March 29, 2010


Aware AND Alive: Finding Joy

Hey, folks. I'm back from Spring Break. We couldn't afford to fly anywhere this year and my husband wanted to save money by camping instead of staying in a hotel. I was afraid we were going to freeze our buns off! We had to drive all the way down to Sedona, AZ to find some sunshine and warmth, but it was worth the long road trip. We camped in Oak Creek Canyon where it was gorgeous. I've never slept so well on a camping trip. The sound of the creek was a wonderful lullaby!

A Magical, Healing Hug
A Magical, Healing Hug by MarjakaThriver(on break) on

Now that I'm back, I'm reading the posts in this month's Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. Mike at Child Abuse Survivor had such a wonderful idea. To help celebrate his Irish heritage and the Irish humor he so appreciates, Mike set up a theme for this edition of humor, joy and survivors finding happiness.

You know, child abuse is such a serious subject and we do need to be warriors fighting against it, raising awareness and working for prevention and recovery. But, we can also celebrate survivors finding joy, humor and a sense of wholeness and happiness. That's the whole reason I decided a long time ago to name my dot com site and my blog Survivors Can Thrive! Don't we all want to emerge from surviving and start thriving in our lives? Sometimes, while I'm down in the trenches of my own recovery, working on my healing, I forget that. Thanks for the reminder, Mike!

Yes, thanks indeed, Mike, for coming up with such an inspired theme. I am smiling reading these posts. I so appreciate our survivor solidarity where we can share our sorrows and our joys. Thanks to all for participating and thank you, in advance, for going to the carnival, reading and sharing your comments on the posts. You'll be glad you stopped by. Go get a smile! :)

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March 21, 2010


Shamrocks, Carnivals & Spring Breaks

Happy spring, everybody! I don't know about you, but this has been a looooong winter for me. I am so happy to see the crocuses blooming!

I'm about to go out of town for a little road trip to celebrate my son's Spring Break. But, before I go, I wanted to make sure to let you all know about our next edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. Mike, at Child Abuse Survivor, has graciously offered to host for us once again. I think he chose March as the month for him to host this year because he is Irish. And March is , of course, when we celebrate for, with and about our Irish friends with St. Patrick's Day. About this edition Mike said:

"I’ll be hosting the March edition of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse later this month, and given my own Irish heritage, and this being the month we celebrate the Irish with St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to make the theme of this year one that speaks to the Irish part of me. Historically, Ireland has been a country of misery, and the Irish people have suffered oppression, famine, civil war, poverty... Yet, through it all, they maintain a sense of humor and know how to have a good time! I’ve always thought, as a survivor, that healing requires a little bit of that. In the midst of my worst days of trying to cope, I found that having those little moments of joy to look forward to, made it just a little bit easier. So, as part of this month’s carnival...I want to hear about how, as a survivor, you’ve managed to find the joy in life and have a good time! We’ll call it the “Life is Grand” category."

Of course, we will also have our regular submission categories of: Advocacy & Awareness, Aftermath, Art Therapy, Healing & Therapy, In The News, Poetry and Survivor Stories. But, this month, Mike wants to hear some blog post stories about overcoming with joy and a sense of humor. I like his idea. It's inspired, isn't it? So, be thinking about this months' theme, won't you? The deadline for this month's edition is Wednesday, March 24. Our carnival edition will post over at Mike's blog on Friday, March 26. You can use this submission form here to send in a post.
Thank you all for your continued support and involvement in our blog carnival!

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March 08, 2010


Women Changing The World For Our Children

Today is International Women's Day! Did you know?

As I was tweeting about it over at Twitter, I discovered a great article in the
Huffington Post: International Women's Day: 11 Women Who Are Changing The World.

In this article, I learned that some of these women are changing the world through important child abuse prevention issues. Now that's some news I love to hear some coverage about!

First, there's Nujood Ali, a 12-year-old girl from Yemen. When she was only 10 years old, she was forced to marry a man in his 30's. Of course, Nujood's new husband forced himself on her. But, one day she was able to sneak away from her new "home" and go to the courthouse and request a divorce. She was successful at obtaining the divorce and now has returned to her family and her studies at school. She now has the chance to continue her childhood. She has written a book about her victory called, I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.

Then there's Waris Dirie, a supermodel and best-selling author who was born in the Somali desert and underwent genital mutilation at the young age of five. Now she is a tireless spokesperson and advocate working to end genital mutilation of girls. You can visit the website for her foundation here.

Next, meet Somaly Mam. Born into extreme poverty in Cambodia, Somaly was sold into sexual slavery as a child. Since escaping her captors, she has dedicated her life to helping other victims of human trafficking. Somaly's foundation helps human trafficking victims escape their plight and build the emotional and economic strength they need to build a future for themselves.

Finally, of Huffington's "11 Women Changing The World," I want to mention Eve Ensler. You may know her from her award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues. Eve is the founder of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. It's the perfect nonprofit to end my post with, as it raises awareness in the fight to stop many of the issues I've already mentioned including: rape, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery.

Well, I'm done with the 11 Women Changing The World list for International Women's Day, but I'm not quite done with my post yet. I want to point out a couple of organizations that I get updates from on a daily basis, year round (not just on International Women's Day). These nonprofits are always calling attention to ways in which we can empower women to end the abuse of children.

One of my favorites--that I've been supporting for some time--is Equality Now. Right now, Equality Now is raising awareness and helping victims in these areas: girls sold into the sex trade in India; girls raped by their teachers in Zambia; and female genital mutilation in Somalia.

And last--but certainly not least--I support Women Thrive Worldwide. This is the organization I follow over at Twitter that told me today was International Women's Day in the first place! Many of the issues involving children that I've just discussed thrive in our world's poverty. Women Thrive Worldwide works to shape the U.S. policies that help women lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Click here to find information to help you urge your senator to support the GROWTH--Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive--Act.

Thanks for reading, clicking, linking and acting to support women changing the world for our children. And happy International Women's Day!

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March 02, 2010


Allowing Myself To Dream Again

Hey, everybody. Sorry I haven't been around the blogosphere all that much as of late. But, one of the main reasons I've been distracted is a good thing. As some of you may know, I'm working on achieving my certificate in botanical illustration.
Dream Job: Botanical Illustrator
Dream Job: Botanical Illustrator by MarjakaThriver(on break) on

I am really enjoying it. My T really likes this for me as she says that it really helps me with my level of competency and self-esteem. I agree. It is also so freeing to dream again. For such a long time, I've felt like recovery, healing, therapy--those things were my full-time job. Now, I feel like some of my old talents and skills have returned and I'm enjoying practicing those things. My undergraduate degree is in commercial art. From the beginning--as an art major in college--I wanted to be an illustrator.

But, I also knew I did not want to be a "starving artist." Therefore, I went to work in Chicago in advertising and corporate communications until all hell broke loose. I got married, got laid off, had a baby and started working on my recovery from child abuse.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm coming out of a long nightmare. It feels wonderful to be dreaming again. It feels even better to be working toward making my dream come true! What dreams do you have that you're working on to make reality?

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