Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Impossible Congruence

I wonder if she realizes how much it hurts my heart that I can not pretend anymore. I want a mom that protects me, and pulls me from harms way. Even now, I am asked to play the 'happy family'.
He destroyed our happy family when he took her self-confidence and cornered her behavior to his desire, not hers.  In those moments, having a 'happy family' became impossible. Ever. She couldn't fight him and he frightened her into believing she couldn't make it without his support.
I remember him to be a very stern, never pleased, individual.  If perfection was not achieved, you had not given enough, practiced enough, prepared enough.  As a human being, I now know that perfection is unattainable.  And that is so okay with me, mostly because it would piss him off that I feel that way,
So back to the impossible situation: she asks me to play 'happy family', I tell her I can not. And I also ask that I not be asked again because I am too vulnerable. I do not need or want the upheaval that it creates when I knowingly accept something that defies my existence.  I become overly anxious to the point of physical reflexes that may or may not extend to purging.
I no longer accept the treatment that I was conditioned to. Treatment that ultimately resulted in my feelings that what I got was what I deserved. That I deserved the bad things that happened to me. I do not matter enough to protect.  My feelings are inconsequential because being a 'happy family' is more important.
The messages are consistent through most families: you know, blood is thicker than water; if you can count on anybody, you can count on family; they'll always be there for you; family is forgiven because they are family, no matter what they do and many, many more.
What can I do about that mom I dreamed of and still want to this day?  I know what I don't want anymore, therefore, I believe she could understand if she would open her heart and listen to what I am saying.
I can not feel peace and calm spirit if I am pretending to be something I'm not.  Kinda defeats the whole 'thou shalt not lie' commandment, right?
So, why do you continue to ask me?  To remove your responsibility in all this?  Sure would be nice to be able to do that with the things I did that I had to take responsibility for as a result of something he did.
So, when I say I can't play 'happy family', please try and understand it is not that I can't anymore, it is that I won't.  It is not that I don't love you, it is that I love me too, now.  I will not allow myself to be treated in such a deprecating manner.  I am a person with feelings and I matter.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Opening The Box ~ State to Federal

Well, here we are five months after I started another trek to the state legislature of Tennessee and the path has widened. 
How, you may ask?  I tip-toed into social media networking and started a petition that is driven in form by the signatures being received.  Let me try to explain.
First things first: To US Congress: support NO Statute of Limitations for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse SIGN IT and please make sure your e-mail address is correct or the signature will be rejected.  I figure if you are reading this blog, your signature needs to be on the petition to the United States Congress.  
This petition is culmination of many of my efforts to make a change to help survivors of child sexual abuse who choose to attempt repairing their life after trauma.  If you have not taken 3 minutes to sign to help, go ahead and click the link above and find the submission form on the right side of the window pane.  The petition allows for anonymous as well as public signature and if you feel the urge to comment, I would be grateful for feedback to take to our governing officials. Once the submission button is clicked and a confirmation is displayed, you can hit the back button in your browser a couple of times and be rerouted back to this blog page.
I digress, my apology.  
So the first iteration of this petition was directed specifically to Tennessee's State Legislature setting boundaries for the petition to residents of the State of Tennessee only.  I tried to convey the petition's specific geographical constraint to no avail.  
Signatures started showing up on the petition from states other than my home state of Tennessee.  I panicked (which is normal) and obsessed immediately about what to do.  Let it go, as is, and see where it takes me was the final solution that rang clearly and true in my gut.  I meandered down the path a bit more, listening along the way to His spirit that moves me.  
I have now setup my connected Facebook page Get the Lid OFF alongside a personal page 'Ginger GetthelidOFF' wondering how this would help get petition traffic.  Well, for one thing, all my FB posts show up in my twitter timeline.  Hmmmm.  Pretty good.  Easy.  Okay, I can do this. 
I began to surround myself with recovery advocates and survivors alike.  Sharing my links and tweets of links and posts from blogs allowed the possible signature population to grow to the size of this great  nation.  
On receiving an endorsement of such 'a worthy goal' from a successful advocate,I have become inspired even more. I discovered that this advocate for child sex abuse survivors pursued NO Statute of Limitations for child abuse in 1992, but at a federal level rather than the state level for each state as I originally intended.  On her return from a global effort, this person has reached out to support my effort and is going to provide me the details of her approach to the US Congress in 1992.  She is also planning to share the results of that attempt to institute NO Statute of Limitations for civil litigation as an aid to survivors of childhood sexual abuse to enable a better recovery opportunity.  
NOW, this movement is growing on a national level.  Signatures from residents that represent all these United States speaks profoundly to my path's expansion.  
By succeeding at the federal level, all states are required to follow the federal requirements  and are free to lobby and/or litigate issues the federal laws do not address.  


And thank YOU ~ I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for each and every one of you, for the signatures and comments, and mostly all the love I feel from your support.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Nightmare Thermometer

The  walls oozed at every intersection until the plaster began to fall away at the corners from the weight of the water. Is it raining?  The only explanation that comes to me when I see sunbeams floating in the sliding glass door is the unreal nature of my surroundings.  I must be in a dream.
A lot of things impact the dream state for me, the most important one being number of hours slept in succession.  My tendency is to sleep three or four hours at a time to alleviate the opportunity for dreaming.  As a general rule, I prefer not to have dreams at all and I work at all costs to constrain the length of naps.  The less sleep needed, the better.  Made sense to me in an odd way since all I did was sleep when I was depressed, totally unaware of depression's existence.  
I got in the habit of keeping a dream journal in the early stages of  my recovery.  I had to be able to remember the dreams, so I had a notepad on the night stand adjacent to my bed and immediately on waking from a nightmare, I would jot down as much as I could recall so that it would remind me later what each dream was about.  Then I would fill in the gaps with more detail as I reviewed my notes. 
Recalling one of my most vivid nightmares is a torrential gushing of water through tunnels under the streets of the city.  So strong that the water starts to overflow the concrete barriers used to hold back the dark, tumultuous river before me.  I sense the fear, but my feet seem frozen to the pavement.  Water is splash landing all around me.
Sidenote: Maxine is the runt of a saved stray litter of pups that turned out to be my very loyal companion. 
I see my Maxine in the distance, but am unable to reach her.  My feet seem to be moving in place, but I make no progression toward saving her.  My heart is overwhelmed with distress at the prospect of her loss.  My attention is turned to a whaling baby floating in the violent raging typhoon.  I reached out to grab the infant in the split second timing needed to be successful, but was unable to save the swaddled bundle as it floated past me.  I startled awake and quickly noted the events of my nightmare.
My emotional condition is what determines the size and velocity of the water I see in any given dream.  There is flooding all around me in nightmares if I am in extreme emotional distress.  Generally, this signifies I am at a point in my recovery where pivotal discovery can happen. My concentration on the highlights of each nightmare help me understand the meaning and what I think my subconscious is trying to work through.  The above nightmare helped me  discover that I am more important than Maxine, my baby dog, and that saving myself, is more important than anything else.  
What an eye opener.  I must be IMPORTANT to ME to be able to help anything or anyone else.  Whoa, that was a totally new perspective for me to take on myself. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Nobody Did Anything?

Happenstance, a dear friend invited me to a reunion with some long-time friends.  Memory recalls we became family as we worked maddening hours to grow our united vision.  Living the values of a family, unscarred by tragedy revealed helpful, honest, trustworthy people.  I became familiar with a different kind of life. I discovered strong role models driven to succeed by finding the win, win, win. I absorbed the values and the team absorbed me.  I felt as if I finally belonged somewhere.  A feeling very different than what I felt most of my life.  These true friends have helped build me up and give me strength to continue this path.  They let me know that I matter and that their lives have been impacted by mine.  I have discovered that these individuals are the ones that matter, as well as, to whom I matter. 
The obverse though, is that I didn't matter before.  The negatively slanted nick names and constant belittling to keep me in line.  This sends a shudder to every cell of my being.  The admission that economic stability was more important than protecting the child.  The clarification that this child wasn't valued enough to make any action toward doing the right thing.  Doctors, that's right, multiple doctors and nurses from two separate hospitals ignored the medical evidence and instincts to reach out and save this child from the horrific life that was her existence.  The medical records tell the story stating from doctor notes: "Patient vehemently denies any sexual promiscuity". 
Multiple tests were performed that indicate the doctors inherently questioned the circumstances of her situation.  The x-rays further indicated the truth to these medical practitioners.  Why did they not act?  
How must that have hurt this child without her realizing the truth at the time.  Her exit was her only option, if she didn't matter to the parents who raised her.  As soon as timing allowed the escape, I packed my light yellow VW beetle with what would fit (including a ten-speed bicycle) and my dog.  With $2.10 in my pocket, I left all that I had been taught was everything I could depend on.  His saskatchewan silhouette in the front foyer doorway is seared in my memory as I recall his words, "you'll be back".  
I instantaneously retorted, "don't you count on it!", and quickly got in my car for fear the monster would snatch me back. I drove off into the night in search of something more.  And that very well might mean 'nothing', but that was better than where I was.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Always a Smile

4/28/2012 ~ "RT @heyitsdiamond: RT: @Google_Facts: The people who laugh the most have experienced the most pain."   

I was raised with a statistic that it takes 42 more muscles to frown than it does to smile.  So,  why not smile? Smiling was intended to help keep me younger looking in future years when vanity might overtake my desire to age gracefully.  This is just a tidbit of many things my mother shared with me during memorable years.  Staying out of the sun was another tidbit to maintain youthfulness in years ahead.  She was NOT wrong about that one.  I trusted the things she'd share and grew to abide by the tips that would take me far.  

So, I've smiled for years and like  tweeted tonight "It only takes one smile... to hide a million tears" ~ I covered up infinitesimal droplets of pain and sadness.  To me, a smile became my mask for pain. Comedian, clown, joke-teller too, all these characters were part of the masquerade to disguise what was happening to me.

Sometimes I resented my mom because she was so busy and couldn't see what was happening to me.  How could she not see it or sense it?  Or did she?   I believe she sensed it and that is what drove her to do what she did to find out the truth ~ 
another thought for another post including my question about why she smiled all the time too.

11/02/2012 "@thangel77 I'm glad you like the pic. I want to let you smile" came today in a tweet from a new found friend.  My smile is true today. I wear it proudly now and understand the connection between happiness and smiling to express that feeling.  A perfect match ~ quite a physical display of elation for me these days.  Having happy days and smiling ear to ear, as I enjoy each moment, seems to be harmony allowing me some peace.   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Forever Scars

So, explanation time. The last several posts have solidified the symbolism for My Scarlet Letter threads ~ these are the feelings and emotions left behind ~ the hidden scars from child sexual abuse.  
In my opinion, reversing this scarring is one of the most difficult challenges facing a survivor. My hope is that I am able to continue to share the emotional barriers that I have recognized.  The scars never go away.  
Some feelings I saw as brand new: I'd never experienced these before recovery.  Well, let me be a little more clear ~ some feelings I don't recall having ever felt before starting to heal.  At some point I will find the notes about the first day I felt happy ~ and My Scarlet Letter will include a positive thread. I know that because I feel happy some days now. Once I discovered what it meant 'to feel happy', I found I rather liked it.  

Until then:

    - - - Forever Scars - - -
I can't help thinking  as I lie here,
holding tightly to a red teddy bear;
how scared, angry and anxious I feel,
returning to the time with pain everywhere.

A familiarity is sensed from darkness,
dreams of confusion, chaos and such;
emotional upheaval adds to this mess,
with one demand, "get undressed".

Why in explaining, do I scribe this way?
the flow to the sound of iambic penta-
meter, keeps my thoughts astray,
a poem takes form and describes past days.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Love Rains Painful

lonely days of desperation,
guidance is intended;
through ignorance and selfishness
their kind of love is painful.

nights fill with grave fear
of some unknown to come;
this kind of "love"
makes not a good home.

memories are dark,
few wonderful,
as i look back and reflect,
love rains painful.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Hope Always


                 Alone, we all enter this life
                         Into a world of turmoil and strife;
                 We struggle and fight with all our might,
                         To survive the hardships we must smite.

                 Valleys of low, passing mountains so high,  
                         It is a wonder I have gotten by;
                 My inner strength holds the key,
                         And with HIS help, I overcome and be,


Ggr ~ October 1, 1992

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Family Love?

Fear of truth holds me back,
Support to release secrets is what I lack;
Family love forms the home,
So why do I feel so alone?

Security is what is supposed to exist,
Safety from harm at its best;
When those feelings are not there,
Trust is gone, and I don't care.

Ggr "apparently I was in a rhyming mood!"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Sacrificed Amid Proof ~ Part II

She informed me she had not ever listened to the tape.  I asked her if she would send it to me, and she said she would.  How in the hell did my Mom end up with this proof, confirmation of the trauma I had endured?

And a much bigger question came to mind after I tried to recall the events surrounding the making of this damning evidence.  She had the tape all these years and never listened to it.  Why not?

I spent a great deal of time trying to decide my next move once I received the cassette.  I could listen to an audio event of un-recallable minutes in my past as soon as I received it, but the eeriness at the thought overtook my curiosity and Idecided against reliving the memory at that time.  My gut instinct was starting to function and thank goodness I yielded against. 

Bill and I discussed this very decision at my next therapy appointment.  His suggestion insisted I have someone present when I listened to my own voice defending myself from this violence and trying to escape the abuse.

I dubbed the original before sliding the proof into my purse.  This artifact had another destination.  I patiently awaited my scheduled appointment with a civil attorney.  What was my next move; what was the question before me?

Disturbing emotional feelings burst forth during our first conference.  I shared my remembrances of being petrified of my parents; my shock for her believing his words and siding with him when he was sexually assaulting me.  He said it would never happen again.  
She gave him so many second chances.  

And today, in my hand I hold the proof of my sacrifice.  I haven't ever listened to the tape.  Maybe one day I will recognize the strength and courage I showed when I setup the recorder and flipped it over to get even more proof of the atrocity of abuse.  I was brave then, and didn't even know it.  

Now is the time to take ownership of my courage! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Sacrificed Amid Proof

Uncovering a fourth journal was beyond my expectations. I was stunned when the hard-backed bright blue abstract journal fell before me while I spent time cleaning out closets and packed boxes that hadn't been touched in years.  Discovery of the fourth journal happened in the garage in an old rusty file cabinet that hadn't been opened since I moved in.  I wanted to get the area purged of useless items and the file cabinet was on the list.  Imagine my shock when all of the drawers were not empty.  Rather than take the time to sort through the cabinet contents file by file, I dumped all the files into a cardboard box and retained the journal to inspect as I truly have no recollection of its existence. 

Against my better judgement, I thought, just peek and see what is there, if anything. This is what I discovered.

Journal entry 2+ years into therapy:
"There's a tape!" I exclaimed with astonishment.
Bill looked at me quite strangely and asked, "what?"
I repeated "there's a tape.  A conversation between me and my Dad."
But that is all I had.  And one brief flashback... the pastel pink, yellow and green daisy-like flowers dotted the dust ruffle of the bedspread as it fell in place over the cassette recorder.  My index finger slid from the record button at the same moment and the tape guides began to spin.

Bill and I finished the session and I headed home where I began to search immediately for the remnant of a memory, a plain sony tape with a red and white label.  

I visualize the tape in my memory again. I sit in the floor of my room and reach over to look under the bed. I spot the old burnt orange tape storage case and pull it out. I open the latch and start fumbling through the tapes inside. I remove each cassette with hope of seeing and finding a validation of my truth. 

The phone rings and jolts me from my search. 

I answer to hear my mother's voice say, "What are you doing? Are you busy?"
"No, not really," I responded and then continued, "I'm just looking for a tape that I remember making with Dad admitting what he did."
There's a long silence, then I heard meekly "I have it."
I blinked at the words, and questioned her, "you have it?"
She said, "yes."
"How did you get it?"
"You gave it to me."
"The next day."
"What do you mean, the next day? The day after I made it?"
"Yes," she said
I was stunned and silent for seconds. 
Was it true that she knew about my evidence of abuse and didn't do anything in defense of me except get a divorce?  Yes.
I know now I was sacrificed for the sake of the rest of our family.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Tired of Secrets

"If you ever tell your Granny about this, it will kill her" echoes in my memory. One of many lies I was told to keep me in line, to keep his secret.  My father's mother is who it would kill.  I was horrified by the thought that revealing his secret could cause, what I imagined to be, the instant death of my grandmother.  This woman who had helped raise me, who had taken care of me many summers while both parents worked.  My afternoons after school were spent there too, when my family lived in the same town.  She was just a block down the street and I could walk there by myself anytime.  The thing she and I shared was her love of a soap opera.  I recall sitting right next to her in her chair dipping her snuff with me on the rug in front of the telly watching 'Days of Our Lives'.  If me and my brothers were quiet during her soap hour, then it was cartoons in the hours following.  
The bond that my grandmother and I created in those couple of summers would transcend many years. As I grew older, I continued to keep up with her soap. When I was able to see her, it didn't matter what was going on with anyone else in the family she and I always had something to share. This bond allowed she and I to talk about most things that can happen in real life. The similarities between the lives portrayed on a soap and our own is striking. There are life lessons that can be applied as the characters learn some of their own.
In the year after I had begun intense psychotherapy, I took the time to go over and re-connect with my granny. It was on one of these occasions that I slipped.  After so many years of keeping the horror deep within me.  I didn't mean too.  But it was just enough for her to put two and two together. And, one of her soap opera characters had revealed she had survived child sexual abuse by her own father. 
She once said there would be nothing her son could do that would make her not love him. Knowingly, sometimes, those who are supposed to love and care for us, care for someone else more and really don't want to see the truth.  How many times could she have asked  questions.  Why didn't she?  She wasn't prepared to know the truth about her son.  In her way, she was asking me why I didn't feel the same way.  She picked up the picture of my father and his second wife and asked 'what is it about Rosemary that bothers you?" 
Without a thought, I blurted, "Granny, it's because she's eight months older than me." 
Her eyes blinked in an attempt to relive that moment of truth.  Silence filled the room and I turned to escape before anything else could be asked.   
The last time I spoke with her, I believe in my heart she knew what he had done to me.  There was an inkling in her voice with the questions she asked that last time we conversed.  Her direct inquiry to details of what was going on with me indicated she had come to understand the depth of his scars.  She passed away in her sleep two weeks following.  
Who knows, maybe she was tired, tired of all the secrets.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Opening The Box ~ State by State

The footsteps I am taking today feel familiar because I have done this before.  The difference is I am doing my own research this time.  State by state, ticking off each on the list as I investigate the statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse.  How long does a survivor have to file charges against their perpetrator?  
How many states have updated these laws since 1996?  Isn't that the bigger question that I want an answer to?  Yes, I believe it is.  I remember seeing the list of 1996 in one of the boxes I've opened.  
Note to self: find that list.
Hooray for Maine - there is no statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse to file against their abuser(s).  There are several stipulations regarding proof of the abuse, but other than that, sounds pretty good right.  We'll dig a little deeper in the next couple of days. BTW, this is the only state that currently purports NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS on child sexual abuse.  This is 2012 for goodness sack.  What is wrong with this picture?  
New Jersey appears to be the eleventh state to address no statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse.  On June 4th, 2012 New Jersey's legislature received a bill which supports an unlimited statute in this year's legislative session as FACSA indicates in an article dated June 14th, 2012.  The law looking to be passed abolishes the current 2 year limit for civil actions in this state.  
So, I think now is the time to make the distinction between these two states and the statutes that are provided to assist survivors of child sexual abuse.  
Bear with me while I continue to open more boxes, a quick refresher so to speak. I need to have a better understanding of the basic principles when comparing laws from state to state, right?  Oh, did you catch that, from state to state.  Yes, that is what I said.   
Depending on where a predator lives determines the extent to which they can be prosecuted  Hmmmm.  I agree with the FACSA when  they quoted Marci Hamilton, a law professor of Yeshiva University.  She stated the current New Jersey law protects predators.  AND, I think I can honestly say any state that places any limit on the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse are protecting predators.  
My hope is that each reader sees between the lines to where this blog is going. 
I want to ask for your support to help me raise awareness about child sexual abuse and change the state to state variations that prohibit survivors from finding relief and closure for their most horrific traumas.  
If you would like to help support my current state advocacy campaign, or go ahead and sign up in support of helping child abuse survivors for when I approach your state legislature, I would be most grateful.
More on my journey to the TN state legislature to come.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Opening the Box ~ On Anger

The reason for the thing I am doing here: to share the details of the work required of me to help me heal.   The contents of these journals are recorded impressions of my thoughts during many psycho-therapeutic sessions that make up the course for my healing from repeated sexual battery and aggravated rape.  
These notes are from my 1st year anniversary date that shares the beginning of psychotherapy.
I feel you are getting impatient with me is written to my psychiatrist.  There are things I just do not want to believe and you tell me over and over again that I should not take all this on.  
You said, "Your mother has a problem with relationships in general."  
I don't get it, I comment.  
You stated, "you can take it personally if you want, but I'm telling you, she has a problem in general with relationships".
Go ahead, smack me up side the head with a two by four.  Sometimes I guess you need to, to get my attention, huh?
As I told you, which was a surprise to even myself, this intimidated me causing fear and anger.  You and I are working out my anger and frustration instead of where is needs to be vented - with my mother.
Intimidation, I discover, which stems from my misunderstanding something we talk about.  I feel as if it takes forever for me to grasp the concept, an understanding per se. 
So you think I am angry with you? The feelings of fleeting suicidal thoughts are what signal the anger within.  Interesting how an association between an emotion of extreme anger to an internalized damaging self-infliction is learned, i.e. turning that anger back on self.  

END GAME: Become aware, as early as possible, that learned suppression of anger may result in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self-destruction.  A learned behavior can be reversed / corrected once the behavior moves from the subconscious to the conscious where it can be studied and controlled.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

San Antonio - Stepping Up

A big round of applause goes to the San Antonio, Texas community - physically getting the message out about how to volunteer to speak for abused children.  
I was quite impressed when I saw the banner above veiled over the road I was traveling at some point driving around the blocks surrounding my hotel suite this week in search of a grocery store and a Walgreen's.   I did not have enough time to grab my camera from my bag to get the shot the first time passing underneath it.  I knew I had to get back to the same side of the banner to get the picture, so I planned my return trip and stopped to capture this proud moment. 
Texas is among the few states that has no statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse to file against their abuser.  I'd like to see this legislative example from the State of Texas be applied to every state in the United States of America - an addendum to the Child Protection Act that enacts no statute of limitations. There is no reason not to be consistent across the nation when it comes to protecting the survivors.  The effects of abuse last a life time ~ shouldn't the perpetrator have to succumb to a life long sentence as well?  The victim should have an opportunity to file charges against their attacker upon discovering the truth about the trauma and the impact on their own life no matter the age of the victim.
I challenge other cities with organizations that support abused children to get out and put some banners up like SAN ANTONIO!  Please post the banners you see in a response to this page.  
If you live in the San Antonio, Texas area and would like to help abused children, call 210-225-7070 or visit like the sign above says.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Survivor in Crisis ~ Reaching for Stars

I linger for some time in a room with rape victims, incest victims and sexual abuse survivors and can only ask myself the obvious ~ how do I help these?
Some regress and never return.  Their state of being is child-like because the trauma was (and possibly is still) so great. The only escape is silently and privately visiting a place where others who share common experiences come and go to help (or get help).
Amazingly, presence of another in an anonymous setting drives away the lonely, isolating feelings that transcend every day's being.  A short game of storytelling where by each who wants to participate submits one sentence to expand a storyline.  A pink puppy took the spotlight tonight.  I closed my eyes to envision the subject of our tale.
MPD is prevalent here and often brings me to tears. The strength to survive manifests itself with multiple personalities to protect part of self.  Powerful, in that the mind chooses to protect itself by sharing the burden of the event(s). 
Often drop-ins ask a quick question for some advice on how to handle a situation - one that is occurring at THIS precise moment is not uncommon.  Abuse is inflicted anytime, and everywhere.  Pedophiles are not gender specific.  How might I stand reading the texted messages that reveal the perpetrator is female this time, playing to the young man's prowess.  How does he say no?  And then he's left the room.

Rose said “He’s telling me that you will help thousands”.
As she prays over me, she asks God to bind evil from me,and  that my sleep become peaceful, and that she sees a future for me that will be easier than the past.
She raised me up in prayer which I did not expect pushing tears to the surface revealing an overwhelming joy and comfort in her words.
One real moment... a surreal reflection... lost for a couple of days... and now... a memory that drives me on. 

So again, the question, how do I help? By listening, and not turning a deaf ear (or in this case a blind eye) to the truths that are the shambled shells of life.  What is left of these souls to be reached?  And what, pray tell, will bring them to shine like the stars they were meant to be?  Pay attention to the details, listen, love and stand up for them and do not wait to be asked.  Someone you know is suffering today.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Survivor In Crisis ~ What To Do?

Knowing that someone else has experienced circumstances similar to those of my upbringing overwhelms me at the very least.  I speak of the repeated battery and sexual assaults that continued over many years.  I feel as if my heart has been ripped from it's cave and torn open having remembered my trauma listening to another speak of her own.   I reach out to support a victim in crisis and am reminded the cost of opening up.   Being taken advantage of.   I'm taking the risk.  No one single person or event can ever be as bad as what I have endured before.  The success of making it out alive amazes mostly me and reinforces the notion that we are here for a reason.

Therefore, let the qwest begin:  A "how to" for sexual abuse victims in crisis or on the verge of losing control.  

What does that mean?  
Hopefully, in some way I can help with those first days of seemingly endless insanity when your mind is so confused about everything.  During the first days of realization that everything you've ever known has been a lie and a relationship built on trust has been destroyed.  When you can't make sense of the last how every many years of your life.

That innocent pat on the butt, turned to a horribly wrong soft caress.  Barely recalling how those years were survived and slowly coming aware that what was happening is sickening and very sinister.
How had I believed that keeping the secret was better than having to live with him all the time, without my Mom being there some of the time?  How had I been manipulated to believe it would truly kill my granny if she ever discovered what her own son was doing to me?            

The initial question is, "are you starting to recognize the reality of your situation?"  Are you opening to the possibility and awakening to the realization that it could have happened?  Are you considering telling somebody (anybody) about what is going on?  

The first uttering brings REAL to your surreal.  I know you are immensely scared of the future, the consequences, the fallout.  All that needs to be done at this point, is to tell someone ~ someone you think can help.  

Or check out the drop menu links near the top of Get The Lid Off home page - these links connect you to resources that can help.  Give them a try! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Point of Nothingness!

As I sat pulling weeds and letting my mind wonder over the last few days, there are pin-points of recollection that parallel someone's life today. And not just one someone, many someones.  Boys and girls alike, violated and left confused and terribly damaged because a trusting person crosses the line. I'm outraged.  And I'm writing again.  I feel numb to the fact it is easier today for a perpetrator to escape punishment amid all child protection laws that have been passed to protect our children.
How quietly the problems surrounding incest are accepted by professionals and protectors alike.  This is a boulder versus hard place situation happening in today's society.  The awareness is splashed in our faces, but the true reality is that nothing has changed.  Incest occurs with fathers and step-fathers and daughters, as well as, mothers and step-mothers and sons.
Can I stand by any longer? I think NOT! The legality of abortion became possible in the Supreme Court case of 1973, Roe vs Wade.  And thus allowed my own father the opportunity to cover his wrongdoings.

I peered out the window in a daze.  I couldn't remember what day it was.  I had flashes from the last few days and many black spaces.  I was being taken home from a hospital in Alabama.  I faded in and out capturing only  the sunshine as it beat through the car window that day as a memory.
Now, as clearly as if it was today, I recall the doctor who sat at a distance in the corner of the examination room and asked me, 'who brought you here?'
'My father,' I whispered.
His eyes fell sad.
The subsequent seconds, minutes and days, years embodied holding the pain inside, unemotional to a fault. Numb to the point of nothingness, nobody-ness.  Blurred in a sense, just going through rote motions.  Existing. I was periled into silence by the treatment I received from those I trusted.

Isolation in a sea of emotional billions.

Weighing on one side or the other of Roe vs Wade is not what this is about.  Getting the Lid Off the horror of incest that enables such an act of violence to continue as rampant today as the day the bill passed is what I'm writing about!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Opening The Box ~ More Boxes?

I finally made the return call this week to Lori, Jim's assistant, letting her know the reason for my inquiry. I was calling about a 20 year old case.  I had initiated her return calls and yet had put off calling her back because I did not want to open the wounds.  But I made a promise that I would, so here goes. Why?  Because those who are still suffering are worth it.  I didn't have an instruction booklet, maybe these words will instill some sort of guidance to those who are suffering now, still, some 20 years later.

1975: Child Protection Law was mandated by the Federal government on October 1st.
1978: Jim represented my mother in her divorce proceedings.  Child Protection Law was an infant less than 3 years old. They made a decision in the quiet of his office that would hurl me onto the difficult path that I now know was my destiny.  
1992: Jim became my defense attorney.
2011: Late October and my realization - my extreme drift to a horrific low realizing they didn't do enough. What it meant when Jim said, 'I know who you are. You're the daughter!'
2012: Do I ask Jim if that's why he helped me? I think so. I know the answer.  And I learned early in life, don't ask a question, unless you really want to know the answer, that's a story for another night. But I need to ask... Not everyone gets a second chance to redeem themselves for being silent when action was required.

As I write these words and reflect on the 20 page Child Protection Law I'm reading in preparation for the road ahead, tears streaming, many years later, a case of unfathomable child sexual abuse is being documented and reported.