My name is Alexander Malkay Hayes. I live in Broome, Western Australia, with my partner, stepdaughter and extended family. I am actively involved in work across Aboriginal communities, and I am presently completing a PhD that examines the impact of emergent technology on humanity.
For many years I led a helter skelter life hiding a dark secret which, until recently, dictated the way I related with other people including my children and family. I find hope in seeking how to trust, grow, explore and reflect whilst I am firmly grounded in ‘booroo’ – country, as the most important thing in my life now.
About Alex’s story
In September 2014 I began writing about my life as a story and sharing it openly via Facebook. I had at that time decided to start living a life worth living, no more being what and who other people wanted me to be.
The reactions were astounding and a multitude of people defriended me or attacked me outright. Since then I have received thousands of emails, some letters and many new connections that indicate one thing.
When we speak openly (our truth) we must be prepared to grow with the consequences of having done so.
I decided to call it my #realstory
I had little idea that it would span 202 pages, 28 chapters and 32,418 words written over a three month period.
Most importantly, I encourage you to speak, write and share your own story openly with the world.
From as early as I can recall, I have struggled to comprehend how one human can treat another without empathy or care, in some cases purposefully compromising another person’s well being.
I soon discovered that for those who are strong enough, life presents us with challenges to endure, to work through and to further grow our character. As luck would have it I was presented with experiences over three decades that have forged who I am, now spoken, no longer solely dictating my thoughts nor eroding my trust in others.
In my case, writing this down has enabled me to get back my story, to regain my dignity, draw boundaries with others. I speak out in the hope that I can inspire others to tell their story and to keep on sharing it widely, always.
The greatest gift we can give is in listening with empathy to others.
To trust, is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.
Alex’s real story
Alex’s #realstory is available as a PDF for download [ 15.5 MB], or you can preview it below.
Living Well interviews Alex
Why have you chosen to share your story?
I have chosen to share my story in the hope that it will give others the catalyst for their own courage to arise, so they might find voice to speak their own story. I chose also to share my story to demonstrate the capacity of forgiveness, and the ability of hope to heal.
What have you learned and found useful in getting and keeping your life on track?
I have found that a focus on patterns that are grounded in positive well being as being helpful through even the darkest of times. The understanding that country and place is THE most important core to our humanity means I always have hope and strength which transcends any other mechanism of self help or psychological intervention to date. I recognise that community, a sense of being part of a greater good, keeps my life on track.
What words of encouragement and support would you offer to other men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse?
I would encourage those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse to find the courage to speak out their story in all its lurid detail, to report criminal historical crimes, to know that doing so will save the lives of others. I would offer those men the greatest hope of all, that you are and will be BELIEVED. The greatest gift we can give to ourselves is firmly grounded in our capacity to trust in that process.
From Alex’s story, a few things that he found made it easier to “let go” in life, and that he tries to live his life by:
- This is your world your one chance to get it right.
- If it isn’t at all affirmative think seriously or refrain from saying it.
- Allow still and silent moments to come into conversations that are emotional or filled with hurt.
- Put downs, bitching, derogatory language get you nowhere in life.
- Speak your gratitude to people who treat you well and in life treat others well.
- Cry and let go as often as you want it is your space and yours alone.
- Wake up and take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth…you are alive and well and can let go of forgetting to be conscious even to breathing in your wakeful state.
- Be mindful and above all do no harm.