Sunday, 30 December 2012

What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

For Every Child.. #poetry


 
 
For every child who cries at night
Alone with shame and pain and fright

For every child who wants so much
To only feel a gentle touch

For the beaten child, who cries in pain
Whose tears run silent, like falling rain,
 
For the child used to satisfy lust
Who never learns to love or trust

For the child taken from his home
And made to feel so all alone

For the child whose home is just a shell
Where life becomes a living hell

For the child who smiles but cannot feel
Because of scars too deep to heal

For every child who yearns for love
I hope and pray to the Lord above

To hear your cries and heal you pain
And give you back your life again.
 
 
 
unknown 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

'Til The Season Comes Around Again

Christmas Without You #Christmas #Love

Christmas without you
White Christmas and I'm blue
Like fireworks with no fuse
Christmas without you
The fireplace keeps burning and my thoughts keep turning
The pages of memories of time spent with you
Old Christmas songs we knew and used to make love to
Make it hard to get used to
Christmas without you

Christmas without you
White Christmas and I'm blue
I love you I miss you
So sad but so true
Christmas without you
Like a mystery with no clues
Like fireworks with no fuse
Christmas without you

The sweetest gift I know would be if the new snow
Could fall on your footsteps on this Christmas Eve
The most joyous Christmas if luck could be with us
Would be if Saint Nicholas brought you home to me

Christmas without you
White Christmas and I'm blue
I love you I miss you I need you
So sad but so true
Like a mystery with no clues
Like fireworks with no fuse
Christmas without you



Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas

Thank you for your support during this year. I wish you and your loved ones a merry, peaceful and happy Christmas holiday.




Unlock the door of your heart -
Enter the gentleness within.
Open the window of your soul -
Breathe in the season of miracles.
No matter how far you've traveled,
It's time to come home now,
Where Christmas abounds in love.

Monday, 24 December 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas.. #poetry #Christmas



'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the joint.
Not a single decoration, I don't see the point...
No holly, no cards, no lit Christmas tree.
Why should I bother when it's only me?

This time of year just makes me feel blue.
Each year it's less likely my dream will come true.
I have only one wish to make my star shine.
All that I ask, is for someone that's mine!

Another year gone, what more can I do?
I'd do anything for a life lived as two.
I fall down on my knees and desperately pray.
"Please give me the courage to last one more day."

When out on the grounds, an ear piercing scream.
Just like every night when I wake from a dream.....
I run to the window and throw on a coat.
And there I see Santa, face down in my moat.

I'm in awe for a moment, then my jaw hits the ground.
His sleigh is loaded with presents abound.
I drool just thinking of what there could be.
But where will he put her? I don't have a tree.

He starts to get up and wring out his clothes.
Underneath him, his helper, with mud up his nose.
I laugh and yell down, "Don't worry little elf.
It's not deep enough to drown! I've tried it my self!"

Then POOF! They're inside. Like magic I say....
How else could they travel the world in one day?
And with that magic, they're now as clean as can be.
I find it quite hard to believe what I see.

He was fat as could be, I just had to chuckle.
His belt must have had a titanium buckle.
Dressed in red and white fur, from head to toe.
He pulls a tree from his sack. "Now where should this go?"

He pulls out some presents, some big and some small.
But I'm still waiting for the best present of all.
I tell him I've been good, as I pour him some brandy.
Hoping the next one pulled out is my beautiful Sandy.

I've been in love with this girl since the first time I saw her.
And I've told Santa this every year in my letter.
I try to hold on till the end of each year.
But they all end the same as I sob in my beer.

As he pulls the last present, he lets out a snicker.
It's hand soap and towels in a basket of wicker.
He turns to me and gives his shoulders a shrug.
Then stands back up and gives his pants a good tug.

"No Sandy for you." He says with a grin.
"You'll never get her, no matter how good you've been.
You don't have a chance Danny, I've told you before."
He drinks up his brandy and then pours out some more.

I lower my head in disgust and in shame.
Knowing there's only one person to blame.
I head to the window and pity myself.
Look down at my feet and see that damn elf.

"At least you're not me." He says with a frown.
"You don't have to live with this overdressed clown."
Then Santa walks over and gets in his face.
"Don't mess with me punk. I'll put you in your place."

"Nice." Says the elf. "Can we go now, please?
The reindeer outside are starting to freeze."
"Ok." Says Santa. "Our work here is done.
Let's find some more losers and have some more fun."

Then POOF! They were gone. Right out of sight.
Quick as a comet that streaks through the night.
Then I heard him shout out, as I stood there dumbstruck
"Come sit on my knee Sandy, he's moved on, you're out of luck."

I sit in the floor, my heart broken in two
Santa's got my Sandy, There's nothing I can do.......
♪ ♫ ♬ Love has flown I'm all alone,

I sit and wonder why-y-y oh why you left me, oh

Sandy.......♪ ♫ ♬


1999

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mistletoe Kisses - Mistletoe Wishes #poetry #Christmas

'twas Christmas Eve,  the night we met
Was it fate or something more amazing yet?
A Christmas gift from up above?
The magical, wondrous gift of love...

Was there something in the firelight
That brought us close that frosty night
Something stirred, the embers glowed
We sat together, our stories flowed.

Two strangers brought together by fate
Huddled close by the fire grate
Our eyes met, yours shone so bright
Two souls entwined, our hearts took flight

We danced that night, under the Christmas lights
Nowhere to go, we'd missed our flights
We fell in love forever, we just didn't know
When we first kissed under the mistletoe...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Rudolph - The True Story #Christmas

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports.  He was often called names he'd rather not remember.. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at  Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.


The general manager of  Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print,_ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer _ and  distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph . That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah  Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.  "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed  Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal  success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."



The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.



Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!


Monday, 17 December 2012

The Christmas Guest #Christmas #Hope

The Story of the Christmas Guest



It happened one day at December's end
Some neighbors called on an old-time friend.

And they found his shop so meager and mean,
Made gay with a thousand boughs of green.

And old Conrad was sitting with face ashine.
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched the twine.

And he said "My friends at dawn today,
When the cock was crowing the night away,

The Lord appeared in a dream to me.
And He said, 'I'm coming your guest to be"

So I've been busy with feet astir,
Strewing my shop with branches of fir.

The table is spread and the kettle is shined,
And over the rafters the holly is twined.

And now I'll wait for my Lord to appear;
And listen closely so I will hear,

His steps as he nears my humble place.
And I'll open the door and I'll look on his face."

Then his friends went home and left Conrad alone,
For this was the happiest day he had known.

For long since his family had passed away.
And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.

But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest,
This Christmas would be the dearest and best.

So he listened with only joy in his heart,
And with every sound he would rise with a start,

And looked for the Lord to be at his door.
Like the vision that he had had a few hours before.

So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,
But all he could see on the snow covered ground

Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn.
And all his clothes were ragged and worn.

But old Conrad was touched and he went to the door
And he said, "Your feet must be cold and sore.

I have some shoes in my shop for you.
And I have a coat to keep you warmer, too."

So with grateful heart the man went away.
But Conrad notice the time of day

And he wondered what made the dear Lord so late,
And how much longer he'd have to wait.

Then he heard another knock, and he ran to the door,
But it was only a stranger once more.

A bent old lady with a shawl of black,
And a bundle of kindling piled on her back.

But she asked only for a place to rest,
a place that was reserved, for Conrad's great guest.

But her voice seemed to plead, "Don't send me away,
Let me rest for awhile this Christmas Day."

So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup
And told her to sit at the table and sup.

After she had left, he was filled with dismay
For he saw that the hours were slipping away

The Lord had not come as He said He would
And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.

When out of the stillness he heard a cry.
"Please help, me and tell me - Where am I?"

So again he opened his friendly door.
And stood disappointed as twice before.

It was a child who had wandered away,
And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.

Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad,
But he knew he could make this little girl glad.

So he called her in and he wiped her tears,
And he quieted all her childish fears.

Then he led her back to her home once more.
Then as he entered his own darkened door,

He knew that the Lord was not coming today,
For the hours of Christmas, had all passed away.

So he went to his room, and he knelt down to pray.
He said, "Lord, why did you delay?

What kept You from coming to call on me?
I wanted so much Your face to see."

Then softly, in the silence, a voice he heard.
"Lift up your head - I have kept My word.

Three times my shadow crossed your floor.
Three times I came to your lowly door.

I was the beggar with bruised cold feet;
I was the woman you gave something to eat;

I was the child on the homeless street.
Three times I knocked, three times I came in,

And each time I found the warmth of a friend.
Of all the gifts, love is the best.

I was honored to be your Christmas guest.

by Helen Steiner Rice

The Christmas Guest Music Video - Grandpa Jones

Sunday, 16 December 2012

'Tis The Season To Take Extra Care #childabuse #survivors



 

Effects of childhood sexual abuse

Being sexually abused as a child can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person. Such effects can include:
  • Loss of confidence, dignity and self respect
  • Low self-esteem and poor self-worth
  • Loss of hope for the future
  • Adverse effects on both physical and mental health
  • The inability to trust others even close family and friends
  • The inability to relax and enjoy life
  • Loss of innocence and childhood
  • Anxiety, guilt and fear
  • Sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out
  • Difficulties in relating to the opposite sex.
And may also lead to:
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Obsessive behaviour and strict routines
  • Anxiety states
  • Self-harming e.g. cutting, scratching or burning
  • Depression and suicide.
At this festive time of year these effects can become amplified and cause even more damage to the survivors and their loved ones. Some may withdraw and dread this time of year whilst others may become lost in alcoholic or drug induced hazes. I've done both. It is also very easy to feel even more left out in the cold if the abuse was familial. I've tried to ignore the season thereby appearing a modern day "Scrooge" and I've also become totally stressed out by trying to make sure everything is perfect for everyone else.

If you know someone who is struggling at this time of year then please reach out to them. Suicide rates often increase over the holiday period so please keep your eyes and hearts open  
and remember that not all scars are visible.

For fellow survivors please remember that you are not alone and that help is there for you. If you feel that the festivities are affecting you then confide in someone you trust, or contact a helpline.  I've spent Christmases alone, and I've also felt very alone when sharing Christmas with family or friends. It doesn't have to be that way for you too.

Christmas is not about giving and receiving presents, over indulgence and keeping up with the Joneses! Christmas is about love. The greatest gift you can give is that of love, and this includes learning to love yourself.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hurt, Healing and Hope @Together_WeHeal #childabuse #survivors


Please welcome again David Pittman from Together We Heal. This is his latest article.

Why me? What have I done to deserve this?
When dealing with issues of pain from childhood sexual abuse, people handle it in different ways; being a man I can only tell you the struggles a boy and man goes though. Initially the greatest struggle was just in finding a resource for help to work through the psychological and emotional trauma. With most abuse happening to women, it only goes to reason that the majority of available support is directed toward them. But it is out there, you might have to look a little harder for it but its there…thus the increase in groups like “Together We Heal” and “SNAP”. But once found, the next steps can be even more challenging.
If the abuse occurs as a young boy and at the hands of a man, you struggle with the confusion of being aroused. While we may learn that physiologically there is virtually no way to stop an erection and even ejaculation, it does not diminish the damage done. As a boy or man you begin to question your sexuality. How could I have been aroused by this disgusting act? When you combine this with the still long-held homophobic rhetoric voiced by so many, the confusion gets compounded and magnified. For myself, I “proved” my sexuality throughout college by having sex with as many women as I could. While this bolstered my ego, and reputation with the guys, all it really did was hurt many of the girls and further hinder my ability to get at the root of my own pain.
When having promiscuous sex was not enough to keep my hurt and pain deep down enough in my psyche, I turned to drugs. With drugs, I could numb myself to the point where I not only didn’t feel any pain, I didn’t feel anything, except the high of the particular narcotic of the day. But as any addict will tell you, the more you do, the more you have to do to try to get the same level of high. The only problem is you never do get that again. So at this point I was simply doing as much as I could until I would pass out, coming close to overdosing on several occasions and eventually getting locked up twice and spending a month in jail for a conviction of drug possession. It was the best thing that could have happened and quite probably saved my life. In having my freedom taken away, I realized finally where my life was headed if I didn’t stop taking drugs and so I went to NA and got the help I needed to get clean..and have remained so for seven years now.
Once I got clean I had a whole new problem…I had to finally face all of these painful emotions without any filters, without any buffers…I had to face life on life’s terms…and life, for most of us, isn’t kind and isn’t nice. It’s hard, and when you aren’t tough emotionally or mentally, you don’t handle this easily. It was only with the support of an amazing family and equally incredible friends that I have been able to process this pain and conflict and be able to finally stand on my own two feet again..now with a clean mind and body.
This doesn’t mean that I am not still haunted daily by the memories of molestation, it just means that now I have the tools to handle this battle. Frederick Douglass was quoted as saying, “it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” This has been true in my life. The damage done by my abuser, Frankie Wiley, was so terrible, that the positive done to build me up the first 12 yrs. of my life, he destroyed in just 2, and it’s taken 30 to just BEGIN to get my life back on the right track. Due to this derailing of my youth, I now have fewer years left on this earth to do what my creator intended for me. So I am going to spend what time I have left to do my best to 1) prevent what happened to me from happening from other children and 2) help other survivors get to the place of healing that I am now at and even further.
This is my hope. And by that word I don’t mean what I wish for to happen, I mean it’s what I know, count on and expect to happen…the original meaning of the word hope. Look it up. I have hope to help others, I have hope that they will heal, I have hope to protect children…I now have a future that was once denied me due to a sexual predator. And you too can have this hope, this expectation, this new future…just reach out and you will find us here for you.
You can count on it!

Find Together We Heal HERE  
Follow on Twitter  @Together_WeHeal

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas #Christmas #Family

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.


All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder.

"Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.

Something was burning all right; perhaps it was Mr. Prothero, who always slept there after midday dinner with a newspaper over his face. But he was standing in the middle of the room, saying, "A fine Christmas!" and smacking at the smoke with a slipper.

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong.

"There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas."

There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his slipper as though he were conducting.

"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and ran out of the house to the telephone box.

"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires."

But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt, Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?"

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the daft and happy hills bareback, it snowed and it snowed. But here a small boy says: "It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."

"But that was not the same snow," I say. "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

"Were there postmen then, too?"

"With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells."

"You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?"

"I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them."

"I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells."

"There were church bells, too."

"Inside them?"

"No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks. And they rang their tidings over the bandaged town, over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills, over the crackling sea. It seemed that all the churches boomed for joy under my window; and the weathercocks crew for Christmas, on our fence."

"Get back to the postmen"

"They were just ordinary postmen, found of walking and dogs and Christmas and the snow. They knocked on the doors with blue knuckles ...."

"Ours has got a black knocker...."

"And then they stood on the white Welcome mat in the little, drifted porches and huffed and puffed, making ghosts with their breath, and jogged from foot to foot like small boys wanting to go out."

"And then the presents?"

"And then the Presents, after the Christmas box. And the cold postman, with a rose on his button-nose, tingled down the tea-tray-slithered run of the chilly glinting hill. He went in his ice-bound boots like a man on fishmonger's slabs.

"He wagged his bag like a frozen camel's hump, dizzily turned the corner on one foot, and, by God, he was gone."

"Get back to the Presents."

"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths; zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-shanters like patchwork tea cozies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were mustached and rasping vests that made you wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and once I had a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now, alas, no longer whinnying with us. And pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not to, would skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp, except why."

"Go on the Useless Presents."

"Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor's cap and a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds. Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches, cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh. And troops of bright tin soldiers who, if they could not fight, could always run. And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo! And a whistle to make the dogs bark to wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with his stick to shake our picture off the wall. And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it. And then it was breakfast under the balloons."

"Were there Uncles like in our house?"

"There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles. And on Christmas morning, with dog-disturbing whistle and sugar fags, I would scour the swatched town for the news of the little world, and find always a dead bird by the Post Office or by the white deserted swings; perhaps a robin, all but one of his fires out. Men and women wading or scooping back from chapel, with taproom noses and wind-bussed cheeks, all albinos, huddles their stiff black jarring feathers against the irreligious snow. Mistletoe hung from the gas brackets in all the front parlors; there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons; and cats in their fur-abouts watched the fires; and the high-heaped fire spat, all ready for the chestnuts and the mulling pokers. Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion; and some few small aunts, not wanted in the kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edge of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to break, like faded cups and saucers."

Not many those mornings trod the piling streets: an old man always, fawn-bowlered, yellow-gloved and, at this time of year, with spats of snow, would take his constitutional to the white bowling green and back, as he would take it wet or fire on Christmas Day or Doomsday; sometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing, no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite, to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars. Then I would be slap-dashing home, the gravy smell of the dinners of others, the bird smell, the brandy, the pudding and mince, coiling up to my nostrils, when out of a snow-clogged side lane would come a boy the spit of myself, with a pink-tipped cigarette and the violet past of a black eye, cocky as a bullfinch, leering all to himself.

I hated him on sight and sound, and would be about to put my dog whistle to my lips and blow him off the face of Christmas when suddenly he, with a violet wink, put his whistle to his lips and blew so stridently, so high, so exquisitely loud, that gobbling faces, their cheeks bulged with goose, would press against their tinsled windows, the whole length of the white echoing street. For dinner we had turkey and blazing pudding, and after dinner the Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch chains, groaned a little and slept. Mothers, aunts and sisters scuttled to and fro, bearing tureens. Auntie Bessie, who had already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some elderberry wine. The dog was sick. Auntie Dosie had to have three aspirins, but Auntie Hannah, who liked port, stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard, singing like a big-bosomed thrush. I would blow up balloons to see how big they would blow up to; and, when they burst, which they all did, the Uncles jumped and rumbled. In the rich and heavy afternoon, the Uncles breathing like dolphins and the snow descending, I would sit among festoons and Chinese lanterns and nibble dates and try to make a model man-o'-war, following the Instructions for Little Engineers, and produce what might be mistaken for a sea-going tramcar.

Or I would go out, my bright new boots squeaking, into the white world, on to the seaward hill, to call on Jim and Dan and Jack and to pad through the still streets, leaving huge footprints on the hidden pavements.

"I bet people will think there's been hippos."

"What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?"

"I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him under the ear and he'd wag his tail."

"What would you do if you saw two hippos?"

Iron-flanked and bellowing he-hippos clanked and battered through the scudding snow toward us as we passed Mr. Daniel's house.

"Let's post Mr. Daniel a snow-ball through his letter box."

"Let's write things in the snow."

"Let's write, 'Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel' all over his lawn."

Or we walked on the white shore. "Can the fishes see it's snowing?"

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills, and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior." We returned home through the poor streets where only a few children fumbled with bare red fingers in the wheel-rutted snow and cat-called after us, their voices fading away, as we trudged uphill, into the cries of the dock birds and the hooting of ships out in the whirling bay. And then, at tea the recovered Uncles would be jolly; and the ice cake loomed in the center of the table like a marble grave. Auntie Hannah laced her tea with rum, because it was only once a year.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the stairs and the gas meter ticked. And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn't the shaving of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house. "What shall we give them? Hark the Herald?"

"No," Jack said, "Good King Wencelas. I'll count three." One, two three, and we began to sing, our voices high and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood close together, near the dark door. Good King Wencelas looked out On the Feast of Stephen ... And then a small, dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry, eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely; balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-gulping gas; everything was good again and shone over the town.

"Perhaps it was a ghost," Jim said. "

Perhaps it was trolls," Dan said, who was always reading.

"Let's go in and see if there's any jelly left," Jack said. And we did that.

Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.





Part One


Part Two



A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12-12-12 Countdown To Armageddon?


It's 12-12-12, the last triple-digit date of the century, and just possibly holds a bit of magic.

For those attaching special significance to numbers, Dec. 12, 2012 is an auspicious day. While there is no generally accepted term for dates in which the day, month and year all match – perhaps because they are so rare – it’s important to note that after a dozen in a row, the next one won’t come until Jan. 1, 2101!

As for 21-12-12... Well many believe the world is going to end, or will be thrown into total chaos...



As for me, I'm just looking forward to 25-12-12 and as long as we are all still here I hope you have a happy and peaceful festive season!



Symptoms Found Among The Survivors of Sexual Abuse



Sexual abuse, molestation and sexual trauma produces a potentially large number of symptoms in its victims.

The following symptoms are found in patients who have come to seek treatment from professionals in hospitals, clinics, private practices or other treatment programs.

Depression is the most common symptom of sexual abuse, molestation and sexual trauma, claiming 97% of all sexual abuse survivors. 60% will experience sexual dysfunction, 49% anxiety and panic, 48% suicide or suicide attempts, 48% substance abuse, 46% psychoses, 32% dissociative disorders (including multiple personality disorder), 29% borderline personality disorder, 24% self-mutilation (including cutting), 24% sexual identity disorder, and 12% antisocial personality disorder.

 Most victims of sexual abuse, molestation and sexual trauma will experience more than one symptom, sometimes several.


However, all of these symptoms can be dealt with in a proper therapeutic setting. Victims need to realize that they are not alone, there is hope, they can get better.

To learn more, read the new book Sexual Trauma: A Challenge Not Insanity, A Revolutionary Approach To Treatment & Recovery From Sexual Abuse and PTSD by Prof. K. Elan Jung, MD, now available from The Hudson Press (http://www.thehudsonpress.org , and visit Prof. K. Elan Jung's extensive website, The Sexual Trauma Solution, at http//:www.doctorjung.org

This video is presented as a public service of Prof. K. Elan Jung, MD and www.sexualabusesolution.org

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Through A Child's Eyes by @AuthorPTForrest #childabuse



Stephan watched in front of the school as the young mother kissed her four children goodbye. My mother was oblivious to his plotting and scheming to become a part of her existence. Every day he found ways to make contact with her.  A seemingly accidental meeting got them on speaking terms and consistently crossing paths made it feel natural to stop and have a chat for a moment.

 Feeling confident that he had established a rapport with the young mother, he blatantly followed her home one day. Sophia, my mother noticed him, stopped and playfully teased him about following her. He continued to walk her home as they joked about him being a stalker.

My name is Toni, and I was seven years old, the day my mother invited Stephan into our home. It was the beginning of my nightmare. Through my eyes I want to bring to your attention a man that watched, stalked and preyed on my family and many other families. It was his intentions all along to violate the sanctity of our family for his own self gratification

After you have read my story, you will grab your children and cover them with a blanket of protection because just when you thought he was a part of a childish fairytale, you find out the boogey man does exist………  


Read more and meet the author HERE

Follow Phillis on Twitter @AuthorPTForrest  

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah Lights 




Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights," starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. In 2012, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 8. With blessings, games, and festive foods, Hanukkah celebrates the triumphs--both religious and military--of ancient Jewish heroes.
Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has brought greater attention to Hanukkah and its gift-giving tradition. Amid the ever-growing flood of Christmas advertising, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish culture surviving in a non-Jewish world.

The Hanukkah Story

Nearly 2,200 years ago, the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV tried to force Greek culture upon peoples in his territory. Jews in Judea - now Israel- were forbidden their most important religious practices as well as study of theTorah. Although vastly outnumbered, religious Jews in the region took up arms to protect their community and their religion. Led by Mattathias the Hasmonean, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, the rebel armies became known as the Maccabees.
After three years of fighting, in the year 3597, or about 165 B.C.E., the Maccabees victoriously reclaimed the temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah. Next they prepared the temple for rededication -- in Hebrew, Hanukkah means "dedication." In the temple they found only enough purified oil to kindle the temple light for a single day. But miraculously, the light continued to burn for eight days.

The Menorah

The lighting of the menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiya, is the most important Hanukkah tradition. A menorah is a candlestand with nine branches. Usually eight candles - one for each day of Hanukka - are of the same height, with a taller one in the middle, the shamash ("servant"), which is used to light the others. Each evening of Hanukkah, one more candle is lit, with a special blessing.
The menorah symbolizes the burning light in the temple, as well as marking the eight days of the Hanukkah festival. Some say it also celebrates the light of freedom won by the Maccabees for the Jewish people.

The Dreidel

Long a favorite Hanukkah toy, the dreidel once had a serious purpose. When the Syrians forbid study of the Torah, Jews who studied in secret kept spinning tops "sivivons, or dreidels"on hand. This way, if they were found studying, they could quickly pretend that they had only been playing.
Outside of Israel, a dreidel has the Hebrew letters "nun," "gimel," "hay," and "shin" on its four sides. These letters stand for "Nes gadol haya sham," which means, "A great miracle happened there," referring to Israel. An Israeli dreidel has the letter "pay" rather than "shin." This stands for "poh," meaning "here"a great miracle happened here."
The Hebrew letters also represent Yiddish words that tell how to play the dreidel game. Each player starts with the same amount of candies, chocolate coins (gelt), or other tokens, and puts one in a pot. Players take turns spinning the dreidel, waiting to see which letter lands face up. Nun is for "nisht," do nothing. Gimel is for "gants," take the whole pot. Hay is for "halb," take half. Shin is for "shtel," add to the pot. The game ends when a single player wins all the tokens.

Hanukkah Foods

Many traditional Hanukkah foods are cooked in oil, in remembrance of the oil that burned in the temple. In the United States, the most widespread Hanukkah food is latkes, or potato pancakes, a custom that may have developed in Eastern Europe. In Israel, the favorite Hanukkah food is sufganiya, a kind of jelly donut cooked in oil. Israelis eat sufganiyot for more than a month before the start of Hanukkah.
Eating dairy products, especially cheese, is another Hanukkah tradition. This is done in memory of the Jewish heroine Judith, who according to legend saved her village from Syrian attackers. Judith fed wine and cheese to the Syrian general Holofernes until he became so drunk that he fell to the ground. She then seized his sword and cut off his head, which she brought back to her village in a basket. The next morning, Syrian troops found the headless body of their leader and fled in terror.

Male Abuse Awareness HELP4GUYS #childabuse #survivors

This site is a Complete Resource Guide for MALE Victims & Survivors of Abuse and is here to provide all the information and resources you may need if you are thinking of getting help and healing your life in order to move forward in a positive direction.

We also wish to inspire people and organizations that provide help services to female victims and survivors to start offering specialized services for abused males, if you do not already.

If you are a service provider, we offer information here to help you start to understand some basics of how to deal with the special needs of male victims and survivors of all forms of abuse. Male Abuse Awareness Week Dec. 1-8 2012 is HERE!






TYPES OF MALE ABUSE: 
DESCRIPTIONS AND STATISTICS


SEXUAL ABUSE

Noun S: (n) sexual assault, sexual abuse, sex crime, sex offense (a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat)
"most states have replaced the common law definition of rape with statutes defining sexual assault"
(http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=sexual%20abuse)

1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 16th birthday.
(US Deptartment of Justice)

As many as 1 in 5 males will be sexually abused before the age of 18. One in five of adult rape victims are male.
(Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US, or FBI)

In one study of 30 male victims of sexual abuse, the average age at the first time of abuse was 8 years, 4 months.
(Dorais, 2002)

According to the report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), “Sexual Victimization in State and Federal Prisons Reported by Inmates, 2007,” 4.5 percent of the state and federal prisoners surveyed reported sexual victimization in the past 12 months. Given a national prison population of 1,570,861, the BJS findings suggest that in one year alone more than 70,000 prisoners were sexually abused.
(http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/12/15/us-federal-statistics-show-widespread-prison-rape)

80% of men who have experienced sexual abuse have been abused by a female, most often their mother.

Women are responsible for one-third of the sexual abuse of boys, according to the 2 December 1998 CE Journal of the American Medical Association

Rape is defined on a state-by-state basis. In some states, the rape of men is not defined by law under the same terminology or degree of offense as the rape of women. Some states do not even recognize oral or anal penetration as being rape.
(Claudia Rodas, California State University)



DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

Noun S: (n) domestic violence, violence or physical abuse directed toward your spouse or domestic partner.(http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=domestic%20violence)
At least 41 percent of the victims of domestic violence are men but other studies and surveys show nearly 50 percent of the victims are men. 
(Harvey P. Forehand)

~Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States

~Intimate partners committed 3% of the nonfatal violence against men

~In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims

~4% of men and 5% of women reported receiving serious injuries (knife wounds, internal injuries, broken bones, or loss of consciousness.
(Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, at iii (2000), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm)


In a retrospective study of male victims 60% reported being abused by females. The same rate was found also in a sample of college students.  In other studies the levels were found as high as 72% o 82%.
(Risin and Ross,1987)

Why Women Assault:
California State University surveyed 1,000 college women: 30% admitted they assaulted a male partner. Their most common reasons: (1) my partner wasn't listening to me; (2) my partner wasn't being sensitive to my needs; and (3) I wished to gain my partner's attention. As one man said, "I'm supposed to take it like a man."
Claudia Dias criticizes the different ways domestic violence against men and women is viewed. "When a man hits a woman, it's abuse and felony. When she does it, it's because she has a bad temper."
(Claudia Rodas, California State University)

Assaults by Women on Their Spouses or Male Partners: Virtually all sociological data shows women initiate domestic violence as often as men, that women use weapons more than men, and that 38% of injured victims are men.
(California State University Professor Martin Fiebert summarizes almost 200 of these studies online.)

One in six men will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
(The British Crime Survey 2006/07 figures)



ABUSE IN GAY MALES

15% of gay men who had lived with a male partner reported being victimized by a male partner.  15.4% of same-sex cohabiting men reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a male partner, but 10.8% reported such violence by a female partner.
(US Deptartment of Justice)

Gay and bisexual men experience abuse in intimate partner relationship at a rate of 2 in 5.
(UK survivors.org)

Same-sex batterers use forms of abuse similar to those of heterosexual batterers. They have an additional weapon in the threat of “outing” their partner to family, friends, employers or community.
(Lundy, Abuse That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Assisting Victims of Lesbian and Gay Domestic Violence in Massachusetts, 28 New Eng. L. Rev. 273 (Winter 1993)



OTHER MALE ABUSE SITUATIONS

Emotional Abuse-
 For all kinds of reasons men are less likely than women to be the victims of those kinds of abuse that leave obvious physical evidence. In other words, abusive women tend to prefer forms of abuse that don't involve physical violence. The hurt, the injury caused by the habitual use of vicious mockery, frequent emotional blackmail, spreading odious lies and so on aren't visible.
(Harvey P. Forehand)
Mental (Abuse) 91% are shouted at : 91% are controlled : 93% are verbally denigrated:76% suffer from false allegations : 66% are threatened with a police callout: 72% suffer from sleep deprivation : 64% suffer from physical threats : 46% suffer from police callouts : 31% suffer from death threats : 14% suffer from ex-partner injunctions.

Financial Control (Abuse) 53% suffer from their partner's debt: 59% suffer from financial control by partner.

Use of Children (Abuse)– 39% of mothers threaten to remove the children: 40% encourage the children to ignore or undermine him: 9% encourage the children to assault him.

Children (Witnessing Abuse) 78% of callers have children: 71% are aged under 12: 48% witnessed the physical abuse : 59% witnessed the mental abuse : 64% heard the abuse : 16% were physically abused by the mother.
(Mankindinnitiative.org)

Covert Incest occurs when a parent is unable or unwilling to maintain a relationship with another adult and forces the emotional role of a spouse onto their child instead. The child's needs are ignored and instead the relationship exists solely to meet the needs of the parent and the adult may not be aware of the issues created by their actions.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_incest)

Bullying:  What Is The Definition of Bullying?  A lot of young people have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over and over.

•    Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically

•    Spreading bad rumors about people

•    Keeping certain people out of a "group"

•    Teasing people in a mean way

•    Getting certain people to "gang up" on others

Cyberbullying:  Bullying also can happen online or electronically. Cyberbullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology. This can include:

•    Sending mean text, email, or instant messages

•    Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites

•    Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone
(http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/kids/what-is-bullying.aspx)

Male Sexual Harassment, Article:  Male Sexual Harassment in the Work Place on the Rise; According to a report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission there were a record amount of harassment complaints filed by men in 2006. The figures given in the report state that of the 12,025 sexual harassment claims made in 2006 15.4 percent of these claims came from men. This shows a significant increase of male harassment cases made in the last ten years of 4.5.
(http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/175980/male_sexual_harassment_in_the_work.html)

Child Obesity:  The case has attracted national attention. With childhood obesity on the rise across the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gray's attorney says it could open the door to more criminal action against parents whose children have become dangerously overweight.
(http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-07-20-obesityboy_N.htm)
Report: MeMe Roth- NAAO- Child Obesity Child Abuse- CNN Paula Zahn



SPECIALIZED MALE ABUSE HELP SERVICES
Cults:  Males are tempting targets for cults and radical groups that abuse people. If you are considering becoming part of an unusual social group, please do some research so you will be able to recognize if you are getting yourself into an abusive situation. If you are with one of these groups you are most likely still being victimized.
Some help and information can be found at the links below.
Rosanne Henry, L.P.C.

International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)


Stop Mind Control and Ritual Abuse Today

Ritual Abuse, Ritual Crime and Healing

Survivorship

Endritualabuse.org

Breaking the Circle of Satanic Ritual Abuse (book)
Stalking is becoming very dangerous for males.  Stalk: to pursue obsessively and to the point of harassment.
(Merriam-Webster)
Michael G. Conner, Psy.D gives great tips on how to deal with stalkers.

Munchausen by Proxy
 is when someone is causing illness or injury in another to obtain attention; usually by a parent or caregiver against a child.
(http://www.askdrscully.com/psychward.html)
This normally happens to children who cannot yet speak, but there have been cases recorded with older children as well.  For more information on this syndrome, see the KidsHealth web site. 

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