May 28, 2009
Remembering "Veteran" Survivors
Thanks to everyone who submitted posts this month and thanks--in advance--for reading and leaving supportive comments at the blogs of our courageous contributors. Trigger Warning: Keep yourself safe as you read. Understandably, child abuse can be a very triggering subject.
ChildPerson from Child Person from the South says it all in the headline for her post, Celebrating Child Abuse Survivors: Veterans of Wars on the Home Front. I like this quote from her post: "So, this May, while taking time to honor those military casualties and veterans of foreign wars, let’s take a moment to remember those who died in home front wars and to honor those who survived." Amen!
Nomorehurt presents Honoring Your Troops posted at Abuse Recovery, saying, "A reader requested I submit this. I hope it is something you'd like to include." I was the reader, actually. I am getting to know Nomorehurt over at Polyvore, where we're both working on art therapy collages. I thought her post was perfect for our theme...maybe you'll agree.
Mike McBride, who runs the Child Abuse Survivor ning Network, almost didn't get his post in on time this month. But, he was able to squeeze in, Carnival Against Child Abuse - Memories and I'm so glad he did. It's a good message for all of us. His blog is posted at Child Abuse Survivor.
Advocacy & Awareness
After blogging with Bloggers Unite against slavery in March, I found myself very touched by this next article. It was submitted by Surbhi and it's entitled, Child Labour: Disgrace for the Society posted at The Viewspaper.
Marcella Chester presents Leading Experts to Discuss How Preventing Violence and Abuse
at her wonderful awareness-raising blog, abyss2hope.
alchemynow is a new blogger and new to the carnival, presenting HOW DID THE ABUSE CHANGE US? posted at Stop the Storm. Welcome, alchemynow!
Lynda Hinkle is another wonderful advocate I've met on Twitter. She gives us International Exploitation of Children and the Sweden Solution posted at In the Best Interest: Child Advocacy Law.
Next, we have a post that hits close to home for me. It's called Raising A Highly Sensitive Child and it's from Concerning Kids. I have a highly sensitive child myself. I am so glad that he is safe with me. He has given me the great gift and opportunity to give a child unconditional love and break the cycle of abuse. Thanks for raising awareness about these youngsters, Concerning Kids.
JIP enlightens and informs us with Stupid comments, questions and statements about being a multiple posted at Lifes Spacings.
Noe is another blogger that I've been enjoying getting to know over at Twitter. She gives us a post that is a great reminder for parents who want to break the cycle of abuse. It is also a wonderful nudge for anyone struggling with perfectionism. And who isn't? Her post is called Your Perfect Child Is Not So Perfect and it's up at her blog, Bebelissimo.com. When she submitted her post, Noe said, "When a parent fails to understand that a perfect child is merely a movie character, his not so perfect child will unfortunately have to struggle a lot only to come up to his parent’s expectations. Demanding perfection from a child will put him under tremendous pressure; a parent who asks his child to perfect, will also pretend to be perfect himself."
Since we're talking about memorials, Memorial Day and memories, I thought I'd dig out an old post about the repression of my child sexual abuse memories. The post is called How Does One Retrieve Repressed Memories of Abuse? from my own Survivors Can Thrive! archives.
Healing & Therapy
Patricia Singleton is working on a wonderful survivor series called "Incest May Be a Part of My Life." Here, she presents part seven in the series: A Little Girl's Story---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 7 from her blog, Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker. She remarks, "This article is about a little girl with a story to tell. She has no mouth to tell about the abuse. She has no feet so she can't run away from the abuse. The original story was written in 1989 to go along with the first in a series of oil paintings. This painting was about feelings."
This next post, from little sheep, is actually a poem. It's called, oh therapy! Since Little Sheep already has another poem in the poetry category, we've got this poem about--you guessed it--therapy in this Healing & Therapy category. Little Sheep writes at her blog, my (sick and ugly) story.
Colleen Spiro gives us some good, healthy perspective in her post, Smile over at her blog, Surviving by Grace.
Nancy presents Finding a Therapist posted at Heal and Forgive. I asked Nancy to submit this post in hopes that it may help someone in the search. Boy, I wish I had this information years ago. Thanks, Nancy!
Paul presents Journaling posted at Mind Parts, saying, "I am honored to submit this. Thanks for reading. Paul." Another educational and helpful post for survivors. Again, something I wish I had gotten advice on years ago. Thanks for that, Paul!
Just Be Real presents JUST BE REAL: PAIN in the CHANGE posted at JUST BE REAL. After reading JBR's post, I'm reminded that there is a lot of suffering for survivors, but "feeling the feelings" is so important for our healing.
buffalopine--another dear person I met on Twitter--presents The Struggles Within posted at Buffalopine's Blog. When sharing her story of living without dissociating, Buffalopine says in her post, "Today, my wings are fragile." I hope that this survivor community may be one of the things that gives you and your new wings strength, Buffalopine. Thanks for sharing with us.
In The News
Shiv Dravid presents SEX AND THE CITI-ZENS! posted at The Viewspaper. Thanks for joining us for the carnival and raising awareness about child sexual abuse in Inida.
I'm glad that the story about child abuse within the industrial schools and orphanages run by the Catholic church in Ireland got some press and blogging time. My friend, Marcella, always does an excellent job of covering these "In The News" stories. Here, she presents Irish Catholic Church Child Abuse posted at her blog, abyss2hope.
vjack is also blogging on this issue in Catholic Responses to Irish Child Abuse Conspiracy posted at Atheist Revolution.
nipper presents Like A Rose posted at NIPPERCAT'S HOME.
little sheep wrote may 10-poem for her blog, my (sick and ugly) story. I was just talking to my therapist about something similar today. Hhmmmm...how did she know? Thanks for sharing, Little Sheep.
Rick Belden wrote a poem about how trauma is stored in our bodies in, body memory posted at poetry, dreams, and the body, saying, "Marj, Thank you for organizing the carnival for everyone. If you decide on a 'father' theme in June, I'll have something to submit for that as well." Thanks in advance, Rick!
JIP presents Little lost angels posted at Lifes Spacings. It reminds us of the inhumane way that adults can actually treat little innocent, helpless children. Thanks for your honest and courage in sharing, JIP.
I'm noticing for this--our 24th--edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse, that we have more male survivors coming forward to share their stories, we also have several new carnival participants joining us and more international representation here. I'm very happy to see that. Now, let's make sure we get out there in cyberland and thank these folks for raising awareness with us by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Thanks!
Please Note: We're looking for a new host for the June carnival. Some of you who have been participating by submitting posts to the carnival for a while may want to consider hosting a monthly edition. It's really quite easy, and I help you through it every step of the way. Come on, you can do it! Leave me a comment if you're willing (for June or anytime in the future).
All blog carnival entries are saved for our next monthly edition, no matter when they are submitted. So, if you'd like to get an early start and submit your blog post for next month, you can use our carnival submission form right here.
May 26, 2009
Child Abuse "Veterans" Remembered
In the wake of the United States holiday we call Memorial Day, we can choose to be survivors-turning-thrivers and put our victim status to rest. We can think of our childhood abuse as simply a memory, but not as charged as it was before therapy and/or healing. Or, you can choose to focus your submission post on what it's been like for you in therapy, processing childhood trauma memories.
But, that's just a theme and nobody's bound by it. We still have our regular submission categories every month: Survivor Stories; Aftermath; Poetry; In-The-News; Advocacy & Awareness; and Healing & Therapy. So you can submit for the theme or go with one of the six categories. Just hurry! The deadline is tomorrow--Wednesday--for our Friday, 5/29 edition. You can use this handy-dandy submission form here. As often happens, for some reason, our submission form over at BC is way down on the page. So, when you click on the link, just scroll down to get to it.
Update/Please Note: Like we've done before--if you've submitted your post already, leave me a comment saying so. That way, I won't come and bug you to get your submission in. So far--of the bloggers I have on my blogroll--I have submissions from: Patricia Singleton at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker; Marcella at Abyss2Hope; Little Sheep at My Story; Nancy at Heal & Forgive; JIP at Life Spacings; Just Be Real; Colleen at Surviving by Grace; Buffalopine; and Mary at Nippercat.
Am I forgetting anybody? I haven't sorted through all the spam yet and we always get a lot of last-minute entries (I'm the biggest offender!), so let me know if you submitted your post. Thanks! See ya Friday!
May 22, 2009
I am Not a Burden, I am a Child
But, the more I looked at these linked news articles, blog posts, YouTube videos and tweets, the more upset I got. A few of them really brought the tears on for me. I decided I needed a little art therapy, so I went over to Polyvore and created a collage.
I think what got it all started--the feeling of the intense feelings, I mean--was a news article at CBS about the recent rise in reports of child abuse. I searched the topic "child abuse" at YouTube to see if the news video was posted there. You know me, the cyber klutz: It's the only way I know how to post videos here at my blog.
I didn't find a copy of the child abuse report, but what I did find was some information on one of my favorite charities: Childhelp. Right now, if you vote for Martina McBride for the CMT Music Awards and she wins, CMT will donate money to Childhelp! Very cool! Phew! I was looking for some good news.
I am not a huge country music fan, but I am a huge fan of advocates for child abuse prevention and awareness. Go, Martina! Kudos to her for choosing Childhelp as her charity of choice and for raising awarness about child abuse through her video and song, Concrete Angel.
May 16, 2009
Things That Make A Difference
I'm feeling quite well right now. In fact, I think I feel so well emotionally, that I haven't caught the nasty cold and cough that my husband has had for a week. It's amazing how that mind-body connection thing works, huh?
I was exhausted from lots of extra trauma processing therapy, so I've been doing some nice things for myself, resting, gardening, etc. I think that's made a difference for me staying physically healthy. During some recent "extra" therapy sessions processing some really icky, terrifying torture memories, I noticed that my IBS had really flared up. But, I took some measures to help with that and I notice that my guts feel better now, too. Yipppeee!
While I was a bit distracted, I got tagged with a couple of bloggy awards. I want everyone to know how much these mean to me. I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how touched and tickled I get receiving these, to be honest. I have some rejected, abandoned, little child parts who still just really want to be liked and accepted. And these awards just seem to go straight to the heart of all that.
First, Cornnut at Picture of Experience has created a whole new award. Is that cool, or what? It's called The Make A Difference Award. Now, as usual, I can't get Cornnut's award graphic to load here, but it has a really great quote on it from JFK that I want to share: "One person can make a difference and every person should try." Excellent, well said, and I so agree!
You know what's amazing? Three days after I received word about this Make a Difference Award, I got a comment from Just Be Real and she's made up her own award as well. Man, I wish I were as cyber savvy as these gals! Just Be Real's award is aptly named, the "Just Be Real" Award. I've always liked the name of her blog and I love the name of this award.
I think one of the reasons I'm so touched at receiving both of these awards is because they recognize what I try to do at my blog:
- Make a Difference in the areas of assault survivor advocacy and child abuse awareness and
- Be Real, share my story and be real, open and honest with it.
I used to make the cut-and-paste type collages with pictures and words clipped from magazines. But, recently I've discovered computer collage at Polyvore. My most recent project is that I'm compiling collages and pairing them with some of my poems.
Here is a recent pairing that I think speaks to my current survivor journey status. Maybe you can relate.
Child Fly Away
I love and cherish you
And I know you love me too
Come now and we will dance and play
And then we’ll simply fly away
I can feel your pain
I know they tried to break you
You’re helpless, sad, alone
No peace within
I can tell you’re tired
I see a child who’s tortured
With trying to atone
For unknown sin
Hey, let’s fly away
We’ve struggled with chains too long
Let’s grab this chance so we can see
If we are ever to be free
Why wait here in the dark?
All it can ever show you
Is pain and it’s the pain
That you still fear
I can see the light
In my heart faith remains
And I know that this is it
Our chance is here
I love and cherish you
And now I know you feel love too
Now we can dance and run and play
Then we just simply fly away
Come let’s fly away
We’ll fly away
Copyright 2002 Marj McCabe ~ All Rights Reserved
May 12, 2009
Heard of Fibromyalgia?
Today is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, so I thought I'd talk about it here. The first person I ever met with fibromyalgia was a roommate I had during one of my hospital stints. She was in so much pain that I felt like I should never complain about my IBS or migraines again. Her pain was pervasive and she had had many tests before her diagnosis.
Many of us are aware that fibromyalgia involves widespread pain and fatigue. But there are some common myths around the condition. The Mayo Clinic website has a helpful article that busts nine common myths about fibromyalgia. I have summarized the first six below.
- Myth: Most doctors don't believe fybromyalgia is a real condition. Truth: Fibromyalgia is defined by a list of symptoms and most doctors believe these symptoms are real.
- Myth: Fibromyalgia damages your joints. Truth: While the pain of fibromyalgia may be severe, it does not damage your muscles, joints or bones.
- Myth: You look fine so there's nothing wrong with you. Truth: Friends, family and co-workers may hold this belief because they don't understand. Be willing to talk about it. Raise awareness.
- Myth: You got the fibromyalgia diagnosis because your doctor couldn't find anything wrong with you. Truth: Fibromyalgia is a specific diagnosis based on a specific set of criteria devleoped by The American College of Rheumatology. But, diagnosing fibromyalgia can take time because there's no single test that can confirm you have it.
- Myth: Fibromyalgia only causes pain. Truth: People with fibromyalgia also often experience fatigue and difficulty sleeping, headaches, sensitivity to light, dizziness, memory problems, and numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. IBS, bladder control problems and mood disorders often accompany fibromyalgia.
- Myth: It's no use going to the doctor because no treatments for the condition exist. Truth: There's no standard treatment for it, but the FDA has now approved one drug for treating fibromyalgia and there are many options for controlling the pain, including medications, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments.
Tell Me What Kind of Blog Carnival You Want
Anyway, I think I'll have the carnival edition run on Friday, May 29 with a submission deadline of Wednesday, May 27. You can submit a post anytime, using the handy submission form here.
As far as an edition theme goes, since this is right after Memorial Day, maybe we should have a theme about "In memory of...our old victim status," or we could focus on memories and flashbacks. Or, we could talk about Mother's Day and how that holiday is difficult for survivors. We could talk about motherless children. We could focus on creating new families and becoming parents ourselves. Any ideas? What would you like to focus on?
May 09, 2009
Let's Raise Awareness About: Domestic Violence
I really respect Tery. She is a very strong and courageous woman. One of the things I find so admirable about her is that she did something my own mother was not capable of doing: she protected her children from her abusive husband. You can read an interview where Tery is telling part of her story in "Finding The Courage to Leave" here.
Tery and her girls left the alcoholic abuser with only the clothes on their backs. As for protecting her offspring, Tery is quoted as saying, "Having three daughters, I needed to get them away from a bad situation before they became victims of violence themselves.”
Hurray for you, Tery!
One of the reasons I feel so strongly about Domestic Violence is because it is not possible for it not to have an eventual effect on the children in the household. My own ex husband was only physically violent with me once. When we were separated he became enraged, grabbed me by the arm and threw me to the ground. But, all during our marriage, he did things that were very controlling, humiliating and sexually abusive. I made sure that I did not have any children with this unhealthy person and got a divorce when he would not cooperate with marital counselling. I did not want to bring any children into that situation and I'm glad I was able to avoid that.
My own mother was a different story. She did divorce my abusive father, but never did a thing to protect her three children from his abuse. I've repressed a lot of abuse memories from my childhood. One memory, however, I have never forgotten: It is the memory of being awakened in the middle of the night to the shrill sounds of my screaming mother.
My father had her arm wrenched behind her back and my mother was in pain. My older brother came out into the hallway and asked what was going on. My mother used that moment of distraction to get away and run across the street to the neighbors to call the police.
Can you believe what happened next? Well, if you've been reading my blog for very long, you probably can guess. My mother left her innocent, vulnerable, tiny children alone with the raging maniac that she had to make sure she got away from. They eventually divorced, but my mother never did anything to fight the visitation rights given to my father.
Yes, folks, we need to raise awareness about domestic violence. We need to fight it and provide protection and respite for domestic violence victims. You never know how many lives you may be saving when you help a battered woman. She may have children who need protecting as well.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Their website is here.
May 01, 2009
Poem in My Pocket; Hope in My Heart
I think I may have mentioned that I spend several hours a week babysitting an adorable toddler who is in the custody of my friends--her grandparents--after being neglected by her parents. Lately, we've been strolling to parks. The other day, we discovered dandelions together and I showed the little cutie pie how to blow the seeds off the "fluff puffs."
She's almost two and she's at that age where she's willing to try anything you ask her to try and say. I bought her grand-folks a book: Baby Signs. We've all been teaching the precious one signs and it just helped her verbal skills explode! It sure was cute to hear her say, "fluff puff!" and blow those seeds into the wind!
She and the current spring weather are really giving me joy, delight and hope lately. This little girl inspired me to write a haiku poem. I got to see the little angel an extra couple of hours yesterday, so her namesake poem was my choice for the poem in my pocket.
Here it is:
reaches down to pick flower
wonder, beauty, life!
Copyright 2009, Marj McCabe ~ All Rights Reserved