As a therapist, I am well aware of my fears that others will judge me based against my profession. I cringe when people say that my girls are “so lucky to have me as a mom”…as if I am somehow better able to parent because I am a therapist? I hate when people assume that I “have my life together”. Make no mistake, I have my own stuff to deal with on a daily basis. I am not perfect. I have my own history.
This post was triggered by my reading of the memoir Raped Black Male by Kenneth Rogers Jr. He brought to light some incredibly important topics that NEED to be discussed: rape, incest, male victimization, gender stereotypes, and race expectations to name a few. It was such a raw, honest and open account of what it is like for a child to live with a secret such as being the victim or childhood incestual rape. All the while, the book shows and leads the reader though a stunning account of what it means to become a survivor. Becoming a survivor of any injustice requires one to remove any veils of shame and reframe their experience.
In knowing Kenny, I can tell you that he is a successful and honorable man, teacher, husband, father and friend. I am confident that many people will be shocked to learn about this aspect of his personal life story. I imagine that he has heard many of the same phrases that I have…that his girls are lucky to have him as a dad, that he has his life so together…I also imagine that he shakes his head in the same way that I do. No one knows what hurts another person’s history contains. We all have a story. We all have flaws. I try to allow my history to shape my parenting, my practice as a therapist, and my life overall. I hope to lead others through the many mazes that I have found myself lost in. I hope that Kenny knows how thankful other sex abuse survivors will be that he can be a beacon of light to guide them on their journey.