The voice waiting to be spoken

The past seven years I’ve spoken publicly about my ‘Adverse Childhood Experience’ and the life path of continued tolerance of violence. I’ve been extremely blessed to have made friendships and become a ‘Survivor Voice’ through various task force, trauma training, and community events here in Illinois, but even more so are all the survivors I’ve come to know from around the world and being a Regional Ambassador for National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, (NAASCA.org).

The most empowering part has only been happening for the past year since the #MeToo movement first began. It’s a change I know almost every survivor of violating/terrorizing trauma is also feeling; a spark deep inside for their own voice to be heard. When I first started speaking about my history, I was repeatedly told; ‘Your story is just too graphic‘. It actually caused a cancellation for Illinois Dept of Health Women’s Health Conference back in 2015.

It’s true. My story is absolutely horrific, but it’s not like I had much choice, especially during my childhood. It was the 70’s and it was a small rural Illinois mining town. There was not anyone who discussed objecting against any parent, much less getting involved. It wasn’t what we were taught and it’s not what our society believed was any of their business, mainly because it was all so normal.

Back then we hadn’t even begun to talk about child sexual abuse or child trafficking, which victims only connected with the term child sharing. I’ve written before about my case possibly being one of the worst cases of child abuse in Illinois history. Some of you may disagree but in owning ‘My Truth’ it’s truly empowering to know we are finally being encouraged to discuss some of the details of our experiences, especially when we are using those experiences in conjunction with the data & research of today, along with the growing numbers of victims/survivors getting involved to help change this dark course of pain.

The wheels of change move ever so slowly but nothing will change without your participation as a society. Now is the time if you have experienced violence, sexual harm or trafficking; it is okay to seek help and discuss the lasting trauma effects. I saw/shared a great post on Facebook; “The poison chalice of pain will be passed through your family until you decide to heal…’. This is so very true as I’ve learned first hand in the experiences of my children and grandchildren. Regardless of how my story is received, it is the absolute best decision I’ve made and I will never regret being the one in my family that stated with relentless determination; ‘I’m done’!!

Since this is my personal blog site, and for anyone who wants to change what the past has taught us, work to become the person you know you are meant to become; I want to encourage you to either reach out to me personally at trish@butterflydreamsalliance.org, visit our website www.butterflydreamsalliance.org or connect with www.naasca.org – help and support is available and we do not have to feel so isolated in our confusion and roller coaster life. All I ask is that you think about it; practice telling yourself in the mirror what happened to you, let the tears flow, and when you’re ready; connect with a support service or another survivor.

Reach out to find services and strategies to help you get stronger while you change the cycle of negative influence in your family. Remember that rebuilding is a very personal process and there is not one particular service or therapist, or survivor advocate who will work for every person. Our personalities, perceptions, resilience, and traumas are different, so having more than one helped me a great deal. However, for me, the greatest tool was the ‘Survivor to Thriver’ program through ASCAsupport.org; in rebuilding find what helps you most. There are thousands across the country.

More than anything else, for every silenced or isolated survivor there is at least one or more who are still victims. By educating about reporting, warning signs, early intervention, family wellness & rebuilding parents; by using our past we can absolutely change the future for our children and I hope that ‘My Justice’ continues to reach into the souls of our society and let them know just how important it is to help save a life while they are still young enough to know what real happiness and life success can be despite the hardships of their journey.

We can’t go back and change our history, but we can absolutely choose where and how we move forward today!! I hope that those who just won in our mid-term elections realizes just how important enhancing trainings and reaching out to create awareness in every small community is the only thing that will change our learned behaviors taught through anger, mental illness, addictions, and tolerated harm.

Thank you for reading. We are here in Clinton County, Illinois and we want to begin our ‘Survivors World’ support group sessions, and we are posting awareness signs throughout the area. If you wish to volunteer or get involved please contact me directly at the email given above.

We are all #StrongerTogether ūüôā

‘Trish’ McKnight

Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP

PS – Some of my history as shared with this post of gratitude that somehow I made it through, some way, for whatever reason – I am still alive and I choose to LIVE!!

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It’s like your emotional brain has a cold

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I know locally in Southern Illinois there is an effort to inform society about Mental Illness and what we can do to help. 

The day to day forms of mental illness you see in family and friends can be anything from the equivalent of I have a cold to I’m having a heart attack. Mild mental illness is quite common in our high-stress life, especially if you’re spending all your time on the internet or social sites worrying about how popular your post or comment might be. This is usually even more stressful or depressing for teens or young adults who have gone through some difficult experiences; they need to feel that acceptance – they fit in – they do belong somewhere.

If anyone asks how we are doing or if they do say something to us; we probably deny anything is wrong and keep on smiling. Only a few open up and say; I’m feeling down. I’m feeling stressed. I’m feeling……

The key words, ‘I’m feeling’; consider if you had a headache, you wouldn’t tell the world but you would probably take an aspirin¬†or drink a soothing tea. If it was there the next day you’d try to figure out why it’s still there; take another aspirin or another soothing tea. Many of us would do this for a week or so, then we would seek some type of medical check to see what’s going on and why we can’t get rid of the damn headache.

Your son or daughter who seems depressed all the time, may not be contemplating suicide, but it doesn’t mean that school, relationships, or work are not getting heavy for them. Perhaps in a teen, you begin to see an increase in acne or lower grades, poor eating habits. Maybe they isolate themselves to the privacy of their room and only rarely interact with anyone. Perhaps in an adult friend, they seem quieter or less open than normal. Maybe you don’t see them outside or leaving the house. Maybe your coworker seems like they cannot concentrate or they are having to focus so hard on work they don’t even enjoy a joke or a smile at the water cooler.

I am this person…… at least one day a week if not more I have to rise above the depression and get out of my own head for awhile.

When the weather is nice, at least warmer, this is usually easier to do. However, if you cannot get away from the thoughts or the stress, there is a high risk of things becoming more difficult rather than easier. If you do not have family around to help, if you are a single parent, if you are just in a challenging situation day after day, or even a few days a week; this should be when you start reaching out for a connection with someone, somewhere. Create an anonymous name and go online to share what’s going on with another close acquaintance. Careful what you share online, however, let’s not give out any personal information; keep yourself and your location safe unless you are sure of whom you are communicating with. Be smarter and more cautious online, because if you don’t actually know the person, then how do you know what they will or will not do with the details you give them.

The problems become more difficult when we carry so much inside and rarely let things out that really bother us.  Kind of like pushing yourself from the common cold to a major illness or heart attack. The common AMI we see in almost everyone at some point just needs a bit of your positive inspiration to lift up the shade for a bit so the light can get in. Use the renewal of warmer weather and all the blossoms of new life, that time when you do Spring Cleaning; clear the clutter and dust out the cobwebs of our emotions once in awhile as well.

When you do see a person with rage problems or violent outbursts, ranting threats and other such things; this is a person who needs some help and if they don’t or won’t get it on their own, then your only option may be to force through some type of legal process if possible or make them an offer they can’t refuse; such as, ‘I’ll take the kids for the weekend while you decompress.’

Mental Illness doesn’t have to be a lifetime prohibitor, it can indeed many times be figured out and treated, to at least prevent some type of harm to yourself or others, especially if you are around children. If you believe someone you know is becoming more withdrawn or more angry; please remember; this is someone you care about. Help them be brave enough to help themselves, even if that means going along for the checkup. Just like if they were worried about a cancer diagnosis, they might be just as worried about a visit with a psychiatrist to evaluate their emotional stability.

In May and all year long, can you make a commitment to just watch out for those people you care about? You don’t need to watch everyone online or in your neighborhood. We are populated enough that most have someone around, but when dealing with a mental illness they may have burned bridges to family and ties that could and would help them today. If you’re a close neighbor or a concerned co-worker you just might be the only light in the tunnel for them. At least be a person who shows empathy, not sympathy or judgement.

See the world with eyes wide open; no blinders to avoid the bad stuff! The bad stuff is real life for someone and they need us to keep the circle of help running through our schools, our health centers, and definitely in our neighborhoods and our families.

**Mental Health can be any form of Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder or more. Most of us understand there is Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and then Any Mental Illness (AMI). We usually see the SMI cases through the news headlines, and AMI in our friends and family, co-workers & neighbors.

Truth is –¬†https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml

  • In 2016, there were an estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with AMI. This number represented 18.3% of all U.S. adults.

Any Mental Illness accounts for these millions of Americans but less than half actually sought out help and/or treatment. Personally, I’m guessing it’s gotta be the stigma attached to being diagnosed. However, maybe it’s because most of us feel depressed and have anxiety about things all the time. We have anger problems, lose control inside our home or at family gatherings but everyone says ‘Calm down’ then moves on to the next family drama.

Only you can be the one to make a choice to address the topic and be watchful of those around you. Together we can create a safer, healthier, happier and more equal society for everyone!!

Thanks for reading

#MHAM #NAMI #NIMH

Be kind ūüôā trish

@ButterflyDreamsAlliance

www.butterflydreamsalliance.org

 

 

 

The everyday beginning steps of Human Trafficking

Thank you #BrittanyJones; Channel 12 News, #KFVS  http://www.kfvs12.com/clip/14043071/march-to-end-human-trafficking-held-in-carbondale

#Torch – Shining a Light on Human Trafficking – SIU Carbondale

Think about that statement for a moment. We are here to ask our friends, neighbors, colleagues, resources, professionals, first responders, care givers, – absorb the power of this horrific statement. This isn’t just an offense busted by FBI¬† stings and plaguing other countries. This is what you and I see everyday, in communities where the same people do the same things day after day. The beginning steps are the common societal actions and behaviors we have been teaching are acceptable throughout human history. We may not know what the exact list from the experts tells us to look for, but more often than not those first beginning levels of what is and can become human trafficking, enslavement, forced servitude of another human being; regardless of what we want to admit or what we see in the welfare of another person, we need to care enough to intervene early and bring attention to the distress you see in your community. Only rarely do we have the occasion in small communities to be suddenly sold or exploited.

In modern day slavery we don’t just need our justice system ready to take on these offenders and put them away, we need to change our everyday way of thinking about what happens around us. The actions that happen to people we know, people we care about. Not just to our teens and children, but old and young, male and female. If we want any of our social care and justice systems to work, then we have a duty as everyday citizens to take accountability – report offenses that you DO recognize and make certain to do it early. If we do not have educators, medical professionals, law enforcement, neighbors, friends, even family ; those who are the ones most likely to see the signs of distress, then we can not expect to change the possible terrorizing acts which they might be trying to survive in everyday.

You – you are the person who will first see or recognize something that causes alarm.¬† You have a duty to intervene, to question that person’s welfare, and if you’re unsure take it to an advocate or make some Google searches to understand what signs you are seeing what what it is that might be turning your gut inside out every time you’re around it or see a possible lost soul on the streets, in our businesses, working on our farms, attending our schools, or even when they are coming in for basic mandatory physicals. It’s our time to watch out for the common daily signs of distress.

Understand that I absolutely know what it is like to go through days, weeks, years; waiting, hoping, praying someone would care enough to do something. Someone would believe that I mattered enough as a human being to at least question the multitude of acts and harms they did see almost daily for years. Believe me, I am just one of the millions of adult survivors of these types of daily horrors. When you are inside this type of environment and being dismissed or overlooked by everyone around you, it’s really difficult to believe that you have a voice to ask for help. Young kids, don’t have a clue how to put into words what’s happening until around 16 or so. All they can do is keep trying to get through each day. More often than not – THEIR SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON THEIR SILENCE!!

The common everyday things that happened to me were kind of accepted in Freeburg, just like it is in the rural communities I still see today.  It was just the way we raised our kids and took our rage out on our family. In most communities today, there is always one family the town talks about and judges. My family was that family!!!

There were years that instead of looking at how much they despised my stepfather and what they actually witnessed him doing on a regular basis. Instead of questioning what they witnessed my mother allowing to happen to her little girl, in the condition of her daily needs and care; instead people decided that I should be judged, I should be shamed. Both the adults and the schoolmates condemned and whispered about who I was and the things they heard. They kept their daughters away from our home and refused to let their sons date or hang out with me. In a small community just like what we see in our rural areas everyday; I was that child and teen girl who carried the reputation with boys and adult men by the time I was 13 years old.

It happened at the bar where my mother worked for years. It happened in the private parties with boys I went to school with and who saw me almost everyday. He would arrange it all at our home with a case of beer, giving me solid instructions on how to entice them, then tell him all the gory details when he returned home with my mother. This very known and discussed activity then became private parties late at night in our home, with sometimes 10 or more adult men from the local coalmine. My younger sister trying to sleep in the other room. My mother going in to watch TV in her bedroom; telling me to have a good time as she walked away when his call came in with instructions of what to wear, what to get prepared, even putting the porn movie in the VCR. This happened not because my mother was terrorized or forced to let it happen, but rather because she didn’t want to try and survive with three children on her own, and eventually because she didn’t mind using me as her family caretaker and housekeeper.

It wasn’t just chores we give our kids today. It was every single day and every moment of my day. It wasn’t just the occasional dusting or vacuuming. It was give her a toothbrush to scrub the corners and keep her here busy until I’m ready to send her to bed. Don’t give her a toothbrush or give a damn if she cares for herself at all.

The men got me drunk, the porn was on the television, they passed me around from lap to lap. They got me high, guiding me for this one do this or that one to do that. Around 3 or 4 am, I might be told to go out to the camper on the back of my stepfather’s pickup parked right in front of our house.

Keep in mind we lived in the center of this small town for six consecutive years when his violent reign of terror and the complete neglect of any human kindness was at it’s absolute worst. This type of exploitation, enslavement, sharing, trafficking happened between 11 to 17 before I escaped. He was at that time planning to put me in a trailer, on a private lot, with a new lock and his own private key so we could have ‘our’ parties anytime. I ran the first chance I got; ran into the arms of a man 7 yrs older who beat me, strangled me, almost drowned me, and left me hogtied in a bedroom for 10 hours, dead-bolted in a second floor apartment while he went to work and out for drinks. I’ve had more weapons held to my head than I can count, the first around age nine. Like many from violent homes I rant into the waiting arms of another violent abuser. All with the aide of what I was manipulated with as a child; years of weed and alcohol to cover up the pain. No matter the suffering I must act like I had always been taught; silent, submissive, even protective of my tormentor.

All of the interactions happened for the price of a case beer or perhaps just a couple of glasses at the bar. This was my value, this was the identity that every single person who witnessed the very worst of these offenses unknowingly or knowingly, helped create in just one young girl. Each had their part and in those so easily dismissed and accepted acts they trained a child to become a human being who lived ‘in servitude of others’ until I was about 45 years old.

The young servitude was taught as I grew up to be the only person in our home expected to answer the ring of that little brass bell for years. Constantly, every single day. No wonder my homework was barely done. No wonder I couldn’t concentrate or felt so different, so socially inept around everyone else. No wonder I could barely exist in your world. The only thing I could think about was how to survive the next damn thing that was going to happen.

During these years I was attacked almost daily.¬† It was so brutally dominating and fearful, that it wasn’t even safe to bathe or take any time to care for myself. For five years I barely took a washcloth to my face, let alone my body.. I was a kid who attended the same school system, walked around in the same small community, who associated with the same people everyday.¬† I was covered in filth, my front teeth rotted out and broken, my skin covered in sores; ugly infected rashes that have left me scarred and broken with many troubling health conditions today. They saw years of physical violence; bruises across my back and legs from the leather belt he had sliced up to beat me with. Once I got that beating for putting on a pair of my brother’s button up flannel pajamas because I thought they might protect me from him somehow; like a suit of magic armor he wouldn’t be able to touch me. Believe me, I didn’t dare put them on ever again.

So now I ask you; what types of distressful behaviors do you see happening or going on with one of the people or kids you interact with everyday. What do you see on the surface? What do you think might be happening beneath the surface to control that person in such a dominant and cruel fashion? Now let me ask РWhy in the hell is it still happening today, everyday.? Not just here in Southern Illinois, but in every little rural and perceived safe community across the country. For thousands Рthis is everyday life happening in your backyards. There are enslaved, young and old, both male & female; these are the common early steps that become the larger tragedy of human trafficking. There are at risk kids in every apartment building, rich private home, or rundown trailer park. They are trying to endure until they can somehow find a way  to somehow escape and live like everybody else.

Let me remind you; You might be the only one who sees something, or is courageous enough to report something that might first bring attention to any form of those early controlling, neglectful, threatening, servitude acts that happen. We can’t expect our Social Service workers to just walk in and suddenly take action or investigate something, until we make absolutely certain we are reporting it. Take names and numbers, then follow up to make sure they’re doing their job and holding them accountable. Keep reporting and if they still want listen, discuss it with others who witness these acts or who might be able to help them.¬† Our leading research & health organizations have data on trauma which has been collected for the past ten years. The ones who are responsible for assisting and investigating are just as accountable for their actions and decisions, as you and I are accountable for what we tolerate and teach through our silence.

I beg you, I beg everyone across the country; it’s time to pick ourselves up by the boot-heels and create the society we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in. A society of equality, with true possibility that they can actually succeed in their dreams. To be courageous enough to dream and feel self worthiness. Teach them to believe they actually matter; their life actually matters to the most close knit circle around each and every one of us.

I really want to thank all of you for listening to me here, and the Women’s Center for permitting me to speak at this amazing event. Hopefully you’ll think about everything you’ve felt or heard here today; the empowering energy we have felt together. We really must begin somewhere and this change will take on whatever momentum for community and family wellness that we decide to put into it. We can honestly take accountability and decide whether we will or will not permit harmful and despicable acts among us as a society of incredible human beings. No one deserves this hell for a life. No one should be so easily, casually, or grudgingly dismissed within our communities and closest circles.

When you ask yourself what can I do about Modern Day Slavery, Exploitation, Servitude, Human Slavery, Human Trafficking; please remember to just do something. Look beneath the surface of what you do see. Be the one a shining light on the acts that destroy and cycle through what we see in the common everyday dysfunctions and behaviors that lead our children into danger, our streets filled with crime, a society using deadly drugs and addictions to cover up the pain, mental & physical health problems that might just be our remaining injuries and wounds from the traumas we endured; at least for the ones who actually survive. The ones who aren’t living so isolated and tormented they are driven to complete the acts of suicide, simply because they are suffering but no one is hearing their trapped voices and their rolling silent tears. If we want to be the beginning of a new way, an equal and humane way in our society, then when are we really going to start being the voice of hope and change? Are we going to decide to continue this massive cycle of life altering learned behaviors and distress of others?

Thank you, to everyone who has believed in my voice. You are now my energy and my hope, you are colleagues or resources I depend on to do the very best I can; will those reading this also join us? Today I’m finally starting to believe in my worthiness as a human being. Today I believe in my worthiness of life, without expectation of dominance and servitude.

Be well, Live Free & Really Dream Big because you are the minds and the hearts that will make any possibility of change a reality for the magic that lies within each and every human being on this amazing place called Earth. Always believe anything is possible with you in the active equation of life!!!

 

Trish McKnight

Survivor/Author/Advocate

Butterfly Dreams Alliance NFP

Breese, IL

 

https://butterflydreamsalliance.org/

https://www.facebook.com/butterflydreamsalliance/

 

Your Voice Radio Network

yvr-1‘Topics with Trish’ – Thursday – Feb 9, 2017 – 4:pm central time. We are doing a live Facebook Group Video feed during today’s broadcast. ¬†http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yourvoiceradio/2017/02/14/topics-with-trish–chronic-health-conditions-relationship-challenges-love-msg

*Share your special love message on our video feed comments section, Trish will share it on the show

*Relationship challenges – Keeping our relationships together

*Living with Chronic Health Conditions – Needed care, the impact on the family unit and the heavy cost on our financial welfare

It’s a great big world out there; let’em hear YOUR VOICE!!!

Join our Facebook Page conversation, call the studio live 929-477-2779, login to join our chatroom, look for the live video feed of our discussion. It’s a crucial issue today, let’em hear YOUR VOICE!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/yourvoiceradio2017/

Magical Merry Christmas wishes for all!!!!

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A magical Merry Christmas from me to you,
I hope you’re not at all feeling blue
Stuck in the thoughts of Christmas past
Perhaps some memories are searing and bad,

When you feel the sadness bearing down,
Let me share a few things to lift up your frown

This time of year can bring lots of tears,
Many may remember with fear
Perhaps thoughts to trigger those feelings lost
Swirling, reeling, through your mind they are tossed,

Don’t get caught in the trap as you ponder the how
Keep a tight hold of the love around you now

Grab hold of a smile from here,
Think of the laughter caught in your ear,

Take a little hug from there
See all the glitter swirling through the air

Take a breath, close your eyes and dream
Of the moments that make Christmas time gleam
There is no better time of year
To find magic all around; some there and a little here

Watch the children’s excitement grow
Watch the stars above you glow
Hold the magical moments tight
These will give you the power of light

You no longer have to fear, those times are no longer here

Those moments are gone, although some may be strong,

Tell the bad to let go, it is your time to grow

It is time to break free, open your heart and see

The beautiful star is glowing inside, there is no reason for you to hide

  Tickle your child; listen and hear
All the magic that is this time of year
Live, love, laugh & be free
Surely there is magic in that beautiful tree

This Magical Merry Christmas Wish
Is for all of you, from little old me
Here’s a smile and a hug to hold you tight
Your new beginning has now taken flight

Patricia A. McKnight

© http://www.survivorsjustice.com

© http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

Author: ‚ÄėMy Justice‚Äô

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An orphan in the middle of a family…..

Have you or do you feel like you are the only one alive that acknowledges you ever existed, or that you matter at all? Have you let go of toxic family and those who choose to speak against you as you tell the truth of your life? Do you feel the heavy isolation around you, especially during the holidays? Are you the one like me who, as an empty nester, have no friends from the past or family you connect with at all?

It was very sad as I helped my dear true love with the passing of his last living parent today. It brought up tons of emotions for me and I felt so selfish discussing them with him, but I couldn’t hold back the tears.

It was and is wonderful to see his friends from school and his younger days of fun and hanging out, all reach out to comfort him. It was such a tender moment to see all those that cared and were concerned of his wellbeing.

Then there is me……

You see the kids are all grown and moved away, on with their lives as kids become adults and¬†follow the cycle of life. It’s all good to see them in their days of laughter with their family and having those moments of joy with their children. It is beautiful to watch it grow.

About four years ago I cut off the connection with my mother; the toxic parent of my past. I was the only child born between her and my father, but sadly when I was five and she married the devil; she allowed the monster to control and cut off any and all communication with my dad and his family. Not until I was eighteen and my grandfather passed, was I permitted to have letters or talk on the phone with any of them. It was an instant and complete dissection.

There was a brother I grew up with from her first marriage; she had left her other two boys with their dad when she ran off to marry his best friend, which was my dad. She took her youngest boy of the three, who was only six months old; married Dad and then had me. In the marriage with the devil, the two of them had a daughter. As the three of us¬†all grew up in the alcoholic fueled dysfunction; the severe rage, violence, sexual attacks and neglect were all directly aimed at only me.¬† Not exactly sure of the why, but it is of no real concern I guess. I was the target of this madness and the others in my family knew, watched, heard, but they too were only children. Mother doesn’t count because she only saw me as her housekeeper, cook, babysitter, and caregiver; a replacement for when she didn’t feel like doing her duty as a parent or wife.

So not to confuse you, there were three boys my mother had, then me, then my younger sister.¬†Dad remarried and he had three daughters and a son. I’ve only met the daughters once a very long time ago at Grandpa’s funeral.¬†After the funeral however, I never heard from any of those relatives again. Thankfully I¬†finally tracked down my dad and shared¬†about four or five phone calls over the long years, until about I was about¬†38,¬†then he was taken by cancer. However, no one bothered to search me down and let me know. It was as if I never existed. When I found an uncle about 10 years ago and he let me know Dad was gone, I spent the night curled up like a baby in¬†bed crying like I had just seen him in the casket.

Now here I am, turning 50 next Friday, and I’m looking at my life; especially since publishing ‘My Justice’ and finally being able to speak the truth of all that happened. It is heartbreaking to see that my kids still deal with the emotional impact of living in the pattern of acceptance in my relationships. Believe me, if you don’t think your kids will be impacted by the violent attacks between you and your partner, the ongoing court and custody issues, the crying, yelling and begging for mercy; you need to then talk with an Adult Survivor of this type of family violence. You will clearly see and understand how it always passes forward to invade the next generation, even when you do all you can to keep it from them.

Don’t get me wrong the kids are not a total mess, but they are hurting in relationships and child rearing; this is clearly because of all they were forced to deal with and accept as normal in their world.

So moving on …….

It is hard to accept that I have all of these blood related siblings out in this world, a total of eight. There are¬†some of whom I’ve reached out to and even directly emailed. All the blood cousins out there related on my dad’s side of the family, whom I’ve never met,¬†but have also reached out to communicate; all of these blood relatives and NONE OF THEM WANT TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I’M ALIVE!!!

They don’t know me!! Many have never met me!! As much as I have tried reaching out through networking sites; still no one I’ve found has responded or shown any interest in getting acquainted!!!

It is extremely painful. Marjorie, my therapist, and I have been working on this for a while. We have come to the conclusion that even the abuse and neglect that I endured, the complete shunning from any relatives and family; it is all connected TO THE ORPHAN IN THE MIDDLE OF A FAMILY!!!

Of course, it is during the holidays when this bothers me the most. Now with the kids all out on their own, Robbie’s parents gone, knowing it is just he and I moving forward, as¬†he is my Angel and Saving Grace; it is still so tearfully lonely.

It makes me long for some form of connection to my past existence; a friend, a relative, anyone who is willing to accept me as I am today, but be amazed because of what was then. It would be comforting to have a call from a friend or a message or card to say, “We know you and we also knew you then”

“Why do they all turn away? Why do they all act as if I’ve got the plague? Why do they act as if they’ve never heard of me? What did I ever do to be so completely shunned?”

It’s depressing to know I have all these blood siblings, but when God chooses to take me home; there will be no one there to connect with my children. No one related to me they can turn to. No one who will comfort their loss and be their friend; their connection to their Mom. My children are still paying the price for what others have done. This I cannot understand and it leaves my soul with a heavy¬† darkness.

“How can we, the children of the parents that once were, knowing what was and how it all got so screwed up; how is it my children will pay the heavy burden of complete doneness when that time comes?”

I know that many have walked away from toxic family; have you anyone from your past that acknowledges your existence? Do you feel that heavy isolation still encircling all that you are? How can we simply brush it away without ever feeling so completely abandoned?

As heartfelt and tender as it was to witness all Robbie’s friends reach out to comfort him, I was surrounded by the dark thoughts of NOTHINGNESS!!!

Nothing and no one who is blood or history related to be in my present existence. We build family from the virtual friends from across the world, but does it really ever replace that sense of loss. Unfortunately for me it is still a work in progress and acceptance. I am who I am! The strength I have comes from what was. The knowledge I’ve learned I share to help others. The pain I’ve carried is almost healed. The shattered soul is almost repaired.¬†“How can I complete the puzzle and put the emotions in place without having anyone around that validates all that has been?”

My hope is one day I will get there. I am on the other side of all the tragedy, but this is something much deeper than all those years of violence, evil, and scarring neglect. This is my DNA, it is what makes my ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ from all of those who should be connected.

Should you feel this heavy darkness and complete abandonment by those related, build on what you have, enjoy the moments you can, connect with the life you have in the present, then let Creator and His wonder handle the rest. My best for the holidays and beyond to each and all of you!!!

Find comfort in your strength to endure ūüôā

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Blogger/Radio Host/Survivor

‘My Justice’

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http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

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