July 27, 2007


Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: July Edition & What It's Like To Host

The July edition is up for the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. Summer over at Wired for Noise has done a great job as host, organizing this carnival. For July--Independence Day month in the US--summer chose a freedom theme for this edition. What child abuse survivor hasn't sought freedom? Summer has expertly woven the freedom theme around at least 10 of the articles in this edition. Go check it out--it's great!

Since I've had several requests for information of this nature, I've decided to post a description of what's involved in hosting a monthly edition of our carnival. It's really quite simple and easy to do. Plus, you get to meet a whole bunch of new bloggers and expand your survivor circle, or at least your awareness about bloggers who are passionate about healing and advocating for children. I've got two past hosts that are eager to host again--Lisa at Sadly Normal is hosting for a second time in August, then Megan at Imaginif wants to host for a second time. We're always looking for new hosts, however, so give it some thought with the information below.

First, decide what day you'd like to post the carnival links on your blog and come up with a deadline for submissions. A popular configuration is a Wednesday deadline for a Friday posting--this gives you enough time to collect the submissions and organize them. Next, you decide if you want a special theme for your edition. In the US, anyway, it seems we have some holiday each month that is easily incorporated into a theme for the carnival. After deciding what you'd like to say about the edition, post an announcement on your blog stating that you are the upcoming host and giving the details just mentioned.

Since I maintain the carnival, I will then go in to www.blogcarnival.com and get the edition listed there, with a link to submit posts to it. I also put up my own announcement post for the edition and e-mail past participants asking them to support you and submit.

The submissions will start to arrive automatically in your e-mail inbox (this address is not visible to the public). I usually have some submissions in my coffers that I also send along to you. Then, you organize the posts, either around your theme, or under our carnival headings of "Aftermath" and "Survivor Stories," etc. Once you get them organized and posted on your blog, you let me know and I get the edition listed as "Already Posted" at Blog Carnival dot com. That's it! Pretty painless, and very rewarding. :) Think about it! ;)

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July 25, 2007


I Choose To Be, Now I Am Free!

I wrote this poem over a year ago. It was during a productive time, before I retrieved new childhood abuse memories, that led to the depression, that sent me down to the Colin Ross trauma program in Dallas, Texas. The poem is called I Am Whole. The last line says, "Now I am free!" I have to admit, I don't always believe these lines. But then, The Memory Artist came on my blog and commented with the following:

"Beautiful poem Marj.Just remember that swimming through those dark waters is not entirely about getting to the other side.It is about being immersed and yet, still able to care for your wounded selves along the way.This really is the most difficult kind of love to find, and it sounds like you are finding it. What an amazingly healing and nurturing way to speak to these parts of yourself. Sometimes poetry says things in a way that simple language cannot. " (emphasis mine)

Yes, it may sound cliche, but it is about the journey. Every day I choose to heal to be whole. Each day I choose to recover my freedom. I am reclaiming my soul from those people who so desperately tried to murder it. They did not succeed. I am free and whole!

So, here's something from my Meditations page of my website, www.survivorscanthrive.com:

Somewhere along the journey from victim, to survivor to thriver, you realize: you are not broken; you are whole.

"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive
to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts."
~ Robert H. Schuller


I Am Whole

I am whole
Nothing can shake me
No one can break me

I am whole
It's what I know
Let go control

I am whole
Can't be defined
One heart, one mind

I am whole
Thought I was broken
Cruel words were spoken

But, I am whole
I choose to be
Now I am free!

Copyright 2006 by Marj McCabe ~ All Rights Reserved

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July 24, 2007


Happy New Year Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse!

It's a new year for our Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse and we have a brand-new host! Summer, over at Wired for Noise, is fairly new to the carnival and is our newest host this month for the July carnival. Get those submissions in and support Summer and our carnival!

Since July is "Independence"and "Freedom" month in the US, Summer has chosen a Freedom theme for her edition of the carnival. Summer asks, "What does freedom from child abuse mean to you? Do you have an inspiring story of finding freedom to tell? Do you have advice for someone seeking freedom, or for someone trying to help a child escape?"

I was so inspired by her theme idea, that I will be posting my own freedom-themed offering and submitting that. But, we need to hurry! the deadline is Wednesday, July 25 (that's tomorrow folks!) for the Friday-posting edition. Check out Summer's blog with the links above, or go straight to the Blog Carnival dot com submission form here.

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July 19, 2007


Can I Re-parent My Wounded Children?

My T and I have been talking about how I recreate situations in my life now where I set myself up for not getting the never-to-be-obtained approval of my mother. I wrote this post after returning from the trauma program in Dallas last fall, that told about how I had asked the group there for what I needed to hear: "It wasn't your fault. You didn't deserve it. You're not a bad person." I'm forever looking for this repeal.

When another woman in the Dallas group started sobbing, the facilitator left me hanging, pulled her chair in real close to her and said--almost word-for-word--what I had asked for, to the other woman instead! I guess, as with my mother, I was asking for something from someone who I knew couldn't give me what I needed.

That's probably why I get so excited about awards that other bloggers just blow off--I'm still so desperate for approval.

I've decided I really need to up my efforts at re-parenting my wounded inner child parts. I'm sure I never bonded or had healthy attachment with my birth "mother." (My twin and I were an unwanted pregnancy that was discovered after my mother had already attempted to leave my father. We were huge twins--over eight pounds apiece. And when some gushing passer-by would enthusiastically ask, "What's it like to have twins?" my mother would always reply, "I wouldn't wish it on anybody." Thanks, dear old Mom!) I certainly never got her protection, support or approval. I need to quit chasing that fantasy and mother myself(ves).

There's lots of stuff I'm working on in my therapy, but right now I want to share a poem I wrote. I call my parts "my beautifuls." That's the name of the poem. I hope some of the sentiments in the poem might carry over to your parts, alters, or inner children in a comforting way.

My Beautifuls

Dears, I want you to know this
To know I'm glad you came around
For a while I was unsure and afraid
But, now I know that our reasons were sound

When I first got to know you
I wanted to just turn away
I saw you alone with such deep pain
Then I knew that I needed to stay

So, now we've got to feel this
All the pain that we used to shove down
We'll swim through dark waters together
No, I won't let one of us drown

I want to hold you
Rock you in my arms
And tell you that you're beautiful

I want to soothe you
Comfort and love you
The way that you so deserve

I'll always love you
The way that a parent
Should cherish their child

My beautifuls
My sweet beautifuls.

Copyright 2007 Marj McCabe~All Rights Reserved

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July 10, 2007


Bloggers Changing The World

I am so honored to be tagged with another meme that is also an award. Thanks to Megan at Imaginif for recognizing the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse and bestowing this wonderful honor on me: it's the Bloggers For Positive Global Change award.

The award was conceived by the folks over at Climate Of Our Future.

This is an interesting twist for me; before I became an advocate for abused children, started this blog or founded the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse, environmental issues were my big thing. I figure, if we trash the planet, not much else will matter, right? I assumed I'd gotten down to the nitty-gritty in my philanthropic interests. I still donate to the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy and volunteer my time at nature centers and the like. But, you know what? If we don't protect, love and guide our children, they'll be too busy simply surviving and going to therapy in their future to make saving our planet from global warming a priority.

So, while I think both of these issues--protecting the environment and protecting our children--are critically important, I guess I've decided that protecting and advocating for children is the "down to the nitty-gritty" cause for me. It's just an interesting personal evolution I've noticed.

Anyway, if you go to Climate Of Our Future, you'll see links to a lot of environmental and green blogs. I encourage you to check them out. At least go over to this post to learn about the purpose of the Bloggers For Positive Global Change award and meme.

As you can see from the links on my sidebar, I don't have a lot of personal experience with environmental bloggers I can tag. But, I do know some folks who I consider to be doing one helluva job creating and promoting positive global change. Change, especially when it comes to advocating for abuse survivors and children--who are our future after all. I won't bother tagging back Megan, who tagged me, but I do commend and recommend her for her work to protect children at Imaginif. There is an amazing amount of--quality and quantity--information on how to keep children safe at this blog.

Here are the official five award recipients that I tag and bestow with the Bloggers For Positive Global Change award: (They are in no particular order except most came off my blogroll in this order.)

  1. Marcella Chester at Abyss2Hope. I found out about blog carnivals via Marcella. The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse would not even exist without her. Thank you, Marcella! She is the founder of the highly successful, awareness-raising Blog Carnival Against Sexual Violence. About her blog, Marcella says, "Beyond giving people something to read, my goal has been to help other survivors realize they aren't alone in their experience, to speak up for those who are too traumatized to speak up for themselves and to advocate for change so there will be fewer new victims in the future and less backlash against the remaining victims."
  2. Angela Shelton's weblog. Angela Shelton is a film-maker who's documentary, Searching For Angela Shelton, highlights her cross-country search for other women who share her name. What she didn't expect to find on her quest was the alarming realization that 24 out of 40 other Angelas she interviewed had been raped, sexually abused as children, or victims of domestic violence. Shelton is a speaker and survivor advocate as well as an actress who appears on The Safe Side videos and other products designed to help kids stay safe. Her blog entries are about her personal life, her growing advocacy empire, and exposing pedophiles.
  3. I found Lisa at Sadly Normal through Angela Shelton. Lisa is a past host of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse and will be hosting another upcoming edition soon. On her blog, she mixes her personal stories as a rape and CSA survivor with up-to-date news stories. About her blog, Lisa states, "I will post here what I learn. I will also be posting here news from each state, and from around the world concerning the laws that are being updated in each state, how pedophiles and child molesters are living amongst us and what is being done to protect our children and ourselves. I hope some of the articles anger you so much, that you decide you want to take action."
  4. Matt, at Empathy/Share Compassion, has a philanthropy blog I've been interested in and linked to for quite some time. His blog is about "promoting global responsibility" and is a charity information site with posts raising awareness on topics from natural disasters to health care for children. He also gives tips for giving wisely. Matt says, "I believe if we want change we need to use our power to make a difference. I got involved in philanthropy a few years ago, I had realized that if I wanted a better world, then I had to do more than hope for it - I had to get involved. "
  5. The blog at Stolen Childhood is giving a voice to children around the world. It provides up-to-date news stories and photos involving children in the middle of war, online predators, children living in poverty, female circumcision and more. The stories are hard to read and some of the photos are even harder to look at. Some of this news can break your heart. But, I'd rather have my heart broken than have my eyes put out with blindness. This site opens your eyes, and it may just open your heart to the plight of our world's children. I go to this blog, link to it and award it because I truly believe that knowledge is power and awareness is the key to change.

If you decide to play this award-bestowing meme, make sure you check out the rules at Climate Of Our Future and also see how you can get the award badge graphic there as well. See mine on the sidebar? I really like it!

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July 09, 2007


Quick Update Before...

Well, I got a little bit behind on bloggy things with the 4th of July holiday, my son being home all the days long for summer vacation, and the distraction of this diet.

I'm pleased to say I'm holding at eight pounds lost. I've kept it off for over a week; no weight gain returning so far. (I'm no longer on this diet, but I've been making some "lifestyle" eating changes--that's what they say is the best strategy, right?) The thing that impressed me the most about this colon cleanse and diet (in addition to the fabulous relief of not feeling bloated all the time anymore) is the inches that melted away. On this program, they want you to measure yourself in the beginning and then again on day 11. In my last post I mentioned what I shock I had with measuring myself for the first time in years. On day 11, however, I got such a pleasant surprise!

I wouldn't have thought it possible in only 10 days with just eight pounds lost, but I got rid of some girth! I lost a half-inch each on my upper arms and bust; there was 3/4 of an inch each off my chunky upper thighs and waist; and most impressive of all--drum roll, please--was an inch and a 1/2 off my hips (including the lovely "love handle" area and gut). I still was not quite believing this until I noticed the change in how some of my clothes feel. Ya know, the clothes don't lie. Now, I can pull my waist band out from around my tummy like those models on the commercials do, and I've noticed some loose material around the rear end of my pants and shorts. Hooooraaayy!

Okay, enough about that. Thanks for indulging me.

The other thing that happened was the old, familiar survivor pattern that goes something like this: "Hey, you're feeling so much better, so good right now. You're probably up for a new abuse memory. You can handle it. Check it out!" Then, WHAM! A new part or memory taps me on the shoulder (or, more likely, bangs me over the head or kicks me in the ass). I may do a post on this therapy work later. Luckily, my cooperative part (her name is Samantha), my therapist and I did some great feelings work together and I feel better again. Thankfully, there is often relief after the hard recovery work.

Now, another update is that we still don't have a host for the July Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. As survivors, we all need to keep learning and practicing our assertiveness skills and self-care. The blogger that I thought might step up and take over July has decided to take care of herself instead, and I commend her for that. Be looking in your e-mail inbox. I'm going to be sending out a memo to all carnival participants to give a "last-chance-for-first-time-hosts" invitation to everyone who has not already told me they cannot-at-this-time host or would like to host, but at a later date. If I don't get any takers on that, I'll be handing the July edition over to a previous host--Lisa at Sadly Normal and Megan at Imaginif have both offered.

Speaking of Megan and the carnival, Megan has tagged me with a meme. I know, I know: I haven't gotten around to a couple of the memes circulating as of late. This one, however, is something I've just got to participate in because it's a bloggers-changing-the-world sort of meme. Like The Thinking Blogger, this is also an award. I am almost speechless I'm so honored to receive this. Thank you, Megan, for nominating me--and recognizing the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse--for and with this award! It's called Bloggers For Positive Global Change, and I'll be tagging five bloggers with it as I post this meme tomorrow. My son is at a three-day camp so I'll have time to do this. I've just got to narrow down my list to five. See ya then! :)

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