Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

28 Days and Counting!
I will be leaving on October 14 to attend this life changing event!
There is still time to enter your artwork for the festival!
I would like to thank everybody for their continued support. I will be performing my poetry from the book! I can't wait to be a part of this life changing event!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I am getting hit with this again! Ugh!

For the last two weeks I house sat for my parents (much to my dismay) and was abel to do some thinking, writing and sleeping.

The day before I left I had a heart to heart with my mother. We talked about the past and she said to me that I must forgive and forget about everything that happened with my brother and resume a relationship with him because they will not be around forever. I told her that if I CHOOSE to forgive him, I will NEVER forget! She also brought to my attention that he is still mad at me for the situation with his ex. In my defense I told her that the only reason I did what I did was because I have a hard time saying no for fear of rejection and that people would not like me. I also informed her that the reason I can't say no goes back to childhood and having no boundaries! Can anybody guess why I have a hard time saying no? I will admit this has gotten a bit better.

When I got home I got this earful from my roommate Trish. She told me I MUST forgive to feel peace. She said this is still a major part of my life! I tend to disagree. I look at it as talking publically about this is aiding others and myself further in the healing process! I have been told and read that forgiveness of our abusers is a personal choice and it is not crucial to the healing process!

How many times have we as survivors heard this? That we MUST forgive our abusers to heal and move on. I guess the purpose of this kind of forgiveness is NOT for the abuser but for ourselves. I am wondering how many survivors out there have TRULY forgiven their abusers!

The things I still struggle with even now are asserting and believing in myself, saying no and confidence! I think these are some of the things we still struggle with and are still holding us back to realizing our true potential to do great things in life!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Great Article!

Below is a very informative article about the after effects of childhood sexual abuse. The symptoms that I have personally experienced are bolded. I hope this article will help thoes just starting the healing process.

~~~~Like scar tissue, the effects of sexual abuse never go away~~~~Kathleen Megan

The single most hurtful comment that relatives frequently make to older victims of childhood sexual abuse is: "Gee, it happened such a long time ago, just get over it."Like scar tissue, the effects of sexual abuse never go away, experts say, continuing to influence victims in various ways, such as by contributing to drug and alcohol abuse, low self-esteem, divorce and distrust.A devout Catholic who is sexually abused by a priest thus may experience a kind of betrayal that can be especially intense."Many of the patients I've seen in therapy who became sexually involved [with a priest] talked about 'soul murder,' " said Lothstein. "They felt as if something had been taken deeply inside of them in which the body wasn't hurt as much as the soul.A child is left asking, "Whom can I trust? Can I trust myself? Am I a worthy person or just an object to be used by others? Am I valuable? Can I control what happens to me?"Without any answers or an adult to help, a child may store the experience away as a secret, becoming "withdrawn, depressed or acting out, causing trouble at home or school," said Pearlman.A child is likely to be left with strong feelings of anger, fear, shame, hurt and disappointment.Childhood victims are also often frightened into keeping the secret by the perpetrator, who may have threatened to harm the child or those dear to him if he tells anyone about what happened.Many children do believe they are somehow at least partially to blame for the abuse and, because of the shame, will not come forward.A victim may also be less likely to divulge what happened if he or she has had trouble with grades, behavior problems or other difficulties -- some of which are likely attributable to the abuse. They fear they will not be believed because of their checkered pasts.Survivors of trauma frequently require a lot of time to come to understand what happened to them and to be able to communicate it. Many survivors of the Holocaust, Lothstein said, "spent 10 years without ever saying what happened to them... . The information must come out slowly and be paced.Otherwise they can be overwhelmed by it."Victims of sexual abuse may hope that "wishing or drinking or praying" will make the pain go away, but "none of those things works. Two things really help," he said. "Going to therapy and telling somebody."

________________________________________________I understand first hand what childhood Sexual Abuse can do...I am a Survivor! The Symptoms are listed below and the items that have *** in front of them are effects that I have personally experienced. I understand because I walked down the lonely and frightening road a lone. No one knew accept the abuser, "the enemy--the father of all lies", God and me. It wasn't until I was in college and went to counseling for academic issues did someone wise enough recognize that I was a walking wounded trauma victim that no one ever took to the Emergency Room.God has given me the strength to share my personal story because I know by the statistics that 1 out of 3 girls/women who read this will understand because they too have experienced it. 1 in 5 boys experience it too, however, since I am a female my focus is on helping women, I write for women but much of what I write is for both genders. Abuse is Abuse and effects both men and women the same. The guilt, shame, fear and embarrassment are universal feelings that box sexes experience.I just want YOU to know that I understand and if you need someone to talk to, someone safe to listen to you, because that is how healing begins, please feel free to contact me. I share my soul with my sisters in hopes that the Truth will help set them Free!After Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Emotional Symptoms: ***Unsupported fears (may or may not be related to sex)***Low Self Esteem, Guilt, Shame***Exaggerated or Diminished feeling of power and control***Difficulty with Trust***Fear of Abandonment

Cognitive Symptoms: ***Intrusive images or thoughts about sex***Viewing sex as an obligation***Seeing sex as a means to exert power***Rigid boundaries or lack of boundaries***Confusing sex and love***Poor body image***Amnesia for early years or periods surrounding sexual abuse***Difficulty with authority figures

Behavioral Symptoms: ***Somatic Complaints (vague bodily complaints, gastrointestinal problems)***Somatic complaints related to the abuse (genital/urinary pain,difficulty swallowing, TMJ)Self Injurious Behaviors and self mutilation (cutting, hair pulling, biting, scratching)***Engaging in physically dangerous behaviors

Sexual Dysfunction: Males: impotence (can be situational), premature ejaculation Females: vaginismus, female orgasmic disorder, vaginal pain during intercourse***Compulsive masturbation, frequent anonymous sexual encounters***Stripping, prostitutionFetishes (inability or difficulty becoming sexually aroused without aspecific object involved [shoe, underwear, picture] or without focusing almostexclusively on a specific body part [legs, genitalia, feet]***Lack of interest in sex or avoidance of sexual situations***Difficulty staying emotionally and mentally present during sex***Placing self in sexually dangerous situations

When any of these symptoms are present, it certainly does not mean the person was sexually abused, and the symptoms may vary depending on the individual,the type and duration of abuse, and the relationship to the abuser.This note contains information from many sources. It is here to help anyone who needs it. It is not only for survivors of sexual abuse but also for family members and people close to survivors so they too can understand the devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse. It is also here so people can see and understand first hand what childhood sexual abuse does and how important it is for a parent to take an active role in protecting their children!Parents education is could save YOUR child from going through hell...if you love them TALK to them and ALWAYS be willing to LISTEN!!! Do not doubt when your child comes to you and tells you something that sounds "odd" children do not know how to describe what has happened to them, they do not possess the psychological ability....they tell you the best they can by their words and actions. Pay attention to both!!!---------------------------Children and adolescents who have been sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. These problems typically include depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. Depending on the severity of the incident, victims of sexual abuse may also develop fear and anxiety regarding the opposite sex or sexual issues and may display inappropriate sexual behavior. However, the strongest indication that a child has been sexually abused is inappropriate sexual knowledge, sexual interest, and sexual acting out by that child.Research has shown that child sexual abuse victims are more likely to be the victims of rape or to be involved in physically abusive relationships as adults are.The ill effects of child sexual abuse are wide ranging. There is no one set of symptoms or outcomes that victims experience. Some children even report little or no psychological distress from the abuse, but these children may be either afraid to express their true emotions or may be denying their feelings as a coping mechanism. Other children may have what is called "sleeper effects." They may experience no harm in the short run, but suffer serious problems later in life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Moment of Clarity

Something happened to me today that I would like to share with everybody.

One of my roommates came into my room and started to accuse me of not doing something around the house. I nicely (at first) told him that I have been doing the activity in question. He was not pleased with the answer I gave him. So he starting antagonizing me about it. I asked him to leave and he refused. I tried to close the door and he blocked the door with his foot! At this point I became VERY angry to the point wanting to smack the crap out of him. We carried on for a few minutes yelling and screaming where he accused me of antagonizing him. Isin't that rich? After the incident I thought to myself why did I become so angry at something so small and insignificant? Something that had no meaning in the grand scheme of life. After I calmed down and was abel to think the answer came to me. It is two fold.

First I got angry at the fact that he showed no respect for me and my personal space when I asked him nicely to leave.

Second, he had me cornered in my personal space and I had nowhere to turn. Usually when he starts in on me, in the common areas of the house, I turn and walk away. This time however I had no way out. I felt trapped.

Then it hit me later on that this incident reminded me of my childhood. Being hit from all sides with nowhere to turn. I was being abused and I also had to deal with the fact that I was a social outcast and I only had 1 friend, so my room became my sanctuary, the only place I could find comfort and solace.I am also a little frustrated and angry that the people in this house and some of my so called friends don't know or don't seem to care about this journey I am on. Maybe their lack of interest or compassion stems from that they don't want to face their pasts and they are trying to deal with the present. They don't seem to realize that the things or circumstances in the present seem to stem from unresolved issues of the past. I understand that this is common and I try not to force this on the people around me. When I started the healing process back in 1998 I made a commitment to myself to see this journey through! I owe it to myself to do this! I owe it to myself to HEAL!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Gift of Forgiveness

I have been thinking about this lately. If I forgive my abuser does it mean he is off the hook from responsibility? I realized that he is an alcoholic and he is burying his feelings of guilt and shame with alcohol. My lack of forgiveness is hurting me more than it is him and I cannot hurt him because he is doing enough to hurt himself! I also realized that if I don't forgive, I will never have the life I so deserve, the life HE stole from me! I woke up this morning and for a moment thought that nobody can give me back the 30+ years of my life. I was angered and saddened by this grim reality only for a moment.

Someone posted a video on Facebook titled The Gift of Forgiveness that I would like to share with everybody.

I hope everybody finds this video inspiring and healing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Call for Presenters, Performers and Artists


Submit your art work, present your workshop or performance at the 4th Annual Healing through Creativity Art Event for Survivors of TraumaTrauma Survivors and Supporters of Survivors of Trauma are invited to share art, music, writing, poetry and other creative forms at the Healing Through Creativity Festival.

Connect with other trauma survivors at the event. Volunteer today.Calling for Presenters, Performers and Artists. CONTACT US NOW.

When: Oct 17-24 2009Where : Heart of Virginia Foundation Center for Integrated Arts, Grandin Gardens, 1731 Grandin Rd, Roanoke, Virginia

The experience helps trauma survivors and promotes community understanding.For more information visit our website and forum at for contact details. Email


Friday, June 19, 2009

The Courage To Heal, 20th Anniversary Edition

A couple of days ago, I recieved my copy of The Courage To Heal 20th Anniversary Edition. As I was flipping through it I noticed some changes from the 3rd edition that I would like to share with everybody.
The authors have added some sections that I think may help:
Trauma and the Brain-This section talks about how trauma affects the brain chemistry and possible mental afflictions that may result. The most common is PTSD.
Using Guided Imagery- This I enjoyed reading. I have personally used guided imagery with my second counselor. There is about a couple of pages dedicated to use of medication. I found this helpful as well. The authors have also taken out the section : Honoring The Truth. There is an expanded resource guide and the section on survivor accounts. There are other little things like more survivor poetry, list and information boxes ect. On a more personal note, I found some things that have inspired future poems about the healing process. If you can, I would encourage everybody to purchase a copy of the book. As my first counselor Carol said to me ,"it is the survivor's bible".

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Poem

Someone In The Crowd

Saw him sitting there in the crowd

For a moment remembered the things he has done; like a thief stole youth’s dreams, innocence and possibility with one touch, the anger, rage and pain, how through the journey the spirit cleans up the mess he made

The moment over, turn and walk away, remember what has been done to live and thrive

In a new life he has no place, no longer a face or a name, now just someone in the crowd

Saturday, May 30, 2009

HTC Annual Festival Dates Announced

This year's festival's dates and venue were recently announced. I am thrilled that I will be attending this year's event as a volunteer and having more of my work displayed.

When: October 17-24 2009
Where: Heart of Virginia Foundation Center for Integrated ArtsGrandin Gardens, 1731 Grandin Rd, Roanoke, Virginia

I have been asked to help promote the event on line and in the community. This is a great opportunity for me to get involved with a cause I really believe in. Most importantly I will be helping others and helping myself.

HTC has a blog here on blogger the URL is I will be posting on this blog on a frequent basis. So if you have some time please check out the blog.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Letters

While in therapy, Carol suggested that I write letters to those who have hurt or wronged me as a healing tool. The opportunity has now presented itself to write letters to my abuser and my parents.

I have decided to contribute these letters to the Letters from Survivors book project. I hope these letters will finally help me take that final step-resolution and moving on.

There is the possibility however that when these letters are finally written and published that they will alienate me further from my family. That is a risk I am willing to take. I am willing to accept the consequences of my actions. I am thinking well the problem then is with THEM and not me.

I am estranged and avoid contact with my abuser. I wrote him off a long time ago. I went through the motions to try and have him in my life to please my mother. I now realize that I was living a lie. I won’t do it anymore! What concerns me now is that the rest of my family will not understand why I did this.

To us as survivors the answer is clear, to finally have some closure and reclaim our lives-the lives that were interrupted when we were abused and lived in constant fear and silence.

The letters will take a lot out of me emotionally. I will write them at different times. When thoughts come into my head, I write them down and then piece them together later. That is how I wrote my book, one step at a time. It is a lot like healing, taking it one day and one step at a time.

I personally want to thank the creator of the project for presenting this wonderful opportunity. I know however that it is up to me to heal and change my life. I am hopeful if a survivor is still sitting out there living in silence and pain, may our stories and letters offer hope and inspiration.