Five Reasons Why You Should Never Say, “Sh*t happens,” to a Survivor.

It is rude, insensitive, and totally offensive. It negates the impact of brutal systemic crime on the lives of a child, adolescent or adult. Anyone who minimizes criminal violence depicts the height of desensitization or compassion burnout. This is usually the reality for social workers, not average citizens. It is like telling someone whose spouse, child or parent was murdered, “Get over it.” It can take a multiple-trauma victim or survivor from zero stress to 100 in a few short seconds. The last reason is why I cannot say more right now.

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In Honour of My Friend Who Is In Stage Four – One of Her Favourite Poets

Fear Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive. Fear of falling asleep at night. Fear of not falling asleep. Fear of the past rising up. Fear of the present taking flight. Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night. Fear of electrical storms. Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek! Fear of dogs I’ve been told won’t bite. Fear of anxiety! Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend. Fear of running out of money. Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this….

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Still I Rise by Dr. Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.   Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.   Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.   Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?   Does my haughtiness offend you?…

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Ring Around the Rosary – Gretchen Grossman

Ring around the Rosary by Gretchen Grossman

I received a copy of “Ring Around the Rosary” two years ago in exchange for an honest review. This memoir is about an American woman who became a nun at the tender age of seventeen. She left five years later, married again, had two gorgeous boys, and taught school for twenty years. This tale touched my heart and soul in momentous ways, as many of the struggles Ms. Grossman endured overlapped issues in my life. Some have been critical of this true story, stating that it is harmful to the church. As a Catholic, I do not see it that…

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Celebrating the Poetry of Mary Oliver

IF  I  WERE There are lots of ways to dance and to spin, sometimes it just starts my feet first then my entire body, I am spinning no one can see it but it is happening. I am so glad to be alive, I am so glad to be loving and loved. Even if I were close to the finish, even if I were at my final breath, I would be here to take a stand, bereft of such astonishments, but for them. If I were a Sufi for sure I would be one of the spinning kind. Mary Oliver….

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