About the Author - Coral Anika Theill
This page is dedicated to "trauma survivors," protective mothers and "Mothers of Lost Children" and originated in April 2013 after the publication of my memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark.
Thanks to you and those who share my daily postings, Bonshea Making Light of the Dark facebook page, receives over 20,000,000 views per month.
"It has been said, time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wound remains. In time the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
- Rose Kennedy
I have come to appreciate the mystery of human suffering. When we can truly embrace our pain and suffering and are able to be authentically grateful for our wounds and the brutality that we may have endured, we become 'healed healers.'
Alice Walker's wise words have become my personal mantra, "Resistance is the secret of joy, we should challenge whatever oppresses us, anything we love can be saved, the way forward is with a broken heart, we should lead and not project on others what they should do for us, and we are the ones we have been waiting for."
Difficult experiences in life have softened rather than hardened me.
I have a positive, inspiring deep warrior soul, a brave gypsy heart, a renaissance woman, survivor/overcomer extraordinaire and an angel with a sword standing tall for the Good when it has to be!
My passions include support of our troops and wounded warriors and assisting those who have experienced trauma and crisis in their journey back to wholeness and 'self.' I remind those around me, 'your trauma is not who you are, it is just what happened to you.’ I believe we are all bonded together by the fact that each and every one of us faces personal trials, trauma and crisis. Our challenge is to reframe and use the tragic moments in life for personal empowerment and for encouraging others.
I understand quantum physics and destiny plays a role in our lives. I believe there are no accidents in life and in synchronicity. Beauty is how we treat people around us. Love wants the highest good for the other. Respect is not casting your shadows on others.
I believe there is beauty in the ashes, sanity is madness put to good use, normal is only a setting your dryer, too much of a good thing is wonderful, and sexuality is a 'state of mind.' I don't have any baggage, but do have a classy luggage rack. Through the years I have learned that ‘gray is a beautiful color.’
My past training and professional work experiences include: pilot training and ground school, court reporter, legal secretary, sales, home renovation, logging, fork lift driver and warehouse worker, professional modeling, freelance reporter, artist, advocate, writer and author.
My own favorite quote: 'No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly, when we know and understand this, we are truly free.'
In 1997 and 1999 I visited my relatives in Denmark and traveled to Sweden. I was refreshed by their love, humor and hospitality and their civil and humane society. Since 1997, I have lived in many different states and have also had the opportunity to experience living on several Indian Reservations within the United States. My homes have been my car, small motel rooms, cabins, and numerous apartments. I take my contentment with me, live in my ‘now moment,’ and “blow with the wind.”
My self-care activities range from reading a diverse body of spiritual, alternative health and self-improvement books, as well as literature, history, and poetry. I also enjoy dancing, singing and physical fitness programs. These activities have combined to enrich and strengthen me physically, mentally and spiritually. In my spare time I enjoy volunteer work, research and writing, decorating, and bargain hunting at second hand shops.
In 1997, after surviving tragedy and loss, I began my journey of writing. My past writings range from PTS , TBI and suicide prevention, wounded Marines, Rolling Thunder XXV, USMC Combat Veteran MWD K-9 Sgt Beyco, military history and Montford Point Marines. On a personal basis, my articles address domestic violence, rape, child abuse/molestation, Stockholm Syndrome, ritual abuse, spirituality, patriarchal religions and judicial injustice. From 2010-2011 I worked as a contributing writer for Leatherneck Magazine. In 2012-2013 I was a contributing writer for "Short Rations for Marines."
Awards and Honors: In 1998, professional model of the year award, 2001 guest speaker at Linfield College, 2002 recipient of a Writer’s Award from iUniverse Publishing Company, 2004 BONSHEA was used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon, 2008, Gene Deutscher, a U.S. Marine Combat Veteran, nominated me for the ‘Woman of Courage’ Award, selected for the award in 2008 by Andrea Harris, impressionist artist, 2011 recipient of the Lester Granger Award from the National Montford Point Association for my advocacy and articles on the Montford Point Marines.
My article, Montford Point Marines of WWII, was published in the February 2011 issue of Leatherneck Magazine, my Exclusive Interview with Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos on PTS and TBI and Invisible Battle Scars: Confronting the Stigma Associated with PTS and TBI was published in the October 2011 issue of Leatherneck Magazine. Invisible Battle Scars is cited in the U.S. Army War College Psychological Notes and was published in Short Rations for Marines (And FMF Corpsmen), an anthology of Marine Corps stories by Major Ralph Stoney Bates, Sr., USMC (Ret).
I continue to pray for the highest good for all and envision a healed, whole and conscious society. I encourage those around me to "go to the edge of the light, to listen deeply and feel their inner guidance." I am thankful for my past because it has pushed me to reach a higher level of consciousness and a deeper awareness of who I am.
I no longer embrace the ideological rigidity and doctrines of patriarchal religions and “Christianity,” but wish to help those who are being abused “in the name of God.”
As a youth I did not believe in the “us” and “them” mentality that is prevalent in American churches. I felt equal to my fellow man. The doctrines and beliefs of Christianity seemed too limiting to me. I felt interconnected to all mankind and nature. Compassion, unconditional love, peace and non-judgment were an automatic response to my personal belief system and moral code. I did not see the fruit in myself or others as we embraced the dogmas within Christianity. It was difficult for me to participate in the arrogance of the church and their teachings regarding the “lost, damned and unsaved.”
When I finally left organized religion, I was reborn. The world suddenly became a much larger place and the people in it more interesting and beautiful. I could breathe and smell, see in color and dream. I became less fearful and judgmental. I appreciated my body, my life and my friends more. I had no absolute answers, which opened me up to new and interesting ideas. The entire universe became my church and everything and everyone in it my friend. I can worship 24/7 -- anywhere at any time because all places are holy, sacred and special for me as are all people. I belong to the biggest church of all - the infinite universe and everyone is in it.
I believe our goal should not be eliminating religion, but illuminating the tactics by which it commands obedience and discourages doubt so that people can recognize these and reject them. It is more important that we all make up our own minds, use reason to guide us, and do not passively rely on faith or authority of religious leaders. Rather than keep our thoughts in captivity, we should set them free to explore wherever they wish - to seek out different viewpoints, to question fearlessly, and most importantly, to expose all ideas to the fire of testing. The ones worth being kept will survive. Humanity has a vast potential to accomplish things as yet undreamed-of, but blind faith will never take us there. If we are to become aware of the dangers that beset us and enter into a future where we can realize this potential, this is the way we must learn to live.
I truly believe the Universe sets in motion experiences in life for our soul's longings and desires to be met.
Even though I have left and walked away from organized religion, I believe in walking my talk. My personal moral code goes beyond the doctrines, dogmas and commandments of the religious-minded. I make my decisions from a place of unconditional love for myself, my Creator, and for my fellowman. I believe in personal accountability and responsibility for my thoughts and actions and believe that I create my own reality. “First do no harm” and “how can I help” are basic mottoes from which I base my discernment.
Being true to myself and resonating that truth to the Universe and to those around me is a highest priority. Einstein said that our actions are a reflection of our belief system. I continue to envision a whole and healed world. I believe our survival as a human race is dependent upon emotional and spiritual enlightenment apart from religion.
For my personal spiritual, emotional and physical health, I understand the truth of ‘living your way into the answer.’ Rainer Maria Rilke writes, “I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything, live the questions now, perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
My understanding and personal belief about love is best expressed by Anne Morrow Lindburgh. She wrote, “People talk about love as though it were something you could give, like an armful of flowers. And a lot of people give love like that - just dump it on top of you, a useless strong-scented burden. I don't think it is anything that you can give… Love is a force in you that enables you to give other things. It is the motivating power. It enables you to give strength and power and freedom and peace to another person. It is not a result, it is a cause. It is not a product; it produces. It is a power…It has taken me a long time to learn. I hope it will stay learned and that I can practice it.”
I believe in the basic values of this country, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness - the necessity of basic human rights for all people, the golden rule and the social contract that says that those who have been given much should help those who are without.
I remind those around me to not forget the millions of women and children who are veterans of intimate wars and private anguish and for whom terror at home is business as usual. One in four women will experience violence at the hands of their partner at some time in their lives and one in three women will be the victim of sexual assault.
I hope by sharing my story, that other women (and men) who are trapped in similar situations–(and there are thousands of them), will be able to travel the path I have been forced to take a little more successfully.
Thirteen years ago, while writing and publishing BONSHEA, I was living out of my car, destitute and disabled. I was the victim of theft and an attempted murder incident by an an unlicensed therapist who worked for the Veterans Administration. I have shelter now and time has healed some of the pain. I continue to live in awe and radical amazement of life and will never stop hoping for justice, restitution and vindication.
I believe in seeking to defeat injustice, not people. I believe that the Universe is on the side of "justice" and that right will prevail.
BONSHEÁ – Yaqui Indian – meaning ‘out of the darkness into the light’
A startling memoir of one woman escaping an abusive marriage and oppressive religious cults and trying to find "justice" in a failed system. Anyone concerned with issues of abuse and injustice in America should read this book.
Many mothers who seek safety from abuse are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere not prepared to understand the needs of families dealing with domestic violence.
The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.
Forcibly taking a mother's children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of 'mis-use' of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control.
Coral Anika Theill is available for speaking engagements and interviews.