Being An Overcomer

I am an over comer of many different types of abuse, for many years, while growing up.  I have written numerous poems about all sorts of obstacles that people might face from having been abused. Most of the obstacles are ones that I faced because of having been abused by so many different people in my life. There were so many different poems about these issues and obstacles that I actually have a web site where I have posted quite a few of the poems.

One of the poems is titled “If Kids Don’t Tell”. I wrote it back in 1989. I have copied it below.

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IF  KIDS  DON”T  TELL

If “Kids Don’t Tell”, as has often been said,

That means they close up and hold it inside instead.

Then they life an awful life,

Knowing deep within something isn’t right.

They never seem to fit on anybody’s team.

And they grow up having no self esteem.

For theirs is a life of confusion and pain,

And how from this, can any self-worth be gained.

So they go on like this for many many years,

Always only having heartaches and fears.

And when finally what’s inside, like a volcano does erupt,

This adult/child’s world suddenly turns bottoms up.

So to heartaches and fears gets added shame,

And an even different kind of pain.

There is no way to tell or convince these people that they have any worth,

For with the volcano of memories came a feeling of being dirtier than dirt.

They go through sleepless nights from the nightmares and dreams.

Life keeps getting harder and harder as they feel they’re parting at the seams.

It’s hard to hear what people say without bursting into tears,

To feel that inner rage and not be overcome by fears.

To think that these people have gone through years of a living hell,

Just because it was true, that in many cases “Kids Don’t Tell”.

Bonnie Jean

One Whose Been There

September 23, 1989

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When I wrote the poem, I was going through one of the worst times in my life. The volcano of memories, that I had buried for 20 years, had just erupted. For all intents and purposes, I just shut down. My life consisted of being in the hospital for two weeks at a time, every two to three months, to work on all of the memories.

One of my abusers was a mental health nurse, that worked with the Public Health Department where I lived. I had been taken away from my family because of an abusive step-father. I could not return to them after that. I went to live with the nurse as a live-in-babysitter for her two little girls. I had barely been there two and a half months when she started sexually abusing me too. I went into shock. She was scared that I had died and kept telling me to breathe, blink my eyes, sneeze, just do something to let her know that I was still alive. She promised me that if I would just let her know that I was alive, that she would not “get” me ever again. After what seemed an eternity, I did finally breathe. It was barely two months later when she “got” me again.

At that time, I asked her what she would do if I told on her. She told me that since I was a mental health patient and she was a mental health nurse, all she had to do was to deny it and everybody would believe her over me any day of the week. She went on to say too that I would be committed for the rest of my life if I told on her. Then she warned me not to tell on her by saying, “So if I was you, I wouldn’t try it.” I didn’t tell. I did a total about face turn around, and made her out to be a saint.

I moved out of state when I got married. It was twenty years after the nurse first “got” me when someone started working where I worked that could have been her twin. After three weeks of seeing her everyday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I attempted suicide. So far as I was concerned it would be better for me to be dead than to be committed for the rest of my life. I ended up in coronary intensive care for four days and the final result was an irregular heart beat. The doctors told me that I was very lucky to have survived the attempt.

That was when the two week admissions to the behavioral health center for two weeks every two to three months started. I was put on short term disability at work for six months, and then put on long term disability after the six months was up. The long term disability lasted for four years.

During the time that I was on long term disability, I ended up with asthma, bronchitis, and mico-plasm pneumonia, all at the same time. I was visiting my family at the time. I had to stay an additional two weeks. That was in March and April of 1990, during Easter of that year. When I was allowed to return home, I was being rushed to the hospital every 7 to 10 days with asthma attacks so bad that I couldn’t breathe.

Besides my full-time permanent job, I also had a permanent part-time job. I was working from 60 to 70 hours a week. There was one week that I actually worked a total of 100 hours. Needless to say, you can’t work being rushed to the hospital every 7 to 10 days. On June 9, 1990 I lost both of my jobs. My whole world seemed like it was crumbling in on me. But I persevered. I was an “overcomer”.

A while back I heard the lyrics to a song titled “OVERCOMER” written by MANDISA, and I actually had chills up and down my spine. It was because of all of the trials and tribulations  that I have been through, that the song touched me so immensely. When I first heard it, I knew that some time or another, and some way or another, I had to use it in one of my posts on this web site. Obviously, now is the time. I hope it makes others feel as strong, for having made it through unimaginable trials and tribulations, as what it made me feel.

 

MANDISA LYRICS for Overcomer

Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you

[Chorus:]
You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Ooh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants You to know

[Chorus]

The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
He’s living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing He can’t do
He’s telling you

(Take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises)

[Chorus]

You’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

So don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

 

Thanks to Kat for adding these lyrics.
Thanks to Kaylie Cross, Anonymous Christian for correcting these lyrics.

Writer(s): David Arthur Garcia
Copyright: D Soul Music, Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publ. 

Dreams And Hopes

DREAMS  AND  HOPES

You have to have dreams and you have to have hopes,

If you want to continue to live.

Because if you don’t have both of these,

For all intents and purposes you are dead.

Friends and family play a big role,

If these two things you are to have.

You won’t have a life that is whole,

Nor dreams and hopes will you have.

If your friends and family always put you down,

Or never boost you up,

Then to you this thing called life,

Will be a bitter bitter cup.

I know that circumstances

Your life do not control.

But always having bad ones

Don’t help you, the grip on life to keep hold.

Your dreams and hopes can be shattered

Only a certain number of times,

Before on dreams and hopes

You stop holding tight to the line.

There comes a time in everyone’s life,

When anything else bad they cannot take.

They’ve gotten it all back together so many times,

One more time they just could not make.

It isn’t that they are unwilling to try,

It’s just that their will, their hope and their dreams

Have all at the same time run dry.

                    January 16, 1989

What I Think My Mother Felt About Me In August Of 1988

There are many things that come to play when I remember having written the poem that follows below. I remembered having been told for as long as I can remember that I was a backwards child, accident prone, an accident waiting for a place to happen, I couldn’t play by myself, that I had a tremendous inferiority complex, and that I could make a preacher cuss. In other words, I was a problem child.

When I tried to tell her the things that were being done to me, she didn’t believe me. Since I was hurting and upset most of the time, I threw temper fits and always tried to get adults to pay attention to me and be affectionate to me, as in give me hugs. When I saw my sister being given affection, and I got none, I cried a lot. This upset my Mother tremendously, but it never resulted in my receiving any hugs. As a result, there was always confrontation when I was around, a fact that added to my families disdain for me. I can remember these things happening back as early as when I was four years old. It seemed like anything bad that could be said about a child was said about me when I was a child. All of these things added together are what made me feel the way I did and therefore the reason for me writing what I wrote in the poem that follows.

A  POEM  MY  MOTHER  MIGHT  HAVE  WRITTEN  ABOUT  ME

Backwards was this child of mine.

Only one to be accident prone all of the time.

Never could do anything on her own.

Never could play all alone.

Inferiority always a part.

Exasperating from the very start.

Bonnie was a problem child indeed.

Made up crazy wants and needs.

She was always selfish and mean.

And with her the other kids didn’t want to be seen.

She was such a clinging vine.

I pushed her away all of the time.

She was so backwards and clumsy in school.

Always wanting affection and attention as a general rule.

She’d cry if you even looked at her straight.

Desirable was something that her you could not make.

She was said by her Nanny to be reserved and shy.

Just another means for affection and attention that she’d try.

She was always mixed up and confused.

And said that she was being sexually abused.

She used this as her biggest scheme.

I found it to be a rather disgusting thing.

She was only four years old.

The first time, to me, this story was told.

She was told the man did her no harm,

And to find something to do, to run along.

She was always wanting kisses and hugs.

I found this annoying and the practice did shrug.

She’s grown now, and on her own.

I mostly talk to her on the telephone.

She comes home on her vacations,

And always causes problems in her relations.

She goes back home when her vacations end,

Until time for her to come back again.

She lives far away in another state.

Now she’s got her own bed to make.

She doesn’t believe what I tell her is true.

When she was growing up, I did the best that I could do.

She’s still mixed up and so confused.

But since she lives by herself, she can’t say she’s being abused.

She’s still my backwards child to this very day.

And until her death I guess it will always be that way.

                         August of 1988

MY  MOTHER’S  ACCEPTANCE

I feel that I shall never know or see,

A time when my Mother really loves and accepts me.

All I’ve been since I have known,

Is my Mother’s backwards one and accident-prone,

I know this fact, true to be, by what she always said to me.

“You haven’t been wanted since the day it was known you were going to be.”

One brother was smart, a sister was pretty,

I was an accident, my other brother was sickly.

She complains I have no self-esteem.

But a light that’s pushed back and covered up can never beam.

I tried to give her a hug and a kiss.

But she pushed me aside and said I was too big for this.

This was hard to accept and understand,

For in my years I was all of ten.

I wanted to tell her that I loved her,

And I was glad that she was mu Mother.

But this was an unimportant fact,

When she told me just to scat.

To my bedroom I went and fell on my bed to cry,

And wished that like my baby sister, I could die.

But death to me did not come,

So somehow I had to go on.

Sexual abuse from a neighborhood man started at the age of four,

But was pushed away and instead hid and cried.

Since my Mother said the man was doing no harm,

My visits to his house continued to go on.

The fact of sexual advances by the man my Mother did shrug.

So I continued to go, for when he had finished, he always gave me a hug.

The extent of the abuse mattered not,

As long as when he was through, a hug I got.

Never underestimate the power of a hug.

It’s more powerful than the most advanced technological spying “bug”.

For it to be so small and easy to give,

Without it some people cannot live.

For a Mother or anyone to give a hug,

Shows of you their acceptance and love.

All my life I have fought the fight.

In the eyes of my Mother I never did anything right.

But God gave me a “special gift”,

By a poem in their time of need, to give others a lift,

But not just in their time of need,

But for my thankfulness and appreciation of them to plant the seed.

And to watch it, how this seed does grow,

When love and acceptance to each other we show.

My Father left when I was barely three,

So acceptance or love by him neither did I receive.

The things called self-esteem and self-worth are not inborn traits,

But positive strokes in early childhood by others a foundation does make.

And if these things are not received,

A hell on earth is what is lived.

As daily you remember your prayers,

You try to show others you love them and you care.

But others come and rob your wealth,

When you are told you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.

You can’t help but to wonder how this can be,

When in you no reason for love or acceptance does your Mother see.

When Jesus commanded us to love others as we love our self,

I think he meant don’t love them less and rob them of any wealth.

For I see love as true riches and wealth,

And it doesn’t have anything to do with esteem or worth of self.

I don’t feel a child is born naturally mean,

But can become that way as a result of many things.

The one influence I feel is stronger than any other,

Is the all important influence of a Mother.

And if a Mother’s acceptance and love cannot be had,

The outlook for this child is questionable and sad.

But for many years, one thing I always felt was true,

Was that I didn’t turn out too bad for all I’ve been through.

Now I feel, that, to myself, I can no longer say,

For things keep getting worse and worse every day.

And even though I’m 36 years old,

The emotions and affections of a child I hold.

Why my inner being with my body has not grown,

Is just now, by me, starting to be known.

When acceptance and love by my Mother I did not receive,

The ability for my emotions and affections to mature, from my body took leave.

Now that to my poems I have returned,

In discussing my desire to have them published, that fact I did learn.

Oh the tears that through the years I have cried.

I will try to recapture and by my Savior have them dried.

For I feel that I shall never know or see,

A time when my Mother really loves and accepts me.

She says that she does, when on the phone her voice I hear.

But it lacks something to make me feel its’ sincere.

And when all of my poems I did reread,

Not one to my real Mother did I see.

For I cannot write a poem if the feeling isn’t there.

Just like I cannot look outside and actually see the air.

Do I really love my Mother, sometimes I wonder so.

Because to me, as a child, love and acceptance she did not show,

Now it occurs to me, maybe how to do it, she simply did not know.

These things that were oh so very deep,

In the innermost sanctums I wanted always to keep,

For when I seriously think about them, I begin to weep.

These were things I never wanted anyone else to know,

For love and kindness was all I wanted to show.

I didn’t want anyone else to know I doubted my love for my Mother,

For the Bible teaches we are to love one another.

It’s hard to admit my real Mother has never been “poemed”,

Now that the time to seriously think about publishing has come.

The poems I wrote about Mama and Mother were so general in deed,

To have something extra to put in a card would fit anyone’s need.

For as long as I can remember my life has been a struggle,

To do good as I wanted, instead of bad, has been a tuggle.

For the mean and bad has always been right at hand,

In numbers equal to a mighty band.

The good has always been right by its’ side,

In numbers so small I’m surprised it didn’t hide.

But David and Goliath, in that mighty fight,

The good never hid but proceeded right in sight.

But somehow now, I think I know and see,

In her own way, my Mother really loves and accepts me.

But even knowing that, it’s almost the same,

For just knowing the fact doesn’t release the pain.

For just the knowledge in your head to know,

Does not help retarded emotions and affections to grow.

For my emotions and affections are about 30 years behind.

It’s going to take a lot of growing to tighten the line.

And all of this is part of a compounded plight,

That didn’t happen and won’t get straightened out overnight.

                         August of 1988

When I Told My Mother

          The poem that is at the end of this post is how I felt the day that I told my Mother what my psychological diagnosis was. Please note that this was how I felt then. The way that I feel at this time in my life is no where near the same as what I felt then.

          I was so scared to tell my Mother for fear that she would disown me. To my knowledge no one else in my whole family had ever been given the same diagnosis. Granted, like most families, there have been others with mental and emotional problems, but none with any like mine.

          My great grandfather was kicked in the head by a horse and as a result “lost his mind”. At least that is how it was passed down the through the family. As I was not even born at that time, there is no way that I can back up the statement, and by the same token, there is no way that I can dispute it.

          My grandfather on my Mother’s side had hardening of the arteries and did not know what was going on around him and had to be committed to a long term mental institution for the last few years of his life. He had gotten to the point that he would go up to people at the bus stop and ask them for change. He did not know that he was doing anything wrong. Needless to say the people at the bus stop were afraid of him and reported him to the police.

          I have to give some background here. My grandfather was probably a genius. He was the Post Master General for his city, was a 32nd degree Mason, was a member of the Tall Cedars, and was also a member of The Odd Fellows Lodge. He was very talented also. He drew pictures that were absolutely magnificent. Another of his talents was being able to take small, miscellaneous objects, that were not broken, such as peach seeds and small combs, and make many different objects out of them, The combs were transformed into many different types of fish, and peach seeds were transformed into small animals, such as monkeys. Grandpa could be walking and find little twigs and pick them up, and then transform them into different types of snakes. I have many of the little objects in a safe place to this day. I do not have any of the pictures, only the little objects and snakes. What I am trying to show is how intelligent my Grandfather was before he was struck by the hardening of the arteries.

          There have been a few family members that have had nervous breakdowns, myself being one of them. But the diagnosis that I received was even worse than any of these, as far as I was concerned. Due to all of the abuse that I received, I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and my mind splintered. As a result of the splintering I became a person with a Multiple Personality Disorder.

          When I first received the diagnosis, I did what most people do, I went into a state of denial. I had never heard of anything like it and did not believe that it was possible. There was no way that I could have known that some of “the others” had come out in the psychologist’s office and in the psychiatrist’s office. After their visiting with the doctors a few times, the doctors told me my diagnosis. Needless to say I was scared half to death.

          At the time that I was diagnosed, there were not too many people with the same diagnosis. The fear and disbelief that I had just fueled my confusion as to whether or not to tell my Mother, or anybody else for that matter, what my diagnosis was. One thing is for sure, I did not tell my Mother until after I had told my older brother and my sister. And even then, it was quite a while later before I did tell her.

          When I first had to seek treatment for all of the abuse, it was over 20 years after it had started happening, and 20 years after it had actually stopped happening. At that time, I blamed my Mother for it because she never believed me when I told her that something was happening to me. As a matter of fact, she just pushed me away. That was the main reason why I was scared to tell her. I was scared that not only would she not believe me, but she would also disown me because of the rare diagnosis. Luckily, I could not have been more wrong. She actually cried when I told her.

          Because of how I felt during the therapy, there are many poems that I wrote that put my Mother down for the things that happened to me. I have since come to realize that my Mother did the best that she could under the circumstances. She did what she had to do to keep a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our backs. Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s it was hard for a divorced woman with four children to be able to make ends meet period. But for her to consider getting a second divorce was not something that she could do, if we were to be able to have a place to live. Obviously, I have forgiven my Mother, and love her more that she will ever know. My greatest regret is that I don’t live closer to her so that I could visit her more often. We live 675 miles apart. As it stands right now, I have not seen my Mother and family since 2006, and that’s a long time.

          Because I do not want my suffering to have been in vain, I am going back and taking certain of my poems at different times and expounding on them and sharing what my experience has been with going through the healing process. I want others that may possibly be going through the same or similar abuse as what I went through, to know that it is possible to go through a living hell and come out on the other side victorious.

          I just hope that by reading about what I went through, you will have some hope and faith that you too will be able to emerge victoriously on the other side. It won’t be easy. As a matter of fact, it will be like you are going through hell again when you do get help and start going through the therapy to get over the abuse. However, you do have one advantage over me, now there are safe places where children that are being abused can go to stay until they get over what has happened. There were no such places when  I was going through all the abuse. But, I have made it through to the other side, and I have not been arrested for anything and have not harmed any other people, giving the excuse “I was abused by them since I was a child.” And if I must say so myself, for all that I have been through, I haven’t turned out too bad, as a matter of fact I have turned out pretty good.

WHEN  I  TOLD  MY  MOTHER

Today I told my Mother what my diagnosis is,

And then I waited, and listened to what she said.

She didn’t react the way, I was afraid she would.

She really surprised me, when she took it so good.

But I should have known not to get too happy too fast,

That my Mother’s outright acceptance wouldn’t last.

Once the questions started, I thought they’d never stop.

I finally said “I don’t want to talk”, because I was getting too hot.

I was feeling the anger and rage building up within,

And I knew this meant my sleep before my work would end.

But I continued to lay there quietly in bed,

Trying to sort out what was going on in my head.

Then I decided to go on and get back up,

And just get ready early to go back to work.

As I was in front of the mirror washing my face,

I found it hard to believe what was taking place.

As I was looking at my reflection,

I began to really notice my complexion.

I couldn’t believe it when it came to me,

The person I saw in the mirror was pretty.

Pretty is something I have not felt I was,

And when asked, Why?, all I could say was “Because!”

What has mainly helped to ease the pain,

Is I finally felt it when my Mother said, “I love you just the same.”

All my life I have felt they were empty words,

But today they seemed to take away the hurts.

                    October 21, 1989

Reflections On A Hard Period In My Life

When I write about the different trials and tribulations in my life, I have to wait until I get a feeling about what I should write. Once the feeling comes, then the thoughts start to take on a meaning for me in so far as what to say to you, my readers. I know that not every reader will have gone through the same things that I have gone through, but there is always a chance that some of my readers will have gone through something similar. It is this reasoning that makes it possible for me to write about the things that I have been through and the things that I have to go through even today. Then again, even if no one has gone through anything even near what I have gone through, you will be able to see that it it possible to go through really hard things and come out victorious on the other side. You may even realize that just maybe whatever you are going through isn’t as bad as you first thought it was to begin with. In other words, like I have always heard people say, “Just look around and you can always see someone going through something even worse than what you are going through, or in worse shape than what you are in.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that what I have been through is worse than what you are going through. I am saying that just maybe it is, and that by reading about me, you will be able to get the strength necessary to get through whatever it is that you are going through. At least this is my prayer. I pray that my readers can draw strength from reading how I was able to get through my hard times.

This post is about how I got through the hardest part of my therapy when all of the memories of my abuse were coming back with a vengeance on an almost daily basis. Once the volcano erupted, I thought the lava would never stop flowing. It seemed like there was nothing that I could do that didn’t remind me of some abuse or another that I went through. I would see something on television that would remind me of abuse from some of the neighborhood men. Maybe the next day I would hear people talking about a little girl that was hospitalized from a beating from her father and it would remind me of the beatings that my first step-father used to give me.

As if the memories weren’t bad enough, my therapist would assign me different things to read or shows to watch to make the memories come back. He knew that if I did not process the memories and how they made me feel that I would never be able to get better. It seemed like I was on a never ending roller coaster. The memories would even come back in my dreams as nightmares. It seemed that no sooner would I start feeling better about what I had been through and what had happened to me than more and even worse memories would come back. During this time, I wrote many, many poems. My writing the poems seemed to help me tremendously with getting my feelings out. Every poem that I wrote, I would let my therapist read. Before too long, he would even assign me topics to write poems about.

During the time in between my therapy sessions, I wrote many poems on topics that he assigned me. He wanted to make sure that I got in touch with all of the topics necessary to deal with the main types of memories that abused patients would go through. For a period of about two years, I was in the mental hospital every two or three months for ten days to two weeks at a time. During my hospital stays, my therapist would assign me one or two topics to write poems on everyday. We would go over them the next day when he would come for my sessions.

The poem that follows was written during this initial hard time of memories flooding back. When reading the poem, some people have thought that I was talking about Jesus in the poem. I have reread it several times and I can see where that is possible. But at the time that I wrote the poem, I was talking about my therapist. When all the memories came flooding back, I felt like I was too dirty, because of all of the things that had happened to me, for God or Jesus to care about me at all, let alone for them to love me. During that time, I did do a lot of praying, but I felt like I was too bad for them to even be heard, let alone to be answered. Of course I know that if it weren’t for God and Jesus, that I never would have made it through everything that I went through. When you read the poem, if you want to substitute God or Jesus for the places where I am talking about the person, it is fine with me. I guess that at that time, in a way, I felt like my therapist was my savior since I was too bad for God or Jesus to love me or forgive me for what had happened. This is a common feeling for people that have been so severely abused as I was, especially when the abusers tell their victims that it is because they (the child) are so bad that what is happening to them has to happen and for them not to tell. I hope the poem is helpful for you when you read it.

A  TUB  AT  SEA

My life is like being in a tub at sea,

And there”s no one around as far as the eye can see.

All of a sudden, from nowhere there appears some big boats,

But me in my tub so small, they don’t even see me afloat.

The little tub rocks with every wave,

As I hope and pray that I’ll be saved.

Then I see land, like a beautiful picture so large,

But my excitement leaves me, when I realize it was only a mirage.

So when the next time I see a little boat,

I try not to build up too much hope.

But he sees me out there, giving it my best,

Like when students take a very hard test.

He sees that I’m starting to take on water fast,

And he knows I’ve got to start bailing it out, if I’m going to last.

I look in his direction, at his outstretched hand,

And there I see he’s holding a little pan.

I take it and turn, but he says,”wait, there’s more.”

So once again I look, and he’s holding out some oars.

I am very surprised and don’t quite know what to do.

This is all too good, it can’t really be true.

Then he tells me there’s nothing that I can do or say,

That will ever make him turn and go away.

So I bail out the water and i pick up the oars,

But before he can tell me how to use them, the water has come in more.

But he is very patient, as again I bail the water out.

He doesn’t put me down, or get angry and shout.

He just silently sits there until I’m through,

And says he’d help if he could, but it’s all what I myself have to do.

So once again I’m finished and I’m ready for my class,

And once again I start taking on water fast.

But this water isn’t coming from an outside force,

it’s coming from the bottom, inside, with a tremendous force.

It seems as fast as I can bail it out, it comes gushing right back in,

And the little boat stays, with him saying, “Don’t lose hope. Someday you will win.”

 I keep trying to tell him, that doing all this work, to keep my little tub a float,

Is taking all my strength and there’s nothing left with which to hope.

But he just continues to stay there, right by my side,

To help me to come through all the waves, no matter how high.

Bonnie Hern

                    May 3, 1989

Christmas Day Is Over

Christmas day is over now and it’s back to the old routine. Some people may be very depressed because they didn’t get to see their family and or friends. You have to stay positive and happy though, because you are still alive and can at least tell your family and friends how you feel about them. You can tell them how much you love them and miss them, if that’s the case. But if you were in an abusive environment, like I grew up in, then you can be happy that you are no longer in that situation, and be happy for the “new friends” and the “new family” that you have now. You may not have received the main thing that you wanted special this year. After all, Christmas is the only time we can actually ASK for whatever we want. It doesn’t have to be something that we especially need, just something we want. Just be happy if you got anything at all. Some people didn’t get anything. Nothing in life is promised to us, and that goes for Christmas presents too.

At Christmas other people seem to be more giving of things that are not necessarily needed, but that will make us happy. Giving and receiving are supposed to make both people happy. The person doing the giving is happy because they made the person that they gave the gift to happy, and the person receiving the gift is happy because they received a gift that wasn’t necessarily something that they needed. So everybody is happy, right? Not necessarily so. If the person doing the giving had a hard time finding the gift, then they aren’t very happy. And if by chance it wasn’t just what the person receiving the gift wanted then they aren’t happy either. That makes for an awkward situation all the way around.

There is not a lot that you can do about the other person and how they feel, however you can do something about how you feel. Even if you don’t especially like what you got, you should still be thankful for it. There are many people that didn’t get anything at all. The fact that you got something, even if you didn’t especially like it, should make you feel happy. At least someone thought enough about you to give you something. And it is supposed to be the thought that counts. The person may not have had much money to purchase a gift with, or at least not enough to get what you wanted. You should be able to rest assured that the person did the best they could with the money that they had. If they didn’t love or care for you, then they would not have gotten you anything.

I am sure that there are probably some people that are so depressed about a loved one that passed away during the past year that they cannot make their self happy no matter what. I know the feeling. I just lost my last living uncle this year. I haven’t gotten to see my family since June of 2006. I have lost at least one family member every year since 2010. It hurts so deeply that I don’t think I can stand it sometimes. But then I have to realize that they had medical problems that were really worse than anyone ever knew. My second step-father, that I called “Pop” died in his sleep in February of 2011 in a diabetic coma. One of my uncles was found dead in his trailer from a heart attack the next year. My real Father died from complications due to pneumonia on April 16, 2012. The second uncle to die lived less that a year after being diagnosed with lung cancer and diabetes and passed away in August of 2013. The last uncle died from a ruptured colon after exercising at a local YMCA this past August. The only family that I have left from my Mother’s side is my Mother. I can be happy though knowing that they are no longer in pain and will never be sick again. There was a poem on Facebook today that was really touching. I have copied and pasted it here. I hope that it makes you feel as happy as it did me.

 

"Merry

This poem is so uplifting that I am finding it hard to be upset about the loved ones that have passed away. This lets me know and or believe that they are so much better off now, and that they are looking down on me. They are never really gone, for they will remain in my heart forever, and I can call on all the happy memories whenever I want to, and I will see them again when it is my time to pass on.

In life, we have to realize that God has only loaned us our lives and our bodies for a certain amount of time. God is the only one that knows when our time to come home to Him is going to be. So we should be happy that we are alive every day that we wake up to another sunrise, to the rain that is necessary for things to grow, or for the snow that makes things be so beautiful, and all things are equal when nobody can see the difference in the old or new cars and or trucks, etcetera. When we pass on, then we will still be happy if we have lived the life the bible told us to live, and done as the ten commandments have told us to do.

I talk about God because I am a Christian but you have to put in whatever you call your higher power, or do whatever your specific religion has told you to do then you will go to your special place also.

 

 

“Christmas” Time

Christmas is for everybody, but let’s face it, Christmas is especially exciting for children. Half of the children’s excitement is in the anticipation of it’s arrival. To help the children contain their excitement the adults in their life can show them how to do simple do-it-yourself projects. They can make these presents for family members and/or friends. If the children happen to be in an orphanage situation, then possibly some of the adults there can help the children with the projects. Once the projects are finished, the children can help to find nursing homes to go to and give the gifts to the residents there. They can inquire as to which residents don’t get any visitors and then give the gifts to those residents. Or if the adults help the children, then together they can make cookies and possibly give a small “party” for the residents. Take the cookies and make drinks with the powder mixes. While the residents are having their cookies and drinks, the children can be singing simple Christmas carols to cheer everybody up. It will obviously be a simple “party”, but after all, it is supposed to be the thought that counts. It’s a “win – win” situation. Doing this should result in both the residents and the children being happy. The residents will be happy because they received unexpected visitors, and the children will be happy for having helped to make the cookies and other projects that they gave to the residents. It’s almost impossible when one person smiles not to smile back. By the time the “party” is over everybody should be happy. And best of all, the children will have learned it’s better to give than to receive, and maybe they won’t be quite as sad if they don’t receive much.

“Jesus is the reason for the season”, as the phrase goes. Christ was born on that day, and there was a celebration of His birth. When we go to Church we celebrate God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This celebration at Church is called a Mass. The term given to the birth and celebration of Jesus birth was Christmas. The name for the celebration came many years after Jesus was born though.

The spirit of giving started when Jesus was born. The Wise-Men and Kings brought the baby Jesus all kinds of gifts. They brought Gold, Frankincense,and Myrrh. The little drummer boy had no money to buy a gift for the baby Jesus, so his gift to Jesus was playing the drums for Him. That showed that a gift can be something as small as spending time with someone, or singing for them. Whatever you give, whether it is bought or handmade, or just a gift of time, it is the thought of doing something for the person that counts.

“CHRISTMAS” TIME

Children like this time of year.

Hearts are light and full of cheer.

Radiance is noticed everywhere.

Inside people feel a change.

Sharing and smiling carolers sing.

Thankful for life and everything.

Making sure all is done.

Anticipation is half the fun

Santa surely now will come.

It seemed like Christmas day

never would get here

The children’s anticipation

filled half of the year

On this eve, their eyes

are so very big

It is really hard

to get them to go to bed

And when they awaken

to fruit, candy and toys

There sure are some happy

little girls and boys

Amanda Joy

July 28, 1992

Being Alone At CHRISTMAS

Christmas is supposed to be a very joyful time of year. People seem to be a lot more friendly and giving toward those that don’t have a lot in this world. Different organizations try to do for families that will have a bleak Christmas if any Christmas at all, Many of these organizations concentrate on the children. When bad things have happened in a family, a lot of times the children feel responsible for it, even though it was not their fault. If only for a little while, when the organizations come with food for the whole family and gifts and toys for the children, they can forget about the bad things going on. With their new toys, they can just be what they are, children.

This post is aimed at people sixteen years or older, as younger children would not be able to do the things that I suggest here. If younger children tried to do this and failed, then it would make them feel even worse. My aim is not to make anybody feel worse, it is to help people feel better and be happy during the Christmas Holidays.

After children that have been abused grow up, many of them have a big problem with the holidays. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, are all times to show others that they are loved, and usually people are nicer at these times also. If this grown-up happens to live alone, then they tend to be “forgotten” by their family and friends. This fact is especially true if they live in a different state. I know this from experience. If the grown ups happen to be where there are children, then they can share in the happiness that the children have when the gifts and food comes. But if the grown-ups are alone, then it is up to them to make their own happiness.

One good way to make your own happiness is to do for others. This does not have to involve much money at all. If there are senior adults, just something as simple as a visit will cheer them up and in cheering them up you can’t help but to be cheered up yourself. Ladies that do a lot of baking could spread a lot of happiness with just one batch of cookies. One batch of cookies usually makes around four to six dozen cookies, depending on how big the cookies are. Maybe, just because it’s Christmas, sugar cookies can be made using different shaped cookie cutters to cut out the cookies and then decorating them really festively. By taking only a dozen to each person, four to six people can have a happier Christmas. This will have been possible just by baking one batch of cookies. Wouldn’t that cheer you up, to know that you made some lonely person happy just by showing a little caring for them.

Let’s say you contacted a nursing home and found out how many residents never have any visitors. Let’s say that there are twelve people that never have any visitors. Chances are they would be ecstatic to have a visitor during the Christmas season. This would take your time and some gas in the car to get there. But there would be twelve people that you absolutely made their day and it only costs a little bit of gas and some of your time. To think that you made twelve people so happy could not help but to make you happy too. If it didn’t make you happy, then somebody needs to visit you. There is no way that I would not be happy if I had just made twelve different people individually happy. Just think about it.

CHRISTMAS

Christ was born on this special day.

Hearts were filled in an awesome way.

Radiance from around Him beamed.

Inspired Wise Men, Prophets, and Kings.

Shepherds were led to Him that night.

That they too might gaze upon this sight.

Many were the gifts to him.

Angels sang their special hymns.

Spectacular His life to begin.

Christmas is the time of year,

When hearts are filled with love and good cheer.

But it really shouldn’t be this way.

For this should be how it is everyday.

Why should this time only, bring such a change,

That at this time, our lives, we rearrange.

Why can’t we keep this attitude,

Of genuine love and heartfelt gratitude?

How much better and brighter the world would be,

If all acted upon this when this fact they did see!

Love In Christ,

Amanda Joy

November 28, 1988

 

Acceptance

This post is going to be about acceptance, and is very long. I go into some very intense things. But I think that if any of my readers are having a hard time with not being accepted for who they are, this post may help you to see that you can still feel good about yourself in spite of whether or not others seem to accept you.

Acceptance of oneself and by others is a very important thing for any person, no matter how famous or popular they are. A person has to accept their self before they can expect anyone else to accept them. This usually comes from having what is called self-esteem. This trait is nurtured from the time a baby is born. If the baby does not receive positive reinforcement from others, they will never feel good about who they are.

Most of my problems with relationships with others stem from not having that positive reinforcement when I was growing up. Quite the opposite from positive reinforcement is what I received. In other words, negative reinforcement, if it can even be called reinforcement. It came in the form of the following statements. “You haven’t been wanted since the day it was known that you were going to be.” “You are not a young lady, you are a tom-boy.” “You are accident prone.” “You are my backwards child.” Also since I was very thin from not being able to hold down much of what I ate, and not wanting to eat much because of it, I had a few “nice little nick names” such as “Olive Oil”, “Skinny Minnie”, “Bean Pole”, and “Telephone Pole”. All of these names do not really make you feel good about yourself. So if I never received positive reinforcement to be able to build up my self-esteem, where was the self-esteem supposed to come from? I didn’t find out back then. It wasn’t until much later that I started feeling good about myself.

As a baby and a little girl, my hair was baby fine and poker straight. To have any curl in my hair, my Mother had to curl my hair in bobby pins every Saturday night to look pretty on Sunday at Sunday School and Church. My sister, on the other hand was born with beautiful, dark and naturally curly hair. She was always the favorite of the two of us. I would be dressed in plain cotton dresses, and my sister would be dressed in beautiful, lacy, velveteen dresses. On Sunday, I would be in a pretty dress though, with big, stiff, lacy, and curly slips underneath it to make it stick out. But I came up with ways to be noticed and feel good about myself.

To get attention when some relatives were visiting from out of town, and a lot of pictures were being taken of us four children, I can remember a picture that was taken when I was around four. My sister was in her usual beautiful, lacy, velveteen dress, and I was in a plain cotton dress, as usual. She was being held by one of the relatives, and they were making over her. I had a skinned knee. To make sure that I was going to be noticed in the picture, I got up on the rocking horse and pulled up the skirt on my dress to show my skinned knee. My two brothers were in their nice slacks and plaid shirts, one on either end of the horse. That picture got and still gets talked about every time anybody sees it. The first question is always, “Bonnie, why are you showing your skinned knee?” Usually followed by, “That just goes to show what a tom-boy you are, instead of a little lady. Little ladies don’t show their skinned knees.” Hard to build any self-worth from this kind of reinforcement. But, as usual, “by hook or crook, and heck or high water” as the older generation used to say, I managed to build some self-esteem from somewhere. Usually by “Tooting my own whistle.” I always told people that I had to do that, because if I didn’t do it my self, it was for sure that nobody else would toot it for me. I have always tried to be a good person and obey the Ten Commandments. In spite of it all, I do my best to stay positive and think good about myself. Everyday I try to recount the events of the day and find as many things that are positive as I can. And I say my prayers when I go to bed.

 Now to get back to the subject of self-esteem and other people giving you positive reinforcement. Unfortunately the other people need to be from all fields and or walks in life. This means that they need to be from family, friends, co-workers, and even from partners and, strange as it may seem, your doctors. Parents need to let their children know quite frequently that they are accepted and loved, no matter what they have done, or what they look like, be it fat or skinny, or short or tall. If a child doesn’t receive this from the start, then they grow up very confused and as some people put it, “afraid of their own shadow”. If anyone should know about this, I should. From the time I could walk and talk in sentences, I was told, “You haven’t been wanted since the day it was known that you were going to be.” There was no way, at that young age that I knew what that meant. When I became a young lady, I finally knew what that statement meant. At that point, I asked my Mother why she told me that. She told me that when she found out that she was expecting me, my real Father told her to fall down the steps and try to lose me. Obviously my Mother wanted me and did not do that. That made me feel good about myself.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, my sister and brothers told me that I was adopted because I was nothing like them. When I was 22 months old, I had to have major surgery on my head to remove a tumor that was pressing on my brain. I would wake up crying and screaming every time that I turned over on my right side. When I got older, my sister and brother would kid me that the navel doctors took out my brains and left the tumor in, and that was why I was so stupid, all the time.  However, I knew in my heart that I was a good girl and tried to always do whatever I was told to do. I also knew that I was not stupid. One phrase that helped me through the taunting was, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me.” Believe it or not, the more I told myself that, the better I felt about myself. That self talk works wonders. You just have to concentrate on what you know to be positive about yourself.

During almost all of the way through elementary school, I didn’t have very many friends. As a matter of fact, my Mother used to tell my younger sister that if she wanted to go out to play she had to take me with her. She always hated that. So she would take me with her so that she could go out and play. Usually what happened would be that I would sit on the back steps of wherever we were while all the other kids played. Whenever I got up to play, they would either quit playing or else go someplace else to play. This in no way made me feel accepted or even liked, let alone loved by my sister. This was true until the sixth grade when I started babysitting. During that time, I did a tremendous amount of positive self talking.

Once I started babysitting, the parents that I babysat for liked me. I have always been good with babies and younger children. I just could never relate to anybody my own age. Unfortunately that has remained true most of my life. I do have a few friends, but not many when compared to most people. But the ones that I do have are true friends and not just “good weather friends”, that are only around when things are going good and they leave when you really need friends. They are there for me no matter what.

About the only time I had a lot of friends was when I joined an organization called Job’s Daughters. The full name is The International Order Of Job’s Daughters. I have never been as happy as what I was while I was active with that group. Once I became twenty years old, I reached what they called Majority Membership Age. When I actually turned twenty-one, I could no longer be active with them. I could have been one of the leaders, but I could not afford to make all of the trips that the girls take, so very sadly, I stopped going to the meetings. This is probably the main time in my life that I have really felt that I was accepted for who and what I was.

When I turned seventeen I was taken away from my abusive Step-Father and Mother. I went to a friend’s house as a live in babysitter. I graduated from High School barely in the top half of my class. After High School, I went to a Business College and graduated with honors with a Computer Programming Degree. I was no longer in an abusive situation and therefore was able to really concentrate on my studies. After finishing business college, I met a nice guy and we dated for a couple of years and we were married. I moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Lexington, Kentucky. Just about a month to six weeks after I was married, I found a job working at a bank. While working at the bank, I took banking classes through the American Bankers Association and the American Institute of Banking. I received all four certificates that were offered and some of the diplomas that were offered. I did so with honors. It wasn’t until after I ended up disabled and lost my job that I stopped taking classes and earning diplomas. After being disabled for over three years, I decided it was time to go back to college. So, at 41 years old, I started to the local community college. My major was going to be Respiratory Therapy. Unfortunately, I ended up in a wheelchair. It is sort of impossible to do respiratory therapy from a wheelchair. I had to change majors half the way through the program. Once again, I chose the computer field. Upon completion, I had an associates degree with honors in Computer Science and Computer Programming. It took three months after completing school to find a job. Once again, I found a job at a bank. That job only lasted for four years. Come to find out, I was too disabled to work due to having to have so many surgeries and therefore being absent too much. I got fired. I had never been fired in my life, and I had worked ever since I graduated.

My point in telling you the information about my schooling and my jobs has not been to brag about the degrees, diplomas, and/or certificates that I received, with honors, but to point out that it is possible to succeed against the odds.

Up until the last three or four years, I have mainly concentrated on getting and keeping myself well. That has proved to be a very hard job. However, I have found that with a laptop computer, even with being in the hospital and having surgery, it is possible to keep up several word press websites. At one time, I had as many as eleven websites. Many of them have been consolidated into this mammahen.com website. Believe it or not, I have started some new websites. Together, with the old websites and the new ones, I now have seven websites and am planning on starting two or three more. I guess you could say that I have the  word press, website blog bug.

Even though the doctors tell me I am not in good shape with all of the medical problems that I have, I tell them that, “I may be in bad shape, but I am in good shape for the shape that I am in.” I know that in my heart, I have to stay positive if I want any chance of making a difference in other peoples lives by telling my story. Granted, there are days that all I am able to do is stay in bed and rest. But even on those days, I am usually thinking up and writing down things to post on my blogs, as well as writing more poems. I have found that writing poetry is a great way to express my feelings, no matter what they are. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I too am sad and depressed when my different medical problems flare up. But the key is that I find something to be positive about in spite of the way I feel medically and physically. It may not be anything more that the fact that I can move my arms without hurting even if I am not able to get out of bed because of my back, my legs, or my dizziness. I can move my arms, which means that I can type on the computer and/or write a poem on a tablet.

So I will close by saying that it is very important to find something, no matter how small, to be positive about every day. If you haven’t given finding something positive a thought or a chance, try it. You may be surprised how much better it will make you feel. It may not make a big difference at first, but the more that you do it, the better you will feel. I know this to be a fact.

How I Have Handled My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD

I have to tell you from the start that I am not a doctor or a counselor of any sort, but I am a survivor of many types of abuse. For as long as I can remember, I have been abused. The types of abuse include emotional, mental, physical and sexual. Abuses were reigned on me at the hands of family members, friends, neighbors, and strangers. So as you can see, I have had many kinds of abuse from many different relationships of people.

Of all of the abuse, the hardest for me to handle was at the hands of a Mental Health Nurse. I was seventeen and had been taken away from my family because of a very abusive step-father. I had gone to school, just like every school day, and was summonsed from my class at 9:30 A.M. and was admitted to the King’s Daughters Children’s Hospital by 3:00 P.M. that afternoon, never to return to my family again. You see, back in the 1960’s  there was no such thing as Foster Care for abused children. As I was not yet eighteen, I was admitted to the children’s hospital. This was in the beginning of April 1969 and I was not discharged until the end of May that next month.

I had been babysitting for the nurse every weekend since the 2nd of January of that year when I met her at school. The regular school nurse was absent on that day. The only day that she had been absent since I started doing clinic for one of my class bells at the beginning of the school year 1968. I had been severely abused by my step-father over the Christmas to New Year’s vacation. This was the first day back to school.

The nurse came in and sat down beside me and started talking to me. Her first statement was, “You look like somebody who….” and went on talking. I was sort of in a trance. It was like she was telling me my experience over the vacation period. When she finished talking, she asked me, “Am I right in what I’m saying?”, to which I answered “Yes.” As no students happened to come in during that class period, she and I talked for the whole bell. Right before the class period was over, she asked me if I babysat and if I would like to babysit for her for her two small daughters. At that time they were five and seven years old. As I always jumped at a chance to be away from my house, I said yes, that I would love to.

As I was in the hospital, the nurse lost her weekend babysitter. She took the girls back to the babysitter they had had before I started babysitting for them. She had left the lady because the lady was getting up in years and the nurse felt it was in the best interest of both the lady and the girls.

The nurse was a Mental Health Nurse with Public Health during the week and a regular Registered Nurse on the weekends. By doing this she was able to keep her RN license up to date on her continuing education with the new advances in the medical field. Since the nurse worked at Public Health and the psychiatrist was also with Public Health for the school system, she was able to get permission from him to have me released into her car on the weekends. The weekend would start at 5:00 P.M. on Friday evening and end at 5:30 P.M. on Sunday evening. This started just two weeks after I was admitted to the hospital. Two weeks after it started, when the nurse was made aware that I would not be allowed to return to my family, she had a talk with her two daughters. She asked them if they would like for me to come to live with them. The girls were ecstatic about the idea. I loved them and they loved me. The nurse told me that she had come to love me like one of her daughters, the only difference was that she hadn’t carried me and given birth to me. So on June 1, 1969 I went to live with them as a live-in- babysitter.

After my discharge from the hospital I had to see the psychiatrist every week. This was only necessary for one month. With the nurse and the psychiatrist both working for the Public Health system, she was able to report to the doctor on my behalf as to how I was doing. I was happy not to have to go, so it didn’t bother me not to see him.

I had been living with the nurse and the girls about six weeks when the youngest one asked her mother, “Mama, if Bonnie is going to live here and she is going to be our big sister, why isn’t she calling you Mama?” The nurse looked at her daughters and then looked at me and back at her daughters. her reply was, “Well, I guess she’s going to have to if she wants to.” Needless to say with all that was happening at my old house, I jumped at the chance for a new life. I thought I was going to live in paradise. Boy, was I ever wrong!

Somewhere around the middle of August, she started sexually abusing me as well. I was in shock. Afterwards I told her, “I thought you were supposed to be helping me, not abusing me too.” Her answer really hurt me to the core. She said, “I,(the nurse) am a Mental Health Nurse, you(talking about me) are a mental health patient. If you EVER tell anybody anything that I have done, I will deny it and they will believe me over you any day of the week. Then you will be committed for the rest of your life, so I wouldn’t try it if I was you.” I remember seeing my Grandfather being taken away. He had hardening of the arteries and had to go to a nursing home. He died there. When you get committed, you die there! With that being the case in my mind, there was no way in hell that I was going to tell on her. I made her out to be a saint. Then I proceeded to bury all the abuse for a period of twenty years.

I was at work, and another employee started to work in the same department that reminded me of the nurse. She had a similar hair do ans similar mannerisms as the nurse. After having to see her every weekday for three weeks, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I attempted suicide. As a result, I was in coronary intensive care for four days not knowing whether I was going to live or die. Obviously, I lived with the only ill effect being an irregular heart beat. I was very lucky.

Now to get to the discussion of the PTSD that I was suffering. When I saw the new employee, and she reminded me so much of the nurse, I couldn’t handle it. My mind was doing flip flops. About the only way that I can describe it is with a short example.

Say you are ten years old and your house burns down. All you are able to save is your favorite baby doll. Now fast forward about twenty years. You are driving down the street when you see a house on fire. Out front of the house you see a little girl around ten years old and she is holding a baby doll. You have to park your car. You start shaking all over and for lack of a better way to describe it, you think you are going crazy. What is actually happening is that you are having a flash back from a traumatic experience that happened way earlier in your life. You had buried it because to remember it was too painful. And up until that point, you had succeeded. But when you came upon the scene at the fire, you just “lost it” and all of the memories of the fire that you were in as a ten year old little girl came flooding back with a vengeance.

Since the flash back is of something that happened in your past, it is called Post(after) Traumatic(the trauma that you suffered) Stress(the feeling that you are having) Disorder(what any mental abnormality is called).

It took me over twenty years in weekly psychological counseling sessions, and monthly psychiatric visits for medication and their management to basically get over it. Meaning that I have finally gotten to the place that I can talk about it, read about other people experiencing the same or similar situations, and see movies and/or television shows about it without falling apart.

You have to make up your mind that you are going to go through the painful memories again, but this time you are not alone. You have someone trained in how to help you to feel the feelings, process the feelings and move on. The key to succeeding in getting better is not giving up because feeling the feelings associated with the memories is too hard and painful. I won’t lie to you. It is damn painful. You just have to want to get over with the bad feelings enough to persevere in overcoming the pain. Trying to do it all alone is not the way to do it. If you try to do it by yourself, you are just setting yourself up for failure and even more bad feelings about yourself.

THE BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT THE ABUSE WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. YOU DID NOT ASK TO BE ABUSED. THE ABUSE WAS FORCED UPON YOU.

Most abusers try to put the blame on their victims and tell their victims that if they tell then (fill in the blanks with what ever you were told) is going to happen either to you or to someone else in your family. I was told that if I ever told what my step-father was doing that he would kill me. He held a knife at my throat and then on another occasion held a gun at my face. In my mind, I knew that if I ever told that HE WOULD KILL ME.

I wrote the following poem about it.

IF  KIDS  DON”T  TELL

If “Kids Don’t Tell”, as has often been said,

That means they close up and hold it inside instead.

Then they life an awful life,

Knowing deep within something isn’t right.

They never seen to fit on anybody’s team.

And they grow up having no self esteem.

For theirs is a life of confusion and pain,

And how from this, can any self-worth be gained.

So they go on like this for many many years,

Always only having heartaches and fears.

And when finally what’s inside, like a volcano does erupt,

This adult/child’s world suddenly turns bottoms up.

So to heartaches and fears gets added shame,

And an even different kind of pain.

There is no way to tell convince these people they have any worth,

For with the volcano of memories came a feeling of being dirtier than dirt.

They go through sleepless nights from the nightmares and dreams.

Life keeps getting harder and harder as they feel they;re parting at the seams.

It’s hard to hear what people say without bursting into tears,

To feel that inner rage and not be overcome by fears.

To think that these people have gone through years of a living hell,

Just because it was true that in many cases “Kids Don’t Tell”.

Bonnie Jean

One Whose Been There

September 23, 1989

 

I hope that the poem helps to let you know that it is never the child’s fault. It is always the adult’s fault.

I will close with one final poem and hope that it will help you as well. This poem I printed out, enlarged it, and then laminated it. Everyday I read the poem for at least five years.

I Have To Resolve Within Myself

I have to resolve within myself

I’ve done all that I can do.

And I really have to believe it

If this period in my life I’m going to get through.

I have to resolve within myself

That life just is not fair.

That the justice system is for the abusers,

Of the victims they are unaware.

I have to resolve within myself

Abusers have no guilt or pain

That nothing in their life has changed

They don’t feel any shame.

I have to resolve within myself

That vengeance or revenge is not mine.

That God will take care of punishing my abusers

But only in His own time.

I have to resolve within myself

There is a way to change my life.

I just have to keep searching

Until I find for me what way is right.

I have to resolve within myself

That to have survived, I have been strong.

And since I survived the worst

With the memories in my life I have to go on.

Mamma Hen

June 15, 1992

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