vespers to quiet my mind and release the remnants of what I’d told through my writing that day. By nightfall I was exhausted and slept soundly without interruption.

At the end of my four-day stay, I had written about thirty thousand words.

That this would become the foundation for Breaking The Ruhls seemed impossible, but I could not ignore the feeling of relief the writing had brought.

I knew then, I needed to continue.