Tag Archives: resilience

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

“…you may try your best to repress a truth, but you cannot because it hurts!  It’s literally painful.  And until you release it, it will feel like a fire shut up in my [your] bones.”

-Charles M. Blow, Author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Tickets are sold out to jazz great Terence Blanchard’s [1] “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” [2], the first opera by a black composer to be featured at New York City’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera.

This is not “Oklahoma!”.  There are no songs here that will become popular hits, later sung by schoolchildren.  The music is instead somber, in a minor key.  The story is powerful and moving – a coming of age story set in the Deep South; a story of sexual abuse and resilience.

That story is based on the autobiographical memoir [3][4][5] of New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow [6]. Continue reading


Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Resilience, Part 2

Baby birds in nest, Author Tony Alter, Newport News, USA (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Though the Childhood Experience Study (ACES) identifies overall exposure to stress, it cannot assess resilience, the capacity of individuals to respond to stress [1A].

Resilience Factors

“A decent self-image comes from somebody paying attention to you as a person and respecting everything you do.”

-Berry Brazleton, world-renowned pediatrician and child development expert [1B]

“At the top of the list is always the presence of some kind of supportive relationship.”

-Jack Shonkoff, Director, Harvard Center on the Developing Child [1C]

Our capacity to respond to adversity varies widely [2].  Some of that capacity is genetic.  Some of it involves choice – the determination to overcome obstacles.  Some of it involves energy, effort, and tenacity.

Always at the heart of resilience, however, lies a caring relationship [1D].  Children abused by a parent may have a loving grandparent for a short while or a sibling who shares their suffering.  That may be enough to keep them going. Continue reading


Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse