Larry’s book, Breaking the Ruhl’s, is his story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Throughout the book he faces the 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 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.
During my chat with Larry we cover topics including:
This memoir is so personal and the story is so painful. How did you find the strength to share your story? Did writing it help you heal?
When did you first realize that what was happening in your household was not only not normal, but was physical, emotional, and sexual abuse?
You talk about how you’ve found a way to forgive your parents, but that you’ll never forget what happened. Can you speak to that?
You’re no longer in contact with your parents, but you are close with your sister, who still lives with them. Can you talk about how you decided to move forward with this book?
Now that the book has been released, how has it impacted your healing journey, your relationships, and your life as a whole?
Larry shares openly and vulnerably about his life and struggles, and offers such hope and encouragement during our conversation that you can help but be inspired by his bravery and the bravery of all who speak out and refuse to be silent.
I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to talk to this incredible survivor and I look forward to bringing him back on the podcast in the future to talk more about his story. Thank you again Larry for your book, your message of hope, and your continued desire to reach those all who have survived the trauma of abuse.
You can purchase, Breaking the Ruhl’s on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. Be sure and follow Larry on Twitter & Instagram, @LarryRuhl
-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP