Saturday, November 30, 2013

KLOVE Sings to my Heart!

My emotional state was crushed.  Because of a phone call that I may talk about in the future.  I could almost feel the chains and chaos of my youth closing in on me again, trapping me again.  After the phone call I closed myself off in a room alone and cried.  The pain was too big to contain.  In order to try to escape the pain I imagined myself living somewhere new, taking on a new type of lifestyle, one as disconnected from my abuse as possible.  Escaping to this imaginary alternate life separate from reality helped me cope temperarilarly.  But time did not stand still, it kept passing, and I had places to be and things to do.

I loaded all my kids, almost a half dozen, into the mini van, and started to drive.  We were heading out to meet other homeschooling families from our co-op, at a harvest festival in a small town almost an hour away.  I think as far as the Lord was concerned that was the perfect thing for me, because that meant he had my listening ear for two hours.

I was crying still visibly upset.  I turned to K-Love in hopes it could offer comfort.  I first heard Overcomer it sung directly to me.


Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing's really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He's not gonna let it get the best of you

You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer

As the song played I slowly moved out of the deep feeling of hopelessness that was threatening to overtake me.  The song healed me, so that by the time it ended with a promise of hope I could believe it.

There's nothing He can't do
He's telling You

I wish I could recreate that sermon of songs that God sung to me one song after another.    I wish I knew what songs they were.  It was like a skillful hand off of a baton in a relay race.  Each song sung to me, exactly where I was emotionally, healed that feeling inside of me, and opened my mind to something more.  Just in time to hand me off to the next song that sung once again to my hurting heart, right where it hurt, healing me through music.

By the time I reached my destination I was no longer feeling angry, like the world was against me.  I did my best to be sociable with the other Homeschoolers and not call attention to myself during that Harvest Celebration.  I thankfully was feeling more composed because of the healing music.

When I was back in the minivan with my kids, driving home again, complicated emotions started coming up again.  I quickly reached over and turned on the radio.  It was a miracle, I knew it was a miracle now.  Yet another song singing to me exactly where I was emotionally.  And the best of the miracle is yet to come.

It is impossible for me to tell you how complicated the topic of Forgiveness, Repentance and Atonement is for me.  In short it is a SIGNIFICANT trigger for me.  In a little longer than short, I talk about some of my issues here ( What do you have to confess of....).  The Lord cleared a significant bolder in my path this day, and I began to see a bit clearer about his Attonement.

I found myself crying again, this time for the relief of understanding.  This is what I learned to understand that day.  Thank you to all who have prayed for me to be blessed with this and other similar understandings.

I understood the Lords love.  I understood he loves all of us, every one of Gods Children.  I understood this meant he even loves my perpetrator father.  I understood he hurts inside, even for my perpetrator father.  He loves all of Gods Children, even the worst among them.  In fact Jesus's love was so great that he atoned for the sins of EVERY person, even if they would never turn to him for healing.  He loved so great that he took on the sins and suffering for my father, even if my father mocks his atonement, even if my father takes his beautiful gift and uses it as a tool to abuse.  Words are not strong enough here to describe what I am feeling. My father mocking, disgracing, abusing, manipulating, lying and abusing in the name of the atonement was not enough to remove the Lords love for him.  The Lord loved my father enough that he was willing to have his greatest gift treated as trash, if only to give my father an opportunity he would not take.  That is real love, that is real love that I can begin to see and understand.

But as my heart found this healing and soft place, it had to harden and protect its self again.  "Well," I said to myself.  "That may work for the Lord, he may be big enough to do that.  But that does not work for me.  I can not, I will not, give anything more to that man, risk anything more that man, love him any more, or soften towards him anymore.  That is for the Lord to do.  For me it is expedient to protect myself."

But even as I closed part of my emotions off in understandable protection, I knew inside this moment of understanding, this miracle of healing, brought on by song, was a significant moment in my struggles to heal from Spiritual Abuse.

Thanks for Reading
Jean Marie,

P.S. I am charmed by the Christian songs I hear on KLOVE.  They have an amazing ability to truly understand that life is overwhelming difficult.  They sing of struggles and trials like they really know how it feels to crawl through adversity and hope it is enough to sustain you.  Then I read Christian commentaries and they speak of this idea, we do not need to be strong alone, we need instead to rely on the Lord.  I really feel LDS culture could benefit by taking these elements into its self.  We, LDS are trying to so hard to be strong, be perfect, fit in an ideal.  We miss this idea, that our trials are to show us our weakness, so that we can rely on the Lord, and he can strengthen and sustain us.   We are afraid to show our weakness to ourselves, or anyone.  Like somehow admitting the weakness admits defeat.  But it is in these moments we are not strong enough, that the Lord shines through in his glory.  It is in these moments that he carries us and sustains us.  In some ways I am still fighting this battle on my own, determined to be strong enough.  Somehow my trust issues are triggered and I don't feel I can take down my fight, and lean on the Lord.   What might have happened if at the moment I was in that Steak President's office I stopped being strong?  What might have happened if I collapsed on his floor from the weight of my pain, as I resisted doing?  I feel strongly that that Steak President's heart was in the right place, but his awareness, and knowledge weren't.   For me right now, I can still feel inside that I am not yet strong enough to lean on  the Lord, and give my will to him.  For me that would take faith more than I have.  Though the rest from fighting would be welcome.  I am thankful I am healing now, and understand I have more healing to come.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

What do you have to confess of....

"What do you have to confess of Jean?  With what happened with your father?"  I  had anticipated this day for a long time...

The day I told my dad to stop or I would tell, bought me my first bit of reprieve from sexual abuse.  I had almost grown comfortable again.  Then my father came to me, about two weeks later and asked me if I had told my mother yet.  I was panicked at the question.  The only peace I have had, came from the threat I would tell.  If I somehow let on that I did not tell, that I did not intend to tell, because I knew mom was a puppet, then the abuse would start again.  I had to find a way to keep that protection around me still.

"I have not told mom yet, because I was trying to figure out what to say.  But I will go tell her now."  I said as I walked towards the laundry room.

"No," my perpetrator father said "don't tell your mother.  I should be the one to do that.  You should not tell her."  I looked at him  in defiance and disbelief.  If he was going to tell me not to tell her then that just might be the thing I would do. "I will tell her" he reassured me, and I believed him.

Everything became deathly silent, imoveably silent.  Everyone was on edge and no one talked to each other.  But I could tell allot of things were happening under the surface.  Finally I got my oldest sister to tell me that Dad was in a church court, but she shut off and would tell me no more.  What I knew of court was that witness would be called to testify.  I believed I would be called to testify.  In spite of the pain I went over my witness again and again preparing to testify.

But no one ever asked me what happened.  Mom and dad came and went to meetings with the Steak President, looking grave and upset.  No one asked me.  I wanted my mother to put her arms around me and tell me it would be ok, but she just looked mad, and I was sure she was mad at me.  So in the silence I prepared my witness in my head.  I went over the details over and over and over, though they hurt greatly...

Then my dad came to me and said "I am sorry but... You should not...."  It does not matter what he told me I should not do.  It matters that he blamed the abuse on me, on my actions.  And just like that I was accused.  My dad blamed his evilness on me.  My mom blamed me. My sisters blamed me. The church blamed me.  The church members who knew blamed me.  No wonder why it was so silent around me.  No wonder why no one was speaking to me.  Did they even know?  Did they know that as my dad "confessed" and put on his fake humble repentant look, that the only reason he was confessing was because I threatened to tell?  Did they know that I am the only reason he is talking at all?  No they did not.  Of course they did not.  Because my dad controlled the conversation.  They never asked me what happened. Not even my mother. And they all blamed me.

I no longer prepared my witness, I now prepared my defense.  Day and night I went over my defense, praying that someone, anyone would believe me.

It was after the blow of my father's accusation that I got my first chance to speak out.  I lived in a constant prayer of "please Lord let me defend myself."  And one day I found myself walking to the church with my two older sisters to meet with the steak president.  I was very afraid and prayed all the way there.  My oldest sister assured me it would be ok, so I chanted to myself over and over "it will be ok, it will be ok."

Sister #1 is in the Steak President's office for hours while I wait in terror and my Sister #2 looks antsy and like she feels cooped up inside here waiting.  Sister #1 comes out and she looks broken and guilt ridden, her eyes are red from tears.  I am in horror, what did he say to her, to break her?  But I would soon find out.  Sister #2 skips in seemingly unaffected, she is in there for a short time, and skips out, still seeming antsy to go outside.  Now it is my turn, and I am more afraid than ever.  Would I be able to defend myself?

I sit opposite the Steak President at his desk and look at his photos of his family. He looks tired, it is late, and he is anxious to go home.  Without wasting much time he jumps right into ""What do you have to confess of Jean?  With what happened with your father?"  And just like that, I was accused.  The room started to spin, I barely could keep my mind focused on the moment.  I managed to fight back with the last of my remaining teenage fight and say something like. "Confess of, me?  You should be asking HIM that question!"  I folded my arms, and closed my mind, and no longer even tried to pay attention to what he was saying.  He could tell the interview was done.  He stood up and started to escort me out of his room.

Inside I panicked.  This was my last hope of rescue.  This was my last hope of protecting myself.  I glanced at objects in the room, desperate to find something to save me, but they were all useless objects.  I wanted to brace myself against the doorway, to stop him for walking me back to my world of abuse, to stay in this last oasis of hope, that maybe I could find a way to protect myself.  But the interview was over, and I walked out of the room a changed person.  It was at this moment that my strong will was broken.  It was at this moment that I had given in, stopped resisting, believed I was evil, I was wrong, my dad was great.  At this moment I was crushed, and stopped fighting.  If dad had known how devastating that blow was, maybe the sexual abuse would have started up again.  But I still suffered a lifetime of continued mental and spiritual abuse.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What Christians and the LDS can do to help survivors

I am so thankful for this blog post What Christians can do to help survivors.  I tweeted quite a few quotes from this post.  I am reposting those tweets here so I can quickly review these topics again in the future.
  1. Rapists are manipulative, that’s how they do it. So make it clear that you will always believe them (victims).
  2. Just because you think the victim isn’t Perfect Wonderful Christian, doesn’t make your judgment right.
  3. And just because you think Mr. Nice Christian Man over there would never do it, doesn’t make your judgment right.
  4. Believe survivors. I swear to you, in this culture, there is no benefit to go around “making up” rape stories.
  5. Bring it up. Even if you make other people uncomfortable, you might be surprised at who might confide in you.
  6. Tell your fellow Christians how it’s not the survivor’s fault, how rape is never deserved.
  7. Talk to your kids, if someone does something to them it is not their shame, and they do not have to hide.
  8. Preach rapists will not be tolerated. Make rapists afraid. I don’t care if that seems contradictory to Christian love.
  9. Preach not to rape.
  10. Cut out any and all sermons on modesty and abstinence until you can figure out a way not to shame survivors.
  11. Let them stay away from their abuser, ask the abuser to leave the church. Neutral ground is taking the rapist’s side.
  13. Support survivors when they talk. Let them be angry, let them be afraid.

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Wordless Wednesday: Project Unbreakable

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Abuse does not come from God!!

There is this misguided thought meem in the LDS community.  My concern is with the social LDS community and how they handle this topic, not with actual LDS doctrine.  I am not sure if it reaches into other similar religious communities or not, I think it might be unique to LDS thought.  The meem goes like this.  God gave you your trials in this life because God knows your character.  If you have been "blessed" with bigger trials it is because you are a stronger spirit that needs stronger trials..

In the video Abuse - Healing for Secret Hurt the speaker says "Your abuse did not happen because God abused you. Or because God wanted you to be abused.  He did not want it. He did not cause it."

These are powerful words.  These words hold more healing in them than many silly trite things that are said to victims.  People who have not experienced it don't realize how strongly abuse rocks faith.  It is easy to sit in a comfortable place and judge the victims for being weak in faith, because their faith was rocked.  But I believe that everyone's faith is rocked, to the core, by abuse if they are close enough to the harsh realities of it.  The question is not, does abuse rock faith.  The question is, how can survivors heal and overcome the spiritual abusive effects.

Do not warp the truth and tell us that God has anything to do with our abuse, do not do this, unless you want us fleeing churches just as we flee an abuser.

The above flawed thinking, that God gave me this trail of abuse, because I am that strong, is wrong for many reasons.  First it is a failed attempt at flattery.  Most survivors of abuse detest flattery because the perpetrator used it so skillfully against us.  Second it can easily be proven to be completely false.  I started to try to address this topic in my blog post Not Everyone Heals.  I will continue to try to dispell this myth.

If God gives people the abusive experience because they are strong enough to overcome it, then why do most victims suffer degrading lives enslaved to victimization?  Why do most victims suffer from being trapped in abuse with no way out, and no healing?  Why is it that most victims will never have a happy ending?

I know it will make the speaker feel better to imagine in their head and inevitable happy ending.  But this can only bring them comfort because they remain naive to the devastating effects of abuse.  For those of us, who can never change the fact that we were abused, this false happy ending only gauls us.

Second, if the effects of victimization are stronger than us, then the responsibility gets placed back on our shoulders.  Really, actually, there is much about society now that places responsibility back on the victims solders.  This is just one.  If I can not somehow overcome abuse, become stronger, and grow from it (as the speaker seems to suggest God intends) the flaw is placed on my shoulders.

It is like the misquoted thought that "God will not try you above that which you are able."  This thought is not scriptural.  This is not supported by doctrine.  This idea comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13.  It states "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  The scripture is clearly about temptations not trials.  The real scripture basically says there is no excuse for being overcome by temptation.  You can always turn against temptation.  God will not allow you to be tempted by something stronger then you.  So don't use the strength of the temptation as an excuse for giving in to it.  If you think about it, this is quite literally the opposite of never having a trail stronger than we are able.

It is the sinner that gives into a temptation that causes the deep pain of abuse.  It is this deep pain that trys the victim above that which they are able, all the time.  And yet the sinner, and society, take the very verse that was intended to give no excuse to the sinner, and they turn it on the victim of the sin instead.

My abuse does not come from God.  He did not pre-plan it into my life arch as a gift, because of my strength.  The very idea challenges the very nature of God who "can not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance."

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Spreading #SurvivorStrength

Today after reading +Ramblings of A Southern Angel  post that encouraged survivors to speak out several things started coming together in my mind.

The main thought I had is that Survivors spread Strength to other Survivors.   My brain thought and thought, trying to condense it down into a good hash tag.  At first I summarized it as Survivors Strengthening Survivors.  But really that all boils down to Spreading #SurvivorStrength.  In my mind I was tracing the legacy of survivor strength that gave me back my voice.  The more I went over the Survivors that inspired me the more I knew, strongly knew, that Survivors speaking out Spread #SurvivorStrength. I loved remembering the legacy of Survivors that lead me to my strength.  Let me recap that legacy to you.

The Trauma that breaks loose repressed Trauma memories.

It all started with life stacking trial after trial on me, until my entire world felt rocked to the core and I was just doing my best to get through each day one day at a time.  How many years ago was that now?  Is it really five years now?  I am not exactly sure.  I had two miscarriages that were very difficult for me, the first one right after announcing the baby at Christmas, that miscarriage sent me into shock (Oh, My Gosh! I just realized what I was experiencing at that time was a flash back to abuse).  Then I had a house fire that displaced my family for six months.  Upon moving back into my repaired home I had a third miscarriage.  All of this happened in a short time period.  My counselor says  one trauma can cause the experiences from another trauma to surface.  Well this did, bubbling up to the surface were memories of father daughter sexual abuse that ended up only being the tip of the iceberg.

Visiting Teachers and Women in the Church

My dear visiting teacher came over to my home, along with a lady in the ward who had some mental health expertise.  These wonderful ladies listened to me with sympathy and compassion.  After hearing me out the woman from my ward recommended that I see a more skilled counselor.  I had been seeing a crisis counselor that was provided by my husbands work for free.  Their visit lifted my mood.  But I never knew then how much that one visit would change my life in the future.

Understanding Sisters

I had only seen the tip of the iceberg.  I believed that was the sum total of the abuse.  I believed that I should be healed, considering how small the tip was.  But I mentioned this tip to my sisters and they were understanding and nonjudgmental.  I felt awful mentioning it to them, and feared I would ruin people for talking about it.  But I was only talking about the tip, and this little bit of talking did not rock any boats.

The Memory that could not be repressed.

After some minimal discussion of the tip of the iceberg I felt it was most expedient if I moved on with my life, ignored the iceberg, and hid the complicated emotions that came with it away.  I managed to keep it hidden for about two years.  Eventually we bought our own home and moved out of a family rental.  Once established in my home I felt safety and security to a greater degree than I had ever felt before.  It was at this time when awful complicate emotions, of the tip of the trauma, would not leave me alone.  In spite of this I still tried to hide it and repress it.

Night after night I stayed up all night crying, so full of emotional pain that my whole body ached and I felt I could not contain the pain.  Anguish, emotional anguish would be the best way to describe how I felt.  I would cry and moan and curl up in pain.  I did not understand this pain. I told myself it was wrong and misplaced.  Because the pain came with severe negative judgements of myself I hid the pain, from everyone, even my husband.

The seed plated two years earlier sprouts

Remember the lady in my ward who recommended I see a counselor two years earlier?  She continued to check in with me from time to time.  Still, even so many years later.  She asked me if I would like to have a free consultation from the counselor she was an office manager for.  I politely thanked her, and told her that I did not need to see a new counselor.

One evening as I was overwhelmed with anguish, I remembered her polite invite.  Desperate to have a way to release the pain I emailed her in the middle of the night.  I told her that what I was emotionally experiencing was awful, that I would be in complete denial tomorrow morning, and believe that I was doing fine.  I did not want to let my denial take over and stop me from seeking help.  I asked her to please not let me forget that I need help, even when I was in denial.  I sent this email, felt peace, and was able to sleep again.  She did not forget.  She politely asked me from time to time if I was ready to try a new counselor.  Finally one day I was brave enough to set an appointment to see the counselor.  I missed my first appointment, and was very late to my second appointment, because I was so resistant.

An Excellent Counseler

Fred Riley, with Riley Individual Family and Marriage Counseling was a breath of fresh air from the other counselors I had seen before.  He had a way of validating my long repressed feeling, giving me comfort, and thoughtful insights.  Eventually I began to feel comfortable in counseling, until it became a welcome weekly appointment.  Now I have seen Fred for three years.  We are speaking of a future time, where I have grown enough from counseling in order to no longer need it.  I see that in the near future, for now I am thankful for the support I am receiving.

Wow this has gotten rather long.  I will have to discuss the second phase of my healing, the strength to speak out,  in another blog post.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Boogie Man in a Suit

My dad fits your standard respectable clean cut look.  He practically lives in suits.  When I was little he wore a suit to work and to church.  Only on Saturdays did my dad wear casual clothes.  Very respectable don't you think?  (Rolls eyes, because it is the respectable look he is going for)  Even today now that he runs his own business he wears a suit.

It is interesting to me that my previous blog post about the boogie man included this above image of a man in a suit.

A while back I had a nightmare.  It was triggered by two things.  First off I had been intimate with my husband that night, and second in the middle of the night I developed a rather severe stomachache.

In this dream I was young, I estimate about seven.   A man that looked like my dad let himself into my bedroom.  He was clean shaven, his hair was cut and styled very neatly.  He was wearing a suit.  He was in a position of authority in the church.  He informed me that he and I were to be married.  I was confused and wanted to know what that meant but I was too shy to ask questions of such an important man.  He then started to take sexual advantage of me.  I did not understand what was going on.  But my childhood brain hoped it meant that I got my own little house to play house in.  The dream then started to parallel the intimate encounter I just had with my husband, but this time I was a little girl and the man was an unknown man who was an authoritative position in the church.

After some time I was left curled up on my bed, under a blanket, without clothes, feeling ashamed.  The man was playing with a young baby that somewhat symbolized my own youngest child, and somewhat symbolized my younger sister.  Then my young mom and my young father opened the door.  They were appalled that I let myself be taken advantage of. They politely thanked the strange man,  now fully dressed in his suit again, and politely escorted him to his car outside the house.  Then returned, looked on me with shame, and closed me in my room.

I lay there dejected, full of guilt, and clothesless.

Then my bigger, protective, determined sister, the one just older than me, come into the room.  Only she was upset for me.  Only she cared and felt anger towards the stranger.  She ran to see if the stranger had left. He had.  She then called the police.  Then she picked me up, wrapped up in blankets.  She took me to the hospital to be examined.  I lay on a hospital bed, with no clothes, wrapped up in blankets, unresponsive to the world, immersed in horrible emotions.  The nurse and her talked around me in very hushed tones.  I started to convulse and go into shock. I was glad that the pain and anguish I was feeling inside was displaying itself in a way others could see outside.  Then the dream ended.

No wonder men in suits give me the creeps.  No wonder why I don't want my husband to be clean shaven.  I look back now and realize I have always felt nervous around clean shaven, respectable looking men in suits.  Which basically is most all church leadership.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kudos for Healing for Secret Hurt by Berean Bible Church

This video tackles the topic of abuse in a brave and very appropriate way.  See it in its original viemo location.  Healing for Secret Hurt


Not Everyone Heals

In order to give me comfort people will say things like:  It will all turn out for the better.  God will not give you more than you can handle.  You must have a really strong spirit because you are being tried so much.  I know that these people mean well.  But when one looks at these cliches it is plain that they don't really hold truth in them or comfort.

Look at the world around you.  Three in every ten women here in the US have suffered some form of sexual assault.  These statistics are for our westernized country with laws that are intended to bring justice and protection to the people.  What about third world countries?  Or countries where women are treated as lower class citizens?  In these countries rape and incest are a way of life.  The facts are most victims in this world will not heal in this lifetime.  Most will live self destructive lives constantly weighed down by the heavy burden of abuse.  Most of these people live in broken systems where victims' rights are not valued and perpetrators are in control

When I hear rosy predictions that assume everything will turn out ok in the end.  My mind knows that a happy ending is not inevitable.  It is not a given that everything will turn out ok.  Statistically it is more likely I will live a life slave to my victimization, than it is that I will heal.  Statistically a rosy picture is not in my future.

In the LDS and Christian communities it is a given that incest is one of the worst possible sins a person can commit.  This is such a strongly ingrained belief that just the word incest makes most people feel sick to their stomach.  So while the word carries so much disgust and discomfort why is it that healing and "getting over it" is socially treated as a given, as something easy that just automatically happens?

Let me tell you what automatically happens.  One of two things.  Victims will either rebel against our society, that still favors the perpetrators and judges the victim.  They will live a life full of failed abusive relationships, while chasing addictions.  Or the victim will live a life of pretend.  Now, I can feel some victims getting mad, as I say the word pretend.  Because that is not how we think of it.  We honestly want to be normal.  We don't fully understand how strongly the abuse affects our everyday lives.  So we  do everything we can to follow the system, keep in line, and basically look good.  We will tell you we are doing good, and we are fine, when our standard for life is emotional pain and suffering we are trying to run from.  While healing past these realities is not automatic, it is possible.

You see it is my strong belief that the biggest sins are such a big deal because of the level of damage they do.  Incest, rape, sexual abuse of any kind, are very significant sins, because their effects are devastating.  I really honestly mean devastating, I am not exaggerating.

The facts are abuse is devastating.  Abuse corrodes societies.  Abuse destroys lives.  Abuse wrecks hope. Abuse is devastating.  Healing is not a given, it is not automatic, it is not easy.  Most people won't heal. Most stories won't have a happy ending.

If you learn of a victim/ survivor of abuse and are not sure what to do or say in that awkward social moment where you want to give comfort but don't know how to, here are some ideas.  Let their hurt be real.  Let it be valid.  Tell them you are sorry they have been hurt so badly.  Sympathize with their struggles.  Understand that they are fighters and are fighting against a lot.  Understand their trial is real.  Honestly that is probably something we long for the most.  Someone to just believe us, someone to just believe that this is hard.  Someone to help us feel valid in our deep pain and struggle.  And maybe if you give us room to be hurt we will be able to stand on our feet with confidence, and know our hurt is real.  Once the pain is validated, we can then start to soothe it, heal it, and grow beyond it.  But growth and a new life will never come until the pain is real.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Father the Boogie Man

This Post is being reposted from my former blog Daughter of a Perpetrator.  It was originally posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. 

I just got off the phone with my younger sister.  My niece has autism.  My sister is a very attentive and caring mother.  Her concern for her daughter has turned her into quite the advocate.  My sister runs a nonprofit organization for special needs people and that is just one of her many forms advocacy.  I love listening to my sister and hearing all she does to help her daughter and the autism community at large.  Really honestly I love talking to her about it. 

But when I got off the phone today I gave a sigh.  Part of me wants to be an advocate for LDS victims of sex crimes.  But who can be an advocate against boogie men, when your own father is a boogie man.  When he is still alive.  When he has never served any jail time, or even seen a judge.  When he still lives a seemingly normal and respected life.  If I start to advocate people will tell me I just want to knock a good man off of his pedestal.  Well they would be partly right. I would love to knock down the boogie man.  I would love to take away the power he feels when he is a respected member of the community, that is his evil source of power. 

This is why daughter holds the place of my  name and I hide behind that term.  If I were to start talking about boogie men, people may temporarily perk up their ears.  But then they would turn and look at my father, and think something like "him?  He is the boogie man?  He does not scare me."  Then they would walk away and consider my claims to be all trumped up.  People most often are not afraid of something they see, that looks normal.  No, a father dressed in a suite with a charming smile holds little ground on public fear, compared to the boogie man who is undefined and unseen.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Welcome to my Blog...

Previously I have blogged at Daughter of a Perpetrator.  Now a while later I feel that title is taking too much identity from who my father is.  I talk about why  I chose that title in this blog post Daughter vs. Victim, Survivor, Thrivor.  I will be featuring some of the posts from DoP on here from time to time.

Yesterday I turned to a small group of ladies who have been allot of support to me.  I asked them for advice as I stepped out more boldly into the anonymous blogger world.  The thing we debated about the most was the title of this blog.  Should we include words like incest, abuse, sexual abuse, familial sexual abuse.  One thing was clear, the word incest has the power to make people feel sick just reading it.  But also the word gets directly to the point and allows me to be found by my target readers.  At first I made the title of this blog Breaking the Chains of Incest.  But then, I started to wonder if the word Incest carried with it the connotation that the abusive relationship was somehow consensual.  In the end having the word incest ablaze on my blog title made me feel uncomfortable.

I blog in my head all day. Yesterday I had allot to say, that I felt was important.  Now today I sit down to blog and the reality of people reading my blog makes my head buzz.  DoP was easier.  No one knew it was there, but me.  I plan this blog to be a place for me to release the activist energies I find inside of me.  Each step of stepping out more, though annomomously, feels challenging.  But someday that all will be old hat, and my mind will express my many thoughts.