About Mary Elizabeth McIlvane
In 1982 I left Metropolitan Washington to live in Central Florida. Forty five years of professional experiences using my management, research, marketing and communications capabilities include: The National Library of Medicine, Association of American Medical Colleges, George Washington University, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, Data Transmission Company, Dynamic Control and the National Report on Computers and Health. I also received my Master’s Degree in Learning Systems.
A new direction in my personal and professional life highlights my Florida years. In 1988 deeply buried dark secrets of traumatic childhood events emerged. The initial discovery centered on my father sexually violating me at age 3. Gradually I. learned how my mother’s alcoholism controlled my life. The following significant event was at age 5 when she forced me to destroy my imagination when I expressed to her the following words for coping with my silent pain:
I have a new friend, Mary Ann. Her daddy plays with her and does not hurt her.
This action moved my life on to a continuous process of forced self-denial with the multiple traumatic events impacting the psychological, emotional and sexual health of my mind, body and spirit. For the past twenty six years my life centered on discovering, learning and allowing my natural self to emerge alone from the inner dungeon of pain, rage and hatred.
Day by day, step-by-step, my work enabled me to move away from the devastating traumas. Using my mind and will I developed a spirit driven within-to-without process to recover my lost inner life. Using words I created experiences to help me know the pleasure of being myself. This journey led me to be able to live today freely as a victor.
PRESENT FOCUS AND DIRECTIONS
A prime objective in making a difference for others is to advocate for a public policy for child sex abuse to be framed in the public health domain without legal consequences. The Centers for Disease Control cited this need in 1999. Fear, guilt, lack of trust in a legally controlled culture inhibits recovery from this life altering disease.
Awareness of the need for treatment is critical as childhood traumatic events are the foundation for chronic health problems in adult years. In time the public health path will result in curtailing child sex abuse incidences. Fear of legal consequences trumps concern for the child’s health. Children infected with abuse must have the opportunity to live healthy adult lives.
A second objective is to .inspire victims burdened by traumatic sexual, emotional and psychological events to begin their journey to recovery. Scientific evidence shows that people can change their minds and bodies to overcome life altering events. The brain’s plasticity enables victims to heal their bodies, minds and spirits to live free of traumatic consequences.
PRESENT COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Community organizations with which I am involved include the Environmental Studies Center, Seminole County Library System and Altamonte Springs Library. Also I am concerned with preserving natural Florida. The League of Women Voters’ enables me to be informed on pertinent local, state and federal government issues. In 2012 my child sex abuse advocacy began when the Orlando Sentinel published my op-ed article on public health for child sex abuse and I became a Community Partner of FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES TOGETHER, the six year SAMSHA Seminole County grant. Other activities include the Seminole Children’s Cabinet.