Reasons I Didn’t Tell Anyone I was Being Sexually Abused
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Reasons I Didn’t Tell Anyone I was Being Sexually Abused

That’s why when people approach me with ideas for how to prevent childhood sexual abuse, the only two things I focus on are education and honesty. I didn’t even know I was being abused because I lacked any education, and I didn’t talk to anyone because there were no safe adults for me to talk to. 

If you want to prevent abuse, do those things. Talk to kids about sex, abuse, rape, violence, and LGBTQ issues. Please give them the vocabulary to talk about what is happening to them, to define what is right and wrong, and a place to get their questions answered honestly, get good information on the topic, and have open conversations without judgment. 

If you aren’t willing to provide that for kids, I guarantee you there is a predator out there who will be more than happy to fill in the spaces for the kids around you and teach them about sex. You’re not going to like what they teach them. 

Sad News – The loss of a mental health advocate and friend

Sad News – The loss of a mental health advocate and friend

It’s been some time since I was a guest on her show, and it’d even been a few months since we talked, so it wasn’t until today that I learned about the loss of Tiffany Werhner earlier this week. To say that I was shocked, and saddened, doesn’t even come close to what I’m really feeling today.

A long five years since I turned 50

A long five years since I turned 50

If 50 was all about celebrating still being alive, 55 is more about just being tired. It feels old. It is getting harder and harder to find the things worth celebrating, but I know that they are still there. It just takes more work to focus on them than it used to.

Most importantly, I know that being alive at this age means I can still make a difference. I

Let’s Talk About Your Friend with Social Anxiety
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Let’s Talk About Your Friend with Social Anxiety

Someone you know is likely struggling with anxiety. Likely, many of you are, too, just like I am. With general anxiety running rampant across society right now, we can also assume that a large portion of social anxiety is going around too. If you have a friend who has struggled to keep plans or stay in touch, be kind. Recognize their anxiety and take a small action that sends the message that you are happy to see them. For me, it’s been a sincere hug or smile upon seeing me. It’s an immediate reminder that this person wants to be with me. There is an undeniable feeling that seeing me makes them happy.

They probably have no idea how much they have done by expressing that to me, but it makes all the difference in the world. I can immediately go from being all in my insecurities to all in the acceptance and warmth of long-time friends. It might not seem like much, but it is.

Sharing My Own Story With Tiffany Werhner on Moments of Clarity

Sharing My Own Story With Tiffany Werhner on Moments of Clarity

Yesterday, I was a guest again on my friend Tiffany Werhner’s radio show/podcast Moments of Clarity. We chatted about my story of child abuse, dissociation, major depression, and eventually, my experiences with therapy and more. If you are a survivor or know someone who is who could use a reminder that the abuse does not define them, and wasn’t their fault, please share this with them.

Grief is Hard, and Long
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Grief is Hard, and Long

Something else interests me about grief though and that is the grief that child abuse survivors have because it’s complicated. We aren’t grieving a person we’ve lost, we’re grieving something we never had. A safe, happy childhood or a loving parental relationship that didn’t exist. The lack of any kind of family bonds as an adult, or the inability to trust anyone. Those are things we can, and should, grieve. Often we aren’t given the chance to do that. Other people expect us to “put it behind us” because it was a long time ago. We may even convince ourselves that the best option is to suck it up and forget it, no reason to think about any of that. But, I think there’s a reason to grieve the things we didn’t have as children. They are very real losses. They have very real impacts on our brains and our emotional well-being. We can’t change it now, but we can allow ourselves the freedom to feel grief over it. It’s part of the process.