“DYSFUNCTION”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think if you will for a moment, about the thousands who take their own lives each year because of the madness, loneliness and fear of being in this place of dysfunction. Do you know that as I tried to search the world-wide web for statistics on Suicides due to Child Abuse – there are no statistics that directly reflect that number? I did however find this awesome article from Psychology Today …… “while the CDC may not count the number of child abuse induced suicides that occur in emerging adulthood, it’s easy to argue that the count would not be ‘1.”

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

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

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

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

1) YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG

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

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

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

5) BUILD A POSITIVE SUPPORT SYSTEM WITH THOSE YOU TRUST

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

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

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

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Do We Really Understand What This Means????

 

 This is a picture of me as a child when the abuse from the man who became my stepfather first occurred. Do you see the innocence shared in this child’s face? Do you see the sparkling young girl who is waiting to bloom? This child died!!!!

In the very midst of the Sandusky Trial, I have to wonder if we really appreciate what this means? This is a Voice Awakening Event for all who are survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. This trial will represent what our future in the battle to end this abuse will be. We can now step forward without shame or fear and speak out about the abuses we have endured.

There are literally millions of us walking about in this world each day. We carry these deep dark secrets of our past, hoping that no one sees what disgusting acts we have had to commit and accept in order to get through our days. We were children who wanted to run and play with our friends. We tried to do our homework and pay attention in our classes. We cried in silence as the evil acts destroyed our souls.

This is the time that I am asking all survivors of abuse to pull together on the internet and within our own community; this is the time to speak about the secrets we have kept. Remember that these are not good secrets!!! These are black ugly secrets that have trapped us in a world separate from our true happiness. You can now face yourself in the mirror and utter the voice of your child.

I am at a new place in my life now after sharing my voice to help support and empower other survivors of abuse, both child abuse & domestic violence. I lived that ugly life of a continued acceptance of the cruelty that was taught to me as a child. I have made the mistakes of a woman and mother in this continued pattern of life. It is the deep dark secrets that move forward with us and will sneak out at times to effect and destroy all that is good in our world. Since I published my own true horror story of a lifetime spent in abuse, have learned the power of releasing these secrets.

My life has been renewed in many ways. First and foremost is the repair of the relationship between myself and my children. My eyes now can see the wonderful blessings I have been given and appreciate the peace that continues to grow within. I encourage all survivors of abuse to please now take this opportunity. You do not have to go public with your ugly secrets. You only have to admit them to yourself. You only have to look in the mirror and finally say, “I was sexually abused as a child.” That is the most powerful beginning one can offer you. This trial will give many the courage to speak out publicly, but most important is simply admitting it to yourself. Embrace the child that still lives within and holds these secrets with her mouth held tight. Allow this child to finally breathe and give her the voice that was taken.

You are a beautiful rose waiting to bloom. Take this amazing chance and comfort that child within. Let her see the love & safety around her. Let her see where her life is at now and where it can go in the future. Be empowered and encouraged to join with other survivors and take a stand to protect the children of our next generation. Be part of this wonderful journey.

I beg you to please share this blog with others. Please let everyone know that this is our chance to speak without shame or blame; to finally remove the stain of silence that has been forced upon us. Join me and encourage those around you to give voice to these ugly vicious crimes; the crimes that destroy not only your life, but also affect the live’s of our children and grandchildren.

We all deserve to have roses in our garden of life. Please do not keep these secrets of silent destruction. Share them as we support all who come forward. Justice is a voice we all deserve!!!!

Blessings of Love & Light

Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Survivor/Advocate/Support Grp Mngr/BTR Host & Exec. Dirctr.

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+

Check out my other blogs and be sure to take a look at the novel

“My Justice” – Authorhouse.com/Amazon/Barne’s&Noble

Available in Paperback, E-book, Kindle & Nook

International Parental Abduction w/ Peter Thomas Senese

Dreamcatchers for Abused Children

Blog Talk Radio

Special Guest

Peter Thomas Senese & Attny. Ann Marquez

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dreamcatchers/2012/05/10/child-abuse-and-survival-education-with-patricia-mcknight

Tonight on the Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio our host & Exec. Director, Tricia McKnight, will be sitting in with two very special guests from the I CARE Foundation. Please join us in welcoming Author/Advocate Peter Thomas Senese and Attorney Ann Marquez, who are joining me for a sit down Q & A on the I CARE Foundation and International Parental Abduction.

Peter and Ms. Ann Marquez, who previously held the position of Senior Litigator for New York State Child Protective Services, are going to give us a few inside bits to the mess we call CPS; as well we will be chatting about a few of their recent international rescues of kidnapped children. They are also going to share with us what we can expect to see from this amazing team as they move forward in this battle to help prevent the abduction and human trafficking of our children.

Most parents may never know the fear of having their child kidnapped by the opposite parent and taken to a country where the laws to protect them from Pedophilia or Trafficking are not viewed with the harsh objectiveness as here in the United States. Some of us have known the anguish of having them stolen into another state or taken wrongly by the Protective Social Services unit. This leaves a parent with a mind racing full of unimaginable fear and worry over what could happen to their child; I am one of those parents and know this huge depth of pain that takes over our world. But imagine your child being taken out of the country!!! Where do you go for help? Who can you call to find out what resources are available to help you get them back? This is the amazing team at the I CARE Foundation who review laws and fight the international borders to hunt for these children and return them to the custodial loving parent.

Tonight’s discussion with Peter & Ann will be something for all of us to listen in on. We may never have to go through this unimaginable fear, but we may be the one to see a kidnapped child while out on vacation to another country or perhaps while out on a cruise ship. We want you to know what to do and also who to contact if you are the Chasing Parent and as in Peter Thomas Senese’s best-selling novel, what to expect when you are “Chasing the Cyclone”.

Please encourage your family and friends to join in for another great discussion on the Dreamcatchers Blog Talk Radio tonight. We begin our broadcast at 9pm e.s.t. and our phone lines are always open to allow your thoughts, shares, and questions. You can call in to listen or chat live at (917)932-1132. Please help protect the safety of all children and stay vigilant with us in this battle to end the many abuses against them.

Here are a few links to find out more about tonight’s special guests:

http://www.peterthomassenese.com/

http://www.chasingthecyclone.com/Abduction_Documentary.html

http://www.chasingthecyclone.com/CHASING_THE_CYCLONE_Home_Pa.php

Email to President Obama-Stand on Child Abuse!!!

Email to President Obama

Sent – May 03, 2012

Who Will Stand 

For

Our Children!!!

 Dear President Obama:

 You don’t know me. I don’t have money; in fact I am on Disability because of an injury from Domestic Violence. I am now a full-time volunteer for Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, based out of Peck, Michigan. However, I live in Breese Illinois and what I do is mostly online.

In March I was appointed as Exec. Director of their blog talk programming. I am also a survivor of 12 yrs. of severe sadistic abuse from my stepfather, complete sacrifice of me by my mother. All medical and dental needs were ignored even though we had excellent health insurance from UMWA, but not so much as a tooth-brush could be provided for the rotting little girl.The neglect of my mother was so extreme that as a skin infection ate away at my arms and legs from not being able to have the safety to bathe in my home, she never cared or provided the medical treatment that was needed to stop it. For a period of 5 years I could not bathe and the infection left me scarred on every inch of skin that covered my arms and legs. I went to school with black rotting teeth, front teeth that were visible. My arms and legs and deep rotting infected sores on them and everyone dodged contact with me.

 A community of 1500 people knew who I was and who to contact if I did something wrong. A school system I attended for a repeated 9 years never asked about the silent girl whose skin was literally rotting away. The school mates who attended our many late night parties,were provided with drugs and alcohol, then were asked who would be the first to take me in the back and give me what I deserved, but no one ever offered to care. The police and neighbors who witnessed the girl getting beaten in the street, walking around with multiple bruises, drug by the hair and worse. Still with all of this no one ever said a word or questioned my parents. In Feb. 2011 I published my story, “My Justice”, is out there and I changed the names of the many who abused me throughout 32 years of my life, mainly because it wasn’t about the who but about the what was done.

In this novel I apologized to my children for the way my abuse had flowed into their lives and distorted their world. It meant most to me that if my story could help just one person gain the courage to speak out and heal for themselves rather than continue on the self-destructive path of despair, depression, P.T.S.D. and even dissociation; this makes me happiest. However, I must say that since becoming highly involved with Dreamcatchers I have succeeded many times at helping others heal and speak out,but there is still no direct attention where it needs to be. The laws of child abuse need to be radically changed!! Social Workers need to be made accountable for their actions. There are so many levels of wrong on this very important issue of protecting our most valuable asset, our children. I summed up the courage to send First Lady Obama a copy of “My Justice” along with a three page letter, which begged for her beautiful passion of family to be used to acknowledge the estimated 60 million survivors who, like me, have allowed their lives to be shattered and keep these secrets of horrific trauma, so that their family and work peers would not shame them. It is time, Sir, for the blame and shame to be put on the pedophiles and monsters who harm our children. We need to provide better resources to help children move past the abuse and heal so that they can achieve their dreams and possibly be the next great President of our America. Mr. President, I am not famous; I am not rich to put money into your campaign or into any other organization or political stand. I am a nobody, Sir, just a common citizen of this country trying very hard to devote all she has left to help change the laws and protect our children.

Sir, I know that the politician who makes Child Abuse a campaign issue will have the support of some many millions of citizens. There are so very many who are searching for someone to be vocal and let them know that it is alright, it is safe to talk, it is safe to take this stand. Please Mr. President, perhaps you will talk with your wife and find out if she received the book copy and the letter. You may want to read it yourself, but I warn you it is a true and graphic account of what happened. My former teachers have read it and apologized for letting me slip through the cracks. They said my book was so well written on the subject of being a silent surviving child of horrific torment that it should be used as a guide to teach others. The reviews I am getting from others on the story is the same, from counselors, survivors, advocates.

 In closing Mr. President, I beg you to take a stand on this issue. You have stood strong on our economy, our war, our joint communication between the lines of government; YOU SIR ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO DO THIS!!! Please help the many who are buried and tormented by these vicious and heinous crimes. Children are having to live with these monsters, 93% of all abuse is by someone the child loves and trusts. Our children will not speak against their parents and family so teachers and counselors have to be better educated and trained to pick up on the signs of the silently screaming child. Please Mr. President, please help our children, protect them, save them. Thank you and I hope you do get to read this, as I am sure you get many other emails about other issues. We protect our animals, do commercials to help children in other countries; we need to protect our children.

Sincerely,

Patricia A. McKnight

Author: “My Justice”

Judging Eyes

There’s a little girl living around the corner from you. Most mornings you see her while standing at the bus stop with your daughter. She always stands off quietly by herself.

You look at her and wonder, “Why is she not with the other children?”

You notice her hair is till messy from rising out of bed. Her shirt is wrinkled up and the jeans look like they really don’t fit. Suddenly she looks up and makes eye contact with you. She will force a smile on her face and you see the yellow of her teeth.

As a mom you see the poor dental care and think, “What’s wrong? That poor little girl. Doesn’t anyone look after her?”

She feels your eyes on her and she’s ashamed of how she looks; to her your eyes are burning judgement. The girl wonders if you can see what she’s feeling.

“Can you see me standing by myself? Can you see how I feel?” she wonders. “I know how bad I look, but you’re not supposed to know why.”

The little girl is about 12 years old. You see how pretty she could be if only she took better care of herself. Her eyes are a sparkling blue water and you can see the sadness on her face. She wishes no one would notice her. She wants to be like your daughter, but she can’t. She’s trapped and doesn’t know what to do. She wishes her Mom loved her.

“My mom doesn’t even care that I look like this. She doesn’t notice me at all.”

You look a little closer at her and you see her arms have open sores on them. To you they look ugly and infected. Your reaction is to pull your 10 year old closer to you so she doesn’t catch anything.

You’re not sure who this girl is, but you see her every morning and she always looks the same.

You start to wonder about her parents. “My God,” you think. “Who could let this child look like that? Why don’t people take care of their kids? That poor thing must feel so horrible.”

You see the other children standing around in small groups together, but this girl isn’t part of them, nor is she invited to join them. The other girls also turn to look at her. They point then turn away; saying things which you can only imagine.

Then you watch as the girl pulls her arms in around her; clutching her books tightly against her chest. She is hoping it will block your judgement of her.

“Please don’t think bad of me like they do,” she thinks to herself as she sneaks another glance your way. “If you knew what I had to do last night what would you really think of me then?” Her mind keeps going with questions, “Would you let things happen to me like that if I were with you? I can never stop him or say anything to him. He is supposed to be my dad and take care of me, but he is so cruel to me. He always hurts me, but I can’t help it. He just keeps coming after me.”

While you wait at the bus stop with your daughter to watch her and make sure she stays safe, you turn your back to the girl and keep a watchful eye on the other kids around you. The girl never steps out of her safety boundaries; standing alone, close to the bushes every morning without saying a word to anyone. She just glances around and sometimes gives a shy little smile your way as she ponders on her life; deeply wishing that someone would take care of her. She wants her mom to notice her, but when the girl was woke up this morning she was just told to get ready.

“Get your ass out of that damn bed and get moving.” she recalls. “You are not staying home with me so you better not be late. You get moving,” her mom yells up the stairs.

As the little girl stands quietly by the bushes her mind is racing with memories and flashbacks of her night. She barely got any sleep and she feels utterly exhausted, more tired than any adult working a full day at two jobs. This child is standing there amazingly strong, but completely exhausted from her trauma. He had attacked her again after sending her brother and sister to bed last night. He made her put on that nightgown again and touched her all over.

She starts to question silently, “Do you see what he did to me? Do you see the stains he left on me? Can you please help me?”

Maybe for the past six months you have noticed she has gotten a little worse in appearance or actions. “Still; no one else in town has said anything about this family, so why bother?” You say to yourself, “I don’t want to step in against those people. Her dad is up at the bar where her mom works everyday, then he goes home with the kids. I’ll bet something’s happening there,” you think. “But it’s not my place to say anything. I just hope with those sores she stays away from my daughter.”

The girl’s mind is still spinning with all of her fears. “He touched me, pinched me, probed at me. He made me do things that were so nasty. He told me how ugly I was as he pushed me away. Then when I fell on the floor he got really angry and grabbed me by the hair.” She rubs the top of her head as she’s remembering the night of terror. “When I fell what caused him to get so angry? I never know what it is that makes him so mean with me, but it happens all the time.” She wishes she could tell someone what happened and holds back the tears as her mind drifts back. “His hand swung up out of nowhere and landed hard on the side of my face as he started beating me; yelling about how disgusting I am.” The bruise on her face was just starting to show a little on the side this morning. She saw it as she was getting dressed, but apparently you didn’t see it. “You can only see the filth on me,” she thinks as she glances over again.

You are still standing there quietly watching your daughter and secretly looking back at her. Your eyes burn on her though. She knows you can see the ugly sores on her and her greasy unkept hair. She knows you can see her wrinkled clothes that she dug out of the dirty laundry this morning. She didn’t have anything clean to wear, but it seemed her little sister had all kinds of cute things to put on. In truth, the girl had on her sister’s underpants because she didn’t have any of her own.

Now she starts to think about what might happen if she reached over to you. She knows she would break down crying. Then she remembers how he had threatened her. She was supposed to call him, “Dad”, but all he did was hurt her and he told her,

“If anyone finds out about this your mom will get angry and they will take you away from her, but I’ll come to find you and when I do,” he said to her, “I will gladly kill you. No one will ever find you again. You will be buried somewhere deep.”

Those words were branded into her soul just as his touch was burned into her skin. The girl is trapped in her nightmare. She can’t reach out to anyone. She’s afraid of someone noticing her,

“What if they say something to me,” she wonders. “What am I suppose to do if they ask me about the bruises or the filth growing on my skin? If they tell anyone he’ll kill me, but I need someone to help me. I am just a little girl who wants to have friends to play with and have quiet when I do my homework, but most of all I just wish I could take a bath again.” This little girl standing so brave is screaming inside, “Please help me, but be careful what you do or say, he will hunt me down; he will kill me!!”

As the bus pulls up and the other kids start rushing forward to get the best seats, the girl stands back. She waits patiently, making sure to stay out of everyone’s way. You notice she is aware of everything around her as she steps away from the bushes. While you guide your precious, beautiful daughter to the door you hope inside that the infected girl behind you doesn’t sit down next to her. The girl sneaks past you.

“I can’t bump into anyone,” she worries. “Please don’t pay any attention to me. If I can get through the bus ride and through my school day I’ll be alright, but then I have to go home. When he gets home from the bar tonight he might still be angry or he might want to do that nasty stuff.”

As she gets on the bus to face her day of fear, her deepest thought is knowing that nothing will change in her life. No one will challenge her parents, and even if they did, he would still be there; haunting her.

“Please help me I’m trapped!!!” she quietly screams inside.

(c) Patricia A. McKnight
Author: “My Justice”