It is a caregiver’s daunting task to balance a child’s youthful innocence with their empowering awareness of sexual abuse. Presented in this memoir are experiences depicting the impact of such abuse on one child’s journey into adulthood. Throughout the pages, the unfolding of real life incidents allows for not only the awareness crucial to prevention but also for guidance through examples of effectively employed intervention and remediation strategies.
This book’s targeted audience includes but is not restricted to parents, guardians, professional advocates, therapists, teachers, childcare providers, medical professionals and survivors of sexual abuse.
Within this book is knowledge and knowledge has the potential to positively influence the welfare of all who have or may have to face this needless reality of our society.
“Oh my God! I’m so lucky! I can’t even imagine!” This was the chatter running through my mind as I sat at the grouping of uneven desks. I looked at my colleagues dispersed around this same set of desks each sitting somewhat uncomfortably. I tried to decipher if the discomfort arose from the small chairs made to perfectly fit lower elementary students or if it was from the agenda of that morning’s meeting.
In a week or so, our 1st through 3rd grade elementary school would be hosting a play about sexual abuse. The woman sitting with us was explaining this play’s powerful message and informing us of the correct procedure should any of our students disclose information about such a situation. The school district had even gone as far as to provide an additional guidance counselor at the school that morning to ensure each child in crisis would receive immediate support.
Before ending the meeting, this same woman directed her attention to each and every one of the eight teachers in attendance. She went on to tell us the high percentage of adults who had been sexually abused as a child. She encouraged us to seek professional help if any memories were to surface for any one of us.
My mind immediately shot back to my carefree childhood days; a mom and dad not separated by divorce; family vacations with relatives (not really related but close enough to call “aunt” and “uncle”); summers spent at our beach house swimming by day and playing kick the can with siblings and neighborhood children by night; happy holidays with my two aunts playing Hawaiian guitars and the rest of us joining in the singing of French songs. Boy, those were the days! Yes, I had my fears and fair share of “down times”, but dealing with students in crisis put my own childhood woes into perspective.
The meeting ended with the ringing of the bell and as was the norm, this day began with those energetic little ones filling the halls. Most were bundled with their winter gear; boots, hats, mittens, snow pants and scarves, not to mention backpacks and lunch boxes. But as could be predicted, not all our little ones would be so bundled. (Some were intentional episodes of leaving behind the winter layers and others were just signs of their harsh realities.)
As I made my way down the hall, the guidance counselor informed me we would need to “chat” before the play took place. I nodded in acceptance and without another moment’s hesitation, began yet another day of what I’d been doing for nearly 11 years; pouring my heart and soul, intellect and emotion, into my work to provide nothing but my best for my students.
It is my opinion that my real life experiences with sexual abuse form my credentials and qualifications as an author of a book of such genres. I've gained additional insight through my current profession working with many clients who've been impacted by abuse in one way or another. My fourteen years as an educator at the elementary (k-8) level dealing with abuse on yet another forum has also been an asset to my writing. Currently, I am self-employed as an alternative and massage therapist. I rely on my intuition and ability to discern and redirect clients' irregular energetic patterns that may be negatively impacting their well being. My business is based in Maine but I do remote sessions via phone with clients as far away as Arizona, California and Missouri. My most precious part of my personal life is my son. When I am not sitting in the stands of his sports games, I am out enjoying nature and the gifts of the great outdoors.