When I gave the book to friends and family, they would always ask the same questions about the characters:
“are you sure you told them…” or, “did they know you…”
The answer was invariably yes, but I wanted to give the reader a chance to see for themselves. I have tried to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what happened and the steps I have taken to make sure no one else suffers at the hands of “Johnny Russell.” Family was a large component of why I did what I did – I wanted to protect them from the truth…
I keep coming back to what my therapist Margaret told me before the motorcycle accident.
“This type of acting out doesn’t just happen,” Margaret told me just before my crash, “it is the result of decades of enabling behavior.”
At the time, I naively thought that my family would be the exception to the rule. It would take writing over 100 pages of letters, a book, and even creating this website before I finally understood what she was talking about. By then I uncovered a system of denial and enabling that heightened my concerns not only for my nephew but to the general publics safety.
Inspired by movies like Spotlight and the recent rise of the #metoo movement, this website it dedicated to putting an end to not only predatory behavior but the enabling that allows it to continue unchecked.
The website will grow with Podcasts, links to other websites and serve as a forum for others to tell their stories in the hopes we may all heal a little. In the end, if this website prevents just one person from making the same mistakes I did in the name of family loyalty, then it is well worth publishing.