Tag Archives: abuse

Saved! Part I


can do

a lot of harm.


Have you ever done some crazy stuff? Did you ever think that some of the crazy stuff you did was maybe because you believed a lie? Lies can do a lot of harm.

My son Josh did some crazy self-destructive stuff because he believed a lie, this lie caused him to attempt suicide twice.

As best a father as I  set out to be, there was always a point where we reached a wall. Just when we were building trust, it would get sabotaged by a misunderstanding, a fight, an accusation. This was followed by shame, (I hate shame!). Anger…and dis-trust would creep back in real subtle like. No home run, no touch down, no big break through.

This lie was implanted in Josh at the age of 3 or 4.

In this true story Josh is 22. What I am saying is that my relationship with my son was blocked for 18 years because he believed a lie. My ability to be a father to him was prevented by this lie.

Up until the night of July 4, 2009 when the lie revealed itself.

When I finally came face to face with this beast of a lie, after losing out on 18 years of my life, you bet I was ready to get Josh back, and thank God, I did.

Excerpt from my book “The Coolness of Josh” by Marc Swift:


Somehow I was almost glad we were coming face-to-face with this hate from my son. I had lived with this hatred in him toward me almost all his life, without knowing why it was there.

Now, sitting face-to-face with Josh’s hostility, I could hear what the wounded heart of the boy inside him was thinking:

‘If my father loved me he would have been there to protect me.’

That was painful to me, because I always wanted to be there for my son.

And then, praying for healing, something dreadful dawned on me. There was more that was being implied.

I realized that the first lie had gotten twisted, like the wicker in the baskets we both hated and laughed about during our healing phone conversation.

Josh’s wound was relentlessly festering with doubt, as if trapped in a spell that slowly poisoned and steadily haunted him for years with a malicious accusation:

‘The reason your father wasn’t there to protect you, was that your father was in on it. He was giving it the ‘okay’–and looking the other way. Your dad didn’t want to protect you because he didn’t love you. He wanted to hurt you’.

Aiding and abetting.

That I had been a sadistic, passive accomplice to my wife’s molestation and abuse.

Now I knew the reason for the hatred.

My wife and the devil through her had instilled it in Josh, against me, his father.

Our future seemed to totter in the balance, ever so briefly, while both Josh and Dr. Bendler stared at me, awaiting my response.


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Saved! Part III

Josh's Signature Marc Swift

Josh’s Signature
Marc Swift

My resolve paid off. Josh didn’t just sober up after that. He was delivered. He saw life with new eyes.

Josh came over the next day and said how sorry he was for talking to me that way, and that he couldn’t believe he said the F. word to me. He told me over and over again, with great sadness, that he loved me and how sorry he was and to please forgive him.

I reassured Josh that I forgave him completely, affirming over and over that it was okay—of course I forgave him. I didn’t think any less of him. I understood where the hatred came from.

Then I told him I had no idea that his mother was doing these horrible things to him. I told him that I was in no way a part of her evil.

“If I had found out that she was messing with you guys that would have been the end of our marriage!” I said firmly to him. “That wasn’t negotiable. I would have been up and out of there and focused on how to repair the damage done to you and your brother.”

I repeatedly asked him to forgive me for not being there to stop it. “She played me. I’m sorry. I had no idea what she was doing. Mike was just a few months old. I thought she was taking care of you guys. She lied to me. The whole time we were married, I lived with a lie.”

“I know, Dad. I believe you. I really do forgive you.”

“Thank you Josh! That means a lot to me. I really love you.”

Right then, Josh had a light bulb moment. His face lit up. “Actually,” he lovingly told me, “it’s thanks to you that she stopped it.”

I was stunned.

“But…” I asked him, “How could I have stopped it if I didn’t know about it?”

“Well, after a few months you started working out of the house every day, and you needed Valerie to help you pick up the customer cars. So when you left, she had to leave with you and bring us along. She couldn’t stay with us all alone anymore. That put an end to it.”

“Wow! So I was a force for the good after all.”

“Yeah you were, Dad.”

“I want you to promise me that you will never get drunk again.”

“Okay, Dad.”

“Will you put it in writing?”

“Absolutely,” Josh answered me.

I took out a sheet of paper and wrote:




Coming Home Marc Swift

Coming Home
Marc Swift

Josh then signed it with a big flashy signature.


Excerpt from  “The Coolness of Josh”  by  Marc Swift


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Blog Launch

Taking off

Taking off (Photo credit: Theophilos)


When I was in the ‘still–dominated–by–the–abuse–Land’ or in ‘mental illness–Land’, the thing I missed the most was that place of acceptance where I could relax. That place of welcoming.  Of enjoyment. Of delight. The happy feast. I grew up with this image of a long table with a happy family eating in France with the windows open to a beautiful garden, or outdoors surrounded by the beauty of the countryside and the warm friendship and the laughter.

When you want that, and you can’t have that and you’ve known it somehow, or it has been taken away from you, it’s very hard to live without it…The proximity, the acceptance. When you’re hurting and there’s that need in your heart for love (love is what were going to call this), then even smaller versions of that connection are welcome, very appreciated and can put us in touch with that deep down acceptance. Then, we get that hope, that it’s still possible.

For months I did not feel that with my son Josh. But he wasn’t living in my house, so that made it harder, and when he came over, he would often have already had a few drinks. The pain was so overwhelming to him he needed to numb it, or go beyond it, sort of put it on the back burner and just have fun being crazy all the while yearning for love.

Most often though, with me, he was pretty serious. He talked, ranted, joked, shared anger, sadness, frustration, and I listened to him. We had both shared the same pain with the same woman – his mother, my ex-wife – for way more years than was ‘emotionally advisable’. So he knew we had the same pain, and that we were both working through that, and somehow he felt very accepted by me, all the while still feeling pretty messed up.












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