Sunday, August 30, 2015

Five Ways To Leave Pain Behind

"In my world, nothing ever goes wrong." Wayne Dyer, author of Your Sacred Self, introduced me to this expression by Nisargadatta Maharaj. Your Sacred Self is my favorite of the Wayne Dyer series of books.

This book made such a tremendous impact on my spiritual journey that I have given it as gifts to several of my friends. Do you have any sayings such as this or any books that you have read that have impacted your life as this one has mine?

You will find these words, "In my world, nothing goes wrong." scattered throughout my house and written on poster paper and index cards. The use of this expression can enable you to look at the challenges in your life as lessons that you need to learn, rather than as things going wrong.

You will find a simple shift of your attitude can make big changes in how you see people and situations. A major shift happened for me when I started looking at the sexual abuse committed against me in this way.

Rather than continue to blame others which only keeps you struck in the pain of the abuse, if you look at the whole incident as a series of lessons, you will be able to release the pain and leave it in the past with the abuse. You may ask, "What lessons can be learned from being sexually abused as a child?"

Here are a few of the things that you might learn:

1.  You can become a survivor rather than a victim---just a small          shift in perception that makes a big difference in how you see 
     yourself. You can go from feeling helpless as a victim to being 
     a powerful voice against abuse. You can begin to see the value 
     that you have as a human being.

2.  You are courageous rather than being fearful of all people---
      again just a small shift that can allow you to trust and love 
      again. Trust can be a really big issue for a survivor of any
      kind of abuse. I had to learn to trust women. I was afraid of
      being judged harshly by women because the major women in
      my childhood were judgmental. When I was seven years old,
      my aunt told me that I was going to Hell because I was wearing
      shorts. I have been blessed that certain women came into my
      life as an adult and taught me that is was okay to trust. I now
      know that no child is going to Hell just because of what they 
      are wearing.

3.  You may find that you have developed strengths of character
      that you might not would have possessed without going
      through the abuse and the process of healing the abuse. You
      don't learn courage if you have never been afraid. You don't 
      know compassion unless you have been hurt. You don't know 
      strength unless you have been tested. You don't know victory
      unless you have faced adversity. You can't love until you have
      learned to love yourself.

4.  You may find, as I did, that you have faith in God and in 
      yourself that grows stronger each day because you stopped
      blaming God and yourself for the abuse. For years, I was angry 
      at God and hated myself. I didn't share who I really was with
      anyone because I was afraid that you would see how bad, how
      tainted I was. None of that is true today. You might find, as I
      did, that you can love yourself and that your love connects you 
      with and comes from the God within you. God, then, is no 
      longer some entity outside of you. We are one.

5.  I choose to see the sexual abuse as a blessing instead of a curse.
     This is a huge shift for me that would not have happened 
     without the first four smaller shifts of perception. You can, in
     the same way, turn your smaller shifts of perception into a huge
     shift that will affect your entire being.

All of these and so many more shifts can happen for you if you decide to apply these same words, "In my world, nothing ever goes wrong." to your own life. 

Lessons are good. They teach you about yourself. How you react to the challenges in your life gives you valuable lessons about yourself if you will take the time to look. 

Today I love my world (even on the days that I feel sad or angry) and I love me. You might ask, "How can you love your world on the days that you feel sad or angry?"

On those days, I know that I am present just because I do feel those things. You don't have to get struck in the feelings. You can look to see what it is that you need to see or hear or learn to make a difference in your life. This process will work for you if you are willing to face yourself.

This article was originally a guest post on the blog "The Next 45 Years". That blog which belonged to Alex Blackwell has since been closed. I wrote the post on February 29, 2008. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy 43rd Anniversary Daniel

Happy 43rd Anniversary, Daniel. We made it through another year today with our usual ups and downs. Through it all, my commitment to our marriage has continued to grow. Looking back at our love shows growth year after year. Our marriage hasn't been perfect. I don't know of any that are. We have had our years of struggle and our times of laughter and joy. 

I found an article in my emails this last week that I want to share with you from MindBodyGreen entitled "38 Hard Truths About Relationships". The article is one that I totally agree with. Relationships and love are not easy. My marriage has taught me that. Sherryl Paul, the author of this article, talks about how relationships are not easy and that that require compromise. She says that the definition of love that our society gives you need to be redefined. I agree with her when she says that love is an action rather than a feeling. You aren't going to be happy all the time in any relationship. That is why I said earlier than Daniel and I have had our ups and downs. Our marriage has been full of compromises and change. 

Daniel and I both came from dysfunctional homes and therefore, our family was also dysfunctional. Today we are both healthier than we have ever been in our relationship and still neither of us or our relationship is perfect. Marriage and love takes commitment on the part of both partners. The initial feelings of falling in love are the best that I have ever felt but those feelings didn't last. The daily irritants of living with another person quickly wears away those initial feelings. You often find the things that attracted you to your partner are the very things that irritate you later. I love Daniel's quirky sense of humor unless I am tired and not feeling good. Then I have to look at what is really important. I don't want him to change his wonderful sense of humor just because I am having a bad day. You cannot expect another person to change just because you want them to. It doesn't happen. A person only changes if they want to. One thing marriage taught me is that the only person I can change is me. 

Ms Paul says love is an action and I agree with her. For me that action has been the decision to stay committed to my marriage and my love for Daniel over the years. Many people choose to walk away at the first sign of problems because they want the happy ever after of fairy tales. Happy ever after is a fairy tale. Happy doesn't come from another person. Another person cannot make you happy. Only you can make you happy. Happy is a choice. You can be happy or at least content in the worst of circumstances. If you aren't happy make changes. If you can't change your circumstances, find something good in each day to be thankful for. Change your attitude. I discovered some time ago that I can always change my attitude and change how I see my world around me.

I am not sure when Daniel and I will get around to celebrating our anniversary. Both of us have been sick the past few days. For me, I am not sure if I have caught his cold or if I am having an allergic reaction to a medicine that I was taking for a bladder infection. I do feel better today. So does Daniel. That is another thing about any good relationship is that you both need to be flexible with boundaries, thoughts and requirements. 

Here is the link to the article that I mentioned earlier from MindBodyGreen.

38 Hard Truths About Relationships @

Happy 43rd Anniversary Daniel. I love you more than I did last year. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Forgiveness Can Be So Complicated For Incest Survivors

Forgiveness can be so complicated for incest survivors. Some ask how do you forgive someone who hurt you so bad when they were the ones who should have been protecting you from harm? How can you forgive the sense of betrayal by the person who holds the biggest place in your heart when your abuser is your parent or a sibling? How can you forgive yourself when you grew up being told, by your abusers, that the incest was your fault. If you hadn't seduced them, they wouldn't have molested you. If you had been a good little girl or good little boy, you wouldn't have deserved to be sexually abused. How do you forgive yourself when you feel only hate for yourself? 

All of those are questions that I asked myself and every survivor that I know has also asked themselves those same questions. I have also heard survivors say, "Why should I forgive those monsters that took my innocence and destroyed my childhood? Why should I forgive such evil people?" I used to believe that forgiving my abusers meant that I was saying what they did to me was okay. That is never what forgiveness says. I know some survivors who say that they will never forgive their abusers. I can understand that stand even though I chose a different way. When you pressure a survivor to forgive before they are ready, you are adding more suffering to the abuse. Please don't do that. 

For myself, I have forgiven my abusers and myself. Even if you choose to not forgive your abusers, you should forgive yourself and your inner child. You were a child. You were not at fault or to blame for the abuse. Again, you were a child.  You may ask, "What do I need to forgive myself for?" I have written a whole article about that self-forgiveness that I will post at the end of this article. One thing to forgive yourself for is believing the lies of your abuser. You didn't know they were lying and giving your their shame. You didn't know it was theirs and not yours to carry. Forgive yourself for being a child who couldn't protect yourself. Your abusers had physical and emotional power over you because you were a child. Learning to love yourself and letting go of the self-hatred are a very important step to forgiving yourself. You were a child. If you could have done things differently, you would have. You were not in control of your life. Your abusers were.

Before I could forgive my abusers, I had to figure out what I felt and who I was. For years, I turned forgiveness over to God and asked Him to deal with it until I could. I didn't wake up one morning and decided to forgive. Forgiveness was a gradual process over years of healing. Only in looking back did I realize that forgiveness had happened. Forgiveness isn't a one time decision. Each time that a new layer of issues come up, I choose to forgive again. 

For me, the choice to not forgive just means I am still holding on to some anger that I need to feel and work through before I can let go. Once I can let go of the anger, which only happens after working through my feelings, then I can forgive again. Holding on to the anger doesn't have any effect on my abusers but it can hurt me by raising my blood pressure and creating illnesses in my body and mind. When that happens, my abusers win again. I am not into letting my abusers win. They had control when I was a child. As a survivor/thriver, I am the person in control of my life and the quality of my life. 

Related Posts:

Prelude To Forgiveness @

Forgiveness Is For You, Not The Other Person @

What Does Forgiveness Mean To Me @

Forgiveness, Done In Layers @

Forgiveness, Lies And Trust @

Journey To Your Heart - Learning To Love Yourself After Abuse @

Healing Is About Love And Compassion @

You Deserve Your Own Love Guest Post @

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Incest Survivors Ready To Heal

Today is Day #14 and the last day of the Start Your Book Challenge on ChallengeBug. Our challenge leader was Christine Kloser who calls herself "The Transformation Catalyst." Her website is . 

My blog post "Transformation Through Writing" came from Day #1's challenge. I will add the link to it at the end of this post in case you haven't read it already. I have enjoyed and learned from this 14 day challenge. I am still working on some of the challenges that I didn't want to rush through. I enjoy the researching as much as the writing part of some of the challenges. 

On Day #2, I was asked, Who is your ideal reader? Here is my answer.

The ideal reader for The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress is an incest survivor who is beginning to acknowledge that she/he is a survivor. This survivor wants to finally let go of the denial that they thought would protect them from the pain of awareness and memories. She/He wants to heal but may not know where to start. Fears and maybe memories are starting to surface because she/he has cracked open that door in her/his mind. Once that door is open, she/he can't close it and pretend the door was never open. She/he stays stuck in the fear and the pain or she/he moves forward. My ideal reader is ready to move forward.

For ease of writing and because more girls are abused than boys, I am going to use "she" and "her" from here on out in my article. I am not excluding boys/men. One out of three girls are sexually abused and one out of six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. I am grateful that boys/men are finally joining the ranks of female survivors in speaking out and breaking the silence of incest/childhood sexual abuse. I know, personally, the challenges and fears they face to find and use their voices. 

My ideal reader has acknowledged that she is an incest survivor, at least in her own mind. She may or may not have told anyone else yet. She probably doesn't have any idea what step to take next. Fear, rage and hurt are battling for the top position in her mind. The survivor is feeling overwhelmed, if she even knows what she is feeling. Many times feelings aren't allowed. Feelings are denied, stuffed or hidden by addictions. She may be afraid of change and some part of her is resisting those first steps. Resistance has to be faced and overcome before healing happens. Sometimes, the survivor has to hurt enough before she is willing to move forward. My ideal reader is ready to move forward.

Once feelings start, grief isn't far behind. All survivors of incest have to grieve the loss of innocence and the loss of the childhood they didn't have. Most survivors have no idea what normal is. They have never seen healthy in their dysfunctional families. Incest is only allowed to happen in an atmosphere of dysfunction. Every family member plays their part in keeping the secrets of the dysfunctional family. 

The incest survivor is usually full of rage at her abusers but probably taking that rage out on herself and those closest to her. Depression becomes a constant companion. I have seen depression defined as anger turned inward. That definition feels right to me. Often what doctors call depression may be the deep, deep sadness of grief. Survivors have so many losses to work through and let go of. I don't believe just taking a pill solves those feelings of loss. As a survivor, she has to feel her way to healing.

What is my ideal reader seeking?

Release from the overwhelming sadness, fear and rage that is inside of her is one answer. She wants the hurt to stop. Feeling and growing are the only ways that I know of to do that healing. My book The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress will take her through my own journey of healing from incest.

What transformations do I want for my ideal reader? 

I want my ideal reader to be able to experience freedom from pain, rage and sadness. I want her to be able to work her way through all of those feelings and then release them. Joy and peace are attainable goals. Learning to love herself is an important part of the healing journey. Letting go of addictions and codependency are necessary to healing. In reading my story, she will be given healing tools to use in her own journey. She will learn to express feelings in healthy ways. She will recognize the lies of her abusers and see how they may still be affecting her life today as an adult. She will find her sense of self-worth and not rely on others to get her self-worth from. She will love herself first so that she has more to give to others. She will learn that some people don't belong in her life. Some people don't want her to change or to move on. Those people will either change themselves or they will move on. 

My ideal reader is someone who is tired of hurting and ready to heal no matter how much it hurts to begin with. She is ready to step into survivor mode, ready to move forward with courage, hope and commitment. As a survivor, she is ready to strip away all denial and ready to be extremely honest with herself. She is open to change and willing to look at the source of resistance that she may feel. 

Trust is something that she will have to learn---trust of herself first and then trust of others. Not everyone deserves her trust. She must learn to trust herself and that inner voice that guides her when she is willing to listen. Part of trusting herself means learning how to shut up that mean, critical inner voice that came from her abusers. I will teach her how to use affirmations to turn that inner voice to positive and away from being negative all of the time. 

Making friends with her inner child is a very important step in healing. The inner child is the one who carries and remembers all of her pain. The inner child is the one who is so full of fear and is afraid of moving forward. All the inner child knows is the pain and fear of incest and the words of her abusers. She has to gain the trust of her inner child. Together they will grow and learn to love each other. The inner child isn't the enemy. The abusers are.

Strength and courage are both needed to take one healing step after another. The rewards of being a survivor are worth going through all of the challenges she will face along the way to healing. Healing isn't an instant cure. 

I am not a doctor or a therapist. I, too, am a survivor of incest. Today I am a thriver and I know that my readers can all accomplish what I have. I encourage you all to take that first healing step and share your story with some caring person that you trust. 

Related Posts:

Transformation Through Writing @ 

Stages Of Loss And Grief For Incest Survivors @

Journey To Your Heart - Learning To Love Yourself After Abuse @

Denial, FEAR's Companion And BFF @

Inner Child Work And Feeling Safe @

The Secret---Affirmations Change Your Life @

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Transformation Through Writing

What transformation do you want for yourself from writing your book? This is a question from a writer's challenge class that I am taking this week. I thought I would share with you why I am writing my book The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress.

I want to write my book to help others but also for my own healing and understanding of my journey through this life. I want the final transformation from survivor to thriver to happen because of my writing of The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress. I want others to see that healing from incest and dysfunction is possible. I know that if I can do it, then others can too. I am not the only one. I also want all survivors to know that they are not alone with their pain and their rage. The pain and the rage can be felt and healed. You won't die from the pain. You won't kill someone else, as my inner child always was afraid of, if you let out the rage. You are more likely to die from stuffing the feelings and denying them because of health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. Feeling hurts but the act of feeling also frees you.

Transformation is change and change is healthy. Healing releases all of the hurt and makes room for love and joy. I want writing my  book to be cathartic in that I can release all negativity from my mind and my body.

Writing this book will be my victory over my abusers. They will no longer rule my life. My abusers won't control me any more. This book is breaking my silence in a major life-changing way. I win. My abusers lose.

My book will be a way to face any fears that my inner child may still carry inside. Together we will confront their lies. The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress will be the ultimate act of self-love for me. This book says, "This is who I am. I am proud of me. I love and respect myself."

This is my story and I am so much more than a story of incest. I am no longer a victim of incest. I am a survivor turned thriver. I will write the ending to my story in any way that I choose. I am in control of my words, thoughts and deeds. I will listen to my inner voice and know that I can trust it because it is me, my inner wisdom, my inner Divinity. It is that spark of Spirit that has always kept me alive and moving forward, one step at a time.

The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress is my story and in sharing my story, I hope to inspire others to have the courage to share their stories and to break their silence too. Together we are strong and can one day prevent other children from being molested. We will win. We will make the world a better place.

I have always known I would write my story. Telling my story is the one way that I know to take the evil that was done to me and make something good come from it. That is important to me more than anything else.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Silent No More---Resistance To Speaking Out

Writing my book The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress is a new step toward being silent no more. Each such step, for me, has been met by resistance, most of it internal but some of it from others.

The internal resistance can come from my inner child who is still afraid of rejection when I tell. Resistance can come from the fear of being blamed as a victim. Resistance can also come from fear of being misunderstood by others. Some question why I was silent for so long. The adult me doesn't fear any of those things but the inner child does. 

Outer resistance can come from others who want to remain in denial about incest and its long-time effects upon the survivor and her/his loved ones. I say loved ones because the incest affects those close to us. Our feelings, attitudes and reactions can affect our spouses, children and friends who live with us before and during the healing process.

Incest didn't just hurt me. My years of denial---of trying to pretend that I wasn't angry and hurting---and my years of struggling to feel again and to heal hurt my family and friends too. They had to deal with me when I was scared and when I was raging in pain in the years before I learned to control my rage and to face my fears. 

I have bumped into and faced resistance at every step of my healing journey. Feelings for an incest survivor can be extremely painful. No one wants to feel the pain. Resistance to feeling is there. 

Resistance is part of speaking out and telling others about the incest. Resistance comes from fear of the unknown. What will happen the first time you tell someone. Will they believe you? Will they hate you for sharing your painful secret because their own painful secrets are in their face?  What will happen to your abuser when you speak out? Will speaking out destroy your family or make the members stronger? Resistance comes because you often don't know the answers and that is frightening all by itself.

Telling one or two people is different than telling a group of 12-Steppers in meetings filled with 10-30 people in the room. I met resistance when my friend Slade Roberson suggested that I write a blog about being an incest survivor. I have been meeting and talking to survivors through my writing my blog for 8 years now. My 8th year Anniversary for Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker was on June 1, 2015.  During that about 4 or 5 of those years, I have used Facebook and Twitter to meet other survivors. Men survivors came into the picture and started breaking their own silences. 

Society seems to sometimes want to stay in denial of how many of us are being affected on a daily basis by incest and sexual assault. Rarely are children sexually assaulted by strangers as society wants us to believe. Most sexual assault is in the form of incest from a family member or friend who has authority over the child. Even judges and the courts resist believing the damage that can be done to a child by an abuser that the child knows and sometimes loves. This is society resisting change. Often our justice system is sadly lacking when it comes to helping a child to heal and receive some justice against the abusers. Cover-ups are resistance to seeing the truth. 

Writing my book is another instance of me facing my own resistance. My book is a further step in going public with my story of abuse and healing. What are you resisting in your life today?