I opened this book, initially, with some trepidation, my normal reading being more on the historic side or fiction. I was surprised, being a poet myself, to find so much poetry inside the cover. However having written a lot of poems in my darkest moments I started to read. All I can say is the poetry is brilliant, it flows through a horrific story of emotions and you enter Jan's world. Jan has 'come out' as a wounded child through this amazing poetry.
The depth of feeling and emotion one enters into on reading this book gives an insight into what this type of abuse does to people. As Jan says himself, and I recommend his blog which is followed by thousands, without reservation, to do what he has done took him back to a place that he has run away from most of his life. Many men regard Jan as a saviour as they had nowhere to go to find help for abuse such as this and I remember a long time ago when battered husbands came to the fore, initially they were derided but they now have their own refuges exactly the same as battered wives. Abuse makes no distinction between genders and support for all victims must be forthcoming. We all know how hard it is to survive in this world without having something like sexual abuse as a starting block.
I cannot wait for Jan to complete this trilogy as it is a work which will help so many who thought they were the only one. Jan tells me the second book is his story with no frills, such as poetry, as an aid and it is possibly the hardest for him to write. The third book will be a type of self help manual for victims such as Jan and it is a remarkable man who can come through something such as he has and want to help others, plainly because he knows how much it can affect them.
Jan looks at his life from the inside out and bares all through his poetry. I challenge anyone to not be moved by it, it is brave, it is good poetry and above all it is true.
Thank you to Jan Frayne for the opportunity to review his book and for his words given freely below.
By the author - name appended
"I am a 45 year old male survivor of childhood sexual abuse"
That simple statement can bring about a multitude of responses.
"How can a boy/man be sexually abused?" "You must have enjoyed it!" "Does that mean you're a queer?" "I'm so sorry you had to go through that
but you must be ok now!" "Nothing like that happened in my school, village, family." "Only sissies would let themselves get abused." "I thought
men that sexually abused kids had been abused themselves. Does that mean you're a pedo?" "Only queers abuse boys" "Things like that didn't
happen when I was a child"...
So many misconceptions surround the issue which stigmatise most survivors of sexual abuse, child or adult.
In an attempt to correct these misconceptions and to rid myself of some of my own demons I decided to share my story with the world.
I always knew that I had been sexually abused as a child. What I did not know until some eighteen months ago was the extent of the abuse
inflicted on my 2 to 12 year old innocent body and mind. Many "victims" of sexual abuse bury the memories in an attempt to cope with what
happened to them. Some even develop different personalities in order to try and live as "normal" a life as possible. This is commonly known as
Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder and is a coping mechanism not an illness.
The long term effects of childhood sexual abuse can be devastating. I will list just some of them here.
Severe Depression. Feelings of shame/guilt. Powerlessness and disorientation. Sexual identity confusion. Flashbacks and anxiety/panic attacks.
Anger and control issues. Sexual disfunction. Alcohol and/or drug abuse. Feelings of inadequency. Uncontrolable fear. Sleep disorders and
recurring nightmares. Low self esteem. Linking abuse to love/intimacy. Keeping secrets. Obsessive and criminal behaviour. Isolation and
withdrawl. Feeling unclean/dirty. Problems with the truth and telling lies. Physical stress and illness. P.T.S.D (Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder). Fear of sex/intimacy. Memory gaps/bad memory.
These side effects can vary in intensity. Events that trigger memories of the abuse itself can bring these side effects very much to the front
of the consiousness. This can be terryfing for the survivor and for those closest to them.
I tackle many of these myths and misconceptions surrounding survivors of sexual abuse in my own writing as well as offering advice and hope to
others. I also strive to educate people to the true facts through my writing and sharing the experience of other survivors and support groups.
You can't help everyone, but you can help someone.. Make the difference. Speak out against Childhood Sexual Abuse.
Childhood sexual abuse is on the rise. Figures released by the N.S.P.C.C through a freedom of information request to the police force prove
this. These figures only represent cases reported to the police. Studies strongly suggest that the majority of instances of childhood sexual
abuse are not brought to the attention of the authorities. Not enough is being done to bring the true facts to the attention of the general
public. The sexual abuse and molestation of children will not stop unless we give victims the security needed to disclose the abuse, the
penalties for sexual abuse are made much harsher and the myths, misconceptions and stigma surrounding the abuse are exposed and removed.
Turning a blind eye or downplaying the situation is tantamount to condoning the acts of the abusers themselves. Silence is collusion.
Jân L Frayne - Author "Beyond Survivor - Rising From the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse".
The Wounded Warrior