Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Year Old Adultress Revisited - Inner Child Letters Series - 1

Dear Three-Year-Old Self,
I have two memories of you in my mind's eye.  The first is of the playful you, the smiling you, peeking out at you from behind the adult me.  You were so cute and joyful.  Nothing had hurt you yet.  You are the one that I wrote my article "Keeper Of My Creativity" about.  (Link at bottom of page)

The second memory is of you sitting in church with Grandma listening to the preacher talk about adultry.  You labeled yourself an adultress.  (Link at bottom of page) That tells me that something happened to you that year but I have no memory of it.  You were such an inquisitive, happy child in the first memory.  You were such a sad, perfect quiet child sitting beside your grandma envying the little girl in the pew in front of you in the second memory.  The little girl in the pew in front of you was your age, but you seemed so much older than she did.  You sat as quiet and as still as you could.  How hard sitting so still must have been for you.  You tried to listen to the preacher talking.  What saddens me is that in your little girl mind, you understood the basics of what he was talking about.  He was talking about how it was a sin to have sex with someone you weren't married to. He was talking about a married person having sex with someone they weren't married to.  That was what he called adultry.  How could you know what he was talking about?  This was an adult subject, not one little girls your age should know about.  But you did know, didn't you?  That saddens me and makes me want to cry for you, for the quiet little girl that you were.  I should say the quiet little girl that you became.  Just a short time before that you were alive and joyful.  If I could look into your eyes today, what would I see?  Sadness, hurt, tears of pain.  I know that sadness has been a part of both of our lives for a very long time.  I do remember being that sad child that you became.

I don't know who hurt you.  I don't know what caused you to let go of your joy and sense of wonder.  For that I am sorry that the grown up me was not there to protect you.  I would have protected you.  I don't understand why the adults around you at that time didn't protect you.  That they didn't makes me angry and so sad.  I don't understand why they couldn't see that you were hurt and hurting.  Why didn't they ask why you were so sad?  The sadness was there in your eyes for all to see.

This letter is more difficult to write than I thought it would be.  I don't know what to say to you that will make any difference in what you experienced then that changed you so much from my first memory to the second. 

I was in a 12-Step recovery program for a few years before you showed me the image of you peeking out at me from behind the adult me.  I guess I shouldn't call that a memory like the one of you calling yourself a three-year-old adultress.  One day in a 12-Step meeting I was talking about you as an inner child and you showed me this image of yourself standing behind the adult me.  You were showing me what you looked like and the essence of who you were before the abuse.  I knew from looking at the young you that you were about three years old.  That image in my mind was what you looked like before the abuse started.  You were a healthy, exuberant three-year-old bubbling over with joy for who you were.  You loved the world and you loved everybody in your world.  I can see the joy in your eyes and hear the laughter in your voice.  Even now I have such a clear picture of you looking mischievous as you peek out at me.  When did that joy leave you?  Why did it leave?  What happened to you to take it all away?  I don't remember.

You weren't that same child when you labeled yourself as an adultress.  Your eyes were full of sadness.  Your laughter was gone.  You hid your light so that others couldn't see it.  You hurt too much to expose your inner self to others any more.  You went into hiding at three years old and didn't come back out until 1991 when you showed yourself to me at that 12-Step meeting.  That was when you started to trust me again to protect you.  Even today I don't know what secrets you still carry around inside of you.  You haven't told me.  Even though part of me is still afraid to know, I am asking you to trust me enough to open up and share your secrets with me.  You can share your thoughts with me.  I am a grown-up and I can protect you from any more hurt.  I know that is still hard for you to believe but it is true. 

I love you and I won't let anyone else ever hurt you again.  You are safe.  I am open to whatever you want to tell me about that time in our life.  We are both safe now.  I am big so no one can hurt me or you.  I won't let them.  I am leaving the door open between us.  Whatever you want to tell me, we will handle it together.  Together we are strong.  You survived whatever happened to you back then.  Today we will both survive the telling of your secrets.  Any one from back then who could have hurt you is dead.  There is no one for you to have to be afraid of.  They are all gone now except for you and me.  You don't have to hide and you don't have to hurt alone.  I am here.  I love you.  I ask your forgiveness for not being able to protect you back then.  Today I can protect you.  Today no one will hurt you.  I won't let them.

Related Articles:

Inner Child Letters Series @

Keeper Of My Creativity @

The Case Of The Three-Year-Old-Adultress @

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inner Child Letters Series

I have read two blog articles this week that I want to share with you.  One is from my friend Dan Hays who writes the blog Thoughts Along The Road to Healing.  If you haven't read his blog and you are interested in recovery from abuse, you really should.  He inspires me with the work that he has done and is still doing on himself.  The article of Dan's that I want you to read is called "My Inner Child."  You will find this post at the following link:

The second blog article was written by Jenny Ann Fraser at her blog arriving at your own door.   The article is called "Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self."  You will find this post at the following link:

These two posts have inspired me to write my own letter to my inner children.  This will evolve into a series of articles since there is more than one inner child that I want to write a letter to.  Since I first read Dan's "My Inner Child" post this idea has been in the back of my head.  Over the next few weeks, I will post these letters here on my blog.  Let me know what you thought about the above two posts and you can also let Dan and Jenny know what you think by leaving a comment on their blogs.  Hope you are having a glorious day.  The first blog of this series will be written to my three-year-old self.

Friday, May 21, 2010

From Tracie: Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse Hope And Joy Edition May 2010 Is Posted

The "Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse Hope and Joy Edition May 2010 is posted this month at the blog From Tracie.  Thank you Tracie for being our host this month.  You can find the link here:

Tracie chose the theme as Hope and Joy for this month.   Tracie said, "I asked, what is your hope, what do you hold onto when the healing path gets dark and it is hard to hang on much longer?  What is your joy, what makes you smile and dance and laugh, even in the midst of pain?"

Tracie has included 31 articles in this month's Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for the month of May 2010.  I ask that you click on the link above and go and read each of those articles over the few days.  I will be reading everyone of them. 

I support each month's Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse because it is a wonderful gathering of writers, most of them being like me - survivors of abuse in some form who have the courage to write about and share their pain, joy, laughter, sadness, anger and hurt each month in order to show their support of each other and our online survivor community.  I ask that you join me in going to read their articles.  You will find that three of the articles are mine.  Thank you all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Truly Beautiful Women Know Their Self Worth

I received the following email today entitled "To a Beautiful Woman."  It continues, "Below is a wonderful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her 'beauty tips.'

For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair,
let a child run his/her fingers
through it once a day.

For poise,
walk with the knowledge
that you never walk alone.

even more than things,
have to be restored,
renewed, revived,
reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.

if you ever need a helping hand,
you will find one at the 
end of each of your arms.

As you grow older,
you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself,
and the other for helping others....."

Audrey Hepburn was a true woman of beauty.  To have written this poem, she was also a woman who knew her own worth.  

I talk to survivors of abuse online every day.  Many of them are like I used to be and don't know that they have value to themselves and to others.  Self-worth doesn't come from what you do.  Self-worth comes from who you are.  Self-worth comes from loving yourself.  

I learned to love myself by taking small steps at a time. 
I learned to meet my physical needs by making doctor's appointments when I needed them.
I made dentist appointments and kept them.  
I learned to do things that I enjoyed like learning how to make quilts, taking a drawing class that I always wanted to take,  went to see movies to laugh or to cry, danced just for the joy of moving.
I learned to open my heart to those that I love.
I watched others love me until I could love myself.
I let God into my life.
I asked God to show me how to love myself.
I pretended that I love myself until the love was real.
I watched others who were loving and kind and copied them.
I read books about self-worth.
I learned what codependency was.
I stopped trying to control everything and everybody in my world.
I spent time with my children.
I spent time with my husband who loves me.
I stopped being the family hero.
I stopped trying to be perfect.
I read books on spirituality.
I did things that made me feel good about who I am.
I stopped those critical inner voices of my parents that told me I was bad and other things.
I just don't listen to them any more.
I used positive affirmations that built me up inside and made me feel good.
I spent time with people who made me feel good about who I am.
These are just a few of the things that I used to learn to love myself.  I know they don't look like much of a list but over time the way I felt about myself changed and I really did love myself.  I know that if I can learn to love myself, so can you.  I am not any different than you are.  Just take baby steps toward loving yourself.  You can do it.  Don't set yourself up with expectations.  Just do what you can each day and one day you will realize that the self love is real.  You are worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day And Our Son's Wedding Day

Friday, May 7 was my son Jeremy's 34th birthday, two days before Mother's Day, just like the year that Jeremy was born.  In 1976, Jeremy was my first Mother's Day gift.  He stole my heart that day.  Before that day, my heart belonged solely to my husband Daniel.  On May 7, 1976, my heart opened as wide as any heart could to love two people.  Sixteen months later, that heart got opened even wider to love my brand new baby daughter Christie.  For my children, I struggled to be a better mother than my mother was to me.  I think I succeeded at being better than my mother was but I still fell short of my own expectations as a mother.

Many Mother's Days in the past, I cried.  I knew that I was passing some of the damage that growing up in an alcoholic home on to my own children.  Even though I didn't drink like my dad, I still had some of his alcoholic characteristics and some of my mother's codependent characteristics.  On Mother's Day, I would beat myself up in my mind for all of the things that I had done wrong.  I would also miss the perfect mother that I never had.  When it came to buying a Mother's Day card for my mother, I would be reminded of all of the things that she wasn't.  I would cry for that dream of having a perfect mother.

Today, I don't do any of that.  Today I love myself as a person and as a mother.  Today I am close to my children.  I love them both dearly.  Today I take care of my own needs.  Today I am happy with who I am.

Today I got to be the mother of the groom.  My son got married to a beautiful young lady that both Daniel and I like and already love.  She makes our son happy.  Her grandmother told us today at the wedding that Jeremy is good for Melonie also.  They are still having a big wedding in December for all of the family members that couldn't be here today.  They just didn't want to wait that long before becoming husband and wife. 

At one point today Melonie asked me if I was going to cry at the wedding.  I told her I didn't know.  I would have to wait and see.  I told her that they would be happy tears if I did.  I also told her that there might be a few sad tears also because this was an ending for us also.  Jeremy has been in and out of our home over the past few years.  Now that he is married, he will have his own home with Melonie so a chapter of our lives is ending.  I didn't cry even though at one point Daniel thought I was.

It was a short ceremony out under a big oak tree on the lawn of the courthouse.  The ceremony was done by a Justice of the Peace that Melonie and her family knew.  It was a surprise when he showed up that it was someone that they knew.  The ceremony was beautiful.

Jeremy and Melonie, I love you both and so does Daniel.  Again, Melonie welcome to the Singleton family.  As I told you earlier today, keep your sense of humor and you will do fine.
Patricia/Mom/Mrs. Pat

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Baggage Of Abuse Gets Heavy

Today I found a video called "Baggage" that I want to share with you.  I found it on the blog of Just Be Real, an online blogger who like me is a survivor of abuse.  Please go to Just Be Real's blog and watch the video that she has posted there called "Baggage."  Click on the link below.

Watch the video and let me and Just Be Real know what you think.  Thank you JBR for allowing me to share your post with my readers.  As an incest survivor, I carried a lot of baggage around with me everywhere I went just like the girl in the video.

The more you are abused, the more baggage you carry around.  The more baggage you carry around, the heavier it gets.  The heavier the baggage gets, the more tired you get.

Are you carrying any baggage of your own?  Isn't it time that you put it down and walk away.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lost Pieces And Abilities Cause By The Pain Of Incest

I am putting a Trigger Warning here because I don't want you to go on if you are already having a bad day with your own stuff if you are an incest survivor.  The following is a very important piece of my puzzle that has been missing since I was a little girl being raped first by my uncle and then for years by my dad.  I don't know how young I was when I made the decision to shut the visuals out of my mind.  Please proceed at your own risk.

I just had one of my biggest ah-ha moments of my entire journey through recovery from incest.  A big event that I had totally forgotten or just didn't get the significance of until now.  This came about because of a post that Darlene from the blog Emerging From Broken made on her Facebook page.  I am going to share part of that post here to set the scene for my ah-ha moment and then I will share my comment back to Darlene.  Here it is:

Emerging From Broken "She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a great pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things.". . . .

There was more to the quote from another person but this is the part of the quote is was the catalyst for my understanding.  Now here is the comment that I made to Darlene.

Darlene, rereading the above thought "She packed up her potential. . . " just gave me an ah-ha moment.  I am not a visual person.  I don't usually see images in my head.  I can imagine what the image looks like in my mind but the pictures don't form for me.  I just realized why.  I have always wondered why I don't get the visuals that everyone else does when I shut my eyes. It is because as a little girl, I shut my eyes to the abuse.  I literally closed my eyes so I couldn't see what was happening to me when I was being raped.  I not only shut my eyes but I went deep inside so that I couldn't "see" or feel it. I must have closed a door when I did that.  Someone told me to see a big movie screen in my mind with pictures flashing on it.  That doesn't work for me either.  I see nothing.  I can imagine in some far away place that it is there but I just don't see anything in my mind's eye.

Wow! is what I keep hearing over and over in my mind.  This is really big and is going to take me awhile to process.  Thank you.

Wow! When I recently said that I was starting a new chapter in my recovery, I had no idea (I still don't.) what that meant or what would be coming out when I opened the door to the abuse from my uncle.

When I was typing the above comment to Darlene and these thoughts were coming into my head almost faster than I could type, I could feel panic and a part of me quit breathing all together.  That part is still holding her breath.  It feels like a part of me died that first day of the abuse.  Before that I may have been a very visual person.  I have no way of knowing.  Tears are just out of reach, slipping in and out.  I know there is some crying and grieving to do with this new chapter and I am open to it.  I can't push the tears out of hiding and I will allow them their expression when that child feels safe and needs to let go and just howl out her pain.  As I am typing, I have to keep telling myself to breathe.  Some part of me is so afraid of this whole thing being exposed to ????  Exposed to the world? Exposed to me? Exposed to ????  I keep going blank.  That door isn't opening yet.  I know the little girl, the inner child has to feel safe for that to happen.  She gets frightened each time that we do something like this. 

Today I will stay as open as I can to these feelings that are trying to come out.  In order to do that, I have to let go of the tight, tight control that I held over my feelings as a child.  I could not feel these things as a child and survive.  It was just too much to feel.  The pain - both the physical and the emotional pain - was just too much for the little girl that I was to feel when it was happening.  I don't think that I formed different personalities as some survivors did.  I think that I just shut down certain parts of myself.  I let them die. 

This is still so hard.  I have the tools today to do this.  I will not go off and binge eat like I have done in the past.  I will face this head on.  I will call people.  I will email people and ask for support.  I will cry when needed which makes it very hard to type. I will not run from this.

I want to share this process here because, again, I hope that it will help some other survivor to open up and see maybe something similar in themselves.  I want to show you that this work can be done.  Also in sharing, it gives me the feeling that I am not alone in doing this myself.  Sharing my pain eases it for me.  It gives it and me value.  I will go back and put a Trigger Warning at the top of the page.  I don't want to set off anybody else with triggers.  If you are having a bad day, I don't want to add to it.

The tears are gone for now.  I think this is enough for now for you and for me.  I need to sit with this awhile and see what else comes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"The Patricia Singleton Story" Update

My radio interview done by Cyrus Webb of Conversations Live! Radio on BlogTalkRadio on Thursday, April 29, 2010 was a big success.  If you still haven't listened to the interview, you can click on the following link and go and do that now, if you would like to.  When you click on the link, you should go there immediately and the program should open itself onto the interview.

My family and I left town for an extended weekend early Friday morning through early Sunday evening.  While I was gone, people continued to go to Conversations Live! Radio and listen to the interview all weekend long.  When I got home about 8:00 p.m., I had a Tag on Facebook from Cyrus telling me that the interview had already been downloaded over 1,000 times. 

I am in awe that 1,000 people took the time to download the interview and listen to it in only 3 days time.  That is fantastic.  Thank you all.  I have heard through emails and Facebook from quite a few of you letting me know that you liked the interview.  One friend even told me that I sounded very professional.  Several of you have told me that you thought I did a great job of speaking and telling my story.  Thank you.

After Cyrus and I finished the interview on Thursday, I tried listening to it probably three or four times that evening and for some reason, I could not get it to open.  I didn't have much time to devote to it right then because my family and I were packing and getting ready to leave town for an extended weekend in Texas.  When I got home last night (Sunday), I had so many emails to go through in addition to unpacking, I didn't try to access the interview then.  After sending a note to a friend asking for help in connecting to the interview (Thank you, Dan.), I decided to try it one more time on my own.  When I clicked on the above link, it opened immediately. 

I listened to the taped interview for the first time since the actual interview itself.  I was amazed at how smoothly the interview seemed to go.  I loved all of my responses to Cyrus' questions.  I used the word "uh" too many times for a professional speaker, but I am not a professional speaker.  Everytime I used it, I was thinking about what I wanted to say next.  I didn't hear a word of Fantasia's song during the interview.  I was too busy thinking about the next question that Cyrus was going to ask me after the song finished.  I was more comfortable with talking by the time that Whitney Houston's song came along.  I loved what Whitney  kept saying in her song - "I didn't know my own strength."  That is definitely true for me and for many of the incest survivors that I know. 

I remember the silences between me speaking and Cyrus asking the next question seemed much longer when I was doing the interview than it did when I was listening to the recorded interview.  I sounded much calmer in the recording than I actually felt while I was doing the interview.  I was afraid that my voice would tremble like I was trembling inside.  I am usually nervous and very stressed before doing something like this and then once I start to talk the nerves go away.  I have never done an interview before.  I have shared small parts of my story in 12-Step groups and I was even the featured Guest Speaker back in 1990 or 1992 at a 12-Step Club's Anniversary Celebration.  This interview was different in that the inner trembling never stopped.  I was conscious of it the whole time.  I realized that my trembling was a sign of just how important this interview was to me.  It is one of the most important events in my life.  At the time, I did not realize how far Cyrus' radio program Conversations Live! Radio reach is in the world of radio.  No one told me that some call Cyrus, the male Oprah of the Radio world.  I am glad that no one told me before hand.  The night before the interview, Cyrus and I talked through emails.  He was wonderful at calming my fears.  He told me to look at the radio interview as just a quiet conversation among friends.  I found comfort in that.  Thank you, Cyrus.

After listening to the interview tonight, I remembered to tell God "Thank you" also.  Before the interview, I had asked Him/Her for guidance in what I would say in response to Cyrus' questions.  God did a wonderful job in helping me to say what I needed to say in the interview.  I told a friend that God really did a great job of giving me what I had asked for.  The interview isn't the first time that God has made me wait to hear something because Divine timing wasn't quite right yet.  When I tried to listen to the interview on Thursday night, no matter what I did, it would not open.  Earlier tonight, I clicked on the link above and the interview opened immediately.  I didn't have to do anything extra to get it to open.  It worked without any interference from me.  I wasn't meant to hear the interview for whatever reason until tonight. 

I was very pleased with my efforts in this interview.  If you ever get a chance to be interviewed by Cyrus Webb, jump on it.  He is an excellent interviewer.  He does his homework and comes prepared with questions that need to be asked and answered.  The questions can be complicated and can really make you think before you answer them.  That is as it should be.  I hope that this interview will have a quite profound effect on other incest survivors and that it may give them the courage to speak out and break their own silence about abuse.  I hope that just one person will hear my words and say that sounds familiar.  They may recognize the signs in some child and ask if that child is being abused.  They may have the courage to call the authorities and say, "I think this child may be being abused.  Will you check it out?" 

This interview is one of the proudest moments of my life.  If you haven't already listened to it, I hope that you will go to the link now and listen to it.  The interview will be archived so that you can always go to the link below and listen to the interview.   Here is the link again.

After you have listened to the interview, I hope that you will come back here and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.