Rachel Thompson on RachelintheOC

About Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Rachel is the creator and founder of #MondayBlogs and #SexAbuseChat and an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Where To Find Content When You Just Don’t Care

fall benches

 

Shocking news out this week: we are not perfect beings. I know. What the fuck? I want to speak to the manager.

We have meltdowns, some more publicly than others (see my latest Huffington Post article on NYTimes bestselling author Ayelet Waldman’s most unfortunate Twitter rant because they failed to choose her for their 100 Most Notable Books of 2014), and hopefully some of us learn, or at least learn to move the hell on. Want to know what helps me focus when I just don’t care? Let’s deconstruct.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

In working with authors and clients, I recommend reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz — it’s a short little book full of practical wisdom. For writers (or any kind of artist-person or well, person-person), the most important agreement is this: don’t take anything personally. People think I have a third eye when I say that. Crazy woman! How can we not take it personally when someone calls us stupid or says our book is awful?

But I don’t. Because it says so much more about that person and their perceptions and life experience than it does about me. Maybe it’s a way to fool ourselves, but so what? It works. Maybe it’s the same as Madonna’s blunt lyric in Human Nature: “I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.” All I know is, it’s a way to cope with the sting and move on, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

four agreements

QUOTES AND SHIT 

I avoided sharing quotes for THE longest time, because I felt that inspirational BS was just that — a bunch of rainbows and unicorns that amounted to jack. And for what it’s worth, I still think that. However, I now share poetry quotes and the occasional empowerment or feminism quote that resonate with me. Quotes that you don’t see very often (I hope). I also share quotes from my own work, or from other writes that I enjoy. Call it ‘soft marketing’ or whatever — mostly it’s about sharing my work and the work of others — quotes that makes us think.

I’ve found the best quotes on Pinterest and Goodreads — Pinterest is easy because many quotes are already in a visual format. Simply pin and share, or schedule them in using Hootsuite or Buffer. However, you do have to be careful. Sometimes, a quote is mis-attributed or not attributed at all which, as a writer, is a total no-no. I only pick quotes that are given attribution, and heads up, if it sounds too modern for say, Einstein or Darwin to have said ‘hustle,’ it is. Skip it.

VIDEOS 

Facebook and Twitter love videos. You’ll get more shares from those than just about anything else. But what to share beyond a cat video?

I don’t like sharing what everyone else is sharing. Everyone loves Buzzfeed and Upworthy and they are great sites, no doubt. But I want cool stuff, things that 50K other people haven’t already seen. Where to go?

Here are some cool alternative sites with neat stuff (I especially like aplus.com):

http://www.tubesurfers.com/

http://www.viralnova.com/

http://news.distractify.com/

http://aplus.com/

So on those days when you’re not feeling perfect, visit a few of these sites and feel good, get tingly, and share something that makes you focus on something besides that zit the size of Mount Rushmore on your chin or the fact that your boss is a jerk. None of that will matter next week, right?

Keep moving forward and stuff.

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, or one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here!  And don’t miss it: special ‘CRASH COURSE’ Webinar with Rachel on Thursday, 12/11 at 6pm PST. Get your book ready to sell for the holiday. Sign up here now! Just $57.
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Image: Unsplash.com

#MondayBlogs Giveaway December 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 and a big ol’ smile! As a thank you to all you wonderful #MondayBlogs tweeps, we launched an ongoing, monthly giveaway contest in April and we couldn’t be happier with the response!

The Featured Monday Blogger giveaway is our way to say thank you for participating in #MondayBlogs by giving you more exposure for you and your blog. Each Monday for one month, you could have a different tweet sent out by @MondayBlogs to all our followers and be featured on IndieBookPromo.com! But wait, there’s more! Following you, the lucky winner, on Twitter would enter others into the next month’s contest!

Who doesn’t want more blog traffic and a free feature? #MondayBlogs

Nice bit of exposure, don’t ya think?

That sound like something you’d be interested in?

If so, enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Blogger November 2014
Kathy Sharp

Happy Sharing,
Rachel, Will, and Kate

Please note that due to the popularity of Indie Book Promo guest posts will be scheduled according to availability. If you cannot wait for your post to be up you may decline the prize.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.

Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today

Giving Back

We take a lot from each other throughout the year:raspberries

  • Can you buy my book?
  • Review my book?
  • Tweet this for me?
  • Share this post?

It’s all part of ‘selling’ in this new virtual world. Well, now I’m turning all that upside down and giving something back. How? Let’s deconstruct.

#MondayBlogs 

If you don’t already participate, #MondayBlogs is a blog sharing meme I started back in 2012. It’s free to participate — just share a blog post on Mondays, retweet others, and don’t share any kind of book promotion or ewwww, porn cause, ick. That’s really it. If it’s Monday where you are, share a tweet with the #MondayBlogs hashtag.

Easy.

If you want, you can follow the @MondayBlogs Twitter stream, but it’s not required. We don’t guarantee we will retweet you, but we do try. With thousands playing, we can’t get to every single tweet, but we certainly do our best! The whole point is to increase traffic to your site, meet fellow tweeps, and increase connections while building relationships.

I also have a #MondayBlogs monthly free feature giveaway — feel free to enter and share the love!

#SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame 

With the release of Broken Pieces in December of 2012, I was overwhelmed by how many people contacted me with their own stories of surviving childhood sexual abuse, and I knew I had to DO something, anything, to give them some kind of platform to share their own stories. I connected with the amazing Bobbi Parish (@TruthIsHers) and we started a weekly Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, every Tuesday at 6pm PST/9pm EST, where we discuss publicly, with whomever wants to participate, topics to help survivors learn about subjects like PTSD, the abuse cycle, forgiveness, and more. Our group grows weekly and I’m amazed by the courage and love of this chat.

Taking it further, Bobbi and I connected with survivor Athena Moberg to create the #NoMoreShame Project, and our first anthology volume, Discovering True, released last week! This volume focuses on stories and poetry by survivors about surviving and we encourage you to purchase a copy for the strong survivors in your life — 10% of the proceeds goes to survivor charities. Please visit the site also — chock full of resources, FAQs, and amazing articles pulled together by Bobbi and Athena. They’ve worked so incredibly hard on this site — I hope you will visit soon.Discovering True-HIGH-RES

Author Social Media Boot Camp 

As the owner of BadRedhead Media, I consult one-on-one with all kinds of authors and small businesses, and I realize that many people cannot afford my normal $150/hour rate, so I created group sessions, aka, boot camp (four group sessions for $400) to appeal to every budget.

With the holidays getting close, time is of the essence. Is your book marketing ready for the holidaze? :) Let’s do this thingy. While I can’t offer the course totally free of charge (damn rent), I’m offering a one-hour social media crash course for a ridiculously cheap price: $57 for a one-hour crash course on Thursday, December 11, 6pm PST. When you leave, you will be ready to sell books! Book here now. Tell a friend! timex watch

This is how I give back. How about you? Please share below.

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
 Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here!  (It’s not to late to sign up for the November sessions, currently 20% off!) 
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

 

#MondayBlogs Giveaway November 2014

MB-FINAL-LOGO-KLM

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 and a big ol’ smile! As a thank you to all you wonderful #MondayBlogs tweeps, we launched an ongoing, monthly giveaway contest in April and we couldn’t be happier with the response!

The Featured Monday Blogger giveaway is our way to say thank you for participating in #MondayBlogs by giving you more exposure for you and your blog. Each Monday for one month, you could have a different tweet sent out by @MondayBlogs to all our followers and be featured on IndieBookPromo.com! But wait, there’s more! Following you, the lucky winner, on Twitter would enter others into the next month’s contest!

Who doesn’t want more blog traffic and a free feature? #MondayBlogs

Nice bit of exposure, don’t ya think?

That sound like something you’d be interested in?

If so, enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Blogger October 2014
Gina Stoneheart at Walking in the Write Direction, One Story at a Time

Happy Sharing,
Rachel, Will, and Kate

Please note that due to the popularity of Indie Book Promo guest posts will be scheduled according to availability. If you cannot wait for your post to be up you may decline the prize.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.

Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today

I’m Not Broken! I’m More Than a Survivor, I’m a Lifer! by guest @aleishagore

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Please welcome to the blog director and producer of Chocolate is Not Better than Sex and author Aleisha Gore as she shares her story. Aleisha has a powerful message that I hope will encourage and empower other survivors. *Trigger Warning* 

A couple months before my thirteenth birthday, I was raped at a Monsters of Rock concert. I remember it was during Metallica, my favorite band. I was dressed in a white-tiger striped mini skirt and had bought a M.O.R T-shirt. I was with my brother. Some fans crashed the gate below us and a hundred people or more moved forward into the lawn area. My brother had some friends in front, so he left. I stayed where I was. I met a guy named Eric, that’s his name, I don’t see any reason to protect it or him. We chatted a bit and then he asked me to come sit with him in seats behind the stage where it wasn’t as loud. I didn’t know or didn’t think at the time, it was also where no one could hear us. I went with him and it was there that he forced himself on me while I called out, “I’m only twelve! Stop!”

He walked me to the bathroom where I saw my skirt was bloody and I told a girl in the bathroom that I had just been raped. She ignored me. I don’t know if she just didn’t care, was on something or didn’t hear me. But, I washed my skirt and tied my shirt around me. When I came out, he smiled and made it seem like it was such a great thing. He hugged me, kissed me and even took my shirt. I was so confused. Was this man who took my virginity and treated me like now I was his girlfriend thinking that I was ok with it all? I didn’t know what to do. I must have been in shock. I did everything he asked. I let him have my shirt and my phone number and I left to go find my brother.

When I found my brother I started shouting at him and throwing the discarded beer bottles at him. He didn’t know what had happened. I hid the words from him even though I did not hide the anger and pain.

The next morning, our babysitter found my bloody pantyhose in the trash and told my parents. I had to admit to them that I had been raped.

This was the first time, but not the last that I would be assaulted.

When I was seventeen, I babysat for a young couple. They were rockers and lived in Hollywood. When I arrived, I took their daughter into my arms and started playing with her on the floor. The husband walked out fresh from the shower in just a towel and sat on a chair spread eagle in direct eye-line from me. I averted my eyes.

When they returned from the party they had attended, the husband took me home but instead of dropping me off, drove me past my house and parked and wouldn’t let me out. Instead he opened his pants and took my hand and placed it on him. He told me he could teach me things and that he wasn’t happy in his marriage. I was utterly mortified and felt powerless, I froze. I refused to do anything with him. I took my hand away and after begging him to drive me to my home, I jumped out of the car. I thought about calling the wife and telling her, but I never called them again. The next day when I met up with my boyfriend, I told him what happened. He wanted to take a baseball bat to that guy. But, I wouldn’t let him do anything. He wanted to be a police officer when he got older and I wouldn’t let him hurt his chances to defend my honor.

Finally, when I was thirty years old, I auditioned for the part of vampires in a vampire film.   The producer gave me an “eh, you could be sexier,” and asked me to come back for another audition.  I was naive to say the least, when I went alone and at night and it was only him at the apartment serving as his casting office.  I was fondled and humiliated.  He said if I couldn’t take this how was I to take it when an actor did it to me on camera.  There was some logic to it, I thought, but at the same time, shame and more humiliation.  I cried and called my friend as I drove home.  The next day this same producer asked me on a date.  Again, humiliation crept in.

You may be thinking that I sound like a victim. But in my 39 years (14,235 days) on this green earth, I’ve had three bad experiences like this but thousands more empowering experiences.

  • I stood up to gang-bangers in my Junior high school who threatened me and got them to stay away from me.
  • I joined a Tae Kwon Do Studio and excelled to Orange Belt (and I plan on taking that back up!)
  • I worked two jobs while maintaining an A-B average in High School and earned enough money, plus a scholarship to go to Germany on a student exchange program TWICE!
  • IMG_19800107_132603I visited France, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Norway all before I turned 18.
  • I fell in love, got married and although I almost died, I had a beautiful baby girl, a preemie at 31 weeks. She weighed 3 pounds 14 ounces. But not only did she and I survive, she grew very well and caught up!
  • I was, myself, a hard labor, I was breech, had the cord wrapped around my neck and when I was born, I weighed 9 ½ pounds and was very long.
  • When I was 13 I wrote over 300 pages of song lyrics and poetry
  • When I was in the 5th grade I wrote a children’s book and even drew all the pictures.
  • When I was 15, I wrote another children’s book and submitted it to an agent.
  • In Junior High, I received one of the highest awards from the State Department for an essay I wrote.
  • I was digging through my storage and I found a screenplay I wrote when I was just 13.
  • I went to India for three weeks, two I spent in the jungle!

These twelve experiences show I will not be put down. I will not be stomped on or brushed aside. I have value. I am worth something. I am powerful. I am loveable and can love.

unnamedThere is so much more to tell, but I will end with this: I have written over 300 pages of poetry and lyrics, 2 novels, 4 screenplays (working on 5 & 6), several short stories and 17 shorts. I produced 47 episodes of an SNL spoof on YouTube called Saturday Night YouTube where I wrote, produced, acted and edited every Saturday for 6 months straight. I got my degree in film production. I have produced music videos, PSAs, Industrial videos, sketches, short films and live shows. I am currently working on my first feature film, a heart-warming romantic comedy called Chocolate is Not Better than Sex. It is live on my website right now. I intend to direct it in December, come hell or high-water, because I do believe in myself. I know I can do it.

I like to go back to the film Shakespeare in Love, where the theatres are all closed and the debt collectors are threatening to put the producers feet to the flames, the producer says, “Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”

“How?” asks the collector.

The producer responds, “I don’t know, it’s a mystery.”

What I do know is, it’s happening. No matter what, we’re doing it. I hope you will all join us as supporters on our website and share with everyone you know. Life is a funny thing, time is relative and if a cell can appear from nothing, so can we.

Much love and much success to you!

About Aleisha Gore:

Aleisha GoreAleisha Gore is the director and producer of Chocolate is Not Better than Sex.

Join us for all the fun on our website! http://www.chocolateisnotbetterthansex.com

Music Videos I produced and directed http://espritfilms.com/musicvideos.html

PSAs I produced and directed for Help for Orphans, Int. http://espritfilms.com/psas.html

Short Films I worked on or wrote, produced and directed http://espritfilms.com/watch.html

My blog www.aleishag.blogspot.com

Teaser Trailer and movie site for Chocolate is Not Better than Sex www.chocolateisnotbetterthansex.com

More about me: www.aleishagore.com

My books: www.marneyandme.com and http://girlinahouse.com/adventure.html

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Image courtesy of Toa55 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

The Other Side of Words — An Excerpt from ‘Broken Places’

I’m sooooo close to finishing my latest book of essays and poetry Broken Places (set for release before Christmas from Booktrope). Yay! Today I’m sharing an excerpt about … well, you tell me. I’d love your thoughts.

Pick up Broken Pieces today — 99c sale (for one more day) on Amazon (eBook). No Kindle required.

unsplash lone girl

THE OTHER SIDE OF WORDS

by Rachel Thompson

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell him. The gravity pushing me down so that I became a micro version of myself, voice tiny, movements small.

“You need to go. I can’t do this anymore,” I say in a rushed, pained whisper, pushing it out before I can breathe it back in, before it can beat me down anymore. 

He hangs his head. It was coming. He knew it was coming. How could he not? We hadn’t fucked in years, hadn’t touched in months. My desire for him ceased the day he lost my faith.

Such a complicated swirl comes to down to this, a simple haiku of randomly plucked words. It’s over. It has been. Echoes of what we had torture us, but those are only ghosts, memories that taunt us with promises of what we once had. Happy pictures don’t capture the resentful sadness behind our brightly lit eyes.

You convince me that I need you, but I’m better alone. I have been for so long now. If being alone means depending on myself, on my quiet determination, on peace and gratitude, then I’ll be making my way now.

I’ve learned that this is not my place. I’m not really who you think I am. I need more than you can give. I asked, you denied. I needed, you laughed. I gave, you took.

It’s not all you. I can’t give you what you need anymore. I’m not an actor. I can’t fall at your feet and eat your words as if they are the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m a writer and words matter.

And maybe that is my elemental, as crucial to me as water. I accept that words aren’t the same ethereal, beautiful creatures to you. You used words, discarding them meaninglessly, without thinking, whereas I thought they held meaning.

I found what you will never see: that my love resides on the other side of words.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Starting NOVEMBER 3: Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Image courtesy of Rachel Thompson and unsplash.com

Why I Chose the Title “Feminist” by 14yo guest Makena McElroy

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Today we have a very special guest, 14-year-old Makena McElroy has me speechless. What a brain! Please welcome her to the blog and be sure to check out her article “Young Voices | A 14-Year-Old’s Look at Rape Culture” on Sweatpants & Coffee. Comments are welcome. Trolls are not. 

I call myself a feminist. I could choose the word “egalitarian.” I mean, I do believe in equal rights for all people. Why not just label myself that and call it a day?

But I choose to call myself a feminist, because feminism means that you believe in the equality of the sexes. And I do.

People have a skewed definition of feminism.

Isn’t that dismissive of men? – People ask me. If you call yourself egalitarian, no one will think you don’t care about men. But I choose the word feminist because I want to acknowledge that in every single country in the world, men are held in higher regard than women. In some countries, this means that women can’t drive, can’t vote, can’t leave the house without a man’s permission, oversight, and approval. In the US, it means something different. It means a few years from now, I will be able to get my driver’s license, vote, and own property. And maybe I should be happy enough with that. But I’m not; I believe in the equality of the sexes, and there is much more to equality than these few things.

I believe that little girls should see their gender reflected on TV, in books, and in movies as whole, developed characters, not as accessories for guys. I think that no little girl should have to hear her brother being told to “stop being such a girl.” I think that little girls should be able to look at a list of presidents and feel proud to see women on that list. I think that what I’m saying should apply to every little girl no matter where they live.

Women make up 51% of the United States population, and 0% of US Presidents.red nails camera

I call myself a feminist out of respect for the women who came before me, the women who rallied and protested and fought until they won the right to vote. I call myself a feminist because I want to be like them. They, too, were bombarded with anti-feminist propaganda. They, too, were called crazy for wanting equal rights. I stand with their memory.

I’ve been called a “crazy feminist,” by boys and girls alike. I know that being a feminist is a “turn off” for some guys. But feminism is way too important to me for me to back down just because other people think I’m crazy. In a way, their criticism solidifies my beliefs. If caring about women’s rights is a turn off for guys, something needs to change.

Emma Watson’s speech at the UN was powerful. Important. And true. She talked about how feminism, in our society, is perceived mainly as man-hating misandry. But she knows, and I know, that that is nowhere near the message of feminism.

Feminism is women’s right to vote. Feminism is saying it can’t end there.

Feminism is ending the wage gap between genders. Women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That can’t be true, you say. Actually, you’re right; that’s 77 cents for white women. For black women it’s 69 cents and for Latina women it’s 59 cents to a man’s dollar.

Feminism means wanting another role model in the media for girls besides “the love interest.” Feminism means wanting another physical role model other than the stick thin supermodel. Feminism is not wanting girls to be defined by their weight, their looks, or how much skin they do or do not show. Feminism is being able to wear that dress, that skirt that makes you feel like the goddess you are without having to worry that you will be stared at, whispered about, cat called, judged for what you wear when there is nothing wrong with showing skin and it shouldn’t mean anything about who you did or did not sleep with. Feminism is being able to cover your entire body and be given the same respect.

Feminism is wanting the words “slut” and “whore” to never be used by anyone again. Ever.

Feminism is saying that 1 in 4 women are raped in their lifetime and we need to do something other than blame the victims for how they dressed, or say the solution is to not go out alone. There will always be a woman in a dress in a parking lot alone. We need to change our attitudes toward this problem.

Feminism means never using the argument “men get raped too” as an excuse or a way to stop people talking. Because “men get raped” should be its own sentence, not something tacked on to the end of an argument against women’s rights.

Feminism is acknowledging that while women in America have come so far, the battle for gender equality is far from over.

I will fight for that equality. For me, for the people who come after me, and for the ones who came before me, the people who created the word “feminist.”

 

About Makena McElroy:
Makena McElroy is a 14-year-old sophomore who is fond of all things nerd. If she is not at the theater, she can be found catching up on the latest episode of Doctor Who. Makena writes for Sweatpants and Coffee’s Young Voices column. She lives in California with her family and her computer.


Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Starting NOVEMBER 3: Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Image courtesy of unsplash.com

The Day I Became Anne Frank by Guest Sarah Fader (@osnsmom)

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Please welcome Huffington Post blogger and Stigma Fighters leader Sarah Fader to the blog today as she shares her story of battling depression. 

When I was a teenager, I began struggling with anxiety and depression. I would wake up to my heart racing uncontrollably. My mental health issues were like an annoying person that insisted on tagging along with me everywhere I went. As much as I told the person to go away, she insisted on staying with me. So I learned to live with her, as irritating as she was. She was a nuisance at first, until I began to use her. I learned that the pain that depression caused made me a better artist.

As an adolescent I attended the “Fame” high school in New York City. I was studying theater there. During my sophomore year I played the role of Anne Frank. Also during this time, I was suffering a great deal with clinical depression. I was having trouble eating, showering and functioning. I was in a tremendous amount of emotional pain.

I knew the pain was going to be there no matter what. It was an unwelcome guest, a tagalong and an annoyance. So I used it. As I played the role of Anne Frank, I thought about my emotional agony and I used it to convey how Anne felt. She was trapped. She was in love with Peter, but there was no future for the two of them. Her death was imminent. Her pain was my pain. I became Anne.

I’ll never forget that day. I held my scene partner, Nick’s, hands and looked into his eyes searching for something. Earnestly I thought, maybe he has the answer to my pain.

It was the best scene I ever performed during my time at Performing Arts high school. My classmates came up after the scene and congratulated me on my work. Little did they know that the reason that scene was so poignant, the reason that it was emotionally cathartic was that I was experiencing emotional turmoil. I wasn’t myself. I was consumed by a black hole otherwise known as clinical depression.

After graduating high school, I stopped pursuing theater for some time. Unfortunately, that left me with no outlet to express my intense emotions, so I developed an ulcer. I knew that I needed to find an alternative outlet for my emotions that wouldn’t reap havoc on my body. I went in search of what that might be.

Since that time, There have been moments when I’ve felt hopeless, moments where I’ve felt my heart pounding so hard I thought my rib cage would explode. There have been times that my entire body was tingling because I’d forgotten to breathe for an indeterminate amount of time. During these moments I’ve found a way to release these intense emotions.

Instead of using them to create a theatrical performance, I’ve transmitted these overpowering emotions into writing. I refuse to let my emotions stay inside of myself. Instead they will pour out of my heart and onto a page where they belong.

Writing provides me with a much needed release from clinical depression. When I write my feelings on paper I see what they are. They are no longer overwhelming. They are tangible. I can touch the words. I can read them aloud. I can see that they are just a series of words forming together to become coherent thoughts.

When I feel: I write.
When I write: I release.
When I release: I heal.

 

About Sarah Fader:

Sarah FaderSarah Fader is the creator of the popular parent-life blog Old School /New School Mom. Her work can been found on The Huffington Post. Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Additionally, like about six million other American adults, Sarah lives with panic disorder. She writes a column for Psychology Today called Panic Life. She is currently leading the Stigma Fighters campaign, which gives individuals with mental illness a platform to share their personal stories. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to show the world that there is a diverse array of real everyday people behind mental illness labels.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.

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At this writing, Broken Pieces is #1 on the paid Women’s Poetry list on Amazon. Click for a sample or go ahead, purchase a copy (eBook or print from Booktrope).

Saturated by guest Sarafina Bianco (@FinaBianco)

Please welcome author and domestic violence survivor Sarafina Bianco to the blog as she shares her story of abuse, suffering, and finally rebuilding. 

*Trigger Warning*

It’s been five years since I left the house on Sunset, but it seems like it happened last week. Time escaping me like morning dew as the sun rises. I still remember that hot July morning, limping out of a sociopath’s playground toward freedom. The week before he held a gun to my head. The morning I left, he threw me down a flight of stairs.

Leaving meant I would live, but life didn’t begin again once I escaped. Instead, I suffered the aftermath of my abuser, something my family and friends tried to understand. I should’ve been happier without him, they said. And I believed them. There we sat, thinking the year and a half I lost with him was all that would be taken.

But that’s not what happened.

My abuse was sexual, physical, emotional and financial. The aftermath of each haunted me. I lost my job because he was my boss. Three days later, a man and his wife chained my Beetle to their tow truck and stripped me of transportation and, more than that, the tiny shreds of dignity I was still holding onto. Then, a month later my house went into foreclosure proceedings. Jobless, carless and homeless at the age of twenty six. All because I loved with the wrong guy.

Standing in the yard of the house I was losing, I stared back at black shutters, wondering when they would fall like I had. My mums were dead. And in many ways, so was I.

In another sense, I was more alive than I’d been. He couldn’t rape me in the shower or beat me before breakfast. I didn’t have to hold my breath before speaking. And normal bumps and scrapes looked plunging shades of eggplant and red-violet, each a saturated and deep reminder that physical injuries disappear faster than emotional ones.

Sometimes, when my head was noisy, I’d inflict my own wounds, throwing myself against sharp edges of furniture or cutting my legs with razors to watch myself bleed, to remember I was alive. My life was reduced to this. Too much to handle, I made myself suffer the same injuries he did. To ease the excruciating depression, anxiety and panic, I battered myself, hoping physical pain would mask the emotional: my own personal form of bloodletting. In the interim, I showed signs of PTSD and body dysmorphic disorder. This was my life now. Unrecognizable. Unforgiving. Unbelievably broken.

I begrudgingly accepted help from people who, just a year before, looked up to me. And I was embarrassed about it. Survival, after all, is the commonality among us all: our abuse and abusers may differ, but we each face the unfair, unfiltered aftermath. It’s the place where we lose ourselves before we relearn how to live.

Certain I couldn’t afford therapy, I knew it was time to quit holding so many secrets. So I started a tiny blog, sharing details as excruciating as the ones I’ve shared here.

Eight months after I left, strangers were reading my story. And one of them, a childhood survivor of abuse, reached out to me.

“There are free services,” he said. “My dad abused my mom while I watched. Non-profits offer therapy, if you’re lucky.” An hour later, I found one in St. Louis.

The wait list was long, six months until I could be registered. But knowing I would receive help pulled me out of some moments of sadness, and I kept writing my journey, hopeful my honesty would also be my release.

I started intense trauma therapy for survivors a year after I left.

It took a long time for me to trust anyone, including my therapist, but I kept non-violently fighting. If I didn’t, suffering wouldn’t stop. I had no choice but to keep trying, to push through the discomfort and depression. A year later, I started seeing noticeable changes. I’d stopped hurting myself physically. And my blog was being nominated for awards I didn’t know existed.

Life reminded me it was worth living just in time to rebuild.

After three years of therapy and five years of surviving, I changed career paths, making a life as a writer and advocate. I wrote my blog into a book, detailing the remnants of a broken life in hopes society might, someday, better understanding the inner workings of abuse. And I will stand beside any woman who wants to share her horrors, because we all deserve to be heard.

My life is – once again – moving faster than I’m ready for. The House on Sunset was released on September 22nd, a baby of a book waiting for people to judge it. Old fears surface and threatened permanence. What if it sucks? What if my message is lost in the sadness?

Then I remind myself I’ve lived through worse than someone telling me they don’t like my writing. Bad reviews and infrequent sales are nothing. If I can survive at the hands of a man who tried to murder me, I can certainly rebound from something as small as an opinion.

There’s no denying life gets ugly. We all face adversity. It’s what we do in the aftermath, the choices we make and the beliefs we hold about them that define us. Nobody else controls that. Nobody else determines our worth.

I know I’m stronger than the naysayers and critics now, because I’m sharing my story anyway.

Image courtesy of  marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Sarafina Bianco:

Fina_400x400Sarafina Bianco is the author of The House on Sunset, a memoir released on Amazon. She is a domestic violence survivor, blogger, columnist and activist. She is starting the Twitter campaign #domesticviolencechat, set to begin on October 1st: the first day of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can find her on her blog, Twitter and Facebook. She also writes for The Flounce and The Good Men Project weekly.

Sarafina lives with her husband and three dogs in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.

Starting OCTOBER 27: Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here

All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

#MondayBlogs Giveaway October 2014

MB-FINAL-LOGO-KLM

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 and a big ol’ smile! As a thank you to all you wonderful #MondayBlogs tweeps, we launched an ongoing, monthly giveaway contest in April and we couldn’t be happier with the response!

#MondayBlogs is a terrific way to increase traffic, too!

The Featured Monday Blogger giveaway is our way to say thank you for participating in #MondayBlogs by giving you more exposure for you and your blog. Each Monday for one month, you could have a different tweet sent out by @MondayBlogs to all our followers and be featured on IndieBookPromo.com! But wait, there’s more! Following you, the lucky winner, on Twitter would enter others into the next month’s contest!

Nice bit of exposure, don’t ya think?

That sound like something you’d be interested in?

If so, enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Blogger September 2014
Morgan Dragonwillow at The Dancing Muse

Happy Sharing,
Rachel, Will, and Kate

The Power of the Survivor Memoir by @TruthIsHers

The Power of the Survivor Memoir

by staff writer Bobbi Parish (aka @TruthIsHers)

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Storytelling has always been a powerful, integral part of human life. We tell stories to entertain, impart knowledge, and record our history. A narrative is the easiest format for us to understand and relate to. Through it we connect with our past, information and other human beings in a way that would be difficult otherwise, especially before the advent of the written word.

Since time began, we have been telling stories through oral traditions, song and dance. Through the development of the written word, mass communication and international travel, storytelling has moved beyond the local tribe, town and clan. Now a story can be conceived of in someone’s mind anywhere and shared around the world with speed and ease. Because of this our world is flatter, more multi-cultural and most assuredly richer. The more developed the world has become, the more powerful the personal narrative has become.

For survivors of childhood abuse, telling their story is particularly powerful. At the very core of the after effects of childhood abuse is shame and a lack of self-worth that often dips into self-loathing. Those two forces pull the survivor into isolation, away from the eyes of the world where they believe others will easily see their glaring flaws.

MEMOIR

When someone tells their story of abuse and survival through memoir it is a commanding force against the shame and worthlessness. In that simple step forward, out of the shadows to state their truth, they are not only claiming their worth but also choosing to stand in the light. “Here is my story,” they are declaring, “I’m not ashamed of it or myself. It’s worthy of being told and also being read.” That’s a fierce statement from someone who spent years engulfed in the flames of shame and worthlessness.

The boldness of a survivor publishing their memoir empowers other survivors as well. That isolation that abuse victims seek keeps them from one of the most healing tools for their recovery journey: community with safe, supportive peers. Gathering with other survivors provides camaraderie and encouragement. More importantly, it shatters shame. Abuse victims come to understand that others feel the same way they do, experience some of the same aftereffects of the abuse they do, and struggle to recover just like they do. It is liberating to an individual who has known little freedom in their life.

COMMUNITY

When a survivor reads another survivor’s memoir, they join in community with the author. They see the life of another victim taken apart and destroyed by their abuser, like theirs was. They see someone else bear the crushing weight of shame and worthlessness, struggling to rebuild their lives while carrying that heavy burden. And they know they aren’t alone in their own journey to bear the weight of their own abuse. The survivor’s shame decreases and their world expands.

The awareness of childhood sexual abuse also expands with every memoir a survivor publishes. As a society we don’t usually talk openly about this topic. It’s a hush, hush taboo matter. To decrease the shame and isolation of survivors we need to discuss childhood sexual abuse. Honestly. Openly. Often.

The need to speak publicly about childhood sexual abuse is one of the primary reasons Rachel and I launched a weekly #SexAbuseChat Tuesday evenings on Twitter. Toward the same goal Athena Moberg, a Trauma Recovery Coach, and I launched a weekly Google Hangout for Survivors on Wednesday evenings.

NO MORE SHAME PROJECT

In November, the three of us will be publishing our first survivor anthology. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the anthology project. To move even further toward bringing the power of telling and sharing the survivor story into the public domain Rachel, Athena and I are thrilled to announce that we have formed No More Shame Publishing! Beginning in 2015, we will be publishing survivor memoirs in both eBook and paperback format. We are so excited to move our advocacy for abuse survivors into this new realm. Look for more details about the submission process soon.

In the meantime, look for the first #NoMoreShame Project Anthology to be published on November 17, 2014. The project tagline is: Every Survivor. Every Voice. Every Story. Join us as we work to make that a reality in the coming months!

You can connect with Bobbi on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or on her website.

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. NEW: Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter.

 

All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

 

Why Trigger Warnings Empower Survivors

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*Trigger Warning*

A talented author friend Amy Gigi Alexander pointed me to an opinion piece this past week in a journal (I’m purposely not sending you to it because, well, I’ll get further into that below), that stated with silly and outdated words (which the article author claims she used for effect) that trigger warnings for sexual abuse survivors are ‘poppycock.’ As is the right of the author and of the journal to share opinions, it is our right as readers to disagree. The reaction was swift: negative and uproarious from the survivor community (and I will say here, I like the journal — they typically publish great work).

The article author went on to say that while she herself is a rape ‘victim,’ she didn’t believe that trauma ‘victims’ could be triggered by reading content, and if we are, it’s because we’ve read too much misinformation on PTSD (which she claims is extremely rare and only exists in less than 2% of all (military, accidents, abuse) trauma ‘victims,’ and that all a trigger warning does is give us an opportunity to continue to ‘perpetuate avoidance,’ causing us to insulate ourselves from real life.

Finally, *trigger warning* she goes into an unrelated and extremely graphic description of a video of a young girl in third-world country being buried alive and stoned to death by a group of young men (with no warning and in far greater detail), which is where I stopped reading because, well, I WAS TRIGGERED.*

Let’s deconstruct.

TRIGGER WARNINGS

It wasn’t until I started writing my own book Broken Pieces, where I share my own experience with childhood sexual assault, rape, and other difficult topics, that I started to pay attention to and think about whether my content would trigger any readers who had survived such traumas themselves. I had a psychologist friend take a look, as well as an ER nurse, who had plenty of experience with trauma, particularly with rape kits in a trauma setting. With the exception of a few words (removed before release), they both gave me their approval. (Still, I do give readers plenty of warning that the material, while not graphic, can be triggering and is not appropriate for readers under eighteen.)

Survivors tend to be more empathetic than non-survivors — not always, of course, but in general terms, our survival tactics make us more prone and sensitive to stories of violence, trauma, graphic content (descriptive or visual), and even loud noises. The hyper-vigilance that many of us lived with for years, even decades, creates these types of reactions. That is, for me, one of the many reasons trigger warnings are quite helpful. It doesn’t mean I won’t read or watch any and all stories, but it gives me pause, and helps me make an informed decision.

As I read this piece, I initially became infuriated by the writer’s use of the term ‘victim.’ Victim is a legal term — the victim of a crime. Sadly, it’s taken on a much more negative connotation in popular culture, that a person (typically and sadly, female), is a ‘victim.’ It’s for this reason that I never use the word, only survivor.

PTSD

As I continued to read her dismissive disrespect of PTSD (and knew that her numbers were very low), I made a mental note to check a report I’d read recently that said that up to 50% of trauma survivors have symptoms of PTSD that affect their daily lives. I realize that she can pull any report that supports her assertions, as can I. Maybe she’s ‘more right,’ maybe I am. Right is unimportant here.

Let’s say her numbers are right. Let’s say that only 2% of all trauma survivors, of all types of trauma worldwide, have PTSD. That’s still awful, and I hope that those people are being treated with the love, compassion, and therapeutic options they need, and not as if they are running away from their problems, as this author states in her article.

GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

I cannot unsee the very detailed description of this young girl’s death, and this was my biggest issue with the article — that it contained extremely graphic content, as if it were some kind of fucked up social experiment. I would never have watched such a video or chosen to read about it in such precise and graphic detail — yes, I know these types of things happen in life, but I make the choice to watch or read about such content, and I would never share that without proper content warning.

I felt her inclusion of that video description was mean-spirited, to me and to many others, and disrespectful to survivors in particular.

MY FINAL SAY

For what it’s worth, I refused to comment on the article itself or share it on social media. The writer claims to have respect for ‘victims’ (please); her point is that trigger warnings are useless. I compliment my writer/survivor friend for bringing this article to my attention, and hope that it gives anyone who hasn’t survived some kind of trauma to at least be sensitive and compassionate to those of us who have.

At the core, trigger warnings are a yellow light — proceed with caution; not a red light that requires us to stop. Ultimately, the decision is ours. Providing a trigger warning is kind. It is compassionate. It empowers us to decide.

We’re strong, we’re survivors, and we don’t need you to tiptoe around us. What we ask for with trigger warnings is simply a choice – the same kind of choice our abusers took away.

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I’d love YOUR thoughts. Please comment or share your experiences below.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the selections have been made for the first #NoMoreShame Project volume! All writers have been contacted by Bobbi Parish. Take a look at our promo — it’s amazing! Find more resources here on the #NoMoreShame Project YouTube page and on my Advocacy page here.

 

*What is a trigger exactly? According to PyschCentral:

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.

Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people. The survivor may begin to avoid situations and stimuli that she/he thinks triggered the flashback. She/he will react to this flashback, trigger with an emotional intensity similar to that at the time of the trauma. A person’s triggers are activated through one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

 

(Photo courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Let’s Talk Suicide and Compassion

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion

~ The Dalai Lama

An English fellow with a fairly large following left a stark, terrifying message on his Facebook wall last week, a suicide note: he had swallowed a lethal dose of pills, he had given up, he was done.

NC-Suicide-Prevention-Ad

Predictably, and with swift action, hundreds of people worldwide banded together to get him help and fortunately, help made it in time. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. He was taken to hospital and it is our hope, got the psychiatric help he desperately needs. The wonders of social media — saving a life, yea? Lots of shit happens on social media — awful, terrible things. But this was one instance where I felt buoyed by the wonders of technology!

I don’t know this man well, other than a few retweets here and there and reading a few of his blog posts. We’re not good friends, but he seems like a nice enough guy who has been going through a rough time. We’ve all known rough times. Having compassion for another is part of being human. So when I saw people criticize him for leaving his suicide note on Facebook, telling him to just get it over with, calling him a ‘coward,’ and other such bitter ‘tough love’ armchair psychobabble, I was appalled. Shocked. Upset.

But not all that surprised.

SUICIDE PREVENTION

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

‘According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily. Suicide rates are at an all time high for veterans. In addition, for every person who commits suicide, 20 or more others attempt to end their lives.’

About one million people die by suicide each year (WHO). World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is recognized annually on Septembr 10. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:

  1. Raise awareness that suicide is preventable
  2. Improve education about suicide
  3. Spread information about suicide awareness
  4. Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide

This is most staggering to me: 90% of people who die by #suicide have a diagnosable/treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. Youth is especially at risk (bullying, gays, etc. Read more here at The Semicolon Project).

MY EXPERIENCE

I’ve not personally tried to kill myself, though the thought crossed my mind when I was in the midst of experiencing the childhood sexual abuse I write about in Broken Pieces (I was eleven). It wasn’t until recently that I’ve been able to recognize and admit that. Not because of the stigma — if anything, I’m an open book. No, it’s more because I didn’t realize that what I was feeling — that complete desperation of wanting to make it just stop, and looking for ways to make that happen — was me actually considering it. Looking in my folks’ medicine cabinet and opening bottles of mystifying names colors stumped that lost, young child. A good thing, I realize now.

Fortunately, it never went further for me, despite depression, anxiety, and PTSD — I sought help as an adult and continue treatment (medical and therapeutic) to this day. The few times I’ve attempted to stop meds, the gray closes in. So, I accepted long ago that I will continue to go with what works for me. Because, despite what anybody else says about me or how they think I should be doing things, my depression belongs to me and not to anyone else.

COMPASSION

A few years ago, an ex-lover shot himself in the heart. It was as shocking as you would imagine it to be. We hadn’t seen each other in over twenty years though we had been in touch. In fact, we had chatted that day at lunch and I had no idea that anything was wrong. Those closest to him knew though, and, as I discovered later, not only was he an alcoholic, he had suffered from depression (most likely untreated bipolar, given his predilection for high-risk behavior — drugs, bull-riding, black-diamond skiing, etc).

Many people who knew him felt what he did was incredibly selfish — he had a young son, debts, etc. I didn’t agree, and I still don’t. What’s lacking in that attitude is compassion, and let’s face it, respect. His burden became to heavy to carry any longer. It was his life. I felt the same with the fellow I mentioned at the beginning, as well as with Robin Williams’ tragic death. Who are we to play judge and jury with someone else’s life?

If someone is in pain and we know, we reach out. That is what good people do. Even if we don’t know what to do or how to do it, we reach out. That’s where compassion comes in. Being there is often enough. Calling someone names or making judgments about them says far more about those who say those things than it ever says about the person they are targeting. What are these people thinking?

(Compassion is my watchword for this year, and I’m trying really hard to have compassion for the people saying these really awful things, but I’m not perfect. They really pissed me off. The best I can come up with is that they must be speaking from a place of their own great loss and pain, and I hope they follow their own advice and seek help as well.)

Before you make a flippant comment, remember, this IS life or death.

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.’ 

~ Paulo Coelho 

#MondayBlogs Giveaway September 2014

MB-FINAL-LOGO-KLM

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 and a big ol’ smile! As a thank you to all you wonderful #MondayBlogs tweeps, we launched an ongoing, monthly giveaway contest in April and we couldn’t be happier with the response!

The Featured Monday Blogger giveaway is our way to say thank you for participating in #MondayBlogs by giving you more exposure for you and your blog. Each Monday for one month, you could have a different tweet sent out by @MondayBlogs to all our followers and be featured on IndieBookPromo.com! But wait, there’s more! Following you, the lucky winner, on Twitter would enter others into the next month’s contest!

Nice bit of exposure, don’t ya think?

That sound like something you’d be interested in?

If so, enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Blogger August 2014
Shikha at Shikha La Mode

Happy Sharing,
Rachel, Will, and Kate

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