Today’s guest is the author of a book that must have been either hell or a catharsis to write. With great courage, Steven tells the story of a childhood of abuse at the hands of his father. Here’s how he introduces his work
Earlier this year I released my memoir My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood. People had told me for years that I should write a book about my life, that I had a lot of wild stories I had lived through. Although I couldn’t disagree, I didn’t want to write just another ‘look at me’ book. I wanted to write something that would make a difference, and I knew what it was going to have to be about but I never had an ending. I just couldn’t start without knowing how it was going to end! But I thought about it for years – how it would look, what the chapters would be, how I wanted it to sound. So when the event that ends the book finally happened, I knew I
was ready. Of course, all those years of planning it out in my head were useless as it turned out nothing like I had expected.
But that’s ok – I am pleased with what DID come out, and I seem to have accomplished my goal of telling a story that A) shows others who have been through similar situations that there IS healing, and B) shows others who haven’t been through such trauma what it is like to be inside the head of somebody who has. Receiving emails from people telling me the book has inspired them to either seek healing or look at trauma victims with new eyes has been worth more than gold and I am honored to be able to effect a positive change in the world.
Synopsis: An honest, and sometimes brutal, true story of one man’s struggle growing up in the shadow of childhood sexual abuse. From his difficulties growing up, to his drug addiction, failed relationships, and struggles with parenthood, the author takes us through the ups and downs of a life spent in the shadows, trying to make sense of the events that formed the basis of his being. Sometimes tragic, sometimes hopeful, but never sugar coated, My Father’s Prostitute: Story of a Stolen Childhood takes the reader on an emotional ride which reminds us that the human spirit is more powerful than the demons that haunt us.
Here is the excerpt:
“By the time I hit puberty, the abuse had been going on for eight years. Eight years of anything and it just becomes a part of your life,
especially when it begins at such a young age. It was all I knew, and I
had accepted that was just how it was. There was one problem, though.
Growing up a boy means competition, and lots of it. We competed for
everything, and when puberty hit, the big competition was about sex. Who was getting it, who was doing what, etc., etc. I have a distinct
recollection of standing in the locker room after 8th grade P.E. one day, and somebody was bragging about how they had just gotten their first blow job. I remember thinking, “Oh, big deal. I’ve been getting them since I was 5”. It would have been an instant win according to the laws of male pubescence, but I couldn’t tell them that. They wouldn’t understand. I had to hide that part of my life. I couldn’t be me, even when being me would mean I would “win” at that most important of teenage boy contests. But “me” wasn’t socially acceptable. I knew I couldn’t tell what was going on and be accepted. Nobody would want to hear about my “accomplishments” in that arena. I knew the things that made me special were the things that I had to hide. They made me a freak and an outcast, and I could never fit in.
Growing up, we weren’t a poor family, but we weren’t rich, either. We were pretty much middle-class with a mortgage, two cars, and a dog. But with four kids, there wasn’t a lot of money to throw around and my clothes showed it. I dressed modestly, never in the latest fashions or anything expensive. Since my parents were buying all of my clothing, it was never what the other kids were wearing and that made me stand out that much more. They were always clean, but never “cool”. In fact, somebody wrote in one of my middle school yearbooks “Get some new clothes”. I’d like to say it didn’t bother me, but it was just one more way for me to feel different.
So I turned to drugs and alcohol. I won’t go into every sordid detail
about the drugs I did during my teenage years. For one thing, that would fill volumes upon volumes of books. Suffice it to say, not a day went by that I didn’t smoke, drink, or ingest some mind-altering sub-stance. I had to. I didn’t like myself and being high helped me deal with that fact. Being high gave me an excuse to not be who I really was because, after all, I couldn’t be that person. Plus, being high helped me escape into my own head and avoid reality, especially during those times when I was lying naked and helpless, hating my father, hating my life. Being high helped me to “go somewhere else”.
But drugs cost money. It was about this time that, instead of beating me, my father would give me cash every time he had sex with me. Looking back, I think to myself, “Why did I allow it to continue if he wasn’t beating me any longer?” Years of therapy has led me to realize that, after years and years of beatings and forced sex, I had become conditioned to allow it. It had been part of my life for so long that I just accepted it. Perhaps only the people that have been there will understand that I had no choice.”
Buy Links are:
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ILDQLB0
8 thoughts on “Promote Yourself: Steven Whitacre”
Good for Steven Whitacre for writing and publishing this book. Having worked with a number of sexual abuse victims, I know something of what he has gone through, and how valuable his story will be to others. My hat is off to you, Steve.
Writing about a problem or a grief is said to be cathartic. It sounds as though Steve has pushed the theory to its logical extreme, and that it has worked for him.
Thanks gwpj, that was the hope – that it would help ease the burden that victims carry around with them.
Best of luck to you Steven! Your book sounds like a powerful and compelling read. I’m sure it must have been painful to write, but I hope it helped you to do it. I’m sure it will help a lot of others too. I admire your courage and bonesty.
It actually wasn’t too painful to write. By the time I got around to putting pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard anyway), I was well on my path to healing. Hitting the ‘share’ button on Facebook was far harder than the writing part of it!
What an horrific thing to have to overcome, especially at the hands of a parent. I’m glad Steven has come through it if not unscathed at least whole again.
I have no idea what to say, but it’s hard to just hit ‘Like’. Congratulations on your successes- as a survivor, an individual, and as a writer!
Of course a child has no say in something like this and no control over the situation. Children are at the mercy of their parents. I’m so sorry that this happened to you, that it snowballed into drug abuse, not surprisingly, and affected your whole life. I’m glad you have been able to heal and I imagine that writing your book has been a big part of that healing process for you. God bless your life and all that you have been through. There is no shame for you in having been victimized. You are no longer a victim, you are free. Thank you for sharing your experience with others as a way to encourage them to give voice to their stories and to empower yourself through the telling of it. To share your life and your story in this way is one of the most noble things a person can do. Respect and honor are yours.