REVIEWS

 

December 28, 2011

Alberta, Canada

"Hi there, Gregg,

I spent this Christmas weekend reading your book, many tears at times, but just couldn't put it down. When I got to the part concerning your breakdown and then time with the Psychologist I must admit I lost it. [...] I know one day I will do as you did, just weep torrents as it is all released and I feel unconditional love. [...] Agree, our innocence was definitely stolen and it definitely was not our fault.

I will keep this short but just had to let you know how much your writing (story) touched me. When I looked at the picture of you and your son and he looks so loved and well-adjusted I cheered inside.

You are my hero in so many ways, and I pray the best for you in all that you do.

A friend."

December 27, 2011

Davis, California

"First of all, thank you for writing God Must Be Sleeping. I can only imagine how hard that it must be to relive the experiences, but hopefully how cleansing it must be too, knowing that by doing this, you are helping others in the world know that they are not alone.

God Must Be Sleeping is a story of anger and hope. It is a story of terrible things, but also a story that the world is full of kindness and goodness when least expected. Your determination not to fail, despite setbacks, and to push onward is inspiring to everyone who has ever been in tough times. God Must Be Sleeping is a necessary scaffold to A Beautiful World, so readers can learn and understand how a child can go from such horrid abuse to leading a "normal" life.

As an educator, it is so meaningful to see first-hand how a coach made such a huge impact in your life. Educators never really know if we are truly making a difference with all of our efforts, but your story exemplifies the positive difference one person can make.  Both A Beautiful World and God Must Be Sleeping should be required reading in education programs, for both abuse awareness and teacher inspiration.

Thank you again for sharing and I look forward to hearing how your books have changed people's lives.

Love,

Janice and Pippin Brehler"

December 14, 2011

Akron, Ohio

"Your journey is incredible and just coming out with this and sharing your life is just freeing.  (I was rooting for you so many times in this book).  [...] In a nutshell your, book is life-changing and not just for those who suffered child abuse.  People must wake-up and if this isn't a wakeup call I don't know what is."

December 11, 2011

Illinois

"I could not put the book down. It is incredibly inspiring to know all you have gone thru and still raised a beautiful son; that you longed for love of your family and learned how to love yourself.  You are a blessing to me."

December 6, 2011

New York

"Hi Gregg,

I love listening to you too. I just listened to all of your songs on your website. They are so beautiful. You are a beautiful artist in being an author and a singer but more importantly you are a beautiful soul.

Thank you for sharing your story and your gifts with the world. My favorite song is The Storm. You sing it so well. You are def. making this a more beautiful world, Gregg Tyler.

Thank you for not letting me and others go through this world alone."

December 6, 2011

Bangkok, Thailand

"Please remember, the reason we are here is to save one another - Break the cycle.  By Gregg Tyler Milligan."

Quoted by a very sweet person to FB ... Originally from Indonesia.

December 2, 2011

Hazel Park, MI

"Dear Gregg,

I don't know where to go making comments about your book(s).  I read God Must Be Sleeping and then I went back to A Beautiful World again.  I cried while reading many sections.  At other times I thought I was reading fiction.  I cannot believe all that you endured for eleven years and then the next years with Lauren and Tim and then Jessica.  Just like the nightmares or day mares sometimes.

You truly are a gifted writer.  You handle things in such a beautiful descriptive way.  Abundantly remarkable.

The Dedication, Acknowledgement, Introduction, and Prologue are so well written.  I'm glad you included so many details.

Now where do I go from here? Maybe I'll just list things that I remember that were survival skills or whatever ------------ Shelter of the willow tree; nearly being choked to death; your survival skills from dreaming about being a military hero performing brave and honorable acts of gallantry -and in contrast, in a barren, motherless place detached from God.  Horrors of school life; 4 high schools in 4 years; bullying often; the love you had for your mother is something I can't believe - keeping her from drowning, etc.  No heat in your house during winter (not a home).  What about the paralysis you had? Fear of becoming insane; couldn't read; tie your shoes; tell time. 
When you wrote, "Visions of achievement kept me alive."  I'm so glad they did!

From the need to escape, running came into play as it still does for you! I'm so happy with the Chapter about Pat and Siena! 

Thank you so much for all you are doing for helping others who are being or have been abused.  I don't think any could equal what you endured!!!

Love and prayers,

Sr. Barb, OP (Dominican Order of Preachers)"

December 4, 2011

Detroit, MI

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. ~ Carl Jung ...

You have kindled a light to many. Peace & love always."

December 1, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars God Must Be Sleeping

This review is from: God Must be Sleeping (Paperback) / Amazon

"Gregg Tyler Milligan's book is an unbelievable, but true, testimony of suffering and injustice endured by Milligan at the hands of his abusive family and uncaring bystanders. Milligan's descriptive writing takes you on the journey of gut-wrenching pain and then finally hope. In a world where cruelty abounds, Milligan shows us that we can all be free and face difficult challenges that life throws in our direction.

This book is truly inspirational and shows us how to finally live the life we were truly intended to live."

--Copley, Ohio

December 1, 2011

Atlanta, GA

"Your book was a powerful read. Thank you for sharing with us. I know that you have helped many in doing so."

November 28, 2011

Adrian, Michigan

"Gregg,

Thanks so much for signing my book.  Thanks for sharing your life with us.  God has brought you out of chaos and produced an awesome individual.  Thanks so much.

We love you, your family, and your awesome sister.  She has made a world of difference in our son's life. 

God continue to bless you.  (Will we see a third book?)

Mom Gallant"

November 26, 2011

Texas

"Happy Thanksgiving to you, Gregg. :) I just finished your book and it was AMAZING, Touching, breathtaking, and many other things at once. I hope to meet you and your family someday. :D."

November 24, 2011

Akron, Ohio

"I have been diligently reading your book.  [...]  I must tell you this is such a straight-forward, touching and disturbing read ---all this at the same time.  (Try that with Eat, Pray, Love--HA).   But mind you (your's) is a very good book.  [...]  This book moves the soul in a very high octane way.  [...]  I loved where you joined Judo and did very well at it, even flipping the teacher.  Waves of pride and just cheering for you---made me realize I was already swept into the story of your life.  [...]
 
I really understood what you were saying with, (pg. 212) {Mike was a constant reminder of from where I came, and worst of all, who I was.  An ugly remembrance of my own private hell....}.   Very powerful.  Also, very humbling to read that you felt you couldn't protect Lynn.   Here you are as a child yourself so worried about her.  Someone needed to protect ALL of you! 

I will continue reading through this Gregg but this is so commendable and don't worry about how to promote this since the material speaks for itself.  Be very proud of this work and for telling the TRUTH!!!"

November 23, 2011

Texas

"Hey Gregg, just wanted to let you know I am on page 212 of your book and I am amazed at the detail and realism of this piece. :) Terrific so far!"

November 22, 2011

Colorado

"Hey Gregg,

[...] People are finally starting to do what you have already done which is try to show that talking about it is not only okay but necessary in the healing process and to putting a stop to the cycle of abuse.  [...]

I find it really amazing the timing of your book.  It's like God put it out there in perfect timing.  [...] I'm not excited about anything other than your word of hope reaching everyone it possibly can.  [...] You would be the perfect person to interview at this point.  [...] Your book is such a great source of information, hope and the courage to move beyond the abuse.   

I am sending a blog to Dr. Drew telling him of the hope your story has given me as it relates to my life as I am sure it would help so many others.  This is as mainstream as it gets Gregg.  Think of how many people are just becoming aware of this terrible social epidemic. 

If you hadn't had the courage to write your book years ago, it wouldn't be ready now when it is needed the most.  Huge miracle as far as I'm concerned.  

Thanks again for all of your courage."

November 22, 2011

New Orleans

"Our relationships with God never stunk. It wasn't our relationships with God that hurt, were scary, tore us down, deprived us, obstructed our experiences of love and peace and self-respect. It was never our relationships with God that gave us so much pain combined with self-doubt. It was the abuse that gave us so much pain, left us in fear, isolated from the good things in life, somehow convinced that we're to blame for the suffering inflicted on us, not knowing what it is to feel safe enough to acknowledge the truth.

It's our relationships with God that make a seemingly impossible situation possible, like escaping, building a life, knowing what it feels like to mean something to someone and to love and be loved, to set goals and accomplish them. No longer having to criticize ourselves for our every move.

I think reading your prologue helped me clarify that for myself. You know how obscured the perception of cause-and-effect can get during certain experiences, especially as a child without any reference points. And I promise I'm not trying to convert anyone, it's really not my place to do so. I'm just looking to experience and embrace my own faith, and really enjoying the process.

Thanks for letting me share. And thanks for putting a voice to your experiences. You know, when it seems nobody will admit that what happened did happened, it's such a relief to shine a light on it and see it for what it is."

November 12, 2011

New York

"Hi Gregg!

Congratulations on the finish of your second book. I have not read it yet, but I will be looking for it. 

[...]  God bless you Gregg! I love your writing. And believe it or not, in many ways I believe you may be stronger inside than I am and that is okay! I am happy for you and your family now! You deserve some happiness now!

Enjoy!"

November 11, 2011

Marquette, MI

"I just started to counsel a young 18 year old young man today and I shared your book, his eyes lit up!

You have such an impact even when you're not around!

Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate."

November 8, 2011

New York

"Hi Gregg,

After reading more into your book I realize that you and I have more in common than you might think.  [...]  some parts are difficult but I'll get through it just as you did. I'm really happy you left those sections in your book.

I hope you'll always have them if you decide to write more books...hint hint. Seriously, I really enjoy those sections because I feel like you can really connect on a personal level w/ your readers.

Thank you so much that means a lot to me! [...]  I'm happy you let everyone see who the book was truly written for, "they" and I thank you so much! Just like me, I know your book will save many others!

I always look forward to your beautiful messages too, they always make my day.  You've def. been a light in life, a guide to show me that we all can make it.

Always & more"

November 8, 2011

Detroit, MI

"Hello Gregg,
 
I hope you are well and life is good!
 
I read your book.  It was hard to put down.  The emotional ride was raw and bitter.  Your gift of writing had me smelling, tasting, crying.  I was moved and touched.  There were a few times I had to stop reading to get out of my head.  You know what I mean?  Really a horrible story that needed to be told and with such courage and honesty.  Did you ever think that the little boy under the apple tree would be such a mighty warrior?  Your pen is your sword and you have cut to the quick many I'm sure with your truth.  [...]  The ending of the book was not feeling like the end.  I hope you are going to continue with another book.
 
Thank you again for the journey."

November 7, 2011

New York

"[...]  Thank you, Gregg. You really amaze me. Your books mean so much to me. You write so well that I feel like I'm actually there w/ you.  [...]  The Dear Reader was beautiful and so was the last section. I love how you say that as long as your here you're making this a more beautiful world (those words made me smile), because you def. are, Gregg Tyler. :)  [...]  I'm going to bed reading your book :)  [...]  P.S. Thank you for dedicating your book to abuse victims and survivors. :)  I truly feel you're speaking to me in this book."

November 4, 2011

Erie, PA

"He's a Warrior Angel!"

November 4, 2011

Detroit, Michigan

"To be able to revisit the past without reliving it and getting tangled in the emotional torment again is the virtue of a true warrior. The child has grown into the brave and gallant hero of honor!! Yes, I've started the journey..(your book). Rise up Sir Gregg!"

November 4, 2011

Michigan

"[...]  Thank you for thinking of me, and the dedication.  No matter where I'm at, dark or otherwise, you call me, I'm there for you, Little Bro'.
 
Love,
 
Big bro."

November 3, 2011

New York

"Hi Gregg,

[...]  Just know that your emails always make me smile. :)  I've started writing my story in hopes of saving others the way you have :)  [...]  I wanted to tell you too that whenever I re-read my first email that's posted on your website I realize how happier I am now. I was def. in a sad place before you came into my life. So thank you :)  I still to this day read the first email you sent me and it still makes me smile. When I read it, I always remember how happy I was to get a response from you.

Thank you for being in my life :)"

November 2, 2011

Michigan

"Tyler,

I don't believe in coincidences. That being said, you mentioned in your e-mail, [...]  that you hope David reads the dedication.  I might talk to him once a month...haven't seen him in months.  You sent your e-mail today, and David called me today.

I read the dedication to him. He cried.

Asked me to tell you thank you for thinking of him, and the dedication. He said he was going to read this book, however it was going to take him time to get through it. He said you'd understand."

November 2, 2011

a reader of God Must Be Sleeping

"BRAVO is all I really have to say about your book Gregg. The only true disappointment is that it ended much too soon.  [...]  Your college success is staggering to the mind. [...]  there are miracles as you have told me so many times. What was taken away from you is now returned 100 times 100 and still coming. [...]  thank you so much for letting us all into your private world. [...]  I have to say that I tear up in many areas but sobbed when it came to you being separated from your sister. Sobbed like a baby. Thank God for the two of you and I really truly hope the best outcome for your brother Carter. As long as he is alive, there is still hope. [...]  Truly Gregg, what made you go on the way you did is just so amazing. I can't say that enough. [...]  Again, amazing book Gregg. Much success from it."

November 1, 2011

Michigan

"Dearest Tyler,

I've finished your wonderful book.  You're literally a genius.  You've remembered everything.  If [...], I can only hope that it gives them pause.  Pat will be humbled by it.  Much like I am. 

The people who will read it - the abused, will drop to their knees in thankfulness that someone else really understands the pain they've been living with.  They'll say, my God, this author knows what my damaged soul feels like.  He's showed us there really is life after hell.  If he could find a light, so can we.
 
The curious will howl with pain at the injustice of the innocent.  Then, cheer joyfully for the man who's struggled every waking and sleeping moment, to become the shinning inspirational person he is today.
 
April will know how much you love her, and she's never been alone.
 
I love you very much,
 
Tina  (sis)"

October 28, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

"Congratulations on your newest book Gregg!! I look forward to reading it.  Your willingness to share is helping so many."

-MS, RNC, CNE

October 27, 2011

Norfolk, NE

"Mr. Milligan:

I am writing with a simple request. I am the Child Abuse Prevention Specialist [...]  I have been working in this position for 4 years and I am stunned by the numbers of families that we see impacted by the epidemic of child sexual abuse.  As part of our efforts we are going to be creating a display to show the total number of abuse victims we serve in one year, by displaying shoes. We are going to title the display "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes."  I am asking for your help of our prevention education by sending us an autographed pair of your shoes [...]  We feel that if we can gain support of stars like you it can help us gain attention to our very important message of prevention. Thank you so much for your time! Thank you so much for supporting our prevention work. Your books are so inspirational and we feel very blessed to have your support. Please keep in touch with any other works you complete in the future! Have a great day!"

-Child Abuse Prevention Specialist

October 27, 2011

Adrian, Michigan

"You are so brave, Gregg.  To do this for all those who have been sexually abused.  [...]  Thank you, Gregg - for being the voice."

-Former college schoolmate and friend, Siena Heights University

October 27, 2011

Cazenovia, New York

"Hi Tyler,

It is truly amazing to know that your story has reached over 100 million people.  You're such an amazing person and you've helped so many.  I'm honored to know you and thankful to have you in my life. 

I'm going to pass along your books to my pastor at church and I just know that once he's read it, he'll recommend the church to read your books. Thank you for everything.

Whenever I'm having a bad day, I always think what you told me in an email once, "You are not alone. I am here in this world with you."  And then I always feel better.  

Plz let me know where your speaking engagements will be and maybe I can come to one of them.

Always."

October 26, 2011

Royal Oak, MI

"My congratulations to Gregg on the publication of his second book; God Must Be Sleeping. I believe it will be as successful as his first book.

God love you."

Signed (Catholic Priest)

October 26, 2011

Madison Heights, MI

"Gregg,

[...] We would love to have you come [...] talk to our families and possible donors/supporters.  I just ordered the book (God Must Be Sleeping) off Amazon and will read and share with my staff. 

You are a testament that children can be survivors."

Signed (LMSW) Licensed Master Social Worker

October 25, 2011

Austin, TX

"Gregg. I was speaking to my friend about your book just today! How synchronous, yet not surprising : ) I could ask you a million questions, b/c you are my hero.....but...how 'bout, "Are you working on your followup book?" I imagine it hurts so bloody bad during the actual pen-to-paper part...but back when you put A Beautiful World out there, everyone on earth healed, at least a little. Remember that! What you had bound between 2 book covers is so monumental to healing for worlds and worlds individuals who may never find their voice. Talk about COURAGE! Something else I have been pondering is the choice of black for the cover of 'beautiful world'. It reminds me of the black Madonna figure that they celebrated in europe 2000 years ago and still do in the south of france. Black symbolizes hidden, but they are speaking of Mary Magdeline, the hidden wife of christ who was basically omitted from history by catholics in around 300 ad. She, like Jesus, healed the sick and cared for the underprivileged. I believe one can find grace and healing within immense tragedy. Now the veil is lifted. Your divine essence, which is both pure and noble, will help save this world from itself. I am counting on it."

September 24, 2011

Kalamazoo, MI

"Dear Gregg,
 
I wanted to take a moment to let you know that you have been such a blessing to me and to many others.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Without hearing you speak at the RAINN & P.E.A.C.E. benefit dinner, I would not have had the courage to speak myself.  I would love to hear you speak again. Please let me know when you are speaking again and I will try to make it. 

Thank you, again."

September 23, 2011

Liverpool, U.K.

"Dear Gregg,

You are very humble, Gregg.  You are making a huge difference, and it's hard not to see the good in you.  I watched you on Oprah and cried.  I just wanted to hug you! It put a lot of things into perspective for me.  I thought, if any human being can go through something like that, and come out the other side such a lovely, successful, honest, caring and sensitive person, then anything is possible! You also made me realize that I need to stop sweating the small things! I read about you in a magazine and lots of people had written in about your story; saying how  much they admire and respect you.  And, how much they can empathize with you having gone through similar abuse themselves. 

That is why I bought your book."

September 15, 2011

New Zealand

"Greetings from New Zealand.  I saw you on Oprah yesterday...I was immensely touched by you and your story.  Love and blessings to you my friend."

August 17, 2011

Castillo, MI

I just saw some of your Oprah interview. I have no words, and so much emotion. I had to write you.  Thank you for making that stand and making the decision to not become what she wanted you to. You turned the ashes with your tears into something beautiful. 

Many blessings of Peace, Love and Happiness to you & your beautiful family."

August 10, 2011

Colorado

"Gregg,

Let me first start out by saying that I am in awe of your courage and bravery. I do believe in God but often do not understand situations like yours. I can't even begin to fathom why God would allow anything like this to happen to a child.  As a result of your hell, you are probably saving millions of people.  I saw your interview on Oprah. I cried like a baby. I am, like your son, one of the fortunate people who was raised in love.

I can't express how your words to me have set me free. [...] what you have told me has given me a great understanding and I will work every day not to "should'a" myself to death. What you have explained to me makes complete sense. [...] you have given me peace knowing that I have done all I can or could have with what I knew. [...] Thank you for that confirmation. It means more than you will ever know.

Thank you for the gift you have given me Mr. Milligan. You can now chalk this up to the millions plus "one", that you have helped.

PS. Your book is my recent download on my Kindle. I am looking forward to reading your next book in October as well. God bless you and your family and thank you again for taking the time to respond to my letter. You are truly a blessing in this world.

Best Regards."

August 4, 2011

Hong Kong

"Hello Gregg,

I have just seen you on Oprah today and I want to tell you how inspired I am by your eloquence and courage to standing up and telling the truth.

Thank you for speaking out."

August 3, 2011

Miami, FL

"I read your book, it got to me."

July 24, 2011

Chicago, IL

"Hi Gregg,

I finally just read your book. I used to work at Oprah's magazine and remember watching you from the show and all of us all talking about you.  The book is amazing and I was so moved, I just had to write to you. And it got me wondering what you're up to and how you are. 

I hope you're doing well, in any case.

All the best."

June 10, 2011

Calgary AB, Canada

"Do you ever do speaking engagements in Canada, I live in Calgary, AB and would love to hear you speak. I too am an Adult Survivor of Sexual Abuse and at 53 I still struggle with it, in fact the older I have gotten the more it has bothered me.

You are truly an inspiration and you give me hope that someday I too will be able to put this behind me and live life without fear.

Thank you for being brave enough to share."

May 25, 2011

Sydney, Australia

"Ok, so I did it, I read it cover to cover in one sitting.  It is without a doubt the most traumatic thing I have ever read AND I thank you for sharing those most painful accounts and not hiding them in a shame that is not yours to carry. I put my baby down to bed last night and just hunkered down for the long emotional road you took me on. I honestly just want to hold you the way I hold [...] and tell you that you are amazing and I'm so very proud of you as a human being for overcoming such obstacles and heart breaking trauma.

With each page I sobbed a million tears and wondered myself is there even a god? I am sure there are no answers for that but this I do know, that sometime people have to endure great dysfunction in order to go on and help a million others and that is what you do by writing your truth; you help a million others Ty... I honestly am amazed at your human spirit to go on and find your most beautiful inner self, a kind and gentle boy only wanting to be loved and held.

I wanted to hold you until you let go in my arms as I do my own baby. You are by far the most courageous human being I know of to endure all that and go on to accomplish such wonder in this world as a true survivor. I am proud to say that I am the absolute and complete opposite of you mother. I don't hit, yell, belittle or abuse my child and I am a huge advocate for the rights of all children. From the age of 5 until 13 I myself we abused by one of my mothers, girlfriends, sons and I also had a verbally and physically harsh father and so I have had my own demons to slay and had to push through not hating every man I meet.

It's a lot of work isn't it? Sometimes so draining you want to hide away. Luckily, I am married to a great man who is an exceptional father as I imagine you are with your son. Through loving my child I think the most healing has come into my life and my heart is just filled with love on a daily basis. Two days ago [...] hugged me for the first time and said Lub tu (love you) out of nowhere and I cried like a baby and thought wow how amazing it feels to be so loved by such a beautiful child full of innocence; an innocence I vow to protect always.

No one in this world can make all those terrible things that happen to you go away but there are a few of us good and decent people in the world that can offer you friendship, love, kindness all without conditions, if not only to make you laugh on any given day or fill your heart with joy of bring a smile to your face. You have come so far and the road in front of you is lined with all the things that you dreamed of to get you through all that ugly.

Your mother was a mentally ill woman without a doubt and I will never understand as a mother myself how god could have created such a monster.

Feel no guilt for your journey where ever it takes you, you deserve to find happiness and a place to feel safe.

I will close in saying it has been a pleasure meeting you and I am here always; albeit thousands of miles away, but my arms and heart are always open and my shoulders are strong and you should feel no shame in ever reaching out for support. I will hold the space for you always.

Much love, light and kindness."

May 18, 2011

Los Angeles, CA

"Hello Gregg,

I realize it has been almost a month since Take Back the Night; however I wanted to thank you once again for your awesome presentation and enthusiasm. I am truly grateful to have shared this experience with you and hope you enjoyed a CSULA Take Back the Night. Your energy was truly beautiful and thank you for sharing that with us.

I hope that in the near future we can work together again and continue to make a difference in at least one more person's life. Hope you have a great time in Thailand.

Peace & Equality."

May 9, 2011

Northwood Kirkby

"Dear Sir/Madam,

I've been reading now for 9 years following diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.  I felt complied to write as a mum of 3 grown up sons.  That the book A Beautiful World, by Gregg Tyler Milligan, was so sad, and horrific, and he was so brave, honest, to put into words.  I wish him all the luck, health and happiness he and his family deserve.

Thank you for being so brave to share your story."

May 7, 2011

Oklahoma

"Hello,

I realize contact with me may be odd considering the family dynamics [...]; however, I have read your book and have proudly claimed you as family. There is a strong cycle of abuse within our family and your positive approach to life is inspiring. I currently work for CPS in the State of Oklahoma and have geared my higher education towards social work.

I have came to terms with my life experiences and feel I have transformed those experiences into motivation to achieve a balanced, violence-free life; one which includes a relationship with family members. I sincerely hope we can become friends.

Respectfully."

May 4, 2011

Planet Earth

"Dear Gregg,

I ordered "A Beautiful World" through amazon.com after we corresponded last October. I finally got around to reading it, fittingly, over the Easter weekend.

It is a powerful book. While reading it the thought kept flashing through my mind that what is most particular about your book is that you have carefully documented in a factual, neutral and objective manner the relentless brutality that millions of children across the globe have to endure on a daily basis. Because of the sacrosanct rights of the family, and especially the mother, who is supposed to be the main source of human nurture, it is an (unfortunately) common human instinct to look the other way when confronted with a cruel reality such as yours. This makes it all the more important that stories such as yours are carefully documented and presented to the world, so that the world cannot deny this terrible reality.

When I visited the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz some years ago, I was struck by the discovery that some of the camp´s inmates managed to write their stories down and bury their transcripts in the ground, only to be unearthed and published posthumously many years later. These inmates knew that they would inevitably die in the camp, and wanted to document the brutal reality of their final days, precisely so that one day the truth would be exposed. One of the gifts that the survivors of the Jewish Holocaust - probably the most educated group of genocide victims that the world has seen - have given humanity is that they have carefully documented the Holocaust, through continuous books, films, historical research, and so on. As a result we cannot deny the reality of genocide, no matter how much we want to look the other way.

I see your book in a similar light. It is part of a historical process currently underway to bring the harsh, age-old reality of child abuse into the open, including mother-child incest and rape, child prostitution, physical abuse and neglect, and the consequences of parental alcoholism. You have placed a high value on educating yourself in order to transcend this reality, and your achievement in this respect is well reflected in your clear, concise literary style. This educational achievement has in turn enabled you to be part of this historical process.

You say that you will never figure out why sometimes parents hurt their own children and make them do terrible things. To me, the answer to this question is already contained within your book. Your mother told you that her father died in a mental institution, wearing a straightjacket because he would try to dig his eyes out and punch himself in the balls. You say that your father´s father was a sadistic, alcoholic, barroom brawler who beat his wife. The reason why parents so often hurt their children is because they themselves were hurt in the exact same way as children by their own parents. And so the sins of the parents are visited upon the children, from generation to generation, over a period of thousands of years. I believe that the only way out of this vortex is to undertake the kind of healing journey that you have undertaken, breaking the cycle of abuse in your generation and your time.

On a more personal note, I loved the story of Sam, and of your struggle to find love among the ruins. Only when I read this part of the book did I understand the special meaning of the photograph on the back of your book.

I hope that you will overcome your nightmares of you doing terrible things to the people you love and who love you back. I hope that you will face down your fear of whatever that something is that is lurking behind the terrible things in your mind. I hope that you will overcome your shame enough to ask someone to hold you while you cry really hard. I hope that you will expel the demons left inside you from the abuse once and for all.

I pray that God's blessings will be upon you. That His Spirit will fill your mind, giving you the strength, grace and courage that you require. That His love will fill your heart, bursting the dam that holds back the tears of healing and acceptance. And that His body will merge with yours, making your healing complete.

Many thanks again for your book."

May 2, 2011

Poole, Dorset U.K.

"I saw your story in Love It Magazine, UK, and I was shocked you were so young.  I could feel your pain.  I think you're amazing to be able to tell your story and it made me stronger in so many ways.  I hope you can live your life knowing it can't happen again.  Well done."

April 27, 2011

Sioux City, IA

"Gregg,

I just had to tell you.  I am not much of a reader but I read your book last week and once I started I could not put it down.  You did a great job and really conveyed the sadness and mixed feelings you had about your mother."

April 17, 2011

United Kingdom

"I've just read your story in Love It Magazine, UK and just wanted to say what a wonderful, strong person you are.  You have been through a horrendous time and have come out the other end.  I admire you for telling your story.

Best wishes."

April 16, 2011

Brisbane, Australia

"Hello Gregg,

How are you?  I've only just become familiar with your life story after watching Oprah......if I'm months/years behind the times I fully blame living in Oz!  As much as I was planning to 'astound' you with words of wisdom, I really don't want to patronize or condescend with clichés or 'truisms'.  Instead, I will only offer you my utmost respect, as I understand empathy is not something you'd seek.  You have literally walked through hell and achieved more in life, and are probably a better father, than I have managed in a very safe and mediocre existence.  I am, nonetheless, a decent husband and father, and cherish every minute with my family.  Seeing Gregg (the Second!) on Oprah hugely moved me; he loves you deeply and I'm overwhelmed at your ability to negate the past in order to build a better future.  You epitomize everything that humanity should represent - understanding, forgiveness and limitless love. 
 
Without sounding odd, please regard this email as an invitation to be our guest if you ever have an inclination to visit Australia.  Good people deserve kindness in turn and myself, wife and kids, would be honored to enjoy your company.  Rest assured I don't write this with any political, social, religious or even personal motives; I'm just a guy with a family.  [...]  I only extend my invitation purely through respect; you're the type of man I'd be humbled to meet.  Anyway, food for thought if you feel like a getaway!
 
Well, you know where to find us.  Take care, be safe and stay strong.  The fact that you're receiving an email from Brisbane, Australia only highlights the power of your message.  All the best for the future!"

April 12, 2011

Yorkshire, England

"Hi there, I read your story and would just like to say my heart goes out to you and I am so glad you have found happiness in your life after so much pain and heartache.  You are truly inspirational."

April 11, 2011

London, U.K.

"Dear Gregg,

Hi, how are you? Thank you so much for accepting me as your friend. I came across your story in the magazine; to say it was moving is an understatement. My God what a terrible ordeal for a little boy to go through. I hope with all my heart that you are well & happy now in life. I admire you so much.

Take care; I hope to chat with you sometime."

April 11, 2011

Shannon, Ireland

"Hi Gregg,

I hope you don't mind me messaging you like this.  I read some of your story in a magazine over here in Ireland and I was left with many questions about human beings your mother and her friends were such a sick horrendous evil bunch of people but yet here you are you have come out the other side an amazing person!

I would like to thank you for being so so brave and telling the world your story. I would say you have helped many people who have been through similar abuse to talk about it and come to terms with what has happened to them. My father was abused by both his parents and he has only ever told me parts of the story and I respect that he doesn't want to confide in his daughter about what happened when he was younger but I am going to encourage him to read your story and maybe he will speak to someone after. I wish you every success and happiness in your life.

Dá fhada an lá tagann an tráthnóna...(however long the day the evening will come...)"

April 11, 2011

New York

"Dear Gregg,

I saw you on Oprah this summer and wanted to reach out.  I have been waiting for someone like you to come into my life and I finally found you.  I feel very connected to you because both of us were sexually abused.  I wanted to reach out because I have felt very alone.  It is hard for people to understand what it is like to have gone through sexual abuse and then have to live with it your whole life. 

I just started reading your book and though I'm not finished with it yet, I love it.  Your writing is beautiful and simple.  Your words are detailed and straight to the point, which I love.  I loved the first line in the book, "In the beginning were the lies."  This line spoke to me because there were so many lies before the abuse; stories that I wasn't sure whether or not to believe.

I also loved the "Dear Reader" section in the book.  I loved how honest you were with your readers in each word that you wrote.  You want someone to hold you so that you can cry for hours.  I understand why you want this.  The day after my abuse I got just that.  My best friend sat with me for hours holding me while we cried.  Neither of us knew what to say to one another.  We couldn't even look at each other without crying.  That day was just awful but I'll never forget it because I had someone there for me, so I understand why you want that.  And honestly even though it was a horrible day, I wish I had my best friend or someone to hold me again to cry with.  I feel lonely because I don't have that anymore.  My best friend and I have our own lives now, so to talk about what happened is hard to do.  It is hard to talk about with anyone and become emotional to let them see how it has really affected you inside and out. 

I still have nightmares, as you do; mostly of my abuser coming to kill me.  I cry almost every day because each day something will remind me of what happened.  I know what happened will never go away and I'm not really sure what to do.  Mentally and emotionally I am a lot better than I used to be but I am still sad inside.  Because of what happened I did not get to live my life to the fullest and be happy.  I think that the majority of people see me as happy but if they only knew how I really felt I think they would feel differently.

So, like you, I want to write a book in hopes that it will help someone who is going through or has been through sexual abuse.  I want them to know that they are not alone.   I want to help them get through what can be the hardest part of their life.  And, I want to thank you for writing your book, I hear you have a second book coming out soon and I can't wait to read it!  I think that you are a very strong man for being able to tell your story to the world and helping others.

Please stay in touch.  Know that I am always here to talk to.  If I ever met you, I would be the person you could cry with for as long as you needed.

Thank you.  I will write again soon.

Love Always."

April 11, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

"Hi Gregg,
 
You may not remember me but my name is [...].  I am not sure but you may be the first individual that I have ever written to but I feel compelled.  Gregg, I really do not know where to begin in expressing how your painfully intimate words impacted me. Your book, your presentation in a way was like water washing over me.  I say and felt hope. Even if I cannot speak my personal truth in an odd sort of way you did and it left me a bit startled and giddy. Giddy may sound strange but it was like my brain was firing up saying see see not everyone is like you, silent and fearful.

I guess we all walk alone but that day you were here I did not feel alone or shamed. I just wanted to sit next to you in quiet silence. [...] You gave me a certain amount of peace. I got to see what was possible. 

Most Sincerely."

April 9, 2011

United Kingdom

"Dear Gregg,
 
I just read your story in 'love it' magazine and just wanted to say how much I admire your bravery. The thought of a 10yr old wanting to commit suicide is so sad. And with the picture you posted in the story, you were such a gorgeous little boy.

I am about to purchase your book on Amazon as I would love to know how far you've come in detail since those horrible times.
 
It's good to know that there are people in this world that are so brave.
 
Thank you for taking your time to read this."

April 8, 2011

Perth, Western Australia

"Hi Gregg,

I just wanted to send a quick message to let you know I saw your interview with Oprah yesterday - yes, Perth is a little behind the eight ball when it comes to TV programs - and I found your frankness, honestly and sincerity absolutely inspiring.

I am a survivor of abuse (no rape) by my step-father from the age of 6 until 12 and 2 teenage neighbors at around the age of 10.  I have been through a lot of counseling and, apart from the failure of my marriage 3 years ago, believe I am through the worst of the trauma.

I have nearly 14 yo twin sons, one of which is significantly disabled, so I am always concerned about his treatment when in respite, but remain ever vigilant for signs of abuse.  I have "book marked" your website, for future reference, should I need it.  I also have Fibromyalgia Syndrome (since the age of 16), which I believe is a direct legacy of my abuse.  I have just come out of a year of very bad symptoms, but am getting back on track with my health at the moment.

Your words of wisdom and the way you spoke about your abuse is very much the way I speak about what happened to me, so I felt some true empathy for you.

I wish you well for the future and encourage you, all the way over the other side of the world, to continue with your fabulous work. 

May God bless you every single day.

Cheers."

April 9, 2011

Manchester, England

"Hi Gregg.

I read your story and it really touched me. What a strong person you are.  Am sure a lot of good will come your way and thanks for accepting my request. Greetings from Manchester England...take care."

April 8, 2011

Australia

"Hi Gregg,
 
Saw the Oprah Winfrey show today and your interview.  You are an inspiration overcoming the incredible hurdles that were in your young life.

I wish you and your family every happiness. 

Blessings."

April 8, 2011

Australia

"Dear Gregg.
 
I saw you on Oprah yesterday. I don't know how old the episode was (as I think we get them a bit late here sometimes), but I felt I want to contact you nonetheless.
 
Firstly, I want to say how truly sorry I am that you went through what you went through. Words cannot express how sorry I am.
 
I don't share your experience, but was grossly neglected - also by my mother - as a child. She is an alcoholic and used similar tactics to prevent me from leaving, saying that I would end up as a prostitute, etc. She denies that she has done anything wrong, so I don't speak with her anymore. My father never stepped in as he was also in denial.
 
I went on to do a Bachelor degree and then a Masters degree, make close friends, travel, and put the past behind me. Four years ago I married the most wonderful man on the planet and two years ago we became parents to the most wonderful little girl to ever grace this earth.

Your sentiment that one doesn't have to turn out like one's parents, that the cycle can be broken, is one that rings true for me, too.
 
I wish you all the very very best and I admire you thoroughly for all that you have become and the family that you have.
 
Many high regards and warm wishes."

April 7, 2011

Planet Earth

"Gregg,

I have just watched you on Oprah.  You are inspirational and watching you today - tell your story with dignity has inspired me to continue with my own struggle.

I trust that you are genuinely proud of yourself - you are truly amazing. I am also a survivor and I have had a dream of helping others at the coal face of justice; I have been a prosecutor for over 10 years now and whilst I question whether or not I really make a difference and whether this struggle and dream is really worth all the stress.

Every now and then I will have a day off and find myself watching the wonderful Oprah and sometimes someone like you comes along and reminds me what 'this' is all about.

Thank you. Thank you."

April 7, 2011

Brisbane, Australia

"Dear Gregg

I have no idea whether you will read this, but I had to try to contact you.  I just saw you on "Oprah" today & was moved beyond believe by your story.  It struck a chord in me.. for reasons I am not truly aware.  There has been ongoing suspicions about whether or not I suffered some atrocity in my childhood, as I do not remember hardly any of it.  I am now a mother to a beautiful four year old girl and the thought of her going through something like that instills fear in me every day.  I'm sorry, I don't actually know what to say, except that for what it's worth, I am truly, deeply & sincerely sorry for how you have suffered & that I feel so honored that I was able to share in your story.. for as horrible as it was, I found comfort in it also, as it has an uplifting, hopeful ending.  It showed that no matter what happens to a person in their life, there is always the power to overcome it inside all of us.

I sense that you are a gentle man with a beautiful, loving spirit & I find that puzzling considering what you've been through. 

Again, I know I am a stranger to you, but I sincerely wish to offer my heartfelt condolences for all you have suffered.  I would love nothing more than to offer you a warm embrace & tell you how amazing I think you are.  I am in awe of your strength of character & of your beautiful soul.

I wish you & your family all the best & may you live long, happy, peaceful lives & also, may you give a voice to victims of abuse throughout the world, but for hearing your story, would've remained silent."

April 7, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

"Hello Gregg!
 
You are so humble; You are truly an "extra"ordinary Man. You are that light at the end of the dark tunnel for so many - and everyone here was impacted in a beautiful way by your courage to persevere.  For me personally I feel my heart has grown three sizes larger from the wonderful opportunity of meeting you and all that you have become. The entire staff here fell in love with you, you were exactly what we needed to keep us going, your sharing so selflessly of your life is so extremely rare, and how difficult it is to do that. I'm hoping you find it liberating, as you are liberated from that which held you back.
 
You will forever be in my heart as you have imprinted a feeling of hope for all of us. Continue to take care of you, there is true beauty in this world and when we can't find it we have to create it, just as you have done.

Friends Forever Gregg and all my Love to you! I will stay in touch, as I hope you will too!"

April 7, 2011

Australia

"I have just sat spellbound watching Gregg Milligan telling his story on the Oprah Show. I have never seen a more inspirational man - he takes my breath away. 

I would love him to know that he is touching hearts in Australia too.

Thank you."

April 7, 2011

Australia

"Hi Gregg,

I just watched the episode with you and April; it's shown a few weeks later here in Australia. Thank you for sharing your terrible and traumatic story... I frequently saw the anguish on your face during the show. 

I sobbed and wept and felt gutted for you. My heart goes out to you. I am so glad that you have turned your life around.

The abuse I suffered as a child was not as severe as yours, but I am still afraid of and scarred by my parents... sometimes it's a struggle to stay alive. Children can be so horrible with their taunts and teasing, but mostly their parents are to blame for that. I don't know how you survived the hell that you went through.

Kind regards."

April 6, 2011

Posted to Oprah.com website

Posted to Oprah.com website:

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Raped-by-His-Mother-Gregg-Milligans-Story

 

"The story of Gregg touched me more so than any other. What a sweet beautiful boy, he is an inspiration of strength and courage as a boy and now as a man. It breaks my heart and makes me sick to think of what he was put through. Thank you for talking about things that are difficult to hear and painful to watch as they awaken me and make me want to do better, to be grateful and to succeed in my life to help others in there's."

March 24, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

"Dear Mr. Milligan,

Up until about a month ago, I was never able to verbalize my story before.  Then [...], the advocate from the Women's Center in Marquette, MI played your video from the RAINN website when you were on Oprah.  Afterward, she turned to me and told me that I needed to verbalize what happened to me and let it out.  Your video stunned me because I didn't think anyone had a mother like mine. It was the first time I was able to cry or express and emotions or words about my childhood.  It was so horrifying to even think about my childhood. When my children would ask, I would just say that I had a bad childhood, never elaborating. 

For nearly 40 years the majority of my childhood memories had been blocked.  Then about a year ago, little pieces that grew and grew into bigger pieces of memory started flashing back.  At first, I didn't know what was happening to me.  I feared I may be going crazy but was afraid to ask because what if I was?  I was in nursing school and would have to get a job in a few months.  Who would want to hire a crazy nurse?  [...] As the months progressed, I wrote bits and pieces, but could never talk about it....until seeing your video. 

That was a huge turning point for me and I have made rapid progress over this past month.  [...] said she would like for me to meet you when you come to Northern Michigan University.  [...] One of my nursing professors said it is essential to my healing to be able to meet someone who has gone through the same things.  My mother sexually used me and offered me up to her various husbands, boyfriends, partners when they would tire of her or threaten to leave.

[...] Even if I don't have the courage to speak with you, I am truly looking forward to hearing your presentation and meeting you.  Thank you for having the courage to go on Oprah and tell your story.  You have given me the courage to finally face my past and begin to tell mine.

Respectfully."

March 10, 2011

Oprah.com website

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Raped-by-His-Mother-Gregg-Milligans-Story

 

Posted to Oprah.com website: 

"I am really sorry for Gregg and want to thank him for his courage to come forward and let the world know about this.  Thanks Oprah for featuring him in the show.

January 23, 2011

Book Reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.com, iTunes.com - God Must Be Sleeping

"Could not put this book down. Some things were difficult to read, but ended triumphantly."

January 23, 2011

Book Reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.com, iTunes.com - God Must Be Sleeping

"Great book, insightful and helpful. Raw and real."

January 23, 2011

Taken from goodreads.com blog

Rated 5.0 out of 5 Stars: The book: A Beautiful World

"Shocking and haunting. Almost unreal. I must have cried about 10x reading this."

January 23, 2011

Book Reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.com, iTunes.com - God Must Be Sleeping

"Could not put this book down. Some things were difficult to read, but ended triumphantly."

January 23, 2011

Book Reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.com, iTunes.com - God Must Be Sleeping

"This book was so moving!!"

January 23, 2011

Book Reviews on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.com, iTunes.com - God Must Be Sleeping

"Sad but true!"

January 2, 2011

Austin, TX

"Gregg,

I am speechless.  I don't know where to start.  My stomach hurts and I struggle to keep from sobbing as I write this.  So many similarities....some I've kept buried even with years of writing and therapy, until I read your words.  The deepest and darkest ones came back.  I'm glad.

Your description and interpretations of your mother's actions and thoughts mirror mine of my mother.  Disgusting bouts of rage used to incite shame while flaunting the hypocrisy....it was the same with my mother.

I can't write anything more right now.  I faced much of this years ago, though that didn't preclude my imprisonment from the neurological effects that still seem to rule my life.

Thanks, Gregg.  I want to join you."

January 12, 2011

USA

"Hello Mr. Milligan,
 
As I'm about to write this email, I'm telling myself what do you say and how. [...] I was sexually abused by an uncle from the age of 4 to about 10. And up until yesterday, I had kept it to myself for all these years. I started doing research and found you on the RAINN website. I watched the Oprah show link and as I watched you, I felt as though at times that it was me talking.

I had to write and tell you that you're my hero for coming forward and speaking about your experience. I truly believe that me finding that video and listening to your story gave me the courage to tell my mother. You have made an impact on my life and have urged me to get the help I need to finally let go of my shame.  So please know that you saved my life and I will always be grateful for that. God bless you and your family."

January 4, 2011

Los Angeles, CA

"I keep changing my comment-I don't think I have the sufficient words to express how blessed I feel to know someone of your caliber and strength. Your story is heartbreaking-and you have overcome so many tribulations with incredible grace and unmatched strength. [...] Your family is lucky to have a man in their life as thoughtful, compassionate, and wise as yourself. I mean this.

I wish you nothing but good things, my dear friend Gregg. What a gift you are to those around you. I apologize for my poor attempts to communicate all that you are-what a joy to hear and read your story. Your family are lucky to have a man in their life that is thoughtful, compassionate, and wise as yourself.  I mean this.  I wish you nothing but good things, my dear friend Gregg.

What a gift you are to those around you. I apologize for my poor attempts to communicate all that you are-what a joy to hear and read your story. Your life is transformative. I was thinking about the story of Jacob in the bible-and how Jacob endured the loss of so many things-and in his unspeakable grief-the Lord wrestled with him and gave him a vision of a ladder. I think people who undergo hardships can sometimes be a channel for healing-and see a vision far greater than others, and they wrestle with God to emerge as a broken blessing for others to share. In a way, I think that you have offered your brokenness and served as a blessing for countless people-including myself. Not too many people are given this responsibility or equipped for this endeavor, so I appreciate that you have crossed my path and offered me a bit of your immense hope and light.

Bless you Gregg, and the Lord be with your spirit."

January 5, 2011

Lynchburg, VA

"Gregg,

I just finished reading "A Beautiful World" and have never read something so humbling, grounding, scary, horrific, and inspiring. I hope you have found someone to hold you, so you can cry really hard...someone you don't have to ask. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You did nothing wrong. Your survival and friendship are a true miracle and a gift I do not intend to squander. [...] I look forward to reading your next book. I mostly look forward to a continued friendship. God bless you and your family. [...] I'm praying for healing for all of you."

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