The Blog Farm

The Blog Farm

Sunday, April 13, 2014






WE NEED TO HAVE HOPE~ 

 Being a survivor from incest, physical and emotional, and sexual abuse by another really kicks you in the gut at times. Come back to bite you real hard even when it comes to you in a dream, and you know it can’t hurt you ever again.

It is just a dream, and you tell yourself this, but sometimes it just stays in the back of your mind, and as days go by the memories come back to haunt you all over again. This has been going on with me lately, dreams of the past, dragging me down again. I hate it, and just want it to all go away and leave me alone to live my life without the past seeping in through the cracks. But I am told that it is the way to continue to heal, and that didn’t make any sense to me. I thought I was healed, I thought I had finished with all the ugly shit that had taken hold of me years ago like a constrictor squeezing me tight, squeezing the life out of me. Now it’s back? Sure doesn't feel like healing to me, but talking with other advocates who are fabulous friends of mine, Michal, Trish, Pat, Deb, Ebele, they all told me the same thing, we have to go through the bad crap at times in order to continue healing.

 I was getting so frustrated with myself I was ready to explode inside, because I hold it all inside when at home, so not to upset hubby. I felt I would be able to get over it in a few days like I always do, but this time not at all. It is hanging on clinging like a little child does who is afraid of something and won’t let go. I continued to hide how I felt to my friends, put on my happy face at work, and hoped no one would notice. But I was told by my friends online, that they could tell, something was eating away at me. I guess I’m not as good at hiding things, even when I try to seem cheery to everyone.

 Healing is not easy, and I think that we will all keep healing and never be completely healed. Triggers are always going to be there, and it depends on how we handle those triggers. We can get through them, and most of the time we will succeed, and continue on with our day to day lives, but as I found out, sometimes the monster grabs hold, and it is so hard to let go. We need to be gentle with ourselves, with our inner child, she/he is still hurting inside when these triggers, memories, dreams come knocking at our door, that little child in us becomes afraid again, and we have to be able to tell her/him that everything will be ok, but WE ourselves need to really believe that, because if we aren't honest with ourselves, how can we be honest to that little child inside of us.

 There is always hope, hope gives us something to grab onto. Hope is that courage to fight, fight those demons that want to still control us, but we are survivors/warriors, and we can now fight back, and move on with our lives. Hope is the belief we have in ourselves that we CAN move forward, we CAN tell our inner child that it IS going to be okay and they are safe, NO ONE CAN HURT US ANYMORE!!!

HOPE
Hope is God’s 
Unconditional love 
Whispering to you, 
To press forward 
Like the butterfly 
On their long 
Dauntless journey. 

Hope is courage 
Giving you the will 
To fight the depths 
Of your inner self, 
Freeing your mind 
Of any negativity 
Creeping slowly in. 

Hope transcends all 
Barriers that come 
Into your life, 
Giving you the reason 
To keep going, no time 
To waste on
 ~ I CAN’T ~ 

Hope is all the love 
That embraces you, 
From others who care, 
Bringing you a feeling 
Of overwhelming peace 
Calmness that helps 
Rejuvenate your spirit. 

Hope is perseverance 
Inspiration you give 
To others, relaying 
A message to 
Never give up 
No matter the obstacle, 
Michal and I will never lose Hope. 

Mary Graziano© 
March 19, 2014
Watercolour art and title "Hope"
By Michal Madison© “I will never lose Hope” by Michal Madison www.MichalMadisonArt.com/galleries.html

Sunday, March 30, 2014

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the U.S.A.


Beautiful artwork by my wonderful friend Michal Madison
www.MichalMadisonArt.net/galleries.html

I wish we didn't need to have these awareness month's, but so many people just ignore what is happening, what has happened to people.  Some don't really care.  But as an advocate for Child Abuse and a survivor of incest/sexual abuse/emotional and physical abuse, I care....I care because I still feel the effects of what happened.  Memories that still come up in dreams/nightmares, a smell, triggers, so many things can bring back what happened.  There are so  many who have been affected by abuse, and so many that are right now being silenced by an abuser, who only wants to satisfy his/her own needs.  Never thinking of the little girl/boy/woman/man that they have inflicted harm to.  The abuser has no conscience.  Little children, who live day in and day out in fear, knowing what was going to happen to them.

When are people going to really look at how abuse harms another?  When are people going to wake up?  Why does another child have to live in the fear and aftermath of abuse?  I wish I could close my eyes and say, "Abuse no more," but that is not going to happen. We can't take it away 100%, but we can open the eyes to the world, letting them know that we will not stop until people start listening.  That people stop putting a taboo on the word abuse, that instead of thinking "what goes on behind closed doors, is none of my business."  Do you really believe that?  Can you with a clear conscience go about your daily life, knowing that the child next door, that the woman/man next door are being abused?  Pretend that you don't hear the screams late at night?  Why do people choose to ignore abuse?  This is 2014, not 1950, where this is what happened.  We need to open the eyes of everyone.

We as adults, need to wake up, create a safer world for the children of the future.  We need to get angry at what is happening and be the voice for all those who silently cry, pretend that it is not happening to them, are afraid to say anything because they have been brainwashed by their abuser.  I wish that I had a voice as a child, but like so many, I was that scared, silent little girl.  Believing that no one would believe what I said.  I pretended that all was good in my world, that I was happy, but deep inside the scars would never go away, they were the "hidden scars" the scars from abuse.

Today, I will say that abuse is out in the open more, but not enough.  It still gets swept under the carpet, so to speak, and we need to be there and take that carpet away, so that it is seen, and kept in the open.
My heart aches for those who are and have been abused.  Some will never make it to becoming a survivor.  They will be led down the wrong path in life, and will suffer in silence.  All others will see is a person who is a "trouble maker," a "druggie," a "prostitute," a person locked up for crimes.  But do they ever find out the reason this has happened to them?  Not always, they suffer in silence by what in some cases caused them to choose the path they did.  They may believe it was all their fault, and this path is their escape.  This makes me very sad, knowing that they could have received help, but no help came, no one saved them as that little child.  A "whirl-wind life" no chance to escape and live a life that they could only dream of.

I am begging you all who read this.  Abuse of any kind leaves scars that run so deep inside our very soul.  If you as a by-stander don't get in there and help, what chance does the next generation have to escape a life that keeps them prisoner?  Please, use your voice, report abuse if you think it is happening.  Get involved, do it for the children of our future, your children, your grandchildren.  Let's remove the stigma of abuse, lets show that we care.  Be a voice, join us who are advocates ~Save a life from abuse!~
Mary Graziano ©
March 30, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

LIFE

     Too often we make the mistake of not realizing how much there is in life.  We often forget that life is a true treasure; life is beautiful etc. because we are often struggling with our own day to day problems, and think that life doesn't matter.  We are here for a reason, we need to take the challenges that come before us, and work through them.  We need to accept that what happened to us was horrible, devastated us, and is carried inside our very souls.  But life is a challenge, we can meet that challenge, acknowledge that it is there and then move forward, leave it behind.  Life holds many things for us.  So often we struggle and can't seem to face the good in life.  But if you accept that the struggle you are facing is there, it makes it easier to accept and get through it.  Sometimes what we faced in the past, as weird as it may sound, got us to where we are today.  I don't think I would be where I am, doing what I am doing (advocating for children) writing poetry that I now write by myself and write about the many beautiful watercolour paintings that Michal Madison paints of all the children/adults she shows on facebook.  These are positives that came out of the negatives of my life.

     Life is complex, but we don't need to make it feel that way.  Meet it right on, accept it, and then you will be able to move forward.  Life is what you make it, not what someone else tells you it should be.  Life is too much of a treasure to waste on what was.  See beyond that and move forward to a life full of new treasures, new beauty, a new life for you.  Life is worth fighting for, and you as a person is worth fighting for.

     Life is all about trusting yourself, your feelings.  If you can't trust your own self, then how can you trust others?  Trust in yourself makes you comfortable within you.  Makes you feel alive.  Trust your own feelings and really feel deep inside yourself.  You are someone, your feelings matter.  You're feelings get hurt when someone says something that you don't like.  Feel with all your heart, trust with all you have, without that you are numb; you will feel like you don't exist.

     Life is taking chances.  Don't be afraid to take a chance of becoming something for yourself.  You may not succeed the first time, but what chance do you have if you don't try?  Don't waste your life on staying stuck because you were afraid to take that chance, take that leap forward.  Chances are opportunities for you to do something that you may have always wanted to do but were afraid.  Don't waste the time to not taking that chance.  

     Life is learning about the mistakes you made.  We learn from those mistakes, it helps us to move forward, to see we CAN fix what we did wrong.  Don't wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.  Life is what you make it, make it worthwhile.  Reach it, grab hold of it, don't let it slip by.  It is your life and what you do with it makes all the difference in the world.  Believe in yourself, believe in life. ~BELIEVE ALL IS POSSIBLE~

     I could not see this even 2 years ago, but I can and do believe that it is possible to live your life the way you want.  Abuse changed our lives, and we are trying to put the puzzle pieces back together again.  Sometimes we just can't find that last piece, but that's okay.  If it doesn't fit, let it go, but move on.  I moved on to a better life.  I don't lived in the past any longer.  At some point we all have to say, "enough is enough, the monsters from our past don't control us, they are NOT going to dictate our lives today."  

     I know there are days we all have that the past gets shaken up and grabs a hold of us, but we have to shake it off and start again.  There are too many wonderful things in life that we missed as little children.  Don't let it slip away from you, reach out and embrace it.  The past?  pffttt~~~ "WE DON'T LIVE THERE ANYMORE."

Mary Graziano ©
Edited March 24, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Memories Still Do Hurt

     My inner child is hurting.  Reliving memories and not knowing who she is.  How often is she going to be hurting. How much longer? I feel her hurt so much.  The memories are coming up and are not pleasant.  Going through the memories with her is so hard to do.  I just want it to be over and done with.  Thinking that I would be free from all of this.  That I have moved passed this.  But it seems when you are in a safe place, you get hit hard, and shot down again.  The monsters have awoken, to try and take back your life.  My life right now is not mine, but I won't let it consume me, I can't.  I have worked too hard to get where I am now, and I WILL  NOT stay stuck in the past.  I don't belong there and I know I have to revisit it, but that is all. This is what I keep telling myself.   

     How do we help our inner child see that these memories need to come up to the surface?  How do we tell her it will be okay, when in reality she is hurting so much inside, and not listening.  Her spirit has been crushed again.   She feels that for some part it is still her fault.  Oh how I keep saying no, it's not my fault, I was not to blame.  Why won't she listen?  All this is going through my head, all the feelings, all the thoughts, all the visions from the memories are reeling inside my head.  Abuse grabs a hold, and will always be a part of us.  That is why it is so important to keep advocating reaching out to as many people as we can, so another child does not have to live like this.  

How does a child of 6 know how a baby is made?  How?  That is not normal!!!  What happened that I knew that?   It makes me sick inside to think of the possible answers.  But communicating with our inner child is so important.  She/he needs to know that they really are safe now, that the bad monster that hurt them is now gone, never to return.  We need to gain trust again when our inner child is going through a memory/trigger.  We need to tell them they are loved and we will always be there for them.  

     We feel the shame inside us, but that shame we have to remind ourselves~our inner child that it is not their shame, it is the abusers and only the abusers.  How many times do we feel guilty?  I know I have, and even still feel it sometimes when reliving the past.  I have to remind myself that I have nothing to feel guilty over.  I was a child, and for most of the time it works, but sometimes that guilt plagues me and won't let go.  That is when my inner child feels it also, and the two of us are lost inside.  Guilt is a feeling, we feel that guilt when we think about what happened to us and that maybe in the back of our minds we say, "maybe I did something to cause this."  I have to remind myself that I didn't do anything wrong, how could I, a child only obeys their parents, because that is what we were taught.  We had to obey no matter what happened.  Trying to put this all into perspective is hard when I am dealing with the memories/triggers of the past.  I know and believe these things.  I am told this by friends.  So then why can't I get over all of it? Why does my inner child still have to hurt, rehash all that happened, face new memories?  All a healing process, and in order to heal, I know we have to relive again, sometimes not for a long time, and we can move forward and the past stays locked behind the door, but sometimes that door gets busted down again, and we say "here we go again."

     I am trying so hard to reach inside and hold my inner child, but right now she doesn't want to be held, she doesn't want to be talked to.  It's like a child who has just been scolded and wants nothing to do with the parent.  That is the sense I am feeling.  I am going to just have to wait, tell her everyday softly, that she is safe, that I love her, and hopefully she will come around, and again trust me, and with that trust we can break free of this memory and put it back where it belongs once acknowledged, behind the door lock it again, so it can't hurt us.

     You know writing this, I am sitting here thinking of the poor child who right this instant is being abused in some way.  It hurts me so much because I know how much this is going to have an affect on their life.  All what I went through, other survivors went through, they are going to be going through it also.  I don't want that!!!! I want them to be able to be a child.  To be able to run free, play free, be free, be happy and most importantly feel love for themselves and from those around them.  Something I didn't get growing up.  That important hug, the words "I love you," they might as well have been a foreign language to me.  It hurt so much and this still hurts me today, remembering that those words were never said to me.  That the hugs I never got, except from my father, and those were the wrong kinds of hugs.  No child should have to live this way.  I will not stop being an advocate for child abuse.  Too many little souls need us ~


Sunday, February 23, 2014

TRYING TO CONNECT THE PIECES

     

     The past week and especially the past few nights, going to sleep has been hard for me.  When I do sleep, my brain doesn't seem to want to shut down.  Working "over-time" trying to figure out the deep secrets from the past.

     Glimpses from the past flash before me, while I sleep, giving way to nightmares.  Taking me to a place I don't want to be, but in the same breath, I want to finish the puzzle pieces, put them all together, and be done with it.  But those last pieces, just won't fall into place, so the mystery continues, keeping me from having the amount of sleep my body needs.  Nightmares I know can't hurt me, but when you are into one, that is the least that is on your mind.  You can't say to yourself, "Ok, Mary, this is a nightmare, it can't hurt you."  

     You are in that nightmare, you feel it with every part of your being, a part of your body, of you mind.  You are there, like it is really happening to YOU!!!  My nightmare/dream, whatever you want to call it, is being persistent, bringing me down during the day.  I can feel my mood change.  I don't show it to those around me, they see the happy Mary, the fun Mary.  Living a life of pretending since my childhood, is a hard habit to break.  I was so good at it.  I had to be, couldn't let the family unit know that "dad was abusing his daughter," so I pretended all was fine.  I often thought as a child, and just thought of this now, what would have happened if I told?  Would I have destroyed the family?  As a child the answer was yes, it would have or at least would have made them hate me, because I really don't think anyone would have believed me in the first place.  

     Back to my nightmare, I am there, but the person who is making me go into the attic, is a blur to me.  If I could at least connect with a face, then maybe I could let it go, but not knowing is bothering me.  For a little kid, that dark attic was a very foreboding place,  a place I hated, and what made it even worse is that it was in my bedroom.  The houses back when I was a baby, were made in the 30's or 40's, and the attic was a room with a door from within the bedroom.  My brother and I would go inside sometimes, but I wouldn't venture far from the door.  It wasn't a safe place for me, and I felt it and even as I am writing this, I can picture it in my mind, can feel the pain that hurt me in this place.  The memory of my mother locking me in there for what seemed to me a life time, but I am sure was only a few minutes and then when she unlocked the door slapped me as I came out crying and said, "Now have you learned your lesson?"  

     What lesson?  I have no recollection of what I did wrong as that small child.  Looking back at some of the pictures of me as a young child, I know now why I looked very solemn in some of my pictures.  No smiles, even at my first communion walking off of the altar after receiving the host, you would think someone had scolded me for the way I looked.  I looked hurt, sad, while everyone else was happy that day.  

     Connecting the last few puzzle pieces could bring an end to my connection with the demons of the past.   But the puzzle pieces are still lost.  Hopefully they will be found, I will be able to finish this part of my past, but there are still a few more pieces left of other things I feel, that are not right.  That little girl inside of me who I thought was ok, is still hurting, she is caught with one foot in the past, when she wants to move forward, be free, have that smile fixed on her face.  I really thought this part of myself was over, but I am realizing that my little self is still struggling, which in turn makes me feel the way I am.  I am trying hard to find the inner peace inside myself so that I can then be able to "throw away the key," lock up the past and finally be done with it, thus hopefully ending the hold with the past has on my little self. 

     Tonight when I go to bed, I am going to try what my friend Patricia Mcknight said to me yesterday.  Snuggle up to my husband, feel the love that is around me, my kids, grandkids, all the positives I have in my life.  Where I am now.  I know it's not going to be easy to do, but it is something to concentrate on other than the past.  It's controlled my life enough, it's time for me to take full control, release the hold that I really thought was gone, and live for the now, and for the remaining time of my tomorrows.  Abuse stole all of our souls as kids, but are we going to let it continue to consume us? If we do, then we are losing again.  The monsters who stole us the day they touched us, will always have control.  We CAN'T let that continue.  As much as it hurt us, we are now free, but we have to really realize that. 

     The puzzle pieces may never fit all into place, and even though we hate that this is happening,  I am realizing and I hope everyone can also realize and ask, " Is it really important to fit those pieces into place?"  Or living our lives now as survivors more important.  I know I am going to be right in saying the latter.  Survivors we are and survivors we will always be.  If we can let that little girl/boy inside of us know this, then she/he will come out and not be afraid of the nightmares that can't hurt her/him any longer. 
Mary Graziano©
February 23, 2014