Know why you are here?

inspiration * conversation * aggitation * alot of connection

Monday, December 27, 2010

Introducing Lucy B. ... "In Your Own Words"

Lucy is a survivor of horrible abuse at the hand of her father - Her poem is below. It is a TRUTH for many teens out there. Our parents are supposed to protect us, show us how much they love us. But not all of us are that lucky.

I am a firm believer in the mindset that NASTY things come into our lives to strengthen us for something we will need to be strong for in the future. Maybe Lucy will be a teacher someday and a student on the verge of suicide will confide in her and tell her secret. Lucy will be able to honestly say, "I KNOW how you feel. Let's get through this together."

If you consider yourself a SURVIVOR of ABUSE - you are also a future HERO in someone else's life. Stay strong and reach out. You will be used for BIG things and you may just save a life!

And now I will give the floor to LUCY...

 I sat there weeped,
There was nothing I could do.
The family sleeped,
But not I.

I listened for hours,
Not knowing what to do.
My tears came in showers,
But nobody cared.

I lay in bed at night,
Trying to ignore it all.
I still shivered with fright.
But nobody knew.

The abuse just kept on going,
I know it wasn't to me.
But as a witness,
It's just as bad.
All you hear is shouting,
The madness never-ending.

But then I found help,
The help was my voice,
I shouted and yelped:
'This is killing me. Let. Me. Go!'

And then they came,
The police,
The colour from my face, oh how it drained.
What had I done.

What would he do?

Thanks Lucy B. for sharing.
If you have a poem, story or rant to share please email it to

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Introducing Kelsi Jo... "In Your Own Words"

I am so excited to announce the "In Your Own Words" segment of the Saylor Says blog! So excited!

Basically, if you want to share a piece of yourself in words this is the place. You can rant about something, write out a dream, describe your hopes, write some fiction or give your thoughts on any subject under the sun (that applies to teens, of course)!

I found our first FEATURED TEEN on FACEBOOK! I had posted a CALL for WRITERS in my status and before I exhaled, she had commented and wanted to know if she could send me something she had written.

It was fate because this girl is going to write for a living one day and now she can say she is published! The world wide web can come read her words! How very cool! She's got her 15 minutes of fame, although if she keeps writing, she will have many more minutes coming her way.

So, without further ado, I introduce you to:

"my name is kelsi jo i'm a reader and writer i also do ballet. i love music, i laugh 99% of my time, i have red hair"

"i knew i was dreaming, which was weird because i never dream. Just a black hole. I was walking down an archway, the doors were all lined up and closed. Then they flew open. I wasn't surprised or scared, i was curious at the least. Each room was different, one was plain white. Another had a bad tv reception. It also had a girl who was holding her head, like she had a horrid headache. As i reached the end of the doors, the floors started beating, like there was a heart growing underneath the tiles. The beating started pulsing off the walls. A small figure was forming in the wall, like a shadow. It moved around in a circle. Soon i ignored it and moved forward, but instead i moved backwards, arms stretched out on either side of me. A tear escaped my eye and traveled down till it started making a puddle on the floor. And my mouth tried to make the words come out like it has tried so many times before. i cant speak, i locked up all my words....."

How many of you have ever felt like your words were all locked up? What made you panic? Was it a memory? Was it the possibility of humiliation? Was it fear?
Feel free to comment and "in your own words" write something about being "locked up..."

** RULES for commenting on "In Your Own Words:"
These words are not only written but OWNED by the author. Your comments must be respectful and positive.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"What YOU say..." (TEEN ONLY) writing contest...

Can you write their story in 50 words or less?

Try your hand at it and leave your story in the comments section below.

The winner will receive a THREE DAY pass to post on "Saylor says..." You will be able to choose from a list of topics. You can post all three days on the same topic or do a different topic each day.

If you want to email me your story instead, send it to

I can't wait to read them!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For Children Who Were Broken : A Poem by teen Elia Wise

For Children Who Were Broken
by Elia Wise
For Children Who Were Broken
it is very hard to mend......

Our pain was rarely spoken
and we hid the truth from friends.

Our parents said they loved us,
but they didn't act that way.
They broke our hearts
and stole our worth,
with the things that they would say.

We wanted them to love us.
We didn't know what we did
to make them yell at us
and hit us,
and wish we weren't their kid.

They'd beat us up and scream at us
and blame us for their lives.
Then they'd hold us close inside their arms
and tell us confusing lies
of how they really loved us --
even though we were BAD,
and how it was OUR fault they hit us,
OUR fault that they were mad.

When days were just beginning
we sometimes prayed for them to end,
and when the pain kept coming,
we learned to just pretend
that we were good
and so were they
and this was just
on of those days ...
tomorrow we'd be friends.

We had to believe it so.
We had nowhere else to go.

Each day that we pretended,
we replaced reality
with lies, or dreams,
or angry schemes,
in search of dignity ....
until our lies
got bigger than the truth,
and we had no one real to be

Our bodies were forsaken.
With no safe place to hide,
we learned to stop
hearing and feeling what they did to our outsides.

We tried to make them love us,
till we hated ourselves instead,
and couldn't see a way out,
and wished that they were dead.
We scared ourselves by thinking that,
and scared ourselves to know,
that we were acting just like them --
and might ever more be so.

To be half the size of a grown-up
and trapped inside their pain....
To every day lose everything
with no savior or refrain...
To wonder how it is possible
that God could so forget
the worthy child you knew you were,
when you had not been damaged yet ...
To figure on your fingers
that the years till you'd be grown
enough to leave the torment
and survive away from home,
were more than you could count to,
or more than you could bear,
was the reality we lived in
and we knew it wasn't fair.

We who grew up broken
are somewhat out of time,
struggling to mend our childhood,
when our peers are in their prime.
Where others find love
and contentment,
we still often have to strive
to remember we are worthy,
and heroes just to be alive.

Some of us are healing.
some are stealing.
Most are passing the anger on.
Some give their lives away to drugs,
or the promise of like beyond.
Some still hide from society.
Some struggle to belong.
But all of us are wishing
the past would not hold on
so long.

There's a lot of digging down to do
to find the child within,
to love away the ugly pain
and feel innocence again.
There is forgiveness
worthy of angel's wings
for remembering those at all,
who abused our sacred childhood
and programmed us to fall.
To seek to understand them,
and how their pain became our own,
is to risk the ground we stand on
to climb the mountain home.

The journey is not so lonely
as in the past it s been ...
More of us are strong enough
to let the growth begin.
But while we're trekking
up the mountain
we need everything we've got,
to face the adults we have become,
and all that we are not.

So when you see us weary
from the day's internal climb ...
When we find fault
with your best efforts,
or treat imperfection
as purposeful crime ...
When you see our quick defenses,
our efforts to control,
our readiness to form a plan
of unrealistic goals ...
When we run into a conflict
and fight to the bitter end,
remember ...
We think that winning means
we won't be hurt again.

When we abandon OUR thoughts
and feelings,
to be what we believe YOU
want us to,
or look at trouble we re having,
and want to blame it all on you...
When life calls for new beginnings,
and we fear they re doomed to end,
Wounded trust is like a wounded knee--
It is very hard to bend.

Please remember this
when we are out of sorts.
Tell us the truth, and be our friend.
For children who were broken...
it is very hard to mend.

Send me your poems, thoughts, short stories and I will share them... anonymously if you choose.


Friday, December 3, 2010

"Dear Saylor, my brother is driving me crazy!"

Dear Saylor,
My brother and I have always gotten along but recently something has happened and I can't explain what...
we seem to be driving each other crazy

he annoys me on purpose
he embarrasses me @ school

he says I try to embarrass him at school
he says I don't laugh when he's trying to be funny just to make him mad

What can we do? I hate arguing and being frustrated all the time!
Frustrated and Tired

Dear Frustrated and Tired,
Wow! Do I totally get your drama! I have a sister, who I have to admit, I have annoyed ON PURPOSE! But she has done the same to me, too.

I am really big on lists!
Somehow, writing a problem down and actually seeing it in front of you instead of it just floating around in your head makes it easier to attack. So, obviously you two have had the "you are driving me crazy" conversation before. You are both, basically, in the same boat. You are annoyed and want it to stop! Being at the same level of frustration is really good in this situation b/c you both can agree something needs to be done. Sometimes getting the other person to see THAT part is the hardest part of fixing something - you have 50% done already!

My suggestion is for you two to sit down and make a list:
  • Start with something like, "Grab a pen and come to the table - we need to create some peace!"
  • YOU make a list of everything you wish he wouldn't do (only things that RELATE to your relationship...not that you wish he wouldn't comb his hair like Justin Beiber)
  • Have HIM make the same kind of list
  • Set a time limit or preface the list with "your top 5"
  • When your list is done, let the youngest person go first and explain each thing
  • Explain what it is that he does, why it drives you nuts, what he could do to make it better
  • Switch and let the other person go
  • BIGGEST RULE: When it's YOUR turn, HE DOESN'T SPEAK! When it's HIS turn, YOU DON'T SPEAK!
  • When you have both shared, hand over the list to the other person and have a conversation, taking turns, about each item. What is fair, unfair, etc. What you would agree to do, not do...
  • When you have both been productive and you feel you have solved the issues, SIGN each other's list. This is now a CONTRACT. You agree to TRY to make it better, to the best of your ability.
**Have a parent/adult present to keep conversations on track and diffuse any tempers. Guidance counsellors are GREAT at playing referee and most would be happy to help!

**Make sure everything is safe, if he wants to be able to share what he knows about your boyfriend with you, let him. It is in a sibling's nature to PROTECT. That will come in handy sometime!

Let me know how it goes!
Here's to hoping there is more PEACE for the HOLIDAY SEASON in your house!


If you need advice you can always send an email to and I will respond with some tips and ideas. I will NEVER post your question online without your permission first. Your emails are confidential!! If I think your question and my answer would be beneficial to other teens, I will ask you if I can post it here. You always have the right to say no and I would NEVER break your trust. Pinky promise!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In 255 characters or less define the word LOVE in your OWN creative way! (might use it (*names changed*) in a book I am writing!

In 255 characters or less define the word LOVE in your OWN creative way! (might use it (*names changed*) in a book I am writing!

Answer here

Dangerous Minds: Pro-ana website WARNING!

Unfortunately society dictates what is glamorous.
Unfortunately a "normal" weight doesn't always fit that bill.

Last night while flipping through the channels, I landed on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Gross!

(if you look closely at the contents on the box above, you will notice it is actually possible to see most of the models' internal organs through their gaunt, stretched skin that if unzipped could easily fit a healthy 8 year old) (which coincidentally stands for Entertainment Weekly but I think is appropriate in this case as "ew!") reviewed the event complete with clips from the evening affair. I thought some of the comments were TERRIFIC so I wanted to share them here:

"mac" said:
The fact that people watch this display pretty much seals the fact that civilization is more or less on the same level as barbarians of thousands of years ago. More than the fact that it offensive to anyone with a conscience, its actually pretty stupid too.

"voice of reason" said:
This just in… Books still exist, and unlike this display of unapologetic garbage, they can still have a positive impact on society. If people stopped shopping there and actually watching this sad excuse for entertainment, it really would go away.

And we wonder why girls HATE the bodies they are in? I can honestly say I will NEVER purchase ANYTHING from this store. I believe it is partially responsible for the BODY DYSMORPHIC issues girls are trudging through!

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a serious issue!

What makes the beautiful reflection in this mirror unappealing for you?
Since when is "healthy" unattractive?
This is so sad.

Be aware of websites that continually support eating disorders. These websites are "how to" libraries and message boards for anorexics, bulemics and those wanting to "train with the best." The best? More like training with the DEAD... because MANY who struggle with eating disorders are covered with 6 feet of dirt before they exit their "glorious" teen years!

@teenvoices has an awesome interview with Megan Craysord-Noble, a 17 year old from England who formed the Fight to Live Campaign to raise awareness of eating disorders and as a response to those pro-ana and pro-mia websites that showcase Anorexia and Bulemia as a lifestyle choice!

I won't even leave links to these sometimes hard to find sites. 'Power in numbers' and 'misery loves company' breathes life into these illness-infatuated sites and they are inhabited with girls who need help to heal not assitance in mass suicide.

Eating disorders are INCREDIBLY curable. I am living proof! I totally "get" the photo above... difference is, what I used to think was beautiful (the skin and bones) is now nauseating and what I thought was nauseating (the healthy reflection) is now beautiful!

If you are struggling to see yourself in a healthy way - there are alot of places to go for help!


Healthy Place

All About Life Challenges

You were created to be vibrant, to breed strength, to change the world! You can't do that with your finger down your throat.

Grab a marker and head to the nearest mirror. Write words of affirmation all around the halo of your reflection. Things that you ARE, not things you want to BE.

good friend, animal lover, reader, artist, singer, caring, supportive, good listener, friendly, giving, motivated, athletic, etc.

Let THESE things define you! Let those words there...and SEE them as a PART of you everytime you glance in the mirror. THOSE internal things are what make you who you ARE! Not a stupid number on a scale! You are loved!

And as always, I am here for you to chat, vent, whatever you need. Don't give up. Promise me you won't give up!

Check out this book for a slap in the face honest life of Lia, someone who suffers like many of us who struggle with self-image.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson: a book review

Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secrets,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia’s mother is busy saving other people’s lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia’s head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way – thin, thinner, thinnest – maybe she’ll disappear altogether.

Ever feel like the numbers on the scale define your worth?
Yeah, met too. It was the darkest time in my life. It got to the point that I couldn't stand the sensation of ANYTHING in my gut. It had to come out. I had to be empty... clean... empty.

This book by LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON was bsaed on the author's correspondence with the many teens that have read her New York Times Best Selling Novels like TWISTED and SPEAK! Had she not mentioned that in the acknowledgments I would have bet my soul she was a recovering bulemic like me! This book is raw and painful, cathartic and poignant.

But this book will change your life. Every teen girl needs to read this. Every middle/high school teacher. Every mom. Every mentor.

There is no doubt in my mind that Laurie Halse Anderson is saving lives with this book. Fantastic! There is even a study guide** with questions in the back of the book.


**If anyone is interested in doing an online Book Club, I would be happy to add a page to this blog devoted to book discussions. Tell me what you think!

Monday, November 29, 2010


"You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world."

~The Beatles

I don't know about you but I am COMPLETELY SICK of people making teens feel like they are a waste of space! I am pretty sure that those people that make you feel that way one point in their lives TEENS! So, that would mean that THEYbelieve that at one time THEY THEMSELVES were a waste of space?

NO ONE is a waste of space. We are all designed to be an integral part in this giant machine we call man-and-womankind! If you are between the ages of 11-18, I am here to tell you that together YOU can change the way society views teens!


We are all passionate about something. For some of us it is music, for some it is art, for some it is as simple as our significant other. But do you feel me when I say those things are INTROspective? Those are things that make US feel better.

We need to collectively start being EXTRAspective - and I am not even sure if that is REALLY a word! LOL! It is a scientific fact that if you put your heart into something and GIVE, your life will change for the better. It's not a Genie-in-the-Lamp kind of phenomenon - you have to do a little (A LOT) more than rub and wish - you will have to work but I PROMISE you it will be worth it. You think your heart has been broken? Life has thrown a big stake right through it? Pick up the pieces you have left and give this a shot! I promise BIG results!

I recently read this on The Illuminated Mind (I don't agree with everything on that site but THIS was a nugget of info I felt was worth sharing - and using to rally  the troops!):

what it takes to create a Revolution

  • It has to be something you care deeply about and would be willing to devote your life to.
  • It should be something that will help other people.
  • It should have a long term impact.
  • It has to be remarkable; it has to be worth sharing and bigger than you.
  • Working toward a revolution often involves the pursuit of being an ordinary radical.
  • Your revolution must have a distinctive quality to it that is caused by you working in it. It wouldn’t be the same if someone else did it. But it is definitely a collective movement created by similar values.
Now, what I need from YOU, what kinds of things would YOU want to do? What does YOUR REVOLUTION look like? Would it be a random acts of kindness style project? Would you raise money for something?

How can we collectively CHANGE the WORLD? Can you see the headlines now? WORLD CHANGED...BY TEENS!!!!!

Guinness Book of World Records HERE WE COME!
Send this link - make it VIRAL!
Tweet, Facebook, it!

And leave thousands of comments below! Ideas people! We need IDEAS!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Sweet 16 Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Nora Mary Prince

On January 14, 2010, Phoebe's life ended tragically and as a result of bullying. This beautiful girl was talented and gifted and loved by so many. Tomorrow would have been her 16th birthday but thanks to the harsh words of people who barely knew her, her life was snuffed out like the flame of a candle.

What gives kids the right to make ANYONE feel they are of a lesser worth?
What gives ANYONE the right to create a life of torment for someone?
What is so torturous in your own life that you need to drive someone so far into depression that they take their own life?

Information in quotes found @

"One week last October, Bill Evans, the assistant principal of South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, chose two students to read public service announcements over the loudspeaker as part of the school's participation in National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week. In selecting kids to read the PSAs, Evans thought about who would be a spokesperson that other kids would believe was speaking sincerely. He chose Sean Mulveyhill, a senior and star of the football team. "He was a natural selection—the kind of kid who would seek out someone having difficulty just to help him," Evans says.
In his PSA, Sean laid out four steps that victims of cyberbullying can take: Don't return nasty texts or IMs. Make copies of them. Set up filters to block the bully from sending more. Talk to a caring adult. Sean's message ended: "Remember that when you are targeted by a person or group of people, whether online or face-to-face, you are not alone and you can take action to make it stop."
"Sean read it. I think he meant it," Evans says."

Sean is one of the students charged with not only bullying but rape in Phoebe's case.

"About two hours before she died, Phoebe texted with the boy she'd sat with that day in the library. In one of several messages that speak to her feelings of desperation, she wrote: "I cant do it anymore … im literally hme cryn, my scar on my chest is potentially permanent, my bodies fukd up wht mre du they want frm me? Du I hav to fukn od!" The boy wrote back, reassuring her that he would talk to Sean and Ashley and make them stop. "Who cares what other people think phoebe I know you're a good person," he wrote.
At home in her bedroom, Phoebe plugged in her cell phone to recharge it, perhaps because she hadn't entirely absorbed what she was about to do. Soon after, she hung herself in the stairwell with a black scarf woven with multicolor thread. Her sister had given it to her. After Phoebe's death, the police found several of her drawings. One of them shows a human figure with a noose around the neck. In a note drawn as if it was pinned to the body, Phoebe asked for forgiveness."

Please take a moment of silence to honor Phoebe and all the others who have lost their lives to bullying. Make a promise to yourself and to those for whom it's too late to NEVER use your words for hate and to ALWAYS report someone who does. Don't let Phoebe's death be in vain!

Happy SWEET 16, Phoebe!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The FIRST "Dear Saylor"...

If you need advice you can always send an email to and I will respond with some tips and ideas. I will NEVER post your question online without your permission first. Your emails are confidential!! If I think your question and my answer would be beneficial to other teens, I will ask you if I can post it here. You always have the right to say no and I would NEVER break your trust. Pinky promise!

So here goes, the very first Dear Saylor!

Dear Saylor,
So, yesterday my best friend said something awful about me behind my back. I thought best friends were for life. I thought they were the people you could trust with anything. There is stuff my BFF knows that I would sink into a hole and die if she told anyone.
I don't really want to confront her because if I piss her off she could tell my secrets.
How do I handle it or do I just let it go?


Dear Bff-less,
OK There are two schools of thought here... "confrontation to show her how pissed off you are" and "confrontation to help her understand."

Friends are tough because society has told us that BFFs are like two peas in a are exactly alike, you can finish each other's thoughts, blah blah blah....

The truth of that matter is, whether you are talking BFFs or boyfriends, what attracts you to one another are the little nuances that make you different. You might not realize it but one of you is strong and one needs a shoulder, one of you is a bit more outgoing than the other. It's how the universe works.

That being said if you go with the first school of thought... SHOW HER HOW PISSED OFF YOU ARE... you very well may set her off and depending on her integrity, she may spread some of your 'baggage' out of her inability to admit what she did was wrong and hurtful.

But if you go the other ...HELP HER UNDERSTAND... route you are more likely to calmly plead your case, give her a chance to apologize and mean it and renew your allegiance to each other with the addendum to the original union... "come to me with something BEFORE going behind my back."

Now, you ask, how in the world can you do that when you are so pissed you could spit in her COACH bag without feeling bad?

Yep, pretend you are writing to her and lay it all out there. It doesn't even have to make sense. You can jump from one thing to the next and make sense of it all later. Be pissed! Rant! Scream and cry while you are doing it.

THEN... and only when you are SURE you have gotten it all out... go back and read it, make sense of it and re-write it so that it reads the truth you want her to know.

BINGO - you have now gotten out all your angst, you have made sense of all your thoughts and feelings, you may have even realized some buried feelings you didn't even realize you had. But now when you approach her, your thoughts are arranged, you are less angry and more determined to straighten this out instead of breaking her nose.

Trust me!
This works.
It's the teenage version of a timeout!

Let me know how it goes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Your puzzle...

What do you  think about this quote?

"Do you remember the feeling of sitting in front of a puzzle and suddenly understanding how the triangle filled with yellow and white fits into the whole?  Working with emotions is the same, except that as we observe ourselves, we will have to tolerate both the confusion and the intensity of our feelings."

To read the whole article, go to

What pieces of your puzzle are you trying to make fit?
Join the conversation!

As always, email me with all your thoughts and questions. I will reply! Promise!

A typical school morning...

"I break through the front doors of the school each morning hoping to see a gaping hole in the earth and the rest of the building at the bottom. No luck today. I breathe through my mouth for the first couple minutes after arriving at school. The stench is putrid and I have to ease into it. All schools have the same smell first thing in the morning. It is a strange combination of shampoo on damp hair, dried zit cream and coffee-stained manila folders. I hate that smell; it is the scent of opportunity. Anything can happen on any given day and if the past dictates the future, I need to anticipate the worst. But, I secretly hope for the best."
Does this sound familiar?

How do YOU enter school?

What do you look forward to?

What do you avoid?


The Buzz has begun!

You have now entered the premier spot for teens and tweens to connect and chat.
There will be daily prompts to start conversations and you are free to join in or just lurk!

In this arena it is good to be a FOLLOWER so you can network with other teens!