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.

For the Love of Children… CASA

by Sue Brown

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

      There is nothing as wonderful as a healthy and well-loved child. Indeed, the children of today become the future of America in a relatively short period of time. If they are healthy, well cared for, and loved then our own future is also one of security and well being.  But sadly, this often is not the case. There are so many children who are raised in a negative home environment and are abused or neglected—or sometimes both. It is easier to believe that it happens in other places, certainly not in “our town” or “our county,” but in reality it is everywhere in our country and in staggering numbers too.

         Each year almost 800,000 children (teens too) in the United States are part of the court and child welfare system. They are no longer allowed to live in their own home because of nothing they did, but rather because the adults responsible for their care and well-being either couldn’t or won’t take proper care of them.  This is where a CASA Volunteer is a valuable asset to the children in this position. As a CASA you are: screened, trained, supervised, and supported as a community volunteer who advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children.

      CASA may very well be the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as officers of the court.  They are appointed by judges to watch over a child until that case is closed and that child is placed in a safe and permanent home. While others may come and go from the lives of these children, a CASA may very well be the one constant in their young lives. They are the ones that make a difference. After the initial 6 week training is over, a volunteer may expect to devote some 10 hours per month to the organization.

      Last year alone, almost one quarter of a million abused and neglect children were helped by CASA volunteers. People who volunteer come from all backgrounds. Some have years of education and perhaps a background of working with children and families.  While others may have been part of the foster care system or have grown up in a less than healthy and stable home. Therefore, they want the best for a new generation of young people. There are no set requirements for a volunteer other than a strong desire to make a child’s life better.

Spirit Unbroken by Sue Brown


       My book,  addresses one of America’s darkest secrets,  the topic of Childhood Abuse.  

     The statistics are astounding: one in four girls and one in six boys in America are abused before their eighteenth birthday! 

      Each person who has been abused: friend, colleague, neighbor, or family member becomes an active and integral member of our society.  Their unresolved issue with past abuse becomes our abuse issues.  Healing and moving forward to a healthy future is more than possible.  The story “Patricia” shares, although shocking, is not unusual for someone who has been abused.  Hers is a story of hope, survival, and beating the odds.  In fact, it can be anyone’s story. 

     Spirit Unbroken is not only a testament to the human spirit, but it also offers suggestions and proven methods of healing and moving forward. It is now released by http://www. PublishAmerica. com  you may visit their website to read more.   

     Spirit Unbroken has received praise for its positive healing suggestions and optimistic outlook of moving past the abuse.  It can be used with all types of abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual as all are equally damaging to its recipient(s).  I am a  high school teacher and instructor in English on the college level; I am also a survivor of Childhood Abuse. I have worked with boys/men, girls/ women for twenty years, vocationally, to help them heal and move forward.  Repeatedly, I had been told that I should write my simple ideas and philosophies down for everyone.  Finally, I have done that.  My book is personal testament to healing and positive choices that we can make to move beyond our abuse. 

     Please read more at:  Or place your order on-line with many retailers:  Barnes and Noble. com,, Borders. com, or and others.  Proceeds from sales are donated to National Child Abuse organizations.

sue brown
sue brown



     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

Individual Tests/Challenges Make Us Stronger

In light of all that is going on in the modern world: Civil War and genocide in a number of countries, starvation and health epidemics in many others, acts of Nature with grand scale destruction and loss of homes and lives right here in America, and the never ending issue of AIDS and other life threatening illness i.e. cancer…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. Rather, we are what we have chosen to do for ourselves. The dysfunction need not be perpetuated to another generation… in any form.  I believe it was meant to stop with us.