In his memoir, Pelullo recounts the repeated sexual molestations he suffered as a child and how he and his parents kept the acts a secret for more than 40 years.
Pelullo has written a frank, often painful account of his molestation perpetrated at the hands of two older boys in his neighborhood. (One of his rapists was the son of one of his mother’s best friends.) When Pelullo’s parents discovered the truth, they took him to their family doctor who advised them not to discuss it and hopefully Pelullo would forget the experience. As an adult, the author became a leader in his industry and the leader of his family, the man to help his siblings, nieces and nephews. But Pelullo’s rape made him incapable of intimacy, and he grew into a cold, detached, nervous man. He couldn’t give up control, couldn’t see the connection between love and intimacy; he saw only sex, a release, a calming influence, and he sought out women he sensed were as emotionally damaged as he. Thinking the love of a good woman from a fine family would save him, Pelullo married an attractive woman from his neighborhood, and they adopted two sons. For many years, Pelullo kept his secret, hiding the truth and cringing at human warmth and touch. When his sons were older, an e-mail left on Pelullo’s computer screen was found by one of his boys, and the incident forced Pelullo to face his demons, leave his home and family and begin a long journey of recovery. He could no longer be his extended family’s leader, fixing their problems; he learned he had to take care of himself first. After seeing several psychologists, reading many books, joining a group for men and women in the grip of sex addiction, making a new connection with his spiritual side and facing the responsibility for his mistakes, Pelullo eventually remarried his wife and founded the Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation, an online community where survivors of child molestation can tell their stories and continue the healing process. Pelullo’s story is well-told, written with smooth transitions that keep the narrative flowing. As a successful businessman lacking a college education, the author might be expected to produce a choppy, disorganized work at worst, or, at best, a dull, workmanlike story that covers all the bases but doesn’t engage the reader. However, Pelullo does an admirable job of bringing the reader into his painfully honest story, offering a beacon to other victims of sexual abuse and addiction.
An impressive, candid effort from a first-time author.