Your NAASCA Newsletter: for survivors / activists | Nov 2020
see the message from Bill Murray, founder / CEO
November's Newsletter Theme:
"Here Come the Holidays"
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 Nov 2020 NAASCA Newsletter

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


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This month's newsletter theme is:

'Here Come the Holidays'

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Upcoming November Dates


Nov 1 - All Saints Day
Nov 3 - Election Day
Nov 11 - Veterans Day
Nov 26 - Thanksgiving Day
Nov 27 - Black Friday
Nov 30 - Cyber Monday
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!
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).

Long-time NAASCA family member Laurie Ann Smith will coordinate this new effort.

Please write to her for info: authorLaurieAnnSmith@gmail.com

Please .. help Laurie 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

"Is It Really the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

The Holiday Season Can be a Trigger Event for Many Survivors of Child Abuse

The holiday season is marketed as the most wonderful time of the year. People supposedly look forward to the big family gatherings and the fun times with new and old friends. However, for many people, the holiday season is a dark time that is best spent alone.

The truth is, 93% of child sexual abuse victims personally know their abusers. It can be the uncle you only see on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It can be Dad’s best friend from college who comes over every holiday season. It can be the teacher that throws the big classroom party right before Winter break.

As adult survivors of child abuse, we may not separate the time of year form the trauma that occurred. As we age and deal with the trauma, the holidays remain a trigger, reminding us how vulnerable we can be when everyone else is drinking in the joy of the season.

Here are some ideas to help you get through the season relatively unscathed and continue to heal.

1.  Know That You Are Not Alone
Many people hate the holidays. Some hate them for reasons not related to abuse. Others hate them for the same reasons you dread them. Take solace in knowing that there are others out there that go through this pain every year.

See if you can find a support group of people who are triggered by the holiday season. Try to speak with them to validate your own feelings.

2.  Accept Your Feelings
Your feelings are 100% normal. Accept your feelings and feel them. Know that you are entitled to those feelings and it takes years to even attempt to move on. Sometimes the holidays will always be a trigger. And that is OK.

3.  Be Honest with Yourself
Victims of child abuse have a hard time admitting defeat to themselves. They have a hard time accepting that they are not at fault. So, they may attempt to enjoy the holidays to appear adjusted and “normal.”

Be honest with yourself. You can go to a holiday event and even have a good time. However, do not deny your feelings. Be honest that you are triggered, and this time of year is hard on you. Once you are honest with yourself, you can be honest with your loved ones. They will appreciate your honesty and bravery.

4.  Reach Out for Help
Finally, when in doubt, reach out for help. Your friends at NAASCA are here for you. We get it and have gone through it. You are never alone, and help is only a phone call or email away. Bes strong. Be brave. And be you. You will get through the season and we are here to help.

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Deb Ferguson, NAASCA volunteer
"Cultivating Gratitude in a Difficult Situation"

Men and women clustered in groups, heads tilted back in laughter and hands slapped knees as children trolled near the dining room table, its surface beckoned us with steaming dishes of candied food.

The large family gathered together was a rare respite from the typical holiday disaster, and I celebrated these small moments. I knew life would return to what it had been, a childhood steeped in abuse and violence, but I chose gratitude that day.

This year, I’m preparing my own Thanksgiving celebration in a season marked by uncertainty and unrest. Rioting and rage. How, and why, does one celebrate amid carnage?

Research indicates that expressing gratitude positively impacts both physical and mental health, improves relationships, helps people build resilience, and leads to greater happiness. I am choosing to celebrate because gratitude is, for me, a posture of survival and a decision to express hope.

Four Simple Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

· Write Thank You Notes - Writing letters of gratitude can boost happiness for weeks. Simply encourage the hearts of those you love by regularly tucking thank you notes into lunch bags or send them a “thank you” text message.

· Pray - Science supports what people of faith have known for centuries; prayer is good for you. It reduces anxiety and depression, regulates the heartrate, and improves the health of the immune system.

Please see: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

· Journal - Before turning out the light, list three to five positive gifts you experienced that day.

· Gratitude Jar - List one item for which you are thankful on a small piece of paper and drop the paper in a jar. At the end of the month/semester/etc. read all of the items that were recorded. Invite family members to add to the jar, as well.

· Gather with Loved Ones - Whether you’re meeting with two or teen, invite those you love or would like to know better into your home. Individually prepared sets of plasticware and festive paper plates can make socially distanced Thanksgiving celebrations a simple, enjoyable celebration.

See this link for some inspiration.

Cultivating gratitude may be more challenging in today’s difficult climate, but I’m determined to pursue thankfulness. Even one small drop can make a ripple in the pond.

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Tammy Kennington, NAASCA Volunteer 
"Dealing with the Holidays"
With the holidays here it has been heavy on my mind what I have to be thankful for and through the holidays seem to take their toll on me, I must get in a mind frame that allows me to keep my head above water.
This year will be different for most with the pandemic going on. As survivors Thanksgiving and Christmas can be especially hard. We may have to see or be reminded of our abusers. This can trigger anxiety and depression. I try to read a lot positive stories and talk with positive people.

Overcoming and positive quotes are all great. They help us grasp a better perspective and outlook on life but anyone who has struggled knows that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the lonely feeling that gets stuck in your throat as the emotional pain finds its way to your heart is where we find out just who we are.

It’s through each new pain we find another part of ourselves. Some say it’s God’s chance to get our attention; others believe it’s the universes way of creating growth. Each level comes with new maturity and responsibility.

We have a responsibility to ourselves and others to pass on our new wisdom and survival tools. On those sleepless nights of yearning for peace we must look fear dead in the eyes. The fear of just what the pain will do and who it will make us become. What will be left? We may have arrived at the place in life from different experience but the three things we all have in common is pain, needing the pain validated, and receiving unconditional love to heal.

Some look to God for unconditional love, others find it from a caring heart or the belief the universe has what we need to heal. Regardless to where you find this love it can only work its healing power if you learn to love yourself first. Unfortunately, along with the pain most too often our self-worth has been hit hard.

Just as hate is taught so is love. You can’t give what you don’t have. The only way I knew to teach myself how to love is to treat myself and others in a way that was not harmful. I have a rule if it would hurt myself or someone else, don’t do it.

It’s hard to break unhealthy cycles but it can be done with practice. Pain doesn’t heal in a day nor does unhealthy living just stop because we see the light. It takes time and hard work. It takes wanting to do and be better.

On days we fail we must pick ourselves up again the next day and keep moving forward. Rest if you must but never give up. Because when you give up you aren’t just giving up on yourself but those who love you and need your love.

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© Malisia McKinney (Mia)
 


"How to Break the Chains of Codependency"
This is part 2 of my story about breaking free of codependency. You can read part 1 here.
Codependency is not your fault. The good news is that the things we learned as children do not have to be repeated in our adulthood. We can learn and practice a healthier way of having relationships. I also suggest reading the book ‘Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself’, by Melody Beattie.

The first step is by taking a step back from anything that is out of your control. Whether it is your mom, your sibling, your friend, your spouse, or even your child, there are certain things are simply not within our power (or are right) to fix. This is difficult, but crucial.

Establish clear boundaries so that you can be supportive and loving and encouraging, but not at the expense of your well-being or happiness. Others are entitled to make their own choices, regardless of whether you agree with those choices are not. Likewise, you get to take control of your own happiness and make your own choices.

Getting your power back and claiming responsibility for your well-being is not an easy task. It is something that is very much engrained in our way of thinking and acting. I have to remind myself often that my husband’s sobriety is his responsibility. I am grateful that he has been sober for the last four years, but his sobriety is a choice that he has to make every day.

Healthy relationships require boundaries, which is something foreign to many of us. Boundaries are essential so that you can stay in your lane, while clearly expressing what you need for your relationship. You and only you can determine which boundaries are needed for your well-being.

Make a list of boundaries, and decide which ones are requests and which ones are non-negotiable. Have an open and honest conversation about your boundaries, and also allow others to do the same. Afterall, boundaries are a two-way street.

If a boundary is crossed, then you decide whether to discuss and reinstate the boundary or walk away if your boundary is a dealbreaker. You cannot make others respect and give you what you need in a relationship, but you can respect yourself. It is also crucial to understand that you cannot save others, but you can save yourself.

Next, focus on what you want and need to feel good about yourself, completely separate from others. What brings YOU joy? What are YOUR hobbies? Who are YOU as a person? For me, starting this blog has been incredibly healing because it is something that I do that is separate from being a wife and a mom. It is something I am passionate about, and I feel good knowing that I am trying to help others and give support, without trying to change or fix anyone.

If you can’t think of anything that you can do for yourself, please look at my self-care article for some suggestions. It’s also a good idea to take time to write down your thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal gives you an opportunity to focus on your feelings and brainstorm ideas. Speak to a therapist and read books about codependency to help you on your healing journey. Discover your own identity.

I cannot stress enough to remember that Rome was not built in a day. It will take time to learn new patterns of behavior. It is important to show yourself love and compassion as you navigate foreign territory.

Just as codependency is not healthy, the opposite extreme isn’t either. Being completely independent doesn’t translate into having genuine relationships. If you aren’t allowing yourself to be vulnerable, then your relationships will lack true intimacy. It is important to have your own identity separate from the ones you love, but putting up walls and not letting anyone in is the same wolf in sheep’s clothing. Love is about sharing the deepest parts of yourself with another, but not expecting someone to save you.

Interdependence is the goal of any healthy relationship. It allows us to love and support each other, while not expecting the other one to make us feel whole or to change who they are.

My husband and I are each whole on our own, and we have the ability and choice to grow individually and as a couple. That means that if I am feeling sad and hurt, I first try to comfort myself and give myself what I need before I share my feelings with him. I give him the space to try to understand my perspective without forcing him to say or do anything.

Remember that your happiness is up to you. Just as you can’t save or change anyone, it isn’t anyone’s responsibility to save or fix you. Work on yourself and allow others the opportunity to do the same. Remember to establish clear boundaries so that others get to choose their own path and make their own choices, but you have control over what you do with that choice. You also get to choose your own path and healing journey.

Show love and kindness to yourself and your feelings. Your feelings, thoughts, hopes, and dreams are important and have value because they are yours. Respect and honor them even when others do not.

Interdependence; a foreign concept for many, but a way of living that is possible for all of us. Change can be scary, and there will be many hiccups along the way. The good news? You get to be the hero of your own story.

~~~~

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