The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions.
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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors

Michael Kullik

How do you claw your way out of a childhood scarred by incest, and in the years following marred by repeated experiences of abuse and domestic violence? For Michael, it has been a long and sometimes rocky journey, but he has found peace in an unexpected place: his penchant for poetry, and an operatic voice that transports him (and everyone within a wide radius!).

Michael grew up in a family that was enmeshed in multiple generations of incest. The grandparents who abused him also sexually abused his mother. It was only the first of many depredations that he suffered, but it was the most deeply scarring. How do you live with the knowledge that your mother failed to protect you from someone she knew to be a predator? Not easily.

Little surprise that relationships have not been easy for Michael. Learning to trust. Learning who to trust. Learning that there are people who seek out those with vulnerabilities in order to exploit and abuse them.

Now married, a step-father and a grandparent, Michael is enjoying being ensconced in a family of his own choosing. And he has found outlets for his pain and pathways to healing himself. He has studied music, and the use of art to heal wounded souls. He has written poems that safely house his anger. And he has released the beauty of his own soul into his voice, a voice that can fill a room with the full panoply of emotions – including joy.