Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* on Surviving Child Abuse

What is it like to be a survivor of child abuse? How does a victim L-I-V-E after being in the heavy cauldron of verbal, emotional, mental, physical, psychological, religious, and sexual abuse? The steam of putrid abuse is so hot it burns the skin and melts the mind into a pile of lifeless ashes. How does a child teach him/herself to rise up and carry on after being sexually assaulted by family members or other trusted adults?

What if the mix of nature versus nurture or neglect is toxic, like poison boiling over, and the family that was supposed to protect her is spewing witch's stews of evil? There is no life juice; to L-I-V-E daily in that environment is like drinking from a bottle with a skull and crossbones on it, taunting, teasing, tempting suicide as a remedy. She doesn't live; she exists in a context where she is scared-to-death of the world at large.

Surviving means standing over the cauldron with a big stick of strength, stirring the pot despite the acrid fumes that choke the breath. It takes mighty courage to dredge up the heavy dark scum. Recovering means turning the brew upside down and inside out to see it for what it is: LIES! The ladle is heavy with betrayal and deceit. Stir the pot, sift through the garbage and discard the vile crud that drained your power!

When truth and clarity come into focus, your healing can begin. Take back your power by straining your truth from their lies.

Thriving means educating, empowering, and enlightening your S-E-L-F. You were designed to L-I-V-E. You were created to breathe in the fragrance of connection, to cultivate clarity of thought, to sow seeds of integrity, to reap relationships of L-O-V-E. To thrive means to embrace a love-of-life perspective.

I have laughed, lived, loved and lost.
I have cried, mourned, and grieved
hoped, prayed and healed.
I have found strength and true beauty. 

Post completed by Lynn C. Tolson,  Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide,
 so no shed tear is wasted

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "Beyond Survivor"

Beyond Survivor: Rising From the Ashes of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Jan Frayne

Often it takes a lifetime to process the agonizing reality of child abuse and its long-term effects on the victim. Jan L. Frayne, a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, has revealed his secrets in a generous effort to raise awareness of child abuse, to reduce the stigma associated with sexual abuse, and to increase hope for survivors.

Mr. Frayne has taken on this monumental task though his writing, which tell the story in prose and poetry. A reader will hear the angst of a victim as he processes the torment of abuse and the suffering of survivors. His voice speaks for the millions of other boys who cannot find the words to tell of their secret pain.

The poetry is gifted yet not esoteric; it is expressive but not graphic. The raw honesty and emotional content of Frayne's writing makes it relatable to survivors and readable to anyone interested in the plague upon our planet, which is the prevalence of pedophiles and perpetrators who prey upon children. We should all be interested in protecting our children!

Mr. Frayne offers us a perspective on the plight of male victims/survivors of child abuse. This is a necessary element in eradicating the plague so that our children can grow up with a sense of safety, and can mature to reach their full potential. Thank you Jan for having the courage to use your talent for writing in a way that is meaningful to society.

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide, so no shed tear is wasted.

 You can also go to Frayne's "Wounded Warrior" blog. Twitter @Beyond_Survivor
UK Amazon

If I Died
If I died tonight,
Would you hold my hand
Would you stay beside me
And walk me from this land
Put your arms around me
And never let me go
Share with me your strength
For I have none of my own
The pain is too much to bear
I can't seem to carry on
My heart now lies shattered
The dreams are now all gone
The feelings were always buried
Deep inside my soul
Slowly they destroyed me
Because I wouldn't let them show
Now I lay here resting
My time on Earth is done
Nothing left to fight for
No where left to run
Put your hand in mine
As I take my final breath
My soul has at last found peace
There awaiting me in Death

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beyond the Tears Receives 5 Star Review "Insights and Reflections"

Insights and Reflections

My first encounter with Lynn C Tolson was actually on Facebook. As I became involved in groups and pages about childhood sexual abuse, Lynn's name kept popping up everywhere. Who was this woman? My research revealed she was an author, herself once a victim of sexual abuse, and currently a social worker and speaker who gives a great deal of her time and self to helping other victims, both on and offline. I got the impression she was well-known and I felt dwarfed by her achievements. But at that point, she was still just a name with a nice Facebook photo. 

Now, having read Lynn's book [Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story] if it were possible, the one thing I'd love to do is meet her in person. I want to meet this woman who at the opening of her book was on her way to commit suicide. She'd had it! She couldn't take any more. She hauled into a motel, swallowed all the pills she could find and waited for death to come. But life wasn't done with her yet because she had a mission to fulfill: to heal from her own devastating and lonely past; to conquer her drug-addicted lifestyle; to rid herself of an older husband who was using her low self-esteem to victimize her further, and ultimately to share her path to recovery with the thousands of other victims out there who might also think that taking their own lives is the only solution. Thank heaven Lynn's attempt to end it all failed or Beyond the Tears wouldn't have been written. 

The one thing that stood out for me as I got further and further into Lynn's story of sexual abuse by both her schizophrenic biological father, and later, by her older brother, was her extreme isolation, even as a young child, in a family of several members. Like all victims of sexual abuse, she couldn't bring herself to tell her own mother of the abuse. Why? Because her mother was too delicate, too fragile. So to save her mother from heartache, she let her own heart ache with her ugly secret. Intimidated by her step-father, confused by her own father, ignored by her mother and scorned and berated by her abusive brother, Lynn wandered through her teens dulling her pain on street drugs. She watched a soul-mate die from an overdose and still couldn't help herself. After compounding the mess of her life by marrying a mentally and verbally abusive husband, suicide seemed the only out till fate stepped in. Lynn met Karen and with love, caring and wise counsel, Karen got Lynn to open up and tell all.

As all abuse victims come to realiize sooner or later, healing begins in finally telling someone, but it is journalling, writing, that ultimately closes the wounds. Karen encouraged Lynn to do that. Lynn took another 20 years before putting pen to paper and further heal, but it is her readers, especially those who are victims of childhood sexual abuse who benefit from her writing. Lynn not only shares her life with us in an easy to read, semi-fictional style, but she peppers her story with insights and reflections on the personalities of her family and how they contributed to her isolation, an isolation I sense she still feels today but is able to live with. Every so often, she throws in some touching poetry that is short and poignant. And by sharing Karen's words of counsel and wisdom with us, Lynn offers the reader concepts that truly help one heal. 

If there's one thing I love about the internet and social networking sites like Facebook, it's that it clarifies perceptions we form of people when we only meet them in print, as in their blogs, poems or books. Read their words and you form a picture of them. Look at their photos and we see what the words don't show. Listen to their voices, as I did recently in a blog talk show with Lynn and the image sharpens. Watch a video  Lynn has one on her own blog site at, and you suddenly know a lot more about this person who till now was just a name on a book.

Getting to know Lynn C Tolson begins with reading Beyond the Tears, but don't stop there! Visit her blog, read her posts, check out her other reviews and videos at Goodreads, and come to know this strong woman who was once a victim of child sexual abuse but is today a survivor and thriver. As Karen told her: "When you lose your identity as a victim, you gain an identity as a survivor". Beyond the Tears is a guide to doing just that.

Review completed by Viga Boland, author of No Tears for my Father: A True Story of Incest and Learning to Love Myself: A Memoir of Rebirth

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "It Happens Every Day"

Robin Sax is an expert on sex crimes against children. She was a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted offenders for the child sexual assault division. As an attorney and advocate for victims’ rights, she appears to be as passionate as she is knowledgable.

Sax says she wrote the book to illustrate what transpires when a district attorney prosecutes a child sexual assault case. Using a no-nonsense style of writing, Sax shows the reader how the criminal justice system works, or does not work, for its victims. She incorporates case studies as well as descriptions of crime scenes and victim statements to get her main point across: “child sexual assault has become a social epidemic.”
The book is divided into two parts, “Behind the One-Way Mirror” and “Behind Counsel Table.” Sax shows ways in which cases are investigated, how children are treated through the process, and what happens when a perpetrator is convicted. The reader learns about the justice system without the sensationalism of TV court drama. Sax provides an extensive appendix, separates fact from fiction, and offers her expert opinions.
Whether or not a victim pursues a criminal charge against a perpetrator, this is what Robin Sax knows for sure: sex crimes “will affect the victim’s outlook on life, decisions, and relationships for the rest of his or her life.”
Any advocate, expert, and concerned citizen should read this book to help protect children and raise awareness because 93% of victims know their attackers. @robinsax

*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide, so no shed tear is wasted

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "Deaf, Dumb, Blind and Stupid"

Deaf, Dumb, Blind, and Stupid: Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life by Tremayne Moore @Mahntre is a story about a boy suffering from child abuse. Although fictionalized, the author states that it is based on a true story. There are too few books about abuse and its life-long effects on males.

What makes this book unique is in the format: A pastor explains to the congregation the tragic history of young Michael and educates the parishioners on the topic of child abuse. Woven throughout the pastor’s speech are snippets from the boy’s personal diary, read aloud to the attendees; the journals indicate the emotional devastation of abuse and the deep despair of the victim. Thus, there is a cautionary tale within the pastor’s eulogy, one that urges readers to become aware of abuse and its ramifications.

This could be considered a coming-of-age story because it takes the reader from the main character’s childhood through adolescence. During this time, Michael explains through the journals his observations of society, such as the hypocrisy of religions, the injustice in society, and the betrayals of love. He is a sensitive boy, thinking and feeling on a mature, meaningful level; he is wise beyond his years.

Through this novel, Tremayne Moore offers to open lines of communication of social problems such as abuse and suicide. He even developed a question guide for use by an individual reader or a book club. Deaf, Dumb, Blind and Stupid provides the necessary awareness of child abuse and how it may evolve into a tragic loss of human potential.

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story

New Culture Internet Radio with NINA FITZHUGH WELLS on BlogTalkRadio

*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide, so no shed tear is wasted

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "Crash Into Me"

Liz Seccuro spent years building her world anew after it had been destroyed by rape when she was seventeen. The strong foundation of her carefully structured life was weakened when the rapist, William Beebe, dared to contact her twenty-two years after the assault. Ms. Seccuro wrote Crash Into Me as a concise narrative that documents the complex true story of surviving after rape, and seeking the justice victims deserve.
Ms. Seccuro conveys how she feels as she engages the rapist in email correspondence. The exchanges prompt her to take on the seemingly insurmountable task of pressing charges against the man who had assaulted her when they were at the University of Virginia in 1984.
The reader sees the wide net of protection that is cast upon institutions that value the status-quo. It is disturbing to hear how society defends the perpetrator while blaming the victim. It is maddening to read that: “in a rape case, it is never, ever the alleged rapist on trial, whether in the courtroom or in the media. The victim is on trial. Always.” (p. 114) No wonder victims do not dare report!
Ms. Seccuro candidly reveals the details of her experience, and the story yields even more brutality and betrayal. She balances her emotional content with the inclusion of court documents (which left me shaking my head in disbelief at the absurdity of the questions posed by the defendant’s attorney to the witness, the victim herself). She deepens the readers empathy with every impossible decision she must make. How hard do rape victims have to work to empower themselves as individuals and in society?
Seccuro’s singular book speaks volumes about the priggish institutional systems and the precision in which they cooperate to cover-up crime. How can a medical facility turn away a rape victim? (This was the case for seventeen year old Liz). Crash Into Me is a fast-paced, riveting read, written with clarity and courage. Bravo to Liz Seccuro!

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
*Tolson 4 TEARS: Telling everyone about rape and suicide, so no shed tears is wasted.

Rolling Stone Magazine published an in 2014 titled "A Rape on Campus" that was focused on a University of Virgina student "Jackie" who claimed sexual assault in a fraternity house. Controversy ensued over the validity of the student's claims and the credibility of the journalist.

Liz Seccuro responded by publishing an article in The Daily Beast with the heading "I was gang-raped at the University of Virginia. I was gang-raped at the Phi Kappi Psi fraternity house... and no one did anything."