Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Musings from Sarah Elise

JOY is alive and well in the here and now. The above shot is moi and my husband the delicious human being that he is.

First picture is of me with my youngest son. The second is of me with my first born son, who opened me up in so many ways. Fritz pictured above. My horse. I am unaware of how he is doing these days as I do not speak to the incest family. In the here and now, joy is doing a dance.

Oh boy, here come the holidays...In years past the PTSD would be stirred up like a sandstorm. It gets easier as the years go by, thankfully mainly due to the healing effect of my family, my kids and husband. We have a clean slate with which to begin our nouveau familial style. I love my boys and husband so much. I feel that they inspire me and bless me...not just in the usual ways, but when I feel lost in the past, they bring me to center and keep me going just by being themselves. This is one of the ways motherhood and partnership heals me.
When one of them has a need, or a want, as they do a zillion times a day, I am snapped back into here and now. The here and now, this has been my focus. I tend to criticize myself and tend toward perfectionism in myself that I would never expect of anyone else. Perfectionism is a synonym for masochism, and self sadism. I feel so grateful for my family, and for surviving the trauma of my mother abandoning me, and my father raping me all those years, not just sexually but emotionally and spiritually. When I met my husband, I was in an unhealthy place, still tied to the blood family on my father's side. I was self destructive. The sight of him was like a reflection, and the image was of safety, goodness, love, and family. As the horses once did, Troy reflected my innate goodness back to me and I him. Wow. What a gift.
It was a momentous milestone for me to break away, ignoring the drone of bad advice and misguided emotional "support", telling me to come home and live there and be close. Be close. The incest web. I said no thanks to that and stayed with the man I would marry and become a mother with. It was very hard as the family, as most dysfunctional families do, knew how to manipulate me. I really left home in 99, I just kept going forward, years passing, rising like a phoenix. Very daring for me. The one thing they really had to wield were the horses. I began riding when I was 3. My horses gave me a sanctuary, they loved me unconditionally. They were magical. As I grew my grandmother, my father's mother, was "grooming" (interesting choice of words, huh?)me as she put it, to take over the family business. I elected a very different path and the shit hit the fan. Both my grandmother and grandfather tried making me feel so guilty if I ever desired anything outside of the horses. This was sacrelige! Of course I did desire other things, especially my own interests as most teenagers do, but their guilt worked.
I miss those horses. In 2004 I had to walk away from them, and one special one in particular. I chose my baby, my husband, their lives and mine over the horses. Over the family, over the pull of the incest web. In 2004 I even cut ties with my grandparents for good, filed a rape report against my father, received flowers from Eve Ensler, and began examining my relationship with my mother. The year of emancipation. My breaking away from them and thus the genesis of my breaking the cycles really began years earlier, in my mind. I was digging out of prison, misguided at first, in that I tried escaping through drugs and unhealthy relationships. I guided myself into the realm of true escape after I grew tired of hurting myself for things someone else did to me. I put myself first. My own mother never put me first, she left me with my father. My heart felt like it was being mutilated when I thought of my child ever feeling that. Over the years I have stayed in touch with that pain, and the pain of my father's abuse. It has kept me more empathic. Somehow she, my mother, lacked that fierce maternal bond. I was attached to both of my parents deeply, as children are. I am also incredibly bonded to my kids. My husband thinks I am more bonded to them and in touch intuitively with them than anyone else on earth. I love that he thinks that and am proud that I am!! Not apologizing for my goodness folks. Not gonna play it down either, I am a pretty great mama!
I give them what I never had. I feel the enormous ache and grief over my own losses as a child, I vow every second of every day that not only will I NOT repeat things, I think of what I WILL do. What can I add? Asset based thinking here, what can I give, not just what can I avoid doing. I can make a conscious effort to show my love and manage my anger and model healthy things for them. I add cafe dates, volunteering at my son's school, I teach them to be aware of mother earth and all her creatures, I honor their innocence and vow to protect it no matter what, I watch them grow and learn and try to appreciate the challenges they present me, like being more patient. Watching them safely develop and explore their bodies and express their emotions so freely is amazing and challenging. I was never allowed to feel my anger or even my joy fully. Especially not anger. Oh hell no, no anger for Sarah. And joy stifled by the always present threat of things falling apart as they so often did with my dad. He could never deliver a promise, hold down a job, keep a stable home for me. I remember when toys had to be brought back because he could not afford them. I still struggle with letting my hubs go out and shop for me at the holidays. I freeze up and feel like I am 7 again, walking through K&B, trailing my dad as he walked up to return gifts. John Lennon played in the background, singing about so this is Christmas, and what have you done? He promised a house and a dog, a job that he would keep, a mom for me, he promised to not touch me there anymore. All broken, all broken. I chose my husband because I knew that he would never do such things, although the sick little girl inside of me wanted a jerk to replay trauma with. As for the past, the holidays I think of them. All of them, horses, people, red velvets ribbons. Are they ghosts? I don't know. William Faulkner said "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past. " Interpret as you will, but it's all about tending the wounds and simultaneously living in the here and now. We used to decorate their stalls with stockings and wreaths and we had parties for all the clients. People came and brought gifts and food, we even had a costume contest for the HORSES!! I miss so much their soft faces, their whinnies, their cantering up to me, the smell of the barn, like cedar and shavings... and I miss being so good at something. (I won all kinds of awards all of my life, equestrian success was a huge part of my having any self worth.) I love Angela's metaphor, though it is more literal than metaphorical for those of us who have experinced abuse, of the sword of trauma piercing us. I remember thinking to myself about five years ago, this is like an iron maiden. I feel like I am in one of those iron maidens, knives coming from every direction. Horrifyingly accurate. It is like a sword, all of it, not just being raped. Not being protected, no armor. The armor should have been my mother, my grandparents. My uncle and aunt who chose denial. The sword is out and now we tend the wound. I am tending the wound. Part of tending the wound so it does not get infected is acceptance of what was and cultivation of hope for what NOW can be. NOW, the reality is that as a parent I must accept that I AM good. I must accept that goodness. It is so hard to accept our own goodness at times. I can not explain why my mother and father, grandparents and uncle did not see my goodness and honor it as I do my children. Blinded by their own unhealed wounds, enormous gaping wounds infected with drug addiction, emotional numbness, denial, inability to protect the vulnerable ones, and fear. Infected and blinded.
It was what it was. I am who I am today and though a part of me still needs to cry, rage, and ask questions, thats part of what helps me walk solidly on my healing path.
In the meantime, in the now, I am creating, with my husband and family, joyous, grateful, creative and impassioned energy for our new family tree. I know the reverberations will be felt into the next generations, and the little girl I was will feel the ripples too. I invite her to be here now, now and always.
Let's all invite our parts, our little ones inside, to come and be here with us now. They are waiting for our love and safety so they can leave the dark rooms, where they have been alone and crying, and come into the light where they belong. We can parent them now. If you are not a parent, you actually are a parent, because we all have inner children who need love, they are all the children we once were at certain times. The traumatized ones need us. And we will rise up like the phoenixes, and be here for them now. Namaste and Love to All~S

Monday, December 17, 2007

Finding Angela Shelton Challenge

Finding Angela Shelton

We are all Angela Shelton, or know someone who is.

Angela approached me with the job of spreading the word and the healing, and I have been working hard at it and have no plans to stop.

(2 big mouthed women we are)

We are team members of Angela Shelton. I am heading up the state of NC. We are teachers, students, parents, nurses, parents, sons, daughters, therapists, activists, advocates, non-profits organizations, lawyers, professionals, healers, and fans of Angela Shelton. We have seen how Angela's powerful documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton has changed many lives and we want everyone to read her book!

We believe that healing yourself heals the world. Angela Shelton inspires and empowers people and we want you to Find Angela Shelton! (We are pretty much finding ourselves when we do this, and each other!)

For those who have ordered a copy, you can read the private Finding Angela Shelton Blog for readers only!
Just email your proof of purchase or pre-order to and you will be added as a reader. Angela just posted a letter that came from the social worker she had when she was eight!


*Angela Sheltons' message has helped save thousands of lives - including her own!

*You can change the lives of others simply by starting a conversation.

*1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are abused in their lifetime.
*There are an estimated 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America today - let's get the book into their hands!!

*Abuse effects everyone in a community emotionally, financially, and spiritually. This is not a women's issue - this involves all of us.

*Angela Sheltons' message has moved forward through dedicated people who have healed, who care about their communities, and who have loved ones who have been victims.

*One person and one voice makes a difference - put them together and your team could save thousands of lives!

Email and request to be a Team Leader or Volunteer in the subject.

The book is a Call to Action for all survivors to end self-abuse that is caused by trauma. The more people Find Angela Shelton, the more people heal.
The more people heal - the more we heal the whole world and make life better for all of us.

DOWNLOAD A PORTION OF THE BOOK and begin a conversation.

Team up in high school, college, university, faith center, women's center, or support group and take the challenge.
Reach as many people as possible and get them to order the book.
Finding Angela Shelton is an escape route out of pain and into joy.


SPEAK OUT ABOUT ABUSE. Educate yourself, ignorance is only bliss for abusers!
If people act weird or uncomfortable, they definitely need to hear more!!
START CONVERSATIONS - Talk talk talk - by staring conversations you are creating social change. Post on the blog on facebook and myspace about why you are changing your life and changing the world and how Searching for and Finding Angela Shelton affected you. Share why this book is so important to you. Share your own story and listen to the stories of others. Be an example - breathe! You will be helping a lot of people out of suffering.
CALL PEOPLE - call five friends and tell them about the book and about Angela Shelton. Share a secret. You are not alone.
TAKE ACTION! Begin to write your own story. Start a blog. Write a song and sing it! This is about you changing your own patterns and living life joyfully. The more you do that - the more of an example you are.
ENLIST PEOPLE Tell 10 people to order the book and have them enlist 10 people and so on. By spreading the word about this book - we are creating a dramatic global shift and inspiring recovery and healing.
BRAINSTORM! People come up with new genius ideas everyday! Compile a list of all the ways to reach your state. Schools, orgs, crisis centers, clubs, groups, socialites, big mouths, local radio spots - whatever spreads the word! Think big - anything is possible!

USE THE INTERNET - Email, chat, post on forums, make comments everywhere you can online, telling people to order the book. Blog about it!
USE FLIERS - Make fliers that you post at your school or in and around your community. Tell people at the bookstores.
ASK QUESTIONS - If the goal is to reach 39 million people, how do you go about that on a grassroots budget with no Television ad? Make it a class project.
WEAR GEAR - Wear Angela gear and start a conversation when people ask you who Angela Shelton is. You will find that you meet other survivors and loved ones of survivors. You will also find that people care about other people!
CONTACT BOOKSTORES - and let them know that you want to order Finding Angela Shelton. Tell them why. Sound scary? It's not, and not as scary as holding in the secrect, I'll tell you that. You would not believe how many times a month I hear the words, "Yeah, me too...." Stories everywhere, in the massage therapist office, at the grocery store, all over.


SATISFACTION! By helping this grassroots movement, you are helping people to change their lives forever which in turn helps you because you are helping the whole world.
WORK WITH ANGELA! - For those of you in Los Angeles you can intern with Angela in person. Email and put "Volunteer" in the subject box.
YOUR SCHOOL NAME or YOUR TEAM on the new Finding Angela Shelton Website and will be mentioned in Angela's Blog and E-Newsletters. As TEAM LEADER, you will have access to the admin section of Myspace and Facebook. Angela will talk to team leaders and select teams for 30 min calls on the phone for free.
FREE ANGELA TIME and FREE MOVIES! If you classroom creates a class project with this challenge and becomes friends on myspace, facebook, and signs up for the newsletter - your class will receive a free DVD.
FREE GEAR!- For those who sell 10 DVDs or more while you're spreading the word - you get a T-shirt of your choice at the Angela Store! Have the customers put your name in the comments sections when they purchase the DVD at

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Letting Go of the Dream

Letting Go of the Dream

Letting go. Sounds cliche. It's not. Well, if it is, only because it is true. That's the key sometimes, letting go of the dream that it will ever change, even NOW. Not just that a parent was there, but how they were with you, if at all, how you were met at birth and beyond. Create a new dream. Let the old wish of the child go, release it. Some bonds when broken can't be repaired, and it is not the child's fault. It is not your fault, or mine.
That primal love we want(ed) did not (does not) exist within that parent. That's not our problem now. Most times it never existed, it being that mother bear love, and we are left with the eternal wish of the little one inside. I don't think we are asking for perfect or asking too much when we want to be mothered, not abandoned. Love that does not take into account the child's needs an attached loving mother, the child's needs at all, is not really love at all. My therapist used to say that abandonment of a child is "total annihilation" of that child.
How powerful it can be.....
to place that wish in your palm and blow it back out to the universe.
In knowing what you wanted,
deep within that means you have the ability to give it to your children and to yourself.
With my own kids, my mantra for this is:
Be What You Wanted.
Be What You Deserved.
It works, it just takes time, practice and patience. Eventually the rage and grief of the child dissolves and gives way to an understanding that these parents could barely care for themselves(some still can not) let alone you, and most have immense amounts of unhealed, unaddressed pain that they are very unaware of in themselves. In other words, it is not your fault now, nor was it then. Just because your light and worth went unacknowledged and in some cases purposefully so, does not mean it was never there. Breathe in the light that you are, exhale that light and send it into the world. (Thank you Nancy for that.)
With Love, SES

Friday, November 09, 2007

New Blog posts

Comments welcome!

Here's a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause. Just start using as your search engine and online shopping mall. Every time you search the Internet or make an online purchase at one of their partner merchants, GoodSearch makes a donation to your favorite nonprofit or school and it's powered by Yahoo! so you get great search results!

Namaste, Sarah

Monday, October 08, 2007

Satori, my new project

Please join me in this movement of healing through rediscovering our innate light. My SATORI, Sexual Abuse Thrivers Of Rape and Incest. My main message is that healing is possible, it is about conscious choice, being willing to have the courage to face what has happened to you, break ties if you need to, believing in your own light, ripping out that old family tree and planting your brand new one free of secrets and lies, learning how incest family dynamics work, and rediscovering how to love the child within. We are all born with what I call our little box of light, a gem that can NEVER be stolen or snuffed out. We are abused and tortured which shifts our perception of ourselves, we see ourselves distorted, energetically we absorb the projections of our abusers as the hurt us and we turn that against ourselves. We are porous, we absorb their shame, their dirtiness, their self hatred. We can give it back and rebirth our light. Our light is divine and unbreakable. We must return home to our own souls and find it, we have to fight for our light and teach and guide others to do the same.

With Love and Light, Sarah/Bohememama

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ode to spring

i thought i felt you
early this morning
a whisper of a touch
still lingers
a quickened heart beat
still echoes
and a sheen of dew on my lips
still dampens
the taste of my day

love, was it you?

A little something to spice up the spring -- The Erotic Woman

Monday, February 05, 2007

Making Women's Rights a Top Priority

I wanted to share this article with the iamgoddess community. As women, our rights seem to be continuously in danger and at risk, and it's so important for us all to be vigilant about making women's rights a top priority at all times. We have an opportunity to turn the tide on the sad state of women's affairs that have become the norm in our country and worldwide for too long. Let's work hard to put as many women in government (in all countries) as we possibly can, while continuing to build our communities with strong female-based networks such as this one. Our female ancestral leaders would be proud.

Goddess bless women everywhere and keep fighting the good fight!

Heidi Schnakenberg

Saturday, January 13, 2007

on being a woman

not long ago my son asked if i like being a woman or if i thought i would prefer to have been born a boy and become a man. his question surprised me because i suppose i thought it would be obvious that being a woman is the most beautiful way to live. i love being a woman. his question, though, started my pondering what it is that i like about being feminine and what it is that defines such a thing for me. what does being a woman mean to me and what makes me feel like a woman?

i contemplated many things, such as wearing silk stockings and soft cotton panties (which i adore), struggling with monthly cycles (which i've always accepted lovingly), laboring in childbirth (my greatest achievement), striving to find my authentic woman's voice in a patriarchal world (my hardest work), and many other things.

i considered my favorite memory of all i have experienced, and that of breastfeeding my babies. it seems to me breastfeeding offers two of life's richest gifts, those being to nourish another and to nurture another, for i feed my baby at the same time of holding and embracing her.

there is much i could say about the life of being a woman, about my connection with the world i live in and about relationship to all things. but in all my pondering i have come to this, that what most makes me feel like a woman is that of receiving and taking in. when i am with my beloved and i take him in, i receive the universe, and in receiving him, i and the earth become one.

i would love to know the many things that make you feel like a woman, what being a woman means to you. your answers help me deepen my own....