Sunday, 27 May 2012

Boy To Man



Boy To Man


Little boy plays happily,in the fields with friends

long drawn out dreamy days

anxiety an unknown enemy

tired boy on a long journey, friends a long way away,

functioning only as memories

in a new Antipodean reality

clever boy alone, sadly contemplating an accent,

hating a colour, choking

constructing the iron boundary

chunky kid, supposedly smart, successful in the elder’s eyes,

smarts from colouful taunts...

keen brain but heavy heart

young man on the outer, alone in a bookish haven

returning on a northern route,

inner struggle getting harder

shy young man, boyish in looks, piece of pretty paper proclaims

intelligence, commodity unseen

unwanted, slave to musty books

little boy, old young man uncertain, angst filled trek,

nowhere greeting him fast

tries to feel while he can

carefully constructed armour hiding the softness inside

under sheets of uncertainty,

greyness hiding vivid colour.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Who I Was Born To Be - My Version

I've never felt free,
To bare my heart open wide,
To allow you to see, all that I can be,
Fear and doubt always there at my side.

I was never that boy, nor that man,
Who could give of himself, be so free
But I hope that one day soon
I'll be all I was born to be.

I once opened the door, to let myself be free
I was ill prepared and too naive
Fell too fast and too hard. Maybe soon,
My time will come again.

I look back over my years, lived in fear
Lived in doubt. Always sure you'd not want
And cast me aside, with no thought, I was
Not who I was born to be.

Now I look in your eyes, Your arms open wide
And I Still feel my fear, my own stupid doubt.
I hope that you'll see, it's not you but it's me
Give me time, I'll set my self free.

Forget restraints of time and of space,
Nothing is impossible, life is a race
I'll do all that I can, forget fears and doubts,
At your side I know now, I am sure, no doubts
I can be who I was born to be....

Monday, 21 May 2012

1,000,000 HITS!!

Finally I am a millionaire!

Hits are only a number but I hope that number means my blog and the messages it contains is reaching many people. Dare I say I hope it is helping many people too..

Thank you for your support.

Jan




Friday, 18 May 2012

Presenting Virginia Lee aka @Dagonsblood


This week I wish to introduce you to a very special friend of mine. A lady who has supported and encouraged me in my healing journey as well as in my literary endeavours. Author and an amazing survivor of so very much, Virginia Lee.
Virginia knew it was my birthday on Saturday 19th May and asked me what I would like as a gift. I am not a material man and I asked her for the thing she brings magic to. Words. I admire her and her writing. She writes from a place deep within her soul. This is her gift to me, and I think a gift to us all in fact. She has survived and overcome much. She is an inspiration. Thank you Virginia.

Penblwydd Hapus Jan L. Frayne! Happy Birthday, May 19th!


I am very pleased that Jan has invited me to be a guest here on his blog. I met Jan on Twitter near the end of July 2011. I have watched him progress in leaps and bounds these past months and come into his own. I am very proud to know him and be his friend.

I don’t know what I will write of here. I walk into an empty format. There is no form or structure given, no questions to answer. The unknown looms darkly before me.

I asked Jan for suggestions.

“Write what you wish!” He responds magnanimously. I imagine him with a grin and opening his arms wide. Carte blanche?! My eyes widen and blink rapidly as my mind scrambles through dozens of possibilities at once, all daunting. I draw a deep breath to calm myself.

“I’m a novelist! This means I can at times go on and on and on!” I exclaim, asking him to make a suggestion or give direction as to what or how much I am to write for him. It is his blog afterall!

“Write as much as you like!” I can see him smiling with a twinkle in his eyes as he offers me this honor.

“Ah…” I murmur to myself, feeling lost as I open my word processor and stare at a blank page.

I take a deep breath and recount the many areas of commonality I share with this wonderful friend. What of me and my many labels, or facets of self, do I then share here? I bite the inside of my lip and think.



I wish to create something here, something of importance to honor him. A decision is made. I will write of what Jan has encouraged me to share of my experience, strength, and hope for any who have suffered abuse as we have. I step across my threshold of resistance with a smile and a sigh…

Words, when woven well together and threaded with colors, can create a beautiful tapestry. I pull out my loom and set the threads beside me. My selections begin, keeping in mind that even the dark threads are necessary for beauty to stand out with depth and dimension. I want to make this the very best I can for my dear friend.



Enter Rumplestiltskin – he spins straw into gold for me. Each word a slender stalk filled with the delicate grains of ideas. I must have more thread for my loom!

Inspired by Jan’s “I Chanced Upon a Stranger” from his book, “Beyond Survivor”, I begin…

One of the greatest facts of life that I have discovered is that people are hungry to connect with others; to feel welcomed, worthwhile, validated, and part of a whole. We seek to find areas of commonality and reach out for more in an ever expanding universe. We thirst to exchange our thoughts and feelings with others; the triumphs and tragedies of the human spirit through the condition known as “living.” We need to be one and not alone.

This need is even greater in we who have suffered abuse, particularly if we have been victimized as children. We hide from this contact we crave, fear it, and withdraw; isolating even when in a crowd. Distrustful, "fight or flight" mechanisms are in place at all times. We live on an edge and don’t realize that the tension does not have to be there. That which helped us to survive the people and events, becomes a handicap to any healthy living now. We have rights we never knew. What "normies" take for granted, are unknowns to us. Some of the "tools for survival" that we learned because of our being abused, become weapons against ourselves, harming us as we
attempt to be adults. Our role models may have taught us how not to be but gave little input as to how we can and should be had we not been "damaged."


We need to learn what victim means. “Victim” means more than the attacks and abuse that we endured. It is the additional fact that these “events” have created in us patterns, character traits and habits, that allow the abuse to continue as if there’s a sign on one’s back saying, “Go ahead, step on me, use me, hurt me.” Others may survive with a wall around them that they defend violently at times. We add to the damage when we deny or rationalize what happened, and thus allow further abuse to follow. We often become self-abusive, making bad choices and decisions. Alcoholism, drug abuse, even suicide is prevalent in we who have so suffered.

Awareness of all of this becomes the first key to doing more than just surviving. We must see and feel that which is kept hidden. We need to share and walk with others despite our fears. Shine the light strongly into the recesses and discover there are gifts hidden among the dross and debris. You are the gift you can give to yourself. Give yourself wings!

Acceptance is the next key. In the end, it doesn't matter as much who put the foot print there that harms us still, as it does that we take responsibility in improving, recovering, and becoming, more. We need to learn our rights. Yes, set boundaries and grant yourself rights, including the right to be happy and to be loved! Know too that you have responsibilities, actions that must be taken to be and remain healthier, happier, and able then to contribute more to the whole. Continue making these efforts. Develop compassion and tolerance. Become confident in your own self worth. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Make a positive contribution to the person that you wish to be and to all others by connecting with life and disconnecting from that which destroys. Get out into the sun!

I thrive in spite of my past. I have had countless episodes in all varieties of abuse since infancy and on into my adult years. I have battled self destructive behaviors. After many years of work and continuing efforts, I live in the present! Thriving is so much more than surviving. This requires embracing self with love. I found that love when I became aware of and began to accept that which had been dominating my life,
and I set to work. The next important key I had to use to allow any love and greater healing… was forgiveness. Not for anyone else’s sake but for my own. I had to break the last chain that chaffed me in remembrance and caused me continued pain. We have the right to live a life worth living; no longer just existing, lost, confused, angry, or afraid. I had to learn balance and then continue to practice the enforcement of my rights and responsibilities. I can quite honestly say, “Been there, done that.”

I’m no longer handicapped by what was done to me. I’m challenged at times but this is nothing new in my life. There’s always been a challenge in one way or another, there always will be. This is truth for all of us. It’s called, “Life!” Changes may affect and redirect the flow of “me” yet I am still Me! I have learned to Change what I can - Accept what I cannot change - and to do this with Wisdom. Because of this I have gained Courage, Strength, and Serenity. Pain is part of living, growth is optional, choose wisely. Never forget to find and share the wonder that is always there, even in the darkest of nights. The mosaic of life is breathtakingly beautiful!

“Peace, be still!” Some storms seem to go on forever… Today, I choose to live no longer in fear but with peace. The greatest key for me in my personal recovery has been the awareness, acceptance, and trust in my belief of a higher power, whom I choose to call God and Christ Jesus. When I walk hand in hand with Him, I can and most certainly do, enjoy the journey!

Sit in the mud or choose to make pies! Dance in the rain. Sing through the storms. Seek and you will find the way. Challenge yourself to reach and grow. The more you do, the more you will find!

We are worthwhile, valid and wondrous human beings, part of the whole. We are needed and wanted. We can make valuable contributions if we tap into the stream of life around us. We are both students and teachers as we allow ourselves to join with others. We are one and we are not
alone.

I stand upon a beach and gaze about me. A vast ocean teaming with life stretches to the
horizon. I smile!



ENJOY THE JOURNEY! ~ Virginia Lee



I love words, spoken and unspoken, and delight in the sound of them whispering
stories to me through everything that life presents to me. As soon as I learned
how to write, I was off and writing! As I progressed on my journey in life, I
learned to further develop my writing skills as a tool of survival and creation
that would uplift me through anything dark and enrich everything else with
brilliant radiance. As such a mosaic of life and living is my interest, I write
in many genres. Though I had to learn to live on this plane of reality,
mankind’s earth, and to do so with positive energy and spirit; it is from my
mind and heart, in my universe of words, that I truly live.
Virginia has travelled extensively and is currently settled in Ohio with her
family. She has worked primarily in the field of alcoholism and drug abuse as
well as having been a foster parent and mentor to teenagers. Her experiences
encompass the heights and depths of the human spirit, enriching her writing
with the faith, courage, and hope that she has found and shared with so many.
“Writing is not, for us, an art, but breathing.” ~Anais Nin

Virginia
is a member of the Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/n6Ns86


Published work ~ Dagon’s Blood






Read more about this historical fiction romance at Dagonsblood.wordpress.com http://bit.ly/rh58Eh

You will also find excerpts from this and her current works in progress there: “Enjoy
the Journey!” – an anthology of inspiring, positive stories; and “Morgan’s Way”
the sequel to Dagon’s Blood.

Read exciting reviews of Dagon’s Blood on Amazon! http://amzn.to/xYy0gL
“LIKE”
Dagon’s Blood at http://on.fb.me/zlvzBq

Feel free
to connect with Virginia Lee on Twitter @dagonsblood , where Virginia is known
by her signature smile! ;-) ; Facebook http://on.fb.me/nNDg1u ; and Goodreads http://bit.ly/LbPFMH

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Donna Summer R.I.P

US singer Donna Summer, famous for disco hits including I Feel Love and Love To Love You Baby, has died at the age of 63.

Summer was one of disco's biggest stars and won five Grammy Awards.

Her family said they were "at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy".

Summer's collaborations with producer Giorgio Moroder helped define the genre, as well as having a huge influence on synth pop and dance music.

Stars including Madonna, Kylie Minogue and David Bowie were among the acts who acknowledged her influence.

Summer had been living in Florida with her husband Bruce Sudano.

A statement from her family said: "Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith.

"While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."

Born LaDonna Andre Gaines, Summer grew up in Boston and started singing in her church's gospel choir.

She began her professional career on the stage and joined the cast of a German production of the musical Hair in the late 1960s, prompting her to move to the country.

Her first solo record came out in 1971 but it was her work with the Italian synthesiser pioneer Moroder that led to her breakthrough with Love to Love You Baby in 1975 - the first of 29 UK top 40 singles.

Source BBC News


Last Dance



Mac Arthur Park



Amazing Grace

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ignorance is NOT Bliss #childabuse


I am tired. It's a crazy thing to say for someone who has not had a job for over six months maybe. Every day I get up and I feel as I haven't slept. Though there is much support from my online friends I am feeling increasingly alone. I try to speak for those who will not or cannot do so. I try to share what happened to me in order to educate those that do not understand. The wonderful people who have provided guest posts for my blog are doing the same as are so many other advocates out there. feel alone in a society that generally appears to not give a damn.

On the whole I had been more positive about life these days, the depression that has lurked around most corners seemed to have remained at bay. For those who haven't realised, I am not online 24/7... My twitter account is set up to send out scheduled tweets as I want get my message out to all time zones.

I try my utmost to be upbeat and strong for those that need support. I am contacted daily by new "friends" that just want to say "Hi, me too!" or "Keep up the campaign". These connections and interactions strengthen my resolve. I have a backlog of mail to respond to. I will get to it I promise! I am not ignoring you.

Occasionally I respond to newspaper or online news articles regarding child abuse. I did so yesterday and almost regret it. There is such negativity out there. Much of this might be based in ignorance but so many simply do not want to even try and understand or listen. I hate being silent now. Having been so for so many years it really goes against what I now beleive in. "Silent No More!"

It seems that some people are more interested in debating the legitimacy of published statistics rather than reacting to the actual information contained.

Child sexual abuse/molestation/rape occurs in every country, in every culture, in every race and at all levels of society and community. Childhood sexual abuse comes in many forms, as I have reported previously.

The attitude "not in my backyard" really p***es me off. One comment I read yesterday went along the lines of "It never happened to anybody in my school. The only pedos we knew of were Gays". Another "Are we expected to believe that pedophiles hide behind every other bush and street corner?" and "If I called 40 of my friends I know that none of them would say that they had been sexually abused".

These blindly ignorant comments are so damaging. There is already a cloak of fear that enshrouds most victims. Who would want to disclose to a society that is so ignorant and stupid?

In my opinion if 1 in 50,000 was abused the figure is still shocking. NO child should have to endure abuse of ANY sort.

Making the statistics more important than the facts is grossly insulting to those of us that were abused and those that are currently being abused. In the Rochdale case here in the UK it seems that more is being made of the race of the abusers than the fact the abuse was reported and IGNORED by police.

I feel like David staring up at a mighty Goliath. I'm rubbish with a slingshot before anyone suggests that...

I will continue fighting, advocating and educating. I have to. I could not live with myself otherwise.

Friday, 11 May 2012

More than a Survivor via @Celesteka

This week I would like to introduce you to a very special lady. A lady who has endured so much yet continues to do so much to help others. We have become firm friends and I am proud to call her my "adopted" sister.

Her name is Celeste Rousseau

You can read more of her healing journey at More than a Survivor

Say hi to Celeste on Twitter too! @Celesteka

This is Celeste in her own words.



I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I grew up at the beach and loved to swim in the ocean on a daily basis. I was a music major in college, focusing on piano and voice. I have three beautiful children ages 36, 38 and 40, and five lovely grandchildren ranging from ages 2 to 15.

Though I had careers in office management and purchasing, my love has always been around music and children. I played and sang professionally for many years, touching many souls with my heart. I also spent a few years in Russia and joined an organization to reach out to orphans. I was heartbroken to learn that hundreds of thousands of children are taken to institutions. I was a small drop in a huge sea of people who need to love these cast-off children. I once held an eighteen-month old baby named Masha. When I first met her, her eyes were unfocused. After I picked her up, held her on my lap, and sang to her, she opened up to me. When I left we both cried. I wrote a poem about her, entitled, “Broken-Winged Angel.” It was published in a local newspaper in Moscow. I will always remember her sweet angelic face. One day I plan to work with orphans again.

In the meantime, I am a nanologist, as one of my dearest friends likes to call me. I am blessed to watch my two youngest grandchildren full-time and be a loving presence in their lives. They are opening my eyes to the wondrous view of the world from the perspective of an innocent and well-loved child.





I am a survivor of incest, sexual abuse, rape and ritual abuse.

The first 18 years of my life were terrifying, painful and shaming, hence I completely repressed all memories of any incident of abuse until I was 30 years old. I began to awaken when I was raped by a family friend who was a doctor. I again closed the lid on my subconscious thoughts until one of my children was in crisis.

At 36 years of age, I began having flashbacks about being sexually abused by my father. After these first shocking memories, the rest of the abuses at the hands of family, friends, church members and strangers began to unfold like onion skins being pulled off layer by layer from an onion.

As a small child I was left unprotected, alone and vulnerable in my world. I had no sense of boundaries, self-respect or self-esteem.

Because of this, I was extremely self-destructive. As I began to remember my victimizations, nearly everything about my personality and my behaviors during my entire life began to make sense to me. As I walked through the darkest moments of my life I experienced the emotional and physical pain that was inflicted upon me. As I acknowledged and embraced all the wounded, shattered parts of myself and released the shame, guilt and unworthiness I bore, I began to experience peace in my life.

Prior to this evolvement, my life had been an enigma.

I felt dirty and ugly inside; yet outwardly I was pretty and popular.

I felt stupid; yet I was the top student in my classes.

I felt uncoordinated; yet I was a superior athlete.

I felt untalented; yet throughout my life I have performed vocally and at the piano, and have created custom clothing, slipcovers, jewelry, and furniture.

When I began to see what had been hidden within myself for decades I realized immediately why I had such negative feelings about myself. I had carried the shame and guilt of all the abuses against me and others that I experienced and witnessed.

With caring professional support I slowly crawled out of the darkness in which I had lived, into a softly lit room and began to experience self-esteem as I released the burdens that were not mine to carry.

Because my boundaries were repeatedly invaded as a small child, I believed that my purpose was to be available to anyone who wanted me. I was self-destructive for many years until I realized why I couldn’t say, “NO !” I am still learning to set healthy boundaries in my life by listening to my inner voice to hear how I am feeling when I am approached by anyone.

Because I was abused in a religious setting I changed God’s name to LOVE. LOVE became an essential force in my life as I followed the 12-Step Program, showing me a better path toward healing and hope.

Though the healing road is difficult and circular in its movement I continue to heal and experience hope, love and joy in my life.

Because I am healing from sexual abuse I have hope for many who are on the same path. My heart aches for all who have suffered and are suffering today. My prayer is that all children will be protected from harm, treated with respect, listened to and loved in the manner that they deserve.

Please be patient with yourself and don’t give up, wherever you may be on the road; this is a lifetime journey that is full of enlightening moments.

You deserve to experience healing and abundant life.

You are worthy of unconditional love !

Thank you.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My Ten Commandments #ChildAbuse #Recovery


These are my ideas only, my ways of dealing with what was done to me. They might not work for everyone but they worked for me. Please remember I am not a therapist, Doctor or counsellor. I am just a man.


1. Acknowledge that something terrible happened. It is not your imagination! You were a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Do not try to deal with it on your own. Share your memories and emotions with a loved one.

2. Allow yourself to recognise your feelings. There may be sadness, anger, fear, guilt, and shame. Reject those feelings that are destructive to yourself such as guilt and shame. You were the victim.

3. Find a support group and or therapist. Discuss the abuse as thoroughly as you are comfortable with. In time you will be able to discuss everything. Suppressed memories fester. Expose the hurt and allow it to heal.

4. Do NOT blame yourself! Your actions as a child were in no way to blame for what happened to you. If others try to blame you then dump them in the rubbish bin of your life.

5. If there was any part of the abuse that was pleasurable to you (more attention, gifts, bribes, feelings of being cared about) Do NOT feel guilty. You were being used and any good feelings were there to coerce you.

6. Forgive yourself. It is your choice whether or not you chose to forgive the abuser/s. Never feel pressurised to forgive those that abused you.

7. Do allow yourself to be angry! You have every right to be angry. Take this anger out in a safe way. Punch hell out of a pillow, a punchbag or a soft chair. Do not punch walls (that hurts you)or people who care about you (that hurts them).

8. Do not allow the past to control you. You control your present and the choices you make affect your future. The abuse happened. It cannot be undone. You have the chance to make your future a better place.

9. Love yourself. You are a wonderful unique human being. What happened to you is in no way a reflection of who you are. It might have affected your life to date, but was in no way your fault. Love yourself and allow yourself to be loved.

10. Never forget that you are not alone. Reach out to someone if you feel low. Support and help is there. There are numerous online ways to chat with fellow victims. You are not a freak. The abusers are the freaks.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Catch Me Quietly - video

This is an experiment. I have been asked several times to "perform" my poetry so that the listener can hear it as I mean it to be heard.

I must confess to not liking the sound of my own voice...

Thanks for listening. This is "Catch Me Quietly" from my book, "Beyond Survivor"

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Take Back YOUR Life!

One thing I read and hear over and over again is the term "MY" abuser or "MY" abusers.

They are not yours. Don't claim them, they are the lowest of the low. Call them "THE" abuser/abusers or THE rapist.

They stole our innocence, our childhood and all too often our lives too. My very good friend and therapist Steve taught me this during retreat and it works. Put them in their place, don't possess or own them.

I found forcing that simple change in language very empowering and cleansing. It doesn't take away what THEY did to you, but it puts distance between the victim and the perpetrators.

Another subject that came up recently is that of educating the "masses" as I term them. A twitter friend said she thought it was wrong to say what the perpetrators can make the victim do or say in case it gave other potential abusers the same idea. Whilst I do appreciate the point she made I did argue back that unless we do spread education and knowledge of what might happen or be happening then how can we be vigilant for the signs.

I have no idea if this twitter friend is a survivor of abuse or not. I never ask. If someone wants to disclose to me it is their choice, I never force the issue or share what is said to me in DM or email with anyone. I am interested in hearing all points of view (well except that of the abusers). By discussing the issue we are spreading knowledge.

Another question asked of me recently is what can we do today to educate children now so that they do not grow up to be abusers. I stumbled a bit but basically came back with this.

Survivors must have an environment in which they feel safe and protected enough in ordere to disclose. The more that come forward the better idea we will have of numbers and possible "causes". This will bring a better understanding of the true figures etc. Deterrents must be sufficient to put such fear in place that no-one dares abuse a child. The best deterrent surely would be full life sentencing at a maximum with say 15 years as a minimum. I don't personally believe that chemical castration is sufficient. Two house bricks can do the same job and would be remembered much better. For the female perpetrators I am sure something suitable could be arranged.

Another thing I believe would "help" is to have the words "paedo" tattooed on their foreheads, hands, legs. Once a "paedo" always a paedo. I don't believe in forgiveness or reintegration into society.

Harsh you might think? Not harsh if you have been a victim. Many of the horrific practices carried out on us and other survivors are far worse than that.

We are amongst the "fortunate" that have survived our abusive childhoods we should not forget those who could not "come to terms" with what happened and took their own lives. There are also those who are suffering and causing suffering because they cannot face the truth and instead turn to alcohol and or drugs. Both these events are tragic. It is NOT the fault of the child, no matter how cleverly the abusers tried to make the child think so. It is also not the fault of the broken adult if they cannot yet reach out for help. It's the vicious circle of fear and abuse. It took me many decades to finally deal with what happened to me and I am still doing so.

I have NO time for those that were victims and went on to become abusers. I make no apologies for this either.

The road to "recovery" or "healing" is not easy. A "normal" life can be yours. I hate these words by the way hence the quotation marks. Define recovery, healing or normal? We are all individual. We are born unique and special and should strive to remain so. I define healing and normality as a place where you are no longer controlled and limited by what was done TO you. A place where you can take back your life and move forward in a positive and constructive manner. We cannot take back what was stolen from us, but we can make sure our futures are not controlled by this theft.

Help is out there for those who want to seek it. The internet has made it much easier to locate therapists/support groups and self help groups. There are not enough of them, but, they are there.

I am not a therapist or doctor. Opinions stated are my own. I don't have all the answers, but I'm trying to ask all the questions. Many will disagree with my thoughts and that is fine. I am just a man, a survivor, trying to make a difference.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Family

I have explained much about my family over the last year, maybe too much, maybe not enough.

My Mum and Dad are both Welsh. Dad's family came from North Devon but Mum's were Welsh "to the bone"..

I want to state a few facts, just for the record, for my sake and to remove any possible confusion. Why am I doing this now? Simply because my older half brother got in touch with me a couple of days ago and said some words that actually reduced me to tears. Nice tears, warm safe tears. He told me he was proud of me.

We share the same biological father, different mothers. Our father left his mother for my mother whilst he was still unborn I believe. He has two older sisters, one of whom I have had contact with. As he said "we are a broken family".

None of the children are to blame for this. My father had three children from his first marriage, two (my full sister and myself) from his second, and my younger half brother from his third. My father caused a great deal of pain in his life, to his first wife and their children in particular. He loved me I believe, though he was not good at showing it. He was not close to his own brothers either.

The fact that I have positive connections with some of my siblings brings great security and peace.

I am the only sibling that has been abused. I cannot speak for my full sister, though I have suspicions. We do not speak to each other. I like it that way.

The grandfather that abused me was my mothers father. His brother also abused me.

My older half brother said a lot more. One thing in particular that I want to share is the following.

"Sometimes though, we have no option but to emotionally hurt people with the truth, including those close to us, because it can bring with it a new perspective perhaps more valuable – you learn who truly loves you, who are willing to understand you, who will not doubt you, and those who will stand by you no matter what."

Those words are so very true, to anyone who has suffered pain, abuse or hardships.

Thanks "Big Brother". I know you will read this and I hope you realise that your connection really means the world to me.

PRESS RELEASE - Beyond Survivor


New Book Encourages Men to Speak Out about Childhood Sexual Abuse

Jan L Frayne wants men to know there is no shame in admitting they suffered abuse

SWANSEA, Wales, U.K (PRWEB)

According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 17,727 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2010-11. Timed to coincide with Child Abuse and Awareness month in April, author Jan L Frayne offers readers his poetic memoir Beyond Survivor – Rising from the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Collection of Writings (published by AuthorHouse).
In Beyond Survivor Frayne offers his own history, hoping to help other victims of abuse find the courage and strength to seek help to triumph over it, and to increase awareness and education among the general public. “Child abuse is in the headlines almost every week,” he says. “Very few men are prepared to come forward and be counted. I hope this shows them that there is no shame in doing so.”


An excerpt from "Beyond Survivor", the poem “If I Died”:


If I died tonight,
Would you hold my hand
Would you stay beside me
And walk me from this land

Put your arms around me
And never let me go
Share with me your strength
For I have none of my own

The pain is too much to bear
I can't seem to carry on
My heart now lies shattered
The dreams are now all gone

The feelings were always buried
Deep inside my soul
Slowly they destroyed me
Because I wouldn't let them show

Now I lay here resting
My time on Earth is done
Nothing left to fight for
No where left to run

Put your hand in mine
As I take my final breath
My soul has at last found peace
There awaiting me in Death.


Author Patricia A. McKnight, in her review of the book, says, “This expertly written book shows the path of standing strong and achieving what all mankind desires; retrieving the happiness once destroyed by the wicked. This collection of outstanding poetry and prose is a must read for all as inspiration to prevail against the challenges put forth in the battle to obtain our own freedom.”

About the Author

Mr Jan L Frayne is a 44-year-old male survivor of childhood sexual abuse. An advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse worldwide, he has written both prose and poetry since he was 11 years old.

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Dealing with Nightmares #Amsosa #Nightmares


Nightmares are just a means of allowing hidden fears and feelings to emerge, but because they emerge in the way they do, they can be extremely difficult to control or mask them.
Note the word can be, it does not say they cannot.

Survivors often relive the abuse they suffered in the form of nightmares, and often it can manifest into what seems almost real, in that they "dream" what might have happened, or could have happened, which is often even scarier.


Here are some of the factors that permit nightmares to occur

1. Meeting/seeing someone who resembles your abuser, allowing the memories to creep back.

2. Hearing or reading about another persons story of abuse, which may mirror the abuse you suffered, which then awakes hidden thoughts, fears and feelings for you.

3. Feeling ill, depressed, lonely or sad, often leading to enforced isolation, and the downward spiral continues.

4. Being stressed, including holidays, visits to people's houses, etc.

5. Being humiliated by someone, left feeling powerless, which evokes bad memories for you.

6. Seeing news programmes or tv scenes depicting children being hurt or dying.

Many things on a daily basis can remind you of the past, so one way forward is to talk those fears through, and gradually see that whatever did happen to you, you were in no way to blame.

In order to release that feelings you need to let those feelings of blame move back to their rightful owners, which is the people or person who created them for you, namely your abuser(s)

Although the following sounds easy, it will take time, its not easy, but is possible and in doing so, you will get restful, undisturbed sleep.

To begin with, you should take a look at changing your bedtime routine; this can take many forms, so here are just a few that could work:



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1. Changing the physical layout of your room, perhaps moving the bed to somewhere that feels safer, maybe facing the door.

2. If you leave a light on, turn it off, don't read before you sleep, or do if you don't.

3. Turn off the radio if you listen to one, or perhaps leave a radio on to help you rest, and feel safe

4. Instead of surfing the Net, watching TV etc, change the routine, read a book, listen to music, arrange things for tomorrow.

5. Reflect back aloud on the day you had, what went wrong, what could have been done better, and finish off with what you achieved, all this will work to put you in a calmer frame of mind.

6. Take a bath, with music, candles, incense sticks, whatever works for you.

7. Join a session of relaxation classes, and learn how to relax

8. Avoid sleeping in the daytime, sleeping at the wrong time upsets your internal body clock, so get into a routine, and sleep will come to you.

Above all else, make sure that you have enough sleep every night, otherwise you will feel too tired, physically and emotionally to be of any good to yourself, never mind others.

Learn to trust someone again, allowing them to help you go leave the past behind, and go beyond the destructive feelings that you have

You can kick the past back where it belongs, rest assured this method works, continues to work for survivors, and it can work for you, so re-read it again, making sure you don't skip any of the advice offered, unless you want to that is

Still stuck, try this then ~ Some tips to help you control the dreams that may haunt you

It can help to write down what you've dreamed, (have pen and paper to hand, so you can write it down and get back to sleep again.)



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1. Free Writing

Start anywhere and just keep writing whatever comes to mind. Don't censor or edit anything out. It's like free associating onto a piece of paper. Record everything you are thinking and feeling. If you get stuck, simply write "I'm stuck, I'm stuck..." over and over again until a new association comes up. Then keep writing.

Or write down each element of the dream, then write a stream of consciousness for each one. Compare what you wrote for each element of the dream. Look for similarities and patterns. Hold onto these writings - and go back to them later on. Days or weeks later you may see something that you missed the first time around.



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2. Free Association

To unpack the various meanings of a dream, take each object, person, situation, etc. and free associate to them, one at a time. What does it remind you of? What comes to mind when you think of that element of the dream? Let your imagination go. Let your attention wander. Come up with as many associations as possible. Do this in your head, or talk out loud. If you let yourself go with this, something will come up - a memory, an idea, a feeling. It may not tell you "The Meaning" to the dream, but it will give you pieces to the puzzle.



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Stressed? Dreaming dreams you'd rather not?

If you're stressed during the day, that stress will, without doubt, emerge during your sleeping hours, as that is the bodys way of dealing with stress.

Sometimes the dreams you have can be in the form of symbols or as enactments of different scenes but ones which bring out the same emotions - anger, frustration, grief - whatever is causing you distress, and understandably, some of those dreams are extremely disturbing.

You can turn this around and learn to interpret these dreams to try to identify exactly what it is that is causing you problems, and keeping a dream diary is often very enlightening.

If your dreams are really terrifying, they are deemed to be night terrors (nightmares) These can be a sign of more severe stress or a deeper emotional problem. You might want to look at the page on Post Traumatic Stress first for more information on the subject.

Normal dreams are a safety valve for the mind, allowing you to work through situations which have had impact on you during the day.

Don't expect your dreams to be make any sense or be coherent - they are usually a mixture of all sorts, and often fail to make sense, or can become confused with reality, making you doubt what you really think, plus you can get the odd few scenes which appear to come from nowhere! Try this next exercise to help you relax.....I know...you've tried all sorts of relaxation methods in the past, and none work!



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Muscle Relaxation

Muscles are either tense or relaxed. If this were the whole story, there could be no benefit to be gained from relaxation exercises, because all you'd be doing would be tensing a muscle and then returning it to exactly the same state it was in before you started.

Muscles, however, don't work in isolation from the rest of the body. They are made of fibres which need blood and oxygen. Blood is pumped round the body by the heart and the rate at which it's pumped depends in part on how fast you're breathing.. The amount of oxygen in your blood also depends on your breathing - whether it is slow or fast, deep or shallow.

Let's assume you've tensed a muscle group as part of a relaxation exercise.

It takes effort to tense your muscles so those muscles require more "food", which for them is oxygen, carried to the muscles in the blood. The muscles send out signals that they require more oxygen, so the heart beats more quickly to increase the rate at which the blood flows around your body in order to provide it. Of course, this blood has to come from somewhere, so other parts of your body receive less blood, particularly the stomach, hands and feet.

Now let's assume that you relax that muscle group. The demand for food is back to normal. The muscles need less oxygen and therefore they need less blood. Your heartbeat will therefore slow down, as will your breathing. The blood supply to your stomach will return to normal and it can carry on the process of digestion at its normal rate. You are now relaxing.

Things go one stage further, however, and it is this which makes muscle relaxation exercises effective. It is as if after you've tensed and then relaxed a muscle group, your body says, "Whew - that was an effort," and relaxes even more.

Try it and see. Check and see roughly how tense your hand is at the moment, then clench your fist. Hold this for a few seconds until it starts to become quite uncomfortable. Then relax. The likelihood is that you are either stretching your fingers or shaking your hand, and will then rest it for a moment, This will make the muscles in your hand relax even more.

SEE? The relaxation opens the door for further relaxation of those particular muscles.

The key to good results when you are going muscle relaxation exercises is not just to tense and then relax each muscle group, but to rest those particular muscles for a short while after you've released the tension. You'll find that they are then far more relaxed than when you started. Keep this going, relaxing muscles slowly and often and the result will be that you will have no option to be feel relaxed, and refreshed after some practice

By the way, have you ever tried to fully relax your facial muscles? you'll be surprised how tense your jaw, mouth and cheek muscles can be.


The SHAME of the Catholic Church

Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3



Part 4

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Blue Lagoon #poetry

Spiraling down through brightest blue
of eyes opened wide,
It's a free fall and empty strangeness
when I remember you;
Young, laughing in the wind,
lover of all cold lonely spaces
and
dark hungry places,
wherein I was taught to understand
the mystery of love.
Yes;
It's a free fall and empty strangeness
when I remember you;
First love;
First loss.


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