Cracked Surface (Paperback)
Cracked Surface is the sequel to Surface Tension and continues exploring my personal struggle with the desire to lead a "normal" life through the eyes of David Mathew. In Surface Tension, David is sixteen years old, represents the USA, and wins the gold medal at the 1979 World Springboard and Platform Diving Championships in T nsberg, Norway. David has a secret. In spite of his unprecedented victory, he attempts to hide his tumultuous journey of grooming, manipulation, coercion, and sexual abuse by coaches, benefactors, and medical team he trusted. With his dreams of Olympic glory put on hiatus due to President Carter's boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, David relocates to California to focus on the 1984 Olympics.
Cracked Surface continues with David attending the University of California as a pre-med major on academic and athletic scholarships. An encounter with Jennifer, a sorority pledge and theatre major, leads David to help with her audition for the fall play. David gets a part in The Visit of the Old Lady, a lead role in Single Parents a Movie of the Week, and an extra role on ABC's General Hospital. David's hopes for normalcy shatter when he finds himself in a clinic and cannot remember where or what had happened the previous evening. Shame and guilt engulf him as he tries to suppress his secret, but at the NCAA Qualifying Diving meet, David blacks out. Without time to put the pieces together, he steps away from school and diving and returns to the farm in Aulden, Ohio to recuperate.
While regaining his strength in Aulden, David's decides to take a year off and attend Wright State University's Theatre Department to develop his acting and dancing talents, reinvent himself, and explore his spirituality before returning to Hollywood.
Cracked Surface demonstrates the struggles and challenges sexually abused people endure as they try to live a normal life. My story of being a sixteen-year-old elite athlete passed around was only the beginning of a lifelong struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. One-in-six males are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. The recent allegations brought against the US Gymnastic and other sporting entities have shed some light on this growing epidemic, but male athletes have been sexually abused for many years and are still in hiding because of societal beliefs that it is just hazing, initiation, the rite of passage, or they myth "males can't be sexually abused." Sexual abuse is only the springboard; the effects may not become evident or recognized until much later in life. By sharing my story, I hope to shed some light on how a sexually abused person attempts to reinvent, adapt, and assimilate to fit into society-but are never able to escape the deep seeded pain without facing the past and finding their true self.