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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Codependency


Today at my church, we presented the fourth graders with their own bibles. The youth minister had wrapped the bibles in five different layers of “gift wrap”. First a mailing envelope, because it was a Special Delivery. Then festive gift wrap. Then a map, because the Scriptures would take the kids to places they’d never been. Then newsprint because of the “Good News” in the bible. Finally in gold paper to mark the bibles as treasure.

It was a beautiful ceremony, but seeing the fourth graders stand there makes me tear up every year because, statistically, it is fourth-graders that are sexually abused by clergy, altar boys and altar girls. They are so little!

Sexual abuse is a fourfold catastrophe for the child: physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual. It creates a shattering of the child that takes years to heal.

My own abuse by a clergyman happened when I was five. That’s me in at age five on the cover of my book.

My faith is strong again now. People remark on it. I would not wish on anyone what it took for me to get it back!


I have a Pinterest board “Justice for Kids”:

It is based on the “Legend of the Starfish”: A woman is walking along the beach at low tide. Every time she sees a stranded starfish, she reaches down, grabs it and throws it into deep water. A man is walking toward her and when he gets to her he asks her what she is doing. She explains. He says, “it doesn’t matter, you can’t save them all.” She throws the starfish in her hand into deep water and looks him in eye kindly. “It matters to that one.”

Every time I come across a photo of a starfish on Pinterest, I pin it to Justice for Kids and add the words, “It Matters to That One”.

Protect one kid.

Save one kid.

Believe one kid.

Call the police if a kid discloses abuse of any kind. It is THEIR job to investigate, not yours.

It matters to that one!

p.s., it’s grand if you can save more than one!


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Last night I was claying. I made some Alanon Bunnies from the scrap clay. When I was removing the bunnies from the oven I had the thought that I should make some bunnies that would look great with copper pennies, the two cents we should all keep to ourselves.

I layered some copper clay; some translucent clay with copper foil on its surface; some warm tan clay and a coral clay that I mixed up to go with the copper, marbled it and made 20 bunnies.

These are three of the bunnies from that batch. You can find them on my Etsy shop

It has been a privilege to work with Alanons and AA members since 1977. I agree with Bill Wilson, the founder of AA, that these women and men are spiritual geniuses. Before recovery, they are, Bill said, sending their spiritual letters to the wrong address. It is so beautiful to see them come into recovery and become “weller than well”, as my teacher Karl Menninger would say.

If you are reading this and don’t understand the concept of Alanon Bunnies, they are simply Alanon Sobriety helps that remind a person not to hop in there with his or her two cents.

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This is one of the polymer clay bunnies that I make for my patients who are over-functioning, i.e., hopping in there with their two cents.

Intrepid readers of this blog will note that this bunny is a.) made from the scrap clay from “A Day of Clay” and 2.) the technique is identical to that used when making bunny dinner rolls, “Fresh Baked Easter Bunnies”.

You could take a weekend workshop to understand co-dependency, but I can give it to you in two words: under-funtioning and over-functioning. The addict under- functions and those around the addict begin to over-function to take up the slack.

Unfortunately over-functioning undermines your mental health. A LOT.

I make these bunnies to remind my patients not to hop in there with their two cents. I suggest that they place two copper pennies in front of the rabbit to remind them of this. I also suggest that they go to Al-Anon.

These bunnies have been wildly popular with my patients. They surprise me by always choose the marbled ones over the plain ones (you can see the pink ones and the white ones in an earlier post). They put them where they most need this reminder. With two cents. Which they keep.

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