July 30, 2006
Gone for a Week
As some of you may know, my son has sensory integration dysfunction (that is improving greatly, thank you) and "learning differences." I found him a wonderful special ed camp that he will be attending for the next two weeks (11 days, actually). I'm kinda a nervous wreck about it. I've never been away from him for that long.
So, what my husband and I are doing is staying nearby the camp (a beautiful place in the Colorado mountains) for a few days to make sure he settles in okay and I can be at peace with my worrisome Mommy brain. Then, we're off to Mesa Verde. Did you know that it's the centennial of the park? This is so cool: They're opening up new cliff dwellings for the first time-- and some that haven't been open since the '60's and even the '30's--for the 100-year celebration. I'm glad we're going to get to be part of it.
It should be fun. We need a break, but I feel more comfortable that we're not leaving the state. We are so blessed to live in a state that is so gorgeous! Yay, Colorado!
While I'm gone, I'll leave you with a few more links (see the post below about the linking action I'm doing). If you've put up a link to me about the blog carnival, or for any reason, please know that I appreciate it. I'm just kinda slow with getting all my blog "ducks in a row." So, here are a few more blog links to chew on: From Tracie, The Cheesemeister's Psychological Sewer, and Quinn at One Voice Is Heard.
In a week or so, I'll be putting up the rest of those links to the 20 bloggers I was telling you about. I see that I need to update the link to Wolfbaby to reflect the new type of blog installed there as well (thanks for the heads up, Moof).
When I return, I'm going to start a series of posts that I am quite excited about. It will be a risk, and it is scary for me. But, I feel that we must take risks if we are to raise awareness and erase stigma, in order to advocate for survivors of sexual violence and child abuse. So...stay tuned people!
July 28, 2006
Housekeeping and Linking
Now, I've been going through and checking out who has been commenting and who is linking to me. Whew! This is a huge list. I just went back through the beginning of June and there are about 20 of those types of bloggers falling into that category who have not yet participated in our blog carnival and so, therefore, have not yet been linked by me. Some of these bloggers may not even know that I realize that they're linking to me, because they haven't commented here. (We all have our sneaky ways of finding out, though, don't we?)
I don't have time to put up 20 links right now, but here is a sampling of bloggers that I will be making a more concerted effort to visit and who you may want to visit and check out. I have linked Keepers Korner on my dot com site, but am trying to get my head out of the clouds and figure out how to register and comment on the blog of the same name. It's got some good stuff, especially on DID.
The Chaiway Blogger decided to shut down that site, but now has a wonderful site dedicated to survivor issues. It's the Survivor Ship and it's at http://survivorship.wordpress.com.
I really like the insights that Hope shows on her "Wanders and Ponderings" blogspot. It's at http://stumblingahead.blogspot.com. I believe she found me through some of the other bloggers I already have linked on my sidebar and who have been participating in the carnival. Thanks, guys!
Here are a few more: Wolfbaby at "If I May Say;" Jess, a survivor at jessietheblog; and Freedom Finder at www.secretcaves.org. I've got more comin' soon, so stay tuned!
July 26, 2006
On my blog, I got the links updated for Sunnie (previously known as Sonnie), Psychbaby who's back at www.girladdicted.com, Missing Link at Raped, Lost and Alone and Patty at her new Lavender Power site. I attempted to put up a Blog Carnival sidebar, but when it appeared, it stretched across the posts on my blog. I've been meeting some wonderful new bloggers and several are linking to me. I want to put up reciprocal links.
So, I've got new links to add on my sidebar here and my work is way overdue adding links to my dot com site: www.survivorscanthrive.com. Just so's ya know, my dot com site is where you want to go to see pretty pictures, poetry, quotes and meditations. I'm not super cyber savvy (if you hadn't caught on to that yet) so I don't even bother trying to put up photos and such here at the blog. Ya gotta go to my dot com site for that stuff. Actually, any readers who are willing to go over there and sign my guest book are more than welcome and would be greatly appreciated.
So, I'm off to do more housekeeping. When I get stiff and tired from being chained to my computer, I'll get up and move my body around with the vacuum cleaner. Today, I'm determined to do the floors. Even my kitchen's faux-slate linoleum--the stuff I had put down because it hides the dirt so well--is looking filthy. I'll be back later today or tomorrow when I get my chores done.
July 19, 2006
Blog Carnival--Take a Ride!
What Day Is It?
July 18, 2006
Welcome to the Second Edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse
I saw that, in our first edition, many bloggers visited the carnival participants and some lively commenting was going on. I trust that you will all participate in this second edition in like manner and make our new blogging survivor/supporter friends feel welcome.
PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN READING THE POSTS IN THE CARNIVAL. Much of this material could be highly triggering, especially for those with PTSD and/or dissociative disorders.
The author of PTSD Today is used to writing about child abuse and PTSD in a clinical way. For our carnival, she showed much courage in writing about her personal story. I'm glad she felt able to share with us. She writes about retrieving abuse memories as being akin to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. On her Blog Carnival submission form she wrote these remarks: "This is my story about recovering memories. I didn't want to recover them. I certainly didn't know I had them. But after association after association, the protective part of my mind couldn't hold them back anymore. "
Here's a refreshing survivor story with a happy ending, submitted by Brandi at Lone Star Academy, a homeschool blogger. She adopted a 14-month-old boy who was scared, malnourished and traumatized. As she celebrates her son's fourth birthday, she lets us see his growth and smiles in wonderful photographs.
Dreaming Again, of Pearls And Dreams, tells her story from high school. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but the story is all true. You might be surprised to read who the perpetrator is. I'm very proud of Dreaming Again for the courage she has recently shown in looking into her past. Great work!
Wanda of Wanda's Wings has written a poem called, "Remember." Reading it makes my heart ache for the precious, innocent, little girl that she was. Now she says, "It's hard to remember a life without fear." In her submission form comments, Wanda remarks, "Remember- It's a poem of a small child trying to hold together a family torn apart by abuse."
Brian, aka Hummingbunny, of the Truth Is Freedom blog, wrote a poem trilogy called "Shadow Boxing In A Mirror." In his writing, Brian is finding his voice--the voice that was silenced in childhood. His submission remarks state, "The Shadow Boxing In A Mirror post is actually a trilogy, in which through poetry and stories, I come to grips with my childhood."
Jumping in Puddles from Lifespacings wrote a poem entitled, "Innocent Angels." It is excruciating to read, but not as excruciating as the abuse that was survived by a child.
In The News
Trish Wilson had a post from her blog, "The Countess," nominated by Marcella of Abyss2Hope. Thanks for the referral, Marcella! The Countess shows us a press release from The Leadership Council, applauding the legal community for rejecting PAS--Parental Alienation Syndrome. This was a tactic used by lawyers to award custody to alleged child abusers. The news release refers to the "syndrome" as junk science. Now if we could just get the same light shed on "False Memory Syndrome!"
Healing & Therapy
Alisha, of Alishas-Survivor-Struggles, included no remarks when she submitted her article about her personal healing journey. If she had, it may have sounded something like this: Listen to your inner voice. Listen to your body. There are many signs pointing to the path of healing.
Mike, of Child Abuse Survivor, was inspired by our first edition. He says so in his second edition submission remarks: "Inspired by items from the first carnival, thought it might be interesting!" Is that cool, or what? His new carnival post is called, "Disclosure."
Franki, from Sadly Normal, compares survivors to NASA astronauts. We all know the risks, but we take the leap anyway. Survivors take the leap into the recovery journey, astronauts take the leap into space. Franki likes the empowering concept of having the "Courage to Soar."
The blog, "The Thriver's Toolbox," could just as easily be named, "The Optimist's Toolbox." The author of this blog has the pen name, April_Optimist. She often writes about healing and is one of the most optimistic survivors I know. She remarks, "I post my blog because I believe in the power we ALL have to overcome the pain of the past and be happy. I believe that we ALL deserve to feel the happiness and self-confidence that should be every child's birthright! And so I post to share the things I have learned that can help us achieve that goal." Her post for this carnival edition is about creating a "Habit of Hope."
Fallen Angels of the Safe Place Dissociative Dialogue blog submitted a post with the appropriate title, "Aftermath." It talks about a survivor dealing with the many aftereffects of PTSD and DID.
Annaleigh of As Waters Passing By talks about her weight gain and her plans for a healthier future.
Beautiful Dreamer, of the blog of the same name, is a survivor with DID. In her blog she wrote an open letter called, "Unmapped Miles." When submitting this letter, she remarked, "There is much pain in discovering one's multiplicity, but it can be a healing pain which allows the release of old secrets--a pain which can, eventually, transform into a new kind of joy based on truth."
Emily, of Doing It All Again, was sent a social worker after she disclosed the sexual abuse from a relative (I believe it was her uncle). Her social worker experience story would be quite funny if it weren't so tragic. In her remarks, Emily says, "While this is rather comic, as the social worker I was given was a loon. I want to stress that I was lucky. I found people all through my life, including three long term boyfriends and my husband, who all did something to help me come to terms with it. Other people aren't so lucky. For those people, I fear that such a social worker experience would be devastating. This is for them."
Advocacy & Awareness
Tery Brouwer, of Teardrops on Roses, usually writes about domestic violence. The post she offers here talks about what can happen to kids when a parent stays in an abusive relationship, "For The Sake Of The Children."
Patty, My Painful Smiles, of the new site Lavender Power, had a post a couple of months back entitled, "Watch Out For Uncle Chester The Molester!" The post contained only one sentence. It was a powerful quote that I thought may be famous. Patty says it is her own. Maybe it's soon to be famous, who knows? Check out our comments back and forth at this post; there are some great quotes from Patty there as well. Her remarks state, "We no longer have to teach our children to be aware of strangers. It those that have built a Shield of Trust that are taking the innocense away from our Children. "
Last, but still not least, is my own post from a couple of months ago. It's a rant of sorts and it's called, "Are We Leaving The Door Wide Open For Child Abuse?" For those of you who commented about the last carnival being overly filled with child abuse accounts that were sexual abuse, please note: this post doesn't even mention sex. My concern is for abolishing ALL forms of child abuse.
I believe we are up to five bloggers now who are interested in hosting this carnival. I've got two more in addition to the three that I mentioned on the last post. That would bring us through to the end of the year with monthly carnivals. If there is anyone else who is interested in hosting that I may have forgotten, would you be so kind as to remind me? Thanks to everyone who showed great courage in participating. I appreciate you all!
July 17, 2006
Blog Carnival--New Editions & Additions
We've got some repeat participants for the second carnival edition and I'm also meeting some wonderful, new bloggers who will be joining us. Here's a little preview of them with linking action (in no particular order) before they appear on my sidebar: Lonestar Academy, Hummingbunny, Alishas-Survivor-Struggles, The Countess, Beautiful Dreamer and Doing It All Again. Another blogger who I've added to my sidebar links is joining us since the first carnival edition: Sadly Normal. Please link on over and check out these blogs.
I'm also aware that I have some links to change for Sunnie Dee and Missing Link. I didn't want you to think I'd spaced out your links. These sidebar links may go up/be changed before or after the carnival post day on Wednesday, depending on how crazy busy I get. If I've spaced out anybody's link that I didn't mention, feel free to clue me in. See you all Wednesday!
July 12, 2006
The Many Faces of Abuse
***Trigger Warning: Be careful and stay safe while reading the following material.***
There was no talking (except for some brief begging from me) during my college rape. But, the abuse that I suffered as a child--sexual, physical and what I call spiritual--cannot be separated from the emotional and verbal abuse that went along with it.
My father could be described as many things, one being a rage addict. He would fly into out-of-control rages that always included verbal abuse toward anyone who happened to be in his way at the time. Some of his favorite terms to use on me were, "idiot," and "stupid moron." I still play these tapes in my mind when I hit a low spot. My work continues for improving my self-esteem and eliminating those terms from my self-talk vocabulary.
When I was growing up, my father was an avid tennis player. He prided himself on being able to easily defeat tennis opponents who were half his age. At one point, he decided that he was going to give his three young children tennis lessons. I remember that we were given these wooden "rackets" to use. I remember them looking homemade--my father may have crafted them himself. They looked like something one would use to play a giant game of ping pong.
I'll never forget my father's lack of patience and annoyance when attempting to teach us tennis. One of his favorite coaching techniques was to come up right behind me and yell in my ear, "What are you, an idiot?!"
He was also verbally abusive during the sexual abuse, of course. I think, however, that my mother's verbal and emotional abuse following sexual assaults was much more damaging to me. The betrayal, abandonment and rejection from my mother is still difficult for me to deal with. On numerous occasions, my mother would clean me up after my father had his way with me. I remember lying on the little bath rug in the middle of the bathroom floor while my mother dabbed and wiped.
The message was clear from her words to me during these clean-up sessions. It was a message of judgment and damnation and it was almost impossible for me to bear. My mother called me a "bad, dirty, evil girl." Then she would lament about how she seriously doubted that even God could forgive such a girl as me. She told me I would have to pray diligently to Jesus to intervene on my behalf. Perhaps, if I asked Jesus into my heart and prayed and prayed for his forgiveness and intervention, I would be able to avoid the fires of hell.
One of my mother's top priorities was to see to it that her children were raised in a strict Christian religious upbringing. I remember a lot of talk about the concept of original sin in these early teachings. Because I believed what I was told about original sin, I was sure that I was just born bad and evil. I was convinced that I deserved everything that both of my parents dished out with their abuse of me. I knew to my core that I deserved what I got and I would most likely never be forgiven for it.
This is the verbal abuse that leads to emotional damage of what I call spiritual abuse. I believe that it suited the interests of both of my parents to break my spirit. They attempted soul murder.
I no longer believe in hell. This spiritual shift has provided enormous relief for me. I now believe in a loving, compassionate and accepting God--not one who condemns tiny children to burn for eternity. The tapes that play "stupid moron" in my head have lost quite a bit of their potency. Yet, my self-esteem is still a work in progress.
Don't forget: The deadline for the second edition of our Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is Monday, July 17, 2006. You can browse the carnivals in alpha order at www.blogcarnival.com or go directly to the submission form here.
July 03, 2006
Behind And Bedraggled, But Bouncing Back
Right now, my husband is at work and my son is still over at a friend's house after a sleep-over. So, I'm doing laundry and trying to catch up in the cyber world. Thanks for all your kind comments and e-mails. I'll get around to visiting you all and replying to e-mails shortly. (I think I'm caught up on blog carnival submission confirmations.) I'm not going anywhere for the 4th, so I should be catching up quite nicely in the next day or two.
I've got to share another thing that happened during the last week. When I get sick and stress builds up, my PTSD rears its ugly head. I've been triggered into dissociation a few times recently.
The other day, I had a HUGE trigger that disturbed and upset me, but I was able to stay present and react a bit better. I won't go into the details of the trigger, but in the past, it would have been something that could have made me SI or dissociate and run away. (Maybe I'll post one of my "running away" stories here soon.) I haven't drawn any blood with SI for over two years, but I still have a nasty habit of hitting myself in the head sometimes. This time, I got outwardly ANGRY instead. I have a technique where I beat cardboard paper towel rolls to shreds. This time, one wasn't within reach, so I beat the heck out of a metal water bottle instead. It wasn't the greatest, non-violent, harmless reaction, but it was way better than what I've done in the past. Hoooraaayy for me!
Speaking of being behind--I got tagged with a meme like a week ago. This is so lame, but I'm going to go ahead and post it now. What do ya think? Will the blog police come and haul me off because I'm so lame with this meme thing? Oh well, here goes:
Subject: Friends How well do you know me? For instance, did you know...
Four jobs I have had in my life:
- Store/Gallery Manager
- Director of Corporate Communications
Four movies I would watch over and over:
- A Room With A View
- What The Bleep Do We Know!?
- The Iron Giant (with my little guy)
- Harry Potter (again, with my son)
Four places I have lived:
- Wheaton, Illinois
- Oak Park, Illinois
Four TV shows I love/loved to watch:
- (mostly loved to watch, I hardly watch anything now) Friends
- PBS shows
Four places I have been on vacation:
- Costa Rica
- The Grand Canyon
Four websites I look at daily (more than others):
- (I don't make it to anything daily, but often are:) Pandora's Aquarium
- After Silence
- The People Behind My Eyes
- Pax Nortona (#3 & #4 are prolific writers--I feel like a hack next to them!)
People I'll tag:
- Scarlett_Demon at Carpe Noctem
- Beachwriter at Teardrops on Roses
- Mysti at Season For Angels
- Wanda at Wanda's Wings