Based on a true story of 1of the1000+ victims in the PA Grand Jury Report.
David Wagner is a millionaire, entrepreneur, family man -- and undeniably the funniest guy in the room.
But beneath that outer shell is a man struggling to reconcile secrets from his past; secrets that undermine his belief in himself and lead him down a dark, dangerous path toward self-destruction.
Denial exposes the lies sowed in the hearts of many sexual abuse survivors.
"It's my fault." The most insidious lie a young victim of sexual abuse believes is that it happened because of something they did or did not do. Blame leads to shame, denial, self-contempt, and ultimately despair over their unforgivable acts.
- "Intimacy is my enemy." Betrayed by what they thought was love, victims often make intimacy their enemy and grow up rejecting healthy love relationships for unhealthy ones, and lashing out in ways that only heighten their sense of isolation and unworthiness.
- "Where is God?" Many victims of sexual abuse grow up questioning how a loving God could allow such pain to be inflicted on an innocent child. But the cases profiled in the Grand Jury Report go even further; the clergy intentionally weaponized the symbols, language and concept of God to maintain power and inflict their terror.
Lean In. Understand.
Make a Difference.
Cardinals, bishops and some priests speak in bureaucratic terms about the mechanisms and processes needed to protect children. They deflect to canon law for why known pedophile priests continue to receive compensation from the church. Their behavior prompts people of goodwill to ask the most basic and fundamental question of all:
WWJD: What would Jesus do?
Following is a letter, published in Denial, that David Wagner's wife, Mara, wrote as his denial of his abusive past led his life down a dangerous path:
You tell me that you don’t feel “safe” when I’m drinking? Do you have any idea what that does to me? I had three glasses of wine in a five-hour period, but you don’t feel “safe”?
Let me tell you about feeling safe…(and this is why I drink):
I don’t feel safe communicating any of my feelings with you.
I don’t feel safe telling you anything for fear of your criticism and disdain for all that I do.
I don’t feel safe when you lie to me about little things.
I certainly don’t feel safe about all the lies about the bigger things.
I don’t feel safe when I look back at our marriage and realize how often you lied, how often you probably cheated, how basically everything about our marriage was a lie.
I don’t feel safe when...
100 Book Club Countdown
Sexual abuse and sexual assault are in the headlines again.
Add Denial to your book club's reading list -- and schedule a live discussion with author Nanette Kirsch; your book club can enter a timely and important discussion.
Denial gives a voice to victims through one man's story of a life in the shadow of an abusive past. It approaches the topic sensitively and respectfully, yet never shies away from the important, if difficult, truths.
Reserve your club's spot today:
Meet the Author
Meet author Nanette Kirsch and learn more about where her passions and her work intersect.
Learn how you can begin a crucial conversation in your community, group, organization or church...one that can make a difference in the lives of survivors you know, as well as those you don't know about, and begin a positive shift in how we respond to childhood sexual abuse in our communities and society.
Consider hosting a fund-raising event for a non-profit that serves survivors' needs and/or promotes prevention/awareness of childhood sexual abuse.