A Survivor’s Scream

Do you really understand?
You say you do,
but I can see in your eyes
that you cannot read
between the lines,
so if you really understood,
I wouldn’t have to spell it out

Besides, when I stood
before you as a youth
telling you my truth,
you rejected me

Where I’ve been,
what I’ve experienced –
the sights, sounds, smells,
pain, brokenness –
the colors of the institutions
isn’t something you understand

You think words like
fuck and shit are offensive
So when I enter a room
and instantly connect
with those you can’t
I see the condemnation in your eyes
the same looks
those like you
gave me when I was a youth –
daggers of self-righteous condemnation
emitting moral vomit,
puking your credentials, expertise,
and religious verses on us survivors
that we’ve heard so many times before,
but you’re not even strong enough
to listen to the truth we’ve lived
because that would interrupt
the delicate images in your mind
of how we’re supposed to be,
and cause you to miss our beauty –
the truth of our perfection
forged in fires of hell

We talk because we need to
not because we think you understand,
not because we think you’re listening
because you’re too busy
trying to protect yourself
from the realities
of a survivor’s scream –
a scream you cannot recognize
when you hear it,
and so you’re also blind
to
those
Sacred
moments
when
healing
is
happening

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Marches Marching Past the Point

Another weekend of marches has passed us by, and another weekend of marches marched right past the most significant challenges we as humanity face – the millions of youth and young adults who are homeless, missing and exploited, and the millions of victims of domestic violence. Every single day and night around the world, those of us who work in the field of street outreach crisis counseling, emergency youth shelters, domestic violence shelters, and violence intervention, see that every emergency youth shelter and domestic violence shelter is almost always full.

My colleagues and I are willing to walk through the broken glass. We’re willing to carry the tears and blood on our shoulders. We’re willing to have the echoes of the screams of children replay in our minds when we least expect it during moments that we have to pray through, write through, and reach out to each other to get through. We’re willing to attempt to get the youth or young adults to give us the gun, knife or box cutter, and most of the time they do, and then we transport them to safety. We’re willing to be run off the road by pimps, have guns pointed at us or put to our heads, and be shot at. We’re willing to maneuver through gunfire to get a child to safety. We’re willing to intervene and interrupt violence by breaking up fights while large groups of people just watch, instigating or use their phones to record. We’re willing to stop a young person from throwing themselves into traffic and in the process almost be killed. We’re willing to walk into an abandoned building where the smoke from crack cocaine is so dense, that our tongue immediately goes numb and we want to vomit, yet somehow we push through because we’re focused on the young person we are there to serve, so we get that young person to go outside with us, break their glass pipe and allow us to transport them to a drug rehab. We’re willing to meet a mother and her children in the middle of the night and drive them to a domestic violence shelter because that’s the only time the mother can do it without being beaten or killed by the abuser she lives with. We’re willing to go to the hospital in the middle of the night to meet and connect with the young person who was a victim of gang violence to reduce the possibilities of retaliation, thus preventing more deaths and more parents having to bury a child. We’re willing, able and have done these things and so much more, and will continue as long as God allows us to do so, because it’s not work, it’s a calling.

My colleagues and I understand that not everyone is called to do what we do. However, not everyone is called to live in the Arctic and facilitate research on climate change, but articles, quotes and memes about climate change get millions of posts, shares and views on social media and all media. Look at that in proportion to the amount of posts, shares and views regarding homeless, missing and exploited youth and young adults and victims of domestic violence. The birth of a giraffe gets more attention than the homeless, missing and exploited youth and young adults and victims of domestic violence. Why? Possibly because the numbers are so staggering and so overwhelming that instead of people volunteering or becoming employed with the local emergency youth shelter, domestic violence shelter, violence intervention teams, street outreach teams or search and rescue teams, it’s easier to march for a couple of hours and make sure the plastic and biodegradables are separated.

Yes, simply put, it’s easier to not be in the trenches. The work is heartbreaking, trauma-filled and exhausting. Yet, the work is also filled with the most amazing moments of miracles that you could ever possibly experience. And please tell me what challenges we as humanity face that are more important than finding, rescuing and bringing the millions of homeless, missing and exploited youth and young adults, and victims of domestic violence to safety?

If any march marches past the homeless youth, it marched past the point. If any march marches past the emergency youth shelters and domestic violence shelters struggling to keep their doors open, it marched past the point. If any march marches past the hotels, houses, apartments and streets where predators are buying and selling children, it marched past the point. If any march marches past the marginalized, hungry and hurting, it marched past the point. If anyone can find a way to make time to organize, travel, attend, speak at, talk about, or write about a march, but cannot find the time to share a post about a missing child, they’ve marched way past the point.

For me it’s sad that we live in a world where quotes from politicians and celebrities capture the attention of millions and billions of people, but the 1.3 -1.7 million homeless youth in the United States, the millions of homeless youth worldwide, the 600,000 – 800,000 women, children and men bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for forced labor and commercial sex, the two million children who are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade, the 20.9 million victims of sex trafficking worldwide, and the 10 – 20 million victims of domestic violence are marched past on the streets and on social media.

Please, if you’re unwilling or unable to do anything else, just share one post a day on your social media accounts about a missing child and/or information about where victims of exploitation or abuse can call or text to get help. It can save a life. 

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The Sacred Bundle of Light

It was a time of great difficulty for the people. There were wars, rumors of wars, famine, unwholesome reasoning, unskillful desires, contrived malice, drugs, alcohol, and a thick fog of hopelessness that began to take over the land. It was a time when many no longer believed in their own voice, so they couldn’t believe in the voices of others. The people wanted things to be different, yet they attacked all those who thought or acted differently. It was a dark time when rumors, gossip, and other forms of violence held the people’s attention, while peace, healing, and solutions were mocked. Warriors were perceived as cowards and cowards were perceived as warriors. Drugs, alcohol, violence and jealousy were treated as friends, yet friends were treated as enemies.

In the midst of this great despair many cried out to the Creator for help. Since no prayer ever goes unheard or unanswered, the Creator immediately sent help. The Creator sent a sacred woman to the people. The sacred woman carried a sacred bundle of light that was to be gifted to the world. The sacred bundle of light she carried contained the answers to the prayers of the people, as well as the memories of what human beings are, so that we could once again see ourselves and each other as nothing less than sacred blessings, miracles and gifts.

The sacred woman’s journey from the heavens was a much shorter trip than the journey she took after she arrived on Earth. Once on Earth, the sacred woman had to endure many things on her journey to deliver the sacred bundle of light to the people. Before the sacred woman was given the sacred bundle of light to carry and deliver to the people, she was first given the highest possible levels of love, gratitude, fortitude and resilience. The sacred woman was met with the violence of those difficult times. She endured many disappointments, attacks, betrayals and condemnation. The sacred bundle of light was given to her to deliver to the people because the Creator knew, that although she will experience pain, and she may stumble, she would never be detoured by the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional violence that erupted upon the land during those days. The sacred woman was charged with delivering the sacred bundle of light, so the darkness of those times held not even the slightest chance of victory over her.

Just as the Creator had done for her, the sacred woman did the same for the sacred bundle of light. She placed all that she is within the sacred bundle of light before delivering it to the people. Through the sacred woman, life, love, fortitude, resilience, and the answer to the prayers of the people were lovingly wrapped inside the sacred bundle of light.

Coming close to death, the sacred woman delivered the answers that the people cried out for. She laid down her life and the Creator delivered the sacred bundle of light through her. The sacred woman is your mother. The sacred bundle of light she delivered to this world is you.

Unravel the sacred bundle of light you are by opening your heart and being a vessel thorough which the prayers of others are answered.

light

 

Stop Sitting in an Empty Courtroom Demanding a Retrial

For years I heard the voices of ridicule, critics, meanness, and hurt. I replayed them over and over again, especially in situations where amazing opportunities were presented, which of course led to sabatoge, self-sabatoge, and projecting that hurt onto others. Then one day in prayer I was reminded by God that I have just as many recordings of compliments, encouragement, inspiration, victories, and love; and I am in full control of the station, volume, and playlist in my mind. I asked God to filter out everything not of God from me, and I began to hear goodness, love, encouragement, inspiration, and love again – even from the voices of those whose loving and encouraging words were far and few between, but at one point or another they did say something positive. 

Sitting Bull has been quoted as saying, “Take from the road that which works,” and the only thing that will work is love. 

I had the great privilege and blessing to interview John Trudell before he passed away, and in our conversation he must have repeated this at least ten times, “It’s okay to like ourselves. As human beings we need to like ourselves. We might not like everything we’ve said or done, but we need to like ourselves to honor Creator and all of creation. It’s okay to like yourself.”

You have always been and will always be loved.

You have always been and will always be forgiven.

A Course in Miracles says, “Only my own condemnation can hurt me.” Stop sitting in an empty courtroom where you’ve already been declared innocent and demanding a retrial!!!!You are innocent!!!!

You are free!!!!

Accept it and remind the rest of us sitting in empty courtrooms demanding a retrial that we’re free, too!!!!

Yes, like and love God, and like and love what God created – you, You!

Ask the Creator of your understanding to rid you of any thoughts that are hurtful about you. Tell the truth about you to you. The truth doesnt hurt, the lies do. The truth is that you are a sacred blessing, miracle, and gift. Anything else is a lie. Stop replaying the lies. 

There is nothing humble about disagreeing with the Creator. The Creator made you wonderful, intelligent, handsome, beautiful, creative, and with wonderful gifts to share with all of us. 

There is nothing arrogant about agreeing with the Creator about you, and claiming it – replaying it until the truth is louder and more consistent than the lies. 

You are sacred.

You are a blessing.

You are a miracle.

You are precious.

You are a gift. 

You are amazing.

You are loved.

You are God’s precious child created in God’s likeness and image. Clean the mirror and change the station to see and hear you as the love you are once again. Be humble and agree with God’s truth about you again, so you can see all others in the same miraculous love we all are. 

~ Walk in Beauty,

Anthony Goulet

God Doesn’t Choose the Qualified

You’ve agreed with God and have been chosen to be here in this space and time to use all of your gifts and talents to bring healing to this world.Yes, you’re that important. 

You’re a sacred blessing, miracle, and gift.

On Earth as it is in Heaven

When people become as passionate, outspoken, and supportive about ending sex trafficking, homelessness, hunger, and domestic violence as they are about money, political elections and professional sports, we will have heaven on earth.

Every youth emergency shelter and domestic violence shelter is almost always full. There are millions of homeless, runaway, sex trafficked youth, and victims of domestic violence. Yes, it’s a pandemic. I am fortunate to work side by side, day and night with others whose mission it is to serve, yet the laborers are so few. And as programs that tirelessly work to serve others struggle to keep their doors open from year to year, I watch the news and see that politicians generate millions of dollars in one evening just to campaign. People will pay $50,000 for a plate of food and to listen to a candidate they support talk for an hour and take a photo with them, while we have children who are homeless, hungry, and being bought and sold; while we have women being beaten and murdered; while the masses turn a blind eye to the abuse, exploitation, and murder of women, children, and elders and say, “That’s not my business,” or more common is people saying and doing nothing.

One of my favorite artists, KRS-One, in one of his songs, speaking about why his music isn’t mainstream and isn’t played often on mainstream radio said,

You know why they’re shutting down KRS-One?

Because I’m not sexy, thuggin, or dumb.”

What came first, the marketing and branding or the consciousness of the masses? I mean, either society has been overtaken by marketing and branding to the extent that money, sports and politics is now what resonates with a ferocious passion within the masses, overriding common sense, compassion and the needs of those who are abused, exploited and marginalized, or the masses within society have always been shallow and the marketers and branders simply followed suit. Why is there is a media frenzy about missing sports jerseys, political ideologies, “get rich quick schemes,” religious differences, yet not a peep about the pandemic of missing, homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth and victims of domestic violence? Is there any challenge that we as a humanity face that is more important than missing, homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth and victims of domestic violence? I don’t think there is.

Protest, march, do what you want, just take an extra look around you and make sure in your efforts to make a stand you don’t march right past the most marginalized and traumatized people in our society. One day, I hope soon, there will be as much passion about homeless, hungry, sex trafficked youth, and victims of domestic violence as there are about so many other things.

Why is it that flyers of missing children barely get any shares on social media but a quote from a politician or professional athlete gets millions?

When will we, as humanity, campaign together to end the suffering? Whenever that day comes is the day we will see, not just say, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

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Dear Parents Who Threw Their Children Out onto the Streets

Dear Parents Who Threw Their Children Out onto the Streets ~

Early this morning at sunrise I saw your son. He emerged from behind a store where he’s been sleeping on the concrete. He was trembling from the morning cold, hungry and exhausted. He doesn’t sleep well outside but he does it every night. I took him to a restaurant where he warmed up from the cold and we ate breakfast together. He is a good young man who is so very talented. He’s an amazing artist with a wonderful sense of humor. I thought you might want to know that despite the beatings he suffered within your home, and you throwing him out onto the streets, day by day, he’s inching his way back to his heart and learning to accept himself as the sacred blessing, miracle, and gift he is, despite you rejecting him.

I met your daughter the other night. It was late when the police called my phone and woke me up at 1:34 am. I could hear your daughter screaming in the background as the police officer asked me to come out and see if I could help calm her and get her to a safe house. You see, your daughter was manipulated by predators who call themselves pimps. Over a period of several months these predators drugged her, violated her, and convinced her that they care about her. They sold her over and over again, and over and over again. When I arrived on the scene, I looked at your daughter and the first thing I said to her was, “You’re a sacred blessing, miracle, and gift.” I just sat there with her as she was wrapped in a blanket shivering from trauma, but she was also wrapped in love by the officers and I who continually reminded her that she’s safe now and none of what happened to her is her fault. As I drove her to a safe house she decided to tell me part of her story. She told me about when she was sexually abused at an early age and held it in for as long as she could. Then one day, with all the courage she could muster, she came to you and told you about what was done to her. To her heartbreaking surprise, you didn’t believe her, and not only did you not believe her, you demanded that she not say anything to anyone. Not long after you didn’t believe her and she stuffed the horrific truth of what happened to her way down in the depths of her being as you demanded she do, she began cutting herself, using drugs, and drinking alcohol. She told me about all the times you insisted that she is crazy and took her to and from psychiatric hospitals telling psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, “I just don’t know what’s wrong with my daughter. We’ve done all we could and there’s nothing more we can do for her.” So the day came when you put some of her belongings in garbage bags, placed them on the porch of your home, and told her, “You just need to leave. We can’t handle you anymore.” With tears in her eyes, and begging you to listen to her, you closed the door of your home to your daughter, as the predator who violated her, the one you told her to protect by remaining silent, stood behind you smiling. But don’t you worry, despite you not believing her and telling her to suppress the truth, and then numbing the pain of what happened to her by cutting herself, and using drugs and alcohol, she’s safe now. Now, she’s in a place where she’s surrounded by people who are teaching her to break those three rules you taught her to follow for so long, the three rules that exist in all abusive relationships, the three rules of Don’t talk. Don’t tell. Don’t feel. Yes, she broke those rules and is talking, telling, and feeling with people who see, hear, and believe her as the sacred, blessing, miracle, and gift she is and always will be.

I looked for your son the other day in an abandoned building someone told me he was living in. Some other young people living in the abandoned building told me he took off a few days earlier with some pretty shady people and they hadn’t seen him since. I looked all over the place for him but just couldn’t find him. I made up some missing person flyers and posted them around. He has my number and I hope he calls me to let me know how he’s doing. I met him and talked with him many times in a park where he was living. I even had a surprise birthday party for him at the park. It was just the two of us, but of course he talked about some of the birthdays he remembered having with you as a child. He said the last one was when he was twelve years old. He shed some tears, but was extremely grateful to have a birthday celebration with cake, ice cream, and a birthday song. He got a new pair of pants and a shirt. He put the new shirt on right away and as he did, he told me to look at his back. The gashes in his back from when you beat him with a horsewhip have healed but the scars are deep and permanent, like the wounds you left upon his heart. Of course the police and CPS got involved, but because of your connections, nothing ever happened, other than you kicking him out onto the streets because you have a business and a reputation to uphold. I reminded him that it is possible for us to count our scars as the number of times we’ve been healed, not wounded, but I’m not sure when he’ll be able to do that. Don’t worry, we’ll keep looking for him, and when we find him, we’ll continue to provide all the love and support he allows us to give him.

I went to your daughter’s high school graduation. You weren’t there, even though she sent you and invitation. A few years ago you got remarried and have a new wife who your daughter accepted, respected and adored. But your new wife doesn’t like your daughter and didn’t want her around. Eventually, your wife told you that you had to choose between your daughter and her and her biological children. You chose your wife and her biological children over your daughter, threw your daughter and her belongings outside, and locked the door. Not too long after that is when I met your daughter. I got a call about an amazing senior in high school, who, even though she was homeless, didn’t miss a day of school, and continued to make all A’s and B’s. I helped her find a safe place to live, get a job, and provided food, clothes, and support as she needed. Man, she’s smart. She just started her second year of college and is in the process of becoming a counselor to help young people. She says that her dream of becoming a counselor is because she knows from her own experience how important it is to have stability and support in this life, and she wants to be that stability and support for others. She says that you’re a great dad to your new wife’s children, though, and that you went to all of their graduations.

I’ve met so many of your sons and daughters. Each of them has the resiliency of a true warrior, because they are warriors. Every day and night, they maneuver through predators, hunger, hopelessness, alleys, streets, woods, parks, and abandoned buildings. They maneuver through stigmas, judgments, and labels placed upon them by people who couldn’t survive a day in their lives. They’ve been through and maneuver through so much, and emerge day by day, night by night, a little closer to their own hearts, holding on to their divine vision, mission, and purpose that God has endowed them with. They’re so quick to share and help others in need with a deep, true compassion I am blessed to witness, a compassion that’s seldom given to them, but one they’re so willing to give. Despite the broken hearts, broken dreams, and broken glass they’ve walked through, they’re putting the pieces back together, walking back to their beautiful, courageous hearts, and remembering that they are sacred blessings, miracles, and gifts.

You taught them one thing, you taught them how not to be, which is why they’re some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.

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