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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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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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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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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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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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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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

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 physically […]

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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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The import from previous Blog is completed *Adding close to 500 additional post*

Time to celebrate!!!! Bring your kazoo, streamers, silly string and lots of cupcakes. I can finally say Looking for the Light has merged with Looking for the Light Blog. The conversion took longer than expected. Now Looking for the Light (previous) blog completes the transition to http:lookingforthelightblog.wordpress.com. The conversion added almost 500 new post dating back to 2005. I have learned a valuable lesson, starting a new site and importing post from previous blog will give you grey hair. The confusion during the holidays was crazy for me and many followers. I appreciate those who stayed with me. Many people didn’t know where my blog would be the next day. Neither did I, every morning was a guessing game. A special thanks to friends and followers, we completed the journey from hell. 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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Randstein nominated me for Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award

Thank you my friend Randstein A special thank you to Randstein for nominating me the Once A Victim Now A Survivor Award.  Randstein is a good friend, always happy to help, writes the most fantastic stories. His short stories give you plenty to think about. Randstien’s blog is hyperionsturm.wp.com. He’s a founding member of survivorsbloghere.wp.com I’m glad to have met him, my life has expanded. This award is for those who have gone through mental illness of any kind, abuse, trauma, and especially PTSD. The Rules: 1. Thank the blogger that nominated you 2. Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers to pass the award to 3. Post 5 questions for your nominees to answer (you may use the same as these below) 4. Inform your nominees and post a comment in their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated Questions: 1. In what ways do you feel that blogging can help people with psychological trauma or mental illness? I think writing can help in many ways. It’s perfect outlet to share, work thru pain and trauma. Blogging provides support from people who are a few steps ahead. The experience of putting your pain in a post can give a feeling of success. Writing thoughts down can help you see what needs more work. Posting takes a load off, no matter how small. We gain confidence one step at a time.   2. How has blogging helped you with your healing, or your personal journey? I started […]

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Robert Goldstein Honors Me with The Creative Blogger Award

  I’m thrilled, Robert Goldstein nominated me for The Creative Blogger Award. Robert advocates  for Mental Illness. He is a passionate artist, photographer, articulate and honest. Sharing his struggle with Mental Illness while providing support. If you haven’t visited his blog, I know you’ll enjoy his site.  Art by Robert Goldstein, http://www.robertmgoldstein.com. The Rules: * Display the Creative Blogger Award logo on your blog * Nominate 15-20 blogs and let know all nominees via their social media/blogs * Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important) * Share 5 random facts about yourself to your readers * Pass these rules on to them Five Facts:  You will see I was born looking for trouble. At 12 years, old I drove a friend of my fathers hot rod. He left the car at our house. I ask my dad first, hell no at top of lungs. Once he got on phone he would talk forever. I didn’t know how to drive. I grabbed the keys, drove the car around our street, came home and parked. I thought it was to far out in street, in my effort to correct, I jumped curb and hit fire hydrant. My dad did hear the bang, he ran out of house saying things I won’t repeat here. My first motorcycle ride was at 9 years old. I was a biker from that day forward. The only problem was stepping off bike […]

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Right4Girls *Marks Pivotal Step Fordward In Fight Against Trafficking*

Fighting to end trafficking is a complex issue. We may not see the change ourselves, we do have to start the ball rolling. We have to understand why trafficking is happening and widely excepted in many countries. I’ve included a link to original article.   XO  W http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rights4girls-jvta-marks-a-pivotal-step-forward-in-the-fight-against-trafficking-2015-05-19

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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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Forced Sex Camps Train Girls for Child Marriage *Women and Children Have Rights*

Forced Sex Camps Train Girls For Child Marriage In Zambia And Mozambique Reuters By Emma Batha CASABLANCA, May 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage. These sexual initiations begin once menstruation starts and sometimes involve sticks being inserted inside the girls, Persilia Muianga of international aid agency World Vision said. She added that some mothers force young daughters to sleep with a man in the belief this can bring on menstruation. Anglican priest Jackson Jones Katete said initiations in Zambia happen among girls between the ages of eight and 13, and may involve girls being cut by women for not performing sexual movements correctly. “You … pay these (elderly) women to do this torturing to your child,” he said, adding that men do not want to marry girls unless they have been initiated. “Immediately the girls come out of the camp, they are saying … you are now ready for sex. And then the men come … and then they begin to do the betrothals.” The training, which can last a week and is shrouded in secrecy, also teaches girls about hygiene, domestic duties and how to conduct themselves in the community, Muianga said, adding that community leaders […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Dedicated to team at Survivors Blog Here*

Army of Angles, Hyperion Strum and myself  started Survivors Blog Here in September 2014. We didn’t know each other well and less about the theme tools. We had determination and Randstein for tech issues. In growing the blog we added writers who shared the same values. Nine writers collaborate on Survivors Blog Here now. It’s up from here. I am proud to collaborate with you, appreciate you and consider you family. We’ve built strong relationships, a family. Our friend/followers are great.Thank you for reading and please leave comments. Our goal is to support the community. 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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Vote for stronger punishment against Domestic Violence in South Carolina–Pass Bill S3

Change.org Petition      https://www.change.org/p/south-carolina-state-senate-take-action-to-save-victims-of-domestic-violence? Vote for stronger punishment against Domestic Violence in South Carolina My name is Melissa Davis Walker, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am tired of living in a state with the highest rate of domestic violence in the country. We need laws that protect victims from the people that abuse them. Currently, the laws are failing victims and they make little sense. First time offenses hold a 30 day sentence. But if you beat a dog, you could get up to 5 years. Tell Governor Nikki Haley and the South Carolina legislature that victims deserve stronger laws that protect them from the threat of domestic violence, pass Bill S3. For 13 years, my five children and I lived in fear. My husband threatened, beat and choked me for the duration of our marriage, and I felt like the law couldn’t protect me. It was only when my son bravely confided in a school official after my husband pointed a loaded shotgun at his head, that we finally got the legal support we needed to put him behind bars. If he had only been charged for attacking me, he would be walking free today, and I might not be here to tell my story. South Carolina is ground zero in the domestic violence fight. The toll of domestic violence is especially high on women. The state has the highest rate of female murders […]

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Don't allow our daughter to be segregated because of her Down Syndrome

Change.org Petition Petitioning Andrew Eulass, Michelle Gallo, Dr. Paul Gordon Don’t allow our daughter to be segregated because of her Down Syndrome The first thing you might notice about our daughter Hiba is that she has Down syndrome. But to those who know her, Hiba is a beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate 9-year-old. She loves math and her favorite show is “Doc McStuffins.” If you ask Hiba what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you “a doctor.” This is not surprising considering how much she loves helping people. As her parents, we see a child with all the potential of any other child. Unfortunately, her school system has kept Hiba segregated from other students and it has taken its toll on her education and spirit. All they seem to see is a child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not define our daughter. We are asking Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba her legal right to be fully integrated and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary. For the past 5 years, Hiba’s education has been spent in isolated, 1-on-1 settings. It has been painful to watch Hiba not be responsive to this education approach. She has become depressed, withdrawn, and as a result, hasn’t performed well in her studies. Hiba knows she is being treated differently and separated from the “normal” kids. Districts across the US have diversified the classroom to […]

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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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Throw Back Thursday *Clapton Cocaine, Zeppelin Rock & Roll*

A couple music favorites from my wild child days. By 12 years old I already lived a lifetime, the drugs probably kept me alive. Read my About Me page and you may agree. I would break a kilo of marijuana down to four finger bags in a couple of hours. Using old fashion sandwich bags, just roll and lick to seal.  My 21-year-old boyfriend was a dealer and we would sell kilo in two nights. This became our Friday ritual every two weeks. There is a long story behind how a drug addicted 12-year-old missed out playing with Barbie’s. I had Angels guiding my path.   XO Warrior

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Covenant House Keeps Homeless Kids Off The Streets

Help us get homeless kids off the streets. Your action on Change showed sex trafficking victims that they are not alone. In fact, they have an important new ally. Some experts estimate that every year, 100,000 children — many of whom are homeless — are forced into prostitution in the United States. They have lived through unspeakable pain, and have nowhere and no one else. But they do have Covenant House… and now they have you. At Covenant House, we provide vital shelter and lifesaving support to every kid who shows up on our doorstep. Working in 27 cities across 6 countries, we reach tens of thousands of kids in need every year by getting them off the streets and into the safety of our shelters. How we reach homeless kids Raising community awareness Searching for kids in the most dangerous parts of town Creating change at the local, state & federal levels Visiting schools to promote prevention 36,154 kids were saved last year. Just like you, we believe that every kid deserves a safe place to live and the support and resources to build a future of love, hope and success — no matter who they are, where they’re from or what they’ve been through. In the coming months, our kids are going to need your support. Whether it’s helping to get legislation passed or making sure we’re prepared for extreme weather and other emergency situations, you can protect […]

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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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Happy Birthday To The Best Mom…I Love You

My granny did everything to help with my emotional pain. She had one child by birth but she had two children. There is no question she was my mother. I talk a lot about my gramps, granny stood at his side keeping him in line. She was shy, her father died when she was nine years old, they lost everything and truly lived day-to-day. Granny went cross-eyed at three years old. I believe this made her self-conscious. One cherished memory is the havoc we created while she was in a wheel chair. For unknown reasons she could not walk for around two years. She was so depressed it was heartbreaking to see her fade. Granny was so straight and never the life of party. I changed a small part of her timid nature. The best way to cheer her up was a trip to the mall. I had a Corvette and her wheel chair was worst than a boat anchor. Getting the chair in the back of Corvette was not an easy job but I made it look like piece of cake. We would go to the usual stores she liked to shop. To liven things up and really throw her off, I started acting like her wheel chair was a race car. I would make racing sounds and turn corners in the clothes racks real close. When we reached the main walk ways I would start pushing her really […]

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273 Days Since 273 Young School Girls Kidnapped By BoKo Haram's

Update on Change.org Petition Boko Haram’s ‘deadliest massacre’: over 2000 children, women, elderly- all dead in Nigeria Ify Elueze Bonn, Germany Jan 11, 2015 — In two days, it would be 273 days since 273 young secondary school girls were taken from the safety of their boarding school and families. It would also be one week since over 2000 children, women, men and elderly people were massacred in a town called Baga, in the north-eastern part of Nigeria (400km from Chibok where the girls were kidnapped in April); and two days since a 10 year old girl who was strapped with a bomb, blew up in a busy market, killing 20 people and leaving many others injured. International reports have it that hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from the extremist attack in Baga that Amnesty International described as the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram. For over five days, Baga and 16 other nearby villages were pillaged and burnt to the ground by members of the Boko Haram sect. The response of the Nigerian government to this issue has been poor as the country is preparing for political elections. In less than five weeks, it’s citizen would be voting for their next set of leaders. It would seem that there is a real war going on in Nigeria, but only the Nigerians aren’t fully aware of this […]

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Throw Back Thursday * Santana Bending Strings…Live From Germany *

The idea for this weeks Throw Back Thursday came to me several weeks ago, I didn’t even think twice. My life overflows with sunshine everyday because of you. Every like, comment, follow, friendship, laugh, words of encouragement, allowing me into your life and above all your prayers. You have touched me deeply by allowing me to comment, knock on your door and allowing me into your life. There is not a day go by without thoughts and prayers for my WP family. My husband understands how important blogging is for me, what is hard for him is how people can touch my life without meeting. I started blogging to share my experiences with others. I didn’t have a clue where the first steps would take me. The thought of my heart expanding with joy never crossed my mind. I am thankful for so much and hope to see you often in 2015.   XO Melinda    

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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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Steubenville High School: Remove Convicted Rapist From Football Team**Is Football More Important Than Gang Rape?**

TRIGGER WARNING: This petition pertains to the sexual assault of a minor. “I feel that he’s earned a second chance.” That’s what Steubenville High football coach Reno Saccoccia has to say about his decision to welcome convicted rapist Ma’lik Richmond back to his team. The facts of the Steubenville rape case in 2012 were already horrendous. A teenage girl was repeatedly and publicly sexually assaulted by boys on her school’s football team. Pictures and video were taken and the victim was shamed on social media. Coach Reno Saccoccia allegedly tried to cover up the crime and continued to let the perpetrators play on the team even after it became clear that they had committed these acts. This case was a clear-cut instance of rape culture, where a community prioritized the success and protection of its football team, and dismissed incidences of rape under the guise of ‘boys will be boys.’ Now, Ma’lik Richmond – who was found guilty of raping a minor while she was unconscious – is out of jail and and Coach Saccoccia has put him right back on the Big Red football team. While he was never charged with attempting to cover up the crime it’s clear that Saccoccia still doesn’t understand the seriousness of his players’ crimes. In his words: “[Richmond’s] one of 55 players that are in good standing with their teammates and their coaches.” This cannot be tolerated. We as a nation are tired […]

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Important Change.org Petitions Need Your Support **Violence Against Women**

I only post petitions from Change.org that really disturb me. I feel strongly you want to see the injustice and take part in forging change. There are so many in my e-mail I can’t do individual post for each. I’m asking you to click on the links below or go directly to http://www.change.org to check currents petitions. Sign up for direct notices if you like. There are many opportunities to make your voice heard. One signature can make a difference. I will post an update on petitions which have seen victory and positive change. We have to make our collective voice heard, violence is not acceptable and people will be accountable for their actions with proper penalties.   M Violence Against Women NFL must update policy against violencee. https://www.change.org/p/roger-goodell-nflcommish-set-consistent-punishment-guidelines-for-nfl-players-who-commit-violence-against-women High School Violence Against Women https://www.change.org/p/steubenville-high-school-remove-convicted-rapist-from-big-red-football-team End Teen Dating Violence https://www.change.org/p/south-carolina-state-senate-pass-sierra-s-law-to-end-teen-dating-violence-in-south-carolina  

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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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Children Restrained or Secluded 267,000 Times School Year*Most Have Disabilities or Mental Illness*

My Two Cents This a brief update from NAMI, National Alliance Mental Illness. I can’t wrap my head around 267,000 students restrained or secluded, the majority with Disabilities or Mental Illness. It’s not a punishment I can get on board with. The parents are accountable for their children and how they act in school. Do parents have alternative schools? My mind is over flowing with questions. Do schools have a process, is the process monitored, by who, documented, are there defined actions, limitations? Are teachers and principals discussing the process of punishment with parents face to face? Are parents notified before school starts? Is the child involved in meetings to give input and ask questions? What grades are included or all?  How many offences allowed before the child needs to transfer to school capable of meeting their needs. Is a detailed report required for each incident and discussed with parent? Do the disabled students understand why their being punished? Are the disabled students from a different learning environment? Which organization determined this punishment was Best Practices? Are investigations performed by governing organization? I strongly believe parents are accountable for their children which includes providing an appropriate learning environment. The other students deserve a healthy learning environment. I feel like all students lose with this policy and abusive.   Warrior  ********** NPR just wrote an article that highlights the need for immediate action to regulate restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. Data from […]

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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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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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Daddy was 52 on 2/22/1992

My father suffered from Mental Illness his entire life. When he was a teen, Doctor’s told my grandmother he was hyperactive and gave her tranquilizers. I doubt he took one pill. Estranged since I was thirteen years old, I could not look my abuser in the eye. Daddy started calling when I was 28 years old. He was delusional, talking in sentences that made no sense. I picked up he needed money, I started paying his bills. He said he was going to kill himself and kept rambling. I could not get through to him. I did not tell anyone in my family either.  He was so far gone, he could not process what I was saying. February 22, 1992 my father took his life. I felt overwhelming guilt. Unsure how my grandmother would react for me not telling her. It’s a guilt I’ll carry to my grave. At 28 years old it was hard to feel pain and remember the past. In the note he asked me to handle arrangements. I did what I’d done for years, stuff my emotions down, act strong and get it done. There are many who inherit Mental Illness, have a relative who suffers or experienced suicide in the family who suffer in silence. Healing from child abuse is difficult, it can feel impossible when the abuser is a parent. I never told my grandparents about my father sexually abusing me. Everyday is one step […]

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