Personal Power

Growing Older

Growing older is about much more than outward appearance for me. As I try to come to terms with the realities of aging physically, I realize that I have also aged emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. My self-awareness has expanded tremendously over the years. When I stopped to consider how far I’ve come in my life,… Continue reading Growing Older

Personal Power

Words Can Hurt, Words Can Heal

The power of words is undeniable. They can affect how we think about ourselves and the world. They can discourage, or they can inspire. They can validate, or they can wipe away self-worth. They can bring us to the brink of war or create a dialogue for peace. Like many people, I grew up with… Continue reading Words Can Hurt, Words Can Heal

Personal Power

Tips for a gynecologist exam when having PTSD

This is a wonderful and very informative post that might be helpful for you to read.

NOT MY SECRET...My story...My truth

You would think that 30 years after sexual abuse that an exam would not be so triggering. It is. Especially if it is a gynecological exam. These are things that are not spoken of and they should be. The only way we can help each other with experiences that come after abuse is to talk about them. So that is what I am about to do.

It was not until a week ago that I realized the impact of these exams on me. I’ve decided to write a list of boundaries and expectations. I know that even being prepared, things may not go exactly as planned so I have plan B. Plan B is to leave. I want every woman out there to know that at ANY point during an exam if you feel uncomfortable, as if you cannot do it anymore, you can ALWAYS leave. End the exam. Even…

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Personal Power

The Many Masks I Wear

I was going through some childhood photos of myself the other day, from ages five to seventeen. In all of them, I am smiling. I found one photo to be more disconcerting and confusing above all the others. In the photo, I am standing beside my brother Kevin who had sexually abused me for five… Continue reading The Many Masks I Wear

Personal Power

Setting Boundaries

Having grown up as a child incest and rape victim, and in a home fraught with violence, I learned that the more I did what others expected of me, the safer I would be. Growing up with an intense need to people-please caused me to acquiesce whenever people wanted me to do something.  I would… Continue reading Setting Boundaries

Personal Power

Finding My Voice

Finding my voice means being able to speak up for myself, to feel comfortable freely expressing my thoughts, opinions, and feelings.  It means being able to advocate for the things I want and need, as well as advocating for others. As a child, I had learned that what I had to say didn’t matter.  Whenever… Continue reading Finding My Voice

Personal Power

I’m Only a Victim If I Choose to Be

Extreme violence, chaos, and repeated sexual violation had been a way of life for me as a child, but I had never thought of myself as a victim. I just thought This is my life and I have to deal with it. This changed when, after being raped in college at the age of seventeen,… Continue reading I’m Only a Victim If I Choose to Be