The Worth of Self by guest @DelSheree

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being open to sharing our stories connects us to so many others and creates a bond we didn’t know existed before. Today I’m grateful to be sharing this post by author DelSheree Gladden as she opens up about her story.

I think there is a moment many of us have in life where we wonder what we are worth. It could be wondering what we are worth to the company we work for, to our friends, to our families, to our self. Everyone worries about how others see them. It’s hard not to. We are creatures who need social interaction, validation, and acknowledgement.

Worth can be determined in many ways. To an employer, it is spoken of in the terms of money. Is an employee efficient, or are they costing the company money? It’s a little harder to define worth when it comes to family and friends. Many factors come into play like reliability, support, friendship, and so much more. One of the most difficult to define it self-worth. How do you judge your own worth without letting others opinions and judgments affect your reasoning?

This is a topic that is very important to me, because I know exactly how much your own view of yourself can impact your life. When you grow up in a home with a parent who consciously tries to break you down, it doesn’t take long for you to internalize their words and actions. As I child, trying to uncover who you are is difficult enough without someone else there constantly telling you the opposite of what you want to believe.

When I was away from my mom’s influence, it was confusing, because I felt like I had things I was good at, like I was a nice person overall, like I tried to be good and kind. Of course, I made mistakes and fought with my siblings and got into trouble here and there, but overall, I felt like I should be someone she cared about. It didn’t make sense to me that she honestly didn’t seem to like me. No matter what I did, I never felt accepted by her. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and I had no idea how to make it better.

As I got older, I started to understand that my mom suffered from severe bouts of depression. Her own mother had done many of the same things to her that she was doing to my siblings and me. Her own self-image was severely warped, and she projected her anger and frustration at the way she had been treated onto us. For reasons I don’t fully understand, I bore the brunt of her contempt.

It affected me deeply to constantly feel like I wasn’t worth her time. It really wasn’t until high school that I made a few new friends who seemed to know that I needed their help. They began helping me see myself more clearly. It isn’t an easy process, shedding an identity you’ve come to believe and stopped questioning. Even as an adult, I fear being rejected by the people in my life. I constantly worry about making mistakes and making them see me as someone not worth their time.

I’ve come a long way, with the support of family and friends and writing, to see myself more clearly, but it has taken me years and years to rebuild my self-confidence, and I know I still have years of work left to do. The worth a person sees in themselves is so important, more important than how anyone else in this world sees them. The advice to “think before you speak” has more merit than some might realize. The way you treat another human being affects them, for good or bad. You can either be responsible for building someone up, or tearing them down. Either one only takes a few minutes, a few words, but rebuilding what has been broken can take a lifetime.

About the Author:

DelSheree GladdenDelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.

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Announcing The #NoMoreShame Project

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In January 2014 bestselling author Rachel Thompson and therapist Bobbi Parish started a Twitter Chat for survivors of sexual abuse called #SexAbuseChat. As survivors themselves, Rachel and Bobbi wanted to create a forum for all survivors to share their story, support one another and learn about the process of recovery. #SexAbuseChat was immediately successful! Survivors from around the world logged onto the chat to provide each other with compassion, understanding, and encouragement. Life Coach and survivor Athena Moberg came alongside Bobbi and Rachel, bringing her compassionate heart to the role of back up co-host and peer advocate. The chat became a way for survivors to unite with one another, rather than living in the isolation of shame that our abuse created. The chat’s motto quickly became #NoMoreShame.

As time progressed the community of survivors participating in the chat became more powerful. Sharing our stories with one another decreased our shame. With that came healing. As each of us took a step forward we reached behind to another survivor to help them take a step forward as well.

Witnessing the power of sharing our stories over this year has been amazing. We want to expand that healing power to a wider audience. To do that Rachel, Athena and I are launching The #NoMoreShame Project, a collection of anthologies carrying survivors stories out into the greater world community.

On July 1, 2014 we will begin receiving poems and prose written by survivors of sexual assault. Using either format we want survivors to tell their stories. They can focus on any aspect of their story that they feel would be helpful to share with readers. We are purposefully placing few limitations on the subject matter for this first anthology. Our only requirement in that respect is that it be easily identified as part of their journey as a survivor of sexual abuse.

For some examples of the kinds of poems and essays we’re seeking we are providing you with a few links to review:

In exchange for allowing us to publish their work, each selected author will receive five free paperback copies of the book as well as the opportunity to promote their website/blog, social media accounts and any books they have written.

Here are the details of what we’re seeking and how you can submit an entry:

  • Submission/Publication Schedule
  • Entry Period: July 1st through August 31st
  • Selection Announcements: September 1st
  • Editing Period: October 1st through October 31st
  • Publication Date: Monday, November 17th

Entry Guidelines:

  • The author must be a survivor of sexual assault to submit an entry
  • Entry should be poetry or non-fiction essay
  • Length of entry is not restricted, focus is on quality not quantity
  • Entry shall not have been published elsewhere
  • Author of entry shall relinquish rights to the piece, with the exception of 10% which they may retain to promote their work on their blog or social media accounts. The author shall specify which 10% they wish to retain on their entry form. If they do not specify a particular 10% then it shall default to the first 10% of their entered poem or essay.
  • The entry shall not contain any references to explicit sexual activity
  • An author can submit as many pieces as they like. Each requires a separate entry email
  • Authors may specify a pen name to be used in publication of the piece. However, full legal name must be specified on the entry form for legal reasons
  • Authors may specify a blog, personal website and social media accounts that they wish to accompany their published entry.
  • The editors we have the right to edit any entry. We will make all reasonable attempts to work with the author on these edits but the final decision rests with the editors, not the author.
  • All entries should be submitted to ResplendentbyDesign@Yahoo.com by midnight, August 31st to be considered for publication

Entry Process

  • Each entry should be submitted as a Microsoft Word compatible file attached to an email sent to ResplendentbyDesign@Yahoo.com.
  • You may enter as many pieces as you wish. However, each entry should be submitted separately.
  • In the subject line of the email please type: The #NoMoreShame Project
  • In the body of your email please provide the following information:
    • Full Legal Name
    • Pen Name
    • Title of Piece
    • Blog URL
    • Website URL
    • Social Media Accounts URL’s (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
    • Titles and links to books previously published
    • Ten percent of piece that author wishes to retain copyright to (If the author does not select a specific 10% their rights will default to the first ten percent of the piece entered)
  • Finally, the author MUST place the following, word for word, in the body of their entry email. You can simply cut and paste the following:
    By entering this written work I certify that the following statements are true:
    I am a survivor of sexual assault
    I am the author of this submitted entry
    This entry has not been previously published
    I understand that if my entry is selected that I am relinquishing copyright of the work to the Editors of the #NoMoreShame Project with the exception of the 10% specified above
    I understand that if my entry is selected for publication the Editors of The #NoMoreShame Project will make reasonable attempts to work with me on any edits they suggest. I acknowledge that the Editors of The #NoMoreShame Project retain the final decision making rights regarding editing of my entry

#MondayBlogs Giveaway July 2014

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Since I created #MondayBlogs in late 2012, even I'm shocked at what an amazing success it has become! Thousands participate each week, generating more than 5,000 tweets! And it is because of all of you that we can say that with a lot of pride … [Continue reading]

Writing Our Pain by guest Kathleen Valentine (@Kathleen01930)

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Writing is its own sort of therapy. Writing the hard stuff is one of the best things a writer can do. Today please welcome Kathleen to the blog as she shares her story of writing out the pain.  Throughout my career as a writer I've dealt with some … [Continue reading]

Taking Out The Twitter Trash

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One of the many benefits of having written Broken Pieces is the support I've received from other CSA (Child Sex Abuse) survivors. So much so that I created a private, secret Facebook group (up to 50 mostly female members now). It's our private place … [Continue reading]

Goodreads Giveaway, Baby!

Broken Pieces paperback

In December of 2013 my first print book was published. Now you can win a copy of the Broken Pieces paperback on Goodreads! Goodreads Book Giveaway Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson Giveaway ends June 30, 2014. See the giveaway … [Continue reading]

#MondayBlogs Giveaway June 2014

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Since I created #MondayBlogs in late 2012, even I'm shocked at what an amazing success it has become! Thousands participate each week, generating more than 5,000 tweets! And it is because of all of you that we can say that with a lot of pride … [Continue reading]

Rape Made Me a Feminist by guest @SbethCaplin

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please welcome author and blogger Sarahbeth to the blog today as she shares her story of rape culture and feminists.  I was raised by a strong woman: a mother of two who was also a full-time nurse, and later a full-time college professor. She … [Continue reading]

3 Types Of Messages To Ignore On Social Media

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If you're going to be on social media, hopefully you've learned that it's about connection and interaction, sharing interesting content, networking (hate that word), and building a fan base. What about when it's not, though? What about when it's … [Continue reading]

#MondayBlogs Giveaway May 2014

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Since being created in 2012 by Rachel Thompson, #MondayBlogs has become amazing success and it is because of all of you that we can say that with a lot of pride and a big ol’ smile! As a thank you to all you wonderful #MondayBlog tweeps, we launched … [Continue reading]

Fly Away Girl by guest @TruthisHers

Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Please help me welcome author and fellow cohost of #SexAbuseChat, Bobbi Parish to the blog as she shares her experience with sexual abuse and how this fly away girl overcame.  When I was a little girl I used to draw. A lot. My sister and I had … [Continue reading]

Writing is Love by guest @LorenKleinman

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Originally posted on BG Bowers blog > http://bit.ly/1eZw5xd. Reposted with permission. Please welcome author Loren Kleinman as she shares her story and two beautiful poems from her latest book.  I'm happy at 32. In fact I'm at the happiest … [Continue reading]

The Scarapist by guest @JeanneSpicuzza Part Two

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I’m happy to welcome back writer and producer Jeanne Marie Spicuzza with the second part of her experience with a scarapist, a scary therapist.  If you missed part one you can see it here. The next session, she led me to the bedroom fashioned as her … [Continue reading]

The Scarapist by guest Jeanne Marie Spicuzza @JeanneSpicuzza Part One

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 Today I'm happy to welcome actress, writer, producer, model, philosopher, activist, watercolor painter & illustrator, and composer Jeanne Marie Spicuzza with the first part of her experience with a scarapist. Check out her story below and check … [Continue reading]