Collier and Lee Counties Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

A Reluctant Author Comes Forth

Fran Fidler

Fran Fidler

Every individual’s story matters and adds their piece to the collective jigsaw puzzle of life. However, some are seriously reluctant to tell them, sometimes doing everything possible to avoid the telling. Fran Fidler, whose book Tiny’s Wall is being released this month, is overqualified to speak about being reluctant and what’s it’s like to run away from the still, small voice that directed him more than 30 years ago to tell his story in a book.

Twelve years of childhood sexual abuse wasn’t something that Fidler wanted to remember, let alone talk about to anyone—a friend, family member, his David Lawrence Center therapist or even his non-judgmental fellow Alcoholics Anonymous buddies. Just as the biblical Moses, who refused his life’s mission, and Jonah, who ran away from his, Fidler declared to his higher power umpteen times that he wasn’t the man for the job. No matter how many circumstances—arrest, heart attack, an arm paralyzed by pain and a resulting hospital stay—as well as emotionally bare-naked AA meeting moments—presented the recurring message, “Write that book”.

The Naples resident railed back, “You’ve got the wrong guy. I’m not a writer. I don’t have the talent.”

Fidler’s railing turned into bargaining. “I struggled to write some of my story, but when it would begin flowing it was hard to stop the memories and feelings and go to bed or go to work. It was difficult. I dallied, thinking it looked as if I was doing something. I bargained, because I was terrified for people to know my backstory. I kept saying, ‘I’ll do it after Sam, my son, is out of elementary school. Then it was after he was out of middle school, high school and finally college. Sam has his MBA and will soon be applying to law school. I got the time and the help to finish the book when I blew out my knee,” says the Naples resident and personal fitness trainer.

Fidler hopes that his male readers will resonate with the book’s message. “You can have a life after healing from the memories and abuse. You don’t have to pour your feelings and memories into a bottle, live with anger and rage or through failed relationships. You can be healthy, athletic, have friendships and relationships, be married and raise healthy children. I think that as a man we think if suck it up, work harder, be a nicer guy or a more accomplished athlete, our self-esteem will improve and we’ll be just fine. These are only temporary fixes.”

At age 62, Fidler reflects, “Get help early in life. Don’t wait like I did.”

For more information, visit

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Transcendental Meditation

Not a religion, philosophy or lifestyle, more than six million people of all ages, cultures and religions throughout the world have learned how to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day.

Dr. Debra Hopp

Dr. Debra Hopp helps patients manager their pain with acupuncture, traditional chiropractic methods and also the Activator Technique.

Learn to Live Lighter

Putting a humorous spin on the fifth annual SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit, in Naples is keynote speaker Loretta LaRoche, an internationally recognized stress-management consultant.

New Possibilities at Open Path Retreat Center

Serendipity, synchronicity, insights, an awakening to being without doing were all the breadcrumbs that Rev. Denise Schubert needed to follow the path out of retirement in North Carolina and back into ministry in Southwest Florida.

Holiday Gifts to Uplift the Spirit

Whether shopping for or making personal gifts, philanthropic giving, volunteering, or performing simple acts of kindness such as cooking comfort meals for friends and seniors in need, attention and energy are outward bound with little thought for renewing the supply until we crash in a heap, depleted and exhausted.