TELLING IS HEALING, by Guest Malisia McKinney

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I’ve often felt sadden when I heard of stories of men and women whom were physically and or sexually abused as children. I never considered the courage it took to come forward until I began to face the reality of my own childhood. At 34 my memories and the trauma from the abuse caught up with me. The world I had built for everyone to see started to crash and I could no longer pretend. I read stories about survivors because, in fact, I was one of them. Those stories were a link to a world I tried to keep secret,but, within those articles I found a little of myself in the story of each man and woman. Each story brought me closer to letting myself out of the cage my abusers had placed me in.

From the beginning the abuser gives us a crash course in keeping THEIR secret and what might happen if we tell . I was sexually and physically abused by my mother and other family members. My mother use to say to me, “If you tell anyone they will take you away and kill you. They will believe your evil and (you) made me do it! I grew up thinking people would hate me if I told.

When we hold the secrets of abuse it pours out to many aspects of our lives. For example. I was very distant in my relationships and often found myself alone.  This was due to holding in such deep emotional pain I was unable to give to anyone else. All my efforts were spent trying to just hold myself together.

I remember the first time I told. I was shaking on the inside and wondered if my world would end.  In fact, my world did end! My posture changed! I no longer had severe headaches! The world my abuser built for me came down and I slowly crawled out from the rubble. I began to grow into who I was meant to be before the abuse shadowed everything in my life. The best thing I have done for myself was come forward with my abuser’s secrets.

I stress the fact the secrets don’t belong to us. We did nothing wrong.

The abuser forms the bond of secrecy by making us believe we caused the abuse and/or we should protect them if we love them. I’m now 39 and looking back I see great change.  When I told my truth, my story and released myself from my abuser’s secrets I have grown into the woman I was meant to be.  I have been able to have a relationship for the first time.

Telling is healing. As long as I held the secrets I was unable to have emotions in fear all that I was holding in might burst out. The hardest thing for me was not loving another,but being loved. I didn’t believe I deserved to be loved like everyone else. I can honestly say 4 years after telling for the first time, I am able to receive love. As I write this tears of humbleness roll down my face.  At 39 for the first time I was able to lay my head in the lap of the one I love and sleep. It felt like the first real sleep I ever had. Being a survivor of abuse you struggle with being able to trust, that’s why it is so important to find a healthy support system. No, it’s not going to be easy, but I promise the outcome is worth the effort. If you at first don’t get what you need when you disclose the abuse keep telling until you find those who will listen.

It’s so important to have our pain validated because for so long we had to pretend it wasn’t happening to survive. Remember you are not alone there is a group of courageous men and women survivors on the same journey who will gladly take your hand and lead you out of that cage. We spent our childhood carrying someone else’s secrets and lies,but as adults we can unpack what doesn’t belong to us and embrace life on our terms without fear.            Malisia McKinney October 2014

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Your New Motto! The Pain Stops Here!

If you feel like you grew up in a family with a history of toxicity, make it your legacy to break the family legacy.  Turn your crisis pain into fuel and become determined to break the pattern of your family dynamics. ~~Karen Salmonsohn

Broken Until Spoken read in in 78 Countries!

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Pretty exciting!  Hope everyone had a great long weekend.  Back to work in the morning for me.  Working on a new video project.  Stay tuned!  Also don’t miss BlogTalk Can You Hear Me Now?  this Thursday 6:30  Great show planned.  Stop by and have a look!  Michael Broussard of Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor brings his show off the road onto our blog talk internet radio show!  Follow the link for preview.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/can-you-hear-me-now-annie-osullivan/2014/10/17/can-you-hear-me-now-annie-guest-michael-broussard-of-ask-a-sex-abuse-survivor

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!

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It’s hard to find inspiration and feel good words sometimes.  So tonight I am just going to talk to you about real life. Happening right now. Today! I am going to talk to you from my heart and hope you hear me. Just like my book, Can You Hear Me Now?  I and those like me want to be heard.  Stories like this one I’m going to share remind me of that need to be heard and why.

I recently heard from a very good friend and it was not good news.  The story is not uncommon.  The story is indeed an outrage! I want to share it with you.  I want you to get mad and call your congressman, senator and other person who cares about your votes.

A 15-year-old girl tells her Aunt and Uncle that her Mother and guardian are beating her and selling her to men.  She has bruises.  Old and new.  She doesn’t want to go home. Would you? She is ready to tell anyone who will listen and help her.  This is the oldest problem.  Her Mother and guardian are furious.  A police officer that she tried to tell says “Do you really want to get your Momma into trouble?”  I could scream in anger myself!  Why is it this childs fault her “Momma” is going to be in trouble?  So they send her home.  Or try to.  She won’t go.  She runs off back to the Aunts house.  Why?  If she goes home now they will beat her for telling.  This is a given.  Not they might beat her.  THEY WILL BEAT HER!

Her aunt is calling authorities for help.  She is warned, you could be charged with parental interference, and harboring a runaway.  The local phone numbers she can call for an emergency of this type (child abuse) is only open 8am to 5pm.  They suggest that the child needs to go home.

I was this kid.  No hope of getting out.  Suicide was never far from my thoughts as a way out.  I feared for my life most days.  Though I was a terrible student, school was a haven where I could be happy for a few hours.  A reprieve from my realities at home. I would run away.  Authorities would drag me home without question.  It’s an uncomfortable question isn’t it?  Why are you running?

So many of us work so hard to change the worlds thinking so that children can come forward just like this one did.  She is hitting a wall that protects the very people who are hurting her

WOULD YOU SEND YOUR NIECE HOME?  Lets pretend this is not some young girl you don’t know.  Lets pretend this is some young girl or boy that you love and whom you believe.

There are 319 million people in the United States at last count.  There are approximately (by conservative count) 95 million sexually abused and exploited humans in the United States today.  69 million voted Obama into office in 2008.  We have power to change this.  We have power to not just make new laws but to enforce the ones we have.  There is power in numbers if we can just pull ourselves together and do the common sense thing.  95 million people voting and talking can NOT be ignored.

According to the National Cancer institute  there we 232,670 new cases of breast cancer in 2014.  Every year in the United states there are more than 3 million reports of Child abuse involving over 6 million children.  Breast cancer is considered epidemic and a problem (and it is, I’m not here to bash breast cancer) I’m simply asking you o do the math.

See those pictures?  That’s me standing next to a redwood tree I used to sleep in when I would run away.   See the gruesome cartoon?  That’s me too.  with all the things that went on behind closed doors.  I ran away all the time.  Don’t let kids like this have to run away to escape.

What would you do if this was you the child came to?

What would you do if this was your niece or nephew?

Who will even be sharing this post with a story that is difficult to think about, and harder to ask your friends to think about.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN THEY COME TO YOU AND YOU HAVE TO BREAK A LAW TO HELP THEM

What will we all do if you turn away?

Signs You are in an Abusive Relationship

 

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This article may appear to be geared toward men as abusers.  It is difficult sometimes to use gender free words.  Women can be just as guilty so please don’t miss the message.

1. Quick involvement.  He/she comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this before by anyone.” or “I’ve never felt like this about anyone before”  You get pressured for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

2. Jealous. Your partner is excessively possessive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly, accuses you of looking at others with great interest and scrutinizes every activity away from them and with them

3. Controlling. He/she interrogate you intensely about who you talked to and where you were; checks mileage on the car; keeps all the money or asks for receipts; insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything, checks time in and out.

4. Very unrealistic expectations.  expects you to be the perfect person and meet their every need.

5. Isolating.  They will attempt to cut you off from family and friends; deprives you of a phone or car, or tries to prevent you from holding a job,complain about your job or hobbies that take you out of his control, struggles with the need for you to hold a job and their need to keep you isolated to themselves

6. Blames others for own mistakes. The boss, family, you – it’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.  Who ever is handy will get the blame.

7.  Everyone else is responsible for their feelings. The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I’m angry.” “I wouldn’t get so p**** off if you wouldn’t…  Why do you have to do that?  Why did you make me do that?”

8. Overly Sensitive.  Is easily insulted, angered, hurt and will often rant and rave about injustices that are just part of life. Including feeling left out, un-friended, and unloved if not at the absolute center of the relationship

9. He/she is cruel to animals and children.  pushes animals brutally and unfairly. May expect children to do things beyond their ability, or tease them until they cry, lecture them beyond their year and ability to understand.

10. His/her “playful” use of force during sex.  Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will and may say they find the idea of rape exciting. Intimidates, manipulates, or forces you to engage in unwanted sex acts.

11. There is verbal abuse.  They constantly criticize you or says cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. He/she will use vulnerable points about your past/life against you.

12. There are rigid gender roles. He/She expects you to serve, obey, and remain at home when not required to be at your job.

13. Sudden mood swings.  switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.

14. History of battering. He admits to hitting women in the past, but states that they or the situation brought it on. Feels that they deserved it and so it is OK.

15. Threats  They makes statements such as, “I’ll break your neck,” but then dismisses it with “I really didn’t mean it.”

 

Annie O’Sullivan, Author of my Story “Can You Hear Me Now?” Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble