"Because I want to offer hurting men the help I needed when I was in deep pain." Those words flew out of my mouth before I had time to think about the answer. They were right. After I reflected, I came up with other reasons.
This is my way to give back. My best friend, David, and my late wife, Shirley, were both available to me when I finally—at age 51—confronted my sexual and physical assault. Without them, I probably would have made it, but the road would have been bumpier and slower. Both of them embraced me (emotionally and physically) when I could only cry and words wouldn't come.
I can't be there in person for all survivors, but I can hold out my arms through my words. Many of you have responded and done the same thing. Which leads me to another reason: In the giving is also the receiving.
Here's how I arrived at that statement. At the church I attend, nine elderly widows sit in a single pew. I can't remember how I started, but each Sunday I walk up to the "sunshine row" and hug every one of them. "I love your hugs," one woman said on Sunday.
"And I need yours," I answered. "Here at church are often the only hugs I get that week."
I was the giver, but in the giving of myself to them, I was able to receive their expressions of compassion and affection.
I wish I'd thought of that when my friend asked me why I kept this blog going. I've finally put my response into two simple words.