the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

#1000Speak: Hugs for the Survivors


I think just about everyone had a teddy bear at one point, didn’t they?

My father had one named “Boo Woo”.

I had a number of teddy bears, with different names.  One of them, I’d take the tag and stick my thumb in it before sucking.  For some reason, it made my thumb taste better, although sometimes I’d get it caught.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, dear readers, I shouldn’t have to remind you of some of the ugly parts of my childhood.  I was bullied and abused at school and church as well as home, especially during my preteen years in middle school.  I think that was about the time that I finally started to banish cuddly toys from a space on my bed.

Rather odd that any boy would bully another over that, though, considering the history of the teddy bear.

The teddy bear was named for Theodore Roosevelt, easily the most badass president the United States of America ever had. Image credit: BadFads Museum

I came back to cuddly toys after marrying Cimmorene.  She offered me Milo, who still occupies a space in the master bedroom (EDIT: Milo has been deployed to England with another survivor.  A plushie dog Cimmy named “Bill” now has his old position). She decided to buy me a Bekin-made bear, whom I named “Buster” for the movie Phil Collins made famous.

Because I was still sensitive about being bullied, I’d loan him to my children, especially my son.  I’d tell him Buster needed to store up more hugs.

Sister #1 used to collect Beanie Babies.  She decided to gift her collection to my folks so that grandchildren (mostly my children, and my niece and nephew who are Sister #2 JenntheAmazon’s kids) could play with them.

This delighted Princess to no end:

Monkey Girl gives Monkey a ride

It wasn’t too long until Boy started loving on the Beanie Babies.  His current case manager for counseling has a small collection in her desk drawer, and it turns out that one of them (“Goatie”) was the very same kind I sent Aussa for a bridal gift.

Both Aussa and “Snack Cake” Deborah (who spearheaded a Heifer International campaign for the Great Goat Shower) were amused by this pic.

Aussa’s going to have to monitor Pinterest now, since Pinning this image was the quickest way to grab it. Image credit:

Of course, I was just expecting that she’d quietly get the gift of the Beanie Baby and the “got goats” window decal, with little fanfare.  Nope!

I just about fell out of my chair when I saw that tweet.  No way could I shrug it off, saying, “Well, it was cheap.”

So it was just easier to tweet about the awesomeness of Beanie Babies.

When I first started having back pain, Cimmy got this snake Beanie Baby for me.  I can’t remember what the Ty corporation gave it for a name, but I dubbed him “Bruno”.  He’s currently guarding my mini red wastebin full of scissors and pens and is on the shelf just above my computer monitor.

Anyways… my point in all these rambling stories is that hugs are essential, and as a survivor, if I can’t get one right away from a loved family member or friend, I will take it from a cuddly buddy, even if it’s not alive.  I am lucky that living creatures will give me physical touch, however– this includes my parents’ talkative cat, Skittles:

Skittles & Roger

My father and Skittles. Image credit: Dad Pratt at Flickr

Skittles and Cimmy

Skittle and Cimmy, during a housesitting visit

to Jenn’s stupid but loveable beagle mix, Dexter:

and a schnauzer named Oscar, who barks his fool head off whenever anyone comes to visit.  (Jenn probably hasn’t done a video with him because he’s just too excitable.)

Princess gets really stressed out when Cimmorene and I fight and argue, and, no surprise, she feels that her little brother is a chi vampire (meaning, he steals energy, or more literally, in Western terms, “the breath of life”).  Yes, I know that’s not quite fair– he can’t help his struggles with autism– but, it’s still difficult.

After an intense family council meeting reviewing our mood charts (we made some so Boy would better be able to recognize emotions), she drew a rather raw, dark portrait of herself.  So, if you look at the image just above, I gave her a hug, without too many words.  I let her hold it as long as she wanted.

Dear readers, we survivors need hugs.  Are you part of the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement?  What more can we do to be more compassionate towards each other?

Special thank you to Serins, who sends us hugs in her comments.


Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

11 thoughts on “#1000Speak: Hugs for the Survivors

  1. What a lovely post! Especially since I love hugs and teddy bears. Ever since my kids left for college I have been tempted to get myself a big fat bear to cuddle with. I cuddle with Mr. B but he has a lot of night meetings, and I don’t want a pet at this point in our lives. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (hugs) that is just too true. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I did not know that about teddy bears. the more you know My favorite was “Bear.” A very original name. He went all the way to my college dorm with me.

    Thanks so much for including me in this. That little goat lives near my writing desk now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was curious when you commented on my comment on Aussa’s site. I dropped by for a visit. I am sad to hear your childhood story. I also am a survivor, but I am a rather quiet one, publicly. I try to focus my tiny brain on beauty and magic these days, in the hopes that I don’t inadvertently pass along any bad habits to my kids. I want them to be able to be joyful and love life. The times I succeed, I hold close to me. I like hugs, too. And I miss my cat, he gave great hugs that were disguised as lap-sitting. My kids give great snuggle-hugs. And my hubby bought me a giant Gund. Before we were even married! But my daughter has tweaked him away from me. I still manage some hugs from him now and then. LOL XOXO Brenda


    • Thank you, Brenda! I stopped by your site as well. Perhaps I might have another post or two that might interest you? When I’m not writing about my struggles (like this post), I write about the Hero’s Journey as Joseph Campbell described it. This one comes to mind: which I worked on with my wife, Cimmorene. She loves fairy tales.

      I like your idea to focus on the beautiful and wonderous, to avoid passing on the ugly to our children. We (I mean my Twitter friends, mostly through the No More Shame Project and Trauma Recovery University) talk about ending the cycle all the time.

      Thank you for sharing your hug stories. I’m sure I’ll have to write more on hugs alone, as I keep reading they are so important! (Gund bears are awesome!) And I understand that sometimes kids tweak away snugglies. Boy tweaked away Walter, which was a cuddly dog Cimmy got me because I kept saying “I want a dog- I want a service dog” so many times. (We can’t afford a pet, much less a trained service/therapy animal.) She always insists Boy return Milo if she lends him out to him, however.


      • I will visit your post. This is the first I’m hearing of the No More Shame project. I checked it out. Fascinating. I wish something like that had existed twenty years ago, when I was coping on my own. More about hugs sounds good to me. 🙂


  5. I love it. I have many “animals”. Jeff has gotten me some. Other friends have. I’ve bought some that I love. Growing up, I was not allowed to have stuffed animals and well, I have made up for it now. When I need a hug or someone to cry with, I’ll grab one of my stuffed animals and I don’t care what anyone thinks. It helps. Thank you for writing this blog post. I absolutely love it. One day soon, I’ll have to highlight some of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please do! I mentioned Stew’s frequent mentions of the teddy bears for children survivors at The Gatehouse, and he also knows how much we find plush toys comforting.


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