The Blog Farm

The Blog Farm

Thursday, July 17, 2014

     Loving ourselves is something that we find hard to do.  So often we are only thinking of the negative things about ourselves.  What about the positives?  If you stop and think for on minute of one positive, one thing you have done, then you can start doing this every day.  Push aside the negative thinking.  Be happy in who you are.  We are not perfect no-one is, and if anyone tells you that they are, then they are only fooling themselves.  Your thoughts are what keeps you either feeling good about yourself or upset, angry with yourself.  How many times do we tell ourselves we are not worthy, are stupid etc.  Really start thinking about what you say to you, then try and turn it around.

     Life throws curves at us all the time.  Life is not easy, but we have to make the best of it.  We don't live in a perfect world, these curves along the way can help you grow, help you become a better YOU.  Let go of the "what ifs" we all do it, but does it get us anywhere?  Thinking or dreaming of a better life, won't get you there, you have to have to do it, act on it.  How else are you going to achieve it.

     By loving yourself, others will become to love you.  Loving yourself, helps you to love others because if you don't know how to love, how can you love another person?  We all make mistakes, that's how we learn, but when we put ourselves down for what we did wrong, we are only hurting ourselves.  Others can walk away from us when they hear our negativity, but we can never walk away.  We are it., we live with ourselves, we need to love who you are inside, in your soul, reach deep, tell yourself how awesome you really are.  I know how hard this is to do, I find it hard to love myself.

     Being a survivor of child abuse, it is often ingrained in us that we are not worthy, we are nothing.  We believe it, and live it everyday.  But it is not true.  I realize now that I'm not stupid, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.  Living in fear during my childhood and teen years takes your self-esteem down to the very bottom of that abyss, leaves you stranded in the negative thoughts.  I wondered what I ever did wrong, why I was being punished.  I believed all the things said to me, but you know, it wasn't true.  We were fed lies, we were abused, and felt we deserved it.  The abuser was the one that took away our inner self.  Now we need to find it again, and it all comes down to learning to love ourselves.

     That little child in each of us suffered tremendously, locked her/himself up tightly, to keep safe, but didn't feel love for themselves from others.  That continued on as we grew.  I never saw the potential inside myself to be who I wanted to be.  To succeed in my dreams.  I always wanted to be a nurse, but was told that I wasn't smart enough.  I couldn't go on to University or collage, so I struggled though high school, got my diploma and went out and found a job.  Nursing was pushed out of my mind.  Today, I know I could have done it, but it took all these years to really realize that I shouldn't have listened, I should have at least tried, and if I didn't succeed, then that was my decision to at least try.  Now I regret it so much.

     To learn to really love ourselves, we need to reach our inner child, it all starts there.  We need to be gentle with her/him, and by doing that we are being gentle with ourselves.  Take the time to sit when all is quiet, talk to your inner child, say loving things to them.  Your inner child hasn't heard kind words, praise, those are words that are not in their vocabulary.  But by doing that we are acknowledging our own person, our adult self.  You will start to realize that being kind to your own self, will start to make you feel a warmth inside.  Compassion for others is so easy for us to show, but to show that same compassion for ourselves, is foreign to us.

     Loving ourselves is hard work, loving that inner child is hard to do also.  Many may not even believe that our inner child exists, but they are there, just hidden away until someone comes and sets them free.  Frightened by the past, they are insecure, unloved and feel abandoned.  And as our adult selves we feel that also.  We may push it away and think everything is fine, and on the outside to others, it may seem fine, but if you really thing about it, is it?  To most others, I seem perfectly fine, happy, content with  myself, laughing, but inside my gut feelings are still hidden away.  For the most part I have opened up and let most of those feelings out, but I still hold many inside.  Why? because I think I still am not loving enough of me.  Sometimes I don't care about my feelings, I don't care enough to do something about it.  But I need to care about me first, and we all need to.  Today, I try and be more positive with myself, sometimes I fail at it, but I am trying and that is all that matters.  My inner child, at most feels happier today than she ever has.  She is no longer hidden, no longer afraid to venture outside her "box" and can smile, laugh, but also has those dark days, where she wants to stay hidden.  I have and we all have those days, but its just a day, because tomorrow comes along, and can change that mindset, to a positive one.  Each day will never be the same as the day before.  We as adults need to stop letting others tell making our decisions for us, it's time for us to make our own decisions, our own goals.  It's our choice not theirs.  You decide what you want in life, and you decide if you want to love yourself or keep on hating yourself ~ One thing I know is that we are all worth it, we are uniquely our own person, so accept it ~

     Love who you are....Give yourself a hug, tell yourself you matter, first, second and third..

Monday, June 2, 2014



Our inner child is that small child inside each of us left behind, too afraid to be her/his self.  Abuse stole the abilities for us to really play, to be ourself.  We held back, giving in to the demands of our abuser, knowing that our lives were no longer ours.  We hid in the background in the deep abyss of our souls.

On the outside, I pretended that all was great within my life.  But deep inside, I felt empty, my inner child was lost.  The only time I felt a little bit of reprieve was being outside with my friends, there I was able to play, free from the clutches of my abusers, away from the verbal assaults and the physical pain of the hitting that I had to endure.

My inner child was able to have some hours of fun, but once inside the house she hid away refusing to come out.  My somber look too over my expressions.

Our inner child is sensitive, delicate, needs to feel love, to know that their feelings matter in order to feel alive.  When those feelings are "shot down," not being able to speak and be heard, only told to "shut up," of course they will shut down, become invisible, crawl deep inside the abyss where they feel safe from the hurtful words, physical attacks and of course, definitely from incest and sexual abuse.

We were children and as children had no rights according to our abusers.  We fell silent, giving in to what the abuser did and wanted from us.  We felt guilty, ashamed, crying ourselves to sleep at night, hoping and praying that no-one came into our rooms.  Our inner child was frozen in time not able to move on.

As we became adults, that little girl or boy is still there, waiting, but no-one listens.  Stuck inside and "adult world."   If we haven't connected with her/him, they are still hiding away in the shadows of our soul, afraid and alone.  We continue on with our lives, but the past is still attached to our subconscious, even though we may think that we are free from it all, but through our actions, not even really knowing it, we hare hurting.  We may revert to drug use, etc. Our world was shattered and by acting out or hiding inside ourselves, that was our way of sorting through our feelings.

For myself, I chose to be a quiet person, holding my feelings inward, to afraid to show them or act upon them, because I knew the consequences if I did something and got caught doing it.  That is how afraid I was of my mother.   Now, I can speak, I don't have to hide in fear, I have started reconnecting with my inner child, and she is showing her true colours.      She has survived, and now can come out and play freely outside that "box" so to speak.  Sometimes there is resistance from her, but speaking softly to her, telling her the past, is now gone, she is safe, she watches with interest seeing that it is a safe environment to venture forward.

Coming together as one is instrumental in our own healing journey.  I hope that this blog post can help others understand that little child that may be hiding inside of you, afraid and alone, is free to explore outside of the deepest part of your soul, into the light, into a world that was hidden from them for so many years ~

Mary Graziano ©
June 2, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

My 5 Star Review of Judging Me By The Honourable Mary Elizabeth Bullock

Judging MeJudging Me by Mary Elizabeth Bullock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviewsJUDGING ME
The Honourable Mary Elizabeth Bullock, a crusader for those with disabilities, fighting for their dignity, for her own dignity. This is a memoir of one courageous, “no holds barred” woman, who fought for her life as a little girl, under the clutches of a wicked monster, and is still to this day fighting for her life.
How at 6 years of age, her father tied her to a palm tree, in a snake infested swamp, why? Well that you will have to read to find out. Rising above her fate, never giving up, Mary Elizabeth embraced life, her life and all that happened. Mary released the heaviness she felt within herself, helping her to move forward, not to be defeated in any way, no matter what was thrown at her.
God for a while was left out of the equation of her life, at a time when her very being seemed so challenged ~ an incomprehensible feeling flooded her mind with that one question; Why? Why me? Mary shut her mind too God ~ Mary Elizabeth always thought God was just too busy for her and thought He had given up on her. But that was farthest from the truth ~ He never gave up on her, always there talking to her ~ reaching out to her in her darkest times, but she didn't hear Him at that moment in her life.
Upon waking one morning Mary’s heart felt lighter than it ever had. Reality did its check. Mary Elizabeth accepted what was put in front of her ~ Multiple Sclerosis ~ blindness ~ Systemic Lupus ~ cancer ~ and so much more ~ Whatever her fate ~ she now accepted it.
Mary Elizabeth knew where her vision really lived ~ not within one’s sight ~ but within one’s mind ~ and that was okay. She did not carry a Fixed Mindset ~ but a Mindset of Growth ~ to move forward in her quest to achieve what was now and beyond her very reach.
Mary Elizabeth looked for all the attributes of her father in the men she chose ~ tall dark extremely handsome ~ like out of a Danielle Steele novel ~ only to find they were the “devil in disguise” ~ she was drawn to them, as if she believed she needed to be punished for the sins of her father.
Mary Elizabeth had strength of character ~ determination to work through the demons of her past ~ courage saved her from staying stuck. She had the courage to move forward one step at a time ~ taking those “baby steps” we always tell each other.
Determined to thrive ~ Mary Elizabeth did just that ~ by hard work ~ by grabbing on to a strong will, that keeps you from failing or drowning in the deep abyss called ~ life.
Fighting for the injustice of others, never wallowing in what was, determined to move forward, proving she could do something that would give credit to all those who suffered, to support them, show them, they too could thrive and win against the horrific life they endured. Letting them know that they are not alone, she is right there beside them, guiding each survivor along the way.
There are many curves in our road towards healing. At times giving up is so much easier. Mary Elizabeth chose to take those bumps and curves and straighten them out by being positive, knowing her future was mapped out for her. God had a plan even through all the turmoil she faced, the next chapter of her life would be fulfilling ~ rewarding ~ but still hard ~ removing choices in her life, in her past, to be who she now is, strong, a fighter, a real warrior for humanity ~ for the disabilities of others, for herself, being her own person, not afraid to speak openly about anything. If something wasn't right, Mary Elizabeth would say just how it should be, her words sometimes biting, but got the point across. She once told me “I need you to put tape over my mouth, as I tend to say too much.” But no, that would not be Mary Elizabeth, that would not be her true self ~ no one was ever going to use her, take away her true self ~ that was done to her too many times ~ now she is her own unique self. A warrior for justice ~ a fighter of the monsters who hurt women ~ fiercely she went after them ~ with a vengeance!!
Now she fights the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), fighting the corruption ~ to this very day Mary is in a combat for herself where the government thinks that they are winning, hoping she will give up, but no, Mary Elizabeth will NEVER give up and no doubt knowing her she WILL win.
Mary Elizabeth says “Where are the real heroes of today? The government has changed their power from enforcing civil rights to Americans and turned it into a “circus” into abuse, illegal government practices and corruption. This changed her life forever. Determination and the will to keep going is what has kept Mary moving onward, from that little girl who once was told “ you will be nothing,” to a powerful force to be reckoned with. She rose above and like a “show and tell story” Mary was indeed someone, not a “nothing.” She tells her story like it is, true, harsh, with reality and with strength of character. This is one memoir that is a harsh ~ brutal of the life of an abused little girl that blossomed to become one of the most respected federal civil rights judges in the country.
A memoir with inspiration for others, helping them on their journey where their paths can become so narrow they don’t think the end will ever be in sight. A memoir that lets you see that you can move forward ~ you can be yourself. The horrors of your life happened, but Mary Elizabeth shares so much wisdom, that helps you rise up and say ~ “Yes, I can become a better person; ~ I can move on and not look back.”
Judging Me ~ a must read for all survivors who question what and who they are ~ where they may go in life ~ a book that gives you so much capabilities ~ a book true to yourself ~
Mary Elizabeth asked me not too long ago while we were talking on the phone, “Mary, have you ever written a poem called Grace?” I answered back no, but I can.” Mary Elizabeth, here is your poem, I hope you enjoy it. (Mary hasn't seen this poem yet). God Bless you my dear friend, I love you, and respect you.
~ Mary E. Graziano ©
Grace so beautiful
Self loving, contentment
Within oneself,
Loving who we are
To be the best
That we can,
Enriching our lives,
God’s work of art.
Grace is love, kindness
A virtue given
To us by God Himself,
His loving gift
In every way
Always there
Never ending.
Grace is faith
Both entwined
One will never work
Without the other,
Challenges that we meet
So hard to attain
But gives you the courage
To go on, to have faith.
Grace is that
Special gift given
By God,
A spiritual freedom
That comes to us
When we acknowledge
The power it has
To feel love in our heart.
Grace is courage
When you otherwise
Feel there is no use
To go on,
But the love
And drive of others
Wills you
To continue.
Grace is peace,
In knowing love,
We know peace
The feeling of love
All around us,
In nature,
In the love we feel
For others.
Mary Graziano © 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I love the word "Mindset."  It says so much to us.  You can change your mindset, change it from fixed to growth.  But you have to want to change, you need to feel it inside of you.  Hope also is something that helps you move forward, but only if you change the mindset, and not stay in the fixed.

How many times have you thought of giving up?  Many of us have thought this way, often when we are at our lowest of lows, and we feel that we just can't go on any longer.  That, is your fixed mindset talking.  You have decided that you can't grow, move forward are "stuck."  Often as survivors of abuse, we feel this way for a long time, and fall into that rut, and it is so very hard to come out from it and move forward.  But we CAN'T give up says "Growth  mindset."  We can't give up on the hopes of a better tomorrow, the hopes of fulfilling our greatest potentials, to moving forward and surpassing what was.

You can choose that negative or fixed mindset or push on to that positive mindset and meet your challenges, and live to enjoy what you have missed.

We as survivors have met many challenges along our path of healing.  Hope gave us the chance, gave us the courage to face the past, encouraged us to move forward in our journey from the depths of despair and face our fears. That is what a survivor does, never gives up, uses a mindset of growth to achieve what they want in life.

Hope is God's unconditional love, helping us choose the right mindset.  Just like the butterfly on their long dauntless journey, they fought hard to travel the thousands of miles to reach their final destination. They used a mindset of growth knowing that they could achieve what they set out to do.  Close your eyes, envision the beautiful butterfly soaring high, exhausted, but pursuing their difficult challenges, never giving up.

Having the courage to go on, having hope, THAT gives us the will to fight, to never say ~"I CAN'T."  YES, YOU CAN!!!!  We are not called survivors for nothing.  God helped us get through the horrors of abuse.  He has a plan for each of us, some of us still not understanding what that plan is, but you will know when the time is right.  Sometimes I think that what I went through was for a reason, it was somehow meant to happen, as crazy as that sounds.  But to me if it never happened, I would not be doing what I am doing now...I would not be an independent advocate for abuse.   I would not be writing my poetry like I am.  We can look at it in a negative (fixed mindset) or in a positive (growth mindset).  The choice is yours, but I think looking at it as a positive, will help you get through your fears, get through the past that kept you trapped, and still keeps you trapped because you feel you can't get out from under it.

Hope is a miracle that gives us a reason to live.  Never ever give up, hope transcends all....As growth mindset says to fixed, "anything is possible if you believe."


Fixed mindset,- powerful
But it can be changed
In so many ways
With hard work
Don't let anyone
Stop you.

Grow, move forward
Don't be afraid,
Mindset that is fixed
Will make you feel
Unworthy, trapped
Within yourself.

Your abilities won't grow
Achieve with success,
If you keep your mind fixed
Feeling what a loser you are
Your mind will no longer think,
You're stuck tightly in that rut.

Growth mindset is
So very important,
Boosting your morale
There is so much
You can achieve,
Nothing is ever impossible.

I can't do it,
Fixed mindset does say,
Growth mindset says
There is no such word,
Anything is possible
If you truly BELIEVE~~~

Mary Graziano ©
May 22, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I have a tiny child inside
Who so badly is wanting
To come out,
But when she feels
She has the courage
She retreats, still too afraid,
I need to try and convince her
 The numbness, 
And the fear she feels
 No longer can keep her prisoner,
Now is her chance to let it go.

The past is gone, it's time
To move forward
As I whispered and 
Called her name,
Come play with me
Let's have some fun, 
Experience laughter
Like a little child should,
All that happiness which had
Been squandered, 
Leaving you so unfulfilled.

Slowly the door from the inside
Creaks open, as she takes a peek,
Unsure, but as 
Curiosity takes over
Her green eyes brighten
To see her adult self,
Warmly, I say I love you
As she smiles, I return her gaze,
 There is so much love
Flowing between us
Tears well up inside my eyes.

Gently, I embrace her warmly
 I can feel the love 
That was amiss for too long,
She's blooming just like a flower
Finally free to see the light
 That for a time was so foreboding
How proudly she takes a stand,
Just like each petal on the flower
Happily displaying its own true self
Endearingly we come together
Never again, will we ever part.

Mary Graziano ©
May 4, 2014
Title "Child Inside"
And watercolour 
By Michal Madison
Copyright 2014
To purchase art, 10% of every sale
Is donated to ending child abuse.