Monday, March 25, 2013

Soft articles

I'm not sure if anyone has checked my tabs lately, but I'm going to start updating them again. This morning, I added a new category, "Soft Articles," under my Talks & Articles section. This is where I will be putting links to people's personal stories and such that aren't hard news articles or church talks, but something in between. :)

For example...

As I was looking through some of my Google+ buddies this morning I found an article shared by +Hope Sparrow. (Thanks, Sparrow!) I've added it to my new "Soft Articles" category, and also linked to it below for anyone who missed it:

Natasha Helfer Parker, Patheos, February 2012
A woman writes in about her D-day and the confusion and panic attacks that follow. Parker, an licensed clinical marriage and family therapist, sex therapist, and member of the LDS church, answers her queries.

Also ... as a follow up to my last post, "To be a light," I am going to start a tab for resources about abuse. I hope all this stuff is helpful!

Love you guys!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

To be a light
When I left my ex-husband, I had a blessing. In that blessing was a challenge for me to use my trials to "be a light and a beacon to others." I have taken that seriously. Since that I've blogged, I've spoken out, I've begun my fight with gusto against pornography and sex addiction. (I even have a speaking engagement at a college campus in two weeks!) Now I am adding the other piece of my puzzle:

I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

I've begun to wonder ... how many of us are there? How many of us started out being sexually abused and then--already having our self-esteem on very shaky ground--got married and expected everything to end happily ever after ... only to discover that we had married a porn addict? And then I thought, MAN! There should be a special group just for us!!! But, guess what? There's not a special group for us ... yet ... Want to be part of the first one?

Maybe you think this post doesn't apply to you. Five years ago, I wouldn't have thought so either. But then a concerned friend handed me the list below, and it made me do a double-take. It's from the Wings Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping adult survivors of sexual abuse. Long story short, at least in my case, there was something to it.

Common Trauma Symptoms

It is important to remember that each individual’s reaction to trauma they’ve experienced is unique. If you are a sexual abuse survivor, you may or may not experience some of the symptoms or events listed below. Seek help from a professional to discuss and work through these symptoms.
  • Frequent sleep disturbances (insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, sleeping too much)
  • Flashbacks
  • Dissociation or losing time
  • Difficulty managing emotions
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, powerlessness, shame, or feeling “dirty”
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and hypervigilence
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts, feeling destructive
  • Cutting, self injury, or self mutilation
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and/or compulsive overeating)
  • Body image issues
  • Difficulty with or avoiding relationships, automatic lack of trust of others
  • Avoidance of appropriate and consensual sexual intimacy
  • Addictions and compulsions (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, spending, pornography)
  • Body memories, somatic symptoms
  • Poor boundaries with others (too permissive or too rigid)
  • Difficulties nurturing yourself or caring for yourself appropriately

I am working with one of the women who created the Healing Through Christ 12-step program for loved ones of addicts. She. Is. AWESOME! Annnnnd ... she has given me permission to start a pilot group for sexually abused women who are also wives/ex-wives of porn addicts. We will probably use Google chat or teleconference, so location is not an issue. So, here's a shout-out! Anyone interested in doing this with me? Know anyone who would be? Please! Comment! Share the link to my post.

You can also email me privately at: angelgirly1980 at gmail dot com.

Now, let me be clear, friends ... I am not out to convince the world that everyone has been sexually abused. However, it is a huge problem in our society. And if no one gets this kind of info out, how can we ever combat it?

To those of you who have been abused: Even if you don't want to join the group, please know...

I'm here. And I get it.