Here's to dreams and prayers #whenibecamefree
So, I had an idea.
I've been wanting to hold again workshops for journaling to heal -
I get quite a few survivors reaching out to me on any given day, they mainly need just someone to hear them, know they exist as they work through all those conversations and debates in their heads. Those spinning thoughts we either address or shove away, down with all the emotions that go with them. Because of this I thought it would be nice to have a weekly support group, online, and one where you can see and interact with others - a support group via video conferencing. No barriers, easily accessible.
I searched out options for hosting these endeavors and found a few, but to do it properly and where we'd have all the features I need, it comes at a cost. Truly it is not much, but more than I have at the moment as I am dealing with some chronic health issues and cannot be out in the workplace.
How do I accomplish this all?
How can I make this happen?
A long while ago I made a promise to myself and to God. When life was on shaky ground and I had two boys looking up to me, needing someone to hold things together and give them the stable foundation every child deserves to grow up on...I prayed. I cried and I prayed every time I was alone. As I took a long and much needed warm bubble bath, I cried and prayed. When I was alone driving in the car, I cried and I prayed. When I sat at my desk in the wee hours, unable to sleep, I cried and I prayed. I prayed for strength not to give up and keep moving forward. I prayed that I could provide to the children everything I told them was my job. As little ones they had me home - they would ask me why I didn't work outside the home like their father. My response always was, "Mommy's job is here with you. I am here to keep you happy, healthy, and safe."
Domestic violence, a recession, and my parents passing left me in a cold, dim, bitter world to figure out life while trying to keep a blanket of nurturing warmth around my boys. So, yes, I cried and I prayed.
I made a promise to God and all the Saints this once devout Catholic girl learned about, that if they helped me find the strength to keep moving on, that I would, in turn, help and guide others to find their strength. That I would work as much as possible to create impactful change - even if it was just one child growing up safer in their environment - having a better foundation
Now, if you look back through this blog, a decade plus of posts, you will notice something. I rarely spoke about my faith - my spiritual self and there is a reason for it. As that once devout Catholic girl there was even a time I thought about entering a convent but real life slapped me in the face. I started realizing that organized religion was not for me, this was especially the case after the stories of priests were being exposed for molesting children. Those facts, along with the church's cover--up, shook me to the core. I then started questioning teachings of the church -and as a person who was drawn into reading articles and watching documentaries about people and cultures throughout time, facts about our Earth's evolution did not align with those teachings. It was all of that and a few other things that touched too close to home -
Over the decades I searched out knowledge - I read about other religions - I watched more documentaries - I read more articles and books and while it took some time, I found comfort in my own spiritual self. It is not a belief I can easily explain and nor should I have to...it is part of me that is most intimate and no one else's business - and, I can guarantee it will not fall into line with those who do align with an organized religion, so, why even bother getting into a debate.
I do believe in a higher power and I choose to call me higher power, God.
So, yes, I prayed. I cried and I prayed - and I made it through those toughest years. My boys have grown into tremendous and responsible adults. They didn't have it easy. There were nights we went to bed still a bit hungry. There were winters we shivered bed, trying to get some sleep. On those coldest of nights all of us would climb into my king sized bed, including the animals and have a movie watching party in my room. The combined body heat under a mountain of quilts kept us warm. Wisconsin winters can either drive a family apart due snowy bitter cold isolation or bond them together in survival. We found the strength needed for survival.
My prayers were heard - my tears were comforted - so, now it is my turn to pay it forward. In doing so I've had some hurdles to jump, mainly my health. My fingers are aching as I try to write this all out, I can no longer type as I once did. Pain is shooting up my arm and there is numbness in my hands. That hurdle alone has stopped me from writing much in this blog. A fact that hurts in ways I cannot express - writing saved my life - expressing those secrets of abuse and embracing them in front of the world, gave me strength. It was a tool and a gift given to me by the God I have faith in and out of all those prayers.
Somehow the answer came to me -
It came after a conversation with a friend -
It was an answer that balks of the idea that I can no longer write like I once did.
An answer I am sure others are trying to figure out, because people are nosey like that.
I may not be able to write for long periods like I once did.
But I know how to put together a newspaper - pagination is not typing - it is clicking and dragging. It is copy and paste. I can do that for longer periods than typing.
And I still have the programs needed to facilitate this all.
The answer was - make a weekly paper for survivors, the people who care about them and advocates.
Dedicate it to news and information around issues of abuse.
Allow survivors to submit their stories so they voice is heard.
And, get help from other survivors to do the writing.
Let people see the value in the product and they hopefully will support it with a subscription, in turn, I can pay my freelance writers, I could pay all those fee for the services and programs I need to do all those video groups, those workshops, and more. Do it in a way that no longer drives me further into a poor house - Give freely and allow those who want to support the effort -then give them information to share for awareness.
Maybe, just, maybe it will work.
Maybe, just, maybe, one child will have better tomorrows because of it.
Maybe, just, maybe .....
And if it doesn't? At least we tried.
So, with that, here is the introduction to the When I Became Free Weekly News
Take a look at it ,,,I pray it will grow
Share it with others,,,
And if you think it has value, please consider subscribing-
If you would like to submit a press release or if you're a survivor who wants to share your story, your art, your poems... email me at email@example.com
(excuse typos in this post - my fingers are cashed)