As a small boy I loved to ride his bike, play football with friends and to laugh. I loved life and was always smiling.
When I was eight years old, I was targeted by a group of predatory paedophiles who subjected me to 18-months of horrific sexual abuse. I was too ashamed and scared to tell anyone what had happened...not my parents, friends or family.
In my new book, A Small Boy Smiling, I recount a remarkable story of survival and overcoming the trauma, guilt and shame of childhood sexual abuse, teenage alcoholism, sexual anorexia, and post traumatic stress disorder. My lifelong search for peace, love and healing culminates in personal spiritual awakening and a desire to help other survivors of sexual abuse to discover their own healing.
My search for healing inspired him to explore a variety of healing pathways which included conventional trauma therapies for PTSD in the UK; to Spain where I enjoyed an exhilarating month long pilgrimage along the 500-mile Camino to Santiago de Compostela; to Brazil where I experienced profound healing on a meditation retreat; and on numerous visits to India where I have studied spiritual philosophy, meditated in ashrams, and trekked the Himalayas.
However the initial catalyst for my healing was (and still is) Alcoholics Anonymous. I went to my first AA meeting at age 20 and have now been sober for over 25 years. My book includes a chapter by trauma therapist, Sarah Paton Briggs, about our therapy sessions together. Soulful Space: Reflections on my therapy work with Matt, has been very well received by my readers, many of whom are survivors.
A Small Boy Smiling is my story of how I’ve overcome my demons to reclaim my smile and learn to love and laugh again as an adult.