I wrote my way out...
I first began publishing the "Breaking Up" Series/ Novella on Tumblr in the Spring 2018 and I wrote the final epilogue in the fall of 2018. A lot has changed since then, including how I would tell it now and what I would include in this story in the present.
I know that I can write, but I do not know if that makes me a writer. Maybe I just need a good editor... or I just need a writer. I am very open to either/ or in the near future.
I do know this: when I wrote and published this, writer or not, it was the beginning of WRITING MY WAY OUT. It was an incredible tool for self-healing. I can only hope that with the limited amount of CPTSD accounts out there (more available now than when I was growing up) that whatever I rambled actually helps other people too. Writing this along with seeing documentaries like Leaving Neverland and Surviving R. Kelly helped guide me into telling my story with greater ownership and in a more succinct way.
In 2018 I used Tumblr to speak about my abuse and trauma to the extent that I felt I could at the time. I hoped that by publicly claiming my diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) it would counteract what was being said about me. In my opinion, Tom Bulleit and Diageo have been saying disparaging and career damning statements about me for several years now; some of which centered around my mental stability. I was hoping that my candor on the subject would save projects within the liquor industry that I was working on: unfortunately it did not. Those projects are now dead in the water. But I'm not. I'm an All-American Swimmer and my specialty was the mile.
I did not understand then as I understand now the legal protections available to me. I was still very fearful of Tom Bulleit and Diageo and the consequences of telling my story. I did not know that I could legally express my opinions and I had a right to tell the truth. Every time I posted I would have an anxiety attack that I would hear from Diageo or Tom Bulleit's attorneys and I was fearful of being sued or fined. And every time I posted and there were no repercussions I grew stronger. I had less anxiety attacks... and then those anxiety attacks morphed into something new: an understanding of what BRAVERY feels like. It was an immense gift.
In my writing, I talked about the pressures of the job and constantly uprooting via cross country moves, I tooted my own horn about the great work I did on the brand and as a whiskey ambassador, I spoke about what kept my spirituality alive, and who kept me going - my now wife, Cher. And I talked briefly about the sexual abuse I suffered from my birth mother. I felt like that would be safe to talk about her only because Tom Bulleit for most of my life blamed her for any trauma and abuse I suffered. This was easy for him to do so because while my mother was alive she was rightfully terrified of him and then she passed early on in 2009 of breast cancer.
The novella alludes to Tom Bulleit's severe neglect of me as a child and his emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse. It does not speak about the sexual abuse that I suffered until I was 18 years old at the hands of my father. It does not discuss the domestic violence either. For that growing story, the posts on my hollisbofficial facebook page as of August 2019 continue to clarify and specify this trauma and part of my life.