Thursday, December 5, 2013

Male Abuse Awareness

What if you one day noticed a change in your son's behavior? He was suddenly quiet and kept to himself more than usual? Maybe your son started actng out, and it seemed out of the blue one day he just became angry? What if your precious baby boy could no longer be reached by your words and love?
My son is two and when I look at him and think about the fact he is on the cusp of the same age I was when first abused.... it kills me. As a mother, I would die for him. I can barely handle the thought of my son ever being bullied without tears. I have posted before about teaching my son word power as a step in preventing him from being abused by others. It is a step in the right direction and it is important. I always remember... abuse can happen to ANYONE.
My husband, a leader and strong personality was himself once a victim of rape. As a child someone decided they had more power over him and took advantage. Although he suffered no pain that he can remember it does not make him any less a victim.
It is hard to talk about abuse and sexual assault on women and children.
It is much harder to talk about sexual abuse to men. So often, society reads and hears about women and children being abused. It has sadly become all too common on the daily news.

This week is national male abuse awareness week. It is time to give the guys a chance, for help, healing and hope.
On November 25th Patricia Mcknight, Butterfly Talk Radio host interviewed Mr. Philip Paris
an author along with several others to discuss the topic of male survivors.

I am a sexual abuse survivor and have grown accustomed to telling my story and sharing with other women in their story of survivorship. I must admit though, the prospect of discussing male abuse, sexual or otherwise, makes me uncomfortable. All the more reason to talk about it. Male abuse effects me and if you think it does not effect you, think again.  It is time to help raise awareness for this and the generations to come. If you know a male abuse survivor the following are a few links to help both you and your survivor.

P. Luna Foundation

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fellow Survivor, Author of the Year

Fellow survivors,
In a previous post, I encouraged victims to tell their story to someone. Today, I want to share with you about wonderful soul who found the courage to tell her story.

Her name is Patricia McKnight she is an Advocate, Author, Speaker, Blogger, Writer and fellow Survivor/Warrior. Basically she is a renaissance warrior super hero.
Okay, well, that's what I am calling her anyway.
She grew up in a nightmare at the hands of her step father an abusive, child molester and rapist. In her self published book My Justice, Patricia tells about her childhood and how she survived. She shares about her struggles even into adult and the hardships she suffered. I have read her book and found it to be an amazing example of survivor truths. It is never too late to tell, heal and help others.

Patricia is the founder and CEO of a not-for-profit blog talk radio called Butterfly Dreams. "Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio, a community outreach broadcast production of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery." According to their website they help victims, survivors, family and communities dealing with violence, abuse and/or trafficking.
As you can see Ms. McKnight is not only telling her story and truths she is helping others find their voice and get help. I would like to ask fellow survivors who can, to help our friend by sharing on any of our social media outlets the following link. This will help in making Patricia Author Of The Year . Please share this link with the hashtag #Marsocial , each share will help spread the word about Patricia's book, work and give her a vote for this competition. There is not limit to how many times you can share/vote.
Let's make noise and show the world what survivors and warriors are capable of.
Join me in helping others through the work of Patricia McKnight.
Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Find Your Courage

 Survivors will never forget that first time they told their truth. I remember the first time I called what happened to me rape. I could not even say the word. I am so glad someone heard me and protected me... FINALLY.

If you or someone you know, needs help check out RAINN .

I believe in you. I support and encourage you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Know the Reason

I know the reason.

As a child it was always my place to sleep closest to the bedroom door.
I know the reason.

I remember watching the light under the door it would keep me up late so many nights. Light at night gives some form of stress. Will I see the light break tonight as he steps into my door way?
I know the reason.

At night I wake up when I hear footsteps. I remember listening for them as a child. Were they headed to the bathroom, the kitchen, or my bedroom?
I know the reason.

Hearing someone breathing on me at night especially if their nose whistles grates my nerves.
I know the reason.

Night never means rest, it means waiting. It means exhausting myself with tension, fear and feelings of impending doom until I fall asleep. That's how it's been most of my life.
I know the reason.

Falling asleep in my closet, under my bed, outside in the shed, anywhere but in bed, in the spot closest to the door was a crime.
I know the reason.

Hands with leather work gloves remind me of him and my blood boils.
I know the reason.

The feeling of his chest up against me from behind, as he would squeeze me until I was in so much pain and out of breath I'd collapse, brings tears to my eyes to remember.
I know the reason.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mommy Issues

It's a common label society has given to women who choose to live provocative lives. "She's got Daddy issues."
You know if she is swinging from a pole, selling her body or is just complicated... She must have daddy issues.
I want to know where the "mommies" are in these girls lives?
Where are the mothers who raised these trifling, sad, crazy, lonely and every other label society blankets them with, women? 
Where are the moms whose daughters run away from their abusive fathers, cousins and uncles? Where are the moms who live in the very same house with their child's rapists as abusers? 
Where is their sight? Where is their voice? Where is her will to survive or fight for her child?

Every Mother's day and Birthday these past few years have been bittersweet.
I used spend this day having "Girl Time" with my mother, sister and Nanny.
We would go out to eat and spend the day doing whatever Mom and Nanny wanted usually.
I remember one year Mom and Nanny were going to a conference for the weekend. My sister and I worked hard to clean the house and cook so when mom got home she would have nothing to stress about and everyone would be taken care of.
Now, I spend these kind of days trying to enjoy and be thankful for what I do have but, at some point something will remind me "You don't have a mother anymore." Not because she is dead... no, she is very much alive. She just chose a rapist over me.

 There were times growing up that I believed I was close to my mom. She never hit me, once she broke her last wooden spoon on my rear end that's it. She didn't have to rule me with an iron fist. She didn't have one anyway. She knew she could count on me to take care of chores and organizing school or office work because eventually I would get sick of seeing it all piled up. I was a caregiver so I was counted on to care for any and all that were ill, be it human or animal.
She loved it when I would "nest" and have one room in the house tore apart because it was my "project" I had this drive to tear up a room and clean it out, reorganize and throw away junk.
I don't know that I enjoyed the renovating of a disgusting, cluttered, overloaded room so much as I enjoyed the feeling of it being clean afterwards. I had a knack for sorting, organizing, stacking, filing,
cleaning and even throwing away things that my mother did not.
My parents were hoarders.  My father collected old tractors, machinery, tools etc. My mother collected books, papers, clutter etc.  Add to this laundry for 9 people and various farm pets in and out of the house and it could get nasty, fast.
My mother knew the house needed to be cleaned but, she really had no idea how to handle and run a house that operated like grand central station, only the trains never had a schedule.
She was overwhelmed, had no ambition to conquer the place and part of me believes I helped enable this whether I meant to or not.
If I went to cleaning and taking on a project room my mother was so kind and close to me. She would fuss about what a wonderful job I was doing. She sat on her computer bragging to her friends about it. She would get inspired and cook a meal or tend to the ever growing piles of dishes and laundry.
When I was done, the house had a wonderful peacefulness that lasted for a day or two.
As a result when the house's chronic angers seemed more than I could handle my one of two escapes was destroying and redoing a room in the house.
Whatever room I cleaned and organized, was sat in and enjoyed as the new family room. We would all gather in that room and spend time teasing each other, playing games  and pretending we were all comedians.
Mother loved this. She loved watching us all interact and laughing together.
She knew she could count on me to have a cleaning spurt, get tired of living in filth and clean.
I wonder if at times she relied on these spurts to give her happiness. She wanted her children to all get along and love each other. She wanted to have a clean house but had no idea how to do it or at least that is what she claimed. She said her own mother did all the house work when she was growing up so she had no idea how to keep a house.
When I think of my mother, I think of a short, stout built woman who sat at her computer or on the phone with friends and felt she deserved a reward for every load of laundry or dishes she did.

I kind of resent her. I wanted her to enjoy me for me. I know she didn't because she told me that I was "the girl in school everyone hated" and she did not know how she could raise such a person. I was loud, bossy and got results (AKA my way) she loved and hated that about me.
She did not like to fight or argue with me. I was defensive and could be an antagonist if I felt I could make it work for me. I studied my mother and her guilt trips. I learned which of her threats were just that and when she really meant it. I also knew that with my mother I could make her crazy angry in the morning and win back her love and affection if I did the house work and left her alone long enough to cool off.

 I had to take care of my father when he got home from work. Fix him a drink, serve his dinner plate, pull off his boots and make sure the remote was near so he could watch the news. Taking care of mom consisted of cleaning for her. When my mother was sick I was the caretaker. I remember my mother being so sick for so long once that I was scared she was going to die. She refused to go to the doctor. Friends begged her to go and I volunteered daily to help her get cleaned up and take her myself. I was so afraid for her and so mad at her and my father for letting her stay that way.  She spent three weeks in bed or on the recliner in the living room. I cried in my room at night begging God to not let her die. "I can't live with him without her, he's already mean and he will only get worse without her." I said in my prayer. I baked bread and made at least one meal everyday.  I had to iron for my father.  I had to listen for her whimpers from the living room. I was only 15-16 at the time and still had to go to the ranch with my brothers to help feed and care for the cattle.  I tried to hide my fear of waking up one morning to discover she was dead.

To this day, I resent her for that. Our roles were reversed too often when I was growing up. I believed for so many years I had to protect her. I had to take care of her.
When I moved out, I barely heard from her. Often when I finally did call her she would complain that I always called at the worst time. I would go months without hearing from her. I spent several years being in torment over missing her and still being angry with her for my childhood. I wanted her and my father to divorce so I could take care of her and maybe she could love me then.
I shed tears even now, writing this because I miss her and yet I am so angry with her.
I believed I could've let go of all these things and have her in my life with a healthy relationship between us IF she had simply not chosen a rapist over me.
This choice she made, is the straw that broke the camels back. It is too late for us to ever be reconciled because of this.

I don't swing from poles, struggle with addiction or have any diagnosis on paper that says "She is Crazy".  I don't judge anyone who finds themselves with these life choices or burdens either. I am complicated, stubborn, hard to love even.  I know what it's like to have "Daddy issues" and I am also painfully aware of my "Mommy issues". Sometimes I feel mothering is all I am good for and yet, it is the one thing I am the most insecure about. I constantly question what message my two year old is getting from me? Does he ever feel like he has to make me happy? Does he feel like he has to protect me? Does he think he has to perform for my life and affection? I have Mommy issues and Mother issues.

 The hard truth now is. It's no longer my Mother's fault. She is gone and this is my burden now.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Abandoning The Family

I am not built like a man in any way. Fact is, most third graders in America probably outweigh me.
Suffice to say I am a twig of a human being physically. This fact never stopped me from attempting to work like a man though. On my grandparents ranch I saddled my horse all by myself as early as I can remember. I got in the sorting pens amongst 300 plus pound weaning steers and heifers and herded them with the cowboys.  I  have had my share of herds turning on me in the pens and running me over.  I have had my share of being rammed by a full grown 2,000 lb cow up against a fence, the ground, and a truck door.
I have been stepped on, sat on, ran into, throw off of, and kicked by both horses and cattle more times than I can remember. However, even with all these "hazards of the job" I still found myself in love with horses and caring about the welfare of the cattle.
Nothing brought me more joy than the birth of a new calf or foal (baby cow or horse). I have witnessed this miracle literally hundreds of times in my short life and every time is still just as awe provoking as the last.

As I got older my grandmother turned over the responsibility of how the cattle were handled and worked to my father.
When Grandma was in charge we hired help to come out twice a year with horses and spend 3-4 days rounding up cattle. We would cut out the old cows who were beyond calving years, trade bulls to different pastures and take down all numbers for my grandma's records. We weaned, vaccinated, castrated, and de-horned 500-800 head of cattle in each round up.  I rode across the 1,000 acres jumping creeks, swimming on horse back across ponds, getting bush whacked by buck brush and headed off a stray cow as best as my horse and I could.
I perfected my riding skills on these huge round ups and learned a lot about cattle and horse psychology.
As mentioned earlier my grandmother handed over the responsibility of these rounds up to my father.
He decided we did not need as much help and our green broke (poorly trained or newly trained) horses were enough to bring in the herds. He made me learn how to do all the castrating of the young bull calves so they could be sold as steers to the meat market.
I learned how to knotch ears, give vaccines, burn off horns, castrate bulls, deliver calves and more. I learned how to do it all by myself.
I learned how to operate the hydraulic chute (a metal box that holds the cattle still to be worked on) and I ran it well.
I had 4 brothers and a sister around at the time to help but none of them knew the whole system the way I did.
One afternoon during one of our "family only" round ups there was a cow in the sorting pens. She needed to be brought through the chute and checked. She was not one of our shorter red  Limousine cattle (breed of cow). She was a much wider black Belgian cross. Basically, she was a big cow even for our chute and putting her through it was a risk.
On ranches it is a common practice to use shock sticks. They are a battery powered long stick that ranch hands use to "shock" a cow if they refuse to move or even at times get "stuck" in a corner.  Cattle are so deeply herd minded they act blind or really stupid when they are being chased or driven and they will go in circles or stand in corners acting like they can't even see the direction they are being pushed or herded towards. When this happens a "bite" or "shock" is usually used to bring them out of it. However, the shock stick is over used often and can drive cattle over fences and make them charge too.
This wide black cow had made it into the chute and while she was being worked on she laid down in the chute. Cattle sometimes collapse under stress in tight spaces and that is what happened with this cow. My father grabbed the shock stick and repeatedly shocked the cow to get her to jump up. This is a great example of how this stick is misused. Like a tazer on a human beings the over use of shocking can cause the heart to act up and causes great distress in the body.
The cow was bawling and my father grew more angry the more he shocked her and she refused to get up. He beat on her, twisted her tail and shocked her more.
I finally screamed. I remember jerking the stick from his hand and yelling at him to stop it.
His eyes were wild and furious. I saw him clench his jaw and stare at me thinking of what to do next.
I couldn't stop my mouth now. I spent all day riding hard, getting knocked around, kicked and more. Between getting hungry and begging my mother to come pick me up early so I could leave (for what I don't remember anymore) I was spent. My filter was off and I just remember emptying my guts of things I wanted to yell at him for a long time. I returned his "You're so stupid" right to his face and at the top of my lungs I just kept yelling. "YOU CAN'T DO THIS! SHE'S DOWN, SHE'S STUCK! NO AMOUNT OF SHOCKING HER WILL GET HER UP!" This was, I am pretty sure, the cleanest of what I said and the only thing that made sense coming out of my mouth. I remember telling him we had to widen the chute and kick out the bottom board to get her up. He refused to listen and grabbed a regular board and busted it across her nose. She bellowed deep, and blood ran from her nostrils. I saw her eyes in a panic.  More yelling and shouting took place and finally I kicked out the board myself. It was a miracle in a way. I am and was so tiny. The board was a actually a short heavy metal wall and with a cow laying up against it, getting it out should have been hard to say the least. I was furious and my adrenaline was up. After kicking out the board the cow jumped up and took several deep breaths and bellowed real deep again. Then I looked at my father and yelled "I TOLD YOU LARRY!" 
It was an unspoken rule in the house not to call him by his first name. I had just broken that rule and I had no remorse.
This final outburst of rebellion was too much for him. He had held his tongue in front of my siblings and knew he was wrong, but there was no way I was going to get away with this. He swung at me and I dodged it. He then rose his hand up in the air positioning it to back hand me to the ground. I was still on an adrenaline rush and my eyes met his. I stepped closer into the swing and said "DO IT!"
He was caught off guard and hesitated. I took another step towards him and then in a very calm deep voice I said "It will be your last time."
My brothers were all witnessing this act of defiance and waited in fear and expectation of his next move.
I don't know if they were hoping to jump on him if he hit me or, if they were just as shocked about my blatant disrespect as he was and thinking I deserved whatever happened next.
What happened next was so strange (compared to other times) but, I was so glad it happened.
My father clenched his jaw more and straightened his body and dropped his hand from the air. He then took his index finger and pointed it right in my face and started yelling "You're a disrespectful brat, you are not helping anyone here. Leave and abandon us like you always do!"
Tears were welling up in my eyes from all the stress and the ever dropping rush of adrenaline. I turned and lifted my head as I "abandoned" my family in the barn and met mom at the car. I had tears in my eyes and she knew there had been a "disagreement" she was angry at ME for being the cause and being a brat "just running away from your responsibilities" she said.
I said nothing all the way home and left the house in my own car as soon as I got cleaned up.

I did eventually leave the family and "abandoned" them. It would take a couple more years before I cut them out of my life completely. I hold no regrets about this decision.

Monday, September 23, 2013

You Disgust Me. - Verbal Abuse

"You disgust me!"

Words from my father.

He said these words during an argument. It started out with me being late getting home from church of all places. Wednesdays were my one guaranteed escape from home each week. I was a member of the youth group worship team. I sang in the band and loved being with my youth group.
It's strange looking back. I was so odd and goofy. I was the home schooled, plain looking, awkward acting girl. I thought everyone there was my friend and I was completely clueless when one of the "cool girls" would ignore me or attempt to make fun of me.
I didn't know any better. Maybe this was a mercy from God for my already ridiculously low self esteem.

Growing up I always dressed very plain. My clothes were all hand me downs, worn out, outdated and sometimes just downright sad looking.  I dressed in rockies jeans, cowgirl boots and wore my hair  down to my waist. I usually pulled it up in a pony tail or wrapped it around in a bun that grew lager and larger each year. In the summer I wore t-shirts with the same jeans and boots and in the winter I wore frumpy sweaters and a jacket on top of it all.
I had big thin rimmed glasses. I was a poster child for sad looking nerd girls everywhere.
When I joined my youth group I learned how to dress more like a girl. I learned how to wear jewelry, sneakers, high heels, make up (which mostly consisted of lip gloss and blush). I was transforming in every way.
My father hated this. He hated my exposure to "worldly" vanities that "poisoned" even the youth group.  He hated my longing to be around my peers.  He hated that I was a social butterfly even for the awkward ignorant mess I was. He was proud of the fact I could sing but, he hated that it was not under his direction and tutelage.
 It was a constant battle between us about my involvement at church and neglecting home chores and family loyalty. He enjoyed finding ways to stop me from going on youth trips and outings. I was allowed my Wednesdays out of the house but, I was to be home by 9:30 and call if I was to be even a minute late. I believe this was the only the reason I was allowed out. It presented a golden opportunity to ground me or deal any punishment he felt.

I had signed up to go on a trip with the youth group and go ski for spring break.
An adult in the church had volunteered to sponsor my way and I had even saved money to have for meals and extra things. I did have to pay part of the fee for the trip and it was already done. My father had paid it and I was going. I was going, until this night anyway.
I was late getting home. I was just over 10 minutes late and this had been my 3rd week in a row being late at all. Upon opening the front door I saw both of my parents sitting in the living room, waiting for me. There was no escaping past them. It was Wednesday and I was just a week from the ski-trip.
My mother started with something about how I was acting irresponsible and this was my 3rd strike.
My father sat in the corner with this hands together and his index fingers sticking up resting on his mustache. He was glaring at me just waiting for the perfect moment to strike with harsh words to cut me to the core.
I explained to my mother that worship lasted late after service and that the buses to take kids home had barely left before me. I told her to call my youth pastor and ask. She continued to tell me it did not matter because nothing I was saying made any sense. They both argued with me and accused me of staying late and talking to boys in the parking lot in the dark.
They said I was causing the church a lot of trouble by doing this and if someone got hurt for any reason it was my fault. The church would have a liability issue (my father was an insurance man... everything was a liability issue) because of me and my being irresponsible and disobedient.
 Things escalated, there was yelling, accusations, tears (from me, while my father laughed) and then finally these words from my father "You just always have to be so belligerent and stupid! You disgust me!"
I was speechless... I knew I made him mad all the time and being called stupid was not new... "belligerent" was just his fancy Christian was of saying I was a pain in the ass. Truth be told I always felt he thought I was disgusting but, something about hearing him actually say it pained me deeply.
With that, I left the room.
I put on my pajamas, cried and then I was called back into the living room.
At first I just stayed in my room with my sister who was ignoring what was going on.
Then a knock on my bedroom came and one of my brother's yelled "Mom and Dad want you back in the living room NOW!" I got up and slowly made my way back to the living room with my head down.
I stood in the threshold that separated the living room from the kitchen. I crossed my arms and leaned up against the frame and asked "What?" (with all the charm of a teenager in full on angst and shut down mode.) "Sit down on the couch." My father directed with authority and sarcasm.
He took at deep breath and said "You just keep breaking the rules, you're always the one who has to break the rules and make everything harder for everybody. You're too stubborn." I didn't bother to stand up for myself and try to plead innocent anymore... their minds were made up. I was guilty and disgusting. He continued "I have decided as your father that you are not going on any trips and you're grounded for a month, you will not be going anywhere. Especially on some youth trip escapade. You can't be trusted." Naturally this sparked a rage within me and I glared at him with a fire in my eyes. He knew he had me and just to let me know he could manipulate me any way he wanted he said "Pepper, I love you."  with sarcasm, and evil pouring from his mouth, the words made me sick. To this day I do not know how I did not fly up off that couch and snap.
I just broke down and cried more. I had no words, no fight, no will. He found me disgusting and telling me he loved me was just a power play. Who could love disgusting? He never said he loved unless there was a fight. He had no apology for telling me I was disgusting, because it was true.
 This time of my father telling me he loved me, was one of less than five times in my life he ever said these words to me. 
It was silent and after what seemed an hour of silence I mustered up the words "Can I go now?"
I was dismissed and went to my room.  I spent the night in tears and kept trying to think of ways I could possibly win back my freedom. "You're so stupid Pepper, you don't think, you just act like a foolish idiot and that's how you end up like this because you're stupid!" I told myself.
I hated myself and my anger shifted from my father on to me.
I managed to work extra hard at chores and win back my previous privilege of going to youth but,  there was no chance of me ever getting to go on a youth trip. I was stupid, irresponsible and untrustworthy.

I will never forget my youth pastor coming up to me the following week in youth group and hugging me and telling me he was "so sorry". I was shocked and didn't know how to respond to this gesture. Why was he sorry? I was the stupid screw up. He was the first person (besides my grandma nanny) to cultivate my singing abilities and took me under his wing. I had let him down in my mind.

This was just one of the MANY episodes with my father tearing me apart verbally.

Abuse disgusts me.

Friday, September 20, 2013

That First Time

As suvivors, many of us remember "the first time."
I am not talking about our first (for some if ever) consenting, romantic, true love making time.
I am talking of the first time we were attacked, penetrated, violated and used.

I barely remember it. I know it was done by a finger. At least that is the first time I can recall with such detail. I remember the pain in my vagina for days after. I remember it burned to pee. I also remember I was less that 4 years old. The first time I remember most was a time my brother coaxed me to his room after I had gotten out of the bath tub. This wasn't new for him to do. It was a game, sometimes he had a treat other times he just wanted trick me into coming in his room so he could smack me.  If I called out to tattle it was my fault for being in his room.
This time however he told me to close the door behind me. I was only wearing underpants and my towel. He told me to lay down. I obeyed, he started taking off my underpants.  This brother 13ish years old (oldest brother and only half sibling) had changed my diaper before and had seen all my "parts" so it really did not register with me that he was demanding anything inappropriate of me, at least not up to this point when he removed my underpants. I started to sit up, though I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the squirmy toddler in me, maybe I was uncomfortable and was trying to protest without words. He shushed me and told me to lay down and swore he wouldn't hurt me. This was always a warning phrase. "I swear I'm not gonna hurt you." It really meant "Oh yeah, I am definitely going to hurt you but, it will be an 'accident' and you won't die."

The next thing I know my vagina is being brutally penetrated by his index finger and he is leveraging it with great pressure in an attempt to stretch out my vaginal opening. I wince in pain and try not to cry even though the lump in my throat is nearly choking me. I start shaking my head side to side to cope with this great pain in my private parts and not make to much noise to avoid being punched or getting in trouble with mom and dad. 
 Finally, it was more than I could bare I started crying and whining "it hurts." He quickly pushes his finger in deeper and down harder and then exits my vagina. 
He shushes me more and uses my underpants to wipe off his finger and tell me to get dressed and not to tell or he will kill me in my sleep. 
I ran to the bathroom, naked. I felt like I had pee and that my guts were going to fall out my private parts. 
I sat on the toilet crying for a few minutes and couldn't pee. I gave up and blew my now runny nose from crying and went to my room to put on my pajamas.
For days my private parts burned and I fussed about taking a bath. It was written off as me being a brat and nothing more. My oldest brother had gone back to his father's for the week and all was forgotten. My mother was either pregnant or busy with yet another new baby it seemed all the time. Before school age it was always my older brother (not the abusing half brother) and my sister (13mo younger than me). We were the "3 big kids" we took care of ourselves and each other. My older brother poured milk or juice for me and my sister because he was oldest (of the 3) and steady. I poured cereal and pretty much did everything for my sister. Dress her, help her put her shoes on the right foot etc. We had our own little world during weekdays. On weekends our half brother came to visit it was hell. We all wanted his attention and approval. The boys shared a room and I recall hearing a lot of thumps and thuds at night.

My brother continued molesting and instrumentally raping me. The memories and nightmares haunt me. There are times I remember in great detail, and times that are a blur. 
I remember he used rubber spatulas and repeated his previous practice of enlarging my vaginal opening with penetration and pressure. Once he even used a batman figurine (and no one understood why I was never a fan). 
That and the penguin freaked me out in the movie.
I've written in a previous blog about him forcing me to sip his urine from an Easter egg shell. 
He loved drawing me in with attention and gifts (candy, cheap coin machine toys etc.) and then inflicting some kind of horrible pain.
I also have expressed in a previous blog about how this early sexual abuse wasn't always painful. Sometimes it tickled, or I felt nothing at all. I struggled for years with guilt, shame and fear that should have never been put on me. 

He forced me to lick the bottom of his shoe once (which he had stepped in dog crap with earlier that day) just to humiliate me in front of my siblings. 
He loved that. He loved making me feel like he was about to finally accept me into his circle and then tear me down. 
I wanted his approval so badly, and had  no idea how out of balance and wrong these "expirements" were.  This was the beginning of abuse in my life. From three years old and on I was abused in different ways. 
 I look back on it all today with anger and even sadness. I know my brother was being sexually abused but, I no longer accept it as an excuse. My brother swears that he has no recollection but, I can no longer buy this lie. My parents tried to convince me that they had no clue but, they told on themselves time again with comments made after they allegedly found out. They failed to protect me because they failed to care about me. They failed to care about me because they failed to be parents. Being parents would require they act like human beings and not abusive monsters or neglectful ignorant ones.
My first time should have never happened. Today, for the first time I am completely over it. I am also completely over everyone who was once a part of my life that abused me or turned a blind eye to my abuse.
Welcome to a whole new kind of "first time." 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Forgive and Forget

The question is asked so often.

How do we forgive and forget?
This is the most overused and misunderstood religious and non-religious statement used on victims.
It is not even biblical.
Jesus Himself acknowledges the challenge of forgiving.

“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”                                              
                                                                                                             Mark 2:7-11 NLT
There are no scriptures to even support forgetting.
This phrase "Forgive and forget" sounds great (Or does it?) but, it lacks acknowledging the human aspect that makes forgetting, impossible.

 I have gone back and forth with this battle of forgiving and forgetting. 
The truth, I don't think it is healthy for me to forget in the way people want me too.
I cannot forget the abuse, the rapes, the nightmares, the depression and so on.
Even if I COULD forget it... and believe me I want too, I wouldn't. Knowing what happened, remembering it all, drives me. Sometimes it drives me crazy but, mostly it drives me to be proactive for and with other survivors.  
The only time "forgetting" is referenced in regard to anything like forgiveness (and it's not at all referencing forgiveness btw) is when Paul speaks in Philippians. 

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
                                                                                                     Philippians 3:12-16

I do not think Paul is speaking about "Forgive and Forget" I believe he is talking about so much more.
He is forgetting life as he knew it before Christ. He is forgetting things that have tried to hold him down or back. He is not making a fool of himself and forgetting the abuses he endured at the hands of men. He is forgetting any anger etc. he had about it. He is forgetting any forgiveness he withheld from it. That is my personal opinion but, go read it for yourself. Paul admits he has not achieved perfection or arrived. Rather he speaks about shifting his focus to the future and pressing on. He is not speaking about forgive and forget, just his life in general.
It is a misconception that forgiveness is a "ONE AND DONE" deal. It is a process, like healing. It is for YOU not the one you're forgiving. Forgiveness is for everyone... from God, through Jesus yes, even abusers. Is it my job as a Christian to forgive my abusers? No.
It's between God and them if they get forgiveness or not.
I choose instead to focus on my forgiveness with God.
I do not let the momentarily satisfying thoughts of revenge and anger control me or keep me from my forgiveness from God. Instead I trust He keeps me and will continue to do so.
Forgetting is not what it seems. I do not believe it means to forget the transgression against you. I do believe it means to forget the anger and misery that tries to own you. Forget, means to cause your abuser, attacker, monster, nightmare etc.... to lose power over you with the damage they inflicted on you. I believe it means to forget life as you knew it as a victim. I believe it is important to forgive yes, but I won't forget the scars or deeds.
I will however process my anger through forgiveness and forget it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Abnormal Anger

It is not that my anger is abnormal in that it is not natural to feel the degree or amount of anger I feel right now. I am not an angry person but, when I get angry it's a full blown righteous fury.  It is however abnormal in the fact that a human should ever have to be angry for the reason I am. 
They, (my relatives, parents, and siblings) are all friends with my rapist on facebook, TO THIS DAY!
How do I know?
I trolled and looked. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, maybe a sign they missed me. Something that told me, I was wrong about them being the self righteous morons they really are.
In my search for a lie, I found a truth that hurt me deeply.
To this day, after everything they are all still in contact with my last rapist. Why didn't I expect that?

When I told them about my brother they covered it up and he was invited to all the family events like nothing ever happened. I however couldn't even be looked at or spoken to by my father.
My father, who by the way is a coward and abuser as well.
My father whom I can count on one hand how many times in my life he said he loved me and each time was after a big fight.
My father who never loved me for who I was, instead only because of the fact I was his daughter and, that "love" diminished the more he realized I was slipping away from his overbearing controlling ways.

My mother believed that because of what my brother had done to me, I would always make bad decisions and never recover from the damage done to me.... I was broken in her eyes.
This woman who gave birth to me and claimed she had prayed with church elders for me before my birth, she chose a rapist over me. First her son, then her husband's cousin. I guess her choosing an abusive husband over her kids (in both of her marriages) I should have known better. I guess rapists aren't broken, just their victims.  I guess it is important to protect rapists from the wrath of their broken victims.
How could you mom?

I can bet NONE of my five brothers has any clue what happened to me in Tulsa and even if they knew, they couldn't believe it. That would be far too risky to have an opinion about something that did not align with dearest mother and father, no matter how true it was.
My brothers are all Yes men, they would never ask me about any of it. I wish I could tell them but, it wouldn't matter now. If they had wanted to know the truth they could have called. They could have emailed. Shoot, they could have trolled on any of the mainstream social media sites like I did when I found out they were friends with a rapist.
The last time I heard from one of my brothers he did invite me to his wedding. It was a peace offering in his mind...a way of letting me know that even though I was the prodigal he was reaching out to me. (A picture I knew my parents painted for him.) When I tried to share the truth with him about how our parents chose a rapist over me his response was "You shouldn't let a so-called rapist keep you from your family and from letting your son have grandparents."
Our conversation dropped off and I haven't heard from him since.
I hope I never do either.
He didn't believe me, or that would not have been his reaction.
I tried to tell myself he just didn't understand, that he was just so excited about getting married. The truth is the lack of his attempts to stay in contact with me after that day... it proves he doesn't believe me.

I grew up in a big family and all of my siblings and I were close, I used to think that anyway. The truth is, the only time we banded together was when we were in mutiny with our parents for something. My sister was the favorite. She was daddy's girl and my brothers liked her better because she was stronger than me and calmer too.
I was (and still am) a twig. I had too many opinions and stubbornness to boot. Even though I was not a daddy's girl, I wasn't exactly my mothers best friend either.
She once told me that, I was the girl she hated in school. She had no idea how she could have raised such a child.
The girl she hated in school was the pretty, popular, good at anything she wanted to attempt.... girl.
Which is funny because, I was never that girl... I was homeschooled, nerdy and clueless about my sad clumsy awkwardness. I was literally too stupid to know when other girls were hating on me or pitying me and why. I didn't fit in but, I didn't have time to really care either. I had things I wanted to pursue. Like singing, modeling, riding and training horses, running my grandparents ranch and more.

 I still suffer so much loss because of what all my abusers (and family) did to me.
I barely sing now, I haven't been around a horse in years, I'll never walk the runway like I once did and I will never see my grandparents ranch again.

Enough about the loss. It's been painful but, not because I lost my family or these dreams I had. The painful truth is the realization that I never had a family. Family does not pick rapists over their children. Family does not cover up the transgression of one sibling against another.
As for my other dreams well, I am dreaming bigger now and I have support in pursuing them.
With my real family. 

I am so angry today. They chose a rapist over me... they gave and continue to give me the finger, because I told the truth! Why do I care? It's just facebook and it's just my relatives who chose to make it clear I was no longer welcome in the family. 
Trust me, I don't WANT to care... but, I do. 
If they wanted to hide this "friendship" with my rapist it could have been done easily. They chose to add this monster as a friend after UN-friending him when the truth came out a few years ago. They chose to make a public proclamation they choose him over me.
I just wanted so bad for them to lie, to hide it, to tell me they loved me and everything was "honky-dory" between us all.  I wanted this so badly and instead I got a truth that crushed me.

In the search for a lie that will make you feel better, you will find a truth so painful it will break you.

That, is how I feel today. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rape & Parental Rights

Did you know that in the U.S. there are at least 31 states that allow rapists' parental rights to any children they father via rape?

"Each year, there are approximately 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape, according to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology." CNN

 How can this be?

Why would a rape victim want to be stuck in an 18 year battle with their abuser?

I have been asked, "What would you have done if you had ended up pregnant at anytime during your rapes?"
The truth is, I don't know. I don't believe anyone can accurately answer such a question unless or until it's their reality.
In most of my rapes my potential child would have been a product of could I be judged for how I might have handled that?

How many abortions are done as result of a rape related pregnancy? How many are products of incest rape related pregnancy? How many lives are really being lost each year because of rape and the havoc it reeks on the lives of survivors, partners, children and families?

This is a cause all decent human beings should rally with survivors on to fight. If rapists are not allowed parental rights then incest and abuse can be prevented. Abortion rates may decline. Mothers of babies born out of rape may be able to find strength for their babies to heal and fight.
The thought that ANY of my rapists could potentially have been forced into my life for 18 years sickens me. I ache for the parents who are already fighting this battle. I ache for children who live knowing they are products of rape. I am angered at the rapists with the audacity to try and be part of the lives of their victims and children.
Let us join with organizations like RAINN and Congress members Debbie Wasserman Shultz  and Tom Marino to pass H.R. 2772, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act.

Survivors, partners and readers, please do not judge a survivor's reasoning or choices in how they deal with the offspring of rape. Love them through and understand it's out of your hands but, not Gods.

To any survivors facing this future-- a life with a child borne of rape. I support you.
I can only imagine your choices must feel or have felt damned either way. I ache for you and hold you close in my heart. You have so much love and sacrifice no matter your next step.

Let us all stand against rapists. Let them know they are not tolerated, they don't deserve parental rights and that we won't give up this fight against them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I often hear stories about survivors being let down by the church.

The complaints tend to be centered around religious actions that yield no results, or unsympathetic words (even prayers) that further injure and even blame the victim. 
Survivors often complain they feel judged by the church. 
What? Gods people judging each other? *Sarcasm*
It's like, once you become a survivor you're a second class christian. 
You're welcome to attend and let us say a two minute prayer for you (that's really for us) but, please don't talk about "it".
"It" being the abuse, the assault, the big fat reminder the church failed you by not preventing it, or using resources to help you now. 

If you're a survivor who gets their "Chrstianese" on and talks about "The Lord never give us more than we can handle" --totally dismissing that we live in a fallen world with an enemy who is out to kill, steal and destroy us. --Then your church/religious circle will accept you back as one of the redeemed flock. Just don't break the golden rule.
The church is so sterilized, my mess and I are not welcome.
"Come as you are." With mental illness? With scars from self harming? With a tattoo?
"Oh wait, cover those up first..."  Yeah, I thought so.

I hear regularly about survivors turning from God and the church. Their depression is too much for the church. They've been told to "Choose joy" and "Stand on the promises of God". 
I am not saying survivors shouldn't strive for these things but, why aren't we allowed our "Psalms" so to speak? Why is not okay to struggle with pain and talk about it? Why don't we hear songs about survivors in Christ? Are they not "sexy" enough for the church?

Church and religion has restricted God so much that survivors aren't getting the message that God didn't abandon them. The church has shown survivors secrecy is the only way, except IT'S NOT!
Gods word says "Know the truth and the truth shall set you free. "
The word "Know" here means deep and intimate. The truth you know intimately shall set you free.
I implore churches and survivors to know your truth.
You are a survivor, KNOW it and know also that God is not limited by the truth.

Survivors get to know these following truths as well.
He (God) is not afraid of your dissociative disorder. He created multiple personalities...He himself is part of the trinity ..three in one. God is not afraid of your self harm scars, He sacrificed His Son on a cross....He wore His nail scarred hands to show the disciples. God's hands are not tied in reaching you when you have a P.T.S.D. flashback. He created your mind. God is not limited by your anger, your pain, your confusion or your past. We survivors limit ourselves with respect to the promises He has for US when we don't know the truth.

 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.
                                                                                                            Psalm 41:1
God has a plan for us... yes, us. The dirty tissue, the infected, the outcast, the self harmer, the overwhelmed, the suicidal, the slut shamed blamed victim, ALL OF US. He has plans to prosper US. Jeremiah 2:11 He promises to give us rest. Matthew 11:28-19
Can't stand being touched? That's okay He sent us a comforter who doesn't have to physically touch us but, a little time in His presence can help us heal.  John 16:7 He promises to save us. Romans 10:9
You don't have to do this recovery, surviving, and/or healing alone. He never intended that.
It all starts with Love.
I have felt abandoned by God, family, friends, the legal system and even myself.
There was always a faith that somehow kept me though, and a God, whose love saved me and never stopped. A God big enough and more than enough to know me and give a care. Know these verses and these words survivors. 

Church, Paul preached the gospel with an understanding that if he wanted to reach the people he had to be the people.
He was Jewish to Jews, weak to the weak, he was all things to all men for so long as Gods law allowed him. 1st Corinthians 9:19-23
My husband used to say "We will reach the lost by any means necessary short of sin." This should be every Christian's anthem. 
If the goal is to reach ALL people, then be a survivor with your survivors. Be a leader with your leaders. And be real with yourself. To understand the drug addict, you don't have to be one. You just need to know what addiction is like. To be a survivor you don't have to have been raped, assaulted or abused at all. You just need to understand what it's like to survive something. Where you lack in understanding God will make provision if you ask and are humble. Most of all KNOW how to love what and who you don't understand. So long as God does, we should.

Survivors don't need "Hail Mary's,"and/or the "Sinners prayer" (I dare you to find that one in the bible. Period). Survivors don't need the latest worship set (though good music helps anybody). Survivors need love, support and honesty. We don't need coddling. We also don't need bullying.
Sometimes we just need listening, other times we just need to be checked in on.

 If you're failing to represent the real God or at least a human trying to work out their salvation, you're doing this faith thing wrong. How is your current witness style working for you... or further more, OTHERS?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wa Wa Word Power, (Wo)man In the Mirror

*Sings Michael Jacksons "Man in the Mirror" and attempts a sad version of the moon walk*
It is silly sometimes the moments serious life lessons hit me. As you read this post you will understand what I mean.

Currently, I am potty training my two year old. What? What does potty training have to do with word power or M.J. or sad looking dance moves? Keep reading.
Yes, he JUST turned two and it's a bit early in the eyes of some and a bit late the eyes of others.
I am his mother and have decided to take a laid back but, predictable approach to potty training.
I have never done this before, nor have I ever seen or been taught how to do this.
Often survivors who become parents have to learn how to parent in a way they've never experienced.
Potty training for us (my son and I) is basically, I put my son on the pot after he wakes up, after he eats, and before he lays down.  Some days every potty trip is a success and other days... I am just grateful if I didn't get peed on (OR WORSE).
At two years old my son's vocabulary is still pretty limited. Add to the fact he is my only child and I am a stay at home mom and it makes for a perfect recipe of delayed or lazy speech.
I can sense what he needs and wants are at any moment. I don't NEED his words to communicate...or so I thought. I have not required him to use his words like I should.
I am aware of this, and it is because of this fact I am writing this post.

Rabbit trail warning! Keep reading.

 My son's first word was "Dadda" and I made it a point to make his second, third and forth words.... "Please, Thank you, Sorry" and so forth. Even before he could fully say "Mommy" He could say "pweese" &"tank u". I firmly believe in manners and made it my goal to make sure my son used these words like second nature. Now it's time to teach my son (especially at two years old) to express his emotions with words.

Still waiting to see the connections? Keep reading. 
 Here comes that serious life lesson in a silly moment. While playing with my son on the floor, suddenly he looked at me and dropped to the floor and in a "whiney" tone says "noooooooo! mommy" I was baffled about why he was doing this. We were playing and having a good old time and then he fell out. After rolling around for a minute fussing and acting like I had somehow destroyed his world, I joined him in this ridiculous display. I threw myself to the floor and said "NOOOO!!!" I made it a point to be louder and more obnoxious to show my son how silly he looked doing this. (I have no idea if this was a good idea but, again, I am a survivor who has no clue how to do this and I am trying).
He stopped, stared at me, sighed and then after a minute laughed at me. After I got up from my spell he said "Mommy pweese?" Holding out his hand... I was holding a block he wanted for this fort/castle/who-knows-what-kind-of-tower we were building.
Oh, my bad, I was holding a block. I handed it to him and said  "block please" and he repeated and followed it with "Tank you Mommy". I responded "You're welcome baby. You happy?"  Without looking up or even really know what I asked he said "Yeees".
Then it hit me... I have not taken the time to teach this kid what happy even is.
He has experienced it but, he doesn't know what it is. *Facepalm!*
I decided I will start practicing making facial expressions and teaching my son what each one means.
I will even be using a mirror so he can practice these faces.
My long term goal is teaching my son to tell me everything he is feeling...and why. I know he is a boy and according to some this will be a challenge because of that but, I am not limited by these  "some" opinions.

It is important to teach kids how to find their voice and find it early.
I know what it's like to have this taken from me and be subject to abuse and not tell. I had no voice to tell. No one ever taught me to say my brother made me feel uncomfortable, sad or afraid. No one said "If someone touches you in your bathroom parts, you should tell a parent or trusted adult."  No, instead I was taught my mother can't handle such facts and you don't talk to anyone about anything going on at home because it's no ones business you're being abused.
As an adult survivor I still struggle telling my husband when I am upset or why.
I feel like even when I know why I am upset, I am not "allowed" to feel that way. This how I was trained.
Obviously, I do NOT want this for my son, so I must be vigilant in teaching him how to use his words. I need to require it of him and myself. I have to learn how to use my words to tell him how mommy feels and teach him to do the same.
I know at two years old there will be tantrums and at times he won't even know why he feels the way he feels. However, if he can tell me how he feels and learns how to use his words I, as his mommy can help him cope and understand why. 

Survivors, we can't let the fact we have never lived a healthy (note: did not use the word "normal") life be the reason we never learn how. Especially when it comes to OUR children.
Once we become adults the task is on us to learn, get help and do better. We are SURVIVORS now... we take back control and grow and do better. We talk to our babies, we are the parent and trusted adult we never had. We owe it to our children to learn how to use words and teach them the same.
If we really want to break the cycle of abuse it's time to look in the mirror. It's time to mirror what healthy, safe and good is. I am looking in the mirror and I am using my words. Join me

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Making Some Noise, AGAIN

Well, Here we go again.
Mr. Reginald Lathan Sr. is actually following through with his threats to sue his daughter
Triumph Over Tragedy's (Original) Miss Ohio 2013 Sharnae Lathan, Brett A. Scudder of SIFI radio
and Donald E. Thornton c/o of Thornton and Associates Marketing. He is suing these individuals for defamation of his name. I took the liberty of looking up the case and you can view the 28 page case yourself by clicking HERE and following the steps below.

The final picture is a screen shot of the 28 page complaint case against the above mentioned defendants. What you will see in these pages are alleged statements and legal documentation of reports made by Sharnea, her father, witnesses and others. There are only bits and pieces of these documents. Fragments (provided by Mr. Lathan) of complaints and communication with the defendants, social media websites and others are also part of the 28 pages on this case. 
Sharnae claims that her father made his money by suing people and companies in the past. As I was pulling up these public records I noticed that in Summit County Ohio there are SEVERAL civil cases involving Mr. Lathan in the past. Sharnae also states there are more cases in other counties involving her father the plaintiff in this case.

Sharnae is not counter suing her father, nor has she made any attempt to go after his money (according to court documents and Sharnae herself). With all the accusations and alleged "evidence" Mr. Reginald Lathan Sr. has provided, the question becomes "Why would she continues to lie if that's all these are,  lies?"
Ms. Lathan has been through a roller coaster of life changes these past few weeks. Her father threatened the head of the Triumph Over Tragedy  Tonya Allen and ended up getting Sharnae's title as Miss Ohio 2013 removed. Mr. Lathan Sr. and his son Mr. Lathan Jr both (Sharnae's father and brother) claim Ms. Lathan has/is using drugs. Sharnae is a nurse and works in the medical field where drug tests tend to be a random and fairly common part of the job. (Speaking from experience as a Nurse Aide.) She has stated that these accusations can easily put to rest with a drug test.
Mr. Lathan is a millionaire and instead of simply pressing charges to stop his daughter's alleged lies he is pursuing money. Interesting.
Recently, Ms. Lathan was contacted by the producer of the Dr. Phil show. She has been invited to tell her side of the story but, only if Mr. Lathan Sr. will agree to make an appearance as well.

The whole situation is sad and sickening. However, I have watched Ms. Lathan's response to each event life has put her through these past few weeks alone. I have seen a strong woman living out her world view in a fierce and bold way. She is humble but, not a push over. She seeks to be transparent in her challenges for both her supporters and even enemies so they will see the truth.
As for the other two defendants, I have not closely watched their personal profiles but, neither of them recant their support for Ms. Lathan. Why would these gentlemen risk so much for Ms. Lathan if they believed she was lying? What makes them so convinced she is telling the truth?
Could it be simply because, she is?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sibling Abuse

Dear Survivors,

Today I would like to once again help a fellow survivor and warrior in a matter that hits close to home for many of us (survivors).
Nancy Kilgore  author of the book Girl In The Water is a survivor of sibling abuse.
She is currently holding a fundraiser to start a foundation helping sibling abuse survivors and their families.

"19 million children are abused by their sibling
There are 40 million Adult Sibling Abuse Survivors" 

I myself am a sibling abuse survivor.  My first rapist was my half brother.
Whether you're a full blood sibling, half sibling, step sibling or foster sibling abuse survivor, this fundraiser is for YOU. 
I am not asking anyone to donate what they do not have, but if you find yourself here reading this, please,  take a moment to at the very least  share Mrs. Kilgores cause and help raise awareness.

The main of objective is to raise funds for the foundation, but also to raise awareness. 

Sibling abuse is deeply connected to bullying. Sibling abusers who don't get help will go on to abuse others as an adult. It is plain to see how this growing problem effects ALL of society. 
Survivors, how many of us suffered the abuse at the hands of a monster who started out as a sibling abuser? How many of us were attacked and marred by a sibling who was abused and never got help?
Let's start talking about this and standing up for our brothers and sisters. 

Click HERE to donate.



For the next several days and possibly weeks, I will be sharing my early writings of recovery.
This one is called "Why?"

It’s pitch black all around...I can hear my breathe growing heavier with each moment.
I see faces from the past, hear voices that haunt me and, laughter of an evil kind.
Each step leads to another realm of yet, another nightmare.
My mind was flooded with things I had forgotten or, at least had hoped was the case. There were things that in reality could never come to pass. Fear, I had hoped would never resurface in my dreams was here once more.

Each night I face each one of them and survive by any means.  I was accustomed to seeing a little girl, crouched down in a corner wearing a tattered, once white dress. Tears filled her eyes as each night mare ravished her mind over and over again.

This night, that girl adorned in the same worn out garment was standing, only now as a woman.  Like a whirl wind they came, rushing into my sleep and stealing my breath away.
Taunting and jeering at me as they used to and totally unaware of who they were now dealing with.
In the beginning of the night I let them have their way....and then I asked myself... why?

A three letter simple and yet powerful question that, instead of ruining my night, it marred theirs.
I stood my ground, tears, anxiety and all. I made my way out of each layer of horror and doom. Step by step, I walked on unfamiliar territory and trusted MYSELF to get out unharmed. I didn’t hide, cry and wait, hoping the morning light would save me. I took control and faced each one of them...I stood toe to toe confronting and dictating to them how the game was played now.
It won't be, not anymore... there is no such thing as playing nice for nightmares and therefore  no game at all.
I deserved better, better rest...better dreams, better self love, better peace...peace at all.

I awoke exhausted from my nightmares and terrors. I was free now though and savored my victory, even though I know this may not be my last crusade. I know now I am fully equipped to deal out any blows and take back control.

When you're in the dark and the nightmares come for you... ask yourself "Why?" Why am I allowing this? Why is this okay? Why am I still here with these monsters? Why can't I tell them no? Why can't I fight? Why can't I win?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Early Writing

From my journal of early writings before blogging.

This Place of Broken

I was accused of picking a person over my family,
Betraying them, not protecting them and abandoning them.
How ironic, these are the very things they did to me.
I shed my tears today and make no provision for them tomorrow.
I am a new person. I’ve been born again. While, this has been painful I know that mothers are not the only ones in pain during the birthing process.
I am sick and tired… I am tired of being sick and, sick of being tired. I’ve released my demons to the darkness from whence they came. I am naked, completely.
There is nothing to hide here any longer, inside, or out. I have no ability to lie to myself, or others without a bitter taste in my mouth, followed by a swift repentance.
God has been so merciful to me in this process taken to get me here, this place of broken.
Be gone all you shadows who try to haunt me.  Good-bye all you lies from my past.  Take an eternal hike Denial  and Pride, I do not need you any longer for us to feed off each other.
I shall no more feast on fake and false character but rather I shall sink my lips into purity. I shall indulge in wisdom and humility. I will adorn myself in TRUE Righteousness and walk in the light.
Tears have cleansed my sight and I see truth. I’m covered by the word, His word. So I shall not be needing the rags of  rage any more.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Partner Platform

Survivor Partners: the secondary victims of a survivors abuser(s).
I am sure this definition is exactly how many partners feel. Partners are surviving the aftermath and recovery of a survivor, all thanks to a monster or group of such.
Often partners do not know they are getting into a relationship with a survivor until they've already fallen in love and made a commitment.

Survivors themselves frequently keep this fact about their identity close for many reasons. One major reason is fear of being victimized again by a potential partner.  According to RAINN 38% of rapists are friends or acquaintances to their victim. So it's no surprise that survivors are careful to let the fact they are a survivor be known by someone until they know them better.
Many times families fail supporting and believing a survivor contributing further to the need of secrecy.  Add to that, once victimized survivors become targets for other predators and it's not hard to see survivors have trust issues. Unfortunately partners will suffer this with them.

For survivors of incest the challenge in recovery of learning to trust can be overwhelming.
According to the well known child psychologist Erik Erikson the very first stage of a child's psychosocial development is Trust versus Mistrust. This is where hope and drive is formed in an individual.
Now imagine this very foundational stage being shaken and battered. Negative self beliefs and hopelessness can take over and be the "drive" for this particular survivors mind. Continued abuse (especially by family members) only reinforces the detrimental psychological damage to the survivor.
How do you undo this kind of deep core mental damage in a person?
Rest assured there is hope even for this survivor. It is more challenging but, hopeful even still.
Popular therapies are hypnosis or derivatives of it.
Partners may feel like they've been "played" or misled by their survivor.
Their survivor doesn't seem to trust them or, the survivor is confusing in what she does and doesn't seem to trust in her partner. Their survivor may seem not even trust herself in many ways.
Partners, if you find yourself feeling any of the above, GET HELP.  If you plan on staying committed to your survivor for the long haul, get help for yourself to understand her and help you stay strong for her. Sometimes what your survivor needs is not a tough fighter. Instead, a gentle invited hug, a knowing glance, and listening ear without reaction are all your survivor needs from you.
Don't be upset if your survivor wants to enjoy a relationship with you apart from ever talking about her abuse. It is not personal and actually may be a mercy to you. This can only be successful if she is in therapy though or getting help.

There is also the situation of partners being lied too.
In the beginning of telling my husband about my past I lied a lot about things.
Some things I did not want to seem as bad as they actually where. Some things I wanted to make myself look worse in, because I was dealing with feelings of guilt and denial. There were things I wanted to take back control of mentally and lied to make myself seem as though I wanted what I got.
It was so habitual for me to lie for my abusers that I hadn't learned how to STOP lying for or about them. This is what happens when survivors don't get help before entering into a relationship after abuse.
I've said it before and I will say it again. There was so much that my husband and I didn't HAVE to suffer through but, because of my lies and not getting help our relationship suffered greatly in the beginning. Survivors, trust me you don't want that burden on your shoulders.

Partners, one of the best gifts you can give your survivor is getting them help.
Partners need help and support as well so below I am posting a few (and there are very few)
places that are good resources.

 A website specifically for partners of childhood sexual abuse survivors Support For Partners.

Support For Partners a closed group on Facebook

Quick Tips  for Partners of rape survivors.

Hope for the Healing   is specifically for partners who's survivor was raped after getting married/committed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Faithful Fixation

I want to have the kind of the relationship with God that an addict has with their drug.
Not the recreational drug addict either. I am talking about the kind of addict who's body shows tell tale signs of a divisive drug. I want to be the kind of God addict who's life has become so dependent on my need for a fix that I will die because of it. The kind of addict who will die because I can not live without Him. I want to be so addicted to God I will do crazy things to get to Him. I want to know what it's like to black out with Christ. I want to be so drowned out in my addiction that my hurts are washed away.
That's really what I want most. To be so close to a Savior that my hurts, scars, tears, nightmares.... all of it are washed away in His presence.
I don't just want to be washed away, I want to be healed. I want to be stronger.
I want more.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Day In The Life Of A Partner

Wake up, roll over look at your survivor.
You study her with your eyes to see if you can find signs that tell if she spent the night fighting off nightmares, or if this was a "good" night for her. You won't really know until she wakes up and you see her eyes. You, however had nightmares of your own and anxiety kept you from resting in your sleep for fear or touching her and causing a trigger.
When she wakes up, her eyes tell you what her curled up under the blankets state couldn't.
She had to face HIM again or THEM as it were. Your heart sinks... those monsters where in YOUR bed again... and by yours you mean the one you and her share only.
Now you're faced with the first inner battle of the day, to touch or not to touch?
If you chose to reach out and touch her, how do you it in a way that is reassuring and none triggering? Is now the time, or should you wait? You wonder "Am I seeing beginning signs of flashbacks or pain?"
You want so bad to rescue her but, you're helpless in knowing how you can.
Breakfast; will she eat? Did she take her medicine? What are her struggles today?
Later in the day you wonder if she wants to talk about it, the nightmare(s) and if you can or should talk about your own.  "How dare I burden her with my nightmares when she is reliving her own hell every night?" You have to share with someone and you don't want to tell just anyone what you're going through. Few others would understand and this is not just YOUR  issue, it's her's too.
You don't want to scrutinize everything but, you question everything with your survivor. 
She is in recovery and needs you but, what happens when she doesn't need you anymore? How will her need for you in her life change?
What happens the next time someone tries to take advantage of her and you're not there?
Will she fight? Will she freeze? Will it be the beginning of the end?

You try to let things go and understand you have no control over them but, they do cause you much grief.

You wonder if she understands healthy boundaries between herself and others. Her history tells you no. Her history also tells you she lies. She lied for and about her abusers. She lied to everyone and to you.  You wonder what is she lying to you about now either on purpose or by omission. Is it just her past or is there more?
You deeply love her, she makes you happy and you make her happy. She needs you in order to feel safe and you kind of love that about the relationship. You also find it sad at times how badly she needs and depends on you.

Stand outside, light your cigarette, let it's deep orange embers and puffs of smoke put you in a trance.
She sits next to you puffing her own. Her eyes look tired but, happy and content.
You hold hands and exchange knowing and endearing glances. How can this creature, your survivor be capable of all this moment holds and brings you...after all the hell she's been through?
How is she not dead inside? You know you play a huge part in that but, still... her strength about some things baffles you. You find interesting at the very least the things she is strong in and forget at times just how weak she can be too.
The dynamics of her are captivating and inescapable. If there was no past and therefore issues she suffers from because of it, she would seem almost perfect.
Oh but, there is a past... a deep, ugly past and she is not past her past... and neither are you.
It's so unfair the unbridled passion and love you have for each other that feels forever tainted by this one damning piece of the puzzle.
Looking at her, a part of you can't imagine not feeling this passion for her forever. Your mind knows that it can't handle the torment of watching her suffer from a past you can't rescue her from forever either. You have so much you're left to work through and figure out.
You chose peace, again... like you did yesterday and the day before and all the days before that from the day you first committed yourself to her.  Peace doesn't seem to do a good job of finding you but, you chose it and stay, holding your survivor and embracing all the love you have and share with her.

At night you wait for her signal to tell you if there will be any passionate love to be made tonight.
You let her make all the first moves and enjoy her expression of love being lavished on you with her tender touch.
When in the throws of passion your mind tries to get lost in the moment but there seems at times this little voice "If you get to dominant you might trigger her." and you have to take captive thoughts like "Are her monsters attempting to infiltrate her mind now? Is that reaction a good one or a bad one? Is that breath simply a breath or is she mentally stepping out?"
As you both lay in the after glow you hope it was only good for her and you're concerned to voice anything else but satisfaction for yourself. You don't want to discourage her and you did enjoy the encounter. Your hope is that with time and more healing the day will come you can take her to a whole new depth of passion.

You reach over and hold her close. Your pulse matches hers. "I love you, forever" she says.You respond "I love you too." You both attempt to drift off to sleep and some nights it's successful, other nights it's impossible.You pray for mercy on her in her sleep and for yourself.
You hope you never give up on this daily fight. What you may not know is... she understands this... all of this you're feeling and more. She wishes you were not this tormented but, she knows.
Take comfort.

Written by me, Joy, a survivor for my husband James. I love you forever, Poppa... and... I know.