INSPIRATION BEHIND "LORNA" AUCTION ITEM
From Brokenness to Beauty:
Pull Up A Chair, I Have Something to Share
by Andrea Lynn Cianflone
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me, R-E-S-P-E….” Waiting for a train in the subway one day, I was listening and singing along with the subway musician/vocalist when suddenly my RESPECT was disrupted by a loud noise echoing off in the distance! The crescendo of two human voices arguing with an array of colorful words was enough to make everyone on the platform shift their eyes to the aggressive vocal percussion now drowning out the performing artist. A little girl was anxiously shuffling her feet, holding the woman’s hand of whom I presumed was her mother. Regardless of the relationship between the child and the woman, it was clear that the situation was escalating. I was sensing an aura on the platform that people were all thinking the same thing: should someone step in? As the tension increased, I settled my gaze on the young little girl caught in the cacophony of those thundering voices. The fear and shame poured out of those innocent twinkling eyes. Her noticeable discomfort struck me, so much so, that as the man grabbed hold of the woman’s arm, I tried to empathically smile hoping to divert her attention away from the abusive argument resounding inches away from her precious ears. Maybe then, she would know it wasn’t her fault. The train approached and the crying woman yanked her arm from the man as she held on to the little girl. They all stepped into the subway, still quarreling. The doors closed, and like a movie scene, the subway slowly moved away with the little girl looking out the window trying to smile back at me. My heart broke as I thought to what the next hours might hold in the home for those three people.
The train finally arrived and as I took my seat, memories surfaced of a psychologically abusive relationship I endured ten years prior. I physically shook my head telling myself not to ‘go there.’ The present moment resumed, and I could not help but wonder if the woman was experiencing domestic violence in the home. In the United States, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. The wellbeing of survivors can hold some grave negative health outcomes who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) including “a range of conditions affecting the heart, digestive, reproduction, muscle and bones, and nervous systems, many of which are chronic. Survivors can experience mental health problems such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.” 
The innocence of youth is equally impacted as 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network says that exposure to violence can result in a range of immediate reactions such as generalized anxiety to difficulty concentrating to increased aggression. The long-term effects from chronic exposure to IPV can include physical health problems to emotional difficulties in adulthood like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
As I reflected this past October on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I remember the survivors as well as the young children, who by no fault of their own, suffered at the hands of domestic abuse. I recall the conversations I had with a domestic abuse survivor; I’ll refer to her by “Lorna.” She had experienced emotional to physical abuse from her ex-husband and her adult child still struggles with carrying the weight of those post traumatic experiences. The body and mind store traumatic experiences through implicit and explicit systems according to an online seminar by Dr. Levine entitled Addicted to Emotions and the Innate Capacity for Healing. “Unresolved, undischarged energy gets trapped in the nervous system and creates debilitating symptoms associated with trauma." For Lorna, I learned how much music played an integral role in bringing healing into her life years after the abuse. The power of music cannot be overlooked. For instance, singing with its resonating vibrations helps to bring the body back into equilibrium and is a powerful tool in helping manage the body’s response to such trauma. “Singing is a neuromuscular activity and muscular patterns are closely linked to psychological patterns and emotional response.”
Be Delighted is an organization that brings creativity as a healing force in people’s lives. Most notably, Be Delighted’s Sing4Wellness has given a voice for all people. We want your home and work environments singin’ a positive tune and so we began our launch of PositiveWear and Positive Décor in 2020. We desire to inspire people with dress and décor that is meaningful. I take special care in designing every item from the stories of people whom I have encountered, like Lorna. In honor of Lorna, I restored an old vintage chair into a multi-use table that could serve as a bedside meditation/prayer stand, to a flower and plant cart, or a chique wine and cheese bar to the best-looking doggy bowl holder out there! The sky is the limit. Lorna’s voice radiates in this piece, illustrating how any brokenness from trauma can be restored to beauty! With many strokes of paint, the elegance of marble and mirror, twelve hand-made satin white flowers, and a touch of love, it is now standing tall…and you can stand tall too!
Did this message about turning brokenness to beauty delight you? Donate at the PayPal link at the bottom of this page or consider bidding on the feature auction item entitled Lorna. For more inspirational reading material, click here.
 Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.
 Hamby, S., Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., and Ormrod, R. (2011). Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/232272.pdf
 Effects, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, accessed 1 November 2021. Retrieved from https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/intimate-partner-violence/effects
 Levine. PA (1997). Waking the Tiger. Healing trauma. Berkeley. CA. North Atlantic Book
 Newham. P. (1998). Therapeutic voicework: Principles and practice for the use of singing as a therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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