Be complacent in your own self.  

Always believe in your abilities.

Speaking in a positive way shows how much respect

you have for yourself.

Be fully aware of your authenticity.

The values you live by have an impact on others.

Never allow others to disrespect you.

Walk away. Trust your intuition.

Self love is showing respect for oneself.

You deserve the best in your life.

Always love yourself first.

That love will blossom outward to others. bringing

respect back to you.

Prose by Mary Graziano©2017

Fabulous watercolour portrait & title

By my wonderful artistic friend

Michal Madison©2017



     Inner strength lives inside each of us. So many times we feel we are without any inner strength,that our confidence doesn’t lift us high enough.  Confidence comes from within. If we believe in ourselves we will become more and more confident. 

     Our confidence was “shot down” when we were children, living  in a world of abuse. They stole our confidence, stole our self-esteem. We were vulnerable, believed all the hurtful things said to us. We lived with this right up into our adult life, always believing we weren’t good enough, we were failures. Believing it was our fault that these things happened to us. 

     How wrong we were.  Many of us who have healed for the most part know that this is a fallacy. It was never our fault. We were innocent.  As adults many of us can see that. We know we were stuck in a place we had no control of.  But now, we are i control, we can begin to build ourselves up.  Be confident in our abilities. Able now to find our inner strength, believing in ourselves. Free to be in control, mot let the abuser be in control any longer.

     Reach deep inside, find that inner strength, it’s there waiting for you to grab hold and believe in yourself, believe that you are worthy of so much!!

pizap (18).jpg

Impactful Words

There are some words surrounding the whole abuse topic that give that heavy shameful feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the ones. Sexual abuse. Rape. Child abuse. I learned a foreign language to not say them ever again. Maybe you have done something similar.

The painful memories, shame and guilt attached to these words give them power and make them difficult to hear much less say. In a way the words keep us stuck where we are. How can a survivor tell her story if the very words used to describe what happened carry such a trigger?

When I first told my story I used synonyms to diminish the word’s power. It was easier to say “he violated me” than the shaming words “he raped me.” Maybe because nowadays we usually associate violate with breaking the law in some way.

Sometimes the words hold us back but keeping the silence only helps the abuser. One day these words wont be so full of shame and guilt. You can find your words. You can tell your story.


Published by Mary E Graziano · April 22, 2017
Children who have been or are being abused do feel alone in the night. They are so afraid, feel ashamed, often times trying to hide within themselves, hoping the monster will disappear.  So many have no one to turn to, their cries go unanswered. I know all too well as do many others who have lived with abuse growing up how it feels to live with the “shame.”  As children, we felt this shame, as our abuser would often tell us “it’s your fault that this is happening,” what did we know?  We were children, the fear that permeated throughout our very soul, kept us prisoner.  Silenced, often beaten into silence or told we would be banished from the family unit.  So many ways to silence a small child.
We need to end the stigma of child abuse, not just during the month of April in the U.S. or October in Canada, but through-out all of the year.  Children are a precious gift bestowed on us by our Creator. To love, cherish, guide them on their journey through life.  No child should know the feelings of being abused, either sexually, physically or emotionally.  They should not live in hell binding them tightly to abuse.
It is our responsibility as adults to report abuse of any kind if we see it happening, know it’s happening.  Children are filled with so much fear inside, but may give you signs that something horrific has happened to them. Don’t turn away, nor pretend you don’t see it.  Our children need us, these vulnerable children, who often go to bed at night terrified, as the monsters from hell often visit a child as they sleep.  More often than not, a child knows their abuser. Please be there for a child of abuse. Help end the stigma, report abuse, it’s our responsibility!!!!


Published on Apr 29, 2014

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…
Words by Mary Graziano
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



NAASCA Posters / Essays Celebrating April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse lives everywhere don’t be afraid to talk about it
4 of 30 ..

Child Abuse lives ..
…... in every community
…... often its a family tradition

Sexual assault of children often includes incest.

Incest is sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.
There are very few reliable statistics about how often incest occurs. It’s difficult to know how many people are affected by incest because many incest situations never get reported. There are many reasons that the victim might not report the abuse.

The victim may be told that what is happening is normal or happens in every family, and doesn’t realize that it is a form of abuse. The youngster may not know that help is available or who they can talk to. Children may be afraid of what will happen if they tell someone, and may also be concerned about how many people will react when they hear about the abuse.

Incest is especially damaging because it disrupts the child’s primary support system, the family.

When the abuser is someone in the family, the family may not be able to provide support or a sense of safety. Since the children (especially younger children) often have limited resources outside the family, it can be very hard for them to recover from incest.

Incest can damage a child’s ability to trust, since the people who were supposed to protect and care for them have abused them. Survivors of incest sometimes have difficulty developing trusting relationships

It can also be very damaging for a child if a non-abusing parent is aware of the abuse and chooses—for whatever reason—not to take action to stop it.

Please see: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN: Child Sexual Abuse and Incest



NAASCA Posters / Essays Celebrating April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

Child Abuse lives everywhere don’t be afraid to talk about it
6 of 30 ..

Child Abuse lives ..
…... in every community
…... in groups of every belief

Child abuse lives in every group and institution where children are gathered .. and this is true world-wide.

Late last year the UK’s newly formed National Crime Agency released a report verifying children in institutions such as schools, churches, clubs and care homes (like foster care) are not safe from abuse.

The NCA warned that child sex offenders often manipulate victims into believing the attention they get is an “honor”, making it hard for them to report abuse.
In many of the case studies, offenders groomed victims by offering rewards or privilege and the report highlights how, particularly in religious settings, victims and those around them are “often in awe of offenders.”

Victims in some cases were made to feel indebted to their abusers, making them feel that they were somehow complicit, experts found.

The report warned that management structures can discourage junior staff from reporting suspicions, and can also allow offenders to gain the trust of their victims and those who should be protecting them.

The report said in some cases, protecting the organization’s reputation had taken precedence over reporting abuse, and workers’ loyalty to the institution also stopped them from reporting concerns.

The NCA report outlines eight key recommendations for institutions. They include putting children’s interests first; creating a safe environment for reporting; effectively implementing and monitoring safeguarding policies; improving protection through safer recruitment; and releasing alleged offenders’ identities.

Please see:


..<== Go to previous Poster / Essay

To: NAASCA Home Page



Choosing to be happy. How often to we choose happy? We are often to busy seeing the negative around us, sapping up our positive thoughts. It is up to each of us to choose which mindset we want.  Finding happiness and being happy brings about a better frame of mind. Making our feelings a happy place to be.  Often times our past comes and fills us with so much grief, just thinking about it, reliving it, feeling it.  But we can choose to stay stuck in the past or do something about it.  I choose happy.  It’s a better place to be, it moves you forward living for today.

When I decided to forgive my abusers, (something I didn’t think I could ever do) it brought peace to my inner child, my inner self.  I can move forward, leaving the past behind.  I am a better person because of my pastI, I came out of it even though it was horrendous, but I made it, with many many years of therapy which is so important to our well being, I am in a better frame of mind, knowing my past can’t hurt me any longer.  Yes, we will never forget, but we can create a better place within ourselves, create a happiness which we may not felt too often.  Choose Happy change your mindset to the positives around you, there is so much to be thankful for.  Our past is just that, our past, life goes on, we can go on, it’s our choice. For me I choose Happy. ❤



So many times we never trust our intuition. We fluff it off, thinking it can’t be right. We need to believe in ourselves, trust what we hear inside. Our Creator gave us this gift to use, giving us the guidance. Fearing what we feel, only keeps us locked inside afraid to trust ourselves. Take the chance, you are worth it, you deserve to move forward.

pizap (12).jpg


The way you look at life, determines how you will live it.  As you journey through your healing, there will often be times when you feel you can’t go on, where you let the negatives take over and stamp out all the positives that ever helped you along the way. Having an attitude of being positive helps in so many ways, the way you feel inside, the way you look to others etc. If you choose to take the detour and live in a negative mindset, your healing journey will be forever long.  You will feel down more than up, you will wear a frown and a sad face, even though on the outside you may appear to others as happy, you yourself know that on the inside you are feeling poorly. Find that positive, one small positive feeling will lead to a “snowball effect.” Your world will become more in tune if you can look at the world with a positive attitude. Fight the negatives, see the blueness in the sky, listen to the birds chirp, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, these are all positives, let it turn you around little by little, and your healing journey will feel like you are on the road to a better place, to a better you.  You are worth it. Be positive, be happy!!! 16665899_10158298730120232_605249053230998178_o


With Michal Madison
Both Michal and I believe in this so much. What or who you are on the outside, is not important. What is important is who you are on the inside. No one should discriminate because of how a person looks, the gender, race, etc. Our looks define us!! We are all unique individuals. That’s what makes the “world go round.” My prose I think says it all!!!


Define yourself
Go against the grain.
Embrace your inner passion for life.
Don’t succumb to others expectations.
Find your own way.
Become a unique individual.
Let your dreams unfold.
Express yourself with confidence.
Shatter the glass ceiling.
Be bold.
Be a risk taker!!
Others will follow.
Aspiring to your own dreams
will pave the way.
Be the change for our future.
Break through judgements of others
showing who you truly are.
Most importantly, be true to yourself!!
Believe in who you are.
Your talents are important.
Your cultural uniqueness is
a gift from Creator.
All races are equal in the eyes of God.
No matter your ethnic background
Black, White, Asian, etc.
be a part in ending discrimination!!
Be inclusive.
Embrace everyone.
Taking away ethnicity breaks one’s spirit.
Diversity is powerful. Fulfilling.
Set a precedent for all cultures.
End stereotyping.
Go beyond what others see.
Discover your own biases that distort truth,
blinding you to who you truly are
and who others are.
Be a part of tearing down the walls separating us by race, religion,
gender, sexual orientation.
Never confine yourself, or anyone else to a defined class.
We can all broaden our horizons.
Looks on the outside should
never mask what is on the inside.
Your true value is who you are INSIDE!!
Never let condescending attitudes
break you.
Never let others defeat you.
Strive to meet challenges with dignity, grace & integrity.
Allow conflict to make you stronger.
Push forward with determination.
Be courageous.
Be different.
Be yourself!!

Prose by Mary Graziano©2016

Fabulous Watercolour painting
by my wonderful friend
Michal Madison
copyright 2016




pizap.com14806190448821.jpgHow often do we feel negatives more than positives within our lives?  Too often!!! I can honestly say for myself that l was always negative.  Never thinking I could achieve what I wanted to do.  So many years past by, stuck, feeling down.  Changes can happen.  Through much therapy, help with my depression, I learned how to be more positive in my life decisions.  

We can only do one can make us change, they CAN give us the tools to help us achieve what we want out of life, but it is up to each of us to really want it.  The past is the past, don’t look back, look forward. Look at what you can do, what you want to do.The years fly by, and if you stay stuck in the negative, you will never know what you can and can’t do.  Don’t let others keep you down.  Believe in yourself, you CAN do anything you set your mind to.  Believe in the power of POSITIVITY!!!  mg..©2016



Children who face abuse often feel like they are living deep inside a tunnel. A tunnel that grips them, unable to leave.  Feeling swallowed whole, left to their own demise, with no one coming to help rescue them.  Their lives, ruined forever. They live it every day.  

When someone turns a blind eye to abuse, it’s as if a child or anyone being abused doesn’t matter.  It’s like you are shutting the door, so you don’t have to see it, hear it,know about it. People sometimes feel that if it doesn’t pertain to them, then why bother!! Abuse won’t go away if we don’t as adults acknowledge that it is happening. Children need our help, they are afraid to come forward.  Afraid that they won’t be believed.  I felt that way as a child. I didn’t tell because who is going to believe that my abuser would do something to me?  So I stayed quiet, letting it fester inside of me for years, until I could take it no longer!!! Reach out to a child/person who you may know is being abused.  Listen if someone tells you that they are living a hell on earth.  Most of the time, they are not lying, not trying to get attention.  Listen with an open heart, find it in yourself to become aware.  If an animal was being abused so many people would come forward to help rescue them.  Why is it an animal receives more help than a human?  What is wrong with that picture?  Think about it, really think hard!!!! It’s up to all of us as adults to help, to fight for all things that hurt an innocent child.  Let’s change the statistics on abuse…STAND UP FOR A CHILD LIVING IN A TUNNEL of ABUSE!!! Do your part!!!

Continue reading



Deep down inside you, lives your inner child. We all have an inner child inside, some are waiting to come forward, some are afraid, afraid because the past made them silent, with no voice.  Call out to your inner child, tell her/him that they are safe.  Speak softly to them, they peer out but withdraw quickly.  Sit, play, sing, dance, let them see you are happy, free, able to move forward on your journey to healing.  All our inner child wants is to become one with us.  Let them know they are loved deeply.  Slowly your inner child will learn from you, will know they don’t need to fear any longer. The past can no longer hurt them or you… © 2016


A child, such a precious gift given to us by our Creator. To protect. To love. To keep safe. Until the day they are reunited with God. Children are innocent. Not deserving of living with the pain from abuse of any kind. A child is suppose to bring to us so much joy and happiness. Seeing their smile for the first time. How much love they give us, and we give them. No child should have to suffer at the hands of abuse, neglect, thrown away like a “rag doll.” Please!!! Open your eyes, don’t look away if you see a child being abused. If a child comes to tell you. Don’t ignore. Listen. Get help. So many times people turn the other way. Seeing signs and knowing the signs of abuse, is important to saving the life of an innocent child. This poem I wrote a few years ago is heart wrenching but to the point…It goes along so well with my close friend Michal Madison’s painting. mg. 2016 ©
Hi. Just thought I would tell you
if you will listen to hear me say,
You were so happy when carrying me
inside of you, you rejoiced,
were so glad that day!!
But!! Now that I’m here, born to you,
it’s different, you have regrets!!
No hugs, no kisses do I ever receive,
When I cry, you smack me hard!!
My thoughts, my heart how they grieve
for love, I weep for myself, how I hurt!!
I just don’t understand, what did I do
so wrong to you?
Sadly, I feel like a grain of sand
swept away without a thought!!!
I’m a little girl/boy who needs you.
I don’t like it when your emotions.
become wild!!
When you scream. leave bruises
abuse me, it leaves me dead inside!!!
Love me, don’t abandon me,
Can’t you see!!!
I’m not a burden,
I’m just
Prose by Mary Graziano ©
Revised October 24, 2016
Title “I’m Not A Burden, I’m Just A Child” &
beautiful watercolour painting
by my wonderful friend/artist/advocate
Michal Madison©


Mary E. Graziano shared Michal Madison’s Art                             




The beauty in her sapphire blue eyes
tinged red from emotional tears.
Today, just one of those days!!
She feels the need to release what lurks inside.
Letting go of all the negative feelings,
the dark emotions that hold her back.
Like a volcano, ready to erupt.
Releasing all that is pend up inside!!
Some days we just need to let go.
Our inner self, once silent, now waking.
To cry, is not a weakness, but a cleansing
of our soul. To be renewed.
Telling ourselves, “All will be okay.”
Tears. Flush away the demons that hide inside.
Calling them out, finally being rid of them!!
Tears, help to wipe your inner emotions clean.
Unexpressed emotions. Held back like a dam.
Now, set free. Spewing away bad thoughts.
Making room for positives. Bringing peace
to your heart, your soul.
Her sapphire blue eyes speak. Telling us.
“It’s okay if you’re feeling
Prose by Mary Graziano©Nov. 2015
Revised October 23, 2016
Beautiful watercolour painting
& title “blue” by my fabulous friend
Michal Madison
Copyright 2014


How often do we feel this way?  Feeling blue.  We often hold it all in, afraid to release the pain, the emotions that go along with it.  Let the tears fall, let it release all the hurt, anger, sadness that builds up inside.  Let your emotions erupt, calmness will begin to overcome you.  Soon, all that is pent up will subside, you will begin to feel peace inside. The tears will stop, the hurt will dissipate.  All that was held deep inside, is now released, bringing an air of confidence, relief.  Never keep your emotions locked up.  Sometimes when we feel blue, that’s okay.  It brings along the tears, to wash away emotional baggage.


Children need to be taught at an early age to use their voice, not stay silent, be heard, no a good touch from a bad touch.  Children are so vulnerable, and trust adults.  This can sometimes be an advantage to an adult who wants to hurt a child whether it be sexual abuse, violent act etc.  Even within their own families, a child may not feel right when someone says something to them, and makes them uneasy.  A child has no way to defend themselves from predators!!!  

Children are our future, and we need to protect them.  They are unique, special in every way!!! If a child were taught at an early age to use their voice, when something feels uncomfortable, then maybe we can start changing society.  Sadly though, there are many adults who will find a way to get to a child no matter what.  WE the adult, need to be vigilant, keep our eyes open, to anything that may not seem a normal relationship between an adult and child.  Paedophiles, are everywhere, hide behind masks, pillars in our communities, churches, etc.  So many go undetected because we don’t expect that they would be someone who wants to harm a child.  How many times are we surprised when we hear that so and so was charged with sexual assault to a child.  That no one suspected it coming from someone who is known in their community (politician, clergy, judges, police officers etc.)

We need to protect our children as much as we can.  We need to be their voices, their eyes!!!! Children are afraid to speak up, often told if they tell, something bad will happen to them or their families.

Please, be a voice to the children of the world, of your community, in your own home.  Don’t ever think it won’t happen, Believe me I know first hand it does happen!!! Let’s try and decrease the incidences of child abuse!!!!!14502806_807764272660656_1673732613104150383_n


Mary E Graziano shared Michal Madison
This is Domestic Violence Prevention month ~ so many children have witnessed violence in their homes, have been a part of violence, something that happens every single day, Domestic Violence and abuse, never takes time off. Our children witness abuse in their families that stays with them for the rest of their lives. So much sadness, we need to be the voices for those who are not able to become free and escape the abuse that terrorizes them and their children. Call 911 or in the United States call The Domestic Abuse Hotline ~ 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or in Canada this website has numbers for all provinces within Canada… ~ if you hear or see anything that looks suspicious. I wrote this poem to share with Michal Madison’s beautiful artwork. This is how we want kids to feel, to be happy to be able to live a life free from Domestic Violence in their homes. Please be a voice help stop Abuse of any kind.




How often do we really take the time to sit, and enjoy the gifts of nature.  The free our minds of all the clutter that we face everyday?  We NEED the time to relax, stress seems to be the norm today, and for our own peace of mind, health, we have to find the time to just desensitize  our selves from our busy lives.  The calmness of a river’s edge, is often so inviting, beckoning us to just sit, dream, take our minds to another dimension, away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  Take that time, you will feel so much better inside yourself.  You will help to refresh your mind,  lower your blood pressure, and just feel so much better!!!!pizap.com14711307203631 Continue reading


How often do we face struggles in our lives? Ready to give up? Thinking it will never get better?  We all think this way, and when we are in our struggles, we only think with a negative mindset.  Things never do last forever, our life’s struggles will dissipate eventually.  We have to believe, and hang on to that hope of it ending, bringing us peace again. The power of believing is a very strong word. If we don’t believe, what do we have left?  How do we move on?  No one ever said life would be easy, we just need to have faith in ourselves in our higher power, whatever you believe in.  Learn to breathe, slowly, meditate, bring calmness during your time of struggles. Most importantly…Believe. ❤

2016-08-06 14.35.15