Welcome to the survivor moms speak out blog!

While practicing full-time as a community-based midwife, I had the opportunity to work with many women who were survivors, either of childhood sexual trauma, rape, or both. The experience of being their midwife, and witnessing their challenges and triumphs encouraged me to learn more about the effects of trauma on the body, and on the experience of childbearing specifically. So just as I felt "called" to practice midwifery, I felt "called" to shed light on issues that survivor moms face during the process of becoming a mother. That calling led me to begin the "Survivor Moms Speak Out" project. We surveyed many women who were both moms and survivors; and 81 of those women completed a narrative or contributed a poem for the book "Survivor Moms: Women's Stories of Birthing, Mothering, and Healing after Sexual Abuse."
Read more about the book, or order a copy, at http://www.midwiferytoday.com/books/survivormoms.asp.

Because of space constraints, not all of the narratives that women contributed to the book project were able to appear in full in the final version of the book. So I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the whole narratives in this blog, featuring a narrative at a time.
About reading survivor stories:
Although the stories are encouraging because they represent survivors’ triumphs over adversity, they can also to be hard to read, because of the intensity of the issues and events. I encourage you to check in with yourself while reading survivor stories, especially if you are a survivor of past trauma, and limit your exposure if you become “triggered”. Feeling triggered might take several different forms. You might start re-experiencing a past trauma you have had before, by not being able to stop thinking about it, or dreaming about, or just feeling like it is happening all over again. You may feel distress or have physical symptoms like feeling your heart race or sweating. If you start to experience these things, you may benefit from talking to someone who understands how trauma works and how to help you with post-traumatic symptoms.

To read more about trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder you can check out the National Center for PTSD website: http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/.

The Sidran Foundation offers an information and a referral resource on-line: http://www.sidran.org/

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kathy's poem

A Rhyme

This survivor took an axe
and gave her father forty whacks.
As he lay there on the floor
She gave the b%^$#@ forty more.

Even now, she wasn’t done
she cut his hands off one by one
Now the b%^&$# won’t be able
to fondle me under the table
or run his hands along my chest
under my shirt to touch my breasts.

It felt so good, imagining
myself really doing that awful thing
hurting him. HURTING HIM!
like he did me.
the hurt that hurts everlastingly.

Are you fussy, little one?
Are you the one that sucks her thumb?
No, that’s my other little one.
Here. Suck this and make me come.

Are you wet? Let’s change you, hon
being naked is lots of fun!
Now, you watch where I put my thumb.
I know that feels good, little one.
Take that, and that, you lousy scum!

I broke, no, smashed his hands, his arms
without them he can’t work his charms
on other babies and little girls
and ruin their innocent little worlds.

That’s where it all started, all this crap
when I was a baby- and you figure that?
The hurt has lasted thirty-nine years
filled with pain and unspent tears.
My insecurities, all my fears
all date back to those first few years.

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