This is my author note at the beginning of my book. I wanted to share with you today. Some might this it’s out of the ordinary, but given the content, I feel it is very much needed.
When you have men pouring their hearts out, like this:
“He brainwashed me into believing every time he beat me, it was my fault.”
“He pimped me out.”
“He broke all my teeth.”
“You broke that promise, and over the course of our relationship, twenty-two bones in my body. Two Teeth. and my heart forever.”
“You broke that promise, and abused my trust.”
“You slashed my wrists and let me bleed.”
And those are just sentences that don’t even begin to tell their story….. so this note it to protect them and praise their bravery. I hope you understand.
Dear Readers and Reviewers,
I first wanted to thank you for taking a chance on my book. This isn’t an easy book to read, but I hope it gives those reading hope. With that said, you’ll notice that I have incorporated several real-life stories within. I feel it’s important to share with you some true stories of survival. These people, the men in particular, have shared their story and their craft with us with such bravery. I am asking you please do not review or critique their stories. They shared them with you as a way to spread awareness and hope, and we must not counter their bravery with critiques. This was not easy for them and they should be praised. So, I’m asking please review MY words, MY story whether you feel it deserves one star or five, but please simply take theirs to heart. Some might think this is unprofessional to ask, but I know these men and yes, I will protect them. Their stories are so heartfelt and they are sharing a piece of themselves. I hope you find encouragement and strength from them. I did.
There are five real-life accounts (Two in the front and three in the back), so please be aware there is more to this book than the actual fictional story:
A foreward written by my friend, Aries.
A poem by my lovely friend, Claudia.
A note, by the family of a Facebook friend.
A story by another author who lived through abuse.
A letter to an ex-husband by a brave young man.
These contributions have changed my life, and that is why we are sharing them with you. This is not propaganda. It’s not to sell books. It’s to spread awareness and hope. With that said, their stories are being left as they sent it to me. I have left all their words intact, tense and grammar. I wanted this to be real and the way they addressed it. So, if there are mistakes, overlook them. Please.
These are their stories and they deserve to be told and praised. I wanted The Struggle Within to advocate for the voices of those who have struggled with any form of abuse, and these selfless and courageous people have helped me do just that. So, to these people, I adore you and your bravery. Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how your friendship and stories have affected me.
The first of these is from Aries. I met him a few years ago when he messaged me about my Angel of Darkness series. We became close friends, and he shared with me about his personal struggles with domestic abuse after I told him I was writing this story. I asked him to share his story with you. It’s important to stop the stigma where men, gay or straight, are afraid to reach out and get help when they’re being abused, and it does happen. Statistics show that one out of six men are being abused in some way, and sadly the statistics are higher among gay men. Aries has written a heartfelt foreward. His words are raw and true. As par for this book, this foreward may trigger some. I’ve left his words intact. He was nervous because he was afraid of it coming off in a ramble, but I felt he was purely articulate and this foreward, in his own words, is as real as it gets. I wish it weren’t a reality, but it is for many, and Aries was one of the lucky ones. At the end of the book, you’ll read more from some others.
Much love. Tyler.