Before I was assaulted, I carried myself with an air of masculinity and strength. I didn't have too many friends, but the friends I had accepted me, even when I had to stop teaching because I was too ill. We lived in Baltimore.

My male friends came to see me in the hospital when I had a severe health crisis. The guys. Former colleagues, college friends, church friends.

I was assaulted in my bed. I shut down emotionally. I told my wife no visitors. I kept everyone around me in the dark about what happened to me. My wife came to my bed, and whispered into my ear... "I'm pregnant." I felt nothing!!! I was nothing!!!

My body stopped making the hormones that made me feel like a man. The spider-man beat my manhood out of me. I was a shell of a man, hollow inside and disfigured on the outside.

After the assault came silence. More darkness and loneliness... My wife accepted a wonderful job offer in New York City, they wanted us to relocate. It was too good to refuse. I woke up in my bed, and she was showing me pictures of a 1950's era split level ranch in New Jersey. "Our offer got accepted! We'll be moved in by Christmas." I never saw our old apartment in Baltimore again. My wife bought a house, and I never even saw it until I was being moved in. I know it was the perfect time to be a 1st time home buyer. I know the interest rate was great, and I know it's in a great neighborhood for raising a family. The new job means more money, and we need the money. I get it. But still, I am bitter about the move. I was uprooted from my friends, from my home, beaten, abused, sexually violated.

We travel to Baltimore on Thursday to deal with some medical stuff and see some of our old friends from our time down there. I am going to go to the hospital where I was assaulted, and I don't know how I am going to handle it. I can't wait for these old friends of mine to meet little Pete, my son, but I'm so frightened that they'll some how know what happened to me. I honestly don't know how I'll ever relate to other guys again... the Peter in the "before" picture is never coming back.

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross