June 29, 2007
Body Cleansing & Cyber House Cleaning
I was diagnosed with IBS over 15 years ago. My symptoms have been really flairing up lately. Sometimes my psychotherapy seems to get it to calm down, but lately this hasn't been the case. I was complaining to another neighbor that I was tired of feeling bloated all the time, and then this other neighbor piped up about what she's selling.
When I started the program, I knew I had at least 20 pounds I needed to lose. But, when you start this diet, they want you to measure yourself as well. I hadn't taken my measurements in years. Was I in for a shock! Yikes! You know the old "ideal," sexy measurements of 36-24-36? Well, mine had gone to 39-32-41! I used to consider myself pretty well-proportioned, but it seemed in my post-baby, perimenopause years that I'd lost my waist. Then, these measurements confirmed it.
So, I'm going to measure myself again on day 11 and see if there's been any change. I'm happy witht the weight loss and hope it will kinda jump-start my metabolism. Mine's been as slow as a slug lately and all the increased exercise I'd been doing since the start of the summer hadn't budged the scales more than about a pound. But, what I'm really hoping for is a healthier colon (gross, I know, but oh so important) and way less IBS trouble.
Apparently, an added bonus is that I'm feeling better emotionally as well. I mentioned this to my T. Maybe I'm getting all the built-up sh*t out, literally and figuratively! ;)
So, what else is going on? I feell bad that I got tagged with a couple of memes and didn't get around to them recently, but I was happy to get the first anniversary of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse organized and up. It was a great success and I have to thank all of you for making it so! THANK YOU! Now, I'm trying to come up with a little button that can be used for my Top Carnival Participant Award I mentioned. I've looked at Image Chef and Photobucket and can't find anything appropriate.
--> Does anybody know where else I could look to get some free art for this award button? I'd appreciate some leads.
Also, even more importantly:
--> We really, really need somebody to host the July edition of the carnival.
I thought I had someone signed up for July months ago, but now it doesn't look like it's going to go. My preference would be for a first-time host, just to keep everything on an even keel. However, I'm open to anyone who's willing. We can't let this important awareness-raising, advocacy event slide!
June 22, 2007
Happy Anniversary Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse!
6/24/07 UPDATE: Ok. Most colors/fonts right now and all links work.
I dedicate this first anniversary memorial carnival edition to the memory of Jodi Larson, a fierce advocate for child sexual abuse survivors. Jodi survived CSA herself, but did not survive cancer. She passed at the age of 52 on May 20, 2007. Her memory lives on and I know the legacy of her work will survive as well. I spoke to Jodi's son, Keary Larson, several days ago, and he is looking for assistance to continue his mother's work. If you didn't see my post on May 30, please check it out and check out Jodi's website which remains as well: www.theshowofhands.com.
Carnival Awards Top Participants
I didn't end up getting a lot of repeat article posts, so I decided not to do the "best of" category this month. However, the overall response I received to my request for submissions to our first anniversary Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse was much stronger than I ever could have hoped for or anticipated. Thanks to all 24 participants who helped me compile a total of 30 posts for this edition. It's our biggest carnival ever!
I want to recognize several bloggers who have had the courage to get involved in order to raise awareness on this critical issue month after month over the first year. These bloggers have participated in the carnival at least a half dozen times each, some since the very first debut edition. Some of them have also taken on the added responsibility of hosting a carnival edition. They are the backbone of our carnival and I award them with the Top Carnival Participant Award. (I hope to create and distribute a little award icon soon.) The top participants, in alphabetical order, are: Annaleigh at Blessed Fearscapes, April at Thriver's Toolbox, Emily at Doing It All Again, Lisa at Sadly Normal, and Mike at Child Abuse Survivor.
In total, we have a dozen repeat carnival participants (including me) and seven brand new carnival contributors in this edition. A hearty welcome to all our new participants joining us for the first time! Please visit all these brave bloggers using the links below and leave comments with your support. Please use caution when reading any of these carnival posts. Child abuse is a volatile subject. Destroying the innocent trust of a child is a heinous act. Any and all of these accounts are potentially triggering and disturbing.
I'd like to start this edition off with a poem. We're celebrating here--it's our first anniversary! And I'd like to celebrate you! This poem is called, Your Beauty. It was posted under the title, Do You Know That You Are Beautiful?
Another poem I received is from Austin of The People behind My eyes. It's a powerful poem called Your Secret. In the submission form remarks, Austin stated, "Speaking out is power. When I learned that I could talk about the abuse it felt overwhelming, like the memories could kill me. I also saw the more I spoke the more nervous my mother became. People would know the real her and come to know what she put her children through. For me, speaking out about abuse means a form of justice is served for the little girl who was forced to live in silent fear. Speaking out breaks silence but it also serves as a warning that you can't do this to me anymore. I won't be quiet. "
Advocacy & Awareness
I've got nine posts to put up in this category. Yay for us, because raising awareness and advocating for children and abuse survivors is what this carnival is really all about! I'm listing them here in the order in which they were received.
First up is Megan at Imaginif. She did a wonderful job hosting the May edition of the carnival, then got her June article submission right in. Her educational post is called Brush Up On Good and Bad Touch. When submitting this, Megan remarked, "The difference between good and bad touch can be a difficult concept for children to understand. At a protective behaviour training, a little Aboriginal woman shared a fantastic idea of using different brushes to help children understand good touch, warning touch and bad touch. Brush up on protecting your kids by using this fantastic protective play idea. "
When Summer, at Wired for Noise, submitted her post, We Need Better Daycare, she remarked, "The working poor in America cannot afford quality childcare, and often are forced to leave their children with cheaper caregivers that can be abusive and neglectful."
I got a repeat carnival article from Dr. Deb. It's so important, that I whole-heartedly include the information again here. The post title speaks for itself: What Parents Need to Know About Child Sexual Abuse.
When S'onnie, of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, wrote a post simply called, Bullies, several of us who commented on it agreed that allowing a child to continue to be severely bullied is abusive. S'onnie herself remarks, "Bullying is a silent epidemic and often those who are being abused by adults are also being abused by their peer group."
John W is married to Keepers who is a multiple. Together they run a wonderfully helpful, informational and supportive website and blog for survivors and their loved ones. It is called Keepers Korner. John wrote this article to help the significant others to those who suffer from DID/MPD. It is called, DID/MPD--Special People With a Special Message.
Anne-Marie writes a blog called A Mama's Rant. She reminds us how important it is to Google prospective coaches, teachers and instructors of our children to do our own background checks in a post called, A Mistake that Still Makes Me Cringe.
Last, but certainly not least, in our Advocacy & Awareness category, is Mike of Child Abuse Survivor. Mike is one of our bloggers receiving my Top Carnival Participant Award and he's a past host of our carnival. He also contributes to a blog called Friends in Tech and presents this Child Safety Online flier. Mike says, "I am a member of Friends in Tech and recently we put our heads together and came up with a flier with information on keeping kids safe on-line. I think it's a pretty handy resource for parents and others to have around."
In The News
Only some of the child abuse cases that we want to raise awareness about are covered by the traditional news media. Anne-Marie, a new carnival contributor who writes A Mama's Rant (see above), also writes for Teacher Smackdown. The post she submits here highlights a news story involving a teacher that was granted parole after serving only six months of his original ten-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a student. The post is similarly entitled, Teacher Randy Eddy Gets Paroled After Serving Six Months (Out of 10 Years) for Sexually Abusing Student.
Sheppard Salter at Salterblog is another new carnival contributor who also watches the news for the type of insanity that perpetuates child abuse. Here's a post called Insanity At School (Yawn...Nothing New.)
Another recipient of my Top Carnival Participant Award is Emily of Doing It All again. In this post, Emily reveals, I am The One In Nine, and remarks with a question: "Is treatment better than lock and key for child abusers?"
As you may have guessed or already know, many of us who contribute to the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse are, indeed, child abuse survivors ourselves. We write about our own experiences and often find that other survivors are drawn to us. In this first Survivor Story post, Faith of Feminist Nation follows a forum discussion about a 20-year-old woman severely sexually abused throughout most of her life.
Austin, of The People Behind My Eyes, offers a survivor proclamation: I will Not Withdraw. She also remarks about, "how regaining a hopeful outlook moved me to seek out others as well as seek out assistance with healing."
You cannot abuse a child without there being serious consequences. Even if the perpetrators think they've "gotten away with it" because there is no legal recourse, our society as a whole pays for child abuse, generation after generation. Children are the future of our species, after all. The writers in our Aftermath category remind us of this fact. First, we have Lisa of Sadly Normal. She is another winner of my Top Carnival Participant Award. Her post is called, Dear Sex Offender And Those That Defend You.
JIP, as Jumping In Puddles' blogging friends call her, also wrote this Aftermath post: Imagine If. She warns that this post is "highly sensitive" as it may be quite triggering for readers. I commend JIP for her courage in sharing what a multiple (and possibly many a survivor) goes through in therapy while remembering abuse.
Healing & Therapy
I am proud of this blogger group for raising awareness and advocating for children and survivors as well as presenting their hopeful articles in the Healing & Therapy category. We have nine posts here today. If I had to pick the one top Top Carnival Participant Award recipient, it would probably be April, or April_Optimist, of The Thriver's Toolbox. I believe she's contributed to at least seven carnival editions with at least ten articles, and she usually contributes to the Healing & Therapy category. April is one healing and optimistic thriver!
Today, April has three posts appearing in our carnival. It is a series on relationships: Relationships and Change, The Upside Of Changing Relationships and Relationships Part 3. "I believe that connection with others is a profound human need. And I believe that it is one of the biggest challenges for survivors of abuse," says April. She goes on to remark, "I can't think of anything that impacts our lives more than our relationships or any part of healing that can be more difficult."
Along with Megan, Jeanette Harvey is a contributing writer for Imaginif. Her article, Cultural S.P.I.C.E.S. of Life, talks about the culture of family and offers tough questions that we parent survivors can ask ourselves about our own parenting, with the aim of breaking the cycle of abuse.
I was diagnosed with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, about eight years ago. I wish I would have read our next contributor's article back then. She's a new participant, Patricia Sherman, Ph.D., at Keyboard Culture--Heaing Is Possible. her article is called Helping People Understand You Have PTSD. I appreciated the remarks left by Patricia's blog manager, Lori: "We just found your wonderful site and blog carnival. We are submitting this in hopes that you feel this could be of service to your readers."
I'm proud to call Annaleigh my blogging buddy. Annaleigh runs a website called "As Waters Passing By" and a blog called Blessed Fearscapes. Annaleigh also wins my Top Carnival Participant Award. She's been contributing here since the very first debut edition. I have enjoyed watching Annaleigh heal and grow. She writes about healing, and forgiveness, in her post, Father's Day, Forgiveness & Healing. In her submission remarks, Annaleigh says, "Father's Day, which just passed, is a difficult day for me. Since it was just a little while ago, I decided I would share my feelings about the day."
Here again we have Mike from Child Abuse Survivor. Now, he's writing for his own blog about the healing nature of change in The One Constant. Mike remarks, "I think the idea that things change every day should be a source of hope to survivors as they struggle in their healing."
Thanks to all the participants, new and old, who contributed to this awesome anniversary edition of our blog carnival. You all are what makes the carnival stay on the road, raising awareness.
June 12, 2007
You're More Than Good Enough
I've gotten about a dozen submissions already for our first anniversary of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I can't believe we've been raising awareness through this carnival for a whole year already. Great for us!!
I want you to know that any submission that is appropriate will be included in this anniversary carnival edition. I've had people ask me if I think their posts are okay, worthy or good enough for inclusion. I'm telling you, if you have a heart-felt wish to tell your truth about your abuse, share a poem, healing and therapy tips or an item from the news, advocate for kids or raise awareness in any way, your post is more than good enough!
The only thing I won't include is any kind of porn (oh yes, I've gotten submissions like this, and I don't think it's funny), obvious spam or posts that I would refer to another carnival as more appropriate and on-topic for them instead of us.
If you've ever thought about submitting to the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse, now is the time to do it. It's our anniversary! Come join us! You can submit using the form here.
The deadine is a week from today: Tuesday, June 19. I'll post our anninversary carnival edition on Friday, June 22, 2007, right here at the Survivors Can Thrive! blog.
June 01, 2007
New Era of Denial & Disbelief
I know I'm overwhelmed. There's a news flash, huh? Gee, how many times can you use the word "overwhelmed" in the same blog?
I waited until my sister's visit was over and then I did my big therapy assignment: the map. I was hoping the prospect of getting more organized, being able to prioritize recovery goals, and gaining more communication and cooperation among parts would outweigh the overwhelm.
I was wrong...initially anyway. Basically, this week, I've just been oscillating between pretending every thing's "fine" and "normal"--especially around my son who is now around every day with school out for the summer--and just shutting down. I've been keeping busy and distracted with mundane things like house cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping.
But, inside, I feel like my head is going to explode. I got slammed with a lot to digest with this map. I got confirmation on a couple of "inner child parts" I identified, then ignored, almost ten years ago. I first wrote about this back in this January post. An "inner child"--really inner teenager--part, Rena is now out, and I remember why I said she scared me! I solidified, on paper, several other parts I've been working with over the last few months. And, I got a few new surprises. Oh joy!
I was looking at the thing, staring back at me from the paper, and I went right back into the familiar, "I'm making all this shit up! This can't be real! I really am just crazy!"
I took the document into my therapist and part of me was hoping she'd clearly see this as well and announce something like, "You might as well rip this up and throw it away. And, while you're at it stop seeing me because I can't help you." Nope. No such luck. Instead, she wants a copy of the map! She said it would be quite helpful to her as my therapist. It was also the first session where she referred to my "System!"
Yikes! I gotta find a way to get used to living in this dissociative twilight zone; it keeps knocking me on my ass!