Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You CAN Change the World

Hi everyone. I've been thinking about today's topic for a few days. Over the weekend I participated in a discussion about whether or not an individual can really change the world. When I insisted that each of us does indeed have the power to effect real change, I was challenged to show how I, myself, had changed the world. I startled my questioner by offering a list. A list I decided I would share with you as well.

How I Have Changed the World:

1. I have beaten the odds by aging out of foster care and going on to graduate college rather than becoming a criminal or drug/alcohol addict.
2. I have encouraged and counseled other survivors.
3. I have spoken out on behalf of children and women whenever possible.
4. I have spoken to those I care about when I see the potential for abuse in their lives.
5. Most importantly, I have broken the cycle of abuse, giving my children a healthy life. Who knows how many lives they will go on to positively affect.

I have not shared this list to show how wonderful I am. Trust me, I am all too aware of my failings. I have shared this list because we often forget how even little things can make a huge difference. Think about it. Have you ever encouraged someone who is struggling? Perhaps that act of caring was enough to remind them that they matter, and prevent them from taking their own life. Have you been concerned that a friend is being abused by her boyfriend and spoken to her about your concerns? Are you an Adult Survivor struggling to make sure your children grow up in a healthy home? All of these things are ways YOU have changed the world.

Lastly, if you are currently a victim, or suspect you know someone is being abused, you have the opportunity to change the world right now. Please seek help today, whether for you, your children, or anyone else you know. We never know just how we can change the world around us, but we do know that it is possible!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Breaking the Silence

Since I wrote my first post yesterday I have heard from a number of people who are "impressed" that I could be so public about my abuse. They have said that they "could never be so brave". This just shows how well ingrained the idea of shame is in our minds. It also shows how our culture encourages silence with the "what will people think" idea. I want to address these thoughts in today's post.

I want to thank those people who contacted me. I do not feel brave, but perhaps I am and don't realize it. I just want people to see me for who I am and to understand me. Perhaps this is my way of testing people, by saying, "Here I am. Do you accept me?"

Unfortunately, too often I am met with comments about how I shouldn't tell people about my past. I don't understand why people think I should hide in dark corners and never reveal what has happened to me. Why should I be punished for being a victim of child abuse? Abuse has been a part of my life experience. It helped create who I am, a loving, caring and passionate woman. I have the right to be as open about my life as the person who had a wonderful childhood. We both have learned many things from our experiences, many valuable lessons.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Welcome to Banishing the Shame. As an adult survivor of physical, sexual and emotional abuse I wanted a place to share my journey with others, survivors or not. Recovering from abuse is a life time "project". Many times I need to be reminded of important truths over and over again. By writing things down and sharing them with others, I also remind myself.

From the beginning I want to address a common issue. I am not ashamed to say I am a survivor. Yes, I struggle with feeling shame about the things that were done to me. That is part of the poison abusers leave us with, a feeling of being ruined. But the truth is:



And, neither did any other survivor. The only person who should feel shame is the abuser.

Let's put this in perspective. If you took your son to the park and an older child beat him up, who would you blame? Should your son feel shame because he was beaten up? No, of course not. You would love and comfort him, and help him to see that it was the older child who has a problem. You wouldn't try to silence your son. You would discuss it as often as necessary to help him through it.

This is exactly what child abuse victims and survivors need. If you are a current victim please call someone NOW and get help! If you are a survivor, please repeat the words above everyday. You have value! You are important! And, you did NOT deserve to be abused!