Tuesday, April 09, 2024

It’s Not Glitter

 No one warns you about how dried blood flakes and glistens like glitter that you just can’t seem to get off. 

No one tells you how fingerprints and hands slide over the surface paint desperation and fear that refuse to be ignored..

No one tells you how it all smells like metal or makes your stomach turn. 

No one tells you it will eat into the enamel on your vehicle.

No one tells you. I may never tell anyone either because it hurts my heart so much to say out loud. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Hope and Other Things I Struggle With

This weekend my son took our 70 lb dog, Chief, kayaking. I need to break that down because I'm not sure anyone will get the magnitude otherwise. On September 24, 2023 I thought I had lost my son. I spent hours thinking he was dead and no one would tell me. Even after finding out I had not completely lost him, his future was so uncertain. Maybe he would live, maybe his hand might work, maybe his heart and mind would recover from the awfulness. The tubes and blood and procedures are so intricately and overwhelmingly etched in my brain that I struggle constantly to breathe. 

On Wednesday this week my therapist asked about him and if he was home. I said, "No, he's at work, actually, I'm not sure because he called me randomly earlier and asked about a Kayak. Knowing my son he is probably somewhere procuring one. haha!" Not an hour later I go into Walmart and hear a loud scraping noise. I look up and see my son across the store. He was in public, in a crowded place, walking with a big smile and so calmly towards me. I've watched him in pain, I've grieved heavily watching him heal, I've watched him be absolutely terrified for months, but that day, he was focused on the kayak and fishing and all the last few months of awfulness didn't matter. I'm scared all the time too, that the son I knew would never come back, but I saw him that day, and in that moment my soul smiled.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Defund the Police and Other Stupidity

Something to consider...Yes, when some crimes occur, police sometimes come and help with the immediate needs, coincidently by contacting other agencies (medics, court, social services). 

That is absolutely not enough. 

I doubt you will find many police officers who tell you that they didn’t wish more services were available to assist them. As a hotline advocate I have had that conversation with police countless times. 

When we say defund the police, we are not saying no police. We are saying we need to increase the community and social services so that the police are both not needed as much and can link victims to support when they are.

I have worked well over 20 yrs with victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, and homelessness. 

I can tell you that when you find out your two year old (or any child) has been raped and call the police, they may come to take a report, but, they call the Department of Social Services and Children’s Advocacy Centers to help the parent and child. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

Human trafficking, child abuse and neglect is handled, or mishandled, the same way. 

When someone struggles with addiction, arrest is momentary and a temporary solution to one tiny piece of the problem. The person struggling with addiction, and their victims, need medical care, counseling, and community support. Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

Let’s sit all that aside. Let’s say the most important thing is an officer showing up and arresting someone. Please know that even if the offender is arrested, they are most often released at some point, usually immediately, by the court system. When that happens, the victim needs safe housing or a shelter, free legal support, counseling, etc... Those agencies are DEEPLY UNDERFUNDED and unable to provide adequate support. 

I speak from deeply personal experiences...

as a child who was abused, 



a woman who many times laid beaten and bloody on the floor, 

a foster parent of children abused and neglected, 

an advocate for victims of domestic violence, 

sexual assault, 


human trafficking. 

I say that as someone who has lived and worked with all of these scenarios intimately. It is not a news report, case number, or social media post. It is my 3 am panicked wake ups, my tears while speaking to that Mama whose child has been raped, my frantically seeking services for victims from agencies who have exhausted their resources and cannot help them. 

We, they, don’t need more police. We, they, need social services and community supports to both prevent and respond.

Wanna check me on any of this....pick a scenario, any of them, and contact who you think is helping. Prepare yourself or letdown. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

They Left Me And Other Reasons Why You Preaching to Me is Tone Deaf

I spent my whole life in church. I was abused by many in my childhood on a Friday and in church next Sunday morning. My ex husband would break my ankle on Saturday and lead praise and worship alone on Sunday because his wife "didn't feel well" or "was struggling with her mental health." I’ve read the Bible back and forth many times and can probably outdo most on quoting it.

From 1994-2011 I led youth groups, praise and worship, held small groups in my home, spoke in front of thousands about Jesus and my faith. And lots of things happened to change how I saw things. I respect anyone’s faith. I have solid Christian friends who I rest in their goodness. It is a constant reminder of who God can be, if people were not so rotten. 

I just wanted you to know that the Euphrates drying up is something I know. I just choose to not participate in a faith that throws away people. I don’t think the God that I know would do that. People were soooo damn busy worrying about “the gays”, the end of days, tithing, abortion, that they always left me. 

They left 2 yr old me being raped by a grandparent. They left 4 yr old me cleaning my moms blood off the floor. They left 8 yr old me clinging onto my siblings begging child protective services not to take my babies. They left 10 yr old me begging my stepmom to leave while I had more bruises than skin. They left 11 yr old me who was gang raped by 5 men, 3 of which attended a local Christian college. They left 15 yr old me who met 25 yr old him. They left me over and over and over until I finally decided I was leaving. 

So it’s not that I don’t know about your faith, or I can’t recite the whitewashed version of the Bible, but that I know better. I know better and you should do better. 

Emotional Resource Guarding for Child Abuse Victims

I’ve recently had a painful epiphany. I’m aware of situations where my siblings and I will “find an in” on a typically strained relationship and we hide it, we tuck it away. We don’t talk about it because if we do, our other family may ruin or take it in some way. Resource guarding. 43 years old and I never ever thought of this. 

I’m gonna go see such and such family member but I can’t tell you.

Don’t  tell such and such I’m here 

Shhhhh so they don’t know I’m talking to you.

It’s so sad and awful and gosh why do we do this. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

They Aren’t Her

To say the last couple of years have been the worst in my life would be an understatement. 

Yes, I have fantastic children, an amazing Stephen, precious friends who fill in the missing places, and the most Earth shattering grandson that ever existed; but, at the end of every day, I lay down, and my heart literally hurts because my sister isn't here.

I know I should be grateful, and at times I am, but most times I'm just mad. Combined with other losses, it feels most times impossible. Combined with my literally begging people for "normal" I genuinely cannot find enough tears. 

It's all made worse because I really do have all those people and things above, and I know that I have hurt all of them in this place. They are trying, they are some really phenomenal people, but they are not my Andreana. Or Andramada, as I called her, well, because. 

They are not the baby I spent countless hours wrapping their broken leg in Saran wrap before I bathed her. 

They aren't the little red headed baby I grieved heavily over as I bounced through foster care. 

They aren't the funny little barefooted girl who hid amongst my pile of stuffed animals for photos. 

They aren't the young woman who worked so hard to rise above her circumstances. 

They aren't the Mama who chose life for her babies when she knew it might kill her. 

They aren't my saving grace when life broke me, who gave me one cheddar round, and a sweet tea, every morning when she drove my babies to school. 

They aren't the ones who laughed as I cut all the chocolate off my Snickers bars and ate it because the chocolate ratio was off. 

They aren't the one who waxed places we should not have waxed, when we clearly should not have been waxing. 

They aren't the ones who did the Cupid shuffle with my parrot with me. 

They aren't the one who drove way too fast to Gatlinburg to rescue my babies, and piled way too many people in their little ass car, because they could get there faster than me. 

They aren't the ones who grabbed my Mama and drove to Charlotte when they knew I had reached my breaking point. 

They aren't the ones who sat up with me all night, for days, when I hurt too much to see morning.

They aren’t and can’t be. I don’t know how to navigate feeling this way. 

It’s Not Glitter

 No one warns you about how dried blood flakes and glistens like glitter that you just can’t seem to get off.  No one tells you how fingerpr...