"I was raising myself from seven [years old]," Naulty says. "I didn't have that moral compass that parents are when you're younger. I was my own compass. I was having sex at a very, very young age, making terrible decisions about every area of life. You saw a pattern in my life starting at seven of making terrible decisions."
The boy had a gift for baseball, though. When Dan was 12, a local coach who knew of the boy's talent suggested that Dan and Richard move to Huntington Beach, where the competition was better. The Naultys agreed. Soon, however, Richard took a job as a management consultant in Kuwait that kept him overseas for all but a few days each month, leaving Dan in the care of others.
The abuse of young Dan by the coach, who never had him on a team, began so slowly and gradually—the hand on the leg, the rubbing of the back, the massages—that he doesn't even remember the first time it crossed into sex.
"It's a very slow process," Naulty says, "and then once you're sucked in and they're abusing you on a regular basis, you're so afraid to say anything. I couldn't tell somebody I was being sexually abused, because I thought maybe it was my fault. I was 12, man.
As the coach was sexually abusing Dan, so, too, was a woman, a teacher. Una Mae, who still spent time with Dan, had no idea about any of it. The abuse by both the coach and the teacher, which were not connected, went on for several years, until Dan was 15.
"In my situation I was willing to give a little to get a little ... to get the love I so desperately wanted. It's whacked. I'm not sure I can explain it other than I was a desperately hopeless little kid and really wanted adults, an authority figure in my life, to love me."
Naulty likens his upbringing to the launching of a rocket toward the moon with a one-centimeter mistake in the launch angle. The rocket winds up missing the target by 100,000 miles. "I was a little off [at the start]," he said, "and by the time I was older I was way off."
Naulty did not tell anybody about the coach or the teacher until he was 30 years old.