books · mental health · moms · self help · Sexual abuse · Uncategorized · young adult

POSTING KIDS PICTURES ONLINE

It’s 4:30am on the dot…

Christmas lights in my living room are glowing, coffee is poured in my favorite mug and I’m close to being human (doing human things) regardless of the time.

BUT.

Yes, there is always a but with me. (Eyes rolling so far back into head.)

So, I was scrolling Facebook in the glow of my Christmas lights when I noticed almost every one of my friends are posting baby picture after baby picture after……(you get it.)

(And sometimes its not flooding with babies but with 3 year old’s, 5 year old’s ect… )

….BUT….something in my skin crawled.

No, not because I’m annoyed of everyone’s “AWW LOOK AT MY SWEET PRECIOUS BEAN BABY BEAR BUGGY BOO!!!!” posts. (Which lets face it….they sometimes can be)

…My skin crawled because of my abusive past. Sexual, verbal, physical, mental….you name the abuse and I was tortured by it all the way through high school.

I’m 27 now and for the first time in my life I actually asked myself this question:

IS IT OKAY TO POST PICTURES OF YOUR CHILD ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

For a non-sick-twisted mind, you’d probably say “Why not?”

For a fortunate child that had a descent upbringing AND parents, you’d probably say “There’s no harm in sharing memories with family and friends!”

but for sexual abuse survivors…..hmm.

Being exposed to horrible people and experiences at a young age basically shaped me into believing that everything is out to get me. I didn’t trust adults, whether they were the “nice kids parents”, a teacher, or even church-goers. (female or male)

I assumed at 5 years old that almost all people grew up to be a dark, secretive, villain who made up all their own rules.

With that said, I can strongly say that I still feel this way even with past therapy and support groups. Even now, as an adult.

Why?

Because pedophiles DO exist.

They are not a bad fashion trend that lived and died in the early 2000’s. They live and breathe and act like a perfect friend, father figure, uncle, aunt, grandparent….I know for a fact that every single one of us has shaken hands or hugged a pedophile at least once in our lives.

I fucking know. It’s extreme. But true.

With this uncomfortable 4am rant, I just want to conclude that: I think it’s time to stop posting pictures of innocent children on the internet.

I know, you think you’re baby is cute.

I know you think your toddler is the BEST.

I know you feel so much pride for your achieving teen.

I don’t want to seem preachy and tell everyone to stop displaying their undying love but does it have to be so public? Do you absolutely have to post that picture of “Mia eating” or “Dylan taking a bath” ?

Look out for your kids and stop pretending like pedophiles don’t exist. AND PLEASE don’t assume that they only prey on teenage girls. come on.

(I wont whip out the gruesome stats here.)

Anyway, that’s just my thought for the night. I really think people should be more aware of the public eye and be a little less trusting. This is not 1975 when neighbors were friends and swapping tools and lawn mowers or letting their kids play in the street until sun down, unsupervised. (Even, then…I’m SURE the “Wonder Years” weren’t completely wonderful, either.)

Side note: I’d like to know your thoughts on this.

-E

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books · giveaway · mental health · self help · Sexual abuse · Uncategorized · young adult

FREE GIVEAWAY!

https://www.facebook.com/erikarachelmurray/

Hey all! 

For Mental Health Awareness Month I am having a free giveaway!

Package includes a signed copy of my book ‘Love is a place’ and other little surprises I want to keep secret 🙂 

All you have to do is click the link above: 1) Like Page

             2) Share page

             3) Answer contest question                      in the comments. 

books · mental health · Sexual abuse · Uncategorized

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

As some of you might know, May is mental health awareness month. It should be year round ( After all, mental health is a long and daily battle) but I will take this month as a fortunate window.

Whether you are 15 or 29 or 50 mental health is never simple. There are no quick fixes and there are absolutely no easy ways to express what you are feeling. Silence and solitude can become a way of life for the majority of sufferers.

Depression is hell. Depression AND anxiety…that’s just loaded fuckery suffocating heart and mind.  TRUST ME, I get it. I am the wallflower of mental health.

Back story:

I was the girl who won poetry and public speaking contests. I enrolled in gymnastics, dance and theater. When I turned ten, those activities became my escape rather than my joy. They became things to distract me from my step-dad. By dragging me away from home, they kept me safe.

Yes. From 10 to 12 I was sexually abused by my mothers boyfriend. (Still together btw)

Sometimes, it was once a day, sometimes it was three times a day. He’d force me to drink, smoke, and get high. He’d choose whether he wanted to touch me, get a blow job or make me wear my mothers lingerie. (Sick, right?) I know.

I was absolutely afraid of him.

He’d beat me with belts and sticks for things like touching the thermostat or eating with my elbows on the table.

He’d threaten and bribe me into not telling my mother about what he was doing to me.

He lit me on fire once for not blowing out a candle before bed.

He shot my dog.

He would force my mother to hit me, or make her watch him hitting me.

He abused me emotionally, physically and sexually. It didn’t matter if my mom was gone or in the next room.

I finally built up the courage to tell her about my sexual abuse when i turned 12. She didn’t believe me. She told me to “forgive and forget” if it was true. She told me to keep my mouth shut about it, or else….

two weeks later, I was diagnosed with cancer. (On her birthday, ironically.)

NO, YOU CANT MAKE THIS STUFF UP.

I was int he hospital for 2 years. Three surgeries, chemotherapy, injections, needles, scans, you name it. I lost my hair, my adrenal gland and my will to live.

My mother hardly came to visit.

And then, BAM, just like that i was in remission, moved out of my step dads house for obvious reasons, was put back in school, cut off my mother completely and my mental health JUST DIED.

Anxiety

Depression

PTSD

Survivors guilt (Sexual abuse)

Survivors guilt (Cancer)

alcohol abuse

self-harm

Suicidal

Borderline personality disorder

All this, and i was still afraid to speak up so I wrote. I WROTE AND WROTE AND WROTE resulting a book that i later called Love Is A Place.

It’s 10 bucks on amazon.com. It’s in local bookstores and a part of the Mcgill Sexual Abuse division library. That is my only way I can contribute to Mental Health Awareness Month….just by talking about it and sharing my book with others.

Sometimes, all it takes is to connect with someone or something. (Books, Movies ect)

I hope one day mental health will be alleviated from negativity and will be taken seriously. Just because you can’t see it (Like cancer) doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Be kind to yourself and continue to live with a brave heart. XOXO

Uncategorized

BROKE 90’S CHILD, SELF-PUBLISHED. 

I finally got some copies of my book today and my heart nearly exploded with joy. 

Being a writer for troubled youth and young adults really is rewarding but being a broke, 90’s kid with artistic bones is challenging. 

Maybe one day my book will take off and sad hands from all over the world will carry it home. 

…That thought makes my heart full. What about you? Do I have some BROKE 90’s kids trying to dive into self-published stardom?! 

Sexual abuse · Uncategorized

A ‘non-survival’ guide for heavy hearts.

The moon is hiding behind city smog, while my cats restlessly prowl my 3 1/2 apartment. It’s nearly 2am…fitting for a creative night-creature like myself.

So, where to begin…

I suppose you can say that my heart is a gem but also heavy to carry. These days I’ve been dragging it and myself around like a directionless zombie, while still managing to be an awkward yet predictable 20-something.

Adulting is hard when you’re a ‘survivor’ of sexual abuse. (And I use the word survivor loosely because well…I don’t think that you can really truly make a victim feel victorious.)

1) Past trauma might be forgiven but it is most definitely not forgotten.

2) It’s on your skin no matter how long its been.

3) It’s a part of you.

4) Your heart can’t unlearn that kind of pain.

5) With each stage of your life comes new perspective.

As long as I’m lugging myself to bookstores, writing first drafts of potential young-adult novels in the middle of the night, indulging in deep conversations with my friends or…just plain living….then there will always be something to learn about my abuse.

I’ve recognized, in time, something new and horrific from my past will in deed bubble up to the surface. The things I thought were healed long ago, reappear with new wounds and new sets of questions. No matter how many times I’ve felt, observed, and dissected my abuse….there will never be a finish line.

Sexual abuse isn’t like doing laundry, buying toilet paper or scrounging up change to make your rent every month. THAT’S surviving.

6) Once a victim, always a victim. (And I don’t think that should be taken as a morbid statement.)

Maybe, this is why my heavy heart and I are nestled on the couch at: (2:34am now.) My cats are asleep beside me, dreaming furry thoughts. My kitchen faucet is dripping echoed drips throughout my 3 1/2 apartment and the moon is still inhaling the cities second-hand smog.

I don’t know. I guess there’s something depressing about being stuck inside an infinite loop of old melancholic memories. Like a bad Katy Perry song, a period, a flu…They pop up unannounced.

…Like the flashbacks of my step-father I had earlier this week.

I was on a 3 month traumatic-free streak. I don’t know what happened. I don’t remember the thought that lead my mind to wander those murky corners but here I am feeling doomed and claustrophobic. Once again.

I guess I’m writing this to all of you because no one really talks about the aftermath of sexual abuse. what it’s really like to struggle with the various negative impacts that come with it. –What it’s like to want to be able to comfort your inner broken child.–

No, you’re not alone. Yes, what you’re feeling is normal. No, the flashbacks don’t go away. It gets better. Yes, you will fall into mini depressions once in awhile and that’s okay. You’ll never stop grieving for your younger self. Yes, happiness is achievable. No, it was never your fault.

What I’ve learned this week is that I need to talk about it. Shout it. Validate it. Cry. Talk about it again and AGAIN. Fall in love. (whether it’s with a person, a TV show, song or book.) I need to treat myself with kindness. (And maybe, a cupcake.) unload that heavy heart of mine. (Even if it’s 3:11am)

7) In order to have a good, smile-filled, unfreakingbelievable day, we must feel it all.

Goodnight,

-E

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