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May 31, 2009

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Moving from the Trauma Train to the Joy Jet!

IMG_1829.JPGHello!  It was so great to see so many of you at the events this Spring and at the Army of Angels Conference.  I’ve been to a lot of conferences and the Army of Angels was my all time favorite. The angels are doing another one next year on the east coast.  I’ll keep you posted. The Army of Angels are people of every gender across all boundaries of race, religion, and political standing, who are committed to healing, awareness, strength and courage. They were inspired and empowered to make dramatic shifts in their lives and now work to make bigger strides forward and help others do the same. You can find them on Facebook if you search for Angela Shelton’s Army of Angels.  I love them! 

I have been on the road since March and am finally home again.  As many of you who are my Facebook friends know, I injured my back very badly as I was traveling so I haven’t sent out any updates in awhile. I lifted up a heavy piece of luggage and ended up having a herniated disk that shifted into a compressed disk. It is getting better without surgery, thank goodness, but it has been the worst pain of my entire life.  IMG_1878.JPGI was in a wheelchair for a few weeks, had to fly and do speaking engagements while bent over in a back brace, but I kept my sense of humor!

I was flying into Kansas City, MO to speak at the MOCSA event recently and my flight was canceled due to the fact that a cable was broken, causing the plane to have no brakes! Everyone on board lined up and was in a fuss to get on board the next flights out. I was unable to stand up so I couldn’t stand in line at all and had to sit and wait for another wheelchair when this lovely woman named Tammy offers to stand in line for me. She was able to get the last two seats on the next flight to Kansas.  We had to transfer in Washington, DC. When the skycab in DC literally pushed me to the curb and left me stranded there with no wheelchair and no help with my bags, Tammy was the one who found a wheelchair, got me and my bags safely to the next plane just in time and saved the day.  Sticking with the repeated message in Searching for Angela Shelton that everything happens for a reason, it turned out that Tammy works for Meet where unlike other social networks, it is all about meeting in person in your community.  So she started an Army of Angels topic so that the angels out there can find each other and meet up in person!  Awesome! I love those little miracles.

IMG_2011On a more fun note, back brace or not, I just got off the set of this beautiful film. It is about a young girl who has narcolepsy and when she falls asleep she dreams about abused or kidnapped children and is able to help locate or save them.  I play her mother and I don’t believe her until the end. 

It has been a while since I’ve been able to be in front of the camera as an actress.  The last time was playing the part of the superhero Safe Side Superchick in the Safe Side video series. When I first moved to Hollywood I booked a TV pilot every year and did a few guest roles on shows like Chicago and Becker.  Since then a lot of things in my life have transpired from writing my life story about me and my mom in the film Tumbleweeds that I co-wrote to making my directing debut with my documentary Searching for Angela Shelton and the subsequent personal discovery and recovery work that that journey entailed!  I have certainly gained a much greater appreciation for the craft of acting and the whole process of filmmaking since my original acting debut in Hollywood.

Angela Shelton's Sword of Trauma Making my documentary and riding the wild train of the movement that it created certainly shook up my life.  It has made me more creative though, not to mention it made me face my demons and heal from my past which has made me move from sadness to a place of wisdom and that feels great.  It is a true pleasure to practice what I preach about getting off the trauma train and onto the joy jet and now having the affects of living a joyful life not only show up in my personal life but show up in my creative life too! This life of mine has been one wild ride and has so many more stories to tell!  I hope you enjoy the shows to come!

    Humor and Healing…

You can also watch this on Blip or watch it on YouTube

My events have transitioned from trauma to joy and keep getting funnier.  If you’d like to bring one of my events or a workshop to your community contact my mom at

I’m also putting together a private women’s group for those ready to move well past trauma and into joy financially as well as spiritually.  If you are interested in joining those calls email

New Searching for Angela Shelton DVD

Peace and Love,

Angela Shelton

Angela Shelton
23852 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 392
Malibu, CA 90265


Be my friend on Facebook!

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The official version of Searching for Angela Shelton with fancy graphics and never-before-seen footage, Spanish subtitles, closed captioning and a director’s commentary is finally ready!  The title company is the only company that I have worked with over the past 8 years that has made it difficult for this little movie that could.  

Those of you who pre-ordered helped pay for the Spanish subtitles and closed captioning but the titles came back and didn’t work!  I have been working to get it all straight and now the DVD is ready to be duplicated!  Finally!  It looks great and the director’s commentary is hilarious. 

Now we are onto duplication and your pre-orders help get it out faster. Thank you so much for your dedication and commitment to this powerful movie that created a movement!  This has been one long difficult road with many hurdles but you have helped keep it going.

P.O. Box 39702 Los Angeles, CA 90039

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PAVE is a 501c3 charity – if you cannot attend, please consider a tax-deductible donation to PAVE:
PAVE, PO Box 476991 , Chicago, IL 60647  
Thanks for the consideration and support!!

Dear Jacki m,

There is only one day left to reserve your seat at PAVE’s Inaugural Benefit Banquet being held on Saturday, May 30 including: Silent Auction – Awards Ceremony – Entertainment -Elected Officials -Local Celebrities – Networking

Details: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 6pm, Medinah Shrine Center, Addison , IL

* Silent Auction includes autographed jersey from Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. 

NOTE: Please purchase your ticket today or a table for 8 – tickets sales close Friday, May 22.  Click here to buy tickets

Angela Rose
PAVE, Founder and Executive Director

Award Recipients Follow – Click here

Jim RyanJim Ryan

Former Attorney General of Illinois and Distinguished Fellow at Benedictine University

Tom DartTom Dart, Cook County Sheriff

In May of 2009 Time magazine named Sheriff Dart one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 

Click here to find out why

Jim Perille


owner and president of Capital Security & Investigations

Lawrence LykowskiLawrence M. Lykowski

25 year career with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in IL

May 30 Invite

Forward email

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality

An abusive man/woman …



smashes things


calls you names

makes you feel ugly and useless

cuts you off from your friends

stops you working

never admits he is wrong

blames you, drugs, drink, stress etc.

turns the children against you

uses the children to control you

never does his share of the housework

never looks after the children

expects sex on demand

controls the money

threatens or wheedles you to get his own way

seduces your friends/sister/anyone

expects you to be responsible for his well-being

A non-abusive man/woman …

is cheerful



tells you you look good

tells you you’re competent

uses your name

trusts you

trusts your judgment

welcomes your friends and family

encourages you to be independent

supports your learning, career etc.

admits to being wrong

is a responsible parent

is an equal parent

does his share of the housework

accepts that you have a right to say "no" to sex

shares financial responsibility

takes responsibility for his own well-being and happiness

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality

It is sometimes possible to predict the likelihood of the person you are currently or are about to become involved with being abusive. Below are a list of behaviors and traits which are common in abusive personalities. These are commonly known as Warning Signs.
While not all abusive people show the same signs, or display the tendencies to the same extent, if several behavioral traits are present, there is a strong tendency toward abusiveness. Generally, the more signs are present, the greater the likelihood of violence. In some cases, an abuser may have only a couple of behavioral traits that can be recognized, but they are very exaggerated (e.g. extreme jealousy over ridiculous things).
Often the abuser will initially try to explain his/her behavior as signs of his/her love and concern, and the victim may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate, control and manipulate the victim.
At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say the jealousy is a sign of love. He/she may question you about whom you have spoken to or seen during the day, may accuse you of flirting, or be jealous of time you spend with family, friends, children or hobbies which do not include him/her. As the jealousy progresses, he/she may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may be unhappy about or refuse to let you work for fear you’ll meet someone else, check the car mileage or ask friends to keep an eye on you. Jealousy is not proof of love, it is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness.
Controlling Behavior
Controlling behavior is often disguised or excused as concern. Concern for your safety, your emotional or mental health, the need to use your time well, or to make sensible decisions. Your abuser may be angry or upset if you are ‘late’ coming back from work, shopping, visiting friends, etc., even if you told him/her you would be later back than usual. Your abuser may question you closely about where you were, whom you spoke to, the content of every conversation you held, or why you did something he/she was not involved in. As this behavior gets worse, you may not be allowed to make personal decisions about the house, clothing, going to church or how you spend your time or money or even make you ask for permission to leave the house or room. Alternately, he/she may theoretically allow you your own decisions, but penalize you for making the wrong ones. Concern for our loved ones to a certain extent is normal – trying to control their every move is not.
Quick Involvement
Many victims of abuse dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. The abuser will often claim ‘love at first sight’, that you are ‘made for each other’, or that you are the only person whom he could ever talk to so openly, feel so at home with, could understand him so well. He/she may tell you that they have never loved anyone so much or felt so loved by anyone so much before, when you have really only known each other for a short amount of time. He/she needs someone desperately, and will pressure you to commit to him/her or make love before you feel the relationship has reached ‘that stage’. He/she may also make you feel guilty for not committing yourself to him/her.
Unrealistic Expectations
The abuser may expects you to be the perfect husband, wife, mother, father, lover, and friend. He/she is very dependent on you for all his/her needs, and may tell you he/she can fulfill all your needs as lover, friend, and companion. Statements such as: ‘lf you love me, I’m all you need.’, ‘You are all I need.’ are common. Your abuser may expect you to provide everything for him/her emotionally, practically, financially or spiritually, and then blame you for not being perfect or living up to expectation.
The abuser may try to curtail your social interaction. He/she may prevent you from spending time with your friends or family and demand that you only go places ‘together’. He/she may accuse you of being ‘tied to your mother’s apron strings’, not be committed to the relationship, or view people who are your personal friends as ‘causing trouble’ or ‘trying to put a wedge’ between you. He/she may want to live in the country without a phone, not let you use the car, stop you from working or gaining further education or qualifications.
Blame-shifting for Problems
Very rarely will an abusive personality accept responsibility for any negative situation or problem. If they are unemployed, can’t hold down a job, were thrown out of college or University or fall out with their family, it is always someone else’s fault, be it the boss, the government, or their mother. They may feel that someone is always doing them wrong, or out to get him. He/she may make a mistakes and then blame you for upsetting him/her or preventing him/her from doing as they wished to.
Blame-shifting for Feelings
The abuser will deny feelings stem from within him/her but see them as reactions to your behavior or attitude toward him/her. He/she may tell you that ‘you make me mad’, ‘you’re hurting me by not doing what I ask’, or that he/she cannot help feeling mad, upset, etc. Feelings may be used to manipulate you, i.e. ‘I would not be angry if you didn’t …’ Positive emotions will often also be seen as originating outside the abuser, but are more difficult to detect. Statements such as ‘You make me happy’ or ‘You make me feel good about myself’ are also signs that the abuser feels you are responsible for his sense of well-being. Either way, you become in his/her mind the cause of good and bad feelings and are therefore responsible for his/her emotional well-being and happiness. Consequently, you are also to blame for any negative feelings such as anger, upset or depression.
Most abusers have very low self-esteem and are therefore easily insulted or upset. They may claim their feelings are ‘hurt’ when they are really angry, or take unrelated comments as personal attacks. They may perceive normal set-backs (having to work additional hours, being asked to help out, receiving a parking fine, etc.) as grave personal injustices. They may view your preference for something which differs from their own as a criticism of their taste and therefore themselves (e.g. blue wallpaper rather than pink, etc.).
Cruelty to Animals
The abuser may punishes animals brutally, be insensitive to their pain or suffering, or neglect to care for the animals to the point of cruelty, e.g. not feeding them all day, leaving them in areas he/she knows will cause them suffering or distress. There is a strong correlation between cruelty to animals and domestic violence which is still being researched. (For more information and personal experiences, see Domestic Violence and Cruelty to Animals.)
Cruelty to Children
The abusers unrealistic expectations of their partner are often mirrored in their attitude toward children. He/she will think of children as ‘small adults’ and blame the children for not being responsible, having common sense or understanding. He/she may expect children to be capable far beyond their ability (e.g. is angry with a two-year old for wetting their pants or being sick on the carpet, waking at night or being upset by nightmares) and will often meet out punishments for ‘naughtiness’ the child could not be aware of. Abusers may tease children until they cry, or punish children way beyond what could be deemed appropriate. He/she may not want children to eat at the table, expect them to stay quiet, or keep to their room all evening while he/she is at home. Since abusers want all your attention themselves, they resent your spending time with the children or any normal demands and needs the children may have. As above (cruelty to animals), there is a very strong link between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.
‘Playful’ use of Force in Sex
He/she may pressurize you to agree to forceful or violent acts during sex, or want to act out fantasies where you are helpless. A male abuser may let you know that the idea of "rape" excites him. He/she may show little concern about whether you want to have intercourse and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. Starting sex while you are sleeping, demanding sex when you are ill or tired, or refusing any form of intimacy unless you are willing to go ‘all the way’ can all be signs that he/she could be sexually abusive or sexually violent.
Rigid Gender Roles
Abusers usually believe in stereotypical gender roles. A man may expect a woman to serve him; stay at home, obey him in all things – even things that are criminal in nature. A male abuser will often see women as inferior to men, more stupid, unable to be a whole person without a relationship. Female abusers may expect the man to provide for them entirely, shift the responsibility for her well-being onto him or heckle him as being ‘not a real man’ if he shows any weakness or emotion.
Verbal Abuse
In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, either in public or in private, this can include degrading remarks or running down any accomplishments. Often the abuser will tell you that you are ‘stupid’, could not manage without him/her. He/she may keep you up all night to ‘sort this out once and for all’ or even wake you at night to continue to verbally abuse you. The abuser may even say kindly things to your face, but speak badly about you to friends and family.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Very rarely do abusers conform to the stereotypical image of a constantly harsh, nasty or violent person, either in public or in private. More frequently the abuser portrays a perfectly normal and pleasant picture to the outside world (often they have responsible jobs or are respected and important members of the local community or Church) and reserves the abuse for you in the privacy of your own home. Nor are abusers always overtly abusive or cruel, but can display apparent kindness and consideration. This Jekyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser serves to further confuse the victim, while protecting themselves from any form of suspicion from outsiders. Many victims describe "sudden" changes in mood – one minute nice and the next explosive or hysterical, or one minute happy and the next minute sad. This does not indicate some special "mental problem" but are typical of abusive personalities, and related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.
Drink or Substance Abuse
While neither drinking or the use of drugs are signs of an abusive personality, heavy drinking or drug abuse may be a warning sign and do increase the risks of abuse, especially violence, taking place. Often an abusive person will blame the drink for his/her abuse. However, a person who, knowing there is a risk he/she could be violent when drinking or on drugs, chooses to get drunk or high, is in effect choosing to abuse. The link between substance abuse and domestic abuse is still being researched, and it is apparent that while neither alcohol nor drugs necessarily cause violence, they do increase the risk of violence. (See What about alcohol and domestic abuse?)
History of Battering or Sexual Violence
Very rarely is abuse or violence a one-off event: a batterer will beat any woman he is with; a sexually abusive person will be abusive toward all his intimate partners. Situational circumstances do not make a person an abusive personality. Sometimes friends or family may try to warn you about the abuser. Sometimes the abuser may tell you himself/herself that he/she has hit or sexually assaulted someone in the past. However, they may further go on to explain that "she made me do it by …" or in some other way not take responsibility and shift the blame on to the victim. They may tell you that it won’t happen with you because "you love them enough to prevent it" or "you won’t be stupid enough to wind me up that much". Once again, this is denying their own responsibility for the abuse, and shifting the responsibility for the relationship to remain abuse-free on to you. Past violence is one of the strongest pointers that abuse will occur. If at all possible, try to speak to their previous girlfriends.
Negative Attitude toward Women
Some men may tell you that you are different to all the women they have known before, who display a lack of respect of women generally or who talk negatively and disrespectfully of their previous wives or girlfriends. They may tell you that you are special, not like the others and that they consider themselves to be the luckiest man alive to have found the last decent woman. It is not likely to be long before they remember that you are a woman and don’t deserve their respect.
Threatening Violence
This would obviously include any threat of physical force such as "If you speak to him/her again, I’ll kill you", or "If any wife of mine acted like John’s did, I’d give her a right seeing to". Threats are designed to manipulate and control you, to keep you in your place and prevent you making your own decisions. Most people do not threaten their mates, but an abuser will excuse this behavior by saying "everybody talks like that.", maintaining he/she is only saying this because the relationship or you are so important to him/her, tell you you’re "over-sensitive" for being upset by such threats, or obviously want to hurt him/her. Threats can also be less overt, such as "If you leave me, I will kill myself", or "You are so wonderful, I will never let you go/couldn’t live without you".
Breaking or Striking Objects
The abusive person may break your treasured object, beat his/her fists on the table or chair or throw something at or past you. Breaking your things is often used as a punishment for some imagined misdeed on your part. Sometimes it will be justified by saying that now that you are with him/her, you don’t need these items any more. Breaking your possessions also has the effect of de-personalizing you, denying you your individuality or literally trying to break links to your past. Beating items of furniture or throwing objects will often be justified by saying you wound him/her up so much they lost control, once again shifting the blame for this behavior on to you, but is actually used to terrorize you into submission. Only very immature or abusive people beat on objects in the presence of other people in order to threaten or intimidate them.
Any Force during an Argument
An abuser may physically restrain you from leaving the room, lash out at you with his/her hand or another object, pin you against a wall or shout ‘right in your face’. Basically any form of force used during an argument can be a sign that actual violence is a strong possibility.


I am working on putting together an ADVISORY COMMITTEE consisting of volunteers who are willing to put their email/contact info on my websites for members who need help, assistance or general questions in your specific line of work.
I was hoping to get volunteers in fields such as therapists, police officers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, or any field that could directly relate to child abuse awareness & education and/or assisting abuse victims & survivors.
I am getting so overwhelmed with the 20,000 plus members I have now that are needing my help, assistance or who just have general questions and am in desperate needs of qualified individuals who wouldn’t mind volunteering some of their free time to help and assist others pertaining to child abuse awareness, education and abuse, sex offender registry, survivors, post traumatic stress disorder, therapy & counseling, etc.
If interested, please submit your credentials & professional background information. I will need to know what TITLE your listing should fall under and also how you would like your listing to appear (you can refer to the list below for ideas)
I will also be putting together a TEEN MENTOR COMMITTEE consisting of volunteers willing to work online with abused, troubled or struggling teens. This would be a very important program. I have many, many young adults who simply need someone to care, listen to them and help advise them. They desperately need one-on-one attention which is something I cannot give with so many members. If interested in helping these children, please let me know.

This is what I have so far!!!

DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN has put together an Advisory Committee consisting of trained professionals in different fields and
backgrounds who may be able to assist you with different issues you may be experiencing. Please review our list of advisors and also our list of
important RESOURCE LINKS to see if they may be of assistance to you.


Autism Speaks


Get Ready to Read

Learning Disabilities

Local Utah Center

National Center for Learning Disabilities

RTI Network

US Autism & Asperger Association


Career Voyages – Apprenticeships and Internships

State Job Bank Listings

State Vocational Education and Rehabilitation

National Organization on Disability

Association of Small Business Development Centers

JOBS DIRECT USA – A resource for employers to locate employees, and for employees to post their resumes to employers.

COVER LETTERS THAT WORK! – A service (in two versions) which provides you with invaluable techniques for writing cover letters which will absolutely generate serious interviews.


Free Antibiotics – Meijer’s

Free Antibiotics – Publix

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Giant Eagle

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – KMart

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Kroger/King Soopers/City Market

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Sam’s Club

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Target

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Walgreen’s

Low Cost / Free Generic Prescriptions – Walmart

Medicare Patient Assistance Programs

Needy Meds Cost Assistance Programs

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888) 477-2669

Patient Assistance Programs Center


Childcare Resources – Child Care Aware

Childcare Resources – from US Government

Kids Health Newletter and Information Center

National Child Care Information Center


American Diabetes Association

Chronic Illness Resources for Teens

Healing Well – Chronic Illness Resources

Improving Chronic Illness Care – Resources and Research

MedLine Plus – Coping With Chronic Ilness Resources


AARP – Grief and Loss Resources and Information

Help Guide – Grief and Loss Coping Resources


FindLaw – National Lawyer Resource List

Internet Legal Research Group

Internet Legal Research Group

Legal Resources


Acorn Housing Corporation – prevent foreclosure

Federal Student Aid – Free Application

Food Assistance Programs

Government Assistance – Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid

Housing Resources Group

Medicare Website – Medication Assistance Programs

MedLine – Financial Assistance for Medical Costs

Needy Meds – Cost Assistance Programs

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888) 477-2669

Patient Assistance Programs Center – Rx Help

Red Cross – Emergency Travel Assistance

Small Business Adminstration – Financial Assistance

U.S. Dept. Housing & Urban Development – affordable rentals


Miscarriage Support

National High Risk Pregnancy Support Network

Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-PLAN

Postpartum Depression Support

Postpartum Support International

USA: National STD Hotline : 1-800-227-8922


Alliance for Aging Research – 1-800-639-2421

Bridging The Prescription Coverage Gap

Eldercare Locator – 1-800-677-1116

Meals on Wheels

Medicare Website – Medication Assistance Programs

National Council on Aging – 1-800-424-9046

National Institute on Aging – 1-800-222-2225


America on The Move – Steps to a Healthier Life

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Obesity Information and Resources

Daily Strength – Obesity Support Group (and other health issues)

Healthy Counties Database – Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

Healthy Food Assistance Programs

Nutrition for Kids – Feeding Kids Newsletter

Obesity Action Coalition

Overeaters Anonymous Support Groups

Reliable Info on Health Topics

Revolution Health – Kids and Weight Community Forum

SparkPeople – Weight Management Tracking and Support

Stickk – Online Weight Management Incentive Program

The Daily Plate – Weight Management Tracking and Support

Weight Control Information Network

Weight Management and Obesity Resource List

Weight Watchers Community Forum


Eating Disorders Coalition

Health Corps – For Teens

National Eating Disorders Information Centre

National Mental Health Information Center – Eating Disorders

National Institutes for Health Eating Disorder Resources

National Eating Disorders Organization

About Face

Overeaters Anonymous


Internet Resources on Violence Against Women

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 1 800 537-2238


Help for Teens and Young Adults with OCD

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation


Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder – Support Group

Borderline Personality Disorder Central


Drug and Alcohol Resource Center 1 800 784 6776

Help Starts Here – Addiction Resources

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Prevention Resources – Kids and Teens

Quit Net – Tobacco

Resources, Training and Action on Alcohol Issues

Tobacco Cessation Resources

Treatment Facilities Resources


Anxiety Peer Support

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

National Center for Health and Wellness


Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources

CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)


Beyond Blue

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Depression Experience Journal – Children/Families

Every Minute – National Depression Resource List

Freedom From Fear

Help Starts Here – Depression

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

National Institutes for Health – Depression Resources

Web MD – Depression Resources


Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Mental Health Sanctuary Resources

Mental Health Today PTSD Resources

PTSD Support Resources


Every Minute Suicide Prevention – Resources & Support

Global Directory of Suicide Hotlines

Hopeline : 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433

Low Income Mental Health Services Locator

Samaritans – UK

SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA

USA: National Poison Help : 1-800-222-1222


American Veterans Services

Career Center For Combat Wounded and Disabled Veterans

Hire Heroes USA

Iraq War Veterans Organization

Military Support and Resource Links

National Resource Directory

Operation Home Front – Housing and Family Support

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Soldiers’ Angels

Support for Homeless Veterans

Treats for Troops – Care Packages

Veterans and Families – Coming Home

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans Support Groups Listing

Vets Success – US Dept of Veterans Affairs

Vietnam Veterans Support

Vocational Education and Rehabilitation

Wounded Warrior Project

from Mike Skinner

The Surviving Spirit Newsletter May 15, 2009

Hello Folks,

I hope all is well for everyone…lots of good things going on here. Once again, some great websites to share of folks doing some wonderful advocacy work, via their respective creative mediums and more.

And, a shameless little plug on myself as well – please visit this link for Anchor Magazine, Conquering Depression

Scroll down a bit to see the article “Breaking Through – Striking a chord”, on myself…but you will need to order the magazine to read it in full. The article came out great…an interview with me, along with some folks who have hired me to present and some who have been inspired by my music and public speaking. My oldest daughter Alisa was also interviewed for this article…so this made it even more special!!!

A bit of a reflective day for me today…my brother David would have been 54 years old today…sadly, he took his life many years ago. So…in honor of his spirit, I am sending this newsletter out. I will attach an article that I wrote for the journal “Many Voices” [ ] that was published several months ago…I share a few words about both of my brother’s, David and Danny [lost to suicide also]. Part of my reasons…my motivations, for sharing this little newsletter, is to help foster hope and healing. We all try in our own little way to help create change…I hope by sharing insight and information on others, who also address the issues and concerns of trauma, abuse, & mental health…..helps to that end.

May is “Mental Health Month”

Celebrate Recovery

So, please visit Altered States of The Arts…and see some of the great things Ed Pazicky & Gayle Bluebird have been doing for years via this website and so much more. To know them as dear friends makes it even more special.

From a fellow New Hampshirite – John Caswell has created a neat website sharing his writings, poetry, and more that celebrate his healing journey –

Haullie Free and Ginger Gillenwater have not only set up, The Survivor Radio Cafe, Online Radio Show geared towards Survivors of Any Trauma – but they also have a book and audio documentary to share. Very cool!!!

Haullie’s is at – An Audio Documentary for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence

& Ginger’s book is – “Surviving Jane”

Paul in Boston has a great site & a blog to share – "Healing from Trauma and Dissociation"

I’m Paul, and I’m a father, husband, scientist, educator, photographer and musician. I’m also a survivor. – Mind Parts

and – Issues of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse

The folks at “Let Go, Let Peace Come In” are trying to reach all of the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, please visit them at –

Some great news from my friend Jean Riseman, who has been chipping away for years in her advocacy endeavors – Survivorship news: The website ( is getting a new look… so please see what she & her friends have been up too!!!

and last, but not least from Rebecca King – "Summer Poetry Competition – Win a signed copy of ‘Reflections of a Multiple’ and have your poem featured on Rebecca’s Website. For details visit

Thanks & take care, Mike

As always…please share with others and if you received this in error, please let me know.

               A diagnosis is not a destiny. – Hope, Healing, & Help for Trauma, Abuse, & Mental Health through music, resources, & advocacy – musical endeavors only – live performance of "Brush Away Your Tears" from TV show interview – new site for public speaking & music presentation on healing for trauma, abuse, & mental health.


visit all the people who support and share with others each day

Lady Jz Talk Zone

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Lady Jz Talk Zone  brings the news of PAVE to you.  Please visit the sites I promote and pass the valuable information on to those you need it. Lady J



PAVE Action Alert
Survivor Justice Campaign

Survivor Justice Case

Rape Kits

Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE) uses education and action to shatter the silence of sexual violence!

Quick Links

Houston News Article

Huffington Post Article

PAVE Survivor Justice Campaign

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Dear Jacki m,

PAVE’s Survivor Justice Campaign is part of our legislative efforts to shatter the silence of sexual violence. Please take a moment to review the case below, take action today, and forward to a friend! 

Laura L. Dunn
PAVE Survivor Justice Director

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
~ Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Take Action

Texas rape victims are being charged medical fees for collection of evidence! Local survivor

speaks out about her case’s treatment and mounting bills.
Voice your support for victims by demanding Victim’s Assistance Funds cover medical expenses for survivors!

Please contact:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Victim’s Assistance Fund
(800) 983-9933
(512) 936-1200

To request talking points or a sample letter, please e-mail:


May 30, 6pm 

You are cordially invited to PAVE’s Awards Benefit Banquet

Buffet Dinner – Silent Auction – Awards Ceremony -  Elected Officials

Honorees Including:

Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff  – Finalist for TIME’s 2009 Top 100 Most Influential People!

Jim Ryan, Former IL Attorney General – Distinguished Fellow at Benedictine Univ.


Medinah Shrine Center
550 N Shriners Dr
Addison, IL 60101

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Many people when they hear the word Kabbalah  first think of Religious teachings and/or prayer.  Yet it is truly neither of those.  I think of it as I’ve heard it is about What is in our hearts or what we believe in our soul.  It is a lesson plan, a guide, a journey into our spiritual nature that grows and transforms over our life time.  For me that has been so true.  As I renew my spirit and work towards those feelings I have not had in many years, things pass through my day that help to remind me of those earlier lessons that prompted some of my first changes in my life and my thinking. 
Raised in a good Catholic family in the 50’s I was taught through the Catholic schools the religious way of prayer which involved the Good and Bad parts of life and the pact you make with God to get what you wanted in life.  They taught me God always heard our prayer and answered accordingly.  It actually came down to a few concepts which I have heard in the films above that it became a bribery with God to no avail.  Wow! now that hits home I’m sure with many like myself who call themselves Recovering Catholics. 
The Kabbalah talks about events and actions are all good we just are not able to feel it that way until we have expanded our spirituality to a point where I understood the purpose of each event in my life.  Like many other teachings, books, thoughts of the day that helped me change my beliefs so that I could feel it’s purpose.  I found knowing things because I had read or learned them didn’t change the way I felt or the way the event made me feel.  For me I had pictures of my life and I never have the feelings that most professionals thought I needed to connect with.  Does that mean I was born with an advanced spirituality or did Dissociation play the total role in how I remember the event. 
I sensed that what happened to me was wrong yet I was taught from my childhood that I had to accept it all.  In my family of origin I was taught from a very young age that I asked for everything that happened to me that I perceived wrong.  Accepting that though I thought they were wrongs done to me and later learned from professionals that these were wrongs I still have never felt wronged by the events in my life.  Did I have an inner knowing even at a young age that this was part of something larger then my small world in which I lived.  Was I able to sense this on some level that others around me could not.  My challenge in life was to learn what reality was for me.  It was years later that I learned that it was lessons of life that would bring me to a special place of acceptance if only for brief times.
Learning that it was my choice on how events effected me went a long way to be able to live in a world that still to this day I read everyday about the same wrongs are being done to others.  By sharing I learned that I was able to make that step of another’s journey lighter in many ways.
I’m going to being a study of these teachings at the  and will let you know what I learn about myself.  a great video, please email me and let me know what you think…lj

just a thought for today and a new page in my life:

this was words that came across my desk that made me think of how I felt about the many times in my life that I find myself “still” and sometimes how that would make me frustrated.  Lady J

I had to learn to accept elation I felt after I had learned an important lesson, achieved a goal, or had a big breakthrough was sometimes be met with a period of downtime afterward. During those periods of transition, I would feel unsure or not know where to turn next. For me, during the pause between achievements, I would begin to wonder what my life was really about. I had to learn that those feelings were common and strike everyone from time to time. Human beings are active creature who feel best when we are working on a project or vigorously pursuing a goal. I also had to learn that there is nothing inherently wrong with spending a day, a week, or even a month simply existing and not having a plan. I had to learn to just be. It wouldn’t be long before I would embark upon my next voyage of growth and discovery.

The quiet lull into we which we fall between ideas, projects, and goals can make life seem empty. After accomplishing one objective, I would want to move immediately on to the next. However, when my next step was unclear, I felt frustrated, disconnected, and many times slip into a depression. I even perceive my lack of forward momentum as an indicator of imminent stagnation. To calm these distressing thoughts, I had to learn that if my goal was just personal growth, then I would continue to grow as an individual whether striving for a specific objective or not. Spending time immersed in life  and pleasures can be a cathartic experience that gives you the time you need to think about what you have recently gone through and take time to contemplate what you want to do next. You may also find that in simply being and going through the motions of everyday life, you reconnect with your priorities in a very natural and calm  way.

This transitional pause can take many forms. For some, it can be a period of reflection that helps them understand how their life has unfolded. For others, it can be a period of adjustment, where new values based on recent changes are integrated into daily life. Just because you’re not headed swiftly to a final destination doesn’t mean you should assume that you have lost your drive. The time between journeys can become a wonderful period of relaxation that prepares you for the path that will soon be revealed to you.
I learned to focus may be on what I consider practical and useful today. As I would endeavor to complete  routine goals, I felt more productive. More so when those efforts are met with success. A need to be seen as reliable can cause you to seek out opportunities to satisfy any obligations you have inadvertently ignored. When I become concerned with finding constructive solutions to the issues before me, I am always surprised to find myself  confronting challenges I have shied away from in the past. This is a perfect time to deal with elements of my personal and social lives that have caused much anxiety because I felt incapable of coping with them.

When we keep an image of what we hope to accomplish in our minds when working toward a specific goal, we tend to work harder and more efficiently, regardless of the nature of our circumstances. Since we are continuously thinking about the rewards that are potentially awaiting us at the conclusion of our endeavors, we cannot be deterred from pursuing the unique paths we have chosen to follow.
I am empowered to work through intense challenges that might otherwise overwhelm our dedication. Our visions of accomplishment give us the strength we need to cope with the myriad setbacks and delays we encounter as we strive to improve ourselves and our lives. You feel productive when I can understand precisely what I wish to achieve.

brought to you from Lady Jz Talk Zone

Using the heartache to help Others

Pain that we have felt in our lives when it comes to that inner story is one that permeates all of our lives to some degree.  These are from many hurts that have become part of our experiences and have touched me very deeply.  These are the pains that don’t hurt any more yet I find that the stories couldn’t just be let go.  Many professionals claim that it is just easier to keep that pain inside where it acts as a shield that shelters us from others and gives us an identity.  Of course they call it that of a victim.  From this the feel we draw bitter strength.  I beg to differ at this age.

I’m going to be 57 this August and though through this journey I have understood some of what they say is true, I also have developed my own truth that I’ve learned to live with.  I’m not unique in how I feel because thousands of people have read my words and agreed.  Many would love to do just as I am doing yet they are afraid to act better then they are.  I understand very well what they mean. 

In this society of professionals who agree that Multiples are a fact still think and counsel in the frame of mind that "they can fix us" "make us whole" and a hundred others ways I’ve heard and read that we can be "cured?"  only to listen/read so many emails and stories of what really happens down the road when our inner world once again breaks through.  They call it a break down I believe because that’s how they see it.  In my mind it’s a break through.  A releasing of those who have given us our very lives at times in our life where I would never have lived any other way.

I believe one step further then the idea that our kinship with others who have had similar life stories then the very old now ideas of channeling your pain.  I believe that we come into each others lives at the time we need to work through and remember our own lessons.  In ‘old age’ teachings "when the student is ready a teacher will appear"  and for me it’s been "when the teacher in me needs to remember a student always appears."  Thus my lessons in life prepared me to help another soul on the same life journey I am on. 

These are not "new age" teachings.  These teachings are as old as time itself.  The same messages repeated over and over again in every doctrine, religion, bible, prophet, and the list goes on.  The only thing that ever changes just as with those like myself, is the names, the faces, and the location that it happened.  If it is the first time you are hearing it, then it is part of your new age of thinking.  Those wonderful feelings you get when you read something in a book for the first time and that glow or warm feeling comes over you. 

At first you can’t get enough of it and you begin to search for it every place you can.  Sometimes in my life it’s become my next addiction.  Then in time when the words I wanted to read just weren’t forth coming I would slowly go back to my real life wondering if there was any hope of finding that peace staying for more then just this short time.

Those in certain communities, 12 step programs, congregations, assemblies have the same thing happen within them.  Some people can stay connected to that and continue to draw the forces from it.  I ask myself "why can’t I?" and the multitude of Multiples like me.  I know many who aren’t multiple do the same thing of "engage and withdraw" so it’s not unique to just me.  What is that one thing that keeps pulling my mind/body/spirit away from that source of energy and peace?  Why was it only when I was with like minds I felt like them? 

Everyone of us who is an Intuit and/or an Empath have answers to many of those questions.  And with each answer comes so many more questions.  I will share many of those questions with you as we continue.  I never need to share the answers because we all have them, or have heard them before.  It’s the questions that boggle my mind and it’s in asking the questions that others find their own answers.  That is what I have done all my life and the reward for me is when I see that light finally come into the eyes that have been dark for so long.  That is why Lady J talks.