Friday, December 26, 2008

Drum For Life


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Drum for Life

I just met Christine Stevens from UpBeat Drum Circles and thought you would love her. For those of you dealing with the holiday headaches and heartaches check out her healing drum kit!

We should bring a few of those to the Army of Angels Conference in March! I'll add a video of this shortly but wanted to give you her site so you could check her out. She is going to Iraq in April for the 3rd time to do a healing drum circle. Wow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Army of Angels: Get Allies in your Healing !

Army of Angels: Get Allies in your Healing !

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Angela Shelton Foundation

The Angela Shelton Foundation was given to me for my birthday 5 years ago by a man who loved me dearly and wanted to see my name and work live on past my death. After all my work with non profits and witnessing the chaos that comes with them, I let the foundation sit until it became clear what it should work on to fulfill my mission of inspiring and empowering all survivors to heal and lead joyful lives. I didn't want to reinvent the wheel or create more unnecessary paperwork. Now that I am out of the darkness of facing, healing, and dealing with a painful past and moving beyond pain, beyond forgiveness and boldly into a joyful productive life - things have become very clear and all the right people seem to show up at the most perfect moment too!

Now the Angela Shelton Foundation is taking over The Survivor Manual! The board members have discussed it and agreed that expanding my brain child of sharing all information about healing through the manual is imperative. So the Manual will be expanding soon to include many more valuable avenues to healing and joy.

The other major thing that helped me the most has been my magical house on the hill. It has been a sanctuary for me during the most difficult and the most joyous of times. Many people have come here to have catharsis, to purge, to heal and to rejoice. As I move forward in my life with my new projects and literally move up the hill, I am working on donating my house to the foundation so it can continue to be an artist-in-residence and healing center. That is awesome!

The Survivor Manual is now run by the Angela Shelton Foundation. You can write off your donations! The Survivor Manual is FREE but if you found any of the information, videos, or resources helpful please help this project continue by sending your support:

When You Get There

When you get there, it will not look like healing. There, where exactly is that? There, where are we going? There, she says, as if it exists on a map. THIS WAY TO INCEST HEALING. RAPE GOES AWAY THIS EXIT. There, there, as in, to the place of new Earth. You have never been here before, away from the evil of your so called elders, unenmeshed from the black-widow-spun-incest-web. This is healing. It is barren at first. You will look out over the land and think to yourself, why am I here, where there is nothing?  It hurts. It is scary. You will feel alone. Maybe you will feel nothing as you approach the precipice. You will jump, free falling. You must jump, girl. Jump into that nothingness you see, feel, and hear. 

Nothing. Upon landing, you will turn around and see the demons retreat. You will be free. Lonely, yes, aching, yes, but free. Yes, free of lies, of intergenerational poison. Free of Daddy, with his raping heart, Mother who took flight, others who deemed you unseen, unheard.  But this is not nothing, this unexplored place. There is YOU. You are never nothing. 
But when you get there, it can feel and look like nothing, you may want to run into the past, cling back to the old tree vines, rotten and slick as they are, for fear of this seemingly barren nothingness. 
But, if you listen deep and hard and still, you will hear it, you will feel it; 
You are a human seed. You are life springing anew. You are the reason. At first this uncharted territory is blindingly lonely, you look for Proust’s new eyes to guide you, Maya’s strength to rise, Alice’s purple fields to speak to you. Where is everything? You are the first, woman. You are the roots, the branches, the trunk, the rings within the body, the sap, the bark armor. 
At first, it looks like fucking Chernobyl, so vastly damaged. But your eyes become newer all the time, your strength rises toward the sun daily, and in the long, slow future, purple blossoms.  Life herself is what you are. 
Grow your new tree. Your soil is beautiful, your seedlings whole, babies bursting into Earth like light through a prism, all miraculous color and light and reflective. You are a pioneer, Woman, you have led yourself through a quaking terror so sharp and piercing most would have given up, given in, gone along, saying,” There is no other pill to take, so I swallow the one that made me ill.” But not YOU, for you are life herself.  YOU are never nothing.  The trees know this, as do your children and spirits yet to be your children. The light kissed dawn knows this, you are surely something, surely within you a teeming garden awaits germination, the robust, fully grown oak tree within the acorn. THERE, that’s where ‘there’ it is. There lives in YOU. That child inside of you, the one you were, sacred and innocent, curious and free, THERE is the place you are going. And You will know the wonder of it all, when you get there. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Courage to Heal


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holidays Past, Present, and Future: From Turbulence to Calm

I am feeling like saying say hello for the Holidays. Hello!!
The Holidays this year are pretty darn Merry in my home. This year feels as if a corner has been turned. I have had moments of deep calm and clarity. Partly I believe due to the fact that I have been exercising regularly for quite some time, and getting enough sleep, sex, and food. I have been getting way too much caffeine, but some things never change! I definitely feel energized for the holidays. I've been listening to The Reindeer Room remixed Christmas songs, it's a great compilation of songs set to groovy trip hop beats. I love it! That is part of my new family tree tradition. I have been concentrating on my new family tree as of late, we are the roots, the seeds even. I even bought an actual tree, a "Glitter tree", from Trader Joe's that will grow to 10 feet. We tore all the old stuff out. It's gone, ashes, ciao. I feel like a pioneer. I was having a conversation with a special person in my life the other day, and we were discussing past lives, whether they exist or not, and I said, for me, I do not feel like I have been here before. She said to me, "Maybe this is your first." That really resonated within me in a concrete way. That is just how it feels to me. I must be very careful too with my legacy, with what I pass to my kids having no blueprint to go by.
It's not that sexual abuse and my father are my only story, it's that that experience is one of many .
It's not about living in the past, but allowing the past to live in you and honoring it and healing from it and knowing when to allow it to go, piece by piece. It's not about spinning in circles but traveling the healing spiral and spiraling up rather than down. It's about being as hypersensitive to our goodness as we are our faults and perceived flaws. It is about realizing that this is your world now, not his/your abusers. It is about realizing you just may have to start over, and that you are a pioneer emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is about blazing a warpath toward helping speak the truth about your life, which gives others in your life the permission to do the same. It is about learning when you are being treated well, and when it is time to let go of that friend or relationship you do not want to admit is killing you because you need to fix people. (I've tried that, and sure enough, my parents can not be fixed by proxy nor can my childhood.) Especially for the holidays, it is about breaking with old patterns and traditions and being a student of your new life. This means learning how YOU want to celebrate, reading about what others do and brainstorming for nouveauways to live from. 
Paths to New Traditions: Create a collage that envisions your new values and rituals for the Holidays. 
New kinds of music. Research ITunes. Google "Nontraditional" holiday music, or whatever you are interested in. If you never had anything traditional and want that as a new way of celebrating, do that. 
I absolutely love remixed Holiday music, Christmas blues, anything that is groovy, loungey, jazzy,  and unique. Get yourself ornaments that are in alignment with your creative side. Use this opportunity to open up your creative channel. Christmas/Holidays are a goldmine for creativity!
The Holidays for me are exciting not only because it is a collective celebration, and a time when things are magical and full of wonder, but also because it is the beginning of new beginnings. After the Holidays we get to look forward to a brand new year! 

Yes, it is hard, painful, and challenging. It is not as hard or painful or costly as giving up or giving in and going along with the old family energy. That is just not an option for me, and so I go forward. Since beginning this and specifically implementing new Holiday traditions with my family, it gets so much easier as the rituals you create become unique to YOU and YOUR family. It is empowering. I feel completely empowered. Of course, I still tear up at times when thinking of my father and how it is not even safe to love a man who could rape you. This is normal. Yet, I can feel those moments and still feel EMPOWERED by what I have created now. And that is one of these basic human rights we had taken from us, the right to be empowered. I want to remind you, especially if you are struggling right now, it is YOUR life now. YOU have the power to change the trajectory your life travels. Allow the soft, the beautiful, the mundane, the sparkling moments, the peace that is your birthright, allow the light and allow the dark too. I think we live in parallels as survivors, ( I know I do)we step into the now, what is happening today, but we know the pain is till next to us, and that is okay too.
 In Maya's wise words:
When we come to it 
We must confess that we are the possible... 
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world 
Free to choose our ends, and our new beginnings 
That is when, and only when... 
We come to it.
Maya Angelou

Merry Happy Everything to ALL! 
Love and Light, Sarah

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Army of Angels Conference - March 2009

Get tickets to the first annual Army of Angels Conference this coming March!

My new play will be performed as well as the amazing one-woman-show "TOTALLY Kimleigh!"
Check out Kimleigh at

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Points with Purpose

Check that out! Another artist using art for healing and awareness and that is always inspiring!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Domestic Violence Webcasts from State Dept

There are going to be two live webcasts by the State
Dept. on Dec. 1, on the subject of domestic violence. Here is the

December 1, 2008 at 9:00am EST
Speakers: Sue Else, President, National Network to End Domestic
Violence and Ruth Bennett, Public Affairs Officer, International Women
\'s Issues Office, US Dept. of State
Topic: Taking Action to Combat Domestic Violence: Overcoming Obstacles

Next Broadcast
December 1, 2008 from 4:00pm EST to 5:30pm EST
Speakers: Jan Langbein, Senior Policy Advisor, Office on Violence
Against Women, US Dept. of Justice
Marylouise Kelley, Director of the Family Violence Prevention and
Services Program, US Dept. of Health & Human Services
Taking Action to Combat Domestic Violence: A Coordinated Community

the website for the webcast is

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Assault Victim Turns Her Own Crisis Into a Cause

Courage to Heal - Nov 19th in Santa Cruz!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Healing Holly

Thank you for reading and contributing to the Survivor Manual. My work started and continues because of the people like you who support it. I meet heroes daily from all walks of life. What started out as a simple project of interviewing women who shared my name turned into a bond with thousands of people of all ages, races, and religions.

As I write another movie and work on my comedy show, I continue to speak around the country, consult other writers and filmmakers on their projects, and provide inspiration and avenues towards healing and awareness. I have just met another hero among you and I want to tell you about her and request your help, hope, and heart.

I started my comedy cooking show, Stirring Up Trouble, to have some balance in my life after years of working in the trauma world. I have been contacted by many of you asking for recipes and wanting to be a part of the show, one of whom is a girl named Holly. Holly emailed me, offering help on the new website. After checking out her online community for women, healing and feminist blogs, I could tell that she knew what she was doing, so I accepted her offer. She added those cute little buttons so that you can now forward the show to your friends on myspace, facebook, stumble it, digg it, or post it on delicious. Check out what she did at

Holly sent me an email telling me that the site was live and apologized for being out of communication for a bit. She said that she'd been sleeping an unusual amount and felt groggy. I, knowing some of her story of child sexual abuse, asked her if she was using sleep as a coping mechanism. Many times when things come up that we have a hard time facing, we will go to sleep, literally. I suggested that she write about that on her healing blog and I would put it on the Survivor Manual.

But the reasons for Holly's unusual sleep patterns go much deeper than coping. It turns out that Holly has Periodontal Disease, which is a gum disease that swells your gums up to the point where they become inflamed and hurt very badly. Periodontal Disease releases toxins through your gums that you swallow all the time. The reason Holly has begun sleeping so much is because these toxins are beginning to get worse and are making her nauseous. I looked up Periodontal Disease and found that if it is left untreated it can lead to a seizure or a heart attack. Recently Holly told me that she has been feeling electric-like surges throughout her face.

The reason I'm writing this is because this all began with child abuse. When Holly was a young child, not only was her mother selling her to men for sexual favors to be able to afford her drug addiction, but Holly's mother was also violent. She pushed Holly into the street one day when Holly was about 3. Holly fell, hit her face on a street curb, and all of her front teeth pushed into her gums. She had to get them surgically removed.

Holly's front teeth didn't grow back in until she was around 8 and when they did, they grew in extremely crooked and her mouth produced more teeth than would fit. To top it off, Holly's wisdom teeth are coming in. One of them is all the way grown in and another that is growing in now. Why am I telling you all of this? Because Holly is uninsured and cannot afford to get any of this fixed. She's been trying to take odds and ends jobs but the pain is keeping her from working as much as she could. Holly's father was paying child support plus the court costs and lawyer costs to try to get Holly and her younger sister away from their mother, so there was no money to get Holly's teeth fixed when she was young and they have continued to worsen. Holly has tried getting on welfare, free clinics, and sliding scale clinics, and every time they either don't have enough oral surgeons for all the help she needs or she makes too much or too little money.

I know what it's like to not have insurance and not be able to pay for health care. A few years ago I had such an intense asthma attack that I had to be rushed to the hospital. Because I was unable to breathe, I was rushed right into the emergency room. It was after I was put onto a breathing machine and stabilized that I was brought all the paperwork to sign. I began to cry when the nurse asked which insurance I had. Not only was I not insured but there was no way I was able to pay for a hospital bill. The nurse had seen my documentary and knew what I did and who I was. She was an angel in my life and erased any trace of me having been in the hospital and I never received a bill. She also provided me with some free inhalers before I left. I don't know what I would have done at the time if that nurse had not miraculously shown up.

I wouldn't tell you about Holly if she wasn't a warrior and a hero. She has done so much for Women's rights, helping other survivors heal, and setting up websites for amazing women - like myself! Just like people have helped me along the way, I am going to help Holly and I am asking for your help. I'm asking that all of us pitch in and get Holly's teeth fixed. If I could simply write a check and make her bills disappear I would. But I have not gotten rich by dedicating my life to helping others. I am rich in Spirit from knowing so many of you but the bank account has not caught up yet. So I set up a paypal email under so we can all chip in. I realize that we're in a financial crisis and because of that we are all going to need to bond together as a community more and more in the future.

The gist of Holly's story is in an interview she did for her local newspaper in 2007 here :

If Holly doesn't get the Periodontal Disease taken care of, she could die from a seizure or a heart attack because of all of the toxins her mouth produces. If I had not had that angel for a nurse I would not have been able to breathe - literally. I care about this girl and I want to help her. Healing Holly is not going to solve all of the problems in the world but it will be one amazing story with a happy ending that I personally really want to see.

Please be one of Holly's angels! The many procedures she needs are going to be very expensive so any amount helps. If everyone who gets this gave a little something - we may save a life! I have been speaking to one of the top dentists in Beverly Hills but if there are any dental surgeons around the world, Holly will fly wherever she needs to in order to fix this painful problem. The donations are gifts and not tax write-offs. If you or someone you know is part of a non-profit willing to collect and donate the money as well, please help.

You can contact me directly at and put Healing Holly in the subject. Go to and send money to or use this button:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parent With Presence

Parent With Presence: Simply Essential for School Success
By: Sarah Elise Stauffer (View Profile)

We all want our children to be successful in school. Children need to know that they are loved, safe, and sacred to us. There are many ways to demonstrate this to them. Words are one thing, but action is key. One simple way I want to discuss is volunteering your time in your child’s classroom.
Children spend their days at school, and we at home or at work. When we let them go into the world, we have to be absolutely committed to remaining a PRESCENCE in their lives even as we are physically apart.
When a parent makes the effort to come to school, and volunteer, even for half and hour in the classroom, you are giving your child the gift of your presence, by way of your time spent in his or her world. I must also stress the importance of Dads going in and helping out as well. My son lights up like a Christmas tree when my husband or me comes in to help out. He says,” I feel so…special, Mama. Just…. like, I can see you are always caring about me.“
That’s the truth, kids see that you are there with them, aiding the teacher, acquainting yourself with the staff, the other children, and their lives as they know it at school.
Many of us did not have present parents in any sense of the word. I come from an abusive family. I can vividly remember never having a parent come to school for anything. When I was in a school play in the second grade, I was so excited I could barely stand it. I was a doll, and my job was to sit on the stage for the whole play! I got to wear a special dress and special doll make up. When no one showed up, I felt such a deep sadness, and sense of invisibility. This is a mild example, but a poignant one nonetheless. I vowed years later that my children would never feel such feelings; stinging rejection and the humiliation of being stared at when your name is called and no parent stands up for you in the crowd. I know many of you have had similar experiences. If this is your legacy, it can stop with you.
A good compass for parenting with presence is getting as involved in your child’s classroom as much as you can. I understand parents work. As a stay at home mother, it has been a challenge for me at times to find child care for my youngest so that I can get to school. I have seen parents who come in once every two weeks on a lunch shift. Children talk about it all week and are overjoyed when their mom or dad comes in. What a gift!
One that we can give just by showing up. Isn’t that true for so much of life? Just show up. Showing up emotionally, not just physically.
Here are some simple and easy tips for fostering presence in your child’s life:*Make friends with the teacher, every year. Whether you talk on the phone, by email, or in person. Just talk. It’s all about communication. Some teachers are better at this than others. If you have a teacher who is not so hot in this area, voice your concerns calmly. If you are blessed with a teacher who is on the ball, be sure you thank her or him often.
*With my son, who is a second grader, I am co-room parent. I was sole room mother in kindergarten and chaperoned every field trip. This year I talk three or four days a week with my son’s teacher. If you wait until conference or progress report time, you may end up having a much bigger mess to clean up. Kids can fall behind in a flash. It’s all about being a maintainer, a sort of diligence cop. If your child is behind, it falls on you as much as your child, because it is our job as parents to set rules and boundaries and enforce them, they need us to be on their backs all the time. Resist as they might, that is to be expected and is even more reason to get in there and stay in the process with them. Some suggestions:
*Join the PTA, try to go to meetings. Your PTA needs you. You need the PTA. It’s a win-win.
*Go to as many school events as possible. We go to almost every one. This gives my son an extra dose of belonging in his school community.
*Offer to bring in extra supplies for the class. Yes, they always need supplies. It could be Kleenex or disinfectant. Small or large, it will be appreciated.
*Have an ongoing conversation with your child’s teacher about how your child is doing. Read the lesson plans if you can. Ask for handouts on exactly what they are learning. For example, for reading levels, most schools have certain levels your child needs to be at in order to be making adequate progress. Your library should have corresponding handouts with age appropriate books that aid in your child reading on the correct level. If they do not have this, ask them to provide them.
*Stress the importance of education, in general. Education is the key to the future. My son knows it is fundamental right and also a responsibility he must take very seriously.
~Let me preempt, you think you do not have the time? Prioritize. Make the time. Don’t talk about it, be about it. The laundry can wait. Start early, kindergarten, even preschool if your child is in one.
As a mother who makes an effort to be a present force in my child’s life at school, as well as home, I pop into class early. I help organize, along with the my co-room mother, Learning Experiences, Center Time, Book Fair, and the volunteer list. It’s sort of like being a detective. It’s a fun way to be in the know. I can see Dominic’s self esteem and sense of self value rise each and every time I reach into his life at school by being there. Yes, sometimes I am simply stapling their journals together for the week. I sit and staple and watch and listen. Every few minutes Dominic will look up and smile at me. The other kids do too, and I feel so blessed to be a source of presence for them. Other times I am working with groups, and at times I am assigned to some one on one time with a particular child. I have made an effort to know each child in his class beyond their names. Dominic loves this. In this way, you get to be a sort of Earth Mother to all of your child’s friends. The hugs and hi-fives I receive from his classmates when I come in makes my day!On the research side, in study after study, researchers discover how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their child's education. Here are some of the findings of major research into parental involvement:
When parents are involved in their children's education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school — and the schools they go to are better.
The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.
Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is math or science.Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child's chance of reading success.
Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.
Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child's time, helping with homework and discussing school matters.
The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child's educational process, the more powerful the effects.
Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling.
Involvement in your child's education can mean:
Reading to your child
Checking homework every night.
Discussing your children's progress with teachers.
Voting in school board elections
Helping your school to set challenging academic standards
Limiting TV viewing on school nights
Becoming an advocate for better education in your community and state. 
We are witness to our children‘s lives. We need to band together as parents and be a strong, stable, encouraging presence in their school life. For me, it is really about being there in mind and body. This is parenting with presence.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Butch

Inspired by Finding Angela Shelton, Ron Tebo is now Finding Butch!

Ron Tebo and his younger sister are survivors of sexual abuse (he was 6 and she was 4) and they have created Finding Butch so other survivors have a positive place to speak out and share their story.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Angela Shelton in Texas

Yay for Kathy and Jenn in Texas! That was a great event!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Help Pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act

Help Pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act Hundreds of thousands of children are victims of sexual abuse each year. Due to the sheer lack of resources, law enforcement is unable to follow up on the majority of leads they have.
The PROTECT Our Children Act will:
Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation. Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding. Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators. Act Now!Your U.S. senators will be voting on the bill soon, so it is crucial you contact them immediately.Go to to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking on the arrow from either dropdown menu. Contact information is provided here. To send an e-mail, click on "Web Form" below his or her name, and e-mail your letter to make a difference!
Call Your SenatorsIf you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, "Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act."
Write to Your SenatorsIf you choose to write a letter, fax, telegram or e-mail, you may use the following sample letter—and modify it how you see fit.
Dear Senator:
I know that you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.
Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims. Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.
As your constituent, I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.
Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.
(Your name here)
Instructions for How to Copy and Paste the LetterTo copy and paste the letter into your senator's web form at, point your mouse arrow at the beginning of the text that you want to copy. Click your left mouse button and hold it down. While holding the left mouse button, drag your arrow to the end of the text that you want to copy. Release the button. The text should be highlighted. Place your mouse arrow over the highlighted text, click your right mouse button once and let go. A new menu should appear. Select Copy from the drop down menu. When you get to the message form field for your senator at, point your arrow at the beginning of the message field that you want to copy your text to and right click with your mouse. Click Paste from this menu. Submit your form and help our children!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Claiming Your Crown

I just went through the excruciating and exhilarating experience of becoming a Queen. For those who have followed my journey of recovery and healing, you have seen and heard me about the process of moving from self-hatred to self-love. I talk about the healing process at length in Finding Angela Shelton (that is required reading in more schools now!). But much like the peeling of an onion, there are always layers to move through when you continue to get better, stronger, and more resilient. I have been entrenched in the trauma world for over 7 years now and have heard thousands of stories of abuse and violence and watched many transformations from victim to warrior occur. By warrior I do not mean fighting for vengeance but rather being the whole human who stands for love, courage, and strength. I now know many warriors and am blessed to see more people shifting their lives into wholeness instead of falling back into victim-hood with repeated patterns.

I just went through another birthing process myself where I coveted and claimed my crown as Queen! Coming from someone who was a self-hater, that is one amazing transition! I have talked a lot about the process of changing the pathways in your brain from the negative thoughts to positive thoughts like replacing "I am worthless and stupid" with "I am a Goddess Warrior." It may sound far too simple and childish to simply catch and switch your thoughts but it works. I went from a self-mutilator to a Goddess and it was all due to changing my thought patterns.

IMG_0073.JPGAt one of my springtime speaking engagements a woman told me that she thought that I was Queen and not just a Goddess. On stage I am always encouraging audiences to find new and powerful words to use to replace negative thought patterns. I had not thought about the term Queen for myself before though. So over the summer I processed that word and began to use it and guess what - I am a Queen. I claimed my crown. I moved past my fear of moving to new levels of courage and strength and I biked for 25 miles a day, learned to spin fire, became a climber, took up guitar, and produced an online cooking show to boot! At 35 years old I am in better shape than I have ever been in my life, I look and feel great, and those old negative self-hatred thoughts are so far away that they do not fit anywhere in my life now. The negative thoughts are unrecognizable just like the positive ones used to be when I was stuck in the old patterns.

JoeFor those of you who still have the bits of self-hatred lingering, I promise you that when you work on your thought patterns that it really does change your life. I never thought I would transform into the person I am today when I began this journey of Searching for and Finding Angela Shelton - but I am a living example that it works.

This fall I will be going into much more detail about Removing the Sword of Trauma and using it with Love. I'm excited to see many of you again and to watch more Kings and Queens emerge like Joe in the picture!

Contact to book me in your area.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Obama Means For the Fatherless

What Barack Obama Means to the Fatherless


A good survivor friend of mine and I were waxing on this and he asked me to write a little about it, so my dear lovely here you go.

(You are a wonderful man and father! Remember that!)

We took our kids to see Obama at a rally a couple of weeks ago. It was electric, amazing, and very powerful to do with our kids. We believe in teaching them to honor that they have a voice, to use that voice and affect change, to be opinionated, and not to be sheep.“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer is to have kept your soul alive.”—Robert Louis Stevenson

Obama is sincere and eloquent, brilliant beyond an Ivy League level—he is emotionally intelligent. He is socially intelligent. And he alleviates my need for cynicism. I was raised by cynics. I threw that veil of shame—and many others—off years ago. I refuse to pass that to my kids. That will not be their legacy. Or mine. But I understand it and empathize with those feeling it. It is easier in some ways to remain cynical. It is safer than putting yourself out there, we think, because then we risk disappointment. Sometimes it means going against your own inherited family rules (It did in my case.), spoken or unspoken. My children have made me believe in life; they kind of pulled the rug out from under my very cynical nature. My hubby is the same—he went against his upbringing to become extremely positive, politically outspoken, and idealistic. Kids, they do the damndest things.

This country could use some hope. It’s as if some people are allergic to it. I understand. One thing he said that resonated deeply with me and especially with my survivor friends was that “Fathers in this country owe more to their kids—they need to stand up and be men and be a real father to their children.” He is using his personal pain as a fatherless child to affect social change. So important. I do not care if you are Republican, Independent, Libertarian, liberal, purple people eater, whattheheckever—this is a common universal need. Touting family values is one thing; valuing family another. Fathers need to be there for their offspring. Period. That your father was absent, abusive, nonexistent, or otherwise emotionally/physically not there must be faced. And felt.

This is of interest to all of us who either had abusive fathers, or nonabusive fathers. Every father needs to be more emotionally in tune and available to their kids. Fathers need to protect and provide, but they need to exhibit empathy and reverence toward and for their children. So many children, girls and boys, are growing up feeling a vague, uneasy sense of disconnectedness. They are acting out (criminal behavior, hurting others, etc.) or acting in (self destructive, my hubby and I both did this for years as teens) because of this: Just because you are a “father” and you bring home the proverbial bacon does not mean you are done. My husband is a fabulous example because he shows the boys it’s good and right to feel, how to conduct oneself as a man, to empathize with another’s struggle, to express their dreams and hopes, to be kind and sensitive to women, children, other men, humans all over, to think about animals, to honor the life force itself. In this rigidly patriarchal society, we have lost the sacrament of the sensitive male. Fathers showing their feelings, imagine that. Golly gee. To their sons, to their daughters. What a novel idea. It touches my life so much that Obama is verbalizing this reality; fathers are not fathers just because they provide. That’s a provider. Fathers are not fathers just because they made a baby; that’s a sperm donor. A child knows when a parent is giving them their energy—it’s an energy, a connection, a soul feeling. They know it. It is a soul nourishment.To all my survivor friends, I know this means something deeply profound to you as well. To anyone who has not directly experienced father issues, I know you can be proud of this as well.

Obama is challenging the status quo by saying this. He is calling out those fathers who are emotionally lazy and do not want to own up to their own feelings about fatherhood. Kids are growing up feeling fundamentally flawed inside because of their parents’ issues, issues that they project all over the child, who then absorbs the crap as their own.To me, that’s what Obama is about. Now, I am a proud Democrat, a very liberal one, although I do believe in the death penalty for child killers and rapists, but I say this as a woman, mother, wife, and daughter of two very inadequate, abandoning, abusive parents. I don’t care that Obama is more moderate than I might like—I don’t think he’ll be legalizing pot or confronting the failed drug war, putting nonviolent drug offenders in rehab instead of prison, for instance. Nor has any candidate gotten up there and said, “I plan to eradicate incest, because 1/3 girls and 1/5 boys are sexually abused in this country.” I’m still waiting on that.

BUT, that he is voicing this call for fathers to step up is why—among a zillion other reasons—Health care: we were personally affected by no health insurance when our first son was born. It was awful and everyone should enjoy a wonderful socialized health care system—it’s working beautifully for Australia, Europe, even Cuba); pro choice rights (it’s a decision that belongs to a woman; it is her body and that is that.); actually addressing sources of unwanted pregnancy and aiming to prevent it (fathers in the home loving their daughters would help this, too); sex education is the only realistic way to do this. Less warmongering, more diplomacy, ANY diplomacy at this point, more gun control (I don’t want kids getting their hands on guns; our country is number one for gun related death), just more control. You NRA folks just chill; for me, we need to screen people and keep guns out of the hands of kids like Dylan Klebold and prevent more Columbines). Shall I go on? I will proudly vote for him. Anyone who cannot find a reason to do the same I ask you to think about this, just this, the subject of fathers. It’s something I think we can all agree on. Namaste.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Irony Poster Boy

I believe they all think this.

PONTIAC, Michigan (AP) -- A 33-year-old man who authorities say wore a "World's Greatest Dad" T-shirt intending to have sex with someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl has been sentenced to three to 20 years in prison.

Daniel Everett's stepdaughter had given him the T-shirt, his wife's lawyer said.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren issued the sentence Thursday for Daniel A. Everett.

Everett pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to child sexual abuse and using the Internet to attempt child sexual abuse.

Everett has been sued for divorce by his wife, Michelle. Her lawyer, Robert F. White, has said Daniel Everett's stepdaughter gave him the "World's Greatest Dad" shirt.

Defense attorney Deborah McKelvy did not immediately respond to a message seeking

Friday, August 15, 2008

Perps are people we know, love, and trust...

The new Darkness to Light public service announcements have caused quite a stir - you can read about it in a blog that Jesse Kornbluth just published on, the most influential blog in the world, according to The Guardian. To read it, click here.
If you have seen the PSAs, which were developed by Darkness to Light's media partner Young & Rubicam, you know that the campaign shows responsible-looking, middle-aged white men confessing that they're not just coaches or uncles --- they have a nasty secret, and it involves your kid. This is factually accurate: 90% of child sexual abuse incidents are most often perpetrated by someone known to the child and/or the child's family.

Viewers are outraged, and they should be ---
not at the PSAs, but at the reality of chlid sexual abuse. In the blog, Anne Lee, President and CEO of Darkness to Light, urges the public to turn anger into action --- to come to the site and start to learn how to recognize, prevent and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Since the spots began airing on CNN and Lifetime, visits to the Darkness to Light website have increased 200% in the past 2 weeks! that's the power of media!

Please go on that blog and comment!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

There is Justice Somewhere in the World...


I've always wanted to go to South Africa.....

The Grahamstown High Court sentenced a man who raped a seven-year-old girl last year to life in prison on Friday.

Judge Bonisile Sandi told Nonkwenke Sothuko 55, of Klipfontein farm, Jamestown, that he could find no substantial or compelling circumstances that would allow him to deviate from the prescribed life sentence.

"A life sentence would be both a just sentence and an appropriate one in this matter," said Sandi.
Sothuko had earlier pleaded guilty raping the girl on a neighbouring farm on July 12, 2007.

In his plea explanation he claimed he "was overcome by his sexual urges, grabbed the girl, threw her onto the ground next to a fowl run and raped her.

"I am extremely remorseful for my actions and I don't know what came over me. I have never before transgressed the law," he said.

But Sandi said the case had extremely aggravating features.

"She was only seven years old and the accused was known to her as 'Oupa' and she trusted him. Her injuries were serious and the evidence of the clinical psychologist is the girl has been severely damaged by the rape incident.

"State advocate Thembela Jikela has said he (the accused) had no option but to plead guilty, because members of the community saw him on top of the girl and pulled him off her."

Isi-Xhosa-speaking clinical psychologist Karen Andrews earlier told the court the girl "had developed an overwhelming fear of all men and ran away in terror whenever one approached her".

"The girl now suffers from enuresis (bedwetting) and has been further confused by the beating she was given by a woman after she had been raped.

"She displays symptoms of hyperarousal, intrusion and constriction (powerlessness), as a result of the psychological and emotional trauma of being raped.

"These are highly consistent with symptoms typically found in children who are traumatised as a consequence of sexual assault. [S]he is likely to experience the long-term symptoms of constriction which will have a pervasive and negative life-changing impact on her," said Andrews.

Sothuko's Legal Aid Board-appointed lawyer Alan de Jager said he would appeal the sentence on the grounds that it was "harsh and unjust" and the accused could be rehabilitated. - Sapa


Friday, August 1, 2008

Letting Go of Toxic Friends

This is a picture of one of my beautiful non toxic friends, Mariclaire. I just got out of one of these relationships-I put up with ridiculous bullshit for 2 years. I do not want anyone else to put themselves through that to try and savesomeone from themselves. People have to want to heal, period.
I feel like this is such an important issue for survivors. Love S

Detoxifying Toxic Friendships as seen on Divine Caroline dot com.
Detoxing is not just for rehabbed celebutantes, no no no. Now, no relationship is perfect. Relationships are indeed complex and dynamic. But toxic friendships exist whether we like it or not. Toxic friends engage in a pattern of sliming us with their toxicity. Toxic people are very adept. You know the ones of which I speak—she is the one who doesn’t do anything too blatant and egregious. That way, you can’t actually call them out on it. Most of the time that is. Sometimes they do, and you take them to task, asserting yourself, only to watch as nothing changes.If you find yourself in a relationship that begins to feel, or has always felt, too intense, too draining, too yucky, it maybe time to cut the cord. “‘Toxic friend’ is pop psychology,” says Jenn Berman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I would say it’s someone who, after spending time with them, makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good; someone who tends to be critical of you—sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes not so subtle; a friend who drains you emotionally, financially, or mentally, and they’re not very good for you.” They are psychic vampires. Toxic friendships wreak havoc on one’s personal sense of well being and peace. A toxic person can be described in many ways: that “friend” who is always negative, always critical, the one who after you have spent any amount of time with leaves you feeling drained. She thrives on drama. She talks about others, how stupid they are, and she giddily expresses happiness at other’s misfortune. She talks at great length about how much money she and her spouse make … every single time you talk. You have problems—which she claims to want to hear about—but it always magically ends up being about her problems. She accuses you of not caring when she is the one behaving in an uncaring manner. In other words, she projects her flaws on to you. She tries to manipulate you.Toxic people always have a complaint about something, with the world; they carry a grudge about everything. Toxic friends can constantly disappoint you or break promises. This is usually the result of childhood wounding. We usually put up with this crap for the same reason. Enough. It is time to emancipate ourselves from the need to fix or rescue people. This can be incredibly difficult for those of us who were brought up in unstable homes with parents we had to parent rather than us being parented. The real question is—why do we put up with this nonsense, especially as women?
Why do we allow people to exist in our lives when they do nothing but bring us down? We feel we have to, we do not want to make others angry, and we do not want to be judged. If we no longer “play the game,” the toxic friend will seek out others to prop themselves upon. Love yourself and put your needs first. This friend will find another target in order to prop up her own fragile ego.Friends should lift us up, leaving us feeling happy and at peace after interacting with them. Their care feels evident and sincere. A primary element in a healthy, positive friendship is that both friends can feel that they can be themselves; they don’t have to put on masks or impress one another. One key in healthy relationships is reciprocity. Reciprocity is about balance. Are you always the giver and never given to? We need to exchange the right amount of affection, attention, and care for relationship harmony to prevail. Does your friend reciprocate in your friendship? I have a wonderful friend, Mariclaire, who never fails to complement me on things, whether it be my mothering, my creativity, my marriage, or my ass in a new pair of Seven jeans. I have never sensed one iota of competition with her. I reciprocate with her as well. Even on the ass compliments! She has a great one! All joking aside, Mariclaire, or MC as I call her, is also a fantastic mother, wife, and friend.
Setting boundaries is essential. Don’t answer the phone. Sometimes we need to talk it out. Try asking “And why do you think that?” or “Do I really need this from you?” This may make them stop and think, and it shores up your self respect. Sometimes it seems we try to no end to express our feelings only to see no results. That’s because people must change themselves; nothing we say or do can alter another person. Just because you have a history with someone, that doesn’t mean you have to repeat it. If you feel as if you can not share your joy with a “friend,” ask yourself why. Are you afraid it will make them jealous? Angry? Is it visibly obvious? Do they get defensive or pseudo-excited? This is not friendship, but an attachment, a fantasy, an illusion of bonding. It is not healthy.
Many women have an excruciating time extricating ourselves from these relationships. These include: women who like to feel needed, people who feel like they do not deserve a healthier, saner, more balanced relationship, women who are stuck—either feeling angry, guilty, or sorry for their distressing “friend.” Detoxing is the way to clean ourselves out. Think of it as relationship Feng Shui—the idea is to purge the clutter. We do not have to fix or rescue or tolerate the shenanigans of these desperate people. Have compassion, but also for yourself, and with some people, have all compassion you want, from afar. Do not become enmeshed. Declare your independence.Take a Toxicity Inventory about your friend. Is her life full of chaos and negativity and even at times downright maliciousness toward others? Suggest professional help. A toxic friend might need a professional. If she comes from an abusive background, she definitely does. Her toxicity will affect her career, emotions, and family, though she’ll most likely never admit it. How can you approach this touchy subject? Point out to your friend how she is treating you and ask her to stop, and if she continues, take it to the next level. Say to her, “I know you are a good person, but maybe you want to seek help.” If you have tried this to no avail, throw in the towel.If we have a friend who is always in need, always in crisis, always attempting to one up us, who is toxic, it is time to detox. You can say, simply, “I have changed and wish to end this friendship as it has become painful and draining to me.” By standing up to pseudo-friends, in reality you are losing nothing and gaining self-esteem, self respect. Once we get past the illusion of this friendship, we can see that we are losing, yes. What we are losing a whole lot of pain. Decide to surround yourself with positive feminine energy; you will be much happier for it.My mantra for this issue is this: Alice Walker says:
No person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended. Amen, Awomen.
Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, has written fiction about African American women's experience. Alice Walker has also been an activist on environmental, feminist, and womanist causes, as well as working for racial and economic justice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Does It Feel Like

What did it feel like
As you walked away
From me
Your daughter?
What does that feel like,
Walking away from your child?
How does the air move around your body?
What shoes does one wear to do this?
Did you tread gingerly,
The dusty ground making crunching sounds?
Did perhaps the ground slip out from under you,
Quaking under your feet with the knowledge

of what you were about to do?
Or did you run,
Fast and hard and away
so as not to feel My heart
Two years from my birth,
Break apart.
Did you tilt your head as you walked?
Did you look back and see me?
Did you then drive to your mother’s for comfort,
Or to forget,
Did you walk hastily through to her backyard,
Falling to your knees,
Praying to the bluebirds you found there?
Did their wings tell of my loss?
Each flap my execution.
In those moments after your exit,
Did my scent remain with you?
At the sight of the stars,
did it smash into you,
Smearing you into the oily Earth,
The realization that,
God help you,
I was probably looking at the same stars,
Lips quivering,
Without you?
And later, when you sniffed the piano key white powder deep into your nose,
Did you think your heart,
And therefore mine,
Could forget
Through numbness?
Did you think, at all?
And when it stormed, late into the night,
Did you ever awaken with a start, panicking that I too,
May be somewhere in my tiny girl body,
Wracked with thunderous grief,
With the total annihilation of your leaving?

And when my father took me, at three years old,
For himself in his bed,
Could you feel it?
When you shopped at the market every Saturday,
Bumping into that sweet ole Creole lady,
As you Mumbled, ‘Excuse me, Maa’m…”
and the sun colored oranges caught your darting eye.
Did you wonder, then,
Does Sarah, my daughter,
Like oranges?
Or were oranges oranges and storms storms and mother’s hearts just numb.
And what of your father, your mother,
What did they teach you that you believed I was better off with anyone but the woman who birthed me,
My Mother?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Angela Shelton on Madness Radio

This week's episode of Madness Radio from our archives interviews Angela Shelton, an award-winning Hollywood actress and filmmaker, who traveled across the US meeting other women named Angela Shelton and discovering how widespread sexual abuse is in our society. She discusses her film

Download this episode via Pacifica: (keywords: Madness Radio; takes a few days to be posted)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

7 Foods That Fight Anxiety

7 Foods That Fight Anxiety

Bills arriving in heaps? Gas prices sky-rocketing? Summer love turned sour? Regardless of the cause, there's a counter-intuitiveness to the goodies we turn to for comfort. Take the classic-curling up with a pint of ice cream. It's a total backfire. Why? Sweets are insidious: After the initial rush, the body's insulin response kicks in, causing a sudden blood sugar drop that triggers the release of stress hormones. Soon you're feeling more jangled than you were before you inhaled that whole container of Chunky Monkey. And alcohol, of course, is a wolfish stimulant in calm sheep's clothing.
But true comfort foods do exist.

1. Berries, any berriesEat them one by one instead of M&Ms when the pressure's on. For those tough times when tension tightens your jaw, try rolling a frozen berry around in your mouth. And then another, and another. Since the carbs in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won't have a blood sugar crash. The bonus: They're a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight a jump in the stress hormone cortisol.
2. GuacamoleIf you're craving something creamy, look no further. Avocados are loaded with B vitamins, which stress quickly depletes and which your body needs to maintain nerves and brain cells. Plus their creaminess comes from healthy fat. Scoop up the stuff with whole-grain baked chips-crunching keeps you from gritting your teeth.
3. Mixed nutsJust an ounce will help replace those stress-depleted Bs (walnuts), give you a whopping amount of zinc (Brazil nuts)-it's also drained by high anxiety-and boost your E (almonds), which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress. Buy nuts in the shell and think of it as multi-tasking: With every squeeze of the nutcracker, you're releasing a little bit of tension.
4. OrangesPeople who take a 1,000 mg of C before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure than those who don't. So lean back, take a deep breath, and concentrate on peeling a large orange. The 5-minute mindfulness break will ease your mind and you'll get a bunch of C as well.
5. AsparagusEach tender stalk is a source of folic acid, a natural mood-lightener. Dip the spears in fat-free yogurt or sour cream for a hit of calcium with each bite.
6. Chai teaA warm drink is a super soother, and curling up with a cup of aromatic decaf chai tea (Tazo makes ready-to-brew bags) can make the whole evil day go away.
7. Dark chocolateOkay, there's nothing in it that relieves stress, but when only chocolate will do, reach for the dark, sultry kind that's at least 70% cocoa. You figure if the antioxidant flavonoids in it are potent enough to fight cancer and heart disease, they've got to be able to temper tension's effects.

Dissociative Disorders Pin Awareness

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Question and Answer

I'm back and going through all of the things on my desktop. Here is a video of me doing a question and answer after Searching for Angela Shelton at ODU in Virgina Beach.

Virginia Beach was so beautiful. I got to visit and meet some amazing people, I heard more stories, I saw more transformation, and a little birdie told me that my book is part of the curiculum too. That's pretty amazing. I had no idea when I began this journey. I thought it was going to be funny.


Article from Wendy Murphy

Wendy just sent this to me and I had to share.


I'm sure it's nothing, but after Senator Jim Marzilli and Representative Jim Fagan made news for - what should I call it -- sadistic verbal lunacy -- (OK Marzilli got physical, too -- but stick with me here), I started looking at other Bay State "Jims" to see whether there isn't something about the name.

Turns out there might be a good reason to name the next bundle of joy Harry or Luke.

James "Jim" Fagan made international headlines after threatening to "ruin" child victims of sex abuse who testify against their abusers. He promised to attack even six year-olds with such ferocity, they wouldn’t be able to eat or sleep or have relationships for the rest of their lives.

James "Jim" Marzilli is under indictment for sexual assault and lewd behavior involving four women, and is accused of allegedly committing even more serious sex crimes against several other women.

Around the time Fagan and Marzilli were getting in trouble, a guy named James "Jim" Keown was convicted of murdering his wife by poisoning her with anti-freeze.

Days earlier, James "Jim" Brescia was convicted of murder for hiring a hit man to knock off his estranged wife's boyfriend.

James "Whitey" Bulger had a run of bad behavior that allegedly led to the murder of 17 people, all while working as an informant for the feds.

Pedophile priest James "Jim" Porter sexually abused over 200 children and was convicted of molesting 29 victims.

And let's not forget Orenthal "James" Simpson -- not from Massachusetts but worth mentioning not only because of his brutality and perverse ability to keep smiling as if he’s done nothing wrong, but also because he singlehandedly destroyed my ability to drink Orange Juice.

Of course, the number of men named Jim or James who've done great things for Massachusetts is certainly greater than the number of jerks, rapists and murderers who bring shame to the name.

For instance, we can lay claim to beloved musician and songwriter, James Taylor.

Then there's the famous painter James Whistler.

And renowned poet James Lowell.

And let's not forget Boston Mayor and Massachusetts Governor, James Michael Curley. (I know, I know -- he belongs on both lists).

My favorite ex-boss is named Jim and I have two dozen or more colleagues, relatives and friends named James or JIm who are terrific guys.

But after recent events involving the "bad Jims" in this state - I have to believe that a lot of new parents will find it difficult to name their new baby boy "James" for the same reason that I found it impossible to name my daughters "Britney" or my sons "Albert" (Desalvo) or "Charles" (Manson and Stuart).

Names are only labels, but we all know the way meeting someone new can evoke a feeling of either warmth or disgust when we hear that they have the name of someone we once knew, or someone famous.

I like the name Chuckie even though my kids think the name is scary. They saw a movie about a weird-looking doll of the same name that ran around killing people. I missed that film so the only feeling I get is warm and fuzzy because Chuckie was the name of my fourth-grade boyfriend. (assuming it counts as a boyfriend that we rode bikes together).

And come on – who doesn’t recoil when they meet a woman named “Lizzie” or a child named “Damien”?

And remember how we blushed when being introduced to someone named Monica during Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings?

Sure, a name is only a word – but it’s a word with great staying power – especially when it’s associated with very bad behavior.

So all apologies to the "good Jims" out there, but there's something strangely pleasant about the fact that two creeps named "James" were convicted of murder right after two members of the Massachusetts legislature with the same moniker went up in flames for their own vile conduct.

Call me superficial but I think it's fabulous - and a bit of poetic justice - that several stories of similarly-named horrible men in Massachusetts all occurred at the same time. As mnemonic devices go, it greatly increases the chance that when people hear about a murderer or rapist named James, they will become nauseous while also recalling images of Jim Fagan and Jim Marzilli.

How's that old song go? Thanks For the Memories...

Wendy J. Murphy
(copyright 2008)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

War on Abuse Radio Show

I was a guest on this show yesterday. Listen!

Dreaming Mother

My son began second grade yesterday, he is confident, secure, happy, excited. All good thing. In second grade, I first told about the abuse, I was threatened by my father who stood naked and looming over me. He told me I had ratted him out and had better go back and tell my grandmother that my mother-long gone by then-had put me up to it. I saw his naked body and his angry face and I did just what he said. He also had a gun. Thus my grandfather labeled me a liar, there was screaming and blood, and I was shamed to the core, again. There was so much abuse at 7 for me, second grade. This was the age when he fed me shrooms. I was terrified, tripping with my molesting father. Here's the thing, healing happens, it's a dynamic process, but this is what amazes me. I have been reading Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw. Next to The Courage to Heal, it is the most life-altering book I have read. I am aware of things that have been in my unconscious forever. I had no idea about some of the things I thought about myself. Last night I finished the book and had an amazing dream.

In my dream last night, my son, who is 7, was playing the in the surf. On a beach with white sand. I kept walking out to him, brushing his blonde hair back from his eyes, the warm breeze blowing all around us, asking,"Are you doing okay? Do you need Mama for anything?" He said he was ok, just playing, and I kept walking back about 10 feet to the edge of the water. Suddenly, the lights went out as it were, the sun literally went out. It was dark, pitch black, parents were screaming.
I stood up, and a profound sense of knowingness washed over me. I closed my eyes, yes, in the dark, and listened for him. Once he said,"I'm over here". I heard him, but I already knew where I was going. I listened, not for auditory sounds necessarily, but for the pull in my belly, in my heart, the magnetism of him. There was a feeling of being wrapped in something and gently pulled by it. Yet, I felt it from the inside, and I knew I could only access it by closing my eyes, that the seeing I needed was INSIDE of me. The feeling was so deep, so real, and it drowned out all other noise. I put my hands out like a sleepwalker, and kept my eyes closed. I was guided right to him. I never once lost it, or felt one bit of fear. I did not open my eyes until we got back to shore, and the sun came back on.In this quieting of all the screams around me, a silence in my own head, in my self was louder, and it pulled me inward.. My mother radar just clicked. I felt no fear, nor did he. He knew I would find him. Closing my eyes in the dark to find him, yes. The seeing that I needed was inside of me, that vibration, that knowingness, the pull of mothertochild.
It's weird to explain, but this dream reminded me of the mythical tale of the handless maiden, the girl who regains her hands after having her baby, the healing that children bring. Here is a synopsis:
My first experience with the "Armless Maiden" was reading a powerful Xhosa version of the tale, "A Father Cuts Off His Daughter's Arms," performed by Mrs. Nongenile Masithatu Zenani, a Xhosa storyteller from South Africa, and translated by Harold Schueb. In this version a widowed father chooses not to remarry and relies on his young daughter to perform his wife's household duties of cooking and cleaning. When the girl reaches puberty, he attempts to coerce his daughter into filling the sexual role of his deceased wife as well. The girl steadfastly refuses his advances, bursting into noisy weeping that threatens to alert the neighbors. The next day the father takes her into the woods. Once again he demands that she have sex with him. When she again refuses, he cuts off her arms with a knife and leaves her in the woods to die. Bleeding and in tremendous pain, the girl suffers in solitude until hunger forces her to her feet. Dazed, she begins to wander through an "endless forest, ascending and descending." Symbolism, anyone?
The armless maiden is required to relate the story of her father's crime three times before she is rescued and brought into the homestead. Once bathed, the family realizes that even without her arms the girl is beautiful, and she is soon married to their son. At first this seems a resolution, particularly when she gives birth to a child, but gradually problems arise. Without her arms, the new mother can not care for her infant, what will she do?
The young woman returns to the woods and begins a second journey, ascending and descending the endless forest until, weary and thirsty, she comes upon a lake. Having lived in the wood for many days with her child, the woman stops by a stream to rest and refresh herself. As she bends over the water's edge, the child slips from her back and falls into the water. The handless one, knowing it is futile to reach into the waters to save the baby, shoves her stumps into the cold depths. When she does so, her hands instantly grow back.

My therapist related this to me years ago. That is so powerful. That is what we mean by healing for or through one's child. It can apply to partners too.
The line between what we do for ourselves to heal and what they do to help us is barely tangible yet indelible all the same. "And if there is a way to find you I will find you....threads that are golden don't break easily.." Horses, Tori Amos. My boundaries are not just about keeping people out, or having healthy relationships with others, or letting them in, it's also about knowing myself, knowing that I am good because I exist, and seeing through the internalized shame shell I inherited and was given by my parents through their abandonment of me, physical, sexual, spiritual. I feel into my cells that I AM a good mother in ways I never could allow myself to believe before. We tell our boys all the time,"We love you because you are YOU." The shame I have carried over my own mother's maternal inadequacies, my father's outright betrayals and abuse, this dream pierced through that and I awoke with a knowingness, a belief not just in, but ABOUT myself that I have not fully experienced before. Instead of fearing I will repeat my parents trauma, neurotically so-"Will I traumatize them, am I doing this wrong, did I do that too much, did I say that too much, If I do this will they feel abandoned..." I have been carrying the shame of my parents and it has masqueraded as my own voice. It is not. I am vicariously reraising myself through my boys. And I am what I and My husband tell them they are, strong, radiant, capable of anything, kind, self aware. I am believing on a deep level the very love I give to them, I believe it about ME. A dream come true indeed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Strawberry Epiphany

when they sleep, it's like hearing a piano play melodic velvet notes.
it's as if soft moss is tracing it's way over your skin.
or like a drink of the coldest water at your thirstiest.
seeing them eat strawberries and that sight becomes art,
becomes an epiphany,
a swan song.
see them gaze at the redness of it,
this makes strawberries suddenly holy.
holy is the sacred,
many people claim to know the way,
many of them men.
but men, stop your ego from talking,
sit by my side for a moment in time
watch a child of golden hair,
breathe up,breathe down,
eat a strawberry in ecstasy,
look at you
with that very look,
tug upon that never gone umbilical cord threading you
together forever.
sit and see,
see the way of
for they are what holy is.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Lesson in Sexual Energetics

Hello everyone!
It's me, Krisztina again, with some information that I hope you find useful explaining the sexual energetics. I hope this info reduces the amount of sexual trauma we find in the world. I am planning several more videos that I will keep you posted about.

A Lesson in Sexual Energetics

My goal as I study Oriental Medicine is to not only understand the nature of sexual trauma but to collect information on how to fix it, thereby drastically reducing the time required for healing.

Please visit my website periodically for more info
Project AcuHope!
Many blessings to you all!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Child Sexual Abuse Survey

This is a survey on Child Sexual Abuse being conducted by a doctoral student at the University from which I am an alumnus. I was hoping that some of you might be willing to participate in the online survey to help this student with her dissertation research, or can pass it on to folks that would be willing to help. Just think of if you were working on a study or a project, wouldn't you want others to help you out with your research?!

Please participate in a short survey related to perceptions of alleged
child sexual abuse. Participation in this research is strictly
anonymous, as your IP address will not even be recorded. Your
participation would only require about 10 minutes of your time and it
would be greatly valued and appreciated.

If you wish to participate please click on the following link, or cut
and paste it in your internet browser. This link will take you directly
to the survey.
Or, if you prefer, you can go to his website,,
and enter this number, 125120, in the space provided that reads "Go to
Survey #."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sword of Trauma

These images are part of my new event - Removing the Sword of Trauma. You can contact my mom at or to bring me to your community.

I love this program!


How Acupuncture Can Help Survivors

Hello everyone!
My name is Krisztina Samu and I'm a student of Oriental Medicine on the Big Island of Hawaii. I've prepared a video interview for this blog that I hope you find helpful.

How Acupuncture Can Help Survivors

Oriental Medicine was so amazing in helping me and many others I know in regaining balance and harmony in our bodies and emotions that I've decided to study it and get the message out about how it can be particularly helpful in cases of trauma.

My website is still in the works, but you can email me from the website
Project AcuHope and keep checking back for more juicy, helpful info!
Many blessings to you all!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

To All The Big People Out There

I just received this from a Goddess who wanted me to share this with you:

To All The Big People Out There

This is to all the big people out there -- like me. The fat people -- like me. We who say, "as soon as I lose some weight, I will .................... (insert anything here)."

Stop waiting! Being [insert your label] should not preclude your living life. It's an excuse. I've used it over and over again for years. Doesn't mean I don't want to address it -- just means I will no longer use my weight as a crutch. At the beginning of Angela's personal journey, she was still smoking.

I'm done. Goodbye Fat Excuse! Thanks for the use, but I am letting you go.

I was thinking the same ole same old the other day: "I'm too fat; they'll laugh at me; they'll think I'm not healing because I haven't lost weight, etc. " And then had a new thought:

"How many other big/fat people are out there thinking the same thing?"

I would look at Angela Shelton and think it was easier for her. She's so pretty. She's so thin. She's an actress. Everything probably comes easier to her. People will be able to hear her because she's thin.

How presumptive! How dismissive! How arrogant! (I forgive me.)

Well, I bet there are as many "Me's" as there are Angela Shelton's. How many other women are waiting for someone like them to speak up? I was. And then I thought: "Well, why not me? What if I'm the fat Angela Shelton?" (okay, that cracked me up...but I digress).


Sure! Why not me? Be the change I want to see. I want to see big/fat people taking a stand, too. Speaking out. Being large warrior goddesses! Why not?

As I learned over and over again on my "Angela Journey," it just takes one person speaking up and speaking the truth for one other person to hear it, identify with it, and to begin speaking their truth. (think of the 70s Breck Shampoo commercial: she told two friends and she told two friends and so on and so on and so on...)

If right now, you are hearing all your "rotes" (those voices inside that beat you down), STOP THEM. Say this out loud or in your head:

I am worth healing.
I am worth loving.
I am worth being loved.
I love me.
SQUISH! (really. Say squish -- it's the best word in the world!)

Drink them in. Try them on for size. Roll them around on your tongue or in your mind. Feel their power. Believe in the possibility that they are truth. I believe you are worth it!

Recently, for the first time in my 43 years, I was able to look myself in the eyes in the mirror (YES THE MIRROR), and say "Squish! I love you, Diana." The kicker? I believed it.

(pause to reflect. drink. try. roll. feel. believe. smile)

I found something important enough to push me over the edge. What a way to put it, but that's it. I went over the edge of surviving into living. Oh yeah, it's a little scary. It's quite a bit uncomfortable for the time being -- but I LIKE it!

I put myself out there. The world didn't end. The sky didn't fall. No one "got" me. My skin didn't burn off. I did not explode. I did not collapse from the weight of what happened. The blackness did not consume me. I did not disappear or disintegrate. I did not turn into red hot rage.

I triumphed! I am now out there in the world, and I am okay. I am fat. I am alive. I have possibilities.


(**disclaimer. you may find that once you start speaking the truth and feeling your feelings, food doesn't hold the same power. food doesn't temporarily fill whatever if it did before. in fact, speaking your truth and sharing your story may eventually be the best diet in the world. imagine that. believe the possibility.)

Thank you Diana and continue the healing!