Healing (144)

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Our Stories (15)

One of the things that can be helpful in the healing process is knowing you are not alone. I've found it helpful that, while my story is unique to me, I do have something in common with other survivors. We have invited survivors to share their stories...from abuse to surviving and thriving. We also invite you to share your story, no matter where you are in your journey. Your story can and will inspire others. In this section, you'll find such stories. 

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There is a connection between prolonged depression as an adult and abuse, whether sexual, physical and/or emotional, in childhood.

Over the years I’ve discovered that a significant proportion of adult clients who present with depression have a history of childhood abuse. The abuse may have been sexual, physical and/or emotional. At first I attributed this to the fact that I specialize in abuse and many clients who come to me saying they are depressed are using that as a presenting issue because they aren’t ready to discuss the abuse.

Emotional abuse is not considered as serious as physical or sexual abuse.  But it is.  The  thoughts and poetry contained here were written by a 13 year old girl after having endured years of emotional abuse by her mother. 

From early childhood, Rosa finds herself in a constant struggle of survival where she is let down by every adult around her except her dear grandfather, Nonno. But Nonno, her only stability in life, has to leave for Italy and then her parents subsequently divorce. Her mother’s work means Rosa is left in the most dangerous hands possible; the hands of a sexual predator. 

The day  I met my girls and their other siblings changed my life forever. I met them at my school and I was one of their teachers. I instantly had a connection with all of them. I love all of my students but these groups of kids touched my heart dearly. I cared for those kids like they were my own. My classroom was their restaurant, shopping center, and beauty salon. When they missed school I called their social workers to see why they missed school and to let them know that I've missed them that day. Every single day I went home and spoke about my girls to my family. I found out that my girls were living in a shelter with other foster children. My sister and I went to court and asked for visitation rights, so that I can see them on the weekends and to take them out to special places. And I was awarded visitation :)


 51R9p4f VYL. SY346 Regina's book is probably one of the best books I have read when it comes to survivors of abuse. It's an incredible read and an incredible inspiration for adult survivors of abuse. This book was instrumental in my coming forward and speaking more about my childhood experiences as well as the formation of The Blue Ribbon Project. 

 (From Amazon) Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope. 
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.




I'll never forget the date: It was June 7, 2007, when I was sent to jail for possession of illegal drugs, and child welfare services picked up my daughters, Shlai and Kalawya, from daycare. At that time, Shlai was 3 years old and Kalawya was not yet a year old. After a short stay in jail, I tried to regain custody of my children. Child welfare services kept telling me to get clean of substance abuse, but I wasn't ready. My daughters were placed in foster care. Tired of my life as I had been living it, I went to a rehab center in my hometown of Nashville, TN, and they referred me to a rehab center in Alabama.



As I look back over the past few years of my life as a mother, I can hardly believe that my kids and I have 
made it this far! We have definitely had our ups and downs and our fair share of time being involved with CPS. I had a very tough childhood and, like most people, I continued that cycle over and over, losing custody of my children three times. After the third time, I became involved with Washoe County Social Services and a new program that would eventually change my life as well as the lives of my children.


I started using drugs when I was 13 years old and have been in and out of jail and treatment since the age of 19. My life was a mess, and my children suffered the consequences of my addiction, including placement in the foster care system. In 2005, after my abusive boyfriend broke my jaw, I ended up addicted to pills as well as the alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine I had been using for years. Concerned for my safety and for my kids, my mother called the abuse hotline and then arranged to obtain custody of my two young children. I thought this was the end for me, and I began a long, downward spiral that eventually ended up with time in prison.


I have yet to meet a woman who, at some point in her life, has not felt discomfort with the size or appearance of some aspect of her body. A woman does not have to be anorexic or bulimic to dislike her body or struggle with what she eats. The fact that there are vast numbers of women who are critical about their bodies and have an uneasy relationship with food is simply not captured by statistics, which invariably refer to the problems of anorexia and bulimia. The tendency to focus on eating disorders does not do justice to the pain and turmoil of the many additional women who struggle with what to eat, deny themselves food, or overeat.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are quite common in today’s society. Some estimates have shown that over twenty percent of the United States population battles with some form of drug addiction, alcohol ism or substance abuse problem


Experts with The National Institute of Drug Abuse feel it is not reasonable to expect a recovering addict or alcoholic to maintain lifelong abstinence with just one treatment or rehab experience.


The main objective of drug rehab programs is to free you from the bondage of drug abuse and alcoholism. These programs help you to discover newer ways to live without the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

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