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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Delayed post

Hello and thanks for checking out the Men Healing podcast. As you can see, I often forget about this blog as I'm more concentrated on the podcast itself, the @MenHealing Twitter feed and life as it happens.

Please check out the podcast, as it is currently up to 15 episodes and over 4,200 downloads in over 50 countries! It's so encouraging to see the great response to the podcast and the men's stories featured there.

Here are the links where you can listen and/or access the podcast from:
http://menhealing.libsyn.com/webpage
http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/men-healing-podcast/id477162195

Please drop me a line and let me know what you think and/or if you'd like to be interviewed.
Cheers,
Jamie

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Survived the Holidays - Partial Script of Episode 6


Men Healing Podcast: Episode 6 > Survived the Holidays

It’s January 1, 2012, and although I wanted a holiday podcast episode to come out earlier around Christmas, it just didn’t happen. I hope that it will still prove helpful to many of you despite releasing this episode post-holidays.
            I know that I am not alone when I say that the Christmas holiday season is a tough, emotional time for me as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I’ve talked with other men in my male survivor support group and we all agree that this time of year is a challenging one. For a whole host of reasons, too. Of course I don’t know what everyone else struggles with, but I hope by speaking about some of mine, it will connect with those of you listening in some small way.
Please write and let me know your thoughts on what follows. I’d appreciate it.
            I feel the dark clouds looming over my head by November at the latest. I’m not fully aware of these negative feelings but there is an underlying mood that creeps in and is constantly triggered by the sight of Christmas decorations, ads, newly erected Christmas trees and the music beginning to be heard seemingly everywhere.
            When the season inches closer, people start asking me about my holiday plans and I never, hardly ever have an answer until the last possible minute. Why? Because I think deep down I’d rather disappear for the 2 weeks of intense Christmas fever from around December 20 to January 2 or so. I’ve wanted nothing to do with it for years now. And what sucks is that so many people wonder why. Except for fellow male survivors who also wish they could just disappear and come back onto the scene once everyone else goes through the motions and pretences needed to ‘survive the holidays’, as they say.
             I hate when people call me a scrooge. Or the Grinch. When I go to friends’ places and it looks like Santa Claus threw up in their living room I just want to run from it all and not have to fake a smile every time I wish someone else a Merry Christmas.
            I remember my Christmas day at my grandparents including my uncle sneaking me up to his old bedroom and sexually abusing me while uncles, aunts, cousins and my parents were downstairs wrapped up in the food, chatter and seasonal good times. I remember the number of embarrassing times I had to wait to come down the stairs when called for dinner because I couldn’t hide my pre-teen erection and needed to wait before showing up at the table. I remember my father speaking openly about the inappropriateness of how my uncle held or played with me while we were all sitting around and I remember hearing my aunts defend my uncle and instead putting my dad down for having such considerations and daring to voice them.
            My Christmas experiences that followed those that included the abuse were never great, either, and I think I put the puzzle pieces together as to why. Once I let out the secret that my uncle had sexually abused me, we stopped meeting the rest of the family at my grandparents and showed up the day after. There’s a picture my mom took of my sister and I that first Christmas of separated visiting. We are sitting on my grandparent’s couch opening gifts that were left for us by other family members the day before. You can see the pain and sadness in my eyes and you can see that the smile on my face is forced. I’ll never get the image out of my head.
            It’s the face of a boy who has been punished for being the victim of abuse. It’s the face of a boy who wishes he had been at his grandparents the day before able to play and laugh with his cousins like all the years before. It’s the face of a boy who regretted letting the secret out because of what came after: turmoil, family struggles and suffering.
            What really should’ve happened is that my uncle should’ve stayed home and not been allowed to enjoy the holiday time with his family. He should have his fucking balls ripped off and thrown to the dogs and not be allowed to be in the same room with a young child ever again. But instead I endured years of hardship and watching a family fall apart because the secret was kept and the innocent one – me – was put through hell while the guilty one – my uncle- continued on as if nothing had happened and has likely committed the same damn crime again.
            So, a couple of weeks ago while reading and thinking, I got those puzzle pieces I mentioned. I realized why so many other Christmas days with my family ended up in horrific yelling matches between my mother and me. I came to realize why my teen years were full of absolute stubborn refusal to ever follow what anyone of authority wanted me to do and why my teeth grinding insolence toward my parents was so deep-seated and unwavering: they hadn’t pulled through for me. They hadn’t protected me from the harm my uncle caused me and the fallout after I came forward made me suffer much much more than it did him.
            I sit year after year when the holidays are arriving and try to remember a Christmas time that was enjoyable and I can’t really. there were so many bad Christmas experiences that I’ve spent years dreading the holidays and wanting to punch people in the head when they shit on me for not wanting anything to do with this difficult season that only reminds me of having my soul ripped apart and repeatedly stepped on rather than a time of goodwill towards all men. 

The 1st day of 2012

I'm a bit behind on posting here. Life happens. I see that I neglected to post about episode 5 as well! Oops. The interview I conducted with my friend Grant in Vancouver is an excellent one and I hope you will gain something from listening to it.

I just published episode 6, Survived the Holidays, but it won't be available for a couple of days because of the holidays I suppose. I'll post the bulk of the script here in the meantime.

Again, thanks for listening and please let me know what you think of the podcast.
Cheers, and Happy New Year!
Jamie

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Episode 4 with Bernie is up and ready!

I'm pleased to announce that Episode 4 - Bernie: You are not Alone, is up and available for download from iTunes and the Liberated Syndication page!

Bernie's heartfelt, candid interview about his abuse during his younger years in the Catholic church, and the encouragement he has received from attending his men's support group in recovery, is well worth a listen. I hope you find this new episode helpful and insightful.

Please feel free to send comments, suggestions and questions my way. I would also appreciate your comments on iTunes if you have an account there. Thanks for listening.

Jamie

http://menhealing.libsyn.com/webpage
http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/men-healing-podcast/id477162195

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Episode 3 is up and we're available on iTunes!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynne MacDonell here in Toronto yesterday via Skype for our third episode. We discuss therapy, survivor support group and her new venture into online support groups for male survivors. A very insightful, caring and tireless woman who has been helping men to heal for over a decade, Lynne's comments in this episode are spot on.

Much quicker than I had anticipated, my approval came earlier this week from Apple that Men Healing Podcast is now available on iTunes and searchable! I have to say I'm very excited about this development as I believe it will grant more exposure and better access to the podcast from here on in. So, either via the Liberated Syndication page or in iTunes, you can now keep up to date on new episodes when they become available. I encourage you to subscribe in iTunes in order to not miss an episode and if you could write a review there it would really be helpful.

Thanks again for listening and your support. Please email me if you have any suggestions, requests or would like to be interviewed. Be well in your healing.

Jamie

iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/men-healing-podcast/id477162195
LibSyn: http://menhealing.libsyn.com/webpage
Lynne's website: http://www.lmtherapy.com/
Emotional Fitness for Men: http://twitter.com/#!/effm12 (website will launch this week)