Fall 1977. In a yellow and white house on 12th Avenue in Los Angeles, California, weeks before my family, The Whitney Family, was to sign the largest recording contract Motown Records had ever offered a new signing group a dark family secret about my sisters, my stepfather, and my mother was exposed. It was a secret kept hidden from my three brothers and me for almost twenty years. In a ten-minute span, my three brothers and I were hit with four emotional earthquakes. Of the four earthquakes, none was deviating when we heard words no brother ever wants or expects to hear when our mother said, “Your two oldest sisters have been sexually abused by Henry (our stepfather) for years.”

Not only did we hear that stunning statement, but stunned to learn our mother knew about the molestations the whole time. Our oldest sister also told us that we boys can’t talk about it to anyone ever because it didn’t happen to us – because we weren’t victims. But the truth was that all four of us brothers had become victims at that moment. In fact, from the very beginning, we were victims. We just didn’t know it. And therein lies the emotional and mental challenge for brothers. When sexual abuse occurs in the home, bothers are never viewed as victims. We are never asked, “Do you need to talk?” or “Are you okay?” Brothers are unceremoniously moved to the back, where we are expected to disappear and conceal our feelings. We are told that we are forbidden to speak to anyone about what happened. We are forbidden to talk about it, even the people we need to talk to the most—our sisters. HELPLESSNESS is the true story of how I failed my sisters. It is the story of how, forty-five years later, I continue to carry the scars of trauma, guilt, and pain because I was afraid to talk with my sisters about what had happened to them after being told I could never talk about it. It is my forty-five-year journey to find HOPE when there was none. It is about how I, terrified as I was, somehow found the courage to speak with my second oldest sister, who, after I approached her, shocked me with her response. It is about how I found the courage to avenge them and slay their monster. 

HELPLESSNESS is about six siblings coming together to contribute to a twenty-year account of child sexual abuse in their home for six of nine brothers and sisters in a way never before shared.

HELPLESSNESS is a story about what brothers go through emotionally and mentally and how we struggle to find ourselves after we learn our sisters have been sexually assaulted by how parents.


Coming Soon


Coming Soon


Chapter Five: Rise Of The Stepson

“This mountain of a man who becomes even larger when wearing his huge afro wig – which covers his receding hairline – and his large beard must look like the mythical Bigfoot monster as he towers over them. Standing mere inches from them, Henry shuffles towards my sisters, turns around, and sits down next to them on the bed. Breathing hard, he whispers, “There is nothing to be afraid of. People do this all the time.” Seizing one of their hands, he says, “Here, touch it. It’s okay. Let me show you how easy it is.” He then takes one of their tiny hands and places it on his penis exactly where he wants it. “See, honey, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Chapter Fourteen: The Room Where It First Happened

“After finally reaching the top of the stairs, my stepfather pauses. He sees it – the door to my oldest sister’s bedroom. What he has desired all day is four feet away from him. The room where she is alone. Where there is no one in there to save her. Where there will be no interruption. He knows she is helpless – helpless to scream., helpless to fight back, helpless to stop him. A quick glance to the left and he sees the three baby girls’ bedroom door. He pauses and smiles and thinks, “Soon.”

Chapter Twenty-One: The Parent-Child Contract

“When fathers first pick up our newborn babies, we hold a divine being of our own creation – and cradle him or her in our arms. It is an extraordinary feeling that can only be described as miraculous. If this is what it feels like for me, a man, a father, what must it feel like for a woman, a mother? My goodness.

Chapter Thirty-Two: And Then There Were Seven

“Nicky, it was horrible. When it first happened, we were in kindergarten or the first grade, about five or six years old. The house was empty except for us three baby girls. All three of us were told to sit on the couch and wait until we were called into the bedroom. First, he called Sharon. After a while, he called me in. After he was done molesting me, he called in Teresa. Whenever he desired us, we were in their bedroom with him, alone, for about thirty minutes at a time. As soon as I was in their bedroom, he had me stand in front of him while he sat on the bed. A bottle of lotion, baby oil or Palmer’s cocoa butter would be next to him.”

Excerpt of Chapter Forty-Eight: No Sanctuary For This Old Man

Henry looked up at me. His eyes were shining bright, full of life, a grin stretching from ear to ear. It was as if laying eyes on a long-lost friend. But what he saw looking back at him was not friendly. I looked down at him with pure hatred in my heart. The creature was cornered. He was mine. At first, his shit-faced didn’t recognize me. Staring at him, I allowed the moment to linger silently a few moments as his grin never faded. Then his eyes began to widen as he realized he was focusing on a past he believed he had long left behind. A past that was now rushing toward him at 200 plus mph. “Ah, there it is…comprehension, understanding.” Now that I had his full attention, I slowly, quietly, and methodically said…Henry. Lee. Perrin.”