Impeach Donald Trump Campaign

I recently signed a petition to Impeach Donald Trump. I am not advocating that anyone follow in my footsteps, I am just passing along information to anyone who might be interested.

Because I signed the petition on their website, I received the following about the latest development in the campaign to Impeach Donald Trump which reads as follows:

In a unanimous vote, the City Council of Richmond, California, approved our resolution to become the first city to call on Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump.

Last night, two more communities just approved our resolution.

The citizens of Alameda, California brought our resolution before their city council, which unanimously supported it. And in Charlotte, Vermont, Town Meeting members voted for our resolution. The momentum is growing, and we are counting on people like you to jumpstart this movement at the local level.

After we announced Richmond’s win, many of you emailed us asking for ways to bring this resolution to your city and state. To get you started, we added a new page to our website with resources and materials to pass a model resolution in your community.

Here’s a quick overview of what we posted to download and share:

A PDF of Our Model Resolution
A PDF of Our Guide for Local and State Resolutions in Support of Impeachment
A one-page flyer about our campaign
You can reach out directly to resolution@impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org
New videos sharing campaign news, here
We also shared materials provided by our allies working in Alameda, California. As this campaign continues to grow, we will add new tools for you to use in your own organizing. We are frequently updating our “News & Updates” section and our “Resources” page, so be sure to check back in. Please reach out to us with your progress and any questions you may have.

Here are some suggestions for next-steps you can take on your own:

Look up your representative, decide if it makes the most sense to reach out to your state or local officials. Remember, it’s ok to start small.
Don’t be shy! Connect in person with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, religious leaders, family members. Find a meeting place, and start talking.
Follow-Up! Find a way to keep in touch with everyone. Gather email addresses and phone numbers. Create an online group with tools like Facebook, Slack.com, Patch.com, Google Groups, and Yahoo Groups.
Keep us in the know! Email us your questions and updates via: resolution@impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org
You are so critical to this campaign! If we work together, we can build further pressure on our Representatives to introduce this resolution before Congress.

We’re on our way! Let’s keep it up!

All of us at Impeach Donald Trump Now
Connect with Us

Facebook Twitter

 

See Something, Say Something, Do Something

19508353-violencia-en-el-hogar-palabra-nube-concepto-con-los-t-rminos-como-v-ctima-asalto-juez-da-o-social-ed

When I was in a domestic violence situation, there were many opportunities for intervention by acquaintances and strangers who witnessed the abuse. Yet no one wanted to get involved and I did everything I could to keep up appearances.

I was silently screaming for help but was too ashamed to reach out. How I wanted someone to care enough to take the situation out of my hands, to force me to leave. I suppose acquaintances were afraid of my ex because it was obvious that he was vindictive. My family respected my boundaries and honored my choices leaving me to feel love for their lack of interference and resentment for their lack of interference. Domestic violence victims experience many emotions, one being confusion.

I have been publicly humiliated, threatened and emotionally, physically and verbally abused to which there were witnesses – Strangers, acquaintances, family and friends. No one had the courage to stand up for me or even reach out to me. The two times I reached out to acquaintances, they told me that they didn’t want to get involved because they didn’t want to lose his business/friendship. My family respected my choices and boundaries even though they disapproved. I have never been more alone.

The thing is that most victims of domestic violence are like children, they feel helpless and they obviously live in fear. People in general are afraid of losing the victim’s friendship or love by what they consider to be interference. There is also a fear of crossing the victim’s boundaries. To those people I say, “Would you prefer to risk their losing their lives or having a psychotic break or risk their being angry and/or losing their friendship/love?”

I believe that when you love and/or care about someone, you have a responsibility to have the hard conversations. There are times when you have to put another person’s health and well-being before your own feelings and fears. I am not asking that you put your own life at risk but there are things that can be done safely such as:

  • Have a conversation regarding their situation calmly and rationally.
  • Explore options with the victim to staying in the relationship.
  • Offer financial or housing assistance until they can get stabilized.
  • Help the victim make a safety and/or escape plan.
  • Supply them with the number to a Domestic Violence Shelter and/or Hotline
  • Offer the victim transportation to a shelter.
  • Let them know they can reach out to you any time day or night.
  • Encourage them to report the abuse to law enforcement.
  • Call the police.
  • Create a distraction giving the victim a chance to escape.
  • When strangers, make it obvious to the abuser that they have been observed, therefore, can be identified.

Unfortunately, the decision to leave has to be the victim’s. Often there are circumstances which prevent them from leaving such as lack of funds, no place to go, children’s safety etc. When a victim is forced to leave or take action, more times than not they can be easily enticed by the abuser to go back.

Please don’t make excuses to look the other way. If one day your son or daughter became a victim of domestic violence, what would you want someone to do?

Kindness of Strangers

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

One night, I found myself abandoned on the service road of a freeway with no gas in my car and a half-full gas can. The gas can nozzle was meant for a lawn mower so I couldn’t get much fuel in the car. My ex-boyfriend/later husband had pushed me out of his car with this gas can and left me to my own devices. I had committed the crime of “forcing” his mother to cross the service road to a McDonald’s rather than leaving her in the car on the service road alone while I went to call him for assistance. This was before cell phones were in every hand and roadside assistance was not a standard insurance perk.

Once I got some gas fumes in my car, I drove it as far as I could before it was dry again. I was able to pull into a Mustang Tractor drive and feeling distraught started walking. By this time, it was close to midnight. I had never risked anything like walking down down a freeway alone at night before because no one I had known would have put me in that situation. I was in too much emotional pain to feel fear and trying to make a decision as to whether to call a friend or family member to pick me up. I decided I was too embarrassed for anyone to know that I would put up with this type of treatment, one of my character flaws. Appearances at all cost.

A mini-van stopped and a man asked if I needed help and I told him about the gas can problem. He asked if he could give me a ride back to my car to see if he could remedy the situation. He saw that I was hesitant so he told me that his wife and mother-in-law were in the vehicle with him and that they had been to a church event that evening. On the drive back to my car, he asked me what I was doing on the freeway with a gas can. It was obvious that he wondered why someone would give me a can of gas and leave me without making sure I got my car running.  I told him that I didn’t want to talk about it and he didn’t push. When we got to my car, he broke a beer bottle he found on the ground and used the neck as a funnel. He then followed me to the gas station to make sure I got there safely.

When I got home, I was furious and let my boyfriend know that he had left me in a dangerous situation. He knew he looked like an ass so he comforted me with apologies. The next morning, his mother tried to fan the flames as was usual in order to show me who had the power over him. This got his stepfather involved who made disparaging remarks about my coping skills. Surprisingly, my boyfriend took up for me saying that he had put me in harm’s way so he couldn’t give me a hard time.

I will never forget the kindness of the family who rescued me. This man was reaching out to me having correctly guessed that I was in an abusive situation. At times I wish I had confided in him, his wife and mother-in-law and maybe, just maybe, they would have encouraged me to help myself sooner than I did.

20612432-la-violencia-dom-stica-y-el-abuso-como-un-resumen

Useful Mental Health Lifelines

    Hotline List

    Hotline List

    Resources when and where you need them.

    We’ve Got Friends Who Can Help

    Worried about a friend? Dealing with some issues of your own? There are trained people who can help.

    If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local police station.

    General Crisis Support by Text

    Crisis Text Line: Text SUPPORT to 741-741 (24/7). Our trained counselors can discuss anything that’s on your mind. Free, 24/7, confidential.

    Other Hotlines

    Depression & Suicide
    The Trevor Project Call 866-488-7386 (24/7) Live Chat with the Trevor Project (Fridays 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST)

    Dating Abuse & Domestic Violence
    loveisrespect Call 1-866-331-9474 (24/7)
    Chat Online with loveisrespect (7 days/week, 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM EST) or text loveis to 22522

    National Domestic Violence Hotline Call 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) Email the National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7)
    RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Call 1-800-656-4673 (24/7) Live Chat with RAINN (24/7)

    Child Abuse
    Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline Call 1-800-422-4453 (24/7)
    National Safe Place Text SAFE and your current location to the number 69866 (24/7)

    Runaways, Homeless, and At-Risk Youth
    National Runaway Safeline Call 1-800-786-2929 (24/7) Live Chat 7 days/week, 4:30 to 11:30 PM CST
    Home Free Family reunification program provides free bus tickets to eligible runaway and homeless youth.

    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

     

     

    Marriage Myths Six

    MYTH: YOU MAY REPEAT YOUR PARENTS’ RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS.

    How you carry your childhood baggage is more important than the fact that you have any. “Nobody escapes childhood without some crazy buttons and triggers, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great relationship,”John Gottman says.

    Tom Bradbury, PhD, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, coined the phrase enduring vulnerabilities for these historical triggers. Certain words and actions might dig up old feelings and provoke a reaction. Make sure you and your partner understand what sets the other off, and avoid those weaknesses.

    Circumstances from your past could also prompt what psychologists call projective identification- an example is taking something from your childhood and applying it to your partner. If you had a distant cold parent, for instance, you might assume  your partner is being distant and cold too. Instead of blaming your partner’s character, explain how the actions make you feel and what he or she can do to help you feel better.

    I knew a man who was so eat up with his emotional baggage that he ran the gamut from tears to violence. He used braggadocio and alcohol to cover his feelings and built a very high wall believing he it would protect him from emotional pain. One never knew what would trigger his anger and/or violence. While I understood how his background played into his emotions and actions, there was nothing I could do to change it. While I was somewhat of a balm for his pain, he often saw me not as myself but as his mother.

    When I met Danny, I was shocked to find that he was very much in touch with his emotions. He would let me know when I hurt his feelings rather than do the “macho” thing of acting like nothing bothered him. I fell so in love with this man! I felt safe with him because I didn’t have to guess about how he was feeling and there was no fear that I would unknowingly touch off a spark that would cause him to physically harm me.

    Eventually, Danny grew tired of all the analyzing we did through counseling and discussions. That was when I began learning to lighten up in the realization that both of our lives had been so full of drama that it was stifling our relationship. We both still have things that can trigger a negative response but the truth is that we cannot judge each other with our individual pasts.

    Enjoy life with your spouse! Don’t judge him/her based on your past, instead see them for the person you know them to be. Look for the good and give him/her a pass when they exhibit human behaviors. No one has a perfect marriage but we can come darn close.

    IMG_1047

    The Tears of a Woman ❣️

    Although things are moving forward on behalf of women, there’s one thing that I hope changes for the generations of women to come and that is their right to express their feelings whatever they may be.

    e75f70e61261afa370d84fcbf1da6be7After I exited my abusive marriage, I came to realize that I expressed my anger with tears, tears of frustration. When women verbally express their anger, they are most often called “bitches” or given some other negative label. It is acceptable for men to express their anger but not women. I believe it goes back to the generations of women who were expected to be “ladylike” and subservient. The “Catch 22” is that when we cry, our tears are labeled as self-pity. We cannot win!

    Even now, strong women, or women who don’t conform to society’s expectations of femininity, are often considered to be lesbian. It is unfair to the lesbian population to be pigeonholed in such a way and unfair to women who are just being who they want to be.

    It has been my experience that women supervisors were difficult to work under. They seemed to believe they had to prove that they were “just as good” as a man. They projected the image they perceived a man would project in the same position. However, their tendency was to over-compensate making it difficult to work under them. They seemed to have a need to show that they were boss and to believe that they couldn’t be friendly or have a sense of humor nor could they show compassion or have an affinity with their employees. It was as if they believed that if they showed any of said emotions, they would be seen as “typical women”. In my opinion, women are often valuable at their jobs because they have stamina, humility, compassion, and can multi-task like crazy.

    Women who appear strong often are seen as being cold or a “bitch”. However, when they don’t come on strong, they are seen as “weak” or “a typical woman.” I believe that Hilary Clinton does well at being good at her job without sacrificing her womanhood. Yet, I hear negative comments from men that her voice is too strong or when she fights back. Why are those things even a factor? She tended to her e-mails from home, something a woman might do because we multi-task. We have a need to be at home with our family and take care of our family’s needs and to do our career job as well. It is seen as a weakness, yet I see it as strength. Did she do wrong? Maybe. If she made a mistake, slap her hand and move on because it was not done with an awareness that it was unacceptable. Have I come to believe in her ability to do the job as President of the United States because she is a woman? Nope, I was not in her corner when she ran previously because she was a woman and I mistakenly believed that, as a woman, she would be too emotional to do the job. What has changed? She has shown me that she can do the job, that she can be compassionate without being overly emotional. She has remained mature for the most part while other candidates have become defensive and have given in to pettiness and bickering.

    Women are often seen as weak when they cry when it actually can help us to be stronger. Men most often are seen as strong because they don’t cry when it can actually make them less in command of their reactions. Crying is a relief valve for emotions and if that valve remains shut off, those emotions will build and blow at some point and in some way. When emotions have not been released at the point of impact, they will blow when they choose, not when you choose and they don’t choose the best or most appropriate time. When this happens, it is referred to as “coming out sideways”. We often don’t know or understand that the emotions are not a reaction to what is happening then but are a reaction to something we did not address in the past. If our emotions are addressed at the time of occurrence, we are better able to manage them appropriately because the negative emotion has not been building up over time.

    Women’s psyches have been held back because we have not been allowed to be who we are. Rather we have been seen as “the weaker sex”. Reading this post, one might think that I was supportive of the “Women’s Liberation Movement” of my time but I wasn’t. I enjoy being a woman with all its ups and downs. There is a courtesy and respect that I grew up with in the south as a woman . As a child and young adult, the lines in my home were clearly delineated. There was no expectation of me to fix the car, mow the grass or carry up the groceries nor was my father expected to iron his own clothes, fix his own meals or clean house. I’m not sure I would want to go back to that delineation but it was what I was accustomed to. When I ventured out into the world, it was confusing to me as times changed and men expected me to do what I considered men’s jobs. However, men would not “stoop” to do what they considered to be a woman’s job.

    Men of today are much more sensitive and allow their emotions to surface and I think that is a good thing. I have experienced what happens when a man considers his emotions to be a sign of weakness. That fear of showing weakness can and often will become abuse directed mostly at women. I would like to believe that a world where women and men respect each others emotions will become a “thing”. Here’s hoping🍸

    So You Think You’ve Escaped Alcoholism

    2592So you think you’ve escaped alcoholism, not a chance. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to be effected by alcoholism.

    Alcoholism affects everyone who comes in contact with an alcoholic. It could be a parent, a sibling, a relative, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, husband, wife, friend, child, or a co-worker. That is why Ala-non, is a support group for families and friends of alcoholics not just families of alcoholics. You may not have the disease but I can say that you have the ism’s  without ever having met you.

    It is said that alcoholism is a family disease and I believe it with all my heart. I grew up in an alcoholic home. Why do I call it an alcoholic home? Does that mean that all my family members were alcoholics? No, our home revolved around my alcoholic mother because her actions or in-actions affected every one of us. Our emotional make-up developed around coping with her drinking and the effect it had on us. I like to see my mother as having alcoholism rather than as an alcoholic but it is my habit to use the term alcoholic which is unfortunately a label. She grew up in an alcoholic home just like I did.  I have the utmost love and strive to understand because but for the grace of God, go I. As alcoholism is said to be genetic, I could have followed in her footsteps. I am lucky, I don’t like the taste of alcohol and yet I am unlucky in that I don’t like not having control. Why is that unlucky? Because I have to fight the tendency to control everything around me to ensure that it doesn’t give me that feeling of not having control over my life and to avoid the helpless feelings I had growing up. I also believe it is a learned behavior, we do what we know and alcoholism is what we know.

    That is why even though you think you have escaped the parent or ex, you are wrong. You were affected and I can prove it.

    Do you have problems with authority figures?e75f70e61261afa370d84fcbf1da6be7

    Do you have problems getting along with others?

    Do you have control issues?

    Is your relationship picker broken?

    Are you hyper-vigilant?

    Do you fight depression?

    Do you lack confidence?

    Are you an under or over achiever?

    Are you a people-pleaser?

    Are you a care taker?

    Are you a fixer?

    There are many other symptoms but I’m sure you get it and you know which one of these have developed in you.

    In my work as a Crisis Call Counselor, I could pretty much bet that regardless of the crisis, the conversation would eventually reveal that the caller had been affected by alcoholism, either theirs or someone in their past or present life. I consider alcoholism an “emotional” disease because it can bring about anger, sadness, depression, resentment, etc. in the alcoholic or those affected by a person’s drinking. The reason persons affected by another person’s drinking are considered to be co-dependent is that while the alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, the affected person is addicted to the alcoholic. I have had so many friends, boyfriends and a husband who were addicted to alcohol and in the beginning of the relationship, I didn’t know there was a problem. It’s like a magnet! I have friends in Ala-non who say it is because alcoholics are charismatic and exciting. Perhaps we see something in their personalities that we wish we had.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I’m not with him/her any more, so I don’t need Ala-non.” I have thought that myself but I always end up going back because my ism’s become overwhelming. This post is not meant to advertise or push Ala-non or Adult Children of Alcoholics, yet it is what I know so I do highly recommend them. Just like the person with alcoholism, only you can decide that you need help and what support is best for you. I have been told, “When it hurts bad enough, you will get help.”

    “Co-dependent No More” by Melody Beattie is a really good book for understanding the effects of alcoholism. I read this book like a person dying of thirst drinks water. It told me that I was not crazy and there was hope.

    People addicted to alcohol and/or drugs will to try to convince others that it is your fault, don’t take it on. Think 3 C’s – You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of, alcoholism in you or someone else is not your fault but it is your responsibility. If you are afraid of the alcoholic becoming angry because you are seeking help, 12 step support groups are anonymous as is therapy. If you go to a meeting or see a therapist and you are not comfortable with the environment or personalities, try another meeting or therapist. There are many meetings and therapists available. If you are in a remote area, I understand that there are meetings online. Just do an Internet search of Ala-non or Adult Children of Alcoholics. There are two daily readers, One Day at a Time in Ala-non and Courage to Change that are utilized by Ala-Non. I find ODAT (nickname) useful when you are in a relationship with an alcoholic and Courage to Change is a good all-around book. I mostly use Courage to Change and it seems to be a favorite among recovering Ala-Non’s. Before using these books, it would be helpful to do some research on alcoholism. People active in Ala-Non attend open AA meetings to learn what the person with alcoholism experiences.

    I have tortured my mother all my life by trying to get answers or justifications.

    Whatever you decide to do, know that you are not alone. Everything you have experienced, someone else has experienced. It helps to talk with other people who are experiencing the same thing or who have been there and survived.

    There is always hope.

     

    IN HONOR OF NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MONTH PART ONE

    30354418-no-m-s-violencia-dom-stica-palabra-ilustraci-n-nube-en-forma-de-impresi-n-de-la-mano-mostrando-la-pr

         I have been putting off doing this post but it being National Domestic Violence Month, now is the time.

         It is so easy to proclaim “I would never get into a domestic violence situation!” or “I would never stay in a domestic violence situation!” or ” Just leave!”. Never say “never” because you don’t know what you would or could do in a domestic violence situation. It seems so simple for someone to end the relationship and move on when you have never been in their shoes, but once you are there you see that it just isn’t that simple. Nothing about it is simple! However, it is possible to get out, stay out and flourish.  In this post I am not offering advice, I am offering my strength, hope and experience and not as a professional but as a domestic violence survivor. Take what you like and leave the rest.

         I have examined my childhood for clues as to why I would stay in a violent relationship. While I was rarely spanked or whipped, there were two instances that I would have to say had an impact on me. Once was when my dad was angry with my mother and took it out on me. I didn’t get the answer I wanted from him so I called my mother at work and she gave me the answer I wanted. He was angry with her because it appeared that she was cheating on him and she was. He whipped me but I shut down emotionally and wouldn’t, couldn’t cry. He kept whipping me insisting that I cry but I didn’t, couldn’t. Finally, my mother demanded that he stop but by then my thighs were bruised. Another time, he slapped me in the face while I was driving for making fun of his driving  and apologized later saying that he was shocked himself that he slapped me. There were a couple of instances where he hit my mother though I didn’t witness it and do not know the details. Her explanation for why she just let it go is that “he was such a good person”. Our next door neighbor beat my mother once in the parking lot of a hotel supposedly because she was cheating on my father. It was explained away to me as alcohol being responsible. So what did I learn? I learned to justify and make excuses for abuse.

         My ex-husband, Richard, is intelligent, skilled and charming and he was and alcoholic, cunning, cruel, and evil. He gave with one hand and took with the other. Underneath it all, he was vulnerable and he hated that vulnerability so badly that he did everything he could to cover it up. His father was an alcoholic and abused his mother who would hide under Richard’s bed until her husband left the house because she said she couldn’t leave her children. Richard would bring her food while she hid under his bed, setting up a basis for a lifetime of unhealthy dependence for both of them. Their relationship became more and more volatile as he grew up and tried to build a life for himself. She was a constant interference in his relationships and a love/hatred grew between the two of them. He always had his hand out to her for money even though he had an exceptionally well paying career as a petrochemical engineer. Her providing him with money whether a gift or a loan became another thing to tie him to her and something she could hold over his head. She was extremely manipulative and would twist the truth to get him to go into “uber protection mode” causing him to turn on me or any who came before me. We would get along great and have fun together until Richard came into the picture and then she would tell some tale of how I had embarrassed her or put her health at risk in some way. She behaved toward him more like he was her husband rather than her son. If he became angry with her, he would take it out on me physically, verbally and emotionally. He once told me that it was a look on my face that caused him to turn on me and we both knew it was a look of disapproval that he had seen on his mother’s face. He hated that he loved her and would say that he hoped her plane would crash when she traveled.  Their relationship was a breeding ground for textbook Misogyny. Misogyny is when one hates women and/or girls.

    5514273-ciclo-de-la-violencia-dom-stica     My first clue of what was coming occurred early in our dating relationship when he would stop speaking to me and act as if I was not present. This would be the result of my of my saying or doing anything that he didn’t like. That was the beginning of my learning to beg because I couldn’t accept reality. The abuse escalated to verbal insults like: “You are an imbecile.” “You fucking idiot…” “You are so stupid that you couldn’t survive without me!” and the humiliation of his scattering things on the ground and telling me to pick them up, kicking me out of my own car and making me walk, throwing all of the plastic ware out into the yard, dumping all the food from the refrigerator in the trash and kicking me out. Then the physical abuse started with shoving and graduated to choking, pulling me around on the ground by my hair, and kicking me in the ribs and stomach. The emotional abuse in the beginning was telling me he could never love me or anyone, telling me things I couldn’t even get along with his mother and she didn’t anger easily, embarrassing me in front of friends, family and co-workers and in public. Even harder to take than the physical abuse was the humiliation so I continually tried to normalize our relationship to the outside world.

         Richard loved to frighten me by driving recklessly, yelling to wake me up, shooting a gun at the ceiling or acting irresponsibly with a gun in bed, and surprising me with verbal or physical attacks. To this date, I startle easily when someone walks into a room or up behind me. He was vindictive to the neighbors. He would throw their children’s bicycle in a ravine because they left their garage door open and he felt it affected the security of our house. He cut one neighbor’s cable wires because he complained about Richard’s bobcat being a safety concern. He would commit the vandalism at night while I was asleep or when I wasn’t home and tell me about it later.

    Richard was also very controlling and as a result I will spend hours wandering through stores when I run errands because when I was with Richard, that was the only freedom I had. We built a successful business so we were together 24/7 and he made excuses as to why I couldn’t spend time with my family or friends. The only time I had to myself was when I would run errands and even then, I had an explicit list to go by. I loved those lists because they meant that I wouldn’t do anything to anger him. Even though he could be charming, his anger and arrogance showed through so that my family, friends and acquaintances only put up with him for my sake.

    Continued Part Two