Touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping…..

There’s been this child inside of me who hid in the dark shadows of my soul; lately she’s been peeking around the corner to see what it’s like outside. She feels the warmth of sunshine and wants so intensely to touch, laugh, play. She wants to check out the world and all of her possibilities. She questions leaving the safety within; she desires to live in all that ‘Trish’ has built around them.

The child given a new life, now smiling with the magic talents of Michal Madison
“Trecia Ann”

There’s something pulling the puppet strings. “Is it her? Does she want to take part now? What will others think of her?” She hasn’t stepped into the sun for over 40 years, but she’s not the same anymore. Everything about her world has changed. She’s loosened the little hands, which gripped so tightly to hold her safe all these years. I can feel her wanting to live, but she’s not quite sure how.

There have been so few moments when I’ve felt her at all. Its like when the monster snatched her up on the couch long ago, she climbed inside of this closet and did all she could to keep the light from breaking through the cracks.

She did come out to hold my children and expressed such great joy with a little girl’s giggle as she played in their lives. Then she was gone again and I’ve not felt her since. I had no clue she was still there. Every moment of the past years have been so terrifying that she kept putting layers of duct tape on the walls of my soul. She did this so she wouldn’t have to feel anything. She didn’t want to feel, nothing had ever felt safe, or good, or happy. Even the good moments when she peeled  the corners of tape back to let a moment with the children shine inside; like when she saw their faces on Christmas morning; when they woke up on Easter to seek out their baskets of candy, or when they dressed for Halloween and went racing through the streets to collect as many treats as possible. These are the moments that have sparked joy for her, but those moments have disappeared as the children have grown and moved on.

There’s been a three year span of her pulling back the heavy layers of tape from the walls. Slowly, quietly, sneaking and testing to see if it’s all really as good as she thinks.

“Has it really become safe now? Are the years of pain and torture, broken hearts and busted dreams; are they really gone?”

I do feel like they are. There hasn’t been anything to fear in about 8 years. ‘Trish’ has been able to let her feel ANYTHING again. This man has reached inside to hold ‘Trecia Ann’ and guide her to light very gently. When he sees her playing and showing through, he lights up. ‘Trecia’ can see the gleam in his eye as he looks at her.

‘ I don’t think he knows who he is seeing though. He thinks he sees ‘Trish’, but to me, he makes me feel ‘Trecia’ smiling.’

‘Does he know what it touches in me to see him smile at her, be proud of her, hold her, protect her, even guide her through to a new awakening?’

It’s like magic!! Like Santa personally handing me a present and saying, ‘It’s Ok, you’ve done a fabulous job of protecting her, but she doesn’t have to keep all that armor on any longer. She can remove those many layers of wrapping and spring to life.

Inside it feels as if ‘Trecia Ann’ is looking at her beautiful magic present but has no clue how to open it. She’s careful with this present. She’s afraid she’ll do something, anything, and Santa will take it back; sending ‘Trecia’ back into the dark shadows of her closet of safety.

I can hear her asking, ‘Can I lift off the gift wrap and see what’s inside this beautiful present?’ I really don’t know what to say to her. A part of me wants to grab and rip at the paper of this gift like the five year old excited child she is, but then the woman of me wants to set it aside like a ticking time bomb and call in the bomb squad to scan it and ensure there is no trigger wire there that might make it explode.

I feel God finally heard her plea, now He is whispering in her ear and saying, “Go ahead my child. It’s your present. I’ve been holding onto her, but its your turn now. Don’t worry you won’t hurt her. You don’t have to be afraid of her. Look into those magic eyes, see her? She wants to be part of you again. She loves what you’ve done, but she wants to come home and be with you now.”

I feel my arms reaching out to hold her. They wrap around her, cradle her on my lap and rock her safely as I hum a soft lull-a-bye. She’s looking at me with questions in her child like expression. She curious, but yet sparked with joy; she can’t stay in the dark any longer.

Although I’m feeling this sense of a magical gift, it also seems as if many don’t like this child. It’s like all, even her own children are trying to keep her in the taped up darkness, but she wants to keep ripping it away. She’s just so afraid other’s will be ashamed of all she has done, maybe she’s the one who is bad? “Is this why she hid away all these years?”

Her family only knows the ‘Trish’ who has been building these walls. They don’t understand why the walls are cracked and crooked. They don’t want to see ‘Trecia Ann’. “Is it because she reminds them of all that happened? Is it because she’s talking so much and won’t be silent like ‘Trish’ has been all these years? Did they forget she ever existed?” I’ve always felt her there, protected and hiding inside, waiting and closing herself off to the world so no one would see her.

I can’t help what’s happening now. I don’t want to lock her away any more. This man that has helped her feel again, he’s listened, he’s heard her scream, he’s put a light bright enough to shine through the cracks. The little girl is waking from a deep dark sleep and never wants to go back and think of those horrible dreams.

She hugs God and says to Him, ‘Thank you dear Lord for holding me in Your arms all this time.” With her child ways she reaches over and tenderly kisses his cheek. The spark He put into those eyes long ago is now back and its glowing like a magic ball.

I look up to Creator and ask Him if He really believes I can take care of this child now? “Does He believe I can give her the wonderful happiness and honor she deserves for being so courageous and hanging on so tightly all this time?

“Can I really give her life? Will she stay with me and help me help others now to take down their heavy tape which binds their child in secret? Will she and I really be able to feel as one?”

We must and we will help others see their child, to reach out to them and help them comfort all they are. For many, like ‘Trecia Ann’, it is as if the shattered woman who built their shell is putting the pieces together. The shell was busted by all the heavy blows from the fists, but it’s all gone now. There is a glow of light shining in and it’s really life now. The woman sees her puzzle and finds there is a child rather than a shameful monster she thought existed there.

Putting the puzzle of our life together and connecting with the reflection of the child lying in wait, this is magical, this is a present of life. It has finally found its way to me and I really hope in some way I can help others to build their castle of dreams. To see the hope that has finally been answered; to see the roses blossoming from the thorny stem. It is your turn now to climb the lattice and reach the warm of the sun, touch the magic present and tear away the wrapping.

“Do you hear the child’s giggle as she peeks outside to play?”

Enjoy her and rejoice in all she has done. Be admirable of her endurance to remain there waiting for you to see and hear her. Listen and you will hear her heart beating!!!

Patricia 'Trish' McKnight(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Radio Host/Survivor

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Photo Art – Michal Madison

Watercolor Artist/Advocate/Radio Host/Survivor

http://www.michalmadisonart.com

Michal Madison Art
‘The Rose Within’
by: Michal Madison

 

“The Good Within…..”

Well here it is 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning and again I am unable to sleep. Seems another morning has come where my mind doesn’t want to shut off. It’s so early, actually I’ve been awake since three, but just started coffee and had to get some thoughts out of my head.

First thing I think however, “Damn…..this world can be so insane and evil at times.” That’s it. That’s the first thought. Then, “How can I try to make things different and what are my next few steps going to be?”

I was just telling my beautiful friend, Michal Madison, the other day on the phone about what I am going to write to you here. She and I have become quite close you see. We have never met, but she knows me; she knows my spirit and my dreams. In fact we share many of the same thoughts and wishes, the passions of how we can try to create something better.

Anyway, here goes. “It’s sad to realize that no other mammal on this earth is as cruel to its young as we humans. Even the most ferocious animals of the kingdom; the lions, tigers, and yes, even bears are nurturing to their young. They keep them safe always. These breeds of God’s creations often stay together happily throughout their lifetime. However, humans beat, neglect, degrade, molest and rape our young. We manipulate them in our domestic relationships and our adult world. We use them to satisfy our own sick demented need for power and greatness, even sadistic desires.”

Do you know absolutely any adult can manipulate, over power, and control a child or even preteen; actually any human who is cruel can make another feel less worthy? It is when they have developed the adult body parts, the adult logical thinking, the adult ability to speak out, fight back, run away we start picking another less powerful force.

I made a statement in a Facebook comment yesterday afternoon. In this I discussed, “What would happen if each person who is able, chose to protect just one other who was younger, weaker, not able to protect themselves in some way; How would our world change? What morals and human decency would we be able to give to the next generation? What basic human skills could we give to our children to make this world a better place?”

I’m not sure if you feel as I do, but I’m more concerned about what morality will exist in my grandchildren’s futures rather than what debt they’ll be burdened to carry. Let’s face facts; “How do we ever expect them to pay off our world deficit?” I really don’t view this as a possibility for them. It really is a hope that we can change our pattern of spending to reduce this, but I believe that it may be an impossible feat for them at this point.

“What if instead we all chip in through moral teachings?” We can start punishing those who harm them, make calls to help rescue them, teach them they are worthy; teach them the process I began teaching my own grandchildren and try hard to pass on to them…..

“There are bad things in this world. There are people who are simply bad and do things to hurt other people. We can’t think that God can fix everything and take all the bad people, all the bad things, and rid them away. What we can do, is each try to be good inside. We each can try to find our good and share it with others. We also have to help protect those around us from bad things and bad people.”

That’s it simple easy step one as explained to my, then, six-year-old grandson. Every time someone begins to bully him or tries to be mean to him, he does speak up for himself, most times. But, at the same time when you talk to him he worries about if someone is being mean to them. He even tells his mom and dad when they’re not being nice. He has a great heart and a true soul. My awesome grandson, Gavin, knows at nine years old what it means to be kind and be a good person. I’m not sure I can say that for many adults I’ve come across in my life. It’s tragic to think of the world he, his brother, and my precious little granddaughter are going to be so sadly changed by the cruel sense of others. **Note: (Gavin wrote a story, himself, about this and now he and NaNa are working on the publication)**

“Do you believe we can change the path of mankind? Do you believe we all have the personal right to be safe in our world? Do you believe that if we all choose to protect our own rather than harm them, that we can create a better, kinder, safer world to give them?”

So you may now ask…..”What are my next few steps in this journey to make a difference?”

I am going to share these statements wherever I can. I am going to write about these statements, do public speaking on these statements, try to inspire some sense of moral kindness towards another. Most of all, I am going to ask you to look inside, to ask yourself;

“If I can protect just one and ask another to protect just one, maybe something will change? If I can speak for the goodness in mankind, if I can try to leave something better for my children and grandchildren; then maybe, just maybe, something will begin to sparkle through the goodness that I pass forward. Rather than hand the world to them with all of the pain, violence, evil, darkness; I can be part of the generation that gathered its voices and decided to take a stand.”

“I can be part of that wonderful group that did something different rather than just accepting what has been turned away from for generations. I can simply begin to be one of those awesome voices that decided to say, NO MORE!!”

Let’s face it folks, if we don’t try to do something, what will our children think of this species called the human race in another twenty years?

If you agree with this and you want to help make a change and just don’t know how to start, look inside yourself. What lies inside your heart? What are your thoughts about these statements?What do you hope to pass forward? If all of your answers here fill your ideas with wonderful possibilities, share that good spirit with others.

“The place we can all begin to create a kinder, more compassionate and safer world; this is the good that lies within.”

Be the rose within!!

Michal Madison Art
Michal Madison Art
artist/advocate/speaker/survivor
Michal Madison; Watercolor Artist
michalmadisonart.com

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker/Blogger/Survivor

Author:  “My Justice”

lulu.com/amazon.com/bn.com/authorhouse.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Changing the Trained Behavior and Accpetance of Abuse

People have reached out to congratulate me on an awesome blog site. Love that, I really do. They’ve also stated what a great relief to find a blog that shares the truth and depth of being a Child Sexual Abuse Survivor. This again is wonderful!!!

As a survivor who had been drastically trained to accept, live in, and believe that I didn’t deserve any level of human kindness. There is a deeper impact that this training has had on my life. This would be accepting, believing and living in a continued pattern of abuse, which resulted in twenty years of almost deadly Domestic Violence. This is the abuse that has left me disabled today.

When I left my parent’s home at seventeen, I had been swept off my feet by a twenty-four year old man. I couldn’t believe that this guy wanted anything to do with me. Remember that I was carrying the very visible disgust from the child abuse, neglect and rot that covered my body. He was a small man about 5’5″ and maybe 140 lbs, while I was 5′ tall and weighed about 150. He was really very cute and many thought so, both his friends and the few I partied with. I was covered with both scars and still infected patches of sores from the inability to bathe in my home. My teeth were rotted out to the point I would roll up little pieces of bread to try to use as fillings for my front teeth. He “seemed” pretty stable in his world. He’d been working at the same city job since he graduated highschool. I hadn’t graduated and had random waitressing or fast food jobs. Most importantly, he was so kind and gentle towards me. This was new. He didn’t just want to bed me and then ignore me. He drove 45 minutes to surprise me.

We moved in together after just a few months of weekend dates. The kindness seemed to continue. I admired him. I seriously thought, “Finally I’m safe”. After the first day I should have picked up and never looked back. I accepted one huge sign of his control. He deadbolted me in the second floor apartment when he left for work.

He told me, “I only have one set of keys and the neighborhood isn’t safe enough to leave the doors unlocked. I simply responded, “OK”; believing there was a kindness in this act. “Awe, he cares about my being safe.”

Six months later he took his first swing at me and landed a slap across my face so hard that it knocked me backwards. This was because I objected to his locking the doors, AGAIN!!! During the 2 years we lived together his violent control would become almost deadly. He would then tell me he was sorry he lost his temper.

“Why did I have to make him so angry? Why did I insist on him doing this to me? I must like it when he beats me”!!!!

I believed all of it!!! I believed that if I wouldn’t have said this or that, he wouldn’t have slapped or punched me. I believed that he didn’t mean to rage so intensely as he smashed my head off of a tree stump. I believed that he didn’t mean to hurt me as he tied me up with a phone cord and locked me in the bedroom. I believed that he wouldn’t do it again as he held a loaded gun to my head, or when he choked me, kicked me, and almost drowned me. I believed him  as he pushed my face into the mirror and told me how ugly I was and no one else would ever want me.

When I finally decided that I couldn’t stay with him any longer, he exploded, beat me, and then convinced me that it was my fault he found another lady that he wanted to move in with and I needed to leave.

Perhaps you’re thinking’ Thank God she wised up and knew she didn’t deserve this treatment any longer” HA!HA!HA!

There next would be a man who became my husband, father to my children, but held a fierce control over everything in our home. He was emotionally abusive as he told me that I was nothing without him. He was verbally abusive as he referred to me as His Whore while we were supposed to be making love. I accepted and allowed him to control every single decision within our home. I believed his words as they sliced through my soul. Since I had children with him I did all I could to keep my family together; even divorced him and then came back apologizing!!! We remarried, but just after eighteen months both of us were seeing a lawyer for divorce.

When he ran off with my children before the second divorce papers were filed, he convinced me that I wasn’t good for my children. They didn’t need me in their lives. They would be better off without me. He left me in Maryland without a place to live, without anything but a basket of clothes and ran to his parents home in Pennsylvania with all of our belongings and MY THREE YOUNG CHILDREN!!!

The next four months would be spent bouncing off walls trying to figure out if he was really right, that I wasn’t any good for my children. Finally I packed my single basket of clothes in a 10 ft. U-haul and chased after them, moving to PA with only $35.00 and knowing absolutely no one or what I was going to do. It took four years of battles before he would finally give me back my children, but he hadn’t let up on the verbal threats against my life.

“Your alive only because I am a nice person. One day they will find you floating down the Allegheny River and I will get away with it”!!!

Six months after arriving in PA I was again swept away by a handsome man who came into the bar where I had found work. He would become my 2nd husband and eventually my children would come back to live with us.

The first few months were awesome, but of course I was blind to some things, but I couldn’t be so easily walked on. I did start standing up for myself, and believed that so long as he loved me after the beating that we would work it out. I wanted this marriage to last. I truly loved this man. He was most often kind to my kids; he wrestled and played with them. He didn’t ever lay a hand on them and rarely corrected them. He was pretty easy except when he got drunk and that became an every day event. Then I noticed that his beatings didn’t just happen when he was drunk. They started happening over anything. Especially if he didn’t have the money to go get drunk. He beat me and made me give up a new career with a great company. He beat me for giving him a luke warm plate of food. He beat me for the littlest infraction!!!

My children an I lived on eggshells. I didn’t think that my children were really effected by what they saw and heard each night. I thought that since they were never directly harmed that it would be fine and if I could hang in there my family would work out. I needed his help financially and believed I couldn’t keep my kids without him.

The night of his last beating, he almost killed me and the damage has left me disabled now and no longer a productive member of society. When the police escorted me out of our house on Nov. 19,1997 I made a promise to myself, “Never again would I accept any beating or mistreatment from any man!!!”

***Note***- I’m not against men and I don’t believe that all men are abusive; I just wasn’t going to take any more beatings!!!

It took three months for me to finally get on my feet. Thankfully a wonderful friend, Kimmy, became my angel and gave me a safe place to clear my head and get a new job. However my children had to go back to their father’s while I got things settled. I didn’t believe that a shelter would help me and my family. After all, I had accepted all of this cruelty. Why would they help me????

To my surprise I did quite well getting started. The new job, thanks to going back for an education, was a professional position as a buyer and more with a local manufacturing plant. Eventually I even bought us our own safe home and put up a pool for the kids and I to enjoy together. Their father had no problem giving them back to me when I got our first rental. Things weren’t easy financially. I had over stretched myself as I tried to build a wonderful safe, happy place for the kids and I, but we were trying hard together.

There would be three more relationships that came into my life. Each one after the first few months would turn controlling or violent. I didn’t stay with them, but I kept choosing the same types of men. I used to ask myself if God had stamped me with a sign that said, “Beat Me”!!!

I WAS FORTY-TWO BEFORE I MET THE FIRST MAN WHO WOULD NOT BEAT ME, DEGRADE ME, ABUSE ME IN ANY WAY!!!

Now I do live happy and healed, but that is only because I have finally faced all of the demons of my past. I’ve gone through years of intense therapy, beginning back in 1997. The multiples of abusers and the 20 years going from one abusive relationship to another has left extreme physical and emotional damage. Even though I know that I am safe and loved, there are still those instant reactions of worry and fear. I’m happy to say that I know I can trust the wonderful man who understands this remaining damage, but it sure doesn’t make the relationship easy for him either. He is left to love the broken, scarred body of my past; the emotional break downs and doubts of my trained mind and reactions. But HE LOVES ME THROUGH ALL OF IT 🙂

You’ll find a video upload on this blog site that is my plea to anyone who is living this path of trained acceptance and expectance of abuse. Please reach out to just one person, be it a friend or stranger, shelther or church. You deserve better, You deserve love, happiness, and safety. There are places that will help you. You can find a support system that helps you help yourself to a better life.

We have to be the ones to change our lives. Others can lead us to the tools, they can give us the tools, but we have to make the choice to change and devote ourselves to truly succeeding and accepting nothing less. It won’t be perfect or wonderful or easy, but in order to save your life I beg you to please, please believe that you deserve safety, love, respect, and happiness. You can do this!!! There are places to help you through or you can do it yourself by working hard and leaving what you know.

Each new day brings a fresh chance to change what controls you and you deserve all the wonderful beauty of this world.

Connect with me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tricialgirl62

Check out the pages here about the Author, the novel “My Justice”, the Articles & More. I encourage you to leave your comments and know that you can join in with me & many others and walk the path to freedom, as we support and encourage others to do the same.

It’s OK to feel the pain of our past, but we must truly live for our future!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker/BTR Host/Survivor