Hold The Rainbow

April Pearson

Photo credit: April Pearson

 

She’s always loved rainbows. Even if they’d signaled more endings than beginnings and more lost pots of golden dreams than she could count. Perhaps that’s why rainbows were so colorful: They distracted you from the fact that they weren’t much more than a trick of light, air distorted through the sheen of still held tears. Would double rainbows herald double sorrow or a chance at joy?

“I wanna hold it, Mama!”

She glanced down at the curly head and her eyes followed the small hand that pointed at the docks across the narrow inlet. “I wanna hold it!”

“You can’t hold a rainbow, Marly.”

The finger remained trained on the colorful arch, and Laurie didn’t needs to see the toddler’s face to know the little girl was scowling. She recognized the full-body-speak from memories in her own bones.

“Come.” She bent and scooped the child into her arms. She was going to make sure life was different for this one. “Such a pretty rainbow, isn’t it? We can’t hold it, but I can hold you, and,” she reached into the go-bag that held everything they still possessed since they escaped, “you can hold your unicorn.”

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge

 

May We Be the Adults Kids Need

The link below is to an article by Dawn Haney (thank you, Jenny, for sending it to me). It is very well done and immensely relevant.

Take a moment to read it, and perhaps a few more to allow your realities and reactions to have the room they require and deserve. If you are so inclined, leave a comment below and share your thoughts about the article, of the things you’ve found to be helpful, and the realities of balancing activism with self-care.

In these times of rampant overwhelm and maddening injustice — especially if you carry your own wounds and trauma history — may you find the support you need, the awareness you seek, and the way to provide aid to the vulnerable in the pace and manner you can manage.

And may we all, indeed, be the adults kids need.

May We Be the Adults Kids Need: Healing practices to avoid burnout

From the article. Photo by Brooke Anderson.

 

Do Not Quail

hold on

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

When powerful

Pound podiums

With rabid lies

To sow mistrust,

Don’t falter

From the facts

Of what is wrong

And what is right.

Don’t quail before

Deep cruelty

That shreds your heart

To cries.

Step forth

For those who have no voice,

Be brave

And mobilize.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for June 19, 2018:

Quail

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

 

For The Long Haul

Ethiopia6 DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

In places too many

On this one blue-green ball,

Children haul

More than the weight of firewood

On their backs,

Big or small.

Sorrow, loss, illness, agony

Needs unmet

Unheard calls …

Yet they are all

Our children,

Their pain is our

Shortfall.

They are worthy of better:

In the now

For the future

For humanity’s long haul.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Small Fry

Children phototechnique.com

They may be small

They may be young

They may often get taken, transferred, pushed around.

They may get little voice

About things that affect their lives.

They may have few actual ways

To keep alive.

Their views may be ignored

Laughed at

Minimized.

Their needs may all too often be relegated

To agendas others have.

But small as they are, they are mighty

They are brave of soul

And heart.

They hold opinions

Dreams

Ideas

Insights.

Our care makes all the difference

To the future

That they hold

Inside.

For The Daily Post

 

Can You Hear?

Can you hear the hearts that beat

across the mountains, deserts, oceans

hoping for safe harbor,

an anchor

home?

Can you see small fingers gripping

other little hands

bereft of parents,

lost,

alone?

Can you hear the soft breaths

of babies

sleeping

in tired arms

weighted by

desperation,

violence, hate, war?

Can you hear the calls

in dreams

in prayer

for safe passage

for a welcome

to belong?

Can you —

how can you not —

hear,

the urgency

of hope

that hardship snuffed

and yet

still

yearns to grow?

 

refugees-express-co-uk

Photo by express.co.uk

 

 

For the Daily Post

 

Trauma’s Memory Problems : A good article

child trauma

Trauma all too often brings up the detective in people, prods them to question, pin point, dissect accounts, weigh relative credibility. It is an odd thing, given the reality that trauma–by its very essence of overwhelm and shutting down of language centers, processing, and memory integration–affects how one may be able to remember, recount, and narrate it. Trauma is difficult to articulate and often too difficult to comprehend, even to know. And yet, it is often demanded to be phrased in exact details that go beyond every-day memory. As if trauma memory should be, somehow, more stellar, subject to higher standard, to bigger scrutiny.

Granted, there may be a motive in it: people would rather believe trauma is less frequent and not as severe. If there are holes in a story, maybe it is ‘proof’ that it did not take place, or not as badly, or not deliberately … At the same time, there is an inherent lack of understanding about how memory and overwhelm conflict and contradict each other. In some ways, a misremembered, disjointed, incoherent event fraught with numbness and confusion may well BE one of a trauma … rather than be proof of something not happening …

Trauma is a problematic thing for memory.

People remember trauma differently. Some remember constantly, vividly, intrusively. Some remember oddly. Some remember snippets, or sensations, or disjointed unease that seems disconnected from anything that seems to make sense. Some remember sometimes. Some remember not at all.

Children, especially, may find not remembering safer than to try and manage the overwhelming reality of what to let reality in may mean. They may have to keep things in the ‘not knowing’ folder to go on and push away reminders that make no sense, they recant, reverse, deny, ignore.

In the article below, the author explores memory and trauma, denial and dismissal, inaccuracies and interpretations, shame and judgment, burden and prejudice, reality and myth.

It is a worthy read for anyone who has been touched by or knows someone who has been touched by trauma (that should include the lot of us, really …). It is an even worthier read if one keeps in mind how it would be all the more difficult for children to conceptualize and remember trauma cohesively, when they have less tools with which to manage what they had endured, and are more vulnerable to misconceptions about what it says to them, about them, about those who hurt them, about the world, about who they may be or have become.

​I Was Sexually Assaulted As A Child. Here’s Why I Didn’t Remember For Years.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/12/23/3606576/memory-and-sexual-trauma/

Keeping Children Safe–a how to resource!

talking to children about abuse

When it comes to keeping children safe from sexual abuse, many parents are baffled as to what to do. They don’t want to scare their children or give them ideas about the world being unsafe, and at the same time worry that lack of safety skills may place their children in danger of being exploited.

Parents don’t know when to start, how to bring the topic up, what to say (and what not to say). Many prefer to not bring up the issue at all, or focus only on ‘stranger-danger’–even though 90% of child sexual abuse happens in the hands of people familiar to the child (and upward of 75% by caregivers). It is difficult to conceive that children can be harmed this way. No one wants to believe that people they may know could be unsafe. We want to believe we can keep them safe from everything and everyone. Always. Moreover, the whole issue can bring up painful memories in those who pushed away their own experience of inappropriate touch.

Embarrassment, too, often complicates caregivers’ discourse about sexual abuse, as does worry about questions that one may not know how to respond to or that would raise issues of immodesty.

Even among those parents and caregivers who do discuss safety and sexual-abuse prevention, many don’t realize that keeping children safe goes beyond a one-time ‘talk’ about the topic.

Fortunately, there are resources like the one below, which do an excellent job introducing the issue of safety and body boundaries in children, from infancy through to adolescence. It is a very good place to start!

If you are a parent or a caregiver–read it. It may give you information or suggestions you did not think of before. If you are not a direct caregiver–share this with others who are. They will thank you. More importantly, the children would be safer.

http://www.themamabeareffect.org/empowering-our-children.html

themamabeareffect

Of course, children’s safety extends well beyond sexual abuse prevention. Verbal and physical abuse, bullying, and neglect are other sad realities for all too many children. We all should be vigilant to notice, intervene, and seek help for any child at risk. Any risk. It is our responsibility as adults to do so.

This resource, and other educational and practical tools for improving child safety are only one step and target certain risks, but are still immensely important to read and incorporate. This offers a very good start. Following these recommendation can help.

The reality is that even with all the information and education possible, we may not be able to stop some things from happening once. However, with good information and open communication, we can at the very least teach our children what to listen to (and what not to listen to or believe), and we can reinforce clearly how they can come to us with any discomfort, concern, worry, or imposed secret. This can help can minimize the likelihood of the unwanted happening. Just as important if not more–by providing children with good, ongoing, open communication about their bodies, their right to safety and honoring their intuition–we can ensure that what might happen will not escalate and will not happen again. Because they’ll come to us. Because they’ll tell. Because we will make it stop.

Click. Read. Learn. Share.

http://www.themamabeareffect.org/empowering-our-children.html

CSA we have to talk about it