October 27, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: Poetic Healer and Spiritual Survival - Part 1

So, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this upcoming series with poet, author, and survivor, Dolores Miller. I know you will be inspired and encouraged by her powerful story, journey, and writing!


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I began writing poetry as a psychological release. I did not plan to write poetry, or to write at all, but as I was going through therapy to cope with suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. It was affecting my adult life and writing became the outlet through which I could best express my raw, often angry, emotions, and it turns out that poetry was the form that best fit my thoughts.
 

Poems just came to me. I would be thinking about my situation, about all that was welling up in me and in between therapy sessions, and a poem would form. A random thought would suggest a title, and I would sit down and write. Since dealing with my past pain, I become more spiritual. A picture of St. Michael, the archangel, occupies a prominent place in my kitchen. St Michael helped me through stress and protected me in many ways as I endured the horrors of child abuse. I also became attuned to Native American culture and named one collection of poems, “Beautiful Warrior,” a term I use to refer to myself.

Most of all, I have become a student of world religions and am working to receive credentials so I can be a spiritual minister to people experiencing ordeals similar to mine, or as intense and be ready to help others who need guidance and compassion to listen to their expressions of distress.

As a child, I saved my life by repressing the horrific experiences until I was ready to deal with them as an adult. Even with being more mature, it was hard. It took the strength of a Warrior; I saved my life by always pushing through even though there were times I thought it would be easier to die. If I can heal


from everything that caused me such anguish when the memory of child abuse occurred, others can heal. From my heart, I want to give hope to others. Everyone has his or her own way of getting through a situation. First, you have to find the truth and to confront it no matter how difficult it is. Then you have to deal with anger and other emotions that arise. These are real and they have to be dealt with and moved from a negative force that limits you to a positive force that puts matters in perspective and sets you on the road to healing. For me, the process took almost 20 years. I no longer need therapy sessions because I have come to grips with what I faced and I am a survivor. I don’t dwell on what happened. I take pride in what I’ve come through and focus on that. That is what healing is about. If I, through my understanding, my compassion, and my belief in the strength of the spirit can help another human being get through the hell I experienced, I feel a calling to do that. Writing was my catalyst. Poetry allowed me to name and express what I was thinking and feeling. Other people will heal in a different way. I am aware of that, and since I am aware of that, I put myself in a position to help and am training so I have all the tools necessary to help.”

I have taken an activist stand, as both an advocate and a donor, to Child Advocates, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that uses its resources to secure lawyers and counselors for children who live or have lived in an abusive situations including sex trades and human trafficking. Spreading awareness about child abuse and petitioning legislatures for laws that protect children and severely punish offenders. Having fundraisers for Child Advocates and giving generously to its annual fund. I am now the author of two books, “Beautiful Warrior” and “Rising Above: The Beauty of Life”. Proceeds from my books are donated to the support center for child advocates. In honor of my mother, who succumbed to a 16-year battle against breast cancer, I work actively to support education and research pertaining to that disease. In support of a close friend and a dear cousin, I also contribute to help people with multiple sclerosis. Helping others heals me.

I was in my thirties when I began having nightmares and visions of sexual abuse. I realized these came from my childhood. My parents adopted me. They raised me. They rescued me. It took me years to realize from what they rescued me.

A poem like "Quiet Desperation," tells what I learned from my ordeal. In it, I write "people are afraid to face the truth and end up, drinking it away, pilling it away, pretending it away, and denying it away." As you've heard, the poem goes on to say "reality" is still there, like a silent storm ready to erupt. Truth is the only way to get free of the pain and fear being encountered. My poem ends by offering "silent prayers of mercy."



QUIET DESPERATION

There are people
who live in quiet
Desperation.

Acting like it is normal.
Afraid to face the truth,
Drinking it away...
Pilling it away..
Pretending it away...
Denying it away...

But it is still there,
Like a silent storm
Ready to erupt....

UNTIL they let the TRUTH free they
WILL LIVE QUIET AND
DESPERATE...DESPITE
The Pain,
   The Fear,
  AND MOSTLY the SADNESS!

DEAR GOD  I PRAY! HELP THEM!

And as I watch them I whisper
Silent prayers of Mercy
From you dear LORD.

QUIET DESPERATION!


 


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Dolores M. Miller is a poet and author living in Philadelphia, PA. Dolores lives with her Knight in Shining armor, Larry, and together they have two grown children. Their four grandchildren are a source of joy and inspiration.

Dolores is a compassionate, giving and loving person. In her writing she strives to convey the message of the human spirit to overcome adversity, see the beauty of nature and know God’s healing love.

Dolores is also grateful for having had parents who adopted her out of a horrific situation. She is a survivor of childhood abuse. She says “there are so many children who are in abusive homes for most of their lives. Making a difference through my work is rewarding and a source of beauty, love and healing for the community… and the world”.

The Support Center for Child Advocates has a special place in her heart. For all the children committed to the care of Child Advocates, they work to ensure safety, health, education, family permanency and access to justice.

Each book sold, benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates of Philadelphia. The Support Center for Child Advocates provides legal assistance and social service advocacy to abused children. The mission of Child Advocates is to advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect in Philadelphia with the goal of securing a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They seek to protect children by securing social services, finding alternative homes and helping them testify in court against their abusers.
 

Dolores dreams of a better world and strives to make a difference, especially in the lives of children. Dolores was adopted out of a terrible situation and she can’t imagine living her entire life in that environment. Child advocates seeks to better the lives of those in danger.
 

By purchasing books from the Beautiful Warrior you are providing support to the children and those in need – allowing Dolores to continue in her great works. Books may be purchased through www.beautifulwarrior.com, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.

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