Your NAASCA Newsletter: for survivors / activists | Feb 2021
see the message from Bill Murray, founder / CEO
February's Newsletter Theme:
"Striving for Self-Compassion"
New! FIVE Helpful Articles! Look Inside!

a non profit 501(c)3

Because of you and our simple MISSION, more
kids are being protected, more adult survivors served!

NAASCA has a single purpose, to address issues related to childhood abuse and trauma including sexual assault, violent or physical abuse, emotional traumas and neglect .. and we do so from two specific perspectives:

  • educating the public, especially as related to getting society over the taboo of discussing childhood sexual abuse, presenting the facts that show child abuse to be a pandemic, worldwide problem that affects everyone

  • offering hope for healing through numerous paths, providing many services to adult survivors of child abuse and information for anyone interested in the many issues involving prevention, intervention and recovery

Building a survivor / activist / professional community ...
... because together we can do what we cannot do alone.

Welcome to the Feb 2021 NAASCA Newsletter

from NAASCA's NEW Newsletter Editor: Kara Smith

Thank you for subscribing to our monthly newsletter !
Please encourage others to get in touch by suggesting they


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This month's newsletter theme is:

'Striving for Self-Compassion'

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Upcoming February Dates

  • Black History Month
  • American Heart Month
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 23 - Mar 01)

Feb 02: Groundhog Day
Feb 04: World Cancer Day
Feb 07: Super Bowl Sunday
Feb 14: Valentine's Day
Feb 15: President's Day
Feb 17: Ash Wednesday
Feb 20: Love Your Pet Day
Feb 26: Purim starts
Join NAASCA's Public and/or Closed groups on Facebook!!

Or, if you prefer, join our LinkedIn group!

We're building a survivor / activist community!
Contact Pamela (below) to tell your survivor story !
Mike-250
NEW TOOL -- Help us procure SCAN 'special guests'

There's a new tool on the front page of our web site at www.NAASCA.org !

It should help us find 'special guests' for upcoming episodes of our popular "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) talk radio shows.

Now, just below the schedule of this week's guests, is a list marked clearly in GRAY of the NEXT 5 OPEN DATES for 'special guest' episodes (which we produce on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).

NAASCA family member Pamela Lockridge will coordinate this new effort.

Please write to her for scheduling info: lock14@bellsouth.net

Please .. help Pamela fill in the blanks ahead of time. Too often we find ourselves with a need to book open slots on an emergency basis.

And remember, we want to have a combination of new people who've never told their child abuse trauma and recovery story, as well as returning previous guests.

One need not yet be a member to appear on the show. We have a single purpose at NAASCA, to address issues related to childhood abuse and trauma including sexual assault, violent or physical abuse, emotional traumas and neglect.

Each of us can be of service to the adult survivor community by honestly telling our story, and it especially makes an impression on the newcomer.

Please pass this message on. Especially important is to SHARE it in other groups and non-NAASCA organizations which share a similar mission.

~~~~

Bill Murray, founder / CEO

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NAASCA’s "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) shows are broadcast live 5 nights a week, Monday through Friday, LIVE at 8pm EST (so 5pm PST) for 90 minutes, at this link: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/NAASCA

The dedicated call-in number is: 646-595-2118
Deb Ferguson
"Learning to Love Yourself Means Learning To Forgive Yourself"
We all are part of a club that no one ever wants to join. We have survived horrific events that
occurred during our most formative years.
Some have survived beatings and other physical atrocities. Others have survived sexual assaults as children.

No matter what we endured, we have lived to tell the tale. And to this day, we continue to heal. However, many times, even as we try to heal, we continue to blame ourselves for these violent acts.

The truth is it was never our fault what happened to us. We did not cause these monsters to take their anger, frustration, and issues out on our young bodies. We truly have nothing to forgive ourselves for.

However, before we were survivors, we were victims. And like most victims, it is our nature to take the blame for abuse we endured.

Therefore, we must forgive ourselves by reminding ourselves we are not to blame. We must forgive ourselves for nothing, which in our minds, is everything.

We cannot love ourselves without accepting we are imperfect. We must forgive ourselves for holding grudges, taking our anger out on others, and trying to survive a horrific ordeal.

When we truly forgive ourselves for mistakes we actually make and learn that we do not need to forgive ourselves for our abusers, we can begin to truly love ourselves.

During February, this month of love, lets make it our mission to forgive ourselves for our imperfections and let go of the guilt that does not belong to us. And remember, when you need help, your friends at NAASCA are here for you.

~~~~

Deb Ferguson, NAASCA volunteer

"The Importance of
Self-Compassion"

For years I’d ignored the signals my body sent reminding it required food or sleep. I’d push through, eager to input one more set of student data, complete another round of assessments, or help another
staff member manage a difficult situation.

At home, there was always someone who needed a knee bandaged or help with homework, an extra pile of laundry that required my attention, or a task or two I could squeeze into the schedule before attending to some of my basic needs, until…I couldn’t.

Last year, my life changed forever.

My joints ached, I experienced chronic migraines, and the fatigue was so intense that I sometimes napped on the classroom floor during the fifteen-minute recess breaks in order to make it to the end of the day.

A life-time overachiever, I was forced to slow down and embrace self-compassion. I could no longer deny my body the sleep or attention it demanded. When it ached, I applied a hot compress. When it
grew weary, I slept.

Whether you’ve had to learn the importance of self-compassion because of health challenges, practicing self-compassion is key to resilience. According to researchers like Kristin Neff, self-compassion increases the flow of oxytocin, a feel-good chemical in the brain, and lowers blood pressure.1

While you may not struggle with denying your body’s basic needs, survivors often find self-compassion a challenge. For instance, some of us may grapple with the accusatory inner critic, avoid caring for dental or medical needs, or engage in overt self-harm. The solution to self-harm may be found
in the age-old saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto
you." 2

While this oft-quoted phrase implies kindness toward others, it also entails the act of practicing kindness toward self. Are we treating ourselves with the level of compassion we would want to be treated by others? Or, are we tending to our needs in the same way we might look after those we love and care
about?

If not, it’s time to begin growing our own self-compassion quotient.

This may look different for each of us. Some may need to quell the inner critic with affirming, forward-thinking responses to imperfection. Others may need to assess what physical needs have been neglected. Do medical appointments need to be made or dietary restrictions put in place? Still others might need to touch base with an AA sponsor, counselor, or pastor.

Compassion may not have been a trait we experienced often enough as children, but we can create opportunities to experience self-compassion now.
Today, we are strong.

 
~~~~

Tammy Kennington, NAASCA Volunteer 
"I've Got a Friend
 in Me"
As a survivor of physical, sexual and mental abuse I’ve spent years in therapy trying to weed out the damage from those unhealthy relationships, in order to heal.
I spent so much trying to work through these relationships I forgot the most important one of all, the one person I have to live with the rest of my life, myself. My whole identity since a child was based on being the peacemaker, what I could do to make everyone happy and receive the love I so desired.

I was the child who was starved for love and attention without getting hurt. I become the conflict resolutionist of the family. I knew by the way my mother walked across the floor in the mornings if I needed to jump into the caretaker role. There was no room for self-compassion, just survival. As I grew into an adult my ideal of a healthy relationship was being able to make others happy, often putting my needs and wants on the back burner.

Add twenty years and you have an adult who doesn’t know who they are or what they really want in life. But I knew what everyone else wanted and needed from me. When I finally began to care about me and my needs being met, the relationships around me either got stronger or ended. Those that ended were built on the factor of the other person always getting what they wanted.

I just recently had my 46th birthday and I can honestly say, “I’m working on me, I am loving me and doing the things that help me become the person I was meant to be.” I give love and I receive love. The best thing I did for my healing was to eliminate behaviors that led people to believe I was less important. We can’t just believe it to be true we must change patterns that have allowed others to push us to the back of the line.  

I encourage you to give yourself the gift of friendship by becoming your own best friend. We cannot be happy with anyone else until we feel true happiness with ourselves, you deserve nothing less. 

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By: Malisia McKinney
"How to Find Happiness?
Give Yourself Acceptance and Compassion"
During this pandemic, we are all just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Like I’ve written before, life is HARD. Parenting is HARD. Marriage is HARD. The hardest thing of all is having acceptance and compassion for ourselves. Even harder is understanding that the only way to find happiness is through self-compassion.
As an adult, I had the same feelings of sadness and anxiousness that I did from my childhood. I felt disgust that I felt scared about things, angry that things that came easier to others were so hard for me, and self-loathing that I couldn’t just let go of my feelings of sadness about my mother and about my childhood.

I tried all kinds of suggestions that therapists gave me, but my feelings never went away. With each failed attempt I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” and, “Will I ever get better?”

One day I was asked a question by a therapist that I had never been asked before. I was explaining how badly I felt that nothing I did ever worked. She looked at me and asked, “What if there is nothing wrong with you?” Say what? I was speechless. I had a list the size of my arm of things that were wrong with me. Why in the world would she say that?

I was told by more than one therapist that happiness is acceptance of who you are, but that made as much sense to me as the question I was asked. I was seeking professional help because I wanted things about me to change, so how could I accept them? This was the ultimate catch-22. I needed to accept the parts of me that I disliked to heal the parts of me that I disliked? I couldn’t
wrap my mind around that.

No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get that question I was asked out of my mind. There were so many years I tried to fix myself, that it never occurred to me that maybe giving myself permission to feel however I needed to feel would set me free. Acceptance and self-compassion was the secret to happiness.

I had endless compassion during my husband’s journey of sobriety. I felt nothing but compassion for my daughter and was her number one supporter and advocate. Furthermore, when she felt badly about herself because of her learning issues, I told her that she might learn in a different way, but that doesn’t define who she is a person. I reminded her that who she is as a person is what defines her. I even had compassion for my mother because her own mother had been abusive to her. Why in the world could I have compassion for everyone else, but I couldn’t give myself that same support and understanding?

Regardless of what our set of circumstances may be, we all feel sad, anxious and badly about ourselves from time to time. As child abuse survivors, we often put enormous pressure on ourselves, and we often judge ourselves. Whether it is getting mad at our kid and losing our temper, feeling overwhelmed because of all that we’re juggling, or feeling guilty that we didn’t
do or say the right thing, we are all guilty of not giving ourselves grace, compassion, and forgiveness. We forgive the people we love, but do we forgive ourselves? What if we showed compassion for all parts of ourselves instead of judging ourselves?

I finally discovered the answer to that question. What if I defined myself based on who I am as a person, and had compassion for my struggles? What if I understood that it was perfectly understandable for me to feel the way I feel based on my life’s circumstances? Even crazier, what if I recognized that what I went through would affect anyone? What if instead of judging myself and feeling shame, I applauded myself for being the person I am, despite all the terrible things that happened to me?

It took me awhile to find my way, but I now know that the key to happiness is acceptance and self-compassion. Just as I told my daughter that she is defined by the person she is, I now understand that labels don’t define me. Who I am as a person is what defines me. I can show acceptance and compassion for my struggles and by doing so, leave space for healing. I have learned that not only am I okay with who I am, I am proud of who I am, flaws and all. Accepting myself is how I found happiness.

Acceptance means understanding who you are and why you are the way you are. It means understanding your struggles and showing love for ALL parts of yourself. What if the next time we feel shame or badly about ourselves, we ask ourselves how we would feel about someone else who had the same feelings or went through the same circumstances? I’m willing to bet that if it was the same circumstances happening to someone else, most times we would feel empathy and understanding for that person. The only way we can be happy is if we show ourselves acceptance and compassion.

No matter what cards life has dealt us, we all have struggles. Everyday life, and especially life during a pandemic, is a world filled with uncertainty, hardships, and confusion. My hope is that now, more than ever, instead of beating ourselves up, we are able to lift ourselves up. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. If we have compassion for ourselves, maybe, just maybe, we can be better equipped to handle whatever comes our way.

This article was originally published on Surviving Mom Blog.

~~~~

Randi B. Latzman

NAASCA's Grateful to All Our Members & Volunteers !

We Need YOU!

We Need Each Other!

Fighting For Kids,
Serving Adult Survivors
Did you know that NAASCA is entirely staffed by non-paid volunteers including the Board of Directors?

All the services, programs, tools, resources, and social media efforts that we offer entirely FREE to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world are staffed by volunteers from our NAASCA family!

It literally would not be possible without YOU.

There are many ways you can volunteer with NAASCA. If you have a little time or a lot, your help is greatly appreciated and needed. Check out our list of available positions here:




Have You Listened to Our Talk Radio Show Lately ?

Monday through Friday evenings we broadcast an internet-based live streaming talk show. This is one of the best FREE SERVICES we offer to our NAASCA members!

All shows start at 8pm EST (so that's
7pm CEN, 6pm MTN & 5pm PAC)


We really want to hear from you!


Anyone can participate or just listen to the show by calling:

(646) 595-2118

Are You a Survivor of Child Abuse Looking for Support?

In need of support in your local community?

NAASCA provides listings for your local area in our Recovery Groups and Services page. We have gathered ALL the English speaking recovery groups and services we can find, not only in North America but from around the world. This list can connect you with numerous agencies, therapy, support groups and other resources in your local area.

Looking for support after hours or from home?

Can't find a group you can get to easily or want to connect when it is after business hours? Needing a way to talk about your story but want to stay anonymous? We also provide a link to another separate listing for Online Groups and Services, for Internet-based recovery groups.

As you can imagine, keeping this listing current and updated is a huge task. You can help other survivors find the support they need.

Submit updates for the 'Recovery Groups List' to Carolin O'Hara:

Submit any updates for the 'Online Resource List' to Valerie:

You are not alone, and never have to be, a day at a time!


All members of NAASCA are part of our 'NAASCA family', and that's not just something we say. We care about each other and that includes YOU.

We want you to feel comfortable reaching out to any of our volunteers, with any of your questions about what NAASCA offers, or for help navigating the website.

Even if you simply want someone to talk to when you are dealing with a difficult moment in your recovery as a survivor... we are here for you.

Some are listed as night owls, some as available 24/7, others are part of our International community, still others are young or helping some specific types of survivors. Try it!
A Note from Our Founder and CEO:
Healing from child abuse and trauma can be a very lonely journey .. but you'll never be alone again, a day at a time, if you don't want to be !!
NAASCA belongs to no other group and receives no outside funding. We're self-supporting through our own members' voluntary contributions.
Please consider a one time
or recurring donation.
Thanking you for all you do in the fight against child abuse and trauma and welcoming you to engage with your NAASCA family, I remain, as always,

Yours in service,

Bill Murray, Founder and CEO
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.  
NAASCA | a 501(c)(3) | 323 / 552-6150 | Bmurray3d@aol.com | NAASCA.org