Book Review: Author Robert Uttaro Share Powerful Stories Regarding Sexual Assault In ‘To The Survivors’

Featured Image Courtesy of  fauxels from Pexels

Disclosure: This book is 100% my views, I was not compensated in exchange for it.

Author, Robert Uttaro didn’t decide to become a basketball or football player, neither did he choose to become a doctor, lawyer, or even a musician when he grew up. The only thing Robert knew was that he wanted to help people. And by helping people, who would have thought that it would have been as a Rape Crisis Counselor at a center, he refers to as “The Healing Place.” 

In the childhood section of his book “To The Survivors,” Robert discusses him taking a knife to a bathroom, getting in the tub, and putting small cuts starting from the elbows all the way down to his wrist. When asked by a friend what happened, he informed her that he fell into some thorns, and sadly she believed him. Without even questioning the whereabouts and/or what happened to make him fall in the first place. This incident had me thinking about various people whom I’ve come into contact with over the years who were maybe not looking so well one day, or they’d come to work, and you notice a strange bruise or even perhaps that something’s off with them. You ask, “Are you okay?” they more than likely will say, “Yes, they are,” or they’d say something like, “You know I was doing such and such and slipped.” And as a society, we take their words as solid truths and not say anything else about the matter. This makes me wonder… 

Could those people have really been in trouble and I not didn’t take notice?

Did I miss the signs or the red flags? 

Photo credit: Bing

Robert’s book is that of true stories (identities and places withheld for personal reasons) and the influential individuals he’s worked with over the years. Heroic individuals who wanted to share their vulnerability and traumatic stories of violence and sexual assault. 

This book is a valuable guide to read, as well as understand the different effects a survivor may be feeling. To me, while this book is regarding survivors of sexual violence. I believe the twenty-three mentioned impacts on an individual’s emotions, such as shame, guilt, loss of control, shock, embarrassment, suicidal tendencies, and many more. It can also be used for someone who experienced a terrible loss or tragedy. These symptoms are sure signs that anyone should be able to look for in an individual and offer help. 

While some people may find the stories within this book hard to read due to its nature and content, others will find it inspiring and motivating. It helps you feel as though you’re NOT alone, as you may even resonate with some of the individual stories. 

I feel everyone should know that there is HOPE and a LIFE after a sexual assault or tragedy. It may not seem like it because when you’re going or have gone through such a traumatic experience, it can feel like you’re the only one facing it or like the walls are closing in on you all at once. I know those feelings all too; well, I’m a sexual assault survivor myself. Moving forward wasn’t easy, but I had to see it as me surviving so that I may help someone else survive. I’m a firm believer that EVERYTHING we go through in life is not just our experiences, but we go through them to help others get through theirs, and in return, maybe they’d turn and help someone else. There’s a purpose for everything, even in damaged goods. You CAN and WILL live a healthy LIFE. You just have to chose if you’re going to allow your past or it’s negativity to KEEP you in a jail of bondage, regret, and shame over it. 

You have to determine when to put an expiration date on it and move forward. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

And this next word is the icing on the cake that’s going to help you move forward, and that’s FORGIVENESS! I know it’s cliché, but as we know and have heard, “Forgiveness is not for them, but it gives you Peace” Now I know forgiveness is hard, as this is another chapter in Robert’s book that really spoke to me. It’s easier said than done, trust me, I know. But forgiveness is so you can move on and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to the perpetrator. I’m also a believer in seed planting. Plant a bad one, you reap the benefits of whatever grows up from that seed. 

 ‘To The Survivors’ is a perfect example to show that you don’t have to be from the same place as someone else. Neither do you have to have experienced the same thing they’ve experienced? As Robert stated in his book, “Often our lives go in different directions than we plan or expect.”

A road or call from God, I should say, lead Robert Uttaro to a healing place to help bring blessings and healing to others. He answered the call, and because of it, many survivors have shared their stories and have helped others become heroic in sharing theirs. ‘To the Survivors’ is a book of hurt, heroism, and healing. The heroes are the ones that felt compelled to share their stories, but the main protagonist is the man, who felt the call, listened to the request, and acted upon it. Thanks, Robert, for allowing these influential voices to be heard.

If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, maybe it’s you, perhaps it happened many years ago, and you feel it doesn’t matter now. Well, let me tell you, IT DOES! Your voice matters, it matters for the many women and men that are afraid to SPEAK UP. Your voice could just be the chain reaction that helps someone else get the healing they desperately need.

Please reach out to a counselor, trusted friend, or family member, or call or find a rape crisis center near you. Robert Uttaro’s book “To The Survivors” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.  

Get Inspired to tell your story, Pick up your copy today!

What the Prostate? Let’s Talk About Prostate Health

Featured Image Credit: Bing

So, you might be wondering. Where in the heck is this coming from? Well, I’m the type of writer that when things interest me, move me or make me think – I have to write about it. I mean, it’s just how I’m wired up I guess.

This topic came about when I went to my sister’s house last weekend and while she was out, I and my brother-in-law talked it up and in doing so, he mentioned that he got a prostate screening. Huh?, I said – in my mind, I was like, isn’t that for 50 yr olds? My brother-in-law literally just turned 40 this year. I wondered what made him get such a test and why now? I was a little confused…

Park & Recreation – Donna

It was then that he went on to elaborate that a friend of his sent him the information. Seemingly, they were having free prostate exam screenings. His friend went and got tested and was just passing along the information to all the men he knew to get tested as well. My brother-in-law was hesitant but it was free, so he thought he’d go.

Of course, my brother-in-law was a little nervous and scared as he didn’t know what to expect and I’m sure at that point, he had no clue as to what he’d gotten himself into. Once the wait was over and he got into the doctor’s office, he was asked a few more questions and then, was asked to take off his pants from the waist down, turn around on the bed, standing up straight, he was asked to lean over on the bed with his elbows lifted. The doctor proceeded to give him some tissue in which at this time, my brother-in-law was thinking the doctor was being considerate to the sniffling he was doing prior to the exam, Oh that was NICEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, my brother-in-law couldn’t get out the next words because before he knew it, he was being probed with a finger up his butt or gluteus maximus for my fancy folks…lol.

Cancer Screening – iStockMovember2011

Less than 5 min, it was over. My brother-in-law not fathom what had just happened felt weird, icky and just wanted to run to the nearest shower he possibly could. And, no – the tissue wasn’t for the sniffles but so he could “clean up” afterward.

Now I know that whole story was a little uncomfortable for most to sit and read. However, it sparked me to write so I can inform our men, brothers, nephews, cousins, fathers and husbands of the uneasy but yet informal things we should all know about. They say men have to be at least 50 yrs old before a prostate exam, just like they say women have to be 40 yrs old to get a mammogram. Those statistics are a little off as our diets, family heredity, environmental hazards and etc have put men and women as well at risk for such diseases at increasingly younger ages than expected.

Men, in general, are the HARDEST people on earth to drag to the doctor. I don’t know what it is, but they just won’t go. I think it’s the perception of “If I don’t go, I won’t know” and that’s great with them. I also think they believe that if they go, the doc may find something that they just don’t want to face. I truly understand that, believe me. However, stage 4 of something can most times be incurable as opposed to early detection and stage 1, which can increase the odds of living and beating a disease.

So, what is the Prostate?
Image Credit: Bing

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. The prostate is just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate, from the bladder to the penis, letting urine flow out of the body. The prostate can get larger with age, primarily in men over age 50.

The Effects of the Prostate?
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The prostate is responsible for producing prostatic fluid, which is full of enzymes, proteins, and minerals that are vital for the proper functioning of sperm.

Why Men Need to get checked for this important screening?
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Men have to get tested in order to decrease their chances of getting prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in regards to men. The good news is that prostate cancer if detected grows increasingly slow that is as long as it’s attached to the prostate gland. Most prostate cancers do grow slowly, however, some are very aggressive and can spread like a wildfire if untreated. And how will you know this? Early detection of course! For what the symptoms are, you can visit The Mayo Clinic

Things to do and eat to keep that Prostate Healthy?

Exercise! Of course, physical activity is always best in any case, however continuous cycling is not a recommendation and if you are going too, then WebMD suggests a “prostate-friendly saddle” to keep your most important part, out of harm’s way.

So, what should your diet consist of? Well, Health Central suggests the following:

  • Tomatoes, Broccoli
  • Legumes (beans, lentils), Fish
  • Sesame Seeds, Bell Peppers
  • Avocados, Beans, Garlic

Of course, a healthy diet is “key” to any health risk decrease. If you add more of the items listed to your everyday meals, then you’ll be on your way to not only having a healthy prostate but overall health in general.

Become knowledgeable about certain risks and take advantage of your health care benefits by visiting a doctor once a year for a full physical. What’s not that important to you now, could be detrimental to you later.

Early detection is the best detection! Your future body will thank you later.

Oh, and P.S. My brother-in-laws test came back negative! To God be the glory for that!

Image Credit: Bing

Check with your local hospital or doctor’s office to find out if they know of free screenings in your area or if you have a regular doctor, let them know your questions and/or concerns in regards to your prostate health!

The winner of Jacqueline Pirtle’s new book “Parenting Through the Eyes of Lollipops” will be announced next Thursday, October 31st! No tricks, but all treats!! Have you entered the contest?

Sunday’s Thought: What Defines A Man…

photo source above courtesy of bing/mengroup

Original piece, written by Roshonda N. Blackmon

What Defines a Man?

Some say it’s the way he dresses

Others say, the way he wears his suits and some think – It’s gotta be the cologne.

Some may say, his smile while others are certain it’s his looks.

Most say, the way he walks – while others are for sure it’s the way he talks.

Some may think, it’s all in his ride – while some are sure “It’s locked in his PRIDE”

So, what really defines a man………………………

Is it the home or the city he resides in?

Some may agree, while others nod in disagreement.

Is it the amount of money he makes? Or the job he idolizes or hates?

While these things are all material, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and state what’s truly lyrical.

The thing that truly defines a man, is this…………………….

His Wisdom

His  Heart

His Compassion

His Sensitivity

His Humbleness

His Family

His Love for God

You see, a man is defined by his character and not just by muscle alone.

So, I ask again – what defines a man; do you know?

Whatever your answer may be, make sure it’s not caught up by his physical traits. You have to look at the heart of the man and there you will see; What Truly Defines A MAN!

 

Happy Father's Day

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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