‘Glimpses Across The Barricades’ Poetry in progress. “Value it.”

I thought my muse would never awaken. I’ve been bereft and lost for a time. How happy I am that it has rejoined the living. Thanks for being here to help me celebrate.

Poetry written along my journey through life.

AUGUST 23RD 2017.

Time

Value It.

By Suzanne Burke

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you look away from your desk in the citadel to glance at the sky?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you stop on your six-day-a-week journey, long enough to kiss your wife goodbye?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you pause by the kid rooms and tuck them more firmly, long hours after they had fallen to sleep.

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you watch your wife sleeping, and value the journey?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you look in a mirror and still see a young man, grateful for all the days still to come?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you witness time passing and try to ignore it, in the forlorn hope that it somehow would stop?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you recall and believe that life had been good, or swear an oath to change the outcome the moment you could?

Did you make a moment today?

Did you discover that stealing the moment left somebody poorer?

But making a moment could only enrich.

Did you make a moment today?

Celebrating the newly edited edition of “Empty Chairs: (Standing Tall & Fighting Back Book 1) #Memoir On sale now at $0.99.

The following trailer and the contents of my memoir are very confronting. Because they absolutely must be. Child abuse will never cease if we continue to turn away, seeing nothing … doing nothing.

HERE IS THE TRAILER Created by my dear friend Sessha Batto.

PREVIEW EMPTY CHAIRS BELOW.

Contact me Contact me on TWITTER!

Find me on FACEBOOK

My BLOG

Soooz Says Stuff: Comedic Short. “Meet Tiger Woodski!” For anyone ever owned by a cat.

Princes pefect Tiger woodski

Am  I Unhappy?

 Unhappy! Oh you clever observant human! Well done. You are a true master of understatement…Hmmm?
Do you think I am even remotely content?  Hmmm?  Does this face bear even a vague resemblance to your visions of feline delight? Ask yourself three important questions.

 1] Should I pick up, and attempt to comfort this cat?
2] Is my medical insurance paid up?
3] Do I have masochistic tendencies?
If you responded in the affirmative to more than one of these, I recommend that you take a valium, exit immediately, and seek professional guidance.
Someone is going to pay dearly, for this…this atrocity.
You are probably under the impression that I have partaken in the luxury of a bubbly, scented, lovingly engineered bath.
You are wrong!  W.R.O.N.G!
I am an educated creature, endowed with more than a normal amount of catty versus human tolerance.
Therefore; had I merely been bathed, I would perhaps still be a tad wet, a smidgen disgruntled, a little perturbed.
But no! I am so completely devastated, so overwhelmingly shattered, that I uttered, dare I say it, a cuss word! I uttered it in French of course, such a useful language.
I will repeat it, ‘Merde’! N’est pas?
I am in this state of extreme agitation, because of a Dog.
Yes, I did say dog, D.O.G!
Allow me to enlighten you.
I will in the recounting of this horror, attempt to maintain some vestige of dignity and restraint. On completion of my discourse into the cruel behavior I have been subjected to, I will allow you fair-minded humans, to reach your own conclusions as to whether or not I have been mistreated. I have no further choice of action open to me. I will be leaving my home at the completion of this sad story.
Please, be seated.
Attempt to overcome the need to comfort me.
And journey with me, into to the realms of dismal disarray.
I was sunning myself as was my habit on these warm winter afternoons. I was lying alongside the pool.
I find the sparkle on the water most refreshing, and the fact that the small troll-sized humans cannot gain access to the area is of course a prime consideration. Dreadful, sticky, smelly, little gremlins that they are.
Can you imagine my horror, my shock, my fear, when into the open terrain outside the pool area came this …this, thing?
My dears it was enormous, ugly, grotesque…!

The dog it had with it was also less than attractive.
Having regained my breath sufficiently to cast a disinterested eye on the more attractive of the two visitors hereinafter referred to as ‘The Dog.’ I was a little surprised to note that it was not a bastard breed.
Although I am almost positive its’ owner was.
No, ‘The Dog’ was a Boxer; a pedigreed Boxer, if I was correct, which of course I was.
Now, I come from Royal stock myself, and am of course familiar with the best of everything. I grudgingly admit therefore that a Boxer is a noble breed.
Did I also mention it was on a leash? I did of course check to ensure that the gate was fastened.
As it was a troll-proof locking device I was certain that the gross excuse for manhood, accompanying ‘The Dog’ would be unable to fathom the intricacies of opening it. Hence, I would remain undisturbed.
Life was as it should be. Tranquil and quiet.
‘The Dog’s’ companion, I hesitate to refer to it as human. ‘It’ spoke, not well, but vaguely comprehensible.”
‘It’ said, “Geez, mate, will ya look at that, a bloody great pool for ya to cool off in.”

BOXER
Mate … The Dog.

To which ‘The dog’ with the unfortunate name of ‘Mate,’ responded,
“Woof” — tres originale?
“Bloody hell, mate, take a look at the pussy!” ‘It’ said.
“As for the reference to the pussy, I cast my eyes around, and sadly could only assume that, it, was referring to me!
“Pussy indeed.” I glared at the offensive male. Sadly, it had no effect.
‘The Dog’ hereinafter referred to as ‘Mate’ however, had heard, and understood exactly what I had muttered.”
“Well now Miss-Fancy-Pants, aren’t you the fine lady?” Mate said.
“I do beg your pardon, my name is not, never has been, never will be Miss Fancy Pants!” I uttered with as much dignity as I could muster.
“So babe, what is your name?”
“Did you call me, babe?”
“Nothin’ wrong with your hearin’, babe.” He was smiling.
“Have you seen a Boxer dog when it smiles, eeewww? And please do not ask me to describe what it does when it drools. I get quite faint even thinking about it.”
“My name, is Lady Tabitha, do not ever refer to me as Tabby, as I will refuse to acknowledge you have spoken! Are we clear on that point?”
“Sure thing, Lady T, happy to oblige.”
“You are an arrogant, ignorant boxer.”
“No shit Sherlock!”
“I refused to acknowledge his annoying presence any further, and rolled back over to my side, pointedly rude and hopefully effective.
“The calming effect of the secure Troll-fence allowed me to settle down and doze. I dreamed as always of ‘Yule. B. Siamese’ who resided next door, a delightful male and a fitting escort for a lady of my refined taste. He had recently begun chatting to me animatedly, a delightful conversationalist. I had hopes of furthering our relationship.

It had begun to rain, the feel of moisture on my face awoke me with a start, I lay there and opened my eyes to find myself nose to snout with the dribbling drooling DOG.”
“AAArrHHHHhgg!” I screamed in terrified surprise. “My God, how did you get through the gate?”

The fool was actually laughing. At me!
When he regained control he said,”I jumped the fence.”
“I was aghast as this was my safe-haven. Is nothing sacred?”
“So Lady T babe, ya wanna play?”
“What would you like for me to play DOG…? Bach?
“Woof.”
“Yeees …  I rather thought you’d respond that way.”
“Huh?”
“Hmm, my point exactly. Do go away, you cretinous canine.”
“Lady T, I do luvs the way you talk, but if I knew what you was sayin’ I don’t think I’d like it quite so much.”
“Well then why don’t you ask that … that, dare I say it… human, to translate for you dear boy.”
“Say what?”
“Just how long do you and your h… do you and he intend remaining in my residence?”
“Huh?”
“Read my lips, how—long—are—you—going—to—be—here?”
“Hey, why didn’t ya say that in the first place? I’m gonna be living here, all the time. Isn’t that good? I’ll just bet we end up great pals.”
“Dear boy, you are obviously suffering from some form of delusion. Firstly, you cannot be going to live here. I, live here. Secondly, the chance of us becoming great friends is, at best impossible.”
“Say what?”
“You—are—wrong!”
“Nope, not about the livin’ here part anyways. Your humans is goin’ someplace called America, for one of those family emergency thingy’s, they is gonna be gone for a spell. Seems their young’ns about to have her first litter. So my human and me is gonna be lookin’ after the place. That means you too, Miss-Fancy-pants.”
“Any moment now I shall awaken and discover that you are but a nightmare, a figment of my imagination, you will vanish, never to return.”
“Duh! Am I still here?”
“UNFORTUNATELY!”
“Geez, you got yourself one sweet temper, aint ya?”
“You have not even begun to see that side of my personality DOG.”
“What personality?”
“AAARRRGGGHH! ENOUGH! I am left with no option. My dear cousin is stopping by this very afternoon; he of course will offer me his unhesitating assistance. You have no idea what you are in store for.  He will undoubtedly set you straight about just who is in charge of whom here.”
“Say what?”
“My cousin is stopping by for a chat; he will be delighted to meet you.”
“Why is you smirking?”
“I—do—not—smirk.”
“Then you must be in terrible pain, you might need more fiber.”
“Do not speak. Not one more obnoxious, ridiculous, nerve-shattering word.

Ah, at last, my dear dear cousin has arrived.”

Tiger Woodski
Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski.

“Holy shit!  What the hell sort of cat is that?  He’s as big as a damn horse!”
“Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski is a feline, dear boy, a Siberian Tiger.”
“What the hell did you say his name is?”
“T’is an honorable name, Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski. He is newly arrived in this country.”
“Somethin’s ringin’ my bells about that name, ain’t he famous for somethin’?  Man, I ain’t never seen a cat that big! Where the hell’s he from?”
“He’s Russian!”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why’s he rushin’?”
“Because he was born Russian.”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why was he born rushin’? How did his poor momma cope with that?”
“Oh dear heaven, why would his mother have a problem with him being born Russian?”
“I’ve heard that can be real tricky.”
“What pray tell can be really tricky?”
“Bein’ born rushin’. Damnit!  It’s bad for the blood presha.”
“Oh merde!”
“Say what?”
“It means, sh…never you mind!”
“I will attempt to explain this in words of small syllables. Grigori—was—born—in—Russia.”
“So what did rush hour have to do with his poor momma’s suffering?”
“WHAT SUFFERING? YOU CRETIN!”
“Havin him born Godamned rushin’ you, you,–furball!”
“Spare me!”
“Not a chance, sweet pea!”
“AAARRRGGGHHH! Grigori, I beg of you, I plead with you, talk to the cretinous canine, before your beloved cousin has a total breakdown!”
“Pri-vyet doggski.”
“Say what?”
“Hello, puppy doggski.”
“Say hi, your enormous self, Greg-baby.”
“Please to translate, what iski, Greg-baby?”
“Means you is cool, my man!”
“Nyet, is not coolski, is hotski. Siberia is coolski.”
“You want I should call ya sigh-beer-iya?”
“Nyet.”
“Whatever toots-ya-horn, Greg-baby!”
“Say whatski?”
“Hey Greg-baby you is getting the hang of speachyfyin’ real quick.”
“No sweatski, puppy dogski. We be comrades da?”
“Duh! So, Greg-baby, my main man, you wanna beer?”
“Nyet! Drink vodka. Then beer. Da?”
“Duh! Is that vodka good stuff?”
“Da, is strong. You strong, you drink. You not strong, you call me Grigori Ivanovich Tiger-Woodski. You strong, we be comrades, da?”
“Duh! Lead me to the vodka my very large, er, um…cat?”

****
Sometime later.
home, home on the raaange, hic, where the dear an the antelope plaaaay, hic, never is heard a diishcouragin’ word, hic, and we eats the little varmints each daaaa-yski, hic, heheheheh.”
“Oh My God! You are both drunk!”
“No shitski sherlockski”
“Grigori, no! No! No! Grigori, my dear, dear cousin, this just will not do!
“Is Greg-baby,”
“I beg your pardon.”
“You call me Greg-baby…all rightski.”
“What?”
“You—call—me—Greg—baby—all—rightski!”
“Never!”
“Say whatski?”
“Never, not now, not later, not ever!”
Was—not—requestski—cousin—pussy—catski!
“Oh, no, no, no, no, how can this have eventuated? What have you done to my beloved cousin? You monster.  You reproachable oath, you, you, peasant! You DOG!”
“Say what? What are you gettin’ your knickers in a twist about this time Lady T. You wanted old Greg-baby and me to be friend’s dinya? Hmmm? Hee hee hee!”
“Why, you unconscionable, despicable, conniving, treacherous…”
“You getting a little hot under the collar there Lady T?”
“Who could blame me, of course I am; in fact, I feel quite faint! I may swoon!”
“We can’t have that now can we, Greg-baby? Howz about we test our little theory about now? Bein’ as she’s so hot an all.”
“Good ideaski, Puppy comradski. We take care of little promblemski for cousin catski… Da?”
“Duh! Now that is my kinda thinkin’. On three?”
“Oneski–twoski–threeski!  Pushski!”
Splashski!
“Well I’ll be damned…! Can you still hears her under water?”
“Nyet?”
“Me neither, heh heh, there goes that theory. You sure she kin swim?”
“Da.”
“Duh! Oh lookit, there she is…Paws! Mwha ha ha ha!”
“Not pauseki yetski dogski.”
“Say what?”
“Not—Pauseski—Yetski—Doggski.”
“Duh, whatever! Hey Greg-baby, does she look grateful to you?”
“Nyet!”
“We might be best doin’ a little of that rushin’ you is so good at?”
“Da.”
“Duh! What does ya feel like playin’ now Greg-baby?”
“Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture. Da?”
“Duh! Was that a good year for vodka?”
“All year’s good years for Vodka, Da.”
“Duh already! Hey, I has been meanin’ to ask ya Greg Tiger-Woodsky-baby, does you play golf?
“Gulf? Nyet, not from gulf, am Russian!”
“Where?”
“Where whatsky?”
“Where are ya rushin’?”
“All of me am Russian!”
“Meoooooowwwwooohhhhahhhhh!”
“What the hellski was thatski?
“Sounds like ‘Siam’ just got invaded by ‘Persia!’
“Say whatsky”
“Your little cousin has moved in next door.”
“Dah-svee-dah-nyah, cousin pussy-catski!”
“Say what”
“Goodbyeski. Da?”
“Duh!  Ya think we should help ‘Siam’ negotiate for ‘Persian’ surrender?”
“They gotski—poolski? Hehe.”
“Greg-baby, you is my kinda cat!”
The End—ski!

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Being held hostage by your memory. #Flashbacks.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Being held hostage by your memories. #Flashbacks.

Definition of Hostage

If you say you are hostage to something, you mean that your freedom to take action is restricted by things that you cannot control. Such is the force of PTSD.

Memories are something unique to each and every one of us. They are perhaps the only thing apart from our DNA that truly sets us apart from any other of our species.

They can be triggered by the sweet joyous sound of a baby’s laughter, the scent of a freshly baked cake, or a scene from a movie that we watch over-and-over again. All our senses take part in the remembering process.

The lingering refrain of church bells on Sunday morning and the butterfly touch of a spring breeze on our faces may all take us to places we once inhabited in real time.

But not all of our memory is sweet.

The darker times of loss, the time a love ended, the tragedy  that life hands out … but never in equal measure, all those times remain there in that memory and at our weakest moments they will surface, to test our strength, or to force us to become aware, finally, that we are  no longer in that place of weakness.

Our memories hand us our self-knowledge, and at times, those memories are the very things by which we judge our own self-worth.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has as a bi-product its own unique way of enabling our darkest memory to surface. These are the FLASHBACKS  … I have experienced many. I will share with you one that it still shakes me to recall, in the hope that in some small way I can help shine a light into the darkest of places.

When it came, there was only a fleeting moment of recognition before I catapulted straight back to hell.

It was a crisp August morning, mid-winter here in Australia. I was beyond excited, anxious and happy that morning. I wore a new business suit, my hair was freshly cut and styled and I was ready to attend my second interview, at a firm of Merchant Bankers that were well known and respected, located in the Sydney CBD. I really wanted that job. Hell, I really needed that job. Blowing the funds on the new clothes and hairstyle was done in the belief that I had what it took to nail this position. I had worked in the field for a good many years and my reputation was solid. They had now compiled a short list of five possible candidates, including myself. I liked those odds.

I arrived at the tower of power that rose high above our beautiful harbor, and joined the throng of workers lined up for the elevators.

I have always hated elevators, but twenty-two floors up was my appointment location, and my lungs already knew that stairs weren’t an option.

My life long claustrophobia clung hand in hand to my inability to stand at the front of the elevator … my unease at having people behind me unseen won the argument. I entered the elevator and went to the middle against the back wall … my ass was covered. I smiled, remembering my dear Jamie’s favorite expression, “Always cover your ass, Sass!”  The other occupants soon created a wall in front of me, which I escaped by keeping my eyes closed and only briefly glancing up as the lift stopped and disgorged people on each floor.

I believe I had a handle on the claustrophobia, and just breathed deeply.

We stopped again, someone else entered. I watched an older woman, well attired, and confident looking stand just in front of me. She loosened her colored scarf and her perfume was captured and sent in my direction by the movement.

I inhaled that scent. My guts clenched so tight I could scarcely breathe. The nausea was my second warning sign that something was wrong. I took a deep breath to quell the wave of it as it rocked me. That is when it truly began. That smell … the woman who gave birth to me always wore that perfume. I was shaking and attempting not to throw up; I couldn’t move my limbs, for they were weighed down by the concrete of fear.

The fight or flight reflex kicked in and I lunged forward and hit the next floor button. Those brief moments seemed endless, and I had wet myself as I had as a small child when that scent of her would linger long after a beating. That odor had me back in a hell I had long run from. A hell that held me hostage with the memories that even the smell of a perfume could bring back into being.

I was that broken child again, kneeling on the floor and then placing my mouth at the light coming from underneath the locked door in the darkened room. The forty-year-old woman that I now was simply ceased to exist. I was four-years-old again. My back so sticky with crusted blood that the singlet I had been wearing for days stuck fast to the surface. I could feel my control slipping away and could find no logical thought that would both stop it and me from spiraling deeper into that remembered nightmare of pain and darkness.

The lift door finally opened and I half fell out in my haste. I don’t know what floor I landed on, my only coherent thought was escape. I needed a bathroom but couldn’t open my mouth to ask for directions. I headed to a corridor that I hoped would contain public washrooms. I threw up all over the plush-pile carpet in the corridor, and all over myself, not knowing or caring if anyone bore witness to my humiliation.

I found a washroom and locked myself into a stall. I sat down on the closed lid of the toilet and searched for the ability to breathe. I sat with my head down and focused on the tiled pattern on the floor until I could at last see it clearly, that gave me a route back to the immediacy of the moment, the now time, the real time where she had no power over my life … except in my memories. I had no idea how much time had passed. It had for me, seemed like a lifetime. I didn’t think to check my watch. Such is the nature of Flashbacks.

I cleaned myself as best I could, using paper towel and soapy water. I had nobody I could call to come and pick me up from the city. At that time in my life, I was living alone. I inspected myself, grabbing reassurance from the adult face reflected in the mirror, surprised to discover not the child I’d once been, but my grown self. I looked at my reflection for a long time …  until I had gathered as much of me together as I could hope for just then. I lightly sprayed on my own signature perfume, in the hope of hiding the stench of my clothing and my fear from the Taxi driver on the twenty-minutes it would take to him to drive me back home to safe haven.  I tipped him well.

I recall unlocking the door and resetting the alarm system before sliding down and sitting with my back firmly in place against that door. Nothing and no one could come near me … for now.

I showered, dressed, and then rang the folks that had expected to interview me. I apologized of course. I’d simply told them that I had taken suddenly ill. They thanked me, but they didn’t suggest a reschedule. I was distantly grateful for that, for I knew with absolute certainty that I would never take the risk that that woman could possibly share any space whatsoever in my life. I rated the chance of her working there far too high.

It took me a couple of days to regroup. I thought about and then tried not to think about what had happened. I knew I didn’t want to take the option of isolating myself … not again.

The temptation to reach out for alcohol to numb me against everything was resisted, this time. Being under the influence of the large amounts of alcohol I knew I could consume would make me a loaded weapon placed in the hands of a terrified four-year-old child.

I didn’t sleep fearing the nightmares that experience had told me lay waiting. I needed to cry it out, but I could not.

Finally, after almost three days of constant vigilance, exhaustion claimed me, and I slept. I awoke on the morning of the fourth day and knew that, I had,at least for now, regained control.

I refocused my attention on finding a job.

And life went on.

For those who suffer from P.T.S.D, and for those loving, caring folks that have someone in their lives that are trying to deal with the challenging packages P.T.S.D hands out, please know this … there are people out there in the now of your world that can help you. They will help you go to battle … and they will cheer you on as you win.

Reach out. There will be many loving hands ready to take yours.

I have listed below sites that are available world-wide, it is by no means a complete list, but if anyone reading this needs to learn more, these sites will point you in the right direction.

Depression Alliance U.K

ABeyond Blue Australia. Information and help

Anxiety and Depression Assistance America

Police Post Trauma Support Group | PPTSG | Post Traumatic Stress

Help line. 0432 569 589. 7am – 10am. The PPTSG is a not-for-profit organisation, … Its aim is to provide support to those who are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, … officers, and emergency workers, PPTSG provides a family and spouse support function. … He has been through the system & suffers ongoing medical problems of …
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause fear, anxiety and trauma memories that persist for a long time and affect a person’s ability to function.
Blue Knot Helpline (formerly ASCA Professional Support Line) provides help, … The MindSpot Clinic does not provide an emergency or instant response service. … health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, …
Posttraumatic stress disorder (sometimes called PTSD) is a form of anxiety … Ask your doctor about any concerns you have, or contact the SANE Helpline on …
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) can cause fear, anxiety and trauma … information, online programs, helplines and news on mindhealthconnect. … PTSD is a treatable anxiety disorder affecting around one million Australians each year. …. (000) for an ambulance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Trusted information about complex PTSD, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis and … If someone has attempted, or is in immediate risk of attempting to harm … Complex posttraumatic stress disorder describes the long-term effects of …. Helpline 1800 18 7263 Home Mental Health & Illness :: Facts & Guides Get Help …

Find help for the effects of trauma – Phoenix Australia

phoenixaustralia.org/recovery/find-help/
This page lists Australian helplines and websites. For urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24/7 counselling and …. PTSD and trauma.
People with posttraumatic stress disorder often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, which may resemble what was felt during the traumatic event.
  1. Confidential online assessment. Free to Australian adults.
    Dedicated IT Team · Free & Effective Service
    Steps: Learn, Get Assessed, Treatment…

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | Mind, the mental health charity …

Explains what posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD are, and provides information on how you can access treatment and support. Includes …

It is normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but … The Combat Stress 24-Hour Helpline 0800 138 1619 is for the military … trauma in military and emergency service personnel and also complex PTSD and … Rivers offers treatment for the whole range of post traumatic disorders with the 

 

 

 

 

Book REVIEW Video “Empty Chairs” by Suzanne Burke writing as Stacey Danson. Reviewed by Gwen Plano. #RRBC

How marvelous it is to have my book reviewed in this way. I am so honored to have  Gwen Plano feel strongly about my work. Please, pop over to the YouTube site and leave a comment on her video.

Thank you for dropping by.

 

 

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“It’s never a good idea to Piss this woman off.” Online bullying in its most damaging disguise.

Do NOT piss me off!

Anyone reading this who is even vaguely familiar with me, with my writing, and my particular way of dealing with the world will not be too surprised by this post.

For those of you that are perhaps clicking onto this with no knowledge beforehand of who the hell I am, or what hell I came from, please be advised … I have no hesitation in being vocal and passionate about something I believe in.

I am angry … extremely angry in fact. This is not going to be one of my light, bright, happy posts.

So … Why am I pissed off?

A few years back I wrote some non-fiction books. In doing so, and, because of the subject matter (Child abuse) I accepted the fact that there would be folks out there that would be (Sadly) sexually excited by the content. I accepted that, I knew the subject matter alone would attract some extremely sick predators.

I dealt with that fact, because I hoped that my books may help someone, somewhere seek help. I figured that if I could reach people, and perhaps help them recognize the signs of child abuse coming from all around them, then, maybe, just maybe one child somewhere may not need to go through the agony.

I know first hand that this can be a very sick world. I know that only too well. Over the few years since my work was published, I have received numerous emails from people of all ages and genders asking for my help and or advice.

I do not offer them a cure. There is no cure. Humankind has it’s share of inhuman acts.

But this world is turning and beginning to learn and because of that there are now an ever increasing number of places they can contact, places where they can seek assistance, advice and hopefully protection. This is what I do. I put them in touch with these professionals, these people are far better equipped than I will ever be to help them.

I have, never, ever, refused to open an email when the subject line asks me for help on this topic. I have not changed my email address for that very reason. I can’t punish folks that have already been punished enough by life to do that.

I have also received many emails from sick fucks that make me ill with the content of their “Please help me” requests.

As I said, I accepted that this would occur. I also knew that human nature being what it is, they would have been overjoyed had I responded with the anger they expected. So … I refused to respond. Period. I took it on the chin as part and parcel of the world we live in.

Enough Already! I have decided to respond after all. Years of these have taken their toll. I can’t remain passive on this, it’s too fucking important!  NOTE that I’m not telling you the titles of the books in question, nor the name I used to write them. I am NOT seeking promotion. This is NOT a please buy my work post.

What I AM seeking is for folks to recognize that these sick and perverted emails are yet another form of On-line Bullying. It has to stop. I will not Name and Shame them, for that is the very publicity they want. That recognition is what they crave, what they seek. That is what they MUST NOT achieve.

SO, I’m giving these sick fucks a free word of advice. IF you send me an email that is cruel and offensive in the extreme: If you disguise it under the cloak of being an abused person needing help, I WILL retaliate. You are NOT dealing with a helpless child here. I will never be forced into the position of feeling that helpless ever again.

I WILL retaliate by reporting you to the police and/or any other Agency that deals with these matters.

I don’t care what part of the world you live in. I don’t care what name you use. I don’t care if you feel safe and sheltered by a proxy server. I may not have the capacity to track you down on my own …. BUT the authorities have their own ways and means. And I will give those authorities everything I have that may assist them. I’ll no longer delete the posts.

I will and must continue answering the genuine posts that come in. My email will NOT change.

I usually have a sense of humor about life in general. It has been my one great solace and a frequent source of escape.

This TOPIC does not make me smile. I have no sense of humor whatsoever where abuse, in any of its guises is concerned.

Pissing me off is NOT a smart move.

End of rant.

I have included a long list of Agencies where folks (Genuine people) may get the help they need. I have included The United States, The United Kingdom and Australia.

AUSTRALIA:

The following list provides the contact telephone numbers for each State and Territory to report incidences of child abuse:

  • Australian Capital Territory – 24 hours: 1300 556 729
  • New South Wales – 24 hours: 132 111
  • Northern Territory – Business hours: (08) 8922 7111. After hours: 1800 700 250
  • Queensland – Business hours: (07) 3224 8045. After hours: (07) 3235 9999
  • South Australia – 24 hours: 131 611
  • Tasmania – 24 hours: 1300 737 639
  • Victoria – 24 hours: 131 278
  • Western Australia – Business hours: (08) 9222 2555. After hours: (08) 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Boystown National Hotline

Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home
Boystown, NE 68010
800/448-3000

The Boys Town National Hotline is the only hotline that children and parents can call with any problem at any time: Spanish-speaking counselors available; translation services for 100+ languages; TTY line available for the hearing-impaired at 1-800-448-1833; Counselors can help find services and agencies in the callers’ local community.

Childhelp USA, National Child Abuse Hotline

P.O. Box 630
Hollywood, CA 90028
800/422-4453 or 213/465-4014

Childhelp USA provides a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week national crisis hotline on child abuse and neglect. Childhelp USA is dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children. It does this by focusing its efforts and resources upon treatment, prevention, and research.

Children’s Rights of America

8735 Dunwoody Place, Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30350
770-442-7865

Children’s Rights of America is a child advocacy and youth services organization that is a resource for rescuing a missing/abused child, desperately in trouble, from an impossible situation when all other avenues have failed.

Covenant House Nineline

346 W. 17th Street
New York, NY 10011-5002
800/999-9999

Covenant House is the largest privately-funded childcare agency in the United States providing shelter and service to homeless and runaway youth. In addition to food, shelter, clothing and crisis care, Covenant House provides a variety of services to homeless youth including health care, education, vocational preparation, drug abuse treatment and prevention programs, legal services, recreation, mother/child programs, transitional living programs, street outreach and aftercare.

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)

1757 Park Road, NW
Washington, DC 20010
202/232-6682
nova@digex.net

The National Organization for Victim Assistance is a private non-profit organization of victim and witness assistance programs and practitioners, criminal justice agencies and professionals, mental health professionals, researchers, former victims and survivors, and others committed to the recognition and implementation of victim rights and services.

Parents Anonymous

675 W. Foothill Boulevard, Suite 220
Claremont, CA 91711
909/621-6184
parentsanonymous-nat@earthlink.net

Parents Anonymous is a nonprofit organization which remains dedicated to strengthening families with innovative strategies that promote mutual support and parent leadership.

Education/Prevention

American Humane Association

Children’s Division
63 Inverness Drive, E
Englewood, CO 80112
800/227-4645 or 303/792-9900
children@amerhumane.org

The mission of the American Humane Association, as a network of individuals and organizations, is to prevent cruelty, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and animals and to assure that their interests and well-being are fully, effectively, and humanely guaranteed by an aware and caring society.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

U.S. Children’s Bureau
1250 Maryland Avenue SW, Eighth Floor
Washington DC 20024
703/385-7565
800/394-3366 (toll free)
info@childwelfare.gov

Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, this service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

2102 Wilson Blvd., Suite 550
Arlington, VA 22201
800/843-5678 or 703/235-3900
ncmec@cis.compuserv.com

NCMEC is a nonprofit organization and is the nation’s resource center for child protection.

National Children’s Advocacy Center

200 Westside Square, Suite 700
Huntsville, AL 35801
205/534-6868

The National Children’s Advocacy Center provides training and technical assistance to professionals working with victims of child sexual abuse as well as their families.

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

P.O. Box 1182
Washington, DC 20013-1182
800/394-3366 or 703/385-7565
Contact: Information Specialist
nccanch@calib.com

The Clearinghouse is a national resource for professionals seeking information on the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect and related child welfare issues.

National Committee for the Rights of the Child (NCRC)

125 Cathedral Street, First Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401
410/268-1544

The National Committee for the Rights of the Child was established to be a well coordinated coalition of organizations, individuals, businesses, and corporations whose goal is to improve the quality of life and development of children in America. NCRC gives primary emphasis to advancing respect and support for children’s rights through education, information, monitoring, and advocacy projects.

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA)

332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60604
312/663-3520
ncpca@childabuse.org

NCPCA is a national, nonprofit, volunteer-based organization whose primary goal is to prevent child abuse. NCPCA is represented in all 50 states through a network of chapters.

National Education Association (NEA)

Professional Library
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202/833-4000

The National Education Association is nearly 2.5 million men and women working, in schools and colleges across the United States, to help all students achieve.

National Resource Center for Child Maltreatment

1349 W. Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30309
404/881-0707
nrccmcwi@aol.com

The National Resource Center for Child Maltreatment provides training, technical assistance, consultation, and information in response to identified needs which relate to the prevention, identification, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Legal Advice

For legal help, first contact your local lawyer referral services through your chapter of the American Bar Association. In addition, the following organizations may be able to put you in touch with legal assistance or advice.

American Bar Association (ABA), Center on Children and the Law

1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202/662-1720
ctrchildlaw@attmail.com

The ABA Center on Children and the Law is a full-service technical assistance, training, and research program addressing a broad spectrum of law and court-related topics affecting children. These include child abuse and neglect, adoption, adolescent health, foster and kinship care, custody and support, guardianship, missing and exploited children, and children’s exposure to domestic violence.

National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse

American Prosecutors Research Institute
99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
703/739-0312

National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse is a program of the American Prosecutors Research Institute aimed at responding to an increasing volume of reported child abuse. The National Center serves as a central resource for training, expert legal assistance, court reform and state-of-the-art information on criminal child abuse investigations and prosecutions.

NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund

99 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
212/925-6635
Contact: Intake Department

NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund continues to be at the center of every major social and economic justice concern on the women’s rights agenda, defining the issues and bringing them to public attention. NOW Legal Defense pursues equality for women and girls in the workplace, the schools, the family and the courts, through litigation, education, and public information programs.

Domestic Violence

Family Violence Prevention Fund

383 Rhode Island Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
415/252-8900
fund@igc.apc.org

The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end domestic violence and help women and children whose lives are devastated by abuse, because every person has the right to live in a home free of violence.

National Resource Center for Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
800/527-3223

The Council’s increased awareness and sensitivity to children’s issues and provide meaningful assistance to judges, court administrators and related professionals in whose care the concerns of children and their families have been entrusted.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

American Council for Drug Education

164 W. 74th Street
New York, NY 10023
800/488-DRUG or 212/595-5810 ext. 7860

The American Council for Drug Education is a substance abuse prevention and education agency that develops programs and materials based on the most current scientific research on drug use and its impact on society.

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

P.O. Box 2345
Rockville, MD 20847-2345
800/729-6686
ncadi@health.org

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) is the information service of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. NCADI is the world’s largest resource for current information and materials concerning substance abuse.

National Parents Resource Institute on Drug Education (PRIDE)

3610 Decab Technology Pkwy., Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30340
404/577-4500

PRIDE is the largest and oldest organization in the nation devoted to drug- and violence-free youth. With programs devoted to reach parents and youth at home, school and work, PRIDE has made significant contribution in communities across America and around the world.

Volunteer Opportunities

National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association

100 W. Harrison, Suite 500
North Tower
Seattle, WA 98199
800/628-3233 or 206/328-8588
staff@nationalcasa.org

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are everyday people who are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

THE UNITED KINGDOM

If you think a child is in immediate danger

Don’t delay – call the police on 999,
or call us on 0808 800 5000, straight away.

Email us at help@nspcc.org.uk

What Mother’s Day means to me: “Mothers In The ‘Hood.” #RRBC

The ABSOLUTE Privilege of Motherhood.

‘Mothers in the ‘Hood!’

HER child.

Yes, I did say privilege. Why? … Because it must be so!  Motherhood must be regarded as the greatest joy of your combined life experiences.

We hand out special licenses to folks wishing to drive a car. A car is a potentially lethal weapon.

A child created and raised by unfit parents is also … a potentially lethal weapon.

I have written much about the woman that gave birth to me. For that is all she ever was. I spent many, many, soulless, and empty years hoping to find a different, a more palatable and convenient truth. For I so badly needed to believe, that She was damaged, and accordingly had no control over what she caused to come into being.

That thought kept me reasonably sane, in a violent, pain-filled world … that hated world, that world that made no sense to me at all.

But the years have peeled back the blinders that I used for safety, and I have come unwillingly to believe, that rather than an illness that caused her to inflict pain, I was instead her living sacrifice, to be punished upon the ‘altar’ of the train-wreck of her own life.

In order to accept that, I needed to lose the hate. Whilst I’ll never be indifferent, to even the mere mention of her name …  that bitter bile of hatred has been tempered over time. Not ever fully understanding what caused her to inflict such vile pain, is simply now just something I have learned to bear. Losing the hate I have accomplished. Forgiving her is a whole other journey I have at last been at least willing to begin.

My Child.

Amanda and MUM together ashfield
My daughter and I at the outset of our new adventure together.

The joy of giving birth will never leave my mind. Into my freshly awakening soul, a precious girl-child was permitted entry. I have yet to feel a more all-encompassing need to protect another living being. For the very first time in my life I was grateful to have been born a woman.

The greatest love I’ve ever known erupted into my unprepared world.

Her laughter and that boundless lust for life colored my planet with sunshine … as did the never ending fear that I would somehow let her down. That reflected in much darker corners in sombre tones.

My husband and I created ‘Magic’ for her newly awakened self. Her fathers’ loving parents, his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews all became our willing accomplices, as they fell captive to her joyous laughter. We reconstructed ‘Neverland’ and housed her as the reigning princess within its seemingly impenetrable walls.

All those marvelous days we’d celebrate with the ‘Magic’ element firmly in its place.

Christmas, and Birthdays, Easter egg-hunts, and Halloween. We never granted any excuse to miss a single one.

We sheltered her like a fragrant Frangipani, never allowing even a hint of the cold touch of frost to damage those tender flowers.

And when unheralded, the end of the reign of the King and Queen ruling together united …  stormed into her life, at the as yet untested age of eighteen; that precious ivory tower melted like chocolate into  untried sands.

She staggered into a world she was unprepared for, for we’d never handed her the weapons or the skill with which to use them.

We lost some years she and I, whilst each of us learned to both grow, and let go. Time was an ally then, and softly the healing leaves were sown.

Please know we’ve journeyed far in those intervening years, and know too, that life is joyous now, and we share our tears  our truths and fears.

She asked me to be there, in that precious, priceless, unforgettable time as she gave birth to her son. How lucky am I to be so loved.

My Child’s Child.

Jacob Birthday
My Grandson on his 3rd Birthday.

He came screaming into his world two weeks earlier than expected. My child’s child … my grandson. I had the utter joy of seeing that look on her face as she craned to see and experience that ageless ‘falling in love with your first child’ moment.

We live together now, my daughter, my grandson and I. She has done me the great honor of asking me to assist her to raise her son.

Wise beyond her years she knew that living with my grandson’s daddy would only end badly for all three of them.

I’ve watched on proudly as she works tirelessly with the little ones’ father to be as utterly fair to each other as is humanly possible.

You will never hear one negative word about him. NOT in the house where his son lives, and grows. The young one loves his daddy unconditionally, which is as it should be for now. My child, grants, to her child, the right to ask questions, and she answers them with as much honesty as an almost five year old can handle. She gives him the ‘fairy tales’ with a hefty dose of magic …. but she also reads to him the darker ones, age appropriate to him.

Which does he prefer? I’m smiling here. For as long as there is no blood shown, or discussed, he’ll choose the dark stuff, every time. He’s relentless in the joy that he sheds when he’s just being a boy.

My daughter yesterday repeated something she says on occasion, which I will never tire of hearing. “Mom, I had the happiest childhood of any kid ever.”

She gives to me freely the greatest compliment I have ever heard.

Her way of parenting is uniquely her own, she teaches and creates using magic, and world truths tempered by her own life experiences, and above all things her all encompassing and unconditional ability to show and give love.

We’ll make quite the proud trio on Sunday Mothers Day May 14th  …. My Child … Her Child … and I.

I’m here and overjoyed to be so.  I have so many marvelous reasons to celebrate.

I wish you happiness, and the ability to share it with people that you love, on that special day. I am,  and will remain, forever grateful for the privilege of being graced with the title of  “Mother”.

It is possibly the hardest earned and most rewarding of any title you may have been granted.

Happy Mothers Day roses

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