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

Rocky Akers

Rocky has borne an unfair burden of life’s trials and sorrows. He lost all hope for love. He was sexually and mentally abused by his father as a child. He was bullied mercilessly and beaten by his school peers. He was raped by someone he trusted as a young man. He was shunned by his family when he was desperate and near death from HIV. Yet today, Rocky’s eyes sparkle with hope and determination as he works methodically toward the publication of his memoir and a stage performance that will launch the book, “Being Found Stuck in Time.”

In finding love, it has been a long road back from being an entrepreneur. Back from selling his body on the streets of Los Angeles. Back from loneliness and desperation that drove him to drug abuse and then toward suicide. Back from enduring brain surgery and five near-fatal illnesses. Rocky’s salvation has come by asking his Self, “Who Am I?” He re-connected with the wounded boy and bonded with his fear and pain, and through that renewed his spiritual connection – to his soul, his mind, and his body. Through truth, forgiving and connecting to himself, he has found connection to others. To physicians who listened with compassion as he wept. To other male survivors with whom he bonded in a peer-led group. These connections have come to replace the family that shunned him. And through studying love, exercising, and meditating, Rocky has healed himself and is ready to share both his trials and triumphs with the world.