Safe Communities Survivor Voices Series: Thursday February 18th, Pauline Zimmerman, author
I Heard and I Saw Before I Knew
Interviewer: Linda Crockett, Director of Safe Communities
Twitter user @charlubby (Chuck Mullin) chronicles trauma recovery and other mental health issues in a series of cartoons featuring her alter ego, a relatable pigeon. This page succinctly expresses how repressed trauma can feel when it’s ready to come out and be processed:
For more information about @charlubby’s upcoming book, Bird Brain, look here:
What lovely affirmations this artist has posted. So kind, validating, and nice to look at. And every one is true! ❤
This group is for non-offending parents and caregivers of children who have been sexually abused. The group will focus on the impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the survivor and the family.
Through guided discussion and shared activities, the participants will explore topics including: trauma response, grief and loss, necessary changes, fostering healthy child/family development, family impact (parents, marriage, siblings), establishing safety and creating a new normal.
The goals for this group include: Sharing information in a supportive environment, Gaining knowledge of trauma response, Imparting universality: You are not alone, and Networking to continue supporting survivors of CSA.
The group will meet twice monthly at Samaritan Counseling Center from 7 to 8:30 pm on the following Mondays: January 28th, February 11th & 25th, March 11th & 25th and April 8th, 2019. Total cost for the 6 session series is $150 for individuals or $250 per couple. Preregistration is required – register online here. Click here for additional information. Contact Lizz Durbin at LDurbin@scclanc.org or 717-560-9969 ext. 254 to register.
This series of 6 gatherings for adult survivors of child sexual abuse typically meets twice monthly for 3 months. Participants experience a safe community and common ground with other survivors as we look at the ways that our lives have been shaped not only by our stories of trauma, but by our own strength, struggle and resilience. By exploring healing truth and hope through conversation and creative expression, we will consider the many ways that the dark or dormant periods in our lives can give way to growth and new life.
The Circle of Hope is co-facilitated by trauma-trained therapist, Lisa Hanna Witmer, MSW, LSW and Deb Helt, Senior Safe Church Facilitator & Congregational Support Specialist. Meetings are held at Samaritan Counseling Center (1803 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays and group size is limited to 8 participants. The cost for the series is $125 for all 6 sessions.
The Spring 2019 series runs from February through April 2019. For a printable flyer with additional information about our spring circle, click here. To register online click here. If you have any questions, please contact Lizz at 717-560-9989 ext. 254 or LDurbin@scclanc.org.
Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings have been hard for many, but especially those who have a history of sexual abuse or assault. Whether or not you watched the proceedings, it was hard to avoid hearing about them on the news and on every social media outlet.
Some people are only now realizing that some of their own experiences were abuse or assault. Others are experiencing renewed rawness of emotions that they thought were long past. Many are sad, anxious, outraged, depressed.
For many survivors, it’s not only whatever abuse or assault may have occurred. It’s also about the reactions of others, the important others and even loved ones who trivialized, dismissed, or minimized the trauma. Those who told survivors in one way or another,
“Who cares if you were upset then or now. It’s in the past! Get over it! Snap out of it! You’re making a big deal out of nothing. You weren’t actually hurt. This was nothing compared to [someone else’s painful experience]. I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way. He wouldn’t do that to someone so unattractive! He didn’t really do that much. Quit playing the victim! You’re always so dramatic! Be strong! Deep down he’s really a good guy. It was your own fault for being there. For drinking. For wearing that outfit. For trusting someone. For being friendly. For being bitchy. For being vulnerable. For acting tough. For not saying ‘no’ the right way. Why can’t you just be cool about it? You’re lucky he showed you attention. He only does that to girls he likes.”
It can be hard to reject the destructive, victim-blaming messages we may have internalized for years. Seeing someone else go through that process can be very upsetting. But it can also be an opportunity to recognize that while there are those who minimized or disbelieved or just didn’t care, it still wasn’t your fault. Just as you can see that it was not the fault of other survivors, it was also not your fault. It was always the fault of the assailant, no matter how powerful, successful, “nice,” or well-looked-upon.
Teen Vogue has some concrete suggestions for keeping yourself together during social crises that are PTSD triggers. Take care of yourself; you are worthy of care.
Click through to Twitter to see Azie Dungey’s (@AzieDee) thread on the complexity of trust issues: