August is “Don’t Be A Bully” Month!!!

Talk to your kids about Bullying!!! Parents are your kids being bullied or maybe they are the bully????

August 1st Kicks off  National Month of ” Don’t Be a Bully”!! Our kids will be starting back to school and there is so much to worry about. However I do hope you take a few bits of time here and there to address the subject of Bullying with your kids. It’s my opinion that we cannot just say “Deal With It” any longer to our children. As you have seen shared across the web and I’m sure your local news channels, BULLYING IS A SEVERE & TRAGIC LEVELS!!! It is the epidemic that plaques our children.

We have seen and heard how vicious these attacks of bullying have grown. We have also seen and heard how many of our young children either succeed at committing suicide because of bullying or they have stated a threat of suicide. I’m not talking about just the dramatic teens; I’m talking about children as young as NINE years old. I’ve seen and heard this first hand from my own grandson.

Many times in his third grade year he went to the teacher with a complaint of harassment, teasing, even physical pushing from other classmates. When my daughter tried desperately to get the school active at helping with the worsening situation, she was ignored; even told her son needed to learn how to cope with the teasing of other kids,

“Kids will be Kids”.

How true that  simple statement is, but do we realize just how bad it has gotten? When I was a kid the teasing happened only at school. These days our children can’t get away from the constant torment of others. They are using cyber bullying, texting, phone calls, and even bold enough to video tape themselves to try and get famous on YouTube!! There is a difference between some teasing that all of us have been a part of, but our children are suffering Anxiety attacks just trying to get to school each morning. They dread so badly what the Bully/Bullies might do or say, that it causes severe emotional distress. In fact, if your child rides a bus to school, it’s likely that the bully they dread might be on that same bus or at their same bus stop.

We can’t expect the teachers and our educators to take full responsibility for educating our kids about this growing epidemic. We as parents have a larger responsibility because they are OUR children; teaching them about life’s issues is the responsibility of the parents. All schools need to enact some form of Early Learning Anti-Bullying Program. This needs to be addressed to K-3 grades. I believe that if we can make a greater impact on our younger children about how NOT to be a bully; how to report acts of bullying; how to understand we are not all the same and that’s alright because it makes the world a great place, these are some basic early learning skills that our kids are smart enough and capable of understanding. It will give them knowledge, which instills confidence, this grows personal safety awareness, allows our children to develop a caring for others in society, and gives them courage when reporting ANY ACT that is perceived as wrong; including abuses that may be going on at home, which results in greater safety for our kids.

As schools vamp up address the school officials in your area and find out their policy on bullying; record any reports your child makes; if the problem is not addressed properly and promptly, please take it to your NEWS MEDIA and hold our schools responsible for the balance of safety within their boundaries; including on the buses!!!

National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence: http://www.promoteprevent.org/

This was my life saving chance on me!!!

Warning – **TRIGGERS** – Please know that all posts on this site, including some comments, can be very triggering. You must read these posts at your own pace, face what you can when you can, but challenge yourself just a bit every day!!

Yesterday’s post about my inability to forgive “Mother” for her horrible neglect was a bit harsh perhaps? I was speaking from the anger and I’d be lying if I said there’s none I carry.

It seems most everyone says you must forgive, but I also know that evil exists and there is no level to the darkness other’s can impose on us. While I’ve been able to understand and forgive the many men who have hurt me, stolen my children, threatened my life, shamed and degraded me, the two people who were in control of my childhood will never be forgiven.

The other day on Dreamcatchers Talk Radio, I had the privilege of talking with Author Carter Lee. He wrote a novel about his experiences with anger and voiced his own comments about forgiveness.

“We don’t have to forgive, but we can’t let our past and what others have done keep us back either.”

This is so very true. We each have a choice in life. We were each given a right to be safe, happy and loved when we take that very first breath; we have an obligation to ourselves not to allow anyone control of our final and last breath!!! There are certain evils that humans do to others, which can cause a long-term impact on our physical and mental abilities. How you view what should or not be forgiven is completely a personal choice, because only you understand what blocks may have developed as a result of that evil. We do not have to live by or agree with other opinions. It is about what you personally need for you!!!

The other side of that statement being; “We cannot allow it to keep us from achieving life either.”

This is another PERSONAL CHOICE that only we can make!!!

I followed that dark path of living in continued abuse, choosing the wrong kind of partners and allowing them to use brute force to control me. I take full responsiblity for following that behavior of accepting the violence against me. When I left the home of my abuser’s my decision-making process and my lack of morals kept me from believing I deserved anything better and it deeply influenced my choices. I didn’t believe that there was help for people “like” me, because “I made the choice to accept their cruelty”.

The biggest block I had from mother and his abuse was a deep sense of self-doubt!!! I didn’t trust that I could make the right choices and that every choice was a threat; a perceived danger.

It finally came to a head that night, some thirty-two years later in November 1997. When the police escorted a very broken woman who knew nothing more than control and fear out of her home, I had a choice to make. I could find help and build my own life or I could go back home after work; only to end up dead because of it.

There were a few things I had in my favor:

A) I had gone back to school at 25 to get my GED and my degree in business management. At least I now had the skills to do some other job than bartending. I knew I wouldn’t survive going back to that environment.

B) I could earn the income needed to provide at least the basics for my children; food, shelter, clothing. It wouldn’t be easy, but I had the capacity to make it happen.

C) I had my only friend offer a safe place to recover. That early morning I left injured and luckily the one friendly relationship I’d built outside of my marriage offered to let me stay with her. She didn’t offer to support me, but she gave me a place to turn when I had nowhere. I probably would have gone back rather than believe I deserved help from anyone. If she wouldn’t have offered, I never would have asked to stay anywhere and would have left myself without any other option, but it she stepped up and I THANK GOD SHE DID!!!

I’m so glad that she was there and that I did have the skills to achieve an independent salary. It was never easy for us and I had no balance of handling my finances properly, but we had a roof, food and clothing. It took through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s 1998 before I landed the job, which afforded me to get a place and the kids to come back. It was a chance that I had to believe in and a choice I had to make.

He had already taken everything from me. My kids were temporarily with their dad until I could break away. I knew they were waiting for me to get things done so they could come home. After all, their lives were put in danger by his choices before. I couldn’t risk allowing them to stay with him or to give them up in any form.

THIS WAS MY LIFE SAVING CHANCE ON ME!!!

It was now that I had to make that choice. Was I going to allow the violence against me to continue and invade my children’s lives or was I going to take a chance on myself????

It was scary as hell. This was the first time that I really remember thinking exactly those words; “Take A Chance on Yourself“. This was the chance that broke through that barrier and allowed me to start moving into my own existance. It became my hard work, my efforts, my decisions that would change our lives. Whether we had everything or barely anything didn’t matter, what mattered was that we could lay our heads down at night without the threat of being killed!!!

If you think the violence you accept now won’t get to the point of life threatening; neither did I.

I hoped to change them, heal them, help them, and stand by them; telling myself they would never kill me, but each one at their own pace grew to that level. They either attempted to kill me or threatened it with severe intimidation. Just because they haven’t gotten there yet, doesn’t mean they won’t. If you are being controlled in an intimidating manner it will only get worse, it never gets better. You are in danger!!

You can get help with your education and bettering your job skills. You can find help with life skills. You can find help with daycare. You can find help with emotional healing and support with others like yourself. You can believe that you are not alone. There are resources out there and people to help you find them. You can find that safe recovery/rebuilding your life place that is needed while you face this challenge. You do not have to live in the path of your past. You have a choice in how you live today. You can break through their barriers and learn a new way of life. You can better your life and even more important, you can give your children the safe, happy, love filled life they were meant to have. You can take control of your last breath!!!

It doesn’t matter if it is the past of your childhood abuse that is holding you back from achieving life or if something else is blocking your way; You have a choice to change what is happening!!!

Please take that life saving chance on you!!!

Mentioned:

Dreamcatchers Talk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatchers

Author, Carter Lee: http://www.innovativesocialdynamics.com/column/

Local Resource for Help:

Violence Prevention Center South Western Illinois http://www.vpcswi.org/

Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line  1 (877) 863-6338

RAINN – Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network Helpline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)  http://www.rainn.org/

Child Help – 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4452)

More Resources @ http://www.dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com

If you are in immediate danger or have just suffered an attack of sexual or physical assault – Please dial 911 or your area’s emergency response number.

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Why do they tell me to fogive?????

Warning – “TRIGGERS” – Some may not be able to read this post, but this is my reality and my thoughts. Pictures at the end may be found gruesome, but they are my arms & legs.

I’ve gone my life, from age 12, carrying the scars of my, so-called, mother’s neglect. It infuriates me to think of a woman watching her child literally rot before her eyes and do absolutely nothing about it; not even acknowledge a problem exists.

YET EVERYONE SAYS FORGIVE!!!! I wonder how that’s possible? How do you let go of the very anger and disgust that is covering your body; especially when you know they could have helped???

I’ll never forget giving her a cold stare as she said to me one day, “Maybe if you’d take a fucking bath you wouldn’t look so disgusting?”

I knew she was probably right, but she knew the challenge that taking a bath or shower at home imposed. She was well aware of the danger it caused for me.

Many times I remember her sitting in the next room, or right down the hall, which was completely visible to the bath. She was fully aware, in fact couldn’t avoid knowing that he would come into the bath and stay for extended amounts of time, usually ’til I came walking out shortly behind cause I had to finishing getting dressed.

The woman who gave birth to me, even nurtured me through those first five years, completely sacrificed me to “his” perverted behaviors, sadistic sexual assaults, severe physical control. I was raised from six to be completely submissive to “him” – his slave!!! It could be something stupid to getting him a glass of tea or scrubbing the patio in my swim suite, I had to come running when he called my name. As many of us were taught in my generation, so that isn’t what bothers me most. It was the depth of that submission and her disregard.

My, so-called, mother could never be bothered when I went to her to make “him” stop. She couldn’t be bothered to teach me about being a girl; couldn’t buy me pads or teach me about my period; couldn’t provide a tooth-brush; couldn’t take me to a doctor or dentist; couldn’t acknowledge that her daughter was a human being!!!!

She never taught me about shaving my legs, although it’s been pretty tough to shave over the scars. She never encouraged me to do anything, only ordered me to clean her house, cook the meals, care for my sister, brother and especially “Him”.

As I went through school I avoided showering at school because of how I looked. Gym class was the most horrible experience and very trying to change in a small cell of lockers with about ten girls changing around you. All of whom looked quite normal, especially compared to my condition.

If you can imagine your pre-teen daughter being covered with pussing patches of deep infected sores. If it was a tough night before then I was trying to hide the bruises. As the dirt began crusting around my ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and the stench of body oder grew, this only made me more shameful of who I was. It was difficult to keep others from noticing me, but I managed to hide my way through school. Many of my classmates barely remember me, but not many had much to do with me back then. Don’t blame them though, not so sure if I would have and who knows what their parents told them.

By the time I was in high school and had reached the normal age of dating, the rumors through our small town had already been going on for some time. It fed through the coal mine where “he” worked, into the diner where “she” worked and like wildfire through the school, especially the teen boy rumors of who got me and what they were allowed to do.

I’ll admit that I was indeed promiscuous but these rumors came from the parties “he” held with the many local boys. “He” would supply the weed and the booze, force me to make the calls, and then I would be held up by my hair as he yelled; “Who’s gonna be first to fuck my daughter?”

Teenage boys love to talk and although they may or may not have taken the opportunity that night, I assure you the next day I was the main topic of discussion.

“Man great party last night!! He held her up and offered her out AGAIN!!”

In  the small community most everyone heard the rumors. They all heard things about what I did, how “he” acted, and worse. I’d then hear the whispers of “Who would want to touch her?”, but many of those boys took “his” invitation or tried when their friends weren’t watching.

It hurts my soul, angers my spirit, that no one ever said, “Can I help you?” Nor did anyone ever ask, “What happened?” They knew it all existed but 1500 people, our law enforcement, school officials, family friends who could have and should have questioned, never said a word. The worst of them being my own mother!!!

Because of all the “ugliness” that covers my skin, the decay that turned even my four front teeth into deep black holes, my life, my goals, my dreams have all been plagued by judgement. The little girl who hid close to the bushes at the bus stop, fearing the teasing of classmates, whispers of adults; condemning eyes of all, had to survive in this world. Granted there has been more than one incident of running to sit by a gravestone, asking God to please take me out, but I still had to feed, clothe, shelter myself and my children.

From the men who’ve chosen to be with me, to the innocent questions from my own children, through job interviews, jobs serving food or alcohol, and especially working in a professional position; it’s all be hazed by the extra effort to conceal the scars and bury the truth.

Today I use my wounds to help others see how turning away from a child or growing teen can have detrimental effects. Those who were trusted with my well being convinced me that I never deserved care, treatment, help. They had an in-house slave who was directed and trained to care for the family who has now completely abandoned her.

The, so-called, mother who always expected me to answer her needs or be someone to talk about her health issues with, left me a voicemail about 8 months ago, I keep saving it in my messages to keep me focused.

It starts out, “Fuck you daughter, you never did anything for me when I lived up there by you.”

She had moved up here for a short time, it was during that time that I had gone into respiratory distress and was hospitalized for a couple of weeks. Truly I was minutes away from death when Robbie walked in and found me, rushed me to the hospital, saved my life. During the few months after this incident, I was on 5 liter oxygen support and using a cane to get around.

My younger sister would call me upset by all of the dark secrets within our family. When I went to talk with “mother” about my sister’s distress, she threatened to have the cops escort me out of her house and told me never to come back. It was then that I succeeded at breaking ties with the toxic woman who had kept me so obligated to her for so many years. Anything she wanted, needed, or whatever “her” whim, I answered and would act like a puppy over any affection “she” bothered to pretend.

No one in my family talks with me now because they don’t want to hear about the anger or the issues I have about “MY CHILDHOOD”, but they are willing to sit and bitch about how horrible it was for them and how the toxic alcoholic environment hovered about in their lives.

I’m still working on closure for this very touchy issue of my basic health being so severely disregarded. These actions I blame on only one person, “Mother”. We had great health insurance, one of the best in those times. Our family had a steady income, although it was quite difficult at times because of the alcohol involvement. It’s not as if the needs couldn’t be met, “she” made a conscious decision to ignore them and allow me to just rot away.

All my life I can only remember making sure I was covered up when in public. I never wore a dress without heavy nylons to cover up my legs. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I stopped forcing myself into long sleeves during the summer, except of course for job interviews. Those are open floors of judging anyway, so it was much worse for me. People who do see the scars are shocked by the severity. Some are caring or just want to know what happened, others still point, turn away, avoid contact, or you hear them whisper.

My upper body has been decorated with some very special tattoos. When I show my arms it draws the attention away and makes me feel better about myself.

“I’ve turned what was ugly into something pretty to look at!!”

Will the anger over “her” severe neglect ever leave my spirit, I don’t know!! There is an instant second when I see my reflection or stand at the vanity to brush my teeth, that everything flashes like a movie in my head. Yesterday as we rode on the bike and joined up with some folks we hadn’t seen in a few years, along with a lot of new faces, there was still that shame of how I looked. “What were they thinking at first sight? My own instant reaction was to feel their judgement.

“How do you explain, I lived a childhood full of rot?”

Moral I’m hoping to share- Please never turn away and allow the neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse to continue. You can’t UNKNOW something and when you hear the rumors in a small town, or have that moment of suspicion at family gatherings, this is the time to react or at least offer kindness. The violence, abuse, and disregard will only flourish in the silence.

In closing let me ask you this, “Would you be able to forgive the mother?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Fear of Judgement and Shame……

This may be very triggering for some, but I beg you to challenge yourself just a bit to get through it. I believe you will find a great sense of accomplishment when you do!!!

Yesterday morning I finally faced something that I never thought possible. Please allow me to share in hope it can give you a breath of courage; a sparkle of what can change.

The Violence Prevention center of South Western Illinois, (VPCSWI.org) asked if I would like to speak at a training seminar they held at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois.

If you are familiar with any of my history, there is this huge block between me and ANY CHURCH BUILDING!! Religion itself is fine, but going into an actual church can cause instant panic; it rips at my emotions and holds me captive in fear of judgement. The valley of shame from my past and all the horrible truths that lie there-in still causes the tears to flow.

Sadly this is so much a part of me, when I attended a funeral this past spring I broke into little pieces, shedding tears as I looked at the beautiful stone carved angels. Simply being in the building I could hear them screaming “NO”.

“You shouldn’t be here!!! How dare you stand there as if accepted.”

Of all things the line into the church at the funeral landed me in the end seat of the first pew, just left of the pulpit. I begged them to forgive me. As we kneeled in prayer, I listened intently; however, I couldn’t stop the sense of begging for their acceptance of me. To look past all of my faults and all that had been done and not strike me down at that very moment.

When the service ended I exited quickly, gave my hugs to the family, and found my car. Shaking with the tears streaming down my face, I immediately lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. (I’m extremely emotionally addicted to them.) Then putting my car into gear I took off in search of our local Baptist church.

I’d seen signs around town for the church, Faith Baptist Church of Breese, but had no clue where it was located. I actually came home to search it down, but not until I had driven around in a panicked state for an hour trying to find it. I don’t have GPS in my car or phone, so thank you internet & the creation of Google!!!

Sadly when I found it and drove out there the doors were locked and I stood there crying for someone to let me in. I had to speak to a minister at that moment or for sure I would just break into pieces and never be able to return. NOo one was there to let me in and I didn’t write the number for the location I needed to call.

“There was no solace and I came home to lay on my bed and cry like a child!!”

The only connections I had with any church throughout the past 30 years was my first wedding, my children’s Christening; then once a forced attendance during a weekend visit with my children, which was nothing more than a control game by their father. There has been maybe two weddings and this funeral. Somehow, I had always managed to stay out of a church because of this heavy sense of judgement.

“It wasn’t always this way of course!!”

As a young child I did everything to go to church, I loved church!! My babysitter or one of our neighbors who attended would always take me to our Baptist church. May dear Grandma McKnight, had taken me to her very Southern Baptist church during my last visit with her at five.

“Just two years after the monster came into my life, all of that was gone!!!”

First he used God’s allowance of what he did to me. Then after age twelve he said God would no longer forgive me for the bad things that happened between us. God would start passing judgement and I would never be accepted into His heaven.

“To this day I have been afraid of this judgment and would shake in fear with each service I ever attended.”

It’s not that I didn’t or don’t pray. It’s not that I haven’t always tried to live the best life possible or that I didn’t or don’t believe in religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’ve got an antique picture of Jesus and it is a beautiful sense of my connection with Him. This picture has been carried with me for these past 25 years, through the divorces and instant escapes. It was one of those most valuable possession I ever carried. Not valuable in dollars, but in a personal relationship with God. I have always gotten on the floor and prayed to this picture for a better way;  for a way out of the fear, violence, submission. I have broken down repeatedly and begged for His forgiveness to shine into my path.

This brings me back to yesterday’s event……

The event was a Faith Leadership Training Seminar and I was asked to speak. I was honored and amazed they’d asked me; gladly I accepted and took on the challenge.

“Was it finally possible that I could stand in front of those who served various entities of their church and not feel that heavy weight of their judgment and my fear?”

It really first hit me as I pulled into the front entrance of Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Instantly I felt the grip of standing on hallowed ground. The panic hit and my heart started pounding. I parked as far away from the front door of this exquisitely decorated conference building, mainly because I felt the fear of;

“What would they think if they saw ME getting out of the car, pacing quickly into the building, searching for a familiar face to cling to for acceptance?” Luckily I soon found the beautiful friendly smile of Debra Mize, the one who originally invited me to attend and speak. She is such a bright face or perhaps it’s knowing the connection we have from our paths.

I watched as those attending walked into the conference room. with each eye contact I questioned my worthiness to be amongst them. As I listened to the awesome presentation from the staff at VPCSWI and the opening given by U.S. States Attorney, Mr. Stephen Wigginton; I absorbed all of their knowledge and enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.

Then came my turn at the end, that’s right; last speaker!! My stomach turned as I started walking up to the stand. My heart was beating so fast I feared a heart attack would strike me down right there. My knees shook so badly I felt myself stumble a bit as I walked. Then I stood there and looked out at the 25 faces in attendance, maybe not that many you say, but these were all mainly connected to their church!!! Different levels of leadership within their perspective areas. This was terrifying; their judgement of my being involved at all with this seminar was all I could think about.

First I questioned my worthiness then I questioned my ability to make an impact on their hearts!!!

“How could I leave them with something to carry away from that seminar besides the very useful information in the training?”

I took a deep breath and fairly explained who I was. Then as I began to open with the carefully written out and then outlined on notecards speech I had intende; 20 seconds in I had to stop the tears.  Then I thought about the importance of their understanding of how what they had just heard about in this wonderfully presented seminar, effected the person who lived inside the mess.

There were a few other topics I shared, but most importantly was to explain that those living in this violence and abuse, would most likely not be sitting in the front pew of their churches. The fear of judgement and the shame is too heavy for much success at this. Instead, I hope that I left an impact on them concerning the need of us, as a society, to remove the masks; to put no one in our society above suspicion of these crimes. Instead ask them to really see the people around them, in their neighborhoods, grocery stores, (yes, even bingo) and take 5 or 10 seconds to really look at who they are and what they might be dealing with or trying to survive.

Remember; 1 in 4 homes are struggling with some type of violence, bullying or abuse. We must care enough to guide them to resources and do all we can to support the continued provision of TRUE HELP!!!

We must remember also that people, like Jerry Sandusky; who was not just a famous coach, but also a father, husband, neighbor, friend and church parishioner. We must care enough about our friends, family, neighbors to ask when we suspect that something might be going on.

“Are you alright? Are you safe? Please can I direct you to some help?”

I pleaded with them as I do with each who reads this,

“Please be the extended arm of help?”  Remove the blinders of acceptance and do not turn away from the screams, tears, and fear of those who are being harmed.

To let you know what the greatest accomplishment for me; they all welcomed me!!!….. I did not feel the heavy weight of judgement when I left the conference. Instead I felt peaceful with a wonderful blessing of accomplishment, finally I know that it is alright!!!

Thank you VPCSWI for inviting me to attend and close out your very wonderful seminar.

Thank you U.S. Attorney Wigginton for a great opening to an early Saturday morning share.

Thank you Ms. Debra Mize; Art Therapist, Ms. Cathy Daesch; Educator Ms. Teva Shirley.

Mentioned:

VPCSWI.org – http://www.vpcswi.org/

Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – http://www.snows.org/default.aspx

United States Attorney, Stephen Wigginton – http://www.justice.gov/usao/ils/index.html

Faith Baptist Church of Breese, Illinois – http://www.faithbaptistbreese.com/

Belleville Counciling Services; Art Therapist Ms. Cathy Daesch – http://www.stage-ps.info/Therapist-Directory.aspx

Illinois Visiting Nurses Association, Educator, Ms. Teva Shirley – http://sivna.com/

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Author: “My Justice”

ISBN#978-1-45207-170

Authorhouse.com, Amazon, BN.com, Lulu.com

Available in Paperback, E-book, Kindle & Nook!!!

Dreams Media Promotions – Ms. Donna Kshir http://dreams-media.weebly.com/

The Battle and the Aftermath……..

**Be advised that this entire blog site may be triggering!! Be advised that this blog site is my personal expression and not intended as any form of professional guidance or opinion. Read this blog with care, understanding and kindness**

Do you suffer with days of anxiety, depression or anger, even pain that cannot be medically explained?

Do you have in and out days of  loneliness, isolation, a sense of violation?

Do you have those times when you bark out or blow up at others and not sure what they did or why you even acted that way towards them?

Has your sense of personal safety been attacked or violated?

Are you a survivor of some type of Child Abuse or Intimate Partner Violence?

In my life there have been a ton of years; actually a lifetime, spent at the mercy of someone else. You wake up praying nothing will happen to set of your abuser’s temper, or that your abuser won’t attack you sexually or physically. You do all that is humanly possible not to set off these actions, but for some reason there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening.

You live as a PRISONER, waiting to see what battles you will have to endure today.

When you’re living in this hell all you can do is get through; for whatever reason you have to wake up the next day; sometimes it’s hard to see that reason. Never doubt that it is there!!

You hang on and endure all the pain of  these battles, hoping it will one day come to an end.

Remember that while living in this expectant fear of attack the continued Hyper Reactive Mode connects straight to our “Fight or Flight” reactions. This is a natural reaction that is bred into our bodies and in our DNA. All animals and humans alike have this same survival instinctive behavior. When we endure this ongoing heightened mode of alertness, our body is instantly tensed for response; ready to react in order to survive.

Know that YOU ARE MEANT TO SURVIVE!! There is a purpose for your existence even though you may not yet see where it leads.

People may come to you and say, “You look exhausted, why don’t you just relax?” If only that were possible!!!

Did you know that even when you are rescued; either by someone else or by making that decision to escape, your body tends to remain in this hyper mode. You find yourself living with all of these continued emotions. Sometimes you can’t quite figure out why. You know that you are safe, no one is hurting you or threatening you now, so why are all these days of distress still keeping you down?

We often try everything we can think of to ease these roller coaster days. You may turn to alcohol, drugs, marijuana, or even self harm to let out the emotions or bury them. Sometimes we try getting through by just simply ignoring them, but it’s still there. Nothing seems to relieve the problem which ends up causing a distress of “Why can’t I handle this?” It seems to have a hold on us and can keep us back from taking part in our lives; exercising, planning, dreaming, succeeding our goals.

If you are not a person living with these ongoing daily struggles, you may see it within your family or in your circle of friends. Let me encourage those who do live with these struggles,”It is alright for you to have these days. It is safe to believe in your own happy future”!!! If you know or love someone who is in this daily battle, please do all you can to support them and encourage them to keep believing that peace will come.!!

None of us who deal with the craziness of destruction want our life or our family to be effected by our dysfunction of emotion. When you think about your past and the crimes against you though, I want you to understand that this is completely normal for what you’ve gone through.

Think about what our veterans of war endure long after the battle is over. They to live in the mixed up days of the aftermath. “Isn’t what you’ve gone through similar to what our heroes of freedom survived?”

You’ve had a time in your life, some of us even years into decades, of living in the constant threat of battle; violations against our personal safety. The longer the duration of this constant threat, the deeper the impact on the person.

It bothers me that when our soldiers have days of mental and physical reaction to their days in war, we usually encourage them to go into therapy and work through what’s happened. We support their need to get extra help. We do all we can to help them work through those days when their emotions rant in anger, fire up with pain, or break down in sadness. Sometimes we want to walk away from them, but we don’t. We, those who love our heroes of war, will take care of them and stand by them. We understand all that has threatened them; we love them for the strength and courage they had to make it through.

Let me ask; “Aren’t our children and partners, who have made it through years of sexual, physical and emotional torture, aren’t they heroes as well?” They too have survived “WAR LIKE” crimes against them!! Shouldn’t these amazing warriors be able to use their voice; scream out for recognition and validation for their emotional suffering?

These outstanding human beings have battled through years of survival under constant threat and they deserve to be heard, seek help, be supported and understood by family, friends, society!!

Survivors of these battles, I am begging you to seek a therapist or support group to help you through!!! Research what you’ve gone through; understand the aftermath your body and mind are reacting to, physically attend therapy rather than join a virtual support group. You need that physical connection with others like yourself. You need to see the faces of the many survivors around you; know that they too suffer with many of the same problems and reactions. Use the resources to help you recognize whats going on and why some days you just can’t shake it off.

I can tell you first hand that facing these are not easy; accepting the scars you carry is sometimes impossible. Looking at how your days of destruction are effecting those you love is very difficult, but for you to gain your happiness back it is necessary for you to go through this process. You have to guide yourself through a creative path to finding the person that lives inside the darkness. Like our war heroes you may have a lifetime of different issues that you’re left to deal with, but you can understand, conquer, and overcome this damage.

Please know that a large number of families have some one living in the aftermath of battle. Support them to seek professional guidance and recovery resources. Comfort and understand their bad rocky days. Listen to their voice as they tell you about their fears. Reach out to wipe away their tears, give them a hug and tell them how happy you are they made it through.

THEY SURVIVED THE BATTLE OF FREEDOM!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

References;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11048821

http://www.apa.org/research/action/ptsd.aspx

http://www.csus.edu/calst/government_affairs/reports/ffp32.pdf

This cancer eating away at our society……

Ya know, I just don’t get it???~!!!

Back in 2009, I was writing my way through healing; it was scary for me to reach out to others who’d been through similar history. I could write it out to myself; I could write it out to my children, but I could not yet verbalize exactly what happened. It shocked my system every time I went back to read through what’d flowed out of my memories.

I’d only started putting my memories and the details of the attacks together in the different processes of therapy. I had started journaling a bit here and there before, but this was the first at bringing them all together. Let’s face it, if you know anything about my history then you know there’s a lot of shit involved. What I found out was a three-part healing process almost always occurred after each attack shared.

First I’d write it through, which would kick off the cycle by swinging my emotions into breakdown. The more intense the attack the more intense the breakdown. I’d start feeling a sense of anger inside, which came out at the wrong people sometimes. Finally I’d go into a deep sense of calm before getting back into the “normal” of life.

My amazing therapist and I talked through this, which didn’t really seem to help so much at first, but thankfully I connected with her and found it so worth the process. There was a lot of different thoughts, fears, emotions I needed to work through and I was terrified!!! Believe it or not there was more than one session that even she broke down and a point that we both had to take a break because of getting so overwhelmed.

Then she started giving me these lists of Positive Affirmations at each session. She insisted I carry these with me everywhere, all the time!! At the end of our appointment she would go over the new affirmations she had chosen and she’d give me a hug. It drove me insane that I had to stop after an hour.

“Why did I have to open such a deep wound and then just walk out of the room? Didn’t she realize what this did to me? What was I supposed to do with all I felt?”

I chose to start writing to my children. At that time didn’t think about putting it into a book. People who knew a piece of my past would tell me that it would be worth reading, but I surely didn’t think anyone would ever care about my voice. Once I had gotten the journals to present date, I decided that what happened needed to be shared in hopes it could help save someone else.

Now just 3 years later, I am excited to be one of at least 100 other voices that I am connected with, who are sharing their story publicly in some way. They are speaking to others, counseling and supporting others. Some are advocating, painting, writing books, articles or blogs. Others are creating National or World Wide Events; some are choosing to reach out privately with friends or family. Then you have others that are coming forward to testify in public trials and have their abuser prosecuted!!!

So I ask this, “When will this pandemic of abuse and violence get the attention of our media and even more importantly, our law makers? Why aren’t our politicians, our schools, and our neighbors willing to speak about this topic? Don’t we talk about the crime of bullying? Isn’t this the worst type of bullying? Afterall, these crimes are about power over another human being and nothing else!!!

When I look at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services Reports, I can see the reports of child abuse and it astounds me that people are refusing to talk about such a prevalent crime. There are crimes of abuse against our children, in this state, occurring every 4.6 seconds and 79 deaths related to domestic disturbances in 2011, which you will find on the home page of Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. http://www.state.il.us/DCFS/docs/CANTS2010.pdf & http://www.ilcadv.org/resources/statistics/FY10DataSheet.pdf . These are vicious crimes of Assault, Battery, Aggravated Sexual Battery; Assault with a Deadly Weapon and more. It goes deeper in to reach the emotional battery, financial captivity and brainwashing of another human being.

“How outraged we would be if a stranger committed any of these crimes!!!”

This is even worse because these crimes are being committed by those we live with, most of whom we are dependent upon in some way. The criminals aren’t strangers, they are what the law sees as Domestic or Parental.

“Apparently when it is one of these related to us in some way – THEN IT IS NOT A CRIME!!” Really??? Why not???

What makes the acts of violence from someone related to us; someone who resides with us or used to reside with us; what makes this any less a crime???

Imagine if these were punished for the crimes they are. I know our prisons would not be able to handle all of these attackers. What if we put people to work by building a facility in each county that would hold just these who attack someone they live with? Build one facility for those who offend against their partner/spouse/boyfriend or girlfriend, then build another for those who attack children within their residence or one who is a relative.

This action would promote employment. It would give a greater good by providing a prosecution deserved of these crimes and a sense of justice for the victims. A child who is left to grow up at the access of their abuser will have long-term physical and mental health issues. I am one myself who suffers the aftermath. It is already proven that these crimes can lead to conditions such as; P.T.S.D., Depression, Personality Disorders and physical problems such as Fibromyalgia and other Auto Immune Diseases. It breaks down our ability to fight off these conditions, which can also lead to a lifetime of either emotional or physical disability. This alone creates a severe impact on our economy.

The Center for Disease Control reports an estimated cost of $124 BILLION a year to support those recovering or left damaged from these criminal attacks of child maltreatment. They also show costs exceeding $8.3 BILLION a year for the direct consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.

http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/childmaltreatment/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html

“How is it that our politician’s refuse to touch on this topic, especially during election time? Why aren’t we as a society outraged about this? Not just the crimes themselves but what it costs the government in funding, which is being cut more & more each year, but also about the severity of these crimes and the long-term damage of its victims. How can we be aware of these facts and their costs, but still put our head in the sand?

“You cannot UNKNOW something!!!” So what is the explanation that anyone has for being silent or forcing someone else into silence when these crimes sneak in to invade our lives?

I pray that after reading this you will be a bit more enlightened and empowered to speak with knowledge and conviction about this cancer eating away at our society. If this were a medical disease we would be pulling out all the stops to raise funds and battle against it, but because it happens within what should be the safety & privacy of our homes, we choose to turn away and pretend we don’t know about it; hoping secretly that someone else will step up to report it or do something about it. Our politicians only get involved when we as people make them live up to the job they were put in office to uphold!!! They’ve got a lot on their plate to deal with right now, but hey, my ideas aren’t half bad and it would help with our financial status and put people back to work.

The victims of these crimes, either child or adult, truly need to have their voices counted now more than ever. Show the public and our law makers just how wrong, the already shocking statistics, really are. There isn’t anyone within the reach of cable television that isn’t aware of the violence within our homes. Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse; Sexual Assault & Abuse; these crimes are being shared in the news and in the movies, sit-coms, daily Soap Operas and more, even after school specials are touching on these subjects.

Victims, if you are still trapped in this abuse, I beg you to please reach out for help!!!!

Survivors, I beg you to have your voice counted and your story heard, not just for others but also for your own healing.

Public, I beg you to please get outraged over these crimes!!! Surely if it happened to someone you know and love, you wouldn’t be so quick to turn away!!!

Positive Affirmations for You:

You deserve to be safe

You deserve respect

You deserve kindness

You deserve as much love as you freely give to others

You deserve roses in your garden of life

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker/Survivor & Dreamcatchers Talk Radio Host

“My Justice” – see links for Amazon.com/Authorhouse.com/BN.com in blogroll

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

http://www.dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatchers

To make a report of Child Maltreatment – 1-800-422-4453 Childhelp Helpline http://www.childhelp.org/

To make a report of Intimate Partner Violence – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) National Center of Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/

To make a report of Sexual Assault – 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) RAINN http://www.rainn.org/