“Music is a heartbeat. It keeps me going. It moves me. It shapes me. It creates me. It is who I am.”
Marcel was a special education teacher, and he offered to help a fellow teacher move into a new house. They entered the house and both were ambushed and sexually assaulted by a sadist with a gun and a pole. Marcel was nearly killed in the attack, and he endured weeks of surgery and months of painful recovery. And those were only the physical injuries.
In the years since the assault, Marcel has struggled with the torments that afflict all male survivors, the inner battles with stigma and the lingering effects on trust and intimacy. And the pure trauma. As when he watched a TV show that depicted a rape and was sent reeling into paroxysms of anger and grief.
But Marcel grew up in a large family with close ties. A family of musicians and gospel singers, and a family that nurtured Marcel’s relationship to God. It is that spirituality, and Marcel’s ability to meld it with music, that provided the balm for his wounded soul. “Music is a heartbeat. It keeps me going. It moves me. It shapes me. It creates me. It is who I am.” Marcel can begin a sentence in his ordinary speaking voice, and shift effortlessly into song. And when he does, you feel the power of his connection to the source of his healing and his strength.
Marcel is now working on his second book, and his second CD. He is also giving back to his community. He has launched a mentorship program, soon to be a non-profit. With supporters and allies, he is simultaneously transforming his own suffering and that of his community.