Tuesday, November 30, 2010

US Health Care Costs Skyrocket

According to HealthReform.gov, the United States (US) spent approximate $2.2 Trillion on health care in 2007 or $7421 per person. This comes to 16% of the GDP. Furthermore, health care costs doubled between 1996 and 2006. I could continue to state additional facts of how expensive health care is getting to be but we all know this. If this source for information like this does not interest you, than just do a google search on skyrocketing health care costs and you will find a great deal of information out there. Most of the statistics and information show the dramatic increase in health care costs and the projections indicate the costs are only going to rise.

The problem comes in, not in anything political or any of the other stuff that is reported and blogged about, but in how we actually view the paradigm of health care that we live in. Most of us, go through life thinking that a pill advertised on TV, or a medical procedure that is supposed to cure everything within us or the label that is placed on our condition gives us definitive proof that what we suffer from is real. This is where many of us stop in our quest for relief from health conditions affecting our lives.

The only thing that we are missing is why with all the money we are spending, are we not curing people? Why are we continuing to spend record amounts of money on all these things and yet not come away being healed from these things? Yes, you can suppress and manage symptoms but in most cases, you are not truly healing your body.

Yet, we as a nation have embraced these ideals as the answers to our health problems. Of course, I'm not discounting the medical advances we have made and the significant scientific understandings through research that we have discovered but at some point we all as a society and as individuals need to start asking some very difficult questions. We need to question why we continue to do the same things in health care and get the same results while costs skyrocket.

Often we fail to embrace all parts of the healing systems that we can. We segment everything into what a professional tells us is the answer when instead we need to stop, listen and feel to what is within us. We push ourselves constantly and ignore the messages the body tries to get us to listen to. We think that we have to make ourselves busier and push ourselves because that somehow makes us a more successful human. Many humans today do not even stop for a moment to take care of themselves and then they expect their bodies to perform and not get sick.

In many ways, we have not discovered the truth of healing health care. We have failed to see that answers we need come from within us and not necessarily from a pill, procedure, philosophy or person. We as a society and as individuals need to wake up and we need to wake up quickly.

I've been through some serious health challenges in my life including paralysis, depression, migraines, ulcers, anxiety attacks, severe rashes and itching. Many of these things I believed were life sentences and I felt for a long time that I would be on medication for the rest of my life. It never occurred to me at the time that there was a possibility I would find something that allowed me to move past these things and find a way to heal my own body.

Today, I am no longer on any medications. After a recent dental procedure, I took some antibiotics for a few days but outside of that, I had not been to a pharmacy in years. I no longer stock Tylenol or other over the counter products in the house because I do not need them.

In fact, a year ago my pulse was clocking in at a constant 99 beats per minute or higher but now my pulse rate is around the 70's. I didn't use drugs, procedures or new age concepts to change it. I used my inner awareness and inner healing to create lasting change within myself. I resolved the issues that needed to be resolved instead of hiding my head in the sand. It did help having a pulse meter that gave me inside information as to what was happening with my pulse.

Each person can choose to believe what they want to believe but please know that this is your belief system. It is your paradigm, not actually what is true and scientific proven fact. This is not about taking away pain but going into the pain and reclaiming the power, the energy and hearing the message of the pain to heal one's self in a very deep way. Many new age concepts think that "pain management" or "pain relief" is healing when in reality, you're just turning off the information flow from the body.

This is not about going to some individual and having them "heal you" but that you find the true healer within your own body and that you become more aware of who you are. It is about evolving as humans and becoming all that we are and all that we are meant to be. The answers to what we need do in fact lie within ourselves. It may be frightening to find them but if we ask, search and listen, we will find them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finding Self-Forgiveness and Self Love

In "Learning From The Light", Dr. Lerma shares more angelic messages given to his patients and more stories from survivors who have experienced the loss of a loved one and their visits with angels. The following is one quote from the book that I found very insightful but the stories within the book are much more depictive of what the following quote really means.

The way to God is through self-forgiveness. The way to self-forgiveness is through self love. The way to self-love is through seeking God.

- page 249, Dr. John Lerma, "Learning From The Light"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dream Of Standing Up To My Family

From my dream journal 11/27/10:
Imagine a high rise building that stretched for many hundreds of floors into the sky, taller than you could ever think a building could go. That was where my dream started out.

It seemed that I was in the building to do some work like I was doing something with computers or a computer install. Yet, the funny thing is, I don't recall seeing any computers, just cubicles with desks that had very little on them. There were no people visible at the desks except for the people running around delivering stuff or doing tasks like I was doing. Yet, it felt like a lot of information was housed here and being exchanged almost like it was a customer call center with a vast array of powerful computers.

I got on the elevator and was met by someone that knew which floor I was to go on as they pushed the correct button. I do not know the number of the floor they pushed but I could see that only some numbers were available but not all numbers for all floors. It was not sequential like one would normally see in an elevator. I just knew that this building stretched up into the sky for many floors and it was hard to understand how tall this building was. I was somewhat frightened and scared but not overwhelmed by the fear.

When the doors opened of the elevator, I got out and immediately stepped on to the steps of a bus. Stepping from the elevator to the bus, I noticed the sky was very blue and bright, yet it seemed like the building continued for many more floors above. It felt like I was on a sky deck or terrace of the building. The bus seemed to have others on it but I really could not see them. However, I sensed or knew they were there. In a quick fashion, the bus sped away to some place that looked like a combination of places I had lived like a house but it was not any one house that I had ever lived in. The house seemed very small in the place I was in but I could tell it stretched for a long ways in all directions. There were many windows in it facing towards beautiful pastures, mountains and open lands.

When I arrived at this house, my mom was the first one that came into view. She admitted to me that she knew Dad had molested us. My dad was sitting there in another room looking dejected, full of shame and almost barely able to hold his head up to look at me.

There were other friends there that I knew and they all seemed to know the secret of me being abused was known to them. It was like they had always known it had taken place but had never said anything or did anything.

Ceaser Milan was there in one of the bedrooms. I can remember a bed being in a corner of the room with a deep blue bedspread. He was explaining how to make healing smoothies with three ingredients of which I cannot remember what all they were. There was something in this to do with ice cream. The most important part though that I remembered was that he told me you had to put dog poop in them because it was very healthy. He was very adamant about this ingredient and stated it just as I wrote here. When I balked at this, he urged me to try the smoothie and I was shocked that it tasted good.

I went back out to talk with my parents and everyone that I knew who was there. I cried a lot about the events that I had gone through being sexually abused and was very angry but not violent. I stood up for myself and told everyone that I knew including my dad, how could you? I asked my mom why she didn't leave dad but there were no answers. They all just stared at me as if they had no answers.

I told my dad that he was leaving this house and I never wanted to see him again for he was dead to me.

After that, the dream ended. I really don't remember physically leaving the place or these people leaving but it was like everything was finished and now life went on. I remember waking up this morning feeling very rested and like I had slept deeper than I had ever slept before in my life. It was an extremely deep, restful and rejuvenating night of sleep. I felt empowered, strong and full of hope when I woke up this morning.

Surprisingly enough, I was able to remember and record many of the details from this dream.

(c) by Don Shetterly 11/28/10 - use by permission only

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Support For Partners of Survivors

Question From The Mailbox: What is it from a survivors viewpoint that your partner can do to help you in your journey? What do you need from them?

Answer: Just be there supporting me with love, not judgment. Allowing me to travel into the depths of this stuff without feeling like they need to rescue me. I'm sure it is different for everyone on this but I will travel deep into the dark parts and it may look like I'm losing it, but I always come back. Without those dark moments, I could not get through what I need to. The more I hold back and try not to go there, the harder it gets the next time. I know it isn't easy for my partner to see this but he's great about allowing me the space to go where I need to go. My partner, since he's a survivor also realizes that we trigger each other and that my triggers don't mean I love him any less - they just are things I have to work on. So to me, understanding, patience, pure love, and just holding the space are the things that really help me grow through this.

(c) 11/27/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mike Lew - Don't Give Up

Mike Lew is an author, workshop leader and therapist who does a tremendous amount of work with male survivors. I know he has helped many male survivors in their recovery and healing process.

Several years ago, I became acquainted with Mike Lew because at the time, there were not many books out that dealt with healing for male survivors of child sexual abuse. At the time, the subject was not talked about and so you felt all alone. When I read his book, Victims No Longer, it was like a breath of fresh air for me. For the first time I was reading and connecting with things that I did not realize existed with other people. It was a major turning point for me.

Future moments would lead me to some extraordinary moments with Mike Lew which I will forever cherish. I still remember the workshop I attended at a Voices In Action conference and how it really began to teach me about boundaries and helped me to begin seeing I wasn't alone.

This video that I'm share here is one that every male survivor needs to hear. He does an excellent job of just sharing some moments for male survivors to know they are not alone and to not give up. There are many of us out there and just knowing that you're not alone is often a big boost of forward motion.

YouTube Video - Don't Give Up

If you want to know more about Mike lew, check out his website and his books. The books are an excellent source of support for male survivors. The second book, Leaping Upon The Mountains is one that I along with many other male survivors are quoted in.

1) Victims No Longer
2) Leaping Upon The Mountains
3) Next Step Counseling

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving From A Bird's View

Kevin Kalhagen and his wife Trish and son Tommy are great friends of mine. Kevin wrote this in an email and sent it to me the other day. After I read it and saw the picture, I knew that this was perfect for a post on Thanksgiving Day. Fortunately Kevin and Trish allowed me to post the picture and what he wrote. They and their son Tommy volunteer with the birds and Tommy is known as the budgie whisperer.

So here is what Kevin sent to me and it is really meaningful about what we can be thankful for in our lives. Let the bird teach us what thanksgiving is really about. Thank you Kevin for sharing this with me and I hope each person that reads it is touched deeply.

I was helping at the bird sanctuary Saturday. They have a separate room with the big white Cockatoos in it, they are very noisy and give off a dander like dust from their feathers that some of the other birds react to. I have very limited knowledge on these birds so I am not in there as much.

Recently a 12 year old cockatoo came in that was in bad shape, I would say half of its feathers are gone from plucking (when a bird is bored or not given proper attention or good food they can pluck most of their feathers, if bad enough they do not grow back).

This bird was out on a stand with alot of people around, then I was left in there alone with it. I decided to sit with it before putting it back. I had seen this bird out before and it is very gentle. This bird actually cuddled with me. It tucked its head under my chin and talked gently to me, then started to kiss and nibble on my beard. I have to say it was a spiritual moment I cannot explain.

I told Trish about it and she wanted to see this bird. We went out Sunday afternoon, the bird did the same thing to her (see photo of Trish Kalhagen holding the cockatoo). The person running the sanctuary said the bird will do that with anyone.

It got me thinking, this bird had been neglected for 10 years (that's how long the people had it that brought it in) and it has not given up, still has a loving spirit, could I do that? I do not know. The photo hides how bad this bird looks, it has no wing, back, or chest feathers.

(c) 11/23/10 - use by permission only

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healing The Triggers of Life

Note: This story may be triggering to read but it does have a happy ending to it. So, if you choose to read it, please know that all of what transpired here led to a deeper healing and a greater awareness which I am thankful for. The following article is what I recorded from the Evolutionary Healing Seminar in Miami, FL. on November 21, 2010.

“I feel so disconnected from everything and like I don’t matter!”

“When will I ever get things figured out in life?”

“No matter what I do, it just seems like I never get anywhere”

“Yes, I know many good things have happened in life but I still struggle – when will this struggle let up – when will it end?”

Those were the words I spoke after leaving the first day of the seminar with Dr. Paul Canali of Evolutionary Healing. Little did I realize that a discussion earlier in the day would have such a profound impact upon me. Little did I realize that the discussion was already impacting my life and triggering me in ways that I was not aware of.

All I felt in those moments going home was sadness, despair and hopelessness. I knew it was wrong for me to feel this way, or that’s what I felt in that moment. I just couldn’t shake it. I just could not walk away from it.

Leaving the seminar, I was fighting the traffic and becoming infuriated at the idiot drivers on the way back to the hotel . How dare they cut me off? How dare they weave in around me? How dare they, I fumed.

After supper, we went on a wild goose chase trying to find a grocery store to no avail. I was feeling in my own world, all alone and as if no one really wanted me or loved me. I don’t care if God himself would have come and sat in the car at that moment, I would not have believed love existed.

As my GPS went off trying to direct me back to the hotel, it was taking me onto unfamiliar roads and I was agitated, scared and anxious. I fumed and cursed its directions, screaming at it to shut up because it did not know where it was going.

My night came to a close as I dropped into bed, exhausted from the day and hoping in some small way, I might be spared another day to live through this misery. I did not voice any of this as deep inside I felt it was my own pain to bear. After all, I felt no one cared or loved me, so why would I expect anyone to show me concern? It didn’t matter that there were people there for me that I really trusted and that I knew loved me. I could not see it in this moment. I could not feel that. Despair and hopelessness were the only love that I knew in that moment.

The next morning came too early and the sadness in life was engulfing me like a fog. I so badly wanted to cry. I so badly wanted everything to end. I so badly just wanted to say *F*U*C*K* It all and go back home. To go and hide felt like the only refuge I had in that single moment. Darkness was all I could see and all I could feel.

Forcing myself to head back to Miami for day two of the seminar, I finally admitted to Jeff in the car that I really just wanted to kill myself. I’m sure that wasn’t a comforting thought for him as a passenger but there was no way I was giving up control of the car. It was the only control I had in that moment. He responded “Oh Don” with a concern of compassion that was reassuring to me. However, I could barely feel it. He asked me if I wanted to talk about it but I said, I can’t. For I knew that if I was to talk about it, I would break down emotionally and not be able to function in the car. Again, I clung to the control of driving the car. It was my saving grace at that minute. The radio played. I hid in my silence and cursed the traffic.

Arriving at the seminar, I knew I needed to talk to Dr. Canali (Paul) but I was so afraid. How do you tell someone that they triggered you without them laughing at you, becoming violent towards you or doing much worse? It was hard to separate out the events even though my mind knew that Paul and the source of the trigger were two different people.

Walking through the door, I paused to see him talking to someone else. Damn it, I thought in my mind. I then saw him walk in the room and someone else cornered him. Damn it! I was becoming furious thinking that I was truly alone and I would never get to talk to him. I didn’t know if I would have the courage to say something as more time passed.

Oh well, I finally surmised, I’ll just sit here and act as if everything is okay. Surely I can do that much right, I thought. The noises going on around me and the conversations seemed so distant. I felt like everyone was avoiding me although I really wanted no one to talk to me. I wanted to sit by myself in my pain without anyone getting close. I felt the intense shame that I thought was the only way I could see this right now. How could I? How dare I? How could he?

How could he talk about that in a room full of people? How could he bring up a subject like this? After all, I care about Paul and I respect him but had this changed everything forever? Had he become someone different to me? I wanted to run out of the room but that would have been noticed. I wanted to hide, but where could I go – there were people everywhere?

I tried to breathe and calm myself but the war of the ocean waves were churning inside of me. I fought back the fears, I felt the pain and I felt the anger. I was so angry at him for what he did. I was so angry at what I went through. I was so angry at what Paul said. It all seemed like it was Paul’s fault and I had no idea just what was playing out in the corners of my mind.

I could take no more of it as the lecture started. I could not look him in the eye. I didn’t want to be there in that room with him or anyone. But I had to hide this. I could not let anyone see this pain I was holding. I could not let anyone know of this shame I was hiding. I could not expose myself in this way.

As the anger surfaced, I knew I had to say something but I was so afraid. How would he react? What would he say? Would he get defensive and tell me to leave? Would he tell me that he never wanted to see me again? God knows, that was the punishment for speaking out. Would he just discount all that I was feeling? I didn’t know what would happen but my only choices were to have an emotional breakdown right there in front of everyone or talk to him. There was no way I was going to break down in front of everyone and be vulnerable. No way, no how!

The moment came and I quickly ran up to Paul and said, I needed to talk to him. What was I doing, I thought. Why are you saying this? Don’t you know what can happen when someone speaks up? How dare I be so stupid? No, I thought – I’ve got to say something. The other option of breaking down isn’t one I want to allow either. The war raged within my mind.

I heard myself get the words out, “What you said triggered me yesterday.” And at that moment, I began to cry. The tears started coming from my eyes. I couldn’t stop them. I didn’t want to seem weak. I told Paul that I really didn’t want to come back and I didn’t want to keep going in life. And then I waited for an eternity for what his reaction might be. Was this the end? Would he hate me? Regardless of all the experiences I’ve been through with Paul, I still could not allow myself to trust anyone. I was in so much pain, that I could not see through reality. I was walking in illusion but the illusion was just as real as the pain I was feeling. There was no separation.

Paul said in a surprised way – really, tell me about it. I was so shocked. What, he wasn’t going to hit me or tell me to leave or ridicule me or tell me how bad I was? He was going to listen? Wait, really? This is possible? No, it can’t be! My mind raced with thoughts.

He had me sit down next to him and asked me to share what had gone on. I struggled to get the words out because each one was like a knife being stabbed into my gut. I really could not even completely remember what all had been said yesterday, but knew it was something about how the autonomic system plays a role in sex, and that was being used as an example of how the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems react with each other. Outside of that, I could not remember much more.

Of course, when I was in junior high, my dad was fixated on the topic of masturbation with me. He constantly wanted to know how much I did this, how often, the way I did this and every detail that one could tell. It was like he would get so excited sexually about this.

Wait, there he goes. Oh no, he’s doing it again. Why did I tell him? Why couldn’t I have just stayed silent? Why didn’t I lie about it and not give him what he wanted? I forced this to start. I caused this to happen. There he goes.. No I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to see.. oh my god, I hate what I’m feeling, what I’m doing. I hate how it feels in my mouth. I want it to stop. I want to run. Why are my pants down? What if someone finds us? I can’t deal with this. Look at the sky. See the birds. Wow, there are some pretty clouds today. The barn sure needs paint. I think I hear the sheep.

My little young mind just couldn’t process what happened. It happened with such a frequency that it felt more normal than breathing. It was hard to understand why I was not smart enough to stop this from happening. If only I would not have said anything. If only I would not have allowed him to get me alone.

Of course, all these details did not come out when I was talking to Paul. They didn’t need to. It was too painful to speak anyway and the main points were enough. I could hardly keep my composure. I really didn’t want everyone to see the pain I was in.

And so as Paul was talking, which I can hardly remember right now because my mind was lost in another world, I began to struggle with the constant tears. How could I sit there and deal with this pain? Then Paul knew I was struggling, and what I had shared with him became a perfect teaching tool for those in the room, and also for me to help me release some of the pain I was feeling and the energy of the pain.

He asked me to share with the room what had transpired. I’m thinking – there’s no way I can do this? After all, this was so hard for me, and sharing it with everyone would only be much more difficult. But I know that Paul and I have talked that the more you let this out, the more you reclaim your life. Why me? Why did I have to endure these things?

As I began to tell the story behind it, I only got a few words out and the tears started to flow like a water fall. I remember Paul just supporting me and holding on to me to let me know that I’m okay and that he cared about me. I remember seeing the faces in shock of what I was saying. In all reality, I thought everyone had felt the words of the day before were a trigger, just like me, but seeing the faces in the crowd, I knew that it was not the same. I’ll never forget the image of those faces being able to see the situation much differently than my mind was living it, and the support coming from each person.

The story doesn’t end here, of course, and it has a happy ending to it. Just like the angel card I pulled that morning which stated, “support – the angels are here with you and supporting you”, I was finding that I truly had the support of not only the angels but those around me.

When we broke for lunch, my stomach was in knots and I could not eat anything, so I just tried to find a sense of peace in the sun, clouds and trees as the wind blew against my skin.

After lunch, I finally got a chance to get on the table with Paul working on me. I wasn’t so sure about all these people around me but I felt safe with Paul. At first, I struggled to allow him to touch me. My body was reacting to the complete fear that I was feeling inside of me. Touch was not real safe, and if it would not have been for Paul asking me permission to touch, I would not have found that safety in that moment that I so badly needed.

At first, I could barely feel much in my body and then as we started pushing through things, my legs felt frozen and numb. They wanted to run but they couldn’t – just like any one of those days a long time ago. My body braced for all it would endure as the pains came up through my back. The muscles in my low back were so tight, just as if they were shielding me from the blows that my body would experience. And my arms had so much vengeance in them, as they wanted to strike out in anger but were never allowed to do.

As we went further into the session on the table, I could feel my body beginning to trust more and letting go more. The reactions seemed smaller than I feared they would be, and when things got too overwhelming, Paul brought me back to the safety of the place between my eyes or the music in the room. At one point, I remember him connecting me to someone else in the room who was crying, which of course connected strongly within me.

My body began to drop down as it dissipated all this energy that was coming up like a volcano from deep within me. I began to feel stronger that I could go into these things and reclaim them. I began to feel more connected to my body and all the energy and senses that I was once again realizing.

It was at that moment that I sensed all those supportive angels hovering around me and protecting me, giving me the strength to go through this. I heard them tell me that I was not alone and they were here for me. Paul had someone come over and be with me. The minute they touched me, I felt this intense sense of warmth coming from their hands. It was a beautiful moment and I felt so loved, so honored and respected.

I did not go to the seminar expecting this to happen, and I was so shocked by the events. I am so grateful for the support of so many and especially Paul for being there. The pure love that he shows to me is something that I was not shown all my life. Love was misused against me and twisted for these people to do sick and perverted acts upon me.

But I also realized that the trigger wasn’t as bad as it seemed to be. I realized that I could use the power of it to transform this part of me and reclaim the power that is a part of me. When I walked in the room that morning, life felt hopeless and I wanted to kill myself. When I left that afternoon, I had indeed killed the part of myself that I no longer needed. In doing this, I gave birth to a freedom and a new energy in my life of love, compassion and healing. I will always remember this day. It was my teacher and it taught me some very valuable truths.

And I know feeling the pains, the hurts, the anger, and all the other stuff I go through is the transforming fire that takes me through the healing and into a greater awareness.

(c) 11/22/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Joy, Gratitude, Abundance

No matter how difficult it gets or how much the negative stuff floods my mind, I need to stay in the mindset of hope, gratitude, and joy.

By keeping my thoughts in this realm, I am opening myself up to possibility and empowerment.

Joy and gratitude helps raise my vibration which then allows me to participate in the plane of abundance and what I am called to do.

Forgiving, releasing and letting go of negative drains upon my life will enable me greater capacity for all that is good in my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Forgetful Memory That Remembers

Sometimes I want to forget and sometimes I feel I must remember. The events lie there hiding behind the foliage ready for an ambush.

I've gotten so good at pretending what exists in life and what does not that it seems like there is no line of separation. It is much easier to rewrite the script of what took place,, then allowing my memory to acknowledge what truly happened. In many ways, I beg my mind to forget these things.

It seems like the way my mind tells the story, the two moments do not match up. No matter how hard I try to rewrite the script, the nagging in my head keeps the events from adding up to form a complete factual story. Instead, I am left with holes, missing pieces and questions.

If I wanted to write the script for the best movie of all time, I'm sure I could create a work of fiction about these events of my life. The only thing that would not be accurate is there would be more truth to these fictional memories than anyone would want to believe.

Even though my mind does an award winning job of remembering events that I have altered in the storybook of my life, my memory excels at forgetting so much. It is like I am fractured into two parts. One part is experiencing the events and the other part recreates what took place. The two parts often fail to connect.

What I have written seems like basic common knowledge to me. Yet, I struggle to flee and outrun these horrors. They plague me every day. Yes, I have put much distance between me and them, but if I look over my shoulder, they are still there. I hope one day that these memories become so distant that all I can see is the beautiful landscapes around me.

(c) 11/12/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Scars And Wounds Of Pain

Finding balance in our life can be difficult at times, especially when an event tears open past wounds. When we have been wounded, reminders of those scars can bring the old pain right to the surface. Often times, these moments appear distorted to us making it difficult to step back and see the bigger picture.

In our civilization, so many have been wounded that it is heartbreaking. As a result, everyone has taken up so many causes that the messages are being drowned out. The causes are noble, but with everyone screaming at the top of their lungs, the whisper of the messages goes unheard.

One thing that can be so helpful in life is what we do to heal ourselves. There is no greater change we can show the world than to heal our wounds and offer up our healthy and balanced side. There is no greater affect we can have on the world than to find peace and light within ourselves as we travel through the darkness of our own life.

Healing the scars and wounds of pain gives us strength and courage. Through the courage and strength we find, our impact upon the world is often in much bigger ways than we realize. Let us do everything we can from the healed and peaceful state within our life, so that our motives and actions carry the loudest sound around the world.

(c) 11/12/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meditation Time

Ahhh, those quiet moments of our day where we just stop in our lives. Not a care or concern to think about. No tasks to be completed in this moment. All is at rest and at peace. A time where this one moment is all that we are concerned with in our lives.

I used to think that a time of meditation meant a person was to sit cross-legged and chanting some om's or something. Before then, I thought it was called "quiet time" where you read your bible and prayed. To be very honest, neither practice really did much for me. When I tried to do these things, I got bored and gave up. There never seemed to be time in my day for them.

After hearing people tell me time and time again, how important meditation was for my life, I finally found something that worked for me. This time though, I created what I felt I needed to do and what would be most beneficial. My goal was to make it into something that worked so well for my life, it would be a moment in my day that I looked forward to and enjoyed. I knew if it was not something I looked at with anticipation, then any practice would be short lived.

Fortunately, I have a very peaceful backyard with a screened in pool. The weather is typically nice enough to allow me to be outside most of the year. There are enough birds that come to visit me and talk to me. This is the space that renews and refreshes me.

In order to make this work, I set my alarm so I can spend 30-45 minutes in the morning as soon as I wake up. I head down to my quiet space where I bring a fresh glass of water. The water feels so grounding, calming and refreshing to me. I've got some comfy patio chairs and now I have a snuggie to help keep me warm on the cool mornings. I've created a safe, comfortable space that just allows me to be there in the moment and let go but not fall asleep.

When I get in my meditation time, I hold no expectations for anything to take place. I allow each morning to unfold in the way it needs to. Each meditation time is different and sometimes I just am more focused than other times. My hope for the meditation time is that I allow myself time to stop and listen.

I may be listening to birds at times or focusing on my breathing. There are days that I listen to all the sounds around me or take in all the beauty that my eyes see. Most of the time, these moments of listening help draw me into myself so that I can listen to everything going on in my life. I notice that when I stop and allow this to happen, that the messages and information are in abundant supply.

Every day, I take a blank piece of paper and I give myself the opportunity to write whatever it is that my hands wish to write. Some days it is more elaborate and other days it is short personal thoughts. I never think about what I need to write as the writing just happens. It is as if the words flow from my hands as a source of information for my day. I do limit myself to one sheet of paper so that I hold boundaries within my day and respect my schedule. It helps to keep me more focused in my meditation time.

It is amazing what shows up on the blank piece of paper. It is as if the words are meant to be. The words are a communication as I listen to all that is around me and that which becomes a part of my meditation time. The words tell a story as they give moments of clarity, moments of asking the question, inspiration and encouragement. Often, the words become answers to questions weighing upon my mind.

Instead of my meditation time becoming something that is boring to me, it is exciting and refreshing each day. While I try to do this every day, I try not to be demanding upon myself. Instead, I allow my body to have permission to rest or to rise and spend this time.

Most of the time, I am out of bed when the alarm clock goes off and ready to heal towards my peaceful space in meditation. When I give myself this time of meditation in the morning, I notice that my days are more centered and grounded. It is truly a moment where nothing else matters and life is so full and abundant.

(c) 11/12/10 by Don Shetterly - use by Permission only

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fear is Real

Fear is a real part of our life. In many ways, if we learn how to embrace the fears that are present in our everyday life, we can bring about tremendous growth and awareness for our self. For all too long in my life, fear ruled my every moment and I ran from things that were more of an illusion than a reality. As I learn to embrace that which comes from the struggle within me, I become more conscious and aware of all that I can be.

In our world, fear is alive and well. So many people have been wounded in life by various events and these events are holding an illusion over them that fear is the norm. We see it by what is shown on TV and talked about in the news. The pundits and talk show hosts enlarge the concept of fear to draw people into their shows, thus improving ratings and advertiser dollars.

We also see fear as being a strong motivator behind the ego of politics, power and control. If each of us would stop and open our eyes for just a moment, we would be shocked at what is truly going on. However, with the mass of our population living in fear, it is hard to identify how are minds are filtering out that which is before us.

Fear even shows up in our every day life when it comes to the way we deal with others and the way we care for our children. Even our body pains and the way we take care of ourselves physically are so engulfed in the foundation of fear. Health care is more about running from or trying to mask the pain (get rid of the pain or condition) than it is about going into fear and reclaiming that which is within us. Yet, we as a society are so locked into the power of fear that we struggle to even believe this is a remote possibility.

Our lives are touched in many ways by fear and the more we succumb to its power, the more we are holding ourselves back from finding our true potential. Society and civilization require each of us to step up and become all that we were meant to be but the more we walk hand in hand with fear, the more we bring darkness to all those we meet.

My attempt of writing about fear isn't to bring about more fear within each of us. It is instead a way for me to help others understand just how prevalent fear is in our lives and the power it holds over us. I have fought all my life to overcome so many fears I grew up with that I realize first hand just how difficult it is to not let fear rule my life. My hope is that everyone I meet will begin to understand a little more just how fear has a hold of our species and will work to begin recognizing it. Fear can be a powerful motivating agent of change in our lives or it can take us down. May we have the courage to open our eyes and see fear for what it truly is in our life and in the world.

Fear is...
  • Being afraid of the unknown
  • Something that feels real but may not be
  • Expectation that something around you is bad
  • Not being fully aware of what reality truly is
  • the absence of fact that can be proved
  • Illusion of reality
  • Escape from that which we feel and know
  • Larger than life
  • When we find ourselves lacking in self confidence
  • Arises from our wounded self
  • Ignorance
  • Following the masses
  • Unjustified but seemingly real situations
  • Distortion of what is truly present
  • Seeing an image that is a twisting of the facts
  • Facts that do not add up while logic is thrown aside
  • Listening to the illusion of what others say
  • Not following your own convictions
  • Not being connected to your own body
  • Being unable to recognize when it is present
  • closing the door to truth and knowledge
  • Not being open to awareness and growth
  • Thinking that you have all the answers

(c) 11/12/10 by Don Shetterly - Use by permission only

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster

When moments hit us, sometimes it can take all the strength we have in life to deal with all that we experience. Emotions can feel like a roller coaster with its ups and downs, loops, turns and twists. our day becomes emotional.

But if we stop and focus within, we can learn from these experiences. By just connecting with our breath, we take our thoughts inward. We forge a union with the power center of a sacred place within our bodies. At this moment we give ourselves the opportunity to become more aware of all that we are and the truths that really matter in life.

Sure these times may be intense. When our day feels like an emotional roller coaster, we may feel jerked around. However, it will not last forever. These moments are not a life sentence. They are but one blip in the time line of our life.

(c) 11/12/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Letting Go In Our Lives

Sometimes we have to let go of those things that we feel we need in our life. While they seem good and well intentioned, if we are struggling and fighting to hold on to them, then it is best that we stop and do some evaluation. It does not mean that we will abandon these endeavors for the rest of our life. The shifting of our perspective is what matters most.

There are times that we can become so lost in what we see for our life that we miss all that is currently part of our life. We expend precious energy chasing the rainbows when in reality, our life is unfolding in the moment. Our life is not about chasing some rainbow in a far off distant land. It is about embracing the here and now in this very moment.

Image from "Journey Through Words" by Don Shetterly

(c) 11/10/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Labyrinth Communication From Angels

Today I walked the labyrinth for the second time in my life at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Florida. The first time was on June 28, 2010 with a friend of mine, Trish Kalhagen.

Last night as I was talking to my friend, Trish, on the phone about labyrinths, I felt the need to go and walk the labyrinth again. So I made plans and traveled to Orlando to do this. The weather was beautiful and the skies were clear and sunny.

When I got there, several ladies were outside enjoying their lunch time but they were extremely loud and obnoxious. They were sitting close to the labyrinth and I was hoping they would see what we were doing and be a little more quiet and respectful. However, that was not the case and as much as I tried to silence them in my mind, I was growing frustrated that they would not be respectful of what we were doing or even anyone else around that patio area. I felt it was very rude and so I ended up just stopping and sitting out there until they got up and left.

When they left, I once again started my walk and did the entire thing from the beginning. I focused on my breath and really tried to let go of the energy of these people. It was not easy but I knew that if I held on to what they did, it would stop whatever I needed to experience.

As I began to walk, I thought about all these things and my life. With each step I took, I could feel a presence around me of angels. The angels were many but there was one that was more dominant in speaking than the others. The words flowed from them to me like a continuous conversation sharing with me wisdom, support and love that I needed in my life.

It was not like I was hearing them audibly talk to me but the thoughts flowing into my mind was the communication that I was receiving from the angels. It was a thought pattern that was rapid thoughts one right after another with a volume of information about my life and where I was headed. It was communication that was supportive and full of love. I knew these weren't my thoughts for I cannot sustain this pace of things coming into my mind for this period of time.

I realize that I do pick up many things in small amounts throughout my day and meditation time but not to the extent that this was happening. This was the first time I have had the volume of information come through that I did. I was afraid that I would not be able to remember all of it and I was told by the angels that when I needed this information, it would be there in my life as a part of me. I would not have to worry about accessing it. It would become me. While I would love to share many of these things, I feel they are personal between me and the angels. I honor all that they shared with me and so I'd like to keep these words in this sacred space I now hold.

When I was done walking, I felt more peaceful and more centered in my life. It felt like my body was free and I just enjoyed the warmth and beauty of the skies and sun around me. The gentle brush of the wind was powerful. I'm so glad that I went down and walked the labyrinth because it truly was what I needed to do.

This time was much different from the first and I'm glad it was. I was not sure what to expect because I did not have my friend here with me. However, I just allowed myself to be on the labyrinth walking in whatever way unfolded. I did not try to do anything or bring anything about. I just allowed myself to be in that one moment of today. Outside of the distracting noises, I felt like I was walking in a sacred space. I know the angels were there with me because not only did I hear all that they had to say but I felt their presence. I am thankful for this experience and I am allowing myself to feel the peace of the walk.

Further Reading:

For More Information on Labyrinths, contact Trish Kalhagen

(c) 11/15/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Monday, November 15, 2010

Father's Touch, Part 3

This is part 3 of a series in reviewing the impact of the book, Father's Touch, by Donald D'haene. Please see PART 1 for the beginning of the review.

Here are the links to all three parts of this book review.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

The following is an email that I sent to Donald D'haene after finishing his book, Father's Touch. The book had touched me so greatly that I just needed to share it with him. I have edited out some comments because they were personal in nature.

Dear Donald,

I just finished your book this morning. I’m speechless.. but in awe of your courage and healing at the same time. This is a powerful book. This is a story that so many need to hear. There’s a lot to take in from the book.

I often tell people that child molesters are not some unknown dark, evil, dirty looking man standing in the bushes by the street corner. In many instances, the child molesters are known to the children. I make people squirm but sometimes I tell them that if you really want to find a child molester, walk into any church on a Sunday, and they will be there. People get so upset when I say that but I know it is the truth.

Since the paralysis, I’ve struggled with religion and spirituality. I was so brainwashed into believing things that humans dictated as the absolute truth. It took me years to associate with others who didn’t believe and think like me. I’ve come a long ways on this. I really don’t have any use for religion in my life but I am learning what spirituality is all about and it’s not like anything I was taught. It is not about some white haired big dude sitting up in the sky trying to strike me down for every little infraction of some law stated or not stated. Of course though, I do believe in Angels but my angels are not church angels. To me there is a big difference.

Donald, you did an excellent job of telling a story that needed to be told. I will forever be grateful that you shared this book with me. You and I share many similarities and one day I’ll be able to write about my stuff more. Right now, it is broad strokes and small amounts because it is overwhelming. Like you, my dad denies everything and clings to his church.

I so loved how you weaved the story through a trip with Maurice.. brilliant and it kept me feeling like I was right there in the car with you.

Others need to hear our stories so that hopefully we can prevent others from going through this and help those begin to heal that have already experienced this. Others need to hear the horrors I faced as well and how I managed to come back from paralysis and near death to where I am today. There is a courage we survivors share and a strength like many do not know. It is what got us through and it is what carries us forward.

Thank you for sharing your life,

As I have stated, this book was an excellent book and very well written. I hope that you will click the link to get a copy of the book and read it as well. I'm so thankful that I have been introduced to Donald D'haene and his book, Father's Touch.

Click here to Purchase the book on Amazon, Father's Touch.

(c) 11/9/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Father's Touch, Part 2

This is part 2 of a series in reviewing the impact of the book, Father's Touch, by Donald D'haene. Please see PART 1 for the beginning of the review.

Here are the links to all three parts of this book review.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

In this part of the book review, I'm going to pull out various passages that stood out to me and connected deeply within me. I'll try to share how they impacted my mind at the time I read them.

1) Blew them to smithereens
“Mother told us to tell her if it happened again, but she couldn’t stop the game from happening. Father kept a shotgun in the pantry. On several occasions, he blew our favorite pets to smithereens. We knew enough not to get papa angry.” (page 99)

Wow, this hit me like a ton of bricks dropped from the world's tallest building. If you know anything about my own story, you know that I witnessed my cats being killed. I am haunted by their screams to this day and if anyone dares to hurt an animal, you have no place in this world in my eyes. Even my dog that I had was shot at and to the day she died, the Veternarian that spent the final hours with her could still see the buckshot lodged in her legs. There were other stories that involved one of our sheep, my brother's little dog, a cat I had while I was gone to college and probably too many more that I cannot even keep track of. In all cases, my father either got mad at the animals or thought they were getting too much of our affection or just wanted to teach us a lesson. You see, animals to me were always sacred and seeing something I truly loved and that loved me in return be hurt or killed made me into a believer that if I did something to upset my father, it may be me that was hurt or killed. As a child, I dreamed of a day when the pets would rise up against the humans and go kick some serious butt! In those moments, I knew my father would be one of the first to get his butt kicked.

2) Block them out of my mind
"Fellow Christians believed in placing negative experiences behind them through the practice of prayer and positive thinking. Putting my path behind me seemed far easier than dealing with the dysfunction within my family. We certainly had troubles and I wanted to make them disappear. I did have bad memories, but they only showed up in the reels that played in my mind. New experiences were added to that memory bank daily. The only way I could feel better was to make believe each situation was non-existent. Each would be assigned a fresh reel." (page 140)

This part gets me on a couple different sides. In church we were just supposed to forgive and forget and be happy people in Jesus. While I know many people find solace in that, it is hard to be happy in Jesus when your father is abusing you and telling you that this is what God wants him to do. It seemed like those that wanted to abuse me could do whatever they wanted and then go pray and ask forgiveness for it. In addition to the church and the people who just turned their heads and closed their eyes, my dad was into the Norman Vincent Peale books that basically you were just supposed to think happy. I'll tell you, it is hard to be truly happy when your life is being ripped apart fiber by fiber. The only thing I could do during this time was escape into a world that I would hardly remember and act as if nothing was going on. I became a good actor in life. For if I didn't hide all that was going on, you can sure as bet, father's rage would be waiting for you.

3) Am I really going to charge him?
"In my bed this night, the peace of sleep eludes me. Am I really going to charge my father with something that isn't real to me? Life with Daniel seemed to last an eternity, but I can't remember my father's face, how he felt, or the sound of his voice. I wanted to force him out of my mind, and I did. However, why are the home-movie reels so vivid? How do I conjure up such images and yet feel nothing? It happened to my other self. I know it did." (page 156)

Even though I know what happened and even though I have indisputable evidence of these events, my mind loves to play tricks with me. My mind likes to minimize all that I went through and say, this really wasn't that bad. Being raped isn't such a bad thing after all. And yet, most people would cringe at hearing these words and in reality for most of my life, this was normal. I have had to stand on my own in what I remember and in the failings of my mind to piece my life back together. I remember one attorney that really wanted to me to take my father to court but at the time, I did not want to endure the torture that it would put me through. Now, I'm at a different point and the thought of taking him to court has crossed my mind more than once. I'm not the weak little boy that he once knew and he is no longer the big mean monster that I always hid from in fear.

4) Touch makes my skin crawl
"I can't stand being touched by men or women. Especially if someone comes from behind and touches me before I know who it is. Oooh! It makes my skin crawl - I don't know why. Is that stupid or what? The fact that I don't like being touched is kind of sad to me. But just talking about it helps." (page 195)
For a long time, if anyone got close to me, let alone tried to touch me my skin would crawl like ants running up and down my body. That may sound gross but for a long time in life, I would constantly check my skin to see if there were bugs on it. It took a great deal of courage and strength for me to go to massage school and learn to be touched. It was agonizing at first but now after the deep healing work I have done on my body, touch is something I welcome. Of course, my body is very sensitive to touch and so what some may consider extremely light body work is indeed very deep work to me. It does not take much for me to get a tremendous amount from just a light touch. My body was taught to fear and avoid touch but since I have been reclaiming that part of me, I'm finding there is a world that is so healing and so beautiful and full of compassion.

5) Healing has no graduation class
"The truth is that the path I chose is one of the reasons that I am alive today. I found my way of surviving. I want to continue my journey of self discovery, but there is no graduation class, no point where the past means nothing. My experiences and choices have molded and shaped a character that is truly unique. I believe that if every victim were to experience the awakening I have, he would find the world is not such a bad place to inhabit. I have an awareness, a sixth sense that cannont be bought, taught, or taken away from me." (page 288)

I so love this part of Donald's book because I find it so true. To many times I have been told by others that they hope I get to the point where I have moved on. I've heard this in so many ways from so many and while it is a nice thought, my life is about going further into discovery and awareness. I want to reclaim all parts of myself no matter how difficult it is. I want to become more aware and more conscious of who I am. In my view, healing from trauma or child sexual abuse does not have an end point or as Donald says, "graduation class." It is a journey and while the journey may put time and space between the events and where an individual is at in their life, future consciousness is what matters. The more we become aware of all parts of ourself, the more we are human. Often these journeys of recovery occur over many years and they come and go as tides crashing on to a short. There may be periods of rest and then there may be periods of hard work but all of it is connected to each other. The more I journey into the land of the unknown and fear, the more I discover parts of myself that I never knew existed. That to me is the greatest single joy which can never be taken away from me.

Please come back tomorrow for part 3 of the book review of "Father's Touch" by Donald D'haene.

Click here to Purchase the book on Amazon, Father's Touch.

(c) 11/9/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Father's Touch, Part 1

You know that sometimes you meet someone and you just click right from the start? Somehow when I first got a message from Donald D'haene that he would be in Chicago for the taping of the Oprah show, I just felt a connection. I could not explain it at the time and probably would still struggle to explain it. When I got a copy of his book, "Father's Touch", I wasn't sure how it would affect me as I read it. After talking to him and getting to know him a little more, I knew that I had to read this book no matter how hard it triggered me.

Surprisingly, I found the book was written in a way that was not so overwhelming to me. The book is written in such a way that captivates you and makes you want to know what is coming next. It is hard to put down and I found myself reading many pages at a time. There were some very difficult parts for me to read that did take me back to those moments of my life's story. However, Donald has such a way of sharing the story of his life so while it pushed my limits, it did not seem to go over them. I'm at a different place in my life and healing than I once was so maybe if I would have read this book a few years ago, it would be different.

I realize we all have our stories and to each of us, they are different. Even though some of the scenarios played out differently for Donald, I found that we had some strong similarities between his life and my life. The players and the scenes were different but in all stories of abuse and trauma, there are underlying themes that connect with others.

As I read the book, I wrote to a friend of mine in an email, the follow words.

I can’t believe the words I am reading. I thought this only happened in our house. This story is eerie but I cannot put it down. Maybe it helps me piece things together and maybe it helps me just know that what I went through is what happened – sometimes I try to trick myself into believing it is not. It is like someone else has written so much about my life, but it isn’t me.

Please come back tomorrow as I go into more detail about the various parts that really stood out and touched my life. There is just too much to write in one post. This book is a must read as it really tells the story in such a way that you grasp what some boys have endured (and girls as well).

Here are the links to all three parts of this book review.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Click here to Purchase the book on Amazon, Father's Touch.

(c) 11/9/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Friday, November 12, 2010

Resources for Survivors

There are many resources out there for survivors of child sexual abuse. While many of these may be for male survivors, some of them would equally apply to female survivors as well. By no means is this list complete and to make it complete, I'm sure it would easily become a book.

If you have a resource that helps survivors heal, please feel free to email me and I'll update the list or just leave a comment with the information in it and I'll publish it that way. Either way works fine but my goal is to provide as many resources for survivors as I can along with links to more information or various books.

This may become too large for one blog post and if it does, I'll put this all in a pdf and upload it with a link. I'm not sure how large this will get but I'll keep adding to it until I find I need to change the format in how it is displayed.


1. Hope And Possibility Through Trauma by Don Shetterly

2. Father's Touch by Donald D'Haene

3. Victims No Longer by Mike Lew

4. Leaping Upon The Mountains by Mike Lew

5. The Fishfly by Rob Maniscalco

6. Boys Cry Too by John Mark Clubb

7. Unpinned by Grant Watkins

8. Unraveling the Threads: ... by Ginny Moye

9. This Tangled Web by Kate Swift

10. Men In My Town by Keith Smith


1. Mind Body Thoughts Blog
A blog dedicated to healing and development in the area of how our minds and our thoughts connect with our awareness.

2. The Beckstead Group
Inspiring and Motivating people to enhance the best Human Beings that they are.

3. Men In My Town
A blog about the book, "Men In My Town" written by Keith Smith


1. Male Survivor.org

2. Men Thriving.org

3. 1 in 6.org

4. Surviving Spirit.com


6. Survivors Of Incest Anonymous

7. Women Speak Out

8. Just Tell.org

9. Stop Abuse Campaign

10. The Coming To Life Project


1. Dr. Howard Fradkin - Columbus, OH.

2. Mike Lew - Jamaica Plain, MA.

3. Dr. Paul Canali - Miami, FL.


1. Men's Peer Support Group (Toronto) - Stephen MacDonald


1. Oprah - Resources For Male Survivors

2. Big Voice Pictures - Boys And Men Healing

3. Boyhood Shadows Project - Boyhood Shadows: The Film


1. The Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project


1. Music About Life - Michael Skinner Music

2. Relaxing Piano Music From The Heart - Don Shetterly


1. Survivors And Friends.org

Note: Please feel free to link to this list or use these resources to help advance the recovery and prevention of child abuse. I will try to update this information as I hear about things, so please keep checking back. If you use this information, I would greatly appreciate a credit or link back to this blog at: http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pedophiles and Amazon

I don't see this book listed any longer on Amazon so hopefully it hasn't been uploaded under a different title.  Thank you Amazon for taking it down!

Looks like this guy was arrested (see this story) http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/author-pedophiles-guide-arrested-obscenity-charges/story?id=12440853

Like many others, I was appalled that Amazon had published a book on Kindle called "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct". In the media reporting, the author of this book, Phillip R. Greaves II, was quoted as saying on CNN.com that "True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them". He went on to say "Penetration is out. You can't do that with a child, but kissing and fondling I don't think is that big of a problem.".

There are so many issues concerning this book that I'm having a difficult time in where to start with this blog post. So here are my issues with this entire ordeal and not necessarily in any particular order.

1) I saw the news media start to question if this guy had ever been abused himself and at some point, he referenced being introduced to oral sex. First off, just become someone is abused as a child, it does not mean they will go on to abuse other children. So, please, if you are thinking that all abused children [men] go on to molest children - STOP RIGHT THERE! THEY DO NOT! Second, seeing that he suggested this was his first introduction is showing just how crazy this dude is and how far out of touch he is with reality. If that is reality to him than we all need to lock our children up and keep them away from monsters like him. Yes, I know that my words are not nice to him but that leads me to the next point.

2) How anyone that is an adult can sit there and say that fondling of children is okay says to me that this dude is more than off his rocker! I mean, come on. First and foremost, a child does not know what sex is and second, if you are an adult doing this to a child, there is NO consent. A child is not able to give consent because they do not know what sex is all about and an adult is an authority, control figure to them. So Mr. Pedophile Molester, don't even suggest that this is okay. I know in your sick and twisted mind, you see nothing wrong with it but fortunately there is enough intelligent people in this world that understand your behavior is sick and reprehensible.

3) I realize there is something in our constitution called "freedom of speech" and I am a strong defender of it. Sometimes people say things we don't agree with and all too often in this country we label these people as whackos or we try to silence them. However in the case of the Mr Pedophile Molester, I believe what I read about in his book is that it borders (if not crosses the line) into criminal behavior. And if in some legal sense it does not, than we need to change our laws to put this stuff out of existence. Maybe what would be better is we just round up all these pedophiles and lock them up together, throw the key away and see if they enjoy the world they get to live in. God knows they have forced the children they molest into a prison within themselves for the rest of their life!

4) One more point that needs to be made is I hope every law enforcement person out there got a hold of this book so that it would help them track down these sick SOB's! There is always the potential, it could have been a sting operation going on as well but none of us will ever know for sure. There is no way to prove that but if I was law enforcement, I'd be trying to subpoena the names of everyone who purchased this book and then go check them out! Chances are we could lock a bunch of molesters up all at once and improve the safety of our world. If we can do this in the name of terrorists, we surely should be able to do this for child molesters (aka pedophiles).

5) Actually, I am so surprised that Amazon would allow this book to be published. They do have stringent guidelines that you have to follow to be published on their site but obviously, the guidelines are not as stringent as we are led to believe. Amazon has a big black mark on them for what happened here. Did they intentionally want to be a place that sells how to books of criminal behavior (if not books that are criminal) - I don't know. I have to probably say, it is not their overall intention. Did they get caught with their arms flapping in the wind - you betcha! do they deserve to be slapped hard, you betcha! I'm glad many stood up and took this fight to the corners of this earth. This type of behavior has no place in our world. NO PLACE AT ALL.

6) The one concern I have is for the people who just want to boycott Amazon because of this one book. You're free of course to do this and I can fully understand your reasoning. However, there are many of us out there that sell our legitimate books on Amazon and many other places. I am one of those. My book along with many others help people in many ways, especially survivors of child abuse. Yet, if everyone stops buying from Amazon, guess what? You not only hurt Amazon as a company, but you hurt each one of us that are authors and have books published through Amazon. I don't know about you, but I'm not wealthy and I cannot just up and say, bye bye Amazon. There are many logistical and financial reasons for that. If you insist that I should do this, than I would ask that you immediately quit your job because that is what you are asking me to do. Does it hurt me to no end to see what Amazon did - HELL YES IT DOES! I'm trying to make a living though and since I'm a self published author, my options are limited in how I can market myself because of the financial resources I have available. So before you just completely condemn "ALL OF AMAZON", please understand that there are many out there like myself who are trying to do the right thing. Don't paint me with the same broad strokes as Mr Pedophile Monster Molester. My book was written to help people recover from this horrible evil upon the world. Please give this some thought.

With everyone standing together and creating a tidal wave of publicity about this, it changed the course of what was happening. I hope that this is not the end of things with Amazon and I hope that they are so publicly humiliated by this that further actions are taken. I now fear though for how it will affect me selling my newly released book.

Here's what I believe Amazon needs to do:
1) Publicly apologize for allowing this criminal book to be sold and/or published through their site.

2) They need to make a donation to groups that are helping others to heal from the horrors of child abuse and child molestation.

3) They need to go through their complete inventory of books that they sell and publish and remove any that border on the criminality of child sexual abuse. We do not need a company or a site on the internet freely selling this garbage.

4) I would like to see them work with law enforcement and provide every name that purchased this book because it might just save many children.

5) I would like to see Amazon include this type of books as part of their objectionable material. Corporate profits or the issue of censorship should not be the decision maker when it comes to a topic such as this.

Corporate Officers of Amazon.com

1. Jeffrey P. Bezos - President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
2. Jeffrey M. Blackburn - Senior Vice President, Business Development
3. Sebastian J. Gunningham - Senior Vice President, Seller Services
4. Andrew R. Jassy - Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services
5. Steven Kessel - Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Media
6. Marc A. Onetto - Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations
7. Diego Piacentini - Senior Vice President, International Retail
8. Shelley L. Reynolds - Vice President, Worldwide Controller and Principal Accounting Officer
9. Thomas J. Szkutak - Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
10. H. Brian Valentine - Senior Vice President, Ecommerce Platform
11. Jeffrey A. Wilke - Senior Vice President, North America Retail
12. L. Michelle Wilson - Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary

Contact Information For Amazon Investors:
You can reach Amazon.com's Investor Relations team via email at ir@amazon.com or write to us at Amazon.com Investor Relations, PO Box 81226, Seattle, WA. 98108-1226 (see http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-faq#6994 ) for more information.

Please note that at the time of publication of this article, Amazon had pulled the book down. Whether they will keep it down permanently is up for debate. The other major book sellers need to go through just as Amazon does and clean house. Books on topics such as talked about in this post do not need to be sold in the major sites. We have no use for them in our country. They are criminal acts.

Further Reading: Male Survivor's Dr. Howard Fradkin Statement

(c) 11/11/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Oprah - 200 Men, Part 2

On Friday, Nov 12, 2010, the second of a two part series on Male Survivors will be airing on the Oprah Show. Part 1 of this series aired on Nov 5, 2010. Below are the following posts about my experiences on Oprah.

From Oprah.com - Oprah, Tyler Perry and 200 courageous men continue the conversation about male sexual abuse. They're breaking down the wall of shame and opening the doors for healing.

If you know of someone that might benefit from this, make sure you pass this along. It is ground breaking and so important for as many to see as possible. The issue of child sexual abuse of boys is often swept under the rug and we need to stand up as a society and say, "NO MORE!" The more that we all know about this as a society, the more we can prevent this horrific evil from taking place around us.

There are many men who need to know that they aren't responsible for what happened to them and that they have support in coming forward to confront their own abuse. All too often, boys are taught that you cannot cry and that if they are abused, they must have done something wrong or been weak. We need to stand together with all abuse victims.

It is estimated that 1 in 6 boys have been abused by the age of 16. Think about that. Then, stop and think of those you know and you'll soon realize that someone you know has been abused.

If you have been abused and you're hiding this deep dark secret, please know that there are resources for you to go and get help. You cannot deal with this on your own as it is too big of an issue without help, support and guidance. It is okay to ask for help and it is okay to be scared to ask for help. Many of us are out there and we know just how difficult that is. Reach out to us and take that first step of telling someone. Do not let yourself continue to live in life under the secrecy and shame of what someone did to you. To many times, society or our abusers make it out that we had sex with them and so it is our fault. Abuse is not about sex. Abuse is about control and manipulation. They end up placing the shame of what happened upon the victim and it is not their shame.

I am here if anyone wants to talk. You can email me privately if you want. You can also go to malesurvivor.org or any of the other online resources. On November 12 (Friday), I will be posting a list of resources for survivors so make sure you come back and check those out. Remember, you do not have to suffer alone!

Further Reading
  1. Oprah, Tyler Perry and 200 Male Survivors Speak Out

  2. Oprah, 200 Men Who Were Molested Come Forward, Part 1

(c) 11/9/10 by Don Shetterly - use by permission only

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forgiveness For Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Growing up in the house that I did, forgiveness meant something very different than what I am now learning that it means. The concept I was taught in church was to basically forgive and forget. It was a way of thinking that nothing ever happened and like the person you were forgiving basically never did anything wrong. For it was taught that this was between you and the other person and that to remember any part of the transgression meant you had not let go of it or forgiven the person.

I remember in one church I was going to, they had me come to the front of the church towards the end of the service. Most likely they had great intentions but their actions were very traumatic to me and little did I recognize it at the time. They had me kneel down and they laid their hands on my head (might have even anointed me with some type of oil) and then prayed that I would forgive and forget what these abusers has done to me. I went through the actions but you know what - nothing changed in my life. In all reality, I was in the grief and anger period of my recovery and to stop that process is in itself traumatizing.

What I am now realizing about forgiveness is that it really has nothing to do with the relationship you have to the person that has caused you wrong. It has nothing to do with forgetting what happened to you. It is not something that you need to beat yourself up if you are able to forgive at this moment or just hearing these words makes you feel angry. It is not about letting the abuser off the hook or remotely saying that what they did is okay. Forgiving is not about saying you cannot be angry at what the person did to you.

Forgiveness is a process and one that takes time to happen. It is not a one time event of prayer or repetition of some stated thought that brings you to the state of forgiveness. In fact, it is most likely not an exact moment in time although it may build up to that. If you're at a point where this entire concept angers you and you find yourself saying, there is no way I can ever forgive my abuser for what they did to me, you are fine just where you are at. I have walked in those same shoes and cursed those that proclaimed I had to forgive my abusers because I was not ready to even go down that part of my healing.

To me, forgiveness is about letting go and learning to let go of the effects of what happened to me. God knows I have the right to be angry at what they did to me. The sexual abuse I suffered through was horrific. However, I am now learning that this process of forgiveness is about me learning to let go of all the energy that I hold within my body relating to the abuse. It has nothing to do with the people that did these things because it is more about me finding deeper healing within myself.

The more I hold on to these events and allow them to control my life, the more I am hurting myself. The more I allow these people in my past to inflict their shame upon me and influence every part of my life, the more I am giving up of myself. By allowing myself to begin the process of reclaiming my life and taking back my power, I am in fact, letting go of the harmful effects of what these abusers did to me. I am offering myself up to forgiveness because I am allowing my life to connect with who I truly am. I am discovering myself and embracing all parts of myself. That is what forgiveness means to me.

It is a process and not just a single moment that sometimes takes years to comprehend. The more you allow yourself to go down into this part of healing, the more life becomes something worth living for and you begin to realize your true potential. As you begin to learn how to forgive yourself, you start to reclaim your power, your energy and the essence of who you are. In these moments, you become more human and rightfully take your place in the universe. You may find that forgiveness is a process that unfolds and then rests for awhile but picks up again in the future and allows you to go deeper into forgiveness.

Never let anyone tell you that forgiveness means you must forget what happened to you or indicate that you somehow have to contact the abuser in order to do this. This process is about your own healing journey and you accepting yourself completely and becoming more aware of yourself. It is a process and sometimes it takes a considerable length of time. Sometimes you may not even realize it is happening until you look back a few miles and see that you have actually moved into forgiveness of your own life. We all have our journey to walk and each journey is different. The important point is to remember that we need to keep walking on our journey no matter how difficult it may get.

(c) 11/9/10 by Don Shetterly - Use by permission only.


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