Saturday, December 7, 2013

Male Abuse Awareness Is Growing

This past week on Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio host Patricia McKnight had a week of Male Abuse Awareness guest speakers. You can find those radio programs at the following links:

Male Abuse Awareness w/Philip Paris - 'MEN CRY ALONE'

Male Abuse Awareness w/ David Pittman & Blair Corbett

Male Abuse Awareness w/ Professor Dean H. McVay, Attorney

Male Abuse Awareness Talking Research

Male Abuse Awareness Domestic Violence Victims - 'Shame' the movie

Male Abuse Awareness Musicians Making A Difference

Male Abuse Awareness Features Bill Murray, Main Event

Male Abuse Awareness Week Event - Closing it out

I am pleased to see so many men starting to speak out about their own childhood abuses. Women started speaking out some time ago. Now that men are joining us, the true picture of just how bad childhood abuse really is becomes clearer and less easy for society and families to continue to ignore.  I am honored to call some of these male survivors my friend. The internet is where we all met. You don't have to listen to all of these programs at once. Take your time and listen to them. The programs are archived for listening at your convenience. But please do listen to them and share them with your friends. We all do this to educate others and to offer support to all survivors.

I have one more link that I want to share with you before I close. It is a tribute to a great man and world leader who died this week - Nelson Mandela 1918-2013 R.I.P. This wonderful tribute is written by another male survivor friend of mine who calls his blog "The Wounded Warrior".  Here is the link to the blog article:

Hope you all are having a glorious weekend. See you again soon.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dear Mama - Abandonment

Dear Mama,

The first time you abandoned me, I was only two years old and very sick. I now know that the doctor told you the my baby brother would die if he got the whooping cough from me. You probably thought your mother's was the safest place to leave me while you looked after the baby. He was more important than me to you. He always seemed to be your favorite. I don't remember, but at two years old, I must have cried for my mama and you weren't there. I was too young to understand. I grew to love my grandmother, maybe more than I loved you. She never left me when I needed her. 

You used to get upset, when as an adult, you heard me say that in many ways Grandma Howe became my mother. Even after I started to school, I was allowed to go spend the Summer with Grandma until I turned seven years old. After that I wasn't allowed to visit her except for holidays when the whole family of origin went to visit her. I missed her. So, a second time, abandonment became a part of my life because of Daddy's decision and yours to let him make it. My feelings never were important to either you or Daddy.

You never protected me from harm, as far as I can tell. When I was three years old, I made the decision to become your protector. I knew you didn't feel anything like those around you did. I decided to protect you so you wouldn't be hurt by others. 

No child should ever be put in the position of protecting their parents. I did that for both you and Daddy by keeping secrets. There was much that I didn't tell you because I didn't want to hurt you. It wasn't important that I was being hurt as long as I protected you. You were important. I was not. That is how you taught me abandonment again. You were emotionally unavailable for my entire childhood. That is a form of abandonment. 

Another form of abandonment in my life started when I chose you and your feelings over mine. I abandoned myself. In order to protect you, I had to abandon myself and put your feelings above my own hurts and feelings. You were important to my survival. With Daddy abusing me, I turned to you for love and care and you didn't do your part in protecting me. I couldn't tell you about the incest and protect your feelings too. I couldn't take the chance that you would blame me or shot Daddy and go to jail. Because of all of these fears, I kept silent.

Fear of abandonment is why for eight years, I didn't tell Daniel about the incest. I was afraid he would blame me, as I blamed myself and I feared he would leave. Fear of abandonment was my very first issue to address in healing from incest. So I guess it is appropriate to revisit abandonment with issues with  you too, Mama.

How does all of this writing make me feel? I am not sure what all of the feelings are right now. I can tell you that most of them are felt in my stomach and solar plexus as flutterings working their way to get out. I also cried earlier, not while writing this, but while reading someone else's story on Facebook. I carry tension in my stomach and across my shoulders and in my neck muscles. I started writing this series because of the headache that I have had for the past few months. With the help of a friend, I figured out that unresolved mother issues could be the source of my headaches. So the series of blog articles that I have labeled "Dear Mama" will be my attempt to work my way thru those issues starting from my earliest memories which is where this article starts at age two until no more issues come up for me.

You may ask why I have taken so long to write about my mother issues. Mother issues are tied into my self image. My mother was my role model of what it is like to be a woman myself. So looking at mother issues is looking deep inside myself at who I am too, as a woman. How much did who my mother was affect who I have become? Did she affect who I am at all? Hopefully along the way with this series, I will be able to answer those questions for myself.
 Related Article:

FEAR, The Monster @

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest Speaker For "Stop Child Abuse Now" SCAN

Where has the day gone? Just stopped in to let you know that I am a guest speaker for the radio program "Stop Child Abuse Now", SCAN, as it is called. The program is on Blog Talk Radio and hosted by Bill Murray.  The show will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, 6:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time in the U. S. I hope you will join us tonight Wednesday, November 20, 2013. I hope you will join us tonight but if that is not possible the following link will work from the archives of the program. Here is the link for the program:

At the end of my biography for the show, Bill says that I published two books, Silent No More and Growing Stronger, Growing Free. I didn't publish the books but I am very proud to be one of many contributors to the writing of the books. Both books are a "collection of works by 'Reaching survivors of sexual abuse' R.S.O.S.A. Founded by Kate Smith." You may purchase copies of these books at the following website:

See you tonight. Until then have a glorious day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Resentment Doesn't Harm Anyone But You

Good afternoon. What a beautiful day it is outside. The sun is shining and the Autumn winds are blowing. Sometime about the wind has always made me feel joy and so alive. As a child, I loved to run in the wind. Of course, as a child, I loved to run any time I could. Walking was just too slow to get me where I wanted to go. I hope that you all are having a wonderful day of healing and growing. 

Over the past few days, I have looked inward to my inner self to deal with some of my own issues. Small ones but they still needed to be looked at so that I don't become resentful. Resentment doesn't harm anyone but me. The other person doesn't even know that is how I feel. Most of us don't share our feelings with those that we carry resentment toward. I am no different than you. 
In order not to hold on to the resentment, I need to look at where it is coming from and how can I let go of it. I do that by looking at the feelings that cause my resentment to come out. This time my resentment came about because of someone else's sense of superiority brought up my feelings of not being good enough and of not being listened to or not having my opinion being valued by the other person. 
I felt like I wasn't good enough and that my different opinion was not being valued twice this week so I needed to look at my own issues rather than getting angry at the other person and creating drama and getting drawn into an argument. I can't help that the other person believes he/she is superior to everyone else. That is his/her problem, not mine. I can only deal with the feelings that come up in me. I have come to know for myself that a person with a superiority complex also has a frightened little child inside but I can only deal with my own frightened inner child, not theirs. 
When I realized that my feelings came from the years of living with my emotionally abusive rageaholic dictator dad, I could let go of the resentment that had been building in me over the past few days. My value doesn't come from another person, especially someone else who believes he/she is superior to everyone else. I don't need to hold on to the resentment or even be angry with the other person. 
I can forgive myself for feeling less than good enough. I can know that my value is not dependent upon another person hearing my opinion or not. My self-worth comes from loving myself. I give me value, not another person. I hope my words help someone else who may be struggling with feelings of less than good enough today. You are always good enough. Anyone who brings up those feelings of less than in you isn't your friend. They don't deserve you or your time. 
You can all do your own work of healing when these kinds of issues come up for you. I am no different than you. We all hurt and we all can heal. Don't let another person's behavior send you into a tail spin of low self-worth. That is the objective of a person with a superiority complex. Don't play their mind games. You will never win and the sad thing is they think they do win but they don't. Superiority or inferiority complexes both keep you in the pain rather than helping you to heal. Resentment isn't your friend either. Let go of it. You deserve joy and peace.
Happy healing. Enjoy your day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Dad Issue From My Past Still Affecting Me Today

As the holidays are fast approaching, I have noticed several things from my past coming to the surface. My mom has been in two of my dreams recently. Rarely does either of my parents show up in my dreams. Two nights in a row is a sign of something but I am not sure what, other than the anniversary of her death is coming up on November 20. Maybe this will be a year that I do some more grieving. Maybe there is something that she is trying to teach me but I don't know what it is yet. I will wait to see if I get anything more from her or my dreams.

Everywhere I turn for the past few weeks, some survivor is talking about the silent screams of their abuse. I am familiar with those silent screams held inside of you as a child being physically, sexually abused by an adult. You hold the screams in because of the fear that once they start, you may not be able to stop them. You hold them in because, if your abuser can't deal with your tears, he certainly can't deal with your screams of pain and horror over being raped by a grown man when you are just a small child. You hear the screams in your head but no one else does but another survivor who has them too. I know those silent screams are still there inside of me but have no idea what to do with them other than acknowledge their existence like I am doing now.

Over the past few days, I have been part of two conversations in different groups. In both conversations, I expressed a difference of opinion to the other person's opinion. Both times, my opinion was rejected, which is their right. What is not their right or anyone else's is to say that I am still in victim mode or creating drama just because I voiced a different opinion. I got angry. In talking it out with some friends, I realized that the source of my anger was an old issue from my dad and his controlling behavior. As a child, until I left home at 19, I was not allowed to have a difference of opinion with my dad.

Expressing my opinion is important to me as an adult. I work hard to not do it in an aggressive, abusive way like my dad did with his laws that he stated in my childhood. Everything my dad said was to be accepted as law in our house. He was the dictator. I am not a child to be ruled by anyone today. I am an adult and I do often have an opinion. I respect the opinions of others and I hope they will respect mine.

I can't change or fix another person. I can try to understand them and their view point. I don't mind that others have a view point different than mine. Those differences are what make the world an interesting place to me. When another person starts name calling or treating me like I am inferior to them, then I feel as I did as a child who was not respected, not listened to and not allowed to have an opinion. Don't call me a victim or say that I am creating drama just because I express an opinion different than yours. I have learned not to strike out at a person in anger. I will regret what I say each time. I have learned that if I am angry, it is my issue, usually from the past, that I need to work on.  Usually I work on an issue by writing about it, as I am doing now. The other person's issues are not my business.

Another person's air of superiority can only affect me if I am feeling inferior. I have come to know that a superiority complex means the person is feeling inferior inside and afraid of others seeing it. I know because I used to do this with a sarcastic tongue. What we often see in others is because it is also a part of us. I have been there, done that, when I was younger so I know the fears behind the superiority and the sarcasm. Both keep others from getting too close so they can't hurt you. Today if I use sarcasm it is only in fun and never to hurt someone else.

We all have our own issues to deal with sometimes on a daily basis. Just know that your issues are yours. If someone else triggers you, it isn't their responsibility to fix it or you. It is yours. If you are angry or scared or sad because of something that was said or because of a situation you are in, look to yourself, usually your past, to find the answers. If you concentrate on the other person and what they said or what they did, you won't heal you. You will just add more woundedness to what you already have. My computer says that "woundedness" isn't a word. Well, it should be. Neither is "thriver" and again, it should be. As survivors, we are changing the world, one person at a time. We are inventing a new vocabulary to help us do it. Hope you are loving this late Sunday afternoon, my friends.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Biography Of Patricia Caldwell Singleton, Incest Survivor

I am an incest survivor and an adult child of an alcoholic. My dad and my grandfather were mean drunks who influenced me to not drink because I was afraid of becoming like them.  I am also a survivor of domestic violence from my dad's rages when he was at home. Even when he wasn't raging, he was verbally abusive with name-calling and intimidation. He was a dictator with his controlling of the entire family. My mother rarely made an decisions and I wasn't taught how either.  My family was dysfunctional in the extreme.

I have memories of incest happening from age 11-17. The first memories were of being raped by an uncle on a fishing trip and a long weekend alone with him at my grandmother's. He lied to me and my mother when he said my grandmother was home. She came home on Monday afternoon.

A few weeks later, my dad decided I was old enough to take my mother's place working twice a day on weekends helping my dad out at the dairy milking cows. On my first night of helping at the dairy, we went to the hay loft to throw down hay bails. While there, my dad took his shirt off and spread it out on a bail of hay and told me to pull down my pants and to lay down across the hay bail. No explanation was given for his actions. I remember feeling disgusted and thinking to myself, "Not daddy too." That is how the incest started and went on for 6 years. Every time my dad left the house, I was sent with him and I would be raped before we came back home. Sometimes later on he would also wake me up early mornings before the rest of the family woke up and he would abuse me in another room of our house. Most of the abuse took place in the front seat of his truck. My mother sent me on many of those trips. She missed many signs that I was being abused because she didn't want to see them.

At 17, I knew I was strong enough to say no to the sex and not let my dad manipulate me into changing my mind. The sex stopped but the emotional and verbal abuse continued until I ran away when I was 19 on the day after I took my last test of my second year at a junior college. I packed a small shopping bag that I normally carried books in with a few changes of clothes. I gave my sister a note to give to my mother when I didn't come home that night and had my mother drop me off at the college on her way to work that morning. An angel of a friend who was older than my own parents picked me up and took me home and gave me a place to live and helped me get my very first job for the Summer.  After 3 days of my mother lying, she told my dad where I was. He came after me. I went home for the weekend and then went back to my friend's house on Sunday evening. I had broken away from my dad's control. That took more courage than I knew I had. If I had stayed, I would have had a nervous breakdown and would have lost myself completely. I knew that so I was strong enough to not give in to pleas and threats that my dad used to get me to stay.

I went away to college at the end of that Summer and as a Junior at 20 years old, I met and 8 months later married my husband. Before we were married, he knew he was not my first sexual experience but I could not tell him that most of my experience came from my dad. I was too afraid he would leave me. We were married for 8 years (1980) when I told him and my sister both about the incest. Even after telling them both the truth, I continued to pretend that the incest was not affecting my life. In my marriage, I became a controller thinking that would make me feel safe. It didn't. People tried telling me what I was doing but I wasn't ready to hear it until one day my husband came in from work. I got angry about something, I don't even remember what it was about. I do remember hearing myself screaming at my husband that I hated him and I hated everything about my life. A part of me was watching and listening and was in shock that I blamed my husband for the hatred and the anger when it wasn't his fault. I knew in my gut that it was me that I hated, not him. I hated myself for the incest. I thought I was bad because of it. Almost immediately, I apologized to him and started working on changing me. Our county library only had 3 books about incest and none of them offered much help. I started reading books on self-improvement and started working on letting go of some of my controlling behaviors. Small changes happened but still no work on the incest issues. I didn't even know I still had incest issues. I wanted to pretend that I didn't. Today I know that is called denial and it is very unhealthy. Denial keeps you in the hurt.

My real healing started in January 1989 with my first 12-Step meeting. Since my dad and grandfather were both alcoholics, I was considered an adult child. I choose to not drink because of the fear that I would lose control and be a mean drunk too. Thanks to a book called Adult Children of Alcoholics written by Janet G. Woititz, I looked in my newspaper and found an adult child recovery group. In my mind the alcoholism and incest were intertwined. I couldn't separate the issues even though my dad didn't drink all of the time that he abused me.

I used those 12-Step meetings to talk about the incest. Those caring people believed me and didn't judge me or tell me that I was bad. They told me to get a sponsor and to work the Steps. My sponsor should have been a woman but I didn't trust women. The women in my childhood were all judgmental. One of them even told me when I was 5 years old that I was going to Hell for wearing shorts. I picked a man as my sponsor who I felt safe with. Shortly afterwards, he had me start working the 12 Steps and, after finishing with the first three Steps, writing out a very long 4th Step which had over 100 questions for me to answer about my childhood. I don't remember how long it took me to write out all of those answers but I was healing thru writing for the first time. Writing has always been an important tool to my healing. In writing, I don't censor my thoughts. I just write the words and feelings come out with the memories. I still do this today even. Those 12-Step meetings and the work I did with my sponsor saved my life and my marriage. I learned about codependency and dysfunctional families and so much about myself. I also went to 12-Step meetings for families and friends of alcoholics and found out where so many of my characteristics came from. I have written about those 12-Step meetings and the healing that I did in my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker.                                                       (  )

I do not remember who directed me to read The Courage to Heal written by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis but I am so grateful that they did. Not long after I finished reading The Courage to Heal, the workbook which was written by Laura Davis came out and I wrote my way thru all of the exercises in the Workbook. Those two books helped me to dig deep into the pain to start to do some major healing. I used those and other books and my 12-Step groups to talk, write and to heal my way thru the worst of my incest issues over the next 10 years. I was also in two different incest survivor counseling groups for a total of about 5 years. Because of the 12-Step concept of a Higher Power, I was also able to heal my relationship with God and myself. This was also the beginning of my spiritual journey.

In 2007, I got my first computer and thru meeting a new friend online who offered me much encouragement to write and share my story and also instructed me on how to set up a blog, my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker came into being June 1, 2007. Its growth has been slow and steady as other survivors have found and supported my articles. Regretfully over the past two years, I haven't written as many articles because of health problems and more time away from the computer. I do appreciate all of the support of my readers. It is thru my blog over the past six years that I have come to know a community of survivors and have in the past three years thru my blog, the use of Facebook and Twitter, I have become an advocate for myself and for other survivors of incest, rape, bullying, sibling abuse and domestic violence. I have spoken on a number of radio programs over the past three years to reach out to other survivors and to tell my story so that others know they can also tell their stories and they will be believed. I am an advocate for children, women and men. I am so grateful that men survivors are now breaking their own silence of abuse. Now the picture will come closer to being accurate. Too many of us have suffered in silence. I want survivors to know that they are not alone. I and others are here to hear you and support you back to health and healing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Family Emergencies and Stress

Wow! I am surprised to see that it has been almost a month since I posted my last article. So much has gone on in my life and in my family since I was here last. 

On September 30, my husband's middle brother went to the ER unconscious and unresponsive to his mother trying to wake him up after he woke her up first coughing and then making a noise that caused her to get out out bed at 3:30 a.m. to see if he was okay. First he was taken by ambulance to their little hospital where they quickly decided that he needed more treatment than they could give him. They told his mother that he had a brain hemorrhage. He was flown by helicopter to a bigger medical center in Shreveport, Louisiana. There we were told that he had a brain aneurysm with a lot of bleeding. The doctors immediately started draining the blood off of his brain while they did other tests and finally at 6:00 that evening, surgery was done to access the amount of damage and to also put something in the blood vessel to stop the bleeding. We drove 4 hours to get to the hospital 3 hours before the surgery was done. After the surgery, we were told that my brother-in-law had a 30% chance of surviving that first night. The surgeon's body language said they would be surprised if he survived at all. Well everyone that I could ask for prayers were saying them. My brother-in-law has now survived for 1 month, as of today. I believe everyone's prayers are why my brother-in-law is still with us. He has a long period of recovering ahead of him. Some days he knows who he is and who we are and some days he does not. I appreciate everyone's prayers and I know he does too. Thank you all.

We have made 3 trips down to visit my brother-in-law and mother-in-law since that early morning brain aneurysm burst. We didn't go this weekend because of my husband having work here that couldn't wait. In addition to worrying about my brother-in-law, we have worried about my 92 year old mother-in-law worrying about her son and also having a high blood pressure episode that put her into the hospital for one of the weekends that we went down to Louisiana. Her blood pressure suddenly went extremely high so she is now on new medication to control that. She is by herself while her son is in the hospital. They have been taking care of each other for many years now. She now has a Life Alert button to wear in case she gets into trouble by herself. She has high blood pressure and a heart condition. 

Because of the stress of worrying about both of my in-laws and the 3 trips back and forth to Louisiana over the past month with 2 of those trips also being working trips with my husband with me helping him stripe parts of 9 parking lots spread out over 2 Sundays, last Saturday night, my forehead above my right eye started itching. By Monday morning, most of my forehead above my right eye was swollen and itching and had little blisters. On Tuesday morning I called and got a doctor's appointment because the area around my eye was beginning to swell too. My husband thought I had poison ivy. The doctor says it is another episode of shingles and gave me a steroid shot and pills to take 5 times a day to stop any nerve pain. I also have a steroid cream that I have been using for 2-3 times a day. With the shot and the cream, the itch and the blisters are much better today. 

As an incest survivor and a survivor of my dad's rages when I was a child, I lived in almost constant fear and stress. I wasn't aware of that stress or how it affected me until I got into my healing journey. I was 19, the first time I actually remember feeling and acknowledging that fear. With all of the healing that I have done over the years, I still don't know how to let go of stress. I carry it in my body until I get sick with pneumonia like 3 Thanksgivings ago or I get shingles like now. This is my 3rd episode in the past 2 years. This is something I need to look at and research so that I can stop this from being a pattern for me. I don't want to get sick in order to get my attention. Has anyone got any suggestions or ideas as to how I can deal with stress better?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest Book Review

Viga Boland is an online friend that I met because we are both advocates for ourselves and for other survivors of incest. When I heard that Viga was writing her memoir, No Tears for my Father: a true story of incest, I told her I wanted to read it and would do a book review afterwards.

As Viga says on the back of her book " 'Victims' own voices are the best weapons against child sexual abuse.' " In some ways, Viga tells my story. In others, Viga's story is distinctly her own and no one else's, as is true for all survivor stories. No Tears for my Father comes with a Trigger Warning Advisory for the safety of those incest survivors who may experience flashbacks or emotional pain from reading the sometimes graphic scenes of Viga's memories.

Viga Boland was born in Australia in 1946. Like many children of the 1940's and 1950's, Viga was taught by her parents to do what the adults in her life told her to do. It didn't matter who the adult was, they were in control if you were a child. This one rule, above all others, made it easy for Viga to become a victim of childhood sexual abuse and incest.

Viga, throughout her book, compares her dad to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll was the smiling, loving father and friend to a lonely little girl who was taught that she was ugly and stupid by the angry, often violent, and unpredictable Mr. Hyde.  Mr. Hyde was physically and emotionally abusive to Viga and to her mother.

When Viga Boland was 11 years old, her family moved to Canada, where the physical and emotional abuse continued and at the age of 12, Viga's dad started to also sexually abuse her. The secrets, the lies, the shame and the blame of incest that make a survivors life a living hell began too.  Secrets such as "Let's not tell mama. It would hurt her." "If not for you, I would be having an affair with some other woman and your mother would be hurt." (These aren't exactly Viga's words. They were lies I was told too.) The coercion, the threats and the fear that are part of the daily life of an incest survivor, all of that worked to keep Viga a prisoner in her parents home until the age of 23. 

To find out more of Viga Boland's story of incest, you will have to read her book. I would recommend the book No Tears for my Father, written by Viga Boland to all who are interested in the truth of what it means to be  a victim of childhood abuse, domestic violence and incest. 

You can visit Viga Boland at these websites which are listed at the beginning of her book: 



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Helplines of the United States of America

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

• Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

• Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
• Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
• Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438
• Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
• Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
• Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
• Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253
• Self Harm: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
•Pregnancy Hotline 1-800-4-OPTIONS (1-800-467-8466)
• Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Support Line 800-850-8078
• National Association for Children of Alcoholics 1-888-55-4COAS (1-888-554-2627)
• National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453
• National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
• National Drug Abuse Hotline 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)
• National Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
• Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237 (Hours:8am-noon daily, PT)
• Veterans: 1-877-VET2VET
• Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000
• Postpartum Depression: 1-800-PPD-MOMS

Thank you to my friend, Darleen Thompson from Facebook for sharing these helplines in the United States where most of my readers are. Please if you ever need help, don't hesitate to call the appropriate line listed above.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Child Abuse, Incest, Domestic Violence - In The Silence Nothing Changes

Child abuse, incest, and domestic violence have always been around. People have just now started breaking their silence and talking about it so it seems that it is every where. It is and it always has been. That is why so many of us are so vocal about child abuse and domestic violence. In the silence, nothing changes. Awareness creates change.

This is why so many survivors like me are writing about and speaking about their childhood experiences. Women survivors have been speaking out for a few years now. Finally men have joined the movement forward to a time where every child will be safe from all forms of abuse. That is why I am now writing my memoir about my childhood and efforts to heal from incest. As survivors, we give each other hope and dreams of a world different than the one we grew up in. Join me in this march forward to a better world.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Effects Of Incest - When Your Abuser Is Your Dad

Yesterday, I read an article about the Stockholm Syndrome written by CW Seymore Shards of Glass. Today, I was leaving a comment on her link on Facebook when I decided to make it an article for here. Here is the link to CW's article "The 'Stockholm Syndrome' and the Abused!":

Here is what I wanted to share with you.

When the abuser is your dad, you have a love/hate relationship. You love the dad that says he loves you and makes you laugh and feel good but you hate the dad who abuses you, calls you names, and makes you feel worthless just because you were born a female.

I hated the man that used me for his own sexual pleasures before I was old enough to understand what he was doing. I hated that he took that first time that was supposed to be special away from my husband and me.

Instead of excitement and shyness, I was filled with dread and guilt. I felt shame because that wasn't my first time. I loved my husband but I had so many mixed up, messed up feelings about sex before of the incest.

When my dad forced me to have sex with him, I would close my eyes and go deep inside until it was over. I thank God that my dad was never interested in me enjoying the act. Because of that lack of caring on my dad's part and that of my other abusers, I can separate the sex that was had with them from the love making that occurs between my husband and me in our marriage bed.

Through the love and patience of my husband, I have been able to stay present and experience pleasure in the act of love making. I wasn't the best of partners in the bedroom because of the incest. I had to realize that my husband was not like my dad. My husband taught me how to enjoy my body and his. I have been very blessed and it took time for that to happen.

Spouses of incest survivors don't have an easy road either. They deal with lots of stuff that they don't understand because the incest survivor can't explain what she/he often doesn't understand either. Some of us tell our spouses about the abuse. Others don't. I can tell you that I was married for eight years before I told my husband because I was afraid he would leave if he knew the shame that I carried around inside of me. I wasn't afraid of how he would feel about my dad. I was afraid of what he might think/feel about me. He didn't turn away in disgust. He continued to love me and gave me the needed time and space to work through my major issues.

My dad wasn't my first abuser in my memories that I have but his attitude toward me, women, marriage and toward sex were what took away from my first time with my husband in case you are thinking, well, she told us that her dad wasn't my first. I don't know who my first sexual abuser was. The first one in my memories at age 11 was an uncle. The one who caused the most hurt and emotional damage was my dad who became my sexual abusers within a month of being abused by my uncle. My dad was the one who influenced the way I saw myself and my life.

Who was my first sexual abuser that caused me to think of myself as an adulteress at the age of three? I don't know. I don't have access to those memories, just the clue that I believed myself to be an adulteress at age three. That is a very strong memory that I do have and one of the clues that I was being sexually abused by someone at a much younger age than 11 when my memories of abuse do start.

Here is blog post written by another friend of mine, also on the topic of Stockholm Syndrome.

I am going to end this post with something that I left in a comment after reading the above article:

I do understand the loving your father, hating the lover. When someone tells me that love and hate can't live in the same heart. I tell them they are not incest survivors.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Is Your Trauma Therapist/Counselor Qualified?

If you are an incest survivor, a sibling abuse survivor or a survivor of any form of child abuse and you decide to seek professional help, please make sure that your therapist or counselor is qualified and properly trained to work with you. Ask to see their certificate or license whichever is required for their particular field of work. Also some therapists and counselors are not trained specifically for trauma victims or for PTSD. Be sure that the person that you are working with is someone who is trustworthy.

With availability of the internet, not everyone that you meet is who they say they are. Don't assume just because someone asks you to let them do EMDR or some other new form of therapy with them that they are fully trained. The internet makes it easy for all of us to reach out to each other and to receive support and compassion from other survivors. Sadly, there are some people out there too that will take advantage of our goodness and our woundedness. Don't assume that someone has received training just because they sound knowledgeable.  Don't let someone manipulate you and guide you in a direction that may harm you. Pay attention to what your gut/intuition tells you about a person. Ask someone else that you trust what they think about this person. Listen to what this person tells you about themselves. Don't minimize what your inner voice is telling you. Trust it.

Not all people who trick you are evil. Some are misguided themselves. Others are self-centered and don't care how their actions may hurt others. Some act out of their own woundedness. None of that really matters and I don't mean them as excuses for what they do. It saddens me that they act out of that place in themselves but I have learned from my own experiences and my own healing that I don't have to let another person fool me because of their woundedness. I can pay attention to my boundaries and enforce them when needed. I can remove myself from that person's presence, even online. I don't have to let another person use me just because I feel sad for them. Today, as a survivor/thriver, I can protect myself. I can also learn from my past mistakes and grow past them.

Sometimes because I look for the good in people, I will miss or choose to ignore my inner voice that says something isn't quite right with this scenario or with what this person is telling me. Each time that I have ignored that voice, I have later learned that I should have paid attention to it. People sometimes disappoint me. Sometimes, I get used even. I am still learning in this area. I won't let a few disappointments keep me from looking for and seeing the good in others. I will be more cautious. That is all I can do. I can also share what I have learned here with my friends.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quality of Relationship More Important Than Length Of Time

Happy 41st Anniversary, Daniel

I want to start out this post by sharing a quote from a friend of mine about relationships and marriage that I read on Saturday and liked so well that I requested the use of it in this post to my dear, sweet husband for our 41st wedding anniversary. Here is the quote:

"It is not how long you have been in your relationship or marriage that matters but how well. It is time to pause and think. How has this relationship affected your well being? Our well being is an important aspect of our lives that we must take serious. If our relationships affect our well being positively, we are bound to live life to the fullest..." Ebele Solu

Thank you Ebele for allowing me to use your words. As I get older, time seems to be going by so much faster. I sometimes struggle to keep up. Most times, I don't worry about it as I sit here in the safe home that Daniel and I created together and I love our life together. As I know I have said many times before on here as I have shared my healing journey, life hasn't always been easy on me or on our marriage. Our marriage has lasted thru all of the times of struggle, not only because we love each other, but also because we are friends. If we didn't like each other we probably would have given up when the struggles got near impossible. Daniel's love, strength and patience have gotten me through so many dark times. Living with an incest survivor is never easy, on so many levels, even one who is healing. Before and during the initial stages of healing, I was so angry, even rageful like my dad. I was in so much emotional pain that I didn't have an outlet for, that it came out as rage most often. I was so full of fears that I had to work at facing and cutting down to size. Daniel had to live with all of that pain while I healed it and learned to control, not him as I had done in earlier years, but my reactions to my fears. As you have read in my recent blog post after the fears that came up during our trip to and from Gettysburg, some of those fears are still with me and occasionally come up to be acknowledged and worked thru. 

You may look at what I just wrote and ask how can she call her marriage a good one? How has it survived all of that pain, anger and fears. My answer would be that we have survived as a couple partly because of God's Grace, I do believe that, partly because we are both very stubborn individuals who refuse to give up on our marriage or ourselves but mostly because we do love each other. My definition of true love is wanting what is best for the other person. Sometimes that love requires sacrifice and other times compromise. We have both done our share of those over the years. One very basic fact is that we trust each other. With that trust in place, there is no place for jealousy which I see doing so much harm in many relationships today. If you trust someone, there is no room or need for jealousy. Trust is a very big issue for me as an incest survivor. If I didn't trust Daniel I would not be married to him. It is that simple. He is a good man. I have seen that over and over throughout our years together. He cares about me, our marriage, our family and other people. He has a kindness that I have learned from. 

Kindness wasn't taught in my childhood home. Control, bullying, rage, fear were constants in my childhood. My parents were married for just over 30 years when they were divorced. Even though I had wanted my mom to leave my dad for most of my childhood, when the divorce was final, I cried. It meant the end of a dream that at some future date my parents would love each other and we would come together as a healthy, loving family. The divorce put an end to that fairy tale that my inner child held on to. Their marriage with 30 years had very little quality to it. Theirs was a marriage of domestic violence and the secret of incest. 

My grandparents had a long marriage that only ended with the death of my grandfather. My dad's alcoholism was passed down to him by his dad who got it from his dad most probably. The rage was also passed down from generation to generation. So was domestic violence within the marriages. These are my examples of length of time not being as important as quality in marriages and relationships. These examples of my childhood are why I am willing to continue to work on my marriage with the help of my husband Daniel.

I love you more today than I ever have, Daniel, simply because you are who you are and because you have stayed by my side and given me the space to do my healing. I hope that you agree with me when I say that our marriage is better than it has ever been. To get here today has been a mutual effort. I couldn't have gotten when I am today without your love and support. I would not have the full life that I do today without you in it. You have allowed me the space and time to grow into who I am today. You have loved me since before I could tell you the source of my pain. You have seen me thru the Hell of denial of the incest and the days of healing which in their own way were Hell too. Today I feel joy and peace. Laughter often rings through our home. You play a big part in all of that for me. 

I love you with all my heart, Daniel.
Happy Anniversary, Honey.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shards of Glass Book Review

I want to start this review of the book Shards of Glass, written by CW Seymore with a quote from another incest survivor that I also have read and admired, Ms Iyanla Vanzant:

"You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You will find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them."

Because of a question from a close friend - "Were you ever raped?" and her immediate reply "No - just molested" - CW Seymore started down a dark and painful road that she had never expected to have to travel, a road that lead her to healing from child abuse - physical, mental and sexual abuse including the of rape of a stranger.

A friend asked me if I "liked" reading Shards of Glass. In reading a memoir about child abuse in all of its horrible forms, how can a person "like" this book. "Like" is the wrong word. CW Seymore shows her reader exactly what she experienced and felt as an abused child whose father seemed to hate her. The horrors of child abuse are not things to be liked. This book is not an easy read. Shards of Glass is real, honest and revealing. To borrow a word from the chapters of Ms Seymore's book, you find snapshots of reality in the life of a child growing up in a very dysfunctional family.

I felt Ms Seymore's pain and her anger as she shares her childhood memories. I believe that many survivors will see parts of their stories in the pages of Shards of Glass. Thru the writing of this book, CW Seymore has added to the ripple effect caused by so many survivors who are now finding their voices to say, "The silence is broken. We will speak out and we will heal, first ourselves and then the world. We are no longer victims of abuse. We are survivors and proud of it. Either help us or get out of our way."

This is the first of a series of books to be written by CW Seymore. I plan to be in line to read everyone of them as they are written and published. I hope you will join me.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Forgiveness, Lies And Trust

Hi, it is Saturday and I am cleaning house. Actually I am taking a lunch break right now and wanted to write down and share a few thoughts going thru my head from a number of conversations I have been in this week. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Forgiveness is not a one-time thing. You have to do it over and over as issues come up, your pain is felt and you have reached the stage of taking back your power from your abusers. Forgiveness isn't about the abusers. With forgiveness, I reclaim my personal power to not be hurt or controlled by another person thru their manipulation of my feelings, mind or body. My abusers may never know that I forgave them. I don't have to confront them or even tell them that I forgave them. Little things are easy to forgive. Big things take longer and some may never be forgiveness. That is my choice to make. I believe that it is okay to not choose to forgive some things if you don't want to or can't. I refuse to carry around guilt if I don't forgive and no one else has the right to guilt me with their thoughs on forgiveness. Sharing your thoughts on forgiveness is different than guilting me because I am not really or willing to forgive. Most people know the difference.

2. Lies are the hardest thing for me to forgive and I may never trust you again, depending upon the size of your lies and the depth of the hurt they inflicted upon me. Again, even if I forgive you, I may not tell you because I don't want you to think that I am inviting you back into my life. I am not. I won't give you the chance to hurt me again.

3. Trust doesn't come easily to an incest survivor. We were told too many lies as children and expected to keep too many dark secrets that no child should ever have to endure the pain from. Trust builds slowly but can be torn away in just a second. If you hurt me badly, don't expect me to talk to you about it. Chances are I don't trust you enough to be around you again, much less be vulnerable enough to talk to you and possibly be manipulated by you again. I won't open myself up to that. You may think that is not fair but was it fair to tell me lies that hurt me deeply when I found out about them. Everyone may not understand my reasoning but most survivors who were abused during their childhoods by those who should have protected them will understand, I think. I may one day forgive you but I will probably never trust you with my friendship again.

Now I need to get busy with some house work. I hope that you are all having a glorious Saturday. I am going to turn on some music and sing while I work. That always lifts my mood.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Silence Allows Child Abuse To Continue - I Will Not Be Silenced!

"I can't read this stuff anymore."  This is the second comment of this sort that I have received over the past two days in response to the abuse articles that I post on my Facebook page. This particular response came under the following article with the title of "Father who killed his daughter, 3, with an 'immense' blow to the stomach and failed to call for help jailed for seven years." Here is the link to the article if you want to read it. I warn you, it isn't an easy article to read. I also wonder why such a light sentence - 7 years for killing a 3-year-old - was given?

Anyone who enjoys reading this stuff is sick. I don't read them because I enjoy them. I don't share them because I want someone to enjoy reading them. I want you to read them so that you are educated about child abuse. It isn't an imaginary thing that is happening to someone else. Children are getting abused every day and every day, children, like this 3-year-old, are dying. She is one of the few that we know about. Society - people, families, neighbors, aunts and uncles - don't acknowledge child abuse and then do something to stop it nearly enough. There are still too many children who are being abused and nobody does anything to stop it until it is too late, like for this little girl who died at the hands of someone who should have loved and protected her. Instead he killed her. He got seven years. She got death. Is that fair? She died before she had a real chance to live. Are you as outraged as I am over his seven year sentence?

Our court systems aren't giving heavy enough sentences, in my opinion, especially with cases of child molestation. Many are getting light sentences, as short as 3 years or less, and then they are back out abusing more children. I see this every day in the articles that I read. I question the thinking of the judges that put them back out on the streets so quickly. I question the society that I live in that allows this to happen. Why aren't more people joining me and voicing their concerns?

Back to my readers' comments from Facebook. The first person told me that she had to sort thru so much garbage (my word, not hers) to get to the gems (her word) that I share. I share both - garbage and gems. I do share a lot of inspiring stuff on my page to conteract the darkness of the evil in the articles that I also share. I told this person that it was okay with me if she unfriended me on Facebook if she had trouble with what I put on my page. I also told her that I won't stop posting about the evil side of child abuse.

Why do I continue to share this crap? Because we have to know what is happening if we have any chance of changing it and stopping it. It is my prayer that one day there will be no more child abuse articles to share. Will I stop because, as my friend above says, she can't read anymore? No, I won't. The topic of child abuse and stopping it is too important.

Too many of us have been silent for too long. Please join me in using your Facebook page, Twitter page and your blog, if you have one, as a weapon against those who commit child abuse. Don't let abusers continue to maim and murder their children in silence. Join me and break the silence of child abuse. Even those of us who survived a childhood of abuse still have invisible scars that affect our lives even as adults. If you are an adult survivor, share your story with someone. By sharing your story, you may be giving someone else the permission that they need to tell their own stories. Be sure to share your healing too. By sharing your healing, you may inspire someone else to take the first step on their own healing journey. If you don't like what I share on my Facebook page or here on my blog - good. I don't like it either. But I won't stop sharing as long as child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, is still happening.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Processing Fears Of Inner Child

So many of my incest issues have been healed and no longer influence my day-to-day life that I am always surprised when the inner child and the fears that she carries rise up again. As a survivor, (Maybe everyone does this, I don't know.) I have fears that I face and release quite often. The thoughts come and go. I acknowledge them and let them pass on without reacting to them. Those thoughts are no longer issues or triggers for me.

On long trips, like our Gettysburg, PA trip, my inner child sometimes gets the upper hand and acts out. As an incest survivor who grew up with a controlling, dictator, possibly narcissistic father, I have an irrational fear that is still pretty big sometimes of being out of control of my own life and decisions. This fear comes up on long driving trips where there is speed and lots of lanes of traffic, especially in big cities that I don't know or when it is dark and raining as it did several times on our trip.  For whatever reason, Daniel plays into my fears too. I talked with him yesterday and he didn't realize that I was reacting out of fear. I guess he just thought I was being bitchy and controlling. I don't want to focus on his part in our little drama. That doesn't help me to figure out me and my inner child. Focusing on someone else is just a way to keep from looking at my part in the drama, which accomplishes nothing in stopping the drama from happening again.

This processing may take me some time to get through because of the grief that gets added on to the other feelings that came up during the trip. I have to find a way to assure my inner child that she is safe, that I will always do what is in my power to protect her. She is not defenseless like I was with the incest and emotional abuse from my dad when she was little. I am an adult and can protect myself and her. I did let my husband know that his behavior lead me to feel that my feelings weren't important. I need to trust my husband's driving skills more too. I need to tell him when he scares me instead of holding it in and hoping it will go away. He is not a mind reader.

Grief always comes along after an issue like this because of the losses involved. Sometimes the grief comes for a day, sometimes for several days. Today I don't ignore the grief. I acknowledge it for the heavy, dark feeling that it is. I feel it until it goes away, until the next time. I grieved for much of my childhood with the adult responsibilities and the unchildlike behavior that was expected of me by the adults in my life. I called it sadness then and knew it was my constant companion at least from the age of 7. Today I know that sadness for the grief of a small child who had so many losses in her young life. This grief is another sign that something was seriously wrong in my childhood at an early age. The abuse didn't start when I was 11 years old. Something happened to that small child of three or younger that I simply do not have the memories of. Grieving is healing that is necessary to move on, to grow. Ignoring grief doesn't make it go away. More grief just gets added on top of that grief that you already carry. For the first time in my life, I recognize grief and even welcome it because I know it means I am healing and letting go of another layer of abuse instead of holding the grief inside to eat away at me.

Being at Gettysburg and visiting the actual battlefield after the reenactment was a humbling experience. I am grateful for the experience and for the processing that is going on right now. It is sometimes painful but the experience is also a necessary part of my healing. As I said in the chatroom of the radio program last night, "In payment for the present pain of healing, I have more moments of joy, laughter and peace in my life today." I talked a little about my processing on the radio program Butterfly Dreams-What is Freedom last night. Here is the link if you are interested in listening:

Last night's show was a special two-hour program. I am not on until the last 20 minutes or so. I missed most of the first hour of the show myself because of a new meditation group that my friend and I went to for the first time last night. I miss meditating with a group. Group meditations seem so much more powerful than just doing it by myself. I hope this group works for me even though it means I will come in late for each of the Monday evening Butterfly Dreams radio programs. In case you miss the live shows, each of the Butterfly Dreams shows are archived for later listening. I learn so much from Patricia McKnight's programs that start at 8:00 p.m. CST in the U. S. on Mondays, Wednesdays and with Debra Mize on Thursday evenings. I hope you will check out the programs.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reenactment Of the 150th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Gettysburg, PA Vacation

I hope that all of my American friends had a great 4th of July celebration. My husband and I had a quiet day of relaxing back at home after an eight day round trip to Gettysburg, PA to participate in the reenactment of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. We left home about 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon of June 25, 2013 driving to Jackson, TN where we ate supper at the Casey Jones Village Restaurant. I am going to copy the itinerary of our trips that I printed out for the parents of the 3 teens that went on this trip with us.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013: Leaving Jackson, TN for a 10 hour drive to spend the night in Lexington, VA. (Most of our days for this trip started somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. to get back on the road driving. All of my husband Daniel's trips include what feels like a driving marathon to see how many hours of driving he can squeeze into one day to get where we are going.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013: Sightseeing at Stonewall Jackson's Home/Museum, VMI (Virginia Military Institute) Museum which features Stonewall Jackson Artifacts including the horse that he rode when he was shot and later died. The horse died and was stuffed 30 years after the war ended. We will visit General Robert E. Lee's Tomb and Stonewall Jackson's Gravesite. Then we will drive 213 miles to Gettysburg, PA to arrive around 6:00 p.m. to check in and set up camp before dark. (We got stuck crawling in traffic in Martinsburg, MD for an hour and a half because an 18-wheeler was turned over and blocking 2 lanes of traffic. We got our tents set up just as it was getting dark. The teenaged boy that was with us went to spend the night out in the woods with Daniel's unit - the 3rd Arkansas Infantry reenactors - for the weekend. The unit slept out in the woods with just a ground cloth and 2 blankets each open to the rains that we did get on Friday and Saturday. We set up a small dog tent - equivalent to a modern day pup tent - for the two teenaged girls next to our larger A-frame tent.)

Friday, June 28, 2013 - Sunday, June 30, 2013: The first battle on Friday is from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. The last battle on Sunday starts at 12:30 p.m. Whatever time the Sunday reenactment ends, we will pack up the truck and drive to Frederick, MD to spend the night, about 34 miles from Gettysburg, PA and about 46 miles from Washington, D. C. (Daniel did not participate in this battle. He was still too tired from the trip to get to Gettysburg. We sat thru 2 rains in our tents. The girls tent and covers got flooded out with the second hard rain. We moved them into our tent with us. We were a tight fit for sleeping with them in the middle. Daniel and I cheated and had twin sized air mattresses which we kept hidden from the public. We put down their ground cloth and smaller hiking air mattresses between ours for sleeping. We shared our cover since theirs got wet with the rain. Later after the rains, we went to the sutlers to try to find a dress for one of the teenaged girls who was with us. The first battle that Daniel participated in was the battle for Culp's Hill, East Cemetery Ridge from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Friday evening. As spectators, we were too far away to see much of the battle. We could see gun and canon smoke from 5 different battle areas that were all going on at the same time.)

(On Saturday, June 29, 2013, a Cavalry Battle took place 10:00-11:00 a.m. We could not leave our camp because the road was closed to traffic so that the Cavalry could leave their camp and go to the battlefield. We could hear the gun shots from our camp. We also missed the only ladies activity - a fashion show and ladies tea - because the roads were closed. Our Confederate camps were about two miles down muddy roads from all of the activities and the sutlers [merchants]. The Union camps had a bus to transport its soldiers and their ladies to all of the activities. The Confederate camps had a hay wagon pulled by a tractor for transport of soldiers and ladies. Sitting on hay in a wagon is not comfortable in a dress with a hoop. The 3 times I rode the wagon, I kept sliding off the hay. The hay also got wet with the rains and the roads got worse with each rain.  From 2:00-6:00 p.m., the battles of Devil's Den, Little Round Top, the Wheat Field and the Peach Orchard were fought. The girls and I followed Daniel and the 3rd Arkansas out to the battle, hoping to get close enough to see the battle. We couldn't. We had to stop at the beginning of the battlefield. We saw very little of the battle. We were directed to go into the Saloon that was set up on the outer edge of the battlefield. Daniel's unit were not included in the whole battle so we left the battlefield when they did. We went to the sutlers where we ate supper and shopped. We found a dress for the second of the teenaged girls that was with us to use as a ball gown for the dance. The Civil War Ball started around 8:00 p.m. Shortly after the dance started so did the rain. The dance was in a badly overcrowded tent so I didn't attempt to dance. I recorded some of the dances that Daniel and the girls participated in. The teenaged boy stayed out with the 3rd Arkansas Infantry unit and fought another battle in the dark. The youngest of the girls got a headache so we left the dance an hour early and caught the last ride of the night in the hay wagon. It didn't make any more trips to the camps because the rain had made the roads so bad. My feet were so sore from all of the walking we did and Daniel was limping from all of the walking he did. I could not have walked back to our camp if we had waited for the end of the dance.)

(Sunday, June 30, 2013: Because Daniel was already limping just around camp, he did not try to go to the last battle. Instead we waited until all of the soldiers were out of camp and then we brought the truck in and loaded up all of our gear and waited for the battle to be over to meet the young boy who came with us. We left the reenactment site around 3:00 p.m. and drove to the town of Gettysburg to do a tour of the real battlefields. We left Gettysburg, which is called a borough rather than a town, around dark. We drove to Frederick, MD and spent the night.)

Monday, July 1, 2013: We will drive to Washington, D. C. with the Lincoln Memorial being our first stop. Other things we hope to see are the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial Wall, Korean War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. At Arlington National Cemetery, we will see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. We also hope to drive by the White House since they no longer give tours. After these activities, we will drive to Fredericksburg, VA to spend the night. Fredericksburg, VA is about 46 miles from Washington, D. C.  (Rain started just as we got to Washington, D. C. Parking was hard to find within walking distance of anything we wanted to see. Daniel dropped me and the 3 kids off near the Lincoln Memorial and went to park and walk back. The rain came down harder. We were soaked by the time we made it up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. We looked around and took some pictures while waiting on Daniel to join us. Then we took some more pictures. The rain let up to an occasional sprinkle for the rest of the time as we walked around the reflecting pool between Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Washington Monument was damaged two years ago in an earthquake so it was surrounded by scaffolding and fences to keep us out. I had forgotten about the earthquake and had no idea the damage was so much. Got some pictures of the top of the monument hidden by rain clouds. We walked to the Vietnam Veterans Wall, the Korean Memorial display with the 19 soldiers, the World War II Memorial display which was new to Daniel and I since our last visit. We drove by the Jefferson Memorial and the White House without being able to find a parking place. We forgot the the 4th of July was coming up and people were already beginning to come into Washington, D. C. early. I am glad we were not there for the 4th. I don't care for the crowds that the 4th would have attracted. The last time that Daniel and I were in Washington, D. C. was with our own two children when they were 13 and 14 years old. Back then you could drive down Pennsylvania Avenue and clearly see the White House from the road. This time, because of the fears of 9-11, the White House was totally blocked off from traffic. We could catch glimpses as we drove by but everything was blocked off by concrete and guard houses to everything but pedestrian traffic and we could not find a place to park.  We left Washington, D. C. and drove to Fredericksburg, VA for the night. We drove thru more rain.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013: In Fredericksburg, VA, we will see the place where the Battle of Fredericksburg - The Stone Wall and Marye's Heights. We will also see the statue of the Angel of Marye's Heights. We will travel 15 miles to where the Battle of Chancellorsville - the place where Stonewall Jackson was shot - is marked. We will drive about 472 miles to Harriman, TN which is just west of Knoxville, TN to send the night. (For those of you who believe in past lives and reincarnation - I believe that I was a Union soldier who fought and died at the Battle of Marye's Heights as pictured in the movie Gods and Generals. I retrieved this memory while watching the movie with Daniel. I had to leave the movie at half time because I was so overcome with sadness that I was sobbing. Daniel stayed and watched the rest of the movie while I walked home about a mile or so away. I was shot in the leg and laid there that day and slowly bled to death. That is all of the information that I have gotten about that lifetime and I believe it to be true. Many of my lifetimes I was a soldier. I will write another blog post about the ah-ha moment that I had in the Fredericksburg gift shop on that Tuesday, July 2. We left Fredericksburg and drove a few miles away to Chancellorsville where the kids and Daniel walked down to the spot where Stonewall Jackson was supposed to have been shot from his horse. We drove most of the way to Richmond, VA so that Daniel could show the kids the battlefield at Cold Harbor. It was raining again so we drove the route through the battlefield so that he could show them the trenches that the Confederate soldiers dug with their bayonets, silverware, their plates, hands and anything else that they could dig with to get below the fire from the Union soldiers. This day ended with us riding a total of about 12 hours through the worst rains of our whole trip to get to Harriman, TN to spend the night. The rain slowed down just long enough for us to unload our suitcases into the motel for the night. I forgot something in the truck and went back out by myself. As I was just a few steps away from the door of the room, I went completely still as I saw lightning flash right in front of me, instantly followed by the loud clap of thunder. I quickly went inside. Daniel said I looked strange. I didn't have time to be scared. The lightning struck so fast. We went to bed soon after to the sound of more thunder.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013: Will arrive home after driving about 542 miles. Not sure exactly what time we will be home. Hopefully around 8:00 p.m. The kids will call if we are later than that. We won't have electricity to charge cell phones Thursday night thru Sunday. I don't know how long the phones will stay charged so if you call or text and no one answers that is why. (All of the writing that is included in parentheses, as these words are, were the things we actually did or my thoughts about our activities. Those not in parentheses were what we hoped to do and were in the pages of our schedule of events that I printed out for the parents and also a copy for me before we left so that they would have an idea of what we hoped to do each day. I also gave a copy to each of the kids to keep and possibly put in a scape book when they got home.)

We actually arrived home around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening to have to unload a smelly truck full of wet blankets, sheets and uniforms that had been wet since Friday or Saturday evening. The kids got excited about coming home as soon as we crossed the Mississippi River at Memphis and drove back into Arkansas. They loved the trip and they were homesick. The girls have been doing smaller reenactments with us, closer to home for about a year and a half. This was the first trip that the young boy had made with us. He and Daniel had done the Battle of Helena, Arkansas a few months ago and the Battle of Port Jefferson with his mom and step-dad back in May. This was our first long distance trip with the girls. We did go to the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee last April, I think it was, but we made that trip in one day of driving to get there. We drove two and a half days to get to Gettysburg with a little sightseeing at Lexington, VA and we took an extra day of driving back so that we could take the kids to Washington, D. C. It was just too close to not stop by there. Daniel has become a great historian with the history he has learned from being a reenactor and also in the research for his book, Standing on the Edge of Time. He loves giving history lessons and then verbally tests the kids on the stuff he tells them. Doing the reenacting makes history a little more real for the kids and for us. We had a great trip with lots of laughter and teasing and rain. We are worn out from all the time in the truck. We all learned from the experience. I have forgotten how young girls think they have to have a different pair of shoes for each outfit so I didn't tell them to take no more than two pair each. We managed to lose the bag of shoes somewhere along our journey. I have a phone call in to the motel we think might have them. They haven't called me back yet. Life is full of adventures if you are open to them and this was a grand one that I don't think any of us will ever forget. Have a glorious weekend.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunshine Award, Sixth Anniversary and Links About Effects Of Child Abuse And Awareness

First of all the good stuff:  June 1, 2013 was my six year anniversary for Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker. The date was June 9 when I realized that the anniversary had passed without me acknowledging it.

Second, I want to say "Thank You." to my friend Pat Ruppel at the blog "Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom." Thank you, Pat for the Sunshine Award that you bestowed on my blog back on June 9. Here is the link to Pat's blog post where she gave me and 12 other bloggers the Sunshine Award.

 Third, I want to say "Thank You." to my friend Jan from the blog "The Wounded Warrior." On May 30, Jan reblogged my article "Sibling Abuse - An Epidemic by @PatriciaSinglet". By doing that my article was shared over and over again by many of Jan's other friends on Twitter. The word is beginning to get out about sibling abuse. Thank you, Jan. Here is the link to my article on his blog.

My Summer, which officially starts tomorrow, is already busy. My husband is busy striping parking lots and returning calls for new ones as they come up. I worry about him in this heat. He takes the heat better than I do. Other than an occasional very small job, I don't work with him any more because as I have gotten older, the heat affects me more easily. I don't know how he does it but he does. We have already been to several Civil War reenactments which is my husband's hobby. I have grown to love dressing up as a Southern Belle too but I don't go to all of his reenactments.

Back to the real purpose of this blog and all of my writings: I have been writing about sibling abuse lately because of my friend Nancy Kilgore, MS and her book Girl in the Water which you can also buy at Health Communications, Inc. at 
or at Nancy is asking that anyone who reads her book please write a book review on

I have been doing a lot of reading online lately and want to share some of the articles with you here through their links. I hope you will take the time to read each of the articles. The information is important.

Earliest Case of Child Abuse Discovered in Egyptian Cemetery @

Sibling Bullying Just as Damaging as Peer Bullying @

Sexual and Emotional Abuse Scar the Brain in Specific Ways @
Child Sexual Abuse in the Church @
This is from a Mennonite Brethren Forum and most of the information is good for everybody to know.

Why Don't Cops Believe Rape Victims? @

Have a glorious weekend, my friends.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Take Back Your Power Talk On Generation No More

Here is the link for the radio program on Generation No More, Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio & Abuse Recovery. The program is called Take Back Your Power. The question that Patricia McKnight asked on her program page is, "WHAT IF you realized how powerful you are?"

The show starts at 8:00 p.m. CST where I live in the U. S.

This is the program that I told you I would be on when I wrote my article about the Steubenville rape yesterday. The Steubenville rape trial and rape culture, along with other topics will be discussed tonight. In case you missed my two blog posts on the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial here are the two links to those articles.

Steubenville Rape Of The Victim @

Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month @

I hope you will join us in taking back your power. Even if you aren't a survivor of incest like me, many of us today give away our power to others. Domestic violence survivors give away their power to those who verbally, physically, emotionally and mentally abuse them. Many times that we give away our power, it is because we don't know that we have choices. Sometimes we don't have the courage to make those difficult choices. Fear of the unknown is sometimes far worse than the fear of what we do know. I am not saying any of this as a judgment. I do understand what is is like to not know that you have choices. My dictator dad and passive-agressive, codependent mother never taught me about choices. I was in my early 40's before I realized that I could make a choice about something as simple as whether to stay home or to take a taxi to a 12-Step meeting because my friend that usually gave me a ride couldn't that night - such a little thing but a major ah-ha moment for me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The first blog post that I want to share with you today comes from the blog From Tracie. The article is "Blog Against Child Abuse - March 2013 Edition". Here is the link:

Each month a survivor hosts the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I shared three of my recent blog posts in the carnival this month. The carnival is posted around the end of each month. If you are interested in submitting articles to be included in the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse, please let Tracie know. If you are interested in reading this month's submissions, go to the link that I provided above. Eight of us participated in the March issue. Feel free to leave comments on the blog articles that you read.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. On Monday night, April 15, 2013, I will be joining my friends Patricia McKnight (Trish) and Mary Graziano on the Radio Program Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio & Abuse Recovery, Generation No More. We are the generation that says "No More" to child sexual abuse. "No More" to domestic violence. This link will take you to the radio program page for the shows that are archived. 

Trish asked me to be on the program after I had written and she had read my recent article, "Steubenville Rape Of The Victim". Here is the link for that article if you haven't read it yet.

A sixteen-year-old girl was the rape victim of two high school football players after a party that they all attended. The rape culture advocates blamed the young girl because she was drinking, therefore, the boys could do with her as they pleased because they were football players, the heroes of a small Ohio town. That sentence that I just wrote disgusts me. The football players weren't put on trial for the rape, the victim was. Rape culture says the rape was her fault. She should have had more sense than to get drunk. She should have had more self-respect. She should . . . . . . . She should. . . . . .

Rape culture is wrong. Rape is the fault of the rapist, not the victim. She didn't ask to be raped. The victim didn't deserve to be raped. Stop blaming the victim and put the blame when it belongs with the attacker, the rapist.

Where is our sympathy for the victim? How would you feel if this victim was your sixteen-year-old daughter? The news reporters who talked about the trial every day fed into the rape culture too.

Ms. Foundation For Women posted on the internet and I saw it on my Facebook page where someone else had shared:

" A girl was raped and the media...

CNN says the boys were 'promising students'

abc NEWS makes excuses for the rapists

NBC NEWS laments the boys' 'promising football careers.'

USA TODAY stresses that the victim was drunk

Ms. Foundation For Women said, #RapeCulture #despicable #reporttherealnews"

I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Foundation For Women.

What about the victim? What about her life? Don't they think her life was ruined? She was getting bullied and threatened because she came forward and revealed the rape to the police. What about her promising career? Just because you are drunk doesn't mean you want to or should get raped. How many men and women go out and get drunk every night? Does that mean they should be raped? Does it mean they are saying, "Go ahead. Rape me. I deserve it for wanting to have a little fun. I'll be your sex toy."

I will be writing more about the topic of rape culture after the show Monday night. The radio program begins at 7:00 p. m. Eastern Standard Time in the U. S. I don't have a specific link to give you right now. I will come back and post the link as soon as I get it. If, for some reason, you can't listen to the program live on Monday evening, the shows are archived at the same link that I will post later.

Before I close this post I want to post three more links for you to read or listen to. "Abuse; Give Hope for Rescue" is a recent talk that Patricia McKnight did speaking in front of the Illinois Healthcare Grant training program sponsored by Violence Prevention Center of SW Illinois. Trish shares part of her story here:

Trish's blog is called survivorsjustice and here is the link:

Mary's blog is called NIPPERCAT'S HOME and is found here:

I am looking forward to the program tomorrow night. I hope you will join us there. Have a glorious week, my friends.