The Reviews Are In!

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I love hearing what people think about my book and was pleasantly surprised to get this private message on Facebook today.  Of course I asked for her permission to post this and she gave me the okie dokie.

Hello there!

I just finished your book. Wow. I will review on Amazon later but wanted to just tell you a few things.

First and foremost, if I ever wrote a book, it would be probably in the same style as you wrote yours. I will admit it took me a bit to get into that style and be able to read it. Once I figured out where you were coming from it went so much smoother.

I believe you. I believe all of what you wrote. Why? Because of how you told your story. No glitz, no fancy editing. Almost like we spent the afternoon together chatting. I also believe you because of my childhood. It was no where near as traumatic as yours, I should be thankful, but strangely, I am not.

At times, I actually cringed for the choices you made and yelled at you for making them. I may even have cursed you a few times. Okay, a lot of times. Most of my thoughts were “Why would you do that?”! At some points I had to step back and realize at what age you were making those decision. I found myself judging you over and over again. I based what you were doing on my 48 years of living. Not if I would of done something similar at the same age you were. So, as humbling as it is, I realized that I still have a lot to learn about respect and empathy. Thank you for that.

Now, I didn’t realize that you had tested positive for HIV. That broke my heart. I know I have talked about (name omitted) before to you…. He tested positive about 8 years ago. It has been a long road for us, so I am glad to see that you are still doing well after all these years. (name omitted) is mentally tired of it all and there are days that I am in fear of him taking his life. I am going to see him in a few weeks, so will attempt to get him to read this book. Not sure I want to live without my Kindle that long, but if it helps him, then it would be a small price to pay.

Reading your book, I realized we actually had parallel lives. I am not gay, never really suffered from being stigmatized for that, but I still know the pain of being bullied, abused, moving every few years and having a family that I did not feel a part of. I admire you, I respect you and most of all, I am glad you lived to tell your story.

I am happy you have someone in your life that completes you, that is your soul mate. I am so happy for the two of you and wish you nothing but the best that life has to offer.

If you ever make it to Michigan, for publicity or whatnot, let me know… I would love to actually have a chat with you over coffee someday. I am pretty sure there is yet another book in you, let me know once you decide to write it, I will be one of your biggest cheerleaders!

I have to agree with you, I also wish that I had made different choices in my life, but you don’t learn lessons unless you make bad choices, right? I do regret many things, but I wouldn’t take anything back. I basically wrote the same way that I would be telling it to someone in person because I figured it would probably be easier to read for most people who don’t normally like to read. But also, it’s just the only way I know how to tell a story.

There were TONS of things I left out because A they were irrelevant and B because they were TMI LOL. I really wished that I could have added those things, but I was told the masturbation story was too much information, and that was about as TMI as I think it got. I was told to leave it out, but I mean come on, who doesn’t do that, right? I wanted to show that I was human lol.

I probably won’t be able to do a publicity tour since I self published and I don’t have any marketing. Facebook is my only marketing strategy.

Anyway, thank you for your email, I really appreciate the feedback.

Michel McDonald

Some advice for a fan of my Facebook page

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I got an email today that literally broke my heart.  I was asked for some advice and I’m not sure if I gave the best advice, but it was the only thing I could think of that I would have done.  So here is the question.  His name and image have been concealed to protect him. I am calling him “D” because he wants to remain anonymous.

That is really horrible. I am so sorry.

You are still living at home right? Is it because you are a teenager?

I don’t know if my advice is appropriate for your situation but this is what I would do if I were you. I would build the highest brick wall (metaphorically of course). I wouldn’t tell my parents anything that I was doing or who I was with or you know, anything. I would just keep my mouth closed whenever I am around them and not even look at them. When they see how upset you are, they will start to feel bad and try to cheer you up and possibly even apologize to you for the things they have done. It is possible that they won’t, but keep the wall up for as long as you can until you are stable enough to leave, then head for the hills and don’t look back.

Just because your parents are your parents doesn’t mean anything. I haven’t spoken to my step-father or my baby sister in 10 years and my older sister, well we have barely spoken in those same amount of years, but thanks to my book she isn’t speaking to me now. At first I was upset about it because I really didn’t want to lose her, but then I realized that she tortured me throughout my childhood. I was only hanging onto her for the sake of my mother who passed away 19 years ago. She was never really my friend so I don’t have any bad feelings about losing her.

You can start a new life with your boyfriend. Just go with him somewhere else and leave those monsters behind. I don’t mean to speak ill about your parents by calling them monsters but anyone who rapes their child is a monster, and anyone who blames their child for being raped is also a monster. My cousins daughter was raped by her uncle and when he was put in jail for it, she was blamed and told that she was going to be killed for putting an innocent man in prison. She was the one who was innocent, not him. You cannot take the blame for something that you had no control over.

You are a good person, you have to believe that. They are the bad people no matter how they try to spin it. You don’t have to put up with them anymore.

I hope this helps.

Mike McDonald

If anyone else out there has some good advice for “D” please chime in because he needs all the support he can get.

My Interpretation of Hold On by Wilson Phillips

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httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbXvaE39wM&ob=av2e

I just watched the movie Bridesmaids on HBO On Demand and at the end of the movie Wilson Phillips came out to sing the song Hold On.  I remember hearing that song when I was a teenager and thinking about how powerful a message it was because I was ready to give up and kill myself many times, but this song would give me another day to “hold on” to see what tomorrow brings.  That isn’t hyperbole either.

I’m sure nobody needs to have this song broken down and interpreted, but indulge me for a few minutes because I want to explain how I take and interpret the lyrics of this song for myself.

“I know this pain.  Why do lock yourself up in these chains?  No one can change your life except for you.  Don’t ever let anyone step all over you.  Just open your heart and your mind.  Is it really fair to feel this way inside?”

Now, this is the beginning of the song, it starts out with “I know this pain” and I immediately think of Carny Wilson because of the discrimination she had to deal with during this period of her life.  During shooting of their videos, she was pushed in the back so people couldn’t see her weight, which is totally unfair because no matter how skinny or overweight she was, she was a gorgeous woman inside and out and she was part of the group, not a backup singer.  I know the song isn’t about that, I know it’s about relationships.

“Why do you lock yourself up in these chains?”  To me that means that you are (the victim of any abuse) shutting down to the world.  You are punishing yourself for what is happening to you.  You don’t deserve to imprison yourself for what someone else is doing to you.

“No one can change your life except for you.  Don’t let anyone step all over you.”  This is true.  Just like in my book I said that it won’t get better until you stop letting people rule you. Not in those words, but that was the message.

“Just open your heart and your mind, is it really fair to feel this way inside?”  This is also true.  You (the victim) have closed your heart and your mind because you know things aren’t going to change and you don’t want to let anyone in because you are so afraid of being disappointed.  That isn’t fair to you.  You have to give everyone a chance and act as if you are starting over from scratch with every new person you meet as if you had never been abused in the first place.  Let your life start over with that new person.

“Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye.  Until then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry?  Don’t you know?  Don’t you know things can change, things’ll go your way if you hold on for one more day.  Can you hold on for one more day?  Things’ll go your way  Hold on for one more day”

The chorus always gets me.  That’s where the tears just start flowing.  This is telling me that some day my step father and my sisters are going to force me to say goodbye, to basically burn my bridge with them.  Until then (baby) am I going to let them hold me down and make me cry means that I need to stay strong until that day finally comes when I can just tell them that I can’t take their abuse anymore and I’m done with it all, that I never want to see them again.  Don’t you know things will change if you hold on for one more day, things will go my way (to me) means that I just need to be patient because it will get better eventually.  See what tomorrow brings, perhaps it might be better.

Last one I promise.

“You could sustain, or are you comfortable with the pain?  You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness.  You got yourself into your own mess.  Lettin’ your worries pass you by.  Don’t you think it’s worth your time to change your mind?”

“You could sustain, or are you comfortable with the pain?”  That to me was kind of confusing at first because who is comfortable with the pain?  But then it occurred to me that perhaps you are comfortable with it because that is all you know.  Like for example, I grew up with daily smacks to the face and the head, being yelled at constantly and being punished for just having a pulse.  I got so used to it that I didn’t even know it was bad.

Ok this one I had an issue with at first.  “You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness. You got yourself into your own mess.  Lettin’ your worries pass you by.  Don’t you think it’s worth your time to change your mind?”  I know this part isn’t meant for a child abuse victim, it is meant for a woman who is in a bad relationship.  She got herself into this mess because she refuses to leave her no good wife beating husband or boyfriend.

I know this song wasn’t written for everyone, but we can all interpret it to our own situation if that is what we need to do.  A woman who is in a bad relationship can interpret it for her situation, a gay child can interpret it to their situation and a child abuse victim can interpret it to their situation as well.  Everyone can use this song to pick themselves up off the ground because it has a good message.  Basically, hang in there, don’t let what other people (bullies, asshole boyfriends/husbands, abusive parents) do to you to keep you from living your life the way you should live it.  Once you are away from that person, you will learn that your life will get a whole lot better, and isn’t that worth holding on for one more day?  Things WILL go your way.

Wonder Woman (Book Excerpt)

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I was excited and have been waiting for the new Wonder Woman to appear on TV, but sadly I hear it will never see the light of day.  I really don’t understand why because it is such a wonderful story; I think it should be back on the air.  It doesn’t matter who plays Wonder Woman, as long as the show is made that’s all I care about.

Adrianne Palicki was supposed to play Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman and I recall a big stink about her updated costume which people hated.  I actually didn’t like the first costume that they showed because it had pants, but I mean seriously, I don’t really care if she wears pants or a bathing suit, as long as the show is on TV.  I mean, can’t she have a few different outfits?

Ok so here is a clip from the show we will never get to see:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVRptUJocAo

The thing that most people don’t know about me is that I hold Wonder Woman dear to my heart because she helped me get through the bullying when I was in junior high school in the early 80’s.  Here is an excerpt from my book.

“I hated going to school because I had to watch my back every day. I had to keep an eye out from all sides because it could happen again when I least expected it. I stayed out of open spaces and would only walk against the walls. I was always looking back as if I thought I was being followed, which I usually was. I hated being paranoid all the time.

“When I ran home, I was always home in time to watch Wonder Woman. I loved that show because she stood up to the bullies to protect those who were being bullied. I fell in love with the notion of a super hero because I needed one to come and save me. If none could come and save me, then at least I could watch them save others on television every day after school.”

It wasn’t just Wonder Woman, it was Lynda Carter who saved my sanity every day after school.  She is such a wonderful person and I will always remember and love her for her role as Wonder Woman for as long as I live.

I was waiting for this show to come back and now I’m afraid I will never see it.  This show meant something to me and I had hoped that if it could help me with the bullies, then perhaps it could help someone else who needed it.  I would love to appeal to the corporate heads or whoever is in charge of making decisions about what show makes it to air.  If this isn’t enough for them to reconsider, then I have no more hope.