Adults Abused as Children

For about ten years, my husband, the marriage and family therapist, and I led Stepping Stones, a support group for adults abused as children. It was peculiar in that we didn’t sit around commiserating, but studied Scripture on how to climb out of that pit together. The topics are:

  • Face the Problem
  • Assess the Damage and Make the Commitment to Recover
  • Correct Your View of God
  • Set Healthy Boundaries
  • Improve Your Self-Image
  • Overcome Fear
  • Learn to Control Anger and Depression
  • Increase Your Capacity to Trust
  • Deal With Sexual Issues
  • Give and Accept Forgiveness
  • Determine Whether to Confront Your Abuser
  • Life Beyond Survival

So, we’re thinking about putting the material online for people who don’t live near us to use to recover. Anybody out there interested in something like this? If so, what do you think would be a fair price? If you’re out there feeling alone with your secret, I’m talking to you, and praying for you.

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I Don’t Feel Serious

And when I don’t feel serious, I write stories that I don’t plot. They just …

What if I were thin and could get a wet suit on without major surgery, and I just happened to be on Kauai.

She slid her right arm into the wetsuit, grabbed her board, and ran down the beach to the water’s edge (and for a 68 year-old woman with a knee replacement, that’s sayin’ somethin’). She dropped the board into the surf.

A golden-skinned surf bum yelled from beyond the ten-foot breakers. “You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?”

She yelled back. “First time.”

“You don’t need a wet suit in Hawaii. Water’s warm. Sharks will take you for a fish.”

She peeled the wet suit off. Man, she could have done this, thin or not. Think of the frozen yogurt she’d missed for nothing.

The surf bum scanned her granny swimsuit. “Lady, this is Hawaii, you don’t have to wear all the clothes you’ve got.”

She pushed her board out to knee-deep water and lay down on its shiny surface. “Hey, if you’re so smart. Teach me to surf.”

“Start paddling. Where you from?”

She was coming into the breakers. “California.”

“Duck your head, make sure your mouth and eyes are closed, and just hold onto the board.”

The breaker passed over her.

“Keep paddling. North, not south, right?”

“What?”

“California, north, not south.”

She paddled up next to where he sat on his board, legs hanging in the water. “Central, but the water’s pretty chilly.”

“Ok, first get on your knees.”

“I can’t, one of them’s artificial and won’t bend that far.”

“Man, you got a lot of guts, lady.”

“You only live once. How about if I just stand up?”

“OK, your funeral.”

She grabbed both sides of the board and hoisted herself up. And lost her balance and fell off. Eighteen times.

The surf bum laughed so hard he had to take a swim to keep from embarrassing himself. I won’t go into the details. (You may be wondering whether this story has a point, I certainly am.)

“If at first you don’t succeed.” She climbed back on the board, and lo and behold, wait that doesn’t sound like Hawaii, and hang loose, baby, she stood and didn’t fall, though she wobbled like a weeble.

“Hurry, hold your arms out for balance and bend your knees a little. You can do that, right?”

She really wanted to tell him what she thought of that remark, but she didn’t want the lesson to end abruptly. She stuck out both arms and kind of waved them the opposite direction of the way she felt she might fall. She stayed on the board and standing, until …

A wave rushed her high, and she was flying. Dude, she screamed toward shore, literally. A 68 year-old speed demon. “Kayabunga!”

The beach was nearly at her feet when she realized he hadn’t taught her how to dismount. So, she recalled when she learned to ride a bike as a child that she just ran into the neighbor’s Japanese gardener who happened to be pushing a lawn mower down the sidewalk  when she needed to stop. (Yeah, that’s a true story.) Maybe she could just run right off the board, hoping to land on the couple making out on beach towels.

The End (I be laughin’)

 

 

More on Old Women

FB_IMG_1497906725097  Ok, so I saw this blog where an old woman who has nothing on me, she’s only in her 40s,  was griping her face off about being told older women should not wear hoop earrings. She even dropped f bombs about it. I don’t disagree that older women should be treated as intelligent adults, who can dress themselves. However, I hope at the end of this I do not sound to you as out of control as she does to me.

As I have developed the capacity to grow gray hair in ever larger quantities, I have noticed that there a lot of younger generation men and women who think the color of my hair gives them license to treat me like a child, specifically to talk down to me, as if my brain isn’t functioning. I find that confusing. Children do not have gray hair. What is the connection?

Perhaps the least offensive of these young people (and here I make a huge leap to respectfulness – the woman in the blog called these people “Toddlers”) call me and my husband “honey, dear, sweetie” when they serve us in restaurants and other public places. Now it is nice to receive terms of endearment from people to whom you are endeared, but I hardly know these people. What is their problem? It seems to me that if they want to be my sweetie, they should at least ask me if I’m ok with that first.

You may think I do not realize my memory and joints are not what they once were. I do, and I adjust. It does not necessarily follow that everything I ever knew went away, or that I should be told I shouldn’t have a large dog, walk too long in the heat, or get too far from a bathroom or any other comment that is none of your business. I am an adult, and I can figure these things out on my own.

Sometimes I think I may be better at remembering things than the younger generation. For instance, I remember that when you walk into a room you greet everyone there unless you’re at a convention. It seems to follow that when you are spoken to, you respond, even if you are texting the president. It also follows that when you receive texts, emails, etc. you let the sender know you received them, even if you aren’t ready with a response. One of those squirrely little smiley faces will work, and it’s fast. Isn’t that common sense? Apparently not.

Though I think I could be in danger of  being accused of a rant, I have one more thought. As we all attempt to appreciate each other’s differences, might the younger generation, to whom this present world does truly belong, at least right now, until they are moved along by the generation following them, remember that discriminating against older people comes in the form of refusing to take advantage of our experience. I’ve met a few fogies who insist on holding court ad nauseum, but very few. Most of us wait to be asked, and in many cases, we wait in vain. That lacks as much sense as assuming a family should be led only by the husband. That was never God’s plan, and if that’s so, we women can go do something else other being wives.

This has been very little tongue in cheek. I think it needed to be said, though. I won’t bring it up again, honest.