Have you survived trauma? You need this book.

We are trying to make this blog more about helping people than about highlighting the flaws of our justice system – which is also helping people!

That said, I was given a book that changed my life. Click here to order “Invisible Heroes”. This book is terrific for anyone who has survived war, violence, sexual assault, a horrific accident, witnessing any of the above, a traumatic divorce, physical or mental abuse of any kind. You suffer from trauma if you have panic attacks, pain, flashbacks, PTSD, nightmares, etc. Trauma remains trapped in the body unless it is freed from the mind. This book is not meant as a panacea, but as a way to kick start your healing.

It will make you see that you need not suffer. It’s a groundbreaking book in that there is really nothing out there like it. The author, Belleruth Naparstek, is a therapist who works with guided imagery and the left brain theory. It really opened my eyes. Be well.

Chris Brown is sorry for “what transpired”. Not “for what I did to her”.

The language of the offender – whether rapist, wife-beater, etc., is always so carefully spun. One need only check out Beebe’s YouTube speech (I won’t link it as I cannot bear to look at it) to see how carefully crafted words remove accountability from these assholes. Chris is “sorry for what transpired”. Very big difference between that and him saying he is “sorry for beating Rihanna”. I call this the “non-apology apology”. It’s rampant. At least A-Rod straight up admitted his crap and by the way, his steroid use didn’t hurt anyone but himself. I am exhausted with the whole Michael Phelpsian taking to task of role models for stupid decisions while people are getting beaten, raped and murdered all the while saying “I’m so soowwwwwy”. Poor me, I was drunk/abused as a child/came from a broken home.

No, Chris Brown, I don’t need to wait until all the facts come out. Those people calling for “all the facts” are what I call “perpetrator perpetuators”. You know these folks, “Well, I am totally against rape, BUT….what was she doing at the party/wearing/walking home alone for?” You know the type.

Rihanna is entitled to her privacy. She is also, I hope, entitled to speak out and do some good, drawing attention to this awful thing called violence against women. Praying for strength for the gorgeous songbird from Barbados, that she can use this to teach so many young women what even she, with her fame and wealth, could not stop.

Amen, Connecticut! Sex offenders should not have MySpace profiles.

Thanks to Dick Blumenthal, we now have 90,000 less MySpace folks – all sex offenders. The logic is that sex offenders cannot be rehabbed and why are they “friending” young people? I agree. If you are a serious person, you go to FaceBook, not MySpace. MySpace is for high schoolers.

MySpace had initally refused to comply with the request to name their sex offender members, citing privacy and First Amendment laws. That said, parents need to know. The Internet is the biggest breeding ground for crime right now. I spent a few hours at a CT SVU department discussing Internet crime and I was shocked at how easy it was – one of the detectives taught me – to track someone and figure out exactly where they are and what they do. This is how young people are abducted. They are online so they can be “cool” and they “friend” strangers.

Thanks, Dick Blumenthal, Atty General of Connecticut! And for any parents reading this blog who are clueless about texting and Internet acronyms – please study up and know these.

A new chapter, the end of one part of a journey and some reflection.

So much of what our journey has been as a family has been about being human, honest, happy, mad, sarcastic and loving all at the same time. When we told our story, which this blog is NOT about anymore, it was sort of venting of how the system works or doesn’t work for regular people. What you cannot see from typed words on a blog page is the zest for life, lack of bitterness and self-deprecation we have always had.

Many people characterized me as an angry or bitter person to get involved with the case that my perpetrator opened. Nothing could be further from the truth. We experienced a lot of joy during that hard time, we met many people who became lifelong friends and we made a LOT of mistakes, mostly because we opened our well-meaning mouths in trying to set the record straight and we didn’t know why we had to defend ourselves. I don’t think anyone ever meant to portray us – especially me – as angry or vindictive, but let’s face it, when you are reeling from being in a stressful and panicky situation, it can seem that way. Rape survivors and their families cope with trauma in all ways – some good and some bad. Trauma is, by definition, the feeling that you are in immediate danger. It’s like a hamster wheel and can be triggered by just about anything. Witness the war veteran who collapses or suffers flashbacks when he hears a helicopter. The incest survivor who cuts herself or develops a drug habit. I didn’t escape unscathed and EMDR has helped me out of the trauma hole, almost completely. But it’s taken years.

Now that we’ve come full circle and with the publication of the real story of my case coming in the fall, you will find out more about these things and hopefully, be surprised at a) the anger and I my husband and I had towards each other due to all the stress, b) the mistakes we made – some really big ones, c) the humor we had about the whole thing (we actually came to laugh at what’s been known as the “rape cake”, d) our deep faith in God and e) our plans for the future which culminated in the recent birth of Leo, who is thriving, as is his sister. We moved forward under extraordinary circumstances not because we’re tougher than the rest, but because we were just regular, everyday people.

When I say I publish almost each blog comment, it’s about 99% because if something is a threat or not germane to the issue, then it’s not fair. Crime, especially rape, is a divisive subject, even when the most innocent – children – are involved. I can’t be subjective when I read reports that claim “most rape reports are false”, because that wasn’t my journey. Once and for all, I do think false reports of rape should be charged. Being accountable and responsible is something I’ve learned and I learned it the hard way.

If you have information about a case, please go to law enforcement. If you have a personal attack towards a blogger or blog commenter, please don’t bother – it makes the blogosphere a scary neighborhood. If you need money or legal advice, I am not the right person. Most of all, if there’s someone in your life that you love, tell them so. Today.

The University of Virginia rebuked by the Fed for attempting to silence sexual assault victims.

Four years after the college safety nonprofit Security on Campus filed a complaint against UVA for its mishandling of sexual assault cases, the Department of Education has ruled that the university has, in fact, violated federal law by threatening victims of sexual assault with punishment if they spoke about their cases.

I cannot say enough kind words about Security on Campus, the Clery Act or Annie. You can read about it here.

UPDATE: A huge “thank you” to Susan Russell, whose efforts spearheaded what happened in this case. She is a concerned mom to a survivor, an activist and the founder of an amazing website that I wish didn’t have to exist. You can check it out here.

Rest in Peace, Adam Walsh.

One of my dearest friends’ sisters is a producer at “America’s Most Wanted”. Sometimes we forget that John Walsh’s television program began with his very private pain. Today, Hollywood, Florida Police officially closed the case of murdered son Adam Walsh, who was abducted and decapitated by drifter and convicted pedo Ottis Toole, who was never prosecuted for Adam’s murder, although he confessed to the crime multiple times. Six year old Adam’s head was found in a river. His body was never recovered. I suspect he was violated in so many horrible ways. I’m glad we’ll never know and hope his death was swift. I cannot even type this.

The Police also admitted that they bungled the investigation. Watching Mr. Walsh speak today, I am glad he still has his grief and his anger. No one asks him to forgive. A monster took his child in the most horrific way.

John and Reve’s marriage didn’t survive (how could it?) but they remain friends and the staunchest advocates for missing children and capturing criminals.

My heart just breaks for this family. I will not soon forget Adam, either. He is one of God’s angels and I hope he is happy.

So much to say!

Apologies, dear readers, for my absence in the blogosphere. It seems my beloved Leo is extraordinarily colicky – and as any parent of a colicky baby knows, there is no fix. Your gorgeous baby turns into a screamer for three hours a day, three days a week and for up to three months. We are fortunate enough to have an extraordinary baby nurse, but it’s really heartbreaking to hear the one you love scream. We’ve read Dr. Harvey Karp’s book and we know it’s temporary – ergo, a break from blogging.

I also have almost completed my manuscript and I am forever grateful to my agent and my editor for their patience through a high risk pregnancy and difficult babyhood. I took my therapists’ recommendation that I was diagnosed with PPD and am taking steps to alleviate that. Most trauma survivors have their wounds opened anew when they have children, especially colicky ones because they blame themselves for a baby who cries. That said, Leo is a gorgeous baby who rewards me with lots of smiles and he loves to look at the massive bookshelves in our library, our paintings, the pattern of wallpaper and the pleats in the curtains. He is smart, curious and just gorgeous, with a full head of surfer boy blond hair. “Love” does not begin to describe the feelings we all have for him. In a few weeks, his “fourth trimester”, as they term colic, will end. He loves taking a bath – it brings him back to the womb.

But since I have so much to say about Casey Anthony’s arrest on murder charges, the Tori Bowen “rape as a word” case, the trial of Darryl Littlejohn and all sorts of things, I will be back soon.

In the meantime, I want everyone to laugh. The genius of this piece you’ve undoubtedly seen is that Samberg’s Mark Wahlberg is so dead on! His cadence, his body language. Some folks don’t get it. I laughed heartily for first time in a while! Lest you forget, his character, Degnan, was the best part of “The Departed”.

Be back in a while with lots to say! Miss you all!

I survived. I thrived.

Last year, I was thinking about this. This year, it was there, a little fuzzier, but still lurking with cold, dead fingers dancing across my brain. It just IS. I kept looking at the clock, cradling my newborn and trying to banish the inner voice, saying “This time 24 years ago, I was getting dressed”, “this time 24 years ago, I was fed an illegal drug”, “this time 24 years ago, unspeakable things were happening to me.”

This time, in 2008, I am whole. I am happy. I survive. I am.

For you, Linds.

Breaking – Officer David Rodriguez pleads guilty to lesser charge.

I want to thank the zealous commenter/friend who took me to task on this case by saying the “girl was a liar” and that I was “not a journalist” given my use of the word “allegedly”. Well, now. It seems perhaps Officer Rodriguez did indeed do something illegal. And I’m NOT a journalist – his lovely wife is. I am a rape survivor/blogger.

More details later – it seems the rape charges have been dropped in lieu of the plea deal to a lesser charge. Brand new baby crying…off to feed him!

UPDATE: A very whitewashed charge of “official misconduct”. Interesting! It is also of note that NBC 4’d headline reads “rape charges dropped”, rather than implying the spirit of what went down. My rapist’s rape charges were dropped as well after he pled guilty to a lesser charge.

UPDATE: Darlene Rodriguez not in Court with her husband as he pleads guilty – that speaks volumes and I was very proud of her. Until this came out. Michelle Charlesworth is right – her anger is misdirected and she needs to stop covering for this creep who is now hiding the rape behind the old “Lothario” defense. ‘Tis far better to step out on the wife than admit to who you are.

Update on Nujood, my hero, the “child bride”.

You can read about brave attorney, Yemeni Shada Nasser. I am so proud of everyone involved in freeing these children from such sick bondage!

Bravo. Click here to read the full story!