There is a free 5-day virtual retreat entitled, “Breaking the Silence: Healing Childhood Sexual Trauma”. I will be speaking about and demonstrating a qigong exercise and it’s impact on alleviating post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) for survivors. I hope you will join me with over 60 other experts on this topic, from understanding what happens on a physical, emotional and spiritual level during trauma, what causes (ptsd), the impact of this abuse on survivors, and what it takes to heal.

Please register here:

There is also a fb community you can join to discuss this topic, get answers to what’s been bothering you, and have a support group as you are going thru your healing journey:

My presentation will be on the 5th day. Hope to see you all there!




The below article gives an accurate account of the emotional toll cancer takes on a patient, and even survivors who are in remission. As a cancer patient, I have and continue to go through all the emotions listed here. And, the emotional roller coaster doesn’t stop even when I was in remission for a year and half. I’m posting this article so that cancer patients/survivors can know that they are not alone and they ARE NOT going crazy (unless you have already been dx with a mental illess). I’m also posting this article so that loved ones and caregivers have a better understanding of what we go through:

Dealing with the Emotional Effects of Cancer

I am glad that the above is being finally contested. However, with the way “news” is reported when referred to women, can anyone really be surprised that this has been happening? When the CEO sets a tone of abuse of power towards a specific group of people, then the entire environment follows suit.

Absolutely heinous behavior! I, for one, am glad to see this type of behavior finally being held accountable!

I’m glad to see so many women finally speaking up and providing a role model for other women to fight for justice. However, make no mistake, it is an uphill battle. And, I have heard from past clients that fighting justice can feel like being abused all over again. In this land of supposed equality and justice, I do find that our criminal justice system doesn’t prove to be too just, and that the victim, unfortunately, still gets blamed!

Sexual harassment does not adequately describe the pain, the fear, the shame and the anger that survivors go through after this kind of abuse. Read the rest of this entry »

The law to seek justice for survivors of sexual abuse still makes it very difficult to report. Below is a petition to support a bill before the House to alleviate some of the obstacles survivors face.  As a former psychotherapist, and a survivor myself, I’ve counseled others who have reported their abuse. On one hand, taking the step to report is the beginning of healing from a violation so vile that impacts the mind, body and soul. On the other hand, when obstacles block the support that a survivor desperately needs to go through this process, my clients have told me that “I feel like I am being raped all over again”!

Please read the below bill and add your name to this petition to support it:

Gayook, add your name: Tell the Senate Judiciary Committee to take immediate action to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

Last week Senate Democrats introduced a bill that could be a game changer for sexual assault survivors across the country. The federal Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act would provide more rights to survivors of rape and sexual assault, particularly as they seek justice through the criminal justice system.

Among the rights secured in this bill are no-cost forensic medical exams (or rape kits), preservation of evidence for the full statute of limitations, clear information about the results of the exam, and written notice prior to destroying rape kits.

A version of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act was introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives last spring. After the bill was referred to a House committee for consideration, nothing happened until Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced it in the Senate last week. This legislation is too important to languish in committee again.

Add your name: Demand the Senate Judiciary Committee take immediate action to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

The bill was written by Amanda Nguyen, a 24-year-old rape survivor who was frustrated by the obstacles and hurdles she’s faced in the two years since her attack. Despite a 15-year statute of limitations in her state, she is forced to track down her rape kit, which moves from facility to facility, and file an extension every 6 months so the evidence is not destroyed.

Nguyen says, “The system essentially makes me live my life by date of rape.”

Currently, survivors’ rights and guarantees vary widely from state to state. This legislation seeks to create standard procedures for survivors seeking justice through the legal system. The bill applies specifically to federal cases, but if enacted, is poised to become a model states can draw from in establishing standards of justice, as well as care and treatment, for survivors of sexual assault.

Stand with sexual assault survivors. Add your name to the petition now.

Keep fighting,
Irna Landrum, Daily Kos

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Matthew Fox’s above memoir entails his journey from boyhood to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, to his expulsion from the Church, and to his
second ordination with the Episcopal Church.  And, that’s as far as I’ve read. Read the rest of this entry »

If you read the last blog, you know I hadn’t as yet spoken to Jenn. She finally did call tonight and we spoke for about 10 minutes – the longest talk since she’s been in Shanghai.

She said the presentation went very well and, as many of the speakers before her covered some of the same background information she was going to speak about, she decided to make hers more personal, from the heart. She spoke more about her grandfather’s story – I guess that’s what her friend said about it being bittersweet. And, of all things, the power point froze in the middle of the session, so while they were trying to get it to work again, she entertained the audience by tap dancing. Of course, the place cracked up. I guess she hasn’t lost her “ham” persona when she’s on stage. In fact, one person told her that the tap dancing was the best part. She responded with, “Next time, I’ll be sure to dance more”!

Many people came up to speak to her afterwards, telling her that they were crying during her speech, and some actually started tearing while telling her this. Some told her that hers was the best presentation. I knew that while the information on that era is important, I always find that it’s the personal stories that move the audience.

Again, my heart swells with love and pride for her hard work and also for her touching tribute to her grandfather’s memory.

I haven’t had too much contact with my daughter, Jennifer, who has been at the Art Deco World Congress this past week. With my poor cell phone connection in the house and the different time zones, it’s been challenging to have a heart-to-heart.

When I asked her how her presentation went, the only cryptic answer was, “It went well”. Fortunately, one of her friends from the LA Art Deco Society emailed his husband and said that she “knocked the presentation out of the park”. He went on to say that the story was bittersweet, that he ended up with a tear in his eyes, that I would be very proud of her, and that many people were impressed. Wow!

And, to top it off, she was one of the few presenters mentioned in the –

Go, Jenn!

Some of you may know that Jenn, my daughter, was invited to present my father’s art deco work at the first Asian World Congress in Shanghai. She is there now and just sent me an email re the write-up of the top presentations:

I am very excited for her and our whole family that my father is being honored in this manner, especially since his life in the U.S. was a struggle – financially, emotionally, etc. If you are interested in more information, please got to his website:

Yay, my friend, Dr. Adele McDowell, has done it again. Huffington Post Canada posted another of her articles. This time, very different from her earlier ones on suicide. In fact, this is the other side of depression and suicide. It is inspirational as she takes the fictional character of James Bond – 007 who can face any one and anything and comes out alive and whole.

Don’t we wish we could do that. It is no wonder that we idolize heroes (and heroines) who can face any danger, look a gun in the face, fight any fight! It is really because we wish that we could do that but don’t think we can. Then, Adele tells her own personal story of danger and courage. Sometimes, one never knows of what one is capable until faced with a dire circumstances. And, of course, there are many kinds of danger from which one can test courage.

For those who have undergone any kind of trauma – abuse, accidents, life threatening illness, etc. – it takes a lot of courage to overcome the incident or incidents. When one has been abused and put down at every turn, the message is that “you are nothing, you will never amount to anything, you. will never be able to protect yourself, you are a coward…..”. And, if the trauma is severe enough, then there is post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) with which one has to go through. PTSD, for those who may not know, is not just a mental memory. When PTSD comes on – and sometimes the survivor doesn’t even know what triggers it or even what is happening – it is like the trauma is happening all over again. So the survivor is no longer his/her chronological age and doesn’t realize that he/she is actually safe, the memories that come flooding back impact the mind, the body reactions, the fears or shocks of that particular time.

I know because being a survivor or child sexual and physical abuse, as well as undergoing many life threatening illnesses, I am understanding more and more my work, as well as the healing work I’ve done with clients, in overcoming PTSD. I still get bouts of it, but having worked on these issues, I am now able to name the triggers as well as the times PTSD comes over me. I can’t say that I can get out of it immediately – although sometimes I can – but I can at least know what’s happening to me. What that does is that I know it’s not happening again, that I am safe, and that I can sum up the courage to speak up, to protect myself, or to help others. I remember that I am no longer 4 when I was abused, or 10 or 12 when I almost died from an illness. And even now, in dealing with cancer these last 4 1/2 years, I know I now can take the small steps to take care of myself.

Will I ever be a “James Bond”. Perhaps not, but in my eyes I let myself acknowledge each time I take any step to take care of myself, knowing each step only leads to more courage every time. This is what came to me as I was reading Adele’s article. For me, it came at a time when I’m not only dealing with cancer, but shingles these past few weeks. Shingles, unfortunately,  is only one physical ailment in a long line of many that shows me how depleted my immune system is and how much I need to be easy on myself as I navigate these waters.

Perhaps Adele’s article will mean something entirely different to you, but I urge you to read it and see. And, Adele, I’m so proud of you for sharing your very personal story and the courage you had in protecting yourself.


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