He says his father was a drunk and abusive, although his mother was nice.
He still lives with a birth defect, which he says has rendered him house bound for the last few years. He reckons he only has a few years of life left, according to his doctor.
Lionel says he had a traumatic introduction to sex.
In 1976, when he was 12, his aunty’s boyfriend raped him. Since then, he’s struggled to communicate.
It was also around this time, he says, that he became a ward of the state. Sexual abuse under those conditions was rife.
“I come from a time when shame could isolate and eventually cause your demise,” he says.
“I was a kid at the complete mercy of every deadbeat … screw who ran those homes. Not all of them were paedophiles, but they didn’t stop it. Suicide thrived in those conditions, as it does now, but more publicly.”
Lionel says the shame and pain still lingers, as do feelings of worthlessness.
“[It’s] grinded in deep at a young age, it’s impossible to touch or see … I hate talking, when cell phones came it was great.