“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
“BRUSH AWAY YOUR TEARS”© – It shouldn’t hurt to be a child
Brush away the tears from your eyes my child, The world don’t want to see you cry
Brush away the tears from your eyes my child, The world don’t want to hear you cry
This is the opening chorus to a song I wrote, back in the Fall of 2005. I wrote this song in one day. The inspiration and the motivation came about after finishing up a phone call in which I was asked to present at a conference being held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on Trafficking and Slavery. The conference was a joint collaboration of Georgetown University, the United Nations and the State Department..wow, I thought to myself, this is pretty cool…BUT this was very confusing to me. I was humbled and honored to be asked, but trafficking and slavery…??? And me?? So I asked my friend, Christine Dolan, who was part of this endeavor, why have me present? Her response, “Michael, what happened to you as a child and what you were made to do and taken into other homes was trafficking.….” my mind went blank to the rest of her words and I felt a deep searing pain throughout my body.
My mind was busy trying to process this information…I was confused and this didn’t make sense to me…I know I had been horribly abused…but ‘trafficked‘, I always thought that trafficking only applies to children and adults in other countries, not here in the US. And yet here I was, minimizing and negating my own experiences and that of the other children who were abused alongside me. This left me with a lot to ponder….As a young boy, I always remembered pictures being taken while these despicable actions were taking place…I remember seeing magazines and newspapers of child pornography, but as a child, I did not have the where-with-all to put two and two together…today as an adult, I can.
I did agree to be a part of this event and this song came about because of the mixed feelings inside of me. I was in a dark place back then. I was feeling so frustrated and angry at the indifference of so many for not addressing child abuse in all of its forms. I was angry at the mental health practitioners not addressing it – too busy telling me and others how we are, “mentally ill”, angry at the national mental health organizations who claimed to be our advocates – they heard from so many of us about our childhood trauma and abuse, but all they wanted to talk about was our “diseased brains”, our defective genes, etc; I was angry at being excluded from so many events because I was a male, angry at friends for not taking child abuse seriously [all they worried about was the, “stranger danger”]….behind all of my anger, the sadness I felt for society, as a whole, failing to address child abuse.
Back then, I had such high hopes and expectations. I was naive to think that once people heard of the connection between child abuse and all of the health ramifications, that there would be an outcry to help end it as we know it…but, it was once again swept under the rug and stayed in denial from so many.
Unfortunately, that still holds true today, BUT, I do see the progress that is out there and recognize the many people and organizations doing great works to help raise awareness on child abuse. The same holds true for those addressing sexual assault. We have a long ways to go, but today I have more hope for the future.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela
April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month [SAAM], a time for the WORLD to come together on these concerns that are a 100% preventable, if we all do our part.
Some resources to help you with this endeavor – National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2015
Prevention Publications – The Children’s Bureau’s information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, offers a number of publications related to preventing child abuse, protecting children from the risk of abuse, and promoting healthy families. Listed below are several bulletins for professionals, fact-sheets for families, and issue briefs that cover research and evidence-based or evidence-informed practices for preventing maltreatment.
What are your plans to help in being a part of the change, to end child abuse in all of its forms??? Please let me know…Thanks!!
Brush Away Your Tears – live performance, cable TV show – You Tube 4:42 minutes
“Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abused – pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.” Laura Davis
“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.” Hubert H. Humphrey
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