March 11, 2014

One Man's Journey: From Terrified to Transformed - Part 1

This week author and director Larry Enright joins us to share his story and excerpts of his latest novel, Mad Man From Athgarvan Don't Blink. It is a harrowing one, but at the end of the day, Larry has taken his journey and used it as creative inspiration for both his novels and his upcoming film, "If You Told." I know you too will be inspired and encouraged by his story.

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It's hard to imagine someone intentionally hurting a child, yet nearly 10 million children are abused every year from all over the world. And these are only the reported incidents of child abuse — many more cases are unreported and undetected, often because children are afraid to tell somebody who can help.

My name is Larry Enright and I was abused as a child.  I started writing my life story when I realized I was unable to heal. My life had been a shambles and was spiraling downhill.  Disastrous affairs of the heart, unable to trust, fights, alcohol, drugs and anger made up my everyday life.  When I finally admitted to being abused and started revisiting my life story it became evident to me that I was I was affected by my abuse more than I ever understood.  In my adulthood, I also had the trauma of an undetected brain aneurysm that ruptured.  So my life took another amazing twist.  I was now relearning how to walk, talk, and do things you normally take for granted.  It’s like I was being given a second chance at life.  So let me take a step backwards and tell you about my life a bit.

I was born into a family of 21 children of which only 12 survived.  We were a practicing Catholic home and we lived in a small house in Athgarvan Village, County Kildare, Ireland. We were a close knit family and lived within the confines of our three bedroom house.  We were taught to trust and believe that all people were good. That the people we saw daily were trustable and part of our extended family within the community.  This became a recipe for disaster, because people in the village seemed to put a blind eye where certain culprits in the village were concerned.  Maybe it was the times, it definitely was fear of being blamed for the event, but I lived in constant fear of anyone ever finding out.  I went through my life with nightmares, acting out, hiding, taking longer rides to do errands and just avoiding where my abuser lived.

He was an elder in the village, who sat on a stump watching the children ride their bikes back and forth to the shops for their moms.  He seemed to zero in on the youngest, quietest and most innocent.  He was a classic abuser, and I became his victim. 

Here’s an excerpt from the book, the event that changed my life, the section titled “The Truth Hurts” (contains graphic description that may be triggering):
When I was 7 years old living in Athgarvan Village we had two shops. One was Hayden’s, a small shop and the other was Doyle’s, which was a larger shop and carried a bit of everything. They were located on opposite sides of the village. Sometimes my Mam would have me go to Doyle’s to pick up some milk and bread. Off I would go down the hill on my bike. At the bottom of the hill I would see this old man sitting on the stump smoking his pipe. I was always polite and greeted him with a “hello” as I would pass by. One day he stopped me and asked me to get him some Woodbine cigarettes at the shop so I agreed, I was going to the shop for my Mam so there was no reason I should not help him out. He was old and a trip to the store would probably be a bit much for him. He handed me a half crown and I was on my way, but, before I left he told me I could keep the change when I got back and that was great pocket money so I was happy and peddled away to the store. It got to be an ongoing thing, every time I was passing by he would have me pick up various things at the shop and give me a few pennies for myself. I even told my Mam about the old man and she told me it was the old man and that he was harmless and old so helping him out was a nice thing to do. One day I was riding my bike to the shop for my Mam when he stopped me. He said he needed some things at the shop but the money was in the house, which was located just across the road from the stump on which he sat. He told me to follow him in to get the money and so I did. When we got inside the house he turned and locked the door. I asked him why he did that. His response was to turn, slap me across the face and demand that I take my pants off. I was crying and frightened and I said “Why are you doing this to me?” he then grabbed hold of me and pulled me into his bedroom. He pointed to the bed and said “get in!” I froze, tears in my eyes and did not moved. He then roared “Get in!!” I did not get in the bed I sat on top of it. Since I did not do what he wanted me to do he grew impatient and started fumbling at my pants and pulled them off. Then he took his own pants off, got on the bed and pulled me over and he lay beside me on top of the bed. It was beyond horrible, more than any words can express, and I was mortified for there he was rubbing himself on me. I was sobbing and praying to God, “Help me, Please Help Me”. When he satisfied himself he got off the bed to put his pants back on. As he was doing this I saw my opportunity to escape, no pants, ran to the door and unlocked it but he grabbed me again and took me back to the bedroom and told me to lie there. He again took off his pants and got back on the bed. He started rubbing himself against me again. I was terrified and all I could think of was where are my Mam and Dad, when all of a sudden the door opened. The house door was unlocked, he forgot to lock it again and some young girl came in and shouted “Need anything from the shop” he shouted back “No I’m okay” but she came into the bedroom and saw me. With this she ran out and he told me to get dressed, go home and never say a word to anyone “OR ELSE!”. I don’t know who that girl was, but thank you, I believe you may have saved my life.

After this my life fell apart. I lived in fear. I would never go by where he was and I was always looking over my shoulder.  I felt so alone and like I deserved what happened to me. And so my story went on.  But my crusade now is to help other people come forward, heal themselves and realize that they have so much to offer the world and so little reason to give their abusers the strength to own and destroy their lives.


To Be Continued next week when Larry shares more of his story and about his work supporting survivors. 



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Larry Enright is from County Kildare, Ireland. He is a singer, songwriter and author currently living in the United States. He has had many adventures in his life. He has performed for the President of the United States, Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, as well as many other public figures like Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedy's. Larry was married, has 3 children, many grandchildren, served in the Irish Army, worked as a Military Policeman, worked in security, wrote and produced albums and wrote three books. In his adult life, Larry faced the issue of the sexual abuse that he experienced as a child and then faced a massive change in his life while living here in the states. Larry collapsed, unexpectedly, with the rupture of an undetected brain aneurysm that left him needing to relearn all of his skills.

After all of his twists and turns he has dedicated himself to helping others survive abuse and has formed the group The Voice Against Child Abuse. He helps direct others to the resources they need to survive their own battles. He is also working on an independent movie project to raise awareness about abuse, survival and deliver the message that there is hope and even a little laughter in life. The movie is call "If You Told" based on his third and final book in the Mad Man From Athgarvan series "Don't Blink".


To order Mad Man From Athgarvan Don't Blink, click here.

To support Larry's independent movie project, go here. P.S. I'll be making a cameo appearance in the film!!

3 comments:

  1. Very Brave to speak so honestly and detailed about your experiences Larry! Looking forward to next weeks article. Also, I will be sharing this in my lil CSA survivors group on facebook in my Men's Health & Wellness post. This is a voice that needs to be heard. Excellent Rahael thank you xx

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  2. BRAVE to share such a detailed & honest experience. Can't wait to see the movie Larry! Wonderful article Racheal I will be sharing in my little CSA support group. Looking forward to next weeks article

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  3. Thank you Jennie-May for your feedback and support!

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