Life’s Lessons Reveal Who We Become

Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

What is the purpose of life if not for the love of our children and how we prepare them to become strong, positive role models for the next generations to come? Isn’t it our inherent responsibility to shape the hearts and minds of our little ones to ensure that the mark we leave on them will pass solid values onto their own children? Thankfully, most families achieve this nurturing lifestyle on a variety of acceptable levels, most in close healthy and loving relationships.

Regretfully, not all children get to wake up each morning to a cheerful family atmosphere. These are the hidden children whose suffering is endured in secret while, for all intents and purposes, the truth is lurking just behind the eyes and closed doors of their hearts. Though such families appear to the outside world to lead a normal existence, these are the children who lose their innocence through suffering neglect and abuse. They never learn to share their pain safely with the very people who might be in a position to help, and they are too afraid to reach out to strangers. Imagine the tiny child who has every right to expect love and affection from her parents but is deprived of it from early childhood. Such a child may never learn to smile naturally or trust the very people who are responsible for her welfare and who gave her life. Such a child wears the heartbreak in every fibre of her body, locked in so tightly that she fears she will never find the key to safety or happiness. We may all know such a child but rarely do we comprehend the depth of heartbreak and nature of the influence that such a child may bring to bear on her own future and her descendants. It is entirely the responsibility of such a child to find the right turns in life, if only by adopting role models to hold dear. Her dreams may be her only reality where she pulls those she loves into her own world. Sadly, many such children are not so fortunate and without intervention will never see the light of a healthy and wholesome existence.

Now, imagine the little girl who never experienced affection or any love whatsoever from her Mommy, yet witnessed it given to a younger sibling in full measure. This is a little girl who bore the daily physical and emotional welts inflicted by a sadistic Mother and patently ignored by a Daddy who loved her but lacked the backbone to intervene. This child would pray nightly, “Please God, why does my Mommy hate me so much? Please make her love me!” “Please God, let me come live with you.” She cries out in fear and pain each day as she tends to her wounds that resulted from yet another beating. These and so many more tragic examples are true accounts of one such child’s memoir that persisted from four to fifty-four.

Do you know a child suffering from such abuse?

Next I ask you: Is it possible for such a deprived individual to overcome the trauma of childhood abuse and move on to raise her children in a loving and responsible way? My answer is yes; however, the damaged life experience will never leave the forefront of the victim’s memory while specific events will remain buried until they are triggered to rear their ugly heads when least expected. As a victim of such a traumatic lifestyle, I am testimony that the ravages of abuse can be largely overcome. I emerged a strong and determined survivor with an iron will to help and teach others how I did it in the hope that it will assist them as well. Are there hangovers from the past? You bet! Have I overcome all of them? No way, but I consider it my life’s work to continue to learn and contribute to the welfare of abused children and adults in the best way that I can. Can parents give what they have never experienced themselves? In other words, can they teach what they don’t know? I believe that some can and some will, while acknowledging that others yet will never have the chance to find out. My prayers are with these perfect little ones, both here and in Heaven.

And so we come to the purpose of my message, and it is hope. Hope comes in many shapes and forms and often of a magnitude that can educate en masse. I now introduce you to a significant organization which has dedicated itself to educate and protect innocent children from every nature of abuse you can possibly conjure up. Dreamcatchers for Abused Children is that agency, and they will help no matter the nature of the abuse or the location. They are a non-profit agency and depend on private funding to reach out. Naturally, I support this agency financially and in spirit.

It wasn’t until I got involved with their program in a very small way, that I discovered the many facts surrounding this, what I call epidemic behavior, worldwide. Some of these facts will absolutely astonish you and perhaps rip at your emotions, because you may know someone who fits the description but for whatever personal reason have been reluctant or unable to intervene. We just don’t know enough about that secret life behind closed doors to spur us into action, but I urge you to reach out if you suspect a child is in trouble. If you would close your eyes for just a moment and imagine being beaten with whatever weapon is handy and having the flesh torn from your body while screaming the words “I promise I will be better,” then a picture emerges of how it is for so many victims. Most such criminals, and that is what abusers are, will never be prosecuted, but by helping the victims at the root of their tragedy, we inspire hope and immense potential for carrying a positive message forward to the next generations to come.

Dreamcatchers for Abused Children may be contacted at:

A few thoughts to ponder as given to me from

• 1 in every 3 girls will be sexually molested before the age of 18
• 1 in every 6 boys will be sexually molested before the age of 18
• Every 10 seconds, a child is raped or killed in the U.S.
• Today, up to 5 children will die from abuse or neglect
• 85% of the 1.2 – 1.5 million runaways are fleeing abuse at home
• In 13 seconds, another child will be abused in the U.S.
• ONLY 28% of the children identified as harmed by abuse are investigated
• Today 6 children will commit suicide
• Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death (ages 15-24)
• The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children– most of whom do not report the offense

Imagine the outcry if these statistics represented a disease, which was wiping out 5 children per day, victimizing millions, and whose by-products were disabilities and expanding violence. The good news is that many can find their way to a peaceful resolution if they NEVER GIVE UP, but if more people reach out to help, these new hands will be welcomed by Dreamcatchers and by the victims themselves.

Take my hand so that we can fight this thing called abuse together. It cycles in families, and if victims cannot find their way out, it can and most often does, keep on going.

Through life’s lessons, I have learned who I am. Through these lessons, I hope to share the roads I have walked so others won’t have to walk them alone.

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Reflections of Mamie-A Story of Survival
Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

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Life’s Lessons by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

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31 thoughts on “Life’s Lessons by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins

  1. There is nothing more important than the protection of our children. Without them the future becomes empty for us all and the present lacks the sweetest of its sounds and the warmest of its colors. Thanks Mamie for discussing this subject so powerfully.

    1. Ken, the words you express truly do describe what we can loose without a brighter time for children. We as parents hold the future generations in out=r hands by the very way we nurture our families. My greatest gift in life was loving our daughter and seeing that she never knew the pain of abuse as we were able to enjoy those sounds you so spoke of so well.


      1. Mamie, thanks for a well said comprehensive treatise on one of this country’s and the world’s, biggest shame, There is nothing I can add, except that we all need to be more vigilent in protecting our most precious commodity–our children and loved ones.

        1. Hello Micki,

          I’m sorry that I did not see this comment until I had finished writing my replies to so many others but thank you dearly for you comment. I see we even used the same words to describe our feelings which hopefully is how others feel about our future leaders. I have often wondered if the leaders in our world that are with criminal behavior type personalities with no compassion come from a world of abuse.

          Imagine if our leaders were from that type world where love did not exist-do you think they could possibly lead with compassion?

          Thank you Again,

  2. Mamie,
    You have written an article that should be read by all. Abuse has been tolerated for much too long and my heart aches for these children or anyone who deals with abuse every day of their life. Can you imagine waking each day and wishing you could sleep forever to get away from your reality? And then we have the blame, the shame, the self-doubt intermingled within this vicious web. I urge everyone and anyone who knows of abuse to visit your site. Only together can we change the tragic circumstances that allow abuse to continue. Thank you so much for this article.

    1. Monica, I can imagine waking this way and did for many years. It was part of my prayers as a small child so I could escape. Abuse causes it’s victims to feel shame though it is not their faults and causes one to withdraw from society learning behavior that hinders them for decades into their futures.

      Stopping abuse in both humans and animals needs to happen so perhaps we lean to live in harmony.

      Thank you for your insight,

  3. Your heart is the purest of gold Mamie! Keep doing what you’re doing because your voice is being heard. Awesome comment Ken – our children are indeed our future and we never quite grasp just how important that is until we see a little one abused.

    1. Linda, as always you are so understanding about the pain one suffers from childhood neglect. Our voices together and as a group could reach many on this subject and I for one encourage anyone that has a story to reach out and write to me. It helps to share.


  4. Once again you have struck at the heart of the issue. More than statistics to be ignored, you have shared with us the pain and the anguish we all need to share as we seek to reach the need of the abused.

    1. Jon, Thank you for your comment. Life offers us many challenges and it is difficult to reach out in world that keeps silent about abuse. I tried to bury this for too many years but sharing has allowed me to move forward and hopefully will help others as well.


  5. Those statistics are horrific! Thank you for spreading such an important message. We can only hope it will help heal the wounds of many, and help others to recognize the signs and act to bring the perpetrators to justice!

    1. Good Morning Trish. I was just reading the interview you had written while I was just about to launch my book and remembered the great support and compassion that flowed through your words.
      I do pray that we all learned how to recognize the signs and will be willing to reach out to help.

      Thank you again for the support.

  6. Mamie,

    How I wish I had read a book like yours many years ago. You see I knew one of those criminals who had everyone fooled as to who and what he was. When he was arrested and charged with abusing hundreds of children, I was sick inside. I racked my mind, wondering what I had missed that let this go on for so many years. And there were signs. Signs I was able to pick out in retrospect. I will never forget this, and I will always be vigilant in the care of all our children. Because one thing, one small thing, could be the difference between saving a child and losing a child forever.


    1. Clayton,

      You should not blame yourself as abuse is a subject so many want to pretend is not there. The perpetrators are people most of us know and hide that behavior from their friends-and THEY ARE GOOD AT IT! Even if you say there were signs, years back, people did not know how to reach out or afraid of the consequences. In your case and many like you, it was not the typical “I don’t want to get involved” attitude that kept you away but perhaps a part of you did not want to believe such a crime could happen or maybe your were not sure. Thank you for expressing your honesty and compassion to be watchful in the future protecting our most precious commodities-OUR CHILDREN


  7. Mamie,

    This is a very powerful article you have written coming from the authority of your experience combined with statistical knowledge that can further awaken us all. My feeling is that a host of other problems like bullying and addiction would be further eliminated if we concentrated more on the source of many of these behaviors, which is this hideous child abuse, often done in secret. You have pointed this out with your discussion on childhood suicide as an outcome of abuse.

    It is wonderful that you are supporting Dreamcatchers with your book and efforts. People who witness what they think might be abuse often need an organization to help guide them in just what to do and I suppose this is one of the main functions of Dreamcatchers organization?

    Thank you, Mamie, for being so brave and speaking your experiences to bring hope and awareness to all others who have gone through what you have endured.

    1. Aloha Martha,

      Thank you for sharing your insight as both a mother and professional that understands the conflict inside ones heart and mind as an abused person.

      I have gone through many issues as a result but have managed to crawl out of what could have been worse. My goal with this message and my book is to strength the knowledge people have so they are armed to know when their “gut instincts” are on target with recognizing the cries of a child.

      Not only am I supporting children, but abused animals that are also helpless. I have read that if a person abuses animals, they are likely to abuse children. We volunteer at the Kitsap Human Society in our area and they are also the other charity I support. If you could see the hurt in the eyes of such wonderful spirits, it would break your heart. Abuse is one issue that leads to so many other awful behaviors we simply must try to stop it.

      Thank you again Martha for your expressed compassion.


  8. Mamie, it’s thanks to people like you that we can fight the horror of abuse. Many victims can move on although, as you point out, the scars remain. Yet others, in turn, grow into abusers for different reasons, one of them the fact that they believe abuse to be a natural behavior pattern.
    Thank you for bringing up the subject. Your words strengthen our efforts to denounce the crime and support the victims.

    1. Good Day Marta,

      You are right about abuse leading to more of the same as it is likely a learned behavior.

      I do not see myself as a victim any longer and maybe not then either. It was my stubborn attitude to NEVER GIVE UP or to never loose site of my dreams that gave me the strength to fight back. Maybe it is what made me tough but at the same time it is cause for being hurt so easily when attacked for whatever reason or however small.

      Abuse is devastating and while you may block some of those memories, you cannot forget the emotion that lingers inside of you rendering you in many cases, helpless to defend yourself or even understand why you need to do so.

      An abused person does not need to be a victim if they do not allow their very core to be destroyed and instead fight for what they want in life, which is mostly LOVE and APPROVAL.

      Thank You Again Marta,

  9. Rosemary,

    I hope that people all over will read your article, purchase and read your book. The statistics are profoundly and disturbing.

    I am happy to learn there are organizations people can contact and I am exceedingly happy that you had the power and courage to share your story, so that others may receive help.

    You are such a wonderful lady, Rosemary.

    1. Hello Cherrye,

      Thank you for the words like courage. It took me sixteen years to find that courage and fortunately for me, I found a friend and editor that cared beyond the boundaries and never let me loose site of why this book was so important for me to finish, even when I was so discouraged fighting for the words so they were not bitter. Linda Hales was that friend to me and while I was lucky to have support elsewhere, she never gave up on me.

      The one thing that had kept me going as a child and adult inside myself was given back to me through someone else that cared. I do believe that is the answer. Caring and knowing that abused people often need that reassuring friend to keep fighting their way out of what feels like a lifetime of abuse.

      It is with the understanding of people like yourself and others that abuse victims quit being victims.

      Thank You,

  10. This a topic that makes us uncomfortable, bothered by the concept that such cruelty can exist. Yet it does. Thanks for addressing it in such a skilled manner, Mamie.

    1. Ron, thank you for the compliment but the fact is, the skilled ones are the abusers. They are so good at it and seem to find great satisfaction in the act of abuse. A very tough subject and maybe why it goes ignored and why children have in their minds, no where to turn. Today, they at least have people that will listen so long as they are still able to trust enough to reach out for help.


  11. Great information! Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt story. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fictional story you have written. Also, thanks for sharing your story and your STRENGTH. The information you’ve provided will help me in some of my discussion groups. Thanks and keep the articles coming.

    1. Hello Yves, what a special friend you are to the victims of abuse if you are indeed able to hold any discussion groups to wake up the world around us regarding the alarming statistics.

      Life is hard enough than to deal with violence against children that have no defense. My strength came through prayer and a stubborn will that refused to be beaten. In your discussions please include my message to NEVER GIVE UP. It is how my brother and I survived.


  12. This article is so informative and I’m sorry I did not get to it sooner, I had problems with my internet. I can relate to so much of this information as I’m sure you can too Rosemary. Not many people understand the state of deprived and abused children in this country/culture. It is in our minds that only drunks or rednecks abuse their children, but it’s not true. Some of the most abused children come from prominent homes with wealthy parents. We need to know the signs and recognize when children are crying out for help. Because they very rarely are heard at home or even in the schools nowadays. Thank you for such a wonderful article.

    1. Lori this is a serious subject and I am grateful it has been accepted with open arms in this forum. People seem now willing to listen once actual verified facts were available. Our charity for this book is Dreamcatchers for Abused Children and they need so much help to keep reaching out to the cries of abuse.

      Trusting anyone is difficult issue for abused victims at the time of abuse and for many years as an aftermath making many relationships near impossible or not at all.

      With the help of others, I do hope the word can spread so others can be helped with my book and by agencies reaching out.


  13. Hello Everyone. I want to thank all of those that have left a comment and encourage everyone that passes by and reads this post to please leave a comment so we know our message has been heard. Your support is needed here as well that tells us you care and are ready to step up and help the many cries of our world one child at a time shouting “Help Me.”

    Please take a hand-reach out and tell us you care!


  14. Mamie, you carry a powerful message. . .a sad, tragic but overwhelmingly prevailing message! Hopefully this message will be shared over and over and over reaching the eyes and ears of those who so desperately need strength, courage and hope for better days to come.

  15. Sharla, it is so nice to see and hear from you. Life is so short and if we don’t take the time to SEE and DO then much of it goes unnoticed. I keep trying to help spread the word that ABUSE IS NOT OK and with people like you sharing this compassion, there is hope for recovery.

    Thank you so much,


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