Over the past few months I've been asked what helped me survive when I was growing up. In the book that I've been writing I've been capturing the things people did and also the internal coping mechanism I developed. Yesterday at a luncheon in Madison, WI for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Program I laid that out as simply as I could. So I thought I'd share that with you. I had people who came into my life that made me feel capable, special, creative and smart. They did it in a whole host of ways. My next store neighbor gave me little jobs to do that when I accomplished them I felt good about myself; capable. She also told me she loved me and gave me big hugs that I still feel today. So I felt special to her. She taught me to hide when I was scared and to pray the rosary. She taught me to solve problems and that I could be creative in doing so.
The woman who ran the community center behind our house taught me to tell time, when I had gotten a new watch but didn't know how to read it. She threw me a surprise birthday party, which was no surprise, but made me feel special. She paid a lot of attention to me.
I have countless examples of how coaches, teachers, neighbors and others helped me to feel that I wasn't alone; and that I was smart, creative, capable and special. I carried this all through my life and share it with others when I can.
There was a recent article published where I talked about my neighbor. Here's the link:
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