September 05 , 2009

The Boy


Elements laying the foundations for the onset of mental illness abounded in Alan Mackie’s childhood and adolescence. Feeling unwanted, neglected, and emotionally and physically abused in his home, he became prey and a victim of childhood sexual abuse. A journey with drugs as his companion helped him to cope and survive in his world—until that world became un-survivable. Years of incarceration in mental institutions, with treatment involving harmful psychotropic drugs, felt to him like secondary trauma in a public funded health system that was afflicting the already afflicted.
A long haul later and freed into the community, Alan sought counselling. He studied to earn a degree in Applied Social Services, determined to do what he could to help other survivors of childhood abuse.
From the writer: I had a need to get it out of me and down on paper, an externalising in all its sordid and graphic detail. I wrestled with that aspect of my writing, but felt that anything less was to short-change and minimise the trauma undergone by victims of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and in so doing also deny counsellors, therapists and others the depth of insight I can offer.

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