November 19, 2009


Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: November, 2009

It's World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. In honor of this world day of advocacy and awareness, we are holding our monthly Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse today. The response was overwhelming and I am so grateful. We have 35 posts in this edition!

TRIGGER WARNING Child Abuse is an horrific reality in our world today. Understandably, reading articles about the abuse of children can be triggering. Please take appropriate care while perusing the carnival.

Since it is, indeed, World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, our carnival theme this month is prevention. Here are some posts that fall under the theme:

Darkness2Light was kind enough to let us use their post, Tuesday Talking Points, Nov. 17 posted at the Darkness2Light blog. It's a powerful, yet friendly and down-to-earth, video of Darkness2Light's founder explaining why she started the world's leading non-profit working to prevent child sexual abuse. With the submission came the remark, "Our aim is to END child sexual abuse! It's a lofty goal, but we have a way... Find out how we can PREVENT this tragedy."

KathyBroady LCSW offers her Tips for Protecting Your Children from Sexual Abuse posted at her blog, Protective Parenting. In her remarks she said, "Thank you, Thriver, for putting the effort into making this blog carnival about the prevention of sexual abuse. Educating people about how to protect their children is important!" Thank you, Kathy! Predators are determined to get to our children. We need to use wise strategies such as these to outsmart them and keep our kids safe.

Adam writes about How 5 Minutes Worth of Education Can Help You Better Understand How to Prevent Child Abuse at his blog, ZenTactics News Page, and says, "Learning how to prevent child abuse starts by educating yourself first. What are the signs to look for? How do you know if a child is being abused? Read this article." Yes, I also recommend reading this article. It contains some key facts and signs we all should know.

Nancy Gray links us to a survey at her post, NAPCAN: Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect from Child Person From the South, and explains, "This blog is simply an important invitation to participate in a survey on child abuse and neglect being conducted NAPCAN in Australia. The survey is not limited to citizens of Australia and includes many opportunities to share information that may contribute to increased awareness, knowledge, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. I encourage you to take a few moments to take advantage of this opportunity to make a difference for children everywhere." I took the survey and I'm glad I did. Won't you take it, too?

Art Therapy

Next, I want to highlight a brand new category for our carnival: art therapy. I have really experienced great benefit working with collage. Recently, I've enjoyed the almost-instant gratification of digital collage at Polyvore. So, I wanted to offer this opportunity for sharing survivor art and healing here.

Grace highlights her Polyvore collage at her post of the same name: Enter to the right ~ Exit to the left...for me there is no escape from her blog, Good Enough.

castorgirl is also creating collages at Polyvore and is kind enough to share some with us at Collages for healing and understanding from her blog, Scattered pieces. She remarks, "Three collages which express aspects of my healing or understanding of the abuse I have been subjected to."

Finally, I present my own art therapy post which is also an awareness/prevention post. It's called I am Not a Burden, I am a Child. I posted this on my own blog here in response to some strong emotion that came up for me after reading a news article back in May about the rise in reports of child abuse.

If you decide to go to the Polyvore website and check it out for yourself, you may be a bit confused at first. The home page makes it look like a fashion site, and it is. But in addition to all the fashion images, there are thousands of other images (they call them"items") that you can save into your own personal file at your account and create any kind of healing collage (they call them "sets" over there) that you so desire. Give it a try! I'm glad I did!

Advocacy & Awareness

Hope presents Do You Chase the Embrace? posted at Hope for Trauma, saying, "Parents should be aware that they might be sending the wrong message to their children about touch. Children like and need consistency."

KathyBroady LCSW delivers a second post this month: Sex Offenders in the Northern Dallas Texas Area from her blog, Protective Parenting. Kathy points out, "An important element of prevention of sexual abuse is having an awareness of the predators in your neighborhood. This blog post provides an example of how to find your local registered sex offenders. Prevent child abuse by knowing exactly who to avoid!"

Colleen Spiro has a way of providing succinct, powerful advocacy posts at her blog, Surviving by Grace. In this post, she talks about The Ripple Effect and asks, "How many people have been helped because I was helped?"


post, Coping With Fall really caught my attention because, like me, she says that fall is her favorite season, yet it is also filled with triggers. She posts at Shades of Ivory, and says, "Healing from child abuse is immeasurably deep and ambiguous. Healing should be needed only when the abuse has not first been prevented."

Faith Hoffen presents HERE'S THE CONDENSED VERSION OF MY TRAUMA - THE CAUSES OF MY INJURIES AND ILLNESSES posted at Hope for Coping with Traumatic Stress, saying, "This is the condensed version of how the child abuse affected me physically up to the present day - including 8 surgeries and continuing pain...But, I still have hope for a better tomorrow."

Colleen Spiro joins us again with her post, Empty Spaces from her blog, Surviving by Grace. Here, she talks about the holiday season approaching and the grief that she feels regarding the estrangement from her family of origin. But, I think Colleen's "feeling of the feelings" shows healthy progress.

This next post, from Jumping in Puddles is very interesting as it describes, A Littles Life Inside a Big Body, at her blog, Life Spacings. JIP commented, "What it's like living inside a big body but stuck being a little because of abuse that created you in the first place." I want to thank the littles in JIP's system for their courage in sharing in this post.

Healing & Therapy

I met Dr. Kathleen Young several months ago through Twitter. She's been a wonderful, consistent supporter of our carnival ever since. Here, she presents, Connection Heals, from her blog, Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago. I sure do appreciate my connection with her!

is back with, What Causes Depression - Why You Must Examine The Past If You're a Child Abuse Survivor posted at ZenTactics News Page, saying, "I wrote this article based on personal experience. I shared it with another survivor and it rang true for them as well. I hope you like it." Yes, Adam, I like this smart article very much. In fact, I wish I had read it years ago. It took me (an my various doctors and therapists) literally years to figure out that I am not chronically depressed. My depression is situational and usually arises while avoiding horrific childhood memories that are trying to surface.

Dan L Hays presents Talk of Tigers/The Tiger Unveiled posted at Thoughts Along The Road to Healing, saying, " It is how I started to become aware of the rage problem I had, and how I was forced to confront it. It will be the topic of a future book, 'The Tiger Unveiled.'" Good luck with the future book, Dan!

gives us a therapist's perspective in, Mindfulness, Childhood Trauma and Denial posted at the Kellevision blog. With this submission was the remark, "Relearning mindfulness in order to heal from childhood sexual abuse." I like the advice here about survivors getting back in touch with their bodies. I know I was "out" of my body for a long time and being back in touch with it has been healing for me.

Patricia Singleton gives us a light and easy post, Calm from her blog, Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker. Patricia says, "Part of my journey means enjoying the breaks when they come along. All of life doesn't have to be hard." I'm so happy for you that you are experiencing this calm phase of refreshment, Patricia!

mile 191 gives us her thoughts on parenting from an assignment she did in a marriage and family course: Assignment from Hell: Her REGRET. It's from her blog, come into my closet, and she says, "For this article I chose the Healing category because I sense that I am HEALING finally, as I move out of my childhood and into parenting my own children in a more healthy environment and atmosphere. I feel that while I make mistakes that my children are very blessed. I am breaking the cycle...I am preventing child abuse by being the best Mother that I can be. From the mistakes of my own parents I am growing to become the kind of loving and tender parent that I always wanted. I know that I make mistakes and sometimes healing while being a parent is harder than the abuse itself...Being a parent and healing from a tragic childhood is one of the hardest things that any person could possibly take on." I so agree, Mile. But, we are doing it! Yeah!

IK shares about inner child self-soothing, attention and acceptance in, The Child Within from Issue Knitting. Thanks so much for joining us for this carnival, IK!

Mike McBride tells us there's no one right way to heal in his post, We're not all the same from his blog, Child Abuse Survivor. So true, Mike! And I so appreciate your continued support of our carnival. You rock!

April_Optimist is always so positive in her posts, even when speaking about the "tough stuff." In Battening Down the Hatches posted at her blog, The Thriver's Toolbox, she gives us some great ideas for comforting, safety and self-care. As she says, "If we are abused, there will be times the past surfaces and we need to deal with it. This is a post about how to do so safely."

In The News

Hall monitor
presents Teacher accused of forming 'secret society' to have sex with teen girls, posted at Detention Slip saying, "This teacher duped high school girls into sex. We need to stop people like this from entering our schools!" This article, unfortunately, didn't surprise me at all. My own pedophile father was a high school teacher. God only knows what tricks he employed to molest girls there. Raise awareness!

Tamir Birk
from Informed Vote presents Nova Scotia Bishop Lahey’s Alleged Child Abuse.
This article talks about the incomplete media coverage when it comes to Catholic priest pedophiles who also happen to be of very high rank and influence.


Rick Belden was our first blogger to submit for the November carnival. Thanks, Rick! In his poem, child, posted at his blog, poetry, dreams, and the body, Rick presents us with the spiritual child, gifted child, curious, trusting and innocent child. This is moving; please read this poem. As Rick says, "My submission for the November carnival was written twenty years ago and then packed away in a box in my closet where it remained, forgotten, until I rediscovered it earlier this year." I'm so glad you found it and shared it with us!

Nancy Gray is back, this time with a poem: Kicking the Dog - A Poem from another one of her blogs, Scarecrow Child. When submitting, Nancy said, "Child abuse and neglect leave many scars as well as festering wounds on survivors. Art provides an opportunity to heal from some of the damage and its after effects...The Scarecrow Child Blog contains many of my attempts to work through my own trauma through various art forms."

Dan L Hays has a second submission. It's a poem called, Heartbeat from his blog, Thoughts Along The Road to Healing. When submitting, Dan remarked, "A poem about an abuse incident from my teenage years, the effects on my adult life, and the spiritual solution to overcoming it."

Buffalopine agreed to let me use her post, Dream Giver: The Healing, from her blog, Buffalopine's Blog, because it is truly beautiful and poetic. It is long, but it really reads like a poem. Thanks for sharing this with us, Buffalopine!

BeyondBeliefs presents Thomas T. Panto's - My Dear Perfection posted at Journey Of Life, saying, "This is what Living Things know about Life."

I was afraid that Mary had decided to no longer post to her blog, so I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw that she had created a new survivor poem for us! It's called To My Mother, and it's another very poignant and powerful poem written by Mary at her blog, Nippercat's Home.

Survivor Stories

Sarah presents Secrets posted at her blog, Writing. Sarah remarks, "Not Alone Anymore. 'We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we would cease to grow...' ~ Leo F. Buscaglia...All that time, living on the streets, fighting to survive...alone...Loneliness hurts...Loneliness that causes a pain so intense - the only relief you can think of is death. I remember that pain...those years - an emptiness so deep...a gut wrenching despair - connected to no one - feeling utterly worthless - not good enough...Loneliness - is a disease. It eats away at you - steals your life...When God touched me...He slowly filled that empty hole in my soul...I never want to forget where I was...I want my arm to always be extended...reaching make a difference and help others feel connected."

Innocencestolen wrote part of her story, My Story, specifically for our blog carnival. Thanks, Innocencestolen! She posts at her blog, aptly named, Innocencestolen's Blog. Thanks for joining us!

Laurie Smith
contacted me through Mike's Child Abuse Survivor Network. I'm happy to include her post, Chapter - 5 "In This Corner, Heavy Weight Champion....." from her blog, Not So Fond Memories,Growing up in an Abusive Home. Laurie remarks, "It is my hope that this blog will help to promote child abuse awareness. My blog is my story and I hope that as the chapters unfold, the readers of my blog will see that there is hope, there is light and healing can begin. I am living proof...Thank you to everyone who has ever had it in their heart to intervene and to help an abused child." Thank you for your courage in sharing, Laurie!

is back to end our carnival with a post called, Friendship and safety posted at her blog, Scattered pieces. Castorgirl says, "This is a 'thank you' to online friends who accept and understand what it is like to be a survivor." Thank you for this lovely sentiment and for joining us for this carnival edition!

That's it for this edition. I know it is a lot to read with 35 posts. But, I'll keep it up here for a while. You don't have to read all the entries in one sitting, but I know how much all the contributors appreciate a supportive comment at their blog posts. So, get around to as many as you can, won't you? I'd like to thank everyone who submitted their courageous, thoughtful, insightful and helpful blog posts this month. As always, I am so proud of our survivor and supporter community! Thanks for visiting.

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November 16, 2009


Take a Ride, Help a Child!

Update, 11/19/09: Happy World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Whew! This is a HUGE carnival I'm organizing here, with over 35 posts! I will do my best to have the edition up and posted by early this afternoon. See ya then!


Thursday (11/19) is World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. It's an annual, global awareness campaign, launched in 2000. Won't you help a child--help break the cycle--by raising awareness about child abuse at our Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse? I'm hosting an edition here at my blog on Thursday--"World Day."

Butterfly Ferris Wheel
Butterfly Ferris Wheel by Marj aka Thriver on
You can submit items from the news, poetry, survivor stories, posts about healing & therapy, advocacy & awareness, and abuse aftermath. Also starting this month, we have a *New* category: art therapy. If you love collage at Polyvore like I do, embed one of your collages into one of your blog posts and submit it for this new category. We will also take drawings, paintings...any kind of visual art, as long as it's part of a blog post and it was created for art therapy/healing purposes. In addition to these monthly categories, I'd like to see lots of posts this month that focus on prevention of child abuse, to celebrate "World Day."
The deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17, at midnight Pacific Time, U.S. Hurray! You can use this submission form here.

Tuesday, 11/17 Update: Thanks for the heads up on the Blog Carnival submission form link not working. I think it's working now. Thanks for your interest and support of our carnival. If you tried to submit before and couldn't, please try again! Appreciate your patience! ;)

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November 13, 2009


My Parts Are Alive...

...With The Sound of Triggers!

Quick request, bloggy buddies, for you to send up a quick prayer, healing thought, positive vibe, etc. My therapist has been rearranging my appointments lately (still doing the double-time every week) because her mother is in the hospital. While I certainly feel for her and know she has her own life, this couldn't have come at a worse time.

I've got these little child parts telling me about torture memories that occurred outside the "family" and I seem to have had some parts who held all the triggering noises for me. Guess what? They're all PTSD and flashback-like now. It seems I'm triggered by just about anything that sounds like it has a motor in it.

I'm doing all I can to comfort and calm without the support of my T while she's out of town, but it's just all I can do to keep it together right now. Yesterday, I heard some motor noise--truck, street sweeper, I don't know--and a scared voice came out of my mouth saying, "It's coming closer. Where is it? I have to see it so I know how close it's getting!"
This was quickly followed by a tearful crumpling. I've been ultra sensitive to sounds and having flashbacks today as well. So, I've had my MediaPlayer on all day, playing the same soft garden sounds/music over and over to cover up noises and calm my shattered nerves.

I'm doing a lot of work right now, but it can sure be filled sometimes with trauma triggers and fear. Thanks, in advance, for those thoughts, prayers and vibes, all.

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November 05, 2009


Therapy Marathon

Well, I'm back home and I feel like my intense therapy week last week went well. In addition to the 4 1/2 hours of therapy time, I was able to indulge in some pampering and self-care, as well as time to get some extra work done. I worked on a healing-related poem, I did a ton of reading and journaling, and I worked on some self-love affirmations. The affirmations exercise is one that my sister shared with me from the WIIT program. It's supposed to defuse negative brain-washing messages. (I may share some of that sometime later.)

In addition, this time focused on my healing gave me the push I needed to admit I needed something to help me sleep. I was starting to feel very run down from lack of sleep and poor sleep with nightmares, etc. So I went into the doctor and got a prescription for Trazadone. It's helping me a lot! I hope I won't have to be on it long, but I'm glad it's there for support when I need to be at least a notch above zombie level.

Now that I'm back, things are mixed, as life always is. Today I'm home with a sick kid (again!). But, I missed my son after being away for a five days and I'm glad to spend more time with him. When he's sick is about the only time that he really lets me snuggle him and love on him anymore. He acts like he's already 15 or something! LOL ;)

The biggest thing I'm excited about at this very moment is the fact that I rebooted my computer and ran some scans on it and then got Firefox working on it again. Hooray! It's the first time I've been able to use Firefox on my computer for about a month! So, I'm able to do this new blog post easily, and maybe I'll get around to some other blogs today.

I'm feeling a little anxious about my birthday this weekend. But, I've been very assertive and have asked for exactly what I want for my birthday. We're going to a brunch on Sunday, as a family, assuming we're all healthy. Then, in the evening, my husband got us the tickets I wanted for a live comedy show. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine sometimes.

My son provides some comic relief for me quite often. He's such a little card! I'm continuing some extra therapy right now. After a tough session yesterday afternoon, I picked him up from school with tears still in my eyes. It wasn't long, however, before he had me in stitches with some silly story he was telling in his animated way. I love him so much! I'm so glad that I was able to have a child and we've been able to keep him safe...and he knows how much he's loved.

As for my inner children, I'm continuing to do double therapy weeks until further notice. I'm on the verge of uncovering some issues that need to be processed from the two-year black hole I have always had in my childhood memories. I can remember so much from Kindergarten--and then again from third grade, but I virtually remember nothing about first grade and completely nothing about second grade. I can't even say I remember my teacher, what the classroom looked like or anything. Let alone what happened with me personally. So, I'm standing on a scary precipice. But, I just keep climbing. All you survivors out there: Let's just keep climbing!

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