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Dear Reader,

 

She is my little girl.

She is my little girl

 

 

In a moment I have found subtly to break a new ground in personal relationships. Such ideas of caring, compassion and insights to living have fallen on premature babies in their quest for remaining deaf and blind to the world.

Little things, the way I see them, comment on them, quietly or out loud brings about this strange phenomenon of love and hate in one extreme or the other.

My granddaughter plays in the pool, still uncertain of how to swim she wears those floaties on her arm. The game among st the adults is get away or save me from them. Its only a game and she is interactive with others, it is her birthday after all. But a five year old playing “save me” or save the “princess” creates a dynamic in the mind that boggles me. Simply put I choose not to play. Perhaps this would be easier if she weren’t apart of my created family. Yes, random strangers are easier to walk away from but those who are my friends would tell you, “Thats never stopped her before.”

She asked me, “Grandma! Grandma, ” as I turn toward her in the pool. “Save the princess!” and she flails her arms to simulate desperate need of rescuing.

I can’t just walk away from that, nor can I participate so I do what I know to be real. I tell her the truth, another joyful characteristic my friends find ironically funny and irritating.

My granddaughter flails in front of me, other adults from the party whom I don’t know watching and I say, “I don’t play victim games, sorry.” Promptly grabbing her and tossing her into the pool further away from where she was flailing. Walking through the water to the other side of the pool.

It’s simple really, and something I must thank my father for, I don’t apologize for being who I am nor do I perpetuate a stereotype that will hurt someone later on in life. If you don’t like me? That is okay because my desire to be liked is outweighed by the need to speak the truth.

“Oh come now, what harm is there in a  little game?” Tony asks.

“The harm, my friend, comes from allowing the child to play “help me” when she is perfectly capable of swimming. And it is her future I see when she flails around screaming “Help ME!” The future of a woman who lets others fix her problems and finds no place to stand on her own. No distinction between help and victim, no understanding that trying and failing is just as important as trying and succeeding.

So Tony shuts up and I ask myself, is what I am doing a benefit?

I may never know that answer, but I do know I didn’t perpetuate the stereotype and that is enough.

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Experience

Experience (Photo credit: djniks)

The article in question is about false memories and the application in sexual abuse and rape victims. http://www.asu.edu/courses/pgs341/False-Memory.pdf

What are your thoughts about the ariticle?

 

From a personal standpoint the article reflected a lot of my own personal life
experience. The idea of false memories is not new to me nor does it affect my
own personal standpoint on sexual abuse. If the idea is emotionally unstable
persons can use these types of allegations for revenge then my question is where
did the emotionally unstableness come from? Children are born with innate
behaviors (Harwood, Miller, & Vasta, 2008) not one of them listed is
emotional instability or creating false memories. The horrors of tramautic abuse
can cause mix ups in recall or regression therapy however the trauma is still
present. According to the article, regardless of the memories being true or
false, the pain and suffering of the individual is still real.

It is the
reality of the silent war against sexual abuse that calls to me most, the idea
is we [society] keep secrets regarding our intuition, actual blatant evidence,
and heredity learning. Women who suffer sexual abuse as children develope a keen
sense of others regarding this characteristic however according to the article
this can be a false trail. At what point does the victim rely on their intuition
to avoid the same circumstances in their children’s lives or the lives of people
close to them? Simply recanting the allegation sends the message that sexual
abuse is okay and since the child can’t really recall then we must just forget
it happened. In my own experience, the perpetrator (my Uncle) insisted that
nothing ever happened. His willingness to stand against my accusations coupled
with my absence (left for the military) allowed for my family to only listen or
ignore the situation. I never fought it and found my own way to heal through
meditation, yoga, reading and writing. Later when I was in my 30’s I returned
home after 5 years to establish relationships with my family, make amends to my
brother, and generally become apart of their lives. It was during this visit
that I learned that almost every woman in my family had encountered something
similliar in their childhood. Aunts, grandmothers, cousins, all came forward to
tell their story. In the meantime of my absence, my Uncle was caught verbally
sexually abusing my sister (age 25). This and the past history of his childhood
and my purposeful absence helped them to come to terms with the reality of the
situation. There may have been mix ups in my memory of what happened, absolutely,
as my first instance is at 3 years of age however the action itself did take
place because there was nothing else to influence my memory. My uncle’s own
dealings in childhood with his brother helped my grandmother to recognize the
truth and later my sister (who is very outspoken) called him out for sexually
assaulting her on the internet helped my parents to realize this is not a
fantasy. I have no proof they didn’t believe me, only the inaction on their part
which now I understand to be born out of fear and anger. On my trip an unusual
thing happened, instead of the family ignoring my experience they asked questions
like “why didn’t you tell me?” or ” I could have done something, I am sorry.”
While these statements providing an opportunity to heal a lot of relationships
and my own perception of my family it also gave me permission to accept these
events were real and not false.
The silence of sexual abuse is broken down
in 3 parts; first not telling anyone what happened for fear of retribution or
being called a liar. The second is a passive behavior which is the action is
known but ignored by adults who are in charge of the child. And third, the
carrying of the truth about personal life experiences without sharing or healing
into new family environments. This silence against sexual abuse only allows the
perpetrators, who for the most part have been abused and are carrying foward
their learning, to keep doing acts that hurt children. The perpetrators are not
only men but women too. I believe that as a society our warped views and
education concerning sex, hormones and relationsihps contributes to the
continued assualt perpetrated on children.

Sex is a natural biological
action, one that humans share across the board, however if we continue to push
it away, refuse to speak about it, or call it something unholy that only
abstinence or marriage can salvage then we are teaching a falsehood. Inherently
each person is aware of their sexual drives, they do not, however, know what to
do with it, what to call it and shun it for fear of being in
trouble.Among more than 1,400 adult females, childhood...

Sex is a natural biological
action, one that humans share across the board, however if we continue to push
it away, refuse to speak about it, or call it something unholy that only
abstinence or marriage can salvage then we are teaching a falsehood.

Personally, false memories can be misleading, victim bashing and
a loop hole for the continuation of molesting or raping children. Parting the
curtains on this dark chapter in our humanity is the only way to heal the wounds
that are here, and have been here for centuries.

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English: Possible directions of social comparison

English: Possible directions of social comparison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cooley’s metaphor also known as the “Looking Glass Self”, used to be my favorite way of obtaining self-knowledge. And just like Nisbett and Wilson suggested I made up quite a few causal theories for my behavior, none of which had any bearing on the reality. Using the social comparison concept, an external active source of knowledge, is a more accurate appraisal of how we are reflected through others perception of our self.

I think all three are necessary in any individual, if the goal relates to achieving the “potential” self through the “active” self (Higgins).

Like Meyer’s states (2012) social comparisons are defined as evaluating one’s opinions and abilities by comparing oneself to others. I prefer to think I use upwards comparisons in my own life, but I am aware that in my past downward and sideways comparisons also helped my self-esteem and sense of who I was. I believe this was largely based on the traumatic incidents during my childhood which helped me to seek out other ways to make myself feel better. This self-schema (Meyers. 24), a belief I wasn’t good enough to be in my family, is over compensated by increasing my worth to another. For example seeking to be everything for a relationship and thereby solidifying my place in a family. This of course is broken down because the potential self I am seeking is actually based on my perception of what others think a good family member ought to be(Tice, 1991). Needless to say a breakdown had to happen, anxiety over run and self-medication became the norm. This is also an example of a self-handicap with the excuse of why I failed in order to not be excluded from the family.

            Real Emotional TrashToday I seek the low self-monitoring (Snyder), and reframing my emotional responses and some intense therapy. (Laugh out loud).  Now, however,  I combine several of these social comparisons in order to benefit myself and others around me, my favorite is upwards comparison because it means to seek betterment of self. One of my personal schema’s, the goal is simple; to be better. The negative I watch for is, “at the expense of others” which I believe leads into the downward comparison. The effect an upward comparison has on the self is to create a positive feeling, a sense of accomplishment. For me, I looked for mentors who had attained stable families (at first) and began to ask questions, get open about my emotions, and give an honest appraisal of my emotional responses. Later I sought educated women, academically driven, generally anyone who exhibited traits and qualities I wished to emulate. They weren’t always famous or professionals (i.e. doctors) but they served to help me aspire to my potential self. Which at the time was to be a better woman, and then later, into a better human being who contributes to society and my community. There are always some downs like Meyers (2012) says, “Comparing ourselves with others requires us to notice, access, and recall their behavior and ours. Thus, there are multiple opportunities for flaws in ours information processing” (p.43).

Practice, practice, practice.

Because of this idea, that we week confirmation from others in our own behavior, doesn’t every friend circle you ever have been a part of make sense? Not to mention why my son continues to hang out with boys who drink, party, not work, … oh wait… maybe he’s doing the sideways comparison?

This is meant to be an eye opening reading, to see the reasons, social psychologists have found for why humans behave the way they do but more importantly; knowledge from all corners of the academic field can help us to create a better person ( a better you.) If you find yourself arguing against the model, it might be worth taking a second look 🙂

 

References:

Myers, D.G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Dear Reader

It became apparent to me that somethings are best left for others to figure out. What I mean is I dont know how to explain that the relationship between you and your father is upsetting, hurtful and like kryptonite to Superman. I don’t know how to explain that in my gut when you speak there are times I hear fear, loathing, disgust and absolute hatred.

I tried, more than once, to explain it, pinpoint specifics, find the answers, understand the thoughts behind the thoughts. After a while I just played along. Perhaps there is a bigger reason to this? Its not enough that words come across the scrPanic Attackeen and I see you pouring your heart out. Its not enough because the truth is still hidden. Maybe you are aware, I dont know. At any rate I stopped, I had too, because in the end I felt horrible about being here. My body, my mind and my heart were breaking and you simply can’t see.  So its like this, Readers, sometimes there is a way to explain things and sometimes.. there is silence. Because in the absence of my words, another’s becomes louder. In the moment when I do nothing, your experience overrides the thoughts, interpretations, and perceptions.

In the moment between breaths, between the intake of air and the exhale exists the whisper of your true self, your higher self, your god.

The question is NOT to whom does God talk, it is rather silly actually. Because God talks to everyONE.

The question remains who LISTENS?

Sometimes I am not listening, this is true. What I know about certain people in my life is amazing.. even more so after this morning. Either way I am moved, touched and deeply missing you and I take a breath.

Inhale….wait..

wait, child, wait,

Exhale….

There is more….

Inhale….

I miss you

Exhale….

I love you

Inhale

I trust you

Exhale.

It is always about me, let me be clear. These experiences, flashbacks, anxiety attacks, sweats, running, hiding, disassociating… all are about healing me.

I hope you understand, and also let me say.

Thank you. You are a gift in my life to bring me the nessecary experience to embrace this healing. I am grateful for you. You may never have any idea.. but it does not matter because I know. Thank you .

 

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Dear Reader,

I am in a relationship with a woman, I love her and she has two son’s. This year we recieved word that the youngest will be coming back to Arizona to live for a while. This is one of Aleshia‘s dreams and I am happy to watch it come to fruition. Her other son, Alan, is 21 and his current girlfriend has two little girls. One is only 4 months old and the other 3 years. He is staying at his grandfather’s since he got out of prison and now off probation. Today his girlfriend was kicked out of where she was staying. So now all of them are staying at the Grandfather’s place, with no income, four mouths to feed and a constant diet of video games, cigarettes, weed and maybe alcohol.

Mind you I am not offended by the weed or even the video games, I am however offended by the state of filfth he lives in while two girls go unbathed, without food and the baby bleeding from a bad diaper rash.  I am not mad at him or the mother for the state of their lives, I find such feelings unproductive and inefficent to point out. I am seethingly angry at their inability or perhaps their unwillingness to ask, just ASK for help.

How hard is it really to ask another for help? I don’t mean money for formula or to buy smokes, although I get the occaisional help needed there too. No I mean you are so far down, depressed, alienated and alone, you feel that way. You are watching everything around you going to pot, you see it falling farther and farther down and yet still remain stuck in this place of not asking, reaching out for help. Something, anything, to say “Oh, fuck! This shit is bad and I have NO idea what the hell to do or where to go.?”

You are there and instead just sit there playing another round of video games.

I am watching from the sidelines, everything is incensing me further into this state of anger. Which means, for me No thank you.  I am standing here and nothing I am saying is helping. Nothing.

I am powerless, again.

Right there in the middle of coffee and conversation I ask him what are your thoughts? How do you feel?

The response is , “what makes today any different than yesterday? I need a job that doesn’t pay minimum wage. I went to day labor for three weeks and got sent out twice. What does it matter?”

A gift of desperation, I pray for this.  He sits there across from me, his mother at my side, her father next to her and he asks why? what does it matter? How is it different?

I explode, because the tears in me can’t stand the barage of negativity, the constant argument against any solution, how it doesn’t matter because nothing is good enough. I explode because despite the ongoing manipulation, using, and self loathing we are still reaching out. I explode because no matter how much he has lied, caused his mother pain, stolen from us, his grandfather, begged for money, lied and cheated I am helping.

Why? Because he said he was their daddy, he took on the role for a father to his girlfriend’s two kids. There are more than one life at stake here, there are two. Two little girls who have no way to say this isn’t fair, or right, I am not comfortable. Someone has to step in there and say HEY!!! You TAKE the fucking minimum wage job because even though it doesn’t cover your electricity and rent AT least you can buy the kid a shirt, some food and take her to the park with gas in your bike. YOU take it because she calls you Daddy. YOU fucking suck it up because YOU chose to be that man in a little girls life.

YOU just fucking do, because you said you would.

That is what daddy means. That is why today is different than yesterday.

That is what it means to be a family.

~Rochelle

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by rocdragon

Its only a story, right? Only. Perhaps it isn’t a story, only a piece of fabric illuminated by the writers pen. A smal section of a Fractal that allows you to see yourself through the lives of others. Sort of like the movies.


    I think that is why certain movies, songs, or stories ‘stick’ with us, even after years we pick them up, turn them on and feel that warmth of knowing and being known.

That is really what it is though, just a story. A piece of fabric, a song that shows us a bit of ourselves, in the beginning it is always this way.


       Eleven years passed, the prize was two suitcases, a dog and the new woman sitting on the couch. Eleven long, hard but good years. Relationships… aren’t they something? Ever been to an AA meeting? There is this funny thing about open disscussion meetings. The premise of an open AA meeting is where the chairperson after all opening readings, announces a topic or someone from the floor chooses a topic. Usually, being a self-centered person, AA’ers will love to speak about their experiences. Kind of like Uncle Dartan, always sits there with the beer in his hand talking incessantly. You know he has some pearls of wisdom after 67 years but sifting through the crap leaves the imppression of , “Eh.. it’s not worth it.”

There is a phenomenon with such types of people, the topics they will not discuss. Yes.. yes there are such topics that even self-centered, bigoted and know it all people will not discuss. For example in the AA meeting there two topics in particular that will shut a room down. Like crickets on a June evening minus the nostaglic feeling and lemonade.

Those two topics are: Sex & Honesty.

    Yep, now the exceptions here deal mostly with honesty in a mixed meeting. Cash register honesty, most people understand it can admit to not having it and will have a great time talking about it.

       .. Emotional honesty? hmmm. .. yeah thats where we get a bit hairy.


    With the sex topic, the only exceptions come from gender based meetings. In other words, women will discuss their sex conduct inside a women’s group or meeting. Where as men, (and I am guessing here as I have not been to a men’s meeting as a man) most likely do the same thing.






It is funny, that even in our own personal relationships we can’t talk about emotional honesty, sex conduct with an open and loving space.

Then again, I don’t know many people who can, even less that can with their partner.




Now I am not saying it’s impossible, only that I haven’t seen it save two times and with two different people. So you tell me, what you think.




Is there a place in your soul where you can admit to being someone else, even if only for a day, week or two and then come home with the new experience. Change who you are and be able to stand in visble view of your friends, family, partner and own it?

I have, and seems that mostly I recieve judgement, fear, and the ‘you aren’t who I knew.”… love that one.


What is emotional honesty if not this?

Standing as you are, when you are takes courage, real courage. I am not admiting to right’s or wrong’s because such are only agreements between people. I am simply stating that I am here, as I appear to be without any worry, guilt or shame.






Oh wait that’s it… you aren’t used to seeing that.

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