Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Dear Reader,

We approach a division in the topic politics, despite alliances and ethnic backgrounds. These different countries present different cultural aspects that fuel our righteous beliefs. If these beliefs clash hard enough without an understanding on either party then the inevitable outcome is war.

What about family? Is it a weird concept to apply foreign policy to a family?

Have you sat in the midst of a gathering of people related to you and thought that perhaps there are too many distinct lines that are drawn and you are tiptoeing through the intersection of borders?

fun_dysfunctionalWhere do allegiances go? Are they even necessary? How do we negotiate the mindless arguments in order to evolve out of the dysfunctional relationships?


Where does the mind stop playing the old tapes and the newly formed synaptic responses take over. they are all obstacles which we can overcome, but first we  must look past the lines. There are no borders, only hurt feelings, bruised egos and perhaps the occasional grief from the loss. These definitions are not normal, we as a culture do not abide by our personal involvement in a dispute. Much like a country, we react with the knee jerk response which causes another escalation. Back and forth, again and again until something or someone breaks. Though we may not see the physical breaking or the internal emotional stress but that is only due to a lack of self awareness.

We all know this story, whether we live one within our own families or we read about another family. The story most familiar is that of Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare.

The story of two lovers from opposite sides of a war between two families.

Moral of the story: Love bridges the gap between drawn lines of indignation and self-righteousness.

Hatfield and McCoys, two men bonded in war and through fear of death or worse one flees. Two friends are forever separated by the mental processes of fear and courage. This feud cost many lives until; two children bore a love and child that destroyed not only themselves but their unborn child.

Moral of the story: unwillingness breeds contempt to which the only result is death.

Foreign countries, like families brought together through marriage or adoption, are often a land of mystery, newness, exploration, and danger. The lines become blurred as children are born, thoughts and processes are evaluated, parents decide their choices will not be the same as their parents. Children grow up knowing two foreign countries and if they are lucky never see the civil war.

Despite 30 minute sitcoms and drama movies most of us are not that lucky. And just like any war between nations, people will reduce to basic survival after the toll of  stress, death and fear become insurmountable.


How does love bridge this gap?

How do I, being love, bridge my family of broken promises, unfulfilled dreams and skewed perceptions?







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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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                                My apartment is suddenly claustrophobic, having just got off the phone with my mom. I tried calling other people to simply hear a voice. Suddenly feeling alone I get through to one woman. She is currently in California helping her mom move things from the house to her new place in assisted living. Her mom is ninety. I ask if she has a good relationship with her mom to which she replies, no. I laugh suddenly grateful for the relationship I am building with my mother. We talk and I feel better still not liking my home at the moment I leave to get some air.

A walk sounds really good right now. Grab the phone, the keys and head out my apartment door. The feeling is identified, my little girl wants to run home and put my arms around his neck. Tell him yes, we can do things together, hang out and just be. My dad had a stroke a week ago, the day before my sister had her brain surgery. Needless to say my mother is having a time running from California to Oregon and back again. The stroke was not expected, then again when are they ever? He doesn’t regulate his diabetes meds, for whatever reason my father has against having to take the meds in the first place. I am sure no one out there knows anyone like that. (grin.)

Still there is this holiday, Christmas. Which as my mother put it, “It was the worst Christmas ever, Rocky.” Okay, but the good news is everyone is still here. Thank God for that. I make my way to Jack in the Box for a cup of coffee. The street I live on, Centennial has beautiful trees and a nice atmosphere. The Jack in the Box has a jungle outside of its doors where on any given day you can hear the jungle birds squawking.  I contemplate the words my mother spoke. “Your dad and I were talking about you on Christmas. He wants to see you, spend time with you. Maybe come and see you, I don’t know. It will be a month or two after we get him home. Maybe we can arrange for you to come up.”

Her voice breaks as she tells me why he says this, he thinks there isn’t much time left. My mother refusing to take that into consideration states, “He’s only 51 and well the regulation of his blood levels and everything will be fine.” I can hardly blame her, considering he is the man she has loved for the last thirty plus years.

I love them both, for various reasons. As the emotions come and go in this flow for the past two weeks I hear the cry of my little girl wanting to run home. To be there because as Aleshia says, “Time is precious, tell the ones you love that you do.” She is my best friend, and has seen more loss in her lifetime than most people I know.  I hear those words echo in my brain.

The kid at the counter in Jack in the Box is laughing because its my fourth trip to get coffee there today. He tells me its bad for me, I can only smile in response. I hear Don in my head then citing all the reasons for coffee being bad because he’s looked it up. Then as he sips his second cup he cites all the reasons for coffee being good for you. Two sides to every coin, right now hot coffee sounds good. The kid goes on smiling telling me “and you smoke.” Right, now I need lessons on how to live. I know smoking is a habit. I also know there is no such thing as a bad habit, as long as I am aware of the effects then there is no habit. It is a choice.

I only smile at the kid not really wanting to lay a bunch of wisdom on his young brain. Truth is yeah right now, a cup of coffee and a smoke is what I want. I am okay with that.

Walking out the door I decide to finish my walk. My head still isn’t clear and there is more book to write. I had been writing all day. Amazingly enough it keeps pouring out.

I hear it first, “Ratt atttatt rat rat” Its a drummer. Right there on Main Street and he is drumming.  I look at him, nothing extraordinary in appearance, he’s not famous just a kid, drumming. I light my cigarette and move into the shade to watch, more listen for a minute.

The thought runs through my mind, “He is living his truth.”  I had begun to walk toward the computer store to check on my laptop when I heard it. My first inclination is that is a strange thought to have.  Then again, for me, it’s not. Right in this moment I am human, feeling lonely, sad and not knowing how to help except to listen.  I know what living your truth looks like. I have chosen it, over and over again.

Through relationships, death, breakups and family struggles. I keep choosing to live this truth. I am the writer. I am his Dragon. Though right now it sounds more pompous than a spiritual path. I feel. Humans we walk through amazing emotions. Yet here it is again, placed in the path I am walking;  a drummer.

The path is still there, my choice is still the same. As my friend Bobbi told me on the phone after the last talk with my ex, “There is plenty of fish in the sea. It’s all fuel baby, write it down.”  It seems everyone becomes a character in a story. My head fashions them villans or heroes as my judgments of deeds in the past. I remember that I am a writer, and this is who I Am.

Thank you to God, for the man who bangs his drum on Main Street. For reminding me that living my truth is the only thing I can do.  Thank you to my mother, who has told me since I can remember; “Honey, you just march to beat of your own drum.”      Love would not crumple in a ball and cry. Love would not cease to be simply because she said no. Love would not become jaded because yet another unrealistic promise was broken.

Love would stand in truth. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is all there is.

For my father;

The mightiest dragon I may have never been…

If it were not for your fire beneath my wings.

I love you.



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Watching someone die takes on a new meaning to the gruesome horror flicks that give us the view of death we have come to accept. It is a Hollywood fantasy which we scream, cry and feel but in the back of our minds there is the though, “this is all made up. I will see this actress in another movie sometime down the road.” We continue to watch the films and enjoy the reaction of being scared. Still there is no real conditioning for the act of death.

I used to turn from it not wanting to know what it looked like or felt like. I wanted no part of death or dying. It was an emotion that I refused to entertain. I was an emotional wreck and the thought of anyone in my family dying was enough to break down in a pool of tears. I have fantasized about the day when some family member’s will die, even to the point that I would cry. It’s absurd to realize that I was going through the emotions when no one was hurt or even close to dying. This is called; Not living in the here and now.

The prompt for such an essay is my dog, Poet. He is a full bred Angora longhair Chihuahua, he is twelve years old and has been my longest living friend. At this moment he is finding a place to die. I am not being melodramatic, nor am I breaking down in tears. Poet has taught me many things in his lifetime. One of them is unconditional love, no matter what that dog and I have gone through he has always come back with his tail in a knot and jumping on my lap to receive his pets. The memories of his lifetime has spanned through many friends, family, and girlfriends. All of whom have fallen in love with The Poet. He is a handsome dog.

The action of dying is best explained by animals. They have an inner sense of knowing. It is the ones left behind that consider all the options of what a dying person or animal should want. It is in our grief that we search for meaning to the end of life. Right now I am writing while my dog is dying. I have sat with him and petted him for an hour. I talked to him about the many adventures we have had and I sent him love; through my voice and my touch. Now he is moving from the living/dining area into the kitchen. The process that he must go through to get comfortable. I thought about all the life we have spent together. There were times I felt he was immensely happy and other times he was waiting till it was over just like me.

The background noise I have playing are snippets of commercials, Ian and I recorded improvisations for you tube commercials. Poet loved Ian, spent most of his time sleeping in his room and hanging out with him. The old saying of a boy and his dog, more like a dog and his boy. They were peas in a pod. He did love our time with Aleshia and Ian, our sense of love and family was what kept him jumping and happy.

There is a part of me that is hurting, watching him shake and fight against pain. Another part of me recognizes that there is only so much a mortal can do, at some point letting go is the only true peace I can give him. The wheezing is tough on him, so we went outside where he has found a soft spot to lay down. My roommate is calling him ‘old Man Poet.’ Funny the characteristics of his face take on the old man features.

It is a few days later and I still have no concept of what to do. I was hard and fast in my judgment to put Poet down in the vet’s office. It was Aleshia that asked for the blood work, which delays him dying for two days. Later in the evening we talked and walked through this process again. She admitted that she wasn’t sure if keeping Poet alive for those two days was more for Ian and herself than for the well-being of the dog. I had two days to come to grips with him dying, where they were facing this prospect in four hours. The tears are falling and the truth is coming to light for all of us. Dealing with grief through different avenues. Ian keeps walking away, smoking and talking on the phone. It is his way of dealing. Aleshia is avoiding having to cry but determinedly staying by my side and Poet’s. I am trying to shoulder the decision to let him go, worrying about my family, and watching my son becoming more inconsistent with his movements. There are many thoughts that run through my mind, the most repeated is; let him go.

The evening found us all exhausted, emotionally and physically. I awoke in the middle of the night with fear and love rolling around in my head. The writing process has begun. I don’t know where it is going or what will come out but the process is formulating another story. It is a comfort to me, to know I can still write. Poet attempted to walk to the water bowl today and it gave me hope. Something I had not had for the last two days. I made phone calls, to my ex who bought Poet when we were still dating. My sponsor to give an update on what’s going on in my life, and my boss at work to tell them I wasn’t going to be coming in today.

There are times in our lives which we play “hooky”, fake being sick and even just take a personal day to recharge. I used to do this on a regular basis which was difficult in maintaining regular employment. Today on the phone with my boss, it was painstakingly clear that the inconsistencies that have occurred are costing me my position at work. She understands of course that these events are happening in quick succession which is unfortunate for the perception by the rest of the crew. I see her point as well. Again I am at a crossroads which tells me that I have to make a choice. On one hand its simple: damn the world, I have to work. I have bills, a roof to pay for and vet bills that are coming in at a high price tag. Then there is the other side. My gut has been seeing that I am on my way out of this work place, God has other plans for me. To make the concrete decision to quit would be paramount for taking control of my own life. That idea concept goes against the teachings of powerlessness. I am going to take care of Poet, I will go back to work tomorrow. If I am to leave then God will make the way.

I have only one outlet for these choices. It is to keep writing, keep going until there is nothing left to give. The rest is none of my business. I can’t control people, places, things or situations. Poet is still alive and we are waiting on the blood results, my job will either be there or it won’t and God’s plan will be revealed when He deems it necessary. The rest are just words on a screen.

With Love, Rochelle

Author, The Stone People


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