Friday, November 30, 2007

Loving Yourself

A little technique on raising your vibrations and watching what you say to yourself in your head.
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Contributing to The Survivor Manual

The Survivor Manual is FREE. To Support The Survivor Manual, you can subscribe and make recurring payments, send in any amount once, send your stories, or simply spread the word and link to us.

If you would like to support this endeavor please contribute! Help is greatly appreciated. The Survivor Manual is not a non-profit and donations are not a tax write-off. This is an Angela Shelton project taken on by my production company and will continue to provide video content that will get better and better! We donate 10% of whatever money comes in to other non-profits. That way we have the freedom to discuss broad subjects and are not silenced by any "rules and regulations." I have heard far too many times how my non-profit and advocate friends are not allowed to mention certain things for fear of losing their jobs or their funding and the goal of The Survivor Manual has always been to provide answers. (I want more answers too and am extremely grateful to the contributors! I don't have all the answers.)


If you have found any of these videos, resources or posts helpful, please send a dollar! Thank you for helping us continue this great work. This is an ongoing process and will continually progress forward and be filled with information from my dear friends as well. To help me continue, contribute dollars and your stories.

For those who want to send in your stories, there is something powerful about writing down your story on paper. It is a part of the healing process. Talk to your therapist about writing it down, depending on where you are in the process.

Send in your story and a dollar (you don't have to send in a dollar - the dollars are more to make a point and to send a message). If you are not ready to write it all down, you can simply write "survivor" on a slip of paper, with the city the abuse happened and what the abuse was. Fold in a dollar if you want and send it off. We will not be able to return any of the stories so you are sending it off for good. Keep a copy of your lovely handwritten letters.

If you are the loved one of a survivor write what happened to them and what your relationship is or was. You can even send a dollar for every person you ever knew who was traumatized. That would certainly make a statement.

Send them to:
Angela Shelton, P.O. Box 39702, Los Angeles, CA 90039-9702
(email your stories to comments@angelashelton.com and let me know if you would like me to share them or not) I will begin to read from the "story box" as more come in.

Please send in a dollar or dollars here:




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This is not necessary - The Survivor Manual is FREE if you cannot afford a dollar.
The contributors (including myself) - do this out of love.

Where does the money go?
*Paying technical costs like server bills
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Get 50% off the documentary "Searching for Angela Shelton" by using the coupon code "onedollar" on the shopping cart.

If you would like to be a contributor on The Survivor Manual and I know you personally, email me and tell me! You have my personal email if you know me.


Dealing With Triggers


The picture quality of this video is lacking but the information is good and I have received a lot of good feedback on this "toaster tips" video. It is a technique on getting out of panic attacks.

Holding Your Inner Child


By parenting yourself, you take care of yourself by eating, sleeping, pampering and and playing well. Yes, you get to play when you're a happy kid who is well looked after! I have spoken to so many of you at this point and seen over and over how we (and I say we because I have the same issues) don't take care of ourselves. It is because we were not taught how. The most important thing needed in the world as far as trauma goes are parenting classes I think. That would cut down on so much abuse and heartache but in the meantime, we must do it ourselves.
When you can get to the point (and it takes time) where you love yourself and hold yourself as you would the most precious child - because you are precious - you are healing on so many levels and you are learning to love yourself.

We are all searching for love so I decided to look it up. Here is the definition:

LOVE

Function: noun
1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of love 2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion 3 a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : DARLING -- often used as a term of endearment (2) British -- used as an informal term of address 4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God 5 : a god or personification of love 6 : an amorous episode : LOVE AFFAIR 7 : the sexual embrace : COPULATION 8 : a score of zero (as in tennis) 9 capitalized, Christian Science : GOD - at love : holding one's opponent scoreless in tennis - in love : inspired by affection

I have learned through a lot of hard work on myself and practicing what I preach that LOVE is abundant and you do not need another to have love. You don't need to be married or be courted or have a thousand friends to feel love. Try it right now. Pretend like you're in love. And if you've never been in love, I love you. Feel it. Love Yourself. Try saying "I love you" out loud randomly to yourself every day this week. Try it. Feel how it raises your vibration.

Say I love you out loud! I made shirts so you can say I love you in the mirror too! Check them out, I think they are pretty clever and I have one too!

Sword Play for the Ladies....


This video is or the ladies. Watch this and do it. Don't make fun of what I'm wearing, check out my socks!

This is after I heard about the 7 years things from a yoga teacher - Here is a site about her.

This video is for the ladies. Watch this and practice. Don't make fun of what I'm wearing, check out my socks! And of course I'm wearing my favorite Chucks. This is after I heard about the "7 years issue" from a yoga teacher named Gurutej.

Dear Jane...

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This is to a girl I love. You know who you are. There are quite a few of you out there and this is for all of you but especially Jane.

Female Sexual Violence

Ophelia can sing!

When someone you love is a pedophile

When someone you love is a pedophile - Order the transcript from the O Show!

Dragonslippers!

This is one of my favorite books ever - http://www.dragonslippers.com/home.html

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My Brother is on here!

I am excited to announce that my brother (Steve from the movie) is a contributor now. For any of you who have seen us speak together - it is a real treat. Steve is a gem. He is jinxkitty1 That's the name of his cat!

If you haven't seen Searching for Angela Shelton - you should! My favorite part of the movie is the part with Steve. You can get a DVD here until they are sold out. Some people are buying the VHS copies and donating them to their local libraries which I think is just lovely! Thank you and thank you to my brother for contributing. There are so many questions! In fact, there are lists of them there to the upper left!

Uniting Against Organized Perps?

This is a video that I removed but it is back by popular demand because, per the request to put it back up - we do need unity and awareness.

So here you go my fellow female! And in case you haven't noticed, things are shifting. The Survivor Manual blog exists for all things Surviving and my personal blog (as well as more to come) are covering much broader subjects. Why? Because when you get better and heal it becomes clear that Healing Yourself Heals the World (if you let it!)

http://bigmouthshelton.blogspot.com/
http://survivormanual.blogspot.com/

Help me sell out of these movies! If you use the coupon code "survivor" to get free shipping for your friends and family. Here is the store:

http://store.searchingforangelasheltonstore.com/

My birthday is coming!!

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Awareness Ribbon for DID and other dissociative disorders

This just came in from a friend and activist:

To be shared with people out there who have DID or other dissociative disorders. The voting is taking place and can be viewed and voted on at this website:
http://www.copingincrazyville.com/iconvoting.php

It's an awareness ribbon that will be ordered the first of the year and then on sale. Vote!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

From PROTECT

Young Alicia Kozakeiwicz faced Congress last month and bravely told them about her rescue from the basement of a sadistic child predator.

Alicia knew she was saved when she looked up and "saw the three most beautiful letters in the world: F-B-I" on the jackets of the men who unchained her and brought her back home. Yesterday, you helped the FBI and other child rescue teams get much closer to rescuing thousands of children just like Alicia. The cavalry is coming. We can now hear the rumbling of a stampede off in the distance ... closing in on the hundreds of thousands of child predators at large in this country.
(Hear Alicia and others speak: http://www.protect.org/childPornography/index.html)

U.S. House of Representatives heard your demands and passed the PROTECT our Children Act of 2007. A voice vote was cast Tuesday evening. Then our dedicated house sponsor, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, demanded a recorded vote ... sending the message to her peers in Congress that she meant to hold each and every one of them accountable for protecting children.
Read about the vote: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gygl3oNST-LkmAThjrHdzrM711tgD8STP5F80

For months PROTECT has been battling opposition to this landmark legislation.

And we won: 415 to 2!

In Washington and in the media you hear a lot about special interests. You hear about how they corrupt the process and you hear politicians talk about how they refuse to allow them to influence their votes.

Well, every member of PROTECT has a special interest: children. We are moms and dads, bikers, teachers, sisters, police officers and other caring people. We are fighting not to garner financial gain for ourselves, not for tobacco or oil or a defense contract ... but for the sacred cause of child protection. And Congress is listening.

Make no mistake, this battle has just begun. We have momentum, but next our fight moves to the Senate. Once we win there, we will again fight to make Congress fully-fund the PROTECT Our Children Act. We need all of you more now than ever.

Visit PROTECT's webpage, www.protect.org. and become a member. Tell the children who languish in torturous situations like Alicia's, "Don't give up. The cavalry is coming, and they're going to be here soon."

from-THE STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS AT PROTECT

Male Sexual Abuse

This is a great video from (Wo)Men Speak Out www.menspeakoutnow.com

Reporting and Justice

These are the QUESTIONS I hear most often and this is the reason I wanted The Survivor Manual. I have tried to keep the questions related to each other in close proximity.

For my contributors, please feel free to address any of these questions and put Q and A in the label at the bottom.

As we collect answers, we will provide the blog entry link by the questions to make it easier to search! This is a work in progress and will continue to move forward. Keep coming back!

How is the best way to report my abuse?

What if I don't remember it?

What if it will ruin my family?

What if the cops don't believe me?

How do I report really? I mean do I just walk into the police station?

I was raped and there was a SANE nurse brought in. She was great but then the cop came and she was so rude to me. It was a woman too! It was horrible. Was there anything I could have done? Should I have asked for a new cop? Did I have to talk to her?

What if I was drunk when I was raped?

What if my offender is a cop?

Should I sue?

I can’t decide whether to sue my stepfather for the abuse he inflicted. I have enormous psychotherapy bills and I think he should pay for it. I’m afraid of the system and what it will do to me. What do you recommend? How would I begin to find an attorney?

What do you do about organized perps? What about when they are all friends and protect each other? How do you get out of that?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moving On – Being Whole - Healing Questions

These are the QUESTIONS I hear most often and this is the reason I wanted The Survivor Manual. I have tried to keep the questions related to each other in close proximity.

For my contributors, please feel free to address any of these questions and put Q and A in the label at the bottom. I would also very much like to know how you and those you know healed. Share you art, music, spirituality, healing techniques, and any other connection you found helpful for moving on.

As we collect answers, we will provide the blog entry link by the questions to make it easier to search! This is a work in progress and will continue to move forward. Keep coming back!

When will I feel normal again?

Are there any signs to show that I’m getting better? I feel better but I would love to know if I really am, you know what I mean?

How do you find yourself again?

I feel like I want to hide. How do I get back to my creativity? How are you able to sing and dance?

I'm afraid to have children because I was abused...is that normal?

Having sex with the man I love is absolutely unappealing and I feel desperate to have sex with a stranger or someone I don’t really love. What’s going on? Why don’t I want sex with someone I love and how do I change that?

How can I stop wanting other people to save me?

I have so many sex questions. Can you talk about sex? I mean, is that bad to ask about sex? I feel so bad around it. Sometimes I cry during sex. Sometimes I feel awful because of what goes on in my head during sex that I can’t even talk about.

I'm ashamed of feeling good when I have sex...will I ever get beyond that?

Orgasms are a trigger too...what do I do?

How can I use all of these tools and deal with things like my marriage breaking up?

I feel like I keep repeating the same pattern with men, like I have a magnet for them on my head, pulling them towards me. You seem so centered and sure of yourself. How do you do that and does that attract better men?

How do I forgive when I hate so much? You talk about forgiveness but I wonder if you’re just making excuses for your dad. Are you? Do you really forgive him and if so, how did you do that?

How can you be so upbeat and joyful?

How do we trust others?

How do you or should you still have a relationship with your abuser when they are in your family?

How do you cope with: anxiety/panic, depression, anger, loneliness, intimacy issues, low self esteem etc…

How do you support a loved one who has been abused?

What type of help is out there? What organizations?

What effects did the abuse have on your relationships?

How do you break that cycle of going from one bad relationship to another?

How do you love someone when you can’t love yourself?

How do you take care of yourself?

Do you think change will really happen?

I have so many sex questions. Can you talk about sex? I mean, is that bad to ask about sex? I feel so bad around it. Sometimes I cry during sex. Sometimes I feel awful because of what goes on in my head during sex that I can’t even talk about.

Sex, sex, sex – I want to know how to have sex again and not hate my partner. It is not their fault.

How do you trust others?

How do you say no?

I'm ashamed of feeling good when I have sex...will I ever get beyond that?

Exactly, what do I do when I want to cut/slap/etc? How do I stop the pattern of self-abuse exactly?

Are you ever truly healed or is it going to be a lifetime of learning how to deal with your past?

Loved Ones, Supporters, and Community Questions

These are the QUESTIONS I hear most often and this is the reason I wanted The Survivor Manual. I have tried to keep the questions related to each other in close proximity.

For my contributors, please feel free to address any of these questions and put Q and A in the label at the bottom.

As we collect answers, we will provide the blog entry link by the questions to make it easier to search! This is a work in progress and will continue to move forward. Keep coming back!

How do I help my survivor partner the best?

How do I keep myself safe when they freak out?

I’m afraid a little girl I know is being molested. I have no idea what to do. I have no proof, but I can see something in her eyes. Do I try to talk to her and try to get something out of her? I’m her neighbor and don’t know her parents well at all. Help.

Is there anything I can do to help? I am genuinely interested in ways to help promote you, your film and your movement. Personal is political, baby...how do I help?

Why is there not more info given to children in school about the dangers of CSA?

What can I do to help?

Breaking the Cycle Questions

How do you stop the cycle?

I don't want my children to be victims, how do I protect them?

I almost fell on the floor when your brother mentioned that the molestation felt good. How am I supposed to live with myself seeing that I feel the same way?

How do I find peace and quiet in my head when all there is, is pain?

Exactly, what do I do when I want to cut/slap/etc? How do I stop the pattern of self-abuse exactly?

I’m in an abusive relationship but the violence has stopped for a while. Should I feel safe?

How do you deal with phobias?

What if I have to see my abusers because they are in my family? How do I deal with that?

I’m afraid of sex and have trouble with any sort of intimacy. Could it be that I was molested, but just don’t remember it?

I have panic attacks every time my husband wants to have sex or just fool around. How can I get over them? It’s destroying our relationship.

I can only masturbate thinking about being gang-raped or something equally as heinous. I feel so much shame and don’t want to tell anyone. I think I’m a freak. What rape victim would fantasize about being raped?

I’ve never masturbated. Should I start now? I don’t even know where to begin... How can I re-teach my brain to think that masturbation is OK and not dirty?

One time I masturbated and thought of my pedophile step-dad. I had an orgasm, then wanted to throw up because I was so disgusted with myself. I hate myself for having that thought along with an orgasm. It’s disgusting so I must be disgusting.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not even in the room with my family. Like I’m gone. Has this ever happened to you?

What is the best way to handle flashbacks and is it normal to have them?
Dealing With Triggers

A man exposed himself to me in a grocery store and I panicked. I became mute. I went into another aisle, crouched down and cowered. What the hell was happening to me? Now I’m ashamed. I should have done something to stop him, but I couldn’t move or think. What should I have done?

When my boyfriend comes up behind me and touches me I freak out and want to kill him. Is this normal?
Dealing With Triggers

I cut myself repeatedly, I developed anorexia and bulimia and panic attacks.

I don’t date. I’m too scared. How do I come out of hiding?
Holding Your Inner Child

People would always compliment me and tell me what a beautiful girl I was - but they, I thought, couldn't see the ugliness inside. How do I change those negative thought patterns?

How can I use all of these tools and deal with things like my marriage breaking up? I believe it is connected to my abuse and my inability to be intimate.

I can’t find a man to love me. What do I do?
Sword Technique for cutting away old patterns.

Breaking the Silence Questions

These are the QUESTIONS I hear most often and this is the reason I wanted The Survivor Manual.

For my contributors, please feel free to address any of these questions and put Q and A in the label at the bottom. As we collect answers, we will provide the blog entry link by the questions to make it easier to search! This is a work in progress and will continue to move forward. We will organize the categories to provide the best searching. Keep coming back!


How do I get the courage to heal?

Do you have to come forward?

Am I a Survivor?

Where can I go to get help? I have no money/insurance to get help.

What is the first step to healing?

Who can you call to get help?

Why me? I don’t want to open up this can of worms inside of me. It’s too scary and I think I’ll die. Why can’t I just leave well enough alone?

I live out in the middle of nowhere. How do I find support and resources?

What are all of the symptoms, bodily reactions, addictions, you’ve seen survivors have? (I lost my voice, have thrown up a bunch, my “phantom” vaginal pain, teeth chattering, nightmares, paralyzed from the waist down...)
Incest Survivors Checklist from E. Sue Blume

Yes, this happened to me, but I’m perfectly fine keeping it to myself. I let it go a long time ago. It’s not that big of a deal. My father didn’t kill me or anything. Why do YOU have to make such a big deal of it?

I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that my dad used to fondle me. It felt good sometimes so why is it a problem? He wasn’t hurting me. Why is it so bad?

Can you really have repressed memories or am I just making myself believe something that really didn’t happen? I’m being told that repressed memories don’t exist and that my father could never have done that. Maybe I’m making this up and I should believe her?

I keep having feelings that “this never happened to me,” but I know it did. Why am I disbelieving myself?

I was abused by my brother/father/uncle, but haven’t told anyone. How do I bring up this subject and what should I expect?

I can’t stop crying. HELP! How do I stop?

What should I say to people who tell me to “just get over it?”

I am still the black sheep in the family for bringing the abuse out in the open - my siblings wanted me to wait until my father passed away to talk about it. Should I still tell?

I am going up and down like a roller coaster. I don’t know what to. I wish I could take better care of myself but I am paralyzed. Survivor’s groups don’t interest me, church does not interest me and I have next to no money to get professional help. Please help.

How did you deal with all of that pain? How long did you put up with it?

Does this pain ever end?

My offender still abuses me and I let him. How do I stop the abuse when it has been in my family for so long?

My mother knows it is happening and so do other family members. How do I protect the other children? How do I get out? My family will come after me.

How do you deal with the abusers enablers?

How do I release my rage and pain? I thought about using your bat idea to release rage but I just feel frozen.

I feel like I want to die. How do I not kill myself?

How do you confront someone when they are so high and mighty, like your preacher?

Can I put a full-page ad in the newspaper declaring my father a pedophile? I want people to know! Will I get in trouble? What can happen?

I was molested by my pastor. How in the world do I confront him? You confronted your father so easily, how were you able to do that?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Losing Your Mind?

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This is for you who are feeling overwhelmed - just a little reminder to stop every once in awhile and lose it. It's healthy! Better than stewing, brewing and freaking. I beat that thing when I want to release energy or when I feel pent up. I busted the side of it open. Opps.

I like to dance around the room like a loon too. That's a good trick to change your energy. If I had the guts, I'd start shooting dance videos for us to do in times of panic. ha ha.

Conversation with Vanessa Tyson

Conversation with my brother Steve

Lap Top Talk with My Mother

We talk about my dad, how my mother got me into therapy when she got custody back and how we are both moving forward.
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Dealing with flashbacks and fantasies during sex

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Here is one of many techniques to try in the bedroom when faced with the times when you "leave." This is in answer to many similar questions I have heard. Would love to hear about how you all deal with this same issue!

Working with others


Hello, and thanks for reading my contribution to this blog. When Angela first asked me to contribute, I immediately said "Yes, of course, I'd love too", and then I wondered, what would be important from my perspective? First, I think it's important for you to know about Bikers Against Child Abuse - BACA. If you aren't familiar with us, go to www.bacausa.com for our mission statement, videos, and general information. Also, I would like to say that everything I write in this blog is my opinion, based on my experience, and does not necessarily represent any "official" BACA position.

I found out about BACA from Angela Shelton, and got involved in September of '06. I founded, and am President of the L.A. chapter. I love BACA because I get to ride my motorcycle ('91 Harley FXR) and help kids. What we do is hands on - we become part of these kids lives, and they become part of us. We are a family. We are all volunteers, and BACA is a 501c3 non- profit. People often ask me why I do this, and why am I willing to put so much of myself into BACA? I do this because I am inspired. I believe in being of service to others. We make a real difference in the lives of abused children. When these children join our family, they become less afraid of the world around them. They can sleep at night. They find the courage within themselves to grow from victims of abuse into empowered survivors. I feel honored, privileged, and humbled by the opportunity to participate in these kids lives.

The cycle of abuse is something that all of us, together, have the power to change. I believe helping these kids will contribute to breaking that cycle. I also believe that survivors can use their experience to empower others, and that makes everyone involved stronger. With that in mind, I encourage everyone involved to work together in this fight against abuse, and to help each other on the road to recovery, healing, and empowerment. Victims of abuse can, and do, grow into very strong survivors.

But what if you are in the middle of it right now? What do you do? Where do you go? What happens now? If you believe your life or the lives of your children are in danger, make an exit plan, and get out. Right now. Call someone you trust and tell them what's happening. Ask them to help you find resources in your community - medical care, law enforcement, shelters, therapy. Would you help someone close to you if they were in your situation? Of course you would. Reach out. Ask for help. If you're afraid, all you need is enough courage to take the first step. Make the first call for help. It's tough, but you can do it. Do it now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lap Top Talk with Anne Lee from Darkness to Light

Anne Lee from Darkness to Light. I just got trained to teach the Stewards of Children training too. It is a really great program and a great way to teach the adults in our society on how to recognize and react to child sexual abuse.

Teaching good parenting is an entirely different ball game. This training is for adults who are around children, have children, and those who care about keeping them safe.

And Anne just emailed me and Darkness to Light will be contributing to this blog too! Yippee.
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The Incest Survivors' Aftereffects Checklist, by E. Sue Blume

Author's note: This list may be copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes without prior authorization, as long as it is not edited or altered in any way. That is, nothing may be removed or changed. For all uses for which a fee is charged, and other uses--presentations, education, publishing-- the author must be contacted for permission.




THE INCEST SURVIVORS’ AFTEREFFECTS CHECKLIST
Copyright © 1985–2004 by E. Sue Blume, C.S.W., Diplomate in Clinical Social Work

INCEST is any use of a minor child to meet the sexual or sexual/emotional needs of one or more older or more powerful persons in ongoing emotional relationship(s) with that child (parent, step- or grandparent, sibling, babysitter, mother's boyfriend, teacher, rabbi, priest, family doctor, etc.). Although incest has traditionally been defined as sex and/or marriage between close relatives, above all, it is child abuse—an assault on the child's sexual boundaries by the very person(s) entrusted with her care. It is a violation of a dependency bond, not of a blood relationship. And it does not require touch. A child can be violated through inappropriate photographs, the way she is talked to or by the way she is looked at.

Incest is such a traumatic experience that its victims may forget that it even occurred. But its scars live on, confusing in their seeming meaninglessness. Problems with sex, trust, touch, addictions, paralyzing depression, memory, shame and guilt can feel crazy and out of control, especially when the cause is unknown. This Checklist describes the consequences of incest trauma. It offers a profile of the post-incest experience in women (although many items apply to men as well), or “Post-Incest Syndrome”. It can be used as a guide to help survivors understand that there are legitimate reasons for their unrelenting difficulties—that, in fact, these “problems” are actually valiant attempts to cope with an impossible situation, and to meet healthy underlying needs.

Many of the items on this list can also apply to survivors of childhood abuses such as battering, or adult children of families where there is a history of alcoholism. Incest is especially common in alcoholic families, although not all alcohol-involved abuse is attributable to the disease of alcoholism. Incest perpetrators often apply the same defenses to their behavior as those used by alcoholics: denial, minimizing, and projection of blame. Additionally, perpetrators, just like victims, may dissociate the abuse. Still, incest is always the responsibility of the abuser. Although incest perpetrators are often described as “sick,” for the most part, this behavior is a choice—intentional, planned, and purposefully hidden.

Have you been struggling with problems that nothing seemed to help, for which even therapy could not find a cause? If the majority of the items of this list apply to you, you might want to consider whether you are a survivor of incest. Of course, you should never allow a checklist, or another person, to determine whether you have been abused. Only you can determine this, and the quest for such answers is long and painful. Even then, remembering is not the end of the process of recovery, but the beginning. If you are a survivor, above all, know this: you are not to blame. And healing is possible; with help, you can break free from the self-blame, isolation, and the entrapment of Post-Incest Syndrome.

This Checklist is based on an original list by New York Women Against Rape, as well as
extensive observation of and communication with survivors. To all who contributed:
your generous sharing of your experiences and pain is a gift to all survivors.



1. Fear of being alone in the dark, of sleeping alone; nightmares (especially of rape, pursuit, threat, entrapment, blood); night terrors.
2. Swallowing and gagging senstivitiy; repugnance to water on face when bathing or swimming (suffocation feelings.)lings)
3. Poor or distorted body image; alienation from, not at home in, failure to heed signals or take care of body; manipulating body size to avoid sexual attention; compulsive cleanliness, incl. bathing in scalding water; or, total inattention to personal appearance or hygiene
4. Somatization, stress-related diseases: gastrointestinal problems, GYN disorders (including spontaneous vaginal infections); headaches; arthritis/joint pain; fibromyalgia. Also internal scarring. Aversion to doctors (esp. gynecologists, dentists)
5. Wearing a lot of clothing, even in summer; baggy clothes; failure to remove clothing even when appropriate to do so (while swimming, bathing, sleeping); extreme requirement for privacy when using bathroom
6. Addictions, eating disorders, drug/alcohol overuse/abuse/or total abstinence; compulsive behaviors (including busyness)
7. Self-injury (cutting, burning, etc.) (physical pain is manageable) (this is an addictive pattern); self-destructiveness
8. Phobias, panic, anxiety
9. Need to be invisible, perfect, or perfectly bad
10. Suicidal thoughts, attempts, obsession (including “passive suicide”)
11. Depression (sometimes paralyzing); seemingly baseless crying; sadness
12. Anger issues: inability to recognize, own or express anger; rage; fear of rage (actual or imagined); constant anger; misdirected anger, intense hostility toward entire gender or ethnic group (“race”) of the perpetrator
13. PTSD symptoms, including shock or shutdown in crisis (stressful situation always = crisis); psychic numbing. “Hysterical” symptoms: physical pain, paralysis, numbness associated with particular memory, emotion (e.g. anger) or situation (e.g. sex). See also “flashbacks” in item 26.
14. Rigid control of thought process; humorlessness or extreme solemnity
15. Childhood hiding, hanging on, cowering in corners (security-seeking behaviors); adult nervousness over being watched or surprised; feeling watched; startle response; hypervigilance
16. Inability to trust (trust is not safe); absolute trust that turns to rage when disappointed; trusting indiscriminately
17. High risk taking (“daring the fates”); inability to take risks
18. Control, power, territoriality issues; fear of losing control; obsessive/compulsive behaviors (attempts to control things that don't matter, just to control something!); power/sex confusion (see also #27)
19. Guilt/ shame/ low self-esteem/ feeling worthless/ high appreciation of small favors by others
20. Pattern of being a victim (victimizing oneself after being victimized by others), especially sexually; no sense of own power or right to set limits or say “no;” pattern of relationships with much older or more powerful persons (onset in adolescence); OR exaggerated sense of entitlement; revictimization by others (adult sexual violence, including sexual exploitation by bosses and “helping” professionals
21. Must “produce” to be loved; instinctively knowing, doing what the others need or want; relationships = big tradeoffs
22. Disturbances in attachment; abandonment issues; desire for relationships with no separateness; avoidance/fear of intimacy
23. Dissociation: blocking out some period of early years (esp. 1–12), specific person, place, event; creating fantasy worlds, identities (incl. women imagining self to be male, = not a victim); Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (was MPD)
24. Feeling of carrying an awful secret; urge to tell/ fear of its being revealed; certainty that no-one would listen. Being generally secretive. Feeling “marked” (the “scarlet letter”)
25. Feeling crazy; feeling different; feeling oneself to be unreal and everyone else to be real, or vice versa; cognitive problems
26. Denial (no awareness); repression of memories; pretending; minimizing (“it wasn't that bad”); strong, deep, “inappropriate” negative reactions to a person, place or event; flashbacks, which may occur as dreams, or sensory flashes (a brief image or feeling) with no meaning; or memories of surrounding details but not event or identity of abuser. Memory often begins with least threatening event or abuser. Details of experience may never be fully or accurately known, but much recovery is possible without full recall. Your inner guide will release memories at the pace you can handle (see also #13, #23)
27. Sexual issues: sex feels “dirty;” aversion to being touched; strong aversion to (or need for) particular sex acts; feeling betrayed by one's body; trouble integrating sexuality and emotionality; confusion or overlapping of affection/ sex/ dominance/ aggression/ violence; having to pursue power in sexual arena which is actually sexual acting out (self-abuse, manipulation [esp. women]; abuse of others [esp. men]); compulsively “seductive,” or compulsively asexual; must be sexual aggressor, or cannot be; impersonal, “promiscuous” sex with strangers concurrent with inability to have sex in intimate relationship (conflict between sex and caring); prostitute, stripper, “sex symbol” (Marilyn Monroe), porn actress; sexual “acting out” to meet anger or revenge needs; sexual addiction; avoidance; shutdown; crying after orgasm; pursuit feels like violation; sexualizing of all meaningful relationships; erotic response to abuse or anger, sexual fantasies of dominance/ real rape (results in guilt and confusion); teenage pregnancy. Note: Homosexuality is not an aftereffect!
28. Pattern of ambivalent or intensely conflictual relationships (abuse is familiar; also, in true intimacy, issues are more likely to surface; in problem relationships, focus can be shifted from real issue of incest). Note: Partner of survivor often suffers consequences of Post-Incest Syndrome also (especially sex and relationship issues)
29. Avoidance of mirrors (connected with invisibility, shame/self-esteem issues; distorted perceptions of face or body, DID)
30 Desire to change one’s name (to dis-associate from the perpetrator or take control through self-labeling)
31. Limited tolerance for happiness; active withdrawal from/ reluctance to trust happiness (“ice = thin”)
32. Aversion to noise-making (including during sex, crying, laughing, or other body functions); verbal hypervigilance (careful monitoring of one's words); quiet-voiced, especially when needing to be heard
33. Stealing (adults); fire-starting (children)
34. Food sensitivities/avoidance based on texture (mayonnaise) or appearance (hot dogs), which remind the survivor of abuse, or smell/sound which remind survivor of perpetrator; aversion to meat, red foods
35. Compulsive honesty or compulsive dishonesty (lying)
36. Hypervigilance regarding child abuse, or inability to see child abuse, or avoidance of any awareness or mention of child abuse; tendency to develop relationships with incest perpetrators
37. Personality disorders, characteristics; Psychiatric illness (NOTE: Post-Incest Syndrome is often misdiagnosed as these)

Note to therapists and survivors: Some items on this list are strongly associated with childhood sexual abuse;
however, over 25 items should be identified before incest is suspected. Proceed with caution!

Survivors and partners, be gentle with yourselves—and each other.

All rights reserved. No portion of this list may be copied or reprinted without the author’s permission. Requests may
be submitted to the author at the above address. Your thoughts and comments on this material are also welcome.

E. Sue Blume’s book based on this list, Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and its Aftereffects in Women, is available as a Ballantine paperback (at your bookstore, or through such websites as amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, etc.). Lectures on this and other material can be scheduled with the author.



E. Sue Blume, LCSW, Diplomate
P.O. Box 7167
Garden City, N.Y. 11530

Rev. 7/04

Greetings from E. Sue Blume . . .

. . . . who is firmly lodged in the 20th century, and blogging is therefore a new skill. It only took about 12 tries to get this right. OK, gimme a break, I'm old.
But I'm learning!
What a great opportunity it is for me to participate in Angela's blog. I have been a fan ever since seeing "Searching . . .", her inspirational, moving film, and am delighted to lend my support for any of her other efforts in the important crusade to fight child sexual abuse.
My own involvement in this issue began a million years ago--in 1984. Back then, the world never acknowledged sexual abuse or “Organized Perpetrator Abuses” (including Ritual Abuse or other “mind control” activities) that victimized children. Incest was not even mentioned in graduate school programs for therapists! That year, I began developing my “Incest Survivors Aftereffects Checklist (c),” which has since evolved into a 37-cluster list of the emotional and behavior consequences of incest.
The definition of incest I use is not the original one, but one taught to me--as everything I know was taught to me--by survivors. That is, incest is the sexual exploitation of a child committed by an older child or adult who is connected not by blood, but by a dependency bond.
One of the unplanned applications of my list was that it frequently helped survivors of repressed, or dissociated incest to trigger the release of an awareness that they had been abused. This particular aspect has been much criticized, and misrepresented, by the Backlash. As I have always emphasized, no one item on this list should be taken to indicate any possibility of an incest history. Only when one has the overwhelming majority of items should incest be considered, and even then, please remember that other childhood traumas can cause most of the same issues described on the list.
I no longer do much clinical work in this area. My focus has moved into being political. That is because now we must combat the effect of the “false memory syndrome” Backlash, which is a political effort spearheaded by perps and their supporters to suppress the truth about incest, DID and RA, and destroy those who advocate that truth. What began as an effort to support the healing of survivors has evolved into a resistance to the war declared by predators’ advocacy groups against survivors and those who help them. Although incest is now a recognized fact, many psychology books present these issue through the distortions of a Backlash bias. That same bias permeates the media, the courts, and society at large.
One way that Backlash efforts have been successful is that they have distracted us from focusing on understanding incest and helping survivors. So it’s time to get back to basics. My Checklist has helped countless survivors to identify the cause behind the often bewildering and confusing struggles they faced in later life. I offer it to you here in the hopes it can help you, or someone you know, as well.
You’re not crazy. You’ve been traumatized by what may well be the worst abuse a child can suffer. And that changes a person.
If you are a survivor, remember, no one can tell you what your own truth is--not a perp, not a political movement, not even a therapist. YOU are the expert on your own experience, which is a power you will recover as you heal. And you CAN heal. Be gentle with yourself.
If you are a therapist, or someone who cares about a survivor, learn everything you can, and spread the word about the truths you have learned. This struggle is more important than you know.

Here, now, is the “Incest Survivors Aftereffects Checklist (c. 1984-2004, E. Sue Blume.) (Well, not "here," exactly. It actually appeared . . before this post. Because that's how things are now. Sigh.)

My love to you all,

E. Sue Blume, LCSW, Diplomate in Clinical Social Work Therapy for Women and their Relationships, Long Island, NY

Healing through Creativity Survivor Art Event and Forum


Healing Through Creativity has an art event and forum focused towards healing from trauma, domestic violence and sexual assault. Visit healingthroughcreativity.org/forum. Aside from the discussion of art as a method for healing and areas in which you can share your art form, they have forums in which you can share your story of survival, vent your frustrations, tell jokes, share the good things in your life, and talk about anything you wish. There are also forums providing you with various resources and tips for the healing process.

You can post your poetry/writings and music and also showcase your work in the Annual survivor art event.

Wendy Murphy wins Voice of Courage Award!


This is a clip from the 2007 Darkness to Light Gala where i presented Wendy Murphy with the Voice of Courage award. Wendy is also going to contribute to this blog! Yippeee-ki-yay!

Get Wendy's book - And Justice for Some - http://andjusticeforsome.com/

Bring the Stewards of Children Training to your community!
http://www.darknesstolight.org/

I just got trained to train so I can teach the training as well! So get on the train! Email events@angelashelton.com if you have a large group and/or are near where I will already be and I can train the adults in your community to recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse! (there is a video of Anne Lee below...)


E. Sue Blume

My buddy E. Sue Blume has offered to contribute to this blog. I love
all of these amazing people!

E. Sue Blume is the author of the book SECRET SURVIVORS:
Uncovering Incest and its Aftereffects in Women (Ballantine Paperback/
Trade version available) But she says to buy the paperback, because it's a lot cheaper! The book is based on her amazing "Incest Survivors Aftereffects Checklist" (c), that she will post for us.

"Secret Survivors" is important because it is for survivors, those who support and love survivors, survivors, she also tells me that many survivors give it to their therapists! It was also one of the first for survivors who have blocked out their memories. (She says that the the False Memory Freaks had tissy-fit over her work, just as I expected!) The book really shows how victims react to the abuse by suppressing and dissociating memories of it, having a variety of addictions, eating disorders, problems with anger, guilt, shame, relationships-- and other issues! But her point is that survivors should not be judged or labeled for those reactions--that they are aware what the victimized child did to survive.

After describing how incest forces victims to alter themselves in order to cope, Blume also has great suggestions for recovery - which is the whole point! I recommend that you get her book if you haven't already.


Anne Lee from Darkness to Light

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Anne Lee from Darkness to Light. I just got trained to teach the Stewards of Children training too. It is a really great program and a great way to teach the adults in our society on how to recognize and react to child sexual abuse.

Teaching good parenting is an entirely different ball game. This training is for adults who are around children, have children, and those who care about keeping them safe.

And Anne just emailed me and Darkness to Light will be contributing to this blog too! Yippee.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


Happy Day... November 25th marks the 16 days of activism. These 16 days call for organizations and individuals around the world to take action to eliminating violence of all types. It culminates on December 10th with International Human Rights Day.

Check it out!


Girls Fight Back!

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Here is me talking to Erin Weed http://girlsfightback.com/

That was a funny day. And I'm wearing my fabulous Earth Bitch shirt! (plug plug)


Self-Defense for Survivors

Angela posted a question/comment to my post below, and I think it's on a really important topic...so here goes. Should survivors of violence learn self-defense? I get this question all the time, and I imagine many more just THINK the question and never ask it. (Since so many people are out there who have gone through horrible abuse/assault and NEVER tell anyone.) Here's the deal: as a survivor, you need to do whatever necessary to feel safe, strong and whole again. For some people it's therapy, or journaling or giggling (in Angela's case)...but whatever that thing is, do it...and do a lot of it!

For some survivors, the idea begins to creep into their mind of getting their power back. Some want to learn what they could have done differently to prevent or avoid the situation, which is fine...but just know going into any self-defense class that whatever happened is NOT your fault and NOT your responsibility to remedy the sick mind process that goes into these crimes. If you are in therapy, I highly recommend talking to your therapist about taking a self-defense class before you do it. Explore the idea that you'll likely be physically put in a situation that may seem very real, and very scary. You may have flashbacks. You may feel terror. Know that self-defense is not therapy, but it can be therapeutic to learn to become your own best protector.

I had a gal take the Girls Fight Back 12 hour, full-contact course when I owned a women's self-defense studio back in Hoboken, NJ. She had been robbed at gunpoint the previous year, and was psychologically traumatized. She and her therapist came to the conclusion that self-defense may provide her with options, so that when she re-played the event in her head...this time she could be kicking his ass! So after careful consideration, she took the class. On my consent form that all students must sign, it asks if you have survived a violent situation. She fully disclosed her situation to me, which was crucial. It helped me guide her through the course on a more mindful level of what she was emotionally and psychologically going through. At the end, this girl went through "Fight Night"...a full contact fight against a padded attacker. And you know what? She rocked like Spock, and floored the padded attacker. I have never seen a more glowing, vibrant, re-energized face than hers after she was finished with him. We videotape all these fights, so that students can see how dangerous they really can be...and she thought she was watching her stunt double...but it was just a more Charlie's Angel's version of herself.

In summary, my advice is to take a self-defense class...but only when you're ready. And when you do, give full disclosure to your teacher. Know that self-defense is just one tiny part of the healing process, not the whole enchilada. Furthermore, find a class and an instructor you are comfortable with. Your intuition will immediately tell you if you feel good about it...listen to that voice! And check out www.girlsfightback.org to find a class near you. You have to sign in, but it's totally free. All the classes are listed by state, so you can find one easily. I will blog more in the future about other fight-related questions...but hope this helps for now.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Viseral, and Semato Emotional Release




I went to see Sam MacArthur who practices Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Viseral, and Semato Emotional Release. She is in Weaverville, NC 828-775-2327. For those near to her, I highly recommend her. It was an amazing experience. After an hour treatment I walked away feeling incredibly centered and awake. She also picked up on some pains in my body that I did not tell her about before I arrived. That was pretty wild. I highly recommend going to Sam if you can or finding another healer near you.

More resources and ways to find a practitioner near you:

Milne Institue 831-667-2323

Upledger Institute 800-233-5880 upledger@upledger.com

In a relationship with another jerk??



This is in answer to Jenn's email about how to get away from those fatal attractions, verbally abusive relationships, abusive jerks etc.

Your Brain on Negative Thought Patterns

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Here's a little tip on watching what you say to yourself in your head - about yourself and about others.

False Memories??

Wall St. Journal talks about False Memories??

I commented at the end of this Wall Street Journal article and now there are 14 pages of comments now. Get on there and share your opinion. The False Memory people really make it difficult for stories to come out. Here's a snippet of the article:

The aim of recovered-memory therapy is to remind people of past traumas, often childhood sexual abuse, using techniques such as hypnotherapy, medication, re-enactments of traumatic moments and isolation from family. In the 1990s, studies suggested such intrusive methods were giving patients memories and multiple personalities that didn’t exist before. (The American Psychiatric Association has dropped multiple-personality disorder as a diagnostic category, replacing it with a slightly different designation known as dissociative-identity disorder.)


This is my comment:

I have been on the road talking to survivors of trauma for almost seven years now. “False memories” is a concept that is made up to protect perpetrators just like “PAS, parent alienation syndrome” is. These articles and research that say “studies show” should be very scrutinized. Many of these perpetrators work together to protect each other and silence victims. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is one of the many organizations that protects “alleged offenders” and sues therapists that “plant false memories.” They pay their “experts” to come up with these “studies” and to testify in court on their behalf. It is so easy to point the fingers at survivors and say that they made it up and they are crazy because so many of their offenders are their parents and have tortured them to such a degree that they do repress the memories as a protection mechanism. And it is even easier to not believe that those nice white rich people would be torturing children and making a profit on child porn because they look so well put together and “normal” and their victims are so “crazy.” To be raped, tortured, sodomized, sold, and abused in the ways that I hear about every day would make anyone “crazy” and just like in a violent act of war – your brain may very well suppress the worse parts of the violence to protect yourself. We all must really look where these “experts” are getting their information and who is funding them just like who distributes these articles.

Who owns the Wall Street Journal?

Giggle Therapy

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Giggle your way out of a bad sad place - try it!

Givin' it up for Shelton

My name is Erin Weed, and I'm the founder of Girls Fight Back! While I am not a survivor of violence myself, one of my favorite girlfriends was murdered in 2001 by a stranger who broke into her college apartment. Through her death and the subsequent pain that followed (especially the murder trial for her killer) I have heard a lot of stories. Today I try to supply hope to people who have forgotten how incredible they are. I attempt to make amazing women like you realize you are worth fighting for!

Angela has asked me to contribute to this blog, which is a real honor. I thought I'd start out my first post by saying what Angela would never do herself...tell you all the attributes she has which are so key to healing. There are two major things about her that have brought the movement so far. First up is her honesty. In my six years traveling the US speaking to women about their personal safety and self-defense, I have learned two things. #1: Everyone has a story and #2: Nobody is sharing them. To share our deepest hurt and pain is to really expose ourselves to some scary stuff...but it also exposes us to angels who can help.

The second thing I love about Angela Shelton is her humor. Just last night I was watching her movie "Searching for Angela Shelton" and I literally laughed at loud during the climax of the movie...when she is confronting her abusive dad on Father's Day. It was the part when she was marveling about how a little kid would ever come up with the idea of putting a broomstick up his ass without the help from a twisted adult. Or when she came on my radio show a few weeks ago, I asked her: "How do you move on, as an adult, after a childhood of being so horribly abused?" Her response was, "I don't know...become an addict?" (Listen to the whole interview here) The thing is, if you're reading this blog you've likely lived through, seen or experienced some pretty awful shit. And I really believe we have to find something to laugh about, even if it's dark, twisted and horrifies the rest of the population. Being able to laugh is the same as taking back the power...which I think Angela is really targeting with giggle therapy and so many of her other projects.

So overall, I just want to say it's great to be here in your lovely community. And I'm happy to blog about anything in regards to helping you reclaim your personal safety and learn to defend yourself. I'm sending a big CHEERS to Angela and her army of angels everywhere.
Strong. Resilient. Spirited. Unified.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Monument for Survivors

Put Your Hands Together!

A monument is being built to survivors of abuse.-- The monument is huge standing ten feet tall by thirty feet wide and is covered in the bronze handprints of survivors.-- On the inside of the monument there is-- room for one million handprints!-- So trace the outline of your hand and send it to Reaching Out America!-- On or around the hand then write a message of how you want the world to be for kids or a message of how you feel about abuse.
--
Then mail it to:
Reaching Out America
37 Bay Park Terrace
Alameda, California
94502

Dr. Vince from the ACE Study

Tell Your Story!

Angela Shelton's Message to Survivors

Getting Out of Panic Attacks