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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Blue on Blue, Part 2 – Despair

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ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” (Ps. 130: 1-2).

Depression sufferers often face condemnation from their well-intentioned Christian friends.  Depression should not, however, be confused with despair.  And even despair has preconditions.

Depression v. Despair

Depression can arise despite our circumstances.  Despair stems from our circumstances.  Depression is the manifestation of a medical condition.  Despair is the spiritual conclusion we draw about an eternal reality.

Both will make us unhappy.  Only despair, however, is considered sinful.

Despair as Sin

When we despair, we view our suffering as pointless, and God as powerless to intervene.  For our hopelessness to qualify as sinful, we must know first know God; must be above the age of reason, and in sound mind.

Judas and Suicide

Judas’ suicide was the classic act of despair.  The Apostles had daily close contact with Christ.  Judas…

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Blue on Blue, Part 1 – Depression

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ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

“Blue on blue, heartache on heartache
Blue on blue now that we are through…
Now the trees are bare
There’s sadness in the air
And I’m as blue as I can be”

– “Blue on Blue”, Bobby Vinton

Neglect to change the water in a fish tank, and it will soon cloud over.  Depression clouds the judgment of abuse victims, in much the same way.

Causes of Depression

Depression is a serious illness characterized by changes in brain chemistry.  Genetics, stress, major traumas such as war and child abuse, and medical conditions including AIDS, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and lupus can all play a role.

Grief at the loss of a loved one is generally distinguished from depression.  The first can, however, lead to the second [1].

Shift Toward Blue

With depression, we see the world through “blue colored” glasses, no longer capable of assessing ourselves or our situation…

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Being a Mother to a sexually assaulted child

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There’s a book, “When the Bough Breaks – A helping guide for parents of sexually abused children” by Aprodite Matsakies that can help.

our story


Being the mother of a sexually assaulted child was not some thing I had ever planned for. I felt so alone and out of my depth every day with her. The issues I had anticipated were not issues at all and so many more came into play which I had not thought of. How was I going to cope, I had no friends who had ever been through this, no special groups to join ,no daily advice. All I could do was research and try different strategies and speak to my psychologist and hers. I had never felt so out of control ,and treading water in the deep as I did now. So many aspects of her demeanor and personality had shifted and felt I didn’t even know my own daughter any more, or how the hell to help her. When I wasn’t emotion coaching her through a major tantrum…

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Man’s Best Friend

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ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Service dog, Pella at work in Colorado courtroom (Photo courtesy of CBS) Service dog, Pella, at work in Colorado courtroom (Photo courtesy of CBS)

Merel, an 18 month old labrador, is helping to relieve the fears of children and teens testifying in court, either as witnesses or victims [1].  The first of her kind in Ontario, Canada, Merel is a service dog with the Child Witness Program.

According to Rachel Crawford, the program coordinator, Merel plays a calming and supportive role.  “…[S]he’s very gentle.  She’s very loving…She’ll often sit right on the couch beside the child with her head on their lap or she’ll sit at their feet.”  Crawford adds, “It’s sort of hard to know how I ever did my work without her.  She helps build an instant rapport. “

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Victim or Survivor?

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