Monday, April 7, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention And Awareness Month And NipperCat's Home

I thank God that today in the United States we have a month dedicated to Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness. April is also Sexual Assault Awareness month. Both are important and need to have the awareness of resources and survivors' stories shared. They can be interconnected because if you were sexually abused as a child, you were sexually assaulted or to put it simpler, you were raped. It took me awhile of talking about being an incest survivor because I came to realize that, yes, I was raped by my uncle and then my dad, each time that the sexual abuse happened because I wasn't given a choice, because my innocence was forcibly taken from me. Violence wasn't used like with many rape cases but coercion was. Fear was very much a weapon in the sexual abuse that was done to me as a child. Rage and threats were used to gain my cooperation and silence.

I want to reintroduce you to a survivor friend of mine that I have known since about 2008 or 2009. I met her through her survivor blog which is called NIPPERCAT'S HOME after a loving pet that she once had. Honestly, I don't remember exactly how I found Mary Graziano's blog but I instantly fell in love with the beauty of her words and her soul which shines through her words. Mary shares her story of incest through her writings which often, but not always, flows out in the form of her poetry. The link I am going to share shows one of artist Michal Madison's paintings called "SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD" before Mary shares her thoughts and memories from childhood and then shares Mary's own poem called "Through the Eyes of A Child."  Mary had written this poem sometime ago and recently edited it to change some of the wording. Here is the link:

When I first met Mary, she was telling her story through her blog but she was so shy that I could hardly get a comment out of her when I commented on her blog. I could feel her shyness and sadness through her words on her blog. Her words touched my heart. As a survivor, I felt a connection to Mary through her sharing on her blog. Today I am proud to say that Mary has worked and overcome most of that shyness and has become quite outspoken as an Advocate for children and for abuse survivors. She proudly shares her story today. She inspires me daily with her strength and courage as she works with children and with other survivors. I am proud to call her my friend.

Another link that I want to share with you is of Mary sharing her story on a radio program for the first time where she and her story of pain and healing are the entire focus of the show. At her request and that of Bill Murray who is the show host, I went on as a panel member to show my support of Mary and her sharing. Mary was a guest speaker on the Blog Talk Radio program Stop Child Abuse Now otherwise known as SCAN. I hope that you will join me in listening to the archive of the show at the following link:


Mary has become a very dear friend over the past few years even though we have never met. We show support for each other on a daily basis since we are volunteers in a Facebook group that is a support for members who are sexual abuse survivors in the form of rape and incest and some who are survivors of domestic violence. The group is secret for the protection of its members and the only way to join is by invitation. It is through this group that over the past year, I have come to realize that not all domestic violence causes physical harm. Any time that you live in constant fear in your home that is a form of domestic violence too. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse leave scars that can take years to heal.

Before I end today's article, for any of my friends who aren't on Facebook or Twitter or may have missed my announcements there, my MRI and MRI Contrast tests earlier this last week came out normal. That means there are no physical causes showing for the headaches I have been having since last October. My doctor last week said she thought they were probably stress related so it looks like she is right. As of today, I am making some changes in my life style. I am going to start meditating at least once a day and listening to music and nature sounds on YouTube as I am on the computer during the day. I will start out doing just those things while I consider if I need to cut some more of my hours on the computer. I will also be researching what causes stress and ways to deal with it. I thank you all for your love, patience and prayers of the past few months as I have struggled with this issue.


Mary Graziano said...

Pat,my dear sweet friend. I just now came across this article you wrote. Thank you for writing about me, wow, I don't think anyone has done that for me before. I am so glad that we met as bloggers way back, and to finally open up and not be that shy "little girl" any longer. She is long gone now, and I am so happy that I can share my blog, my poetry to let others know they are not along. Love you Pat, you are a true friend. <3

Patricia Singleton said...

Mary, You are very welcome and are a dear friend to me too. It has been an honor to watch you grow and blossom into the Advocate that you are today. I love you, Sweet Lady.