Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What Other People Think About You Is None Of Your Business.

A very wise friend once told me, "What other people think about you is none of your business." Then she proceeded to tell me that what any body thinks about you comes down through their filters. We all have these filters that we look at life and other people through. Our filters are created by our experiences.

If information comes to a person through their filters and those filters are created by that person's experiences, then what they think about me truly isn't about me. It is about them, not me. If what a person thinks is more about them than it is about me, then it truly isn't my business. Their thoughts are not my business. It is theirs.

My 7-year-old granddaughter got me to thinking about this last week. She and her family were here visiting. On a day trip to visit her great-grandmother, she rode with her grandpa and I. During a lull in the conversation, my granddaughter asked, "Grandma, are you mad at Grandpa all the time?" I was shocked into a few minutes of silence thinking about what she said. I paused to wonder if that was how she saw me. Was I angry all of the time? Because of the articles that I have been writing on this blog, I have been a little intense lately. Also, with so many people in the house at one time, my stress levels were up some. Did I act angry even when I wasn't? I automatically assumed this question was about me. I told her, no, that I wasn't angry at Grandpa all of the time.

Then I proceeded to make a point of being nicer, of speaking in a softer voice, of smiling and laughing more to show her that I wasn't angry all the time. Was I acting? No, I was aware and put more effort into how I interacted with those around me. I am sometimes surprised at how others see me. Sometimes, they are accurate and sometimes they are not. The point is what others think about me, how they "see" me is still none of my business. It is theirs.

Later on, our granddaughter made a comment to her grandpa that he later shared with me. She told him that her mom and dad were always angry at each other. So when she asked if I was always angry at her grandpa, she was asking though the filters of her own experience which said that all husbands and wives are angry with each other all the time.

So what do I do when I receive a complaint or praise from someone, I look to see if any of it is true for me. If it isn't, then I let go of it. If it is true, then I make the decision to change or not. It is my decision to make, not the person doing the complaining or praising.

What do I do when I receive "Hate" emails, letters, or comments? I get hurt, angry, sad and feel all of them, then I love myself and send love to the other person.

What do I do when I receive "Praise" emails, letters or comments? I feel joy, excitement, pleasure. I allow myself to feel each of those, then I love myself and send love to the other person.

What lesson did I learn from this exercise?
What other people think about me is none of my business. It is theirs.
What I think about other people is none of their business. It is mine.
We all see the world though filters which affects how we see.
Love Is what life is about. Love yourself. Love others. We are all one.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Breaking The Silence---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 4

Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey.

Breaking the silence is the most frightening, courageous, freeing thing that a survivor can do for themselves. This is where recovery can begin.

Breaking the silence is the most frightening thing that I have ever done.
For so many years, I kept this really big secret inside of me. I was afraid to tell anyone, afraid that if you knew the real me, you would see how bad I was, how tarnished I was, how ashamed I felt. I believed that I couldn't let anyone know the real me. I thought that there had to be something inherently bad in me for me to keep attracting men who would abuse me in this way. I thought, "Why can't I be good enough or smart enough to stop the incest?" I even thought that God didn't care or He would stop the abuse. Even God did nothing so I must really be bad. These were my constant thoughts.

Finally, when I was seventeen years old, I reach a maturity level where I knew that I was older than my dad - emotionally and intellectually. I knew he was the child and I was the adult. He no longer had any hold over me. His threats meant nothing to me. By this time, I knew he would never tell anyone.

Not everyone is as blessed as I was to finally be able to say, "NO" to the abuse. Eleven more years of living with the silence went by before I had the courage to tell anyone.

Breaking the silence is the most courageous thing that I have ever done.
My younger sister shared with me that she had been fondled by our dad starting when she was about five years old. She and I were spending some time together driving to a small store near her house when she told me this. I, then, told her about the sexual abuse that happened to me as a child.

My sister was the very first person that I ever told about the incest. I was twenty-eight years old and she was twenty-five. I still didn't have the courage to tell my husband of eight years. A few weeks later, my sister came to visit us. In front of my husband, she said something about the incest. My husband immediately demanded to know what she was talking about.

Because of my sister's comment, I was forced into telling my husband. Without my sister making her comments, I don't know when I would have gotten the courage to tell my husband. You see, I was still afraid of what he would think if he knew. I loved this man so much that I was terrified of losing him so I had not shared the depth of my woundedness with him before this time.

Once I saw my husband's reaction, then I had the courage to start being more open about the incest with my sister and my husband. I was still many years away from really beginning to work on my incest issues and to admit how much the abuse was still affecting my marriage and my life.

I had successfully opened the doors of communication between myself and two other people that I cared about. To open that door took more courage than I knew that I possessed at the time.

I was thirty-eight years old when I found an Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) group in Hot Springs, Arkansas where we had moved to a few months earlier. January 1989 was when I finally broke my silence in a big way.

To me, the alcoholism and the incest in my family were so intertwined that I didn't know how to separate the issues. So I went to ACA meetings, and a few months later, to Al-Anon meetings. When I went to these meetings (4-5 a week for several years), I talked and talked and talked about incest and alcoholism interchangably.

I know that some people got tired of me talking about the incest. How do I know? At one meeting a woman and her boyfriend told me to stop talking about my incest all of the time. I went home hurt. I thought about what they had said and then I got angry. I went back to the next meeting and told them that if they had a problem with me talking about my incest issues then it was their problem, not mine. I later came to realize that the woman was an incest survivor herself who had not addressed her issues with her father. For me, my emotions and words were like a dam breaking. Once I started to talk, I didn't stop for several years. My meetings were a safe place for me to work on my incest issues. I will forever be grateful to those ACA and Al-Anon people who taught me about recovery and gave me hope. I truly believe that they saved my life, my sanity and my marriage. It was several years later before I went into counseling.

My dad was an alcoholic who wasn't always drunk when he molested me. Drunk or sober, he was still an alcoholic. Because he was sober, as much as he was drunk, when he molested me, I never blamed the abuse on the alcohol. I have seen many people get stuck in the blaming stage of recovery and when they do, then recovery stops at that point. You have to give up blaming to move forward. In the beginning, it is easy to channel all of your anger, no, make that rage, into blaming the people responsible for abusing you and the people who ignored the abuse. You can even get angry at yourself for being abused, for allowing it to happen. Forgiveness doesn't come instantly, or just because you want it to. For me, forgiveness didn't come for years. (I wrote an earlier article called Forgiveness, Done In Layers at and another article called Happy Father's Day, Daddy at . Both of these articles deal with forgiveness.)

Writing this series of articles on my blog is another way that I have chosen to break the silence. Again, I have had to be courageous and to allow myself to be vulnerable to reach out to others who may need encouragement and may need to know that they are not alone. You can break the silence of abuse and become a better person for making the effort.

Breaking the silence has been the most freeing thing that I have ever done.
Breaking the silence has allowed me the freedom of releasing the internal pressure that keeping such a secret can cause. Breaking the silence sometimes allows you to discover things about yourself that you didn't know. Breaking the silence can bring forth memories that you have forgotten.

I have memories of the sexual abuse starting when I was eleven years old. I suspect that the incest started years before that. Why do I think that when I don't have any concrete memories?

In 1992, I had been going to ACA, Al-Anon and open Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings for three years. The Alano Club, a social gathering place for Al-Anon, AA and ACA members, celebrated their 10 year anniversary. The AA group who organized the event asked me to be one of their guest speakers. I agreed. My ACA sponsor would not let me refuse. I had never told my story in its entirity to anyone, including myself, so I brought a small tape recorder along and recorded my talk. I listened to it at home. Next I listened to it with my Incest Survivor Counseling Group. I was shocked at what I heard myself say.

In my talk, I stated that I remembered an image of myself when I was three years old. I was sitting in church with my maternal grandmother. I remember hearing the Assembly of God Preacher talking about the sin of adultry. I knew what he was talking about. Remember, I was only three years old. At three years old, I knew what adultry was. I remember calling myself an adultress, in my mind. Until I gave that talk that day, I had forgotten that day when I was three and called myself an adultress. (Yes, I know, technically, I wasn't an adultress since I wasn't married. In my three year old mind, I was an adultress.) Why would I call myself an adultress? How would a three year old even know what that was? Conclusion: Sexual abuse was probably already happening to me. Remember, this was in the 1950's. We didn't learn about sex on TV or in the movies like the kids do today. Do I have any proof? No. Does that mean it didn't happen? I have my answer. Accept it or not, as you see fit. I don't care.

When I was in my first counseling group, I did some art work, some drawings for the group and a series of paintings that I did on my own and shared with the group. My counselor said that the art work was not what an eleven year old would do. He said they were the work of an eight or nine year old. Another clue? Possibly. So there are clues that seem to say that my years of silence started long before the age of eleven. Can you imagine the pressure that builds up in a person carrying around this kind of secret, especially if you are a child without the coping tools that most adults use. Breaking the silence has given me the freedom to release the internal pressure that keeping a horrible secret causes.

Breaking the silence has given me the freedom of expression without having to continue the lies of secrecy. I truly have the freedom to be the real me who is loved and loving and no longer being shamed into silence. The feelings of guilt and shame are no longer a burden being carried around in what a friend of mine calls my "grief belly". Each time that I have released certain areas of incest issues, I have lost weight, especially in the belly area. I know that when my incest issues are no longer an issue then I will no longer have a weight issue. I will no longer need the extra weight of protection that I carry around my waist and hips.

I now have the freedom of feeling joy and pleasure in my life and in my body. I can feel and express joy about who I am and about how very far I have come. I have the freedom that only comes from truly loving myself as I am. I have the freedom that comes from accepting myself as a whole person that I have grown into. Yes, the incest has had a major impact upon my life and the incest is not who I am. I am free from the stigma of incest.

Breaking the silence has allowed me the freedom to access all of my emotions and to reconnect with all of my body and my self. Accessing and reconnecting with my self has been a lengthy, painful, sometimes joyful process. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Why am I breaking the silence again through this blog? To reach out to others to let you know that life is worth living. You can release all of the pain and tears that you have silently held inside for all of these years.

Breaking the silence is the most frightening , courageous, freeing thing that I have ever done. If I can do it and survive, so can you. I invite you to break the silence.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Personal Development List of Patricia Singleton

This morning when I opened my emails, one of the first ones that I read was from Passionate Blogger found at Passionate America found at is Wild Bill's second blog. As I just told Wild Bill in a comment on his site, I especially like his sense of humor. Wild Bill, your sense of humor is not the only thing I like about your sites. They both have lots of valuable information written in such a way that a beginner can understand the language and benefit from putting the information into use. Your sense of humor is a plus.

Wild Bill, as many others are doing, has done an article and linked to Priscilla Palmer's site found at Priscilla has started a Personal Development List of who we as readers think are our top Personal Development bloggers. Wild Bill has me on his list so now I have been added to Priscilla's list. Priscilla tagged me to do my own list. I thank you both for the honor. Wild Bill, you would be on mine but since someone else already has you listed, I won't. K-L Masina, Albert Foong, Craig Harper, Nneka, and Raymond Salas are already on the list also. These are some of my favorites as well.

Patricia Singleton's Personal Development List:

Slade Roberson at

Ellesse at

Damian Carr at

Jeff Lilly at

Karl Staib at

These are my five. They are not listed in any particular order. The key reason that I like each of these sites is that they make me think and help me grow. Each of them has become my friend since I started blogging on June 1. Check out their sites if you haven't already.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Secret Is Not Just Wishful Thinking

"Change comes naturally.
I do my best and God does the rest.
GRACE Whenever I am trying to improve some aspect of myself or my life, I don't let myself feel pressured to overanalyze details and instigate change. The truth is, as Jesus put it: 'I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.'
In seeking God's will, my part is to contribute whatever I am able and then allow God to do the rest. I think of the caterpillar that weaves a chrysalis around itself and then allows the grace of God to complete the transformation. The caterpillar cannot force itself to become a butterfly. Instead, it cooperates with the divine process at work and so do I. With the blessing of grace active in my life, I experience change that happens naturally, and I am at peace."

The above affirmation comes from the Sunday, June 10, 2007 page 25 of Daily Word, The Silent Unity Magazine. If you like the affirmation, go to the sidebar and click on the website of Unity Village to find more about the magazine.

This affirmation reminded me of an article that I have been wanting to write for awhile about the use of The Secret and its use of the Law of Attraction, or should I say how some people misuse the Law of Attraction? As my title says, The Secret Is Not Just Wishful Thinking. My husband recently told me that the movie The Secret is said to be responsible for a huge number of people filing for bankruptcy and losing their homes. Supposedly, many of these people went out and bought homes that they could not afford to buy after doing affirmations about buying a home. From what I can see, many of these people did affirmations but didn't take any action to make buying these new, sometimes expensive, homes a real possibility.

Doing affirmations alone is not what the Law of Attraction is about. As the above affirmation says, "I do my best and then God does the rest."

Doing my best means taking whatever actions that are needed on my part and then letting go of the results. Once we let go of the results, then God or the Universe, whatever you choose to call Him/Her/It can take over and change happens naturally without us interfering.

Doing my best is not relying upon wishful thinking. Yes, I believe affirmations work. I have seen them work in my life and in the life of others.

Wishful thinking is just saying, "Golly, God, can you give this to me? I think I am worthy, but I am not sure. I don't want to be responsible, in case I don't succeed. I might fail if I act, so I will just sit back and watch and want and whine. If I don't get what I want, it isn't my fault. This Secret stuff must not work. Yeah, I will blame it on The Secret. These people are just after my money. It doesn't really work."

I have heard supposedly "spiritual" people say some of these exact words. Where is the trust in themselves and in the Universe. Doubt is fear speaking loud and clear. Whining is another way of saying, "Oh, poor me. I am not responsible so I will blame somebody else.

You did not see Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup For The Soul fame tape that check for one million dollars on the ceiling of his bedroom and then just lay there fantacizing about the money coming in. He got busy doing whatever action was necessary on his part to write the books and help sell the books that bought in the check for that million dollars with the smiley face that his publisher wrote to him that year. You have to take whatever action is neccesary on your part to make your dreams come true.

That doesn't mean controlling every step of the way to the end result. When you do that, then the Universe cannot bring you what it wants to bring to you. You do your part and then get out of the way so the Universe can do its part.

1. Find and write affirmations that will help you become aligned with the Universe.

2. Monitor your thoughts and words to be positive.

3. Stay away from negative people that don't want your dreams to come true.

4. Take whatever actions necessary to do your part of what needs to be done.

5. Let the Universe do its part.

The Secret is not just wishful thinking. The Law of Attraction works if you let it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

When Children Are Abused---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 3

Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey.

I wish I could tell you when I wrote the following words, but I don't know when they were written. As I was getting organized for the visit of my daughter and her family this past week, I was going through some boxes before putting them away in the attic. I found a notebook with writing in it. Since I have started writing about my journey from incest to where I am today, I have decided to show you where I was just a few years ago. I didn't date the writing so it could have been written any time in the past 20 years. Here goes.

"When children are abused, why can't people see, why can't people listen, why can't people act to prevent the hurt? Why do parents hurt their kids? Why do children have to be hurt? Why do children die?

Why did my dad abuse me and my mom ignore the signs? Why didn't they love me?

How do I feel? I'm crying. I can't breathe. My stomach hurts. My head and heart hurt. I can't talk. My throat is too full. I can't see through the tears. I am trying to stay with the feelings.

Hurt, Heart Hurt.

What is being done about children dying from child abuse in Arkansas? What actions are being taken?

A child doesn't always tell you the truth when they are being abused. They're too scared of the abuser, scared they won't be believed, scared they will be called liars, scared they will die from the shame.

My cries are silent. I don't make any noise. I can't. My cries have always been silent.

Five children die every day from abuse from their caretakers."

This is just one day in the healing journey of an incest survivor.

What do I feel today reading what I wrote several years ago? I still get a knot in the solar plexus and a shortness of breath. The tears are not there so the feelings are not as intense as the day that I wrote the above words. That, in itself, tells me that some of my pain has been healed since that day.

My heavy heart tells me that I feel compassion and love for that wounded child that I still carry around within the adult me. That is as it should be. I don't want to ever forgot her or the lessons that I have learned from being an incest survivor.

Am I still that wounded child? At times, yes, but for the most part, no. I am not terrified of life and of people as I was then. I have forgiven myself and my abusers. Does that mean that I no longer get angry with them or with me? I wish that I could answer no to that question. I am not perfect. I still find little pockets of hidden anger and fear that come out sometimes. The fact that they show themselves to me tells me one very important thing about myself. I have grown strong enough to deal with this new anger or new fear. With this awareness of my process, I can address these feelings and get them out of my body where I have been carrying them since the abuse first happened.

My first memory of being sexually abused happened 44 years ago when I was 11 years old. Some people would ask why are you still dealing with this issue so long after it happened? My answer to those people would be, "Because I have to."

For many years I tried ignoring the issue telling myself that it would just go away if I pretended it didn't exist. I wish it were that easy. The answer is never that easy. At least, it hasn't been for me or the other incest survivors that I have known.

I was one of the lucky ones who found help. I no longer have to do this thing called recovery on my own. I have a support network of family and friends who love me. And, the most important part of my recovery is that I have learned to love myself.

If you found this article interesting and want to read some more articles on this subject, here are the previous articles that I wrote about incest:

Biography---Part 1 at

Forgiveness, Done In Layers at

Happy Father's Day, Daddy at

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Introduction at

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 1 at

There's A Hole In My Sidewalk at

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 2---Sadly Normal at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meditations To Heal Your Life

Meditations to Heal Your Life written by Louise L. Hay is one of the many books of affirmations that I have used over the years that I have been in recovery from being an Incest Survivor and an Adult Child of an Alcoholic.

How do I use these books of affirmations? Generally, if I just purchased the book, I will read a topic each day until I have finished the book. Some of the books have an affirmation for each day of the year. Some are written and organized by topic. Others are not. Once I have read a book, if it is one that I like then it becomes one of my bathroom books. Hey, for many years I was a mom with 2 kids running around the house. Part of that time, I also babysat for other parents. The bathroom was one of the few places in the house that I got to sit down for a few minutes.

The reason that I wanted to introduce you to Meditations to Heal Your Life first is that I wanted to share page 87 that I have been reading over and over this week.

I feel totally safe everywhere in this Universe.
I am safe.
At every moment we have the opportunity of choosing love or fear. In moments of fear, I remember the sun. It is always shining even though clouds may obscure it for a while. Like the sun, the One Infinite Power is eternally shining its light upon me, even though clouds of negative thinking may temporarily obscure it. I choose to remember the Light. I feel secure in the Light. And when the fears come, I choose to see them as passing clouds in the sky, and I let them go on their way. I am not my fears. It is safe for me to live without guarding and defending myself all the time. I know that what we do in our hearts is very important, so I begin every day in a silent connection with my heart. When I feel afraid, I open my heart and let the love dissolve the fear."

How did I come to pick this page? I let the Universe do it for me. You ask, "How did you do that?" I play a form of Russian roulette (without a gun). I pick up a book. I use this method with most of my meditation and affirmation books. I hold the book in my hands and I ask the Universe, "What do I need to know today?" I flip through the pages, sometimes with my eyes closed, until I feel this is the right place to stop. I open the book and read whatever is on the page. That is the information that I need to know on this day. Usually, I can instantly know that this is definitely what is going on with me right now. This is my answer. Sometimes, I didn't even know that I had a question about this topic until I read the page. Sometimes, like this week, I may choose to read that one page over and over throughout the week.

Why did this topic choose me? My Higher Self knows what my issues are this week and every week. I know exactly why this page was chosen this particular week.

I would like to pretend that my Incest articles are not affecting me, especially with all of the hard work that I have done over the years. It is just because of that hard work and how far I have come down this road that I can't pretend. The wounded little girl in me is still terrified of being judged by you, my readers. Some part of her still thinks that you will say that the incest was her fault. The adult me that has spent all of these years working on our recovery knows that isn't going to happen, but the little girl in me isn't convinced of that yet. That fear is a major fear for most incest survivors who keep silent. The silence is so hard to break because of the shame that we feel as little children. My worst fear, growing up, was that my mom would blame me for what happened if she knew. I don't know if these fears will ever completely go away. I have never met another survivor that has reached that point of recovery so I don't know if it is possible or not. I hope that it is. I am not there yet, even with all of the years of recovery that I have.

I got a migraine this last week that lasted for 4 days. Rarely are my migraines for more than 1 or 2 days. I know why I got the migraine. I was struggling with all of the fears of the inner child about the writing of these articles on incest. That is why the Universe picked this page out of the Louise Hay book for me to read all week so that the inner child could begin to feel safe with breaking our silence about incest. This is not the first time that I have broken my silence. It is the first time that I have broken the silence on this large of a scale.
Instead of hiding my inner struggle, I want you to be aware. Don't ever think that this kind of article is easy to write. They aren't. I would say that it was courageous if I was reading someone else's words but I don't look at myself that way. I just know these words have to be said so that the hurt can stop. I am not talking about just my hurt. I am talking about the hurt of every woman or man who has been abused, not just sexually, but in any form. I am talking about every child who has ever been hurt by someone bigger or stronger or older than them. Did you know that most abusers were abused themselves? I am not saying that as an excuse for their behavior. Many of us who have been abused never go on to abuse others.

The abuse has got to stop. In order for that to happen, the silence must be broken.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life---Part 2---Sadly Normal

Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey.

For my second article in this series, I want you to read the first thing that I read when I went to With the author's permission, I want to share her poem with you. The poem is copyrighted by the author so if you choose to share it with others, please include her name as it is written at the end of the poem. As I have done, the author asks that you share a link back to Here it is:

"I am sadly normal
1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men have been sexually
abused by someone they trust by the time they are 18 years old.

I am sadly normal
We feel unimportant, discounted, worthless, shameful, powerless,

I am sadly normal
We are forced to hide within ourselves by our abusers.

I am sadly normal
We are forced to keep our dirty little secrets.
It's easy to do because we believe it was our fault.

I am sadly normal
We learn not to trust anyone, including ourselves, and the adults who
were supposed to keep us protected.

I am sadly normal
We learn to survive by lying, pretending, manipulating, and stealing.

I am sadly normal
We learn to cope however we can. Drugs, alcohol and food are used to
numb us and provide the comfort we have missed out on.

I am sadly normal
We learn to find our way around it, while we struggle to find ourselves.

I am sadly normal
We think and learn and are told it doesn't matter.
We believe we don't matter either.

I am sadly normal
We think there are no effects of the abuse, while we can't figure out
why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do.

I am sadly normal
We become experts at fooling others, and ourselves.

I am sadly normal
We become exhausted from hiding the truth, thinking we are responsible
for protecting those around us.
Some even protect the abuser.

I am sadly normal
We reach adulthood, and deal with it for as long as we can, until we can't
deal with it any longer.

I am sadly normal
We lose concentration and focus. We become more anxious and nervous.
We feel like we are going insane.

I am sadly normal
Emotions fill us. Craziness, sadness, anger, rage, irritation, frustration.

I am sadly normal
Sometimes we find a way to break our silence. We get help, and we learn to live, not just survive.
Some never get to that point.
Some just live with it.
Some die with it.
Some take their own life because of it.

I am sadly normal
Sometimes, we seek counseling, and the healing is finally allowed to begin. Many don't discover the help that is available until we are in our 30's and 40's.
Some never discover it.

Does this sound like you?
You are sadly normal too."
-Lisa Ritter
July, 2005

Copyrighted by Sadly Normal 2006

I have edited the original link out of this post because it was hacked and lead you to an x-rated site. I apologize to those of you who may have found it before I did. Thank you to a commenter who let me know that the link had changed.

Feel free to leave a comment on how this makes you feel. Feel free to talk about this with others. You may open a communication between yourself and someone else who is needing to talk to a compassionate person like you. If you are blessed with the opportunity to help someone else heal from their incest issues, don't make any judgments about the incest survivor. Believe me, we do enough of that ourselves, without any one else's help. If a survivor feels safe enough to share her/his experiences with you, just love them. They may not be in a spot that they can love themselves yet.

I wanted to share this poem with my readers because Sadly Normal is a true evaluation of what you feel and think about yourself as an incest survivor. I could not have said it any better.

Breaking the silence is the most frightening, courageous, freeing thing that a survivor can do for themselves.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

There's A Hole In My Sidewalk

Here is a poem that I found when I first started my recovery through Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics classes. It is called "There's a hole in my sidewalk". The poem was written by Portia Nelson. Someone sent it to me again recently in an email. I thought it was appropriate to share here because it so accurately describes the beginning of my recovery process. It is a simple poem that says so much about a victim's choices and the beginning of recovery.

There's a hole in my sidewalk by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I'm lost. . . I'm helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes me forever to find a way out

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it
I fall in again
I can't believe I'm in the same place
But it isn't my fault
It still takes a long time to get out

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it there
I still fall in. . . it's a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

Chapter 5
I walk down another street

Being a victim, I had no idea that I had choices. As a survivor, I started making choices. Discovering that I had choices gave me control of my life. I could walk down another street. This awareness of choices is the beginning of recovery. Without awareness there can be no change.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Secret---Affirmations Change Your Life

I used affirmations that I wrote throughout the day to build my self-esteem until I could believe in my self-worth, to know that I had value as a human being. I had several books of affirmations that I would start my day by reading. I could believe what others wrote and said easier than I could trust my own self.

On page 168 of the book The Secret, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf shares an affirmation from Charles Haanel's book, The Master Key System, which says,

"I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy."

According to Dr. Wolf, this is "an affirmation that incorporates every single thing any human being can want, and that this affirmation will bring about harmonious conditions to all things." Dr. Wolf says, " the affirmation is in strict accordance with the Truth, and when Truth appears every form of error or discord must necessarily disappear."

This affirmation says it all. I don't know about you but I am going to do this affirmation every day and see what difference it makes in my life. I have already written it out on an index card that I can carry around with me to remind me to read it at different times of the day.

If you decide to use this affirmation, say it with as much feeling as you can put into it. Backing the affirmation with feeling gives it more power to manifest.

I know that affirmations work. As an incest survivor and young adult, I had a very low self-esteem. I used affirmations to learn to love myself. This process was not easy. It took years for me to learn to love myself.

Saying affirmations out loud is good. Writing them is better.

How to write an affirmation:
1. Write the affirmation down.
2. Listen to what your inner critic says about what you wrote.
3. Write the affirmation again.
4. Listen to what your inner critic says about the affirmation.
5. Write the affirmation again.
6. Listen to what your inner critic says again.

Continue writing the affirmation over and over until the inner critic is silent. Write the affirmation again several more times to make sure the inner critic stays silent.

Here is an example.

1. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic: Who do you think is going to love you?

2. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic: Sure you are.

3. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic: If somebody loves you, what does that say about them?

4. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic: You are so stupid if you believe anyone can love you.

5. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic: Girl, are you being fooled.

6. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic:

7. I am a lovable person.
Inner critic:

8. I am a lovable person.
Inner voice: I love you.

9. I am a lovable person.
Inner voice: I love you.

10. I am a lovable person.
Inner voice: Yes, you are.

I wrote the above affirmation only 10 times to show you how the process works. The reality was that I had to write my affirmations a lot more than 5 or 10 times before my inner critic was silenced. Write it every day for as long as needed to completely silence your own inner critic. Your hand may get tired of writing. That's ok. The prize of self-esteem is well worth a sore hand. Did you notice that the inner critic got quiet and then changed to the inner voice. You will know the difference. The inner critic is always negative. The inner voice is always helpful and loving.

Today, I know that I am a lovable person. So are you.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 1

Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey.

This journey isn't starting how I envisioned it. It is starting with an email that I sent out to a website called

Wow!!! I just left your website. I found it a few days ago and found out that I still have incest issues that were in hiding. I haven't actively had to work on my incest issues in nearly 10 years. I am 56 years old. I guess I set myself up for this to happen. On June 1, 2007, I started a blog called Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker because I wanted to write about my life of sexual abuse and my journey out of the pain and into recovery just in case it might help just one person not have to suffer as long as I did in silence.

Yesterday, I left a comment on someone else's blog and used the label of "Incest Survivor" for myself. I haven't called myself by that label in awhile. I felt that I had gone beyond being just a survivor and am actually fully living my life and having longer and longer moments of happiness and joy.

When I found your site last week, I left it feeling a knot in my solar plexus. I let the feelings sit without pushing them away and without ignoring them. I did have my husband go to get me a Chocolate/M. & M.'s Blizzard from Dairy Queen. I haven't done that in awhile and I didn't eat the whole thing at one sitting like I would have done years ago when I was in the middle of working on my incest issues.

Two nights later, I ran across a blog about a young lady who has 30 days clean from a drug addiction. It was on her site that I left a comment letting her know that there is hope at the end of the day once you let go of some of the pain of addiction. (This is where I called myself an "incest survivor".)

On that same night, I went to another blog in the Blog Carnival that I was involved in. The article was on spanking her daughter because she was caught in a possibly life threatening situation that she had been warned not to do. (I don't intend to discuss spanking, that would be off the topic that I want to focus on.) What got my attention on that blog was a man who responded that all mothers must really have a spanking fetish about exposing and spanking a child with the child's pants down. This man went on and on about what his mother did to him as a child. I began to feel dirty and discusted from his comments. The man just went on and on. It felt like he was getting excited by what he wrote. I couldn't read the majority of what he wrote because my feelings were getting so intense. I went on and read the few other comments after his. When it was time for me to comment, I spoke up and told him that what S did by spanking her daughter was nothing like what his mother did to him. I told him that if it was still bothering him 30 something years later that he needed to get help for himself because what his mother did was not normal or healthy.

The frightened child in me would have fled the site and eaten and eaten and eaten until she was so full of food that there was no place left for emotions.

The adult part of me who is responsible for her own recovery is who wrote the comment. I am proud of the growth that I have worked so hard to accomplish. I have been thinking about how to write an article about this on my blog. I even started writing last night. I think this letter to you will be my first entry, other than my Biography---Part 1 that I have submitted to your Blog Carnival on August 24, on the subject of incest and my continuing recovery efforts.

This issue will no longer rule over my life. I will feel the feelings as they come up. I will deal with the knot in my stomach. I will meditate more to stay centered and balanced.

Incest may be a part of my life, and it no longer rules my life. I am in total charge of WHO I am.

Patricia Caldwell Singleton
August 1, 2007

You may want to go to the following website to check out what caused me to decide to start this series of articles. The website is at

Friday, August 3, 2007

Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Introduction

I am doing a new series of articles starting on Sunday, August 5. This series will be posted on consecutive Sundays. This series will be called "Incest May Be A Part Of My Life". This sentence is continued at the bottom of my first article of the series. It says, "Incest may be a part of my life and it no longer rules my life. I am in total charge of WHO I am." This is important to know.

Even though I am writing about this issue, I am coming from a place of recovery. I am saying to my sister and brother incest survivors that I am in recovery and you can be too. These articles are not being written to cause anybody pain. They are written as a testament of hope and wholeness. Please remind me of that, if I forget.

In order to write these articles, I am revisiting my own childhood and young adulthood of pain. As a friend, K-L Masina reminded me in an article recently, "Pain will always exist - but suffering is optional." You can find her article at . This is another great article by Kara-Leah. Hers is one of my favorite places that I go for inspiration. Check her out.

I will also be mentioning other sites that I have run across recently that seem to be supporting the points that I will make in my Incest series of articles. My feeling is that if the articles are helping me, then they will be just as valuable to others struggling with survival.

Each of the articles in this new series will start with the following words of warning.

"Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey."

I hope that you will join me on this journey of discovery and growth. If you are a fellow incest survivor, don't be afraid to leave comments. Others will benefit from hearing you "break the silence".

Breaking the silence is an important first step.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What Good Will You Allow God To Do Through You?

I am behind on my reading since I started writing this blog. I also have a habit of losing my Daily Word magazines since they come in a month early. Daily Word is "The Silent Unity Magazine". If you are interested in finding out more about Daily Word or Silent Unity go to their website at . I recently found my February copy of Daily Word and started reading it.

On page 14 of the February issue of Daily Word, Rev. Howard Caesar who is the senior minister at Unity Church of Christianity, Houston, Texas, says, "We are co-creators with our Creator, and God will do for us all that we are open to God doing through us. Even now, the good you seek is seeking you!"

I have been a member of a small Unity Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas for most of the past 10 years. This is my only experience of Unity teachings. I like the idea that we are "co-creators with our Creator". The mind blowing thought that hit me when I read this was that "God will do for us all that we are open to God doing through us". Did you hear that, "all that we are open to God doing through us".

Is that saying that we can limit what God does for us? Why would we do something like that? Why would we limit the good that God can give us? Why would we limit the good that God can do through us?

Let me list the ways:

1. By doubting that we are worthy.

2. By being afraid.

3. By saying that we don't deserve anything better than we already have.

4. By not loving others enough.

5. By not being open to change.

6. By being stingy with our time or money.

7. By being ungrateful for what we already have.

8. By not loving ourselves enough.

9. By not being willing to move beyond our comfort zone.

10. By letting our ego believe that "it" is "who" we are.

The limiting beliefs can go on and on. Which ones have you used in the past? My biggest obstacle has been fear of change. Not loving myself was at the top of my list for many years.

What is your favorite limiting belief? Let go of it and let God work His wonders in your Life.