Anger Can Get Things Done!

Martin-luther-king2jpg Anger is for many survivors of (sexual) abuse a very difficult emotion to deal with. Survivors often have found themselves at the receiving end of anger expressed in violent and abusive ways. Often survivors regress and switch into 'young, frightened parts' when they find themselves in the presence of an angry person.

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Take A Walk In Nature

I have recently read an interesting article about fighting mental fatigue that I would like to share. Most people know that feeling of being fatigued, unable to think straight, and catching themselves with slipping attention.

The advice often given is "Take a break!". Researchers have now found out that its not any odd break that'll do. People who took a break and had a walk in the park were refreshed afterwards and their attention and memory processes improved while those who took a walk in urban environment showed no improvement.

So if you feel flat and mentally fatigued, go and have a walk in the park, at the beach, in the fields … whatever you have access to. And if you can't easily get to a spot like that, there is a solution for you. Even looking at nature photographs will enable you to perform much better and gives your mind the much needed 'break'.

If you want to read more about this research go to: A Walk In The Park A Day Keeps Mental Fatigue Away.

Climbing the Mountain of Sexual Abuse Recovery

This blog is about climbing the mountain of recovery from sexual abuse. It’s about the struggle, the hopelessness, the hurt, the obstacles, and the joy that comes with undertaking such a transformative journey.

Mountain_climbing
I remember one of my teachers saying:

“Therapy is like climbing a mountain. You have a guide/therapist who knows the territory and a climber/client who puts her/his faith into the guide’s hands. Therapist and client are connected with a strong rope while they are covering the same territory. The therapist never more than a few steps ahead of the client”.

What is written here is about such a climb. Its as much about my own recovery from sexual abuse as it is about your recovery. Let me guide you through the territory that I have traversed many times over the last 20 years both as a survivor and a therapist. Some of the places may be familiar to you while other places may be new, scary, or exciting.  

The views I am showing you here are through the looking glass of a survivor who has found recovery through therapy. I have tried many other means and shortcuts – even trained in some of them – only to find that they are at best band-aids. When I asked survivors “what was the most important in your recovery”? ALL of them said something like: “my therapist understanding, my therapist being there for me, being listened to, being respected, being believed”. The healing aspect always was the relationship between them and their therapist.

Therapy became the safe haven where they felt safe enough to talk about their past experiences of sexual abuse. Here they shared their hurt feelings from not being loved and cared for in the way they needed, about being betrayed and losing trust in people, and about feeling responsible for the abuse. They talked about feeling out of control and not trusting themselves, about their shame and guilt, about their hopelessness, and about their sense of powerlessness and victimisation.

How well they coped depended to a large extent on their relationships. A breakdown of an important relationships was often the catalyst that brought people into therapy. Relationship conflicts and the sense of injustice, disrespect, and victimisation survivors experience in many different situations often remained as the dominant theme during therapy. Relationship conflicts always evoke feelings of immense distress and easily trigger memories of abuse experiences from the past. Repeatedly survivors asked me “Do I have a sign on my forehead that says ‘kick me’, or why do I always meet people who treat me badly?”

This blog is all about how survivors are climbing and what they have found helpful on their journey to recovery.

Dissociation – Multiplicity – Recovery

Savatore Dali 1925: Woman at the WindowI wish all my readers a wonderful ‘TwentyTen’. As the new year begins we are looking forward to the coming days, weeks, and months hoping that the hard times of the past year are behind us. I hope that you find in the New Year all you need: support, love, care, rest, peace, healing, and well-being.

I hope that in some small ways this blog may help you on your way to recovery. It is heart-warming to see how much support and caring readers express to each other through their comments. I would like to encourage everyone to keep using this site as a place for support as well as for information.

If there is any topic you think is missing here, any question you would like to have addressed, feel free to mention it here or drop me an email.

On my Therapy Blog you find lots of posts about general therapy issues such as: Depression, Stress, Relationships, Communication, Brain Research

 

 

Courage in Patience: By Beth Fehlbaum

Courage in patience
Ashley Nicole Asher’s life changes forever on the night her mother,
Cheryl, meets Charlie Baker. Within a year of her mother’s marriage to
Charlie, typical eight-year-old Ashley’s life becomes a nightmare of
sexual abuse and emotional neglect. Bundling her body in blankets and
sleeping in her closet to try to avoid Charlie's nighttime assaults,
she is driven by rage at age 14 to to tell her mother, in spite of the
threats Charlie has used to keep Ashley silent. Believing that telling
will make Charlie go away, instead it reveals to Ashley where she lies
on her mother's list of priorities.

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Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor Story

Beyond tears
A true story, Beyond the Tears begins with the suicide attempt
of an abused and addicted twenty-five-year-old woman. In the aftermath,
she commits to counseling to recover from anxiety and depression. The
author engages the reader in the therapy sessions, where the young
woman reveals dysfunctional family relationships, including mental
illness, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. The reader not only views
the horrors that caused the author's hopeless condition, but also
experiences the wisdom that lead to health and happiness.

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Relaxation Exercise

You might find it helpful to try out the relaxation exercise that I have just posted on the 'Gudrun Frerichs' blog. Click on the symbol at the right hand bottom of the screen and you'll have the video on full screen. I found it really relaxation. What do  you think?

Ending the Silence for Sexual Abuse Survivors

Repair_C2 The Lamplighters, a movement for sexual abuse survivors, started in the small town of Cottonwood, AZ now has 34 chapters in three countries

Marjorie McKinnon is the founder of The Lamplighters, a rapidly growing movement for recovery from child sexual abuse and incest.  The Lamplighters, originally conceived as a support group for those going through the REPAIR program, soon became a stand alone movement that has grown in the space of a few months from one chapter in the small northern Arizona community where McKinnon lives to 34 chapters in three countries.   With so much recent news regarding child sexual abuse, the Lamplighters is a badly needed resource. 

McKinnon is also the author of four books on recovering from child sexual abuse, and has lectured on her subject around the country. 

It is a subject she knows well.  McKinnon was raped by her father when she was thirteen and ran away from home at the age of eighteen after a beating by her father that almost killed her.  She spent the next almost three decades going from one abuser to another before she entered a program of recovery at the age of 45.  Half-way through recovery she found out that her two older daughters had been sexually abused by her second husband. 

Her youngest daughter had been raped at gunpoint when she was 17.  This underlines the reality that children of an untreated child sexual abuse victim stand a five times greater chance of being molested themselves. 

Her book, REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse (adult version) has recently been released by Loving Healing Press and is a compilation of everything she learned in her own recovery.  

"Anyone wanting to recover from the life-long trauma of childhood sexual abuse will benefit from this book,” says Marcelle Taylor MFT, a well known child sexual abuse specialist in the Los Angeles area.  “It will become the reader’s wise and trusted companion along the road to wellness.”

The children’s version has also been released by Loving Healing Press.  It is titled REPAIR For Kids: Ms. Taylor has this to say about the children’s version:

“Margie, your Repair book for kids is awesome!!! dynamite!! and I wish I had had something like this a long time ago for my sad and shamed "little girl" within. I can't think of anything I'd change. You have covered it all and with wonderful sensitivity, perfect timing and terrific repair exercises. I love the cartoons and the colorfulness of your book as well.”

Repair Your Life McKinnon says, “We need an army, a united voice!   Starting a Lamplighter chapter is so easy, costs nothing and is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in this war against child sexual abuse.  You don’t have to be a therapist or a survivor.  You can be an advocate.” 

REPAIR Your Life and REPAIR For Kids is available through all major book distributors as well as off the Loving Healing Press website and The Lamplighter website at www.thelamplighters.org .  

Ms. McKinnon can be contacted at Margie@thelamplighters.org. Reviews for the children’s version can be found on Amazon.com under REPAIR for Kids: A Children’s program for Recovery from Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse.   Click here for the link to the Reuters review of the adult version