Never be bullied into silence

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I’ve shared many images similar to this on my Facebook page and Twitter along with a 1 liner about how true the image is, but I’ve never written a blog post because I’ve never actually had something that hit as close to home as this particular image does.

When I began writing my book when I was 19 years old on my old Apple //e computer that my ex brother-in-law sold to me (for $750 that I made payments to every week until it was paid off), I wasn’t sure if 1 I could write it or 2 if I should write it. I lost the disk when I had to sell the computer to live. I could only get $75 for it after only a few short years of owning it.

I spent my entire adulthood wanting to write it, but afraid to because if I ever spoke my mind, my family would throw something back in my face, something that is not really that damning to me really. If I said that someone did or said something to me, they would always say that I ran away from home when I was 13 years old and went to studio city. Who cares! They never bring up the reason I decided to run away, that I was following in my own sister’s footsteps. She was gone for 3 days with her boyfriend. I was gone for maybe 2 hours at the most. Who cares about that, but apparently they seem to think that it is such a horrible thing, like they are comparing it to murder.

In 2010 my HIV doctor told me that I probably only had 10 more years to live, I decided that I really wanted to write it and who cares what anyone thinks. I finally published it in February 2012 knowing that if my family ever found out, they would bring up this horrible running away story as if I were this horrible person. My sister had her friend call me names like a drama queen in his “review” of my book. It wasn’t so much a review as much as it was an attack on my character. This coming from a man who has pictures of swastikas in his Facebook photo albums and calls himself a Anti-Zionist. Someone who doesn’t know me, has never met me, has only ever heard stories about me seems to think he knows everything there is to know about me. I’m an onion Baby Jane Hudson. I have so many layers that you don’t even know about. Don’t presume to think you know me.

Anyway, this guy says in his review that I should stop lying to people and change my book from memoir to fiction. You can bully me into silence all you want, but it’s not going to work because my book is my truth. It is how I saw life through my memories and no one can change that. He threatened that I could be sued for slander, which by the way you cannot sue me because you don’t know me and because I changed all the names for “their” protection. It was more for my protection.

I will never be bullied into silence. This is my life and I will speak my truth and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. I don’t care if it means never speaking with my sisters who don’t really speak with me anyway. And frankly, I could give a rats patooty if I never speak with my step father again for the rest of my life. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a need to write a book.

Oh, he mentions in his “review” that I used Writing Fiction for Dummies to write my book. Well, no I didn’t, but I did buy that book for another purpose. It was always my dream since I was a child to write a book, it just turns out that the book I chose to write about was my life story. I didn’t read that book to help me write my book. I wrote my book without any help, I did that on my own. I wrote it the same way I would tell someone in person. 4 years after I wrote my memoir, I am finally starting to read that book, but I found another series more helpful and I am reading those now. If I still have 6 years to go, I want to write this fiction that I have wanted to write since I was a child and I don’t care what anyone says about it. It’s my dream and I will make that dream come true, just you watch.

That bridge burned down to the ground

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My sister, who despite her negative review of my book with her OWN NAME, will remain nameless (that is unless you go see her Amazon review, then she is no longer nameless), has lit the final flame on the bridge that burned it down to the ground.  I am not going to try to put the fire out because there isn’t anything TO put up, the bridge is nothing but ash on the ground below, all I can do is sweep the ashes and move on.  But before I do that, I’d like to share a little story of how it happened.

As you know, I wrote a book called “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!”  It is my memoir about my life growing up with a violent step-father and a sister who I got along with for most of my childhood until she decided that it would be fun to ruin the rest of my childhood.  But that’s not what the whole book is about, I also talk about my experiences being bullied at school because I was gay, becoming homeless because I was gay, becoming an alcoholic, becoming addicted to drugs and the experiences of my past relationships, and finally at the end being diagnosed with AIDS, diabetes, degenerative disc disease, Stephen Johnson’s Syndrome, sleep apnea and Parkinson’s Disease etc.

My book was not meant to be an attack on anyone, but rather a way for me to work through my issues, to get all of those feelings out there and to tell my side of the story.  As I was writing the book, I was writing with those feelings that I had in the memory, so it may seem like I still had negative feelings, but that’s the only way I was able to write about the memory, to show the feeling that I felt at the time.  Of course I no longer hold any resentment towards anyone and I no longer have those negative feelings because I have worked through my issues.  Yes I do still have flashbacks and nightmares that haunt me and hurt me to the core, but I don’t think those old memories and the feelings that come with them are ever going to go away.  Of course, my family doesn’t see it that way, they see it as a way for me to attack them and make money off of it.  That’s simply not true.

After I read my sisters “Review” or rather her “personal attack” I called my aunt who lives in Simi Valley.  The reason I called her is because she is always asking me if I have spoken with her or had any contact with her, well, I did in a way.  So I called her.  But, she wasn’t as sympathetic as I had thought she would be, instead she went on the attack.  Here is how that went.

She told me that my timeline of events while living with her were way off and that I said something about her that was a bold face lie.  Well, I asked her what the lie was and she said she couldn’t remember, but after she read it she said to her husband that she never said that.  She said it was something about her not defending me, but isn’t exactly sure what that was.  Well, you know, if what she said is true then I will certainly check it out and edit that part out or make a note that her version of events were different or that she doesn’t feel that I was being truthful, but in my defense, I honestly don’t know what she is talking about and I didn’t add any lies in the book about her.  In fact, I was trying to be as kind to her as possible in the book, but there were certain things that I wrote that were hurtful and they were the truth.

In my opinion, I think she might be referring to me hearing a conversation between her and my mother when they were talking about my friendship with my first boyfriend being a phase.  Of course I didn’t know that my whole family knew I was gay until I was 17 years old when my mother confronted me about it, but she told me that they all knew that I was gay.  The reason that came up in our conversation is because my sister said in her “review” that I was bragging to my parents about my “male-male relationship” which I think she is referring to having sex with him, which by the way never happened.  Not only were we not having sex until I was 17 and homeless, but even if I were having sex, I wouldn’t as a 15 year old tell my parents.  I mean give me a break.

My aunt said that my perception of time was off because 1 we were only there for 6 months, but I seem to recall living with her when the original mini series V came to NBC which was in September 1984.  I also remember being there for Halloween 1984 and I remember still living there when summer began in 1985.  That’s when I met my first boyfriend, it was the beginning of summer and I went over to my girlfriends house and we were going to the beach with our other friend and her brother was driving us.  That is the day that I met him.  We probably spent 2 months together and then we left.  She said that he was going to the Riverside school for the deaf while we were living with her and that I started school in September in Simi Valley, but that is not true because we left during the summer of 1985.  But how is September to September 6 months anyway?  My perception of time is not off here, but that is my opinion and it is also my memory.  I never went to high school in Simi Valley, I started high school at Saugus High School on the first day of school.

My sister also mentioned a few other false facts that were just so out there that I can’t remember what they were and I refuse to go back to the review to look because it will just piss me off more.  But she mentioned that when I was 13-14 my mother told me about my real father and I was so enraged that I pushed her and my stepfather down which caused him to have a heart attack.  So false!  She told me about my real father on my 15th birthday.  We went for a walk and she told me all about him and I was so happy to have that little gap in my heart filled.  I wasn’t angry with her for it, I was grateful that she told me.  And as far as pushing her, she had a bad back and I was even defending her back problems when people were calling her a drug addict, why would I push her?  Get real!

And my stepfather had “Heart attacks” so often that you could predict them.  One time it was so bad that he was crying, but when we got to the emergency room, they said he had gas.  That was when I was 19 years old though and we lived in Quartz Hill.  My sister will dispute that, but she wasn’t living there.  I had to move in with my parents because I was living with her and came home from work and she wasn’t expecting me and she was walking around the house naked and I saw her whole naked body.  I won’t describe what I saw, because that would be too invasive, but if you think I am lying, ask me and I will tell you.  She got mad and told me I had to leave.

Anyway, I can understand that she is hurt that I wrote a book and called her a few names like sociopath, but she didn’t read the book, otherwise she would have read the nice things that I said about her.  Like this.

Here is a quote from the book in chapter 9.

“It was lunch break one day and I was walking by myself when out of nowhere I felt someone jump on my back. Some kid, who I didn’t even know, who must have weighed 200lbs had jumped on me. I fell like a ton of bricks had just landed on my head. He was straddling me while punching me in the head and since I was lying on my stomach, all I could do was hold my hands over my head because I didn’t know what else to do. My sister must have noticed the fight and she came to see what was happening. She got him to stop hitting me by beating the crap out of him. She threatened him to leave me alone or she would kick his ass again, but he didn’t care.

“I started trusting her again despite the trouble that she had caused me in Bakersfield. Even though she was still a bitch to me at home and she still purposely got me into trouble, I still remembered that one good thing she did for me at school.”

In chapter 15…

“Sarah and I were finally getting along since she apologized to me about the way she had been treating me and I forgave her. I was still upset with her, but I was able to set my feelings aside because I finally got my sister back.

“I wanted to hang out with her at the smoking section because I didn’t know anyone. I really didn’t want to know anyone either, I mean what was the point? We were just going to move again anyway and I would lose all of my new friends so why bother?

“Sarah was my bodyguard and nobody would bother me as long as I was with her. Trust me, nobody messed with her, and if you messed with me, you messed with her. “She made friends fast and her new friends were tired of me hanging around them because she was in the twelfth grade and I was in the tenth grade. She wanted me to leave, but I didn’t want to so her friends told me that if I wanted to hang out with them, I would have to start smoking.”

See?  I just wanted to hang out with my sister at school.  All I ever wanted was her love and her friendship.  And I even tried making amends with my stepfather by saying this in Chapter 36:

“George came to the apartment with a U-Haul and took all of my things to my sister’s house and put them in her garage. As much as I hated George for the way he treated me as a child, he always seemed like he cared enough about me to help me move. I was certainly more appreciative of him for all of the help that he had given to me over the years as an adult.”

Look, my book was written purely to help me work through MY issues, it was never intended to hurt anyone or to call anyone any names, it was therapy for me to write it.  Sure I didn’t have to publish it, but after hearing from so many people that I validated them and sort of helped them with their own issues, it was worth every word I wrote.  The book isn’t going to go away, and even if I did take it off of sale today, that bridge is gone and there is no repairing it.  It’s out there, once it’s out there, it’s done.  Finished.  There is no going back, so I might as well keep the book for sale because there is nothing I can do to repair this relationship that has been broken for decades.

My aunt and my mother didn’t speak for years and my aunt regrets that she never got to speak with her sister again before she died, and she told me on the phone last night to write her a letter to patch things up with her before “God forbids” someone dies and you can never speak to them again to tell them you are sorry.  The only thing I am sorry about is that it was taken the way it was, but I am not sorry for writing it.  Even if some people had a different perception of time or if my perception of time was off, or if someone doesn’t remember a conversation that was had, I have no regrets and I will not apologize for writing my truth.

Anyway, I know this is a long post, but I just wanted to get it out there.  In a way, this post is also a part of my healing process.  It may not be part of anyone else’s healing process though, but probably will make things worse, but I mean how much worse can it get eh?  My sister unfriended me and took me out of her life when she found out about my book, she already hates me so tell me how much worse can this post get?

I love her despite the lies that she told on Amazon, she is my sister and I will always love her.  I never stopped loving her despite her hatred for me even though she said she loved me.  I know she has a seething hatred for me, but that’s fine, I get it, I really do.  But I’m done with it all.  I’m just done.  If anyone else has an issue with me, well that’s not my issue, that’s their issue.  I’m just done.

If you are curious about the book, it is for sale and all of the information of where to buy it for your Nook, Kindle and paperback is all on the website www.diaryofagaynerd.com.  The ebook is $3.99 and the paperback is $10.  Judge for yourself.

What Is My Main Focus Anyway?

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I wrote my memoir and published it in February 2012.  My memoir (if you haven’t read it) is about child abuse, anti-gay bullying, acceptance, heartbreak, relationships and health matters.  When I published my memoir, I created a website with a blog, a book fan page for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Showcase Freedom with the main purpose of selling books, but also to share stories that are in the news about child abuse, anti-gay bullying, acceptance, heartbreak and relationships in the gay community.  I have never veered off course, although I haven’t been trying to sell books as much as I should, but my main focus is what is happening in the world today.

Speaking of which… Buy my book at Amazon on paperback or for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble for your Nook only and Rainbow eBooks.  30% of all profits go to charity.

Some of the things that I post or have posted on Facebook in the past have been hurtful towards some people because they were anti-religion.  I am not trying to be anti-religion, but I do post things that religious anti-gay people say or do because it is part of what I dealt with when I came out of the closet and what people are being put through today.  Those anti-gay religious people are who made me the atheist I am today.  I don’t have anything against religion itself, but I will post images, quotes and stories of religious people being anti-gay.  I don’t think I am being disrespectful, they are the ones who are being disrespectful.  You can’t expect me to not say anything and let them walk all over gay people can you?  I refuse to apologize for that.

I saw an image of Snooki with a quote of her saying this:

“There is no way I’m changing any diapers when my baby is born. That is disgusting,” she said.”That’s what maids are for and babysitters. I don’t have time for that. I’ll have them do that stuff. I’ll be there for the good parts, like dressing my son up, making sure he got style. You don’t have to cook or clean or change diapers to be a good mother.”

Some people were outraged that she would say such a thing, one person in particular got mad at me because I was attacking someone he admired by posting that on my page.  He said that my page was specifically for “the gay community.”  Don’t tell me what my page is for!  That’s my page, not yours.  He didn’t like that I posted it, so he not only stopped being a fan of my page/book, but he also unfriended me.  Look, my page isn’t just about gay rights, it is also about child abuse and this falls under that category.  Although I have seen her show Snooki and Jwoww so I am no longer worried about her being a terrible mother because she has proven that she will be a good mother and raise her child in a loving environment.  Not that she has to prove herself to me or anyone else, but my opinion of her has changed since seeing her with her baby.

Look, I am going to post things that people may not like, but think of it this way, I only post 5% of what I see in my feed.  There are so many things that I could be posting, but I don’t because I don’t want to overload people with everything that I have to see on a daily basis.  So what you see is the best of the best, even though it seems pretty bad.

Sometimes there is a story with an image of a beat up child that says in the story that the father or uncle or brother needs to be caught, then that story goes to the front of the line.  I’m sure not everyone is going to see that story or know who the child is, but even if 1 person out of 1159 sees it and knows that person or saw that person, then he gets caught and arrested because I posted that story, then I have done my duty and I won’t apologize for that.

Abraham Lincoln said:

“You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

I post what I feel is appropriate.  Most may think it’s awesome while one might think it’s the worst idea ever.  See quote above.

I am sorry if someone doesn’t like something that I post, but I won’t apologize for posting it.  I may have had a reason for posting something.  If I agree that what I posted was offensive, then I usually remove it, but if it’s not offensive then it stays.

That guy who unfreinded me over the Snooki post said that I was supposed to be anti-bully, but I was being a bully.  Every time he commented on any of my posts, it was almost always a nasty or rude comment.  He could never say anything nice to me, but he was calling me a bully.  While I was still his “friend” on Facebook, every time I saw him comment on anyone else’s post, it was always a nasty or rude comment.  So I ask, who was the bully?

My main focus since I began has never changed.  If the day ever comes when people are no longer beating up children or are no longer bashing gay people then I won’t have anything bad to post and I can start posting images of panda bears, baby penguins, babies and kittens.  I would love it if that fantasy ever came true.  Until then…

My Christmas Giveaway Ends With A Winner

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I published my memoir “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!” earlier this year in February and I had my first giveaway for my birthday in June.  I wanted to give my book away as my birthday present to you.  I actually gave 2 books away.  I couldn’t wait for Christmas so that I could give another book away, but sadly I could only give 1 away.  The giveaway has finally ended and a winner will be announced shortly.

I am very humbled tonight as my second giveaway comes to an ending because of how many supporters I had this time around.  There were 321 people who signed up for the June giveaway, but this one had a whopping 545.  I couldn’t believe it!  It has just made my whole year.  I have felt my whole life that people didn’t really care about hearing my story (or my side of the story anyway) and to have this many people wanting to read my book just brings tears to my eyes.

So I am happy to name a winner… 

Sandie W. of Brigham City, UT.

Way to go Sandie!  I will ship that book out to you as soon as I wake up in the morning.  Thank you so much for entering and I cannot wait for you to get your book.

For those who didn’t win, you can buy my book in paperback format and Kindle format on the Amazon website and for the Nook from Barnes & Noble (paperback coming soon to Barnes & Noble) and as always Rainbow eBooks which has 3 formats, .epub for the Nook, iPhone,iPod and iPad and Android phones and tablets, .mobi for the Kindle and all you have to do is email the file to your kindle email address.  PDF file is also available.  You can also save 30% by entering the code “GAYNERD” at the Rainbow eBooks checkout.  That code ends in January so if you want to save money, use that code now before it goes away.

Any format you buy, even with a coupon, just know that your money is going to a good cause.  30% of all profits will be going to 3 different charities so that each of them gets 10%.  The Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center who by the way is running on steam, a piece of string and hopes and dreams, PFLAG Bakersfield and The Bakersfield AIDS Project aka Ricky’s Retreat.  All three of these non-profit organizations are in desperate need of funding to keep them going.  This year in October I was so thrilled to make my first donations and was so happy to see the looks on their faces when I handed over the check.  I tell you, it brought me joy to be able to finally make a donation to so many worthy causes.

Follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back, Like my Facebook page and check in on GetGlue, my sticker should be there, if not let me know.  I am also on Google Plus, but not often.

Congrats go out again to Sandie W. of Brigham City, UT.  Thank you so much for making this my most exciting giveaway.  I will have another giveaway again in the near future.

Free Giveaway for Christmas with Goodreads

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Goodreads Diary of a Gay Nerd Giveaway

I published my memoir “Diary of a Gay Nerd” earlier this year in February 2012 and gave away 30% of the profits to my local LGBT charities in October.  I gave away some books for my birthday in June and I wanted to give away another book for the Winter Holidays, so here is your chance to get a free autographed copy of Diary of a Gay Nerd.

I wanted to thank all of the people who bought my memoir and also thank them for being so supportive all year on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter  Google+ and Showcase Freedom.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Enter to win and on December 10th a winner will be chosen and I will sign it and ship it out the very next day so you get it long before Christmas.  Good luck!

Reviews

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A couple of friends of mine who have read my book have posted reviews.  One friend E.T. McArdle posted this on the Amazon website for the Kindle edition of my book:

“Triumph of the Spirit are the only words for this memoir. Reading about the abuse and rejection that Michel suffered through his childhood and early adult life made me very sad. Why can’t people just be accepting? As Mike grew and learned from each experience he learned to make better choices in life and in people. Somehow there was this inner spark of human wisdom that knew he deserved better treatment and a better life. Despite all of his trials when he could have given up, he didn’t. This is an uplifting story for all people and especially for young gay people. Hang in there, life does get better!

“Bravo to Mike for having the courage and tenacity to write this book despite several learning disabilities. It shows his true colors and his underlying persistence of spirit.”

And another friend named S. Jones posted this on the Barnes & Noble website for the Nook edition of my book:

“Michel McDonald’s autobiography is about a person that has a great deal of courage, and is inspirational. I have had the privlage of calling Michel a friend going on sixteen years now, and have learned so much more about him from reading about his trials and tribulations, as well as his happier times! In reading this book, you will learn to count blessings, as well as learn a great deal about having faith. I can only imagine how difficult that could have been. I have often told him over the years that he has had an angel that looks over him. This book is proof of that. He has shown that life is what you make of it!”

Then of course there is the glowing review from author Marguerite Labbe from her own website which I added as an editorial review considering she helped me edit the book:

“I’ve had a hard time putting into words how I felt when I read Michel’s memoir.  Many parts struck a chord in me from my own childhood, though I was far luckier than Michel was and I didn’t have the added alienation of being gay.  I’ve known Michel for several years now, ever since he picked up my vampire trilogy and we started talking.  In that time, I’ve found him to be a very kind, passionate and determined man.  After reading his memoir I have to add brave to that as well and not just for what he endured and overcame.  To be able to write something like this, with such unflinching honesty, takes a rare kind of person.  Michel doesn’t gloss over his own mistakes, but puts them out there just as baldly as the abuse he went through.

“I am honored to know such a man and call him my friend.”

Thank you guys, you are all so wonderful to think so highly of me to write those reviews.