Hey, I’ve been reading your tumblr for a while and I have come to the conclusion that you are a beautiful, inspirational person. I have a cutting problem as well, but when I read your blog I’m inspired to stay strong and keep soldiering on. You’re a great person and I admire you so much. :)
Q:please help me....
how can I help you….
Amazing… inspiring. Hope in a child scrawled message.
To say that I am honored and humbled to be even a minuscule part of this organization (I’m talking *minuscule* nearly irrelevant) would be one of the biggest understatements you’ve been exposed to.
This note isn’t to me, nor is this my photograph, want to be clear about that. But I did get to drop a grain of sand in the help pile.
Discouraged? Get out there and find something you can believe in and work. And one day, this will be something you to can be grateful for.
It got to be too much… I really loved having my own domain name, to strike out against male sexual assault and the fallout from it. But we’re just a small little thing and paying $170 for the page just got to costly, so …I had to let it go. Really. Discouraged.
So how to move all my posts back to Tumblr? Over 300 posts!!! Part of the reason I don’t blog as much is that Vale’s care demands so much time. How in the world was I going to move all those post from my Wordpress.com blog back to Tumblr?
I found the solution!! Import2. Awesome service, awesome people! I had a little snafu of my own making and their support helped me work it out before paying a cent! You even get to demo the service by importing 10 posts for free.
If you have a Wordpress blog and need to/want to move to Tumblr, seriously, check them out!
Thank you so much Import2 for helping me move back home!!
Robert Brown: A Childhood Worth Forgetting
Have you seen the Tumblr blog, Project Unbreakable? It is an amazing photo memoir approach to sexual assault activism. Survivors have themselves photographed with a poster that has the words of their rapist written on them. So incredibly powerful! I’m awed by what they are doing. But enough of listening to me. Please go check it out yourself.
Project Unbreakable was created in October of 2011 by Grace Brown. Grace works with survivors of sexual assault, photographing them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. Grace has photographed over four hundred people and has received over a thousand submissions.
TIME magazine has also named it one of the top 30 Tumblr blogs to follow.
If you are interested in participating by submitting in your own image, you may send an email to projectunbreakablesubmissions @gmail.com.
Note: Grace, or anyone else associated with this project, is not qualified to give certified advice on this subject.
If you are struggling, RAINN has a free, confidential, 24/7 sexual assault hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE(4673). RAINN also has an online hotline: https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
Eating Disorders and Sin
Do you recall that friend of mine, the one who I had the unmitigated joy of informing her that her daughter has an eating disorder? She recently commented in a group on Facebook that another friend of hers told her that the daughter’s eating disorder is a sin problem. If I had a quarter for every time I had wrestled with that thought or told something very similar I would be really wealthy. I think calling this or any other mental illness a sin like that is an abusive oversimplification. Is it really how God wants us to live? No. But I think there is a lot more going on in a human brain that we possibly know about that to dismiss something so horrific as an eating disorder as a sin to simply ‘stop and get over it’ is a sin.
Let me mention here that 1) I believe God can give and enable complete recovery over an eating disorder, which doesn’t mean that it won’t be part of a suffers life. It just doesn’t have to consume it. 2) The Bible truly does have the answer to every hardship. With that in mind, I’d like to share an article I’ve recently read on the question of Eating Disorders and sin.
Answer: Eating disorders can be a difficult topic to discuss. Sufferers and their families often experience great shame, and the disorders are not easily treated. Sadly, eating disorders are not uncommon in Western culture. Psychologists and other professionals now recognize three distinct eating disorders, as well as disordered eating, which does not fit into one of the three categories.
Anorexia nervosa is a disorder in which a person will not maintain a normal weight (85 percent or less of the weight that would be considered normal for a person of the same age and height), is fearful of weight gain, and has a distorted image of his or her body (often believing he or she is fat or not admitting the seriousness of his or her low body weight). People with anorexia nervosa maintain their low body weights either through restricting food or, at times, through developing bingeing/purging behavior. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating more than would be considered normal in a particular amount of time and doing so with a sense of lack of control) and recurrent purging (through vomiting, laxative use, or even excessive exercise). Self-evaluation for people with bulimia nervosa depends on body shape and weight more so than for others, though most people with bulimia nervosa are within a normal weight range (perhaps a little below or above normal weight). Binge eating disorder has been newly classified. It is essentially a disorder in which a person engages in binge eating without compensatory or purging behaviors. Compulsive overeating or food addiction is not specifically classified as an eating disorder, though it certainly is disordered eating and often includes obsessive thoughts about food. (Some people consider gluttony an eating disorder, but for the purposes of this article, we will not address it. Please see our article on gluttony.)
Polls report differing numbers, but at least 1 out of every 10 women will have experienced an eating disorder at some time in her life, and some polls suggest that as many as 1 out of 4 will. Eating disorders do not only affect women, either: approximately 10 percent of those with an eating disorder are men.
Eating disorders have many reported causes: stress, anxiety, inability to express emotions productively, control, personality traits (obsessive compulsive, perfectionistic), media, and unhealthy relationships. However, eating disorders seem to have at the root an over-emphasis on self. Generally, people with eating disorders have a negative (or at least extremely low) view of self. This self-hatred, demand for self to be perfect by one’s own willpower, or sense that one must and can control his own environment can be very destructive to the health and well-being of an individual, not only to the body but to the spirit as well. It also can have profound effects on the sufferer’s family.
For the Christian, eating disordered behavior is contrary to God’s ways. First Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us, “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). Add to this passage such verses as Romans 14:7-8, “For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord” (NLT). If our bodies belong to the Lord, then He is the master of them, and the way we treat them either honors or dishonors God. Eating disordered behavior does not fall into line with Scripture. The thoughts behind eating disordered behavior also do not fall into line with Scripture. The Bible reassures us of God’s great love for us, which results in self-acceptance and an out flowing of love to others (1 John 4:16-19; John 13:34-35). The Bible speaks to God’s sovereignty and control; a person who develops an eating disorder in order to gain control needs to give his or her trust to God and learn to rest in His capable hands.
Eating disorders are not physically, psychologically, or spiritually healthy. They result from a fallen world and a hurt human being. It is incumbent upon a Christian suffering from an eating disorder—and his/her family as well—to seek as much medical, psychological, and spiritual help as necessary to treat the problem. The journey to health and wholeness may be long, but Jesus has set Christians free (Galatians 5:1). The Holy Spirit has the power to break the bondage of eating disorders. If we are His in Christ, He makes that power available to us (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 3:20-21).
The posters read:
“[Your last boyfriend] should have raped you. Then you wouldn’t be so ‘hung up’ sexually.”
I was 19 & a virgin. He was 36 and divorced. My mother had very recently died.
He was my Sunday School teacher.
He didn’t destroy me or my faith. Jesus healed me and gave me Peace : )
Photographed in Calgary, AB on October 18th.
Click here to learn more about Project Unbreakable. (trigger warning)
10 things I wish everyone knew about anorexia
1. It’s an illness, not a choice. You don’t have anorexia because you’re a vain control freak on a mega-diet—anorexia is a biologically based mental illness.
2. Food is medicine. You have to eat in order to get well. You don’t have to like this, and eating may make you feel worse at first. That’s okay. Keep eating.
3. Anorexia often brings “friends” in the form of co-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety. Although it makes recovery more complicated, it doesn’t make recovery impossible. Staying healthy means managing both anorexia and any other mental illness you might have.
4. Weight isn’t the measure of how sick you are. Not that weight and health have nothing to do with each other, but you can be very ill with anorexia and be at a “normal” weight. Remember, you can drown just as easily in six inches of water as you can in six feet or six miles.
5. Anorexia is deadly serious. Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness. The “best” anorexic is the dead one.
6. There is hope for recovery. Many people with anorexia recover and go on to live happy, fulfilling lives…and you can be one of them.
7. You will never be totally “ready” to recover. That’s okay. Most people aren’t- even those who have made a full recovery. Let someone else do the wanting for you until you can take over that job yourself.
8. Keep your recovery in the present tense. By all means, put your illness behind you, but remember to stay vigilant about your recovery. This takes a lot of effort, but eventually it does get easier.
9. There are no shortcuts. Recovering from anorexia means eating and gaining weight and being uncomfortable in your new body and new habits. There is no getting around this, the only thing is to get through it.
10. Anorexia is your illness, not your identity.
Q:How old is vale now? c:
Wow, that’s a loaded question. As anyone knows the trauma from sexual abuse doesn’t just go away. Vale is far and away better than he was when we started this blog, but we are no where close to “all better”. The good news: Vale is a “retired cutter”. He hasn’t cut (with the exception of one slight, half-hearted relapse) in well over a year. The bad news is that the eating disorder is still a major player in his life. Vale is under a strict regime of refeeding right now. It has it’s ups and downs. Overall, Vale is showing progress towards healing. He does activism that encourages him and others. And at this point, nearly two years since disclosure, that’s all a mom can ask for. =)