Tag Archives: physical & sexual abuse

A get your attention book

The Newest Book from Larry L. Franklin
Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory

Mnemosyne:  A Love Affair with Memory is a beautifully written, powerful book about two men from different centuries who are struggling with memory.  One is struggling with his own memories; the other is working to define and codify what memory is.  These two stories, however, are more about the soul journey of each man.  Larry’s journey is one through the painful memories of childhood sexual abuse — a journey through the darkness of the soul into the light.  Richard’s story is a journey of a man who goes from the height of his career to being shunned for his research into memory and the decisions he made in his life.  The powerful scene at the end of Richard’s story is a image that will stay with you.  Larry’s story, however, is one that inspires and uplifts.  It is a testament that life can be a joyful experience, even if one has endured horrifying abuse as a child  As a therapist, I have worked with many clients who struggle with a painful past.  As such, I honor the courage Larry has shown in creating a work that will be an inspiration to any person who is struggling with life’s painful issues.
Review by Olivia  

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Mnemosyne:   A Love Affair with Memory, written by Larry L Franklin, is a work of creative nonfiction, and can be purchased as an ebook, paperback or hardback at Amazon and most bookstores.  Please checkout the links to the Introduction and Chapter One.

https://llfranklin12.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/introduction.pdf

https://llfranklin12.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/chapter-1.pdf

 

 

 

 

Be kind, if you dare.

DSC_0098_0036Holiday season, new year, time to reflect on my past and ponder what lies ahead.  I’ve had good years, and some that would make your skin curl. Many years of therapy, that’s what I’ve had.  Some painful, as I struggled with days gone by, but the effort led to the enjoyment of being alive.  Learning to love, to feel, and accept what is hurled my way offers life without limitations.

I’ve had lots of fun alone the way — many fine beers and wine, laughter with momentary friends, and perhaps a ton of party mix.  But most of all, I’ve been blessed with life’s greatest gifts — a lovely wife, two fine daughters, four granddaughters, and several dogs that showed me the way.  Still, I’m struck by the madness outside of my small cocoon that’s reported by the media each day. How could someone decapitate another human being and convince others to follow their ways; murder, physical and sexual abuse, racial injustice, evil without remorse, downright stupidity.  I’m reminded of an interview between author Maya Angelou and television personality and professor Melissa Harris Perry.  Basically, Perry asks Angelou why our world is so fucked up.  “What breaks my heart, Ms Perry, Dr. Perry, what breaks my heart is to think what would our nation be like if we dared to be intelligent, if we dared to allow our intelligence to dictate our movements, our actions?  What would — can you imagine?”  While not granted at birth, intelligence is earned through hard work, self exploration, and the cleansing of our soul from years of uncaring ways.  Detox our soul, that’s what we must do.

At birth — the initial creation of an unflawed human being — we are given a clean slate to begin life’s journey.  Mother’s milk, a favorite rattle held by the strength of tiny hands, and the special blanket that hides a thumb stuck in our mouth — pure as a mountain stream untouched by mankind.  Evolutionary biologist tell us that we are a product of our biological makeup and our environment.  Our genes plus our daily experiences define what we do, say, and think until we die.  Maybe this is our challenge, to replace our troubled ways through intelligence.  We have to learn to care, if we only dare.

I’ve spent years of therapy and self exploration trying to figure it out.  It’s not been easy, and I continually remind myself of lessons learned and not forgotten.  My granddaughters are very precious to me, and I’ve wanted to spare them from the struggles that I’ve incurred why trying to find my way.  I decided to write a book, maybe I should say a short story, where I reveal the lessons that I have learned. These are the secrets of life as I see it.  Maybe you will find this of interest, and more likely, you will not.  I have to admit that my book, “Love, Dry Creek, & a dog named Max,” is not on my granddaughter’s list of favorite books.  Maybe when I’m dead they’ll ask their mother, “Where is Pop’s book that he wrote for me?  Hey, granddaughters, read slowly and take it in.  Life is all about being kind, if you only dare.

https://llfranklin12.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/love-dry_creek_max.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of Darkness: physical & sexual abuse

 

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News release:

     An NFL player hurls his fist into the side of his finance’s face. Down to the floor, that’s where she fell – out cold, like a dead fish on a frozen shore.
Man wanted sex, wife refused. Man head butts wife, broke her nose, punched her in the face, and threw a shoe at his eighteen-month-old child.
Two Madison twelve-year-old girls repeatedly stabbed a twelve-year-old girl, and left her for dead. The victim has since recovered physically.
Man physically and sexually abused a young woman held hostage for nearly ten years.
Teenage male forced a five-year-old boy to perform oral sex. After ejaculation, the teenager urinates in the little boy’s mouth. Two people stood by and watched.
Each day thousands of people are sexually and physically abused; women, men, children, sexual orientation, it makes no difference.
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Recently we have been inundated with stories of physical and sexual abuse in the National Football League. The video of a football player hitting his finance and knocking her out is dramatic, especially when played continuously over the national airwaves. People are alarmed, shocked, hoping for justice, but as several moons pass, the outrage will pass as well. Abuse is not a new phenomenon. You see, this is not about the NFL, this is about our nation, and how we deal with the epidemic – physical and sexual abuse.
In the heart of darkness, that’s where victims reside, possibly for the rest of their lives. It’s not that they don’t recover, they often do, but the memories can surface at the hint of days gone by. In quiet moments, I sometimes recall memories of abuse that make me angry, followed by a tear or two.
Behavior is controlled by an individual’s concept of reality, and when viewed collectively, define who we are as a nation. Reality is built on our genetic makeup and life’s experiences — nature and nurture. Developmental biology tells us that we are a combination of the two. Nature tattoos us with a genetic makeup – DNA – while nurture is a product of what we see, hear, smell, and touch, and the countless life experiences that mold our core. From the beginning, we are organisms with a genetic blueprint that continually interacts with our environment causing change to occur as we move from conception, to childhood, to adulthood, and finally to death.
You can’t know what you don’t know, that’s what my therapist said one day. She continually challenges me to be more insightful rather than riding the waves on my imaginary surfboard. I now understand that when we reach adulthood, we are programmed to function within our perceived reality. What we perceive as right and wrong, is not necessarily right and wrong.
Science tells us the same. The brain has over one-hundred-billion nerve cells called neurons. When information is transferred from one neuron to another, the gap between neurons are filled by chemical substances called neurotransmitters, which fire across the space, sending signals to other neurons. At times, brain activity might resemble a well-lit midway at a county fair with hundreds of rides and booths operating simultaneously. Trauma alters the neurons in our brain, affecting our behavior, our reality.
A child’s reality is like putty and can be reshaped by exposure to good role models and positive experiences. But repeated abuse turns their reality into hardened putty found in a winter storm; more difficult to mold, but still possible. Daily contact with compassionate teachers who provide attention, supervised interaction between children, role models of appropriate behavior, consistent rules and discipline offer hope for the damage child. How many of us can recall a teacher or two who changed their life? There is a national movement to reach younger children through pre-kindergarten, head start, and the like. Although the teacher’s plate is full, I would like to see citizenship, character building classes, and logic to taught as children move through elementary and secondary education.
For adult victims who self-medicate through drugs and alcohol, there is hope. Community and county mental health organizations, private therapists and psychiatrists offer therapy and medication that, in time, can alter the wiring in our damaged minds. My favorite organization, The Women’s Center, located in Carbondale, Illinois, and established in 1972, continues to offer food, shelter, and counseling for children, women, and men whose lives have been shattered by violence. Through my years as a member of the Board of Directors, I have witnessed the work that goes on at ground zero. Since their beginning, the Center, has saved thousands of abuse victims.
In the Heart of Darkness, the place where victims reside, light is as rare as the eye of a tornado. But doors are there waiting to be opened. A better tomorrow is there for the taking.
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Please checkout The Women’s Center. If you are so moved, we welcome financial support and those who choose to donate their time.

http://www.thewomensctr.org/