Thursday, March 10, 2011

28 Hours of Hope

In the three years or so since I've been blogging, I've seen bloggers who have never met face-to-face pull together to help little girls with cancer, mommies with cancer, people just having a rough time who need a shoulder to cry on and have seen the bloggers stand together, strong, through good times and bad.

I've been lucky enough to participate in the blogging community and have been blessed enough to help some of our fellow bloggers.

This time, I'm asking for help.  Not for me, but for abused children in Larimer County.  I was lucky enough growing up that my mom got us out of a potentially abusive environment.  She took the beatings for us until she said, "enough!" and got out.  She had a very wise counselor at the time who told her that she was going to get out of the marriage no matter what - she either gathered her courage and left, or she'd get out of it in a pine box.  There were no options.  He also explained that wife beaters don't stop with the wives - they move on to the pets and the children and when he killed her, who was going to protect the kids?

People knew about the beatings Mom was recieving, but what is there to do?  Our close neighborhood friends knew, but, you know, what happens behind closed doors, how is it their business?

We kids knew.  Hell, Dad would line us up on the couch in birth order and command us not to move when the beatings commenced.  We knew, but we didn't say anything.  It was our own dirty secret.  If we told, we'd be the ones getting the beating.  Selfish, I know, but we were kids.  Dad was a big, strong firefighter.  What chance did we have against him?

Silence was our enemy. 

We didn't tell. 

The neighbors didn't tell. 

The teachers didn't tell.


Thank God for Mom's counselor.  I don't know if she told or if he figured it out.  He was a smart man.  Smart enough that he knew the patterns of abusers.  When Dad started in on Junior, the youngest of the four of us, Mom realized her counselor was right and got out.

There are a lot of kids nationwide, not just in Larimer County, whose parents aren't as strong as Mom is.  There are a lot of kids for whom Silence is their enemy.

They don't tell.

Their neighbors don't tell.

Their teachers don't tell.

Silence...'s killing our kids.

The Good Morning Guys at K99 sponsor the 28 Hours of Hope every year in an attempt to break the silence and raise money to help abused children in Larimer County.  They will stay on the air for 28 consecutive hours, taking calls and pledges from the community and Country Music celebrities.  They went on the air at 5:00 am this morning and will continue to be on the air until 9:00 am on March 11th.  Jeez, and I complain about working fifteen hours straight - these guys will be working non-stop for twenty-eight hours for a cause they believe in.

RockCrawlinChef and I will be making a donation and I'd like to ask each of my followers to make one, too.  It doesn't have to be a lot.  Even $1.00 on your credit or debit card will help.  The change in your car's ashtray or change jar will help.  To donate, click here or on the picture in the sidebar, that will take you directly to the donation page.  You can make a donation on-line, over the phone, or via mail.

If you can't afford to donate, then do something about the Silence.  If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, tell someone.  Break the cycle of Silence.  All it takes is a phone call to break the cycle - either to the police department or social services.

And, please, please feel free to steal this post for your own blogs or link to it.  The more exposure we can get, the more we can help the children and break the Silence.


suz said...

Linked and donated. Wishing you well.

presious said...

Wow, this is truly inspiring. I am a therapist intern (long story...should be licensed by now).

I hear of stories like this all the time. It is very encouraging to know that therapy works. Your mom is a strong woman. She did the right thing for her kids. An abuser instills "fear" in both the adults involved and the kids. It's the coward in the abuser.

You are right, silence is the enemy, but what were you to do? You were just a child. "He" should have been protecting you not abusing you, your siblings or your mother.

I lived a similar story. Fortunately, I had my grandmother who wasn't afraid of my stepfather. I was the youngest of us 3 girls. My grandmother gave me the wisdom to protect myself. She also had many, many guns and rifles (for hunting). When things got rough at my house, I would call her. She would "order" him to take me to her house and I had "better not" have as much as a scratch on me when I got there.

It was hard watching my mom go through it, but she wasn't able to do anything about it...I believe due to the fear of him. Eventually, she did leave him but he staulked her till she became severely ill with cancer and the family took her in till she passed.

You are strong and have a lot to give to others. Thank you for sharing.