2 Boys

This post is about child abuse and neglect and a specific case that I have heard about recently. It might be triggering.

I was watching a news program and they were talking about two boys in Dexter, Minnesota and how they were taken away from their parents, the mother a nurse, because of neglect and abuse. Both boys were chained to their beds at night, with a lock and chain. The most recent video is not online, but here is a link to the beginning of the case.

The five year old’s bed was a stripped down crib, with no mattress, the little boy showing how he was chained, for twelve hours a day in his room with two inches of movement, he would lift his leg for his parent to lock him in, saying he thought every child was chained up at night. The eight year old proudly stated he didn’t need to be chained at night any longer, because he obeyed his parents and did not go into the kitchen looking for food.

Yeah food. They were always hungry and their lives revolved around that, because they were food deprived. The five year old was 28 pounds and the 8 year old was 33 pounds, both severely underweight. They were not being properly fed and any time they had the opportunity to go foraging for food, they did, so the parents locked them to their “beds.”

Due to the wording in the law the parents were only charged with two misdemeanors rather than felonies, because the wording of the law, requiring substantial bodily harm instead of demonstratable bodily harm, only allowed for a felony to be used on an adult who chained a child who was not theirs. The boys have been taken away from them, but they will probably only serve six months of jail time each.

I did an online search for the boys and I was very upset to see that chaining a child in our country is not a rare freak abuse occurence.

It was very triggering. Being treated worse than most people treat their dogs when you are a child is something I can well relate to. But the food deprivation cases get me crying every time, been there myself and the impact may well resonate throughout my life. And then there is the outrage.

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: May

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted posts to this month’s Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. There are so many amazing posts. I added some of my own as well. Thanks so much to Tracie for allowing me to be the host for my birthday month. It was an honor.

Here is last month’s carnival:

From Tracie

Here is next month’s host’s blog:

Leslie’s Illusions

Most of the submissions could have been put into the topic of self-care. I inserted some of the submissions into the other categories when the main impact of the post fit that category the best, even over-riding the topic of self-care. I hope the carnival has a kind of flow to it. That is what I was aiming for.

There were so many diverse posts for this month. I was really awed by it all. I am really awed by all of you. Good and healing thoughts to us all.

Self-Care:

Lothlórien from Lothlórien submitted these posts:

Our Furry/Feathered Friends and How They Can Help Us

Lothlórien writes Studies show that animals have a positive effect on our health psychologically, emotionally, socially, and physically. She shares in detail the ways that animals and pets can positively effect a survivor’s life. Excellent post!

Friends on the Journey

Lothlórien shares how important friends are in her therapy and healing processes. She explains the three kinds of friends that she needs as she heals and lives her life. It really got me thinking. I hope you read it too and see where you are in your friend journey.

My Personal Advice

Excellent advice from Lothlórien for online interactions for support, friendship, and therapy. I hope everyone reads this.

  

Here is my post on online friendships:

Don’t Give Yourself Away

 

Radical Hope from Shapeshifters submitted this post:

What I Do *Trigger*

Radical Hope shares a radical idea, that her negative thoughts might not be true. Going from there she shares the self-care she does while dealing with negative self-talk. I love this post. Thanks for being so brave to share the up and the down. It is the reality of being a survivor.

 

Here is my first ever post to my blog, sharing my beginning efforts at positive self-talk:

Survivor.

 

Gail from Survivors Healing Way submitted this post:

Taking Care of You: 54 Ways to Nurture and Self-Care

Gail includes some great ideas to get us started. I hope you check it out and add a few items to your own self-care list.

 

In these two posts I write about my own efforts at self-nurturing. What did and do you do? What more would you like to try and do?

Nurturing Myself as a Child

 

Nurturing Myself Now

 

Gail from Survivors Healing Way submitted this post with a video:

5 Steps to Nip Overwhelm In The Bud

Gail writes, What does it mean to feel overwhelmed? In this video I discuss my 5 Steps to Nip Overwhelm In The Bud.

 

Lothlórien from Lothlórien submitted this post:

Depression Assessment Scale

Lothlórien shares her self-care methods, including the watchful eye of her therapist to catch her depression before it becomes severe. Self-care truly doesn’t have to be something we do alone. Thanks so much for sharing this.

.

Sword Dance Warrior at May We Dance Upon Their Graves submitted this post:

Goddess Bless Yoga ? Self Care for Survivors with Vaginal Injury

SDW shares, This post is about some successful strategies I found for dealing with ongoing bouts of vaginal/vulva pain and itching resulting from childhood rape.

Sword Dance Warrior’s honesty and courage in sharing her process of growing awareness  and healing through this was incredible. This post is definitely worth reading as well as the others on this topic on her blog. I hope you will all check out her blog and see the healing process in action.  May we all dance on their graves.

.

Patricia from Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker submitted these posts:

As A Survivor, I Had To Learn To Take Care of Myself

Patricia commented about her submission:

As the oldest daughter, I knew how to take care of others very well. I did not know how to take care of myself. As a survivor, I learned that I had needs and I could learn how to reparent myself and take care of me.

Patricia writes about the importance of taking care of her body and feeling her feelings. Eloquent. Thanks so much for sharing.

Purpose and Personal Power for Incest Survivors

Patricia’s commented on her post, One of my jobs as an incest survivor is to regain my personal power. My relationship to power was distorted by the perpetrator’s abuse of it. When I am living in my past, I become powerless again.”

Patricia writes about the two important issues of finding your purpose and becoming empowered, such essential components in healing.

Grieving is Normal for an Incest Survivor

Patricia commented: A psychiatrist told me that I wasn’t depressed, that I was grieving the horrendous things that happened to me during my childhood.

Patricia writes about the all-important difference between grief and depression. Thanks so much for articulating what I have long believed.

Normal vs. Healthy

Patricia commented about this post:

Normal is what we know as children and adults living with abuse. Healthy means that I do what is best for me today. Healthy gives me the ability to no longer be abused today. 

I loved this post. Thanks so much Patricia for sharing.

.

Here is one of my earliest posts, on learning boundaries:

What About Boundaries?

Here is a post of mine that covers some of my efforts to find balance while a survivor and working on healing:

Finding Balance

In this post I write about starting to discover what brings me bliss, as a path to self-care. What brings you bliss?

 A Bliss List

  

Advocacy & Awareness:

Mother4Justice at Please Avoid the Road to Justice submitted this post:

A Mask of Justice

In this post, Mother4Justice writes eloquently about the need for anonymity online and the unfairness of that, for those abused and their allies. Mother4Justice uses the term alter egos. Alter egos, I like that concept, it works for me, since we are all super heroes. Thanks Mother4Justice.

 

Elle at Being Elle submitted this post:

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Elle shares what Dissociative Identity Disorder is like for them. When I first read this post I felt so touched, driven, and, inspired that I wrote several of my own. Thanks so much Elle for yous and your blog.

 

Ben at Loving Someone with DID submitted this post:

Loving Someone with DID

I have long lamented the lack of a safe partner’s voice out there in our blogging community. Ben’s post and blog on living with  a partner’s DID system helps fill that gap. This post is incredible and is still my favorite post on his blog. Thanks so much Ben.

 

Ereline from Simply Faith submitted this post:

My Kids

Ereline writes, I think it’s important to remind ourselves of some of the faces of the children we work with. These are just a few of “My Kids.”

Ereline shares about her work and specific stories of mentoring abused or neglected children. The short stories are enough to make you cry, but also enough to bring you hope.

Ereline ends her post with a request that we help the children in our own community. As Ereline writes; There are lots of ways that you can help.  Just pick a place and start.

 

Susan from Kisses from Dolce submitted this post:

Walking on Campus Against Sexual Assault

Susan writes about her participation in the Sexual Assault Awareness Walk on the University of Bridgeport. Included is the speech she gave that day, a wonderful statement of advocacy and awareness.

Like Susan, I too look forward to a day when we no longer have Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, because they are no longer necessary.

 

Healing & Therapy:

Lothlórien from Lothlórien submitted this post:

Survival

In Survival Lothlórien writes about her definition of a survivor. I loved how she shares that a traumatic event is something that happened to us, it is not who we are. This is an all-important distancing technique to assist in finding and taking back who you really are. I loved this post so much. I could go into detail about why, but please read it and see for yourself.

 

Here is my take on what being a survivor means to me:

I Am A Survivor.

Here is my belief about our inner childs:

Divine Child.

 

Art Therapy:

Jenny at Art Constellation submitted this post:

A Choice of Weapon; Hello Red Heart.

The beauty and raw honesty in this post has left me speechless and in tears. So I will just encourage you to let my friend Jenny speak.

 

Rick from Poetry, Dreams and the Body submitted this post:

Not Good Enough

Rick shares an art technique that he finds helpful in healing the aftermath of child abuse.

 

Here is my link to my resource page on Art Therapy/Creative Healing project suggestions:

Art Therapy & Creative Healing Projects

 

Poetry:

Meg from Muddy Fingers Meg submitted this poem:

Time

Meg’s post and poem are brave, heart-rending, soul shatteringly beautiful. It covers the topics of abuse, blame, and control.

I loved this post and poem. It really hit me hard and deeply. Meg, since you wrote that you haven’t written a poem in some time previous to this poem, I sincerely hope that you can try to do it more often. You have a gift.

 

Susan from Kisses from Dolce submitted this poem:

My Heart Sang

Susan’s poem is a reflection on the sadness and loss caused by child abuse and how it affected her choices and chances in one moment of time in her life. As Susan writes, I missed my dance.

I was so touched by your poem Susan. Thank you for sharing. 

 

Kath from Kathleen Freeman submitted this post with five poems:

Poems by Kathleen Freeman

Thanks so much Kath for your submission. Good and healing thoughts to you.

 

Rick from Poetry, Dreams and the Body submitted this post:

resting

I loved reading this poem. Beautiful in it’s simplicity. Thanks so much Rick, for this late submission. I’m so glad that I was able to get it and add it, it fits in with the theme so incredibly well.

 

Survivor Stories:

Patricia at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker submitted this post:

Dr. Phil Show on “Forgiving the Unforgivable”

Patricia shares about this post:

A story about 2 sisters who confront their mother on Dr. Phil. The show is about a mother who chose her pedophile husband over her 2 daughters. Warning: this post may be triggering for some.

This was a difficult post for me to read, but an important one. Thanks Patricia.

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse May

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse will be hosted here at my blog for May.

Here is last month’s carnival:

From Tracie

Here is next month’s host’s blog:

Leslie’s Illusions

 The topic I have chosen for this month is Self-Care. (I’ll be posting on my blog on the topic of self-care this whole month.) 

The other categories will still be In the News, Aftermath,  Advocacy and Awareness, Healing and Therapy, Art Therapy, Poetry, and Survivor Stories. Feel free to submit under the other categories, even if you don’t have something that relates to Self-Care. Participation in the Blog Carnival can be seen as a self-care action in itself.

Click here to submit: Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

The deadline for submissions is May 18th. I will publish on May 20th at 6 pm central time.

Self-care can be so many different things, depending on where you are in your life and in your healing. Before healing, self-care usually involves using some grounding and coping skills that are harmful to your body, your mind, and your life, sometimes with few comforting skills when you need them.

At the beginning of healing self-care might include daily body needs, taking meds, going to therapy, going to a support group, finding survivor friends, reading books on healing from child abuse, learning that you have rights, learning boundaries, starting to write, and dealing with your abuse history and healing work, as well as trying to do your daily self-care tasks.

Many of these early self-care methods continue to be issues through our healing process. The more that we heal, the more functional our self-care methods can become, the more our defintion of self-care expands.

More advanced methods can include finding the things you love, learning a new hobby, developing a support system for your life and healing, exploring different healing methods, developing healthier grounding, coping and comfort skills, learning to relax, putting an end to a toxic relationship/friendship, understanding that it was not your fault, feeling love and compassion to the inner child and the child that you were, learning to love yourself, starting to exercise and eat more healthily.

Personal Bill of Rights

Personal Bill of Rights
From “Healing The Child Within” by Charles L.Whitfield, M.D.

1. I have numerous choices in my life beyond mere survival.

2. I have a right to discover and know my Child Within.

3. I have a right to grieve over what I didn’t get that I needed or what I got that I didn’t need or want.

4. I have a right to follow my own values and standards.

5. I have a right t recognize and accept my own value system as appropriate.

6. I have a right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe or violates my values.

7. I have a right to dignity and respect.

8. I have a right to make decisions.

9. I have a right to determine and honor my own priorities.

10. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.

11. I have the right to terminate conversations with people who make me feel put down and humiliated.

12. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior,
actions, feelings or problems.

13. I have a right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.

14. I have a right to expect honesty from others.

15. I have a right to all of my feelings.

16. I have a right to be angry at someone I love.

17. I have a right to be uniquely me, without feeling I’m not
good enough.

18. I have a right to feel scared and to say “I’m afraid.”

19. I have the right to experience and then let go of fear,
guilt and shame.

20. I have a right to make decisions based on my feelings,
my judgment or any reason I chose.

21. I have a right to change my mind at any time.

22. I have the right to be happy.

23. I have a right to stability_i.e., “roots” and
stable healthy relationships of my choice.

24. I have the right to my own personal space and time needs.

25. There is no need to smile when I cry.

26. It is OK to be relaxed, playful and frivolous.

27. I have the right to be flexible and be comfortable
with doing so.

28. I have the right to change and grow.

29. I have the right to be open to improve communication
skills so that I may be understood.

30. I have a right to make friends and be comfortable
around people.

31. I have a right to be in a non-abusive environment.

32. I can be healthier than those around me.

33. I can take care of myself, no matter what.

34. I have the right to grieve over actual or threatened losses.

35. I have the right to trust others who earn my trust.

36. I have the right to forgive others and to forgive myself.

37. I have the right to give and receive unconditional love.