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.