March has arrived. The end is nigh! Not the end of everything. Though, not knowing the punchline to this universe, I can’t say for sure it’s not coming up on the end of everything. I just know the end of winter is nigh. This makes me happy. This makes me very happy.
With March entering lioness style, kicking and screaming and dumping snow on the city of Toronto…I can finally envision the end of this miserable terrible awful atrocious unseemly horrendous ludicrous horrorshow of a winter.
On the 1st, I celebrated the beginning of this new month in style, taking in the Paul Simon/Sting concert at the ACC. I was astonished when, after the concert, I walked out into a street covered in snow. Enter the lion. As terrible as it was to see even more of the white stuff, it made me consider the fate of the end of the month. Out like a lamb, right? So, as this is a highly accurate scientific way of measuring the severity of winter in March, I was SO relieved to see the lion at play. It means the month will edge out of existence quietly. No big final HURRAH from March, then. Something to look forward to. This winter has been an absolute bitch.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about something I don’t often talk about, but also don’t avoid…the Sexual Victimization of Boys & Men. There is a phenomenal organization in North America that is doing glorious things to help men and boys recover from sexual trauma. MALESURVIVOR.ORG is literally saving lives. They are also tireless champions of THE VOICE OF MALE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE. They are getting people talking about this thing that nobody would talk about. Between removing the stigma faced by male victims of sexual abuse and helping male victims to move from a place of darkness to a place of Survivor to a place of Thriver, this is a well-needed organization. Their message to male victims of sexual abuse is that they are NOT ALONE, that it is NOT THEIR FAULT and that they can overcome. Heal. Thrive.
Here in Toronto, Male Survivor is putting on three events in the month of May, 2014.
The first event is on May 29th – Dare to Dream. This is a Free event – Presenting a special screening of Boys and Men Healing, directed by Kathy Barbini, and co-produced by Simon Weinberg. The screening of the movie will be followed by the Q & A with Jim Struve, LCSW, Dr. Howard Fradkin Ph.D. LICDC, Co-chairs of Malesurvivor Weekends of Recovery, Rob Hawkings MA, MES, & Lynne MacDonell BA, CADC, CHT. I’ve seen this movie at a past Dare to Dream event…and it’s truly a must-see. Watching it was one of the first times I realized I wasn’t alone. It will change your life.
The 2nd event is on May 30th. “Breaking the Silence” Training workshop – $141.25 ($125 +HST) This workshop will explore issues surrounding the sexual victimization of males. Included will be a focus on myths surrounding male victimization, distinguishing between male and female survivors, sexual conflict issues and clinical dynamics and treatment approaches for male survivors. Presenters include clinical case material and will provide time for questions and case consultation.
The 3rd event is on May 31st – Safety & Connection -Creating a Community to Heal for Male Survivors Workshop – $111.87 ($99 + HST $12.87) – A one day workshop based on the Male Survivor weekend of Recovery designed to help empower you as a male Survivor of Sexual Abuse.
If you’re in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), and you are a victim of male sexual abuse, I urge you to seek help. Do yourself a favour and attend these great events. If you can’t make all three, attend those you can. I’ve been to a Male Survivor Weekend of Recovery. In fact I’ve been to two. They are trans-formative. There is no time like the present to take back your life. The shame is NOT yours. The guilt is NOT yours. Aren’t you tired yet?
Please consider registering for the above events: ALL DETAILS ON THESE THREE EVENTS CAN BE FOUND ON THE GATEHOUSE WEBSITE HERE!
Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival:
In two days I head to Whitby, Ontario, for the Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival. My heartbeat has already begun the rat-a-tat-tat of sheer panic that comes prior to me entering the castle. But this is good. Honestly. I would NOT want to walk into this situation with confidence! There are times that my lack of confidence works fully in my favour. Trafalgar24 is one of them.
When one is being locked into a haunted castle for eight hours with the Herculean task of writing a play before the expiration of that time, one doesn’t want to walk in there knowing they will accomplish their goal. Confidence is sometimes the thing that will kill you in your tracks. One wants accelerated panic. Confidence tells a writer they don’t have to stretch themselves. They know they can do it, so they can ride the backseat and get it done. Panic and worry and doubt and fear and loathing…these things can be fed off of…these things can motivate a writer. We should always live outside our comfort zone. I get inside that castle and I think about the 300+ audience members who will be converging on the place in less than 24 hours. That audience expects the best. They want to be entertained. They’re coming to see six new plays…and by god, they best be fantastic. This is the thought that keeps me awake through the night…the thought that keeps my hands moving on the keyboard…the thought that keeps me walking in circles in my designated room, acting out my scenes and having an all-round meltdown.
I enter in to this event in a heightened state of panic, yes. But I also enter into it in a completely overwhelming state of euphoria. It’s a tremendous blessing to be able to push the envelope in such a creatively insane way. Somebody is taking a chance on me as a writer. This means something to me. I need to honour their faith in my ability to deliver in the best way possible. I need to write!
Please know that I write about all these things together as a subtle way of making a point. We should be talking about sexual abuse openly. I no longer feel the need to be silent. Or to talk about it as an aside. The moment we address this issue on the side, segregated from other events in our lives, is the moment we assign shame. Life is short. Taking on the shame of others is something I’m no longer willing to do. It’s time to open up the dialogue and speak candidly about sexual abuse. Today, it’s one of the many things on my mind. So I have discussed it here. If you’re finding this post because you searched TORONTO MALE SEXUAL ABUSE HELP or the like, please look into these events. It’s time for you to do something about the burden you’re carrying. Let MaleSurvivor.Org ease your pain…it’s never too late to reclaim your life.
This smorgasbord is now complete. Thank you.