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My Toolbox

By Anthony Carrone

In my last article, I mentioned the tools I try to use every day to continue coping with my memories of sexual abuse. For me, coping is a never-ending process. Unfortunately, my tools don’t make the memories go away, but I can’t think of a healthy alternative that does. Like many tool boxes, the tools in my box were acquired over time. I don’t use all of my tools every day, and sometimes I need WD-40 to get them working correctly, but knowing I have a set to use is helpful in its own way.

My toolbox:

  • Staying active
  • To-do list
  • Charity
  • Mindfulness meditations
  • Journaling/Storytelling
  •  

Staying active

Finding ways to stay active has played a major role in coping with my troubling memories. In addition to all of the known benefits of staying active, for me, it brings back favorable memories and feelings from my childhood. Some of my favorite memories were made playing baseball and camping with my friends. Staying physically active has allowed me to reminisce about those times while creating new memories with my new friends. Completing a game or a difficult hike also provides me with a sense of accomplishment that feels really good!  

To-do lists

Some mornings, I wake up feeling anxious or depressed and feel like there is nothing that will get me out of bed. It would be so easy to turn over and go back to sleep. What I have found is that making a to-do list helps me get past that initial morning depression and jumpstart my day in a much more positive way. I actually use a cheat code for this – Let me explain. On those difficult mornings, after I realize I am dangerously close to falling into a non-productive day, I get up and make my bed (I know this is not always easy – but it got easier with repetition) After I make my bed, I create a checklist of things I need to get done. My trick is adding “MAKE YOUR BED” as the first task on my list and immediately checking it off. Oh, it is so satisfying! It may seem silly, but sometimes that small sense of accomplishment is what I need to change the trajectory of my day.

Charity

Practicing random acts of kindness and charity every day is, I think, one of the most effective ways to cope and also make a real difference in someone else’s day. Charity does not have to be monetary or even publicized to make a difference or be an effective tool in your kit. Unselfishly giving your time, love and attention creates a positive energy that you and people around you will benefit from.

Mindfulness meditation

Meditation has been the most useful tool in my toolbox. Actually, it may be the material many of my tools are crafted from.  Or maybe it’s what my toolbox is made of?  Anyway, before I lose you… Practicing mindfulness meditation has changed my life. Most of us are mindful at some point during the day, but it’s really difficult to stay in that zone.  Sometimes we are distracted by a thought from our past that brings up uncomfortable memories. For me, if I let it, those thoughts have the potential to bring me to a dark place, usually filled with anger and a case of the f*ck its. A place where my mind is racing all over the place, but my body is paralyzed – a feeling of defeat. Practicing mindfulness through meditation has helped me recognizing when these intrusive thoughts arise, accept them, and get my mind back to the current moment – Like when I am having trouble getting up in the morning, recognize my negative emotions and decide to make a to-do list to help get me started.  There are many different styles of meditation, so if mindfulness is not the way for you, check out some other forms of meditation that seem like a better fit!

Journaling and storytelling

Getting my thoughts out, one way or another, has always helped me cope with what I am feeling inside. What I like about journaling is the ability to go back and actually read my own words about what I was thinking or feeling during that moment – it’s right there in front of me. It also helps me see my own potential behavioral patterns. If I notice I am feeling a certain way, I’ll often go back to my journal to see when I’ve felt that way before. If I have, I’ll recall how I reacted and review how that worked out for me. Finding a group of friends or an outlet like Gravity Network to share your thoughts with can be super helpful.

As I said earlier, these tools have not deleted my memories of sexual abuse, but they have taught me skills to live a happy life without blaming myself for other’s actions. I plan to stay physically active and remain healthy to help find the joy in things I used to love. I will do my best to make to-do lists to help me stay on top of my daily tasks when my emotions want to distract me. I will give my time and attention to other who need it, because others have been there for me when I needed to be lifted up. I will practice mindfulness to remain aware of my true self and chart the path to my brightest future. And I will continue to tell my story through personal journaling and this blog, not only for myself, but for others who read and are going through their own struggles.

How Sweet the Sound

Originally published 3/3/2018

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

I am still getting used to writing those words.

Admitting to my past and sharing my story has led to multiple moments of what I can only describe as tiny fracture breaks within what I thought was my semi stable reality. I thought I was doing okay. I saw no reason to reopen those old, pulsating wounds. I felt they had been stitched up adequately enough.

The ability to see beyond where I was and imagine where I could be was nearly impossible due to the inflicted abuse from my childhood. Survivors of trauma know this feeling well. There is a darkness that takes up residency. It becomes so much a part of us that we wouldn’t recognize ourselves without it. Maybe we don’t even want to. Who are we without this pain?

Sometimes the hurt from past experiences is so achingly unbearable it immobilizes us, rendering us powerless. So many people are locked deeply in the clutches of pain from past events or encounters. Agony and shame intermingled and running so deep in our veins we cannot fathom being able to fight it.

Recently I starting exploring the terrible, irresponsible and hurtful choices I was making as an adult. Choices I was making myself, not something that was being done to me or against my will like when I was a little girl.

I decided to take some accountability for my very real and incredibly fast fall from grace. I started to dig, unearth and attempt to reconcile with the actual reasons leading to my abysmal life choices. I started confronting the shame that lived inside of me. The things that are and always will be a part of who I have become today.

I decided to accept them.

Sometimes it is the very worst things that have happened to us in the past that can in fact be our most empowering tool of hope. How can we ever authentically relate to and make real, honest connections with those that need our voices the most if we don’t claim our most horrific moments?  The ones we attempt to hide, forget, deny or numb away?

Understanding that your past actions do not and will not determine your legacy begins with not trying so strenuously to will them away. It begins with acknowledging that those pieces are a part of you and they should be nurtured, not dismissed.

John Newton and William Cowper are two voices from history who perfectly help convey the message I am trying to deliver. Newton, a reformed atheist turned Ordained Minister challenged Cowper, a crazy misunderstood Christianity loving wordsmith to a hymnal duel.

Write a new Hymn to a familiar tune in time for each Thursday’s bible study.

Newton and Cowper made change happen by owning who they were and sharing their pain with others. Easier said than done but it eventually led to penning Amazing Grace, a song undeniably powerful in the simplicity of its message and one most can readily identify with.

They were from different backgrounds but they lived with the same ghosts so many of us struggle with. Pain, loss, confusion, sorrow, anger and the desire for redemption to name a few. Through their salvation and their ability to forgive, they each felt a desire to grow from their past experiences and become better because of them.

I’m guessing that neither of them ever would have expected that a former atheist slave trader and a suicidal poet who had been institutionalized for insanity would someday be the ones to collaboratively write a world changing, soul reaching and universal identified with hymnal lyric.

Somehow that happened.

What better voices than those who have come from complete darkness to help others see the light that can be found within it?

As I struggle with my own past and attempt to make amends with the abuse I endured and survived as a child I am often overwhelmed by emotional ferocity of it. Facing these experiences and sharing them with others is terrifying.

I am grateful for each and every prayer I have been blessed with. I do believe in a higher power. A force larger than myself. I just don’t think that simply putting my trust in any given faith blindly will help me or any of us find the answers.

Step outside of what you think you know and listen to the people around you.  No matter what you believe or who you pray to or what you have been told. Honor your personal truth while trying to embrace the truths of others. Explore ideas you may be less comfortable with and try to discover what is causing the aversion behind those thoughts.

Fight.

Talk.

Understand.

Listen.

Connect.

Heal.

Forgive.

Make change happen because of your experiences. Don’t stand around and wait for it to happen or place blame when it doesn’t happen the way you thought it would or use religion as a way to not see what is right in front of you.

Use your voice; however it feels right to you.

Shine your light.

Embrace your dark.

Tell your story.

Write your song.

Challenge your best buddy to a hymnal writing contest.

You never know what could happen…

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The strength of the old man in front of him is actually stronger than the former owner of the Far North Piaoxue City and the Iron Emperor Fortress natural ruby earrings australia, and has a combat effectiveness comparable to that of a five layered heavenly martial arts immortal At this time, the old celestial master at the back opened his eyes wide, with an expression of disbelief. Wedding band for halo setting The Dragon and Tiger Supreme Nine Immortals Sutra Patriarch You are Patriarch The old celestial master looked familiar to the elder, but didn t recognize it.The skin on the old man s face seemed to be sewn up after being crushed by a human being.Some parts were already distorted, and only a rough outline could be seen.But it wasn t until the old man who pretended to take the initiative to recognize the celestial master, he turned out to be the celestial master of the celestial mansion five hundred years ago The old celestial master hurriedly shouted to Chu Xiu Master Chu Stop for the time being He is the celestial master of my celestial master s mansion.
Chu Xiu s power was even strong enough to kill him in seconds cushion cut with side stones, no matter what method he used, he couldn t stop it. Simple wedding rings for her He doesn t want to die To be precise, he has already died once.The soul was sinking into the sea of blood in the yellow spring, and the boundless hardship felt that he didn t want to try.So when he was fished out by that one and given the body again, the Master Longtu died five hundred years ago, and all the grudges and grudges of the past disappeared.He completely surrendered because he didn t want to die again.once But now seeing death coming, Monk Longtu fiercely gritted his teeth, took out a bone sword, tore a gap in the space, and escaped from it.This shank sword can tear space at will, transmitting power and itself.But the only disadvantage is that it can only open two doors.The first portal is used by them to overcome this kind of formation blockade, to the place of dragon veins, or to places like Ten Thousand Dao Tiangong to complete the task.And the second one is to be used in a specific place, reopening the passage of Huang Quantian and returning, and can only be used by one person at a time.
It is true that Chu Xiu s reputation during this time is too great. Triple crossover In the Daluo Shrine cubic zirconia rings white gold, killing three ancient descendants does not count, but also humiliating the sword sect of the world and beheading the master of the Vishnu Temple of Vatican.Among the Daluo Shrine and his party, Chu Xiu almost offended the younger half of the world, which can be said to be extremely high profile.In addition, he himself has the identity of an ancient descendant, so it is so noticeable, even if it is the old Meng Xinghe, people are only in the Eastern Region, but they are not as high profile as Chu Xiu.The other ancestors were a little confused about Xiu s roots and feet, and were not hostile, but they did not have any kindness.They all followed Chu Xiu into the main hall on the Shenxian Island with a look of attention.At this time, many ancient venerations had arrived in the hall, most of them came with descendants, and there were more than 30 people in total.But before Chu Xiu took a closer look, an angry voice suddenly sounded Chu Xiu How dare you come to the Ancient Venerable Conference Chu Xiu raised his eyes to see that it was Xu Tianya who was talking.
She grabbed Yan er by the arm and said skull bands, Leave a wicked species, and I have to trust you to get tired. Chocolate diamond solitaire engagement rings My son is your son.Yan er was crying, so she had to comfort her to recuperate.Ask her doctor for medicine, but she always refuses.The condition is getting worse and worse, when the breath is about to die, the breath is just like a hairspring.Sang and Yan er both cried.Suddenly she opened her eyes and said Don t be like this You are happy to live, I am happy to die.If you have a chance, you can see each other in ten years.
The doctor s face as solemn double band wedding rings, and he said solemnly His condition is orse than I thought. Bezel moissanite engagement ring The dream level genetic medicine has triggered his on deepest potential, and his potential is so great that I have only seen it in my life.hen I as in that incarnation just no., Even the blood is almost dried up.If it is later, I am afraid his body ill be exhausted and the lamp ill explode.No the situation is still very bad, all the internal organs are broken, the meridians are almost broken, and only the bones are still relatively intact.

You don’t have to do it alone

No matter how long ago or how recent an individual has experienced childhood sexual abuse, or the age when the abuse occurred, it is always possible to begin the healing process. The same is true for individuals who have experienced an isolated abuse event or a repeated pattern of maltreatment. No matter the situation, there are organizations, support groups, and trained individuals who are willing and able to help. How much or how little an individual chooses to reveal about their experiences, and with whom, is completely up to them. Each individual’s pathway to healing can be completely different from one another. This journey can have many twists and turns, however, one of the most important things to remember is that you or your loved one, do not have to do it alone.

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