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I will be flying out to Bali next Sunday for a spiritual sojourn for several months. This will be my last regular blog, since I’m not going with a computer and I have no idea about internet access where I am going. Whenever I can, I will post.

This is a time for me to get in touch again with who I am and what I’ll be doing for this next stage in my life.  I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to do this, and I’m also scared!

Do you know just how scary it is for a trauma survivor to walk into the unknown!?!

I’ve never been to Bali before. I know only one person there, and I just met her on Thanksgiving day. A mutual friend connected us. So, I’ve been bombarding her with questions. I have no plan about what I’m going to do there. The only thing I know is that, through Rita Gelman Golden who wrote Tales of a Female Nomad, I found a friend of hers there who is also a tour guide. He will be picking me up at the airport and has found me a place for the first few nights until I decide what I want to do.  I only found out about this several days ago.

So, a week and half before I leave, I had no idea where I would be staying once I arrived. Needless to say, I am much relieved.

Also, my adult children and I have lived and working together since 1998. This will be the first time we will be apart for several months, and I won’t be home for Christmas. In addition, this is happening in conjunction with my son’s girlfriend moving in. This is the next stage in their relationship, and my son has never crossed this threshold before. So, I’ve been packing up my room so that she will have a place that she can call her own.

Whether I will actually move back in, or they move out – none of us have a clue. We’ll deal with it when I return – whenever that might be. Regardless, I sense that all our lives will be irrevocably changed with this journey. Read the rest of this entry »

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I just finished listening to Caroline Myss’ new CD, Navigating Hope. As I have mentioned before, Caroline has been a key spiritual teacher and mentor for me since 1995.

Once again, she gives a brilliant account of what hope is, why we’ve lost it, and how we can get it back.

I do not intend to review her CD, but to comment on how trauma destroys our ability to sustain hope and why hope is so crucial to our will to live. Without hope, we are only surviving, sometimes barely making it through from one day to the next. Trauma sucks the life out of us.

Hope can bring it back!

Let me start with a synopsis of Caroline’s definition of hope. Read the rest of this entry »

Child sexual abuse, or incest, is one of the most insidious types of violence perpetrated on innocent children:

  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet. (30, 87)
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under. (76)
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.

While we are teaching children to be wary of strangers, no one wants to believe that many are abused by family members and friends:

  • 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member. (2, 44, 76)
  • Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
  • Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know. (1, 44)
  • Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.

More shocking, children are violated when young:

  • The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old. (64)
  • More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8. (76)
  • Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12. (74, 76)

(Above statistics in Darkness2light.org).

Sometimes, so young that they have no way to defend themselves, let alone understand what is happening to them.

Sometimes, so young that they have no memory of  it.  Yet, abuse affects everything in their life – sex, relationships, work, physical and mental health – and they don’t know why!

This is what happened to me. I blocked out all memory of this abuse.  While it is personal, my story starts with my professional life. Read the rest of this entry »

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