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Diva


The reason I wrote this page!

I wanted to share what I have been through, and what I have learned. I believe that survivors can help each other get through difficult times. Survivors tend to have some of the same reactions and feelings to things, since some of what we have been through is the same. I also feel this is a vital part of my recovery, to be able to share some part of what I have been through. I have spent some time surfing the internet, and have found there are sooooo many women looking for support while trying to recover. We should all try and help each other because in helping others we are also healing ourselves. The internet with all its web sites, newsgroups, support groups etc. is the best tool we have at helping each other and ourselves. We can reach people who dont have a therapist or anyone else who need to talk. People who have not been through rape or sexual abuse usually have a hard time having a conversation about it to someone who has been through it. They don't know what to say to us, they don't bring it up to us thinking maybe we were not thinking about it just then. Well you know what..... WE ARE THINKING ABOUT IT. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it in some form, that something doesn't spark a memory, a feeling something. Since people are reluctant to bring the subject up we rarely get to talk about things that are bothering us.

Abuse needs to come more out in the open. We need to be talking more about abuse
in our schools, church's, temples etc.......We need everyone who can read to start learning what this crap does to us. Maybe if our Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncle's Brothers, Neighbors etc...Knew really knew... what people go through there whole lives carrying this garbage we call sexual abuse around, MAYBE we could start stopping it. Maybe if young children were taught in school that it's OK to TELL if someone does touch them, that it's OK to say NO. MAYBE just maybe we could stop the cycle. Yes it's more open than it was years ago, but not enough. NOT NEARLY ENOUGH......

Please feel free to read my web site and please take the time to sign my guest book and give me your comments either good or bad, or if u prefer e-mail any comments to me. PLEASE PLEASE take a look at the missing children. Maybe if we all try we can help get some of our children back home.

I am co-founder of a room called Safe Room on yahoo. I have dedicated a lot of time to making saferoom truly a place where survivors can come and feel safe...We chat in the chat room or post messages to each other. We pour out our hearts pain to each other, in return we get support from people who know how we feel and who are non judgmental. We try to keep members knowing they are not alone and that there is hope out there. I am living proof that it can get better. Hard work, a good therapist and the yearning for a "normal" life is what it takes. Believe me it can help.

Everyone is welcome to stop by and visit or become a member. Just click the Saferoom link below.


12/12/98

I Thought i would just update the page a little. Safe Room has about 55 members now and we have beenhaving nightly chats which are really helping me and I believe the members who attend as well. A lot of people say "beware" of on-line friends that there not real, well I have to disagree. I have made some real close friends online and I do consider them "REAL" friends.

 Thought I would take a minute or two to just update where I am in my recovery. Around thanksgiving I decided to say something to my mom since I had just had an episode where I was having terrible flashbacks, and even wound up in the E.R. For the first time in my 44 years I had really sunk to my lowest. I had the worse weekend in a long time. I could not control my memories and I was just out of it. Susan (my therapist) spent the entire evening from 11:30 PM to 7:30 A.M. with me in the ER it was terrible I thought they were going to have to keep me there. Susan kept talking to me and held my hand. They put me on meds and I feel better now. This was also the first time in my life that I can remember cutting myself on purpose .I actually took a knife and sliced x's in my .I can only think that I was doing this as a release for the pain that was building up inside. So two weeks later I decided I had had enough of this alone stuff. I decided it was time to let everyone in. So I decided to start with my best friend Amy. I wrote her a poem and we talked after she read it and she is very supportive now. My best friend told some friends I told some others and now most of all my friends know about the abuse. So next was my family I decided again to do it via a poem. So again I wrote a poem this time for mom. I left it near her bed one night and knew she would see it .I waited that night for her to call she never did. She called the next morning and said she found the letter or whatever it was and wanted to talk about it. Well she is going to come to Susan's with me and try and help me. She is giving me the benefit of the doubt. Since she was not there she will believe me that I was abused. This is a step in the right direction. I feel like for the first time in my life my family will finally learn who I am. I will update again after Susan and mom meet.

2/25/99

 Well mom and Susan did meet, actually for two sessions. They went well I thought. Mom told Susan she did believe me when I said I was sexually abused but she did not think it happened at the Hebrew School. Ok so if not there where? S he had no answers, just want to find out where it happened. There are suspicious things that happened at the Hebrew School mom said. Like I was the only student, it was dark in the classroom when she came to pick me up. Mom claims I was no different after the Hebrew School issue. I of course have no memories so I don't know who I was. Mom has gone away for the winter so any other sessions with Susan will have to be in April when she comes back. She was able to get me the address of the Hebrew School. Susan and I will be making a trip there in the next couple of weeks, to see if anything else is sparked that I may have forgotten. I also think it's time for more hypno-therapy. I will make an appointment with someone in the near future for that as well. I have been feeling very down the last couple of weeks and I am not really sure why.

 Safe Room now has 113 members and growing. We have had our share of problems just like most of the other clubs. As a whole there are a lot of very supportive, caring really nice folks in the club. We seem to be able to chat every evening and to most people that come, this seems to help. I wish we never had another person join Safe Room. I wish we could stamp out sexual abuse, but alas we can't. I will make it my life long struggle at this point to try and make it better for sexual abuse survivors. Even if I can only contribute my time I feel I can make a difference. If I can help one person feel better about themselves well that's reward enough for me. I will continue to update this page, as often as I possibly can.

4/1/99

 Safe Room now has 140 members in it, and we seem to be growing each day. We now have moderators covering the chat room at different times during the day and night. I have really found some really great people who are also willing to give a bit of themselves and make Saferoom the great club that it is. To those people who are helping me either behind the scenes or in front THANK YOU (You know who you are) Without these people I could not have continued to grow the club. A special thank you to both Lorretta and Gari for the outstanding job of creating the graphics for this page and for the saferoom web ring. Without these two gals the site and web ring would not be a reality. Thank you ladies. The goals I have for Saferoom are to be a driving force on the internet for survivors to come and feel comfy. I (with the help of my friends) am working on the web site and web ring to get that going. Down the road I would like to have a monthly newsletter, an e-mail list and god who knows what else.I have included a bookstore on this site, not for profit but as a way for survivors to know they can order books in the privacy of there own homes without having to feel funny going into a store to buy them. If the bookstore does make any money I will donate it all to a good survivor cause, as I do not wish to profit from this in any way.

 On a personal level today Is not a great day for a couple of different reasons. April 1st was my dad's birthday. He is gone just 2 years, and I cannot believe I still grieve almost daily for him. My dad and I had a lot of issues I should have worked out with him. Weight being the utmost thing. I often wonder if he knew about the abuse, or the rape would it have made a difference. I dunno. I would like to think he would have understood and not been so hard on me. Well I will never know that so I must move on. So today being his birthday I am going to give myself a present. I am giving my life back to me. I will lose weight now for myself. I want and need to do this, and it has nothing to do with him anymore. I know I will have some problems as I get thin, with having to learn that because man finds me attractive does not mean he is a rapist. I will need help but I now have the greatest support system around, between Susan and all my friends I will do it this time.

 The other reason today is not a good day is something that happened last nite really hit home. We went to my sister-in laws house for the holiday dinner. After dinner sitting around talking my sister-in law starts reminding my daughter about all the good times they had when she was a child. My daughter used to go over there and spend a lot of time with her. She took her skiing, to the beach and things I would never do. I sat there listening and got so sad. Sad cause I barely remember her childhood. She is 20 years old and I barely remember any of it. I was not there for a lot of her life. I was there physically but not there mentally. I hate what the abuse has done to me. I hate that it robbed me of my childhood and my daughters childhood. I could not be there for school trips, I could not be there for school functions, hubby went .I was to weighed down with my own past to be there. So today I sit and cry about how much time I have lost. I cannot at this point do anything about that lost time, but I can make sure from now on I am "THERE" . So today is a birth of sorts for me, anew leaf so to speak. I will make a conscious effort to be there and try and work on my short-term memory as well.

5/24/99
 Saferoom now has 210 members. We seem to be adding new members just about everyday. I am also pleased to say that the members all seem very caring and willing to give of themselves.

 On a personal note...... I have done so much healing in the past couple of months that I did not even notice that my life had changed dramatically. I used to wake with flash backs, go all day with em and then dread going to sleep for fear the nightmares would return. I was in Susan's office last week and out load came the words" I can go days without having any flashbacks I couldn't believe I had said it, and once out in the open I started realizing it to be true. I was having days without any flashbacks at all. No nightmares nothing. I cried that night...Cried for the part of me I was starting to get back. Cried for the woman who was not tormented day in and day out by flashbacks and fear. Now I am not saying I still don't have bad days, I do and I am sure I will continue to, but now there few in comparison. What a turn around from last year. Last year I had mostly bad days with one or two good days thrown in...Now it's the complete opposite...I still cannot believe it. For five years I been going to Susan and for those five years all I have heard her say is" You will heal. You will have good days....You will be able to get on with your life" all I would say is yeah when????????I don't think I ever really believed her but kept hope in my heart she was right. Well once again she was right....Susan "Thank You" again and again for helping me keep that hope alive within my soul. Now as I meet and chat with people from all over the world who's lives have been shattered by sexual abuse, I can say to them and really believe it "have hope "it really can get better. This is an on going struggle for all of us survivors to believe. It seems we are in such a dark, dismal place it's hard to believe when someone tells us it will get better, we think there just words. Well I am testimony that it does get better......All u need is faith, a good therapist, maybe some medication, and most of all hard work. I think survivors know instinctually how to work hard, we had to do it to keep sane....Please don't give up.......Please have hope it can happen to you as it has for me........IT REALLY AND TRULY CAN...........

6/13/99
 Saferoom now has 222 members and growing strong. There are so many people from so many different walks of life.
We all come together by a common link called childhood sexual abuse. Many people come by the saferoom to seek support, others come by to offer support Whatever the reason I am glad they come. Not because I want the largest abuse club out there. Not because it does my ego good. Because if there is one person out there suffering in silence I know we can help them . I know if they reach out even a little we will reach back.

 Personally I have had a break thru of sorts. I haven't even shared with Susan yet. I have been having flashbacks for the last couple of days. What's different this time is that I have some control over them. In the past they took over me, now I seem to be able to ride em out. I have remembered a face. I never ever remembered any face. I am pretty sure this face was from my attack at 19, but in any case I have seen it. It's funny....I thought I'd be scared when and if I remembered it, but I am not scared. Actually I dreamt it and now when I am awake I don't remember it, but i do know I saw it in a dream. I saw it, acknowledged it and can go from here. I also remembered some words that were whispered to me during the attack. So I am a happy camper....I know it sounds weird. I remember this bad stuff and yet I feel better. Well just knowing I can remember this cra* and not trigger myself is a good thing. I am sure I will be remembering more as I go.....

7/15/99
 This month has been easier then I had thought possible. June 24 came and went. I did have some problems but much less then I ever dreamed possible. This was a hard day all around. It was the 25th anniv of the rape at 19. God 25 years ago...I still cannot believe it's 25 years. In some sense it's not 25 years. I have very very little memory of the last 25 years...some but not much. So it does not feel like 25 years but yet it feels like a lifetime ago. I have been working on really realizing it was not my fault. None of it was and I think I am really realizing that now. My online friends have become such a wonderful support group for me. I know that usually no matter what time of day or nite I can usually find someone online and ready to chat...It's comforting to know that I have such support.

 Saferoom is now around the 250 mark. This was a goal of mine and I am sorry to see it was fulfilled. Sorry that so so many people have a need for saferoom. Yet I am thankful I have been a part of saferoom and all the help it has given to different people. The person who benefited the most from saferoom is me. I have gotten so much out of being able to help others and myself along the way. Below is something I wrote to my abuser (the one at 19) it's a first draft but I will go from here....


To the shadow of my past,

I sit here for hours on end just trying to think of the right things to say to u. The person who made me afraid of everything including my shadow and then some.My voice has been found and u no longer can escape what I have to say. True u may not hear the words I say, true I may never be able to say them to your face but these words are for me. The words I say come deep from my heart, deep in the soula place u didn't break in fact a place u never saw ¦.You tried to humiliate me and hurt me, and ultimately the plan was to kill me. U tried but guess what? I am still here. I guess I must be stronger then you..Yes you hurt me, maybe even broke me, But in the end it is I who has wonIt is I who can reclaim my life for myself. It is I who can put the ugliness to good use. It is I who can soar like an eagle, for you surely cannot with all your horrible baggage. It was you who made me doubt myself, doubt the uglies ever happened. It was u who would say words to me that I will hear echoing the rest of my life. The words "Shut Up Bitch Your Mine" are so embedded in my head they will be there for eternity. I used to ask why me???? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I now know that I did nothing. I could not have done anything Differently to have made the out come better it could have been worse not better. I did MY BEST to keep my eyes closed during most of the attack and to this day I don't like closing my eyes. You made me so afraid of the dark, so afraid of not having enough air to breathe, so afraid I was not going to see the next day, so afraid you would cut me up just like the others. You thought it funny even laughed at me when I cried or said I was scared. What kind of sick animal does the kinds of things u did to me? Your not human and do not deserve to be treated as such. I would even say u deserve to die but maybe u are dead already. I can only hope u are. I just hope that u never got the chance to hurt another living soul. You do not deserve any consideration for anything in life. You're the scum of the earth, the dreck the dogs doo.

10/6/99
Wow saferoom now has over 350 members and is getting lots of hits each day. I hear from people all over the world and they all tell me how good it is to have the support of people as we have here. the way we are growing each day we will be a club of 400 by years end. Thanks to everyone who has helped me along this journey.

Personally I have been really down lately. I have a bad sinus infection and a polyp in my sinuses so I was advised not to fly. So I had to cancel the Vegas trip but some of the saferoom family are meeting in Vegas. I have isolated myself from most of my friends which saddens me but I also feel I am tired of making excuses for them. I have no room in my "new" life for people who cannot or won't be supportive. I do not plan to give all my friends up permanently but just not devote as much time as I was before. I have started therapy with another woman an expert in Trauma. I am still seeing Susan but on a different level. We still talk abuse if that's what I need to do but on a different level. I think we have become closer then the traditional therapist/patient relationship and it is difficult to separate feelings that way. This person is teaching me more about trauma and how to de-sensitize myself. I have gone 3 times and until today it was not to bad. I did tell her today I needed her to push me. That's very scary to me, but yet I know its what I need at this point. I think that once I get the tools she can supply me with, Susan and I will be able to get back on track.

10/18/99
Wow have I come far. I was just re-reading over some of my earlier posts in saferoom and I really can see how far I have come. I have certain awareness about me now. I am aware of where I have come from but I am also aware that I can go much further. I want to explore different things and help people. I know for sure that this terrible thing that happened to me called childhood sexual abuse can also become a blessing for others as I have gone thru a lot of pain and anguish and I am willing and able to help. Thats what I want to do. Help as many survivors as I can and I know I can and will make a difference...

11/13/99
I find i need to write here more but never seem to be able to find the time to doing it. I am doing so good it's almost scary. I have been going to what I call "trauma lady" Actually she is a very nice Psychiatric Trauma Expert...Trauma being her specialty. After having a talk Susan and I decided I needed some outside help. Susan was not not going to see me I was just getting some help cause we were stuck in my healing as I have said before. So this trauma lady just delve right in. Of course I had to let her in and I did. We have had I think 6 double or triple sessions lasting from 2-3 hrs. I have learned a lot in these past few weeks and learned that I really have more control then I wanted to admit to. I think I was scared to heal. I wanted to heal so badly to heal but when I got down to the final curve I buckled. I got scared. I blame everything bad in my life on the rape. Even notice how I write sometimes the rape...Well I know I was raped at 8 and then at 19 so thats rapes plural....But yet I only put rape. I still do not put to much emphasize on the rape at 8 even though I know I should. I will continue to go to Susan although I prob will try and start going every 2 weeks instead of every week. Thats a good feeling cause I used to go a lot. I still like therapy even though it is hard cause I believe thats where I get the info I need to challenge myself. Susan is very good at planting seeds inside my head knowing I will figure out how to make the seeds grow. .....Saferoom now has over 400 members and growing fast. I have started saferoom on Delphi because Yahoo is not all the time stable and web tv users were having a problem accessing the chat room at yahoo. I am finding that I still love to chat and I am pretty good at helping others so I will stick with this for as long as I need to and as long as I can make a difference. I can truly say I am living a good life now and that I am happy. I look forward to what the future will bring but I know that going into the year 2000 I am leaving behind the part of me that I dragged around for the last 37 odd years. With me into 2000 is coming a new more focused less troubled person whom I even sort of like. Well there are days I like myself days I still don't but I have dreams now that I never had before. Hard to think I went 45 years with out dreams... I think I can reach some of the goals I am setting up for myself and I know I will continue down the recovery path.

1/30/2000
Wow the year 2000 . I can hardly believe it. Well saferoom has over 500 members now and growing strong. Personally I have mad great strides and can say I am certainly better then I ever thought possible. I still have issues to work on and I still will have the occasional flashback and or trigger but for the most part I can say I am healed. This year I will focus on my weight. I have been told that the weight is the last thing to heal from. I am still afraid to lose the weight cause I do not want to look attractive to men but I know that this time I will do it. I plan on exercise and watching what I eat but no diets. I am giving myself a goal of 75 lbs by the end of 2000. I dont think thats unrealistic. I think in the past I would have all these unrealistic expectations for myself and so I would always fall short. I am also trying to make this year a very positive one. No room for negativity. I want to push forward wherever this healing takes me and go for the moon. I cannot say I am glad I was abused but I can say that I am who I am cause of it...And I LIKE me now..
This is something I recently wrote for trauma lady... Most of the time I believe what I wrote but sometimes I need to come back here to my page and read it to remind me. I guess I am only human after all. Ups and downs thats what healing is but I will ride these waves until I reach the end...That I will never stray from. NOONE will stop me now.....NOT EVEN ME!!!!!!!!!!!

8/14/2000
Wow I cannot believe its been so long since I have written here. Saferoom now has over 650 members and growing strong. I find that to keep up with all the forum is a lot of work but so rewarding. I get letters and PMs constantly from members telling me how much Saferoom has helped them in there healing. I agree, I see so many members who reach out and use the Saferoom for what it was meant to be a healing tool. We are not there to replace anyones therapist and encourage members to find a therapist. As we grow bigger and bigger I can see the magnitude of what abuse does to all walks of life. It effects everyone is some form. We know how it effects the abused but I never really grasped how it affected the families and friends of the abused. If the statistics are right and every one in 4 girls is abused (and thats of those who tell) and 1 in 7 boys (again only those who tell) well then 25% of our women are directly affected by abuse done to them. How many people are affected by the abuse done to that 25% of women.

We know it carries over into lives. So the families and friends of these women are affected by the abuse but may not even know it. I really believe this is of epidemic proportions now. Some how something has got to be done to slow this cycle down. Talking in places like saferoom can and will help but its not enough. I know we need to start small but when something is so big as abuse is its hard to sit back and start small. I would like to take this offline and into the mainstream in the near future. I believe we need to get into the schools and let kids know that if they have been abused its ok to tell. Its ok to get help now. Its not ok to have these kids grow up with no help and thinking there to blame. NO CHILD IS EVER TO BLAME. The adult is to blame not the innocent kids. But over and over again I see grown adults who were abused as children by adults, think it was somehow there fault. A lot of abusers tell their victims its there fault they were abused. BULL SHI* . There is no way a kid is responsible for any abuse done to them or that they participated in. JUST NO WAY.

The sad part about all this is that a large percentage of the population is oblivious to the effects of abuse and how it scars for life. How do we get the message out there to everyone to know it is a life long problem its not something that goes away. In my own healing I have made wonderful strides, but I now know that no matter what I do I will carry some of this around forever. Not in the same capacity I have been but it will always be there. Its sort of like a broken bone. You break a bone and it hurts. You have it set and it takes weeks to heal. Even after it heals it still hurts u now and then. Maybe in bad weather or whatever but it lets u know its there. It never ever heals back so that its perfect as if it never happened. It may be years until it bothers you again but at some point its most likely going to give you some pain.

Healing I have found out is similar process. We get abused and if were lucky at some point we realize we need help and seek out a therapist. We do the work and we heal but at some point the ugly monster will rear its head in again
The after effects I do believe that they NEVER go away but how we deal with them can be altered drastically. For myself I very rarely get flashbacks any more and from someone who was haunted by them daily for most of their life thats a god send. I cannot make myself believe I will never have them again. I need to know deep inside that if I do flash again its ok and its only temporarily something my mind needs me to go back to. The lessons we learn continue throughout our entire lives. We can always learn from what we have been thru. I have a certain amount of comfort knowing that my daily fight and war are over. I just cannot fool myself into believing I will never have a bad day again, for I know I will but I also know with certainty that no matter how many bad days I have there are LOTS and LOTS of good days to be had

5/2/2001
Well here it is May and I haven't updated this since last Aug. I do not even know where to start. Last Sept we had the 2nd Annual Saferoom Convention in DC. What a smash hit it was. Everyone who attended was so glad they had. Turns out everyone was scared to go but so glad they did. we bonded so well , it was like a reunion of old friends.
This years is scheduled for DC again and I am sure we will have more people then we did last year.

Saferoom now has over 700 members and is flourishing just fine. It has become a huge administrative chore for both copper and myself but we are both dedicated to it and it's members. We have started the arrangements for becoming a Not For Profit Org and hope to have it done sometime in 2002.

On a personal note I am still going to therapy but I only go once a week or once every other week. I have lots of issues to deal with besides the sexual abuse, and now it seems the time to dedicate to working on them. For so long all I thought was that all my issues have something to do with sexual abuse but I now realize that a lot do not. Not everything in my life has to be a bi product of abuse. I am so much stronger then I was 3 years ago when I started Saferoom. I do not even resemble the same person I was before.

I took a long deserved 3 week vacation in Dec 2000 and met some of the saferoom members on the trip. We then took a cruise to Tahiti and it was wonderful. Flying so much i think cured me of my flying phobia. It was very nice to get away and leave my troubles behind. It was the first vacation I can ever remember "being" there for. Hope to have many more after this one.

Just want to let everyone know that if you are going to be doing any online shopping thru amazon.com please use my links below. All money earned will be added to money earned thru the saferoom site and go toward getting us more room and a more secure server. Saferoom is here to stay......................

7/6/2003

It's been like forever since I have written here and for no other reason then lack of time. So much has happened in the last 2 years it's unreal. I have finished with therapy and have dealt with all my issues of abuse. I have learned it is a large part of who I and a larger part of who I will become. I have grown so much and am now finally happy and content with my life. I do not think that I could have done this journey on my own and I am so grateful to those "friends" who have been along side me for the entire journey.

I will continue to grow and continue to learn things about myself and where I have been but I can do that now with a clear head and a good understanding that a person who has been abused is more then just an "abused" person. We are people with feelings and hopes and dreams just like everyone else. we need tender loving care, understanding and TIME. This journey can take a lifetime and we cannot be pushed. We need to learn how to crawl before we learn how to walk and someday hopefully run.

I thank all those people who have come into my life thru this web site and thru the clubs I run. Each and everyone one of you have touched a place in my heart that will always be cherished & remembered.




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