Priscillamae Olson

Author and Arist Living in Eau Claire, WI

Book Excerpt - When I Stumble in Life's Storms: A Bridge to Carry Me Home

Page vii - Introduction and Acknowledgements

Late spring, I had the abominable, heart - wrenching experience of viewing a mammoth circle, with multiple circles having their own circular course within the main circle. Closely aligned and placed on each and every circle were numerous dozens of pairs of shoes. Each pair represented a youth, or young adult, who had committed suicide right here in my own general area. A sea of pairs of shoes flooded my unbelieving eyes. Each pair representing life after life having been snuffed out; once brightly glowing candles now eternally extinguished. The gathering crowd was dead - still, and it was literally impossible not to join the chorus of grieving tears that were silently falling to the ground.

We must save our children. Suicide is the second - leading cause of death in our youth and young adults who are unsuccessfully navigating storms in their lives. Depression, poverty, homelessness, magnetism of cults, confusion of sexual orientation, bullying, school dropout, early pregnancy, availability of guns, accidents, social media, and substance abuse are among some of the contributors.

Page 102 - Fired in the Kiln of Life

We must be willing to let go of the past because we do not have the power to change yesterday. However, we are responsible to accept the lessons learned. Our memories can be cherished, or challenging, but we should not allow them to stop us from moving forward. We need to be able to shake harmful and hurtful memories of the past that stall us and continue to hold on to us. It's important that we don't let past hurts get infected, smolder, decay, and destroy our todays. Hatred is a self - destructive behavior, but we can go forward, and free, with forgiveness. It's important to note that forgiving is not the same as forgetting. Forgiveness is a choice to not hang onto life's pain and to show mercy. Also, it is vital that we not backtrack too far into yesterday, or on the other hand reach too far worrying about tomorrow. Whatever we focus on will grow in our mind, so we need to concentrate on today and keep our thoughts positive. It will be necessary to change and rearrange our priorities. Life is a journey with many choices as well as challenges. Strength will come as we keep believing in ourselves and learn to flow with the music in our lives. We need to be willing to enjoy the different melodies.

Page 99 - Bullying's Double Victimization

Help Me Before the Melting of the Snow

This bullying has stripped the trees.
Icicles hang like driven swords.
Landscapes are monotonous white on white.

This bullying endures the bitterness of this barest season.
Winter pleads for apprehension and justice.
Harsh blizzards blow isolation and discouragement.
God seems to have sealed the doors and windows.
The drapes of hope, peace, and happiness have been pulled.

This bullying causes the logs not to burn in the hearth.
Ruthless winds whip at the surveillance, and my browbeat coattails.
Cold blasts creep under every shake and around every door frame.
Darkness thickens and the snow just piles higher.

----Priscillamae Olson

Book Reviews

Anonymous

There is hope for everyone experiencing a crisis!

The author's revelations of the trials in her personal life were riveting. Her memory of living through a horrendous tornado as a child, and dealing with a violent stalker as an adult was gripping reading. Her lists on how to deal with crisis and depression in one's life were extremely helpful. She has a workbook type approach that people can use immediately to help themselves. A very helpful book for people in all walks of life.

Lorelette K.

Through life's storms to safety

March 4, 2018
Powerful storms of all sorts sweep ever more frequently through contemporary life, and young people seem often to bear the brunt of these tempests that can engender severe depression and lead to suicide. Anyone buffeted by such gales needs all the support, encouragement, and sound advice that they can possibly receive, and Priscillamae Olson's short and easily readable book is an excellent and much-needed resource. Woven throughout the well-made fabric of hugely valuable suggestions that this experienced counselor and teacher provides are gripping personal stories, thought-provoking quotations, and moving original poems that allow troubled voices to vent their anguish. The author's cover painting beautifully depicts the sort of durable bridges that readers of her book are able to build using the many useful self-help tools she hands them when they find themselves stumbling in the midst of a deluge that threatens to engulf them and sweep them away. This book provides hardy handrails of hope that those struggling can grasp, and deserves the widest possible audience!

Anonymous

Unhappy teens will welcome this powerful and supportive book.

February 25, 2018
Olson has written a valuable book for helping teens and young adults cope with the pressures they face in today's society. Suicidal? Depressed? Having trouble with gender identity? Bullied? Homeless? It's all here -- with practical strategies to help weather whatever storm the reader is facing. Interspersed with personal stories, these prayers, affirmations and tips offer a lifeline of hope to anyone in trouble.