To Tell or Not to Tell

One of the most stressful things about sexual abuse, besides the abuse itself, is the taboo against telling someone. Abusers tell victims (children and teenagers), that they must not tell anyone, and that they will be hurt badly or killed if they tell. The abuser also may tell the victim that a loved caregiver will hate them because they are so bad.

Often the victims of this crime grow up with a terrible secret knocking constantly at their consciousness. It’s like throwing a ball against the wall and catching it. You wish you had someone to catch it, but you alone keep catching the secret and throwing it back into your mind, because you believe you will suffer grave consequences if you tell.

According to psychologists, eventually the secret abuse settles somewhere in the child’s sub-conscious and cannot be retrieved. Sometimes the secret remains hidden years after the abuse is over. My secret, the sexual abuse by a maid, was not revealed until I was middle-aged. I went to a mental hospital and my therapist helped me remember my abuse. With that came the realization that I had wanted to tell my mother very badly at the time, but did not, because my abuser told me she would kill me with the butcher knife if I ever told anyone.

Therefore, these secrets, the secrets of sexual abuse, eventually hid in my subconscious. Along with that, I developed alternate personalities that didn’t even know about the abuse. It was only when I had the courage to tell my therapist that the stress of hiding the secret was released.

If you are suffering from abuse, it is very important to tell someone. Telling is a key to healing.

My story has been told, but there are millions of stories out there that have never been told. Every year the Children’s Advocacy Centers in the United States help over 100,000 children who have been abused. These children may be battered, beaten, starved, locked up, berated, or forced into having sex with an adult or sibling. This is not acceptable in our American society, where we value each life. We must pass stronger laws to stop it.

We must address the needs of girls who are being abused by their fathers or step fathers. Often the first thing they do after being assaulted is tell their mothers. Unfortunately this disclosure is often met with retaliation and disbelief. How many young girls have been slapped in the face, yelled at and told they have dirty minds. They are accused of lying. If Mom won’t listen, I strongly advise these girls to tell a teacher or responsible caregiver about this incest. To tell can lead to release from this situation.

A little known fact is that mothers are committing a felony in most states if they don’t report the abuse and do something to stop it.

If YOU are being abused or you are suspicious that a child is being abused, please call the Child Advocacy Center or Children’s Services in your area. It is their job to investigate and RESCUE ABUSE VICTIMS. Their phone numbers are on the internet. Or you can call 1-800-4-A-CHILD, the national number for reporting abuse. My prayers are with you if you decide to tell.

Protecting A Child from Sexual Abuse

Was this child abused?At this time child sexual abuse is rampant in our society, but we are learning how we can protect our children from abuse. When a baby is first born, we mothers are usually ecstatic to see our precious newborn and to hold and protect it. We feed the baby conscientiously and care for their every need. We almost become obsessive in our efforts to protect the child from harm.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sex, many parents remain mute, and figure they will discuss it when the child enters puberty. This Victorian idea is a mistake, and keeps the child vulnerable to abuse. We need to start explaining sexuality as soon as the child can understand, and over time hopefully we can defeat much child abuse and incest.

A group called RAINN has published a blog about teaching your young child about sex and sexual abuse and I believe if we begin to follow their suggestions we can eventually turn the tide on abuse.

Here is a list of the things RAINN suggests we do to protect our children, with a few additions:

1. TALK to your children openly and directly about sexuality. This teaches them it is okay to talk about it.

2. Teach children the CORRECT NAMES for their body parts, so they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about their body parts.

3. Teach children that some parts of their body are PRIVATE. Let children know that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless they need to provide care, such as by a doctor. Let children know that a trusted caregiver should be there too.

4. Tell children that if someone tries to touch those private areas or wants to look at them, or if someone tries to show the child their own private parts, they should TELL A TRUSTED ADULT as soon as possible.

5. All children should be told that it’s OKAY TO SAY “NO” to touches that make them uncomfortable.

6. If someone is touching them in uncomfortable ways, THEY SHOULD TELL YOU OR A TRUSTED ADULT as soon as possible.

7. Talking openly about sexuality and sexual abuse also teaches children that THESE THINGS DON’T NEED TO BE “SECRET.”

8. Tell the child that THEY WILL NOT GET INTO TROUBLE if they tell you this kind of secret.

9. DO NOT PUT ALL THIS INFORMATION INTO ONE BIG TALK ABOUT SEX.

10. When you EMPOWER YOUR CHILD TO SAY ‘NO’ TO UNWANTED TOUCH and TEACH THEM THAT THEY CAN COME TO YOU WITH QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS, YOU TAKE CRITICAL STEPS TO PREVENT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

For more information go to:

RAPE, ABUSE & INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK, http://www.rainn.org

 

Multiple Personality Disorder Case Report

This description of MPD comes from a paper by A. Salama Abdel-Aziz, M.D., published in the Journal of Islamic Medical Association of North America in 2005.

“Kathy is a 29 year old white married female who, after having taken an overdose of sleeping pills in her home, was discovered by her husband and admitted to a hospital. This overdose was attributed to her inability to cope with her responsibility as a wife and mother. The husband reported that several times he had found food burning in the oven. On one occasion the patient was saved from a fire in the home but was unable to recall how it started. The patient also denied ever having had a sexual relationship with her husband, although she was the mother of his three children.

The patient’s early development was uneventful except for temper tantrums and nightmares. The nightmares began at about age three when the parents would entertain in their home leaving the child to cry for hours. She would eventually fall asleep only to wake up frightened and screaming.

At age four she had her first traumatic experience. One night she found her father naked in bed with her five year old neighbor. She said that she was stunned with fear and surprise and ran away to her room. Her father followed her and gently persuaded her to take off her clothes and to join him and the other girl in their sexual play. Later,  alone in her room, she felt guilty and cried for several hours, denying to herself what had taken place, and only got relief when she attributed what had happened to someone else, whom she called “Pat.” The second day when approached by her father and the girl, she insisted on being called “Pat.” Also, she continued to engage in oral sex with the father, for nearly five years.

At age nine she experienced her second traumatic event, when her mother caught her with her father. The mother became angry with the father, wept for some time and insisted on taking her daughter in her bed every night. After a short time the mother became attached to her daughter sexually in what the mother described as a safer relationship. “Kathy” could not accept this, denied to herself what was happening and attributed it to a new person, “Vera”, who continued the relationship with the mother for another five years.

At age 14, she suffered her third traumatic experience. This was rape by an older man, who was her father’s best friend. “Kathy” became very depressed, called herself “Debby” and slept away from the mother. At that time, she was described by the parents as being very miserable. She became mute and was admitted to a hospital.

According to the hospital records, she showed a mixture of depression, dissociation and trance-like symptoms, with irritability and extensive manipulation which caused confusion and frustration among the hospital staff.

Following discharge she was seen by a therapist to whom she became very attached. He showed marked curiosity about the different personalities and became fascinated with her case. He suggested hypnosis as a treatment for her condition. His hypnotherapy sessions focused on the rape incident. He felt that “Debby” was the strongest of the personalities. Instead of concentrating on “Kathy”, he encouraged “Debby” to dominate the therapy sessions and talk about “Pat” and “Vera”, reinforcing their roles as dominant personalities. It was at this period, she terminated her therapy and began to call herself “Kathy”, “Pat”, “Vera”, and “Debby” at different times.

At age 18, she had her fourth traumatic experience. “Kathy” became very attached to a boyfriend in town. Her parents opposed the relationship and refused to allow her to meet with him. Her mother was constantly warning her that men could not be trusted, pointing to her own marriage to her father. The patient became scared, unable to trust either of her parents, and ran away from home to another town. She could not find a job, and her need of money drove her into prostitution. She began calling herself “Nancy”.

“Debby” rejected “Nancy” and forced her to overdose on sleeping pills. She was then admitted to a mental hospital where she met her husband, who also was admitted following a suicide attempt. This time the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder was confirmed.

The Joys of Summer

The joy of warm sunny days is upon us. We can finally relax and sit in the sunshine and drink iced tea. We can lay back and think about nothing. After all, what else is there to do?

I could do the dishes, but why spoil a lovely day over the kitchen sink, or anywhere near the kitchen sink. I could do the laundry and hang the sheets out to dry, but the clothesline fell down during the last rain and was never put up again.

I decide to put on my swim suit and lay in the sun, hoping the kids find something to occupy themselves. While I am putting on my suit, which reveals a few unsightly new bulges, I realize I am out of sunscreen. This is an emergency, because I burn right away and can’t risk lying in the sun without SPF 400. If I continue with this plan, everyone has to get dressed and go to the drugstore. For some inane reason, I don’t trust the kids to stay out of trouble when I leave home to do a simple errand.

Perhaps a fun activity is the answer. We can play badminton, but the net is still in the garage, tangled up from the derecho.

How about going to the lake and renting a canoe? Perfect. I can stop by the drug store and pick up the sunscreen on our way. The kids are onboard with the idea, and we get dressed for boating, including our hats, and drive 45 minutes to the lake. By the time we get there, we are hungry and grouchy, so we stop at the concession stand for $25 worth of hot dogs, candy bars, potato chips and drinks.

Hoping I still have enough cash to rent a canoe, we stand in line for 15 minutes. I notice the cost has been raised since last summer and they are now charging an arm and a leg for a one hour rental. I guess canoe robberies have escalated since last year and are now a big time operation, but I wonder how you can steal a canoe in broad daylight.

We finally rent a canoe. Our first challenge is actually getting in the canoe. Did you ever see a boat that tipped so easily? I sit in the front paddling the craft through the peaceful waters, while my 12-year old son, Jay, sits in the back, steering. He learned canoeing from his father last summer and is ready to show-off his skills. I am not as confident as he is.

My daughter who is eight, sits in the middle yakking about everything she sees. Doesn’t she realize the joy of canoeing is the peace and quiet of still waters? Jay is fairly quiet, only complaining occasionally about everything from being hot to getting his new tennis shoes wet.

Suddenly, we see a pontoon boat coming around a bend toward us. It is quite large and seems to be hogging the middle of the lake pretty well. Jay and I both see it at the same time and prepare to move the canoe to the left. However, Jay gets confused and moves the canoe to the right.

We are starring frightfully into the eyes of the man steering the pontoon boat, when he blasts an extremely loud blare from an air horn. It scares Jay so much he drops his paddle in the water. We are hypnotized, watching it sink. While I scramble to steer the canoe from the front, it bangs into the side of the pontoon boat.

Wham! There is a moment of terror while the canoe tips dangerously and we all nearly fall in the water. I wonder if we will survive. In my panic, I drop the other paddle, which seems to be in a hurry to join its partner at the bottom of the lake.

To my amazement, the man in the paddle boat doesn’t even stop to help us. He says a very nasty word and his party hardly notices us, as they grow smaller in the distance, leaving us up the creek without a paddle!

When we finally make it home, wet, disgusted and grumpy, I face a terrible truth. Tomorrow may be no better. The terror of warm sunny days is upon me.

 

 

 

Throwing Away Women’s Lib

Thinking about our coming holiday, Mothers Day, reminds me of how much women lost because of the Women’s Lib movement. In order to understand my unpopular opinion, we have to look back in history to the role women played before Women’s Lib became popular.

During the fifties and early sixties, most women didn’t work. They stayed at home and were housekeepers and mothers, living useful, comfortable lives. They kept the home looking nice, cared for the children and prepared nutritious meals. And they had time leftover for pleasurable activities. How many women have that today? Are the Housewives of Hollywood the only ones?

Now, women have to be housekeepers, mothers and have jobs. They had idyllic lifestyles and threw them away, insisting women be given jobs that were traditionally filled by men.

The men said, “Okay, then work!” I think at the time women were aiming to get good paying office jobs, and they wanted paid the same amount as men, something that has never really materialized on a national level. I know there are exceptions to this lower pay scale, but for the most part I think men still earn more.

The worst thing about it is that we didn’t only lose our easy lifestyles, where we could spend a little time in recreation during the day, but we lost a lot of respect from our husbands. Women began to feel “equal” to their husbands and insisted they be considered for all kinds of labor intensive jobs, such as factory workers, highway workers and soldiers. I don’t know how these women do it, unless they are in excellent physical condition.

I’m sure there are many of you who believe Women’s Lib was really a great liberation for trapped woman. I welcome your opinions in my comments section. Are you happy with the changes that Women’s Lib made in our country? Or do you agree with me that we lost more than we gained?

Another terrible story of child abuse

I read a terribly sad story this morning about child abuse in Florida. Although the story is seven years old, I had never heard it before today, so I’m putting the link out there for any interested readers.

http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/the-girl-in-the-window/750838

My question is was this child born with these malfunctions or were they the result of the neglect of the birth mother? What do you think?

Auld Lang Syne

Since I was a little girl in the forties, I have wondered what this song meant.  My parents sang it often, not just on New Year’s Eve. I thought it was a German song, because they were both German, but I just found out it is Scottish.

Sir Robert Ayton (1590 – 1638) is credited for writing the words, which were later copied by Robert Burns in a Scots poem. This is the way the song now translates:

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never thought upon,

The flames of love extinguished,

And freely past and gone?

 

Is thy kind heart now grown so cold,

In that loving breast of thine,

That thou canst never once reflect

On old-long-syne?

 

This precious old song always brings tears to my eyes, because it refers to people we have loved in the past and perhaps are not with us anymore.

One of the lines my parents sang was “I’ll take a cup of kindness yet, to the days of auld lang syne.”

Mother told me ‘auld land syne’ meant remember your old friends, and that has been confirmed on the Internet to mean ‘the good old days’. I miss you Mom.

Credit to http://www.journalnow.com

Mother’s Choice

Our society seems to have an enormous problem with sex. Our children become sexually active at a very early age, TV shows are overrun with sexual content, and marriages are crumbling because of sexual sin.

One of the things that is most prevalent in our ‘over-sexed’ society is sexual abuse of young girls by their father, their mother’s boyfriend or second husband. The men who do this are surely dysfunctional and have no conscience. How do they conclude that having sex with an underage daughter is okay?

This is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a family, signaling the downfall of that family unit. The mother feels betrayed by both her daughter and her husband and then must choose between them. The father’s sin has been found out and he is disgraced and ruined. The daughter is drowning in shame and disgust from the pain and agony of abuse.

I’m glad I never had to choose, but I believe that if your daughter tells you she is being molested by your mate, believe her.

This problem is aggravated by our socio-economic system here in the US. Since women bear the children, they most often win custody of the children in a divorce. Then they must somehow fulfill the duties of nurturing, caring for and providing for these children, and hold down a full time job that often pays next to nothing. I think most of these women feel desperate and if they can find a man who will join them in this difficult situation, they will often marry the first man who comes along or sacrifice marriage for a live-in boyfriend or lover.

It is no wonder that many women can’t handle it when her teenage daughter tells her that Mom’s boyfriend is molesting her. If the mother accepts the accusation and kicks the boyfriend out, how will they survive financially? And how can the mother have any self-respect knowing her new husband/boyfriend is not sexually faithful to her and would rather have sex with her underage daughter than herself. It is much easier to deny it, and, unfortunately, many women do exactly that. They scream at the daughter, telling her she’s “a disgusting liar,” and refuse to believe her.

Trusting and believing your daughter is the right choice in this situation. If you accept your daughter’s accusation, and do something about the abuse, you will save your daughter’s self-esteem and the hurt and shame of further sexual abuse.

You will probably lose your mate, but how can you be happy living with him any more, now that you know he has uncontrollable sexual urges, he’s been unfaithful to you and he’s a liar. Who else has he been with?

Your daughter will always be your daughter,  but your husband may someday be your EX.

If you do not believe and help your daughter you will regret it for the rest of your life. Who else can she turn to? She will soon leave home to escape the abuse, and without a place to sleep, or food to eat, she may accept money for sex in order to live. It’s a lose/lose situation for her.

Mother & Daughters

In my lifetime, I’ve been divorced three times, but I still have a wonderful relationship with my daughters. They are both nurturing and helpful to me, and I love them and care deeply for them. Here is picture of me and my daughters, celebrating Easter many years ago.

Mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths

A young mother has been arrested for felony child abuse near San Diego, California. Her two children, Harley, a 16 month old girl, and Jason, her two-year old brother drowned in a friend’s swimming pool last April. There was a marajuana growing operation going on at the  house where the two toddlers drowned.

Call for justice after mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths.

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

I don’t think there’s anything that demonstrates love better than bringing Mom breakfast in bed.

I remember a lot of breakfasts in bed for Mother’s day. I have two daughters, both of whom did not inherit my innate dislike of the kitchen and proved to be good cooks. I remember the first breakfast that my oldest daughter fixed for me. I think she was four. She actually was able to fix a reasonable facsimile of breakfast. I was so excited when she came rattling in with a tray filled with coffee, and scrambled eggs and toast. The coffee was lukewarm, the eggs were runny and toast was cold, but my heart was warmed to the point of tears. She went on to study cooking, which is still one of her strong points.

My younger daughter fixed me breakfast in bed also. When she was about five she brought me orange juice, coffee and pancakes. So much love was brought to me that morning. She climbed in bed with me and we cuddled as she helped me eat the food. What a sweet memory.

However, there’s something about the trip from the kitchen to the bedroom that seems to take a long, long time, because the well-meaning breakfast is often lukewarm by the time I taste it. Maybe it just takes me a long time to wake up and prepare to eat, or perhaps there is a mathematical formula:

Complexity of menu x age of child + amount of love needed ÷ distance to bedroom = warmth of breakfast. Do you think Martha Stewart knows the answer?

Both my daughters are grown now and live at the other end of the United States, so I’m pretty sure they won’t be bringing me breakfast in bed. But I know they are thinking of me and by Mother’s Day I’ll have a card, a call or a gift from both of them. I can’t imagine greater love than they have given me.

Have your children given you a special breakfast on Mother’s Day?

To Spank or not to Spank

That is the question. Our society is coming out of an era when children were spanked and disciplined for doing things that are wrong and not doing things that are right. Spanking a child with your hand or an implement was the norm. Years ago, school teachers and principals were famous for “paddling” the children. The motto was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Spanking was society’s effort to control bad behavior in children, and I’d say it worked for the most part.

Many of these efforts to discipline children were based in the scriptures. Proverbs 22:15 says “folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him,” and  “discipline your son, and he will give you peace: he will bring delight to you soul,” 29:17.

I raised my daughters with discipline, using the rod on them when they willfully disobeyed, and I espouse the biblical view on discipline. However, I was taught to spank them in love, which I interrupted to mean don’t yell and scream at them, but explain their wrongdoing in a loving voice. I also believe the spanking should not be too hard, just enough to get the point across.

Psychology books are for and against spanking, depending on the author and subject, but I do not believe spanking is child abuse. I believe it is correction, but it should be used after all other efforts to control the child have been explored.

Each young mother must make her own decision about whether to spank her child or not. Many mothers don’t spank their children, and I believe in general, children have not benefited from this standard. There are some very patient women who can handle screaming tantrums, and the hysterical behavior of undisciplined children, but I never could maintain my calm during such “fits.” I basically had to spank my girls, because I had no idea what else to do.

Please believe me I am not championing violence towards children, but I know from experience that out-of-control children can destroy property and offend people when left to their own devices. They can become tyrants, demanding everything their parents can give them and then some.

If someone doesn’t teach children not to run amok, throw things and take things that belong to other people, how will they learn? Unfortunately, women are now afraid to discipline their children when they are in public and the children know it. The children know they can do anything they want and their moms and dads can’t touch them if they’re in public. This has resulted in many unfortunate temper tantrums in malls and stores.

Author Laurie Ann Smith of Canada, who was abused as a child and is now a speaker on child abuse, believes the same thing I do, that spanking is not abuse. It is a wake-up call to get the child’s attention. Beating is abuse.

Child abuse is wrong, but correcting a child who is willfully disobeying is “training him up in the way he should go”(Proverbs 22:6). How many of us have been to a home where there are children who have not been disciplined? Usually we can’t wait to leave, because the children have taken over the home. They run, scream and play, often tormenting adults and other children.

Sending children to their room used to be a valid form of discipline and is not abusive. However, today children have so much electronic equipment in their rooms (televisions and computers) that they can happily entertain themselves for hours, so there is often no hardship involved in being sent to their rooms, and the child doesn’t learn anything about his behavior.

I think modern women of the 21st century honestly believe their children are good at heart and would never willfully hurt someone else, but this isn’t scriptural either and is not borne out by experience. Most children are extremely selfish and want their way all the time. If we do not curb this unfortunate behavior, when they become teenagers they do whatever they want. This method of no discipline can lead to some very nasty teenagers who do whatever they want.

So my point of view on this matter is that it’s better to spank a child than let him or her become a tyrant. What do you think? Do you think it’s abusive to spank a child?

Breaking the Sleep Barrier

Do your teenagers sleep too long in the morning? With summer vacation coming up, are you concerned about the number of teenagers who will be  “sleeping in”? Do you get irritable waiting for them to wake up and assume their daily chores? Who am I kidding? Can anyone make a teenager do a chore these days?

Notwithstanding, nor with sitting, I have just the thing to help you rustle those lazy teens out of their beds. There is no need to open the door and attempt to physically remove your offspring from their beds while dodging a shoe or a book being hurled at you from inside. My foolproofish technique can be used without entering the abode of such offspring, be they male or female.

To wake them up, simply follow these simple steps to breaking the sleep barrier.

  1.  Have your own parade! I’d begin by whistling softly and as the tempo becomes more insistent, increase your volume and stomp around the house clapping in rhythm to the music. If you have younger children in the home, definitely encourage them to join in.
  2. March enthusiastically up and down the stairs. Your offspring will yell at you to quiet down, so try to bring your parade down a notch, but make as much noise as possible quieting down, like dropping kitchen utensils, stepping on the cat, or yelling “Good Morning” to the neighbor as though he turned deaf over night.
  3. Then, just when those big whippersnappers (teenagers) are dropping off to sleep once again, hit them with a louder, more intense parade tune that busts their heads open. I highly recommend John Phillip Sousa’s many colorful marches, or my personal favorite “76 Trombones.” Marching and clapping to these tunes is exhilarating and will do the job!
  4. I suggest when you have reached this point, that you remove yourself and younger siblings to a safe place until the teenagers in question are fully awake and in their right minds.
Have a good day!

Napapnea

Usually I am the happy smiling wife, waiting for my husband to come home in the evening.  Besides being a writer and going out several days a week to line dancing class, I am the quintessential tidy housekeeper. I have always been compulsive about keeping the house clean and spotless.

Lately, however, I’ve been slipping, falling short in my efforts to dislodge June Cleaver from her throne as the perfect wife and mother.

Today, when my husband came home from work, I didn’t greet him at the door with a smile in my cleaned and starched apron (which I take off immediately so I don’t get it dirty). He came in and the lights were out and I was no where to be found. However, he found a clean pie pan sitting on the counter with a towel in it, as though it was half dried. I’m so embarrassed. He finally found me, in the study, in my lounge chair taking a nap. I was wearing what he calls my bat-girl mask (which is just an ordinary sleep mask),  and my mouth was hanging open. I’m so embarrassed.

I think I have a bad case of napapnea. It has caused me to fail once again to be the perfect wife. What will become of me? Will I lose my thirty-third bid for housewife of the year? Will I ever dust again? Do we have enough TP? These little details keep me staggering along the path of obsessive-compulsive disorder. And they make me tired.

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them