Hi all, I know it’s been a while since I posted. I just wanted to inform everyone that their is a VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR every week-end i.e. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This fair is for readers & authors. Readers can find new books they’d like to read, and get in on the edge before they become BEST SELLERS:) Also I’d like to hear some of your stories that relate to PTSD, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and living with Bipolar. If you have any stories you’d like to share with us, reply to this post or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it for you (let me know if you’d like anonymity or I can use your name. I’d love to hear how other people deal with these disorders. I’ve posted a lot of informational stuff, but I plan on sharing my stories too. Thank you for belonging to the group. IF YOUR AN AUTHOR and you’d like to have your book one of them featured in the book fair, go to this website and you will find the directions on what you have to do. Regardless of what date is there it’s the same every week, just the date changes. So you can have a chance not only to share your book but an excerpt as well (lonnnngg or short), it’s a GREAT FAIR, and I sold over 10 books this week-end. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/ Take care all, and be safe returning to school and back from vacation. Also if there is ever a time you need to share something with the group, let me know at my email address or reply to the specific subject matter. Lori
Today is one of those “BAD” days, where you have to force yourself out of bed, and look outside and say I’m lucky to be alive and with someone who loves me. There was nothing special that happened to make me so apathetic or sad, just another day in the life of a bipolar, addict, PTSD survivor and sexual abuse survivor. I think having one of these is bad enough and GOD I can empathize with your moods, but I think the reigning disorder that makes me feel like I do today is called BIPOLAR.
Now I’m not sure if adding all of the above with the bipolar does anymore to me or less, but I know my bipolar has changed since I was younger. When I was younger and went on manic episodes I was creative, proud, confident and got things accomplished *just in a lot shorter time period:). But now all I get is “she’s manic again”. No one lets me express me or let me bask in the moment of confidence and wanting to accomplish the world, instead it’s a BAD THING to be manic. I’m sure there are bad episodes of being manic, but I’m sure there are GOOD PRODUCTIVE ONES too. The medication that were on doesn’t really help either. It helps those around us (because were apathetic and don’t make their lives anymore confusing) but for us it is like the loss of “LIFE”. I don’t mind being stable and I’m pretty sure I don’t get out of control like I used to, but I still enjoy my manic days, and no one can understand that. I’m writing this to get YOUR INPUT on how you view your bipolar.
Now on to substance abuse. I speak now at a rehab facility, and one thing I say (WHICH IS MY BELIEF) if you don’t have anyone to get clean for then your not going to get clean. I know they preach about doing it for “YOURSELF” but I still say unless you have a motivating factor that bugs your conscience about not wanting to do drugs anymore than I don’t think you’d get clean. If I were alone and had no one that loved me, I would have never went to rehab, I probably would have done MORE DRUGS! When you finally find a reason to live albeit health recovery or someone you meet then you have a DESIRE to quit and seek out that new life with the person you love. Now don’t get me wrong and think I mean you have to have a “LOVER” or B/F or G/F, I mean anyone that cares about you and wants you clean to the point that you finally get tired of seeing that person hurt. It could be a child, a spouse or mother or BFF, hell it could be your pet.
Now on to the cravings, I’m on this drug called SUBOXONE, and I’m taking 4 8mg/2mg tabs a day, this is NOT what people normally take. They usually are weaned off this drug before leaving the clinic. But since I’ve been severely injured in IRAN, and suffer from so many pain issues they decided to keep me on this dose, so I wouldn’t go back to pain pills. Virtually I gave up one addiction for another, since these pills are narcotics. They are also supposed to help you not crave ANYTHING you have abused in your past. BS, every time I see a movie where someone is doing coke, I get such an urge it isn’t funny. The only difference now is I DON’T GIVE IN TO MY CRAVINGS, although sometimes I do try to do a logic summation of IF I did give in, how would this not hurt me.
Now onto PTSD, where no one understands how noises, smells, or certain situations can leave you feeling nervous or even worse make you feel like your going to die in that moment, because you feel like you’ve been there before. Well you have been there before they are called flashbacks, and anything can trigger them, a loud noise a TV show like Law & Order SVU (rapes), a certain smell, (these happen to me a lot) but it’s really like your back to that moment in time which was your HELL ON EARTH. People don’t get it or they think were faking it for attention, I just want to make people aware that these things are VERY REAL, and the best thing to deal with them is a loving supportive friend or pet.
In a synopsis I just wanted to point out how I feel during these and because of these events and WELCOME YOUR INPUT on how you deal with life under the circumstances of one of these disorders. Your INPUT will not only help me it could help others realize different ways to deal with them. PLEASE COMMENT!!!
Also I feel better now that I’ve written this and vented a little. And remember we have TWO CHOICES IN LIFE, to LIVE it or just EXIST in it, you decide, God Bless.
Childhood sexual abuse, is the “hush-hush” crime. Most who go through it are scared to death to tell anyone out of fear of not being believed, or fearing their molester so bad that they just keep quiet. My experience was no different.
I was 10 years old when my brother started playing this “tickle” game with me. It started out with you tickle my foot and I’ll tickle yours, then it advanced to tickling other things. I was mortified the first time it happened. My brother was 8 years older than me and I was the only adopted child in the family, so I think he justified it due to this. (not being his REAL sister). I know my mom must have known but my brother was her FAVORITE and he could do no wrong, so I was really confused. Do I tell my mom and have her hate me because I said something bad about her baby, or do I keep doing it to get her approval.
I remember when it started happening, I became so frightened when my parents would leave the house and I was left there with him and my sisters, I started banging on the screen door once screaming for them not to go, I banged so hard my hand went through a glass door. Don’t you think my mom should have realized something??? All of a sudden I start going nuts anytime she leaves the house. But she never said anything when he did other cruel acts to me. Once he called me out to the garage and had my bunny hanging upside down in his hands and then he hit it over and over again on the head and killed it, and we ATE IT THAT NIGHT FOR DINNER. I truly thought it was chicken then my brother blurted out it was my bunny, I ran from the table and threw up. My brother never had intercourse with me until he knew for sure that I had already experienced it at age 13. I won’t say too much because this is in my book, but I will summarize it by saying at age 15 I emancipated myself from my family and got married, so I could escape the house where my hell was being played out. I couldn’t believe my mom and dad let me go so easily, but they did.
Now I know I’m not the only one who has been abused but I wanted to share my story so you know it’s OK TO TALK ABOUT IT! There are places to go for help, there is counseling for those who have been through it, you don’t have to KEEP QUIET ANY LONGER!!!
I beg you all to get the help you need and for the rest of you to LISTEN when someone is trying to tell you of an incident like this. Most of us feel uncomfortable when someone starts telling us something like this and we are unsure of what to do, so I will give you some resources. Also some behaviors to look for that might indicate someone is being molested.
Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent
- Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
- Seems distracted or distant at odd times
- Has a sudden change in eating habits
- Refuses to eat
- Loses or drastically increases appetite
- Has trouble swallowing.
- Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
- Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
- Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
- Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
- Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
- Talks about a new older friend
- Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
- Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
- Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge
Signs more typical of younger children
- An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
- Has new words for private body parts
- Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
- Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
- Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
- Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
Signs more typical in adolescents
- Self-injury (cutting, burning)
- Inadequate personal hygiene
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Sexual promiscuity
- Running away from home
- Depression, anxiety
- Suicide attempts
- Fear of intimacy or closeness
- Compulsive eating or dieting
Physical warning signs
Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare. If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
- Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
- Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
WHAT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING
- The typical advice “Don’t Talk to Strangers” doesn’t apply in this case. Most sexual perpetrators are known to their victims.
- Do not instruct children to give relatives hugs and kisses. Let them express affection on their own terms.
- Teach your children basic sexual education. Teach them that no one should touch the “private” parts of their body. A health professional can also help to communicate sex education to children if parents are uncomfortable doing so.
- Develop strong communication skills with your children. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Explain the importance of reporting abuse to you or another trusted adult.
- Teach your children that sexual advances from adults are wrong and against the law. Give them the confidence to assert themselves against any adult who attempts to abuse them.
- Make an effort to know children’s friends and their families.
- Instruct your child to never get into a car with anyone without your permission.
- Teach your children that their bodies are their own. That it is OK to say they do not want a hug or that certain kinds of contact make them uncomfortable.
- It is important to remember that physical force is often not necessary to engage a child in sexual activity. Children are trusting and dependent and will often do what is asked of them to gain approval and love.
What to do if you think a child you know has been the victim of sexual abuse
- Give the child a safe environment in which to talk to you or another trusted adult. Encourage the child to talk about what he or she has experienced, but be careful to not suggest events to him or her that may not have happened. Guard against displaying emotions that would influence the child’s telling of the information.
- Reassure the child that he or she did nothing wrong.
- Seek mental health assistance for the child.
- Arrange for a medical examination for the child. Select a medical provider who has experience in examining children and identifying sexual and physical trauma. It may be necessary to explain to the child the difference between a medical examination and the abuse incident.
- Be aware that many states have laws requiring that persons who know or have a reason to suspect that a child has been sexually abused must report that abuse to either local law enforcement officials or child protection officials. In all 50 states, medical personnel, mental health professionals, teachers, and law enforcement personnel are required by law to report suspected abuse
Where to go for help
Several organizations can provide information and advice about child sexual abuse, including: BUT REMEMBER IF YOU SUSPECT IT, IMMEDIATELY GET THE CHILD TO A HOSPITAL FOR EXAMINATION AND NOTIFY POLICE PERSONNEL IF NECESSARY. BUT GET THE CHILD OUT OF IMMINENT DANGER!!!!! ALSO THERE IS A HELPLINE Helpline 1.888.PREVENT
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 407 South Dearborn Suite 1300 Chicago, IL 60605 (312) 554-0166 http://www.apsac.org/
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building 699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3175 24 hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST http://www.missingkids.com/
Child Help USA 15757 North 78th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (800) 4-A-CHILD http://www.childhelpusa.org/
Prevent Child Abuse America 332 S. Michigan Ave Suite 1600 Chicago, IL 60604-4357 (800) CHILDREN http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.shtml
Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information) Children’s Bureau/ACYF 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW Eighth Floor Washington, DC 20024 (800) 394-3366 http://www.childwelfare.gov/
Also remember that most childhood sexual abuse survivors suffer from PTSD later in life, so it’s very important to get into counseling to “get control”. I hate using the word RESOLVE, because personally I don’t think issues can be RESOLVED, I think they can only be MANAGED. Thank you, Lori
I hope this gives some insight to this epidemic. It is too bad we live in a world where I would even THINK of writing a post like this, but the sad truth is WE DO, and we have to protect our children. Thanks, Lori
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, or that happens to you, like:
- Combat exposure
- Child sexual or physical abuse
- Terrorist attack
- Sexual or physical assault
- Serious accidents, like a car wreck
- Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake
During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.
My experience was, FLASHBACKS.
You also have something called “FLASHBACKS”. These are what I suffered from in addition to the above symptoms. When I returned from Iran and the torture I suffered there, I started having what were called “non-epileptic” seizures. These are real seizures but can not be traced to epilepsy as the cause. I also had flashbacks, and when I suffered from these I would all of a sudden just leave this world and return to the location where I suffered all the pain and torture. I would either see something that reminded me of that place or etal. Then I would either try to start physically hitting myself or banging my head against the wall or floor, I would talk in farsi (the language of Iran). I would push people away from me because I was afraid they were coming to rape me. This is a horrible mental disorder that is suffered by many people with trauma in their life. Veterans are also a big population that suffers from it.
How does PTSD develop?
Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn’t clear why some people develop PTSD and others don’t.
Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things:
- How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
- If you were injured or lost someone important to you
- How close you were to the event
- How strong your reaction was
- How much you felt in control of events
- How much help and support you got after the event
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.
There are four types of symptoms of PTSD
- Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
3. Feeling numb
You may find it hard to express your feelings. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.
4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)
You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal.
I suffered from all of the above but at different times. My main symptoms or events were feeling keyed up, and feeling numb. Unlike the above I would purposely NOT avoid stressful situations because I thought I HAD TO GET ON WITH REAL LIFE, so if I avoided every stressful situation then I wouldn’t be able to function. This included watching TV shows like Law & Order SVU, which dealt with a lot of rapes and childhood sexual abuse *both of which I’ve suffered from. I can’t say these shows don’t affect me because they do at times, and I have to quit watching, but I think (my own opinion not professional) that if I keep dealing with life on it’s terms then it will all work out in the end.
Plus I have a WONDERFUL SUPPORTIVE MAN who has given and put up with so much of my downfalls and also the accomplishments that makes me blessed to have him in my life.
What other problems do people with PTSD experience?
People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:
- Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
- Depression or anxiety
- Drinking or drug problems
- Physical symptoms or chronic pain
- Employment problems
- Relationship problems, including divorce
In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.
Needless to say I’ve suffered from all the above, but counseling and the right doctors can help you TREMENDOUSLY. Most of the above symptoms are now under control to a level that I can function in HIGH capacity. (Not HIGH to mean on drugs:))
What treatments are available?
When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better. There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication. I personally don’t advocate some of the treatments below, while I don’t believe medication should be a cure all either, I believe a MD, and a therapist who has a LOT of experience with PTSD patients are your best bet. But again these are my opinions.
Psychotherapy for PTSD
Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist. There are different types of psychotherapy:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for PTSD. There are different types of CBT. such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy.
- One type is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings.
- Another type is Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. You also go to places that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they are related to the trauma.
- A similar kind of therapy is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This therapy involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma.
Medications for PTSD
Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD. Another medication called Prazosin has been found to be helpful in decreasing nightmares related to the trauma.
IMPORTANT: Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms.
Where to Get Help for PTSD
Are you are in crisis? You have options:
- Call 911
- Go to the nearest Emergency Room
- Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
- Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor To have a private chat with a veterans counselor who has experience with PTSD go to the link below.
National Institute of Mental Health’s Anxiety HOTLINE 1-888-826-9438
Online support forum: http://www.findthelight.net/forum/login.asp
National Center for PTSD – The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) conduct cutting edge research and apply resultant findings to: “Advance the Science and Promote Understanding of Traumatic Stress.” Fact sheets, videos, and more about trauma to help answer your questions about PTSD and related issues.
- National Resource Directory – The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline – The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day by trained counselors who can provide crisis assistance and information about shelters, legal advocacy, health care centers and counseling. There is also a toll-free number for the hearing impaired, 1-800-787-3224
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
1-800-656-HOPE This number will direct callers to a local rape crisis center
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hotline
- SAMHSA – works to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services.
I’ve tried not only to include the numbers and websites for help for PTSD but for those disorders that might be the ROOT cause of why we suffer from it. I only wish ALL of you well. I know how important it is to have resources and many people don’t know where to go or look for links or numbers so I hope that I’ve helped some of you out. If you need ANYTHING, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com and put PTSD in the subject line. I will help you in any way I can within my capabilities. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Thanks for reading, Lori
I would like to share with all of you some sites that I thought were very interesting because they touched on the very subjects that are dear to my heart, such as CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE. These sites also have another common thread they are named exactly like my site except with the suffix of .ORG rather than .COM. I just wanted to share these sites because they can help us out too with their information:
it also has the website of
I found this rather odd, but instead of getting all “territorial” I decided to share it with you. We all need resources in times of need and this seems like a very worthy website.
Here are some other resources for those in need or crisis: Maybe you know someone who might be at risk or suffer from: PTSD, Depression, suicidal behavior or thoughts, childhood sexual abuse, bipolar, substance abuse or other event where they might need someone to talk to.
Crisis and support lines
Veterans ~ 1-877-838-2838 ( 1-877-VET-2VET )
Youth ~ 1-877- 968-4843 ( 1-877-YOUTHGUIDE )
National Sexual Assault hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE
Crisis Clinic – 866.4CRISIS – 866 427 4747
Crisis Services – 716.834.3131
Crisis support services – 1.800.SUICIDE/ 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
National Hopeline Network – 1.800.784.2433
En Española ~ 1-800-784-2432 ( 1-800-SUI-CIDA )
- Canada – 1-800-232-7288 – or 911 – http://www.dcontario.org/
- Canada: (514) 723 4000
- Canada Crisis Counselors National Hotline 1-800-448-3000 . TTY – National Hotline 1-800-448-1833
- Canada (French) – 1-866-277-3553 – http://www.cepsd.ca/
I only wish you ALL the very best and if I can help with anything please don’t hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I will answer any questions you might have, or if you just need someone to listen to you. I can’t guarantee that I have a lot of time or that I’m on the computer a lot but I will definitely give it my best shot. Maybe together we can help prevent another suicide, homicide or mass killings like Newtown.
After all RECOGNIZING MENTAL ILLNESS is the FIRST STEP in preventing any harm from coming in its path.
God Bless you ALL,
Yes I agree. I’ve lived by this one writing most of my life, well since I found it way back in 1992 it’s called Desiderata Here is the poem.
DESIDERATA Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Sometimes there are days when I get up and really have to work at staying out of bed. It has nothing to do with recent events or any particular reasons but I’m just depressed. I guess that is how Bipolar works. Other days I’m so hyper that I don’t let John get a word in edgewise. No matter where I look, LIFE IS HERE AND NOW. I’m on medications but all I see some days are just the pessimistic views about life and how it drags us down with us. Then I go online and see something a friend has posted to me, or a funny cat picture and I smile without even realizing my day is better than when it started.
We all take things for granted, and expect those around us to be there forever and we don’t think about losing them on a daily basis. I usually think about that every night before I go to bed. I think to myself, my God what would I do if I lost one of my best buddies (my cats) or if something happened to John and usually shed a tear or two at the thought.
But this keeps me appreciating and praying thankfulness for the time I do have right here and now. I try to tell myself everyday just how lucky I am to have the life I do right now, and try not to focus on the past. But then I will get a nightmare that brings it all back to the surface. John usually wakes up to see me sleeping sitting up. *we couldn’t lay down in the camp even at night so Faresh and I would put our backs together and sleep sitting up leaning on each other. Even though that was over 11 years ago I still feel safer sleeping sitting up. This goes to show that no matter how hard we try to get on with our lives there will always be something that “pops” up to remind us of a horrific event in the past.
It is how we deal and justify these returning memories that makes us survive another day. When John finally wakes me up, I feel so relieved that I’m in a bed next to the man I love and no one can hurt me right now. I think that is why I have such a feeling of ‘greatfulness’ to God like I’ve never had before. It just goes to prove that sometimes we are tested, no matter who we are, but the test is alot less stressful than the event was. And it gives us pause to realize that all of that mourning isn’t going to waste, it is reminding us how GREAT life is NOW! No matter what your belief system is you can’t deny the affect that God has on us. I’m not what they refer to as a “BIBLE THUMPER” but I have a strong faith in God, and I know he was with me at that camp, as well as he is here with me now. When I was in that camp and the night before we were going to escape, I felt someone touch my shoulder, I jerked around to see if it was a soldier and no one was there, then I heard a voice say, “Lori your going home”, and I looked all around to see if someone was mocking me and everyone was either trying to close their eyes but none were looking our way. And I HAD NO IDEA WE WERE GOING TO ESCAPE THE NEXT NIGHT.
Whenever I feel doubt or someone into evolution tries to sway me to a LOGICAL STANDPOINT, I just tell them, we might have evolved, we might have experienced everything that the scientist say, but still SOMEONE HAD TO BE THE INITAL CREATOR FOR ANY OF THAT TO HAPPEN in the first place. I can’t believe they don’t get it.
Anyway I just wanted to share my thoughts for the day, and make some of you realize that sometimes if I don’t reply positively it doesn’t mean I’m mad or sick of people, I’m just in the midst of realizing that you have two choices in life, to exist in it or live it, and I choose to LIVE IT. GOD BLESS YOU ALL in your endeavors and remember you will be tested, and no matter what our test is it is far less than what Jesus did for our lives that we are living NOW! :):)
Interview with Lori Foroozandeh on Being Held Prisoner in Iran
An Incredible Interview About Personal Strength and the Power of God in Times of Struggle
You mentioned abuse while you were a child. Do you think that lead into drug use? I’m sure it did. When my adoptive family got me at 6 months old, I had a LOT of cigarette burns and rashes all over from not getting bathed or my diaper changed. Then when I was 10 -11 yrs. old my adoptive brother started molesting me. I emancipated myself from my family at age 15 to get married and get away from my brother.
Then you started attending Northern Michigan University? How did you meet Mohammad? He was visiting his children from a previous marriage. Beth (his ex-wife) and I were friends before I met him, and she told me she had to go into the witness protection program to get away from her ex husband because she was afraid she would end up dead or her kids taken away. But when I met Mohammad I thought Beth must have been crazy. Mohammad found Beth because he was close to the police department (in every county due to being a snitch) and they got the information for him. I was living in family housing at the University.
Tell us about your move to Iran. I had a 13 yr. old son (Doug) when I left, and I had asked him if he wanted to go with us or stay with his dad back in the USA. He chose staying with his dad. (In hindsight I’m so GLAD HE DID). We went to NY first and Mohammad had some secret dealings with his (COUSIN) he received a LARGE sum of money and then we took a plane to Iran. When I arrived I couldn’t speak Farsi (the persian language) and his family accepted me and were kind. They even held the traditional sacrifical lamb event, and I had to step over when welcomed to their home. I was an animal lover and this bothered me. I had to keep my head and body covered with a chadora or a roose a ree which was a scarf. The chadora was a big black wrap around piece of cloth. Paradoxically though I loved Iran, I taught English to girls aged 10-21 in a school called Zabanoomazan Language Institute. I loved my students and the feeling was reciprocated. I loved the fact that no one knew my past and loved me for who I was, that was until Mohammad started beating me.
Was the culture in Iran very different from the United States? The culture in Iran is so different. First thing I learned when we arrived at the airport and they took my passport, was that I needed my husbands written permission to leave the country. Mohammad had lied to me and told me how much more Iran was modernized now. When we got into a a nice limo like car at the airport the first thing I saw was a building that said “DEATH TO AMRIKA” then I saw women who were being slapped in the face for walking too close to their husbands.
They hang women quite regularly for sins like adultery. But a man only needs two people to back his story to get his wife killed. I think they don’t want to divorce her so they kill her. I saw them hang them with contruction cranes, and they want the children to watch too. They consider “compassion” as letting the womans mother walk her to the noose and spend five minutes with her. They consider Friday their day of rest and only have that day off work. All the shops shut down in the day from 2-4 for lunch and nap time. After dinner the men go smoke opium together.
Tell us about the events leading up to your being taken hostage. I had heard rumors from Mohammad and other women that something was going to happen on 911 (they picked that date because it correlated with our signal for distress). We didn’t know what or where just that something was going to happen. I tried to call home on the 9th,10th and the morning of the 11th, and the operator said no international calls being placed at that time.
Mohammad said we had to leave the country in case something happened and the USA retaliated ( i still didn’t know what they would retaliate for) we went to the Shiraz bus station and were going to catch a bus to Istanbul then a plane to America. About ten minutes or less two convoy cattle type trucks pulled up and took me one way and Mohammad another (that was literally the last time I saw Mohammad. I was blindfolded and taken to this camp in the hills. There was a L shaped cement building which we were led thru to the outdoor camp where we were handcuffed to one other person for the entire time. We were beaten, raped and starved for six weeks, the girl I was handcuffed to was Faresh she was from Bahrain, she told me that anyone who was American or who had ties to America were being picked up. She was a younger girl and when the guards saw that after they took one of us girls to rape us we would communicate sympathy to one another when they came back by facial expressions. This angered them so they started publicly raping us because then we were too embarrassed to look each other in the eye then. Fareshes parents and brother had to watch her get puclicly raped, and eventually her brother worked something out with the guard (I have no idea what but they were from a rich family) and one night we were finally going home. I told you what happened the night before we left. When we got out of the camp there were two men waiting to help us get back to Shiraz where I went to Ostandary (a place for foreigners in trouble) there is no embassy in Iran so they flew me to Dubai and then home.
When I got home I weighed 70 pounds, my teeth were knocked out, and I had suffered traumatic brain injury. But once I got home I didn’t care anymore started doing drugs again, stripping, and you name it I did it. Then I met John my true knight in shining armor. He sold his John Deere dealership to stay home and take care of me. I got clean in 2008 and have been ever since. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2005 and am on meds that help tremendously. Is that it? I’m sorry still emotional after 12 years you’d think I would be less emotional but I’m not. I have a few more questions, but we can postpone. Oh OK go ahead we might as well wrap this up.You mentioned when we were talking earlier that you heard the voice of God just before you escaped. What was that like? When I felt the tap on my shoulder I turned around thinking someone was coming to take me away and beat or rape me again, but no one was there, then I heard a low clear voice tell me “Lori your going home” and I just felt warm and content for one moment. But I had no idea we were going home and the next night we were on our way.
So you got back and things didn’t go well at first like you said. Then you decided to write a book about the things that happened. Why? I kept being told that I should write a book about it, that it’s cathartic, it would take my mind off other things, yeah right I thought. So I sat down and started typing and for three months didn’t stop. I never have read my book from cover to cover because I’m scared to, but I let John proof read it for me chapter by chapter then I submitted it to a literary agent who edited the grammar and spelling. Then I self publbished. I really don’t know if it has helped me by writing it, but others tell me it has helped them (which is great). Everytime someone contacts me to speak or do a signing or something else, I have to embrace the whole book again and the nightmares come back and the flashbacks. Luckily my seizures have been few and far between though.
I love the title. How did you come up with it? A movie a long time ago called Brian’s Song it had James Caan I think in it, it was about a football player who got cancer and his struggles with life. I just loved that movie so it was after that.
Is there a message in the book you want to get across to readers? Yes you can overcome anything if you try. Don’t fall into a pattern like I did when I first got back from Iran, just focusing on all the pathetic things that have happened to you, that is the easy way out. Rise above that and be wise and break away from the crowd by turning your tragedy into a lesson learned and help to others when they are down on their luck. Portions of my book sales go to Amnesty International, The humane society, my drug addiction hospital and Henry Ford Hospital which has treated me since 2005. Thank you Justin for allowing me to tell my story, your a good man and on the right path to being a pastor.
When we first started talking you mentioned being interviewed on the Discovery Channel. What was that like? Was there any political or media response to what happened to you? The Discovery Channel (Fit and Health) did a mini documentary on me regarding my story. Even though a few facts were minimized if not wrong, they overall did a good job. I haven’t heard that there were ANY RESPONSES from that interview. Which I think is weird. I’m the third story in a series of three. This was aired on Dec. 27th 2012. The interview was nerve testing for sure.
Thank you so much for the interview. Your story is truly inspiring. What’s your life like now? I’m very happy now with the love of my life. I wish everyone well and never give up in the face of adversity. We have two choices in life to LIVE it or EXIST in it, I choose to LIVE it, and I hope you do too. I also have a blog that list all the links to stories or interviews regarding my book on the right of the page. www.lorissong.com
Lori’s Song by Lori Foroozandeh. My interview with Jackie Anton. A wonderful blogger who chose to interview authors and bloggers. Please visit her site often to see the latest reviews.
I hope everyone feels refreshed and ready to start the New Year. Nows the time to forget all those past mistakes and habits and time to get new ones.
You can never take back what you’ve said or done but what you can do is change your life so you never repeat those mistakes again. I’m bipolar and it took me most of my life before I was diagnosed. (That was in 2006), thanks to my hubby John.
He never gave up on me once he met me. He met me while I was a stripper and going thru a hard time in life with drugs and not caring. (After I returned from IRAN). I’m not excusing my behavior but at the time I didn’t care what I did, I never tried to hurt anyone but I was destroying myself. My friend Jenni knew this guy named “John”, and he would come into the bar and talk to her. I know this sounds excusing but John had been married 26 years in a basically feelingless marriage. It was at the point they didn’t talk to each other they didn’t sleep together, but they had a wonderful son and didn’t want to ruin his life….or view of. I met John on September 24th, 2005, by June 2006, he had filed for divorce and I was living with him. But that did not come easy by any means.
The first time I met him was “brief” to say the least but there was something about that first kiss that just made me sit there and say “WOW” to myself….of course I couldn’t let him know I was interested, by doing that would be breaking all the rules. I had been hurt deeply, not once or twice but four times. Now after Mohammad I thought I would never love again, ever. So everytime John came over I would turn off the lights and make him “THINK” I wasn’t home. But he knew better, he had become more familiar with my actions than I ever thought one could in such a short time. He would stand outside and knock and knock and yell, “Lori I know your in there”……and after about 15 minutes I’d finally answer the door. I had to get ready and make sure I looked perfect (well as perfect as I could get myself) before I’d answer the door. That would involve hair, makeup and clothing.
You also have to know at the time, I wore a hair extension (clip in) and lots of make-up and was stripping, so I didn’t look half bad.
If you go to the bottom of my website you can see what I mean about looking much better back then. www.loris-song.com
John finally talked me into getting rid of the hairpiece and going au natural. He said he would love me no matter what I looked like because I had a good heart, and was a good person, but I apparently just didn’t know this about me at the time.
Anyway he stuck it out with me, got me through rehab, got me treated for bipolar and went through all the flashbacks and seizures I had due to my brain trauma suffered in the camp. He also went through a couple suicide attempts I made, of which one included drinking bleach. He sold his business to stay home and take care of me, because he knew I was going through that time which a nervous breakdown was occuring, because I was just realizing and internalizing what happened to me in the camp. For the longest time I tried to shrug it off, buck up and be strong. I didn’t want anyone pitying me. But I guess finally meeting someone who showed such caring and affection to me after all I put him through made me realize it was ok and safe to be sad over what happened to me. I thank GOD for him everyday of my life. And since I’ve met him I don’t want to end my life anymore either:)
He really is my KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR! And if I had to go through all this again just to meet him, I WOULD! I love you John.
With that I will say I only wish the best for all of you in 2013. I am going to try to be happier, and less bitchy. What some people don’t understand about BIPOLAR is that it’s a MOOD DISORDER not a mental illness. We can not control our ups and downs and the medication just decreases the severity of it and the occurences. I have learned that there will never be a day that I wake up HAPPY, I have to work at it. Alot of you don’t understand this, but I think BIPOLAR people are born mad, sad and skeptical. Any other emotion we must work for, especially if it is a GOOD ONE:)
I will try to make 2013 better than last year, and if I don’t interact on the blogs with you as much as I should, it’s because BIPOLAR people are by nature NOT SOCIABLE. When someone comes to our door, we do a low roll over to the edge of the window and hope were hidden and when that person leaves we wipe our head (whew) and congratulate ourselves for getting thru that close call.
Most people go for walks and look at people to interact with, we look at the ground. It’s not that we don’t want to interact, I think more that it’s we DON”T KNOW HOW, we are socially born AWKWARD at socializing. But anyway…if you want to know more about BIPOLAR and it’s jokes on how we live (that may give you a better idea on us) this link might help with it’s cute cartoons.
And here is a post I recently did that might help you understand:)
In a synopsis, I wish you well, I wish you love, I wish you greatness, but in the absence of any of this, just know I will always be your friend….Lori F. 1-2013