3. No Longer Alone

Aug 08, 2015

3. No Longer Alone


Abuse…and imagination: Abuse comes in many forms, some more damaging than others. Is it possible that we “invent” in our pain some “added” events that may not have happened. Do these stories keep the pain alive?

Competition: Is all the measurements of achievement really necessary? When marks (grades) and scores are removed, does achievement suffer…or is there a greater sense of…self-worth?

First Love: What do you remember most about the one you first felt the stirrings of attraction?


  1. Jean Sozio Says: October 21, 2015 11:36 pm

    1. I don’t think so. I have experienced abuse – the events and the perpetrators are very distinct – nothing I choose to dwell or expand upon but the memory of which I am always aware of.
    2. Measurements taught me how to set goals and achieve them.
    3. His big brown eyes and silly sense of humor that made me laugh

  2. Bluefish62 Says: December 30, 2015 12:08 pm

    1. I believe this to be true, to a degree. It depends on if what you add is good or bad? Or what YOU did or your ABUSER did? It’s a tricky question really. As humans, we are prideful beings and possibly might add to the seriousness of a situation (or abuse) in order to continue a life with a “victim” mentality. More than this though, I think one might simply dwell on it too much. On any negative situation in our life. This perpetuates it as we become comfortable in that pain. Then we try to recreate the pain and carry it on. Why? Because pain is more comfortable after years of feeling this way. Because if we start to become happy, well there’s genuine fear that something bad is about to happen. And that’s another whole story for me! It’s just easier to live in pain for some and so hard to break this wicked thinking cycle.
    2. There are always measure in life. Yes I feel they are important, otherwise how would you know if you are making progress with anything? I believe they can be over emphasized however. I do remember being a 7th grade girl in the 70’s sitting in the back of my Math class crying,,,,,,I just didn’t make the grades the boys did and we were told we weren’t ABLE to understand and it was OK. What a crock! I recently received 100’s and above in my college math classes! Who would have thunk it possible!! 🙂
    3. He was tall and dark haired and older than me. One of my older sisters friends. I was in 4th grade I believe. We went to a movie together and on the walk way home, right behind my house in the alley, he reached over and clasped my hand in his. I felt like a lightening bolt went through my body. It was amazing and I’ll never forget that. I’ve only ever felt this “electricity” with a handful of men in my life since then. You touch their hand, and well, you just know.

  3. Susan Meyer Says: December 30, 2015 11:12 pm

    1. I remember being relentlessly teased, as a child, because I was painfully shy and wore my heart on my sleeve. I still do and am somewhat shy. My Kindergarten teacher laughed at my school picture, in front of the class, because I was very serious and not smiling. She couldn’t understand why I got upset when she did this. My father was also an alcoholic and really wasn’t involved in our lives. My first husband was also an alcoholic and verbally abusive like my dad. I always feel badly for anyone who goes through any type of abuse. My daughter died at the hands of her abuser. I always feel that what I have gone through is nothing compared to what ultimately happened to her.
    2. Any school system, that allows a child to bloom and grow without grades or competition, is worth investing in. I never did well in school except for music and sewing/cooking!
    3. My first love was a young man named Ian. He was from England and he would always invite me to his birthday parties (even “boys only” parties). I invited him to my parties and we were good friends until we lost touch after graduation. The last time I saw him was at my 10 year class reunion. He would tease me relentlessly, in school, but I knew it was because he liked me.

  4. Sally Says: February 1, 2016 12:40 pm

    1. My mother beat me relentlessly as a child, and I always believed I must have done something terrible though couldn’t think what. Eventually what it left me with was a very effective block of the pain, a lack of stories and who I was, rather than invented stories, it also left me with a certainty that I am always the one in the wrong. It’s only now, 50 years later I am starting to feel the pain of that child and feel unjustified. Tough!

  5. Carol Ritchie Says: February 11, 2016 9:32 pm

    1. I think anything is possible (regarding imagination) when you have experienced abuse and pain. Especially if you are a child. Perhaps this is a way of coping. I am sure that the war did not help the “cruel” atmosphere? I felt a sense of relief for you when you turned 11 and went to a school that had an encouraging atmosphere! When I discovered interests that appealed to me as a child, riding horses and playing trumpet in band, it was like coming out of the darkness and into the light. There was hope for the future.

    2. I was not good at track and field, and it really discouraged me that I could not run as fast as the others. When I found things that matched the gifts I was given, and I had the right teachers to encourage me, I found that competition was helpful for my motivation. I set goals and “got back on that horse!” when the going got tough – the best lesson I learned in my life! I see that kid’s sports will give everyone a trophy (for participation). I feel that not wining every time (not getting a trophy) can help to push and motivate. It doesn’t have to be a trophy, but the personal satisfaction that you did your best, gave it your all and achieved your goals.

    3. After my school friends gave me the ambush makeover, it was then time to get up the nerve to ask a boy in class that I was smitten with if he would be my boyfriend. To my delight, he said yes. Since I had never had a boyfriend before, I got very shy, and finally got the nerve to sit with him at lunch – I was shaking in my shoes nervous! We never really talked much or saw each other – just the fact that I knew we were “going together”. So the whole experience was like a statement, that I was transforming from a tomboy to a lady 🙂

  6. Lynn Says: February 15, 2016 4:53 pm

    Abuse and Imagination: I may not be able to weigh in on memories of “abuse” for I have a specific definition that falls into what Graham described of his early school years (in his book) or of friends who have spoken to their experiences of sexual abuse.
    But a “sub-word” to abuse could be “misuse”. In my exuberance to be a “giving person”, I have encountered those who have found ways to “use” others for their gain ( be it financial or emotional ) and I have found myself caught up in aftermaths of being too trusting. In these examples I allude to in my own life, it is not imaginative recall but specifics. However I do know that those more severely abused can “re-create” what happened which in some ways may be called “imagination” or from another perspective may be a means of self protection.It is a tender balance in definition and experience.

    Competition: I am coming to the website, book, blog later than others and am slowly swimming along my metaphorical upstream journey. I did comment on the world of competition (especially focused in the education system) in the blog posting of the this focus.

    First Love: It was a cute boy in my first grade class. I cannot be sure if he was cute because he was “cute” ( although in my memory he was a real cutie!) or that he had the same name as my cousin. Thus – his name is an easy one to remember. And as my family moved almost every year of my growing up years after age 5, I moved on and he stayed behind although I am sure progressing to 2nd grade and beyond!

  7. Kerryn Says: April 17, 2016 9:51 am

    1. Abuse & imagination: I’m truly thankful that I’ve never really suffered “abuse” in it’s full meaning. Graham’s stories of abuse are awful & really tugged at my heart strings & reminded me of how privileged I’ve been. There’s only one memory that stands out as an instance of psychological & emotional abuse upon myself & my hubby by a Christian leader. It escalated quickly & was scary &, yes, I kept it alive by retelling it with my hubby & closest 2 friends to try to analyse it. I found that the sting lessened with each telling, as I released something else in it & chose to forgive, to learn from it & to realize that it wasn’t our fault that it occurred.
    2. Competition: As an ex-teacher (of 5-8 year olds) & special ed teacher (of 5-18 year olds) marks, scores & achievements were things that I had to deal with everyday. The good, the bad & the ugly!! My aim was always to focus on positives, especially in behaviours (Aussie spelling!), attitudes, trying one’s best & celebrating outcomes of perseverance. I believe that there is much to be gained from Steiner systems of teaching/learning & that no matter what systems are in place there is much more to life than earning excellent grades!
    3. First Love: I think that my “first love” was stirred through his persistence in wanting a date. His riding in circles in front of my home on his bike, while I hid behind the walls of our house never did manage to connect us. I was way too shy to exit my home or be seen by him when he was out the front! Funny memories!

  8. Dedra Says: May 27, 2016 3:05 pm

    1. Perhaps. Conversely, I rationalize and justify others actions. My sister reminds me how severely I was punished by my mother. I am so grateful for the opportunity to tell mother I forgave her a long time ago so I could love her.
    2. Not only do I get a greater sense of self-worth without the measured achievement, my ability to encourage others is greater. Achievement does not suffer. It frees ones mind to concentrate on what is important and not the measurement compared to others.
    3. Quiet kindness.

  9. Rhonda Says: August 13, 2016 3:20 pm

    Is it possible that we “invent” in our pain some “added” events that may not have happened? In some cases I think we do. Especially if the abuse happens when one is youngster. Our perspectives are limited when we are young and if the abuse comes for someone in authority or someone whose supposed to love us, out of survival we may invent things just so we can cope. Until we are ready to deal with the events that caused pain and/or trauma, the things we invented and the lies we told ourselves will continue to keep us in that pain even if we have found a way to numb it or block it out.

    When marks (grades) and scores are removed, does achievement suffer…or is there a greater sense of…self-worth? If grades had been removed when I went to school, my self-worth would have excelled. I was an introvert when I was younger and I was taught not to question what I was told in school. When I would receive a bad grade it meant I failed and there were no do-overs. When scores were removed, I would keep trying until I learn and succeeded.

    First Love: What do you remember most about the one you first felt the stirrings of attraction? I remember how wonderful I felt when he would call or write me a note. There was excitement in anticipation of seeing him each day at school.

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