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True Strength

True strength is standing against that which you fear most. I regret taking my father's life because true strength would have been facing him in a court room. True strength would have been making eye contact as I sat on the witness stand and testified to a court of law about how he raped me, about how he killed my soul, and shattered my childhood.

Create A Safety Plan

One of the best things we can do to help combat abuse is to be prepared just in case it happens. I recently sat down and thought about what I would need at hand if someone close to me told me they were being abused. I am linking a copy of the file I created to help get you started.

Safety Plan - Darkness to Light

Last week I blogged about my need to create a safety plan if someone close to me confided in me they are being or had been abused. I felt quite lost trying to discover this information on my own. Where I did start? Who do I contact? What are the right steps?

I think that everyone's personal plan will be just that, a personal plan, unique to them. What they feel comfortable with, who they will call, etc.

Having the Talk

My niece unintentionally rendered me speechless the other day. She was buckled into her carseat in the backseat of my car. I had the radio on, but quickly turned it down when I heard her sweet little girl voice speaking to me. Here is what I heard, "mumble, mumble, touched my pee pee." I immediately turned down the radio and was looking for the nearest parking lot to pull my car into. I said, "I don't understand what you just said honey, I am going to stop the car and I need you to repeat it." I think I felt the Earth spinning, I felt the actual tilt of the axis, my center of gravity was slipping, and I definitely felt nauseous. My mind was already whirling, who would I call first her mother or the police?
I pulled the car into the nearest parking lot and I took a deep breath as she opened her mouth to repeat what she just said. "Mia's nose touched my pee pee."
I started crying as I silently thanked God. I found my voice and asked, "Mia, the new doggie?" My niece nodded her head and said again, "Yes, Mia's nose touched my pee pee."

Go Work Out

One of my friend's Facebook posts said, "It only takes a minute to get off the couch and change your life. Just do it."
To be honest, I really didn't feel like reading that. I have an IT Band injury that has left me unable to work out the way I used to and I miss it. The last thing I wanted to do was be told to go and work out.
I facebooked her back and said, "Quit nagging or people will unfriend you."
She wrote back, "Ha, ha. You have a lot of room to talk."
Okay, mea culpa. After being mad for about 15 seconds I realized she was right. I push exercise on people all of the time, and I do mean all of the time. Someone will say, "I'm depressed" and I tell them "Go work out." Someone else will say, "I need something in my life but I don't know what" and I tell them "Go work out." Someone will say, "I don't know where to start" and I will tell them "Go work out." I bet someone could tell me, "I just won the lottery" and I would tell them "Go work out."

Decisions = Mistakes

I seem to be the world's worst decision maker. It is ridiculous how long it takes for me to make a simple decision. For example, I recently upgraded to a new phone and needed a new cover/case for it. After a few hours of research I made a decision, shopped around for the lowest price and ordered a case online. I was quite pleased with myself, that is, until the phone came. The phone came before the case and I knew that if it was unprotected for even a second I would break it. That seems to be my luck, or my clumsiness at the very least. So, I went out to buy a cheap temporary case.
Ok, the words cheap and phone case apparently do not belong in the same sentence together because I searched 4 stores and did not find a cheap one. I wanted a simple, inexpensive case temporarily, what I found were cases that were simply a fashion statement, or just went around the outside of the phone (a bumper), or they were quite expensive.

Other People's Opinion

"It is hard not to let other people's opinion matter."
- Stacey Ann Lannert
You can quote me on that statement.

I have spent the majority of my life worried about what other people think of me, worried about other people's opinion (O.P.O). I have covered up my pain, my humiliation, my sorrow, my grief, my happiness, my joy, everything - due to worry of O.P.O.

Have you ever told yourself: "Well I can't let them see me feeling (insert emotion here) or else (insert fear here) will happen."
I have done this with almost every aspect of my life. I told myself when I was living through the abuse that I could not let others see or they would hate me. I told myself later in life that I could not express happiness because their are people who believe I do not deserve happiness. We tell ourselves a lot about other people's opinion.

Goodbye Old Friend

With the New Year comes the desire for resolutions, the changes we wish we could make to just be happier. For most of us, making the changes takes a significant event, such as New Year, to force us to change (for the better). The only resolution I made was to get my blog up by noon every Monday. By making one resolution I found the desire to give something else up, an old friend - smoking.
Smoking has been with me since as far back as I can remember. Every male member of my family indulged one form of tobacco or another, be it pipe, cigar,chew, or cigarettes. I grew up around it, it was part of my life.
I remember when we had the class warning us of its dangers and I signed the pledge that I would never smoke. In addition, I did everything I could to get my dad to stop smoking. I even went so far as to flush his cigarettes down the toilet every time I saw them. It was useless, his addiction was greater than his fear of the cancer that might one day spread through his body.
It was with great surprise that I became a smoker. I don't remember all the events that lead to it, I barely remember the first awful puff. If you offered me a million dollars I can't tell you why I became a smoker.
I think we start our habits slowly, not really wanting them but just going along with it because it is easier or because everyone else is doing it. We don't ever really realize when it becomes a habit, but at some point it just happens.

New Year

A New Year is coming and with it comes new resolutions. I have to admit I have slacked a bit with my postings, life gets in the way, have to go to work, have to study, etc. However, my New Year's resolution is to post a new blog every Monday before noon. You might have to cut me some slack, it might actually be midnight before I get it posted, but I will have it up before Tuesday unless I am in Mexico again (did not get internet there).
I want you take a look at the blog "Lost". It is an amazingly honest portrayal of how abuse shapes up and changes us. It shows how our souls become numb. I get it, I feel it, I think we all have. I like to think that I am "healed", but we are walking a journey every day that takes the shape of a new path. Some days the path is straight, some days twisted, and sometimes there is just a big ole boulder in the way of the path that you have to climb to cross or chisel away at in order to get through.

Finding Her Voice

I recently went to Georgia and gave a lecture at one of the colleges. I met a few of the students after and some of them invited me to watch a band play later that evening.
I wasn't sure if I should attend or not, many questions ran through my mind: Would I be blurring some type of rules by attending? Would it be crowded? I don't do well in crowds. Would people be drinking? Would I feel out of place?
I decided to go ahead and go. I told myself that I could always leave and I might be missing a wonderful opportunity if I just stayed in my cozy rented room.
When I got there I was amazed to find the band playing was actually the group of students who had invited me. The band consisted of a trio of women, 2 of whom were in the audience of my lecture.
The opening song was brilliant. I loved her voice. The band chose an upbeat, fun tune that really engaged the audience. It was wonderful to watch this lead singer blossom in front of the crowd. I was impressed and felt I had made the right choice in attending.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.

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