A sexually abused man addresses his residual unprocessed anger.
Moran (The Tricky Part, 2005) tracked down, confronted, and eventually forgave “Bob,” the camp counselor who abused him at age 12. In this frank, cathartic memoir, initially a solo theatrical piece, the author reacts to being criticized for his lack of anger. “Am I avoiding, not even aware of, my own buried rage?” he asks himself. Aiming for “a bit of belated redress,” Moran formally spelled out his abuser’s last name in print, yet the tipping point came when an old childhood camping buddy, another of Bob’s molestation victims, revealed he was dying from AIDS. Intent on achieving emotional closure, the author took several explorative journeys (many related to his stage play) to unearth and quell his underlying trauma. He traveled to Johannesburg to help publicize a production of his play and experienced firsthand the vast history of the land and the sting of homophobia. Moran also witnessed a BDSM gathering during a convention of sex therapists and toured a Minnesota facility dedicated to stemming childhood sexual abuse, where he met an officer advocating castration for offenders. More emotionally resonant are his accounts of two particular trips to Colorado: one to bond with his discontented brother and one to bury him just weeks later. The death of his father brought him face to face with his stepmother, a thorny woman whom he confronted sternly but then softened toward once his sympathetic temperament surfaced. Moran’s personal history is beautifully intertwined with his work as an interpreter for Siba, an African refugee seeking asylum in America after being imprisoned and tortured. With each stop, Moran became more enlightened and inched closer to realizing that deep within him was unfinished business requiring emotional and psychological attention in order to be permanently exorcised. But his unbreakable compassion and humanitarianism remained intact through every situation. “It would appear that this business of forgiveness,” he writes, “for self and others is, indeed, an ongoing adventure.”
A courageous release from the pain, guilt, and fury of sexual abuse.