Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lucinda Bassett Truth Be Told Book Review

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
                 ---Nelson Mandela

My introduction to Lucinda Bassett came recently when she reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed on her radio program. Of course, I said yes. I was talking to a new audience of listeners about being an adult child of an alcoholic and also about healing from incest. Here is the link to that interview if you missed it:

Lucinda Bassett's book Truth Be Told: A Memoir of Success, Suicide, and Survival will be available to buy on March 5, 2013. I was asked to write a book review. What I know from reading just the Prologue and Introduction of the book is that Lucinda is a courageous woman who cares very deeply about her family. When you lose a loved one to death of any kind, you hurt. When your loved one commits suicide, so many questions are left unanswered. So many words are left unsaid. I can only imagine the hurt that Lucinda and her children feel over the suicide of her husband and their father.

Lucinda talks about the cycle of  guilt-blame-anger-and-shame that she as a survivor of someone else's suicide feels every time she is reminded of her husband and the fact that he took his own life. The prologue to the book was written only three years after his death. Feelings are still fresh and very painful for Lucinda while her children are still in the denial stage of grief. Being young, her children just don't want to deal with the death of their dad. Anger is quick to flare.

In the Introduction of her book, Lucinda starts out by quoting Mother Teresa when she says,

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
     I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

Sometimes I, too, have felt that way in wanting to wish away some of my troubles. Sometimes it just seems like too much for one person to bear. Lucinda is here today as a survivor, stronger because of the experience, knowing more about herself because of the pain and the healing. Through the growing and the healing, Lucinda is now able to reach out and to help other survivors through her books and her radio program. 

Lucinda doesn't call herself a Lightworker, but I do. She expresses that she feels she is "supposed to share what I have learned with others. Others who stand in fear, unable to function, destroyed by some unbearable trauma, believing there is no light at the end of the tunnel---no help, no hope, no happiness. So here I stand once again, humbled and open, sharing my life experience with you...for it is now an open book. If I can come out sane and grateful to be here, you can too." (Prologue, page 4). I can't think of a better description of what I and other survivors do when we share our Light to let others know there is a way out of the darkness of despair and pain.

Lucinda Bassett is a true survivor. I look forward to reading the rest of her book Truth Be Told: A Memoir of Success, Suicide, and Survival when it is published in March 2013. I hope you will join me in reading her book when it comes out.

You can follow Lucinda Bassett on Twitter at this link:

Lucinda Bassett is on Facebook at the link:

Lucinda Bassett is on YouTube at the following link:

I hope that you all had a glorious Christmas season. Mine ended a little earlier than planned because of Winter Storm Euclid blowing through Arkansas on Christmas day leaving us with between four to seven and a half inches of snow in our yard. I walked around with a measuring stick to see how much snow we got. We also have a neighbor's tree laying across our fence in our back yard. We were blessed that we didn't lose our electricity as some of my friends who are on Day 4 with no power did. Most of the snow melted yesterday and today. Tonight's temperature is supposed to be back down to 18 degrees. I am glad that my husband and I got home around noon on Christmas day before the snow started.

Happy New Year to all. May 2013 be the best year ever for all of us.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Revisiting My Interview On LA Talk Live - Truth Be Told Hosted By Lucinda Bassett

If you haven't listened to my talk on LA Talk Live - Truth Be Told which was hosted by Lucinda Bassett on November 29, 2012, then you now have two links to choose from. The easiest link to go to would be the link on YouTube:

Or if you would like more information about Lucinda Bassett and her book Truth Be Told which is coming out in March 2013, you can go to her website at the following link:

Be sure to listen to my interview about being an adult child of an alcoholic and an incest survivor. As I said in at the beginning of the program, I wasn't sure which of the two topics that I was going to talk about. I talked about both being an adult child and about being an incest survivor. Both are parts of my childhood history that continue to affect me, even today as I heal.

For my interview done by Lucinda Bassett, click on the right hand side of the page on the interview labeled:

11/29/2012 - Truth Be Told hosted by Lucinda Bassett
Guest:Lauren Etheridge / Patricia Singleton

Next click on the big white arrow on the left with LA TALK LIVE! under it and enjoy the interview. Lauren Etheridge is on the first 30 minutes and shares what it is like to be a 25-year-old living with the effects and memories of being an adult child of an alcoholic.  I admire Lauren for being able to talk about growing up with an alcoholic and how it is affecting her today. I wasn't strong enough or brave enough to tell anyone about the incest or alcoholism at her age. At 25 years old, I was still in denial that any of my past was still affecting me. I thought that if I didn't talk about it or think about it that the pain would go away. At least, that is what I hoped at that place in my life.

Keep listening because I am on the second part of the program with Lucinda. I enjoyed being interviewed by Lucinda and think that I did a good job of answering her questions. I talk about incest toward the end of the program.

My healing from being an adult child of an alcoholic started in January 1989 when I read the book Adult Children of Alcoholics which was written by Janet G. Woititz. The book was on the New York Times Bestseller and is still available if you would like to read it. A week later I was reading the newspaper and saw an Adult Children of Alcoholics 12-Step meeting listed. I went to my first meeting a few days later. Almost all of the characteristics of an adult child fit me. One of the first things that I was given was called The Laundry List. That fit me too. I will list the link below to the post that I wrote about The Laundry List in case you are interested in knowing more about being an Adult Child.

One question that Lucinda asked me about on the program that I wanted to expand on has to do with her question if either of my children drink or are alcoholics. I told her that my daughter doesn't drink at all but that my son does. I need to say that, as of today, he is not an alcoholic. It is just my fear that he could become one if he continues to drink more as he ages. I am not around him when he drinks so I don't know how much he drinks or how often. It is none of my business. Because of the history of alcoholism in both sides of my family, I will always have the fear that, if either of my children or my siblings drink, they can become alcoholics. I am not saying that any of them are alcoholics.

Now, I hope that, if you haven't listened to the program, you will now and come back here with any comments that you have about the show. Thank you Lucinda Bassett for having me on as a guest speaker. I do hope that you will consider having me on again so that we can have a conversation about incest and how it affects the adult survivor.

Lauren Etheridge, I wish you the best in your life and hope that you have a support system to help you heal from being an adult child of an alcoholic. I know your pain because I grew up with alcoholism in my family too.

I have made a new friend on Twitter in the past few weeks. His name is David Pittman and he is the head of a non-profit organization called Together We Heal. Lucinda Bassett interviewed David on her radio program too. Here is the link for David's interview:

Click on the interview labelled as 12/6/2012 Truth Be Told - Guests: Dr. Arlene Drake / David Pittman

Click on the big white arrow to listen to the program.

David's interview covers the subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Dr. Arlene Drake is the expert that talks during the first part of the program. David is on during the last part of the program. I wish that David had been able to talk in more detail about the topic of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Anyone that reads my blog knows that I am passionate about protecting children from being sexually abused as I was by my dad when I was a child.

Like me, David Pittman has a blog at the following link:

David can tell you about his organization and what it does better than I can, so I am using his words here to tell you about Together We Heal.

"Together We Heal is for those who have suffered the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. It exists to give aid and counseling to those in need, educate any who seek information on how to best protect our children and to expose the predators and their methods. Together we can do all of these things and begin the process of healing. There is a real need to change statute of limitation laws on child molestation and sexual abuse. We are here to promote that change and provide a safe forum for victims of abuse to share, learn and heal. 'One person cannot change the world, but you can change the world of one person' - Help us do just that..... Please follow us on Twitter @Together_WeHeal"

Thank you David for coming into my life through Together We Heal on Twitter. Together we will reach more survivors and we will save more children from sexual abuse. I thank everyone who comes to my blog to read my posts and for those who take the time to leave comments. I love you all.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 61 years old. For the first time ever, I have had eight different people wish me Happy Birthday early. My husband had to be join in when I told him about the other seven. My son and daughter-in-law are going out to dinner with my husband and I later tonight because they are both working tomorrow night. So I am even celebrating early. One of my best friends called me on Saturday and wished me Happy Birthday by singing the song Happy Birthday to me over the phone. She sang it to the tune of I Want to Wish You A Merry Christmas. Then we argued about her being early. She thought it was the 11th and I had to tell her that the 11th was on Tuesday. My mother-in-law called me today as well as a friend on Facebook wishing me happy birthday.

Tomorrow is a big day for my husband too. He is going to the printer to pick up his novel that he has worked the last 9 years writing. His book is called Standing On The Edge of Time. It is a novel about the Civil War and what Daniel thinks it might have been like for his great-grandfather to fight with the 4th Arkansas Infantry during the first two years of the war. What took so long for my husband to write was all of the research that he did on the 4th Arkansas Infantry and their part in the war. He has included many factual resources as well. He is excited so tomorrow we will be celebrating my birthday but also the birth of his baby - Standing On The Edge of Time. Have a glorious day everyone.

Related Blog Articles:

The Laundry List of Adult Children Of Alcoholics @

Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics Played Major Roles In My Recovery From Incest @

Growing Up With Alcoholism In The Family @

Resources For An Incest Survivor And Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families @

My Story Of Incest Guest Post on Survivor Advocacy @

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time Does Not Heal All The Wounds Of Incest

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.'
I do not agree.
The wounds remain. In time, the mind,
protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone."
    - Rose Kennedy -

I borrowed this quote, with permission, from . The page is called Rape Survivors Unite.

I don't get angry when I hear someone say, "time heals all wounds." but in my mind I add the words, "unless you are a child abuse or incest victim/survivor." I don't get angry at these people because I know they are well-intensioned and probably feel helpless in the face of the horrors of child abuse and incest. Just imagine how those of us who have lived through child abuse or incest must feel. We don't need platitudes from well-meaning people. We need authentic love and support and we need to be believed when we tell our stories.

I have never questioned whether my memories are true, but some survivors do. I have too many memories of being told I was going somewhere with my dad in his truck. I lived with the knowledge and stress of knowing that before we came home my dad would find some quiet dirt road or an empty pasture to pull into to rape me before returning home to pretend that nothing had happened and to pretend that everything was normal.

For a long time, I didn't call the sexual abuse by its name of rape. I always thought of rape as being physically violent. Someone then told me that rape happened anytime you are threatened or coerced into having sex that you didn't want and that you didn't give permission for. Incest with a child by an adult counts as rape because a child can't give his or her permission to be sexually violated. My emotional scars are much deeper than any physical scars might be. Physical scars affect your body and eventually fade and disappear. Emotional scars are much harder to heal and may never completely go away. As Rose Kennedy says the pain lessens but the scars are still there.

I would love to believe that "time heals all wounds." Incest and rape affect your mind, emotions, and your body on so many levels. Some levels heal quickly. Others don't. At almost 61 years old, I am still waiting to see if time heals all. I have been doing this healing work since 1989. If I lived to be 1000 years old, I might could say "time heals all wounds." So far time has not healed all of my wounds.

When I was 38 years old in 1989, I finally had the courage to open the door to incest and to look it in the face. I didn't know, that at almost 61, I would still be working to clean out that room of issues. The cleaning out is still taking place but isn't as intense or of long duration now but it is still going on. Because of my own healing journey, I know that your life can get better. Mine is so much better now than it has ever been. The support and love of my husband is the greatest blessing that has enabled me to work on my own healing. I love you, Daniel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

LA Talk Live Radio Interview By Lucinda Bassett

At 2:00 p.m., ET in the U. S. on Thursday, November 29, 2012, I and my Twitter friend David Pittman who is the director of "Together We Heal" will be interviewed by the radio show host Lucinda Bassett. You will find our interview on LA Talk Live at the following link:

You will find Lucinda's story at this link also.

David shares his story on TOGETHER WE HEAL. His story is entitled "Pedophiles are like Serial Killers --- My Story by David Pittman." Here is the link:

I hope you will join us and listen to our stories of healing on Thursday 11:00 a.m. PT and 2:00 p.m. ET. This will be my first interview with Lucinda so I am excited to meet someone new and share my story with her and her audience and I feel a little fear mixed in with the excitement. Come back here after the show and let me know your thoughts. Have a glorious week ahead.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Story Of Incest Guest Post on Survivor Advocacy

Hi. I don't have much to say today except to express my gratitude to all of my readers. I also want to share two blog posts. One is my guest post over at Survivor Advocacy. I hope you will go to the following link and read it.  A friend who has already read the post, says the post is my very best writing that she has read so far. I am not a very good judge of my writing. I write from the heart and write with as much honesty as I can with the difficult topic of incest. Here is the link:

My Story Of Incest found at

The second blog post that I want to highlight here today is from my friend Patricia (Tricia) McKnight. Tricia's blog is called survivorsjustice. I absolutely love the blog post that Tricia posted earlier today. The post is called "Hopes, Dreams, Moments of Laughter, Thriving". Tricia gives the best explanation of the differences between being a victim, survivor and thriver that I have ever read. I have tried a few times to explain the differences myself. She does a much better job in today's article. Here is the link:

Hopes, Dreams, Moments of Laughter, Thriving found at

I have been reading Tricia's blog for awhile now and we are friends on Facebook and Twitter where we are both Advocates for abused children and for other survivors. Who are these survivors? What have they survived?

Many of you who are reading this blog are survivors. You know who you are. You have survived incest, other forms of child abuse, domestic violence as a child and/or as an adult. Some of you are survivors of parents mental illness, of narcissist mothers or fathers, or maybe the family disease of alcoholism and drug abuse. You name it. You have survived it. No one was willing to be an advocate for me when I was a child even though a few people suspected that something was wrong. Nobody asked. I want that to change. If you suspect child abuse in any form, ask questions. If you are wrong, you can apologize. If you are right, you have changed the life of a child who needs you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beyond The Tears, A True Survivor's Story Book Review

Lord, give me the right words to let Lynn Tolson know how much I appreciate her courage in sharing her story of incest, domestic violence, mental illness, addiction and then the sharing of her healing from all of those. Lynn C. Tolson is the author of the book Beyond the Tears, A True Survivor's Story. Because of the brutal honesty that Lynn uses to share her story, Beyond the Tears is not an easy read. If you are a survivor, I am putting a Trigger Warning on this book. The compassion that I feel for the child that Lynn was and the adult that she is now are beyond measure. As her title says, Lynn is a true survivor. Lynn Tolson has my admiration for what she has survived and my gratitude for writing and sharing her story of abuse, both physical and emotional.

Lynn Tolson is a survivor that I met on Twitter sometime over the past four years. I have wanted to read her book for sometime. I want to do justice to Lynn and her book. I have been having trouble writing this review and I have been working on getting my words and feelings about this book down on paper for several weeks now. Why? Because I am afraid that I won't do her book justice with my review. Reading Lynn's book was intense and caused me to numb my feelings several times while I was reading it because I am just beginning to look at my own Domestic Violence issues from my childhood. Suicide is something else that I struggle to understand. My emotions were all over the place when I was reading Lynn Tolson's book.

Beyond the Tears begins the first chapter with Lynn attempting suicide and ending up in a mental ward of a nearby hospital when she survives the attempt. Lynn's father who incested her when she was a child died from his own sucide attempt so Lynn says she was following in her father's footsteps with her own suicide attempt. I am very glad that she did not succeed, like her father did. The hospital counselor didn't do much to help Lynn but she didn't give up. With the help of a therapist trained in helping trauma victims, Lynn was able to start her healing journey which she shares in her book.

Lynn's journey to healing will inspire other survivors who are just starting out on their own journey to healing. Ms Tolson is a true survivor who has been through the Hell of anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to become a survivor. I am amazed at the  amount of abuse that some children and adults survive. Lynn Tolson nearly didn't. Beyond the Tears, A True Survivor's Story is Lynn's story of that survival and healing from childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. Again, thank you Lynn Tolson for sharing your book.

Here is the link to Lynn Tolson's book and blog:

Thank you Lynn Tolson for sharing your story of courage and survival and for reaching out and helping other survivors to heal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Elections

Where does time go these days? I just cannot keep up with everything that I want to do and visit with everyone that I want to talk to. Is it because I am getting older or is time really speeding up? I am not sure but I don't like it.

These past few weeks will be remembered in the U. S. for a long time. Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and left a lot of damage in the lives of many Americans as well as in Haiti and the other islands that she hit before the U. S. I am continuing to pray for all of those people who have been affected by the destructive path of Hurricane Sandy. Events like this should bring out the compassion and generosity in all people.

I pray that President Obama who won re-election yesterday has the best interest of the American people at heart with any and all decisions that he makes over the next four years. I am so glad that all of the political advertisements are gone for another few years until election time comes around again. I wish that all politicians, not just the presential ones, would take an oath to say nothing but the truth when they open their mouths. I am proud of all the the Americans who took the time to vote yesterday. Voting is a privilege that not all people have the option to do in other countries in the world.

I don't usually express my political views on here but I am so grateful for the defeat of the three politicians who mouthed off stupid things in sharing their beliefs about rape and pregnancy. I have faith in Americans in stepping up and saying no to child abuse and no to rape. I am proud of the women and men who voted against those politicians. None of them were in my state of Arkansas or I would have voted against them.

As an advocate for children and survivors of child sexual abuse, I am so proud of everyone who is breaking the silence of abuse and domestic violence.  I had a conversation on Twitter this morning from someone who thought that most of my tweets and retweets were very negative and dark. He was afraid that they would trigger him to drink. I told him to take care of himself and if he needed to he could Unfollow me without it hurting me. I went on to tell him that I would not stop retweeting the type of posts that I tweet. I told him that negativity and darkness is the reality of children who are being sexually abused. People need to be aware of what those children are dealing with and how much adult survivors struggle with issues of incest and/or domestic violence and rape. Not of those situations are rosey colored and pretty so my tweets and retweets aren't either. I understand about triggers so I am not angry or upset with this young man. He understood my position as well.

It is time for people to take their heads out of the sand and pay attention to what is going on in their homes, communities and the world where children live. I do tweet and retweet a lot of inspirational tweets too because I know that we all need to be encouraged and uplifted, especially if you are a survivor. I do the same thing on my Facebook page. I won't stop talking about child abuse, rape and domestic violence until there are no more victims and every child is safe.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jerry Sandusky's Victim #1 Is Hero #1 For All Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Last week I watched a show about Jerry Sandusky's Victim #1 on 20/20 which introduced the world to a courageous young man whose name is Aaron Fisher. All through the Sandusky trial he was known only as Victim #1. Now the world knows who this young survivor of childhood sexual abuse is. I am posting the following link for anyone who missed the program so that you can go and watch it.

The program addresses how Aaron's mom fully supported him after the secrets of the abuse were revealed to her. I hope the the producers of the program will pursue the people who turned Aaron and his mom away with statements like:

Go home and think about it. (school principal)

Only one account of childhood sexual abuse is not enough to arrest or convict Jerry Sandusky. (Police and District Attorney)

These are not put into parentheses because they are my rewording of what was told to Aaron and his mother when they confronted the school prinicpal, the police and the district attorney.

Why did it take three years before Jerry Sandusky was arrested? Why did Aaron Fisher have to wait that long for justice? What did that tell him about the Jerry Sandusky's of the world and our justice system? Can you imagine how defeated Aaron and his mother felt but instead of giving up, they got angry and fought harder to bring a sexual preditor to jail. That is why Aaron and his mom are my heroes. Only another survivor of childhood sexual abuse can know the courage that it took on Aaron's part to tell anyone about his abuse.

Thank you Aaron, Aaron's mom and the reporter and producers of 20/20 for giving Aaron and his story the justice that he deserves. Aaron, you will never know how many other survivors will now step forward and tell their stories because of your courage and persistance in getting justice for yourself.

Sandusky Case: Victim 1 Speaks - Video - ABC News

Click on Watch The Full Episode.

If you haven't seen this video, please watch it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Silence Is The Friend Of Incest

This week I read an article that I want to share with you about silence. The article is posted at a blog called Beyond the Pear Tree. The blog title is "In the Name of Silence". Here is the link:

I want to share my comment to this blog post. Here are the words that I wrote:

"There has been too much silence in the world already, a silence that allows children to be sexually and/or emotionally and physically abused, women and men to be abused by domestic violence, and allows needless wars to go on. No more silently condoning violences in any form. Bullying happens because no one stops it. Abuse is allowed to go on in the silence of individuals and societies. No more silence. No more secrets that harm."

Silence allows incest to happen within families for generations because no one is willing to call attention to the dysfunction within the family system.  Children are ashamed and afraid to speak out about what is happening to them. Children of incest carry the shame and are often afraid of being blamed for the actions of their abusers.

It is the responsibility of the adult to speak out if they suspect child abuse is happening. I know it takes courage to speak up. I didn't have the courage to face my own family and tell them about the incest that happened to me as a child until I was in my late 30's and early 40's. I know how hard it is.

Fear has to be faced and conquered, so does silence. Healing from incest does not happen until the silence is overcome. Become an advocate for your children and your neighbors' children. Don't let another child suffer in silence praying that an adult will ask if they are being hurt.

Here is a second article that I read just a day or two ago that shows how silence allows sex abuse to continue to happen for years because no adult spoke up to stop it. Not being from England, I don't know as much about the Jimmy Savile allegations about child sexual abuse. The article title is "A lot has changed since Jimmy Savile's time, but shame and stigma still allow sex abuse to thrive". The article is posted in what I assume is an online newspaper called The Independent with the section with the article being called Independent Voices. Here is the link:

Let me know your thoughts about these two articles.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Healing From Incest Takes Time

Healing from childhood sexual abuse takes time and much effort on your part and you are worth both. The most important step is learning to love yourself. Most incest victims hate and blame themselves for their abuse. Know that the blame and shame belong to your abusers, not to the child you were then or to the adult you are now. Love both your inner child and the adult that you have become. You are both survivors. Many children don't survive. If you survived, you can heal.

Learn to trust yourself and a few close friends with your story of incest. Telling is more than okay. Your healing depends upon telling someone else the many secrets that you were forced to keep by your abusers. Don't tell just anyone. Tell someone that you trust. You may not trust anyone because of your abuse. In your childhood, you couldn't trust those who were closest to you, if like with me, they were your abusers. Trust is a very big issue and one that you need to do very carefully. Sadly, the world is full of people that you shouldn't trust with your story and your vulnerability. As an adult, there are abusers who will instintively pick up that you are vulnerable and will take advantage if you give them the chance. Believe your heart and your gut when you get signals to run away from these people. This is one reason why learning to trust yourself and your intuition are so important. Really listen to your body. I know how hard that is if you disconnected from your body as a child in order to survive the pain of incest. I also know from my own experience that you can learn to reconnect. Be patient and kind with yourself as you learn to do this. You are blessed to live in a time when many resources are available for your use.

Trust a few close friends with your story or, if it is easier, trust a roomful of strangers, like I did, in 12-Step programs. Those people weren't strangers for long. They totally accepted me and my story of incest.  Today I thank God that my dad was an alcoholic. I was able to find out how I was affected by the family disease of alcoholism and had taken on the characteristics of both of my parents but I also found a safe place to talk about the incest. I talked and talked and talked until I started to feel and the hurt started to leave. Talk as much as you can until the abuse is talked out of your body and mind. Some people will think you are stuck in the memories and will possibly wish you would just shut up. Don't shut up and don't trust those people.  Most people don't realize that you were silenced for so long that you can't let the hurt and anger go with just a few words and wishes. You have to work at and talk your way through the healing process. Writing helps too if you are a writer like me. You are worth whatever it takes to heal. Find a counselor or therapist that will listen and help you work through your pain. Don't settle for just any therapist. Not all are trained to help incest survivors. A therapist that doesn't know what they are doing can do more harm rather than helping you. Sometimes you just don't click with that person. Find a therapist that you can trust and feel safe sharing your story with.

Find others who can love you until you can love yourself. Surround yourself with people who will support you through the long journey to healing. Some won't stay for very long. Those who do will be your true friends. If you trust the wrong person with your story and get hurt by them. Let go of them and move on. Don't stay in an abusive relationship. You do not deserve to be revictimized by anyone. You couldn't do anything about the abuse you suffered as a child. As an adult, you can choose to say no to abuse of any kind and leave if the other person doesn't. Don't trust everyone with yourself or with your story. You deserve to be believed. If others can't treat you with respect and kindness, leave them behind. Move forward into your healing.

As I said before, trust your intuition which will tell you who is trustworthy and who isn't. Start with trusting yourself. Be kind and compassionate with yourself first. Start to listen to your inner voice that has your best interest at heart. Don't listen to any critical inner voices that you got from your parents or abusers. Learn to tune them out. Critical inner voices don't have your best interest at heart. Being critical of yourself is just carrying on the shame that your abusers passed on to you. Don't shame and blame yourself. Being responsible for your own actions is not the same as blaming and shaming. Feeling guilty for making a mistake is not the same as feeling shame because you were taught that you are the mistake. You are not a mistake, now or ever. That is the abuser speaking. Don't listen to that crap any more. You are worthy and lovable. Love yourself and heal. You are worth it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

No Instant Fixes For Childhood Sexual Abuse

With the pain of childhood sexual abuse, no instant fixes exist, that I know of. You and your inner children are worth every bit of time and effort that it takes to heal. Just like you went from victim to survivor, you can now go from survivor to thriver and experience joy, peace and happiness in your life. These emotions take time to find as they have been buried under the pain and memories of your sexual abuse.  As you heal, they will return to your life. I know this is possible because over the past few years, I have moved from survivor to thriver.

Becoming a thriver doesn't mean that I will never again feel the pain of my childhood of abuse in the form of incest and my dad's alcholism. I do still have issues come up, sometimes suddenly and without warning. I still hurt and sometimes feel anger and sadness. The difference is that those feelings don't weigh me down and take me into depression like they once did. They visit for shorter lengths of time and the intensity isn't as strong. I recognise them as issues and work on healing and releasing them. I didn't used to recognise my own feelings for what they were. I just knew I was always tired and always carried a deep sadness within my heart and mind. Today I don't.

As a thriver, I really do love myself. Those aren't just meaningless, wishful words. They are true. I know that you can transition from survivor to thriver too. I am not the only one capable of doing this work. It is work. I don't know of any instant fixes. If the fixes were instant, the value of the whole healing experience would not be the same. Through the experince of healing, I learned to love and value myself and you can do the same. Healing from childhood sexual abuse is a process that you are worth starting and continuing with in your life. I am just one example of how this process does work. I know many more survivors that have done the work of healing.

Life is for more than just surviving. We are not meant to be victims of life and mean spirited abusers. We are meant to be thrivers. I wish for you a glorious day and many blessings. You deserve both.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Love Yourself And You Will Teach Those Around You To Do The Same

These words are a comment that I posted when I shared a picture from a friend on Facebook. I have so many friends on Facebook and Twitter who, with their shares of words, poetry and photos, inspire me to think and to be a better person. Who inspired you today? Who has been inspired by you today?

Love yourself and it won't matter if others love you or not.

Know you are worthy of love whether another person gives it or not.

Your happiness comes from you, not from anyone else.

I didn't always know these things and I certainly wasn't taught this by my parents. If I loved myself and knew my own self worth, I wouldn't as been as easily controlled like they both wanted me to be. I wouldn't have been sexually abused as a child if I had known these things. Why, you ask? Because if I had loved myself and felt my own self worth, I would have been a child who would have told and rarely are children who are strong enough to tell someone abused. Abusers don't violate children who are likely to tell.

Now I have to get off the computer. My son is due to visit soon from his home across town before he goes to work. His sister, my daughter, is here visiting from Idaho for the week and my husband and I are taking them out to lunch later so we can all spend quality time together.

Have a glorious day and week and life, if you want to. Remember, you are in control of your happiness. Loving yourself makes all the difference to you and to those around you. Love yourself and you will teach those around you to do the same.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loving Yourself Means Letting Go Of Negative Labels

Many of us were labeled as children. Family systems have a label for every member. Labels like Family Hero, Scapegoat, Peacemaker, Black Sheep. Some of those labels can be good and some of them not. Either way, you don't have to continue being that label unless you want to.

I was the Family Hero. The recognition that goes with being the family hero felt good but the pressure to be perfect and to take care of everyone to the exclusion of myself did not. Sometimes people still look to me to fix things. Sometimes I can but sometimes I can't. When I can't, that doesn't make me irresponsible or bad, like it felt when I was a child and even young adult. I have worked to let go of the perfectionism and its resulting pressure to be someone that I am not.

Many survivors are made into the Family Scapegoat and the dysfunctional family will do its best to keep that person stuck there because then they can blame everything that goes wrong with the family on that person. This is especially true if that survivor suddenly starts to tell the family secrets such as incest. Many survivors and their stories are discounted because, according to the family, that person has always been sick, or a liar,  just no good, or some other negative label to takes the focus away from the family system and its dysfunction.

As a survivor, you can make the decision for yourself to not be labeled any more. You can stop believing the family &/or the abusers who want you to stay labeled. Stop believing that you are a Scapegoat, Black Sheep, or even Family Hero. You are what you believe about yourself.

Part of learning to love yourself is to let go of all of the negative beliefs - your family's and your own. You can become who you want to be. You have survived the worst that life has to give. That makes you strong. Start out by forgiving yourself for believing the lies. Look at who you are without the labels. If you don't know who you are, explore. Find out what you like and don't like. Sit with your feelings and learn to recognise them without the drama that dysfunctional families often create. Life is a journey. Decide what direction you want to go in rather than the direction that your family is wanting you to go in. Realize that you can make decisions for yourself. You have the right to make choices on your own rather than being controlled by someone else's behavior.  You are a suvivor so act like one.

It is okay to be timid and shy and even unsure of yourself. Making choices and guiding your own life may be new to you. You are allowed to make mistakes and detours along the way. Mistakes are just lessons waiting to be learned. Mistakes don't make you a bad person. They show you what is important and what is not. Mistakes challenge you to look at life and yourself in a new way which is growth.

Being you shouldn't hurt. Most of the survivors that I have been blessed to meet are strong, caring, kind people because they know what it is like to be controlled and hurt by someone else. You can't wish away the hurt but you can become a better you because of it. Use your strength to grow healthier, to help other survivors, to be a better person than those people who want to hold you down. Move forward even it is is just one step at a time. Reach out when you are hurting. There are plenty of other survivors who care and will be there for you if you let them. No one has to deal with child sexual abuse alone. Sending love and blessings to each of you who read this today. Be a friend to yourself first. Love yourself. When you change yourself, you change the world.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Are The Effects Of Incest A Life Sentence For A Survivor?

Sharing some more of my Tweets on Twitter from several weeks ago. Tell me what you think.

The sad fact of my life is that at age 60, my abusers are all dead but the effects of incest live on in me.

I have done many years of healing work and am in a good to great spot most of the time with my incest issues behind me.

Even with healing, sometimes an issue will pop up and catch me by surprise and I find more grieving to do.

More grieving, more healing, more anger and fear to feel and then let go of because of the incest in my childhood.

A Survivor's work is never done, at least in my experience. Joy and peace do exist and I enjoy them when they are here.

And I still have those moments of fear come up when something triggers a memory or a feeling from my inner child.

I live with hope and laughter in my life and I still am a work in progress.

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. He died January 6, 2000. Because of the length of time that he sexually abused me, I count him as my main abuser and most of the issues that I have worked on came from the abuse done by him.

My dad was born in 1931 as the 3rd oldest of what would become a family with 12 kids. He quit school in 5th grade when he went to work in the fields with his dad to help feed their family. I don't know if he had been a good student or not. When I was older, I realized that he could barely read or write. He could write his name. As for his intelligence, I don't think he was very smart. He came from a family with alcoholism and codependency in it just as I did. My grandfather when I was older would start drinking on Friday evening as fast as he could cash his pay check and get to the store to buy beer. When I was growing up, we spent lots of weekends at their house. I was always afraid of my grandfather because he was loud, a big man and a mean drunk. He would drink all weekend. On Sundays, he would drive back to town to buy more beer even though it was against the law back then to sell alcohol on Sundays. You did not want to ride with my grandfather when he was drinking. I rode with him one time with my siblings.  I cannot understand how he was never in an accident or stopped by a policeman for drunk driving. He was all over the road. Whatever direction he looked, the car went. That was before you had seat beats in cars. He never drove over 40 miles per hour. Neither did my dad. This was also before you had interstate highways.

None of this is told to you as an excuse for my dad's behavior but to give you a little bit of background to his life and mine. I can feel sad for the child that he was and I can see where some of his patterns of behavior came from. I can see why he grew up into a frightened man who felt that he had to control everyone around him to feel safe. I did the same thing until I realized that control didn't make me safe or make me happy. For awhile, I copied what I saw as a child. You have to have awareness of behaviors before you can change them. My dad never saw that he needed to change anything. I have learned that control hides fear - lots of fear.

When you face your fear, you can give up the need to control. Letting go of fear makes room for you to start to heal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Beginning Of Who I Am Is Rooted In Incest

I am not the incest and it has helped to define who I am. A friend on Twitter recently told me that the abusers didn't steal the real me. Here are the Tweets that I sent back to him. I wanted to share this message with my readers.

For awhile, yes, they did steal me. The me you see today is not who I might have been without the abuse.

I could have been a better or a worse version of who I am today but either one would have been a different me.

Who I am today is because of my struggles with incest and my healing from incest. A person I am proud to be today.

Some of my choices when I was still struggling were not beneficial to me or my family.

I do love me today. For many years, because of the incest, I hated myself.

When I started healing at age 38, I didn't know who I was and didn't know what I wanted or needed.

Nothing changed until I started to love myself.

I love some of the conversations that get started on Twitter.  When I first started on Twitter, I didn't know how useful it would be for reaching out to other incest survivors but a friend suggested I give it a try. I am glad that she did. I have met so many survivors on Twitter. I still use my Facebook page but I use Twitter more.  Some of the survivors that I have met are still full of rage and the pain of their childhoods. Others have done healing of their issues and are experiencing joy and peace in their lives and, like me, are reaching out to other survivors. Either way, I can and do tell them that they are worth the work of healing.

I made the words of my last Tweet above in bold letters because I want to acknowledge that Nothing changed until I started to love myself. I will keep telling you over and over again here and on Twitter that loving yourself is the most important gift you can ever give yourself. Loving yourself is the key to opening the door of healing and you are worth it.

Feel free to comment on any or all of my above Tweets. I look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

40 Years Married To The Same Man Is Commitment

My husband Daniel and I are celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary today. Forty years married to the same man is commitment, love, compromise, and honesty. Our marriage of that long has also been filled with anger, fear, struggles and sometimes denial of feelings.

Our marriage has seen good years and some bad years. The bad years were among the first 25 when I was either in denial or was angry and sometimes raging because of the lasting effects of incest upon me and my interactions with others.

The first ten years, I was trying to control everything because of my fear of being out of control or under someone else's control like my dad when the incest was happening. I didn't trust Daniel to be able to keep me safe. When I was 27, I hit bottom emotionally when I heard myself screaming at Daniel that I hated him and everything about my life. I heard myself screaming those hateful words and I knew they weren't true. The reality that I faced that day was that I hated myself - the abused and terrified little girl inside of me who thought if she could control everything and everyone then she would never be hurt again. I hated and blamed that little girl for the incest. I hated myself. Somewhere the wisdom came that said that Daniel had nothing to do with me being so unhappy, so angry and so bitter.

I knew that I had to change me if I had any chance of being happy. I still had no idea what healthy was. I knew that trying to change Daniel would not help the situation. In a marriage, or any kind of relationship, you cannot change the other person to make you happy. My happiness came from inside me, not from Daniel. Daniel could do nothing to make me happy.

I wish I could say that I woke up to everything that day but I didn't. I struggled with who I was and what was normal. I didn't know for many years to come that what was normal was rarely healthy. Instead I decided to work on myself which means that I read the three books on incest that the Tyler, Texas library had at the time. I also decided to not have any contact with my dad or his side of the family hoping that would bring me some peace. I was still in denial trying to be okay when I wasn't. Having no contact with my dad's family of origin lasted for ten years and stopped when I realized that they weren't my dad and they shouldn't be punished for what he did. I missed my aunts and uncles and grandmother being in my life.

As I searched for peace, I stuffed emotions until they would come spewing out with the force of a volcano in either tears late at night when no one but my husband could see or rage that hurt those closest to me, mostly Daniel. I couldn't control the feelings so the stuffing and exploding went on for years. Those were the bad years. I missed a lot because I was so focused on trying to not feel the pain of incest. Those years were filled with denial that the incest happened and was a part of my life even though I no longer lived at home with my dad. I didn't leave the incest behind just because my dad was out of my life. I couldn't wish it so no matter how much I tried. Denial just builds more hurt on top of the original.

Wow! I didn't know that I was going to tell you all of that. I don't want you to think that all of our 40 years were bad because they weren't. Daniel and I have had good years too. In the 1970's we moved from Shreveport, Louisiana to Asheville, North Carolina when our son was born and where we spent every Sunday driving through the Smokey and Blue Ridge Mountains and absorbing the beauty of God's creation. Daniel and I moved to Asheville when he got a job there in 1973. The three years that we spent in Asheville allowed us to learn to depend upon each other without any family members living nearby. We left Asheville to move back to Louisiana when I was pregnant with our daughter.

The three years we spent in North Carolina strengthened our friendship with each other. I don't believe we would have been married for 40 years if not for our friendship. Marriage, to me, is about liking as well as loving someone else. My husband taught me that someone could love me. Before I met Daniel I didn't think I would ever find someone to love or someone who would love me back. He taught me that I was lovable.

Believe me when I tell you that Daniel taught me all about love over the years. He stayed during the worst of times before and after I started healing from incest. With the healing came a time of great confusion where I had to find out who I was. I had to learn to love myself. In learning to love myself, I was able to give a much greater love to my husband and children. Since our 25th Anniversary, more love, laughter and joy has come into my life. Daniel is responsible for a lot of the changes that I have made. He didn't make the changes, I did, but he is part of the reason that I wanted to make the changes. I wanted the pain to stop but I also wanted to be a better wife and mother for Daniel and our children.

Happy 40th Anniversary my love of my life, Daniel.  You mean more to me that I can express. You are a big part of the reason that I am the person that I am today. I love you with all of my heart. You are my Sweetheart.  You taught me to laugh. You showed me that it is okay to cry. You helped me to build a safe place for me to live in our home and in my own body. Thank you.

I am surprised to see how long this post has become. I hope it makes some sense to you. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Today Honor All Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

Something I wrote a short while ago on Twitter says, "Today honor all the Survivors that you know with a hug &/or kind words. We all struggle at times. We can heal." Today I ask you to do this for any Survivors that you know.  With the statistics saying that one in four girls and one in six boys today are sexually abused before the age of 18, chances are very good that you know at least one survivor. Another statistic that says your odds of knowing a survivor are even better is the one that says for every survivor that tells about their abuse, another six never report their sexual abuse.

I ran across a site a few days ago that calls itself RANDOM FACTS. Here are two lists that I read and want to share with you. Warning: Some of what you read in these two lists may be disturbing. I hope they are.  Education and understanding is necessary if we are ever going to stop child predators from abusing children.

64 Facts About . . .
Child Sexual Abuse

55 Little Known Facts About . . .
Human Trafficking

I will leave you with one more of my Tweets from this week. "I have always known even as a child that I would find a way to make something good come out of the incest." Reaching out to other incest survivors with my blog, my facebook page where I go by my full name Patricia Caldwell Singleton and on Twitter where I go by patriciasinglet is one way that I make something good come from being sexually abused as a little girl.  You will find me talking and sharing with other survivors in all three places. Supporting each other makes our healing a little less of a struggle than doing it alone. Now go tell your Survivor friend or family member that you love them and you are there for them. They will appreciate you for it. Have a glorious day.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Journey To Your Heart - Learning To Love Yourself After Abuse

One of my favorite affirmation books that I have used over the years of my healing journey is Melody Beattie's Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul.  The meditation for January 8 is entitled "Love Yourself Until It's Real." I am going to share just a little of Ms Beattie's wisdom from that page:

"Self-love means loving and accepting yourself, your thoughts, beauty, emotions, your faults, imperfections, and flaws, your strengths, wit, wisdom, as well as your peculiar and unique way of seeing the world. . .

Loving yourself means accepting and loving each and every part of you, and knowing---knowing---that you are worthy, valuable, and lovable. It means loving and accepting yourself when you're surrounded by people who love you, and during those times when you think everyone's gone away, when you wonder if God's gone away too."

. . . .

"Sometimes, loving ourselves means accepting ourselves enough to tell ourselves other people like us and approve of us. Sometimes loving ourselves means approving of ourselves, even when they don't. It takes courage to stop cowering and openly love, accept, and approve of ourselves.

Don't just say the words. Love yourself until you experience that love."

Loving yourself is the real beginning of healing from abuse of any kind.  When you truly love yourself, you no longer allow anyone to abuse you, not even yourself. Loving yourself means you feel your own self-worth and you stop the negative voices in your head that said you deserved to be abused. You no longer believe that the abuse was your fault or that you attracted it.

Loving yourself means forgiving yourself for whatever negative thoughts that you believed about yourself. Recognize that many of those negative thoughts came from your abusers or your parents or your teachers. They weren't even your thoughts until someone in authority put them in your head.

Love yourself whether you think anyone else does or not. When you love yourself, you teach others how to love you too.  Be kind to yourself like you would be kind to others. Laugh at yourself and don't take life so seriously. Learn to recognize when you are stressing out. Breathe and relax. Remember to play as you did as a child. Being childlike is different than being childish. Enjoy spending time alone and listen for the inner voice that you all have. Make time to spend with family and friends who help you to feel good about yourself.

In 12-Step programs, you are told "Fake it 'til you make it." Do that with loving yourself until loving yourself becomes real. Pay attention to your thoughts and how you feel about yourself as you go through each day. Remember that how you treat yourself teaches others how to treat you. Give yourself time. Life, as well as healing, is a journey. Instant fixes don't work when it comes to healing from abuse and neglect from childhood. You are worth the time and the effort that it takes to heal. Learning to love yourself is the best gift that you can give yourself or your children.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beyond Survivor: Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse Book Review

BEYOND SURVIVOR: Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse written by my friend Jan L. Frayne

Jan has been my friend for a year or two now. I met him on Triberr and Twitter through another Twitter friend who introduced us. During the sharing of Tweets and comments back and forth, and after becoming friends on Facebook, our friendship has grown.

What do a male from Wales and a female from the southern U. S. have in common to form a friendship when they have never met in person? Jan and I are both survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I have been honored to watch Jan grow and heal from childhood sexual abuse during the short time we have known each other. We have supported each other through that growing time.

I am pleased to see Jan reaching out to other male and female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Even more so to see that Jan has published his own "Collection of Writings" as he labels his 1st book, BEYOND SURVIVOR which I recently read and am now sharing the book review that I wrote and posted on a few months ago.

Here is the book review that I wrote back in June 2012:

Jan Frayne is a courageous male survivor of childhood sexual abuse done by those who should have protected him instead of stealing away his childhood. Jan takes his readers to the depths of despair with his beautiful and tragic poetry. He also offers words of healing and triumph over the abusers.

BEYOND SURVIVOR: Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse is written from a male survivor's point of view but it is also a resource for women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As an incest survivor myself, I could relate to so much of the pain and feelings that Jan mentions in his writing.

I can also relate to the fears and the courage to face those fears that I know Jan experienced in writing this book for male survivors.  Jan's book is among the first written to address the issues of male survivors.  I hope that Jan's outspokeness and courage will be spread to other men who are also survivors.  Men need the support and the courage to speak out because, together - male and female - we will win the war against child abuse.

If you are interested in learning more about Jan and his healing journey, you will want to listen to a guest talk that Jan does with Patricia McKnight on Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio back on June 6, 2012. The link for Beyond Survivor - Author/Advocate - Jan Frayne 06/06 by Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio is as follows:

Also, the link to Jan's blog The Wounded Warrior is as follows:

I hope you will join me and read Jan's book and his blog. Feel free to leave comments here and on Jan's blog. Some exciting news is that Jan is working on book number 2. Can't wait.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Be A Voice For Children - Speak Out About Child Abuse

Now is the time to become a voice for children, to speak out about child abuse so that we can stop it. We must all become active in preventing child abuse and neglect. If you see a child being abused or if you just suspect a child is being abused or neglected, report it to someone in authority.

Don't be like the many people in the Sandusky case that did nothing, or worse were the people who turned their heads and hide the information from the authorities to protect an institution. Insititutions are not more important than people, in this instance, children.

If a child tells you they are being abused, believe them. Don't discount their feelings. Don't revictimize the child by calling them a liar or by blaming them. Child abuse is the fault of the abusers. Children, as well as the adults closest to them, are groomed by the pedophiles into trusting the person. Don't let this happen to you or your child.

If a child tells you they are being abused, tell someone and keep telling someone until some action is taken to protect the child. Tell until something is done to remove the child from the grasp of the perpetrator.

Even if you just suspect that someone is abusing or neglecting a child, report it. If you are afraid to report the suspected abuse or neglect because you might be wrong, do it any way. If you are wrong, you can always appologize. If you are right, you may have saved the life of a child and you have definitely changed the life of a child for the better.

As a child, I always wished someone would ask about if I was being sexually abused. I couldn't voluntarily ask someone for help. I was too afraid. This is true for many children. If you suspect a child is being abused, ask. Please ask. Not all children will tell you the truth, but some will. They, like me, are just waiting for someone to care enough to ask.

We will never stop child abuse if we keep doing nothing, hoping that the abuse will just go away on its own, hoping that someone else will report it. Do I need to remind you of the number of children - 117 - that a typical pedophile abuses before he is caught? Please do something to stop this abuse of our children.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Average Pedophile Molests 117 Children Before They Are Caught

"The average pedophile molests 117 children before they are jailed for child offences."

The above quote comes from the following website: Helping Hands Against Abuse which is located in the United Kingdom. Here is the link for this organization:

I hope if you are a survivor of any kind of abuse as a child or an adult that you will check them out. HHAA is a group that I support on Facebook and on Twitter both because of the work that they do to help survivors of abuse heal and find support.

Here is my response to the above quote which I posted on my Facebook page and which has already been shared by several of my Facebook friends on their pages as well.

"This is a sad number that we can change by coming together and making the world aware of child abuse. From awareness must come action. Be aware and if you suspect a child is being abused, tell someone. If that someone does nothing, tell someone else until something happens to protect that child. If you are wrong, apologize. If you are right, you have changed the life of a child."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day - Not For All Abuse Survivors

I want to wish any fathers who are reading this post a Happy Father's Day. Be good to your children so that they will grow up and want to honor you on this special day. The same goes for any mothers reading this post. Your children want to love you. Give them reasons to love you. Protect your children from the abusers in the world. Teach your children to love you and to love themselves.

Father's Day is supposed to be a day to honor our fathers but some of us grew up being abused by our fathers. Abuse can take the form of physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse. For those of us who were abused by their fathers, this day can be a day of bad memories rather than good ones. Memories of abuse can also make us wish that we could recreate the father of our dreams which can in turn make us feel sadness and grief for that father that we always wanted and never had.  Father's Day can be a day of ambivalence for survivors. You can love your father because he is your father and sometimes he was nice to you. You can also hate your father because of the lies that he told you and because of the abuse that was done by him to you.

For those of you who had great, loving fathers, I am glad for you. I didn't walk in your shoes. You also didn't walk in my shoes so you may not understand why survivors sometimes struggle so much with this day. You may not understand our need to break the silence of child abuse. That is okay. You don't have to understand but don't judge us either. For those who are struggling, I do understand. My dad died back in January 2000 so I no longer struggle with this day. Take care of yourself today. This day will be over with in less than 24 hours. Then it will be another day. Do what you need to to get through this day. Love yourself. Give yourself a break. Breathe.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Am A Survivor/Thriver Of Incest

An online friend recently asked me, "Do you ever -not- feel like a thriver . . . like an off day or something?"

Here is my answer:

Yes, sometimes. It is part of being a survivor that I have gotten used to. Some days the sadness and the tears do come back to visit. It isn't all the time like it used to be.

There are cloudy days. I still have issues that come up but not as often or with the intensity of the early years of healing.

There are still times when a TV program or a Video on YouTube or someone else's story will hit me in a vulnerable place. When they do, I remind myself to breathe and I let the tears fall.

Tears used to be a sign of weakness to me. Today they are a sign of healing and courage.

Anger used to mean rage and violence - not today. Anger is okay to feel and can often be resolved just by saying the words, "I am angry."

I don't have crying jags any more and I don't rage any more because I don't stuff feelings until they build and are uncontrollable.

 To me, being a thriver doesn't mean just sunny skies. Being a thriver is being able to feel it all in a healthy manner and then letting it just flow through me.

A day or two later, someone else asked, "Does anyone see themselves as a thriver?"

Here is my answer:

Yes, I do. Being a thriver doesn't mean I don't still have issues that I occasionally have to work on. It doesn't mean that I am all smiles and joy, even though they are more frequent in my life than ever before. It just means that my life can have joy and peace and calm rather than the chaos that I often created for myself out of my anger, rage, and hurt.

The sadness is not a constant with me any more.  For most of my childhood, I felt like I was the sadness. I knew if you looked in my eyes that you would see the sadness. I rarely smiled. I didn't know how to be a child after the incest started. I felt like there was a hole in me where my heart should have been. That hole was emptied of joy and happiness and filled with sadness.

As a thriver today, I find that I actually enjoy myself and my life rather than just existing. My life has laughter and joy. My heart has melted from its frozen desolation and is now filled with love for myself and my family.

Are you a thriver? What does being a thriver mean to you?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker's Fifth Year Anniversary

Today Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker is five years old. I thank each of you that has been a part of this journey of growth and transformation.

My Blogger Overview Page for June 1, 2012 says that I have 3900 published comments. At least half of those are my comments back to you. It is important to me to be able to let you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I don't like visiting and leaving a comment on someone else's blog and not getting a response back. Sometimes the comments at the end add so much more to whatever I say in the content of the blog post. Your opinion is important to me. I want you to always feel free to voice your opinion about my topics. The few times that I did not publish a person's comment was because they were abusive in the way that they expressed themselves. I don't expect everyone to believe what I believe. I do expect everyone to be respectful in expressing your opinions. That is just healthy boundary setting.

Even though I haven't posted a blog post since my last one on May 7, my readers have been loyal. Today's Pageviews from Blogger were 134. That may seem small to some but my numbers have been steadily growing here since the first post on June 1, 2007. I appreciate everyone of you. On my page, my daily page views show 440 subscribers for today. My blog page itself shows 220 followers. I don't have a clue as to why there is such a difference in numbers but there is. Either way, I appreciate everyone of you.

I know that I haven't posted much lately. In May, I experienced a severe allergy attack that lasted for several weeks after spending the day out with a friend with our car windows down for the entire trip. I don't know why but my allergies have been much worse this Spring than they have ever been. Some say allergies are worse for everyone this year because we didn't have a cold Winter in Arkansas. Only in the past week have I begun to feel better.

This post will be the 353rd article that I have written over the past five years on Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker.  Earlier I went through my Blogger pages and looked to see which of my articles were your favorites. Thank you for your diversity. I was surprised at some of your favorites. Here they are:

1. What Other People Think About You Is None Of Your Business posted on 8/29/07 with 5546 views. This one is by far the favorite. None of the others are even close to the views of this one.

2. There's A Hole In My Sidewalk posted on 8/11/07 with 3881 views was written about a poem that I was introduced to when I first started going to 12-Step meetings back in 1989. Someone had printed and framed the poem and put it on the wall of the meeting room. For its simplicity in words, the poem is powerful in its message.

3.  Family Secrets---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 5 posted on 9/2/07 with 1795 views since then. I think there were 8 blog articles in this series of posts. This post is one of two from this series that made the top 10 list of favorites. Most of these posts came with a Trigger Warning on them.

4.  Forgiveness Is For You, Not The Other Person was posted on 9/16/07 with 1651 views. If you are considering forgiveness as a part of your healing, this is just one of the articles that I have written on the topic of forgiveness over the years.  Forgiveness is a topic that I feel strongly about. I never thought that I would forgive my abusers. I didn't plan to. I was further abused by well-meaning people who wanted me to forgive too soon. For me, forgiveness was the end result of healing and happened in its own time when I was ready.

5.  Dealing With People Who Push Your Buttons was posted on 7/5/08 with 1494 views. This post was written because I got angry at someone who was being mean to my husband. My husband is a sweetheart and this person was just jealous of him. I realized that this person was pushing a lot of my buttons and so I looked at why.

6.  The Secret---Affirmations Change Your Life was posted on 8/8/07 with 1393 views. This is one of my favorites. I wrote it when The Secret was so popular. In this post I share how I was taught to work with affirmations in order to change the negative messages we tell ourselves.

7.  Spirit Animal Totems was posted on 11/11/07 with 1311 views. This post is not a typical subject for me, being more on the spiritual side rather than the survivor side of things. Sometimes we just need to forget that we are adults being so serious and let the inner child out to play. This was one of those times.

8.  Three Of My Past Lives was my very first blog article back on June 1, 2007. Only in the past 2 years has this post grown in popularity. The views for this post are 1176. As I say in the blog post itself, you don't have to believe in reincarnation. I do. Reincarnation just seems to explain a lot of happenings in my life.

9.  Inspiration, Denial And Incest was posted on 1/20/10 with 1144 views. This post is rather long and a bit of a rant on my part. The article also comes with a Trigger Warning. This rant was brought about by a comment that a very young lady left on my blog. The young lady didn't think my story was inspiring and was too sad for her tastes.

10.  A Little Girl's Story---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 8 was posted on 5/10/09 with 976 views. This post was the last of the Series. The original story was written by me back in 1989.

11.  "The Patricia Singleton Story" Update was posted on 5/3/10 and viewed 908 times since then. This is the last one that I will share. I know that many of you have listened to this radio interview that I did with Cyrus Webb. When I first started this blog back in June 2007, I never imagined that it would lead to be a guest speaker telling my story on a radio program. If you haven't heard this talk yet, I hope you will take the time to listen and let me know what you think.

When I started this blog, I was inexperienced with the internet. I still have things to learn, like how to put photos on my blog. I have made so many new friends over the past five years because of my blog. I have learned to use Twitter and Facebook to further the reach of my blog to other survivors. I have grown and become a voice for incest survivors around the world. Most recently, I have learned how to use and Klout to extend my reach to new people. The survivor community is quite large and growing larger every day as we join together to protect children and to educate adults about child abuse.

I am grateful to everyone of you who read my blog and leave comments.   Thank you for being willing to enter my world. I know that my stories aren't easy to read. I appreciate the time that you spend here. Please join in helping me to break the silence of child abuse. A child should be loved, not abused. Every day as I go out into the world of the internet, I meet new people with their own stories of survival and pain. Some are seasoned warriors like me and others are just beginning to tell their stories and move from being victims to becoming survivors. Please join me in honoring their path to healing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Denial: Pretending Everything Is Okay Doesn't Mean Everything Is Okay

Most of the time denial is not helpful. Sometimes it is. Denial can actually save a life or at least a person's sanity, for awhile, when that person is living with abuse on a daily basis like many children do.

Using denial to leave the abuse behind at home helped me to feel safe each day when I went to school. I always loved going to school. I hated summers and holidays that I couldn't go to school.

I had teachers who cared about me and helped me to feel proud that I could excel at something and make good grades. I didn't get that praise and acknowledgment at home.

On the other hand, those same teachers didn't recognise that I was being abused at home. I had no physical signs of abuse on my body but even if I had, I don't know that the teachers could have or would have done anything about the incest in the 1950's and 1960's in America. A man had more freedom then to do as he pleased with his wife and children and often the law would not intervene. The awareness of abuse just wasn't there or if it was, it was rarely acted upon.

Pretending that everything is okay when it isn't, as an adult, is not helpful most of the time. The very same denial, that protected me as a child, worked against me as an adult. Denial comes at a high cost to the human body and mind.

Holding back emotions, hiding from memories, refusing to see the abuse that is going on or went on in the past - all of these can cause stress that wears out the body and harms the mind of the victim. I didn't know how much energy it took to hold on to my denial until I let go of it.

Holding in emotions rather than feeling them takes tremendous mental control. Your body carries all of that stress whether you want to accept it or not. The stress of shutting down emotionally can do harm in the physical realm of the body by causing symptoms like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and many other conditions.

If you are in denial, stop. Give your mind and body a break. You deserve to have a full life. That doesn't happen when you are in denial. For you to heal, and you are definitely worth taking the time and effort to heal, the denial must go. Yes, letting go of the denial, initially, hurts more. That stage doesn't last. You can get past the hurt. You can survive feeling the hurt. Then as you let go of the hurt, through feeling it, you will heal.

As you heal, joy and peace become a possibility that you can open yourself up to. Ask any survivor/thriver, if letting go of the denial and feeling the pain was worth what they have today. They will tell you that it was. Please do this for yourself. You are worth it.

Related Articles:

Resources For An Incest Survivor And Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families @

Childhood Memories @

Dialogues With Dignity And 22 Ways To Love Yourself @

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Blog Link Love

Yes, I know that today is May 1. I have been busy this week. Then yesterday we had thunderstorms that started in the afternoon and kept coming until late in the evening. I always unplug my computer during the threat of thunderstorms. I have a friend who lost her computer when her house was hit by lightning a few years ago.

So my blog link list for April is late in being published. Here it is.

1. No longer a victim and much more than a survivor from the blog A Journey. The subtitle for this blog says, "Seek Knowledge find Wisdom live your Truth"

2. The Art Of Letting Go from the blog Rejuvenation Lounge


4. Beyond Survivor: Interview with Jan Frayne from the blog healthpsychologyconsultancy

5. Are you being abused? What can you do to stop it? from the blog Appalachian Child (which is also the book by author Bea B. Todd)

6. Snowball from the blog My Life as a Strife Survivor

7. The Seeds of Power from the blog As Ashes Scatter

8. Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse April 2012 Edition found at the blog Child Abuse Survivor

9. The Mystery in History #ChildAbuse #Recovery from the blog The Wounded Warrior

10.  A Profile of the Child Molester from the website DreamCatchers For Abused Children

11. Grief Has A Mind of Its Own from the blog Soulseeds

12. Statistics Confirm the High Rate of Incest and Victim's Secrecy from the blog Evil Sits at the Dinner Table

Keep in mind that any or all of these blog articles can be triggering to a child abuse survivor. Read at your own risk.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Pinwheel Girl's Book of Simple Wisdom - eBook Review

Kendra Kett recently asked me to read her new ebook The Pinwheel Girl's Book of Simple Wisdom and to write a book review for her. I gladly accepted the invitation. I have been reading Kendra's blog Pinwheel Girls, helping women be true to themselves for over a year now. Her blog and ebook are both very uplifting and encouraging when I am on a low point in my journey to healing.  The link to Kendra's blog is

The Pinwheel Girl's Book of Simple Wisdom, as well as encouraging and uplifting, makes me smile and nod my head, "Yes!" over and over again as I read the pages. The pages are full of words of "simple wisdom" to use Kendra's description and has wonderful pictures to accompany her words.  To borrow Kendra's own words from her blog title, her ebook does the same as her blog when it is "helping women be true to themselves." Being true to ourselves is very important and something that survivors of childhood abuse often have to learn how to do. Kendra's ebook is a book of affirmations that will help others to do just that - be true to themselves.

Some of the topics offered in Kendra's ebook are as follows:
Loving yourself unconditionally
Having compassion for yourself and others
Having self-approval rather than other-approval
Pushing through feelings to heal
You are stronger than you know
Learning to express yourself
Being empowered
The key to self-empowerment
Overcoming your fears
Being a self-advocate
Allowing your own transformation
You are more than just good enough
True authenticity means being yourself
Letting go of toxic people and relationships
Don't listen to negative talk whether it is from self or others
You will get there

You won't find the topics listed the way that I listed them above. The listing of subjects are in my own words. These messages are powerful for anyone, but especially so if you are a survivor. These are not all of the topics. These are just my favorites that I will read over and over again as I need them to remind me of some of the issues that I may still need to do work on to heal.

Kendra also has written a book called The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight: Every Woman's Journey Through Seven Stages of Transformation. I have read and loved it too. You can find the book and ebook both on Kendra's website Pinwheel Girls. You can click on the link below to go to her wonderfully delightful website:


Friday, April 13, 2012

Child Abuse Prevention And Awareness Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. It is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Every month, for everyone, should be dedicated to child abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention. The stats that I read tell me that women and children (male and female) are not given much value in our current or past societies.  Hopefully blogs like mine can help to change those values for future children and women.

I found a blog called AAUW Dialog that has an article called "10 Ways to Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Here is the link:

Here is a link that provides resources and 3 videos about being a voice for children who have no voice of their own.

I just found a website called Project Unbreakable, the beginning of healing through art, hosted by Grace Brown, photographer. Please check out her project which gives a link to a video explaining what she does and why.

With this article, I now have 349 posts on my blog with 102,737 views of my blog page over the past 4+ years. My blog will celebrate its fifth anniversary on June 1, 2010. I want to just take a minute to say Thank You to all of those who are supportive of my blog and me and actually take the time to read my articles as I publish them.

Daniel and I are off playing Civil War reenactor for the weekend in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. Going to spend part of that time visiting with family too, while we are in north Louisiana. Have a glorious weekend.
Namaste. (means the Christ in me greets the Christ in you or something along those lines) Sending love and (((Hugs))) to you all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Resources For An Incest Survivor And Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families

All of the books listed here are books that I have used in my own healing process over the years.  Some of the first ones listed are the very first books that I found and read back in the 1990's. I checked each of them on Amazon to see if they were still available for purchase and they are. I hope that you find them as useful as I did in my healing.  They are not listed in alphabetical order. The books are listed in the order that I remember using them myself over the years.

Affirmations for the Inner Child, by Rokelle Lerner, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1990, 2010.

Believing In Myself: Self Esteem Daily Meditations, by Earnie Larsen, Simon & Schuster, Inc./Fireside, New York, NY, 1991.

Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-worth, by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1987, 2010.

Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternate to Despair, by Theodore I. Rubin, Touchstone, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 1975, 1998. (Touchstone is part of Simon & Schuster)

Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics), by John Bradshaw, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1988.

Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, by Charles L. Whitfield, M. D., Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1989, 2006.

Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self, by Charles Whitfield, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1993, 2010.

Codependant No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself, by Melody Beattie, Hazelden, Center City, Minnesota, 1986, 1992.

Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time, by Melody Beattie, Hazelden, Center City, Minnesota, 1989.

The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series), by Melody Beattie, Hazelden, Center City, Minnesota, June 1990.

Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives, by Pia Mellody, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 1989.

Breaking Free: A Recovery Workbook for Facing Codependence, by Pia Mellody, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 1989.

I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, by Ellen Bass, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY, 1991.

The Courage To Heal: A Guide For Women Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988; HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY, 2008.

The Courage To Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, by Laura Davis, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY, 1990.

A Gift to Myself: A Personal Workbook and Guide to "Healing the Child Within", by Charles L. Whitfield, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 1990.

Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women, by E. Sue Blume, Ballantine Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., New York, NY, 1990.

Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child, by Laura Davis, Harper Perennial, a Division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY, 1991.

These are a few of the resources that I used in the beginning of my healing journey from incest and being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic.  For me, the alcoholism and the incest were intertwined in my life. That is why you will find so many of these books are about codependence and working with the inner child. The inner child is the one who experienced the childhood abuse and allowed us to survive into adulthood. I will do a second list of resources soon. I hope that I haven't overwhelmed you with all of these but I had so many good resources at my fingertips in the 1990's that I didn't have in the early 1980's when I first told my husband and my sister that I was an incest survivor.  I didn't immediately start working on my incest issues or reading books about it until after I had done some work on healing from codependence and being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic because my marriage was at risk. The 12-Step programs of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon helped me to heal enough to finally start working on my incest issues.  Let me know if you have any favorites that helped you that I don't have included here.