Know that it is “OK” – Survivors in Strength & Love

This still gets me through the rough times ūüôā

 

This blog is my rambling about the many emotions and fears I am left with after 32 years in abuse. The sexual abuse as a child and my mother’s neglect is what’s affected me the worst. This has¬†left the deepest impact on my life. Each day I hope to share with you a look into these emotions & fears, but also the success & joys. Some of these¬†you may find triggering so please read with care!!! Do not stress yourself, read at your own leisure, in baby steps!!!

As I was growing up in this house of insanity and rage, I don’t think that loneliness explains how I felt. When I remember what it was like for me, especially from ages 9 through 16, there is a knot that grows in the pit of my stomach and a tightness in my chest. I actually took a moment to look at the tatoo on my arm, take a breath, then continue.

As much as I’ve healed, grown, achieved and in the present safety of my life, I am still instantly overwhelmed. A sense of panic takes my breath away and for just a fleeting moment my muscles reactively tense up.¬†Why is it that the simple thought of being around them; being in that home at the mercy of the one whom God put in charge of my world, this can instantly cause a reaction of intense fear?

I AM 49 YEARS OLD – WHEN DOES THIS STOP!!!

It has taken so much personal effort to get to where I am now. This includes my professional and personal growth. It is insane to think that her complete lack of caring can still make me so sad. My therapist relates my mother’s treatment of me in the following way;

“Your Mom did not see you as human, there for she did not consider that you required even the most basic of human needs.”

This truth still breaks my spirit, but I guess its good that I can come back to my reality. THE CRACK IS THERE BUT I DON’T FALL IN ALL THE WAY ANYMORE!!!

As I grew up in her abandonment, I was isolated. There was only responsibility and control in my world. His disgusting acts of molestation, that would grow to such an intense evil; one night changed my world forever. He is the reason that I instantly become terrified, but it was the disregard of my decaying body that left me feeling so isolated.

All my life was filled with caring for others; waiting for someone to acknowledge and care for me. I kept waiting and praying for MY FATHER to come and rescue me, but not he or anyone from his family would find me til I was 19 yrs. old. This is the depth of isolation that causes me to still be swept away by the emotions.

Then I think of the hundreds of survivors that share this sense of isolation. We feel stained and different from others, but when you think of our numbers and the voices that are gathering there is a comfort. No matter how lonely I feel I can think of all the others like me and know that I have a new family building around me. All of us knowing the other is there for the desperate times.

Today there is so much to be happy about. I’ve built my family with my children, with the one true love that has rescued my soul, with the wonderful friends that have allowed me into their world without question; now with the hundreds of survivors who have been brave enough to connect with me. It’s an¬†amazing new feeling for me. I don’t feel alone in this world any longer.

Today there is a sense of strength. I’ve connected with some really amazing people and honored to have some powerful voices at my side. This is the happy life that I was meant to have. It is finally here. I am safe & loved. This is a new beginning and I am so excited about where it will lead.

Be comforted if you are one of this family. Know that it is “OK” to get swept away in our past at times, but then pull your focus back to the present and remember those around you. It can be almost impossible to believe that these feelings and fears will ever go away. It seems they come back to distract and haunt us. I pray that you can feel at ease during these moments, take a breath, feel the safety around you in our new growing family!!!

Survivors in Strength & Love

Standing, Speaking, Circling to Protect

Thank you for releaving that sense of loneliness in my world!!!

(c)Author/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor: Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

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“DYSFUNCTION”

Many of us have said at some point in our lives, “I’m suffering from some dysfunction lately.”

What does this statement initiate in your thoughts? I can tell you that for the many millions who live as survivors of abuse, or if you are dealing with some type of abuse, this statement carries an entirely different level of meaning.

If you are one of the relatively happy, safe, people of our society, you might first think, “I can’t focus.” – “I’m losing my head lately.” – If you have shared either of these online you may have even put a cute little, “LOL” at the end. ugggghhhh…….!!!!!

From my many years of personally living in different aspects of disastrous dysfunction, I will tell you this has a completely different impact for someone living as a survivor of abuse or trauma.

The actual meaning of this word: “Dysfunction” – failure to show the characteristics or fulfil the purposes accepted as normal or beneficial. (Dictionary.com)

To a survivor this word can mean that you are sitting huddled tight in a small, safe place; arms wrapped tightly around your legs; pulling them close and holding your pieces together so tightly that your knuckles are turning white.

I’ve shared on our Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio about how often we feel like we are exploding into pieces when we suffer and cannot flee from the attack. Dysfunction is the moment that you are¬†overwhelmed and completely¬†distraught by the horrible memories of terror, disgust and ugliness¬†of Sexual Abuse, especially Child Sexual Abuse. I say especially related to “child” because a child cannot fight back. A¬†grown woman or man, has the ABILITY to fight back or try to flee the attack on some level; a child and even an older teen with a dependence upon the person attacking them, cannot battle these attacks, mentally or physically.

Dysfunction can be the hole sucking you back down the drain to the very pit of depression filled with fear. There are many of us that cannot even manage to succeed in school, be a part of a stable work force or be a productive member of society.When you look at the reality of what it is costing our society to try to mend the damage of this evil against our children and to help protect them, you can understand why it is necessary to bring stricter punishments for these crimes to our court systems. On average, according to Prevent Child Abuse America, it was reported in April 2012, our country spends $220 Million EVERY DAY!!!

http://www.preventchildabuse.org/downloads/PCAA_Cost_Report_2012_Gelles_Perlman_final.pdf

When you view the different aspects collected in this daily cost,  prevention, education, intervention, legal, medical exams & care, mental health services, medications and more; we have to ask ourselves how we can help make a difference right now? Starting today at the moment you read this, become more aware of the facts and care about those in your daily circle of life; be it family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and even strangers!!!

As a society we have a responsibility to listen to their voices. Try to hear that person who is screaming out for help. Don’t you believe that if your most personal sense of safety had been violated, perhaps by the person you trusted most, that you too would have those times of falling apart and into the roller coaster of dysfunction and depression? Believe me when I tell you, “Only those who know this nightmare can truly understand the momentum and the depth of the many down swings that creep into our lives.”

Think if you will for a moment, about the thousands who take their own lives each year because of the madness, loneliness and fear of being in this place of dysfunction. Do you know that as I tried to search the world-wide web for statistics on Suicides due to Child Abuse – there are no statistics that directly reflect that number? I did however find this awesome article from Psychology Today¬†…… “while the CDC may not count the number of child abuse induced suicides that occur in emerging adulthood, it’s easy to argue that the count would not be ‚Äė1.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/becoming-adult/201101/suicide-age-27-death-due-child-abuse

Please take another moment to say a prayer (in whatever process you pray) for not only those incredibly courageous Eight Men who have testified to convict Jerry Sandusky and all others who have found their voice, but also for those who are still trapped within the secrets.

As a strong note of encouragement to anyone who is a survivor, I want to give you the very positive assurance that it will get better!! There is a lot of personal effort that is required to get past this darkness, but it is possible. Don’t be ashamed if you need to call a stranger on a hot line number. Don’t think you’re crazy if you go into the woods and beat the crap out of a few trees, although I would suggest using something other than your own body for this. Don’t freak out if you start screaming at the top of your lungs. Whatever you need to do¬†in order to¬†release the emotions that have been buried for so long, this will always be a good thing. I beg you to believe in this because I am a living truth of this now and I use my story and my voice to share this with others each day. Please, reach out and do not harm yourself for what another has done to¬†in an attempt to¬†destroy you. You cannot give them that power over you any longer. You must stand to protect your life and achieve what they have tried to rob from you.

As you go through the various stages of healing and what may be triggered by all that has been in the news lately, please hang on to these few notes of empowerment and reach out to just one person.

1) YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG

2) THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST YOU – not a crime that you have committed

3) THERE IS NO SHAME OR BLAME THAT IS YOURS TO CARRY

4) DO NOT STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS WITH THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO BELIEVE YOU OR TURN AGAINST YOU

5) BUILD A POSITIVE SUPPORT SYSTEM WITH THOSE YOU TRUST

Always know that you are a beautiful rose waiting to bloom!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author; “My Justice” – ISBN #978-1-45207-170-1

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Touchstone…

What a great expression to share the connection of touch with our soul, enjoyed this ūüôā

heartspeaksloudest

Touchstone..

Something you touch..look at..run through your fingers..like a smooth stone tucked away in your pocket..handled..warmed by touch..when a soul needs a reminder of the value of their existence..

Words written on a mirror…glanced at.. at the face is washed..teeth are brushed..peeked at from the corner of our eye..our field of vision..the privilege of being reminded..

Not quotes..or great words of wisdom..even though they evoke great movement within one..simple words..just words..written by our hand..in our space..for our purposes..and bring forth a different stance..once we let them eek in over time..

When I had the doors on my kitchen cupboards..I had thoughts..hmmmmsss…touchstones..all about..so myself..and my sons could read the words which lifted the spirits…made you think twice about doing something..and maybe..just maybe..you might consider doing the things you think you cannot do…

Like paint..go for it..or write some piece which made your heart tickle..took needlework in hand..solved the calculus problem..you have…

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Speaking Out as a Child Sexual Abuse Survivor

Author: "My Justice"          Here is one local Illinois woman who has finally found the voice of the child she used to be!!!

          Ms. Patricia A. McKnight, is now an Author/Speaker/Advocate & Blog Talk Radio Host for Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, but just TWO YEARS AGO she was a mental wreck.

Ms. “Tricia” McKnight is now asking all News Channels¬†and News Papers to give a voice of support and encouragement to all who have been Sexually Abused as Children.

She encourages all survivors of this heinous crime, “Never give up Hope for your happiness. Miracles do happen”.

After Such a horrible evil crime has BEEN COMMITTED AGAINST YOU – NOT BY YOU, first you must RELEASE YOURSELF OF ANY GUILT OR RESPONSIBILITY, even for carrying someone’s ugly secret. These crimes destroy our children every day. EVERY FIVE SECONDS, a child is being beaten, raped, molested, and murdered. Sadly 95% of these cases are not shared in our news releases; mainly because they are family related in some manner and no one chooses to report these allegations. The child is too young and too over powered, sometimes even threatened with the destruction of their safety system; murder of their family!! http://www.dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com

The crime of Sexual Abuse will instantly murder the soul of that child. They are forever to carry the burden of having their world instantly¬†destroyedby the person they love, trust and depend on for survival. In the wake of the recent publication of increasing survivor stories shared through our social networking sites and the major cases that are being shared in our daily local news; we must now as a society, All 60 Million Survivors, need to share their voice. We need to recognize the increasing numbers of these voices and show them our understanding, support and acceptance of who they are and what they’ve survived.

My life was invaded at the age of FIVE; in fact I found out just about a year ago that my mother was verbally warned, by this man’s own adopted son, just how evil my to-be stepfather was and the ugliness he carried inside. When he came into our lives, I became his target. The first act of cruel molestation was committed on the night of my mother’s bridal shower. His many different acts of physical and sexual torture lasted for the next TWELVE YEARS of my life!!!

Unfortunately, as tragic as it may be, we must first realize that for generations there has been a sense of acceptance and expectance of these acts. You’ll find in many families that fathers, mothers, aunts, uncle’s or even grandparents; someone has been sexually abused. “Fine, so this has happened. What do we do now?”

As a Blog Talk Radio Host I have the sincere honor to talk with many survivors who have shared their voices and some who still are burdened with that heavy secret. These adults, from ages 20 to 60, are the new survivors and WE SHOULD BE THE LAST!!! No longer should this be some ugly passage of our children’s lives. How can we possibly bury our heads in the sand for another generation to be stained with this darkness. We are generation “NO MORE SEXUAL ABUSE OF OUR CHILDREN”!!

Survivors who are asking themselves if they should speak out of what’s happened, I beg you – Please help – Give your voice now to correct the statistics of these crimes. We need to change what their world can be. We have to stop the cycle and stop whispering about these vicious acts of SOUL MURDER!!!

We live with the very destructive mental dysfunction because of the reworking of our brain. Our fight or flight system is all screwed up. We live as adults suffering at times with complete break down, inability to maintain employment or keep our homes stable. Many have turned to using marijuana, alcohol or some other type of drug, prescribed or not, to induce a calm inside just to get through their day. Everything lives in hyper mode and we can be forever in a roller coaster of destruction, but never give up survivors. You can have a happy life after you have made one simple statement, be it public or not, but admit first to yourself РI AM A CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVOR!!!

May you continue to be that BEAUTIFUL BLOOMING ROSE you truly were meant to be.

Blessings, Empowerment, Praise for your courage!!!

(c) Author: Patricia A. McKnight

“My Justice” – ISBN # 978-1-45207-170-1 —You will find the direct links to purchase this in paperback; e-book; Kindle or Nook in the Blog Roll – Plus find many more survivor stories & blogs shared their as well!!!

If you have a survivor blog you would like to share, send it my way and I will gladly add you to the list!!!

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

email: tricia.mcknight@hotmail.com

What does standing strong mean??????

Author: "My Justice" After taking some much-needed time to clear my head of the life full of stressors, I am finally back; especially wanting to write.

 

 

 Yesterday as Robbie and I took off on the Harley at 9:30 a.m. the morning was absolutely beautiful. My spirit reconnected with even the smallest blade of grass as I looked at the beauty around me. It especially touched my heart when the most wonderful, Best Selling Author and an amazing advocate Peter Thomas Senese took time out of his quiet day to be reminded of me as he looked at a beautiful yellow rose. He took a few moments to call and share this with me in a text. I am so thankful that my story of survival has touched his heart and built a wonderful friendship.

So, as¬†I cruised along on the back of the bike, which is¬†my favorite thing to do; it occurred to me, “What does standing strong mean”. Everyone has always told me, at least throughout my adult life, “Trish, just be strong and keep moving forward”. I take time to reflect now in my SAFE & LOVED WORLD, what does this mean and how has it built who I am today.

Standing strong means to endure cruelty beyond imagination and come out with a positive loving view of our world on the other side. As I looked at all of the beautiful terrain¬†of our very flat midwest area, I was taken to thinking about the very smallest blade of grass. It stands there always, it takes all that mother nature dishes out and still remains standing. It’s very likely that you will never kill it even though it may go dormant for some time; it will return.

The grass is built by its roots. It gets its strength through how determined its roots are to hanging on. At times it has very few supporters around, but also it can be sitting pleasantly among many; standing and waiting to be counted.

The cycle of life begins with that blade of grass. It gives off oxygen for human life. It gives beauty, comfort, and safety to the minute bugs that live within its depth. We, as humans, give back to it the carbon dioxide that it needs to thrive and grow stronger with each day.

The meaning of standing strong is to simply endure, learn, and move forward. We all have a purpose in this world, even if we are not sure of that purpose. We are no less than life for that single blade of grass. Without our exhale it would not exist. When you find yourself in question of existence, first think of this note: I have to keep the grass alive!!!

Stand Strong and believe that the storms will pass. They may rock you and even threaten to loosen your ground, but they will pass and you will grow from the moisture they give. Every tear you shed will water your roots and you will grow wiser and more capable. We are survivors, each and every living micro on this planet. Children are the roots of life to come. Just as we plant that grass seed and provide it with water, nourishment and loving care; we must also provide the same to our children. Never allow the dark storms of abuse to take them from this cycle of life. They depend on us to protect and support them as they grow. This is much the same as the patches of grass that grow and slowly come together as a huge comfortable blanket to protect the earth they grow above & within.

You matter ūüôā

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Clearing the head…Clearing the shame…

For years now I’ve believed writing good for the soul. When I began thinking about putting my nightmares into words it was frightening to imagine revisiting those feelings. It took so very much to put “My Justice” together for my children. They deserved to know how this evil first invaded our family. How could I possibly let them think that this was merely a result of being a child from divorce? They really needed to understand the how’s and why’s of our family having suffered through so much pain. I wasn’t sure how to begin with them.

How do you tell your children you were sexual abused? How do you bring up this topic with them? It’s so impossible to think they would truly understand what had happened and how the scars I carried had bled in to invade their world.

I decided I would just do it. I had to do it for all of us. It’s not that I wanted my entire life to be out there for everyone, but I felt it necessary to explain to them and to use my horrific experiences as a tool of human moral for others. The level of their evil, both my mother and my stepfather, was so very deep that they created a grown child with no sence of manners, decent judgement, confidence, and the many other types of behaviors and knowledge a normal 17-year-old should have. It was almost impossible for me to go through everyday actions of life as others were doing. How was I to act like an adult with the shattered soul of a 5-year-old still held up inside of me?

My mother had never taught us that we needed to wipe after going to the toilet.¬†Hell most often we didn’t even have toilet paper. There was never one word spoken about brushing your teeth. In fact there were only two toothbrushes and one belonged to each of them. We never said please or thank you to anyone; not even for passing the food.

When I¬†quit bathing as a mode to protect myself from being trapped in the room with him, no one ever said a word. My brother and stepfather would tease me about stinking, but no one said, “Get upstairs and take a bath”. I remember at the age of 15 the school was demanding that all of us keep deodorant in our gym lockers and that we shower after class. The teacher would hang out in her office just off the locker room. There was a big glass window between us and her. She would walk to the shower room and check in on us; even saw me dodging all others as I cowered¬†into a corner. At least I thought she saw me. We did make I contact, that I do remember. Anyway, I let mom know that I needed deodorant. Her words, ‘If you’d take a bath you wouldn’t need fucking deodorant”, and she never bought any; which cost me a demerit or two in class.

Can you imagine how I had to develop when I left home? Seventeen years old, moving in with a 24-year-old man!! I knew how to keep a house spotless, how to put dinner on the table every night. I definitely knew how to please him sexually. I knew to bow down to him and follow all of his rules, but I would take little pieces of bread to fill the holes in my top front teeth. However, I did buy myself a toothbrush.

I was not a young woman starting out in life with goals, ideas, ambitions. Hell, what were those. All I ever knew how to do, take care of my man and the others that came into my life.

As I, some 4 years later, became a mom; I knew how to answer to¬†my child’s¬†every whim. I was a fabulous Mother!!! My baby was bathed, fed, given fluoride drops ( we lived in the U.K.). He was pampered to the fullest extent. My husband, who was a different man because the other had almost killed me more than once; but he never had to worry about taking care of anything that concerned the house. It didn’t matter how heavy the job or what it intailed; it was my responsibility and if I didn’t stay on top of it then I was filled with guilt for not meeting their needs.

I had been programmed that nothing I needed mattered. Now it was always about being clean, which I¬†had become¬†Obsessive Compulsive about even showering & douching¬†myself. All little details mattered. For I was so ugly looking; that’s all I can say about it. Four of my top front teeth were broken and now just black holes of decade teeth. Most of my molars were decade and broken off as well. My skin was scary looking. My arms and legs were so covered with deep big scars of the infection that had eaten away at my skin for five years, which of couse was from not being able to bath without a visitor.

Honestly, My mother let me rot as he raped me and molested me. Held me with his huge coal stained hand over my mouth while my sister slept silently next to me. She was around 4 when we started sharing a bed together. I would often wonder if her eyes ever opened to see what her father was doing?

How do I teach my children to be decent people with manners, kindness towards others; to keep themselves clean? How do I teach my children that they matter? They need education to get a job. They need to learn how to manage finances, which I had no clue. They had begun taking any money I made at the age of 11 with my babysitting jobs. Then later it would be him caught stealing from my purse.

How do I tell my children who the person is that my parents created, but how I wanted so much more for them? How much I truly tried to give all I had of me up until the last child left my home. Even then there was still dinner each night when I got home from work and we ate as one. I gave them morals. They were taught to say prayers, please & thank you. As children everyone would compliment on them. How smart they were? How beautiful and how well behaved. I would ask to make sure they were talking about my children, lol!!!

This is just one part of the abuses I’ve gone through. This is only some of the ways that it left it marks on me. I’m still rebuilding my soul. Writing “My Justice” and finally giving them some sense of understanding as to where I came from and why some of this evil and mis-guided behaviors invaded their world. It was a blessing of peace for me to finally speak of what had truly happened. With my scarred up skin, broken and partially filled teeth, it’s not been easy to get through this life as a woman. We’re expected to be beautiful, have smooth soft skin, bright shining smiles; even to wear cute little outfits & dresses that show off our legs. NOT ME, NO WAY – No one ever got to sit and massage my legs or rub my feet. It was difficult enough to sit next to someone and it still is because I feel their eyes on my skin and looking at my crooked smile and my crooked mouth from the empty spaces. I wish there were some miracle that could make me look like everyone else. A pot load of money to give me a bright new smile, which I have never seen on myself. I look at very young childhood pictures and even then I can see the plaque build up starting on my teeth.¬† Wouldn’t that be a true blessing from God just to be given the smile I never had?

The tears well up in my eyes as I think about the heavy scars that cover my legs and arms.¬†There will never be anyway to fix this. They cannot give me smooth new skin. It’s horrifying to have people look at you like that all your life; Always wondering, “What is the first thought in their head?” How can a man willingly choose to be with me? That is a whole other discussion meant for another day.

It’s good to get back to writing and sharing with everyone. My thanks and blessings to all who read this. I pray you are not the broken spirit of your past. If I can walk through this life, teach my children to be wonderfully decent people, carry the physical trauma for all to gauk at, and still see a bright love in this world; this is something you can get through as well.

There is no guarantee of safety in our world, not even in our homes. We come into this world and are left in the hands of others. It is up to them to give us something to guide us through. This is all that I can give to my children.. I pray that they will stand proud and stop the evil from passing forward. We cannot allow this sickness to eat into our families. If we are the broken souls; simply guide them at your best, get help & support for yourself; leave the rest up to God.

Patricia A. McKnight

For my children, I am so,so very sorry – Be strong, wise & good – hugs!!!