Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Health”

Cecil Murphey Interview

 I'm thrilled to have interviewed Cecil Murphey about his latest book When A Man You Love Was Abused

You discuss how one in every six males has experienced
unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before the age of sixteen. With those kinds
of numbers, even if a woman doesn't intimately know someone who has been
abused, we are encountering survivors on a daily basis. What advice do you have
for us when we interact with survivors such as grocery clerks, authority
figures, friends, and co-workers?

Cecil: This answer probably sounds
negative but it's important. 

  1. Don't
    take the initiative even if you know the man was abused.
  2. Let
    him open up and speak about his abuse. If he opens up to you, it's like a
    big risk for him. Don't let him regret it.
  3. Encourage
    him, but don't give him answers—even if you're convinced you know exactly what he needs to hear.
  4. Please don't use phrases such as, "You're
    special," or "I love you." We heard those words from the
    adults who stole our childhood.
  5. Don't touch him unless you're certain it's all right.
    Some men freeze when touched. Honor that confiding trust and don't tell his
    story to anyone—anyone—without his permission.

You reference the masks that men
who've been abused wear, as well as the masks we all wear in public. In the
past few years, "masks" have been associated with presenting our
"false selves" to the world. I like what you believe though, that all
the masks are glimpses of the "real" person. Please tell us more
about this. 

The masks abused men wear show a
glimpse of who we are. Another way to say it is that the masks often show you who we'd like to be.

Before I dealt with my abuse,
others referred to me as a happy person. That was true—sometimes. I wanted to
be happy and to enjoy my life.

The masks aren't intentional
deception. In fact, the masks aren't about relating to or impressing others.
Think of them as protection. We
weren't aware of not being our true selves as much as it was our way to retreat
from our pain. 

I'm married to an amazing man and have the privilege of
knowing, loving, and raising three boys. I'm passionate about intentionally
respecting all the men in my life. In your book you discuss survivors becoming
victims a second time by the inner abuse they subject themselves to. How can we
as women make sure we aren't subjecting our men to a third round of

Be sensitive to him and his mood.   

Don't pry.  When we know we're loved for who we are
and not for the good things we do, we can and will open up. We want to open up,
even though it scares some men so badly they can't do it.

I lived in silence about my abuse
for 40 years. My wife didn't suspect, and she did the one thing I needed: She
loved me without any conditions. That's a cliché, but I don't think most men
feel that depth of love. It took me years of marriage before I was convinced
Shirley loved me just for who I was.

We all have roles within the family
structure. As the fifth of seven children, I was the good boy. I did good
things for people and got along well. On an unconscious level, I felt that as
long as I was good people would like me. I needed someone who would love me at
my worst as well as my best. Shirley was that person.

My best friend, David, was as firm
in his irrefutable love as Shirley. Encourage him to open up to other men. Too
many women carry the emotional issues for men, but they need other men. There
are things about our abuse that are easier to discuss with another male than
with a female.

Cecil, Thank you for your time and especially for sharing your thoughts on a very difficult subject. 

For more information visit: Men Shattering the Silence.


What I Feel

So much thought centers not on feelings, but on choice actions. For example, even when we don't "feel" like it, we are to respect others, love unconditionally,etc. I know if we wait for feelings to always be there, we won't do much.

Today however, I was encouraged by the way I feel. 

The past three months have taught me about things in the medical field. I've learned about lots that I wish I had never heard of. Wry neck, Post Traumatic Memory Loss, Post Concussive Syndrome, the difference between a Neuroradiologist and a Neurologist and that CT stands for computed tomography, not cat. 

So in short, I feel like a Doctor. 

Okay, that's not what I feel like, a nurse maybe, but I digress. Even after not performing the actions that others define as strong, I realize that being strong isn't about what I do, but about how I feel. 

Through the past three months, God has made me feel strong. 

And deeply humbled and grateful.

Christmas Letters


There are two types of Christmas letters. One is the four page, single spaced, double sided, depressing, shoot- me- now letter. The other is the one I usually send out. All the accolades I can pack onto one page, highlighting my kid's Student Council Presidency, Honor Society, Ministry involvement, music awards, sports highlights and charity volunteerism. I've heard those make the average reader a little sick. 

But this year I didn't send one out. It would have been the year to do it. Our family collectively suffered a nasty ankle sprain, chronic sinus infections, Croup, Wry Neck, double foot surgery, an appendectomy, a Grade III concussion which rendered our son momentarily blind, disease in both knees, at least 6 ER visits, two hospital stays, and probably a Partridge in a Pear Tree. The list was so unbelievable that I couldn't bring myself to write it. So I thought I would do it differently this year.

It's simple really. God has never been better to us. After every valley, I would have mountain top moments where I needed to "tell it on the mountain." 

Jesus Christ is born and He loves all of us deeply.

 He has brought Peace.

Am I anxious for these trying medical times to be over? Absolutely. I cannot wait for 2010, only because I know the best is yet come.

A Chance to Choose


For some it's the dreaded blank fortune. What could it possibly mean if you crack open a Chinese cookie that has well, nothing in it? Is your future short and bleak? Have you been forgotten?

Around here, we choose to see it as a blank slate. A canvass for anything and everything. A chance to make the choice, decide just how life is going to be. An opportunity to be happy with the life God has given us.

Just got back from Vegas, there was no foreboding cookie preceding our trip and everyone came home with all their body parts. By the way, that was no small feat in Vegas on Halloween.

For now, all is well. The glass is at least half full and as we approach the magnificence of Christmas, may we help the cup of others,to overflow.



I admit, I do a lot of self diagnosis via the Internet. I don't visit the doctor often, but when I do, I arrive armed with information. Researching allows me to explore and ask every question to my doctor, which makes me feel satisfied with the visit and subsequent diagnosis.

In the past, I had been spot on with the diagnosis, always just looking for confirmation from the Doctor. I'd walk away secretly gloating, knowing I should have been a Doctor but was too busy to take all the doctoring classes. Instead I've settled for diagnosing my family, friends and strangers at the grocery store. My only downfall is that I can't write prescriptions.

It was all good until recently, when I developed a symmetrical rash beginning around my ankles and progressing up my calves. Searching online I discovered it was Contact Dermatitis. When it didn't clear up after two weeks, I went back to the Internet and stayed there until I found out what I had. Yep, it was Vasculitis, with an underlying autoimmune disorder, thanks to my bout with Mononucleosis back in the 90's. My body was attacking itself and there was no way to stop it. I would live out the rest of my days with a terrible problem and no cure in sight. The blues set in.

Turns out I was a little off this time. I'm simply allergic to a new sunscreen that I was putting only on my feet, which caused. . . Contact Dermatitis. And my Doctor really wasn't too happy with my other suggestions gleaned from the Internet. I'm sure he felt disrespected when I came in my with ideas and prognosis.

Cyberchondria occurs when people have uncontrollable anxiety about their health and use the internet to diagnose themselves with a severe condition. Cyberchondria is a big problem that began back in 2000. Things like Gulf War Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have been greatly perpetuated by people using the Internet to diagnose themselves.

This could get worse for Americans with the proposed direction our health care system could take. If people can't see their doctor in a timely manner, they will be forced to go to the Internet for self diagnosis, which often leads to misinformation, misdiagnosis and unneeded stress.

So use cyber-doctoring with caution. Gather information within reason, but trust the professionals for a true diagnosis.

Look who’s in SWEAT magazine


Yep, you guessed it, Steve and I are featured in the February issue of SWEAT magazine in the "Zonies Train Together to Remain Together" on page 14. The entire magazine is great and you can download the February issue of SWEAT for free, HERE

Here is the article:

Audra and

Steve Krell




The Krells – Audra, 38 and Steve, 40 – have

been together for 24 years. The Scottsdale

couple has three boys – 15- , 12- and 10-years old.

Audra, a freelancer, and Steve, a Chief

Financial Officer, met in a candy store in

Manitou Springs, Colo. Prime family activities

are hiking, working out, playing golf and

going to movies.

The Krells say that golf became a major

family fun pursuit when their middle son

was 4-and-a-half and his Grandfather was

teaching him the game. The grandson proved

to be a natural.

“Steve and I knew we needed to learn to

play golf before our boys passed us by,” she

says. “We had so much fun learning the game

together and discovering Arizona through its

golf courses.”

Audra points out that a few years ago,

she and Steve made a pact that they were

not going to live separate lives and began

by scheduling workouts together. Daily they

wake up early and head to the gym with

Steve driving so Audra can eat her oatmeal.

Side-by-side on elliptical trainers, they chat

and catch up on family life. Before 8 a.m.,

they’ve exercised and spent quality time


The Krell’s advice to couples is to follow

in their footsteps and invest in quality time

together every single day.


Via Pedometer

Pedometer  This is my pedometer. It is my friend. Yes, it's pink, because in a house full of testosterone blue, I have to do whatever I can to retain a little femininity.

I was really uncertain if my pedometer and I were going to be friends or not. I  don't need one more thing to monitor what I'm not doing. I've got three kids, a dusty house, dirty car,a few loads of laundry and a writing mentor for that.

We clicked right away however. Pinky motivates and excites me. I'm always trying to make and break my 10,000 step goal, every day. My settings might be a little off, as sometimes she counts it as four steps just for clipping her on. I have lost three pounds since we met though and there is no way she could be manipulating that!

She loves me. And I love her. And as you know, a little love always works for me.

Who else has a pedometer success story? Please tell us how long you've been in relationship, how many steps you take together per day and what the results have been.

Head over to Shannon's at Rocks In my Dryer to see what's working for everyone else.

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