The Gift of Choice.

Within all of us is the same personal attribute; it was given to each of us at birth… it is the gift of Choice. You don’t have to leave the house or go “on line” to acquire it. It is a gift we give ourselves, but often we are afraid to unwrap it.  Often, it lies unused and unopened. Today, is the day to choose a better life for yourself. 

If there is any dysfunction within your immediate living situation… be it with yourself or a loved one…it is time to remove yourself from that dysfunction.  If you are a minor, then find a trusted relative, pastor, or teacher/coach that you can talk with and give you the help you need.  If you are an adult and are being abused… in any fashion… then it is not healthy and destructive to your being. It can no longer be kept a “secret.”  In the mere admission that you “need help,”  you have made a positive choice.  If you are the one causing the dysfunction to either yourself or to others…today, it stops.  It’s a matter of choice and available to all of us…anywhere.

No more excuses, no more alibis, no more whining.  Choose a better life for yourself or a loved one.  This will be your favorite gift.  Ever.

All gifts, as well as challenges, in life… are equal!

With the advent of celebrities i.e.:  political figures, major athletes, recording and performing stars coming to the forefront over the recent years…about their own issues of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual…one can’t help but notice that life has some great “equalizers.”  You might be able to have fame and fortune…but then God tests/challenges you in another area or even several areas during your lifetime.

Life is not supposed to be easy; it was not designed that way.

Our Life’s individual ‘tests’ are given to strengthen and improve our inner core.  If we give in or give up on the test or challenge…we gain nothing.  Staying in an abusive relationship  or not saying anything about it within a family allows the abuser to ‘win.’  That lowers our own self-esteem and increases their dysfunction.  When I look back over history on all the men/ women who have made a difference for humanity…it was filled with victories not easily won. Rather, there were personal  battles faught with endless conviction.  We all have that same ability.  We are humans and that separates us from other mammals.  We are able to reason and think and then react!  Ask someone for help for yourself if you are suffering abuse… or get it for another person.  Do not take “no” for an answer.  The victory is there. Courage to change a negative situation is the first step. Sue

PENN STATE Child Abuse “Scandal” is sadly modern reality.

Child Abuse: choose to see it; choose to be part of the solution!

The Penn State fiasco is just the latest  of the Child Abuse “dramas” that unfold in classrooms, on sports’ playing fields, and at social events each and every day. We can choose to ignore, as perhaps the men of Penn State did , or choose to recognize the signs of child abuse and be part of the solution. Children are the future of modern society.  Unhealthy and abused children can only fuel a decline in the modern world.
 How and why they looked away is difficult to accept.  Personal agendas aside, these actions are symptomatic of man watching out more for himself and his individual future than those of his fellow man.  It’s a loose replication of Adam’s Original Sin…  or so it seems.

As  part of the classroom situation for many years, I knew intuitively with which of my students “it” (the damage of the abuse) might unfold as the school year progressed; after all, I was a kindred spirit. However, there were many times I couldn’t see it at all… and it never failed to surprise me when the abuse revealed itself in a student’s writings or actions either inside or outside of school.
 Actually, I don’t know why I was surprised because I too was one of the “children” that hid the abuse going on at home. But, it probably was pretty apparent to the adults in my life: sports, guidance counselors, even relatives — that my life was not normal.  Yet, no one said a word. It was too ugly.  The same as now with Penn State. How sad that they knew, yet choose to do nothing! Have we as men made any strides with this disease of Child Abuse or will we continue to look away?

I chose to leave teaching, a few years ago, and write and speak up about Child Abuse. It is a silent epidemic. A proficient coach, adult scout or club leader, or  classroom teacher in these times, teaches not only his/her subject matter…but also teaches about LIFE. And LIFE in these times is hard.  Child Abuse is just one test or challenge.  However, I believe Child Abuse can become a priority for any society.

There is no “cure” out there in the wings waiting to be discovered like a potential cure for Cancer, heart disease etc. etc.  But, there is the huge job of accepting this condition as part of modern society’s fabric and acting upon it, regardless or our own agendas and goals. This must be done immediately. There is no cause for self-preservation where the well-being of a child is the price.  None!

Be part of the solution and recognize it is a silent epidemic. This can not be an avoidance issue because it might be awkward or uncomfortable to acknowledge.  If you are aware of anyone abusing a child or if you are being abused yourself…speak up, today.  If you are not heard or believed the first time… persist until you are.  There is an end.

It’s Not About Money; It’s About Involvement… WE CAN END CHILD ABUSE!

The last few weeks America has focused on issues of… well,  money.  Can we, in our great country, end the over-whelming debt crisis that has pervaded our society for several years now?  Members of both political parties argued back and forth the merits of their party’s plan.  (Or, as many of us saw it… a lack there of.)  In the end, they came to a mutual agreement of once again raising the financial ceiling, so America does not have to default on “loans.”  It was thinly disguised.  Don’t get me wrong, I for one am glad that for the time being anyway, Social Security seems to be saved.   I worked too many years and contributed too much to it, for it not to matter. However, as once again I watched the energy and zeal put forth by elected politicans on fiscal issues  (the pocket is deep)… I couldn’t help but wonder when societal issues would capture as much of their personal commitment and desire for change.  We have a number of causes and issues that go begging for crusaders and attention.

 However, with this said, I am always proud to be an American…even with its current political circus. It has been very clear to me for a long, long time that had I not been an Abused Child, here in America, I might not have survived.  How is that possible, you might wonder.  To me, it’s very clear.  In our great country, when something bad, unwarranted, or untimely happens to us as individuals, we have the opportunity to seek healing when it ends. It always ends, one way or the other.

For me, the initial healing was to get out of my abusive home and get an education.  Our country allowed me, even as a minor, many opportunities to borrow monies to do so through low-interest government loans. Not every country has set monies aside for that purpose.  I took advantage of that and received an excellent education that has allowed me to earn a good living.  That is not the case in all countries.  In the years within my classroom teaching, I never once censored what I said.  If I was asked a question, I answered professionally, but always with honesty.  In our country, we have the Freedom of Speech and I cherish that. We saw that come greatly into play in the almost childish name-calling between the politicians.  It has also allowed me to write SPIRIT UNBROKEN to help other abuse victims.

In America, we have also the freedom of “choice.”  If we don’t like something than we can strive to change it.   That goes with our own lives too. This land is really a land of opportunity in all venues.  I embrace my life knowing that I am free to become whatever I choose for myself.  I have always known there was and is a way to put bad things aside , but we have to actively do it!  As Americans we can either passively sit and wait for everything to be perfect in our individual lives and things to come to us without exerting any effort… or we can make every effort to improve not only our own lives, but those around us.

I “get” Dr. Matin Luther King’s “I HAVE A DREAM” speech…I always have. My own dream is that one day all children will grow up in safety here in our country (as well as all others) and Child Abuse will be a thing of the past.  In America we can do whatever we choose, but it requires  hard work and dedication.  Ending Child Abuse does not require dollars.  It requires recognition, envolvement by all of us, and ELECTED OFFICIALS who get that their responsibilities are so much more than dollar signs.

Been abused? Then don’t pass it on!

At one particular meeting I was asked,  if I actually believe that someone who had been abused … could really heal. This person had been verbally abused for years; first by a parent (now dead) and more recently by her husband from whom she is now divorced.  When this question was asked of me … it was asked sarcastically and with a great deal of anger.

I knew this woman’s children and all of them were now wearing the “scars” of their mother’s own  experienced abuse.  Nothing they did was ever right; yet, she was not a good role model for them herself… according to her actions and practices.  They were worthless and useless; yet, there was little positive reinforcement and direction in their lives or lessons on how to be “better.”  Children of all ages need direction.

The children were told over and over how abusive and contolling their father was; yet, it was in their father’s care they remained… when she left their home.  She complained about her life, put down others, pointed fingers, and was negative…at everything in her life…past and present.  What was evident was that she was so close to the situation that she honestly didn’t see herself as being the “new” abuser to her own children and those around her
Abuse, even verbal abuse, takes on a life of its own.

If you have been the recipient of constant verbal negativity, ( or perhaps just sometimes)—and you choose to pass it on—you are perpetuating the hurt and abuse that you yourself have experienced. How does that make you any better or different from your own abuser? If you have been the recipient of Verbal or Emotional Abuse…it is never ok to pass it along.

My answer is clear; I do believe you can heal from abuse. However, you don’t heal when you become the new statistic and now you yourself are the abuser. It’s up to you.

The Winning is in the Giving!

I LIKE TO GIVE. Giving of myself in any fashion makes me feel good and the recipient(s) benefit too. It is a win:win situation for all. I’m not a saint, I do know that, but rather I see it more like a technique that I’ve learned over the years to help myself heal from my own hurtful past. Then, it just became a really good habit that I’ve continued for many years. We don’t often look at it that way. You know…”giving” as medicine, but it really is.

I know many people give in church or to a special organization in financial ways. That is truely wonderful. BUT, what I’m proposing is that we can also give in small ways each and every day and they are not always financial gifts. Sometimes, what I give is “time.” Sometimes, it’s my “help.” Sometimes, it actually is financial help…but to a total stranger. But most often, I try to be very kind to others, especially strangers, in thought, word, and deed. It is never to be thanked or liked; that’s not what this is about.

And, as anyone who knows me will tell you…I always give my advice. (I let out a loud roar as I wrote that because it is so true!) But my favorite gifts to give are gifts that noone knows about… but the “receiver.” These are RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness). Sometimes, it’s as simple as pulling someone’s garbage can back up their driveway or picking up the mis-thrown newspaper and putting it by a neighbor’s door. Perhaps, grabbing a garbage bag and collecting trash in a much used area of your neighborhood. Other times, it’s taking not only your own shopping cart back to the store, but a few others too or picking up that garment or product that’s on the store’s floor, that keeps getting either stepped on… or over.

We do these deeds not for the “thanks” that normally follows each of us doing something nice; we do them because they make the world a better place for others. However, what I guarantee is that IF you choose to be a giver, it will be you who is receiving the greatest gift. I give you my word.


In light of all that is going on in the modern world: The earthquake in Haiti and death of thousands, Civil War and genocide in a number of countries, starvation in many others, acts of Nature with grand scale destruction and loss of home and lives right here in America, and the never ending issue of AIDS and other life threatening illness…all over the world…we still find time to ask, “Why me?” in regard to our individual Child Abuse. 

I’m pretty sure I know an answer that might make the abused look at his own abuse in a new light.   It is important to remember that during each of our stays here on Earth, we are constantly tested and challenged.  Abuse, of any type, is a test or challenge even though unwelcome.   Childhood abuse is not a disease for which there is no cure.  Rather, it calls for recognition and active participation in healing. 

 If we continue our own lives in any sort of dysfunction: excessive eating/ drinking or drug abuse, anxiety or depression, abuse of others, in any form…we continue the abuse and our abuser(s) win!   Instead think: “Why not me?”  We are still whole and alive, we are capable of healing and moving forward, we give ourselves honor and integrity, and most importantly… we are not defined by what has been done to us.  The dysfunction need not be perpetuated to another generation in any form.  I believe it was meant to stop with us.   



     Many things hurt us as individuals.  Some of these hurts we can control…but often some are beyond our reach. God often deals us tests and challenges as does Nature. Understandably, we are hurt, dismayed, and feel “lost.”  These hurts are part of life and are for the most part uncontrollable.  Hopefully, we weather them with dignity.  I try to control how much I am hurt by others…if only in the way I react to their injuries.  It is better for me to turn the other cheek when I am hurt or offended, but I am not always successful; however, each and every time, I do try. 

 The statistics of those who have been abused themselves, now going on to be dysfunctional in some fashion… is astounding.  However, what is more astounding is that many who have been abused, now CHOOSE to hurt others. The dysfunction is perpetuated if they now, as an adult, abuse alcohol or drugs; this affects their loved ones.  Likewise, the abuse is perpetuated if the sexually abused child, now a full grown adult, tries to verbally or emotionally abuse others; this affects their families, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Because they were hurt as a child…they somehow feel it is ok to hurt others… now!   The irony here is that not only do they not feel better, but now the abuse is being perpetuated by them…even if thinly disguised.  They have bought into the statistical odds of being an ABUSER themselves. 

 Making someone else hurt: physically, emotionally, or verbally, rather than healing yourself from the inside out, is similar in my mind to putting a gauze bangage around a cut that really needs twenty plus stitiches.  It will sort of look like it’s healed, in time…but there will always be a constant reminder of the event(s) that brought the injury to light in the first place.  We, as children who were abused, need to make a decision that the abuse stops with us.  It need not and can not be passed along to yet another generation.   sue

Alyssa Lies

     I ask that you visit my Web Site: and watch with open heart and mind the MySpace video, “Alyssa Lies.”   I have included it in the center of the page (October 30th).  Merely click on the center arrow.   This is a true story of the ”drama” that unfolds in America’s classrooms each and every day.  I was part of the classroom situation for many years and knew intuitively with which of my students it might unfold;  I was a kindred spirit.  However, there were many times I couldn’t see it at all… and it never failed to surprise me when the abuse revealed itself in a student’s writings or actions.  I don’t know why I was surprised because I too was one of the “children” that hid the abuse at home so well while growing up.

      I chose to leave teaching, a few years ago and  write and speak up about Child Abuse. It is a silent epidemic.  A proficient teacher in our country, teaches not only his/her subject matter…but also teaches about LIFE.  And LIFE in these times is hard.  Child Abuse can be eradicated .  There is no “cure” out there in the wings waiting to be discovered like a potential cure for Cancer.  But, there is the huge job of accepting this condition as part of the American fabric and acting upon it. 

     Be part of the solution and recognize it is everywhere in America.  This is not an avoidance issue because it might be awkward or uncomfortable to acknowledge.

     If you are aware of anyone abusing a child or if you are being abused yourself…speak up, today.  Sue