Accepting the Unacceptable

How many times have we heard our parents say, “What is the world coming to?”? Well, I think we have our answer.

piper2_17245_sm

  • The truth doesn’t matter any more.

  • Promises don’t have to be honored.

  • We are going against long held beliefs.

  • We are opening up our world to people who want to destroy us.

  • Privacy isn’t a thing.

  • We are allowing ego to take precedence over propriety.

  • Civility is no longer expected.

  • Cooperation is passe’.

  • Respect is out the window.

  • Violence is the new norm.

  • Hate thy neighbor is the new motto.

  • Laws are disregarded.

  • The constitution doesn’t mean anything.

  • Rules – what are rules?

  • Basically, anything goes.

The one thing that remains the same is that “Money Trumps Everything!”

images.duckduckgo.com

Advertisements

Stark Reality

I  have a way of looking at the world through eyes that see past the obvious. In other words, I am a deep thinker. I call it common sense.

In the last Presidential race, there was a lot of voicing the desire for more “excitement” in the media and on the street.  Believe it or not, the consensus was that it had  all become boring. That desire has come to fruition big time and even I have gotten caught up in it.

As I watched the debate last night, I experienced a combination of excitement and dread. I am on a roller coaster! One minute I am elated and the next I am pissed and the next I am overcome with a feeling of sadness. I haven’t decided what I will do with my vote though I know what I won’t do. I have tried to be open minded yet I find myself swayed by the Dump Trump” and  “Trump Dump” campaigns.

I have tried to jump off the “Anyone But Trump” train but when I lean out the door, I find myself back on the top step. It has been said that we are not electing the man, we are electing a leader. I don’t want a leader who is a deplorable man and honestly, I am scared of the future as we get closer to election day. As I write this, I find myself crying for what has been and what could be coming.

When I heard it said that Obama was like Hitler, I thought that it was ridiculous and inflamed rhetoric. I am saying now and I will stand behind my opinion that if the statements Trump throws out are honestly his beliefs, we are in deep trouble. Furthermore, we can kiss the good in the country we know goodbye. I understand the need for moving in a different direction but I don’t think he is the person to take us there.

There is no need to go into all the reasons for my feelings about Trump, we have all seen the evidence over and over and either you see it or you don’t. My pointing out the pitfalls will not open anyone’s eyes at this point. I will say that what I am seeing in most Trump supporters is desperation and while I have compassion for their situations,  making a decision out of desperation is never good.

*The purpose of this post is to express my thoughts and feelings, not to convince anyone else as to how they they should cast their vote in the Presidential race.

 

Crisis Text Line (CTL)

14296015-3d-render-of-a-person-helping-another-man-3d-illustration-of-human-character-people

If you are interested in doing volunteer work that you can do from home, here is an idea for you:

While working as a Crisis Telephone Counselor for Crisis Hotline (CHL), we assisted CTL when we could so I am familiar with this organization. Now that I am no longer employed or volunteer with CHL due to having relocated, I have entered the volunteer program at CTL. Though I have been through a version of their training as a continuing education requirement and having been through CHL’s training, I am finding the CTL volunteer training to be very beneficial. This is a rewarding endeavor and for those who like doing things for others anonymously, this is your ticket. All training and working on the texting platform is done from your computer at home. You set your own schedule and the text line is open 24/7 so working it into your personal schedule isn’t difficult.

If you are nervous about crisis support, let me reassure you that you will be well-trained and their training includes live observations. Also, you will have all the tools you need right in front of you. All texts are monitored by a supervisor who is always available if you get stuck or need assistance. Though it is a mandatory reporting agency for imminent risk of suicide or homicide as well as child abuse, the reporting is actually done by the supervisor, however, these instances do not occur often. The way I look at it is “It’s just a conversation.” There is no script but you will learn active listening and productive conversation.

Rather than quote all the information regarding CTL, I am posting their FAQ sheet. You can also go to crisistextline.org

Text START to 741-741

FAQ

Jump to

Texting in
Data
Donate
Financials
Partnerships
Tech Issues
Media
Volunteers
Our Approach

TEXTING IN

Q: HOW DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE WORK?

A:

  1. You text 741741 when in crisis. Available 24/7 in the USA.
  2. A live, trained crisis counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
  3. The crisis counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals – all through text message using Crisis Text Line’s secure platform.

Q: WHO SHOULD TEXT IN?

A: We exist to help anyone in crisis at any time.

Q: WHO ANSWERS THE TEXT MESSAGES?

A: Crisis Text Line crisis counselors are both rigorously trained volunteers and employees of our crisis center partners.

Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I TEXT IN?

A: You’ll receive an automated text asking you what your crisis is. Within minutes, a live trained crisis counselor will answer your text. They will help you out of your moment of crisis and work with you to create a plan to continue to feel better.

Q: IS CRISIS TEXT LINE ACTUALLY ANONYMOUS?

A: Yes. Crisis counselors only know what texters share with them, and that information stays confidential. We take your anonymity seriously. Check out our terms of service here.

Q: HOW MUCH DOES CRISIS TEXT LINE COST?

A: We do not charge texters. If your cell phone plan is with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon, texts to our short code, 741741 are free of charge. If you have a plan with a different carrier, standard text message rates apply.

Q: WILL CRISIS TEXT LINE SHOW UP ON MY CELL PHONE BILL?

A: Nothing will appear on your bill if your cell phone plan is with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. If your plan is with another carrier our short code, 741741 will appear on your billing statement. Read about how this happened here.

Q: WILL CRISIS TEXT LINE WORK WITH MY PHONE?

A: Crisis Text Line works on all major US carriers, and most minor regional carriers. However, shortcodes (like 741741) are not allowed on many prepaid plans like T-Mobile’s.

Q: I HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE WHEN I TEXTED IN, CAN I TEXT IN AGAIN?

A: You can text in again, if you are experiencing a crisis. However, you should not feel dependent on us. Crisis Text Line is not a replacement for long-term counseling, in-person therapy, or a friend.

Q: HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO TEXT WITH A CRISIS COUNSELOR?

A: Our goal is to respond to every texter in under 5 minutes. During high volume times, such as at night or when people are talking about us on social media, wait times may be longer.

Q: IS THERE A CHARACTER LIMIT WHEN TEXTING CRISIS TEXT LINE?

A: Yes, our system is only able to process 140 characters in one message.

Q: WHY AM I RECEIVING AN ERROR MESSAGE OR NO RESPONSE AT ALL?

Sadly, there are some carriers who have not adopted the use of shortcodes–and the small percentage of people with these phones, can’t use Crisis Text Line. (We hear that sometimes you get an auto-error response. Sometimes nothing at all. We know this is shitty and we wish those carriers would enable us). If your phone carrier doesn’t enable shortcodes, here is a list of hotlines you can call.

Q: IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO REACH CRISIS TEXT LINE BESIDES TEXT?

A: Yes, you can reach us through Facebook Messenger. Access to message Crisis Text Line is located through Facebook’s Safety checkpoint. This is accessible by flagging a user’s post.

Q: IF I REACH OUT VIA FACEBOOK MESSENGER, DOES ANONYMITY APPLY?

A: Yes. We do not have access to your Facebook profile. The only know information about you that we’ll know is what you share with us.

Q: IF I REACH OUT VIA FACEBOOK MESSENGER, WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE DATA?

A: Three parties: you (in your Messenger thread), Crisis Text Line, and Facebook.

Q: IF I REACH OUT VIA FACEBOOK MESSENGER AND I WANT MY DATA DELETED, WHAT DO I DO?

A: Message us back with the word ‘LOOFAH’. We’ll scrub your data from our system, and make a request to Facebook to do the same.

Q: IF I REACH OUT VIA FACEBOOK MESSENGER, WHICH TERMS OF SERVICE APPLY TO ME?

A: By contacting Crisis Text Line through Facebook Messenger, users agree to Facebook Messenger’s Terms of Service, as well as Crisis Text Line’s Terms of Service.

Q: WHAT ARE ALL OF THE CRISIS ISSUES YOU TRACK? CAN YOU ADD MORE?

A: See the issues we track at www.crisistrends.org. If you’re a researcher or practitioner with interest in another issue, submit your suggestion in the form at the bottom of www.crisistrends.org.

Q: WHO CAN APPLY FOR ACCESS TO CRISIS TEXT LINE’S DATA?

A: Data access is available to approved academic researchers. The application will be available here in late January 2016. Otherwise, please visit www.crisistrends.org to see the latest trends in how texters are experiencing crisis.

DONATE

Q: HOW CAN I DONATE TO CRISIS TEXT LINE?

A: You can donate via Paypal (link here) or by sending a check to:
Crisis Text Line
Attn: Finance Dept.
24 West 25th Street, 6th Fl
New York, NY 10010

Q: IS MY DONATION TO CRISIS TEXT LINE TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

A: Yes! Upon receiving your donation, we’ll send you a thank you letter that clarifies your donation is tax deductible.

FINANCIALS

Q: IS CRISIS TEXT LINE REALLY A NOT FOR PROFIT?

A: Yes, we are! Here are our latest financials as proof.

Q: HOW IS CRISIS TEXT LINE FUNDED?

A: We’re privately funded. This means we receive funding from foundations, individuals, and corporations.

Q: WHERE CAN I FIND CRISIS TEXT LINE’S FORM 990?

A: 2014 here and 2015 here.

Q: I SAW YOU RAISED A BUNCH OF MONEY (WOOHOO!) FOR THE ORG. WHERE IS IT ALL GOING?

A: We are focused on three main initiatives: (1) supporting our Crisis Counselor community with better products and more emotional support, (2) integrating with tech companies to provide support to users inside things like After School, Kik, YouTube, and Facebook Messenger, (3) white labeling our service for other orgs and locations– providing a free text service for the National Eating Disorder Association and cities like Newark and Atlanta.

PARTNERSHIPS

Q: WHO CAN PARTNER WITH CRISIS TEXT LINE?

A: We partner with not-for-profits, colleges and universities, and corporations. Want to partner? Fill out this form!

TECH ISSUES

Having technical issues with the site or text line? Check out our Help Center.

MEDIA

Q: CAN I GET MARKETING MATERIALS WITH THE CRISIS TEXT LINE SHORT CODE TO SHARE WITH MY COMMUNITY?

A: Absolutely. Download our Volunteer Flyer or Text Flyer.

Q: WHOM I CONTACT FOR A PRESS INQUIRY?

A: Email support@crisistextline.org

VOLUNTEERS

Q: HOW CAN I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?

A: We are always accepting applications! Apply Here.

Q: WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A VOLUNTEER?

A: To become a Crisis Counselor, you must:

  1. Pass a background check – that means no felonies and no violent or sex-offense misdemeanors
  2. Have a US Social Security number (in order to complete the background check)
  3. Be at least 18 years old
  4. Have access to a computer with a secure, reliable internet connection
  5. Commit to volunteering 4 hours a week for 1 year

Q: WHAT’S THE TIME COMMITMENT OF VOLUNTEERS?

A: We ask our volunteers to commit to volunteering 4 hours a week for 1 year. Volunteers are able to break up their commitment into two 2-hour shifts each week if they would like.

Q: HOW ARE VOLUNTEERS TRAINED?

A: After a rigorous application process, our volunteers complete a 34 hour training course over 6 weeks. This includes ongoing simulated conversations and personalized feedback from our experienced trainers as well as 8 hours of on-platform observation. Training content is based on best practices in crisis counseling and Crisis Text Line data.

Q: WHEN IS YOUR NEXT CRISIS COUNSELOR TRAINING?

A: We accept applications on a rolling basis. A new training cohort starts every two weeks, so apply whenever you want! We’re excited to meet you!

Q: WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A CRISIS COUNSELOR VOLUNTEER?

A: Check out our blog to read stories from our volunteers.

Q: ARE VOLUNTEERS SUPERVISED?

A: Yes. Our experienced supervisors oversee and assist our volunteers, when necessary, while on the platform.

OUR APPROACH

Q: IS CRISIS TEXT LINE COUNSELING?

A: No, our specialists do not counsel, but rather practice active listening to help texters move from a hot moment to a cool calm.

Q: WHAT IS ACTIVE LISTENING?

A: Active listening is when someone communicates in a way that is empathetic, understanding, and respectful. It includes focus on the texter and thoughtful answers.

Q: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRISIS TEXT LINE AND THERAPY?

A: Crisis Text Line is not a replacement for therapy. Therapy includes a diagnosis made by a doctor, a treatment plan of action, and a patient/therapist relationship. Crisis Text Line helps people in moments of crisis. Our crisis counselors practice active listening to help our texters find calm and create an action plan for themselves to continue to feel better. Crisis Text Line’s crisis counselors are not therapists.

Q: WHO STARTED CRISIS TEXT LINE?

A: We were founded by our CEO, Nancy Lublin. After seeing a need for the service we provide, Nancy hired a team to build what is our current platform. The original team included a data scientist and an engineer. Hear our story here.

 

Didn’t find your answer? Check out our Help Center or email support@crisistextline.org.

Privacy Policies

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

Website Privacy Policy

FAQs

Check out our FAQs

Help Make it Happen

Want to start a crisis text line in your country? international@crisistextline.org

We’re hiring:
Apply now

Press inquiry?

Email press@crisistextline.org
If you are in crisis, text START to 741-741.

Keep me posted

 

 

DESPERATION (Part Two of Two)

13778409-graduate-girl-cartoonMy husband and I did not push our daughters toward marriage. We wanted them to have a good education, careers and to travel, not to base their worth on having a man in their lives. For the sake of their privacy, I won’t tell you how that worked out but certainly not according to our plans. As the saying goes, “If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans.

 

I believe that when you are not “looking” for a man or woman to settle down with, you are more yourself, more relaxed and it is more likely to happen. In that scenario, you meet someone and you are not trying to make something happen so chances are greater that it will work out if it is meant to.

060710-191.

The best way to have a long-lasting relationship is to look at it as a friendship and let it develop naturally. Jumping into bed when you first meet someone, while fun and possibly physically satisfying, often remains at that level and that’s great if that is all you are looking for. Whereas, if you get to know each other first and put the emphasis on that and having fun, there is a better chance for a long-term relationship.

images.duckduckgo.comThink about it this way: You fast track your relationship and have the dream wedding and romantic honeymoon. Yet, when you get into the reality of finances, housekeeping, family gatherings, jobs, likes and dislikes, etc. you start to see that:

 

 

28878075-couple-sharing-romantic-sunset-dinner-on-the-beach

  • 20638912-young-couple-arguing-in-the-kitchenHe/She seems to hate the mother that you love unconditionally.
  • He/She drinks much more than you were lead to believe.
  • He/She doesn’t actually like to eat in nice restaurants.
  • He/She puts his mother/father before you always.
  • He/She wants to control what programs you watch on television and more.
  • He/She is racist.

ETC.

A_Black_and_White_Cartoon_Two_Children_Walking_To_School_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100713-145833-444053We all know that people are usually on their best behavior when a relationship is new. Often we don’t see the nitty-gritty beneath the persona we are allowed to see in the beginning. However, there are usually signs that we ignore and we ignore negative signs because we want so badly for it to work. We say he/she is so good looking, so wealthy, so much fun and we want a long-term relationship or marriage.

15817148-heart-and-brain-that-dance-concept-of-physical-wellbeingWhen you see the signs, pay attention, because more than likely it’s not a one-time thing. If he/she gets drunk and insults your friends or family, don’t dismiss it as his/her just being drunk. People don’t do things drunk that they would not think of doing sober, alcohol is just an excuse. Don’t get into the mind-set of believing that he/she dotes on his/her mother or father so it stands to reason that he/she will dote on you because often it is just the opposite, she/he is number one in his/her life and always will be. And if he/she says that they don’t want a steady, serious or long term relationship or never want to marry, LISTEN. Many a man and woman have thought they could change a person’s mind on this subject and found out the hard way that the person meant what they said and the result was a broken heart.

12819865-two-red-dice-cubes-on-black-background

I ignored all the signs that were actually fire alarms with my ex-husband. I enjoyedparts of him that were different from men I had been in relationships with. He was intelligent, interesting, could be charming and we had a lot of interests in common. I was in a long-term relationship with him before we married and every symptom of a sick relationship was there and I saw them but I thought I was “different. I basically rolled the dice and lost myself.

Everything I did not want in a man was right out in the open for all to see and I wouldn’t 5754686-unhappy-couple-breaking-woman-trying-to-hold-back-man-leawing-with-suitcase-and-clothes-in-handquit. Why? I was hooked on having a relationship and too lazy to get out. I used the good days to get through the bad as in “This too shall pass.” I hung on until I couldn’t any longer. I detached from reality to get through the abuse and latched onto the apologies and words of love and empty promises. I was as much at fault as he was because I knew better and the exit door was not locked.

5b70f2f6b53ba55c8422cdac5a3951f2.thIt was a game of cat and mouse and I told myself that I was the true love of his life, the only woman (other than mommy dearest) that had ever truly had this heart and that I was good for him. I needed so badly to be loved and accepted that I took it where I found it, bad or good. The bottom line is that I didn’t want it to be known that I couldn’t make it work, didn’t want to be a failure and didn’t want anyone to know that someone would want to treat me badly. It was a facade and to this day I still have a need to let it be known that he still calls my mother in an attempt to hook and reel me back even though I have been married for 18 years. I also still need to let it be known that he truly loved me, yada, yada, yada. But who really cares?

Danny, my husband, and I dated for three years before we married and in that three years, we went through three years of couple and premarital counseling. I’m sure we both thought we knew everything about each other that could possibly matter. We knew a lot but there were things we ignored, things that have become issues to be worked out. Yet, we were in a place where we knew enough about each other that we believed that any obstacles could be worked out. We have worked through a lot in 18 years as all couples do. Though we have struggled at times, I believe that we would not have been able to get to where we are had we not known that the positive attributes made each of us worth hanging on to. These days when there are just the two of us, humor seems to be our best tool to resolving conflicts.

laugh2

A good relationship takes time to build and will only work if all the right parts are there.

counseling-20126462

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESPERATION (Part One of Two)

9610217-young-caucasian-woman-in-a-kitchen-weeps-while-on-the-phoneOne night there was a round of “girl talk” regarding male-female relationships. This conversation took place about 2:00 am after a party and all or most of the participants were pretty well inebriated. I have never forgotten what the hostess of the party shared. She was divorced but she and her ex were still on speaking terms if not “friends”. She said she asked him where she went wrong and he told her “women are so desperate”. He told her that women stop at nothing to get or hold on to a man. Rather than being offended by this statement, I could see the validity of his observation, in fact, I saw it in some men as well.

I was in my late twenties and had never been married, a condition that was unacceptable to my family. I had been pushed and prodded toward relationships and even marriage with men who were totally wrong and some even unhealthy for me. When I questioned why they were so desperate for me to get married, they told me that they knew I wanted to get married. One family member even told me that my life was “sad” because I was actually enjoying my single life. As difficult as it is to admit, I became desperate to show my family that I could get and keep a man.

9319250-two-young-business-people-talking-and-discussingAt times, I would attempt to push relationships to be more serious than I even wanted them to be. I knew that while I enjoyed spending time with various men, there wasn’t any one who was a “good fit”. Honestly, deep down I liked not being responsible to any one person for reasons that go deep into my childhood.

19508353-violencia-en-el-hogar-palabra-nube-concepto-con-los-t-rminos-como-v-ctima-asalto-juez-da-o-social-edI ended up in a 7- year relationship and 3 – year marriage with someone who was very abusive, physically, verbally and emotionally. Even though he was very unlikable, my family, with the exception of my father, seemed happy that I had finally found someone with whom to  settle down. Let me put in a disclaimer here by saying that my family did not know about the physical abuse.

My point is that I experienced the desperation first hand. Oh how sad, you say, yes it is sad 2heartsbut I was not alone in this push toward marriage. It is something that has been passed down from generation to generation, the pressure to settle down, be a good provider, marry, and to have children. I believe that if some women were not shamed or driven into settling down, they might have made better choices.

I understand that times have changed and hopefully there is less pressure toward 12418478-coraz-n-roto-con-el-rbol-blanco-y-dos-p-jarosmarriage but I am still seeing the desperation. Women and/or girls are still getting pregnant to force men/boys into relationships and/or marriage though admittedly neither are a requirement to having a child in this day and time (no judgment here). Parents still don’t understand why their sons and/or daughters are not married, why they prefer another woman to a man or man to a woman, why their career is more important than marriage, and/or why their relationships don’t last. I see women pushing relationships that just don’t work as evidenced by the high divorce rate.

15388037-male-judge-writing-on-paper-in-courtroom

Continued in Part Two

 

 

 

Managing Finances

We have a lot of bills, business and personal so I set up an Excel spread sheet that lists the following:

Company/Bank   For   Due Date     Monthly Amt. and /or Amt.   Auto?   Paid/Posted (Posted for Auto)   Ck Acct/Ck Card   Interest Rate   Offer End Date (For interest free credit card promo dates)   Balance   Notes   Availability (for credit cards)

It is organized by date so that we can can be prepared for what is coming up. Annual payments are separated but on the same sheet, so there are no surprises. Before the first of the month, I go online to collect my data and do my updates. I copy and rename last month’s sheet  and update whatever needs to be updated. By keeping the previous sheets, you don’t lose information and don’t have to go digging through your check book or online checking account. Previously I set it up by pay days but now we only have money coming in once a month. I color code the columns to make it easier to read but it also affects the print out so Danny has worked with the settings to make it easier to read. You can also add things at the bottom like checking account balances.

When you are paid once a month, it is necessary to plan output.  By utilizing this spreadsheet, bills get paid first and, if necessary, decisions get made as to what bills will be paid.

After the spreadsheet is updated, I e-mail it to Danny and he takes time to look it over.  We set aside time to sit down together to make a payment plan or at least to both acknowledge where we are financially. As the bills are paid or posted to the checking account register ( in the case of Auto Pays) I post the dates on the sheet.

Because I use the Quickbooks software for our business, I set up our personal finances in it as well. Your checking or savings information can be downloaded  straight from your bank into Quickbooks as often as you like. It is so much easier than trying to keep a paper register and you can code your income and expenses. If you wanted to set up a budget, you have all the information you need. You don’t have to use all the features, I don’t, but what I do use makes my life so much simpler. Also, if you need a personal profit and loss or balance sheet, no problem, Quickbooks does it for you. This has come in handy when working with mortgage companies and banks or applying for credit. It also helps your tax accountant because you can just print out your P & L or Balance sheet for whatever period. You can also track your finances from year to year because the information stays in your computer. It is a good idea to back it up to a memory stick or other back-up device as my computer crashed once and I had to recreate my records. Luckily, it wasn’t necessary for me to recreate from the very beginning so I just input from the first of the current year.