Monday, March 31, 2008

Break the Silence - child abuse

I attended a meeting yesterday, an unsettling one. It was unsettling because I found that although I thought I was fairly well informed on the subject of child abuse, I, in fact, was woefully uneducated on the scope of the problem.

Four children per day die from child abuse in our country. Four! Per Day! Think about it.

Four per day!

Most of those children faced abuse beyond anything we can imagine. It was their parents, their grandparents, an Aunt or an Uncle, or a close, and trusted, friend of the family that abused them in most cases - not a stranger. This abuse was inflicted NOT from a bad person they never knew, but from someone who should have been caring for them, loving them, protecting them. This abuse was inflicted by women nearly as often as by men (47% women, 53% men). Most of these children faced a situation where there was more than one adult aware the abuse was happening. Most of the abuse was done to them while in their own homes - the one place where they should have been safe.

Most of those children faced abuse for longer than we can imagine. Not hours, not days, not weeks, but years before it finally killed them. Some were, in fact, killed - and revived by their abuser, time and again. It was done just to show the child that the abuser, or abusers, could do it. It was done to prove the abuser - or abusers - had dominion over the child's life in every way - down to the next breath the child would take. Many were starved as well as beaten, sexually abused, and/or verbally beaten down; in short, those children lived in terror of their abuser as well has having to endure the pain of the physical abuse.

Most of the abusers have friends, co-workers, and family who cannot bring themselves to believe the person could be an abuser, even when a child is obviously bruised, browbeaten, afraid to be near their abuser, severely malnourished, or evidencing other obvious symptoms.

Most of those children reached out to someone, sometime, and were rebuked, disbelieved, and more often than not, returned to the abuser.

Break the silence when you suspect. Ask. Tell. Stop it.

Is someone going overboard when they decipline a child in a store? Tell them to stop. Tell the child they should are to valuable a person to be being treated in such a manner. It may be the first time the child has had someone stand up for them. It may give them a first glimmer of hope. It may give them the first inkling that they deserve better. It may give them the first opportunity to think that they may be worth something; that they have value. If they hear it often enough, they may gain the courage to take initiative on their own to tell, escape, or ask for help.

Most states (44) will return a sexually abused child to the abuser in order to keep a family "together." The courts would rather keep the family in tact than save the life of that child. The terrified child will suffer untold consequences: can you imagine the reunion that child receives in private? Can you imagine what it is like after the counseling sessions? Can you imagine the horror the child undergoes when handed back to the abuser by someone in authority? Can you imagine their hopelessness?

Speak to your legislatures, speak to your judges; speak out - and speak loudly.

Shout! BREAK THE SILENCE! Save a child!


Go to Break The Silence website:

Saturday, March 29, 2008


There just isn't enough of it, have you noticed? I mean, how did it get to be 12:04 a.m. when I sat down at this computer at 10:30 "for just a few minutes?" Of course I didn't intend for another day to dawn before I got to my blog, but it has. So much for good intentions, huh? You see, when I retired, getting a blog going was on my To Do list, near the top even. I did get it up and running within a couple of months of retiring, but then life started interrupting: there was the new grandchild, the new RV, planning and planting another qtr. acre of the Japanese Garden, and that nagging thing called the Home Inventory I promised I would finish within the first year. I'm 3/4 through with the Home Inventory, the Japanese Garden is planned out and about 1/2 is planted, we are certainly RVing all over the place, and we are delighting in the new baby, now 9 months old! Time flies. I'm happy the blog is going well, but I'm displeased that time slips away, and I miss my promised "not-less-than-every-other-day" deal with myself (except when we are away, out of touch, of course). Not all RV parks have the Internet, and I don't want to download half my C drive, email, and other projects onto the laptop that is filled with travel stuff. So, Time just gets in the way of getting everything accomplished. Granddaughter watching has to take priority as she grows to where she can better entertain herself for longer periods of time without taking off at a fast clip into a danger zone. RVing has to have a priority as once one has paid for such an item, one must use it. Now that it's spring - gardening has to be at the top of the list. It's amazing that outdoor physical labor, even loved outdoor physical labor - like finishing up an acre one has been working on for 3 years, is capable of completely wearing a person (me) out. So, again, time gets away. When I sit down at the computer, there's email, snail mail to write and ready to send, there's all variety of bills and whatnot to tend to, and friends and committments and - well, you see where the time goes. Pretty soon, it's 12:04 and another day has passed between blogs. I apologize to my readers, and to myself, because I have let me down too, you see. But - it's all Time's fault. It seems to slip through my fingers more often these days. I'll continue to try to do better. I promise. Meanwhile, I can always lean on Angela. She's the best support a person could have - and what a delight that is!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

HAIR - Another Best Thing About Married to a Transsexual

Hair is a tricky thing, isn't it? I've always had bad hair, so it's a good thing I don't have to look at it. I generally swear at it for about 20 minutes each morning and then give up and get on with my life. I figure if someone cringes when I come in, I failed worse than usual. Okay, it isn't quite that bad, but it IS fine, flyaway, thin, and otherwise not exactly the cream-of-the-crop hair. Angela, on the other hand, has great hair - and it's all hers; she paid for it, so it's hers. It always looks nice, even when she's trimming trees, changing oil, working in the woodworking shop on the grandkid's rocking horses (3 - one for here, one for home, and one for sale). It looks good when she gets out of bed, when she is caught in the wind, and when she's all dressed up. She can change the look, the length and the color at a whim. In fact, and here's that Best Thing I mentioned - I got a great laugh this morning, all because of Angela's hair. Our granddaughter didn't recognize her! What was different? Her hair! It was a different wig than she'd ever worn before. As soon as she switched to a longer style, there was no longer a problem. Now, who would have thought that would have happened? I always recognized her, and goodness knows we went through some WIGS - colors, lengths and styles too. When she first started her Real Life Test, the hair was very long and "sexy." Over time, it shortened and became less "I'm ready for my close-up," in style. She can still wow a crowd, trust me on that, but her hair is much more normal. Beautiful, but normal. Okay, I hate it; it's not fair; but it's the way it is. I love her anyway! What am I gonna do? Oh, yeah, I've thought about switching to a wig myself. I even have a couple in their boxes, on the shelf, seldom seen or used, but available. I'm comfortable knowing they are there just in case I'm ever really desperate. It may come to that, I realize, but, for now, I'll just put up with my own problem hair.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who said one had time to relax when one retires?

Okay, I'll be back at the computer for a fair while again. Who said one had time to relax when one retires? RVing, gardening and grandparenting have just had to take precedence for a few days - weeks, okay, a couple months. It's amazing how quickly the days pass when one is out enjoying the sites to see while RVing, getting all the spring gardening tasks! We have 2+ acres, so there are trees to trim before they invade each other, a neighbor's yard, or otherwise cause problems. Then there is just preparing the actual garden for planting - and then planting of course. There are new trees to transplant, loads of weeding - of course - in flower beds and yard too. Then, well, THEN comes grandparenting. We once had a BABY girl, NOW, we have a VERY mobile baby girl. We spent nearly a week transplanting bad stuff and otherwise baby proofing. We don't have that big a house, but it's plenty big enough for all the things that have to have latches, door covers, stops, electric plugs, wire and drapery/blind wind-ups - you name it. AND, trust me when I say you can't be out of the room with a kid that is starting to walk and crawling everywhere! She can disappear from one spot and appear in another fast than any magician I've every heard about! She's a big help when it comes to sorting laundry too. Guess what, dog toys are far more attractive than any expensive kid toy she has. She'll go after a bone on the floor long before any of the many toys Parents and other magazines report as top enticers for little minds. She has recently learned how to crawl OUT of things. You know, all those things that were great for sleeping in when she was a BABY! - like her swing, for instance. Not even the tray can keep her in there when she wakes! That'll be in the next garage sale - or put away for the next grandkid. Anyway, don't get me wrong - this is the BEST of stages. Every day is a day for exploring and excitement like never before. There's about 5 years of this, and we look forward to every minute. We also look forward to holding her in our arms as she falls asleep!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I am not a morning person

Okay, I admit it; I am NOT a morning person. In fact, I'd like them a lot better if they started around 10 a.m. I could accept 9 even. However, now that I am retired (yes, I took an early retirement), I have compromised my standards and arise at 8 give or take twenty minutes. That's a H--- of a lot better than the 6:15 it used to be. You see, I'm a night person. Midnight is a good time to go to bed and read for an hour. Don't you agree? I realize there are morning people too, heck, I'm married to a very dear one. I just don't understand it. Oh, yeah, I know about circadian rhythms intellectually, but when Angela rolls out of bed at 6 a.m., my brain doesn't accept that as normal activity. It's nice, though, when the paper is in, the tea water is hot, the dogs have been fed, and all I have to do is stumble into the kitchen and pry my eyes open enough to pour the hot water over my tea bag. So, I'm not complaining. I'm just stating facts. Perhaps that's just another one of the nice things about being married to an early riser, and the fact that mine is also a T, just makes it all the more special.

SF Chronicle article link: