Posts Tagged Amy Susan Crohn

The Crossroads Between Healing and Justice

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Every survivor has the right to chose and the right to determine the correct path of healing that is right for them.” Christopher Anderson 

During this life on earth which seems so fleeting, so fast paced, so consumed with the material versus humanity, it is a divine gift when we find commonalities, when we can intersect, pause, reflect and reach out to help others….

Who would have known that a man who carries a heavy burden would have shared truths with another dear friend and colleague?   Christopher Anderson, survivor of sexual assault and Executive Director of Male Survivor.org, http://www.malesurvivor.org/history.html  and Amy Susan Crohn http://www.dyingtoliveamy.com/  share a blueprint of sorts.  They share a high score on the ACES- Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale (for those coming from families of significant dysfunction and trauma) http://www.cdc.gov/ace/prevalence.htm;

And further… who would have predicted that abuse is so common that whatever form it takes…we all can relate to it in one way or another?   At the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, there is no better way to increase awareness and pay tribute to intimate partner violence…AND all forms of sexual abuse, than with the introduction of selected new compelling downloadable public service announcements in between our conversation with Christopher Anderson. Such PSA’s were interspersed and introduced to our audience during this radio show! http://imaginepublicity.com/2013/10/04/voice-actress-amy-robinson-creates-domestic-violence-psas/

BUT… returning to our theme of healing and justice…. Christopher Anderson took the “Shattered Lives” Radio Team on his personal journey, capturing the essence of what is most important to male survivors of sexual assault and much more…  Is it justice? Is it healing?  Please listen to the podcast and read further to unlock the answers…

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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

  • Introduction to the Domestic Violence PSAs by Amy Robinson, Voiceover Actress and Homicide Survivor
  • Introduction to our guest, Christopher Anderson
  • Chris introduces his personal story as a means of healing…and “a little bit of the shame breaks away”
  • Parental tantrums, hoarding, emotional neglect, lack of nurturing and  “not necessarily overt abuse”
  • “High alert for negative experience” overtaking any positive…
  • A neighbor and son befriending Chris… the beginning of a “false sense of goodness” and a path to darkness….
  • Hulk Hogan and WrestleMania…. Wrestling in his underwear, photos and the father “taking over”
  • Disassociation, periods of not remembering from 8 to 12 years old…
  • “Strange happenings”… his house became a stash for porn etc….
  • The high school years…getting through, getting by…anxiety and depression
  • Ladyjustice asks if Chris also suffers from physical, chronic conditions as a consequence of his neglect and abuse?
  • “The sexual abuse didn’t seem like it was a big deal” in the scheme of the other issues… until age 30.
  • First Marriage…Chris discusses what occurred…
  • Ladyjustice asks what is typical in intimate relationships after sexual assault?
  • Feeling broken and flawed…
  • Delilah asks about repressed memories and how it affects people in adulthood?
  • “Every survivor has the right to chose and the right to determine the correct path of healing that is right for them.”  No “one size fits all” for treatment
  • BREAK-  Domestic Violence PSA- Call1-800 799-SAFE
  • Delilah’s commentary re “let your voice be heard” regarding Christopher’s work  due to men and boys having to live in silence for so long…And it is so difficult to talk about.
  • Delilah asks, how important is justice to male survivors?
  • Chris responds regarding the difference between the pursuit of justice and healing…
  • Legal realities…. Statutes of Limitations … Marcy Hamilton’s work                     : http://sol-reform.com/News/what-is-a-sol/
  • Look and listen to survivors- you hear over and over again … a re-traumatization and re-victimization
  • For every survivor of trauma and abuse the pursuit of justice can be a source of healing, but not a prerequisite
  • Ladyjustice asks about underreporting and the prevalence of male sexual abuse?
  • A discussion of female perpetrators and the myth of homosexuality perpetrators
  • Myths and Facts: http://www.malesurvivor.org/myths.html
  • Resources: Books Recommended: Dr Howard Fradkin and Christopher Anderson Co-Author:  “Joining Forces…” http://howardfradkin.com/wphf/?page_id=13; http://www.amazon.com/Joining-Forces-Empowering-Survivors-Thrive/dp/1401941346;
  • Oprah Show: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Male-Sexual-Abuse-Survivors-Stand-Together  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKjiiAUSCJE
  • “Boys And Men Healing”  used during “Dare to Dream” Events: http://www.bigvoicepictures.com/boys-and-men-healing/  Now with Spanish subtitles and English subtitles and for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired                Woo Hoo!
  • Chris tells how he connected with MaleSurvivor.org and discusses the multiple  purposes: More Resources and Connections  for Therapeutic Resources, Peer Support Groups.
  • Discussion of their International Conference in NYC in 2014
  • Weekends of Recovery Program: What are they about?
  • The experience of trauma is universal…. and the importance of accessing resources…
  • Chris’s discussion re the media…and the increase in awareness of sexual trauma in the military
  • “The Jerry Sandusky Effect”- Are there positives?
  • Parental-Societal Message:   Learn how to do a better job with prevention-             Be holistic, non-biased and inclusive in providing support to EVERY survivor.                  There is no hierarchy of abuse!
  • Delilah asks, how prevalent is abuse between siblings and is it more difficult for healing to occur?
  • Ladyjustice asks about prevalence and geographic considerations internationally?
  • Socio-economic poverty, and hopelessness considerations
  • What is Chris message of hope for the future?
  • Healing is possible:  Elements of Recovery: Prerequisites: Hope, Healing and Support…
  • Contact Info: http://www.malesurvivor.org/default.html
  • canderson@malesurvivor.org;
  • Final Domestic Abuse PSA by Amy Robinson

Questions Elicited from the Podcast

  • What is Chris’ ACES score and what does it mean?
  • What was Chris’ life like in school as compared to his home environment?
  • What was the significance of the WWF?
  • Terrified, not knowing how to say no, how did Chris deal with the sexual experience?
  • How does Chris characterize the illnesses he dealt with?
  • What is stereotypical about entering into marriage with a background of sexual abuse?
  • What is Chris’ opinion about the therapeutic technique of conjuring up repressed memories of traumatic experience?
  • What is Chris’ feeling regarding the importance of justice versus healing?
  • Is our criminal justice system designed to be a source of healing- Why or why not?
  • What are the statistics of the occurrence of male sexual abuse and can we rely on the data?
  • What is one major reason why male survivors do not come forward?
  • How many people visit the website for MaleSurvivor.org?
  • What are the details concerning their international Conference?
  • Have Male Survivors made progress with media coverage?
  • How many reported cases are there in the military and which gender comprises the majority of survivors?
  • What is the greatest incidence of traffic on their site beyond US and Canada?
  • *** What are the three messages of hope?
  • What is Chris message of hope for the future

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.

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Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive ….

Dying to Live, Amy Susan Crohn, ImaginePublicity,Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

John Travolta’s character, (Tony Manero) In Saturday Night Fever was a carefree Brooklyn youth and dance idol on the weekends. His “star qualities” assisted him in temporarily forgetting the reality of his life: (i.e. a go nowhere job, conflicts with bickering parents, racial tensions in his community, and his “too cool, macho” friends.)

“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
Stayin’ alive….”

(http://www.metrolyrics.com/stayin-alive-lyrics-bee-gees.html)

Amy Susan Crohn had her own Italian Stallion, Will, who stood vigil, was a devoted husband and gave Amy the fortitude to stay alive….

Constance Porter, a sophisticated magazine writer – photographer was in charge of the ship’s log in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 movie, Lifeboat.  “Providing she could show the copyright in all publications…”   The lifeboat held eight survivors following a Nazi torpedo attack. NOTICE THE FACT THAT CONNIE DRAGGED HER TYPEWRITER ON A LIFEBOAT!!! [Ladyjustice thinks that Amy Susan Crohn would have done the same thing…After all a girl has to make a living…life boat or no life boat!] Everyone has to STAY ALIVE!  See the classic trailer:

Such is the essence of life…whether real or imagined….. In Amy’s case, it was almost too tragic to be real…. But it was…. And…. make no mistake…her book, “Dying to Live; Running Backwards through Cancer, Lupus and Chronic Illness,” is definitely not just another tragic real life drama… for it has deep roots in medical research. Amy was the one to excavate information and innovate…. linking childhood deprivation and abuse to adulthood disease and chronic illness, in addition to the possibility of premature death…   Why is no one talking about this? Why don’t MDs know?

The “Shattered Lives” team, with Amy as guest, set out to make others aware of the emotional toll, and what “professional patients” and doctors need to do as soon as possible!

                    LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

  • Delilah on “Shattered Lives,” a radio show to learn from… as in life;
  • Introduction to our guest and her book;
  • Page 122:  “A medical rollercoaster” ;
  • Amy’s description of her journey – Stage Four Cancer and Lupus…. Close to Death…. And… the Aftermath that goes with it;
  • “The Statue” – A visualization…an alter ego, a barometer…
  • The need for bravery and doubt in the face of tragedy and chronic illness…;
  • The W’s…. What who, where, when, how, ….
  • Delilah asks, What compelled Amy to write her book?; Expressions of healing…
  • Ladyjustice’s  “aha” moments… matching her life and medical experiences with Amy’s;
  • A lawsuit …and no chance of winning;
  • A doctor without integrity…. “A MA…stake”
  • Delilah asks about Amy’s opinion on the care that is doled out versus the care that we really deserve?
  • The “Dear Doctor” story….  “Work with me….”
  • The “Horror” of being prepared;
  • Amy’s hope starting with Grand Rounds;
  • Ladyjustice asks about the important elements (i.e. the Ace Study-Adverse Childhood Experiences);
  • For over 20 years if  maltreated or suffered  trauma as a child, patients have an 87% likelihood of developing  physical, and psychological – psychiatric illness as an adult;
  • Question types discussed on the ACE;
  • Amy’s score on the test…
  • What’s the Resiliency Survey about?  Amy discusses other prerequisites needed;
  • If you have a score of one on the ACE, is it important?
  • Ladyjustice speculates on resiliency and premature death;
  • Amy discusses the  many difficulties of revealing your illness when you’re sick;
  • A discussion of toxic stress- trauma and “the roller coaster ride”
  • You want to get on with your life and not  have physicians “just treat the symptoms…”
  • Amy’s opinion on diseases of heredity and those we acquire “randomly;”
  • Coping with stress…. Bolstering the immune system;
  • Descriptions of Amy’s Mom and Dad…. What were the issues and how to deal?
  • Crying for help… but who listened?
  • Ladyjustice comments on the importance of having a home and her multitude of jobs to survive;
  • Delilah comments on Amy’s fortitude, her lack of nurturing childhood and losing it all….  She asks, “What did you gain?”
  • “The After Cancer Amy;” and “Earth is a School” according to Amy;
  • A sad commentary on her mother and father’s lives;
  • “When I don’t feel good, I really doubt myself…. “
  • Working for TV Cable Week – Amy’s gift and solace;
  • Foster parenting – a retrospective comment on what it was like then and now regarding child protective services;
  • Ladyjustice’s AMA vision for Amy;
  • ***Amy’s special message for a relative who made it all worth it….“the greatest gift”
  • Amy’s Contact Info: http://www.dyingtoliveamy.com/;
  • Amy’s Parting Message:  “We Don’t Cause our Own Illnesses….We Are Vessels… All things that come into out mind, body and soul are put there for a reason …..”

Questions You May Have…

  • What’s the difference between a misdiagnosis and a “missed diagnosis” and how did this pertain to Amy?
  • Of what value is “the Statue?”
  • What was the result of Amy’s doubting of her treatment plan?
  • How did Amy defy the authority of her initial Primary Care Physician, “Dr. C”?
  • What was the aftermath of the medical malpractice lawsuit?
  • What was the outcome of the advice of Amy’s initial physicians?
  • Unfulfilled promises led to what kind of important patient tool?
  • How can we make doctors care about the entire patient instead of “check  the box” items?
  • Where is further research being conducted regarding ACE?
  • What is the benchmark score that would predict the likelihood of adult illnesses?
  • What happens after the ACE Study?
  • What populations were tested with the ACE Survey and what are the implications?
  • What’s the Number 1 cause of premature death?
  • Does it really matter what happened for the first 18 years of your life?
  • Do we cause all of our medical problems?
  • What were the family relationships in Amy’s quest for survival?
  • What is the significance of the location of Amy’s tumor?
  • What were the happy things?
  • What was the history of child protective services and the trends today?

Postscript from Ladyjustice:

A very special message-  a 3 minute 57 second video “Her Diamonds” from Rob Thomas who is the songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty, as well as a solo artist who has performed with many other musicians, earning three Grammys co-writing with Carlos Santana on the hit track “Smooth.”   The song, “Her Diamonds”  references his wife Marisol‘s auto-immune disease.

From Wikipedia:

Thomas and his wife Marisol Maldonado married on October 2, 1999 and currently live in Bedford, New York. The couple also have a home on Lake Marion in Manning, South Carolina. Thomas has a son named Maison (born July 10, 1998) from a previous relationship. The Thomases are committed animal lovers and supporters of animal charities.

Rob and his wife have established the Sidewalk Angels Foundation,[9] a non-profit organization created to help needy people in and around America’s big cities by partnering with various charities to assist people who cannot afford medical care, and animals that have been abandoned or abused.

Beautiful composition and interesting coincidences!

‘For you too Amy Susan…

 

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.

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From Heartache to Hope and Beyond…………….. DYING TO LIVE by Amy Susan Crohn

Dying to Live, Amy Susan Crohn, ImaginePublicity,Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

We never know what mountains we have to scale as a child… We also consider our lives “normal” when we have no other point of reference… However, if we as human beings are indeed able and willing to be firmly placed in the category of ”survival of the fittest,” no matter what befalls us, there is always hope…There is a God…There is sheer will…

Consider a vulnerable child growing up on “the edge of life”… an existence fraught with problems; ‘an existence vacuous to a little girl who holds so much promise on the inside… And yet, this same child is surrounded by dysfunction and lack of care.  How does the “little girl lost” ever navigate her way to calming waters? If she makes it, is there a price to pay? Indeed there is…

The totality of such events on a single life is an accumulation of so much wreckage that something just has to give way…A body, mind and spirit can only withstand so much before irreparable damage is done!

Amy Susan Crohn  was this little girl. She has scaled the mountain many times… As an author, she relates an extremely compelling account of her journey – one part healing, another part education, still another part wishing to convey that “aha light bulb moment” to those with similar circumstances.  Her memoir, “Dying to Live” is unique in that it espouses a theory supported by many clinical studies linking childhood trauma and maltreatment unquestionably to a variety of adult chronic illnesses and perhaps even premature death.

Ladyjustice embarked on a quick search… which validated this information.  Amy has done far more research and deserves much credit for bringing this “out of the shadows” in her book.

Examples located by Ladyjustice:

1) “Childhood Trauma Linked to Risk for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; January 5, 2009:

This article identified childhood trauma (sexual and emotional is associated with a six-fold increase as a risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome…  Cortisol aka the “stress hormone” particularly when diminished or when constantly “tuned to be on high alert” produces abnormal responses to stress.

“Children who are abused or neglected suffer physical and emotional injuries,” said Ileana Arias, PhD, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “We now know that some types of chronic diseases may surface years later as well. This research adds to that growing body of knowledge and reinforces that we must stop child maltreatment before it begins. Creating safe, stable, and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) between children and adults is an effective buffer to reduce the risk for maltreatment.”

http://www.cdc.gov/news/2009/01/cfs_childhood/Child

2) “Childhood Adversity Linked to Chronic Physical, Mental Disability” UPI; University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic; May 9, 2013;

Dr. David A. Brent with Dr. Michael Silverstein (Boston University School of Medicine) state that “early childhood adversity, including exposure to domestic violence –intimate partner-family violence, maltreatment or serious mental illness has been linked to many chronic conditions including premature death.”

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/05/09/Childhood-adversity-linked-to-chronic-physical-mental-disability/UPI-16501368078864/

3) “Maltreatment Linked to Mental and Physical Health Disorders in Later Life” (Medical Xpress) University of Queenland, Australia; November 28, 2012

Dr. Rosana Norman of the UQ’s Children’s Medical Research Institute found out of 124 studies conducted, very few included children of low-income families (only 16 studies). These children were at high risk of developing a variety of problems as adults…

“They found that individuals who had been emotionally abused as children were about three times more likely to develop depression, while individuals who had been physically abused or neglected were one-and-a-half to two times more likely to develop depression than people who had not been abused or neglected.

Researchers also established a link between anxiety disorders, drug abuse, and suicidal behavior and childhood abuse.

They also found that children who had been maltreated had a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections and/or risky sexual behavior as adults than people who had not experienced abuse.

Dr. Norman said the evidence suggests a causal relationship between non-sexual child maltreatment and a range of mental disorders. “

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-child-maltreatment-linked-mental-physical.html

Beyond the Research…

Amy Susan Crohn, Dying to Live, Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice,ImaginePublicityAmy Susan Crohn explains such occurrences in “Dying to Live” in very personal terms as she takes the reader from childhood abuse and neglect to a dual diagnosis of cancer of the lymph system with its invasive procedures to lupus [Definition-an autoimmune disorder which can effect any part of the body or organ system in which viruses, bacteria and other germs cannot be protected regular antibodies. Auto-antibodies/proteins that attack the body's tissues and destroy normal cells].

Amy also developed Crohn’s disease [Definition- Crohn's disease causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, most commonly, the small intestine (ileitis). Periodic flare-ups lead to bouts of stomach (abdominal) pain, severe diarrhea, weight loss and low energy. There is no cure, but treatment can reduce inflammation and ease your symptoms, sometimes for long periods of remission. Crohn's disease is one type of inflammatory bowel disease.]   ***And… there is an ancestral connection here….to the MD credited with first discovering the disease in 1932…. YES…really!

Amy’s book is applicable to so many chronic physical and mental health issues experienced at one time or another throughout her life, that any reader will find it valuable…  Such as: Anyone who has interest in:

Cancer; Lupus; Fibromyalgia; Chronic illness; Childhood maltreatment; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Depression; Grief; Autoimmune disorders; Crohn’s Disease; Medical practitioners; Book clubs eager to read this memoir.

There are virtually millions of people worldwide who suffer from these conditions….  It is that commonality that is Amy’s current mission. Commonality is the lifeblood of our own human interconnectibility.

If you can save but one life by teaching others from your own experience, you have truly accomplished something divine!

A few parting words about one’s plight in this world… We can suffer from a variety of illnesses and social injustices in this life.  Formal definitions incorporate associated terms such as “to tolerate,” “to allow,” “to endure,” “to experience,”…whatever it is that comes from evil or from accumulated damage.

The astonishing part of Amy Susan Crohn is that, although she still suffers from the chronic nature of her illnesses, it is no longer in silence….but for the mutual benefit of others… AND…finally, she is on a healing path…always with hope and love for others.

To purchase: “Dying to Live” http://www.dyingtoliveamy.com/#!buy/c1tkx

From Heartache to Hope and Beyond…………….. DYING TO LIVE by Amy Susan Crohn

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