Breaking Free From The Silence
Guest Blog from Melissa A. Nimijohn
“Every October, Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario raise awareness about the important role that individuals and communities play in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families through the provincial Dress Purple Day campaign. The campaign is more important than ever, since the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stressors for families, and in some cases has increased risk for the well-being and safety of children and youth.
This year, Dress Purple Day will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
We are calling on all Ontarians to wear something purple to show children, youth, and families that they are here to help!”Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
Today is a day that is not only extremely important to families across Ontario, it is also one that is very personal to me. #idresspurplebecause
This is my truth. My story, if you will. I am not a victim; I am a survivor! A warrior who, despite everything, has risen above trauma to become the strong woman and mother I am today.
My truth may trigger uncomfortable feelings in some readers – some who have experienced abuse and perhaps even some who haven’t. It is triggering me as I write this. It brings me back to a place I hid away. It’s a place that terrorizes my senses, knots my stomach, makes my heart pound, and fills my eyes with tears.
I’m writing this to heal the deep wounds of my past, to be able to speak openly about the abuse I endured at such a young age. My hope is that it will help others to speak their truths, and share their stories.
Abuse should not be a taboo subject. It happens daily. One out of three women have experienced some form of sexual abuse in their life. To put it into perspective, think of your three closest female friends or relatives. Chances are that one of them is part of this statistic. It’s a huge percentage; one you would think would be more widely discussed. Except you don’t hear about it, and it’s rarely mentioned.
Abuse is incredibly traumatic, and I completely understand why survivors wouldn’t want to dredge up those horrific memories. You’re not alone. For 35 years of my life, I didn’t, either. Then, things shifted. The world shifted. I slowly began to want to share my story. I wanted to help others – I just didn’t know how. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and all the injustice currently going on in the world, was this even the right time? Should I wait? Would there ever be a right time?
Like many survivors of abuse, I kept that time of my life tucked away in a nearly inaccessible place. I imagined it locked up in a frosted glass box; there was a key with a silk tassel. Others couldn’t see what was in the box, but some knew there was a secret buried inside. I was in control of that secret, and only I had the power to unlock it, and share what it held. It was a way for me to regain control.
Every once in a while, though, something would trigger me – even to this day. A smell, a place, a name, someone else’s story. Then the box would open, and I had no control over the nightmares it would release. I still kept it a secret, though. There is almost a sense of shame that comes with being a victim of childhood sexual trauma, or any abuse, for that matter. In hindsight, I was just five or six years old. I should feel no shame for what happened to me – but I was young, and I thought it would be safer for everyone if I kept the abuse a secret.
The problem is that keeping it secret is what allowed the abuse to continue.
I always felt sad for my parents; how could they possibly have known what he was doing to me? At five years old, I had become a master of hiding trauma. Concern for my parents is part of the reason I stashed that frosted glass box away, even as an adult. I wanted to protect them. Protect them from having to relive what happened to their little girl. I also wanted to protect my younger brother from knowing what happened to me. He was only a few years old at the time. He wouldn’t remember the police who came to our house one night, or the weekly group therapy sessions I had at the CCAS (Catholic Children’s Aid Society) with other children who had been through the same horror. Still, I felt I needed to protect him.
Aside from the abuse, my childhood was truly picture perfect, and I was a typical happy kid. I had two incredibly loving parents, a sweet little brother, two sets of amazing grandparents, and many, many cousins with whom I’d spend countless summer days and holidays. I lived on a beautiful sprawling dairy farm, with a wooden swing set and sandbox my father built, a swimming pool, and access to acres of new adventures every day. I took piano lessons from the time I could sit up on my own, and always had food on the table.
I’m mentioning all of this to let you know it can happen to anyone. Your socioeconomic status, race, gender, religion, or where you live doesn’t matter. Predators don’t discriminate.
One of the biggest myths surrounding child sexual abuse is that it is perpetrated by strangers and pedophiles. However, most people who sexually abuse children are our friends, partners, family or community members. About 93 per cent of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. My abuser was a member of our community, who ended up working on our farm for several years.
I don’t remember when the abuse started. I do, however, remember the exact moment it ended. It plays like a Super 8mm movie in my mind. I was around six years old, outside on the swing, one sunny afternoon. The air was sweet with the smell of fresh cut hay, and the clouds were like little fluffs of pulled cotton. Our babysitter, we’ll call her my guardian angel, was outside with me. She was the older sister of a classmate of mine. I felt safe with her. We did crafts, she read me stories all the time, and had freckles just like me.
As I was swinging, I remember asking her if it was OK that a man kissed me. I don’t recall her exact reply, or if I went into more detail about the other things he did or made me do. The movie skips at this point, to our phone ringing that evening. It was my guardian angel calling, to tell my parents what I had shared with her earlier that day.
As an adult now, I can’t possibly fathom how difficult it must have been for her to hear me say those things. After all, she was only a teenager. When my parents got off the phone, I remember my mom coming into my room. I was sitting on the edge of my bed crying, thinking I was going to be in trouble.
That’s what the abusers do to keep a child quiet. They make you think that if you tell anyone, it will be your fault and you’ll get in trouble. He instilled so much fear in me that it’s a wonder that little six-year-old girl was finally able to muster the courage to speak up.
The movie jumps again, to two police officers at my house talking to me that same night. I remember that one was a woman, and her hair was tied back, but she had these little wisps of hair that framed her face. Then the movie cuts out and all you hear is the flickering of the film.
This happened about 35 years ago. It was a time when lawyers, police officers and social workers all advised that it was best not to go through the courts. They wanted to protect me from having to relive the torture that I endured. I get it. Living through it once was hard enough.
I honestly don’t know what happened to that monster from a legal perspective. I think he had to go to therapy – basically a slap on the wrist – and he wasn’t allowed to go near me again.
It has taken me a long time to get to this place. It’s a place of strength and empowerment. For quite a while, I wanted that monster to pay dearly for what he did to me. I wanted the world to know his name, so he could be shunned. However, now I feel like the guilt and shame he has to carry on a daily basis, for the rest of his life, is at the very least some form of justice.
There is always the option of pressing charges as a historical sexual assault case. However, I’ve witnessed first-hand how those typically turn out.
A year or so ago, a close friend came to me incredibly upset. She had just found out that her adult son was sexually assaulted as a child, by his uncle. Her son decided to press charges and go to court. He had to testify, enduring the pain that I was spared so many years ago. I was proud of him. He did what I and so many others couldn’t. He spoke up and shared his truth, and told his story.
I was with them in court the afternoon the verdict came in. It was an acquittal. The judge said it didn’t mean the accused was innocent; it meant there wasn’t enough physical evidence to convict him. This is one of the biggest reasons people don’t come forward to speak about their abuse. How could there be physical evidence from 10, 20, or 30-plus years ago?
It was hard for me to be there that day. From the beginning, the entire ordeal triggered me, and opened up that frosted glass box I had tried so hard to bury. It was OK, though, it wasn’t about me or my past. This was his journey, and I was only there to support him. I took comfort from this fact. I didn’t know what to say to him that afternoon, or how to tell him that with time, it would get better. That the nightmares would never really go away; but, they would become more manageable. Sometimes, just being supportive and saying, “I believe you,” is all a survivor needs. Especially when it feels like there is no hope.
As an adult, I’ve lost track of the times I questioned hope and the presence of a greater being. How could God, The Gods, The Universe or whichever sky friend you believe in possibly let this happen to a child?
I was gifted a book from a dear friend, someone I met at the children’s hospital. Our daughters had the same paediatrician, and it turned out we only live five minutes apart. The book was about a man who was physically and emotionally abused as a child, by his step-mother. It was about that very question: How could God let this happen? In it, he bravely calls out those who use Bible verses as a form of reasoning. Phrases such as, “God only gives you what you can handle.” Like the author, I call bullshit!
How is a five or six-year-old child supposed to handle being abused? Why would God allow this to happen to not just me, but so many children? Still, I feel, there has to be a greater purpose for what I have endured. Reading that book lit a fire in me, and a higher being was pushing me to do something about it. I grabbed my phone and started typing a note. It grew longer and longer. Then, I went into a writer’s trance. As I was typing, words, thoughts, and feelings began to flow effortlessly for the first time.
Typically, whenever I had thought about what happened, I would have flashbacks. They would bring me and all my senses back to the very moments when the abuse occurred.
It was horrific and I’d have to force myself back to the reality of present day. This time, though, it was different. I was recalling my childhood without going back to those places.
Nothing about what that man did to me was OK, or will ever be OK. I may never be able to forgive him, nor should I have to – and I’m at peace with that. It is a personal choice, and one only you as an individual can make. I don’t have the answers; I really doubt anyone does. All I know is that it made me strong; it made me a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to my own children.
I’m a mother of three now. I have a beautiful little girl, two incredibly handsome little boys, and a strong, caring, supportive husband – with a side of smart-assery. They are my world. My daughter has a very rare disorder and wasn’t supposed to live beyond one year. She is nearly 11 years old now. She’s non-verbal and has multiple special needs, including a feeding tube and seizures. I can draw on the strength I’ve built since my own childhood. That same strength and fight to survive has helped me through the struggles of having a medically fragile daughter. I fight for her; I’m her voice, her protector.
I now know that I can use my voice to help others – people who are survivors of abuse, or know someone who is. You’ll notice I’ve hardly used the word victim. I despise that word, even though that’s what I was. I was his victim. I personally feel it sounds weak, and that’s not me. That’s not us. I am a survivor.
I don’t have to be silent anymore. I can use my experiences to help others who may be struggling, and encourage them to find their strength and their voice. Believe me, it has always been there. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you or a loved one has been through. I’ve found more healing in writing this than I ever did in years of counselling as a child. I’ve also found solace in playing the piano, and listening to music. Praying by Kesha and Shake it Out by Florence & The Machine are both beautifully written and executed songs. They have become like anthems while writing this. I love that they fill me with strength and empowerment.
Because of my childhood trauma, I have taught my children the skills they will (hopefully never) need to prevent it from happening to them.
Here are just a few:
We NEVER EVER use the word “secret.” There are no secrets in this house. We can have surprises, but we do not keep secrets from Mommy and Daddy.
From the time they could talk, we taught our boys all the anatomically correct words for their body parts. Yes, my kid was that kid who would tell neighbours and family members, “Boys have a penis, girls have a vulva/vagina.” Ensuring your child feels comfortable using these words, as well as knowing what they mean, can help them talk clearly if something inappropriate has happened.
Discuss that some parts of the body are private and that only Mommy, Daddy or the doctor can see them naked. (As a mama of boys who feel comfortable dropping their pants and peeing freely outside, I’m finding this is still a work in progress.)
Lastly, let your child know that they have the right to say “NO,” if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable with anyone, including known adults in their life.
As your child gets older and can comprehend more, there are many wonderful resources that you can find in the links below.
The National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse http://www.naasca.org/010111-Resources.htm
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
My story is meant to be shared and heard. It’s meant to help others who went through, or are going through, childhood trauma. It’s meant to offer strength and give courage and hope to those who need it the most.
October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario, Canada
Please feel free to share this story, and reach out to me if you have questions or just need someone to listen. I am now the ambassador for the National Association of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse Ontario, Canada chapter. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Oh, but after everything you’ve doneKesha
I can thank you for how strong I have become
No more monsters, I can breathe again.”
#NAASCA #OACAS #childabuse #childsexualabuse #emotionalabuse #childhoodabusesurvivors #childabuseawareness #sexualabusesurvivors #protectchildren #abuseawareness #mentalhealthawareness #ptsd #ptsdwarrior #childhoodtrauma #empath #MeTooCSA #publicsafety #warriorwomen #melissanimijohn #melissanimigean #keishapraying #kesha
Allow positive vibrations to fill your soul’s mirror, it will then be reflected to the outside world.
Stop Calling It “Child Porn”
(Ways Language Minimize Victimization)
Earlier this week I had a conversation with a man I’ve gotten to know over the last year by reading his posts and watching his videos. Listening to him, it’s clear he has a heart for the vulnerable. His name is Kyle J. Howard and we soon realized a mutual frustration with the way certain words are used.
Our conversation centered on the misuse of the term, “child porn”. It got me thinking that some clarity is needed.
The arrangement of these words disgusts me on so many of levels, but I will begin with this… “child porn” is not pornography, it is the RAPE of a child!
To label video/images as “porn”, implies that there is a consensual and transactional interaction. Such as an adult man or woman receiving payment to permit their bodies be recorded and viewed by other adults in consensual sexual activities.
If you ask most any adult in the US, “what is pornography?” you’d probably get this type of response; “when 2 or more consenting adults agree to be paid for having sex on camera.”
And because most Americans view pornography as a mutual, consensual transaction; maintaining the word “porn” in front of the word “child” leaves the message to our brains, subconscious or otherwise, that it is not “that bad.”
Or many take the view, well I’m not doing it, I’m just watching it.
To do this, is an attempt to use language to lessen or soften the actual effects of this crime. And that is what the sexual exploitation of children is…a CRIME!
To record a child being molested and/or raped is not consensual!
To view a child being molested and/or raped is not a victimless crime!
To view this crime, YOU YOURSELF might as well be the one raping the child. Because that is what you are doing. You are re-victimizing that child OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
So let me say this as plain as I can. To record or view the video or images of children being sexually molested and/or raped is not just watching “porn”…you are another one of this child’s rapist!
And as Kyle Howard points out, “Pornography is largely made up of sex trafficked women. Porn itself makes one an enabler of sexual assault, sex slavery, and the like…we need to redefine how we see/understand porn entirely.”
He goes on to say, “I can’t think of a time where I haven’t referred to child porn as “child rape”. In discussion & teaching, I always refer to child porn as “child rape” in some way.”
So PLEASE stop calling it “child porn”. Its child sexually exploitive videos/images.
Language is the greatest tool we have for connecting with people. Therefore, precision with language is essential. Inaccurate words not only sow misunderstanding but also dehumanize.
Language matters and the way we use words is important.
Language shapes our responses to sexual violence.
In a recent article addressing how language matters in our responses to sexual violence, discusses how words that are used to describe sexual assault can “linguistically blur rape with healthy consensual sex”(p. 11).
For example, Attorney Claudia Bayliff observes that stating that the child “performed oral sex” sounds like a voluntary act, one of mutuality, as opposed to the man “forced his penis in her mouth.” Those two constructions create dramatically different word pictures.
In addition, euphemisms such as “child pornography” or “kiddie porn” minimize the violence inherent in such acts. 1
All of us need to be incredibly careful not to use the language of consensual sex when we are describing a sexual assault.
Don’t believe me? Do you believe we are exaggerating? Why then have we stopped using certain words?
Why do we use the term “little person”, rather than the word “midget”? Ask any African-American in the USA what they think of the “N” word. A word so offensive that it won’t be completed in respectful society.
Why do we use one of the LGBTQIA designations, rather than the word “faggot”? Or ask a person with a developmental disability what they think of the word “retarded”. Are you beginning to see the point?
It’s because those words harm.
That is the point of this article. When you use the word “porn”, you diminish the effects of a crime against a child. It’s harmful and hateful.
So what is the answer? How do we correct this? Claudia Bayliff gives us some concrete, simple directions:
- Avoid using the language of consensual sex to describe assaultive acts.
- Use accountable language that places responsibility on the person committing the criminal acts.
- Help educate others about the importance of using accountable, accurate language when talking about sexual violence.
And please, stop calling it child porn!
Copyright © 2020 Together We Heal, Inc.
1) Journal of Forensic Nursing, “Patient, Victim, or
Survivor: Does Language Matter? A Conversation
with Claudia Bayliff”
April/June 2015, Volume :11 Number 2, page 63 – 65
2) Cooper C. L. How language reflects our response
to sexual violence. Perspectives, 23 (3), 10-11. (2015)
3) Janet Bavelas & Linda Coates, Is it Sex or Assault? Erotic
Versus Violent Language in Sexual Assault Trial
Judgments, 10 J. Soc. Distress & Homeless 29 (2001).
4) James C. McKinley, Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town,
N.Y. Times, Mar. 8, 2011, at A13.
5) Jackson Katz, DSK’s Alleged Victim Should Not Be Called His “Accuser,” Huffington Post (Aug. 20, 2011), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/dsks-alleged-victim-shoul_b_930996.html
Healing the Dreams of A Broken Heart
Healing The Dreams of A Broken Heart
Guest Blog Post By Pastor Deborah
Agape Love, Love Is Here Ministry
Hello, this is Pastor Deborah of Agape Love, Love Is Here. I am honored to be a Guest Blogger
for NAASCA. NAASCA is graciously is allowing me to provide a series of 3 Blogs for you to
read. The Series is entitled Healing The Dreams of A Broken Heart
These Blogs are a complete series of how a Broken Heart’s Dreams are healed and melt like
lemon drops. The Inspiration for the Blogs and to show the hidden spiritual revelations in a
movie, The Wizard of Oz, 1939. Starring Judy Garland and the Classic song, Over The Rainbow.
Enjoy each Blog. The Blogs Titles are 1. The Yellow Brick Road
2. The Three Companions
3. The Ruby Slippers
Each Blog is written and has a video that goes along with it. The Links are provided. Enjoy and
learn about HEALING THE DREAMS OF A BROKEN HEART.
Love Pastor Deborah
Agape Love, Love Is Here
Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube Channel of The Hidden Kingdoms
Blog Post #2
The Three Companions
Changes in sex education curriculum in Ontario Canada.
The differences between Ontario’s interim sex-ed curriculum and 2015′s
JACK HAUENPUBLISHED AUGUST 23, 2018UPDATED SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 34 COMMENTS
Just two weeks before classes start, the Ontario provincial government has given elementary school teachers a new interim elementary health education curriculum, leaving many scrambling to figure out what they can and can’t teach.
The document stresses the importance of sexual abstinence, contains no references to consent and makes no mention of scientific names for genitalia – the words “penis” or “vagina” appear nowhere in the update. The parts of the interim plan that deal with sexual education are largely the same as the last health curriculum update, from 1998.
The following is a list of some of the differences between the sections related to sexual education in the interim and 2015 editions.
In the 2015 curriculum, students learn the names of different body parts, including genitalia, using scientific terminology (e.g., penis, vagina) as well as basic personal hygiene by the end of Grade 1.
In the interim version, by the end of grade one, students learn the names of “major” body parts, without using the names of any genitalia.
LGBT, gender identity and expression
The introduction of 2015 curriculum says teachers should always consider the needs of transgender and gender-non-conforming students.
In Grade 3, it teaches children that differences make people unique and to respect people with different skin colours, physical abilities, cultural values, gender identities, sexual orientations and so on.
In Grade 6, students learn to challenge stereotypes about gender roles, sexual orientation and gender expression, and how factors like gender identity, body image, mental health, and so on, can affect someone’s self-concept.
In Grade 7, students learn about physical and psychological factors related to decisions about sexual health, such as gender identity and sexual orientation.
In Grade 8, students learn about different gender identities such as two-spirit, transgender, transsexual and intersex, and how factors such as sexual orientation and gender identity can influence people’s decisions about sex, and that gay-straight student alliances can be sought out as support services.
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In the interim version, students learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others, such as body size and gender, in Grade 2. This version does mention gender identity in its introduction but only to flag it as a potentially challenging topic to teach. The introduction also states that students of all gender identities should feel comfortable and free from harassment. This version does not specifically mention that the topic of gender identity be taught in any grades. The word “transgender” is mentioned once, in the glossary, using the non-preferred term “transgendered.”
First Nations, Métis, Inuit
In the 2015 curriculum, students learn the basic stages of human development in Grade 2, including a teacher prompt about “teachings from different cultures, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, about the cycles of birth, life and death.”
In Grade 6, students learn how to build healthier relationships with others and themselves using skills based on First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultural teachings.
In Grade 8, students learn about the two-spirit gender identity, which is used by First Nations people to refer to someone with both feminine and masculine spirits.
In the interim version, students in Grade 4 learn about teachings of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit cultures to strengthen their relationships.
In the 2015 version, a teacher prompt urges Grade 7 students to be clear in their own minds about what they are comfortable doing, including delaying sexual activity. A prompt in Grade 8 notes that abstinence is the only way to be 100-per-cent certain about avoiding sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy.
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In the interim version, students learn in Grade 7 about abstinence as it relates to healthy sexuality, and in Grade 8 about “the importance of abstinence.” The curriculum’s introduction instructs teachers to portray abstinence as a “positive choice.”
In the 2015 version, students learn in Grade 6 that consent is defined as “a clear ‘yes’ ”, and that anything else, including silence or uncertainty, is not consent. In Grade 7, students learn the importance of clear communication with a romantic partner about all aspects of sex, including consent. Consent is taught again in Grade 8.
The interim version does not mention the concept of consent.
In the 2015 curriculum, sharing private sexual photos of others online is described in Grade 5 as “unacceptable” and “illegal.” Asking for sexual pictures or making sexual comments online is also discouraged.
In Grade 6, a teacher prompt describes relationships kids might see online as “not always accurate.” Ending a relationship online, it says, “may not be a sensitive approach.”
In the interim version, the potential of exposure to online sexual predators is introduced in a teacher prompt in Grade 4. In Grade 7, the risks of sexting, as outlined by a prompt, include messages becoming public, being “manipulated or misinterpreted,” or costing students future relationships or jobs. The 2015 version adds negative effects to the victim’s well-being to that list.
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Both curriculae teach students about how negative actions can affect other people in Grade 5, but the 2015 version makes specific mention of online sexual harassment.
Both curriculae teach students about risks associated with using the internet in Grade 4, but in the 2015 version, “sexual predators” is changed to “people who ask you for sexual pictures.”
In the 2015 curriculum, teachers are prompted in Grade 6 to explain wet dreams, vaginal lubrication and masturbation as normal, if asked. “Exploring one’s body by touching or masturbating is something that many people do and find pleasurable. It is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body,” it reads.
The interim version does not mention masturbation.
Spiritual Care, The Broken Heart, What Realm Is It In?
Hello Again, Pastor Deborah here of Agape Love, Love Is Here with another Blog for you wonderful precious ones who have suffered since your childhood with the devastating effects of childhood abuse and trauma. This Blog once again brings a new, yet as old as Eternity itself.
In this Blog Post, one will once again will be presented with concepts that may be unfamiliar to you and will need some research, some pondering, some thinking on and asking others many questions.
To bring Healing and Wholeness to A Broken Heart, one first must learn what part of oneself is Broken and What Realm it is in. Once one discovers what Realm the Broken Heart is in, then one can apply the appropriate Medicine from that Realm to bring Healing and Wellness.
So, go to the link to the Web site of Agape Love, Love Is Here and watch the Video and or read the Blog. Come and Be Challenged and Then Go and Ponder.
Love Always And Forever
Pastor Deborah, Agape Love, Love Is Here
Spiritual Care, Looking A Little Closer At Our Hidden Self, The Spirit
Hello Everyone Again, This Is Pastor Deborah of Agape Love, Love Is Here and I Have Brought you more spiritual REVELATAIONS of Spiritual Care and It’s Role for the Healing and Restoration of the Whole Being of a Human. This Blog Post is one more deep level of spiritual Revelations that are so vital in helping people to become RESTORED, RECOVERED AND HEALED in all areas of their BEING, of Spirit, Soul and Physical Body. Each area is so precious and have been abused by abuse in one’s childhood and all need to be HEALED, RESTORED AND RECOVERED to health and wholeness.
As a Pastor, I have been trained and educated in The Fullness of what Healing, Wellness, Restoration and Recovery is for the whole being that is called a HUMAN. This area of SPIRITUAL CARE has been so misunderstood and hardly talked about at all to those who need that part of themselves to be healed and restored back to health and wellness for it has been hidden by Darkness of Ignorance to those who Need the SPIRIT TO BE HEALED AND MADE WHOLE AND WELL AGAIN. But, I have for many years been trained and educated to bring these Hidden Spiritual Revelations to the precious Spiritual ears of all and to the eyes of the Spiritual Ones of the world so A Spiritual Heart Can Believe In Hope, Agape Love and That Healing Is There For Them and It Is Here Now.
This Blog Post Spiritual Care, Looking A Little Closer At Our Hidden Self, The Spirit will add more spiritual Light/Knowledge for your spirit and it’s soul to ponder on and to mediate on. There will be more Blog Posts coming to This Blog of TOGETHER WE CAN HEAL and in the Featured Article Section of NAASCA so that all those who have been abused in childhood and are now Survivors and desire for the PEACE and HEALING to be brought to this deep level of themselves, THEIR SPIRITUAL PERSON/ THE LITTLE ONE OF THE HIDDEN REALM OF THE SPIRIT /THEIR INNER SPIRITUAL CHILD/THEIR SPIRITUAL HEART the GIFT OF HEALING and RESTORATION is Here Now, and Is Free to all. This level of HEALING AND RESTORATION is available to all the HIDDEN Ones, the Spirit You, The Real You that is CALLED AND IN NATURE THE FOREVER PERSON,
So, Read and Watch the Video and add more knowledge and light to your spirit and your soul. Freedom to be Healed is Here, Freedom To Be Restored is Here. The Gift is Free and Is Near Unto You, Even at the reading of this Blog Post.
Love Always And Forever
Re-Discovery Of The Spirit, The Real You!
Hello, this is Pastor Deborah. Of Agape Love, Love Is Here again with another Blog Post for you. Come and Begin To Re-Discover The Real You, The Forever Person, The Eternal Person – The Spiritual You! Come and Begin To Meet Yourself, The You That You May Have Never Met Before and If You Have You May Not Have Known It Was Yourself.
This Blog will begin the re-discovery of the deeply hidden Spiritual You, the Forever/Eternal You. The You that has been hidden from earthly sight to all but a few, hidden in darkness without Light even for it’s own eyes, Living Yet Dead. Alive but Dead to Light and Agape Love and All of It’s Healing.
Yes, Dear One you will begin to learn about yourself from the Video Blog linked on The Blog on Agape Love, Love Is Here Web Site Of Pastor Deborah at /http://agapeloveishere.org/2019/05/spiritual-care-re-discovery-of-the-spirit-the-real-you/
Come and Meet Yourself who has always been there, on inside of the physical body. From the beginning, you the spiritual being came into the earthly world in a body of dirt that was made/built for you to be able to enter into the earthly world from out of the womb. Dirt and Dust from biological DNA of genes from a sperm and an egg. DNA that over thousands and thousands of years has been altered from their original design of beauty. Genes altered by both spiritual effects and natural effects, yet with a design to create and make a physical covering, a dirt house, earthen clothes for the REAL YOU, THE SPIRIT YOU.
The Blog Post is in both a video form and a written form. Click on the link to connect to the Video and Blog. More Blog Posts will be coming to continue to help you Re-Discover the Real You and That Real You, The Spirit You NEEDS RESTORATION, RECOVERY AND HEALING just as much as your Soul and it’s many components and your physical body do. All 3 areas of you have been affected by the abuse and trauma of childhood and it’s many forms of abuse. The Spirit You also has been deeply abused in unseen ways that are still in need of deep spiritual healing to become Restored, Whole Again, To Be Able to Love Itself Again and To Be Able To Receive Love From An Unknown Source Of Agape Love. Healing is Possible to the Spirit and There is a Road To Recovery For It as well as Comfort and Support for it as It Travels the Road to Recovery and Healing in the Realm of The Spirit.
Love Always And Forever
Spiritual Care, The Concepts of Restoration and Recovery
Hello Pastor Deborah here again with another Blog Post for you. Come and learn, read and watch Blog#2 on Spiritual Care, The Concepts of Restoration and Recovery connected to This wonderful Blog, Together We Can Heal of The National Association Of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. In this Blog, I begin to introduce the concepts of restoration and recovery in Spiritual care. Click here to link to Pastor Deborah’s Web Site to read, listen to and watch the Blog Post#2. The Audio is also now on several Podcast Platforms to listen to or it can be watched on YouTube on the Church’s Channel entitled, The Hidden Kingdoms. The Video will also be in the web sites video library to watch.
Also, I will be uploading a Featured Article for the NAASCA homepage. The article is entitled, Spiritual Care, The Hidden Realm of Restoration and Recovery. This article will also be uploaded as a Podcast, and on the website to listen to.
Begin to ponder these new concepts of spiritual care and it’s role in restoration and recovery. Feel free to comment on these concepts that are introduced in this Blog and other ones to come as well as on the Featured Articles.
Love To All Always and Forever
Spiritual Care, The Role In Restoration And Recovery
You may read the blog or listen and watch the video.
Hello, this is Pastor Deborah of Agape Love, Love Is Here Church ( www.agapeloveishere.org ) from Pensacola, Florida. I have joined together With Together We Can Heal, The Blog of NAASCA as a Blog contributor. This Blog is to introduce myself to you as a Spiritual Care Professional, A Pastor who had been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor as well as a State of Florida Certified Victims Advocate with The State Attorney General, but am now a non-denominational Pastor that provides personal spiritual ministry to bring about spiritual restoration, recovery and healing of the spirit, spiritual teaching, spiritual words of encouragement, spiritual crisis intervention, and many other areas that abuse of any kind has touched and affected.
I have been providing spiritual ministry to individuals since 1995 after 10 years of Mental Health Counseling in many settings. A more indepth Bio is on the Web site of http://www.agapeloveishere.org or on The Church’s Youtube Channel entitled, The Hidden Kingdoms. Also you can learn more about me on Linkedin under Pastor Deborah@agapeloveishere.
This blog is written to present to all a new concept that maybe familiar to you or brand new. There are many different terms/names for some of the terms I will be writing about here in this blog, Spiritual Care and It’s Role in Restoration, Recovery, Healing and Support.
In the fields of Restoration and Recovery of Substance Abuse and other “Addictions” Support groups, recovery and restoration, Spiritual Care has been accepted and included as an vital part of a person’s recovery. Faith based ministry and programs from all faiths have provided community support and are very integral in the recovery and restoration of a person who is healing from an substance abuse or addiction to anything. The support groups which go by many names and are usually housed in churches, houses of worship and other places of faith. These groups may go by Celebrate Recovery, Most Excellent Way, The 12 Step Programs, Teen Challenge, and Other Faith Based Programs that have successfully combined Spirituality and Treatment.
Most national Alcohol and Drug Associations as Well As those in Mental Health Areas, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking have been successful in intergrading Spiritual Care and Treatment, Restoration and Recovery.
Faith and It’s Connection To A Higher Power has been apart of many support systems for those who are seeking healing, restoration, recovery from addictions. But Spiritual Care and It’s Focus of inclusion of A Higher Power to aid and assist in the treatment, restoration and recovery of a Mental Health Diagnosis of an Mental Health Illness has not yet been accepted as an equal partner and just as vital as the Psychicatrist, The Clinical Social Worker, The Psychologist, The Trauma Informed Care Expert, The Licensed Mental Health Counselor, And The Other Professions that provide treatment for a mental health disease are.
This Blog is to help you, the reader to begin to see the value of adding this profession/ministry into your own recovery and restoration from child abuse of any kind. There are many well trained Faith Based Professional that are available to you and the fellowship and support that is given freely is vital to restoration and recovery. Spiritual Care does come from a deep level of understanding of the effects childhood abuse has on the spirit and it’s heart. To help you begin to see the value of this level of Restoration and Recovery that can be added to all the other forms is what this blog is about.
To begin with, Pastor Deborah ministers from the concept that all humans are A 3 PART BEING. Every human consists of
A Physical Body
A Soul – That has 2 parts
The Conscious Mind with all it’s components
The Sub-Conscious Mind , Which spiritually is called
-The Hidden Man of The Heart with all of it’s components
A Spirit, The Real You
That Also Has It’s Own Body and Mind, Yet it lives in another realm, the unseen spiritual realm.
There are other names for these 3 different parts and some debate if there are 3 or just 2. In spiritual care, that involves helping people with the spiritual part of the 3 part being. Some Faith Based Ministers as I am, have been trained in another area. I have much former training in the area of the soul and some in the physical body. Each profession studies and provides knowledge and treatment in one or two of the areas. A Psychiatrist has really studied the Physical Body and The Biological Brain. Some of these wonderful Drs. have also studied and are experienced in the area of the Soul, the Conscious and Sub-Conscious Mind. Then most of the Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors have studied the Soul area and it’s components and seek to bring healing, restoration and recovery in this area.
But Spiritual Care Provides Treatment, Knowledge and Healing, Restoration and Recovery in the area of The Spirit and it’s components.
When Abuse occurs to any one at any age, even in the womb, all 3 areas of a human are affected! All three areas are abused, and each area responds differently and must all be helped to heal, be restored and recover. All areas must have help, become knowledgeable, feel loved and safe, be attended to in different ways and then be allowed to slowly find the way to healing and recovery.
This first Blog post is just to introduce yourself to a new concept that needs to be pondered, discussed and learned about. When a new concept is introduced it takes awhile to understand it and to believe it and then to walk in it. There are many stories in movies that can help and many testimonies that others can give to attest to this idea that there are 3 parts of a human, the Physical Body, the Soul and The Spirit and all are effected by abuse and all 3 need to be healed, to be restored and find a path to recovery.
Thank you for reading and getting to know me, Pastor Deborah. You can look me up in more detail at agaploveishere.org – the website, on Youtube, The Hidden Kingdoms Channel, on Twitter Pastor Deborah@agapelove on Linked In At Pastor Deborah Schleich at agapeloveishere and on ITunes, Goggle Play, TuneIn for Podcasts and soon maybe on Google Play for free downloadable E-Books. I will also will writing Featured Articles for NAASCA and continue to Blog here a couple time a month.
It was a pleasure to speak to you and to introduce myself and the ROLE OF SPIRITUAL CARE in Restoration and Recovery.
I would Like to Leave you with some words of encouragement.
Words Of Encouragement For Your Heart
JUST BREATHE THE AIR OF HOPE AND AGAPE LOVE!
To Walk Each Day Begins With Just One Step Out Of A Dark Place
That Has Unseen Chains Of Heaviness.
But Before One Can Take One Step,
First One Has To Take A Deep Breath Of
Hope Is New Every Day Just As The Sun Rises In The East
Vanquishes The Night,
One Breath Of Hope Vanquishes The Darkness Of The Long Night
Is Full Of Fresh Life For One’s Heart As The Spring Rains Refresh The Earth
Help Bring Forth A New Season Of Life.
Brings Forth A New Season Of Life Even Though The Darkness Has Held Your Heart For Too Long.
No Matter The Road One Is On With A Mental Health Illness,
The Road Always Has Others On It Looking Back To See You Getting On.
See, They Are Coming Back For You, For They Will Walk This Road With You And As Spring Rains Bring Forth New Life, Allow The
That Others Bring To Your Heart To Shower You With It’s Rays
Of Hope And Agape Love
For Your Heart.
Your Heart Is Not Alone Any Longer.
Just Breathe The Air Of Hope And Agape Love!
Spiritual Care Department
Lakeview Center, Inc.
Looking With The Eyes Of One’s Heart
The Journey You Are On Will Require You To Look With The Eyes Of Your Heart.
You Must Be Able To See Past The Storms Of Darkness
The Winds Of The Tempest.
One Must Be Able To Look Beyond The Present
Into The Vastness Of The Future That Is Just On The Horizen.
If One Is Looking Out From The Center Of A Storm,
You Must Look Out With The
Eyes Of Your Heart
For Only The Eyes Of The Heart Can See Beyond The Present,
Beyond The Clouds And The Winds Of The Storm
Believe For The Future
Believing That This Storm Too, Will Pass
The Rays Of Sunshine Will Shine Again On The Heart
Bringing New Life, New Hope
New Days To Be Lived.
The Eyes Of The Heart
Everyone Has Them
Yet Many Can Not See With Them.
The Eyes Of The Heart
Can Be Blind To Many Things
When One Is Only Looking With The Eyes Of The Soul.
Love Always And Forever
THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
My prose, was made into a song by my friend George Robertson, and Paintings by my good friend, artist Michal Madison, and the video was put together by my good friend the late Debbie Naylor Cox. We are all being a voice for child abuse…Please share to get the word out there.
Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Prevention video to show how we must speak out **Not all of these paintings of children are abused children, happy to be able to say. There are a few that are very happy, well taken care of and loved children. We do all we can to protect the privacy of those who are being abused.” All the beautiful Artwork belong to my friend Michal Madison..www.MichalMadisonArt.net/galleries.html… Words by Mary Graziano copyrighted Music and song sung by George Robertson. video put together by Debbie Naylor Cox I do own the rights to the Video and the Song
Flashbacks take us back to the past. It takes us to a place where we feel trapped. We envision the trauma that affected us so much that to us it feels so very real, as if we are reliving the abuse all over again. Visually, we see the abuse happening, we feel it in every fiber of our being, we hurt all over again.
The demons have woken up, taking over our minds again, recapturing us, removing us from the present and again taking away our self-esteem that we had started to build up.
Scared, and defeated, we often feel that sometimes we can’t come back to the present quick enough. We stay frozen, reliving over and over all the abuse that stole our innocence, or in the case of Domestic Abuse stole so much of a person’s self respect and self-worth, leaving them feeling “nothing.”
Our self-worth and self-esteem have been destroyed, leaving us vulnerable to the demons who destroyed it. We often cannot break free of the flashbacks, whether it was one flashback in particular, or more than one.
We need to realize that the flashbacks that consumed us are not going to hurt us any more. We need to let it come, realize it is there, and then say “Ok, you can now leave, you can’t hurt me any more, I am now free of you. You were my demon, but now you are NOTHING.”
Remember to always be kind to yourself as you are healing, Remind yourself that you are worth so much, that you are a loving person, a beautiful person, one who has survived abuse, one who is now free from the abuse that invaded your body, mind and soul,,,,.Don’t let the demons who abused you win…make them small, so that they can’t hurt you any more..You are the winner, because you came through the abuse whether it was from childhood abuse, or Domestic abuse, we are all winners, we are all SURVIVORS!!
Mary Graziano ©2012 edited November 18, 2018
THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
We need to be the voices for children everywhere,
alone, abandoned, with bruises, it seems
like no-one cares.
Their abusers keep them silent with threats,
their bodies shake, feelings kept inside themselves
their smiles, they always fake.
Words that hurt so deeply destroys their self-esteem,
shame they feel inside themselves, in their minds i
s where they scream.
Secrets so deep & never to be told they live
it every day, these are the forgotten children
let’s scream out, let’s shout & pray.
Pray that we can save them from a life of
horrendous abuse, to set them free & guide them
it’s up to us, there’s no excuse.
Each day one child will die alone from their wounds
inside and out, scars so deep, with bodies broke
from the abuse, there is no doubt.
Remember all children everywhere, protection
is what they need, broken, alone so frightened
from the abusers dirty deeds.
I write these words, for all children small
for that little girl in me, silenced then,
but not any more, I will shout out to
help set them free.
Prose by Mary Graziano © 2012
Watercolour painting by my
incredible friend Michal Madison www.michalmadisonart.com
by believing you can make something work and are willing to think positive, you can find a way to make it work.. believe & trust in yourself, anything is possible. We control how we think, never let another take that away from you. Become more positive in how you think, even if you think it won’t work, keep saying it over and over to yourself. Always believe in yourself, love yourself enough to believe this. Trust yourself. mg©2018
YOU DON’T KNOW ME
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others.
Children are bullied at school, on the playground, on the way home or to school, on school buses. They often hide it in fear of retaliation. Children need to know that it’s okay to tell someone they trust. Fear keeps them a prisoner within themselves. They lose self-esteem, love for themselves, believing that they must deserve what the bully dishes out to them. They often withdraw inside themselves, keeping to themselves, and sometimes thinking suicide is the only way out.
Kids who bully others use their power over someone either by physical strength, intimidation, using fear to control another.
As adults we must give children clear and consistent messages. Telling them how to relate to another person in a positive and healthy way. Kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves and others. Fear keeps kids silent, Let’s speak up, help stamp out bullying.
You are in control of your happiness. How you perceive things changes your whole mindset. You get to choose, choose happiness. You have the power!
EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUE SELF
Never live with self doubt. Embrace what makes you special, not what others think you should be. Find your own purpose in life. Your soul is unique to you alone.
Don’t complicate your life by worrying about every little thing., Smiling can change your mindset. There is always a reason to smile, you need to find it, and pass it on!
TEACHING YOUR CHILD CORRECT NAMES OF BODY PARTS
Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
Preventing child sexual abuse starts with a strong foundation from parents and caregivers. By knowing, teaching and modeling appropriate behaviors, we help our children develop healthy understandings of sexuality and consent. One of our favorite resources is from Stop It Now!http://www.stopitnow.org/ohc-content/what-is-age-appropriate
KINDNESS & LOVE
You must have kindness & love for yourself, first & foremost. If you don’t how do you expect to show kindness & love to another?
When we feel happy inside, the world seems like a wonderful place. Everything seems to be in perspective. We seem to be in a better mindset, a more positive place. Being happy is a choice, your choice, either you find your happy place, or be in a negative place. You choose!!!
REIGNITE THE FLAME WITHIN
Sometimes that flame inside us retreats to a flicker. Allow it to burn brightly again by chasing your dreams, Let the passion come alive again. Be positive, never let others doubt you.
HELP STOP CHILD ABUSE
Child abuse must stop…we must try to help the precious children by getting this message out. I made this with various pictures, some pictures made by Michal Madison Art with writings by Mary Graziano. Other various pictures…Please feel free to share…big hugs
Everyone needs to be a part
of ending violence, injustice
inequality against women.
To end the silence of abuse.
Together, we are stronger, becoming
one voice, sending a message to the world
to say we matter, helping to end
the silence that “yes, it happened to me too.”
Our differences make us who we are.
What’s on the outside is not important.
We bleed the same no matter the colour
of our skin, what gender we are,
who we truly love.
Together we can help change
how women are viewed in a world
that needs to learn about diversity.
To look beyond all dissimilarities.
Let’s stand together, united.
Prose by Mary Graziano©2016
Revised January 21, 2018
Beautiful watercolour portraits
by my wonderful friend
DREAMS OF TOMORROW
DREAMS OF TOMORROW
Fight for the freedom
of all innocent children
their dreams are shattered
they’re so very confused.
That spirit that once was,
gone forever, their lives so crumbled,
prisoners they are of abuse.
Dreams they envision race through
their minds, wishing to fly free
and be away from the torturous monsters,
they are not human they went too far.
Dreams scattered, now unreachable,
too much sadness to an innocent child.
They feel they are lost forever by the
secrets that can’t be told,
alone, afraid of the monsters
who intimidate and have a hold.
Help free the innocent children
so their dreams will forever shine.
Help to create a world that is safe, secure
and free from abuse of any kind.
Prose By Mary Graziano©
January 18, 2013
Revised January 20, 2018
Watercolour by my incredible friend
Facing the Monster
Mary Shared Michal Madison Art
How many of us have had to face the monster alone? No one to help squash that fear. We were living as a child of abuse, living day to day facing the monster, many, waiting in bed at night, knowing that door would slowly creak open, and our worst nightmare would again come true. How many children today are facing their own monsters, have no where to turn as we did? Today Child abuse for the most part is out in the open, but that hideous monster does still live, often behind closed doors. Still kept a secret.
We need to be open to children, let them know that they are not alone, that they can tell someone, not keep it a secret. We need to gain a child’s trust. They may have been told that if they tell, they or others in the family will be hurt, that in itself will often keep a child silent. Talk to your children so that they don’t fall victims of abuse through family members, through someone at school bullying them, etc. Let’s speak out against child abuse of any kind, not turn a blind eye to it because it doesn’t affect your child, it affects someone’s child, and that is one child to many.
We as adults, can help put the monsters away, so that there is one less child cringing in the doorway. Help stamp out child abuse…..m.g. ©2018