The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Bo Budinsky

Less than two years ago, Bo returned to the small Texas town where he grew up, and where he was serially abused by almost a dozen perpetrators. He returned to reclaim the town from the terrible memories that were created there, and even the church where one of the worst perpetrators – a psychiatrist – groomed and then abused him. The reclamation has not been easy, but neither were the decades of pain; of flashbacks and nightmares; of self-loathing and shame; of addiction; of running away from his past; of running away from himself; of homelessness and crack houses and the deepest pit of despair.

Bo survived the pit, and the years of addiction and despair, because of a hand that touched him when he was five years old, and a voice that told him: “Keep getting up, and one day it will come to you why.” And the touch of that hand, and the sound of that voice, have never left him. Marshaling years of therapy, Bo has fought to reclaim his past, and through that determination he has also reclaimed his relationship with his mother, found his voice as an advocate for survivors, and found a calling as a life coach for men who are embarking on the long and arduous walk along the road that Bo has travelled.