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I strongly believe that where you choose to focus your attention and energy is what you will get more of. This current election is challenging to say the least. I have to focus hard not to fuel any more attention for “Zaphod Beeblebrox” (my family’s way to say you-know-who with giving him as little as possible of our energy), I can’t help but get triggered by all the surrounding victim-blaming and crazy-making comments. I go right back to all the times it happened to me and the decades of emotional pain and suffering.

I feel rage and want to shake the world… You cannot possibly understand the layers of internal torment a survivor goes through before they even utter a word about one incident and I can guarantee that for every one incident there are plenty more. I was 11 years old when I woke up in the middle of the night at a sleepover being molested. I was 16 when I first told someone, 31 before I made a report. That is 20 years and the cascade of negative effects that engulfed me are beyond years or words.

I would wish everyday  for it not to be true, well at least everyday I was conscious for and not a disconnected robot. When triggered, I would play every second through my head over and over again wondering: How can this happen?… But then again, how could it not…I didn’t even know that it wasn’t suppose to happen.  What I learned most from society, religion, and home was that men are allowed to do whatever they want to get their needs met and women are meant to serve and be submissive. I never knew I had a choice nor had any skills to know how to say “no” even if I known I had the right…

The daily battle of getting out of bed and desperately wanting to escape… the hypocrisy, the madness, the suffering. Then on top of it all, you are trained to put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine because god forbid you call any negative attention to you or upset anyone. When you can’t sleep at night and the touch of anyone, even those you love, makes you freeze and want to crawl out of your skin… And then again, you still have to pretend; I a woman, this is the role I must play. It is the only life you know…

Thank goodness for graduate school and specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy that I learned that I had rights and the skills to stand up for myself. Reporting is one of the scariest things I have ever had to do. Fortunately, I discovered that often times the actions that are the scariest to do, are the ones that will eventually transform us the most. I started to make the biggest strides in my healing after I finally made the report in my 30’s.

I am dumfounded that people can’t see how scary it is to report. Your exposed again, reliving the assault yet this time magnified and re-traumatized. It is gut-wrenching enough within you own mind, body, and soul, can you even imagine your most vulnerable parts being broadcasted!?  I assure you, no amount of money or  so-called “publicity” would every make up for this suffering.

When I hear a person share their story, I just want to hug them, listen with compassion, and hold their hand through this seemingly endless journey of being able to trust and feel joy and pleasure again.  I choose to put my energy and attention for empowering and supporting people. I want everyone to know that no one has the right to touch you without your conscious and informed consent and you have the right to change your mind at any time. I believe this video sums it up nicely:

 

I also believe that everything and person has value, so hoping that “Zaphod Beeblebrox” is a motivating force to awaken and elevate our collective consciousness for a compassionate and relationship-rich society where we are all responsible.

For more on my story and supportive links, read forgiving sexual abuse .

“One good thing about music, is when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ~Bob Marley

There is no doubt what a healing agent music is. The instant I play my favorite music, my mood is elevated and I am instantly motivated to tackle the worst of chores or problems. I often want to share my favorite songs but then I talk my self out of it as music is such a personal experience. One song can bring joy to one, yet trigger another to despair or anger. As I am on a mission to heal and not harm, I err on the side of caution.

Very early in my relationship with my partner, we would debate on what is good music. He was big on the technicality and diversity of music where as I strongly felt that no one has the right to judge what music is good or bad for another. I believe that what ever music moves you, gets you to sing, dance, smile, or at the very least, get you to forget your suffering for a few moments, then that is good music.  With all the suffering we have in the world, the last thing I want to do is judge another for something that brings them joy. We need more safe places to process and express negative thoughts and feelings and music is the ultimate medium.

Music has kept people alive and given hope through out civilizations and horrendous periods of time like the during the Holocaust and slavery. I have started a YouTube station of all my favorite songs throughout my life  and my son asked why so many of my songs were depressing. I told him because I was suffering from depression and those songs saved me. To know that someone else could express how I was feeling, validated my pain and made me feel I was not alone. As I healed, I discovered the moments I would break out in song and dance are my purest expressions of happiness…

Happiness is

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2013/12/17/health-benefits-music/4053401/

 

Yes, a trauma-informed justice system is greatly needed as jailing people comes at much greater cost than financial as being removed from your primary caregiver is the biggest trauma any person can suffer. These traumatized souls often have less resources and access to healthy outlets to process the trauma and heal, thus resulting in a society of traumatized souls exploding all over the place.

Calling for reform, President Obama notes the impact of incarceration on families.

“The problem is, and I learned this from the research, that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You cannot say, ‘Here’s the bad stuff. Here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana-nut muffin. I don’t want to feel these.’ … You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects or emotions. So when we numb those, we numb joy. We numb gratitude. We numb happiness. And then we are miserable and we are looking for purpose and meaning. And then we feel vulnerable so we have a couple of beers and a banana-nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle…

To practice gratitude and joy, in those moments of kind of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you that much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful. Because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive…

And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

Click link for more highlights of video http://alexlinsker.com/brene-brown-on-vulnerability-and-wholeheartedness/

To learn more about Brene Brown, click here http://www.brenebrown.com/welcome

 

‘GOOD’ CHILDREN – AT WHAT PRICE? THE SECRET COST OF SHAME
By Robin Grille and Beth McGregor http://www.our-emotional-health.com/articles/shame.pdf

“Children are like a river with their own natural flow, pace and direction. If you go against it, the parenting is going to be tough – but if you go with it – it’s an amazing journey.” Parentology

TEDxDubai 2010| Gonan Premfors from Giorgio Ungania on Vimeo.

“Children are not objects that we could control or shape to fit our ideals…Children are indeed uncontrollable, but that is not the root of the challenges parents face.  It is the tendency to control the uncontrollable that makes parenting problematic for many. The only things that we truly have control over are those that lie within the self – how choose to we see our children, think about their behaviours, and act with or towards them. “

Click this link to read full article by Kenny Toh, Founder of Institute of Advanced Parentology

When You Stop Controlling, You Gain Control

My life experiences have taught me this: We cannot control anyone… Not even one’s children or our unconscious “reactions.” Our brain is a complex series of chemical reactions that absorbs information from all our senses, past experiences, environment, and DNA. Our default “reactions” were programmed into our brain during conception to age 6. What we can CONTROL is where we focus our energy, the environments we choose to create and how we choose to RESPOND once we become aware of our negative reactions. We all have the power to focus on changing our OWN behaviors and thoughts, letting go of judgement, understanding and empathizing with others reactions, and gaining news skills to get our own needs met as well as trusting others to do the same. When we do this, then we can influence great positive change on anything, including how our genetic code gets expressed (i,e. epigentics) as well as overwrite negative programming in our brain and for anyone we interact with. Please make a conscious choice to BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE.

 

Sadly, we have emotionally raped men and only left them with blunt objects to fight. Our boys our crying for so much more. Let’s unpack the “man box” and give men back their emotional tools and rights. Let’s cultivate empathy and mutual respect for feminine and masculine traits. We are unable to coexist peacefully with out this level of connection and understanding. We are all part of something much greater, we nourish each other, we need eachother….

When ever you feel the urge to use blunt force, take a deep breath and hug!!!!

Here are some resources to cultivate emotional tools:

http://www.pbs.org/opb/raisingcain/

http://www.williampollack.com/

http://www.fabermazlish.com/Books.htm#HowToTalk

http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/index.htm

“Unless individuals are peaceful within themselves, they cannot work for peace among nations.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

click link below to watch and listen to a PEACE meditation: http://www.beliefnet.com/features/peace/test2/container01.html

It is nice to take deep breaths and sit in a comfortable position while listening.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Holistic-Living/2007/01/Peace-Meditation.aspx

You have the right to be you.

You have the right to put yourself first.

You have the right to be safe.

You have the right to love and be loved.

You have the right to be treated with respect.

You have the right to be human – NOT PERFECT.

You have the right to angry and protest if you are treated unfairly or abusively by anyone.

You have the right to you own privacy.

You have the right to your own opinions, to express them, and to be taken seriously.

You have the right to earn and control you own money.

You have the right to answer questions about anything that affects you.

You have the right to make decisions that affect you.

You have the right to grow and change (and that includes changing your mind).

You have the right to say NO. You have the right to make mistakes.

You have the right to NOT be responsible for other adults’ problems.

You have the right to not be liked by everyone.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTROL YOUR OWN LIFE AND TO CHANGE IT IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH IT.

I was about 19 when I first came across a list like this one. I truly did not know these rights. I had to read it daily for awhile to kick start my healing. It takes about 20 times to experience a situation the way you WANT  to experience it before our brains can make a secure connection, to FEEL the benefits and to BELIEVE it is real. I use to have to read at frequent intervals when fears and insecurities try to sabotage what my heart knows and feels.

Here’s a video on the history of Human Rights. I guess I was not alone in not knowing them. Please share them with love and compassion and put these rights to action.

“Humans are emotional beings that make emotional decisions and then justify our decisions with logic.” -Deepak Chopra

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