Category Archives: Blogs

Is Blogging Journaling?

4218276816_909e61ce85_oI have always resisted the benefit of journaling for me because I have been afraid to go into that “perfect person” that is one of my personas. I have believed that journaling had little to offer me. However, I love to blog and learn a lot about myself as I “post” new articles. Is blogging journaling? Well, yes and no (my favorite kind of answer).

However, I started this blog six months ago (Thanksgiving, 2004), and I love blogging. For the 28 years that I had been in recovery at that time, I have studied and researched about all aspects of personal growth. The main aspect about blogging that suits me is that although I have 5 file cabinets full of material, with blogging i only have to write a “post” which is generally 3-10 paragraphs for me.

As all who have blogs that they update regularly know, a blog that has a general direction and particular messages takes a lot of work. I have been astonished to find myself working on my blog 10-12 hour days. I don’t work outside the home now so I can devote the time to it. Of course, organizing material collected over a 28 year period takes a lot of time. The rewriting and reorganizing are also time-consuming.

But it truly has been a labor of love. I am grateful that my husband has given me this opportunity and am doing what I have wanted to do for years–expressing myself about ways that we can help each other grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

My model for the self-discovery groups I hope will happen from the information, materials and direction that I have available from this blog comes from the following quotation that I have used on another post.

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

Luciano de Crescenzo

Photo credit.

Child Abuse Survivor Blogs Help to Heal the Hurt

“When the family energy is focused on the problem of the adult rather than on the needs of the children, the results for the children are the state of not knowing they come first, the state of believing that they have to fix the situation, and the state of believing that life is about surviving instead of enjoying and that the meaning of life is to get through the struggle of life.”                           Cathleen Brooks

1.  Child Abuse Survivors: “Powerlessness”

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this subject of late. I won’t get into any of the details of why, but suffice it to say, I’ve had a number of conversations and seen stories of people who find themselves in situations, as adults, that from the outside seem easily changeable, yet they don’t do anything to try and change things.

I’m sure you’ve all seen similar stories, whether it be the abused wife who won’t leave, the disgruntled employee who never looks for another job, or the kid who gets bullied even into adulthood. I’ve always considered these situations to be a product of fear, afraid of what worse things might happen as opposed to the hell you know and live with. Lately, however, I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t something deeper behind that fear, especially when it comes to survivors of child abuse. What I see when I dig into that fear motivation, is powerlessness.

Yes, there’s fear of the unknown in changing all of those situations I listed, and many more specific situations that I know we can all relate to, but a big part of that fear seems to come from not having any sense that we actually have the power to say no, or to remove ourselves from a situation. As children, of course, we were taught exactly that. All the while I was being abused as a child, I didn’t have the power to say no, or to remove myself. It was taken away from me, and even now, as an adult, I recognize that there are times I look at circumstances that I could change, but fall right back into feeling like I don’t have the power to do so.

2.  Writing: Overcoming Damaging Effects of Child Abuse and Rape:

Ignored

Being ignored is the cruelest way to make a point……to flaunt control…..to wield power. Not acknowledging a person can create a hurt so deep – it’s the harshest thing someone can do to another…especially if that person claims to care.
My father used to ignore me….refusing to talk or  acknowledge my presence. His silence would go on for days…sometimes weeks… shutting me out of his world….closing the door….denying me access to him. He wanted to teach me a lesson….that he was right….I was wrong…he was good….I was bad.  It was his way to force me to do whatever he wanted.
He had hurt me many times with his words and his fists – yet to be locked out of his world tore at me. It made me crazy…and desperate to make things right. I ended up doing whatever he wanted….anything just to have him acknowledge me again.

Ever since I could think, he taught me  ‘that without him…I was nothing’  and even though he beat me…called me awful names…broke my spirit – I believed I needed him to live…to breathe…to exist. I needed him to survive.

Something has changed since I wrote my story…and told the truth of what happened. Writing…voicing what I had never been able to say….changed something in me. It gave me an inner strength…a courage I didn’t have before. I’m not afraid anymore and I’m not a child.

3.  Blooming Lotus: “Need for Therapy in Early Stages of Healing From Child Abuse”

Child abuse survivors need therapy. Period. It does not matter if the abuse happened one time or was ongoing throughout your childhood. Healing from child abuse is extremely difficult, and you need a qualified therapist to help you through it.

I was determined not to enter into therapy when I first started having flashbacks about the child abuse. I was in the process of trying to adopt a child, and I feared that I would be “disqualified” if I was in therapy because I would be seen as “crazy.” (As it turns out, therapy is highly encouraged for hopeful adoptive parents and will not be held against you. You just need to have your therapist write a letter stating that your reason for seeking therapy will not negatively affect your ability to parent a child.)

I decided that I was going to do the healing work myself. The problem was that every resource I turned to began with, “Find a good therapist.” There is a very good reason for this advice …you need to work with a qualified therapist with experience working with people who have been abused because trying to do it yourself is simply too hard. If it was possible to heal through sheer force of will, then I would have done it.

If you try to heal from the child abuse yourself, you will find yourself in over your head. When you first come to terms with the reality that you were abused, you will go through a “breakthrough crisis.” For me, this felt like a pressure cooker of emotions had the lid blown off of it, and my emotions had exploded all over me. For six weeks, I truly did not know from minute to minute if I was going to survive it. Nevertheless, I was hell-bent on healing myself. I changed my mind after finding myself lying on the floor, shaking, crying, hyperventilating, and trying to decide on the best way to commit suicide. At this point, I realized that anything would be better than this and decided to enter therapy.

Photo credit.

Food Blogs Win Awards While Helping Us With Our Daily Lives

2251264401_e9e807f2ca_zOne of my favorite food blogs, Sprouted Kitchen, won a Saveur 4th Annual Best Food Blog for 2013. They moved to a new palce and published a super green salad for those times when we are too rushed to cook. So today’s post will be about salads.

1.  From Sprouted Kitchen: : “Power Green Salad”:

POWER GREEN SALAD // Serves 4

Inspired by An Edible Mosaic

This salad is pretty crunchy. I’m still eating from the bowl on day three and don’t find it soggy at all. That said, it would be great for a plane ride or delivering to a new mom/sick friend etc. It’s a sturdy one. I added parmesan because it holds up, but feta or goat cheese will work here too. It’s pretty simple, change as you wish.

  • 3 cups ribbed and chopped kale
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 cup cooked black lentils
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • half an english cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan
  • dressing
  • one clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

2.  From bakingbites: “Waldorf Salad“:

This salad is best when it is prepared shortly before serving. You can, however, chop up your apples and celery and hold them in acidulated water for an hour or two in order to get your prep work out of the way in advance. I like to use Fuji or Braeburn apples, but since the apples in this salad are uncooked, you can use any type of apple that you have on hand or that you generally enjoy eating.

Waldorf Salad
1 cup finely diced apples
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Combine apples, celery, raisins and walnuts in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt and lemon juice. Add to apple mixture and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

3.  From joythebaker:  “It’s Not Summer Yet Greek Pasta Salad“:

It’s Not Summer Yet Greek Pasta Salad

adapted from Ina Garten and the rest of the internet

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the Pasta Salad:

5 cups cooked orzo pasta

2 cups de-seeded and coarsely chopped English Cucumbers

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 heaping cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onion

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

I like to make my salad dressings in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.  If you don’t have a jar, you can also vigorously whisk the mixture in a large bowl.

In a medium mason jar combine olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt a fresh cracked black pepper.  Secure the lid tightly and shake vigorously until emulsified.  Taste and season with more lemon, honey, salt, or pepper as necessary.  Set aside.

In a large bowl toss together orzo pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, onion, and fresh basil.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, drizzle in the dressing. Taste and season accordingly.  Serve immediately.

Photo credit.