Monday, August 18, 2014

the underground railroad

Have you seen Operation Underground Railroad?  This is what porn feeds.

This is what porn feeds.

I am so thankful for brave and compassionate people like Mark.  And, I'm so thankful for the brave and compassionate people in my own city who are abolitionists too, like ISEEUHOPE and TRUST AZ.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Camp Scholarship!

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


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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

spark of maddness

Add caption

We grew up with him.  
He was my Peter Pan, my Captain, that annoying guy on Jumanji,  and our beloved nanny. 

I miss him.

Friday, August 8, 2014

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.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014



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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Don't Leave It To Fate

I have a really great friend who I asked to contribute here in scabby-world.  I'd asked her to tell her story because I love personal stories and I value different perspectives.  She thought about it for awhile and came up with the fantastic idea of telling parts and bits of her story through book reviews.  Here's her first review!  Anyone else read this book?


by Kristen Jenson and Gail Poyner

This book addresses a topic that strikes fear into the heart of many a parent.  If you’re like me and didn’t grow up in a family where open conversations about sex or pornography happened, the thought of having these conversations with our own children is more than intimidating.  I just finished two and a half years of therapy because of my husband’s sex addiction and I can still only barely say the word masturbation out loud.  

And yet, we of all people know exactly how important it is to have these conversations.  This is a matter of life and death.  We should see this book as equally important as putting your child in a carseat or feeding them fruits and vegetables.  We cannot leave this topic to fate because we already know firsthand the damage and the cost.  We’ve lived the lives that have reaped the awful consequences of that life left to fate.  When it comes to our own children we will not leave it to chance.  Some of our children will still struggle and make poor choices, but educating our children early and often will allow them to make choices that wouldn’t be conscious choices without this education and will open the door to conversations that could save your child’s life.  
I read this book with my 6 year old daughter and 5 year old son and was curious what they would take from it and if they would be able to understand.  I read it a chapter at a time for a day or two and then forgot about it for several weeks until we were in the car and my son said “can we get a treat?  I want some ice-cream.”  I said something about waiting until after dinner and then my daughter responded “that’s your feeling brain that wants ice-cream.  If your thinking brain were in charge you’d be able to wait until after dinner so you don’t get sick.”  Wow!  I was blown away.  I couldn’t believe she had retained that information from weeks earlier and then she showed her brother with her hands (as it demonstrates in the book) how the feeling brain is in the center and then the thinking brain goes over the top and reminded him that keeping your thinking brain in charge is the best way to live.  I was so impressed I nearly stopped and bought ice-cream for everyone right on the spot to celebrate.  

This book breaks down difficult topics for adults to understand and defines them in such a way that even young children can understand and apply the concepts.  Because of this book I feel empowered to have conversations I didn’t really know how to have before with my young and innocent children.  This book not only empowers me as a mother, but it empowers them to think and make their own choices as well.  I will be referring over and over to this book for many years to come and my brothers and sisters and close friends can all expect a copy of this book for Christmas to read with their children.  (Don’t worry, I’ll throw in some toys and candy too just to retain favorite aunt status.)  I strongly recommend this book for anyone with children of any age.  Even if your kids are already teenagers it’s still hard to start these conversations and this book may help you start some of the most important conversations with your child you will ever have.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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.

Monday, July 14, 2014


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


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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

this kind of prayer


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!    
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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quizzes are fun


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
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

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.


W. Eric Red
Addo Recovery 

Monday, June 16, 2014

free help

Addo Recovery

Maybe it seems like ADDO and I are BFFs cause I'm always touting their stuff.  It's cause I really like their stuff and I know they want to give, and listen and be responsive.  So here's some more of their great free ADDO stuff!

FREE yoga for trauma in Lindon UT
Tuesday June 17
Spots available for RSVP email


If it's your first time, throw on some sweat and a t-shirt and try it!  Yoga has healed and taught me so many things, like this and this.

FREE webinar--->
(mr scabs and i will be listening in)
This is part of our "Advisor Series." Again, an advisor could be a parent, religious leader, counselor, spouse, or really anyone who finds themselves in the position of helping or advising a pornography addict. If you get an opportunity to post this that would be great. The more people we can reach the better. It's a great topic, focused on helping parents protect their children.

During this webinar we will discuss how advisors and parents can effectively work with youth to prevent and fight pornography addiction. Our youth are almost certain to be exposed to pornography. With the correct tools and education we hope to instill confidence in those advising and counseling youth. 

During this webinar we will introduce five essential skills that parents and advisors need to develop. 
These skills include: 

1. Emotional Regulation Skills 
2. Effective Communication 
3. External Monitoring 
4. Education 
5. Example 

The webinar will be presented by Brannon Patrick. Brannon specializes in treating pornography and sexual addiction. He is passionate about working with parents, helping them develop the skills they need to empower their children. Brannon is a member of the Addo Recovery team, providing therapy and directing group therapy program development. 

Registration link:

The webinar will be recorded and available online for playback. If someone is interested in the topic but are unable to participate live, they can register to receive a link to the recording.


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?"
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