Surviving the Fourth Cycle - one man's journey through sexual abuse and mental illness

Surviving the Fourth Cycle

The memoir Surviving the Fourth Cycle is a death-grip tale recounting the horrors and high points of the young life of Nathan Daniels. From his earliest childhood memories to the severe struggles and suicide attempts of his adulthood, Daniels walks the reader vividly through the abuse he endured and the mental illness that came as a result.

"I needed to reclaim my life," says Daniels. "Writing helped me to do that. It's a cathartic experience, to allow a reader to - in essence - peer over my shoulder as I unpack the experiences that made me who I am today."

Those experiences are most of what Surviving the Fourth Cycle is about. Daniels holds nothing back, putting it all out there as the closet swings open and all the skeletons emerge. Abused by his older sister, verbally abused by his father, and his own self-abuse as a result lead the young man into darkness. Only the love of his mother kept him from being totally lost.

The book recounts those abuses, the glimmering hope his mother provided, and his ultimate fall into suicide and return from that. It's that comeback that completes the book.

"Ultimately, I wanted to give readers a story of redemption and show that survival is possible," Daniels says. "I had to accept love and I had to say goodbye to my past, which isn't a simple act. But it saved my life – and it's why I'm still alive to tell my story."

Surviving the Fourth Cycle is a tale of horror happening in real life and it's both deeply disturbing and riveting. The ultimate message of hope it contains and the help it's given its author in his recovery efforts becomes the icing on an otherwise rotten cake. The book is very well-written and told, but will not be easy for most to stomach due to the vivid way the abuse is detailed for the reader.

For all of that, it is very much worth reading if you are unaware of the deep trauma male survivors of sexual abuse can hold and the long-lasting destruction is can wreak on their psyche.

Surviving the Fourth Cycle is available in bookstores and in electronic form from most major outlets online.

 
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