Friday, February 28, 2014

Epic Fail

I work at a school where the students are learning to be preschool teachers.  They write and give the lessons to the preschool classes.  After each lesson they have reflection questions.  I looked over the questions and decided that I could use them when I am trying to process my reaction to an event.  These questions were written by the high school teacher I work with:

How was your activity successful?

How was it unsuccessful?

What forms of positive reinforcement did you use?

How would you change the activity if you were going to do it again? (Describe at least 3 changes you would make)

What is a follow-up activity that you could do to reinforce/review the material that you taught or practiced in this lesson?

Group diet in game form with co-workers....Epic fail.

How was your activity successful?
I met some co-workers I didn't know and one is now a lunch time walk companion.  I also learned that I can tackle habits one at a time using a simplified tracking.  Not too much at once.  This past month I focused on speaking kindly to myself.  No self name calling.  I have a better attitude about myself.  

How was it unsuccessful?  
I gained 5 lbs.  Binged more times than I did between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Sleep dropped below 5 hours a night.  

What forms of positive reinforcement did you use? 
I tracked several categories on a score sheet....which actually worked for me for some things. I tried to encourage myself by reminding myself not to weigh myself more than once a day as instructed by the rules.

How would you change the activity if you were going to do it again? (Describe at least 3 changes you would make)  
1. I would not do it as a team.  When the person I teamed with didn't follow the rules I didn't either....I realized I resented her breaking rules that I was following and rather than be proud of myself keeping the rules, I broke them, too.  
2. I would allow more choices in food.  Restricting every meal to have certain foods and not eating fruit at the same time as carbs and on and on and on with rules...just too many rules to keep track of.  Be more concerned with calorie intake and less concerned about all the rules. 
3. If someone else comments on my progress without invitation, I would politely inform them that it is not ok.  Going home and binging on food was a poor choice of how to respond to criticism. 

What is a follow-up activity that you could do to reinforce/review the material that you taught or practiced in this lesson?
I believe that continuing with the kind self talk will help me.   I do think I can work on other habits using a chart and tracking them daily for a month.  Looking to use more positive reinforcement with myself.  If I am going to expect other people to treat me with respect then I need to treat me with respect. 

I am going back to keeping track of food intake and exercise on MyFitnessPal.  It is non-judgmental and works for me.  I am glad I attempted.  I was also very proud of my self for quitting before the end.  I recognized that with the triggers that were shooting everywhere I was doing more harm than good with this diet.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014


 Just wanted to share this. A math teacher keeps a secret.

Dreams - a different view

"Don't be afraid of the space between
your dreams and reality. If you can
dream it, you can make it so."
- Belva Davis
Click Here For Success Tip # 017

This morning as I idled in rush hour traffic, I allowed my brain to frog leap through all thoughts about dreams. Yesterday, I wrote my dream of just having a day of peace without my past tripping me up.  How often I was criticized for not having a dream...I do...just different from most people.  I thought back to one of the arguments I had with DH after I had cancer.  He was angry with me for neglecting something he deemed important.  I don't even remember what it was that we were arguing about.  He yelled at me that I was letting go of all this 'important' stuff.  I yelled back that the so called 'important' stuff just wasn't all that important.  Cancer totally altered what I deemed important.  We went through a time in our life, early in our marriage, when I tried to make more money working from home, running a home business.  I read the motivational books like the Magic of Thinking Big.  I just didn't see why what they were writing about was all that important.  I had little kids that needed my attention.  I didn't have what it takes to have it all.  I just wanted to be a good mom.  

My brain hip-hopped to the movie A Christmas Carol when Ebenezer Scrooge is speaking to Marley's ghost...

Ebenezer: But it was only that you were an honest man of business!
Jacob Marley: BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!

Jacob forged his chain that he would carry for Eternity worrying about business instead of sharing happiness and building friendships.

My brain zig-zagged in another direction thinking of some of my friends from high school, seeing them at our class reunion.  They lamented years of climbing the ladder of success only to find it leaning against the wrong wall.  They toiled for years over something they realized they didn't care about. 

Perhaps the struggle I am having over a dream is that mine are not like other peoples.  I don't have a dream that I could pin to my refrigerator like a picture of a Lamborghini. I guess I internalized a discussion I had with KavinCoach years ago.  He asked me to describe myself.  I said I was a mother and wife....he corrected me that he didn't ask me what roles I did, he asked me to describe who I was.  We went round and round on the discussion because I saw myself by what I did.  Most people describe a dream as something they do or a place they can go to or an achievement to earn.  Dreams of integrity, peace, kindness, are hard to picture and describe as worthy dreams to have.  So much of our society describes success by money made, honors given, or praise by others.  But numerous studies show there is no connection between finances and happiness.  A sudden influx of money might cause a temporary lift of spirits but in studying Jack Pot winners, within a short period time, they are right back to feeling the same as before.  Perhaps my real struggle is accepting that my dream is not what others would expect but it doesn't make my dream any less worthy of pursuing.

Looking for dreams

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I wish I could....

Steve Maraboli's quote I posted yesterday is what I dream I could do.  By the end of my day, PTSD reminded me that no day is free of yesterday.  I get better at managing each new day but yesterday throws out snares.  I felt my anxiety raising at an event.  I knew if I just stuck to it not yielding, I would spiral out of control.  Instead, I left a bit early and walked in the hallways.  I redirected my thinking.  I used my past experience to find ways to reduce the feelings of anxiety.  Yielding a little helps me stop the spiral that sends my life out of control.  I realized my dream is to be able to live the life I could have had without abuse.  I dream of feeling a day of peace without triggers.  A day to wake up feeling rested.  A day without my past leaving potholes and pitfalls.  A day of peace.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Today is a new day! Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. In each waking day, you will find scores of blessings and opportunities for positive change. Do not let your Today be stolen by the unchangeable past or the indefinite future. Today is a new day. - Steve Maraboli

Unchangeable Past
Uncertain Future

Monday, February 24, 2014

Repost From Facebook

Note to Ns~ If our relationship "broke up" a long time ago, and we haven't spoken in years, and then we run into each other at a wedding, funeral, or the supermarket, and I either don't acknowledge you, or am civil to you but show no interest in rekindling our relationship or keeping in touch, it is not because I am "still angry at you," "unforgiving," "haven't let go of the past," or "still holding a grudge." Don't flatter yourself. It's because I lost interest a long time ago. I'm not angry. I have no feelings for you at all. I know that's hard for a narcissist to process, but I barely remember you. And if it's been long enough, I probably spent some time looking right at you, trying to remember who the heck you were. And then, maybe after an introduction, maybe after you came running up to me with a big grin like we were long-lost friends and nothing ever happened between us, it hit me.

You see, I'm not the same person I was when you knew me, but YOU are. I've grown, and you haven't. I've learned from the past, but you haven't. I'm no longer the people-pleasing easy prey I used to be, afraid to "offend" you by not letting you get overly familiar, reluctantly giving you my phone number when you get pushy, even though it was against my better judgment. I have boundaries now. I no longer let people pressure me into going past my own comfort zone just so I can appear "nice." These days, if you happened to be a stranger I just met for the first time, I would not let you steamroll me into too much, too soon. I would be polite and observe, keeping you at arm's length till I could get a read on you. And as soon as I realized you were a narcissist, it would go no further. You'd be gone.

But because we have a history together, it's a little different. I can save some time and eliminate the "getting to know you" phase, because I ALREADY know you. I know what you are. I don't need to re-learn that lesson. So I can just skip right to the "go no further" and "ditch the narcissist" part.

Also, after a year, ten years, twenty years or more, I've learned that I can live very nicely without you. I'm happy, I have a wonderful family and great friends, and God has blessed me so much. Why should I upset the applecart by letting an N back into my life, when everything is fine just the way it is? Why should I ASK FOR trouble and set myself up again for more of your Nabuse? You certainly didn't enrich my life back then, or we'd still be together. You don't add to my joy, you take away from it. So who needs it? When I ask myself what you would be bringing to the party, the answer is nothing. Nothing positive, that is~ but probably plenty of negative.

So no, I'm not still angry or holding a grudge. I'm just over you. I see no reason to open that door again. You're just not worth it. I spend no time brooding about you, and I wish you no ill. I don't care anymore. I have simply lost interest. Staying away from you has worked well for me all this time, so why mess with a good thing? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know it's next to impossible for a narcissist to absorb that someone doesn't care about him anymore, because you think you're the center of the universe, but, actually, you're not. I think YOU are the one who is still brooding and hasn't moved on and gotten over the past, or you wouldn't care anymore either :-0

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Keyboard Courage

A friend passed this on thanks to Facebook:
"keyboard courage" New term for people who cause a healthy exchange of ideas to devolve into a personal attack! Back in the day, we thought people should put their brain in gear before they started to run their mouth. In the 21st Century maybe it should read, "Be sure to put your brain in gear before you pound on the keyboard."

I first encountered the danger of Keyboard Courage 20 years ago at a Junior high where I worked as a computer tech.  A student at the school terrorized a 6th grader in Florida.  When caught he was baffled that there was a real person that he had emailed his threats and cruelty.  I noticed it on Facebook and comments that most people would never actually say in real life but the anonymity of the keyboard unleashes thoughtless or sometimes cruel words.  So I am adding keyboard courage to my growing list of new vocabulary with trolls, Ns, and ACoNs.  Yes I received some very scathing comments.  I am thankful that one person was not available to respond to...they accused me of writing all about me.  Uuuuuuuh yea it is a personal blog so that is usually what it is about.  This is similar to an open journal where I share my journey with the hope that something I write can help someone else as either a light to follow or a great example of what NOT to do.  I don't set out to offend anyone.  I try to write what I would say.  I guess the keyboard does lend a bit of courage to my writing, too.  My goal is to be helpful but I try to make sure my brain is in gear before pounding out my thoughts....Happy Monday everyone. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shattered dreams

Final question......

5. Will I survive even if it doesn’t work out?

The Olympics are watched around the world. Every country cheering for their athletes. In a split second, a dreamed of medal is secured, in that same split second the other person's dreams are shattered.  A jumping spin landed wrong is reviewed over and over.  A mistake on the snowy mountain is viewed from every angle.  Some athletes take terrible risk with their health and 'performance enhancing' drugs.  Others have stooped to illegal acts in their quest to fulfill their dream of Olympic Gold.  Attacking their opponents to give themselves an unfair advantage.  Others dreams are shattered when a competitor falls and takes two or three others with them.  Still others pushed their bodies to the max and beyond until they break or win.  Stranger still are those that achieve their goal then realize the cost was just too great or what do you do after your dream is obtained?

Tonight I pondered on what happens when dreams don't work out.  I learned I survive.  A LOT OF PEOPLE survive.  That is why we are called survivors because we saw our dreams shattered and our hearts are still beating, we still wake up in the morning, with another 24 hours to get through.  Some spiral downward into a swirl of addictions while others rebuild a new dream.  What causes one person to shrivel and waste away their lives and another to pull themselves back up on their feet like a battered boxer, swaying and bruised but prepared to carry on?  What element of determination keeps them rebuilding and reinventing their destiny? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

What do I really want?

I am continuing with the article from Purpose Fairy....questions to ask yourself to find out what you really want.

In 10 years of counseling I am still struggling with the concept of what do I really want.  I am still working on this.  I realized no counselor in the world can help me answer this question.  The answer I locked away inside myself so many years ago I lost the key and the hinges on the door rusted.  That doesn't mean I can't create a new dream....a new hope....a new castle in the air.  Other dreams were lost in my past.  But I am human which means every day is another beginning.  I am not one of Pavlov's dogs forever destined to be controlled by my conditioning.  Counseling did a ton towards teaching me to recognize the unhealthy conditioning that I lived through.  They taught me I don't have to be defined by my past.  They taught me I  have a choice. 

3. If nobody’s feelings could get hurt, what would I do?

 This was a driving piece that kept me locked under the thumb of the pedophile.  It wasn't somebody's feelings I was afraid of hurting.  I was told that my younger sister and brother would be hurt if I didn't do what I was told.  I was terrified that if I didn't do what I was told then somebody would be hurt and often that somebody was me.  Counseling went a long way toward breaking the hold of the terror of my past.  I was taught my past was just my past.  I didn't need to live in constant fear any more.  It was difficult to shake the habit of putting someone else first before meeting my most basic needs.  I was raised and praised for putting others first.  What no one realized that in the process the part of me that made me uniquely me was lost.  I hid, even from myself.  Instead of being encouraged to be my best self, who ever that self was, I was stomped into a shape of others desire for me.  Who I was disappeared for long stretches at a time.  Unfortunately, I am not the only person that had this happen in their childhood.  I read many blogs about self-righteous and self-serving parents trying to mold their children into images they considered acceptable.  I am not so sure I didn't make some of the same mistakes.  Teaching a child, training a child, manipulating a child and destroying a child gets weirdly blurry at times.  ACoNs often share on their blogs the struggle to become themselves.  One of the main parental manipulation tools is 'if you don't do this you will hurt my feelings'.  Somehow a child is held responsible for the adults happiness.  Teenagers are accused of selfishness when they stretch and explore the boundaries laid out by loving and not so loving parents a like.  I learned as a parent that it is really difficult to be able to cheer on children to their best selves when my idea of best and theirs don't match.  Now, I am a 56 year old teenager.  What would I do if I didn't worry about upsetting, hurting, pissing off, anyone else.  If left to my own devices, what would I do?  Intriguing possibilities are rattling around in my head.  Photography is at the top of my many possibilities when I stop trying to fit myself in a mold that was never for me in the first place.        

4. If I wasn’t trying to be “practical,” what would I decide?

Life realities exist.  Living a Cadillac life on a Volks Wagon budget leads to heavy debt and sometime bankruptcy.  But these are dreams.....the fluffy, outrageous kind, like building dream castles in the clouds kind.  If I didn't need to be practical, what would I do?  Too often as a parent, I reminded my children of their responsibilities.  Dream castles were not something I thought too much about growing up.  Something I did learn when we had more bills than money is that sometimes you start thinking poor.  That even when I  could make things nice I didn't.  I had a friend that had a very limited budget but lots of creativity and imagination.  She moved into a dinky little apartment in a not too nice of neighborhood.  However, when you walked inside her home you were surrounded by her quirky stylish taste.  She magically turned $10 into something that most people would pay $100.  She took what she had and made a little nest feathered and fluffed to her liking.  I could hardly believe the magical transformation.  Too often in a desire to be "practical" I don't allow myself to have fun.  I think that is why I loved the book Life's Uncertain, Eat Dessert First.  The book taught me about having fun and not always limiting myself with "practical". 

 Enough for tonight.....tomorrow the final question. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Time to think

Questions to ask myself

What do you want? My counselor posed this question to me several times through the years. At first, I looked at him blankly. My mind racing trying to figure out his angle. He asked again. I didn't recognize my reaction of fear. I brought him an Almond Joy candy bar with a giant fishhook piercing the word Joy. The possibility that I might have what I want seemed ludicrous or a baited hook.  He obviously ran in far different circles than I did.  What do I want?  I am struggling with figuring that out.

The above article was posted last Fall.  I put it in my line up of future posts and left it there for months.  I am discovering there is a huge difference between someone else asking me what I want and me asking me what I want.  I have no hidden agenda.  I have no hook.  I have no reason to be afraid of asking myself this question.  But I am afraid.  Too many times in my life, expressing what I wanted almost guaranteed I wouldn't get it.  No point deciding what you want if you can't have it any way.  I watched dreams crumble.  Darkness engulf hopes.  Fear over take dreams.  If you never dream a dream, then you are never disappointed.  That thinking is being buried before you die.  Victims give up their dreams and focus on getting through one more day.  Survivors struggle with believing that the terror has ended.  Thriving is where dreams exist.  So by definition if I want to thrive, I need to dream of what I want to do.

So, I am going to ask myself the questions:

1. If no one else had any opinion about this, how would I feel?

I followed orders to survive.  If I had a choice different then what was expected, I was told to change my thinking and I did.  I was the perfect chameleon blending in whatever environment that I was in.  The very essence of functioning as a multiple personality was so that I could be which ever personality that the other person required.  In extreme measures, it meant survival.  However, I know from experience, it is a lousy way to live.  I am in the position of always waiting on someone else to tell me what to think, feel and do.  First thing, I have to do is decide what I you have any idea how freaking hard that is when you are conditioned to absolute obedience at all cost?  I spent years of counseling sessions trying to understand that I have feelings, I own them, and they are based on my opinions.  I have opinions.  LOTS OF THEM.  I learned that sometimes that is beneficial to my relationship with someone else to not voice that opinion.  But it is important for me to know that I have one.  Yup.  Step one accomplished, I have an opinion!  It is mine, based on my experience and my understanding and if I don't want to....I don't have to explain it to anyone.  How cool is that?  

2. Is the fear of failure, or of success, standing in my way?

I always thought my fear of failure kept me immobilized. I was terrified of the slightest mistake.  My counselor groused about having to walk on egg shells to keep me from believing I made a mistake and shut down completely.  He groused nicely but kept pointing out the struggle I had with apologizing and blaming myself for anything that went wrong with anything. To help myself overcome my fear of making a mistake, I did Sudoku puzzles.  If I made a mistake, I couldn't erase it and do it over.  I put a big X across it and turn the page.  I can now make a mistake with out a complete melt down. It never occurred to me that fear of success was even more debilitating. My sister and I discussed this many times.  We both remembered specific examples of times we were praised in front of mother and in private mother would make our lives miserable.  She could rain on our parades like nobody else.  I dreaded compliments because it increased the resentment I felt from her and my life would get much harder.  Or she would find some way to verbally cut me down to size.  Some how in her thinking, it seemed to me, that if people thought well of me then they must not like her.  I call this "Queen Bee Syndrome."  There can only be one "Queen Bee"  All other females must be destroyed.  Many narcissistic people have this syndrome.  So I am challenged with both fear of failure and fear of success.  What I am learning is small success and small failures are the learning ground for figuring out that failure is not the end of the world and success doesn't last forever.  I am discovering that I enjoy success and I can cope with failures.  The fear of both is diminishing.      

I have tackled the first two questions.  There are 3 more to go.  Enough for one post.  I don't need to solve all my problems tonight, I can save some for tomorrow.  (Too bad you can't see my cheeky grin when I type this.) 

Worker bees survive. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bloom where you are planted

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Click Here For Success Tip # 085

Tonight, I need this reminder. I am feeling overwhelmed. I know that some of the hits are not intended. I know that going solo without weekly counseling I am feeling a little shaky. I miss unloading my worries and sorting through them with someone knowledgeable in solving worry problems.  I need the reminder that I "Do what I can, with what I have, where I am."  I gave out a lot of information at work today.  I shared with coworkers that I feel are safe.  But I am also nervous in case back and bites me in the butt.  Trust is like that for me, a little scary.  Thank you to all my readers that read what I have to say.  Special thanks to those that take the time and courage to comment.  It makes a difference to me.  I need to good night all.

Goodnight Moon

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Narcissist Slayers


TR from In Bad Company listed my blog as being nominated.  I struggled with accepting this honored award.  I didn't feel I deserved it.

An honored title of those that learn about, share, and strive to eradicate narcissistic behavior.

I learned about AcONs and Ns and Taking the Red Pill from bloggers that blazed the way for me.  They did the research....they shared their heart breaking stories...they shared their strength....I followed in their wake. I put off and put off and put off writing this because I couldn't understand why I felt so undeserving.  I realized Sunday why I did but still delayed until today to write.  My narcissist mother is still part of my life.  I have coworkers that I calmly work with that also are narcissistic.  I struggle with my own selfish tendencies trying to balance self-care and selfish.  I don't feel triumphant over any of my foes.  I don't see myself as a warrior.  I haven't gone no contact like so many others.  I feel soft and compliant in many ways.  I almost didn't accept the award.  Then I reminded myself that I don't see myself the same way as other people see me.  I see my weaknesses glaring at me.  I see myself retreating when harsh comments fly.  I still prefer to back down than to slay anyone or anything.  I am taking karate lessons.  I struggle with the requirement of physically showing on another person the moves that could seriously hurt someone if I use my full strength.  I finally admitted, I am not learning to fight to hurt someone else; I am learning to fight so they can't hurt me any more.  There it is.  Warriors don't start the battle.  They step up and say, "You can't hurt me any more."  "You can't belittle me any more."  "I don't believe your lies any more."  I choose to face the truth.  The ugliness of accepting that my narcissistic mother is emotionally handicapped and unable to be a mother to me.  She gave birth to me but she is incapable of nurturing or loving me in anyway that is hoped for from a parent.  Her barbs don't hurt me any more.  I am saddened by how her hugs cause me to shudder in revulsion.  I recognize her conscious choice not to change.  I recognize my father's behavior that enabled this to alter my life when I asked him to stop her, he shrugged and told me that is just the way she is you got to love her.  No I don't. Her choice does not define me.  I chose to change.  I changed everything I could.  I took the painful choice of the Red Pill that didn't allow me to wallow in the illusion that my "Childhood was great, we went to the park and the zoo."  I looked at the neglect that left me vulnerable to a sadistic neighbor that took advantage of that vulnerability.  I learned that sometimes a warrior is marked by the simple refusal to accept someone else defining who they are.  The armor a Narcissist Slayer wears is truth.  The sword is the decision to choose for themselves.  The shield is recognizing the lies.  Narcissist Slayers didn't start this fight.  However, each one chooses to recognize their own truth and live their own lives.  I learned this past couple of weeks that I am a warrior.  I am creating my own life.  I accept truth.  If I see narcissistic behaviors in myself, I try to change them.  What I learned from the narcissistics in my life: I can choose.  I can choose to stay or walk away.  I can choose to be their doormat or stand up and say enough.  I didn't have much choice as a child.  I am not a child any more.  I said, "Enough."  Thank you TR for nominating me and helping me to realize in my own way, I am a warrior.  The list I found at the bottom of Narcissistic Continuum cover all the blogs that I know because they are the ones I learned from.  Thank you to these valiant warriors that taught me I have a choice, so does every reader.  Narcissitics also have a choice.  But my choice decides how I am treated.  If I don't lay down on the ground, they can't walk on me. 

If you know someone that is deserving of this award, please nominate them in the comments and I will let them know.  I still miss many warriors that decided to move on with their lives away from the blogosphere.  I hope they are continuing to live their lives happily and joyfully where ever they are. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Played today.....

I love the zoo....



Volunteer at the Zoo

Smallest creatures fascinate me.

Hanging around

Two little monkeys sitting in a tree

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Insteresting source of validation

My friend posted this on facebook.
"Those who refuse to accept the presence of evil are in may ways responsible for perpetrating it."~ Dr Sirota

There are some who won't accept the fact that bad people exist in the world. They want to see everyone who causes harm as "wounded" or "troubled" & in need of help, rather than deserving of consequences. Well, there's a bit of truth to this, but it isn't the whole truth.
Certain emotionally disturbed individuals who haven't gone all the way down the path of harm-doing might benefit from psychological intervention. It's possible that these individuals could see where they're going wrong & choose to change their ways. But it's not guaranteed.
It's difficult to get someone who's really self-centered to become sensitive to the feelings & needs of others; it's virtually impossible to get someone who doesn't care about the harm they're doing to change.
It may all start with childhood wounds - although there's a lot of evidence for a biological cause to antisocial behavior as well- but ultimately, our behavior always comes down to a choice: to focus on living in a state of loving-kindness or to focus on anger, vengeance, retribution or cruelty.
Over the past 20+ years I've seen people with all sorts of terrible traumas, & I've seen how each one of them makes a choice about how they're going to live with this trauma. Most have chosen to live as good, caring individuals.
They all had stories about people in their lives- parents, other relatives, teachers, romantic partners, schoolmates & friends who were abusive to them.
When you think that both abuser & abused had the experience of suffering, but only some of them turned out to be abusers, you have to see that it's a choice. It might not be a conscious, deliberate choice but it's a choice.
Especially when the person repeatedly continues to do harm. It's one thing to slide unconsciously into being hurtful, but then to knowingly persist in the face of the suffering they're causing? That's a choice.
You'd think that someone who sees the hurt they're causing would be highly motivated to change & to get help in doing so - & a small proportion of people will do this: those who are not evil but truly wounded- so when they don't seek to change, that implies a real choice.
It's impossible for someone not to see that they're causing harm, unless they've so blinded themselves to the pain of others, they've so abdicated their responsibility or they simply don't care.
When someone persists in causing others harm, I call them a bad person; someone we need to stay away from or protect ourselves from, or we'll end up being hurt by them.
People who live in denial of evil have a particular wound. They want to see everyone as fundamentally good (even the Dalai Lama, ultimate proponent of love & compassion, recognizes the existence of evil people in the world) & these deniers want to believe that the bad person is just a wounded child who, with love & care will transform into a loving, good person.
This is a dangerous fantasy that often results in the suffering, even death of the person trying to heal the evil-doer. (Just watch Nicole Kidman & John Cusak in the film, The Paperboy, for a perfect illustration of this point.)
A bad person is not a child & they have all the resources & cleverness of an adult with which to do great damage. It's true denial to see them as anything less than dangerous.
Those who refuse to accept the presence of evil are in may ways responsible for perpetrating it. They listen to the cries of the victims of abuse & tell them that the abuser "didn't mean it," that "they're just wounded," that "they need love & compassion too."
These deniers of evil are often in a position where they're responsible for protecting the victims & instead, abuse them all over again through the denial of the harm that's come to them.
It's time we stop denying the fact that some people simply choose to do harm. When we're ready to face this painful truth, we'll stop protecting the evil-doers from the appropriate consequences of their bad behavior & we'll start taking proper care of those they've hurt.

Prayer that I have prayed

My sister shared a link on her post today.

I have felt the all consuming fear described in this prayer.  I appreciate the reminder that others understand and have felt what I have felt.  A reminder that I am not so different than I sometimes believe.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Man Rules ....posted else where

I get this set of Man Rules when I am in the middle of a book called Who Switched Off Your Brain? by Dr. Caroline Leaf.  The book shares documentation and backup with studies showing that men do think, see and act differently at a hardwired level from women.  Their eyes actually do see fewer colors.  However, they can follow action and movement because fewer colors are distracting them.  I was blessed with 3 wonderful boys and 3 awesome girls....yes they were hard wired differently and no they didn't follow all the same rules.  I was always puzzled about the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus because my reactions were more like the 'men' stereo types.  However, I did see some of these rules played out in my life.  I was sewing costumes and the male director said he wanted the leading actress dressed in red.  I automatically asked if he wanted the red to be a blue-red or an orange-red....(I thought I was being reasonable.)  He exploded and said he wanted a red red!!!!  My reply was, "Do you want it red like a tomato or red like a fire engine?"  He answered slightly more reasonably and said, "Red like a fire engine."  I made her dress a blue-red.  Reading the research I now understand that he didn't see the subtle difference in hue that I spotted immediately.  Unfortunately, he reacted with anger which made the experience unpleasant but now I have learned, he really didn't know what I was talking about.  The studies are interesting but I am slightly opposed to almost any rule setting with people since as soon as you set one rule somebody else will break it.  I loved working in the Art department where men discussed the subtle differences in color.  I worked as a computer tech which was pretty much male dominated.  In the shared bathroom, for politeness, I left the toilet seat up.  After a few months, I walked across to another building to use a women's only restroom.  I learned that there were some of my life experiences that I didn't want my male coworkers knowing about.  Now, I work mostly with women.  I am learning a whole new set of social mores.  It is kind of fun.      


FINALLY, the guys' side of the story. ( I MUST ADMIT, IT'S PRETTY GOOD.)

























Thursday, February 13, 2014

Self punishment

One of the weirdest struggles I have is when I self punish.  I am restricting my time on Facebook, not posting 2 of my comments, and putting myself on a diet.  I realized today that I am self punishing.  The diet thing started out innocent enough.  It is a group project with teachers and staff at the school.   We tally points on a sheet for adding a habit, breaking a bad habit, exercising, sleep, and meals.  Any way, I missed some points the first week.  I am anxious about food all the time.  I get one free day a week and I am making huge elaborate plans about all the food I am going to eat and then I punish myself.  I received two comments that are awards.  I haven't accepted either one yet.  All week I feel like I don't deserve them.  Tonight, I realized I was making excuses for punishing myself.  Not fair and not kind to myself.  Irony, is the new habit in the Diet game is to speak kindly to myself.  I'm going to give myself one more week to play the game and make it a game.  Not beat myself up....panic over food....or turn it into a whip to punish myself.  I am going to make healthy choices on my diet free day.  This weekend I am going to accept the awards.  I appreciate both.  I really do.  I am healing. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Evil exists

For those that are triggered by church, religion, evil, tirades, strong language or just not interested in Good and Evil debates....stop reading now....look at yesterday's pictures and just skip my post for today.  

I almost didn't write this post.  However, I am editing my sister's story and she is very big on truth and honor.  I am feeling a bit of disappointment tinged with a bit of shame for not speaking up last Sunday at church...probably couldn't have because my brain short circuited instead of standing up and screaming....."This is why evil thrives, you people make excuses for those that choose it. $%&#@$%#%^&%$" I knew that I was in a place where I could not speak civilly and maybe that is it.  Maybe I need to stop speaking civilly about evil myself before calling out somebody else. 

Let me back up a bit, give a bit of context to fill in what I am thinking.  (This is one reason why I am missing counseling already, I could vent to someone safely.  The counselor wouldn't take it personally, I could let off steam, and I would feel better.)  Last Sunday in Sunday School we were discussing Cain and Able.  Now my take of the story is Cain loved Satan and chose to slay his brother Able to get his sheep.   People in the group started spluttering about love the sinner but not the sin, addictions, not realizing what they are doing....excuses, excuses, excuses....Hey PEOPLE sometimes there are those that choose to HURT others and ENJOY IT.  Blogs write about the creepy little smile a narcissistic gets on their face B E F O R E saying something nasty.  They are anticipating and enjoying the thought of hurting someone else even if that person is their own child.  There are abusive parents that are absolutely sober when they beat their kid.  There are bullies that BRAG about intimidating and putting someone down.  Murder doesn't happen just because someone's feelings are hurt.  Premeditated murder in cold blood was the act that Cain did. This is not about addiction or not having a good neighborhood to live in or not having a chance, this story is about MURDER.....Why the excuses?  Why the soft pedal?  I blew a gasket and shut down when they trotted out the wearied 'judge not' excuse.  I am going to say right here and now that many situations can happen that people make poor choices.  I believe the story of Cain and Able is in the Bible as a warning that there are people that do exist that choose evil.  Premeditated, vicious, hurtful people and the warning from the Lord is to STAY THE AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE.  I do not know if the pedophile that tortured me will go to Heaven or Hell, that is not for me to decide.  I do believe that if he were alive today I would move far away from him as possible.  I avoid bullies whenever possible.  I have quit jobs to get away from bullies.  Through counseling I am learning other ways to protect myself.  I am ticked off with myself for not standing up and saying, "Cain and Able is about premeditated murder because a man chose evil.  Making excuses for him will not change his crime. The warning the Lord gives all of us that evil exists and we need to be on guard."  There. Now I've said it.   

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Urban Safari

I'm out of sorts....I know why....trigger pushed....hard....decided to play with my pictures and take you all on an Urban Safari....Enjoy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Reaction to what Strong people don't do continued 2.....

I am working my way through an article sharing my reaction to 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do:

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

This always confused me when someone resented or put down the success of someone else.  In an interesting way by this criteria, I've been strong much longer than I thought.  I remember in high school being thrilled and happy for my friends success even if it was against me.  I love watching the Olympics and the thrill of seeing someone else win the gold.  I recognize the work they had to do to get there.  I am bugged when commentators and news people point out the flaws showing errors over and over.  I watched Nadia Comaneci get the perfect 10 the first time.  I felt thrilled to be able to witness her success.
I could not understand why people just couldn't be happy for her and every other success.  I didn't see this as a strength within myself.  It was interesting to see this as a trait of a strong person.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Or the second failure or the third failure, Edison showed this kind of determination.  It is my belief that every survivor is here today because they didn't give up.  Surviving usually involves many put downs, many failures and the survivor just keeps getting up again.  Bruised, battered, discouraged, but surviving none the less.  Changing from victim to survivor requires facing a mountain of failures.  Changing from survivor to thriving takes determination, grit, and plain stubborn refusal to give up no matter how many times I get knocked down.  I was very proud when someone labeled me tenacious.  I think often of Winston Churchill's famous quote, "Never, never, never give up."

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

I enjoy alone time.  I get wearied and anxious if I don't get time alone.  My fear is being around people.  So I am not sure this is a good indicator one way or the other about a mentally strong person.  I have met people that fear being alone or constantly chatter because they can't tolerate silence.  I met people that stayed quiet and wanted to be alone because they feared people.  Maybe what I believe about strong people is they don't fear...alone time or being in company.  Mentally strong people enjoy either.  Just my perspective on this. 

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Entitlement....expecting others to provide for them.....wanting to be taken care of.  I believe this thinking is that of a child that never grew up.  Interesting thing about abuse victims they can be like this or they believe that the only thing they are going to get from the world is a kick in the teeth.  The challenge in becoming a strong person is the belief that I can get what I ask for from other people. The belief that I have power and can get the things I need took a lot of coaxing from KavinCoach.  Years of feeling powerless left little belief that I could meet my own needs.  I am thankful for counseling that opened my eyes to my own power. 

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Instant, now, don't wait, buy now, I want it done yesterday, impatience, demands of immediate results things coming faster and faster microwave, fast food, instant messaging the world seems to be obsessed with getting things done IMMEDIATELY.....NOW....the thought of waiting for anything is almost unheard of.  I don't mind waiting.  I have a something to read, a game on my phone, or something else to entertain.  The quiet moments of pause.....I do believe that a mentally strong person recognizes the value of waiting....the best is yet to come. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Reaction to what Strong people don't do continued.....

This is a continuation of yesterday's post about this article:

This is my conversation and reaction to each point in the'll need to go to their web page to read the original.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

There was a time in my life that my survival depended on pleasing someone.  It also became a Self-defeating behavior as an adult.  Aesop tells one of my favorite stories about this:

The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey
An Aesop's Fable

A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said:
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:
Moral of Aesops Fable: Please all, and you will please none

Not pleasing everyone has long been known as poor choice, yet over and over again people pleasing becomes a self destructive role that hampers growth of the people pleaser and those they try to please.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

 Living in a chaotic world, risks was hard to calculate, not cleaning a room fast enough could result in a spanking, while being destructive could elicit a hug.  Punishing the smallest error but ignoring crimes creates a distorted view of what is a calculated risk.  I remember KavinCoach assigning me to ask for something from someone else.  Take the risk of rejection.  I came back thrilled that I asked for a bread stick at a restaurant and got it.  KavinCoach pointed out that they gave everyone extra bread sticks.  I felt disappointed that he couldn't see what a big deal it was for me to ask for anything.  I asked for more food when I was a child and the request was denied, not because the food wasn't there but because the food was being saved for my brothers.  What is a calculated risk to one person may not seem like that big a deal to someone else.  I am working at not beating myself up for not wanting to go skydiving.  It is a calculated risk, I just don't want to do it.  I also remind myself to not judge someone else's reservation about a choice because I don't know what experiences might be.  What I see as a calculated risk, they may consider to be a known recipe for disaster.  I think a better choice for me on this one is healthy people don't let fear control them.  

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

The saddest thing I ever saw was a woman that believed all her glory years were in high school.  She yearned to go back to that harlequin time when everything was better and easier.  My past held me back until I recognized its influence and cut the ties.  One of the important things about counseling is learning how to put the past in its proper place, a learning experience that I can use to build on.  I realize that my past was a messy, but I learned what things not to do to someone else.  I learned things that don't work.  I learned that just because bad stuff happens it doesn't mean that I have to live a miserable life now.  I can put the past in its the past.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

I think this one relates to number 7, don't live in the past but please, learn from it.  Repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again gets tiresome.  The disadvantage of forgetting the past is I am destined to repeat the same mistake.  I used my crock pot this week, I forgot that if I turn the temperature too low, it won't finish cooking before I get home.  Stew was finally cooked the next day.  I need to write a note to myself and put it with the cooker to keep the temperature above 3. But I don't learn from the past when I put myself in the line of fire with an abusive person.  I don't learn from my past when I do the same things that hurt me before.  One of the signs of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.  Part of counseling was showing me what I could learn from my past.

To be continued.......

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Reaction to what Strong people don't do

 A lot to think about on this one.

Sometimes an article has a big impact on me and I am not ready to process the information at the time so I put it into my think about it later future post.  This does two things, gives me time to think about it and a reminder to get back to it and give it more careful consideration.  I can say I love the drawing/photograph combination.  Very eye catching and speaks a thousand words in a hurry.

I am going to review them one at a time. To be continued...

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

 I believe there is a big difference between feeling sorry for yourself and acknowledging an event occurred.  Sometimes abusers try to bully their victims into not acknowledging hurtful events by accusing them that they are feeling sorry for themselves.  It was a needed process for me to acknowledge and process painful events in my life.  However, both my counselors cautioned me about the danger of getting 'stuck' in the recounting phase of the healing process.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

I was convinced to give up my power at such an early age I didn't know I had any.  The first time KavinCoach told me to stop giving away my power, I felt completely bewildered by his comment.  I thought, "I don't have any power to give away."  I had zero concept of the God given power that every single soul is born with.  I learned that this power can only be given away, never taken.  Tricked, bullied, brain-washed, oh yeah all those can happen.  Counseling taught me to see what I didn't know I had AND to take back my power.  It was awesome once I understood what I always had but didn't know it was there.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

The very essence of living is change.  Every plant, animal, season and day there is constant change.  I was fascinated that you could track what happened to a snowflake by how the ice crystals grew.  Staying the same and resisting change is inviting insanity.  I don't believe in change for the sake of change simply because I enjoy exercising the power I have to choose change.  Some people I know do enjoy painting a room a differently color just because they want something different.  That is OK....I don't think that change for change sake is wrong, it's just not something I prefer to do.  Maybe I will later and that may be a change I want to explore.  The power of counseling is when the person teams with a healthy therapist to orchestrate a mighty change.  Even more powerful to me is allowing Christ to help me change.  Change is the way we become our best or worse selves.  The choice is ours as to how we change.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

I was taught from an early age that I controlled everything....I made my abuser hurt me.....I made my mother angry.....I made my mother sick....I made bad things happen.....I was blamed for all sorts of horrible awful things happening.  Many, many, many, many counseling sessions were spent teaching me what I controlled and what I didn't.  Often the only thing I can control is my attitude.  Reading Corrie Ten Boom and Viktor Frankl helped me see this most clearly.  I learned that I did not make my abuser hurt me. I did not make anyone angry.  I did not make my mother sick.  Bad things happen without my assistance.  I learned the concept:  "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you."  Part of taking back my power was giving back the power that belonged to someone else.

This is getting long so I will break up into several posts.....there are 9 more to go....

It's back....The Arizona Renaissance Festival....(pictures from years past)