From the July 2014 magazine.

Down and Out in Palm Springs

He ran as far away from his feelings as he could, until they caught up with him the Calfornia desert

I was born in 1964 into an Irish Catholic family in the suburbs of Long Island, just outside New York City. There were three of us boys and my sister. Our parents were born and raised in apartments in the city, but had found a way to move out to the suburbs to raise their family. In the suburbs everything was certainly a lot more private then. I had no idea how many of my peers were also living with an abusive and tortured alcoholic father. In those days, everyone just tried to look good; people didn’t talk about their personal issues. My mom did get involved in Al-Anon and we went to Alateen, which was helpful at the time.

I was very shy and didn’t know what to talk about with anyone. I always felt different from others. I played with my sister’s dolls until the kids at school found out. My older brother wasn’t interested in sports, so no one ever tried to interest me.

-- Gerard K.

Palm Springs, California

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