To the Reader,
In September 2014 I decided to share my #realstory openly in Facebook. I continue to receive feedback from around the world and I am considering turning this into an e-publication book for download. Meanwhile... I hope you enjoy what I have written. This is my story. You can watch my real story also in YouTube.
Sexual abuse continues to be one of the most destructive forces within all societies, all cultures, all communities and sadly even within families and partnerships. I began writing this book after reading the account of Robert Scoble, who openly published his personal story via Facebook and later re-published via the Goodmen Project in late 2014.
This online book is dedicated to those who have had the courage to share their story, to continue to keep sharing their story despite the disbelief or inability of others to accept those parts of the story that hurt most. I encourage anyone who has witnessed sexual abuse, knows information about others who are involved in crimes against humanity, to speak out, to report, to be a witness. Most importantly, I implore you as the reader to support those who are the survivors and leaders that have grown despite their trauma.
Trust... above all else and forgiveness to heal the heart.
From as early as I can recall, I have struggled to comprehend how one human can treat another without empathy or care, in some cases purposefully compromising another person's well being.
I soon discovered that for those who are strong enough, life presents challenges for us to endure, to work through and to grow our character. As luck would have it I was presented with experiences over three decades that have forged who I am, now spoken, no longer solely dictating my thoughts nor eroding my trust in others.
In my case, writing this story has enabled me to get back my story - to regain my dignity, draw boundaries with others, to speak out in the hope that I can inspire others to tell their story and to keep on sharing it widely - always.
The greatest gift we can give is in listening with empathy to others. To trust is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
In May 2014 I was blessed with meeting a young woman who listened to my story.
It almost broke us both.
I hope that one day that she too will be able to do as I have done - to gather courage and to tell her own incredible and heartbreaking story, to heal and to trust.
In late 2014 I too chose to write my story and share it chapter by chapter via an online social media site, Facebook. The effect that it had on my friendships with others, my relatedness with my Family, professional colleagues and vast extended network was and continues to be profound.
I acknowledge the encouragement and support of those who have walked with me through this time of reckoning - Shane Horsburgh in inspiring me to find stillness, Mary Hoang and Scott O’Brien for encouraging me to speak of my battle with depression, Elias Dib for his own endurance and support of me, Stephan Ridgway for being there always to speak openly with, Emma Davidson for listening, Jane Reynolds for giving me hope at dark times, Di Dell for encouraging me to share my story, Renee Paton for caring and for sharing my story which pales in any comparison with her own.
To Trish Everett in guiding me through growth times, Sunshine Blackall as a key to connecting deeper with my own emotions, my partner and soulmate Magali McDuffie for loving and accepting me as I am.
There are countless others, too many to make mention here (you know who you are) who gave me inspiration and for the incredible resilience of those who shared their story with me I am humbled and honoured.
Chapter 1 - Bexley
"...If you ever get a chance travel to Bexley, NSW Australia. In that shopping centre, one of the busiest you will find in Sydney there used to be a small corner shop that sold 5 cent bags of lollies. For comparison you need 100 cents to make a dollar. Ever the entrepreneur I built a machine out of a cardboard box that dispensed the lollies one at a time." >> read more
CHAPTER 2 - Forever Friends
"...He is my Brother. He is my best mate. He is one of many mates but with this bloke I've travelled further than all of them. I have lots of Brother's but we dont share the same Mother." >> read more
CHAPTER 3 - Kirrawee High School
"...Yes. It's in the Sutherland Shire, NSW Australia." >> read more
CHAPTER 4 - Church of England Boys Society
"...Some say that when you have run out of energy, run out of sadness and despair that forgiveness is the only thing left to do, to reclaim that which allows peace and healing to come in. I woke this morning and knew that this is the morning where I tell my story. I did one hundred pushups in a row. No sets of ten." >> read more
CHAPTER 5 - Heading West
"...A piece of cardboard, a texta (ink) pen, $10 in my wallet, odd socks, a few pairs of undies, a jacket and absolutely no idea what I was in for." >> read more
CHAPTER 6 - Welcome To Fatherhood
"Perth? Are you serious?" "Yes" "...Well jump in Son...I am going to take you as far as I can go today and when you get back be sure to give me a call." >> read more
CHAPTER 7 - Precious Child
"...If only we had a magic wand that we could wave and change things in ways that would allow the harder shifts and changes in our lives to just go away." >> read more
CHAPTER 8 - Growing Pains
"...I have never imagined for a moment myself as a writer, yet here I am at 6AM in the morning putting pen to paper metaphorically speaking." >> read more
CHAPTER 9 - A Construction Yard
"...A significant and very senior public servant recently asked me, brows knitted, coffee froth over lipstick what I considered to be me - how in fact do I describe myself to others. How do I live with myself. Cutting." >> read more
CHAPTER 10 - Lock Down
"...There are times in everybody's life, well at least those that are honest with themselves where they feel like taking the easy way out. Ending it. Kaput. No more hurt or pain." >> read more
CHAPTER 11 - Light & Grace
"...I dedicate this chapter to three men in my life. Senior figures whose contribution to me, Alexander Hayes forever changed my life's prospects. Whose unwavering belief in me most certainly propelled me into who I am now." >> read more
CHAPTER 12 - Soul Mining
"...The joys of teaching, bringing knowledge into young minds and thwarting neuroplasticity from years of solvent abuse, malnourishment and neglect. The pain of separation from my Wife and young child. >> read more
CHAPTER 13 - MOBOLOGY
"...In late 2002 I noted a great deal of movement in the ed-tech space where people were avidly debating the onset of learning management systems." >> read more
CHAPTER 14 - Father
"...One of the most important, most rewarding aspects of my life is the fact I am now a Father to four amazing children.">> read more
CHAPTER 15 - TALO
"...The internet brought with it both good and bad according to some people. I would rather describe it as just is. The worlds most successful project in a contemporary context." >> read more
CHAPTER 16 - Sexuality
"...I choose to live my life by one accord - Libre D’être . Free to be. Stand free. Free to be me." >> read more
CHAPTER 17 - In Letting Sad Go
"...I, Alexander Hayes, personally did a lot of things wrong. Some say 'wrong' is not a word but until I find something to replace it with easily it will remain. A bit like saying anger is a useless and pointless emotion, where forgiveness quells the soul and then brings on the saint." >> read more
CHAPTER 18 - Romance
"...Âme profonde, dans nos vies par le biais des lignes gravées yeux ronds, chemins comparaître devant nous et nous trouvons nos pas à l'unisson que la parenté. Par le souffle, malentendants ne écoute pas, ne cherche pas voir. Un sentiment-deux monde, surréaliste, conscient, que les amateurs nous marchons longue marche, parler à long parler, voyage long voyage." >> read more
CHAPTER 19 - The Underbelly Of Society
"...It is 11:42 PM and I should be asleep. This one keeps coming back to me - wave after wave, feels like I'm drowning, pulling against the stream etc." >> Read more
CHAPTER 20 - The Creative
Since I was very young I noticed people around me had pictures drawn on their bodies. I noticed the trash collectors had tattoos on their forearms, legs. I noticed that naval personnel had tattoos that bore the insignia of their troop, clan, rank. I noticed tattoos on the martial arts instructors, boxing ring keepers, weightlifting coach. >> read more
CHAPTER 21 - Loss And Grieving
"...Encouraged by one individual, one incredible soul, a long time friend with her own deep experiences of loss, I now write on the topic of loss and grieving." >> read more
CHAPTER 22 - Depression
"...Strangely, this chapter does not have a locked position unlike other chapters in my life story. For as long as I can recall I have suffered from depression in a number of manifestations of which I will lightly touch on to give you, the reader, the sense of what it means for me to have depression. Of course I am writing here through a 46 year old filter so at many other stages in my life I would have been less frank with you." >> read more
CHAPTER 23 - Relationships
"...I live it like this. For as long as I can recall I have loved many people." >> read more
CHAPTER 24 - On Letting Go
"...I got out of the car and wept. Soft tears that fell from my cheeks causing me to need to wipe them, take a deep breath and readjust my temperament before I walked in and paid rent this morning at the real estate office." >> read more
CHAPTER 25 - Tenth and Beaufort
"...I love digging around through hard drives crammed with things forgotten. For some reason or other in 2004 over a three hour period I recall sitting in the St. Vincents Town Council library after drinking a very strong coffee in Leederville, Perth Western Australia and writing three short stories....or perhaps they are spoken word lilt speak or maybe they are part of another body of works I've forgotten about." >> read more
CHAPTER 26 - Mobology
"...For as long as I have had an interest in technology, there has been this recurrent discursive that it is in fact something that disrupts the way in which we learn, that it should be excused for its rudeness by which it interrupts an educators "flow", that those bearing such technologies should excuse themselves from interjecting amongst what is a pantomime led by the font of knowledge - the teacher. >> read more
CHAPTER 27 - Bullying
"...Whilst looking through an old photo album tonight I came across a bunch of negatives and old developed photos from 1982. My first thoughts were to tear them up and bin them, throw them out, discard of them and never ever see them again....but the memories will never escape me." >> read more
CHAPTER 28 - Our Nations Fair Capital
"...Where does the time go? To live my life, be happy and die happy." >> read more
CHAPTER 29 - The Kinsey Scale
"...Tumblr seems to be THE place to be when it comes time to experience and contribute to one of the most groundbreaking and challenging areas of human expression. For many it is nothing more than a space to create and connect with others creations." >> read more
CHAPTER 30 - Love Unlocked
"...I describe my own state of dissatisfaction as the way I had lived my life in a perpetual (and somewhat destructive) state of careening... from one monogamous relationship to another." >> read more