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Tonight's special guest is Christy Lynn Abram from Washington, a childhood abuse survivor and author of "Little Miss Somebody," a novel based on her experiences. For many years she endured abuse and abandonment at the hands of her mother, a violent alcoholic. Year after year her abuse increased. She writes, "By the age of 12, I was left alone in an abandoned apartment to fend for myself for weeks." Her mother's actions made her feel worthless, hopeless and isolated in solitude. Christy says, "I became consumed with anger and pain." Although her mother treated her poorly, she followed her mom wherever she went .. to St. Louis, Washington, Florida, Ohio and California. "I was passed around from one relative to another, molested and left to fend for myself." she explains. Her mother "constantly berated me and told me I would never be anybody. At the age of 16, I was emancipated and living alone pregnant with my first child. By the age of 21, I had 3 children and was involved in a abuse marriage." She goes on, "I felt worthless. My sorrow was so deep, I felt like I could never find my way out. I was in and out of mental health treatment centers, each time with a new diagnosis and medication." She struggled with depression for 15 years, survived 3 suicide attempts and eventually continued the cycle of abuse I inherited from her mother. Her road to recovery has taken time. "As a spiritual person, I believe God puts us in the right place so we can discover our purpose through life's lessons," she says. "With all of my being, I believe my experiences have made me a better person." Christy now works as a mental health counselor and mentor to young women who have experiences similar to her own.
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Q & A Night - You'll suggest the themes for tonight's show, which will involve any topic from the world of public safety, violence prevention, and child abuse and trauma. Special co-host Dr. Nicole Kluemper, Ph.D., from El Cajon, California, is an abuse survivor herself. Joining host Bill Murray, Dr. Kluemper, a clinical psychologist, will lead the discussion and Q&A session. Also aboard tonight will be Elisabeth Corey from Richmond, Virginia, a returning NAASCA family member who is a survivor of severe childhood sex abuse and trafficking. Her Beating Trauma web site appeals to the general public, survivors and clinicians, with a focus on trauma theory, research and practice from a survivor's perspective. ~~ NAASCA is pleased that Dr. Debra Warner, Psy.D., an L.A. based Forensic Psychologist, will be our regular special co-host on Tuesday night question-and-answer style community participation shows. An educator and violence prevention expert, Dr. Warner will be joined each week by a different special guest whose background will provide a jumping off point for the evening's Q&A. SCAN host and NAASCA founder Bill Murray will help field questions and lead a variety of topic discussions suggested by our call-in participants. Debra's understanding of the issues of child abuse and trauma spring from a personal perspective. Multiple members of her own family have been victims of predators. She'll share how she's participated in their struggle with surviving and thriving. ~~ Everyone's invited to engage on tonight's show .. on the phone or in SCAN's ever-present community chat room. ~~ Please visit our website: www.NAASCA.org
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Tonight's special guest is Jasmin Newman from New South Wales, Australia, a survivor and activist who frequently works with male child abuse victims. Jasmin, a mother of two, describes herself as a performance coach. Her organization, Relating To Men, is all about relationships, sex, parenting and a humanist approach to equality. It's a place to provide information and resources to support men as they navigate their path through adult life, both in and out of relationships. She specializes in helping men who are struggling with relationships and intimacy issues in their lives, helping them gain the communication and connection skills necessary to create deeper, more intimate and happier relationships with those they love. Jasmin writes, "One of the things that bought me to men's rights movement was the number of doors closed on me for trying to talk about Male Sexual Assault." She points out that for many years we have been looking at women's issues and there is a wide variety of services and resources out there for them, however men's needs got lost somewhere in the equation. As a result, Jasmin's devoted to helping men who are struggling and feeling lost and alone to move to a place of acceptance and confidence and live a life consistent with their values and beliefs. She believes the power of each man's potential is not only accessible, but readily available when they allow themselves to be true to the man within.
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SPECIAL TOPIC Night - "Child Abuse, Trauma and 12-Step Recovery" - STEP 8 - SCAN host Bill Murray will be joined by special guest co-host Rivka Edery, MSW, LCSW, from NYC, author of the book “Trauma and Transformation: A 12-Step Guide." Bill founded the recently launched Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Anonymous (ASCAA). Together they will lead tonight's discussion on STEP 8: "Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." Step Eight is about unfinished business. This step sets the stage for you to relate to yourself and others in a new way. The first order of business here is to define “harm” and “amends”. Harm includes the following: damage, impairment, wound, injury, trauma, and change for the worse, any act of sexual abuse, incest, physical injury, and psychological harm, financial or emotional damage. It is the act of spoiling something, or damaging someone. If you committed harm the way to restore the balance is to make an amends. Amends includes a verbal acknowledgement of what was done, accompanied by a change in behavior. The change in behavior should mirror the opposite of the harm done. ~~ A child abuse survivor herself, Rivka Edery is grateful for the spiritual recovery she found in the 12 Steps of AA. She's been active in the 12 Step community for over 17 years. Bill Murray credits his 30 plus years of recovery to the spiritual power of the 12 Step program, too. ~~ Join us every two weeks to further examine a 12 Step approach to recovery from abuse. Next show we'll address STEP 9. ~~ Please see our web page at: www.NAASCA.org/Trauma-12Step or write to Rivka at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tonight's special guest is Carol Derry from Leicester, UK, a child abuse survivor and activist who was abused in almost every way, and by every generation of her own family. She struggles for more clarity even today. Carol writes that she's still having ".. repressed memories which have slowly been released as I became strong enough to face and work upon them. I hope that we can help others with such issues." As for her youth, she says, "I never truly knew that my childhood was so bad untill I had my mother tell me at 11 not to let my dad's father near me, as he had hurt my aunt when she was younger. She didn't tell me about her father abusing her till I was 17 claiming that she had forgotten." But it was too late for her, as she had already been sending Carol on solo holidays to her father. On her social networking profile she says, "I have taken an interest in children, families and communities and how abuse is looked at. I'm interested in mental health issues due to my own issues from childhood, and how I have had to go long periods of time without help from a trained professional as there is never enough resources, especially in child mental health services." She's currently half way through a program of cognitive behavioral therapy, which she hopes will enable her to seek more direct ways to educate people about the long term damage mentally and physically childhood abuse leaves behind if left unchallenged and corrected. "I would eventually like to be able to speak to people who are training to work with families about how toxic abuse in the family is," she writes, "and how long term the effects are for the child if the professionals around them do not intervene swiftly enough."
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Tonight's special guest is Robert Carey from Los Angeles, an abuse survivor who grew up on the south side Chicago. He was first abused when he was about four years old in a one-time incident that involved three much older kids. Bob feels this experience set him for other, later abuse because it made him aware of sex and sexuality. His parents divorced when he was about six. Bob reports, "My dad's friend had a teenage son [who] began molesting me when I was about seven. That continued until I was about 12 or 13, when I finally found a way to put an end to it myself." At 15 he was abused yet again, this time by his uncle's wife. "She was 28 and in my teenage mind, at the time I thought that it was an actual relationship. I thought that we were in love and we were somehow going to run off and have a life together." He goes on, "None of the sexual abuse that was done to me was ever violent." The remainder of his childhood and his early adulthood was spent feeling that he had been some sort of an equal participant. "The primary feelings that I can remember were guilt, shame and fear." Bob lived in constant dread that one of his secrets would be exposed and that it would ruin his life. "It wasn't until I was in my early 30s and had adopted my daughters that I was finally able to recognize that what had been done to me as a kid was sexual abuse. I still carried around a lot of guilt and feelings of responsibility until a couple years ago." Now in his mid 40s Bob is a very happy husband and a very proud father. He's done a lot of work on himself, studied about these issues and has made the most of his experience. "I am ALMOST a doctor of forensic psychology. I have dedicated the rest of my career to helping other survivors to heal and doing what I can to help prevent any future child abuse.
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Tonight's special guest is Tracy Fricke from Jacksonville, Illinois, a former foster care and child abuse survivor. She'll be telling her story publicly for the first time. Her biological father was a paranoid schizophrenic and her real mom was always physically sick. Tracy says, "I have made mistakes and bad choices and I struggle everyday to keep going on. Disassociation is something near and dear to my heart." She goes on, ".. but I survived and I fight everyday to be the best I know how." Tracy says she's not like other people and probably never will be. "My triggers may go away," she reports. "I can stand within a group of people without feeling overwhelmed, can not only feel but show real compassion to someone else without giving a cold answer, and have better self esteem and discontinue allowing the wrong people around me. I feel comfortable setting proper boundaries, with being a normal mom who understand the right thing, and most importantly know how to love myself." She moves slowly. "I am a mother to 3 wonderful daughters. I never wanted kids because I felt like I would be bad for them but it turns out I am not too bad. I have made mistakes and bad choices and I struggle everyday to keep going on." Tracy's journey is far from over .. and she knows it. "Rarely do I make any contact mentally with my childhood for fear of visiting a place that I am not mentally or physically able handle. My list of therapists have tried to help, I presume. But when it gets tough, I quit. The few times that I really tried to connect, it almost broke me emotionally and the fear is real."
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Tonight's special guest is Barry Goldstein from Teaneck, NJ, a returning NAASCA family member who's an expert in Domestic Violence and issues of child abuse. Barry shares. "I was blessed with a happy and safe childhood, but I was the victim of retaliation by the NY Court system which suspended my law license for exposing an abusive judge in my efforts to protect a battered mother and her children." The co-chair of the child custody task force of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, Barry does workshops and provides judicial and other trainings regarding domestic violence particularly related to custody issues. He's also the author of "Scared to Leave, Afraid to Stay," co-editor of "Domestic Violence Abuse and Child Custody" with Mo Therese Hannah and co-author with Elizabeth Liu of "Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor." His newest book is "The Quincy Solution: Stop Domestic Violence and Save $500 Billion," which would dramatically reduce DV crime and child abuse and save enormous sums of money. Barry will also talk about the Safe Child Act which he believes will be very interesting to our listeners, and about the ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Research. It strongly supports prevention of child abuse and other child traumas, and definitively establishes that by the time they reach 18, one-quarter of our children have been sexually abused. Barry can be reached at: Barryg78@aol.com
The joy of being a parent is one of the greatest things one can experience in life. But for millions of couples, parenthood is just a dream because of infertility issues. Coping with these issues can be a daily struggle that sometimes leads to sadness, tension, frustration and depression.
You don't have to struggle alone. If you are suffering with shame, guilt, depression, or anger because of an inability to get pregnant, we want you to call in today and chat with us.
Our guest, Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP, is here to share the resources and options that are available to help ease the emotional burden for couples who are trying to cope with infertility. Call in, 646-716-6910 or join us in our LIVE chatroom during the show.
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Tonight's special guest is John D'Amico from Orlando, FL, a child abuse survivor and author of "The Walls Talked But Nobody Listened," a three part memoir. He's taking this opportunity to build awareness. John wants to inspire other victims and provide them a “tool box” of hope and inspiration. "My story begins at the age of three when my mother passed away from breast cancer," John writes, "and what follows is 15 years of extreme child abuse and torture." He was locked away in a room for over 8 years, to being sexually, physically and emotionally abused by both his stepmother and biological father in ways many would find unfathomable. "Leaving that torture chamber at 18 years old," he continues, "I immersed into the world and had to learn in a very short period of time what so many learn over the duration of their childhood. I never faltered; I had an undeniable passion and drive to turn my life into something positive." At the age of 18 years old with a 6 grade-level education, deeply scarred and with very little social skills, John enlisted into the US Army and began a new life. John says, "What followed was a journey to become an MBA graduate, a single father to my beautiful little girl, and a life of reflection, understanding and hope." His is a story of utmost resiliency, one that John hopes we can help him share with the world. As he notes, "It is also a story about the system and an opportunity to truly build awareness for this social cancer."
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Tonight's special guest is Maralee McLean from Denver, Colorado, a returning NAASCA family member and the author of "Prosecuted But Not Silenced: Courtroom Reform for Sexually Abused Children." Maralee writes, “A mother's first instinct is to protect her child, and when the means and the power to do this are stripped unjustly from a mother, there are no words to describe the constant heartache that is felt as each day passes by.” She goes on “My heart was ripped out every time my precious little girl told me and others what most people would describe as unimaginable.” The book "Prosecuted But Not Silenced" calls our hearts and minds to sharp attention. We simply cannot look away from this reality, from this clear cut example of what can take place in and within all too common poorly informed, flawed, biased, and at times even dishonest judicial and legal processes. Maralee McLean takes on the abuse and litigation of abuse journey of the author and her daughter, a bloody path, a path fraught with double binds, trick twists, traps, and impossible choices. How does an abused woman who is a mother choose between the risk of losing custody on the one hand, and the risk of further sexual abuse of her child if she stays with the abusive parent? This is the story of how this woman made her way through the tangled web of sloppy, inadequate, nonsensical, uninformed, poorly administered, and cruelly denied justice.
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