The Difference a Year Makes

It’s been a while since I have wrote on my blog. I just passed my one year anniversary of my suicide attempt and I have been reflecting on the last year. While I can’t say that I’m happy I can say that I’m in a better place mentally than I was a year ago. While I still struggle with depression it’s not as extreme and when I do have a flair up the episodes don’t last as long.

Someone asked me what changed things? I must admit I struggled with answering it and I still do. I think the biggest difference is taking an antidepressant, as well as therapy. I’m in the process of trying to find work and as scary as that is I’m ready to have purpose again. You can only hide for so long before you go stir crazy and that’s where I’m currently at.

I think the main reason I struggled answering the question of what changed is that I’m still in the process of changing as I haven’t got to the point where I’m happy. I must admit most of the time I’m miserable. I hide in my room a lot and I know that’s not very healthy. I miss having friends that I regularly see and do fun things with. That’s the struggle with living out in the middle of no where there’s nothing to do or see. It also presents a problem when meeting someone as most people don’t want to drive that far. Also not having a car puts a damper in going the distance.

I’ve learned once you get yourself in a deep hole it takes time to dig out of it. I’m learning to work on my patience and having faith. Having a job will be a huge step to my happiness. They say money doesn’t make you happy but not having any can make you miserable. A job will lead to a car and a car will lead to meeting new people…

I won’t lie that I still occasionally think about you know what… but it’s usually a quick passing thought when I’m feeling rather down. I’ve noticed lately having this coping skill of taking deep breaths when I’m feeling panicky or rather down. It’s been occurring rather naturally without thought. I also feel a stronger presence to my Mama. When I take those deep breaths I feel like she’s there with me.

A long time ago I learned to disconnect to cope with trauma. When you repeat a pattern over and over, year after year it becomes apart of you. Changing that pattern isn’t an easy task as it becomes hard wired in the clockworks of your mind. I’ve failed over and over but I never gave up. I made the conscious choice to reach out for help when I had the pills up to my mouth. I desperately needed help and that was the only way I could connect to it.

When you’ve been disconnected for a long period the harder the impact when you plug yourself back into an outlet. I’ve tried over the past nine years to get plugged back in but every time I would get shocked and run back into seclusion. Living a heart-centered life can get you hurt, especially if you don’t have a solid foundation and a toolbox of coping skills. That’s been my greatest flaw. I have tried to build a life on a flimsy foundation and an empty toolbox.

This weekend I took a leap of faith by entering an art competition called ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have always been artistic in some form or another. It’s always been my dream to have a career that I can utilize my creativity but I’ve always shied away from pursuing it because I didn’t feel I deserved it.

I put off registering for ArtPrize for days as I was afraid. Afraid of succeeding, afraid of being seen. Being a survivor of sexual abuse there’s a fine line between being seen and not being seen. I think about when I abused I was a happy child full of life and love. I was vulnerable. I catch myself still feeling like I’m that 10 year old boy still. I must remind myself that not only am I an adult now but that was a long time ago. I no longer have to hide because I can defend myself. All these years I’ve been the first to stand up for others but have rarely stood up for myself. I’ve waited a lifetime for others to stand up for me… when it was me that needed to stand up.

Registering for ArtPrize felt like running through the finish line. I’ve forced myself to not only look fear right in the eyes but to also push right through it. Fear is like a ghost. It’s just an illusion and much smaller than it appears. The further you push it away the bigger it becomes until one day that ghost turns into a monster and takes total control of your life. Whenever you try to change a destructive, negative pattern it will alert an internal warning system. That ghost will do whatever it takes to keep control.

So it’s doesn’t surprise me that today has been a rather difficult day. I had the sky is falling moment and my urges were telling to me to abort the mission and run back into hiding. I’ve noticed this determination to not give up. Perseverance to push through the storm. You can only put up with enough misery before you throw your hands up in the air and say that’s enough!!! Well THAT’S ENOUGH!!!

I can have my dreams and live a happy life. I deserve, everyone does. My goal is to live life fueled by my passion and live it through my dreams. I know the pain I’ve endured was not in vain there was purpose for it. I hope to be able to use my art and creativity to inspire and touch those who have been in my shoes. Those who feel lost, down and out…. who feel they’ve been left behind and forgotten.

My biggest challenge will be breaking the pattern that I deserved the pain and the actions that caused it. For too long I believed I was this hideous, unloveable monster. While I can’t say that I don’t see and feel that monster but I’m determined to shed that unwanted skin. I have and will always be a teddy bear. Someone who goes through life with an open heart, not afraid to be a big kid. Sure there are things I need to change in my life and most of it is just shedding away the negativity. There is a lot about me that I don’t need to change and that’s what’s deep within… my heart and soul… Those are gifts, not curses.

I believe the biggest thing that’s changed from last year is that I now I have hope for a better life something I didn’t have before my breakdown. I was drowning in my sorrow, pain and grief. Without hope I had no reason to live as all I could see was darkness. Hope has shined a light back into my life. I must continue to work on letting my own inner light shine.

Light is meant to shine, not hide in a box. Human’s are like flowers as they need sunshine and water to grow, without it they will surely wither away to nothing. I had convinced myself for years that I was a just a weed but now that I’ve brought back water and light into my life I realize that I’m a flower. Now I just need a space to grow and blossom into the rose I was meant to be.


Giving Survivors a Voice!


As a survivor of sexual abuse it’s common to feel like you’ve lost your voice. Saying a simple word like NO becomes very complex and difficult. Often times you are so desperate to scream out those words like STOP and only air escapes your mouth. It’s easy to become helpless and hopeless.

Coming out as a survivor is never easy and at times even as difficult as the traumatic act itself because often it’s clouded with doubt and negativity. In a perfect world a victim survivor should be embraced with love, understanding and validation but often the opposite happens. Shame is a common and occurring feeling for the survivor. This is only amplified when other’s discount the trauma you have endured.

For a male survivor this is very true. We live in a world where society tells us that Men can’t be rape or victimized because we are suppose to be strong and invisible. When your abuser is also a male that can really make the event even more traumatizing, especially when you have to tell others what happened. The shame of having another male abuse you might bring you to secrecy to cover up the abuse because what it might mean to others that you allowed another man to abuse you.

That was the first thing that crossed my mind after I was sexually abused, what will other’s say that another male touched me in that way. Honestly I didn’t think anyone would believe me, so I chose to hide it and the longer I hide the abuse the more shame I felt. The shame grew until it was taller than Mount Everest but secrets have a way of coming undone. After trying to climb that horrible mountain I grew tired and weary, to the point where I couldn’t climb that mountain anymore.

The risk of coming out didn’t come close to the pain of holding it in. Just like a balloon I couldn’t hold in anymore shame and finally one day I exploded, and everything came gushing out.


Yesterday I saw an article posted on Facebook about Project Unbreakable, an initiative to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art. As I read and viewed the pictures the tears began to swell up and gush down my cheeks like a river overflowing.

Project Unbreakable has featured over two thousand images of sexual assault survivors holding posters with quotes from their attackers. As I read each picture in the article I began to think about my own sexual abuse and wondered what I would say in my picture. Instantly I was stumped because my abuser never said a word to me because everything done to me was when he thought I was sleeping.

As an adult I beat myself up for not standing up for myself. I’ve wondered a million times what would have happened if I would have let him know I was awake and why did I return to that bed each night knowing what could happen. I blamed myself over and over again, until it became my fault because I coulda, woulda, shoulda stopped him!!!

For a moment I thought I didn’t fit into Project Unbreakable because I couldn’t write his words but then I remembered it wasn’t his words that hurt me, it was his actions… and then I realized I had every right to be apart of Project Unbreakable. While he never verbalized his words what he did to me spoke volumes and I had filled in his blanks with words he was saying to me by taking my innocence.

“You deserve this!”

“You’re weak!”

“You’re powerless!”

“No one will believe you!”

“I will beat you up if you tell anyone!”

“I’m God!”

“You don’t matter!”

“You’re an object!”

I could fill a book with everything he said to me…

For eight excruciating years filled full of pain, silence, secrecy and a victimization. I didn’t know there was another way, nor did I believe I deserved anything else.

When I came out of the closet about the abuse I was met with anything but compassion. Those eight long years were only enforced that I should have stayed silent. I think how others in my family handled the news traumatized me just as much as the act itself.

My father made it clear of this by going hunting the next day with my abuser. When he found out that I was upset, he told me that I needed to forgive and forget. Here was someone who was suppose to love and protect me telling me that I had no reason to be traumatized and that I should just move on with my life. His words cause me to relive the shame and hurt from the ripping of my soul.

When you are sexually abused the person rips a hole in your soul. It is the attempted genocide of a persons soul. A child without their innocence grows up feeling less, vulnerable and unprotected. They grow into adults without being able to shed that clout of shame, fear and ugliness. How others respond to their trauma can only add to all of that.

It has taken twenty years for me to realize when other’s respond to your abuse with dissent, disbelief and negativity it’s their own shame that they are trying to hide. It’s much easier to cover the abuse up and pretend that it never happened, than it is to face it and bring it to daylight. They are blinded by their own guilt and shame, and the fears what others will think about them. They do everything they can to protect the families reputation. I call it sweeping it underneath the rug.

There is still so much stigma in regards to sexual abuse, making it very important that we continue to spread awareness to help protect others. Bringing the abuse to the light of day will only help the healing process and give survivors the much needed voice. It will also give others the courage to stand up and use their voice that previously they didn’t know existed.

We are not alone. While there will always be others who will try to silence us, doing whatever possible to keep the secret hidden, there will always be others who will give us a platform to use our voices. Those who offer healing, love and understanding.

If you are a survivor and would like to share your story by picture you can send an email to Project Unbreakable.

tumblr_moda8k9gXE1r65rllo9_1280 (1)

Pretty In Pink #RealEqualityWearsPink

So yesterday was pinkalicious success. There were people from all over the country who took to the streets in pink, including overseas! It was wonderful to see so many different walks of life come together to support and stand up against gay violence and hate. Yesterday showed to the world that we aren’t going to take this sitting down, that we have the numbers on our side. Even the mayor of Columbus, Michael B. Coleman, wore pink in support of our cause! As you can see by the sea of pink below we have a lot of pink support! Rock on. Let’s remember to continue this conversation and help to spread awareness that that everyone stays safe. Remember Love always conquers hate!!!

961953_3122720403261_1411791424_n 973043_3122718323209_1768009942_n 974037_3122718083203_2078182870_n 974124_3122718683218_1732541448_n 974835_3122719403236_1526984429_n973410_3122718923224_1118309655_n (1)

1148_10201410208443301_1841333235_n 5876_10200760862438185_131554475_n 7291_520069141755_1507052179_n 7867_10200500123880244_629002982_n 8471_10151485494700949_1425410945_n 10587_10103076723144075_1025029458_n 227403_10201437871253473_1749447237_n 246979_10200702420555205_2048628304_n 375580_10151406973671863_466622383_n 483103_10201458935381753_339202326_n 947126_4316726016975_523203958_n 960857_10152937753760055_1721624596_n 968944_10201358551905106_2046597578_n 969063_10200922537881584_1513738343_n 969697_616233195063292_138887068_n 971771_10201327899297849_57482911_n 971981_10151970630604619_1281069106_n 988350_10103076393709265_959449923_n 993068_10103076357142545_1803212135_n 994277_616185318401413_480272989_n 996711_588707194482881_1545846623_n 999375_131709257034580_995624036_n 1000884_10152944886670118_904137527_n 1001069_10201357993331142_1058729944_n 1001623_10151994042889992_1353501249_n 1002419_10200849205005825_1438593660_n 1002725_10151449202341016_208527110_n 1005713_10151551924542885_2015539590_n 1006118_10201266982260958_1586900895_n 1009928_10201358465822954_1324720695_n 1011698_10103076259173875_1591808851_n 1011944_10151489855059077_694863885_n 1012101_538629066197520_1332661944_n 1013685_139687789559632_8607886_n 1013921_10151481432767393_1389456487_n 1013950_10152969428850221_1732973591_n 1014302_10151419353536568_2022876325_n

421644_10151649987252692_679004441_n5596_10151687746951147_1679052141_n8653_10103074522598985_200011636_n944110_586696744698424_867382177_n10610_10101499232443084_652934562_n189008_4873519802937_985065376_n971107_547110358661677_1323171315_n 970848_10103075469196995_1489401213_n 970747_10152893341725375_1698470353_n 969182_10151426459031857_617543428_n 969664_10151660242970971_1544064894_n monica970554_10151705685712223_1674747664_n600742_10200714681843132_2054384514_n 943599_10103075309222585_48252153_n 971242_10151674460470412_247474976_n 971625_10152958429440438_1753260020_n 972125_10201358534715666_510170015_n 972132_215930748554086_657278015_n 972268_10151623674804699_644026300_n 972269_10151486660672883_1031545975_n 973080_10201409225411422_2115340255_n 973729_4819053000284_1871089634_n 974887_10200983112720666_707282411_n-280x210 975712_10201410524123889_1393949061_n 975727_10103073803440185_249616258_n 983339_3119981774797_1007364117_n 983580_3117064421045_449849904_n 983596_10201341432884401_1650435103_n 983978_10103074801345375_1445764464_n 988657_10101275043644320_429943386_n 992839_589835767714599_1042506970_n 992966_4839524708535_1793144421_n 993017_10152891364860268_2081232088_n 993513_10201210577488961_2076877429_n 994788_10151623515739699_741451238_n 994808_10151714494893832_1903379193_n 996723_10152957242855438_858659475_n 998266_10101580175512634_16876045_n 999374_10201332012568004_1983490219_n 999384_10151631459162557_497284786_n 999519_4866357349162_613793323_n 999548_10151683113944686_1591350671_n 999672_10201292053162753_844336933_n 999877_10201308603147696_1473290814_n 1000042_10200390821988087_2025811438_n 1000182_10151713306263698_843434418_n 1000438_4913616602137_1582670299_n 1001039_10151478217797966_1684869080_n 1001057_4994442311406_1964055059_n 1001309_10151666539094653_502196633_n 1001331_10200534097848138_893467985_n 1001333_10151724314006979_536733432_n 1001333_10201357371926394_653453178_n 1001798_10103074510358515_1995747708_n 1001822_10201441730024119_720961978_n 1001831_4991413555309_660748059_n 1002227_10151642192609231_1945740468_n 1002423_10151748559615757_1943348959_n 1002805_10201254472393183_327733511_n 1002811_10151691567176535_540426643_n 1002956_10151996021931978_1535600558_n 1003102_10200525342988902_572172214_n 1003131_10103074458542355_974209150_n-280x280 1003246_567978780233_1612843861_n 1003836_4935287146112_327118742_n 1003865_10151513189731705_145219320_n 1004021_257246251084760_127756821_n 1004433_10200336674129442_1654378632_n 1004725_10200606677102051_1632466870_n 1005055_10200555780911304_1371024727_n 1005130_604752546216642_2124148859_n 1005574_10151827641668888_465420837_n 1005715_10201238892234720_693185520_n 1006108_10201334436231274_599444178_n 1010168_567973755303_1567776241_n 1010231_10200505629982048_52512393_n 1010240_10151479134984632_93934137_n 1010270_597365500294201_13638807_n 1010516_644468509419_887832542_n 1010521_10151719418342848_1561920230_n 1010562_10101498335385794_1310970888_n 1010603_10103073776728715_2118523554_n 1010656_10152907161885713_2009645257_n 1010891_10101498971341334_269860184_n 1011022_10152907204565713_865530368_n 1011125_4959213097521_1593708711_n (1) 1011132_10100226741720077_1304002751_n 1011146_10101275160095950_11780764_n 1011166_4888281171571_1731696133_n-280x210 1011169_10101117743514908_512085233_n-280x280 1011395_10200692705913967_56020647_n-280x210 1011815_10151418359071296_474787685_n 1012096_4891251485742_1541166054_n 1012125_10151988485504251_287141078_n 1012332_655547214459675_1697854847_n 1012607_10151668659519452_252738922_n 1012616_10151411715126459_1248024681_n 1012616_10151411715126459_1248024681_n - Copy 1013095_10151751419674009_1489768306_n 1013656_10151528036523978_983199307_n 1013677_10200457425493010_1005268534_n 1013768_10100142529222483_1181246550_n 1013809_10152345205000616_1533369478_n 1013809_10152345205000616_1533369478_n - Copy 1013910_166337016872717_1679489342_n 1014253_10151719655630575_943158014_n 1014283_10151496838802005_1784350922_n 1014290_566629803382658_290035643_n 1014320_10200843108172545_855859091_n 1014328_10200425228248095_1854729153_n 1014370_10152897001625066_1623667393_n 1014512_10101117841363818_150802385_o-280x374 1014754_10201527547296560_1969539909_o-280x350 1016098_10201281199336149_1857760865_n 1016112_10200496358506112_1737136526_n 1016118_10151749523089225_1774549761_n 1016137_485172348225582_999975634_n 1016352_10200865256050398_330354709_n (1) 1016388_10151696288947673_485145131_n 1016672_10152301219772841_1431249573_n 1017199_4994832754532_1295733408_n 1017205_10151533904384261_1772923815_n 1017223_10151498946987971_910415809_n 1017312_10103075652579495_1354811820_n 1017471_10201087293481932_1939215629_n 1017489_10151409868630059_1133570693_n 20130514_181538-280x210 20130614_081824-280x210 20130614_103524-280x210 20130614_1056481 ashley-katie-280x280 Cd102.5-280x280 eyes-280x373 Hoovs-and-Auggie-pretty-in-pink-280x271 IMAG0287 image6-280x373 image8-280x210 image11 image12-280x709 image13-280x210 image16-280x210 image18-280x373 image21-280x210 image22-280x210 image24-280x203 image27-280x497 image29-280x210 image30-280x280 - Copy image30-280x280 image31-280x450 image34-280x198 image37-280x424 image47-280x280 image52 Image357-280x210 image-4-280x373 image-5-280x210 image-280x373 IMG_0674-280x373 IMG_8350-280x280 IMG_20130614_102843_299-280x373 IMG_20130614_112524-280x156 jjpink joshbrownpink-280x373 jws-280x373 Karrin1-280x373 Kayla-280x373 me-in-pink-001 photo2-280x374 photo3-280x280 photo4-280x373 photo6-280x374 photo-2-280x376 photo-280x280 Photo-on-6-14-13-at-8.59-AM-280x305 Photo-on-2013-06-14-at-11.36-4-280x210 picture001-280x210 pink1-280x280 Pink2-280x241 pink5-280x280 pink6-280x280 pink9-280x280 pink10-280x165 PINK-280x280 Pink-280x398 pink_TRAUT Pink-Columbus pink-copy-Von-Bs-280x280 pinkfriday-280x280 PinkFriday-280x497 Pink-Friday-280x280 PinkFridayMar-280x373 PinkHeart-280x210 Pink-Ladies-280x210 pinkphoto-280x373 pinkpiggy-280x497 PinkShirts-280x373 Screen-Shot-2013-06-14-at-5.00.10-PM t-280x362 wearpink-280x280 wearpink_lavoie_cbus-280x373 962085_10200683283876886_2100078734_n 945646_345709165556064_1496883399_n 944711_724221028639_1474096921_n 189008_4873519802937_985065376_n 375592_616409728370929_609418870_n 935906_10103073739882555_937975619_n 935925_10201335408445971_1691125901_n 935931_4946059524505_160300874_n 936703_10151519011323924_2057059536_n 944110_586696744698424_867382177_n 10610_10101499232443084_652934562_n

Take To The Street in Pink Tonight Meet at 6pm at Southbend Tavern

“Hey Facebook Friends! I hope you can join me or send some positive energy out into the world starting at 6pm this Friday, June 14 as I “Step Out” against crimes against the LGBT community. I am walking a total of 5 miles, making four stops at the scenes of four hate crimes. It’s time to throw some positive karma back into our world and let the thugs know that we will FIGHT BACK!”


I found this on the event PINK FRIDAY page and I wanted to share it to you because I think it’s important to make a statement!!!

At 6pm tonight in Columbus Mark Buckingham and friends will be walking from Southbend Tavern (126 East Moler, Columbus, Ohio 43207)!!!

It would be great to have a bunch of people in PINK walking the streets to STAND UP AGAINST GAY VIOLENCE AND HATE!!!

Renewed Spirit and Fight #RealEqualityWearsPink


I have to admit that this whole experience with the wearing PINK on Friday has really awoke something deep inside of me. This has been an extremely tough year for me with the death of my Mama in September, which caused me to spiral into a deep depression where I hid from the world…

To see so many people (from all over the world) come together to support and rally for David, Christopher A. and Christopher K. It is tragic and a fact of life that bad things happen all the time to really good people, and in this case to three young men who didn’t do anything to warrant being attacked. When people are knocked down it is so very important for others to help lift them back up and our community has surely done a great job of that.

You can only get pushed around so much before you say wait a minute… NO MORE!!! Personally I also have gotten to that point in my life as well, where you say enough is enough. As a survivor an important and empowering tool to use is our VOICE but often times it is something that is difficult to use. For a very long time I have struggled with my own voice, knowing when and how to use it. Wanting to stand up but not having the courage to verbalize it. Feeling so defeated that I didn’t think anyone cared to hear my voice. I no longer feel that is the truth because this experience has helped me see that there are those who need to hear my voice.


Plus when you stay silent those who promote and spread hate win and I am determined to conquer their hate. I believe our community feels the say way. While at times we may risk our personal safety, standing together united we form a solid barrier that even the strongest hateful force wouldn’t be able to knock down!

Wearing Pink today shows the world that we aren’t going to take this abuse sitting down anymore, that we have many supporters on our side. The great thing about the pink event is that it helps to start conversations and creates awareness about gay violence and hate. These three tragic events were a wakeup call for many of us, that taught us that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

I have to admit that I really wished I was in Columbus now. I feel so energized that I want to be on the forefront making a difference. I also feel rather guilty that I wasn’t able to find a pink tshirt in my size (3xl). Though in the end, as long as we are using our voice and helping to spread the message matters most. You don’t have to wear Pink to make a difference, though it doesn’t hurt! Honestly for as much as I love pink, I am surprised I don’t own anything pink.

Someone on the wear Pink facebook event wanted to know why we were using Pink when it is associated with Breast Cancer. My first thought was to let her have it but then I thought about what often is needed for those outside of the LGBTQ community is education. I believe that is how we will get people to turn to our side is with fact, information and knowledge.


For those who don’t know Pink has long been associated with the gay community. It started out in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s when every prisoner in the concentration camps who were labeled as homosexual had to wear a pink triangle on their jacket. It is estimated that between 50,000 to 63,000 men were convicted for homosexuality during that time. Even after the camps were liberated at the end of WWII, many of the pink triangle prisoners were often re-imprisoned by the Allied established Federal Republic of Germany. The nazi amendments which turned homosexualityfrom a minor offense to a felony remained intact in both East and West Germany after the war for a further 24 years.


During the 1970’s the pink triangle was adopted as a symbol for gay rights protest. Some have linked the reclamation of the pink triangle with a publication of a concentration survivor Heinz Hegaer memoir, The Men with the Pink Triangle. 

It was until the early 1990’s that pink began to be associate with Breast Cancer when they started to pass out pink ribbons. Honestly I believe you can never have too much pink and there is enough love to go around for both worth causes!


While it was originally intended as a badge of shame, the gay rights movement reclaimed it, inverted its direction and made it one of the biggest symbols of the movement! As with the pink triangle, the time has come for us to reclaim what has always been ours. You can’t take away our pride, love and spirit! We are turning something negative into a positive. Love will always conquer hate! Always!!!


LATRICE ROYALE will be at the PINK Party at Axis! #RealEqualityWearsPink



Amazing news people!!! Latrice Royale from RuPaul’s Drag Race will be performing at the PINK Party at Axis Fri June 14th at 9pm!!! She is donating her time in support of Columbus!!! Latrice is a class act and fitting of the title of QUEEN!!!

So now you all have to be there!!! I would if I still lived in Columbus!!!

Click here for more information about the PINK Party!!!