I just completed reading a book written by a friend of mine. This is my content analysis.
“Bougainvillea Blues” is about an innocent’s journey of pain and renewal.
It is the story of a young boy crossing the threshold of puberty with a confused vision of what sexual normalcy is. Torn between the examples and perceptions of those around him, add his Baptist upbringing and peer savvy, his mores get jumbled.
Yes, kids masturbate. To say they do so to this extent and at every turn, whether opportune or inopportune and with such reckless abandonment? It’s hard to imagine. I don’t know.
My first impression was to believe it excessive but, as the story unfolds, it is necessary to the telling; there is a reason.
Having experienced sexual abuse, I do understand and know the uncontrolled triggers and feelings 12 year old Joey experiences. Sadly, that this happens to males was extraordinary. Or is it? Did it or does it happen more often than we realize? Statistics vary. **Some indicate that 10% of sexual assaults are male victims. 1 in 6 or 16% are reported but this may be an underestimation since men are less likely to report the crime compared to women which is 64%.
The story touches on the why’s and wherefore’s of Joey’s transformation with unabashed candor.
When I was done reading, I cried with such force as though I’d been on this voyage with him. The pain and confusion so eloquently expressed touches you so that you feel torn between compassion and fear. A part of you wants to hold and comfort this child while the other part of you is afraid of getting too close for fear of what it might trigger.
Written from the heart, I highly recommend this poignant telling.