Archive for I Will Rise

Normal??? Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2022 by paulthepoke

Remember that for sex trafficked individuals, their normal is not our normal, and stable is not always stable. Many youths, teens, and adults who are pulled out of commercial exploitation and human trafficking situations, or who enter programs and are placed in the care of loving and healing situations, do not adjust well. The reason for this is that their brains are conditioned to a state of “normal” that functions best in the traumatic situation they have just been removed from.

The longer someone was in the life (human trafficking, prostitution, addiction, etc.), the more deeply engrained this abnormal/normal reversion becomes in their brains, and the longer it will take to break through those barriers to retrain and find a healthy normal.

Changing the mindset and behavior of an individual who has endured a multitude of traumas does not happen by simply changing his or her environment. We have to understand this from the get–go. This is something that even the most loving care professionals may not understand. Often, creating a new and healthy normal for an individual exiting the life involves much counseling and work to alter his or her bases of understanding.

Building trust doesn’t always come easily. They will test you, but be consistent. Your job is to continue to walk alongside them, building trust, helping them process, assisting them as they recover a healthy normal, and allowing them to express their feelings and discover their true selves. The following tools will help you be an agent of this growth as you continue your relationship with them.

In this photo from the film I Will Rise, the actress is reenacting a moment of time. I’ll never forget my humanity was seen. Needs were met. I’ll never forget Miss Jeannie and Metro Lutheran Ministries and that “drop in center” on McGee in the ’90s. She allowed me to sleep on the floor of her office. It was the most significant amount of love I had experienced. #IWillRise

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
https://iwillriseproject.com/

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

Christine McDonald, International Christian Film Festival

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , on May 5, 2022 by paulthepoke

I (Christine McDonald) am representing the “I Will Rise” documentary at the International Christian Film Festival (ICFF) in Orlando, Florida. I have met so many amazing people. The conference starts out with praise and worship and ends the day in praise and worship. It’s amazing! Lots and lots of pictures to come but for tonight early to bed. It’s been a long day.

I already have committed to returning next year. I cannot wait to talk more about all the people and things that go on around here. Everybody’s like family it’s just amazing. And everybody loves Jesus.

I am completely honored to have 2 nominations right out of the gate at our first festival. It is up for Best Documentary and Best Director for a Documentary. -Anita Cordell

https://iwillriseproject.com/

For nearly two decades bought and sold, learn how a vulnerable youth was groomed and sold into the world of commercial sex exploitation. As the author of two books, read not only the story of exploitation but the heart wrenching choice between her own eyesight and the life of her unborn child.

International Christian Film and Music Festival, Orlando, Florida

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald

Setting the Stage and Listening… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on April 6, 2022 by paulthepoke

Maybe you are working with a program, and your encounter with an individual will be long–term, or at least on a more regular basis. You’ve made it through the intake appointments! You both know this was hard. Ask if they need or want anything, and if there is anything they would like to talk about. Remember, this is about them: their thoughts, their journey, their hope and their process. So it has to stay about them.

Refrain from sharing your lived experiences at this time. This is not the time to try to connect with them in that way. They are hurting, and sharing your experiences, although they might look similar, takes away from it being about them. This is not about you or your attempts to make them feel better or lessen their hurt or connect. This is only about them, and they will help you determine the speed at which they need to go. All of this needs to be about them.

If you feel it would help them to bring in your experiences, you can say, “You know, I have some lived experiences. Not exactly like yours, but somewhat like yours. So I know this is tough. Maybe sometime after you are more settled in with our program here, I’ll share some of my experiences with you. I understand that it’s hard right now, and you have many things going through your
mind, and it’s scary. So right now, we are just going to get you settled in so you can get to know us better and so we can get to know you better. How does that sound?”

Always ask them how they feel. Trying to connect too soon by sharing a part of your journey can come off like someone telling a war vet who has PTSD, “I totally understand where you’re coming from. I was in a car accident / I had a house fire / I had a family member who went through the same thing!” Even if your story is much the same as theirs, you are essentially taking their moment
from them. It can make their pain seem less important by sharing your experiences. After all, you are the helper and the professional; they are the hurting one seeking to recover.

Don’t get me wrong; there are times for sharing your experiences, but there are times that are not. Don’t force a connection by sharing your experiences. You are the professional who has made it to the other side, or the professional who might not have the lived experiences. Validate the individual’s pain by keeping the focus on them until they indicate otherwise.

During these first weeks, it must continue to be about them. This is the time for questions about their thoughts, their needs, and their fears. You are bringing them to a place where they feel safe.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald

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