Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving Song

Written By Don Shetterly
This was a song I helped create for a Thanksgiving Day exercise.  I believe we were going to Faith Baptist Church of Hampton, Iowa at the time.  This was an activity we did as a family.  I guess because I played the piano it seemed logical. 

It has been many years since I have seen the words to this and my copy is tattered and worn.  To the best of my knowledge and as far as I know, there are no other copies of this song.

While it is hard to remember back to 1975 when this was created, I believe my mom helped me do this with limited assistance from others in my family.  My mom is no longer living, so there is no way to check for sure. 

At the top of the page is written, "tune to Onward Christian Soldiers."  I'm going to write the words here, and please feel free to use it if you want.  Just give me (Don Shetterly) credit for the words.  Most likely it was around 1975 when it was created.


Dear Lord, we love you every day.
We're thankful always too,
We praise you for your blessings,
And lift our hearts to you.
You give us hope and cheer our hearts and
you hear our prayers too.
Help us, Lord, to do your will and
keep us ever true.

Now we thank you for our friends, for fellowship so sweet,
keep us ever faithful and make our lives complete.

(c) 1975 by Don Shetterly, Barb Shetterly

May you be thankful in whatever form that takes for you on this Thanksgiving Day.  I hope that your thankfulness will extend beyond this day and become a daily experience.  Be not only thankful but let your heart give the blessings you have to those who need a little help.

Blog Post And Images (c) November 23, 2017, by Don Shetterly
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Staying Ignorant

Written By Don Shetterly
Growing up, our house was not one where we were allowed to challenge the status quo.  What my father said was meant to be the law, and you did not object, argue, or ask for an explanation.  Staying ignorant was the law of our house.

We were abused under these rules, and we were molested and beaten and psychologically abused.  Any attempt to circumvent or change that was met with punishment that was more harsh and severe and quick then one could contemplate.  If you spare the rod, then it means you would spoil the child was the judgment of the court in our house.  Yet, staying ignorant was the norm.

Our minds were brainwashed under these rules.  Even though we were urged to think for ourselves, it was not allowed.  It was not given fertile ground to develop, and if you attempted to do it, you would be met with the "silent treatment."  You were ostracized and put in the dog house for daring to stand up and challenge anything spoken.

Sure, the king in charge of my family would act as if this did not happen. The family king would make a spectacle out of you, telling everyone that knew you, just how wrong you were.  They took facts out of context and prove to others, that you had no idea what you were saying.  No matter what was needed, they would ensure that you were the crazy one who dared stand up and speak out against the king of the house.

Watching pets be killed or being told that if you dared to stand up, the cops would not be able to do anything for you proved that you had no choice.  Learning that God would punish you if you challenged the king or he specially wanted you to just follow the will of the family is just how things were in our house.

Staying ignorant was all we knew.  While we heard others may brainwash us in their ways and beliefs, we were the ones being brainwashed and yet we did not know it.  What seemed abusive and wrong to others, seemed normal to us.  We knew no different.  It is what we had been taught.

When I finally got up the courage to stand on my own and walk away, I was labeled as crazy.  It was the medication, the doctors, and my friends who led me astray.  People that had known me most of my life were told just how far off the deep end I had gone.  Staying ignorant was what they demanded of us.

To this day, I'm on my own.  I don't have contact with the ones that wished to silence me.  I said enough is enough.  Staying ignorant was no longer a choice, but it was so difficult to do.  It took courage and strength to stand through the pain of the separation.  It was not for the faint of heart.

I'm glad I escaped and found my own life, but it took me many years to begin undoing the harm and brainwashing that was done to me.  Staying ignorant is how the family wishes to remain, but no longer will I let anyone brainwash me.

I work each day to become more than I am.  I strive to go in and clean out the dark places of my life and let go of things that no longer serve me.  It is a process to unlearn all that you were taught even if it was toxic and ignorant.  It is not an easy process, and while many give up trying to do it, I'm glad that I am no longer staying ignorant.

My life is much better as I grow in my own awareness and consciousness.  Keeping someone down because of beliefs and control is no way for any human to live.

Blog Post And Images (c) Nov 21, 2017, by Don Shetterly
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Child Abuse Survivors Are Not Alone

Written By Don Shetterly
Far too many times we think we're all alone out in the world.  We believe there is no one else that has suffered through situations like we have.  We see our experiences as isolating us from others, when in fact, many have also walked in similar shoes on the road of life.

When I was first starting to deal with the memories of child sexual abuse, I thought I was alone.  I didn't think anyone understood.  I didn't know there was anyone else that had gone through these things.  Boy, was I so wrong!

In the early days, there were not the online resources that exist today.  There was not a team of therapists and support people that you could reach out to for help.  The internet was beginning to come alive, but resources were few and far between.  I remember going to one of the first support forums for male survivors.

The thing that this place helped the most was letting us all share our experiences and how we were struggling and dealing with them.  When you started to read the things other members wrote, you began to see that you weren't alone.  It was like a shot of a Hallelujah Chorus singing for all the heavens to hear.  It was that powerful.

When you go through abuse, even if the innermost parts of you can determine it is harmful and wrong, there's a part that says, "this is what is normal in life."  When you are a child experiencing these horrendous acts, it blurs the line between what is normal and what is not.  You carry that through into your adult years as if it is a conflicting truth which you have built your life upon.

Knowing that others have gone through experiences I had and that the trauma and abuse were anything but normal, helps significantly in reconciling your life with truth.  It is in that vulnerability that we come to know more of what the truth is.

One of the hardest things for survivors of abuse is feeling like they are alone and no one understands.  I'm grateful that there is a network of support out there for child abuse survivors.  The tricky part comes in getting those to see that they are not alone and others will be there supporting them as they begin their healing journey.

I can almost guarantee you that if you feel you're alone in what you are going through, there are others out there that understand this.  When you meet that individual, you will find a sense of strength and determination in healing from the horrors of your past.  It may not make the path easy, but at least you do not have to do this alone.

 Some great resources

  1. Male Survivor
  2. Surviving My Past
  3. Mind Body Thoughts Blog (this blog)

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.