Friday, November 30, 2012



SIGNS of Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of sexual behaviors that take place between a child and a person older than them. These behaviors are meant to arouse the older person in a sexual way. There is usually no thought given given to what effect the behavior may have on the child. Sadly, the abuser does not care about the reactions or choices of the child.
Child sexual abuse often involves body contact such as sexual kissing, touching, and oral, anal, or vaginal sex. However, not all sexual abuse involves body contact. Showing private parts ("flashing"), forcing children to watch pornography, verbal pressure for sex, and exploiting children as prostitutes or for pornography can be sexual abuse as well.
What are signs that a child has been sexually abused? Are there any clear signs? The following may be some things that could alert you to this abuse but are not limited to all. Even one of these listed could be enough to do further investigation.
* Separation anxiety. All children will have some form of separation anxiety, but pay closer attention to severe temper tantrums toward a particular person. This is especially true for a toddler who is not able to speak yet.

*Avoids or tries to avoid being with you significant other
* the child is not happy as they once were: cries often, depressed
* regressive behavior : bed-wetting or soiling clothes
*extremely emotional for no apparent reason
*drop in grades, trouble in school
* Eating habits may change: unexpected weight gain or lose suddenly.
*complains of headaches, stomachaches or other pain but can find no medical reason for it
*Nightmares or fears of being alone in the dark
*Suddenly afraid to remove clothes at bath time or feels the need to go to bed fully clothed
*loses interested in hobbies or sports
*does not want to be hugged or kissed

*becomes rebellious and angry
*child becomes clingy and /or doesn't want you out of their sight
*shows inappropriate sexual behavior ( Does the child show certain sexual characteristics, language or actions that he or she shouldn't know? )
*Sudden lack of communication with you
*Stay to themselves more and see less of their friends
*unexplained accumulation of gifts or money
*self destructive behavior such as self mutilation , drug dependency, suicidal
*bruising or bleeding in the genital area
*bruising to breast buttocks, lower abdomen or thighs
It's important to recognize that sexual abuse doesn't always involve body contact. Exposing a child to sexual situations or material is sexually abusive, whether or not touching is involved.
It is frightening to know that sexual abuse usually occurs by someone the child knows and should be able to trust—most often close relatives.
Statistics show that one in every four girls and one in every six boys have been or will be sexually abused.
The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need.The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child.  Keep in mind that child abuse is not always obvious.
Heavenly Father,
I come to you with a heart felt cry that no parent or adult would have to research the previous information because of fear that their child may have been touched or exposed to any unacceptable behavior such as sexual child abuse. Praying for education, prevention and care for each child you created. I pray for parental and adult guidance with wisdom and discernment.
I am bringing to you the troubles I too have faced, knowing that You, Lord, will turn what Satan gave as evil back into good, I can give back in empathy in  overcoming the pains through Your unconditinal love. I am forever grateful for Your healing hand and compassion.
In Jesus Name, Amen
The trauma of abuse is never fully gone from a person's consciousness. Its filthy stain leaves its residue on the soul forever. However, like all bad experiences, it is possible to turn this experience into good by developing compassion and empathy for others who have been through this experience. Many people feel that bringing meaning to a traumatic experience is a path to healing. When I turn a negative experience into a tool that brings meaning into my life and others, I am taking the best kind of revenge on my abuser.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Memory of "Mom" Happy Birthday

Words Unspoken

By Mary Edwards
written 3/1/2011
In Memory of Dolores Catherine Edwards


     My mother in law, Dolores, was ready for heaven. The gargling struggled breath was
not welcomed. The noise of her labored breathing was hurting my feelings not just my
ears. Her children and grandchildren were in and out of the hospice room so much that
there was no way to be at peace. People became frustrated with me but I knew it was
time for quiet. I requested that the family room be used so that Dolores could relax.
What I was really asking for was a lack of confusion. Her body and mind were both
suffering now. Her face spoke of hurt when her mouth could not. No amount of
medicine helped her Her last day was obviously here. There was no perfect
rhythm to her inhale and we held our breath until she took her next exhale.
My niece, Crystal and I were the only ones left in the room now. I picked up the old
baptist hymnal and began thumbing through the faded old pages. 

Sing with me Crystal” I said to her.
I don't know any of those songs Mary” she said as she turned to walk out of her
grandmother's hospice room. She turned back to me and began to sing, “As The Deer
Panteth for the Water”. How beautiful, her voice filled the room. We sang and cried
together. If I didn't know better, I would have thought angels joined in a choir and
sang with us. The room was warm, yet chills filled me. The Lord was
present and His Spirit accompanied us. The song was over and I began to sing,”Softly
and Tenderly”” Never before had I listened so closely to those hymnal words.
Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling. Calling Oh Sinner Come Home”.

Dolores stopped her gargled labored breathing. Her rhythm became smooth and
gentle. No look of pain was on her face. Crystal looked at
me and I returned the look with a reply of a nod of my head and said,
Yes, Go get the family.” I pushed the nurses station call button and the nurse quickly

came in the room. He looked at her and said,”Yes Mary, It's time. She looks comfortable.”
The silence was beautiful as we all now gathered around her bed. I let go of her hand
and put her hand into her daughter's hand. I continued to sing to her softly. It seemed to
be the “permission” that she waited for.
How special was the sound of heaven, taking my best friend home. I will always
treasure the sweet sound of silence when Heaven took her. Words unspoken can say so

2 Corinthians 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord  ( American King James Version

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Blame No Shame

Just needing to share.....

No Blame, No Shame

As survivors of childhood sexual abuse, we often grow up blaming ourselves for the abuse that happened. As children, we are bought up to know that "adults know best" - and so when someone tells you often enough that it's your fault, eventually you believe it. I was to blame.

 I believed that the reason I was hurt so badly by people I cared about was simply because that’s what I deserved. I deserved it because of who I was as a person. I was bad. It wasn't so much what I did that made me "bad" - but more just something that I was....something that was in me in spite of how well I tried to behave or how good I tried to be. Nothing I did to be "better" made anything better or made people treat me better - and so, understandably, I concluded that I was treated badly simply because of who and what I was. If you have felt this, please know that it was an affect of the abuse you experienced, not a statement of truth.

As I grew into an adult, I kept believing that the abuse was my fault. I did something to deserve it. Accepting that we do not have control over everything in our lives and everything that happens to us is a necessary part of healing.

I tried to seek many ways in which I could blame myself..

It was my fault because if I'd been a better maybe “so and so" would have loved me more and not hurt me.

A parent(s) should love and care for you regardless of how you behave or what you do. Their love for you should be unconditional. No matter what you did wrong, or what you think you did wrong, you did not deserve to be abused.
Abuse from a parent does not happen because of some failure or inadequacy on the child's part. It happens because of some failing within the parent.

It's my fault because I didn't tell anyone.

All children who do not tell about their abuse have very good reasons for keeping silent. For example:
Your abuser may have threatened you.
You may have been scared that no one would believe you.
You didn't know how to tell or what words to use.
You were frightened that you may be punished.
You were very confused about what was happening.
You didn't know what was happening was abuse.
……and many many more reasons.

Looking back as an adult at the reasons you had for not telling, you may think these reasons as not good enough. Adult survivors of child sexual abuse may say to themselves, "I was so stupid to believe that threat". But try to understand that the way you see things now is going to be completely different to how you saw things as a frightened abused child. The fears you had about telling would have been very very real back then, and you shouldn't dismiss what a powerful silencer fear and uncertainty can be.

It’s my fault because I let the abuse go on for so long.

You didn't "let" the abuser keep abusing. You were overwhelmed and powerless to stop the abuser.

It's my fault because I liked it happening because it felt good.

Regardless of how it felt to you, what happened was still abuse.

When children are touched sexually, conditioned responses are automatic and natural to the body and they happen whether you want them to or not.

It's my fault because I wanted that special time.
It may have been that this was the only time that you felt wanted, needed or special. Abusers can be very good at making children feel like the abuse happens because they love you so much.
Regardless, the abuse was still 100% wrong. The abuser abused his knowledge of your emotional needs and wants, and used that to get what he wanted.

It's my fault because my abuser said it was my fault.

Most abusers are very fearful of what will happen they are made public. They may fear what their families and friends will say to them; they may fear prison,of losing their jobs. And so, they are going to try to make sure that the child doesn't say anything to anyone. ONE way of doing this is to tell the child that it's their fault that the abuse is happening. Telling the child it is their fault, is a way for the abuser to control the situation by making the child afraid that they will be blamed and get into trouble if they report it to anybody.

It's my fault because I didn't fight hard enough.

Children do not have the physical strength or theability to think  adults. Often there will be threats hanging over the child's head if they don't do as they are told - and so they may feel totally unable to fight on any level.

Children do what they can to survive an attack and submission is not desire, it is survival.

It's my fault because I didn't say NO!

Many child survivors feel that they are partly to blame for the abuse because they didn't say "NO!” There are many reasons why you might not have said no:

You were confused.
You didn't know you were allowed to say no.
You didn't want to say no.
You were too frightened to say no.

Children cannot consent to a sexual relationship because they are below the age of consent. It is not the responsibility of a child to say "no" to sex.

It's my fault because I thought I wanted it or said I wanted it.

All children, especially as they reach their teenage years, start thinking about their sexuality and become interested in exploring sex. This is perfectly normal, and even necessary for healthy sexual and social development. Children and teens who are reaching this age may become attracted to people who are older than them, and may even desire or seek to engage in intimate relationship with them.

A responsible adult understands that children who are under the age of legal consent are not mentally, psychologically or physically ready for  sexua linteraction, and therefore they should not engage with a teen in this way. Therefore, even if you initiated, wanted or "consented" to sexual contact with an older person it was still abuse and it was not your fault.

  It must be my fault because I was abused by different people.

  Some children are abused by more than one person in different times of abuse. If you have been the victim of multiple abuses you may feel that you must be to blame because you keep getting chosen to be abused – and in fact some survivors talk about feeling they have a label on their head saying "hurt me".

Child abusers may target children who are more vulnerable. Child survivors may find it difficult to tell the difference between good touch and bad touches.

It's my fault that I didn't protect my siblings.
Some children feel guilty that they weren't able to protect their brothers / sisters from the abuse – and believe they are partly to blame for this abuse. You cannot be held responsible for anything your abuser did to you or to anyone else. Your abuser is the only one that can take responsibility for what they've done.

It is important to learn that the abuser had control and is to blame...not you. You were a child and should have been treated and respected as one.
I am praying for education before this healing needs to occur.
 Please Lord, let the abused child in each of us, keep the knowledge that we are innocent. Thank You Heavenly Father, for never letting us be alone. I praise you for the healing and for seeing us through your eyes.
Mark 5:34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (NIV)

Are you a victim of child abuse? Is your past haunting you with blame? Give it to God.Ask Him to let you see what He sees in you. I am praying that you too can begin to see the real you.