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Always a Voice

Empowering Survivors of Abuse & Trauma

Thought Spot

Thought Spot

The thoughts and articles within this forum relate to a myriad of issues surrounding abuse--of many kinds. If you comment on anything that is written, you will be given respect and understanding--no matter what you have been through. 

NOTE: If you need help, please feel free to reach out. Visit our Contact Page for more details. The response team will answer as soon as possible. All communication is strictly confidential.  

~ Always a Voice

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Posted on 27 August, 2016 at 19:10 Comments comments (66)

Category: Abuse & Trauma

~by Jillian Short

I’ve carried Yesterday for so long

I reel under It’s weight

My fingers are so stiff

I can’t let It go

It’s become who I am

When It’s too heavy to carry

I drag It behind me

I can’t get loose

I hear Today’s voice

Gently bold—barely discernable

You are beautiful. Precious

Come up higher!

Above the noise—above Yesterday

From up here, you can see

Past Yesterday’s brambles

To the majestic purple mountains

I can’t put Yesterday down

I try but It crowds back in

When I least expect it

It taps me on the shoulder

Reminding me of where I’ve been

Vying for the upper hand

Tainting Today

Clouding Tomorrow

Who am I to confront It?

Who do I think I am?

Am I allowed to be happy?

Do I deserve to leave It behind?

I clutch tighter and fall asleep again

I revisit the sad things

And drive on auto-pilot

I don’t want to be sad anymore

I hear Today’s voice 

Willing me to believe

Showing me the little things

Beckoning me to rise up

You can do this!

Yesterday has no jurisdiction here

You are precious and worthy

Lay it down

I dab the tears

With resolve I stand to my feet

It’s time to make a change

Time to laugh a little

I don’t feel very strong

But I’m ready to be ready

Are Baby Steps ok?

Baby steps are the only way!  

I don’t know how to fully let go!

The memories hurt

When will the pain go away?

Let it slip down gently

Don’t rush it

One step at a time

Feel it slipping out of your hands?

It’s ok to let go

My strength surprises me

I take another baby step

Yesterday recedes a little more

Calmness slowly clears my head

Letting go of what is not mine

I realize I am breathing deeply

Today is mine

Being still—deep in my soul

Today feels good

I look in the mirror

I’m different now

This is the Today me

My eyes are older

I see things clearer

Smiling means so much more

Today feels good


What will I do now

Without Yesterday weighing me down?



Posted on 14 August, 2016 at 16:10 Comments comments (0)

Category: Depression

~by Teddy M.


One of the lessons from my depression group therapy was to keep an eye out for “positives”—anything that leaves a positive impression—so that we could realize that the world isn’t all dark and gray. I had one of those recognition moments the other day…

Today I met one of my new hero’s. I actually met this woman briefly last fall, however she was very ill so we didn’t talk much and I saw little of her. Today I met “the new her” and after hearing her story I was deeply humbled.


Last fall “J” was struggling with some significant physical and psychological issues on top of other lifelong challenges. These issues were so extreme that they endangered her health, her family cohesiveness, and the happiness of herself and the rest of her family. Today I met the new “J”…a “J” who is standing where before she was nearly bedridden; who is almost 100 pounds lighter and who has stopped taking most of the medications with which she had previously been burdened. The new “J” is smiley, vivacious, and engaged where before she was lethargic and listless.


“J” was given a choice between continuing her downward spiral toward emotional and physical death, or changing her perspective and selecting life. This woman, who faced obstacles that would overwhelm the strongest of us, has changed her life and lifestyle; she exercises twice daily; she has changed her relationship with food and no longer worries about food controlling her life; and she has made tremendous strides accepting who she is as a mother, daughter, and independent human being. She reached many short-term goals and is working toward several longer-term. Yes, she still struggles and faces near-daily challenges, but she faces these challenges with her chin up, eyes open, and with a self confidence that, I think, even surprises her sometimes.

Today was a good day for me, because today I met one of my new heros.



Posted on 12 August, 2016 at 16:30 Comments comments (2)

Category: Abuse & Trauma

~by Jillian Short 

Grief comes in. It camps inside and I grow so numb to what I’m feeling that my whole life becomes blurry. Lifeless.

This circle/cycle gains momentum until I am sucked under. I make poor decisions—or no decisions at all. I unwittingly—or purposely—walk away from relationships. I hurt those who love me. Sometimes I even hurt myself.

My inability to engage—to feel—is misunderstood by those around me. Now I feel pressure and judgement on top of the pain. This does nothing but compound my fear. Which causes me to withdraw even more.

My inability to gain control of my tilting world fills my otherwise gentle soul with rage and hostility. I am frightened by my anger, my pain, my shock. I fight against it. I deny it. I mask it.

I don't want to have hope.

I want to have hope.

I don’t believe in anything anymore.

I want to believe—to believe in fairytales and happy endings.

I want to still believe in love and loyalty.

I can’t feel anything.

I don’t care.


There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Trauma has many causes, symptoms and reactions. Abuse has volatile effects and latent effects.

Here is the bottom line: Even those who have the least amount of self-esteem know that life is priceless.

It is our natural instinct to love and protect ourselves. The existence of these amazing survival apps within our bodies is the very reason anger—and even withdrawal—is now forcing its way to the surface of our lives.

Our tears are our pressure-valves, designed to allow us to decompress.

Our laughter is our medicine, coming to the defense of our sadness and discouragement.

Our hopes and dreams are our cheerleaders, jumping up in the face of loss—urging us forward.

Our anger is our own personal bodyguards, relentless and gruff, fighting on our behalf. Pushing us to protect ourselves, to believe in ourselves.

Our faith—even though we may not see it—is our lighthouse, sending out pulses, showing us little blips of light here and there so we can take another step. And then another.


When was the last time you were kind to yourself and truly embraced where you are, who you are and how far you have come? When is the last time you told yourself, I understand?