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
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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.

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  • 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!”

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See Something, Say Something, Do Something

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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?

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.

 

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)

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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

 

 

Hate is Too Simple an Answer

I believe that there is no simple answer to the Pulse shootings and don’t believe that hatred has a place in coming to terms with the shooter’s actions. Anger? Yes! But I do not see hate as really responsible for his decision to do what he did. I think that ISIS or IS or whoever has glorified such actions and people who are mentally ill, vulnerable, need to “be somebody”, to belong or have a need for excitement become willing victims and that is what they are,  “victims”. Perhaps they have a deep seated anger that finds its release in acting out this cause. Sure, it could be mind control but a person would have to have a need to seek out or listen to such rhetoric.

I have been reminded that Islamic terrorists were raised from birth to have this hatred and belief that we are the enemy and an evil nation. My feeling is that these are not Muslim people, they just picked a cause, any cause would do. They are children playing “war”. They are weak, not strong. Ask yourself why they suicide and who is left standing. Why is it that their leader is not willing to suicide but is able to convince their followers to take their own lives?

Somewhere, somehow a spark was placed in this shooter’s soul and fed until it ignited into a firestorm. His father can deny any responsibility and his wife can deny support of his cause but I cannot accept that this man just woke up one day and decided to become what he became. However, whatever took a hold on his soul, he is still responsible for his actions. He still had a choice.

Did he have gay leanings? It is possible that he was trying to destroy anything representing that part of himself but I just don’t believe it was the impetus. He was so determined to call attention to his actions that is seems more that egomania and/or mental illness was at play. It would seem that he was a rebel looking for a cause since he has no apparent ties to ISIS or IS.

In no way am I minimizing the result of his actions! I just choose to look deeper than hate in search for an answer as to how we stop this madness.

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.

 

Childhood Sexual Abuse – Part One

I binge watched Dr. Phil last night and there were two shows about false accusations. One was a stepdaughter who is lies compulsively and  accused her stepfather of molesting her and one was a woman who accused her child’s father of physical and sexual abuse. How someone can fabricate something so serious and that will adversely affect a person’s life for the rest of their life, is beyond me.

As a survivor, I wish that those women could understand what an insult it is to those of us who truly experienced sexual abuse. My innocence was stolen from me. I never remember not knowing about sex. Imagine that as a 4 or 5 year old or perhaps younger, I knew that my parents had sex and what it entailed. I knew because I had an older boy orchestrate   intercourse between me and my brother when we were approximately 5 and 6. That is a secret I never thought I would write about. But my hope is that it will free me from the shame and anger. About the same time, a girl who went to our church was babysitting my brother and I and she molested me and him, though separately. And then there was my grandfather… I have blocked the details of all but the encounter involving my brother and remember only up to the actual acts. I did tell my mother about all but my grandfather but we have both blocked out the details of those conversations.

Back then, no one talked about it and no legal action was taken which is why so many women and men are coming forward later in life. I believe it was as rampant then as it is now, it was just kept quiet. Alcoholism can be a contributing factor. I heard a saying once, “Scratch and alcoholic and you will find a pedophile.” I am certainly not saying that all alcoholics are pedophiles just that they often go hand in hand.  Which is the contributing factor?  Do pedophiles become alcoholics or do alcoholics become pedophiles?

I have to wonder how someone can see a child as an object rather than an innocent human being. How can a man or woman see their own child as an object to fulfill their deviant desires? How can they believe that because it is their child, they are a possession to be used for pleasure? Then there are those parents who prostitute their children for drug money. Although sometimes it seems that suspicion has gotten out of hand, thank God that abuse is coming to light. Although the internet has encouraged blatant child objectification, it is also exposing the perpetrators.

More and more school teachers are being arrested for child molestation. I have a theory on that issue. Teachers are most often hired straight out of college so they are about 21 or 22 years old. The senior students can be as old as 20 so there isn’t that much age difference, hence the attraction. That, of course, doesn’t excuse the teacher or the student crossing the line but I don’t believe that young teachers should be hired to teach high school. Now when it comes to the older teachers and the garbage they are orchestrating, I am still shocked when it comes to light. Though even when I was in high school there were rumors about gay teachers and students, true or false.

Something of which I became aware when I worked at a police department was that many women will sacrifice their children for the sake of having a man in their lives. Sexual abuse by a boyfriend or husband would be reported and the mother would take the word of the man over her child. Why? Because they were desperate, as many women are, to have a man in their lives. I believe they knew the child was telling the truth but didn’t want to give up the man. Throughout history, we women have been pressured by society, especially our mothers, to get married and have children. It was an embarrassment to our parents if we weren’t  married by a certain age. Being that there were more women than men, there was a scramble to find and hold onto a guy, any guy. Or was/is it hormones driving the desperation? I don’t know but I have seen situations where we women couldn’t see the forest for the trees as evidenced by my last post. The atrocities in the news about the abuse of children by stepfathers and boyfriends make me wonder when we women will wake up. Not to leave the men out of this topic, there are men who look the other way as well, however, statistics show more sexual abuse by men than women.

I want to encourage all survivors of childhood sexual abuse to realize that it wasn’t our fault, we were not objects and to have been used as such was the product of a sick mind. Maybe it felt good and maybe that’s why we block memories perhaps out of some sense of guilt. However, we were children who didn’t understand that it was just a sensation, one we couldn’t control. There was a gained awareness of our body’s sexual reaction to stimuli and that may have added the guilt feelings. We may have even began to seek out stimuli or become promiscuous to duplicate that feeling. We didn’t understand that we were exposed to these sensations before we were equipped with the emotional maturity and knowledge for making responsible decisions regarding our actions.

Though this post started out in disgust for false accusations of sexual abuse, I would like to make the following suggestions based on personal experience and what I have observed. I do not hold myself out as an authority, these are just suggestions:

  • Parents listen to your children when they tell you of inappropriateness.
  • We are not equipped to judge the truth because we are most often guided by our emotions where our children are concerned so get your child counseling by professionals who can get to the truth and they will take action or advise you where to go from there.Be advised that they are bound by law to report their findings to law enforcement if evidence of impropriety is discovered.
  • Watch your children for signs but don’t interrogate, have calm conversations so that your child feels comfortable and non-threatened talking to you.
  • Support them no matter what! You don’t have to approve of what they do and they should know that but they need to know that they have someone in their corner unconditionally.
  • Be honest with them about your feelings, let them know that you are angry about what happened to them but don’t show bitterness.
  • Tell them that the two of you will get through this together, step by step.
  • Don’t rush the process.

Your child’s ability to heal will depend upon your reaction.

Crazy Dating Stories or What Was I thinking 😳

I was on a first date with a guy who had license plates that read “Cock 1”. I was very embarrassed to get into his car as well as being nervous as to what kind of person would have that on their license plates, talk about “vanity plates”. I refused to get into his car at the restaurant until there was no one around. He laughed and said, “My last name is Cockrell.” I still wasn’t laughing. After dinner, we went to pick up his boat at a diesel mechanical location. We had argued about leaving his sun roof open because I had bronchitis and he felt that I should not be exposed to the night air. Awwwww… We compromised by leaving it half-way open. He was what we called then “Stylin It” or showing off by having the music turned up on the radio of his Cadillac as we drove by the diesel mechanics working on big rigs. The boat had a cover on it and  as he was looking in the rear view mirror, he said, “There’s a lot of water on the cover, watch what happens when I hit the brakes.” He hit the brakes and there was a loud thud and suddenly it was like a 50 gallon trash can of water hit the back windshield and then…us. We were soaked as was the inside of the car! We jumped out and he had a stricken look on his face as he apologized over and over, then he realized that I was laughing. Its a famous story among his friends and he has always given me credit for having a sense of humor. He invited  me to a weekend camping trip with his friends and I begged off because I was moving from Galveston to Houston (he lived in Houston as well). We continued to date after that but I began to realize that he only asked me out on weekdays. I confronted him about it once and he got defensive and asked me out on a Saturday night. We argued all night so I decided that maybe our going out on the weekend was not such a good idea for some reason. We dated for quite a while until we drifted off. I would run into him from time to time at a club we both frequented and we were friendly. A friend of mine started dating a friend of his and she told me that they had double dated with Wayne and his long-time girlfriend. She said, “They only see each other on weekends.” Mystery solved. They got together on the camping weekend that I was not able to go on.

I went out with a guy who I thought I was in a monogamous relationship with. For Christmas, he took me out to an expensive restaurant and gave me a purple star sapphire necklace with a diamond chip. He said, “I wanted to get you a star sapphire ring ring but I didn’t know your size. You are the only girl I bought a Christmas gift.” I was very touched until my friend told me that she was at a club we frequented and a girl named “Mary” was showing off the star sapphire ring with a couple of diamond chips that this guy had given her for Christmas. What a cad! He went back to college and about a year or so later, came over to the apartment I shared with a roommate. As we were sitting on my couch, he was trying to woo me with bullshit lines. I turned to him and calmly asked, “Was it a matched set?” He was confused by my question and asked what I meant. I said, “The necklace you gave me and the ring you gave Mary, were they a matched set?” Busted! He didn’t stick around after that.

I dated a guy that I met at a club with who was friends with other people that I had made acquaintances with, or I thought they were friends. He seemed like a nice guy and accepted by the others. I started getting obscene phone calls and it took a while for me to realize that he would always call after I received one of those calls and would offer to come over and stay the night to keep me safe. He turned out to be a psycho and when I was talking to his “friends”, one of the guys told me that he thought the guy was the one making the obscene phone calls to me. Why they didn’t tell me, I don’t know. I invited him to have dinner with me and some friends at the country club where I was working. As we were having dinner with my supervisor and another employee and her boyfriend, the meal was being comp’ed. I dressed up as did my co-workers because it was formal dining. I should have picked up on his narcissism when he insulted me for being dressed up by saying that I was trying to be something I wasn’t. Then at dinner, one of the women with us insisted on ordering the wine and he became very morose and insulting. His behavior was really bad toward the woman ordering the wine because as he told me later that she was just showing off. I got the impression that he felt that as a man he should do the ordering . I decided the best thing to do is leave before we even ordered dinner and I was totally humiliated. On the way back to my apartment, he stared flip-flopping back and forth between wanting to be with me and not for the rest of the evening. He would take me to my apartment and before I could get out of the car, drive off and go to his apartment. It was a frightening situation. Honestly, I don’t remember how the night ended but I think I finally got out of the car at my apartment and he left. I think my motivation in continuing to date him after that was because my ex-boyfriend was dating someone else and because we lived in the same complex, our lives were an open book. It only lasted for a short while after that though. The end to the relationship came when a girl I worked with knew this guy and she told me that he wanted me to go to a club where he was along with her. Again, she knew what he was like and never told me. I agreed to go and she drove us there and he drove me home. Little did I know what I was in for! I would like to think that he was just drunk but I truly think he was psycho. We drove on a very winding road called “Memorial Drive” and he was driving in excess of 100 mph. I was so petrified that I was literally screaming and got down in the floorboard so I couldn’t see the road in front of us. He just laughed. When we got off that road, I insisted that he take me straight to my apartment. I got out and told him I never wanted to see him again and that was the last time I saw him. It was obvious to me that he enjoyed my terror and that just wasn’t acceptable. My narcissistic ex-husband did the same thing to me in his corvette when we were dating. He was drunk but that didn’t excuse that he was thoroughly enjoying my terror. He was driving very fast and loose and I was in the floorboard as he laughed.

I must have been attracted to psycho’s because once when I decided to stop being a one-guy girl and just date, I went out with a guy I met at a club. He bragged on the phone about his race car and how he wanted to get a small helicopter. He was a mechanic at the now torn down “Astroworld” in Houston so it seemed he could be making good money not that it mattered. He picked me up in his “race” car and it had no seats! I suppose he was trying to impress me because he knew that I liked car racing but I wasn’t impressed. We went to a nice disco club and he spent the whole time being defensive about the people there. He told me that he bet his shirt (which had seen better days) cost more than any other guy’s shirt in the club. He complained about the snobbishness in the place, of which I saw none. I finally had enough and pulled the old headache routine and had him take me home.

Same time period, I met a guy in a club who called and wanted to come over to my apartment. I agreed and he came armed with a six-pack of beer which he put in my refrigerator. I didn’t drink beer so I had told him he needed to byob. It quickly became obvious that he was there for one reason and I was not interested. I tried to explain to him that I was not a make-out girl. He became irate and said I must be a lesbian. I asked him to leave and he made a big deal out of the fact that he was taking his beer with him. Fine by me. My neighbor whose door faced mine said she was about to call the police upon hearing his rage but he left as she was picking up the phone. Can I ever pick them! That was the end of my dating around!

My brother and sister-in-law were determined to get me married so they have fixed me up with a drug dealer, his uncle, and a guy who they fixed me up with as a date to the Navy Ball just because he wanted to get married. On my own, I met a guy who was a Texas Ranger and asked me to marry him when I met him in a club. Then the next day, he sent me flowers at work with a note saying “I’m serious.” It was kinda creepy because I didn’t remember even telling him where I worked. He explained to me that as a Texas Ranger he could find out just about anything. He turned out to be a nice guy but the only thing we had in common was law enforcement since I had worked for a police department. He made a record album a copy of which he gave to me. Not my genre.

Then there was the actor/real estate agent who was attracted to me because neither of us had ever been married. He was soooo good looking and I thought he had a good personality but when I took him to a family barbecue at my Great-Uncle’s ranch, I found out that he was basically a narcissistic snob. We were living together at the time which happened much too quickly. There was a young man that he met when he slept with the kid’s mother after picking her up at a bar. He said he was like a substitute father to the kid because he was in a bad home. After this guy talked me into getting on the Amway scheme, we went to an Amway convention and this kid went along. The guy only booked one motel room and the kid asked him, “Which one of us are you going to sleep with?” I didn’t sleep all night in fear that he would actually get into bed with this kid. He moved out right before New Year’s Eve and I was stupidly devastated. I have separation anxiety and have had since I was very young. We had tickets to the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve concert along with my brother and sister-in-law. The guy insisted that we go to the concert even though we were broken up. He was probably just uncomfortable that he would be sitting with my brother and sister-in-law. I was uncomfortable all night even though he acted as if we were still together. I look back now and wonder where my head was because he went to Rio De Janeiro with another woman who he swore he had no interest and was only going because it was a free trip. Another night, I could not reach him all night and he told me that he had been working on his rental house and fell asleep because he was sick. After we broke up, he told me he was moving to Dallas. After he was in Dallas, he called to let me know he had accidentally taken a picture with him that my dad had painted. He said he was with a woman who had the same problem with his narcissism as I did.

I was single a really long time so I could probably go on and on. On the other hand, I have dated some really nice guys. The best was my husband, Danny. Ours is a long story but suffice it to say that I have never felt about any man the way I feel about him. The way I felt about him when we met was so pure and real and the feeling was mutual. We have never had it easy because we both come from dysfunctional childhoods and have made choices that took us down rough roads. We raised his three children together to the best of our ability and now we are slowly finding our way back to who we were when we met and what brought us together. In some ways we are too much alike and in some ways we are opposites so there are mountains and valleys but I know that there is no other man in this world that I want to experience the rest of my life with. He is truly the man of my dreams.😍