To Everyone Affected by Abuse

I am a survivor of childhood abuse which spiraled into a long relationship with a man who led me down the path of becoming a domestic violence survivor, and unfortunately I sailed into the shoes of a non-offending mother of a sexually abused child.

I am inviting you to read my testimony, so you can learn about my mission, and to invite you to join me in my quest to educate those who have luckily not been subjected to abuse, to encourage families and survivors of abuse, and to direct those in need to the resources that may assist them.

I am developing two books. The first gives readers a front row seat to both my own and my daughter’s trials and tribulations. The second is an anthology filled with experiences from men and women from many age groups, from many walks of life, and from many parts of the world who have survived every imaginable type of abuse.

If you are a survivor of any type of abuse whatsoever, please consider adding your testimony in my upcoming book. You have the option to use a first name or to remain anonymous. There is no word limit and all contributors will receive an e-book with close to 1000 testimonials. I am pleased to say my book is due for release in the early part of 2010.

In closing, I leave you with a thought to ponder. Some people are under the impression that we can end abuse. I mean no disrespect, but honestly, these people who believe we will achieve the ending of abuse are looking at a different reality than I am. I might be wrong, but my belief is that we will never totally eliminate abuse. Nonetheless, I do believe we can lower the victim population through one simple equation: Education + Awareness = Prevention.

I wish to thank you in advance for caring enough to check me out. I look forward hearing from those who are willing to join me in advocating for fellow survivors and children through what I believe is a worthwhile venture that will make a difference.

Respectfully,
Sherry Clyburn

End note: If you are an organization you may wish to add info such about what publications you offer, products that assist you with operational costs, and info about any special events that you sponsor, and if you have a blog. Please remember that while many may know about your work, there are as many who do not; therefore my offer to promote your cause may be beneficial to your cause.

Here is the link to my testimony, other articles I have authored, and letters from the professionals who support my cause and who give credit my character. http://www.experienceproject.com/uw.php?e=1039200

wow. i usually post onthe Eating disorder site, but was drawn to this cause ive been seriously abused by both my mom and dad. my mom put me through sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and humiliation while my dad was verbal and sexual abuse as he sexually abused me as a child...

i dont ususally post on the abuse site--i dont know why. maybe it is cause it is hard to talk about but i do want to... i dont like bottling it up. i talk about it in therapy( my therapist wonders how the heck i survived all that pbuse) but there are times out of therapy i feel like talking about it but dont know how...

im thinking about giving my testimony to your book, but id like to know more info about it..im kinda shy to in a way.... but i feel if i gave my testamony i wouldnt feel so alone in this as i do now...

thank you

maureen

Christa33, I would encourage you to share your story with others here. You’re right - you wouldn’t feel so alone as you do now. I seriously doubt that you could say anything that others here haven’t heard or read about, or experienced first-hand themselves - and many probably have much wisdom to impart to provide you appropriate support. I know how you feel - being shy talking about it outside of therapy. I learned early on that most people you encounter in your daily life are not equipped to understand or even be able to process what you and other abuse victims have experienced - even your closests friends might not have a clue how to support you, some may even step away because they are so overwhelmed by it all. You are NOT alone, and I’m sure there are plenty of people here who will listen respectfully and compassionately. Do whatever you need to do to become healthier and stronger.

Hi, again, Sherry!

LOVE that you are doing this book! I totally agree with your equation (Education + Awareness = Prevention), and the first step is to define abuse so that people will recognize it for what it is - especially psychological abuse. The new buzz word today is "Bullying" - but Bullying is just the same old abuse whether physical, verbal, psychological, or sexual - and all abuse is about exerting control over others so that the abuser can get a "fix" of Power, Dominance, Superiority, Authority, and Control in order to justify their existence by compensating for their true feelings of impotence, oppression, inferiority, worthlessness, incompetence, helplessness, victimization, and all-consuming fear!

Most of all, abuse is about controlling perception - controlling how the victims perceive themselves and their abusers, and especially controlling how others perceive and assign value to the abusers, as well as their primary targets.

Believe me, I have been experiencing and studying abuse and abusers first-hand for 60 years now - and I could go on and on. I will be more than happy to share with you and everyone else what I have learned about the dark, cold, malignant heart, mind, and soul of abuse.

I look forward to sharing with you.

that is brilliant what you wrote–artemis!!! wow!!! that so puts thing in perspective for me! i do hope you share your gift with others who have been hurt…

thank you

love
maureen

thanks so much artemis V ---thanks so much for that. yes i do feel most others dont understand what i go through at all because my fiancees family is so well adjusted, happy outgoing and driven people. me--im shy, inotroverted, well, i was sad but now becoming happy( so cool!) but i am just not driven in my life. i have little drive. i mean it is there but my ambition was so messed with and made fun of --i dont know how to get it back. it has gotten better though...but i dont have that spark to do things in life that i see others have. sigh. so i feel a lot of people dont understand what i go through who are well adjusted, outgoing, driven,and successful. hell ive even been treated cold by others who dont get me.

thanks so much for offering i share it here or in the book... it is scary to put out there. it makes me feel wierd but i feel better talking about it--it lifts a
weight off my back... it isnt good to store it inside...

thanks so much for telling me im not alone and that people on here would listen , that means so much. i post mostly on the eating disorders site--but have found that people on all aspects of this site are the most lovely wonderful, caring people ever. thanks so much...

love
maureen

Hi, maureen!

I’m impressed that you’re engaged to a man from a “…well adjusted, happy, outgoing and driven” family! Most of us abuse victims have a tendency to shy away from such and be attracted to other abusers because we humans are drawn to that which is familiar and, therefore, “comfortable.”

As for your lack of “drive” and “spark,” that’s not surprising. All abusers use the same “brain-washing” tactics, embedding negative messages in their victims’ minds to alter how they perceive and value themselves; “You’re nothing,” “You’re nobody,” “You’ll never be anything;” and, “You don’t deserve to be respected…to have nice things…to be loved…;” blahblahblah!! Abusers devalue their victims and teach them to devalue themselves so that the abusers can feel superior. Since abusers are unable to value themselves due to the damage done to their identities by their own abusers, they are forever enslaved to how others perceive and assign value to them. So, they seek to enslave their victims the same way in order to control them - kind of like dangling a carrot in front of the horse’s nose. The victims must accept as truth and fact the abusers’ definition of their identity in order to be “loved” and “accepted” by the abuser. So, I’m sure that your lack of “drive” and “spark for life” probably stems from you being taught to devalue yourself - damages and even destroys self-esteem which really feeds eating disorders, too.

Bottom line is just this: despite what your abusers told you, you are NOT a slave, and YOU ALONE have the authority to define your identity and determine your destiny - don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!

Love & Hugs!

ArtemisV You are very insightful and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and others to read. I hope you will check out my page and let me know if you are interested.

You are so correct about abusers and how they operate.

I hope you are having a good night and I look forward to hearing from you.

As always
Sherry

artemis, thank you so much for your response--you are brilliant and, so right... it is so ahrd going about de brainwashing myself especially when i just dont beleive the good...

i am having such a hard time with the eating disorder---not that i engage in ti much anymore---well, once in a while i do, sigh, but i have a horrible time accepting me for me. i just cant freakin do it. i always always want to change myself. i always always have to change, change, change, something is always wrong. i keep thinking, well maybe it is because i am fat and ugly, but hmmm as i am going thru your posts, something is starting to dawn on me, that i was always taught i was no good, ever! so i always felt i had to change in order to be good cuz nothing was ever good enough...

so now, it is like i look in the mirror and think--im so not good enough the way i am. im a mess. and i always think it is cause i am ugly and fat but now im starting to see it as something deeper, like embedded in me--that i was taught i was not good enough . i was taught i was not good being me... so when i look in the mirror i am never pleased. no matter what.

it is so hard accepting the real me! i dont think i can do it! i always want to change my weight, hair, makeup, dress, something is always wrong.... i am never pleased.

sigh...i so hope so badly i can accept me but it is sooooo hard it makes me want to cry... i dont know if i can.
i also have a perfectionistic complex..from it all..

yes abuse sure does kill ambition. it destroys it.

it devalues you beyond anything...

like --you are nothing and no good for anything.

thanks artemis for your beautiful insight---

thanks soo much. you opened my eyes.... you did!

love
maureen

thank sherry i will check that out soon!

love
maureen

Like Maureen I too usually post on the Eating Disorder groups, but I have been subjected to a lot of abuse growing up.

I was kidnapped at age 6, molested from age 7 to 11, physically abused from age 11-13, and then raped at age 16. On top of this I have lived with a neglectful mother and an alcoholic father. I agree that I don't think we can stop abuse but we can surely educate those around us about it.

~Ashley

Hi Ashley,

I just read your post and I wish I knew some words that would be helpful to read, but I do not. You have been through so much but the positive thing is something you should be proud of and that is you have choose to step out from the shadows of your silence. It is not easy and I commend your courage.

I can certainly relate to what it is like to be raised in a home with alcoholic parents. I did as well.

I stand firm behind what I said. Some people are under the impression that we can end abuse. I mean no disrespect, but honestly, these people who believe we will achieve the ending of abuse are looking at a different reality than I am. I might be wrong, but my belief is that we will never totally eliminate abuse. Nonetheless, I do believe we can lower the victim population through one simple equation: Education + Awareness = Prevention.
I stand firm behind Education + Awareness = Prevention.

It is my hope that you will check out what I’m doing and maybe you will agree to help spread awareness by sharing your experience. Keep in mind you can be anonymous.

I hope to hear from you.

Take care,

Sherry

wow abrum, i knew something about this but i didnt know everything...

im so sorry...i really am but i think it is this that is our root cause of our ED. well, the media dont help either...

im so sorry. i wish--people werent awful like this. and i wish there was something i could say to help...

but know i understand...

love
maureen

I was not abused as a child, but I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance when I was in my freshman year of college. It was only until the past few weeks that I began to understand how this contributed to my ED. I think the link between abuse and eating disorders is common and needs to be researched more.

Hi chelsea8625,

I was just reading your note and I wanted to say I am so glad you did not endure abuse as a child. And I am so sorry that you endured acquaintance assault. Abuse is abuse and it all leave the same type of emotional injury.
I agree with you there really is a need for more research to be done regarding the abuse and eating disorders.

My heart goes out to you and what you must battle. I thankfully do not have an eating disorder however I did not escape being affected by abuse. Any effect from abuse is horrible.

I read your profile quote; “Sometimes God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

This is an awesome quote that I truly believe in because it has proven to be the case in my life so many times.

I wanted to send you a link to that a page that I have designed and it is my hope that you will take a few minutes to visit the page. The title of the page is Let’s Talk About Blessings http://www.experienceproject.com/uw.php?e=997510

I hope your day is going well and I hope I will hear from you.

Take care

As Always
Sherry

hey sherry--im going to check out your link asap...

have a great day..sorry i couldnt do it sooner i was soooo busy..ack...

love
maureen

Hi Maureen,

Thank you for checking me out. I appreciate it a lot. I really hope to hear from you and I hope that you will agree to help and or maybe you can help spread the word. Thanks

Take care and I hope you are having a good day.

As Always,
Sherry

hey sherry, i have never been in your situation, but i can say that i will support you every step of the way, people like you are the reason why the world is a better place

Hello patelk13,

Thank you so much for the support and encouragement. I do appreciate it.

I am glad you have not been subjected to abuse.

Take care.

As Always
Sherry