R.A.T. Race

R.A.T. Race

I'll be there tomorrow morning.  Let's hang out and throw back a few gatorades and power bars!

My good friend has become one of Arizonas most passionate movers and shakers when it come to sex trafficking in our own neighborhoods.  She's met with local mayors and city counsel members to change laws and support survivors.  Last spring she was invited and attended the National Exploitation Summit and came home inspired to do more!  With that inspiration she came home and opened a nonprofit ISEEUHOPE!  Wow!  She's amazing.  Read more about ISEEUHOPE below.

Let's end sex trafficking!
If you're local come run or walk and dontate.
If you can't come to the R.A.T. Race log online and donate.



Register here: http://www.ratraceaz.org.


 Our team isiseeuhope.org
 


ISEEUHOPE
International Sexual Exploitation Enemies United, Hope
www.ISEEUHope.org  (501c3 status pending)

Who we are:  Women helping other women to find hope, healing and strength as they recover from the devastating effects of betrayal trauma.

What we do:  Provide connection to programs, services, support and community efforts aimed at helping people find hope and healing from the effects of pornography and sexual addiction.  Promote legislation to reduce “fake massage parlor” (brothel/sex provider) businesses in our communities.  Create scholarships for people affected by and working to combat the darkness of sex/pornography addiction/ the porn industry/ the sex trade.

How we do it: Through community connections with various churches and organizations around the Phoenix, AZ area, around the country and around the world.  Through our website.  Through support groups serving women.  Through the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation:www.endexploitationmovement.com

How you can help:  Please donate. 

100% of the donations we receive are put toward care packages & materials to help clergy minister to sex/pornography addicts and their spouses.
***You can also support us by registering to Run in the Arizona Race Against Trafficking (RAT Race) as part of our team ISEEUhope.  All donations made to our team through the RAT Race will be given directly to our organization minus a small processing fee (2-3%)

Why you should help: When a woman finds herself in a situation where she has been betrayed by the person in her life she trusted and gave herself to, it is devastating and she often finds herself feeling very alone and worthless.  These packages will direct her to a community of women who have survived the trauma and are finding healing and wholeness in their lives.  The services offered in the care package will help her to get through the toughest periods of recovery when she can do little more than breathe & survive.

Please give generously and know that your donation will brighten the day and the heart of a woman who feels that the whole earth has crumbled beneath her feet.

Our sincerest thanks for your generous donation!


behind the scene

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Why is it that kids get squirrely when it's time for bed?  And why are they suddenly hit with a bout of the most intense, potentially deadly thirst?  Can anyone answer these questions for me?

Finally, they are quiet and I'm taking a moment to open my laptop, review my Camp Scabs budget, pay a few camp bills, review the registration list.  My camp partner is on hiatus and I miss her.  I miss her for a lot of reasons but one of those little reasons is that she has amazing organizational skills. The kind of skills that make spreadsheets and stuff.  I use sticky notes.

One of the most amazing bits about camp is all the people (especially compassionate men) who have donated, time, talents, extra hours at work and cold hard cash to the Camp Scabs cause;  thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of time.  The Camp Scabs Scholarship Fund has been especially cool to watch. These men are buying airline tickets and paying baggage fees and sending gas money and renting suburbans to help ladies travel from all over North America to Camp Scabs cities.  I'm humbled.

Never were these men asked to donate.  They are just kind and generous.  They reached out to create this opportunity for you.  They work behind the scenes.

I was curious, so I filtered through my sticky notes.  There are now 105 Camp Scabs Alumni.  Out of these alum 48 received scholarships!  I think this is remarkable.


Get un-stuck


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The first time I discovered Mr. Scabs and porn feels like a million years ago, our now, tween daughter, was still growing in my belly.  I knew in my gut that the porn and lying and anger were poison to the small family we were about to become.  There are so many reasons why I chose to ignore that feeling and justify the porn streaming into my newlywed livingroom.  I felt stuck.

So much has changed since then.

As terrible and enormous as the problem of porn and sex addiction is, there's an equally healing and enormous amount of help, resources and recovery!  The wave of dark is no longer encompassing and engulfing. This is PHENOMENAL!  A phenomenal amount of hope!

I believe if you're an addict or a spouse in today's world, you are the luckiest addict/spouse in the history of the time.  Never have there been so many caring, compassionate, successful people with research and knowledge, armed with tools and pathways to light the way to healthy sexuality and relationships.  There is no reason we can't be whole.  That wave of dark is met with a more powerful wave of light.  We are so lucky!

We want better lives, fuller relationships, deeper intimacy but don't always know how to cross the bridge into action, the ADDO team can show us how to do this.  I know most of the ADDO team personally.  I trust them.  In fact, I just talked to Amy Parks on the phone, you will love her!!  She has her own story and understands the deep confusion and pain as well as the freedom of healing and how to get there.  I hope you reach out and get un-stuck.

Sign up for ADDO's  2-day therapy intensive for individuals and couples in Lindon, Utah.  

There are 2 sessions:

9/26/2014 - 9/27/2014 & 11/7/2014 - 11/8/2014




Establishing Hope Workshop from Addo Recovery on Vimeo.

The Notebook Syndrome

Camp Scabs Scholarship Applicants: By this evening, Friday 22nd, you will receive an email with our random pick for this September's Camp.  If you applied you should have received a reply email from me just letting you know you're on the list.  If you didn't get this reply please resend your email to campscabs {at} gmail {dot} com

xoxo,
     Scabs

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You know how in The Notebook the main character, the guy, I forgot his name, works his ass off every day trying to get his wife to come back to him.  I told Mr. Scabs, "this is what I call The Notebook Syndrome".

The main character (I know, terrible that I've forgotten his name. Maybe I should google it).....Noah!  Noah and Allie have been married and in love for years when she's diagnosed with Alzheimer's.   They have a great love story filled with passion and fighting and losing each other only to find each other again so she decides to write this story in a notebook because she was losing her mind and doesn't want to forget.  The idea is that if Noah reads the notebook to her each day she will remember who they are and "come back to him".  They will steal a few moments of clarity from the dementia that has taken over her mind.

Every once in awhile, when the conditions were just right, I'd work my ass off all day, talking Mr. Scabs through his life and his addiction.  And by the end of the day he'd come back to me.  He would have clarity and humility and recognition.  He would be like the man I fell in love with. We would steal a few moments from his addiction.   We would dance and hold each other for a minute and be real.  And then, just like in The Notebook, he'd slip away before I'd even noticed. Back into dementia.

This isn't good.  I decided to quit working my ass off.  


Camp Scholarship!

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You know what's fun about being Scabs?  
I get to give away these $500 camp scholarships!!!  I feel so lucky and grateful. 

People (you know who you are), are so kind and generous to donate toward camp.   And this camps scholarships have been flying off the table but I've reserved one more to give away now. This money goes direct from me to you to pay for your camp fee and airfare or travel expenses. 
The dates are Sept 25-27 other camp details are here.

Email me now with your name, where you're from and a quick explanation of why you want to come to Camp Scabs. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced 
Friday Aug 22 via email.

campscabs {at} gmail {dot} com

Just for fun, here's a letter of gratitude from a camp alumni

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Camp Scabs was definitely a life-changing event for me. The connection, the honesty, the love, compassion, understanding, hope (I could go on and on) that came from those women, it was extraordinary. But there was another part of Camp Scabs that made a big impression on me in a way I'll never forget: all the people who helped make camp so amazing. A man who wants to help, so he offers scholarships for women who want to go but can't afford it. A beautiful cabin for a ridiculously inexpensive rate. A gourmet chef who wants us to know we matter, so he prepares a couple of crazy delicious meals. A man who wants to do something, so he donates his time and snowmobiles and takes us to the top of the mountains (incredible, indescribable, awe-inspiring beauty). A yoga instructor who volunteers her time because she wants to help us feel peace and hope. 

I can't explain why, but knowing that these people did so much for us out of the kindness of their hearts, to help strangers feel loved and validated in such a difficult time, it definitely restored my faith in humanity (even men)--something I wasn't looking for in Camp Scabs, but I got anyway, times ten. Thank you so, so, so much for caring, and doing something about it. 

The world needs more people like you.





time for camping, scabs style

Credit: a linkless pinterest photo :(

Save the date: Sept, Thursday 25th -Saturday 27th
Camp Scabs Phoenix
(Are you new here?  You're probably wondering what is Camp Scabs? click here)

More details soon and scholarships available.

Please email campscabs {at} gmail {dot} com 
with the word "scholarship" in the subject line.
If I already know you great, if not please tell me why you'd like to come to camp.  

life + art

buy me here



I'm sitting here in a pile of post vacation rubble and instead of starting laundry I'm reading through your emails, because I miss you and want to know what's going on in your lives.  Soon I will just leave these piles and hope the night time trolls, Bon Qui-Qui and Billy TuTu decide to take pity on me, snap their fingers and taadaa!  The laundry will be done.  

But, in the meantime, I thought I'd share something.

Be Brave has become something of a life philosophy here in the Scabs world.  And, I love that about a million of ya'll tagged this print for me on Pinterest!! So, I shared it on Instagram and I'm sharing it here too.  I bought one for me and one for a friend who's struggling, because, ya know, #theundergroundreliefsociety

And of course, I couldn't leave my pile of post vacation rubble without giving a shout out to the artist.  Inspiring artwork Alena Hennessy!  Thank you.

$66.42

Louie


Girl-cat is eating blueberries out of my bowl.  Is that weird?  Should I google it?  Girl-cat is old and grumpy and eccentric. Seven years ago my cat lady friend rescued a mean-fur-and-bones-pregnant-cat-slut from a burger joint parking lot somewhere in Phoenix.  And, of course, we took her in.

Mr. Scabs found an old hand crank snow cone machine at the goodwill which our daughter has turned into her childhood fortune this summer.  This fortune turned into a bunny, that was carefully selected from the handful of discarded Easter bunnies found on Craigslist.  Originally, the ad was $100 for the bunny and an enclosure, carrier, hay, chew sticks, food, combs, litter and a whole slew of other bunny care items.  Heartbroken because she only had $66.42 to spend, I suggested haggling.  It's Craigslist, right?  And so, $66.42 later, Louie, the sweetest bun was part of our family!

I've never been face to whiskers with a bunny before.  She was beautiful.  We became fascinated with her little nose, her paws, her grooming, the fact that she was litter trained, her endless eating of hay and devouring of broccoli, her sweet little hops and excited hop kicks, her smart awareness.  We all fell in love with Louie but our daughter fell especially hard.

This is my oldest child.  The one who has seen and felt the havoc threatening her family but also has been privy to gentle repairing and forgiveness.  Her heart is gold.

The morning before Louie died, my daughter said, "Mom, I love her so much!"

Some terrible circumstances lead to the loss of Louie.  She'd been in our home for 3 days.  It was a Tuesday night and when I realized what had happened I lost it!  I screamed and cried and yelled and begged God to take us back in time, to change what my eyes were telling me was true.  Mr. Scabs held Louie in his arms as she left us.  I begged like I've never begged before (yes, more than or at least equal to d-day).

And, what do you do when you hand your daughter, who has been through so much in her little life, a small box?

There was nothing to do but grieve.  To hold her as she shook and cried.  To squeeze her tighter as the snivels and tears leaked through my shirt.  To let my tears drop and soak into her hair.  To keep myself from telling her that everything was going to be alright and that we can get a new bunny and from blaming anyone and anything.  To leave her question unanswered when she whimpered, "why?", after all, it wasn't me she wasn't asking.  To sit with her while she tried to walk through her pain.

Under the moonlight, Mr. Scabs dug a hole near the ash tree.  We gave a tear-filled eulogy, dropped flowers, love notes and a carrot for Louie's passing to the other side.  Death is never fair.

A few days ago we went to the mountains for a getaway.  Louie was fresh on my daughters mind as she walked into the woods with her journal, pen and paints to face her hard things.  And when she returned something in her had been nurtured.  I don't know what she's learning from all these hard experiences and this isn't the way I imagined her life.  When she was born, I imagined being able to protect her from things but now I see that all I can do is hold her hand.

I love her forever and am so proud of her.

RIP Louie.






Mr Scabs Mountain

todays view

The work of life is strange.  The work of waking up to your life and your people is strange and unique.  You sit there and look at your life in this sudden technicolor clarity and think, 'what the hell.  not what i imagined.'   But it becomes your like and you work and care and nurture all the people and things in front of you.  To see that work in myself seems natural.  It seems natural because I'm in it every day.  I can see the process.  It just seems normal.

To see that work in someone else, someone close to you, is miraculous.

Watching from the outside the work is slow and frustrating and nothing short of inspiring dramatic divorce plans including sawing the house in half or packing on bag for the cheese making hills of Kentucky.  This whole work of becoming real as a married couple doesn't seem to happen on my timetable.  And sometimes, nothing at all seems to be happening.  nothing.  But at that very same moment, the moment where I'm bursting with frustration and the appearance of nothingness, there is also something very deep and sincere happening.

Here's a glimpse inside Mr Scabs work.

It's a brutal accent: boulders, cactus, lizards, killer bees, sheer drops, blistering 108 degree temps and a deceiving steep one-mile hike to the top of Camelback Mountain.   Each year, hikers get helicopter rescued because of heat stroke, dehydration, getting attacked by bees or injured.  Some even lose their lives on this red rock pushing up from the dusty desert Phoenix floor.  It's especially brutal with the 3 o'clock sun.

I used to think that he was punishing himself, maybe for a long while, he was.  The work of living with such infamously terrible mistakes wasn't working for Mr. Scabs, so he ran up the mountain.  In the name of self-care, he takes this run 2-3 times a week.  

The other evening I asked, "How was you climb?"

"It was great.  I got to the top and just took some time to stop and think."

Screeech!  say what?  stop and think?

{For any of you who know Mr. Scabs, he doesn't stop and think.  Go Go Go Go Go Go and Go is his normal speed.}

It's small.  Almost imperceptible and terribly frustrating with the appearance of nothingness.  But at the same time it's real.




E=Sy2


Jill Candland Photography

All life's quirky phases have brought me many different yoga teachers and it's always been exactly what I've needed.   Sometimes I need an hour of peace.  Other times I need to learn how to balance. Or times I need to learn how to surrender and be solid in the same movement.   And there are times I need to nurture my courage, my bravery.

I've had more math tutors than I have fingers and I'm still not a great mathematician but I love science and the idea of a formula.  Mathematicians do your worst, here's my Einsteinian formula.


E(energy) = S(scabs) y(yoga)^2

E=Sy2

I'll interpret: I do yoga.
I do it as much as I can.
I do it to tap into energy for whatever life throws my way.

ADDO has been offering free yoga at their office in Utah for awhile now.  They've just launched their yoga website with a weekly schedule.  Click the link below, register and take a class or two.

this kind of prayer

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Last night I went to another meeting.  Haven't I been to a million of those 12-step meetings yet? Haven't I reached my quota yet?  I find myself itching.  Like some kind of unseen friction demanding it's time to shed another layer.  

We read step 11, personal revelation, ya know, praying and getting answers and stuff.  The first paragraph stopped me and I began to think of the "...angry, confused times when, if we prayed at all, we prayed either in an attitude of stubborn self-will or whimpering self-pity."

How many times have I stamped my little feet, bawled till my eyes were sandpaper and shook my fist at the man in the moon demanding He change this or that.

A few weeks ago I lost something, a small brown package.  I spent hours tearing out drawers and closets and frantically sifting through piles and toy boxes.  Throwing stuff from one place to another, wearing my impatience like a flamethrower.  Stand back!   

Finally, I hit a hit false rock bottom, I shook my first at the sky and said, "Fine.  I'll say a damn prayer and ask for your help."  

And, so, I said an angry, anxious, demanding prayer with one eye open and one hand still rummaging through the drawer.  It sounded something like this:


Dear God, 
Give me exactly what I want right now before I explode!    
Amen.
I opened the closed eye and dug with full force and and more determination.  Another painful hour passed until I hit the real rock bottom.  The kind where you surrender and sigh and lean for support against the wall, truly aware of your powerlessness.  I picked up a book and a slip of paper fell out that read;
Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6
That was the moment I faced my powerlessness and my terrible fiery ego.  With both eyes closed, I gave Him my flamethrower, raised my hands to my heart, whispered my sorrys and gently asked that my heart align with His.  That moment of silence pounded in my chest.

I opened my eyes and opened the drawer I had torn through a million times in the last few hours and my heart burst into tears...there, as if our Fathers' hand had reached down from the heavens and placed it there Himself, the small brown package lay on top of the drawers jumbled mess.

Quizzes are fun

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A few weeks ago I took the {what kind of dog are you quiz}...turns out I'm a mutt.  Yes, we all laughed because it is kind of true to life.  My hair's matted and needs a good comb, I'm game for all things fun, especially playing ball.  I'll eat almost anything and love almost everyone, except men in hats and glasses.  They make me nervous and then I start to bark.

This isn't really a quiz but ADDO has put out a survey asking for our thoughts.  So here's our chance ladies, let's tell them what we need.

A letter from ADDO
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Hi There,

We need your help! We need to understand what you need next.

For over a year now, we have had tremendous success serving women throughout the world with our first program “Healing From Betrayal Trauma.” In fact, our outcomes report trauma reduced by 76%!

However, we realize our free program is not enough. To understand what to do next, we ask that you take 5 minutes, follow the link, and fill out our Trauma Recovery Needs Survey. Here is the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/trauma-recovery.

We thank you in advance for your help. Your answers will help us create programs that million of women suffering from trauma need!

We have felt honored to have served you and look forward to continuing to do so.

Warmly,

W. Eric Red
Addo Recovery 

HONY

Humans of New York


"I’m a neuroscience researcher."
"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
"Listen to your inner voice."
"You’re a scientist. Isn’t ‘inner voice’ a spiritual term?"
"Bullshit! You’ll hear scientists talking about following their inner voice as much as you’d hear a musician or a priest."
"So how do you know which of your thoughts are your true inner voice?"
"All of them are! The question is— how much weight do you give them? How much authority do you give your own thoughts? Are you taking them seriously? Or are you sitting in front of the damn tube letting other people tell you what to think?"

Camp Scabs on Wheels...asap!


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We got our runner!  Thanks for all who emailed and were interested...there's always next year!
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Last summer I ran my first Ragnar.  I had no idea what to expect--a 200 miles relay race from Logan UT to Park City?  In a van?  And you just switch off running?  say what?

But a couple of wopa friends invited me and despite my slow pace and paralyzed leg aftermath, I decide to do it.  It was life changing, literally an impromptu Camp Scabs on wheels.  Plus I met new friend.  This friend listened to us tell our stories and was so inspired he decided to give some serious cash to Camp Scabs and has since been the backing behind our scholarship program.  This wasn't just kismet.

A bunch of wopa friends and I are doing it again but sadly, one of our runners has had to bail on us and the race is in a few weeks, June 27-28 for the Wasatch Back Ragnar (Logan UT to Park City).

Are you interested in joining us?  You don't have to be fast or good or ultra speedy, you just have to be amazing and want to reach out and connect and exercise with other ladies in a stinky van for 2 days.  It's a bond like no other!!

Email me with "Ragnar" in the subject line and I'll send you all the details.  If cash is an issue, don't worry, we have a plan.

EATMYSCAB (at) GMAIL (dot) COM

diving into the inky indigo water


Summer in Phoenix isn't popular.  But, there is something I love about it.  The cleansing heat, loose cotton dresses, copious amounts of ice water and sweet tea, homemade watermelon popsicles but the best part may be the midnight-moonlight swimming.  Diving into the inky indigo water; fresh, cooling, mysterious.  The crystal water by day transformed by the cover of evening into a deep dark pool.  I always wonder if there's a shark or an eel or some other deep sea creature with teeth awaiting the dip of my toe, disturbing the black mirror.  But there isn't.  The pool is the same at night, as it is in the day, or is it?  Is there magic in there?  I float, braving the imaginary eel.  Resting on my back in the still water, my eyes fixed on the enveloping midnight sky and I relax.  I surrender.  Time waits for me.  Sometimes, are we afraid to relax and be still?  Afraid of the creatures with teeth?

I first learned how to surrender with my body--yoga, meditation, running, floating in a dark pool--and then my mind was able to follow.  I met a lady at camp scabs that asked me if I was a kinesthetic learner.  I suppose I am.  I've been fascinated by the idea ever since meeting her.

The irritability washes off me, heavy and dripping, like tar, to the bottom of the dark pool.  Yes, I'm irritated and bothered!  This recovery-self-discovery business is difficult and I feel another layer preparing to flake off revealing the newly discovered parts of me.

Tonight I baked a strawberry rhubarb pie.  I could smell it's sweetness as I floated and then I could smell that crispy burning.  oops!

Tomorrow, we'll have pie for breakfast.

I feel such love for you all and hope you find value in taking quiet moments to surrender and listen to yourself.

xo
Scabs