Category Archives: Surviving Hell

Gun Safety and Self Defense Training was Absolutely Awesome

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Hows my form...maybe something I could work on 😉

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My grip looks good though

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I got a great score

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Because I had a great instructor...whos a bit of a hottie! 😉

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Secondary Survivors Support Group

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I’ve found out that there is a Secondary Survivors Support Group in my area. There are support groups for the Primary survivors as well but it seems like its for adult survivors. I’m gonna go to this meeting and hopefully they will know if or where I can find a group for teen survivors for my daughter to attend.
She participated in group therapy with about four girls her age at the end of her year long one on one councelling. She really loved the group therapy because she met and bonded with a few girls who knew exactly what it feels like to be a CSA survivor. Truth is, its great to have support of any kind but its different when you have the benefit of support from people who’ve suffered the same trauma as you. They have experienced the same roller coaster of complex emotions and have thought the same thoughts that are unique to your shared traumatic experiences.
This is what I’ve been searching for. Others out there like me who have lived through the same unfortunate kind of trauma that I can connect with and maybe even start to find some healing.
Hopefully the group that meets weekly in my area is the first step in the right direction towards finding some peace, the light at the end of the tunnel that I’ve been searching for so long for.

Mothers of childhood sexual abuse victims

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Its seems shocking and a bit odd that I haven’t found any wordpress blogs written by or supporting the Mothers of childhood sexual abuse victims. Their are countless blogs on wordpress written by the victims themselves. Often written by a adult survivor of such abuse. Obviously the ability to blog about such a life altering experience offers a much needed outlet as well as some amount of emotional support and hopefully healing from such a large community. I, as the mother of a child who suffered sexual abuse, long to speak with, connect with and get feedback from woman (and men) who are living through the same hell I am.
If their is anyone out there who is the mother/father/caregiver who is suffering along side their child while fighting to protect them please leave me a comment.
I feel like there is a lack of moral and emotional support for the parent/s of such victims on wordpress.
Or if anyone knows of any wordpress blogs specifically devoted to parental support of victims of childhood sexual abuse please let me know.
I just wanna find others like me who can relate to this kind of trauma.

Lessons of Failed Relationships

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Plinky prompt:
Share a lesson you wish you had learned earlier in life.

Every failed relationship you have ever had is your fault.

I’m not saying that you were the reason your ex cheated, absolutely refused to work, or was abusive… but you chose that person to be your partner – potentially unaware of the ‘type’ of person he or she was, and remained in that relationship up to a certain point… that point was when you learned your lesson.

… think about your last relationship, and why it ended…. There was something there that you just would not accept… and because of that, your relationship came to an end. Something else happened, though… you became smarter.

Bravery is Beautiful

The image above is the property of The Star Online

Check out this astounding young ladys blog. Her story is heartbreaking. Her bravery is remarkable and her resolve to inspire change is heroic.

http://sacrilegeofthegoddess.wordpress.com/

She is a warrior in my opinion, fighting to bring awareness to an epidemic of injustices suffered by children across the world. She fights not with her fists, but her body, in beautiful dance. A dance to bring awareness to the problem of childhood sexual assault. My message to her is to stay strong. You have an amazing opportunity to inspire change and bring awareness. Who knows how many young lives will be changed for the better through your stories and sharing your dance. Though I’ve never met her, I feel a strong bond forged by similar stories we’ve endured. She’s a warrior for the young and innocent. I admire her strength and send her much love and respect.

You can also read more about her mission and her story from The Star Online.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/12/29/nation/10167925&sec=nation

The Reality: What was actually lost

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Image by Carolyn_Sewell via Flickr

So, it’s been 621 days, or, 1 year 8 months and 12 days since my children and my world came to a crashing halt.

I keep wondering why I havent healed yet. Why am I still so profoundly damaged and why can I not integrate back into the world with even a minute amount of success. What is wrong with me. I was diagnosed with PTSD  which made me ask myself, does this mean I will never heal. And if I can recover, WHEN?

After beating myself up for failing to get on with life, I figure it might be time to assess the gravity, the magnitude, the reality of what was actually lost.

Before I go on, Please understand, I would have it no other way. The relief I feel knowing that my daughter had the guts to stand up and protect herself by telling her secret is remarkable. I am grateful for her bravery. I’m also relieved that her suffering has come to an end. However, I’m writing this blog post to get a better understanding of why I am having such a hard time healing from what was lost.

During some of my darkest, most painful days I recall describing what I was experiencing like this…

My husband was murdered, my daughter was raped, my home was set on fire, my job was terminated, my bank account was robbed.

And all of this occurred in one day, in the blink of an eye. I went to bed one night and life was normal. I woke up to find everything I knew and loved had changed. Life from this moment forward would never be the same.

It’s funny because the above description is not exact, but for me, it’s the closest way I can describe how I feel and for the most part it’s the equivalent of the reality.

The Breakdown of what was lost

My husband was murdered

Everyone knows someone who has lost a spouse way to early. About ten years ago my husbands best friend died in a car accident.  Of course we were devastated. After all, our friends had recently married, which we celebrated as a new and exciting beginning of two friends sharing a wonderful life together. In his death, he was buried and honored with a funeral where all of his loved ones were able to pay their respects to the deceased. There was closure. Sure, it was painful to say goodbye to a friend. There was peace in knowing we could visit his grave, place flowers on such a good friends final resting space should we desire.

The bottom line is, I have spent every day since midsummer of the year 2000 with my husband. I truly loved this man with every part of me. I was still in love with him, which is quite remarkable. heck, I’ve been in relationships where the flame is snuffed out, and pretty quickly to. But this wasnt the case with us. I still looked at him with passion, still thought he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever laid eyes on.

No, in reality my husband was not actually murdered. trust me, there is a weird part of me (the part that has never actually experienced what that might be like) that feels like this would be a less painful scenario. Had he been murdered I would have been able to bury the man I loved so deeply. I could still look at him with love. Me and my children could visit his grave and place flowers. A gravestone for me has recently become something tangible that you can go to when the person you held so dear is no longer there. My husband, my children’s father is no longer there. There’s nothing. THERES NOTHING. Just an empty space in my home and in my heart. I feel his absence in the depth of my guts. There’s nothing left but the good memories that swirl around the new and bad memories. I still can’t think of him, talk about him, look at his things, go to sleep next to the spot he occupied, and yes, survive every holiday without feeling the tremendous sense of loss of this person in my life. I miss the man I thought he was. I miss my best friend. I feel like it was my husband who murdered the man I loved.

My daughter was raped

This is such a painful thought that I still have a hard time thinking about it, much less writing candidly about the feeling and emotions that are buried in my mind and heart. And for that reason I’ll simply say… this is self explanatory…and move on to the next item.

My home was set on fire

I see news stories all the time about families displaced by fire. Families that are homeless in the matter of moments. Nothing left of the comforts of home but a heap of smouldering ash. This is tragic and reported as such on the news, usually with a cry for help and where good citizens can send donations to help out the newly homeless.

For my family, our home is on fire, burning just under the surface. It feels like the Alzheimer’s disease for the exiled. without an income, saving my home, my children’s home is useless. we’re just watching it smoke, waiting for the day that it’s all gone. The saddest part is, there aren’t any nor will there ever be any distress calls from the local news media for my family. We will lose our home. My children will lose the last bit of normalcy they have left. Childhood friends, classmates, routines that provide comfort will all be gone. I cannot explain what its like to walk into your house and know that the very sights, smells, and personal space that brings peace and shelters you from the cold hard world, just outside your door will be gone. I don’t know the date but I know its coming.  My husband was ordered to pay the mortgage but he never has and my lawyer didnt push the issue. Because I was and still am absolutely broke, I’m unable to pay my lawyer. The last payment that was made on our family home was april 2010. I’m still in my home but its in foreclosure. I’m not sure how much longer before we are completely homeless.

My job was terminated

My husband and I started our own business in 2006. I took pride in working both with him outside of the home and as the accountant in the home. I wont lie, ive never loved doing receipts. I kinda despised getting all the paperwork prepared for taxes. But I did it, for years I did it. I did love the physical work though. It wasnt to difficult and I really loved going to work with my husband everyday. We were a team. We were business partners. We were best friends who got to hang out every day. I look back on these times fondly and unfortunately so. If I hated the daily grind than maybe that’d be one less good memory to grieve the loss of. Now my everyday is a struggle just to get to the end. Our business was and is a fairly profitable business. We did well for ourselves, making enough to live on and have a bit left over for the fun things in life. We enjoyed entertaining friends at our house, hosting the occasional get-together. He took the business. He was the only one we listed on the LLC. We never paid ourselves paychecks so I couldn’t file for unemployment. It’s as if I havent had a job since 2006. I miss enjoying my day-to-day life. I miss working and I miss the motivation I once enjoyed as a small business owner.

My bank account was robbed

Within the first week after the discovery and while I was still in shock at my mothers house, my husband cleared out our bank account. I had not a dollar to my name and three kids to support. This has not changed and I don’t expect that it will. He took every dime that we together made and saved and left me with nothing. I went to sleep one night with a certain degree of financial security and woke up to find I couldn’t even buy toilet paper. “I couldn’t even buy toilet paper” it’s what everyone who is running low on cash says…I had to steal toilet paper from a gas station bathroom. It’s not an exaggeration, it was our reality and it was humiliating. As something ive kept a secret from everyone I know including my children, its something I still cringe privately over.

So, what’s next

When I look at the list above it reads like the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, seriously. How much stress can one person suffer before they break? I’ll paste a link I found to a site where you can do a quick assessment. I don’t need to do the assessment to know that I’ve had a multitude of stressful life changing events happen in a short amount of time but after reading over it ive decided I need to get myself back into therapy. Heres the list:

Choose Life Events In the last 2 years, did any of the following happen in your life?

  • Minor violations of the law
  • Major holidays
  • Vacation
  • Major change in number of family get-togethers
  • Change in eating habits
  • Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual)
  • Taking on a loan (car,etc.,)
  • Major change in social activities (clubs,movies,visiting,etc.)
  • Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation
  • Major change in church or temple activity (i.e.. a lot more or less than usual)
  • Major changes in working hours or conditions
  • Changes in residence
  • Changing to a new school
  • Trouble with boss
  • Revision of personal habits (dress manners, associations, quitting smoking)
  • Major change in living condition
  • Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home
  • Beginning or ceasing formal schooling
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Major change in responsibilities at work
  • Son or daughter leaving home
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
  • Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc.)
  • Change in number of arguments with spouse
  • Change to a different line of work
  • Death of close friend
  • Change in financial state
  • Sexual Difficulties
  • Gaining a new family member(ie.,birth,adoption)
  • Major business readjustment
  • Older adult moving in
  • Pregnancy
  • Change in the health/behavior of a family member
  • Marital reconciliation with mate
  • Retirement from work
  • Being fired at work
  • Marriage
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Detention in jail or other institution
  • Death of close family member
  • Marital Separation from mate
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse

Read more: Life Stressors Chart http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/life_stressor.asp#ixzz1gZweOThD

I don’t know how long my pain will be so raw but I pray that it wont be forever.

Time lost…

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The image is of the exact amount of time my youngest daughter has suffered without seeing her daddy. She loves him very much. I can only pray he gets his issues worked out, for her sake.

Insurance Salesmen: Fear the Reaper

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“There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?”

~Woody Allen~

Btw, my husband was an insurance salesman when we first started dating. Lol, where was this ingenious quote then. I sure could have used a bit of Woody Allen wisdom as well as some relationship redirection.

This brings me back to a previous post http://wp.me/p1hqVQ-uZ

The story behind the image:

One crazy and emotion filled night me and my bff were  going through some boxes of my husbands old junk that he never unpacked when we moved into our house. The goal was to sort the junk, trash unecessary crap, condense the keepables and rebox it up labeled.

We get into a pile of some of the stuff he’d kept from his days as an insurance salesman. There where pages and pages and piles of leads (really, why would he keep that crap for 12 years) and pay check stubs.

Then we seen it. Laying there like a treasure of hilarity waiting patiently for the day it would be found and appreciated to the asurdity it was.

WHO THE HELL NEEDS A MINITURE BRIEFCASE!?!?

We laughed for hours, making up and acting out scenarios in which one would use such a small briefcase. Mocking and laughing at the complete rediculousness of our find.

We still laugh about it when we think about it.

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/489.html

Woody Allen – http://tinyurl.com/2ef474m

Here’s to DOING SOMETHING ELSE…

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I can’t go back, and I can’t stay here… I will be going forward to Do Something Else. It seems like making my own way, a new path in life, is only going to be accomplished with a machete to hack down the overgrowth that happens with years of neglect.

Destination Unknown

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Its not as bad as one would think. I feel like I’ve shifted to my thoughts to a more positive perspective. Destination unknown is still scary but it opens doors to endless possibilities.

Life, filed away into boxes…

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The first stack of our belongings have made their way from their previous individual spots in the house, to reside in boxes stacked in the garage until they make their way to a storage facility waiting for the day they once again have a more permanent space called home.

This is the first stack. Many more will eventually tower over, around and above, hiding the first moments of our familys future of homeless uncertainty.

Documenting this process is painful.

TRASH NIGHT part 1

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THURSDAY=THRASH(ed) NIGHT

For twelve plus years, Thursdays in my home have been handled in a very specific way. Thursdays have been what our family called ” TRASH DAY for the family and/or TRASH NIGHT for the adults”. Not because the city collected the trash in my neighborhood on Thursdays, it didn’t, trash collection in my neighborhood has always occurred on Friday mornings…very, very, very early. So every week on Thursday night in my home the radio was on and turned up enough to dance if we wanted and sing if we dared while we collected all the trash from the bathroom and bedroom pails. This alone was no huge task, typically done to completion in a matter of minutes. The objective was to not only remove the trash from the bathroom and bedroom trash pails but more like miniature weekly sping cleanout sessions.

Trash night was a night that we cleaned the fridge of the leftovers no longer an edible option. Dumping expired milk, tossing eggs overdue, disposing any dish that had not been consumed in a timely fashion during the past week. And yes, any and all expired food that couldn’t be dumped down the drain or disposed by the sink disposal indeed remained safely in the fridge until trash night, so to not attract any bugs to an outside trash can. This would be like a neon light blinking a welcome message and smells of stale pizza and the like would be the latest greatest bug buffet in town.

Really, it was a solid and well thought out and multipurposed plan of pest control, odor obliterator, full property protection. God knows I can’t stand bugs and flies, wow, flies are a bothersome bug only trumped by the mosquitoe, spider and roach. (Yes, for me, in that exact order). These are in fact the most suicidal and ballsiest of all insects, who will take full advantage of a door left cracked open by kids who have no less than thirtyish trips in and out a front door on any given summer evening to make their rounds around the culdesac via bike or scooter, and preteen and teens who’s rounds where not on a bike but on a go-kart. should something slip through the cracks of trash night and make its way early to the can could be a pain in the ass. It means a fly, interestingly not weighed down by his brass balls, would be Mr Martyr. Always a dive bomber born to bother (Really, flies have some kinda nerve the way they make a point to fly directly at you, eye level, just to veer off before they hit you in the face).

More often than not the tv was turned off so it was also like a Sunday for spongebob who only got one night (Thursday) off a week, tirelessly working round the clock everyother night of the week for my children. Specifically my youngest who oddly had full control of the tv and the remote for several years, flying just below the radar of all the other family members. For a time, me and my husband would take time out to watch The Office on the bedroom tv while we folded laundry that was fresh out the dryer on our bed. The laundry during that time always seemed so warm and smelled so crisp and clean. Laundry hasn’t ever felt or smelled so wonderful as it did back then. Eventually we discovered this wonderous invention called DVR. (Side note: DVR is a whole story of happiness in and of itself. One to be shared on another day.)

To be cont…

Today is my ANNIVERSARY!

Today is mine and my husbands 9 years Anniversary. I am trying to do this day without tears. I’m trying desperately to think of anything in the world other than what this day has meant to me for the past 9 years and how drastically different this Anniversary is from all in the past. The picture is from our 7th Anniversary. We went to dinner at Muse. It was an amazing weekend. I miss that.

Fear

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Things you would have never thought of. My daughter said she was scared tom was gonna kill her. At first I wasn’t sure if she meant because she told what he was doing. The next time she said it I asked why she was so worry he was gonna break in and kill her. She said its because that’s what child molesters always do.
Omg, I never realized that the only thing she knows about child molesters was likely seen on the news when a child abduction and eventual rape and murder was being reported. She thought that that was the next step in the process of his abuse.
Shocking and eye opening, her fear was intense. Her abuse was a crime. Her recovery will be endless and her spirit to survive is great.
She’s my little hero.

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility

http://annyjacoby.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/preventing-child-sexual-abuse-an-adults-responsibility/

I have taken Darkness to Lights prevention program. Unfortunately it was after the fact. I am now a STEWARD FOR CHILDREN and encourage anyone who reads this post to visit the links to both the article I’ve quoted below written by Anny Jacoby, A Personal Safety Expert and Coach. You will also find a vast amount of helpful links and resources on her site.

ReBlogged article from Anny Jacobys website:

In the past thirty years the field of investigation, identification, and treatment for children who have experienced sexual abuse has progressed and changed tremendously.  But child sexual abuse prevention had remained relatively unchanged—teach kids about good touch/bad touch, tell them to say no, and teach them to tell a trusted adult if something happens.  But this set of strategies puts a weighty burden on the slender shoulders of children.  Most people who sexually abuse children are not only known to the child but trusted by the child and their family.  Teens and adults who abuse children can easily confuse and shame a child into silence.  Most victims of child sexual abuse do not disclose their abuse; leaving the victims to struggle alone with the emotional fall-out from the abuse.

Darkness to Light has developed a child sexual abuse prevention training, Stewards of Children, that puts the burden of preventing child sexual abuse on the shoulders of adults.  Stewards of Children aims to teach the facts about child sexual abuse and increase the protective behaviors of adults.  It encourages adult participants to learn the facts about child sexual abuse, to review the policies and procedures of the child serving agencies and communities of which they are a part, and encourages all child serving staff know what to do if a child discloses abuse to them.

The reality of child sexual abuse is hard to face in both its prevalence (some experts estimate that 1-4 girls and 1-6 boys are sexually abuse before their 18th birthday) and its impact.  The Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Chatham YMCA, North Carolina has decided to face the harsh reality of child sexual abuse and has started the YMCA Community Coalition for Awareness and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.  Community awareness meetings (Prevent Now!, one hour) are available as well as Darkness to Light prevention training, Stewards of Children, (2.5-3 hours) for interested community groups (day/evening and weekend training available).

continue reading this article here…

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility