Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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Male Trauma Survivor’s

OF NOTE Facilitating Male Trauma Survivors’ Meaningful Involvement in Health Research   Sexual abuse is an international problem and an often overlooked public health issue for men and boys. Given the prevalence of trauma and its well-documented connection to mental and physical health disorders, the relevance of male survivor input and engagement in healthcare research is profound.   With funding […]

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Bloques de carreteras en la vida

Todos golpeamos las carreteras en la vida, algunas semanas duraderas, otros años. Para sobrevivir a la paliza que tiene que permanecer centrado en los pasos hacia adelante, incluso los pasos nano están avanzando. Tuve la suerte, el abuso, el trauma y el odio propio comenzaron cuando era muy joven. Crecí oyendo lo estúpido que me convencí de que era verdad. […]

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Road Blocks in Life

We all hit road blocks in life, some lasting weeks, others years. To survive the beat down you have to remain focused on forward steps, even nano steps are moving forward. I was lucky, abuse, trauma and self-hatred started while very young. Growing up hearing how stupid I was convinced me it was true. I was abused, sexually abused and […]

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Darkness Overcomes Me

I stand watching the darkness settle in. The black dog comes to torture me. Emotions, negative feelings left behind are brought out like dolls in a toy box.  I fight, fight hard not to fall in the abyss. Mask are taken out of their resting place, the mask are for me, which one will I need today. Lies and hurtful […]

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Sexual Assault of Men and Boys

Why doesn’t Sexual Assault of men and boys receive equal, mainstream media coverage as Women? We have to help change to allow healing. Sexual Assault does not discriminate! Joyful Heart Foundation partnered with 1 in 6 to create awareness and initiatives creating a safe environment to discuss trauma with peers. Please check out both organizations for support or how you can help volunteer today.  M […]

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About Me

I am a Survivor After years of therapy and my grandparents love, I was pulled from the abyss. I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, allowing me to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. I can’t thank them enough. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or […]

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RAINN: Effects of Trauma on Mental Health

SEXUAL ASSAULT Effects of Trauma on Mental Health “Every survivor’s healing journey is unique and it’s crucial that we’re aware of the effects trauma can have on mental health,” said Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services at RAINN. “It’s time to start speaking openly about mental health concerns, and dismantle the environment of shame, fear, and silence that too often prevents […]

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Interview With Christine Clayfield Author Of “No Forth River”

I’m trilled to take part in the Blog Tour for Christine Clayfield’s first novel “No Fourth River”. Christine its great to talk with you this morning. Let’s jump in. Your novel “No Fourth River” is incredibly personal. Starting with the brutal abuse from your father to all the siblings. What convinced you now was the right time to write your story? There are four influencing factors that made me decide to write my story. 1) My husband and daughters kept telling me, over the years, that I should write a book about my life. 2) I don’t usually share my story with others. However, sometimes when I unintentionally mention things from my past, people are intrigued. They want to know more about my life. I’ve often been told that I should write a book because my struggles would resonate with others and my life story could be an inspiration. 3) I had been jotting down ideas for a while but never started to write. When I collected enough courage to speak on stage, people often burst into tears during my speech. They came up to me after my speech to thank me for sharing my story and to tell me how inspired they were. That moment was when I decided to write my life story. I didn’t realize until then that my life story was an inspiration to others.  Very shortly after that, I started writing No Fourth River. I transformed my life and I […]

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I Am a Kid and Something Happened

Presented by RAINN I Am a Kid and Something Happened Tell Someone. If somebody touches you in a way you don’t like or touches an area covered by a bathing suit, tell someone you trust. Say no. If somebody wants to hug you, kiss you, or touch your body, you can always tell them no. It’s not OK for ANYONE to touch […]

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Change.org: Restore the Rights to Rape Victims

Change.org Impeach Judge Gregory S. Ross and restore the rights to rape victims.  Christopher Mirasolo, 27, was convicted of raping a 12 year old girl and two other girls, 13 and 15 in 2008. Mirasolo was sentenced to one year in the county jail but only served six and a half months before early release to care for his sick mother. In March 2010 Mirasolo committed a sex assault on a victim between the ages of 13 and 15 years old. He served four years for this offense. The 12 year old girl he raped in 2008 got pregnant due to being raped and Mirasolo is now seeking joint custody. THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE! The judge not only is granting custody, but he disclosed the victim’s address and forced Mirasolo’s name to be on the birth certificate of her now eight year old son WITHOUT HER CONSENT.  This judge needs to be removed from the bench and this victim needs to have herself and her young son protected from this monster. HE IS A PEDOPHILE and a CONVICTED RAPIST! This all began because the victim had applied for government assistance and the prosecutor forced a paternity test. Judge Ross did NOT have to compel custody without the rape victim’s consent. Under the Child Custody Act, he could have compelled Mirasolo to pay support without giving custody. Read more here: http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/10/judge-who-awarded-michigan-rapist-joint-custody-with-the-woman-he-raped-as-a-child-had-other-options.html This young girl chose to protect her unborn child and now Judge Ross […]

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Unconditional Love-The Sacrifices Never End

My grandparents loved me unconditionally with words, most importantly their actions. They saw the effects of abuse and neglect from a distance, I never said anything or make accusations. Granny spent extra time with me, giving me a long bath, washing my hair, scrubbing dirty feet, knees and elbows. She pampered me with few words spoken. She had the ritual, after drying off and hair not dripping she would wrap me in the towel, carry me to the bed, put baby powder on me then tell what a cute and funny/beautiful/any compliment I could comprehend at the age. Granny knew I was dead inside from years of abuse, she never spoke bad of my mother even though tormented by my pain  My grandparents made sacrifices until God deemed the time was right. My music teacher called me into the hall and would not accept my explanation for the bruises all over the my face. She asked me go to the Counselors office, I begged you don’t understand saying anything only makes it worse for me. I arrive in Counselor’s office, asking to call my Granny. I told her everything, she had seen the bruises, my underarms bruised and bleeding from my mothers stabbed finger nails. Some of the most traumatic years followed. God knew when the time was right, at 12 yrs old my grandparents received full custody. It came with one condition, giving the Sate of Texas custody for one year for […]

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Male Sexual Assault-Road to Recovery

Mens Health Month RAINNEWS June 2017 Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused face the same mental and physical effects as other survivors. Cultural stereotypes about men and how they portray masculinity can sometimes feel toxic to male survivors, adding additional challenges to their experience. Recovering from sexual assault or abuse is a process that looks different for everyone, and it’s important to support a survivor, no matter their gender identity. Focusing on self-care after a sexual assault is a vital step toward recovery. Sexual assault can affect the physical and emotional health of a survivor, so it’s important to address both components of self-care. Should a victim choose to seek professional help, therapy can provide a space to openly discuss their thoughts and experiences. One out of every 10 rape victims is male. It’s crucial to remind male survivors that they are not alone and share the services available to help them through their recovery. Survivors can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4653) or visit online.rainn.org to be connected with local sexual assault service providers in their area. RAINN also partners with 1in6, an organization dedicated to helping men who survived unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood. If something happened to you, know that you are not alone and help is available. This Men’s Health Month—and all year round—join RAINN in supporting all survivors. https://www.rainn.org/news/male-sexual-assault-road-recovery Thank you for reading. RAINN is an excellent Sexual Assult resources for men […]

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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Everyone Suffers in Abusive Household

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not […]

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Mother leaves 8 year old at County Hospital

Original post 6/2014 It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses until memories spring back like yesterday. I have no emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a news story about a 8-year-old girl tortured by parents, beaten, starved and chained to a column on porch left for dead. The imagine seared into my mind and did not let go. I sat down in the Therapist lobby and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. As we walk to her office, I ask if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried as if was talking about someone else. When I […]

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Happy Birthday Daddy

Today would be your 76 birthday, there are a few things to say. I don’t know if you were with God in your final hours. I can’t assume you asked for forgiveness, I can’t assume you’re in Heaven. Granny and Gramps went to their graves not knowing the pain you inflicted on me. Granny would breakdown, I would not cause her such pain. You told me several times you were going to kill yourself, I didn’t doubt. I chose to keep the information to myself. Granny was never the same after taking your life. You called delusional, hallucinationing your phone was tapped. I found the cassettes, listened to every one, it’s sad where the mind can take us. I have an idea how difficult it must have been living with a delusional mind. Years soften the memories and pain, time doesn’t mean forgiveness. I choose to move forward building a healthy life. I’ve forgotten those times, their packed away, never to share. Your son doesn’t have recollections of the worst times, he hardly knew you, you two didn’t spend much time. He knows nothing of my pain, like granny, he will go to his grave knowing none. I talked with your half-brother Michael last year, he had photos and fond memories of you, the times you shared. Thru him I learned your side of the family suffered from depression for generations back. Until next year Melinda

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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Child Marriages, life of beatings and Sexual Assault by husband

  When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped for a marriage to a much older man, as depicted in the film Difret. On the day I was abducted, I was raped by my would be “husband.” I knew I had to fight back and escape the first chance I got. I was taken to a hut and locked up. When I received another visit from my abductors I saw my chance. When he was suddenly called away, he left his gun leaning against the wall and the door unlocked. My father had taught me how to fire a gun, so I took it and ran. When he and his friends chased me, I shot him. It was the most terrifying, horrible ordeal of my entire life — and I’m one of the lucky ones. I was accused of murder and after 2 years in the courts, the judge ruled that it was, in fact, self-defense. My trial led to a re-examination of this tradition and the Ethiopian government is now working to end child marriage and female genital cutting by 2025. In addition, the African Union recently launched a campaign to end child marriage across the continent. I am now dedicating my life to working on this issue and to give voice to the screams of unheard rural women and girls. I don’t want to see the same story happen to any more girls. And yet, it still is. […]

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Faded Memories II *From Melody to Mody*

I was born with healthy lungs and strong personality  My parents chose Melinda Melody 1963. Melody was my fathers idea. To this day, my mother calls me Melody. I thought it was emotional abuse. In truth, She hated my father and used the name he chose. Emotionally  broken down to unconditional love of my grandparents. God Blessed me with my grandparents, I can’t repay you with words. What I can do is support others. I became a Minister and started a charity. God give me the strength to mentor children. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Living in a household with child abuse and domestic violence, the days without violence can disappear. The memories, faded memories can trigger deep pain if the door is open. My trigger thru me in the abysses from listening to a song listened to hundreds of times. I felt like a bomb landed in my lap, the arrival created complete chaos.  The memories were part of the chaos in my life. Shortly after the divorce from my father, my mother married shortly and my father married later. My brother and I called him the Nazi. He was an alcoholic, possessive and we marched to his beat. The verbal abuse started and shortly escalated to domestic abuse. We walked on eggshells constantly. A couple years into marriage my mother finds out he was married before with two children. We starting going to Houston regularly without knowing why. He was fighting the mother for […]

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Joyful Heart’s Male Survivor PSA Series

NO MORE Excuses: The Male Survivors Series We recognize that male survivors are met with persistent and harmful responses: That sexual abuse can’t happen to guys. That they just need to get over it. That guys wouldn’t “let” that happen to them. In 2016, Joyful Heart partnered with Viacom and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, released a new series of video and print ads—adding to a suite of print ads released in 2014—specifically addressing the myths and excuses that male survivors hear. They invite men who have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual abuse in childhood, and those who care for them, to visit 1in6.org for help. In case you missed it, I wanted to share our new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign developed in partnership with 1in6, a leading organization providing support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, produced by Viacom and created by Rachel Howald and Young & Rubicam. The PSAs are already airing across Viacom’s networks, and tomorrow, you’ll be able to see them during the eighth #NOMOREexcuses marathon of Law & Order: SVU on USA Network, starting at 1pm/12c. WATCH THE NEW VIDEO http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/programs/education/no-more/psa-campaign/no-more-excuses-male-survivors-series#sthash.cIxU9PCn.dpuf Today, I wrote on our blog about why we’ve been partnering with USA for these marathons since 2014. We already know that television and media have the power to shape and change attitudes. And […]

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Rest in Peace Grandma * I hope your heart is cleansed of Anger *

Original post 11/2014  You receive from the world what you give to the world.  Oprah   My maternal grandma died this week. I have no emotion. I would like to tell a story of a grandma and her granddaughter bonding and building memories. I can’t write about bonding because booze was her best friend. My grandfather an alcoholic as well, I can’t recall his voice. I walked into their house, the smell of Scotch over whelmed me. I wanted to get sick. My grandfather always sat at the dining table, a tall glass and bottle of J&B no more than arms length.He stared ahead and didn’t participating in the conversation. My grandmother verbally abused me every time I visited or talked to her. I have no ill will for her, I live in the present. As a teenager, I felt cheated not having a relationship with them. Everyone carries baggage. She has to account for her choices in life before our maker. She birthed my abusive mother. My grandma had pent-up anger and aimed for me. The ones I heard most often “it was my fault my mother got pregnant” or “I ruined my mother’s life” or the most painful “you were a mistake” I lived for years hearing those words repeated, I felt so small. I’ve struggled for days deciding if I wanted to acknowledge her life and death. I believe every one deserves acknowledgment at death. I hope my grandmother […]

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Original post 5/2014 We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love. I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat. One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I […]

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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY 1940-1992 **A Daughters Elvis Tribute**

Original post 8/2014 Elvis Presley had a lifetime fan in my father. I remember playing his Elvis records at 4 yrs. old. Jumping on my friends pink canopy bed with hair brushes belting out Jailhouse Rock. After the divorce Daddy would visit driving to a mom & pop store, we’d get bottles of RC Cola, sitting in-car belting out to the radio. We had to drink  in the parking lot because the bottles required a deposit, after finished daddy would  take back for the deposit. I think it was a dime. My father was one of my abusers, I have few good memories, they’re cherished. I forgave my father, choose to focus on this nugget. My father was mentally ill, committing suicide in 1992. Abuse complicates grieving,  warm tears roll down as I write. Tears for my grandmothers pain and the years I didn’t have a father. He was reading the Book of Job during his last struggle, the last moments between him and God. To daddy

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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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Andy Warhol’s “So Sweet” *Live For Today*

Original post 5/2014 I had to buy this Warhol because it was the complete opposite of my childhood. I saw the happy little girl and thought about me in kindergarten. She’s carrying a bag of candy and a good report card, again not me. What makes it so special is my mother told me I was stupid all the time. I began to believe her. You look in the corner and see “So Smart”, words I love to hear. I wasn’t stupid, just carrying a heavy load. No kindergartener can handle the burden of that secret. Warrior

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Mother leaves 8 year old at county hospital

Original post 6/2014 It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses or forgets. I have no emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a story on the news about a 8-year-old girl tortured by her parents in some way. I don’t recall the circumstances. I always plan what I want to talk about but this day was different. I sat down and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. I asked her if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried and it was if I was talking about someone else. When I was 8 years old I started having […]

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Nine years old living in Hell

Original post 4/2014 My brother and I called our stepfather a Nazi because he was mostly German and he would beat our mother unmercifully. Her crimes as we knew were not having dinner ready or not warm enough. The kids were to loud, noise was not allowed in the house, he was an alcoholic with major control issues. I was 9 years old, my brother six & half years old and our two-step brothers where much younger. They came to live with us after Houston Social Services found my stepfather the better parent. Of the choices, he was. Their mother was a drug addict. He never saw the boys after the divorce. By the time they were in the court system, they had been left at home for up to two weeks with no food, nothing. The youngest in the same diaper. The youngest experienced trauma so severely he regressed to a baby. Her addiction took over her life for that matter she may have forgotten she had kids until she came down enough. I hated my stepfather from the beginning, he didn’t wait to start controlling everything. He rarely talked to my mother it was always yelling. It was very complicated for me. I hated my mother for abusing me but it still hurt when he beat her. We had a long hallway that passed our bedrooms. When he was out of control he would walk my mother down […]

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I almost Killed my Father

Original post 4/2014 I’m writing the post with the outcome first. It made sense to me when reliving it. The tides turn It’s beyond comprehension why my probation officer saw hope in me. I gave her no reason, I had lost hope in myself, in life for that matter. I didn’t speak one word to her for seven months. I attended weekly meetings for possession of a handgun. I was a bad ass in my mind. I had to see a psychiatrist several times. I was smarter than my age at 12 years old. The psychiatrist asked me how many children I wanted. Without blinking I said none. “I wouldn’t take a chance on beating my children”. She said statics show abused people are less likely to abuse their children. I’d been sexually abused and beaten all my life. Stats meant nothing to me. The State wanted me in a boot camp type facility. My probation officer fought hard to find a less destructive facility. She felt a boot camp style would make me worse. She was right, I was wound very tight. If I can plan my father’s death what stops you from hurting a stranger. My grandmother knew about a convent that was for bad girls when she was younger. My probation officer Ruth Barrier agreed it was a better environment. I might reform in this setting. The down side, it cost $2,000 a month back in 1975 and my grandparents […]

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Could you hit your child?

Original post 3/2014 Both of my parents and stepfather abused me. We’re not talking spanking, we’re talking banging your head into the wall. I am 100% for discipline, accountability and house rules. You see children who have involved parents and the childs demeanor. I see parents yelling at the child while grocery shopping, belittling them in front of strangers. What we can’t see is child abuse. Child abuse is a taboo topic for most. My mother physically and emotionally abused me. I never told anyone, not even close family. I walked on eggshells at home. My first attempt at suicide was at 9 years old.  One morning I went to make breakfast and my mother told me I could not wear those jeans to school. This was the early 1970’s I was in 7th grade and probably argued with her. All the years my mother abused me, I never hit back. This morning was different. She started calling me a slut. She came to grab me and I hit her in the face. We were fighting and my stepfather walks in. Picture a 100 lbs. 12-year-old with braces getting hit in the mouth with a fist by of grown man. The inside of my mouth was bleeding from the braces breaking the skin. I had a bruise from nose to chin and some blackness around the eyes. I was not allowed to go to school for several days. When I returned most of the bruising […]

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Running to Stand Still

Original post from 3/2014 The song “Running to Stand Still” by U2 pierced my soul. I can’t explain the feeling. It describes my life in four simple words. I have fought most of my life to stay alive, many from my own bad choices. In the early sixties my parents met at a party. I don’t know if they dated […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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Help women and girls who have been kidnapped by ISIS * *الرجاء مساعدة الآن

Important Change.org Petition Petitioning President Barack Obama Help the women and girls from my home town who have been kidnapped by ISIS Feryal Pirali and Yazda, a Global Yazidi Organization. My name is Feryal. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, but I grew up in a small town in Iraq called Sinjar. Last August, ISIS kidnapped thousands of women and girls from my hometown. For a year, ISIS has tortured and raped them. Many are teenagers just like me. Please urge President Obama to help save 3,200 women and children from my community — some as young as 11 — who were captured by ISIS, and have been raped and tortured for the past year. I and my family are part of the Yazidi, an ancient religious minority who live mostly in Northern Iraq. Because the Yazidi are not Muslim, ISIS extremists want us exterminated. I and my parents were able to escape, but most of my friends and family couldn’t. I think constantly about the girls my age who I was friends with growing up, who are now being raped every day by ISIS extremists. They can be saved. In fact, 1,800 have escaped or been rescued — but there are still 3,200 Yazidi women and children being held by ISIS. The Yazidi and the local government in Iraq want to rescue them too, but they don’t have the resources they need to get them out. If the United States […]

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TLC to air new documentary "Breaking the silence" about child sexual abuse

(August 13, 2015) – TLC has announced plans to air “Breaking the Silence,” a new documentary about child sexual abuse. The documentary will include interviews with members of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau and offer a look inside a Darkness to Light prevention training workshop. The program will air on Sunday, August 30, at 10/9c. RAINN and Darkness to Light are partnering with TLC on a multi-platform campaign to combat child sexual abuse in the U.S. Later this month, TLC will begin airing public service ads featuring the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Breaking the Silence will feature interviews with people impacted by sexual abuse, including Traci Lee and her daughter, Ter-rae Lee, who received help from RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. “I was sexually abused by my father from the age of 11 until 13,” said Ter-rae Lee. “With the support of RAINN, I gained the courage to extract a telephone confession from my father as the district attorney’s office silently listened in. This call led to my father’s conviction, allowing me to feel safe for the first time in years.” The program will also include the story of survivor Erin Merryn, who has led the campaign to pass Erin’s Law, which requires schools to educate students about sexual abuse. To date, 26 states have passed Erin’s Laws, and the U.S. Senate last month passed a bill to encourage the remaining states to implement such programs. “We are grateful to the survivors of […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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Tell Congress no more restraint and seclusion for students with disabilities

Tell Congress to Support Accountability for Students with Disabilities! The Senate has introduced a bipartisan bill to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). The bill includes important provisions that support students with disabilities, but does not go far enough to assure accountability for student outcomes. The final bill must include provisions protecting students from the harmful use of restraint and seclusion in school, provisions that ensure that schools are assessing the academic progress of students with disabilities, including mental health conditions, and measures that hold schools accountable. Action Needed: Contact your Senators today to thank them for their support for students with disabilities and ask that the final bill include provisions designed to ensure that students with disabilities, including mental health conditions, are given the opportunity to reach their full academic potential and are protected from harm. Email Your Senators  

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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DA Fred Bright Responds To 14 year Old Charged With Prostitution

Response from DA Fred Bright April Childs Watkinsville, GA Jan 26, 2015 — Here is the response from DA Fred Bright concerning this case. “We fully recognize that the 14-year-old child involved is a victim. Our office does not arrest individuals and was not consulted about the case initially. From the time we first received this file, we expected no active prosecution against her and our only goal has been to obtain counseling, treatment, care, and protection, which she is now receiving. On December 1, 2014, we, along with the child and her lawyer requested, and the Juvenile Court Judge agreed and signed an order to hold her case in abeyance. That order means that her case is automatically dismissed upon successful completion of treatment, counseling, and care. These services will hopefully rehabilitate her so that she can get the help she needs. We have reviewed the matter and met with the law enforcement officers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Eatonton Police Department who conducted the investigation. The State is prosecuting the adult defendants for statutory rape and related charges when appropriate. The cases against the adult offenders are expected to be presented to the next Grand Jury in Putnam County scheduled for March, 2015 for indictment. We hope these prosecutions will protect her and other youth of our communities in the future. Yesterday, I spoke to the Attorney General and his specialist in Human Trafficking, who will […]

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Mother leaves 8 year old at county hospital *Reposted from June 2014*

It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses or forgets. I have no problem or emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a story on the news about a 8-year-old girl tortured by her parents in some way. I don’t recall the circumstances. I always plan what I want to talk about but this day was different. I sat down and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. I asked her if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried and it was if I was talking about someone else. When I was 8 years old I started having terrible […]

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14 year old prostitute needs help not prison *Please sign Change.org Petition*

change.org Don’t Charge Victim Of Child Abuse  Petitioner April Childs  Watkinsville, GA Earlier this month, Georgia Police busted a prostitution ring involving 11 men and a 14-year-old girl. Not only do they plan to prosecute the child predators, but they have charged the 14-year-old victim with prostitution as well. Sixteen is the age of sexual consent in Georgia. District Attorney Fred Bright is charging a statutory rape victim with a crime she’s not legally old enough to commit. Help me tell him child prostitution victims need help, not prison. My name is April Childs. I am a parent and Georgian, and I work as a forensic interviewer of children. My job entails interviewing victims of child abuse and sexual assault. I can take their testimony and transmit it to prosecutors so the victims don’t have to endure the stress and humiliation of taking the stand and seeing their accuser. I have worked with more than 500 children and helped them tell their story to officials so their abusers could be duly prosecuted. That’s why I was so shocked when I heard about Chief Kent Lawrence and District Attorney’s Bright’s plan to charge this young girl with prostitution, further victimizing her and punishing her for an act she couldn’t have legally consented to. What the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuitplans to do with this young girl goes against any legal, therapeutic or even common sense protocol. The law–both federal and state–recognizes that children do […]

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Throw Back Thursday **Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and American Indians** A Strong Message of Survival

The Pink Floyd video brings thoughts, dreams and surviving to mind. I fly in my dreams and have for as long as I can remember. Watching the guy get the courage to fly is like our internal struggle to survive. Survivors continue to battle the struggle, the difference is they have learned to fly. The other message not lost on me is the American Indian appearing, building his confidence to fly. I am Cherokee and would have liked to fight their battles. Everyone has a story. If you are lacking confidence to jump the last hurdle, you’re in good company. Survivors dedicate themselves to helping you fly. There’s a line in Seven Turns on the Highway, Love Is All That Remains The Same. It reminds me the journey never ends, we have to keep living. By living we are going to hit unexpected turns. When we have the right people in our life, they take the journey with us. Surviving is a life long learning experience. Personally I love watching the American Indians dance, wondering what the dance means.   XO Warrior  

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Memories of Childhood Abuse Flood To The Surface Discussing Domestic Violence

Two of my blogging sister’s are going through a very rough time with their ex’s. Memories flood in of my childhood as a pawn for my mother. I thought I had a good understanding of Domestic Violence, I was wrong. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily, constant verbal abuse which would cause her emotional abuse. What really hit home is how the abuse of a parent trickles down to the kids. I thought the memories of my mother were in the past. I never looked at myself as living in a house with Domestic Violence. I’m blinded with hatred towards my mother for abusing me. These emotions come to the surface yet there is no sympathy for her. The realization my friends are going through the same difficulties is blinding. I was the pawn, not the mother watching her children in agony with no recourse. I have felt anger and cried so many tears for my friends. I see their pain and remember what it was like for me as a child. I’ve gone from crying to full caregiver mode, wanting to help. I’m so emotionally involved wanting to help anyway possible. As you can see from a conversation with one of my friends, I’ve gone overboard. Looking at what they are facing with the ex, I saw for the first time I was a pawn in my mother’s game. I lived in a home with Domestic Violence. Another form […]

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Speak Your Mind! Call Congressional Members 6/12/14 Urging to Co-Sponsor "KEEP ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT"

Please remember there are no Federal Laws in place to limit the use of restraints and seclusion in Schools nationwide. Many times children with disabilities and mental illness have to deal with the trauma, trauma they don’t understand. We have to set standards to protect our children.  Warrior Tomorrow is our national call-in day so advocates all over the country can call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893). These bills greatly restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools to protect children from harm. There are no federal laws regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Numerous media stories and various reports have documented the harm, trauma and even death that have occurred from the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Restraint is being used in alarmingly high numbers on students with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. Effective alternatives exist to reduce and eliminate the unnecessary use of restraints and seclusion and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call Today! Please call your Congressional members and urge them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Thank you for your dedication to mental health advocacy!  

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'Keeping All Students Safe Act' National Call-In Day June 12th

There are stories almost weekly of schools using restraint or isolation on children deemed unruly. No federal law regulates these actions. I see both sides of the issue however another approach is urgent. As a person with mental illness, I can not imagine the long-term scars on children who receive this type of treatment. Please mark your calendars, it’s just around the corner.  Warrior Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is working with a coalition to end restraint and seclusion in schools. The coalition has organized a national call-in day on June 12th so advocates all over the country can call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893). These bills greatly restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools to protect children from harm. There are no federal laws regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Numerous media stories and various reports have documented the harm, trauma and even death that have occurred from the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Restraint is being used in alarmingly high numbers on students with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. Effective alternatives exist to reduce and eliminate the unnecessary use of restraints and seclusions and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call June 12th! Please […]

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3 year old kills 18 month old Brother with Semi Automatic Weapon

PAYSON, Ariz. – Police said an 18-month-old boy is dead after being shot in the head by his 3-year-old brother, reports CBS affiliate KPHO. The boys were at a neighbor’s apartment in Payson, Ariz., on Tuesday when they found a semi-automatic gun that belonged to the man they were visiting, according to the station. Police said the toddler’s 3-year-old brother picked up the weapon and pulled the trigger. Payson Police Chief Don Engler said officers found the boy’s mother carrying the wounded child in the parking lot outside the apartment after they received several 911 calls about a child with a head injury. The boy was pronounced dead after being rushed to Payson Regional Medical Center, KPHO reports. “The apartment that this occurred in was a family friend of the mother and two children,” said Engler. “The children had slipped into another room unobserved by the mother and the 78-year-old occupant of the apartment,” Engler said, noting that the family had been visiting for about 10 to 15 minutes before the shooting. “Even though many of our young officers have children of their own, certainly it’s difficult for our officers in those circumstances.” According to KPHO, police have not released the names of anyone involved in the incident. Suzy Tubbs, the director of Payson Community Kids, a nonprofit located across the street from the apartment, said the young mother often visited with her two sons. “I was always so impressed with a mom […]

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Yemen votes on Child Rights Act which includes end of Female Genital Mutilation

Yemen is looking to end child marriages and FGM through the Child Rights Act. The new law would establish minimum age of 18 for marriage and end FGM. A positive vote will meet minimum International Human Rights standards. Yemen is leading the way to end the horrific use of Female Genital Mutilation. My hope is other countries take notice and intact similar laws.   Yemen law on child brides and FGM offers hope of wider progress. The smooth passage of legislation outlawing child marriage and female genital mutilation is key to Yemen’s long-term prosperity. Schoolgirls in Sana’a, Yemen. A new law promises to protect under-18s from marriage. Yemen is poised to vote on a comprehensive Child Rights Act over the coming months, which would ban child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law would establish the minimum age for marriage as 18, in line with the international human rights standard. Fines would be imposed on guardians, signatories, marriage officials and any other witnesses aware of any contravention. The push for official legislation on such issues has been endorsed by Hooria Mashhour, the Yemeni human rights minister, and supported by others in government. If approved by the prime minister and cabinet, the legislation would go to a parliamentary vote. However, successful passage of the law is far from certain. In 2009, an attempt to make 17 the minimum age of marriage for girls was blocked by traditional and religious leaders and the parliament’s sharia committee. The […]

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Washington Doesn't Want to Talk About Vaginas

Jaha Dukureh is a survivor, driven with incredible inner strength. This article is a great follow-up to the post I wrote on Female Genital Mutilation.  This is the worst form of abuse on children and women. I can appreciate bringing traditions when moving to America. Female Genital Mutilation is a tradition not excepted in America. The violence and violation of children and women is illegal, not a tradition America has ever followed and is inhumane. Most people are not familiar with Female Genital Mutilation, now is a good time to educate yourself and others. Jaha’s clitoris and labia removed and her vagina stitched leaving only a small hole to urinate and menstruate. Sex is very painful.This procedure is Type 3 FGM. It is a long post but please read her brave and motivating story. Please sign the petition on Change.org. She is a survivor and want’s to teach Americans what to do to stop FGM in America. The Futures Without Violence website http://exchange.futureswithoutviolence.org is a great resource to offer support and educate.  From the Futures Without Violence Website. Jaha Dukureh: ‘In Washington, they don’t want to talk about Vaginas’ An Atlanta woman who is a survivor of female genital mutilation is leading a campaign for the US to take action on a brutal practice happening in its own backyard. Jaha Dukureh does not give up easily. When, aged just 15, she was sent to New York from Gambia for an arranged marriage, it looked like […]

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Brave Heart Award

The Brave Heart Mission Statement To encourage all those (men & women) who have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.   A Victims Journal nominated me for the Brave Heart Award. There are not enough words to express how helpful, positive and inspiring she is to me. I admire her raw and honest post. The feedback she gives is no less raw. Her sixth sense of knowing when you need a boost or a little prodding helps keep me on track. I feel like she reads all of my post and always has a hug and positive affirmation.  Rules of Acceptance: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer 12 questions put before you. Nominate/award 12 bloggers. Notify nominees/awardees with a link to their blogs on yours. 12 Questions Asked 1.Tell us a bit about your blog. Who designed it The blog is an avenue to tell my story of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I believe it also serves as a resource for men & women alike. I used a Word Press template and designed myself. 2. What is the title and description of your blog? Looking for the Light is my blog which focuses on my story of abuse  and Mental Illness. 3. Who is your intended audience? Anyone who has suffered trauma. I believe we can all help […]

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Terrorist Convert Hundreds of Schoolgirls To Muslims? NOT!

Does BoKo Haram think we are ignorant? What child would not comply with a machine gun pointed at her? We are not ignorant and you will be held ACCOUNTABLE. If you were one of the almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped almost a month ago by terrorist, wouldn’t you say anything with machine guns pointing at you? I don’t believe for one minute over 100 girls asked for a terrorist group to convert them from Christian to Muslims. They are not given a choice, they received instructions to get in front of cameras and say what we rehearsed or you’re dead. These brave girls are being held hostage in the jungle by terrorist group BoKo Haram. They did not go voluntarily and have not had any choices since their school burned down. What cowards, dressed as Police Officers to convince the girls to go with them. The group is also responsible for killing 1,500 in the last month. The level of violence has escalating. I know terrorist are not trustworthy, THEY ARE TERRORIST. They are not terrorist bringing of goodwill to Nigeria. They are suggesting a trade, the girls for clan members in prison. This morning I heard the President is considering negotiating. From where I sit, it’s a death sentence. It shows the government does not want to get its hands dirty. Almost 300 schoolgirls and the blood of 1,500 people are on your hands. Why is the government of Nigeria sitting on its hands. […]

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Take Action for Children's Mental Health

National Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Update on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, helps raise awareness around children’s mental health. This week NAMI joins communities around the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. It is a week to focus on children and youth living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness. View activities you can do to support Children’s Mental Health Awareness. TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health Below are bills that you can take action on to tell your members of congress to prioritize children’s mental health. The Mental Health In Schools Act (S. 195 and H.R. 628) The Mental Health in Schools Act is critically important legislation that provides federal funding to increase the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports and builds effective links between schools and the community mental health system. This legislation will improve the early identification of mental illness by funding school and community-based mental health services and linking students with effective services and supports so they have the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. TAKE ACTION The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) This bill greatly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s […]

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Terrorist BoKo Haram and Nigerian Government #BringBackOurGirls

I met two women bloggers living in Nigeria last week while looking for information on the kidnapped schoolgirls. They welcomed me with open arms and were patient answering all my questions. I wanted an understanding of the country in hopes of making sense of almost 300 schoolgirls being kidnapped. Not to mention 1,500 people killed this year by terrorist group Boko Haram. Without knowing the history of the country it is difficult to understand the dynamics, corruption and terrorist groups operating in the country. Nigeria is one of the largest African nations and is Christian and Muslims. I think getting the facts from people on the ground versus me or the media is more important. I’ve included links to the wonderful women who helped me immensely. http://maureenoblaq.wordpress.com http://musingsofahappymortal.wordpress.com ******************************************* Change.org There’s a powerful petition taking off on Change.org and we think you might be interested in signing it: Live link at end of post. All World Leaders: Bring Back Nigeria’s 200 Missing School Girls #BringBackOurGirls. In Nigeria, over 200 girls were recently abducted from their boarding school and plans are reported of them being selling them as brides for $12 each. I am calling on the world to unite and save them. The abducted young girls are being affected by a conflict they did not create, and their voices need to be heard. I can only imagine what these 200 girls have been through, and their government is not doing nearly enough […]

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Sunshine Award for Looking for the Light

Sunshine Award and why I’m Crab Grass Avalanche of the Soul nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Being a new, I didn’t understand being nominated means you have the award. Please forgive me for taking so long to share my excitement. I was the kid picked last playing Red Rover. I’m not used to getting awards but I’m a quick learner. In addition to her Blog, she contributes to The Cut Throat Club Online where our connection started. She is raw, no sugar-coating, highly knowledgable, open and honest. I’ve received the most touching comments from her. Receiving the award from her is special because she encourages me daily. Her wall of awards is impressive. After reading her Blog you will understand why she is so decorated. Thank you my fellow SURVIVOR. Check out her Blog at http://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com Ten Things about me 🙂 1.  I started drinking coffee from my baby bottle. 2. I jumped out of an airplane from 12,500 feet. 3.  I have a soft spot for Seniors Citizens and animals. 4.  Love Technology, bring on the gadgets! 5.  If I were a plant I would be crab grass, it’s impossible to kill. 6.  I love travel, my bucket list is long. 7.  No one is to touch anything in my office. 8.  I’m a perfectionist, 50/50 good trait. 9. Wish for one more day with my grandparents, my Angels. 10. I’m deathly afraid of spiders, snakes and sharks. Sharks […]

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Nigerian Militants Kidnap 250+ Schoolgirls for Slaves or Marriage

Under the cover of darkness Nigerian Militants raid girls school kidnaping close to 300 girls. Some were able to escape yet stranded far from school. Their future is grime, girls as young as 9 years old are sold as slaves or prostitutes. For older girls the future is just as bleak. Girls as young as 12 years old will endure the horrific pain of Female Mutilation before being sold into marriage or prostitutes. International Trafficking is growing and the atrocities against young girls continue. Now is a good time to educate yourself on the complex issues. President Obama spoke out against the crime and Militants responded by kidnapping more girls. As mentioned earlier the issue is complex. This post is a high level overview of the issue. I want to do research, including responses from other countries and more specifically what President Obama has committed to. I received an e-mail yesterday from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on International Trafficking that I have yet to dig into. This situation has reached a tipping point for me. I will post a follow up very soon. I’m going to leave you with a quote from Amnesty International. “MY BODY MY RIGHTS” In many parts of the world, poverty and discrimination affect women’s ability to access education and exercise control over their own bodies. As a result, women and girls all over the world are at risk of violence, forced marriage, genital mutilation, […]

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NO MORE EXCUSES

No More Silence. No More Violence. Tune in for the NO MORE Excuses SVU Marathon This Sunday on USA  The link will take you to information about event and how you can help. There’s an extensive list of resources. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Warrior

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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Meds & Musing

Rosie Perez Oscar Nominated Actress has released a memoir about her road to survival with a Mentally Ill mother. I saw her on a talk show not long ago.  Rosie is open, no glossing over her past. She is a survivor. The book, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life. I found it on Amazon. Many are focusing on Child Abuse Month and possibly making […]

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Female Circumcision on rise in US

I believe FGM is the most horrific form of child abuse. The article is difficult to read. If you are not familiar with the practice, I pray you’re outraged. I had no idea the practice of Female Genital Mutilation was a growing trend in the US. I found the article on NBC.com under World News with a 3/31/14 original publication date. Horrific Taboo: Female Circumcision on the Rise in U.S. BY ANNABEL ROBERTS AND MARIAN SMITH When Marie was two years old, a woman in her village in Africa cut off her clitoris and labia. Now 34 and living thousands of miles away in New York, she is still suffering. “I have so many problems, with my husband, with sex, with childbirth,” she told NBC News, withholding her real name to protect her identity. “The consequences on my life are all negative, both physically and psychologically.” The practice of Female Genital Mutilation is common across much of Africa, where it is believed to ensure sexual purity before marriage. But Marie says FGM is also “very common” in some communities in America. “The pressure to get daughters cut is great,” she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 150,000 to 200,000 girls in the U.S. are at risk of being forced to undergo cutting. The CDC says “at risk” because there are no actual records of the practice, only estimates – and old estimates at that. Its latest data […]

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Hyper mania allowed me to travel

  I love to travel, my goal is to see the world. When your Bipolar, hyper mania  can make it possible. I was an Executive Sales person, number one in the company and making big bucks. I felt so lucky hyper mania stayed for 10 years. I went to Russia by myself, traveled with my friends to France and the Caribbean.  My doctor kept telling me the higher you go the harder you fall. I didn’t want to give up the person I was. The fall began slowly, I got fired from my job, blew though my savings and filled for bankruptcy. Did I mention a divorce and building a new house. I lost everything. What I lost was not worth the high. All the negative thoughts came back. My life is not as exciting, anxiety kept me in the house. Many days I didn’t get of bed. I’ve been suicidal several times, having 20 ECT treatments in the past 10 years. My husband understands my illness  and often goes on doctor’s appointments. The brain is a fascinating  question mark? I love this photo of Jesus because he carries me often. The photo was the motivation to get out of bed. Warrior

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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