Hi! My name is Abi and I would like to welcome you to The Thursday Group blog!

If you are looking for support and information about healing from sexual abuse, you have come to a good place. You might have come to this blog because someone you know has been sexually abused or you might be here because you’ve been sexually abused yourself. Either way, you could still have some uncomfortable, difficult, or scary feelings about what happened. It is wonderful that you are looking for more information and support. If you are like me, just thinking about the topic of sexual abuse can be stressful.You may want to take a few minutes right now and notice your breathing. If you are holding your breath, or taking quick shallow breaths, see if you can take a deep breath into your belly, letting your stomach go out as you breath in. When you breath out, just let the air flow out slowly and easily. Take another slow easy breath into your belly, and then let the air flow out slowly. If you want to, slowly take three or four more breaths, making your stomach expand like a balloon each time you breath in, and relax each time you breath out. Inside yourself, just say hello gently to your body and any feelings you are noticing. Look at some of the things that are around you wherever you are. Breathing, and noticing things around you like this, is something I learned about when I was in a support group with four other middle school girls in my town who had been sexually abused. I wrote The Thursday group to hopefully make things easier for others. This blog tells about the book (including messages from the other characters and sample chapters to read or listen to), and where you can order it. You will also find links to other good books and web sites. If you start to notice that your breathing becomes uneven or really fast, or your heart feels like it is pounding in your chest or you get dizzy or feel unreal; please, get up from the computer or iphone, look at the things that are around you, and go find or call that trusted adult. If you don’t have an adult in your life that you can talk to, please call a hotline number.

I am a fictional character, but I was created out of the very real feelings and experiences of the girls PeggyEllen and Kimber used to be, and the girls they have known.

We hope that this blog and book will help you heal.


Need to talk to someone or report abuse? Call: 1-800-4ACHILD or 1-800-422-4458

The person who answers your call can help you figure out what to do and how to get help. If you call from a land line instead of a cell phone, the call will be free and will not show on a phone bill.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making a Comfort Box

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.

Hmmm…What Should I Put in My Comfort Box?

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.”