Thursday, May 29, 2008
Scholarship aids student's support of abuse survivors
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Alice Carleton is a secretary in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, but she is also a dancer, singer, writer, poet and now a student. Carleton began taking classes at OU in fall 2007 at the age of 61. To support her studies, Carleton was awarded the Linda Lael Miller Scholarship for Women.
Carleton, an abuse survivor, has always been interested in counseling those who are dealing with abusive situations. Using her personal experience, Carleton has served as a moderator for an abused survivors’ online group. As a student, she’s studying about counseling and getting the opportunity to interact with others in the profession. Carleton participated in the American Counseling Association conference in Hawaii this year and afterward, she submitted information about a paper she is writing to the conference leaders. She was encouraged to possibly present it at next year’s conference.
After reading Patricia Evans’ book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” Carleton made it her life to help others in the same situations she found herself in.
“I discovered the book and it gave me the answers to what was happening to me. It’s my passion in life to bring this out and make a difference,” Carleton said. “I’ll keep helping other people and doing what I can, where I can.”
One of the ways Carleton has helped herself and others is through her poetry, which was recognized by Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz.
“I thought ‘what can I do with the ugliness that happened?’ so I write poems and put them on the Internet to share with others,” Carleton said. “I wanted to make something positive out of the situation.”
The Web site has more than 14,000 hits to date.
Carleton’s paper, “The Transcendent Child on Overcoming Verbal and Spiritual Abuse,” was published on an online psychiatric journal. In addition, her memoir is in the editing phase and Carleton plans to have an e-book published soon with a hard copy to follow.
With many endorsements from those in the mental health field and other survivors, Carleton will continue to work to help others.
“I feel that we are all here to make a difference and this is what I have a drive to do,” Carleton said.