01 my betrayed youth l

The repulsion, disgust and shock of pedophilia narrated without censure. The atrociousness of a story (fiction) that amazingly manages, when possible, to give the impression of serenity, with constant signs of hope that convert gloom and desolation into the prospect of a new life.
The account of 13 year old Gianni Caccini, the main character of AN OPEN WOUND, unwinds over a ten year period, in a labyrinth of squalid rooms in the slums on the outskirts of Milan; in the luxury of Milan; Lugano, Switzerland; Lake Como; the magical splendor of Tuscany and hilltop town of Cortona; the ancient forests of Brazil; Mumbai India; and the breathtakingly beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. We accompany the sexually abused, permanently psychologically scarred adolescent Gianni from age13, to a promising 24 year old university student.
We recognize his suffering and pain, consequence of the sexual abuse and violence he suffered from “that damned pedophile Paolo”, partner and companion of Gianni’s mother Elisabetta, pitiless accomplice of Paolo during the incessant sexual abuse and rape of her son. When Gianni dramatically flees from his “family”, incredible mental torment is added to physical pain.
Ultimately Gianni seeks assistance and accepts the professional help of a psychotherapist, reunion with Anna, his paternal grandmother, who has not been an active part of his life since his father’s death; Claudio and Maria, a young married couple who rescue him one night in a park in Milan after his escape from home. Gianni is confused, introverted and withdrawn, with numerous unanswered questions as to “why me?”, in the ten years that guide him to adulthood.

At 24, a beautiful and emotionally secure Sandra enters his life with a positive force that Gianni has never experienced: love. When their platonic love is transformed into scenes of elegant passion, this narration gives the reader (and Gianni) hope for his future. Thanks to a continuous series of flashbacks, the structure of AN OPEN WOUND is ever more enriched as we are reluctantly involved with Paolo’s contorted psychological makeup and pathological personality. This is not a tale of pedophilia but rather the total reality of a pedophile. The narration is transparent, no holds are barred; terminology is powerfully realistic when tormentor and victim are involved.

The authors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists for over twenty five years, have entwined reality and fantasy, as well as humor, into these dramatic scenes of mortification and shame, at times painfully brutal but real, when Gianni is sadly alone, without any form of help, tormented with sexual abuse in his own home, perpetrated by his own family. Two common denominators in this narration are love and destiny; there is that proverbial light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Finally justice is served. In time Paolo the pedophile is punished with a rare and unpredictable violence that sweeps away the nightmare he had chosen as a way of life. But not with the gratuitous hate that the reader might have logically invoked early on in the novel. Pedophilia is not a crime against morality, it is a crime against a human being, and those crimes Paolo committed during his lifetime are his frightful legacy; the horrific reality of the evil he leaves behind can and never should be forgotten.

Renzo Rocca and Giorgio Stendoro, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, founders of the school of Psychotherapy with the Immaginative Procedure (Procedura Immaginativa), the Istituto di Psicologia Clinica Rocca Stendoro in Milan, Cura Balbuzie Stendoro Rocca (link), and Centro di Psicoterapia Rocca Stendoro. They have written hundreds of scientific articles and have published thirteen scientific books in Italy. This is their first novel.

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