Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action

Bending the Bars Marketing.jpg

Sexual assault is something that should not occur. It does exist however. In fact, the majority of women are sexual assault survivors at some point in their lives.

Whether they will admit it, or not. Many don’t recognize the abuse when it happens, or even later.  They explain it away.  Which is called Stockholm Syndrome. And a variety of other conditions play a role in the refusal to recognize the abuse. Including being conditioned to think it is normal behavior.

It doesn’t usually just happen  In most cases, there is sexual harassment before the assault. That may begin moments before, or years before the assault. If only moments before, the victim is more likely to recognize the danger. Especially if the person is a stranger. Though they may not have a chance to escape (jobs, shopping, medical care).

However, often, sexual assault begins in childhood, by people known to the child, and often, their family.  The sexual harassment begins with touches, and comments that seem typical, and acceptable behavior between often the adult and a child.  Spread out over years, people don’t notice the escalation of behaviors, like they do when the harassment is skipped.

Although it should not exist, it does.

I’ve written two books on the subject of surviving sexual assault and other forms of abuse.  Both books delve into multiple stories as to why it occurs, how it is hidden, and how the minds of survivors may work.  As no two cases are identical, no two survivors have the same outcomes.  Some realize they are victims and try to escape.  Others refuse to accept that they are victims, and may even stay with their abuser for life.  Most, fall somewhere in between on a continuum of surviving sexual assault.

Bending the Bars

Laws currently protect #abusers. Survivors abandon children, condemning them to worse abuse. Ruby’s Law is a weak start, a chance to bend the bars of abuse, without breaking the survivors. Legal limbo, safe from #abusers, surrounded by other survivors, little hope of full recovery. Few make it beyond the bars where Ruby’s Law protects #Survivors and their children. #StockholmSyndrome #Abusers stalk. #DomesticViolence #PTSD #CoDependency https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VVNW5X https://books2read.com/BendingtheBars

The Stork Mis-Delivered – Twice

Mistie Jolin repressed childhood abuse. She awakens haunting fear to save others. Will Mistie to recover become a real person, rather than a shadow that creeps and follows on the wall? There is no easy answer as to why survivors do not escape. Often, they’ve no where to go. Generational damage caused by abuse, neglect, and pain leads to Stockholm Syndrome. #DomesticViolence #AbuseSurvivor #PTSD #SexualAssault https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WVBZVQB https://books2read.com/Stork

The Stork Mis-Delivered - Twice Marketing.jpg

Bending the Bars – Abuse Survival

Bending the Bars

 

Book Title: Bending the Bars
Genre: Abuse Survival
Age: Adult

Anne’s story need never be documented.
If existing law had protected Anne, and Ruby’s children, Ruby’s Law would never have been written.
Jo and Lennie begin a 20 year trek to find and rescue Anne from her abusive husband.
They rescue hundreds of other women, children, and the occasional man.
Often, the survivors have known no other life.
They have been conditioned to believe abuse is normal.
The search for Anne continues. Their hope begins to fade.
Bodies burn out.
More stations open.
More people try to escape. Stuck in the legal limbo land, where they are safe from abusers, while surrounded by other survivors, with little hope of full recovery. Few make it out to live beyond the bars that Ruby’s Law has given to protect them. It simply isn’t safe. Abusers wait out there. Often barely beyond the fence.
Can the New Underground Railroad Project stay on track to train abuse survivors to live abuse-free on their own?
Or will they remain behind the legal bars that protect them from their abusers?

Other notes:

Bending the Bars is a journey though recognition of abusers, and survivors in the United States. It recognizes how the laws protect the abusers at the expense of the abused. It also conveys reasons why so many stay when they are abused. They often feel there is no escape. Often, there isn’t. If they have children, they have to leave without them, potentially condemning their children to worse than if they stay. Legally. It shouldn’t be that way. Ruby’s Law is a weak start to grant safety to survivors, and a place to bend the bars of abuse, without breaking the survivors.

Author’s Note:
Book Title: Bending the Bars
Genre: Abuse Survival
Age: Adult
Rating: PG 16
Profanity: None
Romance: In passing.
Sex: Mentioned.
Violence: Some. Car chases, shootings, survivors of abuse

POV Characters: Jo Forester, Lennie Darendale
Length: 80,000 words

Apple I books http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1270997398

Barnes Noble Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bending-the-bars-april-d-brown/1125892483

Bookshare https://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/1489631

Kobo (1230001546293 ) https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bending-the-bars-1

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34304993-bending-the-bars

Soon to be on Google Play!

#Abusesurvival, #dysfunctionalfamilies, #religiousabuse, #abusesurvivorlaw, #abusesurvivorrecovery, #co-dependency, #self-esteem, #BodyLanguage&NonverbalCommunication, #PTSD, #crime, #legalsystem, #domesticviolence

Conservatives versus Liberals

Before November of 2016, I rarely thought about politics. Why bother? Bunch of hollerticians who would rather fight each other, than help the common person. Rarely did anything change. Although, Obama tried to get passage of several laws that would allow equality among people with disabilities, medical conditions, the poor, and other overlooked and forgotten populations.
He tried to help the common person. Congress and corporations fought him every step of the way.
I never paid any attention to political “parties.” They have no idea what a party is. A party is a loud, obnoxious, sound and sight disaster with constant commotion. It begins and ends, and is over. Politics groups rarely end.

Our founding fathers did not want a two – part polarized political system for the very reason of what has happened in the last year.

The group who took control of the branches of government call themselves conservatives.
What are they conserving?

They do not want to conserve freedom of speech.  They have declared the press, and news channels, the enemy.
They do not want to conserve the air. They want to pollute to where you won’t be able to see your mailbox from your home. They have voted to destroy the EPA.
They do not want to conserve the water. They want to fill it with toxins and make it undrinkable. That will also kill the fish, and the ocean.
They do not want to conserve the animals. They don’t care if every animal on the planet dies. They have decided to eliminate the Endangered Species Act.
They do not want to conserve land. They want to turn the public lands over to developers. They want to destroy the national parks.
They do not want to conserve the science.  The first accounts they tried shut up were the scientists.
They do not want to conserve jobs. They’ve already eliminated more jobs through the destruction of the EPA, Endangered Species Act, and Healthcare repeals than they can create.
They do not want to conserve healthcare. They want to destroy the ACA, and take healthcare away from those who most need it.
They do not want to conserve the Social Security program. The program that workers paid into for their entire working careers. They want to eliminate it.
They do not want to conserve Medicaid. They want to delete it.
They do not want to conserve education. They voted in a person to run the education department that has no understanding of the education system, and wants to eliminate education for those with disabilities.
They do not want to conserve the future. They have no concern for the future, or the children of today. They don’t care if they live, or die.
They do not want to conserve the ADA laws. They want to hide and ignore those with disabilities. Including the elderly, blind, deaf, wheelchair users, and walker users. If you aren’t identical to everyone else, they don’t want you.
They do not want to conserve women’s rights. They want to remove all of them. Including the right to vote. It isn’t much of step for them to remove property rights, jobs, education and more as well. This is beyond a slippery slope.
They do not want to conserve safety. They have voted to repeal many domestic violence laws. The president even brags about sexual harassment, and walking in on young girls changing clothes. How was that ever okay?
They do not want to conserve relationships with other countries. They’ve already seriously damaged relationships with Mexico, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe.
They do not want to conserve the right to choice of religion. Or no religion. They want to go against the Constitution and insert their personal, private religion into political situations.
They do not want to conserve the rights of minorities, regardless of ethnicity or gender. They want to take away their rights to self choice. Some of which have been hard fought for.

Does anyone know what a conservative does want to conserve?

Interestingly, the other group are called Liberals. Nothing liberal about them. They simply want equal rights for all – regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, birthplace, birth income, education status, medical condition or ability.
They want all humans to be treated as humans. With a chance to succeed where, and when they can, in a way that they can. What’s wrong with that?
Liberals believe everyone deserves an education.
Liberals believe everyone deserves clean, healthy air to breath.
Liberals believe everyone deserves clean, healthy water to drink. – Including wild animals.
Liberals believe everyone deserves healthcare. To deny healthcare is abuse.
Liberals believe everyone deserves education. Without it, there is no future.
Liberals believe everyone deserves freedom to, and from, religion. It doesn’t belong in public places.
Liberals believe everyone deserves to be counted as human – young, old, abled, disabled, female, differently gendered, regardless of ethnicity, and other concerns.
Liberals believe everyone deserves the right to work as they can. They value the jobs society overlooks – cooking, cleaning, building, sewing, all the little things the world cannot live without.

Liberals believe everyone deserves the right to live the life they were meant to live, and not be blocked in by walls.

To those conservatives who would say life isn’t fair. We are humans. Not wild animals. We should do everything possible to make life as equitable and fair as we possibly can for all. No human, or animal, should be abused, or killed, for no reason. As humans, we should expect fair, and equitable, treatment by fellow humans.

World Social Justice Day

Today is World Social Justice Day.
Friday was a quickly planned (and mostly thought only) day without an immigrant.
Though, technically, unless you live in a tiny undeveloped, unclarified village in Africa, you are an immigrant.
Even the Native Americans are immigrants, though they have first rights. They lived here for tens of thousands of years before the waves of Europeans tried to wipe them from the maps.
Native Americans adapted to their lands. They became naturalized. A part of the land. The land was a piece of heart and soul they carried with them throughout the ages. Even when they traveled, they often returned to the places they were part of.
Native Americans view land in a special way. They don’t own it. The land owns them. They must live where the land says they belong. They do outside chores, like hunting and fishing, when the weather is correct, not based on a clock. They listen to the wind, can read the rock, feel the heartbeat of the very Earth itself. They are as much a part of their own lands as a fingernail is of your finger.
When the Europeans arrived in the 1500’s, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of individual countries in what is now the US. Until we develop time travel, there is no accurate way to know how many hundreds of cultures and languages were wiped out by the Europeans. Many never even saw their conquerors. They were felled by the infectious diseases that traveled along the ancient trade routes between the communities. The communities here had no immunity to those diseases.
The Europeans brought death, devastation, and their own belief systems. In most places, they would have died the very first winter they landed on the shores.
Instead, the Native Americans reached out their hands to help these unknown conquerors. They helped them build places for the more bitter winters, made even more bitter by the volcanic winter. They fed them, and taught them how to grow the crops that thrived in their individual environments. They knew the land, and tried to impart that knowledge to those who came to join them on this continent of cultures. They were welcomed with open arms.
The Europeans didn’t repay in as kind a way. Even more cultures were wiped away. Reservations were created, where Native Americans were forced to live, and forced to own land, rather than be part of the land. Even now, many never feel at home. They are stuck far from the land they, and their ancestors knew.
A true immigrant will feel no connection to the land. They will not care if the waters are polluted. They do not care if the fish die for lack of oxygen. They do not care if the blue skies turn grey, and stay that way. They do not care if the animals die. If the crops don’t grow. They don’t care, because it isn’t their home. They are not connected to the land, air, water, plants, and food animals.
They must search for the place they feel at home. Where they feel a connection.
Today, the Native Americans are waiting. Will our politicians continue to act as immigrants, and refuse to abide by the treaties?
Or, will they decide that they need to treat the Native Americans, and all Americans as the ancestors of today’s Native Americans treated the incoming ships of Europeans? Will the politicians reach out their hands to feed the hungry? To clothe the cold? To house the homeless? To provide fresh water where there is none? To provide opportunities to live an grown their own food and culture?
Will they welcome the cultures older than time? The ones that have been squashed, squelched, and mangled by Hollywood, until no one truly knows what is real, what belongs to which culture anymore.
On this World Social Justice Day, let’s reach out a hand. Learn a little about another culture. Their language, their custom, their dress. Treat them as an equal. The Native Americans did not force their cultures on the Europeans. We should treat them equally, and not force ours on them.
Also, many millions of people in the US have Native American ancestors, though many have been forgotten, as people were ashamed to admit their family ties. Those ties can make us stronger. Bring us together.

Scientific Method

Science is a major topic these days.
I’ll start with a dream conversation from a few nights ago.
We all actively participate in science every single day. Every breath, every movement, every cell growth and regeneration is part of science.

We all do chemistry every single day. We eat, digest food and drink, and eliminate waste from our bodies. At least some of the waste. Other bits remain stuck in our cells, and can cause hormone imbalances, or genetic mutation.

The Scientific Method is simple. One we all do from the moment we are born, if not before. Every child has natural scientific curiosity. and employs this process without being taught how to.
Step 1: Ask a question. Any question.
Step 2: Form a hypothesis – which is a fancy way of saying – make a prediction.
Step 3: Conduct an experiment. Babies do this. They cry – and learn what the results will be for those cries.
Step 4: Gather the data and analyze it. In most people, this is done internally, and almost instantly. Scientists will do this on paper multiple times.
Step 5: Reach a conclusion.
Step 6: Repeat as needed, changing variables, while keeping one aspect constant.

Part one of this discussion: Can scientists make mistakes?
Certainly. they are human. Their biases can impact any step of the process. As can unknown, and unexpected factors such as air, water, container quality. Other biases, such as religion, politics, age, gender, and known knowledge also affect each step of the process.
Part two of this discussion: Have scientists recently made mistakes?
Certainly. However, media is a big part of the problem. When they began playing mocumentaries as documentaries, they seriously damaged the scientific community. The stations that played these also damaged their reputation.
The next big question: Is climate change real? Yes. The climate always changes. Always has. Always will.

Are humans impacting it? Without a doubt.
How scientists have shot themselves in the foot, and made every claim they ever made unreliable: Insisting every single month is the hottest month ever.
Mathematically, that isn’t possible. Most people know this. One summer, three or four years ago was turning point. In August, we had 29 days where the temperature did not reach to within 10 degrees of average. It was cold. Jackets in August. The last two days of the month, the temperature reached average. And one single degree above.
Even the most mathematically challenged recognized that there was no way that was the hottest August ever.

Are what scientists calling for to combat man induced climate change reasonable?
Certainly. Solar power, clean water, Community based lifestyles. Little to no driving. Fresh food. Family life again, instead of none, as most people have.
Scientists make mistakes. They sometimes overgeneralize in order to make a greater savings for later. Better to do so, than to regret not making a change at a later time, or a later generation.

We need to encourage science. To develop solutions to the work-a-holic lifestyle, energy that doesn’t demand nonrenewable resources from the planet. Or even overuse of renewable resources. There is much that can be done.
There is much that must be done. Science is the way forward.

PTSD

Today’s post is about PTSD.
A horrible disorder. Yet, it also saves lives, as it allows people (and animals) to recognize dangers, and potentially deadly situations.
Last night, some unknown distant neighbor decided to play with their shotgun for half an hour.
Bailey doesn’t do well with gunshots, or thunder.
In fact, last night, he shook so hard, and so long, he drooled all over the bed, and panted as if they were next to his ear. Even though he is a hyper food motivated dog, he wouldn’t take a treat to get his calming medicine. I had to put the pill down his throat, and it still took over an hour before he relaxed.
We shouldn’t have to medicate our rescue dog because someone wants to play with guns. There is no reason to be playing with guns around here. Too many homes.
What exactly is PTSD? PTSD is a hyper awareness to certain triggers, or signals that may, or may not represent a danger to a person, or animal.
Most people recognize PTSD in the military. In fact, there was a frightening Twilight Zone episode about it. I think that episode represents when PTSD goes unrecognized, and is made fun of by those around the sufferer. I haven’t seen it in over 30 years. However, it is as clear as if I saw it ten minutes ago.
Which is what PTSD does to the brain.
It puts the sufferer right back into that time, situation, and circumstances, as if no time had passed. If the precipitating event occurred when the person was young, and physically healthy, it is technically possible, that their reaction to a PTSD trigger could be at the same velocity, and intensity as the event itself. Even if 50 or 60 years have passed.
Anyone can suffer from PTSD. Car accidents, seeing a car accident, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, and combat are all legitimate causes of PTSD. These events also affect the animals around us.
The triggers are there for a reason. They protect us from being in the situation again. They warn us to avoid, or escape, before a situation escalates to dangerous levels.
Sights, sounds, smells, textures, lighting, buildings, and so much more can be a trigger. Often, it is a combination of these events and situations that trigger a PTSD event.
PTSD events should never be taken lightly, or made fun of. For most, they create a fight or flight situation. In the Twilight Zone episode, the former combat veteran grabbed a gun and shot a bar room full of customers and employees because he PTSD made him think he was back at war in a major battle in, I think it was Vietnam.
As the episode shows, the person experiencing an episode does not see, hear, or feel their current surroundings. They are instantly returned to that time and place. The man stands up from his table seat. The bar walls turn into a jungle. The customers and employees transform before his eyes into the enemies he once fought. After the battle, he walks out. The scene returns to the bar room. With the results of a gun fight when only one person had a gun.
PTSD can be treated. Sometimes. If the originating event is a car crash, or fireworks, or something similar, treatment may include becoming accustomed to the trigger, much as phobias of spiders are treated.
However, for those who have PTSD due to abuse, this is not an acceptable practice. Normalization of abuse should never be used to treat PTSD. Our bodies react to the hidden signals of abuse in a different way. For their safety, and the safety of everyone, abuse victims need to keep that recognition. Victims of abuse do not need to be further victimized. That very recognition can be used when trying to determine if others have been abused.
In general, abuse victims with PTSD do not lash out. They try to hide, cry, become compliant, and quiet. Out of body experiences are not uncommon. Which is why they may not later remember the abuse of the abuser, except in triggering situations. Very difficult to treat.
So what happened to our Beautiful Baby Bailey Boy? Why is he terrified to go outdoors between 5pm and 10 pm? Why is he so frightened of gunshots? He is a Beagle and Boxer mix. Why is he so frightened of thunder? Is there any way to treat him, other than to medicate when we know there are going to be thunderstorms or fireworks?

Stockholm Syndrome.

Today’s post is about Stockholm Syndrome.
A devastating syndrome, in which victims sympathize with their abusers.
This was first recognized and studied in victims of bank robberies and such types of events.
It was later categorized to explain why victims stay with their abusers, and refuse to leave.
We see the symptoms of it everyday. They have been increasing in the last two decades. Someone will be talking, and they will go into a trance-like state, say something nonsensical, or self-abusing, and then shake their head and return to semi-normal conversation.
Sometimes these victims, mostly women, escape their abusers for a time. It may be months. It may be years. Usually, some well meaning other victim, often a family member, or friend, pulls them back into the pack of abused women.
This is mostly about women. Though, it can occur in anyone, particularly any minority or disabled person, whom society values as less than a full person.
One way to recognize this, is someone who does not value themselves. Who does not respect themselves. Who does not recognize their value. One who does not respect the value of others, by pushing their abusers values onto those in their care.
If you don’t respect yourself, you can’t respect others. Women should be valued. Their value is worth more than any paper money can replace.
Sadly, too many see themselves as less than.
That is extremely mentally and physically unhealthy.
As a society we need healthy people of all ages, regardless of gender and ethnicity. People who value themselves enough to want to live to help others.
Without self-value, there is no room for valuing others.
Without self-care, they is no ability to care for others.
Without self-worth, there is no ability to see the difference anyone can make.
Without self-trust, there is no trust in others.
With no self-respect, one cannot respect others.