Category Archives: Ethical Dilemmas

Hmmm… things to think about…

ObamaCare: Is it really caring for the mentally ill and those in poverty ?

Ironically, the abused are often the ones who are blamed for their abuse and the aftermath that follows by humankind as well as by professions.  By friends, family, coworkers, as well as strangers. By businesses and management.  Victims are continually re-traumatized. The homeless, jobless, imprisoned… are the ones who are pointed at and mocked for things that begun – and may still reside – completely outside of their control.

I’m a victim. I know.  I am also an RN and have worked in the industry.  It’s incredibly angering and extremely frustrating for all involved – those working with the insurance companies, within all levels of social services (from the front desk to the practitioners), and those receiving services. Most everyone’s hands are tied. Most everyone in the process is frustrated. Meanwhile society – and those learning the system – believe that there is help, that there are solutions, that there is something being done.  I beg to agree in yet also loudly differ.

The article within the series The Cost of Not Caring shares: “You can only get care at the very end stage of your illness. The way we pay for treatment of addiction and mental illness, you would be waiting until you have Stage IV cancer before you begin chemotherapy. But that is often how we reimburse for mental health and addiction treatment….”  This is so very, very true.

And then the article writes:  “By the time she was 16, she was addicted to crystal methamphetamine, and homeless. “My depression and anxiety were so extreme, and I had no idea that’s what it was,” says Puckett, 34, a certified peer support specialist in Houston. “And nobody was talking about mental health in the mid-’90s. Every single therapist I went to, the question of a mental health diagnosis never came up. I was always treated as if there was something missing with my character. I was a bad kid or rebellious.”

I’ve witnessed a minimum of three mental health hospitals as being nightmarishly scary and have heard of more from other locations I will never visit.  Mental health hospitals can easily become prisons in and of itself.  And, while they try to help, they often won’t or can’t.  People recycle in and out as “frequent flyers,” there aren’t enough beds for the demands, the workers (management down) often don’t know what the hell they’re doing and inadvertently perpetuate the cycle of violence.

Speaking of prisons, the article shares that 90% of incarcerated women are victims of abuse.  That means 90% of the population of women in the prison system could have had the opportunity to not be in there should they have gotten the help they needed when they needed it.  That means many who are in there do not deserve to be there.  They are there because there was no one willing to help them some way, some how, in the way they needed it when they needed it.

This means that there are people who are stuck in the system of mental health, poverty, and those within healthcare and prison systems who do not deserve – nor do they need – to be there.  There are people in the streets, who are homeless, who can work and are ready and willing to work, but can’t because they don’t have their needs met in the way that is needed for them to become functional.  They either can’t work or hold down a job because their medical and/or mental health needs are not being met.  Sometimes this is by choice, and sometimes it just plain isn’t.

Sometimes all they need is the right combination of medical care and social services.  But, there is not enough money, time, resources, interest, and the set-up is so messed up that the whole process becomes a cyclical problem.  Spiritual sources of help are most typically the most un-helpful and non-helpful methods of helping for a myriad of reasons.  There are so many sources, solutions, and ways about going about things that the filtering and information-gathering know-how is lost, overwhelmed, and just not there.

Let me tell you straight up. This ObamaCare system that is in place is not helping. How our medical system is run via medical insurance companies is literally killing us as humans as well as a nation. The best social services that are in place are still unable to help in the ways people desperately need.  The worse off a person is, the least likely it is that they are able to get back on their feet.  Especially with how we help each other via our thought processes, actions, non-actions, and resources.

Ironically, the ones who can help, choose not to. What are you going to do to help and stop the cycle hindering help for the victims? Please, I beg you, help in some way, shape or form. Even if it just means opening your mind to the concept: The abuse, their current state of wellbeing, their diagnosis of mental illness, their status as homeless and/or joblessness just might not be their fault after-all.

If you have a coworker who appears to be suffering from blatant or subtle mental health issues, please help them out.  Either listen, guide them to resources that will help, and give them opportunities that will meet their needs to maintain or retrieve their sanity — even if it means an extra 5 minute bathroom break or a 30 minute extension for lunch from time to time.  Work with each other.  There is a time where you are going to need a favor.  By helping someone gain or re-gain their sanity, you are literally saving a life on many, many levels.

Better yet, pay for someone’s medical bills so that they truly can get the help they need. Good therapists and psychiatrists charge for their services. You can’t get services without the right insurance unless you pay out of pocket. An excellent psychiatrist in the area will only take out-of-pocket or out-of-network insurance options.  Each visit is somewhere between $200-300.  It’ll take a minimum of 2 or 3 back-to-back sessions to start the process of understanding which diagnosis might be going on then to figure out a med to try.  From here, weekly to bi-weekly visits will ensue, tapering off to monthly or bi-monthly visits, then from there it’s best handled through maintaining what is referred to as “maintenance visits.”  If you have a doctor who knows what he or she is doing, the success rate is much higher and at a much quicker rate as he’ll likely know what meds to try first.

But, meds are not the only solution.  It’s a huge step in the right direction, but not the end-all, be-all.  The brain houses the functioning ability of all of who we are as a human: spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and mental functioning all happens as the result of how that structure functions and how well it functions.

Finding the right mental health therapist (psychologist or social worker) is a tricky one.  You have personality differences, biases, opinions, and experiences that are unique to each therapist.  You have different modalities of treatment and each therapist takes a unique approach.  There are times for novices and there are times for experts.  There are times to ignore hick-ups and there are times to find someone who truly is a good match.

Even some psychiatrists and mental health workers despise concepts surrounding mental health as well as the concept of being a mental health client.  Some despise alcoholics, some believe the victim “asked for it,” some believe the patient “is crazy” and thus subhuman.  I was shocked when I learned this, but it’s true.  I heard it from their lips and watched their actions behind closed doors.  It’s hard-pressed to get good help with that sort of mentality going on.  I highly value excellent therapists and providers.  I am more than willing to give you a list of my favorites (smile).

Victims often have a difficult time being able to afford what they need. Doctors who know what they are doing don’t take ObamaCare options – or at least Coordinated Care. Coordinated Care options and social services utilizing this method of payment inadevertently help you become stuck, stay stuck, or get re-stuck. The more complicated a case is, the least likely the professional within those systems knows what is needed to rectify it.  Or, if it’s rectified, the person gets a job and loses the ability to receive follow-up, continued services due to a myriad of reasons.  And so the person stays stuck or gets re-stuck.  It’s a whole process of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I’m praying that we are going in the right direction, but the whole experience of desperately needing help and not being able to get it is fucked-up and wrong both from the patient’s perspective as well as the service provider.

In the spirit of giving, please consider opening your mind, concept, and understanding toward the dynamics of what all is involved in mental illness, poverty, and abuse.

What you see is not what you get.

You truly cannot get the care that is desperately needed from those who desperately need it solely through ObamaCare.  It’s a good start, but it’s definitely not an answer to the problem.  If you don’t get the help when you need it, how you need it, that is where you’ll land – unless you are supremely lucky – again, no fault of your own.

So, please, if you’re a victim, get the help you need when you need it how you need it before you desperately need it.  If you’re a friend or family member of a victim, please help that person get the help they desperately need.  They might be able to articulate it, they might not.  They might refuse.  But, please try.  And if you try, take the perspective of the victim not the abuser.  Do not perpetuate the cycle of violence in your attempt to help, not help, or deny helping.

Christmas: The Concept of Giving and Receiving

Christmas is a wonderful time to think about who, what, when, where, and how we give.  It’s a process that is best done with thoughtful contemplation – something that is very difficult to do in this day and age.  It can be incredibly overwhelming to know who and how to give utilizing a method that utilizes mindful caring and compassion that yields results aimed toward the greatest good possible.  Giving is a hot topic that pushes many buttons on many levels for many people.  

I understand the concept of the importance of giving both as a giver as well as a much-needed receiver.  I’m very blessed in ways many, many are not.  I’m also extremely lacking in ways that others are incredibly blessed with.  I’m naturally a giver, but some aren’t.  I’m naturally an empathizer – I understand things from other people’s points of view, but others are completely inept at that.  Many, many Americans are afraid to give in ways that once felt normal and natural.  We all need to be blessed and be a blessing at one point in time.  Both sides – giving and being the receiver – can be burdensome.  

I’ve been asking myself constantly:  Should I ask?  If I am supposed to ask, when and how?  Should I give even if I want to – or don’t want to?  When is the best time to give?  How?  When is it time to give and when should I receive?  Why is this whole concept and process so very, very difficult?  

Please read my blog Give Smart for ideas as to how to give.

Give Smart

There are so many ways to give and to receive.  So many wonderful ways.  So many destructive ways as well.

It’s a blessing to have people and things to give to.  It’s a blessing to know of organizations to give to.  Two I recommend at this moment are Enterprise for Equity and The Olympia Free Clinic.  These are options where truly wonderful people work to provide wonderful, helpful service through kindness and equality.   Kiva is a fun organization too.  If you want to keep a person off the streets, please consider giving to the Community Action Council.

And, if you literally want to save a life, choose Friends New Underground Railroad.  Or, ask Paul Southwick from One George Fox as to how you can make a life a better place for a Christian of the LGBTQ community.  As you know, their life can be hell.

If you want to benefit someone with services from someone who is in life transition, about to go into transition, or wants to figure life out, maybe you can donate on behalf of someone for services such as those Teron offers.  If you want to open up someone’s view of life, consider paying for a ticket to another city, country, or another side of the world.  Or perhaps open horizons through the lens of Humans of New York.

Another idea is to give gifts that keep on giving, through shopping online via AmazonSmile.  Or, give by literally clicking on a link posted on the website of Greater Good (each tab has its own link and opportunity to click to give – hunger site, veterans, animals, and more).  It’s also a whole ton of fun to click on the link, shop, and receive the gifts from these sites as well.

Others are blogging about the concept.  Two blogs I highly recommend visiting are “Socks are Not Enough: Social Justice Lies Upstream from Charity” and Elaine’s reflection on this blog “Socks are Not Enough.”

But, more than that, I highly recommend giving to your neighbor, your relative, your friend who truly need it.  Even professors are on food stamps.  Give smart, so give to charities who enable tax write-offs.  But also give smart in that give in a way that really serves the person you are giving the gift to.

Make the gift meaningful.  Learn about what the person truly wants deep down inside.  Is it a handwritten card?  Choose a beautiful card and take the time to write a meaningful, intentional letter.  Is it a roof over a person’s head?  Maybe you can’t personally afford to do that, but maybe you can help that person find what they need by offering your time, ear, and telephone – maybe even home address.  Does a person want a pen?  Clothing?  A toy?  Maybe just cash?

There are two gifts I gave that were flops:  a fountain pen and a wheel chair.

I gave a fountain pen for a birthday or Christmas present years ago.  It was not the type of pen he uses.  He appreciated the gift, the unexpected gesture of kindness, but it wasn’t usable for him.  He couldn’t use it in a meaningful way and thus it was less desirable for him.  It would have been much more meaningful should I have given him the pen he really, truly was hoping for.  He could use the one I gave, but it wasn’t as effective nor as wonderful should I have taken the time, asked the right questions, and listened to what he truly wanted.  He was incredibly kind, thankful, and grateful, but he could’ve been more thankful and grateful had I given the right type of gift.  Thus, my gift was essentially a poor use of resources, money, time and effort, a disappointment for him, yet a lesson learned for both of us.  It’s better if gifts are not solely lessons learned.

I was working at a job where I was all excited about the ability to purchase a wheelchair for patient.  I made the mistake of assuming what he wanted, the style that would be the best for him, etc.  I was super excited about the idea of being able to choose and give a gift.  Especially one of that nature.  However, all my effort and desire to help ended up into my making a huge mistake and ended up becoming a huge flop.  The wheelchair only got in the way of his daily activities, took most of the space in his bedroom (which was extremely tiny to start with), was completely impractical, and created incredible safety hazards.

The whole point of my sharing this story is that he could have had so much better had I asked more questions.  I ruined his ability to have the chair he needed in the way he needed because of my impractical giving through government resources.  He kindly used it, but he couldn’t use it in the way he truly needed it.  He was incredibly grateful, but I’m certain he felt incredibly frustrated as well.  It was essentially the same thing as giving a bag of candy to a diabetic.  The wheelchair was beautiful, made the mouth water, but was completely non useful with the literal potential of killing the person.

Last Thanksgiving and Christmas were a blast for me.  I used the excuse of a holiday and having no family to spend it with to splurge on others.

I was sitting in the parking lot of a Chevron gas station/Jack-In-The-Box complex while chatting on the phone with a friend who was working on a military base in Japan.  (Ironically he is an individual who choses to spend the vast majority of money he wins via poker machines to give to coffee baristas, base charities, his sunday school students, and more.)  I was feeling in the dumps because I hate the holidays.  I absolutely hate the holidays as “it rubs me in the face” that I’m solo, single, and due to the unhealthy nature of my biological family I just cannot justify spending time with family on a holiday even if they should ask – which they do not.  There is nothing more important in my mind than the concept of love and family.  So, in my mind, if there’s a problem, let’s fix it.  I’ve tried myriads of methods to fix this personal problem of mine, but my methods haven’t worked for me, and what I tried in the past was definitely not going to work for that year, so I conjured up a new solution.

I decided that I was going to use the holiday as an excuse to give.  Partially selfishly so that I can feel like I can be in the holiday spirit, and partially so that I could give just to give, for the sake of giving.  And, to be completely honest, I also partially gave selfishly to yield a much-needed rush of positive, feel-good brain chemicals.  But, when it really comes down to it, I really, really wanted to give in a way that means something to someone somehow and not just to me.  Giving selfishly can become an unselfish act of sheer generosity.

And so, putting my plan in action, I interrupted my conversation with my friend (a gift in its own way) to give a woman cash.  She was so excited, so very excited.  It was only $40 or so – maybe more I don’t remember.  But, she was so excited.  It was so much fun to see.  I wasn’t paying attention to it at the time, but she was a very young mother of two little boys who appeared to have recently been going through a divorce.

On a different occasion, there was a young man I gave $20 to.  He was an angry young man.  Incredibly angry.  Full of hurt and angst.  But, he needed it and I’m grateful I gave it to him – even though he likely used it to numb pain through drinking or otherwise.  Both were intentional gifts.  Gifts that meant something to them and something to me as well.  Gifts that will help in the long-run as well as in the here-and-now.

This same Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season, I missed an opportunity to give a gift by paying a woman’s purchase.  She was paying for her Christmas meal at a 7-11-type place.  The kids were excited but the mom felt like a complete failure.  They were eating pizza, pepperoni sticks, horrid awful food.  It was her way of giving but she felt horridly guilty and inadequate.  I still feel the weight that was on the mom’s shoulders.  I wish to God I would’ve swiped for her food like I had considered, but I was focused on the total to see if I could afford it.  Rediculousness.  I ended up paying $75 for tons of people’s gas without the intention to (the gas attendant kept my credit card line open (you had to prepay inside) and I didn’t know it).  $30 (more or less) would’ve been just fine.  A blog I wrote that surrounds this time is here.

Appropriate gift giving takes time, effort, resources, along with communication and listening skills.  Many of us don’t have those luxuries.  Thus, we feel discouraged.  And, when we feel discouraged, we give up altogether, make haphazard approaches to solving the problem, overcompensate, and more.

If you are giving a gift for work, family, or friends, consider the source.  Use communication.  Ask yourself is this something that is truly meaningful to them?  Is this a “me” wish or a wish that satisfies a need?

If you don’t have anyone to give to, give to random strangers.  Some ideas are to swipe a card to fill someone’s gas tank.  Swipe your card to pay for someone’s grocery bill.  Pay for someone’s storage unit before they lose their things – it just might be all they own or their storage unit might house memories or meaning that will be forever lost.  Call a local pharmacy and pay someone’s medical bill – or go there in person and swipe your card for them.  Holidays are excellent reasons and excuses to give and do random acts of kindness.  It’s a whole lot of fun for both the giver and the receiver when done right and well.  But these sorts of giving doesn’t have to be done due to the label or intent of celebrating Christmas.

There is a whole ton of red tape involved for services to give to people in need and for people in need to receive services.  I feel that giving to social services or large organizations can often be a copout, but they do serve a purpose.

If you want to give, truly give, be a Good Samaritan yourself – don’t let it just be a Bible story.  Don’t just leave good things, actions, and gifts for the saints to do and give, become Mother Teresa yourself – even she wasn’t perfect and had to start somewhere, somehow.

If you want to truly give, give in ways that mean something to that person.  If you don’t have any money to give, give a hug.  If you don’t have any hugs to give, say something nice in a meaningful way.  If you can’t say something nice, then do something that is nice to them.

Not everyone is greedy.  Not everyone are takers.  Some give too much.  Some give way too much.  Stay balanced in your giving.  You never have to give.  Giving is a choice.  A wonderful choice.  Make it fun, meaningful, enjoyable, in a way that will last.   It’s okay to not give to the person, individuals, groups, or organizations who demand that you give – or guilt-trips you into giving – to them.  It’s also okay to give to people who truly need those services.  Stay smart in your giving.

Different people feel loved differently.  The Five Love Languages is an excellent resource in understanding how a person feels loved (as explained by the blog entry of personalty cafe).

Be intentional in your giving.  Give with goodness and love in your mind and heart.  If you can’t muster up the goodness, don’t give.  If you don’t feel good about that particular idea, method, intent, whatever… don’t give.  If you feel a strong urge to give, then please act on that urge – especially if it’s strong and “keeps popping up.”  There is a God-given reason for it.  However, take a moment of discernment to determine if it’s a gut-reaction or true inspiration.

Whether it’s a gift you are giving, a message you are receiving, or an action you are taking, take a moment and consider questions and ideas Steve writes about in his blog:  consider your motive, consider your audience, and consider your source.

It’s okay to not give in a particular way or form.  It’s okay to choose to not give.  However, it is better to give than to receive.  It’s best to give to those who truly choose to give and pay it forward – be it organizations, family members, friends, or strangers.  It’s okay to feel good about giving or even not-so-good about giving or not giving – just realize it’s a choice to give.  If you use practical, mindful intention in your method of giving, this will yield much better results in the long-run.  But, it’s a process of learning and growing.  It takes time and effort.  But, just like investing money, the best methods yield the greatest results.

Do not judge, but give wisely.  Do not expect anything in return, but give wisely.  “Do not cast your pearls before swine.”  Choose to give in ways that are meaningful.  Find people who truly need what you can give.  And give in ways that they truly need.  “Don’t burn a hole in your pocket.”  Let your resources be reinvested and recycled in some way.  Money and spending money are not the only ways to give.  Sometimes that $5 gift means the same as if you purchased a $5,000 gift.  Sometimes a $5, 000,000 gift has the same value as dirt.  And sometimes verbalizing “give yourself a hug” means more than if you literally gave them a hug or a $500 gift certificate.

There are times to give to an addict, and times to hold off on a particular form of giving.  There are times to give to mean people and there are times to let them go.  There are times to give to demanding situations, individuals, family and organizations, and times to let them figure things out on their own.  Use discernment  – and when you use discernment, let your personal bias fly out the window.

Maybe your husband, wife, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend… would rather a cup of coffee with your smartphone left in your car and a truly open, nonjudgemental, listening ear for an hour, a day, or weekend instead of that brand new Rolls Royce.  Or maybe they want a cup of coffee instead of a pen.  Maybe your friends, family, customers, clients, patients… are begging you to just listen.

Please, give with caring.  Leave selfish, self-centeredness behind.  Just give – truly give.

If you need ideas or  want someone in particular to give to but just don’t know who, feel free to ask me and I’ll be more than willing to help brainstorm or lead you to that person, individual, organization, or more.

With all this in mind, please give.  Think outside the box.  Give smart.  And please, don’t just give on Christmas.

We’re Killing Each Other

We, as humans, are slaughtering each other.

We are killing each other by how we treat each other verbally and nonverbally.  Those of us who are “the other,” “different,” act as voices that everyone want silenced, and those of us who have a different skin tone or physical feature than is deemed acceptable are stomped on in one way or another.

Back stabbing, lies, deceit, set-ups, frauds… Name calling, belittling, sabotaging… we kill each other literally slowly but surely through stressing each other out by our words and actions.

We also kill ourselves by how we process our foods, how we take care of our earth.  There used to be so many, many more birds that flew during migration just 20 years ago.  Now there are hardly any in comparison to what I used to see.  We have food allergies that were never seen before and diseases at rates that were previously unheard of.

Time hasn’t changed our behaviors, but our behaviors are killing our world and each other – at an extremely high rate.  I used to think it was all nonsense.  Then, I opened my eyes and saw.  I realized, the “voices crying in the wilderness” were speaking truth.

The types of killings have changed from swords and guns, fists and words to behaviors aimed to debilitate and destroy leaving mayhem in the wake of the victim.

PTSD is a living hell.  We are yielding it on each other via so many different fashions – intentionally.  Our earth is yielding fruit that is unpalatable in comparison to what it once was and are killing us via all sorts of nonsense.  It’s a slow process so it goes undetected.  In yet, it is real.

I’m really grateful we are “wisening up.”  I just hope it’s not too late.  But, if it is too late, I hope we all die quickly and not through a torturous hell.

I’ve seen enough torturously hellish deaths.  A massive one would not be fun to watch.

In the meantime, please love each other.  Please, let’s stop playing demented mind games and stop acting in ridiculous behaviors as though we were toddlers and very young children in adult bodies.

Please love and be loved.  Please live and let live.  Unite with each other.  See the beauty within each other.  Let’s hold hands and unite with “the other.”  Let’s feed and clothe “the other.”  We’ll always have differences, be different in some capacity or another.  We all fail, we all make mistakes.  Let’s make the mistakes matter productively and proactively and not destructively.

Ready. Set. Wait. Go. Not Yet. NOW!

I say I’m ready, yet I’m scared I’m not.  I want to be a voice, to stand up, then I retreat in fear.  I’m ready.  Then, I’m not.

It’s scary to get up and say “Yes.”  It’s scary to stand up and say, “I am.”  It’s scary to stand up for truth, to BE truth.  to LIVE truth.

Yes, I have been victimized.  But, I am standing.  I am standing strong.  I’m scared.  I’m terrified.  I’m afraid.  But, I am determined to stand.

And so, I am here.  Standing.  Being a voice.  A voice for the voiceless and a voice for those who, too, are standing.

Let’s go.  Let’s stand.  Let’s unite.  Let’s be.  Let’s live.  Let’s act.  Let’s love and be loved.

Death to the Victim.

Abusers are fascinating.  They are so believable.  So amazingly believable.  They also capitalize on your weak points.  Abusers often fight to the death.  Either the death of their intent, or the death of their victim – literally or figuratively.

For me, what has worked to perpetuate the symptoms of being the victim is the fear of being “crazy,” of “going crazy.”  The statement “You lie” epitomizes on that fear.

If something goes wrong that the abuser has done, it always has to be caused by someone else.  Then the victim responds subconsciously and the abuser capitalizes on their reactions.

Businesses work this way all the time.  People continually feel the need to cover up and blame when something goes wrong.  Finger-pointing is classic.  Abusers take up those opportunities to the extreme and “run with it.”  They go and go until they can’t anymore.  And, in their wake, victims get “eaten alive.”

Abusers in power are rampant.  Those not in power abuse those who are in the attempt to get on the top.  It’s a vicious cycle.  But, when it comes down to it, when mistakes need to be covered up, the bullies and abusers always win – at least initially.  And victims become victimized and re-victimized.

I was leaving the church.  I did not agree with my dad’s choices, with what was happening in my sister’s life.  Lies ran rampant. The fingers pointed to me.  At the time, 99% of those around believed the abusers.  Many still do.  You see, something had to be wrong with me for leaving the church.  Something had to be wrong with me for not agreeing with what my dad wanted to believe.  Something had to be wrong with me for not thinking the way my dad thought I should believe.

And so I was slapped with a “diagnosis” of schizophrenia – the worst diagnosis you could possibly label someone from that church.  Everyone believed I wanted to marry my sister’s husband.  But, everyone believed those lies.  Some still do.  Amazing.

I do not have schizophrenia.  Way too many psychiatrists and mental health professionals have ruled that out over the years.  I do not lie.  I can count a handful of times that I have deliberately lied.  My inability and refusal to lie is subhuman.  I am not “crazy” nor have I “gone crazy.”  I had no desire to marry an abuser, a skirt-chaser, someone who was a complete total fraud.  I tried to keep my sister safe from that, but my attempts failed.  Instead, finger-pointing happened toward me while yet another un-pretty, “happy Christian life” happened to my sister.

What I truly am – at this moment – is a trauma victim.  Someone who has been abused severely in every way possible.  What I aim to do is triumph over the ridiculousness of the aftermath from the foundations laid by abusers.

The abused get blamed, stomped on, looked at like they are crazy.  They are targeted by additional abusers.  The fear runs rampant and never goes away.  Thus, victims stay victims until somehow things change.  Until absolute miracles happen.

Abusers are all over the place.  In this day and age, they are rampant and most often have the greatest voice, the greatest power.  Victims of abuse are extremely vulnerable.  Thus, the cycle continues.  Viciously.  Ferociously.  Abusers don’t stop until the victim is dead, rescued, or disappear from their life – or until they are no longer interested.

My dad has been incredibly abusive over the years.  I didn’t know that until after my mom died.  Since then I have continually wondered the how, what, when, where, why’s…  I came to the awareness that something was severely wrong with him the night before he married his current wife.  I was explained and had the epiphany that he was abusive after calling a 1-800 national hotline for abusers while I was being severely abused by my ex-.  I have had symptoms of abuse for many, many years.  Thus, I knew I have been abused.  But I still didn’t know…

I knew, but I didn’t.  You see, I can’t remember.  I just cannot remember.  But, I know I have the symptoms.  I know my life has been devastated time and time again, significantly impacted by the initial and subsequent abuses from my dad, the church I was raised, my ex-, employers, and employees.

The abuse and the impact of abuse has climaxed – and keeps climaxing.  I think it’s done, and it’s not.  Classic.

One thing for sure, absolute sure, is that I’m resilient.  I get up.  I keep fighting for my life.  I keep breathing.  I keep trying.  Thankfully miracles keep happening so that this fight for life, for resilience, keeps working and keeps happening.

Even this fact – the fact that I’m incredibly resilient – has taken 15 years to sink in.  (A date provided yesterday by the very first person who shared that fact with me.)

My body almost gave out on me after my boss from a job that ended March 3, 2014.  It was in mid- to late- February of this year.  I was on sick leave from surgery.  I was also suffering severe PTSD symptoms from all the workplace violence that was happening, riddled throughout that particular workplace.  The violence was coming from the local office as well as through headquarters.

The director called me over the phone while I was on sick leave and was intentionally verbally abusive.  He knew exactly what to say and do based on my confiding in him by “going through the channels” of reporting violence in the workplace that was happening toward myself and my coworkers.

The pseudo-boss was significantly abusive, but I did not believe she was intentionally so.  She was fighting her own demons of the past and present.  However, the director, the actual boss, was blatantly, intentionally abusive.  I had got to a point where I could recover after identifying what was happening locally, but when it was intentional, over the phone, and while I was on sick leave, my body just couldn’t handle it.  I could feel my body give out on me.  The morning after the phone call I could feel my lungs start to collapse and my organs shut down.  When my body revived itself and I woke up, I was ready to end it myself.  I just couldn’t handle any more abuse.  I had tried and tried for years and years and I failed.  I had not succeeded.

I got to the point where I fully believed their highly believable end message: “You are a failure.”  “You are not good enough.”  It is a message that started from the church I was raised and by my dad.  A message that I believed.  A message I 100% knew that was incorrect, yet I could not help not believing.  A message that additional abusers, this time in the workplace, “picked up and ran with.”  Classic victim mentality.  Classic abuser victory.

The abuse from that workplace – from the director and the pseudo-boss counterpart – has not stopped.  Since working for them, their abuse follows me like a black cloud preventing me from future employment and stopping employment after it starts.  But, it didn’t start with them.  It won’t end with them.  They are just a pawn in the world of the victim that is used as a tool to keep the victim silent, to break them.

Their tactics have thoroughly worked because I am a victim who hasn’t yet learned how to fight appropriately.  I haven’t yet been able to find my voice in a way that brings me on top.  I just plain don’t have the tools, the know-how to counteract the fight.  Life is a dance.  I haven’t learned the dance.  Life is a fight.  I haven’t learned how to fight.

If you stick someone on a dance floor that has no dance lessons nor have been exposed to dance, they need a teacher.  If you stick someone in a boxing ring, they will get pounced on mercilessly unless they have the skills – and even when they do.  There are people who want to dance with you and who want to fight with you.  Life is best lived when you know when and how to dance and fight.

I’m not talking about “fight to the death” in a literal fashion.  I am not encouraging to put on boxing gloves.  Blood, bruises, broken bones, brain damage are not long-term answers.  I’m not encouraging a fight of good verses evil like you see as you play x-box or in the Tolkien movies.  Rather, fighting through a skill that I understand is taught via martial arts.

I don’t want revenge.  I don’t care about revenge.  What I want are the tools to learn how to make this cycle of significant abuse to stop.  I’m done with abuse.  I’m done with being the victim.  I’m done with being a survivor.  I want to be a human being that has the tools to sluff off their ridiculousness.

Abusers think they won’t be found out, that they will look good, that they will “win” whatever they are trying to battle out.  They firmly believe that the victim will always look the victim, play the role of the victim, and will always be sabotaged.  Thus, their lie of “You lie,” “You…”  “It’s all your fault..” “It’s all you.”  “It’s all in your head.”  Works.

Abusers are extremely good liars, manipulators, frauds, salespeople.  They are well adept at looking good, appearing legit.  They are extremely believable.

As the victim, it’s important to keep going.  It’s important to learn the tools needed to stop the power of abuse.  They won’t stop.  They never will.  Abuse will never stop.

I am determined to believe that I can learn how to make whatever abuse I encounter – through whatever way, shape, or form – have no power.

This has already taken from July 1998 (when the light began to dawn) to now (December 2014) to try to figure out.  I’ve been trying to overcome, to prove myself, to persevere all the ridiculousness.  I’m tired.  I’m so very, very tired.

I’ve fought and fought over the years to “be normal.”  I’ve tried and tried to figure out what I’m doing wrong, why I’m wrong, why I look like I’m wrong or in the wrong.  I try to figure out why.

Most recently I went on a quest to find a solution to solve an immediate problem.  I had 100% adopted lies and beliefs that have been implanted by my dad, the church I was raised, and that was reinforced by my prior employer.  I thoroughly, 100% believed that I was to blame, that I was the problem.  I thoroughly believed it is all my fault.  I believed I wasn’t good enough, that I’d never be good enough.  That I have no future.  Everyone I who knows me well, knows these are ridiculous lies.  Completely. Ridiculous. Lies.

I became the classic victim.  They almost won the fight.  But, they haven’t and won’t.

It’s not about them.  It really isn’t.  They are hurting souls who have been hurt.  They are mean for a reason.  It’s not up for me to determine why.  It’s not for me to determine how to stop them.  It’s not worth it.  I’ve been trying to solve the how, what, when, where, why problem for years and years.  I thought if I could solve the right question, then I can change what I’m doing wrong.

I don’t know why I respond to their ridiculousness, to the abuse.  All I know is that I’m ready to not respond.

I don’t know why so many bad things have happened to me over the years.  All I know is that I’m ready for them to stop happening to me.

One thing I do know is that I want my experiences to enable me to help others.

So far, I’ve been successful in that arena.  Extremely successful.

I aim to continue.  I aim to continue in a way that becomes successful in a way unimaginable.  Only God, The Universe, and all God’s helpers can make that happen.  All I can do is try, to put the effort out, and see what happens.

In the meantime, it’s time to heal, to rest, to regroup, to recover.

Please give yourself a hug.  Please reach out to a victim in kindness.  Please do something kind to yourself and to someone nearby.  Someone you know and someone you don’t.  Please be kind – to yourself and others.

If you’re a victim, find a way to be triumphant.  Keep going.  You’re not crazy.  You are NOT crazy.

Live and let live.  For the soul of the victim, let the abuser go.  Let the abused live.

The abuser will kill itself.  The abused will die unless you let it live.

“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love…”

The song that is playing on the radio right now is: “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love…Daddy’s don’t love their children just now and then, it’s a love without end, Amen.”

When I was young, I believed that I was loved by my dad. Then my mom died and I realized that I was wrong. Completely wrong. Then I had snippets of hope from time to time.

My dad cares to the best of his ability.  However, he really has no idea as to what it means to love, to care, to be there for anyone but himself. It’s a white man’s, Christian, Evangelical/conservative religious syndrome all mixed in with a heavy dose of narcissism.

I am in recovery mode from a heavy onslaught of PTSD symptoms.

The event(s) associated with the induction of trauma sucks, but the aftermath of trauma is much more devastating.  The cyclical nature of trauma, re-surfaced trauma, and cyclical symptoms is frustratingly angering.  The lack of knowledge with regards to trauma, the people affected by trauma, and situations associated with the aftermath of trauma is fascinating, horrifying, and explains a ton as to what we are doing wrong as a society.

The reactions of people surrounding the person affected by trauma is fascinating.

People who have no friends are in deep trouble.  Deep trouble.  People who don’t have the right solutions or people who can lead you to the right solutions are in deep trouble.  People who don’t have someone who understands who they are, what they are capable of, what is happening, and more are in deep shit.  Trauma victims who don’t have someone there to listen – truly listen – and respond in the way they truly need — not how the “listener” thinks they need — are in deep shit.

We as Americans often have no idea as to the life of another.  We just plain don’t have time.  We don’t listen, we don’t care.  We judge.  We are afraid.  We see each other as “the other.”  The first thought is to think that unfortunate situations are the fault of the person experiencing ridiculousness.

Trauma victims are fully aware of this and take it to the extreme.  Thus, we don’t know who to turn to, who we can safely seek help from.  We don’t know what to do or how to do it until it’s too late.  In the meantime, we’re frantically trying to solve the problem blindly.  We reach out frantically.  Sometimes with success, but often in failure.

The frustrating thing is that Christians are the first people turn to for support in yet they are the last to be supportive.  Organizations don’t have the resources to help or there are roadblocks where they are unable to help.  Friends are the ones who are supportive.  Your true friends.

What do you do if you have no one to turn to?  Or, if you are afraid of the ones you can turn to?  Or, if you feel that they, too, won’t understand?  What happens if you don’t have enough people to turn to?

We live in a global society.  We live within clicks.  We surround ourselves with only a few sub-types of people.  We are unaware of multiple facets of society because we just don’t know.

We don’t know because it’s overwhelming, it’s confusing, it’s scary, it’s uncomfortable, we don’t have time, we don’t want to, and more.

Please do me a favor.  Please reach out each and every day to someone you know AND someone you don’t know and show them you care in a way that they know – without a doubt – you care.  Not in a way that you think you showed them you care.  But in a way that they know you care.  Not in a way that makes you feel good, but in a way that makes them feel good.

Live Jesus.  Live a Father’s love.

Please love and be loved.