Monthly Archives: November 2010

exorcism

Lately I have been feeling so very good and whole and healthy. The foundation I am building within myself is now solid. This foundation makes the ‘bad’ moments not so ‘bad’ anymore. I am aware of lightness. I am blessed. Thankfully I know that I am not alone and I will recover from any moments of panic or depression. I understand now that I need to allow the feelings to come up, accept them, learn from them and then release them.

I wrote this stream of consciousness the other day after recovering from a particularily bad flashback. I am grateful for the gift of expression.

It was coming
It was bound to come
The ugliness seeking me out
It’s coldness surrounding me
My body so tired
Each limb heavy
Unable to move and yet
My heart is racing.
Out of control
my insides shake
Shiver

I can not stop the fear
I resist the giving in
I push away the memory
It will not let me go this time
The hurt needs out
It ricochets inside of me
Bouncing from gut to brain to heart to lung
This pain, this sorrow

Extreme
It wants to pull me under
It demands my attention
‘LET ME GO!’
I scream in anger
Release me from the torment
Or at least let me cry
Let me succumb to the sad
Let the tears fall

Sobs bursting forth
Propelled by the force
Of my anger
My pain
My disbelief that such a thing
Such evil
can exist within
such beauty

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Birthday Gift

Cynthia here.  I’m the founder of Voice Found and am so grateful for the support of friends and strangers alike who share my dream of preventing childhood sexual abuse and supporting adult survivors.  There has been quite a bit of momentum building and we are gearing up to do a lot of work in the new year.  In order to accomplish some immediate goals, we need a bit of a kick start  and so I am asking for a special birthday gift this year.   I’m asking for donations of any size to help us out.

Here are the specifics of where the funds raised will go:

  • Purchase of training materials for Stewards of Children childhood sexual abuse PREVENTION program
  • Legal fees to incorporate Voice Found
  • Website development

These items will help propel us towards the development of additional programs and services for adult survivors and to expand on offerings for prevention programs.

So- how do you know the money does not go in my pocket?  Well I can only give you my word and this proof.  The last time I asked for donations was two years ago in February.  At that time I asked for support from friends so that I could attend a workshop in Edmonton.  I was blessed to receive the $1,000.00 that I needed, attended the workshop and became an authorized facilitator for the Stewards of Children workshop.  You can find me listed here.

The gifts of others time, support and belief in my dream have completely overwhelmed me.  My personal journey of healing has been difficult to share at times but has helped many and so I continue to do so in this blog.  I’ve been blessed to find some great people who are willing to work on a volunteer board as we formalize this idea and prepare to launch Voice Found as an official not for profit.

No money to give?  Hey- no problem.  I know what that is like!  Here are other ideas:

  • Get a group of 5-10 people together for a workshop – all I need is a place to meet,  TV/DVD Player and advance notice.  Cost is $25.00 per person and you can find workshop details here
  • Offer up some free meeting space in Ottawa Canada or surrounding area
  • Lend talent/time to help us grow.
  • Educate yourself on how to recognize, respond and react appropriately to help prevent childhood sexual abuse
  • ‘Like’ the VoiceFound Facebook page
  • Support a survivor.  Listen.
  • Leave me a comment.  It means so much to know that I am educating and/or supporting others
  • Sing happy birthday to me on December 5th!  Ya – you KNOW you want too!

Thank you all so very much.  Just your visit to this page is a gift.  Here’s the link to the Voice Found PayPal donation page:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=WMEY32GN24QCE

ABOUT VOICE FOUND:

The effects of childhood sexual abuse are far-reaching and chances are you know someone who has been affected. Our goal is to raise awareness and create and deliver programs that will help prevent, educate and heal.

Mission:

To reduce the socio-economic impact of childhood sexual abuse on individuals and communities.
We will accomplish this through:
• Empowering individuals to recognize, react and respond appropriately to childhood sexual abuse through the award winning ‘Stewards of Children’ program..
• Identifying and providing resources to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
• Providing programs for survivors and those in their circle of care

Gifts

I’ve been spending time reflecting on how many wonderful people are entering into my life.  How many beautiful souls surround me with their friendship and love.  How many gifts I have been given.  There have been times when I question what I give in return.  Are my moments of sadness or panic draining my friends?   Are the moments when my 5 year old self wants to play exhausting to others?  Do I give enough?  Is who I am enough?

“While it may be tempting to focus on how awful it is to be abused, it’s important to not lose sight of the reality that survivors are full human beings with many gifts and talents to offer the world. Some of the most sensitive, intuitive, deep, profound, creative, and hopeful people I’ve known are incest/child sexual abuse survivors. They were able to be that way by not losing touch with their humanity–their soulfulness–in the face of others’ inhumanity. We can all learn a great deal from survivors.” Kali Munro, M.Ed.

Survivors teach and give more than we realize.   Often the gifts we give are more precious than we can imagine. Every survivor gives something special to the world.

“Working with survivors of abuse offers professionals the opportunity to work with individuals who embody what it means to be courageous and resilient. It is an honour that also transforms the care provider… you will not look at the world the way you did before… it is a calling that comes with costs…”— woman abuse counsellor

I’m grateful to have people in my life who accept the gifts I offer.

Understanding the fear

I’m booked for dental surgery this coming Friday and I’m terrified.  Not everyone really understands my fear – and in fact, most don’t.  The fear is HUGE.  The fear causes me to neglect my dental health which has caused massive problems.  A simple procedure put on hold for years has grown into something major.   It will take a lot of courage and frank conversation with the surgeon in order for me to sit in the chair and allow him to do the work.  It will require that I have someone I trust accompany me and hold my hand and comfort me while I allow the dentist to put me to sleep.  Even with this precaution, I may not allow that to happen.  I may insist on staying awake and possibly feeling more pain than is necessary.

I thought I’d take a moment and discuss what happens and the reasons why.  It is my hope that this will help others to understand the significant impact that childhood sexual abuse has on survivors.  And for those of you who are survivors, this may help you understand some of what you are experiencing in similar situations.

1)  Authority figures.  The moment I cross the threshold of the dentist office, I feel small.  I begin to feel insignificant in the presence of someone I perceive to be in a position of authority.  While my intellect tells me otherwise – we are equals after all – the ‘old brain’ messages tell me that he (or she), is far more powerful and important than I. As such, I must obey and defer to his wishes.  The dentist has control over me.

2) Be pleasing and deny your feelings.  I am not to make a fuss or cause any upset.  Basically just be a ‘good girl’ and do what is required.  It does not matter if you are hurting or uncomfortable.  Just obey.  I don’t think I need to detail where this comes from.  What happens as I sit on the chair becomes overwhelming at times.  I often feel like I am going to cry (and sometimes I DO).  I feel bad if I have to ask them to stop for a moment.  If the freezing is wearing out and I feel pain, I may be afraid to signal that there is a problem.  Needless to say this causes me significant pain but I justify it by thinking that I am not being a bother and it’s really not THAT bad.  (HA!)

3) Panic Attacks.  This is a huge one. The anaesthetic that is injected has adrenaline in it which can precipitate a panic attack.  I often ask for and receive freezing that does not have adrenaline but it wears out sooner and so they have to keep injecting me.  (ya- those needles are lots of fun to get over and over and over again…)  Even without the adrenaline, there is no guarantee that I will not have a panic attack.  They suck.  Big time.

4) Helplessness.  While I know I am not powerless, I FEEL that way.  I am put in a chair that is then tilted back and asked to open my mouth wide while they put something in my mouth to hold it open and I can not speak.  Ya.  Not a good feeling for someone who has been sexually abused.

5) Isolation.  I feel alone.  I feel weird.  I am not normal.  After all – normal people don’t go through this.  Now I know that this is not the case.  I’m certain that others experience similar feelings .  But at the time I am experiencing this, I go to that place of being all alone in the world.  Damaged.  Unworthy.  An alien.

There IS good news though.  There are some things I do now that I am happy to share with others.  Things that may help you or someone you care about who may be experiencing similar things.   And while they are not always easy, and they sometimes require that you disclose, they WILL help.

1) Tell the dentist that you are experiencing Post Tramautic Stress Disorder.  No need to detail but you can certainly advise them of certain behaviours to be aware of.  Let them know that you may cry but that is not from physical pain.

2) Agree ahead of time on a signal to stop and take a break.

3) Ask if the procedure can be done with the chair not reclined so far back

4) Insist on having someone in the room with you if you fear being alone.

5) Book additional time on your appointment.  An extra 15 minutes can really help and you won’t feel so bad if you need to break during the procedure. Call ahead of time and talk to the receptionist if you prefer. There is no shame in asking for accommodations to be made.  And if there is any hesitation, then find another dentist.

6) Positive affirmations.  Repeat often before, during and after your appointment.  ‘I am okay.  I am taking care of my health.  I have no reason to feel embarrassed by anything that transpires.  I am powerful.  I am strong.  I am good and whole.’  Whatever works best for you – say it.

I’ve just started doing this at my own dentist and it is helping.  The staff there are wonderful and they have done all they can to make me feel comfy.  I will call the surgeon’s office tomorrow and give them the ‘head’s up’ and I will do it from a place of STRENGTH.

I feel better already for sharing this with you!  Thank you.

(PS- for those of you who are fans of the show ‘Dexter’ like I am – you’ll appreciate the laugh – the surgeon’s first name is ‘DEXTER’)