Monday, 30 April 2012

The Mystery in History #ChildAbuse #Recovery


It's been a mad few weeks. My book was published much earlier than I expected it to be. On the whole I am happy as it came out a week before "Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month" started in the U.S. If you have read my book I would really appreciate you leaving feedback on the Amazon or AuthorHouse websites. I am working on two new books and your comments will help me shape my current projects. The same applies to this blog. Your comments are a great help to me, in many ways.

I found releasing this book to be very uplifting. Getting my writing "out there" in print and eBook will hopefully increase awareness and help others too. It has helped me also. More memories have come out of the fog of history and though painful, they are being dealt with.

I would like to remind you that we should be vigilant and aware of the subject of child abuse all year not just during April. Much much more needs to be done on a global scale to bring education and awareness. Victims of this heinous crime need to feel able to speak up and get the support they need.

Our Governments need to act. So much money is being spent on warfare & fighting terrorism for example. What about the war and terrorism going on in our own homes? Children suffer and die every day because of child abuse in all it's forms. More money is being spent in the U.K on the phone hacking scandal than on Child Abuse prevention or awareness...

Last Friday I listened in to Dreamcatchers for Abused Children hosted by my friend Tricia McKnight with her special guest Andy Hudson. Please have a listen, to this show.Many others are available in the archives.

I'd like to thank those of you who follow me on Twitter for your support there and for the ReTweets and Mentions. Together we are increasing awareness!

Going back to my comment above re. new memories. I had hoped by the end of last year that I had finished discovering the mysteries of my past. More events have come to light and others have been clarified in my head. Never doubt your memories. Your brain will let these through when you are ready to handle them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing... Looking back over my life I understand much better now how those events in my childhood shaped me and pushed me on the roads I took.

I was not to blame and I am not the guilty party.

I was a toddler when the abuse started, barely walking. Even as a teenager when I flaunted myself in front of the grandfather I was not to blame. I was still a kid. I had been groomed and taught ways to behave. Though at the time I might have thought I was showing him something he could not have, I was still doing exactly what he wanted. He was the one with the guilt, he was the one doing wrong. Not me.

I would like to encourage male survivors to use the link to the right to share something about themselves(Male Survivors - Your Space). Not only is it often therapeutic to share but it could help others who visit this blog.

If you want to write to me privately then please feel free. I class all emails as strictly private unless the sender states otherwise. My email is on the top left of my blog.

If enough of us stand together and raise our voices we will be heard. There are too many lives being lost due to child abuse. Not only young lives, but also those who are unable to cope with the pain they feel in later life. If anyone has statistics regarding the numbers of abuse related suicides please email me as I would like to publish them on this blog.

To those of you still living in the shadows I say this. Please understand that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You are not to blame for what happened TO you. If you think that you could/should have been able to stop it, then remember you were a child. The guilt and the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the abusers and those who support them (directly or indirectly). Please step forward, speak to someone, seek out a therapist or support group. You will not be blamed for what happened to you and if someone tries to blame you then they are not worth knowing.

There are more victims of abuse than there are abusers. There is strength in numbers.. It's time to take away the power these vile creatures have and to campaign for better awareness, longer prison sentences and efficient deterrents.

Together we can make child abuse a rare crime and not the everyday occurrence it is now.

Doing nothing about it is tantamount to acceptance.


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Malakai Paul sings "Listen" on Britains Got Talent

I just HAD to share this.

Walk With Me #Poetry #Poem

Walk with me, where valleys rise to touch the heavens,
Where gentle streams become a stampede of white horses,
Tumbling and crashing over craggy rocks and falls.
Where love is kind and the grass always greenest.

Walk with me, take my hand, open your eyes and see,
The beauty of a sunrise, the sorrow in a sunset,
Embrace me as day melts into all encompassing night,
Watch stars shoot across the blackened blueness.

Walk with me, and when your legs tire I'll carry you,
Together we will take this journey, explore each mystery,
No stone unturned, no path untravelled, Walls will crumble,
Courage in unity, two souls, together as one.

Walk with me, through this life, we will not fail,
When our summer years turn to autumn, then winter,
Though the burning light of life fades to darkness,
Walk with me, from light to shadow, and forever beyond.


Inspired by Lady Emily

Friday, 27 April 2012

Guest Post - Dedicated to Greece and to Love via @Scent_of_Roses


This week I would like to introduce you to one of the first people to follow me on Twitter.

Despoina (Debbie) Theodoridou has become a firm online friend and is a lady filled with music, passion and certainly has the heart of a poet. She has just had her first childrens book published which I'm sure will become a best seller!

You can find her on Twitter as @Scent_of_Roses




I grew up surrounded by genuine love.

Though my parents were poor, humor, love and laughter was a daily attitude in my family. I inherited the humor and the passion of my father; the logic, the love for music and writing and the courage, from my mother. I believe that love is the most precious gift in life. Love exists, love is real, love is immortal. It is love that adorns our life with its special flavor and its precious meaning. Thus my life has one certain purpose: "I live to love." - Despoina Theodoridou, Pianist/Writer/ Lyricist







Bio: Despoina Theodoridou was born and brought up in Thessaloniki- Greece. She is a Pianist, published Writer and Lyricist. Since the age of 4, she has expressed a genuine love and interest towards music. At the age of 9 she took her first Piano lessons. Since 2009 she has been writing Stories for Children, which intend to inculcate in children moral values and good manners. Apart from that, she’s also a playwright and has written comical screenplays, which mainly consist in parodies based on classic fairy tales, combined with references to the problems of the modern society. In addition, she has completed her first Poetry collection, which is going to get published in the near future. In her free time she also writes Lyrics for pop/rock music. She lives in Thessaloniki-Greece, currently working as a Piano teacher.

Despoina Theodoridou Pianist/Published Writer/ Lyricist
e-mail: debbiethed@yahoo.com





My childrens book, "Lola, the lonely doctor" now available at: http://www.xlibrispublishing.co.uk/bookstore/bookdisplay.aspx?bookid=303629

"Lola, the lonely doctor"
Every living being on this planet
is unique and gifted in its own way,
with its own abilities. This is why we
must never underestimate or despise
anyone. A little skunk, through her
generous love, gives a good lesson
to her friendly surrounding!



My poetry blog: http://debbie-t-ptr.blogspot.com/

.........
ΧΙΤΩΝΑΣ / CHITON
*Dedicated to Greece*
Poem by: ΔΕΣΠΟΙΝΑ ΘΕΟΔΩΡΙΔΟΥ DespoinaTheodoridou
Με ξεσκισμένο τον χιτώνα σου,
With your Chiton ripped;
έρημη και προδομένη,
Desolate and betrayed
Τρικλίζεις στα σκοτεινά σοκάκια του Χειμώνα
You stagger into the darken alleys of the winter
Τα πόδια σου ματώσανε χωρίς σανδάλια
Your feet, blooded, without sandals
Τα βήματα σου, μάταια, πάνω σε αγκάθινα κοράλλια
Your footsteps, futile, over thorny corals;
Και γύρω σου τα άμοιρα παιδιά σου
and all around you, your unfortunate children,
Λιπόθυμα, στο έλεος του τυφώνα,
collapsed, at the mercy of the typhoon;
Δακρυγόνοι ικέτες της άμοιρης
lachrymose entreaters of the misfortune
Κόρης του Ήλιου.
Daughter of the Sun.
Μνηστήρες ήρθανε και ‘φύγαν
Pretenders came and left
Στολίζοντάς σε με υποσχέσεις
adorning you with promises
Βγαλμένες απ’ την κοιλιά της Χάρυβδης
delivered out of the potbelly of Charybdis
Σε βάφτισαν στ’ όνομα της Ειρήνης
They baptized you in the name of Peace
Μα σε ντύσανε με τα ερείπια του πολέμου.
But they robed you with the remains of War.
Σε πρόδωσαν, σε λεηλάτησαν και σε ταπείνωσαν
They betrayed you, pillaged and humiliated you.
Κανένας δεν αγάπησε
No one loved
Τον πλούτο που βαστάς στα χέρια σου
the wealth that you’re carrying in your hands;
Την αρετή που φέρεις στην ψυχή σου
the Virtue that you’re holding in your soul.
Μα τα παιδιά σου δίψασαν
But your children are, now, thirsty
Για το γλυκό νερό της δικαιοσύνης
for the sweet water of justice.
Οι ψίθυροί τους γίνανε λυγμοί
And their whispers became sobs;
Κι ο κάθε λυγμός, τώρα, σπαράζει
And each sob, now, convulses
Όμοιος με κραυγή!
Resemble to a shout!
Κραδαίνοντας το Κότινο στα χέρια
Brandishing Kotinos in their hands
Βήμα το βήμα πήρανε τους δρόμους
Step after step, they took the way
Να κατακτήσουνε ξανά , με τόλμη και πυγμή
to conquer, once again, with boldness and fortitude
Το καταγάλανο ουρανό
The azure sky
που δίκαια τους ανήκει.
That fairly they own.








© Copyright 2011 Despoina Theodoridou ΧΙΤΩΝ/CHITON All Rights Reserved.

http://debbie-t-ptr.blogspot.com/2011/10/chiton-poem-by-despoinatheodoridou.html

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Thank You For Being A Friend

Male Survivors - Changing Societies Attitudes #ChildAbuse #Rape


A common misconception held by many people is that men cannot be "victims" of sexual abuse. It is often believed that if an adult or teenage male is sexually assaulted he must have consented to the act. It then follows that if the male consented he must be gay or bi-sexual. Add to this the again mistaken belief that males cannot become erect or ejaculate without consent or enjoyment and you have a powerful and pervasive belief system in place which forces most male survivors of sexual assault to remain silent. Many beleive that if a man is abused or raped it makes the victim homosexual. What absolute rubbish!

Sexuality is complex. It is not a choice. It is not forced upon you.

I do believe that sexual abuse and rape might cause confusion in the victim, BUT, only because of the way society views different stereotypes. Society and bad education has a great deal to answer for. "Real" men cannot be abused or raped... Again a misleading, confusing and totally incorrect statement. Firstly define a "real" man? It is what society deems it to be. Unless we change our attitudes, educate ourselves to the truth, millions of men will remain silent.

I don't give a monkeys if you are straight, gay or bi-sexual. You are human. If you are a victim of childhood or adult sexual abuse/assault you should not be judged or labelled because of it.

Being a VICTIM does not define what or who you are, sexually or otherwise.

Growing up I had massive confusion over who or what I was. I was taught that boys don't cry, that they must be strong and silent. Boys don't play with girls, they must play with other boys. Sports and fishing and cars (stereotypical boy/man hood activities) were supposed to be my interests.. I enjoyed some sports yes, but health problems prevented me from doing many. I enjoyed the company of any friend.. I didn't have many, I didn't mix well. Recently I remembered the Grandfather encouraging me to play "Doctor/Patient" with other boys. He always made me be the patient. I spent much of my childhood alone. I was robbed of a "normal" upbringing and have few happy memories. I was a loner whenever possible. It hurt less that way.

I grew up frightened, confused and alone.

The way that we have been created leads to stereotypical expectations. The female is "supposed" to be the home maker, the "weaker" sex (I don't agree) and the man the hunter gatherer. The male is not supposed to cry or get emotional. Showing one's feelings, showing that we might be scared is a huge no no.

Society has created a belief system that is damaging and prevents so many from being able to stand up and ask for help.

These myths and stereotypes silence victims. So many men have commited suicide because they cannot face what happened to them and feel unable to ask for help. So many men live unhappy, unfulfilled lives because they don't want the finger pointed at them.

Isn't it time that these stereotypes and myths were put where they belong? In the rubbish/trash and destroyed forever.

Until society changes it's attitudes generally then millions will go on suffering in silence.

I often say on this blog "Come on guys! Stand up and be counted! There's no shame in being the victim!" This is totally true. What is just as important that we work to change the attitudes of those around us.

Our Governments need to wake up to the truth about sexual abuse. Money needs to be spent educating the masses. "We" have to educate the masses.

At the moment the paedophiles and rapists are the winners. The curtain of silence is keeping them safe. The fear of societies expectations is keeping the victims silent.

It's time to rip down that curtain and to turn the tables on the evil scum that continue abusing, feeling safe because society has made them feel safe. Knowledge is power. We have the knowledge so it's time we took the power away from the paedophiles and rapists.

Punishment must be made much much harsher. A real "deterent" not a slap on the wrist or a short prison stay. The abusers took our lives and ruined them. Life should mean life. Let them rot in prisons.

We can make a difference. Together, united in our common aim. We have to.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Saint George was Turkish...



Who was St George?





St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George's emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king's soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.




Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.

Quick Facts about St George

Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
Lived in 3rd century
His parents were Christian
Became a Roman soldier
Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians
Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine

St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George's pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced St Edmund the Martyr as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

Patron Saint

St George is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow.

St George is also patron saint of scouts, soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis.







Saturday, 21 April 2012

HELP SPREAD THIS - #STOPCHILDABUSE Via @HelpSpreadThis



StopChildAbuse with @Helpspreadthis & @Childhelp

More than 5 children die a day from abuse in the United States alone. If you care enough, you can save lives. Help us #StopChildAbuse! Start by donating 1 tweet per day to bring awareness to the child abuse epidemic that MUST stop. If we don’t intervene – our tiny victims either die or many grow up and continue the horrible cycle of abuse . Too many kids, too much pain!

HELP SPREAD THIS WEBSITE

DONATE A TWEET HERE

Please FOLLOW @HelpSpreadThis on Twitter and like the FaceBook page!

Please FOLLOW @ChildHelp on Twitter and visit the website.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Music Of The Night


Trees dance gracefully to the symphony of the wind.
They sway gently while lightening highlights the sky.
The air is warm and humidity high
And thunder rolls in background tempo.
The songs of the night unify the sweet melody;
They unify and tie the piece together.
This beautiful song brings such a calm deep within
Yet it makes me tremble as joy sweeps over me.
I sit in my chair watching,listening,alone.
The music brings images of my life story to mind.
As I become hypnotized to the rhythm and flow
It is all so sobering and beautiful.
The images become more vivid. The music more angry.
The music within me, that I am, accompanies the orchestration.
I think about the many places I've been to.
I see the empty eyes of strangers as life marches by.
The music crests, emotion peaks, images nearly real.
Inside is a tossed salad of different feelings.
Good, sad, excited, angry, ashamed, and alone.
Sometimes I feel as though I'm almost at lifes end.

August 2011

Heart weeping by the sea

First time that you landed
When all the stars shone
You gazed into my eyes
Two hearts became as one
Then again you landed
Upon the white sandy shore
My heart you cast aside
Your heart wanted no more
The last time you landed
Your heart was finally gone
My knees sunk on the sand
The stars no longer shone
For no more will she land
To share her heart with me
I now walk the lonely sand
Heart weeping by the sea

Memory


I forget so many things, lose time, lose me.
So many things I have been told I did
It wasn't, couldn't have been me.

I am so tired, though I sleep
I dream being awake, real dreams
Nightmares sometimes though.

I see places I know, but have never been
I see faces I know but have never met
I see me, but don't know who I am.

Deja vu scares me, as does my reticence to share
So few I can trust, yet there are those,
Who I know, have known forever, but never met yet.

In my life I have met, less than 5 whom I know
And knew before. As I step towards tomorrow I see,
Strangely some new ones, waiting for me.

If I seem too familiar, to happy to share,
Just remember that you have always been there
Though you have never seen me before.

Now I have seen, where my future path leads,
It is with another, who suffered like me,
Together, new memories we'll share.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Broken Heart




It begins

early on

possibly

before we are born

forced into the world



it begins

with the feeding

of expectations


the brutalness

of reality


and it continues

with the shattering of dreams

and the destruction of hope


Unkept promises

lies

broken eyes


simple deceit

mere betrayal

cruelty

~ the unmistakable pain

of a broken heart


Tell me...

Can you hear it?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Break the Silence of Child Sexual Abuse - VOICETODAY

PART 1

Angela Williams is the founder of VOICE TODAY, an organization that is dedicated to breaking the cycle and silence of child sexual abuse. Angela is also the author of the book "From Sorrows To Sapphires"
VOICE Today: www.voicetoday.org



PART 2

Tom Scales is the author of "Terrible Things Happened To Me" and the Executive Director of Voice Today which is an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle and silence of child sexual abuse.
VOICE Today: www.voicetoday.org

GUYS! - Childhood Sexual Abuse Video - It Was Not Your Fault

Child Sexual Assault Awareness - VIDEO

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Mist of Time? Guest piece for @lessonsinbroken

Recently I wrote a guest piece for my writer friend Dorian at Lessons In Brokeness. I would like to share it with you here now.

Dorian can be found on Twitter as @lessonsinbroken




Mist born into a morning



Chilled and damp. Fresh.



It was winter.



Bare trees accused with their fingers



Pointed, long and bony.



A fleshless skeleton.



The skies empty of bird song



A few leaves skipped along the roadside,



the only sound.



Houses, desolate and emotionless



but one. A new evictee.



The shudder of a newly locked door



Footsteps disappearing into the future.



Never to be heard again.



Mine.





Me, myself and I

We are three! Me myself and I, I know them and they know me
An evolution from a lad corrupted, his mind ripped apart
So we came to be. Once we were more, we had quite a party
And created these lives, in us he continues to be.

One was a bully, a loud mouth, a cad. His heart was protective
Of the lad broken and mad. One was a charmer, clever as can be
He'd get his own way, no matter the price. One was a sleaze ball
No morals, no way. He'd do anything, anyone, any day.

There once were some ladies, their place was to sew, the pieces
Together of the lad you don't know. They also protected, both him
And the rest, from men out to get them, it was a test. They left us
Last summer, they'd had enough. They protected yes but couldnt sew.

One is a gentle man, in word and in deed, he longs for a life
That should have been. He is the canvas sewn with love and protection
But the edges are frayed, and easily torn. He is the one we
All must join, in creation of a man, whole, but nor perfection.

Our goal is to live, together, as one, to look to the future
To welcome the sun, to welcome the moon that lights up the night
In peace together, no longer to fight. A new life created
From pain and from shame, forgetting the past as we weren't to blame.

Yes we are three, but soon with deliberation, We'll keep all the best
And some of the not, to make a new man, to live life as one,
Say goodbye Danny Boy, Zach and the other
For the time has come, to let in big brother.

August 2011

Everything, For Always

Hold me, like you will never let me go,
Kiss me, take my breath and make it yours,
Love me, with a force before not known,
Take me, from the depths up to the heights,
Protect me, as I will always be your protector,
Enslave me, make me yours, never set me free,
Devour me, make us as one upon this earth,
Trust me, For I will never let you down,
Desire me, I am all you will ever need,
Be careful with me, I break easily.


Where do I fit?

I'm not used to your ways. This game you play with me.

Is not to my understanding. What am I supposed to do?

What role in your game, am I to play? Want to be a star. Not an

understudy. I'm not a reserve. A last minute choice.

What part do I play? Where do I fit?

I'm not playing your games.

Drop dead.

1989

Kathleen Freeman - Legacy For A Two Year Old

This Fridays Guest is Kath. She can be found on twitter as @sheepfoldcarer or her blog http://bit.ly/koETTJ

Welcome Kath.



Thank you to Jan for inviting me onto his blog, I appreciate being included in the outreach work he and others are doing.


Two months before my second birthday my mother left me and my brothers and sister in the high street with a note. June 16th 1954. She never returned.

My mother was fined £10 for neglect and abandonment. When I obtained my Social Services file, it told me a lot about my history and confirmed some things that I already knew.
 By the time I was two I had lost mother, father, brothers, sisters, home and for the rest of those forty years my identity.

I was never to speak of who I was or where I came from, it was forbidden.
 This is my journey of discovery of myself of my story and memories I can only begin to own through the poems.

I realised that by shutting these poems away, I was repeating what had been done to me, what had been forbidden me-that of having a voice.

The poems I have chosen from my poetry blog 'Legacy for a Two Year Old' represent my journey of recovery of memories which continues to this day.

I think these words explain: A core identity of shame, serves as a defence against full awareness of early traumatisation.

I hope my poems speak about things I am not able to express explicitly.

I wrote poem 7 The box under my head after my brother-who I met again in my late teens, sent me a photograph of his carer, I had lived with the same man after we where first abandoned (aged two), and then I was moved on.

As soon as I pulled the photo from the envelope I went into a spin of panic and memories surfaced.

the second poem Mothers, describes the effects of that broken bond.

Poem 7

The box under my head

That old key you sent to me, in a large brown envelope.
Infected with rust and covered in verdigris.
It opened a box under my head.
From which all manner of demons catapulted.
These crazed whirling dervish memories.
It seems fitting that she abandoned us, in the
month of blood red poppies and stained memorials.
While others dress in pretty summer frocks,
I in my weeds play the fool, to make a pantomime.
That they may laugh at my ancient griefs.

Poem 22

Mothers

She who abandons, disrupts, disturbs. Sends me into a rage inside myself.
Masked off by my rigid face set against you in anger.
Hatred made impotent by sorrow, tear washed, soiled by shit and blood.
Disgust warps it. The powerful aftermath all that remains from your body.
The smell no longer real, its memory enough.
Sadness, when I reach back to you long gone. Unheld in your arms.
I cannot bear your touch, your skin, to look like you.
I freeze with fear, hideous inside, collapsing like a stack of baby bricks.
Falling at every human encounter, unfamiliar with social graces.
Awkward as a child I fold; go over and over in my mind. . _
How should I have behaved? Always wanting to ask was I okay?
Did I do okay-say the right thing?
What will they think of me?
Who is mother?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Family Ties - Dylan Thomas #Poet #Playwright


I have said much about family on this blog. Not all bad. Having researched my family tree a few years ago I "dug up" this pair. My maternal Grandmother remembered Dylan Thomas very well and she had photographs and keepsakes from him. Unfortunately when she became ill with dementia many of these went missing, were lost or destroyed. A photograph of her appears in the book Dylan Remembered: Vol. 1: 1914-1934. The family connection is fairly distant (My Great Great Grandmother was first cousin to Dylan Thomas) I am proud of the connection none the less.




THOMAS , DYLAN MARLAIS ( 1914 - 1953 ), poet and prose writer ; b. 27 Oct. 1914 in Swansea , s. of David John Thomas and his wife Florence Hannah (née Williams ) who themselves came from rural, Welsh -speaking families in Cardiganshire , and Carmarthenshire . The father, a nephew of William Thomas ‘ Gwilym Marles ’ ( DWB , 973) , was from 1899 to 1936 English master at Swansea grammar school , which Dylan Thomas attended from 1925 to 1931 . That was his only period of formal education and was followed by some fifteen months as junior reporter on the South Wales Daily Post . His early interest in English poetry had already borne fruit in the four notebooks in which he entered his first mature poems between 1930 and 1933 . These notebooks were to be the major source of poems for his first three published volumes: 18 Poems ( London , 1934 ), Twenty-five poems ( London , 1936 ), and The map of love (short stories and poems) ( London , 1939 ). Publication of individual poems in London periodicals led to his first volume, and that in turn to his arrival in London in Nov. 1934 . During the 1930s his work received increasing American as well as British attention and brought invitations to review books for leading London periodicals. Alternation between literary-social life in London and periods of greater actual creativity in Wales was to remain the pattern throughout his career. A close friendship with the poet Vernon Watkins (see below) in Swansea started in 1935 .

He met Caitlin Macnamara in 1936 and they were m. the following year. In May 1938 they moved for the first time to live in Laugharne, Carms. , the village now most intimately associated with his name, and a deep influence on his later work in verse and prose. He had been awarded the American Blumenthal Poetry Prize , and was writing the autobiographical short stories that were to be published as Portrait of the artist as a young dog ( London , 1940 ). The comic realism of these stories was in marked contrast to the macabre and surrealistic element in his earlier tales, which can be read in A Prospect of the sea ( London , 1955 ). Continuation of autobiographical material in the form of a novel remained unfinished, but was published as Adventures in the skin trade ( London , 1955 ). After the outbreak of World War II he started to write radio scripts for the B.B.C. and to take part in broadcast talks and readings . His popularity as a broadcaster remained to the end of his life, and the quality of his work for radio is reflected in the volume Quite early one morning ( London , 1954 ). From 1942 to the end of the war he was employed as a script-writer for Strand Films in London . An example of his work in this medium is The Doctor and the devils ( London , 1953 ).

The period of war had interrupted his writing of poetry, though towards the end of the war Wales became increasingly his major home. At Llangain and New Quay in 1944-45 a new period of poetic creativity started, the most productive since the early days in Swansea , leading to the publication of Deaths and entrances ( London , 1946 ). At the end of the war, however, he also started to show interest in visiting America , and the need to earn a living (mainly through work for films and radio ) meant having to be within reach of London . From 1946 to 1949 therefore the poet and his family lived in or near Oxford . He visited Prague in 1949 as guest of the Czechoslovakian government .

He moved to live in the ‘ Boat House ’ at Laugharne in May 1949 , where his third child was born, and where Thomas hoped to establish a permanent home, helped possibly by visits to America where his reputation as a poet was now firm. The first of these visits was in Feb.-June 1950 and was followed by three more in 1952 and 1953 . The individual work which occupied most of his time from 1950 onwards was the radio play Under Milk Wood ( London , 1954 ), the main inspiration for which were the atmosphere and inhabitants of Laugharne itself. During the second American tour his last individual volume of poems was published, in America only, as In country sleep ( New York , 1952 ). This completed the range of volumes that were to make up his Collected poems 1934-1952 ( London , 1952 ) and which won the award of the Foyle's Poetry Prize . The complications of heavy drinking and irresponsibility with money meant, however, that not even the profitable American visits were to remove the financial and personal insecurity which made the poet less and less productive of new work at home. He d. in New York on 9 Nov. 1953 and is buried at Laugharne .
Bibliography:

Walford Davies , Dylan Thomas , Cardiff, 1972 ( 1972 );
[ J. Alexander Rolph , Dylan Thomas a bibliography , New York, 1956; 2nd ed. 1974 ( 1974 );
George M. A. Gaston , Dylan Thomas a reference guide , Boston, Mass., 1987 ( 1987 );
Ralph Maud , Dylan Thomas in print , Pittsburgh, 1970 ( 1970 );
John Ackerman , A Dylan Thomas Companion life, poetry and prose , Basingstoke, 1994 ( 1994 );
and see many biographies, including Paul Ferris ( 1977 ), John Ackerman ( 1964 , 1991 ), G. S. Fraser ( 1964 ), Constantine FitzGibbon ( 1965 ), Daniel Jones ( 1977 );
Walford Davies and Ralph Maud , Collected Poems 1934-53 , 1994 (1994) ].

Author:

Professor Walford Davies, Aberystwyth.




THOMAS , WILLIAM Gwilym Marles ; 1834 - 1879 ), Unitarian minister, social reformer, writer, and schoolmaster ; b. at Glan Rhyd y Gwiail , near Brechfa, Carms. , son of William and Ann Thomas (née Jones ) , but adopted by his father's sister. He was educated at Ffrwd-y-fâl school , 1851 , Carmarthen College , 1852-6 , and Glasgow University , 1856-60 , where he graduated M.A. He was an Independent when he went to Carmarthen College , but a Unitarian when he left it, and when he had completed his course at Glasgow he settled down as Unitarian minister of Bwlch-y-fadfa and Llwynrhydowen , where he remained from 1860 until his death. From Nov. 1857 to Feb. 1858 he was private tutor to Islwyn (q.v.) ; in 1855 he had written a novel for Seren Gomer . In 1859 he published his little book, Prydyddiaeth , and he edited and wrote a great deal for his periodical, Yr Athraw , during the short period of its existence from Sept. 1865 to Aug. 1867 . His chief contributions to the Ymofynydd were ‘ Cofion a Chyffesiadau ,’ 1861 , ‘ Hanner awr gyda'r Bardd o Bantycelyn ,’ 1863 , and ‘ Theodore Parker ,’ 1863-4 . He was completely converted to Parker 's theological and social views and, for that reason, may be regarded as the founder of modern Unitarianism in Wales . He joined wholeheartedly in the Liberal movement in Cardiganshire , and his contributions to the Press, his speeches, and his sermons aroused the antagonism of the landlords with the result that he and his congregation were turned out of the old Llwynrhydowen chapel , 29 Oct. 1876 . He took a leading part in the 1868 election and was a strong advocate of the secret ballot . He kept a school at Llandysul , 1860-79 , and was the means of starting a new Unitarian church in the town. He d. 11 Dec. 1879 , and was buried in the burial ground of the new chapel at Llwynrhydowen .Bibliography:
Gwilym Marles (‘Cyfres y Fil’), Llanuwchllyn, 1905 (‘Cyfres y Fil’), 1905 ; diaries and manuscripts in Llwynrhydowen library; Eminent Welshmen , 1908 ; Yr Ymofynnydd (memorial issue), Oct. 1934 ; R. J. Jones , The Unitarian Students at the Presbyterian College, Carmarthen…1796–1901 , 1901 .
Author:
Rev. David Jacob Davies, (1916-74), Aberdare / Alltyblaca, Llanybydder.


I would like to add, just for the record, that I suffered NO abuse from this side of the family...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Confusion and Fear #Amsosa


Since last summer I have posted many articles on this blog written by my friend Steve Bevan, of AMSOSA UK  Now Male Survivor Trust

I met Steve through Twitter and attended his Male Survivors Weekend Retreat last year. Steve has worked with Male Survivors for over 21 years and founded AMSOSA in 1991 and is recognised as a leading expert in male survivors of sexual abuse/rape in the United Kingdom. He has also given guest talks, training and workshops in the U.K, U.S, Australia, New Zealand, and in Scandinavia and is soon to set off to South Africa to do the same.

"The mission of AMSOSA is to empower men who have experienced sexual abuse or rape, and enable them to live happier, healthier lives. We offer male survivors the opportunity to focus on the ability to heal and recover, by dealing with 1/3rd of their past, 1/3rd of their present, and 1/3rd of their future, covering aspects of the sexual abuse they have suffered, yet focussing on the strength and courage they possess, and leaving the past where it belongs.

We are a regionally based, nationally recognised, and internationally known agency, providing specialised training to NHS Trusts, Social Services, Police forces, SARCS, Victim Support teams, and offer counselling sessions within prisons, hostels, day centres and other agencies."

I asked Steve to write a piece for this blog and am very proud to present it here.

CONFUSION & FEAR

Just two of the many issues that male survivor face when struggling to come to terms with the sexual abuse they have suffered as children, teenagers or adults.

Confusion is often as to why were they abused, and that is a question that is never going to be answered properly, yet keeps coming back to haunt them and demands an answer.

My simple short answer to those questions, when it’s raised, is they were abused because the person or persons, who abused them were nothing less than sick dirty people, who should never be allowed near anyone again, as they are twisted and evil men and women.

Yes women abuse both boys and men, and women also abuse young boys and girls too.

The fears that kick in after being abuse are complex and differs from one survivor to another, but the primary fear is of being seen, of being found out and of being judged wrongly remains the same, and has the same effects upon the survivor.

Male survivors automatically wrongly inherit the guilt, shame and blame for the abuse that was done to them, and grow up thinking and believing that they were part of the abuse.

Other fears that kick in is will they be called gay, or labelled as weak, and some guys even think they were to blame for what happened to them, because they didn’t stop the abuse or tell someone who would have stopped it.

The answer to that is they did the best they could, under the circumstances, to deal with what happened to them, and shouldn’t look back and judge themselves so harshly, because they coped.

Sexual abuse and rape impacts deeply upon the heart, soul and inner core of a man, as he grows up, trying to deal with the abuse he suffered, and also survived, and my job is to show him that he is a survivor, can become a thrive, and can overcome the past, to become the man he wants to be, not the person he has been led to be.

It’s far from easy to let go of the past, but it can be done with the right support, and belief that he is capable of doing so.

After The Rains


After the rains that fell so soft
In my mind I see a view
This time not a field full of flowers
But a life with me being without you.
When you left me, forever, not to return
A big part of me died.
I told you that I didn't need you
But I couldn't convince my heart, I lied.
Loneliness took the place of your face
And the nights became so long, too long.
Depression transformed to agitation
And I knew that I was oh so wrong.
I can't spend the rest of my life
Crying over the past, In Pain. In vain.
I just need to concentrate on the future
And something solid that will last.
Does anything last?
After the rains that fell so soft
In my mind I see a view
Of me adjusting to the changes,
And I'm far better off without you.

1989

My Pain


                          My Pain, It Will Follow
                          I sink lower and lower
                          Into my depression, here I go
                          The sorrow ...tugging at my heart
                          Will it ever let me go

                          I know....yes I know
                          That no matter where I am
                          My pain it will follow
                          My tears it will demand

                          I wish that I could hate me
                          I wish I did not care
                          I wish that you understood
                          That once there was love there

                          In my heart, I did once feel it
                          And my soul once filled with love
                          Now an endless sea of pain
                          My sorrow cannot get enough

                          I know....... oh don't I know??
                          That no matter where I am
                          My pain it will follow.
                          My tears it will demand

                          Sometimes I think my pain has passed
                          I think I'll be okay
                          But its always there waiting for me
                          Tomorrow if not today

                          I hold my heart with all my might
                          Clinging on with desperation
                          I hold fast for dear life
                          To my eternal condemnation

                          Because I know no matter what
                          No matter how much I want to be loved
                          My sorrow it is waiting
                          And it won't stop till I've given up

                          It is waiting very near me
                          There.....no matter where I am
                          My pain it will follow
                          My soul it will demand

Why Cast Me Aside

Like an outcast criminal
you throw stones at my side,
ending my hopes,
and slashing my pride.

Instantly guilty,
put into shame
You choke me to tears
and shoot me like game.

Like an unholy sinner
cursed and to blame,
you laugh at my love
as if it isn't the same.

How hard can you stare,
How long can you mock
the times that I cry
and feelings I block?
.
For all that I've done,
For all that I loved
I've been beaten and tortured,
punished and shoved.

For all that I've been,
the individual I am
I've been thwarted and hated,
unworthy and damned.

You can change me forever .
and teach me to lie,
you can hold me to promises
after I die

but you never believe
or actually see
that the life that I've lived
has always been me.

How long can you hate,
if only you knew
that the person I am
is no different than you.

The Foundry Of My Being


The bellows pump
The fires roar
My hammer strikes hot steel
Frightening are the sounds they make
In the foundry of my being great works form
Upon the anvil they do break
My courage falters, my passions storm
Too poor are my creations for other eyes to take
The bellows pump
The fires roar
My hammer strikes hot steel
Sometimes one dream is saved
It comes into this world and here it is destroyed
The very land beneath it razed
The very one for whom my spirit was employed
Finds it shape not pleasing, this oblige me stand amazed
The bellows rest
The fires choke
My hammer strikes not steel
A single ember glows
Its heat stings my skin, as over my face it flows
It stares out of the furnace, like a piercing sanguine eye
The bellows start
The fires rouse
My hammer again strikes steel
‘Tis good the ember would not go out
This heart of the fire that would not die
It’s defiant light I will never rout
In the foundry of my being my emotions still cry and shout

Saturday, 7 April 2012

There is a land

There is a land
Where children smile and play freely
They laugh out loud and run with joy

There is a land
Where their Dreams are cherished
Their innocence is protected

There is a land
Where children come home to love
They feel nurtured and valued

There is a land
Where molestors dare not tread
and children can feel safe in thier beds

There is a land
Where all this is true
It is one that I have never seen

Thursday, 5 April 2012

He Was Just A Young Boy

He sits alone on the beach, his mind far away 
Staring beyond the far horizon, on this summers day.
He wonders if there is a life, of happiness out there 
A family to love and protect; someone who really cared. 

He asks himself if this, is what life is all about? 
No security in the love he'd come to fear and doubt,
No promises to protect his tragedy and shame,
Knowing that he must go back to live through it again. 

Reflecting on the memories, his eyes filled with tears; 
Is it going to be like this for the rest of his years? 
The shame that he had to endure, as his anger grows to hate 
Is this life he'd come to fear going to be his fate? 

A wave of confused emotions swept over his soul 
As he reflected on the memory of the life that he had stole
He was just a young boy, too young to understand 
Why he had to fondle him, with the touch of his hand. 

Memories of the midnight calls, the visits to his bed 
And as the tears fell from his eyes, not a word was said 
The touch of his hand upon him, whisky breath upon his face, 
As he closed his eyes and wished he was in another place. 

Tear stains on his pillow, thoughts within his  head 
He could still feel his touch, and his breath within his bed 
When morning slowly rises, he escapes his pain 
As he sits alone upon his beach, haunted by his shame. 

Kicking pebbles on the sand, he stares into the sky 
Wondering if there is a God, so he could ask Him why?
The questions that filled his mind, prompted him to say 
Words he could only wish to speak, for he was too afraid. 

Sadness engulfed the heaviness, felt within his heart 
The tears he cries for himself, its tragedy imparts ~ 
A life that he has come to fear, within his silent hate, 
Is the only one that he has known,  and meant to be his fate.
 

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