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One of the best videos I’ve seen on this.

alone-together87 said:

With the childhood abuse thing, how did you overcome it? Because it seems impossible.

For me, there is no “overcoming” childhood trauma in the sense that it no longer effects me in any way.  It will always have some level of effect on me. 

At one point I was exploring the concept of grief (a friend/mentor had died unexpectedly) and came to the realization that grief is not something you move through and past, but something that moves through you.  I had always imagined it as a forest that you entered, walk through for a while, and eventually exited.  But that was inaccurate.  It is more like the wind.  Sometimes it is still and you cannot feel it at all, and other times it is so strong you can barely stand, but it is the one that is moving and changing around you while you stand still.  It is never gone completely, but it’s also never going to always be there in a debilitating way.  It moves through us in a perceptible way until it doesn’t.

So the goal is not to “overcome” it.  In my experience, these are the four steps that will help you heal and thrive after surviving abuse and/or trauma:

  1. Accept that it happened.
  2. Eliminate self-blame.
  3. Show empathy toward all your feelings.
  4. Remember you are valuable.

To be more specific, 1. Accept that what happened DID in fact happen. Blocking it out or bottling it up won’t make it go away, it only prolongs the healing process.  2. Recognize that you are not to blame.  Nothing that happened to you was a result of your own actions and nothing about who you are as a person means you deserved it.  3. Show yourself empathy for any lingering feelings about what happened.  All your feelings that are a result of your trauma are valid, whether that’s anger or fear or sadness or relief or a lack of feeling anything at all.  and 4. Remember that it doesn’t effect your value or self worth as a person.  You are NOT dirty or damaged or less deserving of respect because of what happened to you.  You are still strong and loveable and deserving of respect and kindness. 

Working on those four steps will the easier it is to move through life without dragging the weight of your abuse behind you wherever you go.  You may not be able to “overcome” past trauma, but you CAN survive it and live a happy, fruitful life despite it.

Character A is a shape shifter and they can shift into animals such as a dog, cat, snake etc., but A’s shifting abilities are a secret since they were abused in their last home. That’s when B finds them on the streets as their animal form, sick and hurt and far too weak to be in human form. B takes A in, thinking they’re a normal pet, and takes care of them for months on end until they’re perfectly healthy, but once A is healthy they still don’t tell B in fear they will leave. Then A goes into heat for B.

Signs of an emotionally abusive relationship

With the most recent revelations within the YouTube community coming to light about more men taking advantage of fans and sexually assaulting them, I’m so glad to see so many people talking about it. 
Below is a list of signs that your partner, whether that’s sexual or romantic, is emotionally abusing you. If any of these are the case, please try to get out or get help either from the police, a friend, family or a hotline. 

  • They make you feel guilty when they upset you, turning the tables and making themselves out to be victims.

  • They belittle your opinions, feelings, hobbies or interests and make you feel stupid or immature.

  • They force you to have sex or try to persuade you to engage in sexual acts with them after you’ve said no and make you feel guilty for having said no. 

  • They make excuses for their abusive behaviour that make you pity them and feel guilty about leaving. 

  • They try to control who you talk to or who you spend time with and try to turn you against your friends or family so that you distance yourself from those people. 

  • They treat you differently depending on who else is around. 

  • They try to control your money, calendar, diet or exercise regime. 

  • They say negative things about you that you internalize and become mentally distressed over.

  • They make you feel uncomfortable opening up and being honest with them- you feel as if you’re constantly treading on eggshells for fear of upsetting them because you’re afraid of what might happen. 

  • They make you out to be irrational, mentally unstable or at fault of their abusive behaviour.

  • They threaten to kill themselves if you leave or threaten to hurt or kill you, your friends or your family. 

  • They are unable to take responsibility for their own actions and instead always shift the blame on to you or your loved ones. 

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YouTubers and Sexual Abuse | TheThirdPew
"This isn’t normal and as a community we can not except this as being the norm."

Pete Pattisson in Kathmandu | The Guardian | Tuesday 27 May 2014

Like an increasing number of tourists visiting Nepal's mountain peaks, colourful markets and lush national parks, Marina Argeisa wanted to experience the latest must-do activity on the tourist trail: a volunteering stint at an orphanage.

What the 26-year-old Spaniard did not know was that her good intentions were unwittingly feeding an industry that dupes poor parents into sending their children to bogus orphanages in order to extract money from well-meaning foreigners.

It is a business model built on a double deception: the exploitation of poor families in rural Nepal and the manipulation of wealthy foreigners. In the worst cases, tourists may be unwittingly complicit in child trafficking.

Nepal’s tourist sector comprises nearly 3% of its gross domestic product, and in 2012 more than 600,000 foreigners visited the tiny country.

Volunteering, or voluntourism as it is sometimes known, is a rapidly expanding industry. There are dozens of agencies offering the chance to spend weeks, or months, working at some of the country’s 800 orphanages.

More than 80% of these institutions are located in the most popular tourist hotspots: the ancient Kathmandu Valley; the trekking capital of Pokhara; and Chitwan, home to the largest national park. Child rights campaigners claim the country is also home to numerous unregistered orphanages.

Yet many of the occupants of these sites have at least one living parent. The latest investigation by Unicef, the UN’s children agency, found that 85% of children in the orphanages they visited had at least one living parent.

The trade in children begins in Nepal’s remote and impoverished countryside, where parents are tricked into sending their children to orphanages, often lured by the promise of an education.

Lojung Sherpa sent three of her children to the Happy Home orphanage in the capital after she was told that foreigners would educate them and raise money for one of her daughters, who has a serious medical condition. But when Sherpa spoke to her daughter some time later, she was told that all donations towards her treatment had been taken by the orphanage’s owner.

Sherpa travelled to Kathmandu to remove her children from the home but was repeatedly turned away. After an investigation, which resulted in the arrest of the orphanage owner on charges of child abduction and fraud, police officers discovered that Sherpa’s children were missing. The youngsters were later found at various locations across the city, where they had been hidden, and eventually reunited with their mother.

Philip Holmes, chief executive of Freedom Matters, the charity that instigated the inquiry into Happy Home, said that in the worst cases this practice constituted child trafficking.

"Once a child enters an orphanage, he or she seems to become the property of the orphanage owner … [In effect], they become prisoners of the orphanage," he said. "[They] use the children as an income source, through the sponsorship of children who are presented as being orphans when they are not … and through the exploitation of overseas volunteers."

When Dorota Nvotova, a young Slovakian, began volunteering at Happy Home in 2008, she was so moved by the children’s plight that she found a sponsor for every one of them. She raised about €150,000 (£122,000) for the home, but it was only later that she discovered the real reason its owner was so eager to attract foreign volunteers.

"It’s definitely about him making money. For him, it’s a business," she said. "Whenever volunteers came he always tried to impress them and then they started fundraising for him."

Argeisa admits that she too felt compelled to help the children of Nepal. During her search for a volunteering opportunity, it was the stories of the orphans profiled on the website of VolNepal, a Kathmandu-based agency, that attracted her attention.

She quickly signed up and paid $480 (£285) to spend four weeks looking after the children, but had no idea their profiles had been fabricated. “I couldn’t imagine there were people doing bad things to children and using the vulnerability of children to make money,” she said.

After strange behaviour at the orphanage aroused her suspicions about the home’s proprietor, Argeisa discovered that two sisters publicised as being orphans had living parents who had paid vast sums of money to a broker to send their children to the home to be educated.

And they were being educated, but at a cost far beyond anything her parents could imagine. The girls were being used to generate donations from tourists, with the orphanage claiming that their mother and father had abandoned them and no other relatives could be found.

"These little girls are very important for the owner of the home to get money. This is the only reason that they want these children," Argeisa said. "They are [being] used."

After one of the sisters confessed that she was being sexually abused by the owner, Argeisa reported the allegations to a local children’s organisation, Action for Child Rights (ACR). The owner of the orphanage was subsequently arrested for attempted rape.

"This was very, very hard … I couldn’t stop my feelings against that man," Argeisa said. "I think his mission was making money … and abusing children … He wouldn’t have set up the home if there were no westerners coming and giving money and doing volunteering.

"The foreigners do not realise what is happening because they [orphanage owners] are specialists in stopping people from seeing the dark side. There are many people living for six months in an orphanage and they don’t realise this, because these children are scared … These houses are jails for these children."

This is not an exceptional case, says Jürgen Conings, general director of ACR, who has spent 10 years in Nepal investigating the nexus between foreigners, adoption agencies and orphanages. “I’m 100% sure that the majority of these homes are built for reasons other than childcare,” he said. “Foreign volunteers give a home credibility … and they pay to volunteer, so it’s a strong business model.”

report by Tourism Research and Marketing estimates that volunteer tourism attracts 1.6 million people a year, and that the market is worth up to £1.3bn.

While there are no reliable figures about the scale of voluntourism in Nepal, Martin Punaks, country director of Next Generation Nepal, which reunites orphanage-trafficked children with their families, believes it is a growing industry. “There is the potential for huge profits to be made for those who intentionally and unnecessarily displace children from their families, so they can be used as lucrative poverty commodities to raise funds from well-intentioned but ill-informed tourists,” he said.

The government recognises the problem but is struggling cope with the scale of it. “These children are a showpiece [for fundraising], but no one knows how much the owner gets and how much goes to the children,” said Tarak Dhital, executive director of the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB). “We have introduced minimum standards for children’s homes and we need to strengthen our monitoring systems, but haven’t been able to till now … we lack financial and human resources.”

The CCWB is responsible for regulating orphanages in Nepal, but there are serious questions about its capacity to do so. According to its latest report, 90% of children’s homes failed to meet the government’s minimum operating standards.

However, Conings cautioned against the blanket condemnation of Nepalese orphanages. “A lot of good things are done; a lot of NGOs and social workers are doing an amazing job,” he said. “We would never say it’s not good [to volunteer], but we want to bring this to the public’s attention. There is a positive and negative, so be aware and make good decisions.”

But Nvotova questions the premise of volunteering at an orphanage. “[Foreigners] feel cool by doing this,” she said. “But I think it’s more selfish than useful. Very often [volunteers] don’t want to see the truth. They just want to feel needed and useful.”

• Some names have been changed

A Michigan teenager by the name of Catrina Shears recently filmed her brother slowly decapitating a snapping turtle. The video was unashamedly posted online by Shears and quickly gained publicity due to its vile and graphic content. Shears mentioned that she and her friends regularly kill animals in this way and has shown no remorse since this video went viral. Understandably, numerous people are outraged by the tragic incident. No legal action has been taken by the state of Michigan; demand that justice be served for the deceased turtle.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has reviewed the video and publicly stated that what Shears and her siblings did to the snapping turtle was legal, though it would prefer such videos not be posted online. In an online Facebook discussion Shears mentioned that she did not have an ax to use in order to quickly end the turtle’s life. The graphic video shows her pulling the turtle’s head out of its shell with pliers to allow her brother to slowly and inhumanely saw the turtle’s head off, which lasted for 20 seconds. While the teenagers’ actions were legal, action should be taken in order to ensure no more animals will die like this at the hand of Shears.

By signing this petition you demand justice for the inhumanely murdered snapping turtle. You also demand that videos or photos glorifying the inhumane slaughter of wild animals be forbidden from social media. Shears is gaining publicity from this and shows no remorse; this cannot continue.

When you're a child and someone abuses you

When you’re abused as a child, so many of your thought patterns and beliefs center around what happened to you. When you’re a kid being terribly mistreated, and you don’t know what it’s called, but you know that it’s not okay, and you wish that you could tell, but you don’t think anyone will listen; that forms your beliefs about yourself. You endure things a child should not have to endure, and you adjust to it in a strange way. You can’t change the situation, so your mind hardens and becomes cruel to itself in an attempt to toughen itself up. 

You think that people must know what’s happening to you, because to you it feels like you’re screaming what’s happening. You’re so consumed by it and drowning in it that it feels physical and it’s hard to understand that people cannot actually see that. When those people don’t do anything, you start to realize that no one is coming to save you. The world seems colder and crueler all the time.

So you start telling yourself to toughen up and get over it. Even after the abuse has ended you’re still telling yourself that you deserved it, that it wasn’t that bad, that you don’t get to call it abuse. You don’t get to fall apart, because no one’s coming to save you, remember? 

Because in the memories, you’re always staring at the abuser. Think about it. You’re always seeing them, you’re always seeing the people who didn’t notice. You’re always seeing the people who possibly noticed but said nothing. You never think of turning and looking at yourself.

Freeze the moment. Can you see yourself? Do you remember how long your hair was at the time? How tall were you? What were you doing with your hands? What was your expression? Can you see the look you had in your eyes? These moments built up into the whole world feeling frozen over, but can you just look at what it is? There’s a child in front of you and they aren’t okay. All of those things you still say to yourself, that it wasn’t abuse, that it didn’t matter, that it was just life, that you have to get over it, can you say that to the child? 

The world does seem impossibly cruel sometimes. That feeling still comes up. But there is some guaranteed compassion available to you at every moment. Your own. At every memory and every pain, you have the option of sitting next to that child and hugging them and telling them they don’t deserve any of this. It felt necessary to scold and berate yourself because in that environment it was necessary to be tough. You’re allowed to be kind now. 

That kid’s been waiting ages for some kindness

What happens to your past if you don’t allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don’t have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories. Procedural and depopulated. It’s as if a neutron bomb went off and all you’re left with are hospital corridors, where you’re scanning the walls for familiar photographs.

Sometimes in the absence of emotion, your only recourse is to surround yourself with objects; assemble the relics about you. Wagner was wrong when he said, “Joy is not in things, it is in us.” One can find joy in things, but it is a particular kind of joy - the joy of corroboration… For the moment, this physical evidence will have to serve as proof that all that has happened was real, because even now I only half believe what I am telling you.

—  David Rakoff, Fraud
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Sam Pepper doesn’t understand the word no. | Cant Say

*TRIGGER WARNING: graphic description of rape

"Do not ask her ‘Why did she stay?’ Instead ask her ‘What do you need? How can I help?’ "

Beverly Gooden spoke out on Twitter to stop the victim-blaming narrative aimed at Janay Palmer who chose to stay with Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice after he violently assaulted her.

Gooden tweeted about her own experience and the reasons she stayed with her abusive ex-husband using the #WhyIStayed hashtag. Within a day, the hashtag had gone viral and her inadvertent campaign has helped bring attention to domestic violence and the people impacted by it.

"When you’re in it and living it, it becomes your reality," Gooden said at an informal discussion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier today. “It becomes your normal and I had to convince myself it wasn’t normal.”

"I’m so glad you guys could make it on such short notice." Heath smiled, stumbling back a step as his sister pushed herself into his arms. "Woah. What’s this for?" Sam buried her head in his shoulder, her words coming out in a mumble. "I just missed you."

Heath smoothed his hand over her back, looking up as Atlas stepped over the threshold. “Hey, man. Dinner should be ready within the hour. Your first Perkins family dinner. Think you can hang?” Atlas only looked from Heath’s striking eyes down to his sister’s, Samantha’s own breaking contact immediately. 

"Yeah." A grin stretched across his face. "I think I can." This would be fun.

Sam gently pushed away from her brother, needing an excuse to leave the room. “Is your baby boy awake? I need some Aunt Sam time.” Heath chuckled. “He should be. Why don’t you go check? He’ll be excited to see you.”

Atlas made a move to follow but was stopped short by his best friend’s strong hand on his chest. “Can we talk, Atlas? Sam has been acting strange for a long time and I thought maybe you would know why.”