May 30, 2007


She Survived CSA, But Not Cancer

I am sad to have to say that a wonderful person and child abuse prevention & awareness advocate has lost her battle with cancer and passed on. Her name was Anita Larson, but most of us knew her as Jodi Larson, the artist who created The Show Of Hands project. I received a blog comment from a good friend of Jodi's, Andrea Duff, that Jodi died on Sunday, May 20, 2007. Jodi was only 52 years old.

I met Jodi online and immediately recognized her courage, strength, passion and creativity. She was an amazing, vital human being and childhood sexual abuse survivor. Her website, is still up and running, but I do not know if anyone will be continuing her work in her stead. Go visit the site while you still can to see some of the amazing examples of Jodi's work and advocacy.

I first blogged about Jodi in March of 2006. This is the post where Jodi's friend Andrea commented and included the details of Jodi's obituary.

I wrote a poem called, Raise Your Hand, and included it in my post called, Take A Stand, Raise Your Hand. The poem was included with my hand print in Jodi's Show of Hands exhibit. Jodi's hands work was exhibited in the Healing Through Creativity--a survivor art festival--event last year, but I don't know if it will be included this year, this coming July, in West Virginia.

The funeral home in Newark, Delaware, that held Jodi's services, offers online condolences that you can easily type in and offer to her family at Her friends and family are requesting donations in honor of Jodi be sent to the Helen Graham Cancer Center which can also easily be transacted online at

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May 20, 2007


The Trauma Twins

I've been on an emotional roller coaster. My twin sister is visiting for three weeks. It's been distracting me big time. I got the blog carnival stuff up, finally. But I'm delayed with posting a meme I got tagged on and a nifty survivor award thing I want to check blogs I want to look at more...blogs I want to post to and links I want to put up on my dot com site,, and preparations I want to start making for the first anniversary of the blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I know I haven't been around to visit my bloggy friends much in the past two weeks either.

When my sister first arrived from the deep south where she lives, it was surreal with my parts. There were Little Ones who were cheering, "Yay! Sissy is coming. We want to see Sissy!" When she actually showed up, their tune changed to, "Who's that lady? Where's Sissy?' I think they truly expected to see a cute little girl with blond pony tails at my door.

Then I had to deal with an older part who really hates my sister. She is slow to forgive the many times I covered up for my twin and often took the fall for her during her rebellious years. I thought I had dealt with this in therapy, but apparently this part still resents the years of being enmeshed and enabling with my sis. She's also jealous as hell that my twin had rebellious years during a time when I was still falling all over my selves trying to please my mother and gain her never-to-be-obtained approval.

I haven't seen my sis much for over ten years. A lot of old baggage has to be checked with this visit. I get annoyed when people say stuff like, "Stop living in the past. You have to be in the present." It's so obvious to me now that, for my parts, the past is the present. It's going to take quite a lot of time, patience and therapy to bring them all up to date.

One thing that has been encouraging, I guess, is that I have parts that feel safe enough to switch out (if that's what you call it) in front of my sister. I've done this many times in front of my husband, but I still try to hide it. With my sister, I not only allow it to happen, I also allow all the fears and tears to come tumbling out at the same time.

Let me give you an example: We were driving back from this nifty little mountain town toy store that I knew both our kid parts would love. We had a wonderful morning together, but I started to notice some physical symptoms sneaking in around lunch time. I had a headache (seems to happen with switching), my guts were rumbling and I had a return of the damn knot in my throat that strangles me and won't let food pass. We were driving back toward my home, taking a very familiar route along the interstate. I began to tell my twin about this pattern I've been noticing. The first part of the pattern is a few days when I act perfectly "normal." Me have parts? No way! Then--as if some parts are attempting to batten down the hatches--I have a day or two where I get physically sick and/or start to have some of the symptoms I just mentioned. Then: POW! All hell--and at least a couple of terrified, devastated and/or pissed off parts--breaks loose. It's a fun way to navigate through life, let me tell ya. Anybody else notice "parts patterns" like this?

Anyway, I'm just getting into telling Sissy about this pattern I've noticed when I discover that I've blown past my exit off the interstate. No problem, I think. I'll jut get off at the next exit. The only problem was I thought the "next exit" was an exit that is, in reality, miles and miles up the highway. Suddenly, nothing looked familiar at all. I tried to read exit signs, but recognized none of the street names. This scared me a lot and I began to panic and sob uncontrollably. Luckily, we were in a slow construction zone and I didn't crash the car. I still remembered how to drive as well, thank God.

Having a difficult morning. Too many nights of not sleeping well and my IBS is flared up worse than it's been in years. I think I'll finish this "twin visit" post later. Thinking of all of you and hoping to get more cauht up in the blogosphere soon.

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May 18, 2007


Come to the Carnival, Raise Your Awareness

We had a bit of a delay, but the blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is now up and taking readers for a spin. Visit Megan's new website, Imaginif, and raise your awareness about child abuse and protecting our children. Megan has done a fabulous job organizing this carnival and putting together her new site with forums discussing child protection. Here's Megan's call to action:

"Imaginif…child safety became serious business went live to the world on Thursday 17th of May 2007. From our Australian headquarters, our aim is to be the largest on-line child protection conversation in the world. To do this, we need YOU to participate in the conversations: to talk about the child safety related issues that are on your mind." (Emphasis here is mine--go Megan!)

She goes on to say:

"You may be a parent, a grandparent, a survivor, a concerned person or a professional in the social science sector. Whoever you are, where ever you are and what ever you do, if protecting kids is an area you are interested in then come on in and start talking.

Protecting children is a community responsibility. This community is a global community, made up of men and women prepared to use their words to help raise the profile of child protection as serious business.

If you have ever wondered what you can do to help kids, then this is the spot for you. Join us. Make some new friends and let’s get down to the serious business of keeping kids safe: no matter where they are in the world.

I'm proud to have Megan host our carnival and I wish her all the best in her new child protection endeavor. The world, and its children (therefore our future) need more champions like Megan.

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May 12, 2007


Deadline Almost Here For May Blog Carnival

Don't forget, folks: The deadline for the May Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is Monday, May 14, for our May 16 edition. This month's host, Megan at Child Protection: Serious Business, has set the edition's theme as, "May Day, May Day: Children At Risk!" Megan is also running a contest that sounds exciting, so go here and check out all the details.

If you'd like to go straight to Blog Carnival dot com and fill out your submission form, you can do so conveniently right
here. Let's get those submissions in! Next month (June) is the one-year anniversary of our important, awareness-raising carnival and I know we all want to keep it going strong! Thanks, all! :)

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May 04, 2007


Look Who's Got Me Thinking!

Since The Thinking Blogger Awards is, in fact, a meme, I'm supposed to award and tag bloggers who make me think as well. According to the rules at The Thinking Blog, I can only give out five awards. This is a tall order for me. I decided to narrow down the blogs that make me think to the ones that I've been reading for quite a while--the blogs that have asserted the most power to make me think. I wish I could include more. I'm also wishing there was an award for the "feeling blogger," because I have many blogs I can think of that really make me feel and keep my heart open.

For now, however, I award the following blogs (in no particular order) with The Thinking Blogger Award and thank them for assisting me on my quest to always keep my mind open:

  1. Beautiful Dreamer could just as easily be called "beautiful writer." Beauty uses simile and metaphor the way I wish I consistently could: to weave words into the fabric of beautiful prose. Right now, Beauty is going through the aftermath of her son's critical accident and hospitalization. But, scroll down a few posts for some exquisitely eloquent writing--the reading will be worth it!
  2. Joel, at Pax Nortona, is quite the prolific and eclectic writer and thinking blogger. He's got posts on subjects ranging from all sorts of pop culture and current events, to mental health, to pets. He's not afraid to voice his opinion. I may not always agree with him, but he always makes me think and reminds me to keep my mind open. I also respect the fact that Joel is a fierce advocate for mental health and erasing the stigma of mental illness. He is a true champion to me.
  3. Austin, and the other system members of Morton's Pride at The People Behind My Eyes, probably gets me laughing as often as she gets me thinking. She really has a way of highlighting the irony and absurdity of life. Her writing often provides the relief of a huge belly laugh. Her artwork and writing also often provide me with a respite from life's ugliness. There is deep beauty here. Even her rants are well thought out, awareness-raising and humorous. She reminds me of something I have firmly believed for a long time: If we don't laugh at ourselves and life, and act a little crazy sometimes, we're at risk of really going crazy!
  4. Keepers is a thinking blogger and a thoughtful blogger in the giving sense. She is a true artist, in her writing as well as her visual artwork. She reaches out to others with honesty and compassion, always speaking her truth. And without honesty and truth, all the thinking and writing in the world just comes out flat. This is a full, well-rounded and utterly human (and humane) blog.
  5. April Optimist writes a blog for survivors called The Thriver's Toolbox. It gets the nod from me. Some may disagree with me and find her posts too pie-in-the-sky at times. I often disagree with April myself, especially when I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself. But, her advice--and the recovery and healing knowledge she shares--is well thought out and researched. The success that she holds out as hope comes from rising above in her own experience.

I am blessed to know these bloggers--through their writing as well as their friendship and support. You may want to get to know them yourself.

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