Sculptures to Fight Sexual Abuse

D Antonia Truesdale of The Midnight Orange has just created a sculpture series called Fight Sexual Abuse, of which 50-100% of her proceeds will be donated to the Angela Shelton Foundation, which benefits the Survivor Manual. Each individual listing provides additional details, and donations will be made under the purchaser’s name or anonymously. Please click here to view the listings; and my all means, share and purchase!

D Antonia Truesdale speaks to the heartbreak and prevalence of sexual abuse and assault:

“First, I understand. Completely. For those that either cannot or will not comprehend this topic because it’s a blackness that will keep you up at night, I understand not just the desire but the inherent instinct to look away from it. To protect your mind from it. On this same token, imagine the desire and inherent need for children who are living in this darkness to escape from it. Even worse, perhaps it is all they know.

My friends, my family, strangers who I hope the best for… sexual predation wrecks lives. And then it recycles and wrecks new ones. The danger and the damage to children and the adults they will grow into is stifling to the point that I cannot conjure appropriate words, although they are well deserving. A blind eye and general nod agreeing that “that’s bad” is a complacency that cannot help anyone. It is a favorite of pedophiles. As a society, it is vital that we not only stand as a fortress against the evil born of sexual perversion, but also that we nurture the victims who are staggering out of their experiences and struggling to survive in a world they are vulnerable to. There are many ways to fight, support, nurture. Thank you.”

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Yesterday, Columbia College sophomore Ruthy Sher, penned an informative article about NEDA Week, Disordered thinking on eating disorders. Sher clearly articulated one of the three goals of the week:

“reduc[e] the stigma surrounding eating disorders” by properly informing people that “eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses—not choices—and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.”

Photo by Rebekah Kim

Sher continues, “What it means to live with an eating disorder is definitely not what people assume it to be. Aside from the mental strain eating disorders have on a person, there can be physical consequences as well. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia has one of the highest death rates of any mental disorder…For a person suffering from bulimia, electrolyte imbalances can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death.”

In addition to staying informed in regard to the complexities and seriousness of eating disorders, it is also important not to alienate those who may have an eating disorder that is not the more commonly known anorexia, or bulimia. There are a number of eating disorders that are less understood and/or mainstream, and are therefore often misrepresented.

You or someone you love might also struggle with purging disorder, binge eating disorderdiabulimia, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS).  Please, work to stay informed and understanding. It’s often that an eating disorder is the result of myriad past trauma(s)/abuse/neglect/assault(s); and when that’s not the case, any number of causes might be the driving force behind these disorders.

The more we share, engage and work together, the faster we’ll be on our way to leading joyful lives!

Eating Disorder Resources

(Per the Eating Disorder Center of Denver.)

EDC-D Professional Resources – More on consulting, paper presentations, dual diagnoses and events.
Mirror-Mirror.org – Web site dedicated to raising awareness and providing information on eating disorders. It includes definitions, signs and symptoms, getting help, relapse warning signs, approaching a loved one and more.
The Center for Healthy Living’s Eating Disorder Resource Guide – A complete source for learning about anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating and the many treatment centers available for help.
Healthygenius.com – A mental health disorders portal that addresses a variety of disorders, including eating disorders, depressive disorders, impulse control disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, bipolar disorders and many more.
BeyondtheMirror.org – A counseling center for women and youth. It is dedicated to empowering individuals to see beyond their reflections through counseling, outreach and education, and connection to services.
Eating Disorder Recovery – An information source that provides eating disorder recovery articles, a discussion forum, DSM-V-TR descriptions, support group information, access to in-patient/residential treatment centers, a self-help workbook and more.
Eating Disorder Answers – A Web site developed by a woman in recovery from an eating disorder. When she was first diagnosed, she couldn’t find one single Web site that had all of the answers. Viewers of the site are encouraged to share their stories.
Eating Disorder Hope – A Web site that offers hope, information and resources to those suffering from eating disorders, treatment providers and loved ones. Services include information, support groups, articles, a virtual library, books, treatment providers and events for individuals struggling with bulimia, anorexia and binge eating disorders.

Listen to the loudmouths

This week has been one of resounding publicity in the survivor community. It seems that survivors and activists alike are speaking out. Come on; join in and be a loudmouth! Just like these beauties…

Listen up

Today, media giant, CNN, covered Mackenzie Phillips’ thoughts on how incest is never consensual.

“As I was writing the book, I thought, this word, it kept sitting wrong with me, but I used it for lack of a better word, and since then I’ve been schooled by thousands of incest survivors all across the world that there really is no such thing as consensual incest due to the inherent power a parent has over a child,” she said.

Holly Ord, another well-spoken loudmouth, wrote about Angela Shelton’s documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, in Woman Tribune: “I heard about Angela Shelton through a forum I was active on quite a number of years ago. I saw her documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, during the worst time in my life. I whole-heartedly believe that Angela Shelton, along with the fabulous volunteers for the RAINN hotline, saved my life.”

Megan Fitzwater’s Blogathon to support the Angela Shelton Foundation begins Saturday morning.  She’ll be sharing survivor stories every half hour. Watch her blog, and donate!  Then, support fellow loudmouths by feeding Angela and yourself.

Speak up

And for those who need some assistance speaking up and out, research your local therapy centers, like Pearl Healing, a Denver-based center that provides individual and group therapy, bodywork and creativity sessions and workshops:

“Toward the goal of maintaining the integration stage of trauma healing, the center embraces a holistic approach. Pearl Healing’s work is guided by the premise that 1) healing from sexual trauma does not end when PTSD symptoms are gone, 2) powerful healing takes place within community, 3) healing is a life-long journey and just as trauma impacts each part of our lives, our identity, our development so must the healing of that trauma address all aspects of ourselves.”

Join in

Attend the 2010 Army of Angels Conference! Feed yourself by putting down a deposit to hold your spot, or pay in full: here.

Meetup with Angels in your area.

Write your own hero story.

You are so worth it!