Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: October 30, 2009 Edition

In The Best Interest: Child Advocacy Law blog is hosting the "Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: October 30, 2009". Lynda L. Hinkle is the author of this blog. Her subtitle says her blog is about "Child Welfare Law And Advocacy, Advancing The Rights Of Children And Giving Children A Greater Voice In The Legal System." Thanks, Lynda for hosting this month's Carnival. I hope that my readers join me in checking out the articles that were submitted for the Carnival Against Child Abuse for this month. The link is following:

My article "Lies Incest Perpretrators Tell Their Victims" is included in the Carnival for October.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Courage Isn't Just About The Big Stuff

Courage isn't just about the big stuff. Some days courage is about doing what is necessary to just get though the day. The comments that you leave here on my blog often speak about how courageous you believe I am. I appreciate the words of encouragement that you leave at the end of my articles. Many of you are just as courageous or even more so with what you deal with daily in your lives. Congratulate yourself for a job well done in overcoming your own childhood abuse in whatever form it takes.

As I visit blogs of other incest survivors, I see more examples of courage. Setting boundaries with family members, saying no to any more abuse, saying yes to spiritual growth, saying yes to change in your life---all of these are daily examples of courage that I see on the survivor blogs that I visit each week.

Some instances of showing courage would be saying no to an abusive relationship, getting a divorce instead of staying because it is more comfortable than facing the unknown, confronting your abuser with what he/she has done and letting them know this behavior is not acceptable, being a parent instead of a friend to your children, sharing your story with others (The first time is the hardest.), setting healthy boundaries when you had no boundaries before. All of these show the courage that each of us is capable of.

The every day kind of courage comes about when you learn to say no instead of stretching yourself to unbearable limits, learning to care for and nurture the lost and hurting inner child, putting your needs first and not feeling guilty so that you aren't an empty vessel that isn't capable of helping anybody, getting counseling for yourself to help you deal with the abuse issues, sharing your childhood story of abuse with a close friend or loved one.

You may not see yourself as being strong or being courageous. If you are working on your abuse issues, you are both. Courage is being afraid and moving forward and making choices anyway. Hugs and blessings to all of you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daybreak---The End Of Night

From Daybreak, Meditations For Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse, written by Maureen Brady, 1991, February 26 page:

I regret the abuse I suffered, yet I value the way healing from it has deepened me.

All human beings, whether survivors of childhood abuse or not, are confronted with illness, accidents, loss of loved ones, and a whole host of other injuries that hurt us and we wish hadn't happened. Yet don't we learn from these times how to value what we may have taken for granted---good health, for instance? And don't we discover resources that migh have otherwise lain dormant in us?

As I deal with my memories of abuse, I often rail against my lot, wishing this history belonged to someone else, that I could be free from it. But then I wonder, who would this someone else be? I realize how much strength I've observed in myself as I've grappled with my pain. I've found the me who came through. I've found the freedom to leave behind more superficial masks that otherwise might have covered my face for a lifetime."

I find comfort in reading that. Why did I choose to name this article "Daybreak---The End Of Night after reading the above daily meditation? First of all, this book Daybreak, Meditations For Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse brings me much comfort. It gives me hope that one day I may actually leave the darkness of incest---the nighttime of my childhood---behind. If someone else can do this, so can I. So can you.

This meditation reminded me of all of the incest survivor blogs that I read and all of the other survivors who are struggling, as I struggle, to face the hurt and anger and to leave the past behind. Letting go of the pain---the hurt, anger, alienation, betrayal, inner messages of negativity, the isolation, the secrets---I believe that all of this is possible. I also know it isn't as easy as some would like you to believe. Don't you think if it were that easy that more people would instantly do it? Nobody that I know really enjoys being an incest survivor.

If you are an incest survivor or a child abuse survivor, you can look at the right sidebar and find a list of the sites that I frequently read written by other survivors who are in recovery and learning to thrive despite their childhood abuse. Each of these blog writers shares their journey through abuse on their blogs. Learning that you are not the only one makes the journey easier. I appreciate each of these bloggers for the courage that they show me daily. The journey is easier when it is shared. Thank you each and everyone. Have a glorious day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Are All Vulnerable To Life And Other People

From Awakening, A Daily Guide to Conscious Living, written by Shakti Gawain, Revised Edition, 1991 & 2006, October 3 page:

"We are all vulnerable

Most of us are somewhat afraid of our vulnerability. We have various ways of masking it, hiding it, defending it. The key to intimacy, though, is being able to be vulnerable with another person. To do that, we must first be honest with ourselves about our deepest, most vulnerable feelings. We must learn to care for and protect these feelings, not by closing them off and defending them, but by being able to say honestly what we feel and ask for what we need.

As we learn to use our inner strength to support and express our inner vulnerability instead of to repress it, we begin to feel safer and more comfortable opening up to another person.

I am learning to feel comfortable with my vulnerability."

Being vulnerable enough to ask for help is a biggy for me. You can read my previous article "Dealing With Change" found at for some of those reasons.

Lately, I continue to put myself in a place of being vulnerable to others. I actually do that with everyone of the articles that I write on this blog. I allow myself to be vulnerable when I call my Al-Anon sponsor or my best friend.

I recently started attending a grieving group which gives me plenty of opportunities to be vulnerable with more sharing of my incest story and my recovery experiences. Any time that you are in recovery, you do grieving work. Any time that you go to a counselor or therapist, some, if not most, of the work that you do is grieving work as you learn to face your issues. The homework for our group this week was twofold:
1. Give someone else some of your "experience, strength, and hope" when they ask for your help.
2. Receive help from someone else gracefully.

One very important fact that the class was told last night was that "Help is not help unless the person receiving it perceives it as help." Giving advice, even when it is asked for, isn't always helpful. Most of the time when a person asks for advice, what they really need and want is someone to listen to them as they talk and figure out their own answers.

I know that a lot of my readers come from a childhood of abuse in some form. I am passing my homework assignment along to any of you who are willing to do it this week. Let me know how you did.

In a recent comment, I was asked to share a website with my readers. After looking at the website and emailing back and forth with one of the contributers, I decided to put up a Blog Link with this person, Thomas Dow, and his website. His website is called "Let's Be Present". You can find his site at the following link: . Thomas, like me, is a Lightworker who is reaching out to help others heal from their childhood abuse issues as he works to heal his own issues.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dealing With Change

A blogger friend of mine, Corinne Edwards, whose blog you will find at the following link , recently suggested that I would enjoy reading a new book written by Neale Donald Walsch. The title of the new book is When Everything Changes Change Everything. I finally started reading it last night. As you can tell from my most recent articles, I am involved in change right now.

Mr. Walsch's new book is about 9 changes that he says you all need to make when you are going through changes. These changes can truly change your life. So far, I am reading about the first change.

"Change #1:
Change your decision to 'go it alone'." (page 29)

Mr. Walsch says that most of us tend to isolate when we are having difficulties. I can't speak for you but for me that is so true. I have trouble reaching out and saying that I am having problems and asking for help. A part of me feels ashamed that I am not able to deal with this problem on my own.

Here is what Mr. Walsch says and it makes perfect sense to me.

"The reason that so many of us tend to self-isolate when we are facing big problems---and by the way, have you noticed that almost every really big problem you've ever faced emerged from something that changed?---is that we have never given ourselves permission to be seen as less than perfect, or as someone who does not have it all altogether." (page 29-30)

Does this sound like you? It certainly sounds like me. This is one area that I still have all of the childhood tapes playing in my head.

Mr. Walsch goes on to say, "We've also been taught as children that we should not 'burden others' with our problems. And finally, we've been told that most everything is our own fault anyway, so why would we go to someone else with it? It was made very clear that we made our bed and now we have to lie in it." (page 30)

He goes on to say that none of these things is true and that whoever told you this was wrong about it all. Here is where he really got my attention.

"The need to be 'perfect' and to 'have it all together' is a manifestation of a larger need: the need for approval." (page 30)

I still struggle with this "need for approval". This is where fear of rejection comes into my life. Every time that I write an article on incest or tell a new person or even tell a person who has known me for years but doesn't know that I am an incest survivor, I face my fear of rejection and fear that I will lose your approval and love. This is where I rely upon courage to help me deal with however you react to my article or my disclosure of more information.

Mr. Walsch goes on to say, "People want to help us. They do not feel 'burdened' by doing so. Quite the opposite. They feel uplifted.

Knowing that we've helped others brings us value, skyrocketing our feelings of self-worth. Life suddenly begins to make sense. Or at least to give us, in that moment, a sense of higher purpose." (page 31)

"We're all just running around trying to help somebody. Knowing this should make it easier to accept help---from a professional or from a loved one---when our own need is particularly acute. Why would we make it more difficult for someone to help us when help is exactly what we need, and exactly what others want to give?" (page 31)

I hope that sharing these wise words of Neale Donald Walsch will help you to be able to ask for help the next time that you need it. I know it makes it easier for me. I know that I don't have to try so hard to be perfect and I still find myself doing it in certain areas of my life.
Does any of this ring true for you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Resistance Is Futile---How Do You Deal With Change?

From Daybreak, Meditations For Women Survivors Of Sexual Abuse, written by Maureen Brady, Page for April 19:

"Letting go is a never-ending process of relating to my resistance.

When I let go of my nearly unrelenting need to control, my belief that I can bend even iron with my will, I am released into serenity and trust in a power greater than myself. Then, almost immediately, I drop the most powerful lesson I have learned and take up my willfulness again. I ask myself in some bewilderment, why would I do this?

To some extent my need to control may have become excessive and obsessive because the loss of control in the sexual abuse was so great that I needed to make up for it. But regardless of my story, it is also a very human characteristic to grasp for control. The way to work with this is through a daily practice of noticing what I am clinging to---a thought, a feeling, a memory, a determination to make a situation come out a certain way---and uncurling my grip as a gesture of release and watching what I am clinging to float away. Releasing my willful attachments creates space and sustenance for my soul."

How often do you resist change? I find myself resisting change just about every time that it comes into my life. I deal better with smaller changes than I do big ones so that is some improvement. I have to remind myself, to use a phrase from Star Trek Next Generation, "Resistance is futile." Resistance just makes change harder and slower but change still moves forward anyway despite my resistance. Often resistance just gives me a headache and it still doesn't stop the change from happening.

Resisting change is very much about the need to control---your environment, other people and their behavior, and your reactions to those people and environments. If you are controlling then you can feel safe. Controlling, as I have said many times before, is just an illusion that you are in control. Life, the Universe, God---these are what are really in control. Your choice is to go with the flow or to resist. Going with the flow doesn't mean that you don't have dreams or make plans for your future. Going with the flow means that you don't resist the change that Life sometimes throws at you when you don't know what the bigger picture is. It means letting go of the need to control what isn't my responsibility in the first place.

You might be interested in reading the article from the blog The Rat Race Trap written by Stephen Mills at the following link: . The article is called "An Optimal Balance to Your Life. Part of my above paragraph came from my comment to Stephen's article about balance.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Relationships And Trust

From Awakening, A Daily Guide to Conscious Living, written by Shakti Gawain, New World Library, Novato, California, 1991, Revised 2006, October 1 page:

"We need relationships

Our primary relationship is with ourselves, and ultimately that's the only one that can provide the foundation for wholeness. That's the place where we need to find integration and balance. And at the same time, we need relationships with other people in order to be happy and fulfilled in life. If we only look for wholeness and completion within ourselves, we disown the part of ourselves that also needs other people.

Human beings are social creatures. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually --- we absolutely need close contact with other people. We need love, support, understanding, recognition, and stimulation reflected to us by others.

I spend time cultivating my relationship with myself and time reaching out to receive what I need from others."

I recently picked this book up at a used book store. Years ago, I read a book by Shakti Gawain and just didn't connect with it at all. I am connecting with what this book has to offer.

As a Saggittarian, my natal chart shows me that this lifetime for me is all about relationships. My major work this lifetime has to do with all kinds of relationships. Maybe that is why the lessons have been so difficult with my parents. We often learn the most from our greatest struggles in life.

As an incest survivor, my early relationships were full of pain (physical and emotional) and betrayal. Trust has been one of my biggest issues that I struggle with. My newest relationship is with my Al-Anon sponsor. God has blessed me by putting this wonderful lady in my life. She has wisdom and years in Al-Anon that I don't have. That doesn't mean that she doesn't have struggles in life. She does. She allows me to see her struggles and that is good. I can see, first hand, how she handles her own struggles in life and therefore, I learn more by her example than by her words. I know that I can trust what she says because I can see her using it herself. When she is in trouble and overwhelmed, what does she do? She calls her sponsor and works her Steps in the program of Al-Anon, things that I am also learning to do.

It isn't easy for me to call another person and admit that I need help and that I don't have all of the answers. It isn't easy for me to show you my vulnerabilities because in the past those vulnerabilities were used to hurt me. It isn't easy for me to say, "I am hurting." In my childhood, I was shamed when I let it be known that I was unhappy, sad, hurting, angry, crying.....

So, how are your relationships going today? I am learning about myself through my relationships. I am learning that I have value. I am learning that I can care about you and not get hurt. I am learning that you have value. I am learning that I learn best by watching other people and seeing what works for them and what doesn't work for them. I am learning to love myself completely as I am. I am learning to love you completely as you are. I don't have to change you and you don't have to change me. As children of God, we are all perfect and that is as it should be. What have your relationships taught you?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Your Outer Conflicts Mirror Your Inner Conflicts

Awakening, A Daily Guide to Conscious Living written by Shakti Gawain, Revised Edition, Nataraj Publishing, a division of New World Library, Novato, California, 1991, 2006, page September 27:

"Outer conflict is a mirror of inner conflict

Most of our conflicts in relationships or in situations in our lives are projections of inner conflicts. People we are in conflict with are usually mirroring some parts of ourselves with which we are uncomfortable or unresolved."

"This situation won't change until we're willing to see the outer conflicts as mirroring our inner conflicts. As we become aware of and accept all aspects of ourselves, outer conflicts melt away.

I am learning to see outer conflict as a mirror of my own inner conflict."

This isn't new information for me. It is just a reminder of what I already knew. My home is a good example of this. I can keep the majority of my house in some kind of order in all areas except my bedroom. My bedroom is almost always a mess. I am organized in most areas of my life except for this one area. I guess this means the day that all of my incest issues are fully resolved (Do you think that will ever happen? I am not sure that it will.), then I will be able to keep my bedroom straightened up and in some kind of order.

My husband prays for that day. I can't blame any of the disorder on him. His side of the bedroom is neat and ordered.

Does it make sense to you that an incest survivor would have a messy bedroom because of the internal mess around sex and sexuality? It makes perfect sense to me. Are there any areas of your life that mirror your internal self?

By the way, this is my 200th article written and posted on my blog. Today is an anniversary for my family also. Twenty-one years ago today, we moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas.