Awareness Block - Oct. - Sexual Abuse Awareness

October 11, 2021
Read Robin's heartfelt story below about her struggle to overcome this horrific time in her life.  Having been a victim of sexual abuse as a young child through my teens, I can relate to Robin's pain, anxiety and feelings of being alone.
Please read the entire BLOG,  It could help you or someone you know.
Her charity is RAINN.  RAINN does so much in the way of educating, counseling,  & training.
They offer a safe and confidential place to reach out and find the assistance and someone to listen, so desperately needed.
If you are open to quilting for a cause and want to try something a little less traditional whilst helping another, my pattern can be found HERE.  For every pattern purchased, $8
will be donated to RAINN.
Years ago I was part of an art group that did a challenge where we were given a 
monthly prompt from which to write a Haiku.
I really enjoyed the Haiku writing and the creativity it brought.  Once our Haiku was written, we were to create a small art piece that represented our Haiku.
Breaking Free
Bound by darkness then
bubbling want from within
Breaking free, blooming.
When "beginnings" was our prompt, I found myself thinking a lot about my past and how many "beginnings" I had been offered over the years and not taken advantage of.
It made me think about where I wanted my design career to go and how much fear was still holding me back.  I want to bloom!  I want to be bolder!  I want to be everything I know I can be!!
I thought about all obstacles I had already overcome and how it feels like a maze as you daily maneuver your way through the world, your feelings, your healing, 
and all your relationships (some knowing, most not!)
Forty years after the sexual abuse  and somedays it still feels like yesterday.  I can be cruising along, all going well, and then one little trigger and I just want to curl into a ball and give it all up.  I don't talk about this publicly and I rarely talk about it privately
because it is terribly uncomfortable for most people including me!  It is time to STOP being afraid!!!
The original art piece is only about 7" x 9" and had grommets so I could put all the Haiku art pieces together.  
It is all painted and machine quilted from a sketch I drew.  The browns represent the dark 
times with blue feeling like waves crushing and /or uplifting me depending on the day.
Green is the new growth and the blooming of healing and growing.  You will notice the colors all intermingle because life isn't all good or bad no matter what the struggle is that you are dealing with.
Breaking Free;
When it came time to create the pattern, I knew it most closely resembled a log cabin and so that is how it is written.  I tried to stay as true to my original idea as possible because I loved it so!
Breaking Free;
True to form I am running a bit behind so here is a top minus the embroidery/quilting.
If you follow me on my FB page,  you will get to watch it grow as I post updates on finishing it.  The pattern has been tested, I promise:)
Back to the topic...As I stated in my last post HERE,  I have joined an awareness group.
This month it is my turn and I chose this design to bring awareness to Sexual Abuse.
My story is that I was abused all through my teenage years.  I attempted suicide.
I thought I was Alone!  Please know that as much as you loathe hearing about what 
we are going through, we 1000% more hate dealing with it on a constant basis.
We don't tell anyone all the times we are reminded of it or are dealing with it!!
We suffer in silence!  I made many choices in life that aggravated my suffering.
These decisions were made out of guilt, shame, and fear of not being loved.
Those who support us have no idea how thankful we are for your understanding,
BELIEVING US, your shoulder to cry on, your friendship and love!!
We don't talk about these people enough!!  We don't give them enough credit 
for dealing with our emotional outbursts and bad behavior.  THANK YOU!
I was one of the few fortunate ones who found a wonderful, loving man who helped me heal while dealing with WAY MORE than he bargained for when he married me.  We raised 2 amazing children and I didn't mess them up anymore than anyone else.  I am eternally grateful for him and them for showing me real love and joy.
It has been a life of constant healing.  It NEVER goes away!!
MY hope is that we will all become better listeners.  It is extremely uncomfortable but every time one chooses not to listen, the survivor feels all the lies are true!
My other hope is that all those suffering in silence will find the courage to find a support group.  There is hope for a better life, I promise!  You have to work for it just
like anything else but you are worth putting in the effort for.  You are NOT Alone!!
Please help a friend  by just listening when needed.  It isn't an easy subject to hear
about but it means the world to that one person to have someone hear them, believe them, and allow them to have those moments when the world is too much.

I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart if you read all the way to the bottom of my public moment!! You are FAB!

Robin Koehler


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