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- Who Defines You? - Yes, I can't go back to being a child again like I was before the abuse, and none of us can turn back time and do that. That shouldn't be our definition of "healing". But, maybe our definition of healing should include having a base, a life, or an identity, that is grounded in what we want from life, as opposed to just rearranging our identify in response to abuse.… Read More
- Why Reading Just The Headline is Misleading - The content of the article is pretty accurate, but if you saw the article shared on Twitter, for example, with just the headline, what would your take-away be? Oh, the headline? This is what it said:
"If this happened to you in childhood, you may have mental health problems"
That headline seems to imply the exact opposite of the content of the article. The study they are reporting on, actually says the opposite of that. It implies that we really don't know or understand all of the causes of mental health issues. For some, it may be tied to childhood trauma, for another person it may be tied to something else, or someone with a lot of childhood trauma didn't grow up with mental health issues.
Since we know many, many people only read the headline and then either move on, or share based on the headline alone. I can't help but wonder how many people are sharing something, assuming that it says that childhood trauma causes mental health issues, when the article actually says it's more complicated than that. … Read More
- Child Abuse Advocacy Groups Caught up in Facebook QAnon Purge? - Am I sad that there are fewer child abuse advocacy groups on Facebook overall? Sure. But, what makes me sadder is how many legitimate advocacy groups fell massively short of their duty to tell the truth to their followers. How many continued to share these theories well after they were disproved in some bizarre effort to show how much more they cared about children, while diverting attention and resources from real victims and organizations trying to help them.
So no. I don't feel sorry for you if your page was taken down by Facebook for violating their terms of service around spreading disinformation. You owed real survivors, and the people who followed you to learn more about true child abuse stories, more than that. You are right about one thing, child abuse and child trafficking is an incredibly important issue. Spreading lies doesn't help that message, it provides the rest of the world an excuse to ignore it. If you truly want to advocate for children, stick to the truth, or suffer the consequences.… Read More
- Today, I Had to Say I’m Not OK - I had to follow my own advice yesterday, and do something that wasn't easy, and made me feel weak. I had to admit that I'm not OK… Read More
- One Small Thing You Can Do to Help Others - I've talked often about the small things we can do for each other, that may make a much bigger difference than we know. Things like texting a friend, checking in on them, simply sitting with them when they're struggling etc. I've talked about how these small acts keep people connected, let them know that they are not alone, and allow us to get outside of our own anxiety about everything going on in the world, and take control of one small thing we can do to make a positive difference.
Well, as we start of 2021, here's something you can do that would help not only me, but potential people in your social circles who are feeling alone right now.
Would you share this website with them?… Read More
- Still Here, 2020 Edition - Recently, a friend on Facebook decided to ask us all to share one thing that happened this year that was a positive, to try and collect any and all good news in one place. It was a good idea, and as I thought about how I would respond to something like that, I thought of some of the good things that have happened this year. I've had some pretty nice successes at work. I've connected on a deeper level with my wife, and managed to stay connected to a close group of friends and family. Those were good things, but at the end of it all, I kept coming back to something I talked about at the end of 2019 on the Find Your Voice Podcast, and then again on this very blog on January 1 of 2020.
"I'm Still Here"… Read More
- When People Show You Who They Really Are… - Now, as many of you know, I'm not big on politics, and never really have been. I am pretty accepting of most political views, and don't really find that many extreme political views, one way or the other, are useful at all. This year though, this one has gotten to me. There are definitely some folks who I'm not really going to go out of my way to stay in touch with, and really it's not the politics of the pandemic as much as it's the fact that these views exposed something else that makes it obvious that these may not be great friends.
It's because these views are often expressed with so much selfishness.… Read More
- The Extreme Things Toxic Positivity Forces You To Believe - I feel fairly certain I have never read a worse example of how certain worldviews will have to end up blaming the victim for their own suffering than this quote from an article about how we can fetishize "surviving" during difficult times, often taking more interest in things like the Holocaust:
Recently, a textbook required for the UNC minicourse “21st Century Wellness” was skewered for suggesting—as a headline read—“Holocaust victims who died failed to find their inner strength.” The actual text included: “The people in the camps who did not tap into the strength that comes from their intrinsic worth succumbed to the brutality to which they were subjected.”
I realize that this seems shocking that anyone would believe this, but I have a different take on it. Why wouldn't some people believe this?… Read More
- Lauren Book on Fight, Flight, or Freeze - Somehow, even though this is from 2016, I hadn’t seen it until last night. It’s a TEDx talk by survivor, and advocate Lauren Book. (https://laurenskids.org)
In it. she shares her own story, and some words about going from victim, to advocate and how we can all advocate for children, but the part that really caught my attention was the beginning, and no not just because she uses an air horn. It’s the description of our responses to trauma, and how they are just part of us, mostly outside of our control, especially as children. Lauren’s freeze response wasn’t just a one-time event either, it went on for years, and was tied to thinking that all of it was her own fault.
If this sound familiar, that’s because it is really common. We just don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about sexual abuse at all, and if we do, this kind of response is usually met with some nasty comments about why we waited to say anything. Those comments simply communicate that the person saying them, knows nothing about the brain and trauma response.
Don’t be that person. Watch and learn a thing or two.… Read More
- Where Do We Really Spend Money on Mental Health Research? - Thanks to Professor Miranda Wolpert for sharing some of the details of a recent study looking at the details of mental health research funding. For me these three points underscore some of the issues we have: Despite growing awareness of … Read More