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Larry Ruhl, "Breaking The Ruhls" in conversation with Kitty Sheehan
“As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I face
challenging questions. Is it truly possible to move through the shame I carry every day? Can I have a full life without depending on mind-numbing drugs and alcohol? And the most difficult question of all: Do I tell? But how do I tell? Who do I tell? What happens if I do tell?”
—Larry Ruhl, Excerpt from Breaking the Ruhls Preface
An urgent and timely memoir exploring the reality of childhood sexual abuse, a scourge on too many neighborhoods, often hiding in plain sight. Millions of victims remain silent, buried under the weight of their own guilt, shame, and addiction.
Breaking the Ruhls will resonate deeply with many who have experienced complex trauma, boundary violations, and abuse within the family, and struggle with the emotional and psychological effects. Ruhl mines his own experiences with sexual confusion, shame, PTSD, addiction and recovery, marital issues, career struggles, and therapeutic breakthroughs, while offering vindication on a range of issues and demonstrating it is possible to heal and thrive.
Larry Ruhl serves as a board member for Taking Back Ourselves, which facilitates weekends of recovery for female survivors of sexual abuse, and 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, and worked as a creative director at a textile firm for ten years until opening his own home furnishings/interior design business in 2004. He works as an artist and designer in the Hudson Valley.
Writer Kitty Sheehan edits manuscripts and essays for writers of all genres. Kitty is also a copywriter and social media editor for several brands. She founded and directs the Dartbrook Writers Retreat. For several years, she has served as editorial director for the annual Woodstock Bookfest in Woodstock, NY, and is a regular workshop teacher at the event. A former elementary teacher, corporate trainer, consignment store owner and graphic designer, Kitty is a native Iowan and graduate of the University of Iowa. She now calls the Hudson Valley home, and is a past contributor to Hudson Valley magazine.Kitty’s essay, “The Measure of a Girl” appears in My Body, My Words, Big Table Publishing, March 2018, and her essay, “Irish Wake-up Call” is part of Shades of Blue, Seal Press, 2015. Visit her website at kittysheehan.com and find her on Twitter at @KittyASheehan.