The Man Rules do not prepare men to navigate the rocky emotional terrain of their day-to-day lives. So, what happens when childhood sexual abuse and emotional abuse make that terrain much, much rockier than average?
In most cases, it leads to men suffering in silence from profound depression, crippling anxiety, rage, addiction, and behaviors that are destructive to themselves and others. Larry Ruhl, our guest this week, was on such a path until his caring partner encouraged him to get help. His father began sexually abusing him at age 4, and he was constantly subjected to his narcissistic mother’s verbal abuse, manipulation, and violent rages. Teased and berated for not being man enough; seduced and abused for his sensitivity and vulnerability.
He shares his story with Dan and proves that no matter how men have suffered, or how limited they’ve been by The Man Rules, there is hope and there is a better way forward.
Larry’s story is the first to be featured in our new series of Deep Dive episodes, where we ask one man to share about his struggles in learning to live authentically in spite of The Man Rules. If you can identify with any of this story please find someone with whom you can talk and consider getting help and support. You deserve peace and you don’t have to suffer alone.
Larry Ruhl is the author of Breaking the Ruhls, a memoir about recovering from childhood sexual abuse and complex trauma. He is a registered speaker with the RAINN network (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). He previously served as a board member at Male Survivor. He also spoke at colleges and retreats to increase awareness of sexual abuse against men and boys. Today he shares his story publicly to spread awareness and to help others shed the shame and stigma associated with sexual abuse. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), with a degree in Display & Exhibit Design.
Breaking the Rules (Larry’s Memoir)
Little Boxes (Song by Malvina Reynolds)