Need to talk to someone or report abuse? Call: 1-800-4ACHILD or 1-800-422-4458
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
My workshop addressed how to talk about a traumatic event in a grounded, healing way. Telling our stories of abuse or other trauma is an important part of getting help, healing, and trying to prevent the same thing from happening to others. Unfortunately, telling about it can be difficult because it may bring back feelings from when the trauma happened. In my presentation I demonstrated ways to keep from getting sucked back into the memory. We practiced many of the things that the characters in The Thursday group practiced, such as using belly breathing, stomping, and the butterfly hug.
My mother and my sister-in-law came with me to the conference, which was great. Mom sat at my book table. It was wonderful to hear from people how helpful the book has been in their communities, or how excited they were to be bringing it back to their workplace, or to a family member. My sister-in-law, Laurie, was sunning herself next the pool near a tribal judge who was reading The Thursday Group. She said she planned to order copies of the book to give to girls coming through her court. When Laurie mentioned that the publisher, NEARI press, gives a 40% discount for orders of 40 books or more, the judge said that they could easily use 40 of the books. A number of other participants also said that they would be placing bulk orders. Kimber and I are soooo thrilled that more and more of the books are getting out into the hands of girls.
Friday, October 1, 2010
November 13th, in Wasilla, Kimber will be presenting a day long workshop on Reactive Attachement Disorder for the Alaska Attachment and Bonding Associates. It is titled, Flirting with Disaster but Coming Out Ahead; Living and Loving with the RAD Child. http://www.akattachment.org/
November 19th, Kimber will speak at the Child Maltreatment Conference in Anchorage about Facilitating Groups for Children Who have been Sexually Abused.
Friday, September 10, 2010
- You will be able to think and talk about the abuse
- You will be able to think and talk about things other than the abuse
- You will sleep pretty normally
- You’ll be able to concentrate in school
- You’ll feel comfortable being assertive, or standing up for yourself
- You’ll feel comfortable leaving your house
- You will experience joy
- You will be able to tolerate someone touching your shoulder or shaking your hand
- You will be able to bathe normally, without experiencing shame or thinking that you are “dirty”
- You will be interested in your future
- You will start conversations with others
- You will be able to handle someone criticizing you without feeling shame
- You will be able to tell the difference between supportive and non-supportive relationships
- You will choose supportive relationships
- You will be able to tolerate strong emotions in others and in yourself
- You will have a positive body image
- You will be able to relax without using drugs or alcohol
- You will look for fun things to do by yourself and with others
- You will care about and show concern for other people
- You will be able to remember recent and past events
- You will be able to express your anger in a healthy way
- You will feel confident that you have value
- You will laugh
- You will trust yourself
- You will have a healthy appetite and you will eat when you are hungry
- You will take care of yourself physically and emotionally
- You will be able to feel sad about things that are sad and it will have nothing to do with the abuse
- You will have a sense of your own personal space
- You will feel good about yourself
Friday, August 6, 2010
Imagine you are a tree. Take a deep belly breath and let it out slowly. Feel the warm sun on your branches, and a breeze gently ruffling your leaves. Breathe. Listen to the sounds of the birds. Take a deep breath and then let it out slowly. Notice your trunk at your center. It is a highway fro energy moving up and down between heaven and earth. Breathe. Reach your tree roots deep, deep into the earth. Breathe.
Sense the water and other nutrients that are available deep underground. Take a belly breath and let it out slowly. Allow the minerals and water from deep in the earth to flow up through your roots, up your trunk, and into to your branches and leaves. Breathe. Feel your leaves fluttering in the sunshine. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Enjoy the feeling of being a tree.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
It felt amazing and wonderful to be there talking, speaking openly, looking at the faces of my family and friends and others I didn't know. Back in the days after the kidnapping and assault happened, I had been told not to talk about it. Nowadays we know how healing it is for people to be able to talk about the traumatic, confusing, or disturbing things that we experience. Unfortunately, sexual abuse and assault are still taboo subjects. They are seldom spoken of in our society compared to how often they happen. That is one reason Kimber and I wrote The Thursday Group.We wanted to make it easier for people to talk about.
I'd like to get more comfortable with the topic, myself. It is one thing to write a book and a whole other thing to speak. The talk I gave at Stevie's Place felt like a good step in that direction.
I am so thankful for the work that the people at Stevie's Place and the other Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) do to make it easier for teens and children to get support if they are abused or assaulted. If you are wondering if there is a CAC in your area, please look here:
Friday, May 21, 2010
Making a Comfort Box can help with over-whelming feelings. Sometimes difficult memories or thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself can overwhelm you. When this happens, it helps to have a place to go or imagine going to help you remember about the good stuff in your life, or the things you want to do in the future. If you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to get lost in the overwhelming feelings. When you have a plan, you can help yourself feel more stable and safe.
To make a Comfort Box, simply get an empty shoe box or other cardboard box. Next, think of the things that you like to smell, taste, see, hear, and feel. You may be able to put your favorite things right into the box. If they’re too big (or if they’re people, pets, or otherwise not appropriate to put in a box), you can use pictures of your favorite things. You might consider having a larger box for home, and a smaller one for traveling, especially if you will be gone from home overnight. Below are some ideas to get you thinking about what you might collect that will work for you.
• Smell: lavender, incense, candles, your favorite aunt’s perfume, soap, flowers, bubble bath, freshly cut grass, camp fire, hot chocolate, vanilla, saltwater, garlic, your pet, freshly baked bread. Remember, if you can’t package it and put it in the box, any kind of reminder (even a list) will work.
• Taste: chicken noodle soup, your mom’s famous casserole, fresh oranges, fried chicken, pears, cookie dough, taffy, cotton candy, warm milk.
• Sight: photographs of your support people, including friends, family, therapist, school counselor, teachers, foster parents, social worker, etc. Certain colors, or pictures, a drawing of your safe place, pictures of gardens, cottages, stars, laughing babies, and family portraits.
• Sound: your favorite positive music, relaxation tapes, the sound of the ocean in a sea shell, your favorite DVDs, words of affirmation, a tape of your therapist, your mother, or yourself saying calming and soothing words, evening bird songs, rustling leaves, loud music, love songs, crickets, laughter, a cat’s purr, falling rain.
• Touch: an old blanket from when you were a kid, a piece of your mom’s old shirt, a stuffed animal, a letter, a worry stone, brand new socks, flannel.
• Other important stuff: names and phone numbers of friends and support people, your personal list of “what to do when I feel like hurting myself,” affirmations, special letters or cards, your personal lists of “what makes me happy,” “fun and interesting things to do list,” and “places to see.”