August 7, 2013

A Beyond Survivor's Story: One Man's Reflections on the Impact of Sexual Abuse

This week, we are in for a treat as Duane shares excerpts from his novel, Neon Signs. If you are touched by Duane's stories, be sure to leave a comment!

An Explanation of Neon Signs

Neon Signs is a first-hand journal account of a sexual abuse survivor Damian King. It covers six years of his life from May 2004 until December 2010. The entries, which include short stories and poetry, are dark, raw and fragmented to give a reader insight into what it is like to suffer from the long term consequences of childhood sexual abuse.

I wrote Neon Signs in 2011. It is based on my life. I wrote it, for the following reasons:
  1. As a way to make sense of what happened to me as a child.
  2. To show those who haven’t been sexually abused what the long term consequences are of sexual abuse and what those consequences looks like in everyday life.
  3. To show those who have been sexually abused that they are not alone.
  4. To raise awareness of sexual abuse, especially male sexual abuse. 


Please note that the following contains raw language and imagery, so be sure to have a support person on call or self-care plan in place in case you are triggered.

30 May 2004

Ashes to Ashes

In my mind I see me as a child.

I am tall for my age, skinny, with black hair, dark brown eyes and olive skin.

I am in my bedroom, reading a book about a boy and a girl. They have been given magical rings that lead them into another world at the dawn of its creation.

The words flow into my brain like a sweet melody and down into the rest of my body.

There they will remain until a time when I will need them.

But for now, as that innocent child I am safe.

31 May 2004

I feel a close infinity with nature.

It serves me as a brother.

It helps me to heal.

It helps me to function.

It provides much needed nutrients but most importantly it contends with the Black.

It chases it back into me, until a day when the Black becomes no more.

But for now the Black is a part of me as my heart or my lungs are.

To try and rip it out would leave me missing a part of my identity.

I need to form a stronger identity without the Black and then when the time comes to rip it out, I won’t miss it.

1 June 2004


Black thoughts slice deep into my mind,
Cutting through rationality,
Leaving me paralyzed and barely breathing,
Before they enter again,
This time more ferociously,
While I close my eyes,
My reality disappearing as a new one opens up to me.

In the new reality, I am not a man,
I am a deformed boy,
Reeking of another,
Twisted into Black.

2 June 2004




I need to keep reminding myself that I am not a victim anymore.

I used to be when I was 13 years old and first preyed upon by my abuser.

He, who destroyed my identity; He, who had black hair and white skin; He, whose expertise made him a man when in reality He was a broken boy; He, whose body always covered mine; He, who was always at his best; He, whose manipulative words seeped into my unconsciousness; He, who made me into an object to satisfy his craving; He, who craved a drug called power; He, whose craving grew stronger by violating my young and innocent body while the real me detached itself.

Then something happened:


Sweet 16 and never been kissed,
Only violated,
And then perverted,
Left alone while He looked for another,
Younger version of me,
Because I was older.

Sent back into what had become an unfamiliar environment,
Behind a mask I cried alone,
Without comfort and love,
Desperately searching for peace,
In vain.

3 June 2004

One of the things that hurt me the most about my abuse was the loss of my identity.

Looking back I can see how with each perverted act, He ripped out piece by piece my sexual, physical, mental and emotional identity until I had none.

What was left was a pulp of darkness hidden behind a mask.

That mask deceived everybody I knew into thinking that I was normal, when in reality I was far from normal. I was in pain, so much so that my body had shut down and become numb, indifferent, a shell of whom I had once been.

A shell that had no color.

A shell that had no patterns.

A shell that that had no music.

This shell was empty.

4 June 2004


I wanted to develop normally. I wanted to be like the other boys. I wanted to hang with them, but I couldn’t because of what they represented.

Guardian Demon,

I didn’t want to feel different.  I didn’t want to hate boys. I didn’t want a post sexual abuse existence. I wanted a pre-sexual abuse existence. I wanted me back. I wanted my friends back. I wanted to be like any other boy. I didn’t want to be on the sidelines. I didn’t want to be an observer. I wanted to duplicate what other boys did but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t because I loathed how that made me feel; an enemy in an allies body.

Evil Reincarnated,

Did you really think I wanted to be one of the girls? Did you think I wanted to hear them talk about other boys? I wanted them to talk about me! I didn’t want to be the best friend. I hated it!


Did you plan to pervert me just before my body was changing from boy to teenager? Did you realize what you were doing? Did you realize what it meant? I WAS PHYSICALLY CHANGING AND YOU TWISTED THAT NORMAL PHYSICAL CHANGE INTO AN ABNORMAL ONE!



5 June 2004


Distant memories now plague my mind,
I look around and don’t see the friendly faces anymore,
Where have they gone?
Are they hiding from me?
Am I alone to face these memories?

My mind has been kind, loving, and understanding,
But now my mind is revealing,
The distant memories I am ready to face,
And which once existed,
In the recess.


Duane Katene, now 35 years old, was born in New Zealand and moved to Gold Coast, Australia when he was eight years old. He is happily married to his wife Jodie and they have three beautiful daughters, Armarna ((8), Grace (6) and Arden (2). He has a Bachelor of Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Arts/Media from Griffith University. He has worked in Education, Management and Child Welfare, and is currently working as a Social Worker for a foster care agency. He spends the rest of his time writing and taking care of his daughters. He is the author of two eBooks: Neon Signs and Fury’s Daughter. His ambition in life is to raise awareness and understanding of male sexual abuse, to become a spokesperson for male sexual abuse, and to become a resource for survivors and those who love them. 

Visit to learn more and order your copy of Neon Signs.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read your book just the excerpts above! Very explicit and very necessary for that young man then. I can see by your photo how much you have grown and the vitality shines in your whole face. This is a face of someone authentic who will succeed and make maybe "The" Difference to Abuse that will gather momentum for all who have suffered creating better awareness prevention and most of all I feel stop making the word Abuse, Rape, perversion dirty words just because people feel uncomfortable acknowledging it happens in our society the frequency is irrelevant it happens and like hunger in this so called sophisticated world that cannot even feed the hungry it happens and that is what makes it wrong!

    I hope I follow your work I hope one day you follow mine as I try in this country to raise awareness of the horrific tragedies that are happening on our front door steps not in another world! Love Light and Blessings! <3
    Rita Anne Stott FB


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