Monday, April 26, 2010

Returning the Shit to the Rightful Owner

You made me do it.
I couldn't help myself.
I don't know what came over me.
You're so beautiful....
If you hadn't have dressed that way...
What did you expect when you said/did/wore that?
It's your fault.
If you hadn't have done .......

Do you find yourself collecting other people's garbage? Being a general dumping ground?

Husband and I had a big argument this weekend. The gist of it is that every thing I do makes him want sex. He's a man, after all. I told him he had two options - I could be Miss Ice Woman except when I was interested and willing to "do the deed." ~~ Or I could be myself, giving him hugs and kisses, putting my arm on his, holding his hand while walking, and he needs to learn that it doesn't mean I am dying to run home and hop in bed all the time.

My attempts at being reasonable went unheard. He started fighting nasty and saying mean things comparing me to my sister (which I think is a compliment, but he obviously did not mean it that way). Since I can't win a fight of your family versus mine, and because frankly I find it disgusting to make fun of someone's family in a fight, and down right dirty, I just walked off.

He did write a note of "apology" which was more akin to, "I shouldn't have said it, but you deserved it." In the note, and in most of the discussions we've had, he says things like, "you're so beautiful, I can't help but be attracted to you." "You're so attractive, I can't help but want to be with you." Yada Yada Yada.

It sat wrong with me. It turned my stomach. But I didn't connect the dots until this morning.

I have lived my life connected with people that make excuses. Toilet made excuses - it was the alcohol, not seeing his children, the way I dressed, the way I acted........My dad made excuses - it was my mom's fault, the way she acted, the alcohol, his job.........Mom made excuses - it was dad's fault, she didn't know what to do, she had no other choice.

Does ANYONE take responsibility for themselves?

Me, on the other hand, will accept all the blame I deserve, and everyone else's. Want to blame someone else? Walk right over here and dump it on me. I'll take it.

So I'm in the process now of sorting through where I am legitimately responsible and where I am not. Then I'll gather up all the shit that has been dumped on me and load it back where it goes. Make way for the return of your own shit. The garbage truck is making deposits everywhere.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse - Along the Path of Healing

Welcome to the April 23, 2010 edition of the Carnival Against Child Abuse.

Along the Path of Healing - The theme for this edition is "Along the Path of Healing." I wrote, that I had noticed through my progress in recovery from child abuse, I've tended to align myself with others that are similarly situated along the path of the healing process. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes it helps to read posts from others that are at different stages than you. Whether it reminds you how far you've come or gives you hope to continue plugging along, reading about others' healing journeys can be inspirational. I asked people to write about their healing process - whether they are at the beginning, middle or looking back along a long path. What lessons have you learned?

I found that so many entries could be placed in two or even more categories. The absolute hardest thing about hosting the carnival is determining categories. So I hope that I've made a good selection. As this month's host I am using my editorial power to merge some of the categories together, lest I put someone's entry in the "wrong" place.

We had a lot of wonderful entries this month, both relating to April's theme and the other categories. So, in no particular order, please welcome ------

Along the Path of Healing (theme entries)

Tracie presents -Who Votes for Skipping April? posted at From Tracie. This post explores her journey in recovery and also contains a power piece of art.

Rising Rainbow presents My Clouds, My Storms and Multiple Personality Disorder: Thoughts on "No Choice" posted at My Clouds, My Storms and Multiple Personality Disorder, saying, "One of the most powerful lessons for me in my healing process was learning how to claim my personal power. It had never occured to me that could be something as simple as seeing the choices I had."

A Glass Half Shattered presents Paxil Was My Gateway Drug posted at A Glass Half Shattered: Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder. This powerful piece talks about her own healing process and where it all began.

Patricia Singleton presents A Dysfunctional Childhood posted at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker, saying, "Today I can take responsibility for my behavior and my thoughts. I don't take responsibility for the abuse. It is not mine. Today I have boundaries. I didn't know this as a child."

My own entry is here as I present Would I Still Do It? at Enola. Would I still start on the healing process knowing now what it would take? Check out the entry for the answer.

Advocacy and Awareness

Mssc writes Keep the Children, Send the Parents Back, posted at mssc54, in which he discusses his emotional response to a news story. As an adoptive parent himself, he is certainly well-placed to discuss this tragic event.

Healing & Therapy

Colleen presents This Healing Stuff posted at Surviving by Grace, answering a question I posed about, "What does 'Healed' look like to you?"

Shhh presents a year ago posted at My Shush Blog, saying, "I recently found myself in a bad place, and once I decided to work through things instead of giving up on life, this is one of the posts I dedicated to myself. It's easy to lose the forest for the trees when you're in the midst of healing, and charting out my progress was a powerful tool for leading myself back into the big picture."

Dan Hays presents A Conversation With Dad « Thoughts Along The Road to Healing posted at Thoughts Along The Road to Healing, saying, "It took a long time after my Dad's death before I could write this piece. I had to work through a lot of issues that surfaced only after he died. But this was my way of making peace with him, and was a huge part of my healing journey!"

cerebralmum presents Along the Path of Healing Pt.1 : The End posted at The Cerebral Mum, talking about her journey of healing.

Ethereal Highway writes about a Case Study posted at her blog entitled Ethereal Highway. She talks about the "alphabet soup" that psychologists love.

Marj aka Thriver presents Trauma Processing, Therapy & Counseling posted at Survivors Can Thrive!, saying, "I'm submitting this post for the "Along The Path of Healing" edition because I realize, as I heal and become a whole person, I want my therapy to address all areas of my life."

In the News

cs presents Reporting on the Need to Reform Child Abuse Laws posted at Cold SnapDragon.


Rick Belden presents poetry, dreams, and the body » Blog Archive » face my ghosts posted at poetry, dreams, and the body, saying, "I wrote this poem in response to a question (not so much a question as a demand in many cases) that I suspect many of us have heard at various points throughout our healing journey: "Why can’t you just get over it?""

Rising Rainbow presents Defective Child posted at My Clouds, My Storms and Multiple Personality Disorder, saying, "Never under estimate the power of secrets over the healing process. This child held only one secret. Yet it controlled my entire system. The liberation of that child from her secret liberated my entire system from the guilt that kept us trapped."

Cassie writes at Overcoming and Conquering a poem called "Freed" - check it out on her 4-18-10 entry.

Check out this powerful poem called, "The Box" at Sharing Private Moments through Poetry.

JIP submits "But I wanted to be dead" at Life Spacings which is a commentary to a powerful series of poems written by Naomi.


Blooming Lotus presents Successful Trip to Hometown posted at Blooming Lotus. She discusses her feelings as she made the difficult trip back to her hometown.

A Glass Half Shattered presents Today's Transformation posted at A Glass Half Shattered: Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder. This post talks about the first (dance) step to discovering who she really is.

Survivor Stories

Patricia Singleton presents A New Chapter In Incest Recovery posted at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker, saying, "A recent dream lead me to the next step in my recovery from incest."

Ethereal Highway wrote Shame Manifesto which is a very powerful entry at the blog by her own name.

Would I still do it - part 3 perhaps

Two years ago I wrote a blog post ruminating on whether I would still have embarked on the healing journey had I known what it entailed. Part One of that entry starts here. The question was - "If you knew then what you know now, and what it would entail, would you still do it? In other words, would I still choose to start down the road of recovery?" I answered yes at that time. Part Two of that entry (here) continues to explore the emotions I felt and even remarks that if the choice was between going back to the time before all the panic attacks set in - aka the "faking it and stuffing it time" - and smack in the middle of the healing journey, then I might choose to live in that land of Denial.

At that time I was about 1 1/2 years into the healing process. Today, 2 years after those journal entries and 4 1/2 years after I started the really intense therapy, I can say that my answer would be YES.

Yes, I would still do it. As much as it hurt. As much as it resembled reliving the abuse. As much as it cost, in terms of time and money.

I've learned that healing from abuse is much more than just digging up memories and dealing with them. That, in some ways, is the easy part (don't laugh too hard.) The more difficult thing is trying to figure out who the abuse has made you. It means shifting through every aspect of who you are and deciding how you became that way, if you like it, and if not, how to change. It involves letting go of the shame and guilt, while at the same time accepting some responsibility for who you are from this point forward.

For me I had to let go of a lot of shame and guilt. I had to also make a conscious decision to do everything in my power to move forward. I stumbled, fell, took a whole lot of steps forward, but I also got back up and tried again. I am less of a control freak than I used to be. I am more relaxed. I live a heck of a lot more in the moment than I used to. I have less rigid control over my emotions - I let myself feel. I cry a whole lot more. I express when I'm hurt and allow myself to feel hurt. I deal with disappointment and anger. I get angry. I express it - more often than not in a healthy way.

Did the process suck? Yes. It hurt. There were times I gave up. Then continued on. There were times I wanted to end my life, and times I came darn close. I bear scars - both emotional and physical. But would I do it again? Yes I would. I am better for it. And so is my family.

I now work in a job where I get to help abused, neglected and dependent children. I get to help them financially. I get to help them legally. I also get to help abused, neglected and exploited adults. Would I want to be abused just so I could do this job? No way! But does my childhood help me relate to these people? Yes it does. And I think it makes me better able to help them and a heck of a stronger advocate.

So if you are wondering if this journey is worth it, look hard. It was for me. And I think it will be for you too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Good Taste of Revenge

I admit it. I like the taste of revenge. I don't often go through with the evil plans that run through my head, but I do enjoy thinking them. This song here has nothing to do with my current fantasies of revenge (which have to do with Toilet and my mother) but it is a great song nonetheless.

Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Songwriters: Tompkins, Chris; Kear, Josh;
Right now he's probably slow dancing
With a bleached-blond tramp
And she's probably getting frisky
Right now, he's probably buying
Her some fruity little drink
'Cause she can't shoot whiskey

Right now, he's probably up behind her
With a pool stick
Showing her how to shoot a combo
And he don't know

I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
And maybe next time he'll think before he cheats

Right now, she's probably up singing some
White-trash version of Shania karaoke
Right now, she's probably saying, "I'm drunk"
And he's a thinking that he's gonna get lucky

Right now, he's probably dabbing on 3 dollars
Worth of that bathroom Polo
Oh and he don't know

That I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
And maybe next time he'll think before he cheats

I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl
'Cause the next time that he cheats
Oh, you know it won't be on me!
No, not on me

'Cause I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats
Oh, maybe next time he'll think before he cheats
Oh, before he cheats

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse - get your submissions in

WHAT - the blog Carnival against Child Abuse hosted this month by me

DATES - Submissions due to me by April 21st. Publication on April 23rd.

HOW - submit here or email submissions to me at

THEME - Along the Path of Healing - I've noticed that through my progress in recovery from child abuse, I've tended to align myself with others that are similarly situated along the path of the healing process. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes it helps to read posts from others that are at different stages than you. Whether it reminds you how far you've come or gives you hope to continue plugging along, reading about others' healing journeys can be inspirational. So, this month, write about your own healing process. If you are toward the "end" (if there is such a thing), what would you say to those just starting out? If you are at the beginning, where do you want to be in 5 years? What does "healed" look like to you?
I am especially interested in those that have been blogging awhile who may have written a post at the beginning of their healing process predicting how things would look later. How does it read now, in retrospect?


Q - What is a Blog Carnival?
A - it is a collection of blog articles. The host (which is me this month) collects links to articles written by different bloggers and lists them all here in one place.

Q - What's the point?
A - to gather a group of people interested in a specific subject; to encourage people to read other blogs; to connect those interested in a subject to blogs featuring articles of interest. This Carnival focuses on Child Abuse.

Q - Is there a theme?
A - Yes, BUT you are not limited to the theme (see more below).

Q - What if I don't have a theme-related post?
A - You can submit any post that relates to Child Abuse. On the submission page you will be asked to pick a category of - Advocacy & Awareness; Aftermath; Healing & Therapy; In the News; Poetry; or Survivor Stories. Pick one that fits best but do not be overly concerned about it. There is no "right" answer. I'll reorganize so that it makes sense.

Q - I can't figure this submission stuff out. Can you help?
A - send me your submission directly - I'll also try to answer questions.

Q - My blog is not about Child Abuse but I want to submit. Can I?
A - Yes, your blog does not need to be about Child Abuse - just your blog post.

Q - Can I submit an older blog post?
A - Of course.

Q - Can I submit more than 1 post?
A - Absolutely.

So please consider submitting. I would especially love to hear from bloggers that have never submitted anything. If you have questions, contact me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Minimum Standards

It is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

As part of this month, my work released something we refer to as "Minimal Standards."
In screening in calls to our children's protection unit, there needed to be some uniformity. Is it okay for a parent to decide their child should not be immunized? Is it okay for an 11 year old to stay home after school alone for 15 minutes? What about 2 hours? What about a 9 year old?

So some people here decided to create a program that listed the minimal environments that are acceptable. Anything that falls outside these standards will be investigated. Keep in mind these are minimal standards - not the best.

As I read these standards, I was struck with how many times my own childhood home and environment would have fallen outside these standards. How about you?

Care - a parent or caretaker is providing suitable or minimally sufficient care when -
* a home is clean enough to not cause children to get sick or have infections.
* a home has safe heating and ventilation and little risk of fire hazard
* there is a safe place for the child to sleep
* the child is provided food to stay healthy
* the child receives medical and dental care, especially if there is pain.
* the child receives special services when recommended to assure good health and the ability to learn
* all caretakers expect behaviors based realistically on the child's age and abilities
* a child of age 7 is enrolled and attends school daily
* basic cleanliness needs are met
* a child has clothing in good enough condition for the weather and daily activities
* the parent protects a child from people who are violent or make bad decisions that may place a child at risk for harm.
* a parent protects a child from anyone who imposes behavior of a sexual nature on a child. This includes but is not limited to suggestive comments or behaviors, contact with a registered sex offender, child pornography, fondling or penetration.
* parents to not encourage or allow a youth to live with someone with whom the youth is having a sexual relationship
* a child up to age 11 is not exposed to firearms, nor has access to firearms. After age 12, children need to have adult supervision.
* a parent uses words that build a child up, not belittle or scares the child.
* A parent does not encourage or force a child to participate in any sort of criminal or illegal behavior
* A child is not exposed to a pattern of violence in the home
* a child is not exposed to unsafe behaviors caused by drugs, illegal or prescription, or alcohol.

Supervision -
* young children, especially under 5, need caretakers who have sight and sound supervision of children when they are awake and active.
* around age 10 a child may play outside or in the neighborhood by themselves, environment depending.
* some children may stay alone for short periods of daylight hours beginning at age 10.
* before an older child begins babysitting, they need to have the appropriate skills to care for a child. Usually a child is 13 before they are ready to have this responsibility.

Discipline - parents must expect children to behave according to their age and development -
* discipline children only for behavior they have the capacity to control
* encourage and reward children for behavior you want to continue
* learn a variety of discipline techniques
* never use a punishment that results in any injury (including marks or bruises)
* never shake or throw a baby
* do not allow others to discipline your child in a way that leaves a mark or which might injure
* do not force a child to eat food or drink liquids in large amounts
* do not lock a child in a closet or room
* do not restrain a child by any means, including belts, ropes, duct tape
* do not prevent your child from sleeping, eating or drinking as a form of punishment
* do not scald, bite, choke, suffocate or harm your child

* Five children die every day from child abuse and neglect *