Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Blog Link Love

Here are links to some of the blogs that I have read during the month of February 2012.

1.  Why Do You Blog? written by Christian Hollingsworth on his blog smart boy designs @

2.  This post is called "About a Boy." It comes from the blog Soulseeds that I have been reading for a very short while. I love the job that the mother does in answering your son. Here is the link:

3.  Daily Om: As the Earth Allows the Rain, Sitting With Feelings @

4.  The Wounded Warrior: Leaving the Shadows of Child Sexual Abuse at healthpsychologyconsultancy blog @

5. This blog link is to an incest survivor blog so use caution when visiting. I read several blog articles on the blog Get This. I chose the About Me post to introduce you to this blogger. You choose if you want to go any further @

6.  This blog post is from a friend who hasn't been blogging much lately so I  was really pleased to receive this blog post in my email a few days ago. Albert, at UrbanMonk.Net blog, is a young man with a lot of wisdom for his age. His post is called "Self-Blame and Taking Responsibility". You will find his post at the following link:

7.  justjess, One Survivor To Another is a new blog that I only recently discovered and liked all of the articles that I read so I am sharing the whole blog rather than just one of Jess's articles with you. Here is the link to her blog:  Some of the articles may be triggering.

8.  This article is from my friend Dan L. Hays, who like me is an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. The post is called "Walk In His Shoes" and can be found at the following link:

9.  SHATTERED INTO ONE PIECE is the name of the next blog written by an abuse survivor.  This one may need a Trigger Warning also. Here is the link:

10.  The last blog for this month is called My Life as a Strife Survivor. The article that I read is called "The Dark Hour" and can be found at the following link:  The arthor herself gives a Warning of confrontation at the beginning of the post.

I am thinking about sharing links like these once a month. Let me know how you feel about that and the blogs that I am sharing. I have read so many great articles this month that I found it difficult to keep my offerings down to just 10 but I don't want to overwhelm anyone with the numbers either. I won't say that I hope you will enjoy my selection of posts because enjoy is not the right word to use when talking about incest or any form of child abuse. I hope that they will inspire you and give you awarenesses that you didn't have before reading them.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest Blog Post on Forgiveness at Singing over the bones & rising from the ashes Blog

For those of you who are interested in more information about my struggles with forgiveness, I just had a guest blog article posted over at Singing over the bones & rising from the ashes Blog.  The name of the article is Patricia Singleton on "Forgiving". Here is the link for the article:

Thank you to A Spirit of Healing for asking me to do this guest blog article. I appreciate the work that you do by sharing your blog and your story with other survivors. Together we can stop a future generation of children from being abused.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse

I am writing this post specifically for parents. When I was a child, my feelings were never of any consequence to my abusers or to my parents. My dad was one of my incest abusers. He didn't care how I felt. He never once asked me about my feelings about the incest. He didn't want to know. All he wanted was my acquiessence to his demands.

My parents never gave me choices of any kind. I was always told what to do and was expected to do it whether I wanted to or not just because they were the adults in control. I never learned how to speak up for myself or how to make intelligent, healthy decisions for myself.  Because I was expected to obey all adults, I didn't have to be groomed by my abusers. I didn't know that I had the right to say no.

Parents, please do a better job of protecting your children than my parents did. Please teach your children the following things:

1.  Children have control over who touches them.  Also discuss what touches are not okay. Use language that your child will understand. Don't wait too late to have this conversation with your children because you don't want to scare them or confuse them.  Use age appropriate language and examples. I was abused before the age of three. So were many other children. At three, I called myself an adulteress. I knew what sex was because of the abuse.

2.  Tell your children that they can tell you anything. Let them know that they can talk to you about whatever subject is important to them and you will listen. Let them know that you will not blame them if they are hurt by someone else. Let them know that you will believe them no matter what they tell you.

3.  Feelings matter even if they belong to a child. Let your children know that their feelings are important to you. It is okay to feel whatever they feel, even if they feel angry at you. That doesn't make them disrespectful. Don't ignore them or their feelings. Let them see you feeling and they will know it is okay for them to feel too. They learn from watching you. If you deny or stuff your feelings, they will too.

4.  A child has the right to say no to anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Just because an adult says something is okay doesn't mean that it is. If they are afraid to tell you, tell them to tell a teacher, the principal or a policeman. Keep telling their story until they find someone who believes them and takes action to protect them.

5.  Do what is necessary to keep your children safe from child molesters, even if those molesters are family members or friends. No child should ever be abused and have to live with the consequences of child abuse. Child sexual abuse leaves lasting scars. If your child is abused, get them help whether they act hurt or not.

6.  Your children are not here to meet your adult needs. Be a parent to your children. They are not your parents. Don't make them the adult in your relationship. Don't share your secrets with them. Don't share intimate details about your spouse with your child. Don't make your child responsible for your safety or for your emotions or for your behavior.

7.  Secrets between children and adults are not healthy. Secrets allow children to continue to be abused. So tell your children to say no to secrets. Molesters look for children that they think will keep their secrets.

8.  Be trustworthy with your children. Don't lie to them. Children need to be able to trust their parents to keep them safe. If they can't trust you then they learn that the world is not safe. Fear should not be a child's constant companion. Teach your children to trust their own selves and their "gut" to protect themselves. Teach them to follow their intuition. Teach them to be still and listen for that inner voice that guides them.

9.  If your child tells you that they have been sexually abused or touched inappropriately by an adult, believe them. Do not invalidate their pain or their story. This can do more damage to your children than the actual abuser. Don't make your child doubt themselves.

10. Most important of all is parents do not sexually abuse your child. Incest is a lifetime prison term of suffering. Sexual abuse by a parent is much more damaging than sexual abuse by a stranger.  Scientific studies now show that childhood sexual abuse, especially incest, changes the brain of a child in a way that is not found in children who have not been sexually abused.

A similar list was first written and posted on a guest blog article that I did back on June 21, 2011 on the blog called S.A.S.S.U. Sexual Assault Survivors Standing Up. You will find the link to the original article below:

These are very important steps for protecting your children from the sexual predators of the world. You may not think there are any predators near your child but you would be wrong. Child molesters live in almost every neighborhood today. If a child cannot depend upon their parents for protection, they will not learn how to protect themselves. Please protect your children. Don't wait for someone else to take charge to change the world. Take some action to protect the children in your life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

YouTube Video - Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen

Warning: If you are a survivor of childhood abuse, the following video may be triggering for you. At the very least, the video should be disturbing to more people that it is. This video shows that we are still a society that doesn't always recognize emotional abuse, especially when it is abuse of children.

Have you seen the YouTube Video entitled "Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen"? If you haven't here is the link for it:

Please go watch this video and then return to read my views on the video.

When I visited YouTube this video had over 276,000 Likes and over 25,000 Dislikes.  I will share with you why I disliked the video below.

Here is my comment when I posted this video on my Facebook page:
"Warning: This may be triggering for some survivors. In order to be respected by your children, you need to respect them too. If she disappoints her dad enough, is she going to be the next thing he shoots? Have you never had a rant in which you said things you later regret and did things you wish you hadn't? In this instance posting the rants to FB (Facebook) might not have been a good idea for either of them. For many years I didn't respect my children or my husband because I didn't respect myself. I wasn't given or taught respect as an abused child. I had to learn it as a recovering adult."

As an adult, I am taking the side of the child. Yes, at 15, she is still considered a child. She may be a spoiled brat but who made her into that? I know that as an abused child living in an adult's body that I gave my two children more that they probably needed because of my own neglected inner children. Spoiling them was my fault. Many of us in trying to meet our own needs do this to our children.

(To my two children, I am not calling you spoiled brats. You weren't. Amazingly, you took some of the good that your dad and I were able to give you and you became adults that I am proud to call my children. You are both blessings to me and your dad. That is not to say you are perfect. I have never expected you to be perfect. I know that I am far from perfect as I know you will both agree.)

As I said above, the teenaged girl's rant on Facebook probably wasn't a good idea. Her dad's public rant didn't make the situation any better. He is supposed to be an adult. I know that he spoke out of frustration and he is an adult.

Two things about the video disturbed me as a parent and as an incest survivor. The dad's public humiliation of his daughter and his bringing a gun into the video. Humiliation is emotional abuse whether you are a child or an adult. Humiliation isn't about discipline. That dad was showing that he controlled his daughter, her possessions and even her life. Controlling her life is what the use of the gun represented to me. That gun said to me, "This time I will destroy your laptop. Next time it could be you." The gun was a silent threat but it was a threat. The dad may not have recognized it as such but it was. My dad did the same kind of threats when I was a child. 

The idea that this is the way his dad would have reacted when he was a child doesn't hold much value with me. This kind of activity was wrong then and it is wrong now. We should all learn from the mistakes of the generation before us. Continuing to make those same kind of behaviors is how we develop generational abuse patterns.  Incest has been a generational abuse pattern that I and many survivors are determined to stop. Emotional abuse of our children is another of those patterns that we need to stop. Parental bullying needs to stop.  Bullying is such an epidemic because so many parents use it and teach it to their children. Fear and humiliation shouldn't be used to discipline children.

My dad was a dictator who had to control his children and wife with a firm hand. Because I grew up that way, I did some of the same controling behaviors when my kids were small. As I grew and healed, I was able to stop some of those behaviors. I hope that this dad will take a look at his rant on this video and see that his own behavior isn't healthy. I do believe in giving children responsibilities but I don't believe in taking advantage of them either. I don't think that teenagers are entitled to everything that they want. I do believe that they have the right to express their feelings. Her dad needs to be more interested in what the girl is trying to tell him rather than how he or she looks on Facebook. The dad's reaction shows that he needs to do some growing up of his own.

The dad did a follow-up video that I haven't seen. I hope that he and his daughter have both been able to sit down and talk to each other, privately. I hope that he has been able to listen and to really hear what she is saying. Both need to let go of the anger and talk honestly with each other. Both need to feel valued. What neither of them seems to understand is that value comes from inside, not outside. I didn't do a very good job of teaching my children that because I didn't learn it until I was an adult. 

When two people are ranting, they both lose. Listening is the only solution for either of them. Listening has to be on both sides. I know that the dad is acting out his frustration. So is the daughter. I hope that they can talk and learn from each other. Children and adults both are entitled to their feelings. They aren't entitled to use that anger to hurt each other. That is where responsibility comes into the picture.

You don't have to agree or disagree with me on this post. These are just my own observations and my opinion. Your opinion is just as valid as mine. My opinions come from the filters of my own experiences just like yours do.

I want to address the matter of the gun again before I close. The gun brings out fear in me. Guns represent violence, even when the words aren't said. Guns kill. Guns represent the threat of killing. I grew up fearful that if I told my mother about the incest that she would kill my dad. That fear came from a story that I remember from sometime in my childhood. I don't remember how old I was the first time that I heard the story.

Sometime in the first year of my parents' marriage before I was born, my dad hit my mother. I don't remember being told why he thought it was okay to hit her. What I do remember is that she said she picked up his rifle, pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. She was so angry that she didn't think to load the gun first. I am assuming that she thought it was loaded. She pulled the trigger. That is the important thing in this story. She intended to kill him because he hit her. Because of this one incidence, I assumed that if I told my mom that my dad had hurt me sexually that she would kill him and then she would go to prison and I would have no parents. That story was a very real threat to me. As a child, I probably thought that I would die too without my parents. Either way, as a child I thought it would have all been my fault if I told my mother about the incest.

That gun that the dad pulled out in the video represents a very real threat in the mind of his child, even if she is 15 years old. Threats can be just as damaging to the mind of a child. Fear of violence is a valid fear.

Thank you to Darlene Ouimet of the blog Emerging From Broken for making me aware of this video. Here is a link to the blog post from Darlene on this video. Remember that Darlene and I both write our blog posts from our own experiences of healing from incest. Emotional abuse and physical abuse are both parts of the abuse of incest. Here is the link to Darlene's blog post entitled, "Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen ~ How Kids are Devalued":

I ask that any discussions here be respectful of all concerned. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day - Love

Happy Valentine's Day to all of my family and friends. I want to share with you the following Emmet Fox poem called "Love" in honor of Valentine's Day.


There is no difficulty that enough Love will not conquer...
No disease that enough Love will not heal...
No door that enough Love will not open...
No wall that enough Love will not throw down...
No sin that enough Love will not redeem.

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble...
How hopeless the outlook...
How muddled that tangle...
How great the mistake,
A sufficient realization of Love will dissolve it all...
If only you could Love enough,
You would be the happiest and most powerful Being in the world!
           - Emmet Fox -

Have a glorious day.  Love with all of your heart. You deserve all of the good and the love that comes your way.
Happy Valentine's Day,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Survivors Are Beautiful

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
- Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Surviviors are the most beautiful, courageous, people of strength - male and female - children and adults - that I have ever met. They have all of the things mentioned by Elizabeth Kubler Ross. They often emerge out of their woundedness to heal and live full lives. Out of their desire to heal, they make the world a better place for everyone.

If you are a survivor reading this, give yourself credit for the strength that you have and for the struggles that you have overcome. Believe me when I say that you are beautiful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Memories, Disbelief And Self-Doubt

So many survivors have to deal with the disbelief of others when they recover new memories of abuse. I have plenty of memories of being sexually abused from the age of 11-17. I never lost those memories. I have always remembered.

When I recovered the memory of calling myself an adulteress at age 3, I wondered why I don't have the memories to support that one clue? Then I realized that a 3 year old may have trouble holding on to memories that they don't have the tools to deal with and still survive the horror of the abuse.

Survivors often share the doubts of others as to whether their memories are true. That self-doubt doesn't mean the abuse didn't happen. It just means that the abuse is sometimes easier to forget than to deal with the horror of remembering.  Our brain allows us to remember when it is safe to look at those memories.

This post is from an edited comment that I left on the post of an online friend on his blog article "The Wounded Warrior: Witness To My Shame." Here is the link for that blog post if you would like to read it:

Thank you Jan for sharing your story so that other survivors can read your story and be inspired to do their own healing.