Not Just A Touch: Living a Childhood of Sexual Abuse and Growing up Intersexed
by G A Donais
||Jul 31 2002
A True life story about growing up Intersexed and living a childhood of sexual abuse. Gerald Donais born as Geraldine in 1959, the author recently learned about the sadness of his/her childhood. Gerald and his wife Cheryl appeared on the Montel Williams show in July 2002 and were featured in local newspapers. Married for over 20 years Gerald and Cheryl overcame the obstacles of their recent discoveries and they will work to educate society and the medical profession about Intersexed conditions and sexual abuse.
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Not Just A Touch
Much of the language used in this book deals with childhood sexual abuse.Some of the language refers to specific sexual acts that were performed in the course of the abuse. Therefore, this book is not recommended reading for children; although it is recommended that parents discuss sexual abuse with their children. Educate your child about sexual abuse, teach them to tell others when the abuse does occur (heaven forbid) and teach them that "NO" means "NO."
Every story in this book is true; other than my wife’s name and my name, all other names have been changed. You will read testimonials about being Intersexed as well as about being sexually abused as a child.
Over seven years ago I thought that I was having a mental breakdown. Confused, frustrated and angry were just some of the emotions that I was experiencing. My wonderful wife Cheryl has always helped me through the rough times. Her support and understanding are just two reasons that I love her so much. Both Cheryl and myself were amazed at how my parents could deny that any sexual abuse ever occurred. As you will read, they finally admitted that the neighbor boy was abusing me, but that is as far as they would go. They neglected to tell me about my early childhood, it was "I can’t remember" type statements. Even when I asked what hospital I was born in I got the third degree. They were still trying to control me, to beat me down and try to get me to ignore my childhood.
I have been told many times by other family members to "Just get on with it," "Forget the past, you can’t do anything about it anyway," "You may not want to know about your childhood," and "your medical records were mixed up with someone else’s."
You know your brother thinks this is a bunch of crap and you are doing it for attention." Well first, I did ask my brothers, and I was informed that they never said that. I believe information about what happened is still being withheld, that’s OK, and they are the ones that have to live with themselves everyday. I think you will agree with me when you read this book. Some tell me that they are not seeking forgiveness because nothing happened, my comment to that is, please read the book, and you can determine for yourself exactly what happened. So just to let them all know, I have gotten on with it, I have gotten on with my life, I have written this book and the truth has been recorded. I can only move forward now and place the memories back in the file cabinet, this time in their proper place, to be recalled as needed and dealt with as they resurface throughout my life.
Someone finally came forward after they found out that I was writing this book. I was told a lot, about what happened in my childhood. I was told that I was around age three, although I still believe that it was later in my toddler years. I thank this person for the information and I forgive that person for any wrongdoings. I cannot just forget about it and live my life as though nothing ever happened. When they heard that I was going to appear on a talk show, then everything changed. "
I have asked myself, where was God in all of this; I found that answer in a great book, the Bible. God was there, he kept me alive through the abuse and mistreatments, and he gave me the strength to carry on with my life, the strength to face the truth and the strength to carry the cross. Through him, I was able to write this book. As he tells us all, "The truth shall set you free."
And indeed it will.
I know that I am doing better; I am not completely healed from the past. I do not think any victim-survivor ever does completely heal, but for the process of recovery to begin, you first have to know what the problem is. As I acknowledge my losses, I can begin to mourn them through the grief process, I will begin to recognize the ways that I was lied to and ripped off. I am recovering from sexual abuse, and my recovery is the ultimate overturning of the lies and deception. Recovery means understanding the past and using my awareness to create a brighter future. All of these are well within my power and writing this book has helped me on my way. Children throughout the world are exploited and abused every day. In addition, for those who deny the existence or the frequency of sexual exploitation of children. Those who think that men are always perpetrators and never victims, think again, for those who do not understand that women as well as men sexually abuse children for the apologist for sexual child abuse and intergenerational sex. Those people who romanticize or minimize the harmful effects of child sexual abuse, and for those who profit from the sexual exploitation of children and who have created a multi-million dollar pornography and child sex industry and have a very powerful "Pro-incest lobby." I have one thing to say to you: "STOP YOUR SELF-RIGHTEOUS, MONEY-HUNGRY LIFESTYLE AND LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE!"
A Crushing and Breathtaking Odyssey
was also lucky enough to read "Not Just A Touch" prior to publication and to appear with Gerry on "Montel" when he first started to promote the book. Even for me, whose early life as an Intersexed person in chronicled in my own book "Sugar and Spice and Puppy Dog Tails", this was an almost uncomprehendingly horrifying tale. Knowing the author, I already felt enormous affection for him and his wife. After reading this book, however, I am filled with admiration for his strength and confidence is who he is to be able to cope with such a horrendous start in life. Most people -- including myself -- would probably have ended up a vegetable in a state institution by the age of 18 if this had been their fate. It is a moving testament to Gerry that he is sane and secure and contented in his life today, having survived every nasty detail mentioned herein. As hideous as the facts are, Gerald Donais tells a fine narrative and stands as an example to everyone on survival and belief in oneself.
I recommend this book to everybody who can read! (And for those who can't -- have someone read it to you!!)
Not Just A Touch
Jerry's story told in 'Not Just A Touch' is not the first story of abuse I have read however it is one of the most emotionally hard stories I have ever read. For those that may have read Dave Pelzer's story, A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive and the others in Pelzer's series this is similar. Jerry not only had to deal with the abuse but also deal with a past that was hidden, clouded and revealed to him and his spouse Cheryl. As an individual with a gender blessing myself I can understand what Jerry went through in trying to understand the uniqueness he was blessed with. I will however never understand how another human being can abuse a person in the way that Jerry was. Throughout the story Jerry speaks about being weak and powerless however I submit to you that it takes a strong individual to come through a childhood such as that and cannot help but think that Cheryl has been a blessing in his life. It is a fact the one in every 2000 children are born with some type of genital abnormality. Compare this to cystic fibrosis which is one in every 2500 and one begins to wonder why society knows and accepts little about those of us blessed with intersexuality. There are two major, unwarranted and unsubstantiated claims by doctors involved in infant genital mutilation (IGM). 1) they believe they can decide which gender to assign someone, and 2) that there are only two choices - male and female The nature of diagnosing the Intersexed individuals gender is time-consuming and based on the gender theory that gender be assigned at birth. This alone presents the physician as well as parents with a dilemma if they strive to place the child in one of the customary genders, male or female. Being Intersexed is nothing to be shameful of. I stand with Jerry and others to say that IGM must stop. Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. As you read this story and go through the emotional roller coaster, remember that this is something that took you only a few hours to read yet Jerry lived with the abuse for decades. This abuse will continue to live within Jerry and others through out their lives. I encourage you to educate yourselves about intersexualism and reconsider that what some may see as physiologically normal is nothing more than what has been customary or accepted out of ignorance. I encourage you to get involved and stop child abuse. Thanks to Jerry and Cheryl for letting me preview their story. DaleLynn Sims
An Amazing Experience
An amazing experience
July 13, 2003
Sometimes a book is more than a book. Sometimes it gives you an experience you could not possibly have otherwise.
This is very much the case with “Not Just a Touch” by Gerald Donais.
Here’s a book about a subject few people want to even think about, much less talk about.
The full title tells you why: “Not Just a Touch: The Life Story About What it is Like Growing Up Intersexed and Living a Childhood of Sexual Abuse” (Publish America, Baltimore; 2003; trade paperback; 193 pages; $19.95; ISBN 1-59129-928-4).
This is a book about gender identity.
It is a book about horrendous, continuing sexual abuse. It is a true story, written by an Oregon man who, when he was a child, he was a girl … and used by family and friends as a sex slave. It is difficult to read because it is brutally honest.
Don’t try to beg away from the truth in this book by simply dismissing it.
Donais’ story has been investigated and it holds up.
You can’t read this book without being affected by it because the story of what happened to Donais is so disturbing and disgusting.
But the story of how he walked away from it all and made a happy life and a good marriage is downright inspiring.
You don’t just read this book; you experience it or you walk away from it.
Most will do the latter. Those who want to understand the full reality of our world will experience “Not Just A Touch.” You might have to search it out.
Do just that.
CA, USA (7/22/2003)
A complex topic written with the simplicity of a child...as can be seen from the lines below: "I find myself daydreaming that I am a little kid again, running through an open field trying to catch a colorful butterfly. Then I awake from my daydream because the butterfly had flown away" This book is an honest account of a difficult topic.
More Than You Know
By Dan S (11/22/2003)
There are and will be some that don't believe that the things in this book could happen. Let me set it clear, it did happen, I know first hand, for you see I was there. This book was shocking to read, written in a sometimes harsh word, but understandable so. Gerald or should I say Geraldine lived through more than was written, more than a mind can grasp. Great writing Gerald! May you continue to grow strong.
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Reader Reviews for "Not Just A Touch: Living a Childhood of Sexual Abuse and Growing up Intersexed"
|Reviewed by Lynn Barry
|I am in awe that a person can go through such horror and rise above...a true champion of life...BRAVO!|
|Reviewed by Joyce Rapier
|Sexual abuse with a child is so horrid. Innocent children should never be subjected to any type of degenerate encounters. Although I haven't read your book yet, the exerpts give a chilling glimpse of what terror you must have endured. One sentence you write, "I thank this person for the information and I forgive that person for any wrongdoings." Forgiveness is the best healing ointment for the soul and you are going in the right direction. It shows that you are growing spiritually and coming full circle. I applaud you for your courage and hope your book touches many lives and helps them forge forward for a better life. God bless you.
Joyce Rapier, author
|Reviewed by Ben in Ohio
|I recently recived my copy of this book. I could not put it down, it made me open my heart to all those who have gone thought sexual abuse, and my God, how could someone change have their own child's gender changed? This book is very highly recommended.|