Dancing Candle, Dancing Mind

I am humbled and feel tremendous gratitude toward the courage, compassion and wisdom in the submissions posted for this month’s Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I know well how much guts it takes to put out our stories and the work involved in helpful steps we can take in order to gain and regain our lives. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your stories, your wisdom, and your artwork. Ok, I’ll stop my ramblings now–on to the good stuff!


I’m starting with the artsy stuff first because, well, I’m an artsy person.

Susan Kingsely-Smith gives us a work of great beauty. She says: There is hope there is Light. The Road to Freedom from the Past is full of potholes and yet there is hope TITLE How do I? I will

RIck Belden tells us of the pain in nogt being validated when we told. Heartbreaking TITLE scapegoat’s cross


Amanda Kobeshimi submits some beautiful photos that accompany a description of a survivor with a compelling tale of life with DID TITLE Season’s Greetings from the Demon World


Always a popular topic, especially so during the holiday season, when so many of us struggle.

Laura aka Simply Green tells us how to use compassion to help your abused child TITLE Compassionate Parenting: Meeting Needs

One of my favorite writers, Darlene Ouimet, gives us a blog from Emerging From Broken on the beginning of her emotional healing. She tells it like the process thru healing was for her. I identify with and learn so much from her–if you don’t follow her you really should. TITLE The Beginning of Emotional Recovery :: Emerging From Broken

Pandora, a dear friend, says: This is a discussion about a therapy session in which an alter of mine came out, bringing with her all the hideous and abject horror of her experiences of systemic child sexual abuse. TITLE Child Minder – Paul:Week Four

Paul from Mind Parts says “here are some thoughts on what are the essential tools to healing from dissociation and trauma” TITLE Cultivating Skills

Darlene Ouimet shares one of my favorite blogposts as well. It’s a hot-button topic and one that puts me up on a soapbox quite often, too. TITLE Forgive The Abusers? A bit of a Rant :: Emerging from Broken


From Tracie fills us in on Awareness of new and obtrusive TSA procedures, a very hot topic for this busy holiday season TITLE Vacation Choice: Naked Pictures or Federally Mandated Molestation

The wise Patricia Singleton asks: “Are you aware of who you are because of your struggles in spite of your struggles? Now THAT is a good question! Read what she has to say TITLE A Short Biography – Who Am I?

Joanaa Tiger talks about the senselessness of violence giving us ten instances wherein warning signs could have been acted on to avert horrid crimes TITLE Criminal Justice Degrees Guide


VoicesUnsilenced is a very powerful writer of the aftermath of child abuse. She tells her story with courage and fortitude in the face of trauma. Here’s what she has to say TITLE won

Nesher gives a great informational piece on the aftermath of trauma. TITLE Childhood Abuse and Clinical Depression in Adults


My bud Hope For Trauma talks about the stress of the holiday season on her alters. I put this piece in this section because her words echo throughout the year. TITLE 5k’s & Turkey Burgers

From Tracie says “This is a great project for survivors to participate in.” It’s yet another way to speak out, tell your story, and obliterate the silence” TITLE My Name Is Project

Patrticia Singleton talks about choosing a position of gratitude throughout the year, not only during the holidays. Strong piece! TITLE Thanks Giving

Tim Fischer gives us a compelling survivor story. Spend a few moments with his powerful images and notice what your mind thinks about it TITLE The Ghost of Halloween Past

My dear DragonHeartSong takes a courageous look at multiples and their struggles TITLE The holidays approach – good news; bad news


Paul at MindParts gives some thoughts on the recent Oprah Winfrey show with 200 men who have survived child abuse. Interesting TITLE Why I Did Not Appreciate Oprah’s “200 Men” Show

Steven and Debra give us a fabulous poem on recent changes at the TSA. Read this twice. TITLE Opt-out to the Beltway TSA and Their Airline CEO Cronies: Take Your Planes and Shove ‘Em


Patricia Singleton says sometimes shutting down is all that you can do to get through the Holidays. Hear hear. TITLE Shutting Down To Get Through The Holidays

My buddy Sharon Sanquist gives us some survival tips on how to deal with moment-to-moment stressors and triggers during this challenging time for so many of us. She’s a great writer and has a way of bringing clarity to just about any confusing issue. Go down to Comments to read her valuable help!

Lisa Kift the ever-wise creator of the Relationship Toolkit also gives us some survival tips. If you haven’t been to her website–do so today. Skip down to the comments section to see what she has to say. If you’ve not been to Lisa’s Toolkit on her website — you need to go!

My good buddy Ravin has been through so much in her life. She has more compassion in her soul than any ten people I know. Read her story of what the Holidays are for her in the Comments section below. I prize her life and so should you!

I personally did not write a blog for dealing with the holidays because I lost track a day or two before Thanksgiving. Meaning I just faded away. Apparently some of the littles were out and about, why I do not know. Since I have been seeing the Mighty C, I’ve been co-conscious. My personal history is that Christmas Eves I was brutalized more than any other time of the year. So–I lost a few days. Could be worse, could be raining. I get used to it as the weeks pass, but it’s always a bumpy ride at the beginning of the season. My wife is great, she knows it’s a tough time for me. We always end up doing all the fun stuff that’s plentiful here. And it ends up being a good time as I get involved as an adult. But it’s a rough go for awhile.

Again, thanks so much to contributors here. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to be allowed the privilege to read and consider their strength, wisdom, and compassion. Happy Holidays where you can get them! And remember–it’ll be over soon 😉


  1. November 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I am a techno-idiot and this is the only way I could figure out how to get this wonderful, masterful piece from the ever-fabulous Lisa Kift. If you haven’t been to her website to check out her Toolkit, you really need to go. So, this from Lisa:

    Self-Soothing: Holiday Triggers and Intense Emotions

    Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

    The holidays can be a really difficult time for “survivors and thrivers” of child abuse. For those who have a negative meaning attached to “the holidays”, triggers can be lurking everywhere. Intense emotions such as anger, fear and sadness can be crippling and feel as if they completely “take you over.” In a way, they do. This is because high levels of distress may signal your brain and nervous system are literally in “fight-or-flight” mode and cortisol (the stress hormone) may be coursing through your body. When that happens, you can feel irrational, overwhelmed, desperate and terrified.

    What’s the antidote to cortisol? Oxytocin. Oxytocin is the “feel good” hormone of safety and security. When you’re experiencing a high level of emotional overload, the idea is to trigger the release of oxytocin.

    Give this a try:

    Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes and put your hand over your heart.
    Take slow deep breaths and conjure up in your mind a person, place or even a pet that represents safety and security.
    Do this for at least 30 seconds. Notice the feelings in your body.
    Doing this simple exercise will usually trigger the release of oxytocin in your brain which has a calming effect. It is an excellent way to soothe yourself.

    Another powerful ally is a daily gratitude practice. Research by Dr. Bob Emmons, Ph.D., has shown that gratitude can not only help block toxic emotions but can actually bring closure to unresolved traumatic memories. Try to do this daily via mediation, prayer, list making or affirmations said aloud before going to bed. If you forget, it’s no big deal. Be gentle and non-judgmental with yourself as you attempt to weave this into your life. Thankfully, there is no “right” or “wrong” way. The beauty is the inherent power of gratitude to adjust your lens on life.


    Lisa Brookes Kift is psychotherapist and writer in Marin County, CA. She is the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com, one of the original therapist-created resource websites with tools for emotional and relationship health.

  2. November 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Here’s the great wisdom of Sharon Sanquist, a wonderful and wise woman. Sharon has a way about her of just…making sense. Here follow her suggestions for getting thru the holidays. I love the idea about making plans ahead of time~!

    My friend Splinteredones asked me to write something for Carnival Against Child Abuse, holiday edition and while I had a few thoughts floating around my mind, I didn’t have anything concrete to write about. So I thought about just writing a list of some things that can be helpful for those who have experienced child abuse. Many have to deal with unpleasant family situations as well as other issues, such as those with eating disorders (lots of food around the holidays) and especially to the victims of child abuse where the abuse happened during the holidays. So here goes…..

    1) If you are feeling uncomfortable or unsafe visiting certain family members, just say no. Don’t go. “Something suddenly came up” as to paraphrase Marsha Brady from the Brady Bunch…If this is not possible to do, try and limit your stay to the absolute minimal time and focus your attention on the family members that you like and who are not abusive.

    2) If an overnight is requested, plan to stay at a nearby motel/hotel if possible. This way you can leave if you are triggered and have a “safe space” to go to.

    3) If you have siblings that you get along with and they will be there with you, you can have them help you if they see you are triggered or intervene for you if necessary if things start to get ugly.

    4) Pretend that you are a reporter and sit back and take mental notes of your family members. If a family member tries to engage in negative talk or tries to get you to react in a certain way, do all that you can to not react and just smile and say “that is interesting” and change the subject or walk away. Later, try and journal these mental notes.. especially the ones where you felt uncomfortable. This can be discussed in more detail with your therapist. (original idea taken from R. Fox, Professor)

    5) Try to eat as healthy as you can…I know all those desserts are tempting, but try and stick with fruits and vegetables. If you can’t resist (like me), you can get a taste of a dessert without eating the whole thing. Also, many people tend to over eat and if you have an eating disorder, this may trigger you to purge. Moderation is key.

    6) Avoid alcohol. We all know the alcohol is a depressant and this is exactly what you do not need during this time of year. Also, alcohol loosens inhibitions and something could be said that you may regret later.

    7) Try and spend time with loved ones and friends who can ground you and make you laugh. Laughter can transform you.

    8) Have a back-up plan or person who you can call at anytime to help you talk things out. Sometimes just knowing that someone is available to talk to you is comforting.

    9) Above all, be safe and do whatever you need to do to remain safe. This may mean that some peoples feeling may be hurt, but you can only control how you feel, not how others feel.

    So there it is…just some ideas that may or may not help.

    Sharon @ssanquist

  3. November 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    My dearest bud Ravin has been through so much in her life, and yet she has more compassion in her soul than any ten people I know. She writes with an honesty that cuts to the soul. Read what she has to say about her holiday experience.
    Here come the holidays, every year they come, every year I hope this will be the one that doesn’t trigger the past I’d like to leave behind. For me the Christian holidays carry deep secret anti-Christian rituals that society says never happen. So not only are the holidays linked with abuse, the abuse is denied. This is common for we survivors of Ritual Abuse.

    Years of therapy and the only suggest was “make your own rituals” which is all very nice but never really worked. Even conversion and faithful practice of another religion did not make the triggers for the old holidays fade. Not for trying, I tried, oh how I tried to do what therapist suggested.

    Then a new therapist came into my life, one who simply gave me permission to see the horror of our history, to know that the holidays were never going to be “happy times” like they were for other folks. Finally, someone who believed, really believed me and didn’t marginalize my experience. What a difference this made, not for the triggers, but in how I began to view the holidays.

    Now the holidays are holidays. They trigger past experiences which are painful, horrible and leave me holding on through those times. Now I deal with the real issue the abuse that happened during those times and that’s my road to healing, not making a new ritual.

    Ravin @ http://moreheads.wordpress.com/

  4. November 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Splinty, thanks for hosting this month’s Carnival Against Child Abuse.

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 7:11 am


  5. Susan said,

    November 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Wow..what a great collection of articles and resources, Splint! Thank you for hosting this and thanks for including me:) In much gratitude and appreciation…Susan

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 7:13 am

      I consider i’m the fortunate one, to get to work with such marvelous folks. Contrubutors are the fgift here. Which yes–that means u!

  6. Pandora said,

    November 27, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Brilliant collection, Splint. Thank you! ❤ xxx

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 7:16 am

      Oh honey. It means so, so much to me that you shared something so brilliant and that you came here. Thinking much of you–you know that. x

  7. Rick Belden said,

    November 27, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Thanks very much for hosting and giving everyone the chance to participate.

    • November 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Rick thanks for your great piece. It’s the great contributions that make it work!

  8. Tracie said,

    November 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you so much for hosting this month!! You have a lot of great submissions here. I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading all of these when I get home next week!

    You rock!!!

    • November 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Couldn’t have done it without you honey. Great experience thanks for letting me post!

  9. November 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    this looks wonderful, splinty tx you did a good job

    sorry i missed the deadline but was in terrible car accident find out if i go in 4 surgery on mon

    i did go over and listed this at bc dot com tho

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Oh hon {{{{}}}} i am so sorry to hear this! I hope it works out. Om tare tutare ture svaha–my prayer for compassion and safety for u and yoirs

  10. November 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks so much for including my blog in this amazing blog carnival! I am excited to catch up on the other posts! Thanks so much Splinty!
    Hugs, Darlene

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      Thank ypu hon, for participating. Plus u know i love the forgiveness thing 😉 Ur great–

      • November 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

        That forgiveness thing still gets new comments ~ it is at 179 now; it really touched a few nerves, but wow, it has to be said! That whole concept really gets in everyones way when it comes to moving forward with recovery.
        Thanks again! I just realized that I need to go share this blog carnival everywhere! whoops…
        Hugs, Darlene

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      Yah, forgiveness. Yikes. We share our feelings on that one for sure ;). Ur comments are so interesting!

  11. November 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Blog Carnivals are my favorite..I always get to read new blogs and also many of my favorites as well. Thanks for hosting Splint your awesome 🙂

    • Splinteredonss said,

      November 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Me too. Ur awesome!

  12. Paul said,

    November 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    What a wonderful Carnival!!! Thank you for hosting!!!

    Couple comments, if I may… I love the comments you made in your “ramblings” in the preamble and I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your ramblings!

    There are some great posts here, and I look forward to reading them now. I truly appreciate the blog carnival because it gives an opportunity to catch up on blogs that we may not otherwise follow. Or be introduced to new ones!

    Thank you so much for taking this on from Marj.

  13. Splinteredonss said,

    November 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for ur comments, Paul. You’re so right–it’s all about the exposure! Be well–

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