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I am still surprised when I hear wives and young women being criticized by other women as to why they stay with their politician husbands, following the out break of scandal. Sure it may leave our own excuses or defenses a little more weakened as to why we make or made our decisions under similar circumstances, but is that any reason to point fingers, when others decide differently? In 2013 men are 100% responsible for their own behavior.

Yes, we can agree that the young women who are involved in sex or sexting and come forward and acknowledge their own poor behavior, are showing extremely poor judgment in believing they can some how capitalize on the same. To judge young women any farther than this, unless they become so outwardly obvious and acknowledge they are out for the almighty buck or to destroy a career, should not lie in the character of any of us who judge these often naïve and impressionable women; Nor does it further the equality of women to determine what is appropriate behavior when a woman does decide to remain in her marriage.  That choice belongs to the two people who are in the marriage to decide be they men or women.

Women have been manipulated by the powerful and branded as Jezebels since Biblical days in an effort to give men who behave poorly in sexual behavior, an out for their own sick and often narcissistic behavior. As women in America, we if not men, should be able to rise above the continuation of judgments against each other regardless of media exploitation, political leanings, or the circumstances of the same.

I have heard women, who are thought of as being credible accuse Huma Weiner of having political gain for herself and ambitions of her own as being the reason she stands behind her husband Anthony Weiner. Other people are accusing the young woman (I will not give her name credence or blame in my blog) of dressing sexy in order to trap Anthony Weiner. There is much more gossip against the women involved in the Anthony Weiner Sex Scandal but to repeat any more beyond this is to only add to the gossip.  When will women ever be able to dress in the manner they feel the most comfortable with themselves, before we quit judging them for doing so?

Accusing women of the faults that lie in men goes way back to the days of the discovery of the Old Testament of the Bible. When we realize the largest area of the Country in the region where the Old Testament of the Bible was written, was made up of  many Pagans before Christianity, then we need to understand also the culture present in the belief of its people at the time the old Testament was written.

We can understand why people who were raised generations in advance of Science held women responsible for the behavior of men because it was written In Proverbs, Chapter 23, Verse 26:My Son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways, For a whore is a deep ditch and a strange woman is a strange pit. She also lieth in wait as for Prey and increases the transgressors in men.”

The belief was also promoted and still exists today that it was Eve who enticed Adam to eat of the apple instead of it being a mutual decision as we now know transcriptions clearly shows it to have been mutual and these artifacts have been preserved in the archives of the Church. As more Historical facts becomes available along with the knowledge of mankind changes we do need to consider both into our own moral framework as a civilized Society.

The Early Church so believed that married men who had sex with prostitutes were not responsible for the sin of adultery, because they were enticed by women and had no control over their own sex drive. They saw no separation between the animal world and human kind and judged the need of man to procreate or have sex for mankind’s survival as being on the same level between man and animal.

Sex with sheep amongst herders was not only practiced but acceptable behavior in its day. When Science discovered it was leading to madness and death in men due to an outbreak of syphilis then the acceptance of the same changed.

These beliefs were held well into the 17th Century but as the need for man to learn became more prominent it took the knowledge of Science to grow in order to gain knowledge about mankind and what free-will and intellect does as far as understanding the differences in what makes mankind the absorber of knowledge and truth over the animal kingdom.

Even into the Victorian era and yet today some Religions still refuse to give up the idea that even incest that takes place in children is not the fault of child or women entisement. The Conservative following have the numbers of rape due to incest, much lower than what in truth they still remain today. What we now refer to as sexual sociopaths was referred to as sexual deviants in the Victorian era and was just the beginning of the era in which men were being held responsible for their own sexual vulgarities.

Those Religions who throw out all study of Science still cling to the Bible verses of the Old Testament while totally dismissing the knowledge learned of men and sexual peculiarities or sexual predators, that we have gained knowledge of today through the knowledge of Science.

If we still have not learned that women do not create the character flaw in men who think they are too powerful to fail and that Science shows that it is more likely the absence of fathers in the home or early childhood abuse through incest that leads to feelings of rejection that increase the libido in both these women and these men, then what rock have we taken residence under?

Yes, both women and men who have reached adulthood are equally responsible for the choices they make in their lives.  When Anthony Weiner was made aware of his own short comings and illness and still behaved badly, by running again for public office knowing full well he was lying, then how can any of us judge his wife harshly or the women he continued to show his private parts to? If a mother is concerned about what the absence of a father, in the life of her child will make and decides to stay in the marriage, that is her decision to make without being called ambitious or any of us offering her anything beyond understanding.  Todays children need their parents in their lives and if the couple reaches an agreement on how they will deal with their marriage must we always feel their decisions reflects on all women?

If  young adult women are being manipulated or making a poor call of judgment that too should be their decision to make. Why do we so often see or hear those who seemingly have made the biggest mess of their own marriages or those who also behaved poorly when young women or men, too often become the harshest judges against other women or men?  Did we listen or was it our own responsibility to learn for ourselves, what our real values were or where we placed them?  Did we not have that right to do so?

We all should understand the options given all of us to use our own intellect and free-will should be the greatest entitlements that all of us will ever receive, shouldn’t we? What right does the media, un-related people, or pundits have of making any calls in the personal lives of people who use their own hearts and minds to call the shots in their own marriages or personal lives, have in the first place? If you don’t like the man, Anthony Weiner, then do not contribute or vote for him and if you are doing so for fear of what others may think then isn’t that more your problem than theirs?

The Karma we put out is also the Karma we get back, or if you prefer, “what goes around comes around”, and I suspect that was also the Plan of our Maker, when He gave both genders free-will and intellect from the beginning of mankind.  Who amongst us, has not already learned the same or will not learn it before we breathe our last breath? As the saying goes,” An unkempt garden, produces poor fruit”.   Does our own back yard need our attention or weeding?

As women we have enough Conservative movements underway who will deny us the equality already granted us before we have been successful in getting full equality, without attacking or sitting in judgment of each other.  As long as we, women, let the divisiveness amongst us continue to do so, we can all understand it will only cause further harm to those who most need our help. If it does not happen now, then it will tomorrow, or the next time we, ourselves or loved ones, need understanding the most.   I have learned to be a realist and understand what true unity requires of all of us.  Make it count!

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When disability becomes a part of our life as children we often see much in the make-up of the child who fights for a normal ability to function, we admire.  Parents who refuse to let their children feel sorry for themselves or to give up and quit are often Blessed with the results of an adult who lives a normal life and succeeds beyond the ability of many able-bodied adults.

Without knowing Matt Roloff, personally, I have no doubts that this Blessing was bestowed on Matt  as a child and his family.  When Matt struggled through a hundred surgeries as a child and a “little Person”, to fit into a “Big World” he not only showed himself and his family he could excel but we also became accustomed to watching him on reality television, do the same.

What Matt is now dealing with as an older adult is entirely different from what he dealt with as a child and as a disabled adult myself, I can almost feel his frustrations and doubts interfering with his enjoyment and expectations for himself in his life. Although Matt needs to re-invent his own abilities again, not too unlike he did as a child, it no longer is instinctual in an older adult the same way it is a child. After having spent years fighting against the idea he was disabled it must be just that more difficult for Matt to acknowledge that he now is disabled and nothing will change that fact, not even denial.

it is not always the disabled person who remains in denial but our loved ones who refuse to show us the respect we deserve in knowing our own abilities and limitations, who also go into denial. Too often we are treated as though we cannot make a decision for ourselves without it becoming a matter of family debate. There are emotional limitations involved in disability as to what we want to share with others along with the physical limitations. Many of us have become accustomed to hiding our feelings when they have been hurt by outside influences or attitudes, because we do not want family to worry. On some days of the year we can do more than on other days, and a great many families cannot appreciate the difference as those of us who are disabled can.

It is always a real rush for me to go into a casino over feeling like I am on display in other arenas so of course the release of endorphins or the thrill of being as normal as anyone else when I am sitting at a slot machine does improve my ability to get around over doing something that otherwise I know I can never fit in with or compete with, without feeling like a sore thumb.

On the opposite end of the spectrum of disability,too often we are viewed as the strong one, mom or dad will always be there for us, or family has become accustomed to our making the decisions and it becomes extremely frustrating when they go into denial about our disability and refuse to listen when we do try to level with them. Others will shut us out of their lives entirely as they view us as being incapable of handling the truth if it is bad news.

So in short, it is not uncommon when the disabled are both disregarded for their abilities when they are capable of doing more or understanding what others are going through, just as we are often ignored when we do require help. Both can be exhausting to those of us who are often disabled to have to constantly explain or deal with, so many times it is simply easier to avoid those venues that seemingly require repeating the same information over and over again, up to and including Doctors’ offices.

Too often families, not unlike the general population,  will believe that disabled people are faking to get out of work or family involvement because if disabled children can turn disability into ability then so should adults be able to do the same.  As a young person afflicted in early adulthood with a disease, more commonly seen in older adults, I too believed that disability was only a part of the vocabulary of people who refused to try.

There are two kinds of spinal stenosis. Congenital stenosis, although rare most commonly shows up in ages between 30 and 40 and still is a mystery and relatively unknown, but is seen in individuals who are born with it and even minimal changes from aging can lead to severe spinal stenosis. I was 32 when I first experienced pain from stenosis. It can never be predicted or prevented and is seen in all body types and often goes misdiagnosed. Acquired stenosis is more commonly seen in 60 year olds and due to disc herniation’s and wear and tear of the aging process. Although disc herniation can lead to spinal stenosis at varying ages. My mother had Scoliosis as a child and there have been studies that do show birth defects of the spine can present themselves in off spring.

Although I agree with you, that there needs to be a special place for those who judge our pain as nothing more than ,”punishment from Satan”, This opinion should never deter us from seeking out options available to us. When I heard, ” What was a sincere expression told me and I could spare my pain by praying for my soul to be taken from the devil,” I must  have had a look on my face that no one ever wanted to see again, as the same person never expressed it to me again even though she sincerely thought she was helping me. We often hear, “Such and such was in real pain. She/he got paid back for everything they ever did wrong.”

I do believe in the power of prayer but not because people who suffer chronic pain suffer, because we lived such bad lives that the Devil has set up residence in our souls.  It’s hard for me to even understand that Christians could even think such a thing since Christ suffered much more than we do, through Crucifixion. Pain does not come from bad deeds but rather from disorders in all of our own bodies brought on by injury or disease.

We must always discount the theory that pain is as a result of Satan’s  punishment for obvious reasons to most of us but also since we already know that finding is based on ignorance. ” Bad things do happen to good people,” and when we accept that as our own reality we can move on.

Many in the medical profession believe that there is no physical pain but only pain due to emotional pain.  In short all physical pain exists only because of unresolved emotions and these doctors understand we do feel physical pain, because of this. None of us can deny that pain and emotional upset are greatly intertwined but those who accept the above need to be aware of the problems that arise when they try to simplify pain and those who suffer when they do.

Many times patients will be accused of being hypersensitive to pain, malingering, or worse yet, blamed for being responsible for their own pain even when medical tests show numerous causes present as to why a person is suffering, before a Medically trained Doctor will acknowledge their own limitations to understanding pain. When hindsight shows that the testing results showed the problem but was miss-read or went undiscovered by the abilities present at the time, we will rarely be told the same or will it always become a matter of our medical record, if it does happen.

Why some people do not feel pain or can tolerate pain better than the next has sometimes simply been dismissed for the above reasons of hypersensitivity, malingering, or self-induced by those who do feel a great deal more pain and discomfort.As medicine learns more many times it also learns the frailty in previously long held beliefs in medicine. When Doctors refuse to leave their own egos out of a diagnoses the results often makes these diagnosis, incomplete or in some cases dangerous.

It is often too simple to place the blame for pain on an inadequacy within the behavior or weight of the patient. If every person who was over-weight or smoked were responsible for every disorder that exists in medicine, then we would all eventually have the same diseases and disorders because we would all be afflicted as smokers or in association to second hand smoke. Why some are afflicted and others aren’t still remains a mystery in medicine.

None of us deny that to quit smoking and to lose weight are both sound advice in the principles of the treatment of pain but to discount the ability to burn calories or that weight lost often requires complete fasting in those whose movement is limited and the soothing effects of smoking to calm the nerves in people who do suffer pain, is also often overlooked by those who are too quick to dismiss their own role in the treatment of the patient.

Too often the stability of the patient living in pain is dismissed by the urgency of those to add more discomfort through cessation of smoking and weight lost, by those who refuse to understand that underlying causes for the continuation of pain are present to the point when the patient can do both, the suffering does not cease.

In many cases pain can actually increase due to muscle spasms after the cessation of smoking and flu-like symptoms. When a patient does lose as much as a 100 pounds and feels little to no relief in pain, lost of hope or feelings of abject failure in the patient who does struggle to accept society’s’ judgments and lack of understanding along with that of the medical profession, itself, can often occur.

When drugs are introduced to replace the effects smoking had to relax muscles and pain, or when marijuana is denied for religious reasons, many times the drugs introduced as replacements, can be equally destructive through the damage they cause with increased problems that add to further discomforts. Doctors have known for years that both cortisone and narcotics can lead to kidney and liver failure, onset diabetes, as well as other pain treatments can cause cancer, but not all Doctors do advise their patients of the side effects prior to giving injections or the starting of treatment.

Many times when this does happen our complaints go dismissed as being normal for the drug we are taking, and in other cases denied, while other times another drug is simply added to compensate for the discomfort being caused by other prescribed drugs, when a patient is successful in stopping smoking. Perhaps in knowing this then, we ourselves can learn to be more tolerate, in knowing those who suffer from chronic pain often need to consider just how much of their health or life is being spared by treatment for pain, especially when the effectiveness of narcotics do wear off and often requires heavier doses in order to gain relief.

Other times because of the lack of understanding by many in the medical profession when it does come to drug re-actions or inter-actions patients health can become life threatening very rapidly. Too often, we the general public will accept a cocktail of drugs to relieve pain without questioning the harmful effects of the drugs when we do quit smoking, believing in doing so we are prolonging our own life but in truth we can be limiting it even further.

It often becomes true when in an attempt to treat one system of the body we often worsen or increase symptoms in another system of the body, that does require treatment as well, so there are really never any easy solutions for those of us who do suffer chronic pain when surgery fails or becomes too complicated to attempt. It is an equally frustrating choice for many Doctors to have to make, but almost all will tell us they prefer the drugs they prescribe over that of smoking either cigarettes or marijuana.

When the pain is so great that many of us are totally over-whelmed with living another hour of the same discomfort the great majority of us will need to take almost anything to get relief and suffer the consequences later, no differently from anyone else who is not seeking martyrdom. When this happens we are all very grateful that any drugs are available to treat pain that breaks the threshold that many of us cannot stand to live with for another moment.

Those who have not been exposed to smoking or do not have weight problem histories during pregnancy or childhood or later in life have no better guarantee of avoiding disability or death than those who do. Many of us, who have never learned to question test results or Doctors, and suffer chronic pain know ourselves, we will almost always accept the Doctors’ diagnoses and question ourselves instead.

When we are told, “it is our own fault”, it is not uncommon for those amongst us, who do receive poor medical opinion, to add to our own physical pain which also can be due to other yet undiagnosed problems such as: circulation problems, infections, joint deterioration, muscle or ligament tears, irritations, undiscovered poisonings and viruses, swelling due to inflammations or compromised nerves, or other injuries, when we haven’t yet been fully evaluated or there are causes yet hidden in normal testing or unknown by the medical profession, itself.

By believing it is our own fault we too many times will add to our own suffering by pushing ourselves beyond our own tolerance levels, go into denial when we do feel changes more severe taking place, and ultimately increase the pain already present and cause further damage to our own bodies or in other cases fall into a depression so great that emotional or mental problems do become greater than the physical pain that existed prior to the diagnoses of it being, “our own fault.”

When any of this does happen we do end up proving the wrong diagnoses made previously to be a correct diagnosis, because sometimes it is an easier explanation to accept. It is easier for some of us to believe that we can prevent our own disability since it is our own fault than it is to accept that we will live with the unknown and with an unknown cause that we have no control over.

When we and our Doctor refuse to understand there are many causes of pain yet undiscovered by medicine, just as there are many disorders yet diagnosed, we all run the risk of further suffering. Just as an example of that; the medical profession blamed ulcers on people who worried too much for centuries, before they discovered that ulcers are as a result of viruses and not of emotions.

Although there are many diseases that disable going back to the cavemen, when life expectancy was only 40 and before couch potatoes, obesity, and junk food, mankind was wearing out their own bodies and it often led to arthritis. Arthritis today is still the number one cause of disability amongst the population and can effect those as young as in their teen years. The remains of the caveman shows arthritis as the only disease present as the cavemen or the hunters would often need to travel miles in pursuit of game and berries that constituted their main diet and carry heavy loads often on their backs.

To relieve pain they chewed on tree bark and it would not be until the 1800’s that aspirin would be discovered followed by steroids in the 1930’s, which was then thought of as the real panacea to treat inflammation caused by joint deterioration. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Tylenol and n-saids were introduced to treat fevers and pain followed by the cox-2 inhibitors. Pharmaceutical companies continue to try to come up with drugs to re-place those that can be life threatening and each time new hope abounds with limited results.

Poke a perfectly happy baby, who has no emotional baggage, with a needle and they will cry. We can use the same analogy when a dog is kicked or we accidently step on their tail or foot and they yelp, even though dogs rarely show they are in pain. Pain can more often be as a result of real physical pain prior to emotional upset or mood changes and until the medical profession understands pain better people will continue to suffer despite all the advances already made in the Science of medicine.

Too little is known about the human body and especially the central nervous system for the medical profession to be 100% correct in many of their diagnoses and especially in all cases of physical pain, even though they know all pain is transmitted through neurons that run to and from the brain. Pain can neither be seen or measured by the medical profession to date.

Once we accept to be labeled by a diagnosis is a serious flaw in the convictions of those who do judge, for too many amongst us, the sooner we will all understand those who do think as they do and must make a diagnosis on limited knowledge, can sometimes help hinder our own ability to move outside of what is normal for the majority rule as well. The more Doctors do understand about the differences in the make up of each individual person they treat, the more they will no longer need to use generalities or statistics to reach diagnosis.

For now Doctors can only reach a diagnosis based on their best educated belief or guess and hold that belief to be true for all of us, in the exact same way.  Medicine is leap years away yet from individual diagnosis becoming our reality, since no two people’s bodies behave identical to each other’s, much in the same way no one shares the exact same DNA.  Not even identical twins will respond to treatment in the exact same way. For now they can only apply what they know to be true about majority views to all of us. 

The study of medicine is making greater in-roads into discoveries of the human body almost monthly and in the study of genes science offers greater hope to all of us that very well may lead to individual diagnosis and new hope for treatment of disease. I do not want to mislead my readers into believing that medicine does not already have far greater knowledge than it has ever had at any other time in history, but rather to make it clear that as far as medicine has advanced there is still much yet to discover. At the same time The diagnosis now held by some Doctors does carry weight in some people and medical cases but to attempt to simplify all pain by brushing all of us with the same brush, is to discount the causes of pain that are yet unknown.

As is typical  for the great majority of us, we usually fail to understand the differences amongst us, until and unless we experience those differences through the experience of living them.  We often hear people complain about handicapped parking and ramps being built, at tax payer’s expense, even though able-bodied people use them for baby strollers, walk ways, or their own conveniences of loading and unloading heavy items, without the majority of people even noticing the same.

Unless we are truly disabled by paralysis too few people understand or want to understand that pain can often be a greater deterrent to understanding the lost of normal functions, than is paralysis. The paralyzed are accepted by others to be limited in what they can do, and they too often suffer pain but they many times will get much greater help, attention, and understanding that is required for their needs while the same goes lacking in chronic pain sufferers. This is not to say their limitations aren’t far greater than most of us who do suffer from chronic pain, as we all will acknowledge.

Chronic pain sufferers, on the other hand, are expected to force themselves against or through the physical pain that even their own bodies resist, often without any understanding or help from those who fail to notice our plight or refuse to believe it. The pain levels vary amongst the disabled according to the ability to tolerate pain varies, and their responses to drugs vary, so no one should know better than the person who suffers pain what those abilities or limitations are, including the medical profession as well as our loved ones. We do need to force ourselves through acute pain that often follows joint replacements or  will be relieved following surgery, according to the advice of the medical profession but chronic pain that cannot be treated is different from acute pain that will remit with treatment and time.

When across the counter medicine like Tylenol, Alieve, Anacin, Motrin, or Aspirin treats the pain in many, then too many feel these pills can also treat the pain that is part of a normal day in those disabled by chronic pain. As we age the body also ages and when assaulted with surgeries, torn ligaments, many different kinds of injury, or simply over worked in our youth, the body quits functioning as we age and what we once could do or what is normal in the rest of the population, who neither experienced these assaults to the body or inherited genetics for the diseases, becomes more prevalent in those of us who did.

Aging of the joints and tissue scarring or injury catches up to us, as we get older, and  prevents people from functioning normally through pain that is no longer eradicated with across the counter drugs or our body becomes numb and stiff until it becomes impossible to move past the stiffness unless we do use aids such as canes or crutches to assist us until the muscles finally get the message from the brain to move again.  It is no longer as it was in childhood when the joints could learn to adjust to what was normal for untrained joints or muscles. The majority of people do understand this happens in the older generations but few understand that it also occurs in the younger generations, Doctors included in too many cases.

When the body is still young enough to with-stand the assault of  diseases or injuries there are still adjustments that can be made to forgiving muscles and joints that become impossible for the older body to do.  Too few Doctors will treat pain effectively in the younger people who suffer from chronic pain so many people do function beyond what would be pain too great for the majority to bear, themselves. It is too easy for those who have no idea of the pain levels that are present in the young to judge those who have not lived a life in pain, to adjust on the same levels as those who have. When we are young we can stand just about anything in our efforts to form normal day to day’s functions.

Sadly after all these years, there still is not very much of anything that is effective towards pain treatment other than narcotics whose addiction to the same can destroy our life sometimes greater than the pain itself, can. What I see Matt Roloff struggling with in his ability to keep up with the family or upset because the family doesn’t want to do the things he can do, is a very normal part of the frustrations that those of us who deal in disability eventually, some sooner than later, will have to deal with when we do accept disability.  Even Doctors who have seen the damage with the MRI of each of us will suggest that we get down on the floor and play with our children or grandchildren when they should know both are humanly impossible in the disabled.

Disability due to pain, when we view it as a new adventure instead of an end to a way of life, can bring all of us a greater appreciation to explore new avenues that were not even part of our thinking before.  It certainly, when viewed through the eyes of positive thinking, should bring with it a new hope of self-discovery and appreciation.  If we need help we will need to humble ourselves and ask for it.  This definitely isn’t the habit of many of us before we became disabled as too many of us have actually helped wear out our own bodies by insisting we do it ourselves.

Many times through asking another for help  we truly do learn to appreciate someone else more than we would have otherwise.  I see that appreciation in the hearts and minds of so many disabled people, myself included, when we view the world through the eyes of the disabled. On the other hand we cannot become so helpless that we leave the people who love us most feeling like they are real Pollyanna’s either, by insisting they give up their abilities and wants for our own needs and wants.

This is not to say, it can also take years of trial and error to get through the bitterness that we often feel when we are forced into letting go of what has been our dreams, plans, and hopes for decades, either. This often effects our loved ones as much as it does us and as a disabled person we need to listen to them when they express their needs and wants as well, without feeling hurt when they share their honesty with us. The more negative we are or the more negative or toxic people are who we surround ourselves with, the more difficult it can become following acceptance of disability.

The judgments of others and not being heard by those who need to listen are many times much harder to deal with than is the physical pain that does exist. Some of us can be the greatest pains our self, along with being extremely difficult people who others will have to deal with and when and if we are, professional help needs to be sought out by both the disabled and caregivers as too many care givers will take the bad moods often caused by pain, frustrations, and/or drugs more personally than they are intended to be, from the chronic pain sufferers amongst us.

What I discovered totally on my own is I could do much of what I had done before but by doing it differently.  When I could no longer stand for any length of time I used a portable light weight stool that I could carry myself; when I could no longer run distances I got a power chair, that could go at pretty good speeds and a custom van with a lift and one I could drive, myself; when I could no longer walk very far I got a scooter that could be broken down and was fortunate enough to know I had a husband with me that would put it together so I could at least do some things I enjoyed doing from the past, yet.

I got a 4 inch piece of foam rubber cut when no bed was any longer comfortable to lay down in and when I could no longer lay down to sleep at night, I began taking my comfortable chair from home with me along with the 4 inch foam rubber pad, when we were planning on extended stays in the same area. If we do not have back problems before we try to sleep in a hospital like bed, the majority of us will have after we do, so I forgot about getting a hospital-like bed. I had,”been there and done that,” with early hospitalizations and since with minor surgeries and know from experience just how uncomfortable these beds are to people who do have back problems. I also avoid lazy boys knowing full well the damage they do to a spine at rest. Maintaining the curve in our spines for as long as possible is always important and it is often lost when we spend time in a lazy boy. An upright chair, such as a wing chair and foot stool is always preferable.

When I could no longer stand up to shower I got a shower stool and a hand held shower head and when that became obsolete, I had a walk-in tub and spa put in. I thought ahead to my possible inability to step up into the walk-in tub and if I ever needed to rely entirely on the wheel chair, I would need a wheel-in-shower installed, so I had that put in with the walk-in-tub.

If I may, I will get off track for a moment and offer my own response to those who have pre-conceived ideas against the disabled and in regard to your money paid out in taxes going to benefit the disabled. Not all of us do file workmen’s compensation claims or hire lawyers in an effort to get something for nothing. Many of us are as repulsed, as you are, when it comes to “ambulance chasers”.

Disability payments are not filed on our behalf or by many of us whose spouse’s income is above what entitles people to file for the same, but I do appreciate the need of the people who require help to be able to do so. In cases where the main bread winner is disabled or the income barely stretches to maintain a family, which is almost always, the need for worker’s compensation or disability claims do become the difference between a roof over our heads or living on the Streets no differently from those who qualify.

Unlike popular belief, none of what I was able to do to maintain my own independence is provided for by the government or the tax-payers for the needs of the disabled. Without private insurance that pays for some small amounts of this, or our own funds, many people who can take care of their own needs but do not have the funds,have been left dependent on the mercy of others, when it would be so much cheaper to allow people with disabilities independence through government subsidies and to live in their own homes. Obama care can help but even it does not go far enough. Many older people do have good mental responses well into their 90’s, yet.

Private Insurance will pay for a small amount of these needs where as Medicare won’t pay for a disabled person to remain independent,which makes no sense at all as these are often greater needs of the elderly than the young, in the majority of the cases.

The money that we have paid into Social Security would stretch much further, if people in general, did not view people with physical disabilities as being incapable of living alone and instead analyzed our ability or lack of ability to reason and make rational decisions for ourselves, on individual bases.

Many disabled people are very capable of living in our own homes and making decisions for ourselves. Hiring a little help from home help services, which Medicare does pay for, will often take care of the needs of independent disabled people. I gained new appreciation for the needs of the poor, who do not have the same advantage of funds as I had. I know the poor who neither splurged with funds they never had or were given the same advantages I had, needs all of us.

Returning back, before I digressed off of the subject I was on, when I was still a young adult and in total confusion from primarily misdiagnosis, I began a journey to find other family members who suffered as I was suffering.  In doing so I discovered that the personality that drove me to over-use my own body was prevalent in the family history I was born into.  I also discovered many misdiagnosis in my father’s family that were made prior to the MRI when it came to stenosis of the spine being present, whether they ever smoked or not.

Since it isn’t an interest of many young people, even I became amazed that it would be part of my make-up to want to discover the roots of previous generations.  I spent a number of years doing the ancestry of both mind and my husbands families. In doing so, it led to a love of research, history, politics, and antiques that had always been present in my interests but not developed further by me.  I found I enjoyed oil painting, even though I could not draw.  I did my own research on stocks until I realized that the stock market is primarily the territory of large investors, who even though it goes denied, do get insider trading tips.  I finally had the time to become an avid reader, which was something I never had time for before my life became more limited.  Writing has always been more the natural calling of my children over my own, so I was surprised when I too enjoyed writing.

The capabilities that exist in all of us, that often go unfounded in us, are available for the doing once we do understand what does makes us the person we are. The list of what we can do with disability is only limited by our own lack of imagination, when we finally do accept just how healthy change is to all of us and our own personal growth. Too many able-bodied people never do take the time to learn or to gain the same knowledge for themselves, that we are fortunate enough to learn because of disability.

I finally accepted that no one on a white horse or wearing a white coat would ride by and discover a cure or effective treatment and in knowing this through both false hope and false starts, I knew if I was going to find personal satisfaction as my body failed me, I needed to take control over my own cure.  The pain did not go away but instead of fighting against the pain by refusing to give up the normalcy of what had been my life I was able to lessen the pain by doing less to aggravate the same through living a different lifestyle. When I got together with able-bodied people who I was never going to be able to keep up with or fit into their conversation or activities, it would be my own responsibility to deal with the same. I did, just as an alcoholic must. I found it necessary to draw on my own courage to remain my own best friend rather than to be reminded by others the lack of my own capabilities. It was not fair of me to limit their activities anymore than it was fair of them to insist I join theirs’

It didn’t mean I couldn’t still travel and see my kids and grandkids and have family gatherings but it did mean I could ill afford to expect them to understand feelings that I would never have had if I had not experienced disability myself.

I still have moments I feel sorry for myself and feel others can be extremely insensitive and feel it the most the more time I spend around able-bodied people, but hopefully through the joy of being able to live another brand new life of challenges and adventures, I do not drag my loved ones down with me.

I still feel moments of resentment that very little is available to treat pain in a disease that has existed through out the ages and in my own failure to understand that the human body is not indestructible. Having grown up with a father who had back problems and watching him to continue to work hard, little did I know that inherited family disorders often show up in the next generation earlier than it does in the previous generation. At the same time the years of not knowing were the most difficult so I am grateful that I do have an easily diagnosable disability.

Resentment perhaps is the emotion I struggle with the most and I’m sure will battle until I die. I have been Blessed by a wonderfully independent family who help out as needed and ask nothing beyond what I want to give or can do. I unlike so many others am very fortunate in having a family who does deal with the stark honesty I often require, as well as the support I gain from their own independence.

For Amy and Matt Roloff, whom I’m sure have already learned the same, but simply need reminders, and others who are still struggling yet to understand the positive of life following disability, I can assure all of you that we need never to lose hope as we progress ahead with that which changes our lives, or our significant others, or marriage, be it disease or injury. The value of the Roloff marriage just as our commitments’ to loved ones and what commitment really means is just starting, at the point that a loved one along with all of us are forced to accept disability into our lives.

When we can understand after disability the major needs and wants of each person in our marriage or our lives must change, because we want our relationships or marriage to last, and we can respect the rights of all people involved, through genuine compassion we do find the Blessings of having fought for our lives on equal grounds with empathy for our loved ones, is the greatest accomplishment we can ever do, for another. Their are no losers in unconditional love when we all feel we are respected.

The day we get married is not the best day of our lives but rather the day our marriage can last through thick and thin and whatever we get hit with, and we know, “It’s the two of us together who made it, is what matters.” does become the greatest day of our lives. Divorce does not only mean giving up our futures but it also means giving up our past, and nothing is greater than the day we realize how truly Blessed we were to have found each other.

Since divorce rates sky rocket when one in a marriage gets sick or disabled while the other is well and able bodied, we must go into it knowing that disability is not for sissies or quitters. Its a hard road to follow for all people who do care as it changes all of us. It is the day, we know we made it, that the real fireworks goes off. Disability means letting go of old hurts, denial, and grudges with maturity and compromise, compromise and then compromise again, on not just our part but on the part of our loved ones as well. When we fail to forgive we never receive forgiveness in return. Like any relationship, it will never last if one remains nasty while the other remains committed.

As long as we who are disabled look for what is good in our own lives many of us will feel an abundance of possibilities surround us and we never need compare our lives to others nor do we ever have to let go of the fact;  we have tomorrows of all kinds of opportunity and new adventures that we had never before imagined we would enjoy doing, greater from what we had been doing. Let those possibilities begin in all of us today and give them a fair balance with what we believed we wanted, prior to disability.

When we finish our journey and put fear of the unknown behind us, we all can realize what others say or think is only to be pitied as no one will ever know the value of our own strengths more so than we do. While the able-bodied question their own weaknesses we have already,” been there and done that,” and no one need to know the value we place on our own strengths, other than through our smiles, compassion, and understanding we show them. We better than most, as disabled people, must know that getting even can never be part of our behavior or design if we are to find the happiness, all people seek.

No one but ourselves can ever be held responsible for our own unhappiness or happiness unless we wish to remain in a life of misery. There are people who can only be happy if they are miserable and we need to recognize them, if they are a part of our lives. Some people do want a life of sympathy and actually live longer when they get it,but that more than most attitudes, can lead to defeat, in all of us. We do need to know, more than most, the difference between those who want our help because they want to change or are confused, and those who we must let go of because they only want to control us. Just like the alcoholic needs to sometimes distant themselves from the drinkers in their lives in order to give up alcohol, so must we learn to distant ourselves from the opinions of those who wish to “rain on our parade” with constant complaints, restraints, and negativity. We can only make our own lives count by being present in our own life with recognition of our own capabilities and those of our loved ones who have stayed with us. Many times when we do, it will count far beyond all of our own individual expectations!

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As someone who will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary on our next celebration, I can tell you that marriage is not too unlike the steps we take in childhood development.  Marriages that lasts have  periods of passion, angst, arguments, admiration, go through trial and error, sometimes one gives while the other takes but keeping both in perspective by both people will many times reverse itself and ultimately balance itself out.

Marriage is not all bliss and both negative and positive  emotions are very much a part of marriage.  No one should ever go into a marriage feeling arrogance or a need to control their partner.  If either exists then failure is sure to follow. The often quoted, “If Momma isn’t happy then no one is happy” is or should be a misnomer.  Just because momma sometimes feels put upon is not a reason to throw in the towel. Marriage and the commitment to marriage must run as deep as the mutual needs and wants of both partners.

Both people in the marriage that lasts will feel times when they do feel left out of the planning or treated less than their value.  Marriages must allow both time and space for separate interests in both partners to grow and take root just as the commitment to share equally in a marriage needs to remain strong.  None of us will ever get the balance perfectly correct, each time.  The need for mutual respect and sound reasoning for the financial needs and future wants and needs of the couple needs to be weighed by both partners in a marriage.  Financial turmoil  is often reported as the greatest driving edge that leads to divorce.

Commitment to marriage requires becoming each others’ best friend and confidant.  Mama’s boys and Daddy’s girls are often misleading relationships that can sour a marriage before it even has a chance to bond.  If adults are still referring to their parents as Mommy and Daddy after they marry, then an emotional immaturity often also exists.  Turning to parents and clinging to their wants and needs while confiding our marital problems in them instead of discussing our differences with our spouses often is done at the jeopardy of our spouses and is many times a ship wreck of a marriage in the making. When parents die many times these couples who have never discussed their problems or differences together, are left looking at each other wondering why they ever married each other, in the first place. Marriages need early bonding and growth that remains constant throughout the marriage.

Humans make mistakes all the time and that is why marriages go through both the highs and lows that all marriages do go through.  A patient and understanding spouse will often mean the difference between a successful marriage over one of failure. Those of us who think once the passion leaves marriage then the marriage ends are not , in my estimation, giving full consideration to marriage.  If lust is what drives the marriage or is the reason we marry then perhaps we were not ready to marry.  If we marry because we want arm candy or we thought we could change what we didn’t like in the person we dated then the marriage already has failure written all over it.

Before we marry we must set our own standards as to what is or isn’t acceptable behavior and discuss these standards in complete and full detail and understanding of the needs of each of us, together.  If our attraction to each other is intellectual and of mutual respect and consideration, even though we may both stray from time to time, eventually we will find our way back.  Genuine character and intellectual enjoyment mixed with a sense of humor and respect goes a long way in the success of a marriage.  When marriages develop over time we will finish each others’ sentence and settle into a comfortable routine knowing both the good and bad in each other and if we are fortunate enough to enjoy good health or have a committed spouse when our health fails that is what most marriages that last progress to.

People have different ideas of what their marriage will look like as some couples like to travel while others take comfort remaining in their communities and often die never having left it for any reason other than to attend funerals or weddings.  Some wish to climb mountains and seek out adventure together while others prefer separate interests. The important thing to always remember is that at the end of the day that consideration for the needs of both remain equally strong in both participates of a marriage. When couples are allowed to develop space from each other trust also needs to develop in both.

Too much is made of the expectations of love and marriage in storybook detail just as the old “Stand by your man “song has left a sour taste in the minds of too many others, who neither understand the marriage of another or have a right to judge it. If we can each look at our child or children and see the best of both of us in those children or child and know they carry the genes of both of us, our marriages will last.  If we can only see the worse of our mates in our child or children then for their sakes, our marriages should fail.  In homes where there are not off spring and we still remember the reasons we married and still enjoy those moments no matter the cause for debate, our marriages will last.  If we are abused or our lives threatened then we are doing the entire family a disfavor by staying.

If we determine a mate who strays has destroyed the marriage vows and he or she do not wish to return, they not us, have made any decision by us irrevocable.  None of us can determine 100% the character of another and when their character fails to meet the standards that the couple has agreed upon, or they or we enter into marriage under a set of half-truths or lies and the trust issues soon follow, then none of us should ever blame ourselves for the fact that our spouse failed to be less than honest with us.

We can sometime live a lifetime with another person and not know the full value or fault of the person we married. Lies and half-truths make it impossible for any of us to build a foundation of trust on. When only one person or in some cases neither, are willing to take the bad with the good or to commit for life then it is never the fault of the marriage but the lack of honor in the person or persons who refuses to commit to their spouse, that ends the marriage.

Marriage is always and without exception the commitment of two people working together to make their own marriage work in partnership. There should never be such a gap in a marriage between two people so that the opinion of  a third person’s advice over-rules or carries more weight than the opinions held by our spouse in our own marriage, unless their opinion is destructive to us as a person. In some cases both members of the couple can be so stubborn as to not hear what the other is saying and in these cases a good friend or parent can sometimes guide us to a more objective point of view as long as they show our marriage the respect it deserves. Just as we cannot build a house with only one wall we cannot build a marriage with another person when only one person is willing to commit to the marriage.

On the other hand if we think that our mates will never lie to us to cover up for a weakness in them or to spare themselves nagging or harassment then we are not being realistic either.   A wife will often hide a pair of shoes just as a husband will fudge on what he lost playing poker.  Both people’s ideas and opinions most certainly do either change for the worse or grow and become stronger once we learn what commitment truly is over the years.  Many times people with good intentions will find that marriage is much better, just as parenthood is in theory, before we actually put both to practice. We never want to lose sight of the fact that marriages, just like shoes, comes in all sizes, fits the needs and wants of both the people involved and lasts as long as the desire to forgive and to forget lasts.

When marriages are as phony as the false images some couples like to project onto their admiring friends then couples can remain together out of a need to maintain an image.  There are couples who have a greater commitment to making sure they get even with each other even if it means a daily life of unhappiness together.  Not all marriages that last do so for the right reasons. People stay in unhappy marriages while living separate lives due to Religious convictions or out of convenience.  Many times those marriages that appear to be a life of storybook romance are actually a marriage of abject failure behind closed doors. Other times marriages will last because neither have the gumption to get up and leave while others stay for the fortune they have amassed.  Longevity in marriage does not always spell a successful marriage.

In short then, marriages are as happy or unhappy as the behavior, expectations, and personality of the people in them.  When we reach the age of maturity and real commitment, we have no room to doubt or question our choices, and the harder both people involved work towards our commitments the greater our rewards in marriage usually become.  True love grows over the years and has very little to do with the act of sex that often predates the final years of our marriage, but more to do with our compassion and understanding of the needs and the make-up of ourselves and our spouse.

When we can honestly say and believe the happiness of our marriage partner is equal or as great as our own, then we have reached the epitome of a successful marriage.  Sadly, we do find couples who do not know the full value of their mates, until after they die.  As people we often fall into the rut of taking our lives and each other for granted, and some do fail to realize what is important about their spouse’s happiness, until after they  are gone.  Along life’s way many of us will stumble but it is always the getting up and brushing ourselves off, and starting all over again, that matters as much in the final analysis of both marriage and life. Much is said against marriage but if the majority of us did not believe marriage was the best thing that ever happened in our lives, then so many people would not continue to get married.

Just because, some things may be too great for some of us to forgive and we are very much justified in believing and accepting that knowledge about ourselves, it  may not be for the next person, and to continually to degrade or judge another person’s marriage, as if we are a mean-spirited mother-in-law, is both a waste of our own time and character.  As parents, siblings, and close friends we all do well in remembering just one thing when it comes to the marriage of another, so long as their or their children’s safety is not at stake; MYOB or more rudely put, mind your own business will help the couple more than any other suggestion that we will ever make, even when they cry on our shoulders about their marriages and often over trivial matters. If the complaints prolong to true exhaustion on their or our part then suggesting they  get counseling will usually heal or cure the problem. Have a great day all!

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This has been previously published by me but it does us all well to be reminded in the current environment that our children need to be made aware that we adults are always fighting for their need to feel secure and safe.

Sadly there are too many adults who claim to be representing the best interest of our children while neglecting the most innocent amongst us. I will continue to post reminders, every once in awhile, just as I did this post ,previously, until we all know that all of our children are safe:

I’ve heard it for years now that “children are flexible” and I have always wondered about the truth in the belief. It is true that children are more accepting than adults. At least in the beginning years of their lives.

Watch children playing at a playground side by side and one can readily see their acceptance of each other. They play together by playing around each other without really communicating. They reach the same place at the same time and one will instinctly go under while one goes over or one will squeeze to the side or stand back and let another pass without ever communicating the direction that each will take.

It is only later, say in about the 9th year of their life that they appear to start noticing the differences between themselves. Much of the cruelty we see in children comes from the environment of their own homes and is spread through out the school grounds or on school buses. I doubt that acceptance and flexibility are the same. I believe that children effected by trauma are no different from adults who are effected by trauma. We see so many obese children, with some being diet related, but isn’t there also the possibilty that children are stuffing their feelings down with comfort food no different from what adults do?

I know adults who have no memory of their childhood because they have learned to block it. Is it a learning that started in childhood where they began blocking trauma so have no memory of it as adults? Do quiet children who go off and play while saying little to nothing of their trauma as accepting as what we are made to believe. If so why do the symptoms of the same often wait to express themselves in suppressed memories through health problems decades later?

The medical field sees children younger and younger who are suffering from anxiety, stress related illness, psychosis, and other ailments considered adult related in the past. The arguments stand, “it is just a better ability to diagnose earlier.”

If so is that a symptom of children suffering their traumas in silence in years past? Children go into denial and start fanatasizing a better life for themselves, where abuse is present, and isn’t that in truth the same behavior we see in adults when their life doesn’t work according to what their plans for themselves were in their youth? Did this behavior begin in childhood and then just got set aside temporarilly when things appeared to be working for the adults who then switched to denial to justify why their dreams did not come true, later?

If children are so flexible then why do children of alcoholics grow up to be alcoholics? Why do children of abusers grow up to abuse? Why do children of drug users grow up to use drugs? Why do children of batterers grow up to batter? Why do sexually abused boys sexually abuse as men while sexually abused girls become promiscuous?

Many times there are a great deal of withdrawal symptoms in form of social developement in all of these children. It is not unusual that parents instead determined their child to be shy, emotionally immature, or sadly too often, “they are just happy normal children” when that is so far from the truth. I understand that none of these patterns of behavior are set and true in all children of parents that behave badly. Sometimes the children will actually use their parent’s behavior as a pattern as to how not to behave. We refer to it as learned behavior or environmental but isn’t it also possible that it is as a result of trauma in infancy or childhood and in truth our children are not so flexible, after all?

I maintain that unless, we as a Society, get over the idea that children are flexible and start paying more attention to them, when they do speak, that we will ultimately be inviting government into every facet of our lives. If we want laws that protect us, we must first begin with our children in order to eliminate the need of government in lesser degrees, in our lives later.

The long and short of laws and government is that if “we the people” are doing our job and accepting our responsibility then there is never a need for government to intrude into our lives. My experience has always been that government is an asset to all of us who pay our taxes, bills, take care of what we can afford and follow the laws of our States. When we can’t we should never be ashamed for asking our government for a hand up because many others are just a pay check away, themselves, from having to ask government for help. I have never seen the person who complained about their taxes going to the hungry who did not have to learn that lesson as well.

As long as children continue to be used as pawns amongst divorcing parents. Ignored, neglected, or bought off by the self-centered. Severely abused by the irresponsible, spiteful, or mean spirited parents, adults, or care givers or left to go hungry by the narcissistic personalities amongst us; then we are opening up the flood gates of government to move into all of our living rooms.

If any of those words seem to be harsh then consider yourself what words you would use when it comes to abusing an innocent child, neglecting a child because a parent ignores the child’s emotional needs over their own, or an adult believes children with less opportunity should be left to die of starvation? We all must realize our own responsibility or take a position on how to deal more effectively with the most innocent amongst us, if we truly consider ourselves human. If Americans cannot be grateful and give back then WHO? Luckily, most Americans do understand and realize that their own success has been as a result of generosity and opportunity.

Too often over-worked and under paid Children Protective Services only return these children to dysfunctional homes so they are offended again. When I think of some of the foster care homes that I have known, personally, I shudder. I do understand that in many cases they are a God-send over the abusive homes many of these children come from, just as well. As a Nation we should not have to be dealing with children in adult Courts on charges of murder. We need to do better for our children.

I leave it up to all of us, Do we really think that children are flexible or should we as a community be doing more to help or do we need to continue with the “mind my own business” theory that has ran the way of thinking for generations? The other thought that I will leave everyone with is,”How can we acknowledge that neglect, abuse and battering is happening” as long as we deny that it happened to us?

Doesn’t the responsibile amongst us have an obligation to help those who won’t take responsibility, when it comes to child care or do we wait until government enters our living rooms and then gripe about government being there?

Doesn’t it ultimately, become the responsibility of all of us to have less rather than more government in our lives? It is amazing how many of us never do have to deal with government once we pay our fair share of taxes, live according to law, and only deal with government when we collect our earned pension, GI Benefits, or Social Security checks. It isn’t like government is breathing down the backs of those who give of their time and good fortune, show children our love and develop responsibility through example, while obeying the laws of our States and Nation.

Why are so many Conservatives and Tea Party members, today, so disgruntled over healthcare for those who most need it, housing and Agricultural food surpluses provided for the homeless and hungry, early childhood education that often does mean the difference between pass or fail in our children? Why do they profess family values while they attempt to eliminate the size of government that provides for these needs if they are living the same moral convictions that is common in all of the rest of us? Just something to ask ourselves.

Common sense should tell all of us: We do need to put the rules of common decency first for all of our children, if we are to eliminate me first and only as in selfishness, rudeness, crimes, and all other ills of Society before these same children grow up to become adults. Bringing more children into the World to be further mistreated is not the answer for anything other than for using birth-control, unless we are all willing to help those who are already here.

We see and hear every hour on the hour and every day of the week in conversations and on the news, where perhaps our children were not so forgiving and flexible after all, and it shows once they become adults.

When we can have so many great and positive results in children as we do,(Yes including in gay, loving, and single parent homes, where parents compromise). Isn’t it way past time we all maintain the same security for all of our children through better laws to safeguard them and those who fall through the holes?

Why don’t we demand that our elected officials take the fact that 1/3 of all children in America die from guns in the home, while one child dies of hunger or hunger related diseases every 5 minutes in America, and education is the way out of poverty through affordable cost, for the truth and facts that they represent?

Will we vote accordingly to protect our children? Will we ever accept total responsibility of all of us, as an obligation to the safety and well being of all children, if not in name then in concern; whoever they are and wherever they live? It begins with one person at a time until we hear the voices of justice rising from all of the adult population amongst us. Too many have relied too long on the belief, ” Children are Flexible.”

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I wrote an earlier post on the rape of Steubenville, Ohio, being treated as an isolated incidence when in truth the fault lies amongst all of us who do not respond, as we should, against the crime of rape.

The news agencies are reporting the cases are old and obsolete and the technology we have today wasn’t available. I’m sure there is truth in that but it doesn’t explain the cases that happened much more recently and as recent as 4 months ago. I will report what I have read and been told many times by those who do serve in police Departments going back many years. What we will never hear reported is that a great deal of politics also lies behind the fact that the rape kits were not sent in to be processed.

To be honest, I did not watch the report done on CNN who brought it to the media attention that 400,000 rape kits were left unprocessed in our Nation. I did watch as one of the women anchors asked, “if the police could be prosecuted or sued for leaving the rape kits unprocessed?” In my own estimation this question, itself, is just more of the finger-pointing and simplifying that is done towards the crime of rape in America.

There are any number of reasons as to why police do not process rape kits, so lets be honest about it. Too many amongst us already take too much delight in finding fault or individuals to blame. I do not understand why police, who for the most part are people of honor, do put in the back breaking hours that too many times ruin their marriages, take them away from their family time and vacations, risks their lives, and often are the most under-paid amongst us, when those amongst us keep finding fault, except for the fact that the majority of the people who serve are people of character. When we point fingers and “pass the buck”, we can at the very least spread the fault out where it belongs.

There are other instances in America where the mayor gets called by the father or mother of the son, or by an alumnus who supports the sports program of their alma mater when the rapist is an athlete, friend, or family member and the Mayors pick up the phone and inform the Chief-of-Police that he will not allow his officers to investigate the crime or process the rape kits or suffer the consequences when it comes to him withdrawing his and his buddies’ monetary support during the upcoming elections.

The Chief of Police then passes the message down the line of command. Rarely is it in that terminology but the words used amount to the same definitions and do not go left unheeded when delivered by those of Status, Power or Wealth.

All these cases did not occur in Chicago, as many are trying to politicize, already. They are spread around the Nation. Just as the Mayors in some cases make the calls, so do Judges receive like calls as do prosecutors have a history of never prosecuting cases after the Police put hours into investigating the crimes and processing the kits; due to similar calls by the elitists in America with threats of withdrawal or support of monetary value at election time. The police are at the bottom of the chain of command, no matter how many would have us believe they are given a great deal of discretion, when it comes to processing rape kits. Intimidation lands the hardest on the backs of the police officers when they are threatened with dismissal if they proceed with the investigation.

If it is some one of importance that can directly influence the jobs of the police, lower their standing in the Department, or demote them to desk jobs then they do not have discretion to process rape kits and anyone who refuses to acknowledge this happens throughout police Depts. regardless of size through out our Nation then we are lieing to ourselves. The same organizations or media who are not reporting accurately, in regards to why rape kits are not processed, are also reporting less than the facts.

The bosses who will lose the political support of the benefactor if they do prosecute or don’t drop the cases are the ones who tie the hands of the police’ in directly much larger cases than it is right to do so. The police many times can only keep the kits until a better or different climate towards the understanding of the “horror” of rape is elected to office by “We the People.”

There are those who are called the “Good Old Boys”, in many but not all Police Departments, in the majority of States who know if its an appointed or elected position and a member of the Clergy or their sons then it is just the girl’s/Woman’s word against the boys/man’s word and they will and do bury rape kits. Without the investigation or rape kits the knowledge is the victims can prove nothing. The only reason many of those kits have been saved is because in many other crimes or cases the police or prosecutors are waiting for the right political climate to be able to prosecute the offenders.

In communities when it comes to the so called “right kind of People”, being charged with rape the Community itself becomes out-raged if the police or prosecutors do try to convict rapists.

As a Nation, too many amongst us still refuse to accept that wives and prostitutes as well as mistresses are indeed raped. Others in a community still refuse to accept the high number of boys who are raped and, often times, refuse to accept that incest and rape exists in the numbers of victims it does in their own families and neighborhoods or amongst their friends.

When the culture exists for adults to call friends “aunties” or “uncles” too many parents will accuse their own children of lying before they will accept that they are telling them the truth. The most protected criminals of all in a community still remains the star athletes, clergy, and “one of their own”. The unfounded belief, that is totally void of fact, is that the streets are the greatest producer of rapists and that rape does not happen in our own back yards by people we know when statistics show just the opposite to be true.(Please Read my Previous Post entitled ,”Steubenville Exposes The Ugly Truth On Rape” for a more comprehensive study as to why rape cases go unrecognized and prosecuted as the Serious Crime it is.)

Some States that are more inclined to be involved in the realities of, “the truth in reporting”, and the life-long seriousness of rape, have jettisoned into the twenty-first Century by taking away the statute of limitations when it comes to the crime of rape. Many others are still living in the dark ages as technology no longer leaves any shred of doubt as to who is telling the truth. Unless the majority of us get past the mentality of “Boys will Be Boys” and instead insist that regardless of the standing in the community; “rapist are not to be allowed special favors,” we all risk re-raping the victims in every State of the Union.

I applaud those who are at least exposing the Ugly truth of Rape but unless we as a Nation tell, “The whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth”, in a Court of Law and in reporting rape, we still bind the hands of the police or those who would prosecute rape.

I do not deny that there are crooked cops just as their are those in Universities and the military who have denied that rape exists in their ranks for generations. It is when we start pointing our fingers at the heroes of all who serve, while blaming them for the rotten apples, we become as guilty as the politicians when it comes to trying to sweep the full tragedy and facts of rape under the rug.

No matter what changes are made in the law, we still run the risk of tying the hands of the police hired to serve us when we refuse to elect those who will and do prosecute rape.

Certainly electing Conservative and Tea Party Members who try to call a child” borned of Rape”, the intent of God or those who pass bills in Congress to define rape as anything but; ” When A woman or child says “NO”, it is rape. When it is a child below the age of 14 to 16 it is always rape since they do not have the brain development to give consent regardless of the situation. When children or women have been drugged, abused, intimidated, forced into having sex it is rape”. When the largest majority of all rapes occur by neighbors, friends, family, or colleagues and we know incest is rape; then who is it that needs to be protected by defining rape? The victims as well as anyone above the age of six already knows the definition of rape

Rape isn’t anything too complicated to define when we get past those who would protect the rapists or the “Right Kind Of People.” Nothing a little common sense and decency couldn’t solve. The solution certainly isn’t to blame those whose hands we help to tie.

None of us like to admit that perhaps we, ourselves, made a mistake when we voted for a candidate and as a result we often leave them in office year after year feeling as though they are responsible for correcting the mistakes they promised to do when elected and then our responsibility is over with as our elected officials will speak for us.

In too many cases when judges are appointed or Sheriffs, and Prosecutors come up for re-election, especially, will they get left in offices before much investigation is done by us, unless they themselves are convicted of crimes or a petition is started up against their ineffectiveness. As a result some will remain in offices doing little to nothing for those of us who sent them there while paying homage to the elitists, year after year. We cannot complain if we deny or ignore the fact that the same happens and simply shrug our shoulders and simply accept the fact:” that is just the way it is.”

“We The people”, only need to be more pro-active about being honest with ourselves when it comes to rape as well as the people who we put into office to represent us,by treating every human being with an equal amount of truth and respect and demanding that all who serve, do the same when technology does not lie. Politics are almost always local and a healthy amount of skepticism, for those who we elect or leave to appoint to office, is almost always good to possess despite those who would advise us to the contrary.

We can also vote the bums out when they profess ignorance because rape hasn’t been defined clear enough. When we become pro-active enough to recognize fact over lies and when we go to the polls each election cycle, we empower the victims so they do not suffer rape again at the hands of the system.

I hope all of us have a nice evening at home tuning in on this terribly violent day of storms. May we all be protected against more devastation that is out of our control while we tune in more to positive actions towards helping those who continue to be wronged by acknowledging their pain. We can make a difference one person at a time, once we commit to the same. First of all we have to want to help.

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We currently are hearing so many feigned voices of shock and surprise about the rape in Steubenville,Ohio, after having had an election while one Republican candidate for the Senate spoke of legitimate rape after having co-sponsored the same bill with the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan in Congress, to define legitimate rape as opposed to regular rape. Another Virginia Republican candidate called rape and the children born out of the same,” The intent of God.”

If women raped men we could all bet that women would be accused of being Jezebels and inspired by Satan if the reverse happened.  We could also guarantee ourselves it would be discussed as the most evil of acts and no woman would be left severely unpunished, regardless of how the rape occurred.

Men have gotten off with the excuse of going into a blind rage in an act of murder and instead charged with manslaughter when they kill another where women are often charged with murder 1 since the judicial system does not equate fear in women with the level of rage in men.  It totally discounts the idea that women can to act out of rage after years of abuse. Where women need a well documented history of rape or abuse, men need to establish little to no history either supportive or contrary to their own word in order to get a lesser sentence of manslaughter or for lawyers to refuse prosecution for rape charges.

When women are prosecuted for twice the amount of time that men are when death occurs in a domestic dispute, but treated more justly in other charges, we do not need to even guess how much harsher Society would be on a woman rapist than they are on men. Why so much shock and surprise over a statement that has been promoted for generations by the “Good Old Boys”,caused such a stir in the elections this year is beyond me.

Let me take this time to clarify the fact that rape amongst athletes has been taking place for generations just as the mentality has existed for Centuries, “That good girls cannot get pregnant from rape”, has existed as well. for the Republican Party or Press to deny the same is what is at the root of the ignorance in America.  To feign ignorance over rape amongst athletes or the idea that a child born from rape is a “Blessing from God,” are new ideas should leave us all sickened with those who continually dismiss the truth.  These ideas have existed since the beginning of time.

In the minds of the “Good Old Boy System”, and unfortunately some women as well, a legitimate rape is one that involves Street mugging or when a rapist breaks into the home of a woman and rapes her.  Any rapes that happen when a woman is in the company of men or marriage or in the man’s Apartment, barracks, frat house or territory, provocatively dressed or drinking, and the woman is raped it is no big deal to this mentality.  To many of both genders feel when this happens a woman is just asking for sex and rape does not happen under these circumstances.This attitude has always existed over the years, and continues being the attitude of to many.

Etiquette stated years ago, and perhaps still does,”One should never speak of politics,sex, or religion while in mixed company.”  Although I believe we have developed too casual of an attitude towards good manners, I do believe that not talking about politics,sex, or religion has left too many of us brain-dead on the issues that should matter and be discussed by all of us.  When we say the subject bores us then we are the ones who lose.  This post discusses all three subjects.

Allow me to tell you,the not so uncommon stories of its’ day in regards to women and rape.   I change the names and do not name the locations but I will not tell anything but the facts in the telling of these three stories. The names or locations are not important as these stories took place across our Nation in Jane and John Does and in anywhere U.S.A. during the era in which I write, along with years in advance of the same.

One generation does not often tell these kinds of stories from previous generations because it has to often been bred into the older generations to keep secrets in the past, or perhaps with time memory does get lost, behind both denial and disease.I begin from the truth of my own memory, that is still well-preserved. I Thank You for that Dear Lord, as I also inherited the mouth to tell the truth! Way back when there were the Landers Sisters writing and publishing the Nations problems, I was nicknamed Ann Landers since both men and women felt comfortable in telling me things that they would not even tell their husbands or wives.

1. It was the Spring of 1959 and an eighth grade girl ,who was rumored to  have been molested by a family member, was dating a young man,and together they had sex,previously,to the young girl attending a keg party with highschool athletes.  She was severely gang raped that night, as a result of drinking at the party.  No local lawyer, would take her case. The young victim had a wealthy aunt who lived 75 miles distance from the town, who could afford to pay for a lawyer, so they were able to hire an out-of-town lawyer.

When the case came before the judge, the victim’s boyfriend had been rounded up and forced to acknowledge that he had sexual relations with the girl who was the victim in this story.  The Judge threw the gang rape case out of Court and his finding stated,”No young man much less young boys could be held responsible for rape when the young girl in question, had previously de-flowered herself and was drinking alcohol under age.”Nothing was said about the young boys drinking illegally,of course.

2. In the Winter of 1964 a Catholic Priest, who the Church knew had a History of molesting young women, was given dispensation from duty as a Parish Priest and instead sent on the rounds of filling in as a speaker while conducting retreats in Convents and All Girls Catholic boarding Schools.  The same happened during this time with Priests celebrating retreats in all Boys Schools, when they had a history of molesting young boys.  The Catholic Church has come clean about their history but so many other Private Schools and Colleges are still denying that this still continues in their schools.  The Penn State Coach is NOT an uncommon story but just one of many.

3.  Going back to my farthest memory, any Sports player or Coach who brought fame to their sports program whether it was highschool, college, or the pros, were entitled to take anything they wanted to take, regardless of the size of the Town, City, or Religious affiliation. If the athlete is part of the team but not a star player then they will be used as the fall guy for the stars to remain clean. Unless it was burglary, where a Store refused to drop charges but in most cases even they could be bought off, if the athlete was a star and changed his ways.  Most Teams, while traveling elsewhere to play outside of their own town or City will have a team of scouts scouting out the local scene for a Party for them to return to.  These Parties since the 1960’s have both girls of questionable morality as well as virgins rounded up to attend.

Highschool girls have always been amongst the attendees of both sports and fraternity parties. It may be cool to a 16-year-old virgin, or not, to think they look older than they do and to go ahead and drink but when these girls do, it excuses the boys from showing the girls, respect. To many believe that when a girl says “NO” they are only teasing and instead they really want sex.  Boys have been told for generations that some girls need more convincing and when they say “No”, they really mean yes. Dress and drinking in women has always been grounds for rape, if they get drunk or even if drugs have been placed in their drinks, at these parties. I certainly do not accept that this mentality has ever been right but pretending we have not only tolerated it but promoted it for generations, makes it even more deplorable now when we deny the same.

A woman or young girl who is unconscious from drugs or alcohol has never been hands off in the minds of some boys and men and to pretend that this behavior does not happen or has not happened in the past is just another lie of the “Good Old Boy System.” I do not deny that there are some girls whose morality can make some mens’ behavior, pristine, but until we accept that prostitutes are raped, then we deny reality.

We fail women and our sisters alike, when we hold all women responsible for the behavior of a few.  All women have always been held responsible for those few women; where as all men and their behavior has been excused because of the behavior of the few women, who would set up men and yell “rape.” Rape is as unpleasant for most women to have to divulge the details and to relive the rape in a Court of law, regardless of their background, as it is for a man to get his penis removed, and yet we have always blamed victims of rape, for causing rape. Women, not men, are raped again by our judicial system.

Regardless, if it is a house party or a frat house across America the boys and men of the crowd are egged on to feel that rape is justified because “Good Girls” would not be there drinking if they didn’t want sex, has always been the mentality of the “Good Old Boy System”This mentality has existed in the “bad boys” as well as the Sports teams going back at least to the 1950’s when I first heard the stories told to me by the girls who had been raped.  Going to a man’s house or apt. under the guise of having a cup of coffee or to listen to his music, has existed for just as long, as a reason for rape.  It doesn’t have to be alcohol and to pretend that it does is only promoting the same lies. I’m sure those older than myself will tell my readers the same statement of fact, if they care to be honest with their grandchildren.

For a bunch of right-wing Republican men and the media that backs them,to feign ignorance or to act flabbergasted at the same while they continue to deny women,that this has been and remains the mentality amongst the “Good Old Boy System,” for centuries, sickened me in the Republican elections this year.  The fact that the media is now pointing a finger at Steubenville,Ohio, as being small town and unique in their cover up of the most recent rape being broadcasted, leaves me equally sick.

No one who has ever served as a cheerleader or been part of the popular or un-popular group could not possibly have attended highschool and had a successful Sports team, without knowing that this behavior took and takes place whether they were or are girls or boys.  The mentality that allows whole communities to protect rape and the behavior and mentality that broadcasts,” That these women deserve to be raped”,comes from a background in which we began early, hearing these stories as always being the fault of women. Too many women who serve on Juries are even worse than male juries when it comes to pointing a finger at the rape victims. To many times the lives of all boys, girls, and women who are raped, are destroyed by the men and women who protect these lies.

To deny that as a fact, has to make all of us ask,”Just how far has America slipped into denial?’  Will we deny that 67 Republican Tea Party members attempted to hold up funding for the Hurricane Sandy victims while FEMA was saying they were going broke and could not pay back the families who had paid into their flood Insurance?

Will we remain in denial of the fact that 183 Republican Congressmen and Senators could have cared less if it cost the middle class 100s of thousands of jobs, if we had gone over the fiscal cliff?  Did we elect them because their ideology is more important to us, than are our children and elderly, who will go hungry or without effective medical care? Will we all do better living on the Republican and the N.R.A. ideology that makes us feel unsafe without a gun in our homes even though a third of all deaths of children result as our having a gun in our homes. Will their ideology make us a better Democracy if we cannot provide for our families?

Does the N.R.A. lobbying the Republican Congress, who followed through on their bidding, to disallow funding to the Disease Control Center, make us feel even safer against Disease? If this sounds like a stupid analogy to those of you who protect the Republican Congress, rape, and guns, then just think of what you, yourselves, must sound like to the rest of the World!

Will we keep denying the fact that 50 some economists outside of Washington are saying that the only thing that is stagnating the American Economy is the 67 Tea Party members voting against the needs of the people along with the far right in Congress, who clearly want to see government go broke before they serve the needs of our elderly? Even Wall Street has joined the side of the Democrats on the damage being done to Business growth and jobs by the uncertainty of the Republican Congress. How much more can we deny until denial renders us all brainless when it comes to human decency and common sense?

I ask you,”Are we now going to pass the blame on to a bunch of kids in Steubenville,Ohio, for doing what men have always done or are we going to finally acknowledge the injustice of it, ALL! The guilty in Steubenville needs to be prosecuted along with others in our Nation.  I certainly do not mean to make allowances for the people responsible for such an ugly crime in Steubenville, Ohio, but it is our Nation’s problem. We all must take responsibility for denying these problems have always existed and still do exist.

We begin by eliminating the mindset that allows us to remain in denial, to the point that those amongst us simply accept it as “Just being the way it has always been,” before another election brings in more of the same mentality that cripples us as a Democracy. To accept it as being the way it is, has always been a second crime of humanity, against both our children and women. Those who tell us they want to go back to the 1950’s morality are lying to all of us about the truth that existed then just as it does today.

I warn all parents to think twice when they think popular,”is all that,” because a cheerleader and a popular girl are twice as likely to be raped than is a less popular girl. These girls also peak early just as the ball players do, and their best memories are as children or in highschool.  They learn ,too often, to settle for less and have a far greater chance of becoming pregnant as teenagers.  The “nerds”, on the other hand, have far greater statistics when it comes to those who go on to challenging careers following a College education and happy and contented lives.  If we parents cannot consider long-term results as a priority in our lives, then how can we expect those younger than ourselves to have common sense?

When we set up our own children to continue under the system that many of us tried to stop, we punish our children for the sins of the parents.” When we lack common decency,our children lack the same.  When we make everything about ourselves then our children do as well. When we as adults deny truth of fact and our children are raised on the same, we create the monster that often leads to more half-truths and false accusations against the victims of our Society.

Ultimately the same mentality leads to an increase failure in families and a bigger concern of increased crime in children at a much younger age. We cannot deny that the viciousness of our youth crimes are not increasing with the mentality that blames the victims over the perpetrators. As a Society brain washed in gun ownership our children have emerged as the losers. We need to hold both parents responsible for the failure of the child while we increase our endeavors to spot and treat both mental illness and drug addiction as the diseases that they are.  We need to give trained professionals who recognize the need for early intervention and parents the ability to get the help these children need through our Court Systems.

Those who claim family values would not need to talk about family values, if they had any.  Conversation along the lines of family values or the worsening of morality ultimately gives our Churches a bad name for failing at their jobs. The Conservative right is doing a bang up job of destroying Religion along with the Republican Tea Party, when they are not doing it to themselves. When questionable and charismatic Religion preaches the “Prosperity Gospels” while bleeding money from the poor and middle class and then blame the poor and middle class for their own poverty due to a lack of Faith, it is time we all voice our outrage. It takes the voice of the people to stand up to the injustices taking place and have taken place under our noses for generations. It begins with placing the emphasis on the right priorities without attacking the victims.

It never solves anything to talk when we need to be acting to stop the mentality in all of the new generations while charging those,” who do not get it”,in a Court of Law.  The mentality of,”Boys will be Boys,” has always laid at the root of the corruption in morality, since the beginning of mankind. If we want to make a difference, then we must begin today in telling the younger generations, who are our future, the ugly truth of yesterday.

To tell our grandchildren that children and women experienced a kinder gentler time in History, is and always has been a lie. Any adult who refuses to accept reality, needs to also accept that they are jeopardizing the future of their children and grandchildren, when they choose denial of the facts, over the truth. When we know better then we need to do better as a Society and as a Nation of laws.

To blame Steubenville alone is ludicrous, because if we leave them carrying the bag for what has been wrong for generations,around the World, we leave all of our children unprotected against rape,guns, and our own stupidity.  For the sake of our children, we must begin with changing the mentality, that we have allowed to go on.  We can no longer deny our own behavior and motives when technology shows us the truth and refuses to tolerate lies.

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According to the process of teaching, “All truth passes through three stages, First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”–Arthur Schopenhauer

Many of us feel a genuine sorrow each time that we hear of the deaths of children or mistreatment of pets, even when we have not known or spent time with them.  Not all people do, nor do they need to feel guilt if they don’t.  Not all people bond with children or pets and cultural differences in the way we accept death, also plays a role in why some people will grieve profoundly while others feel a compassion and act differently from those who grieve the lost of strangers. This was very prevalent in the attacks of 9/11, as well. Some people also remain more resilient while they prefer to spring into action first.

The NewTown tragedy, is one of many killings of our children by those who use guns but it leaves a profound lost on all of us as a Nation, because there are so many 6 and 7 year olds who have lost their lives.  Even those who do not have any particular fondness for children, can remember those hopeful years of their own lives, and feel that this tragedy leaves them with a genuine sense of regret for the lives lost.

We generally accept the Kubler-Ross model of grieving even though it has its share of critics as well.  The study was based on people who were terminally ill and how they coped with the lost of their health and the acceptance of death and they later applied the same emotions to all lost of that which we are bonded to.  I repeat the 5 steps here;

1.  Denial—“I feel fine”

2.  Anger—-“Why me?  It’s not fair.”

3.  Bargaining–“I’ll do anything for a few more years or one more moment”.

4. Depression—“I’m so sad, why bother with anything”.

5.  Acceptance–“Its going to be o.k.”

Others have added two other emotions and they are shock which most commonly accompanies denial and leaves us feeling numb and guilt.   Guilt is common with care givers who feel they should have been able to do more or with survivors who are involved in the same act of violence or car accident or in death of any kind. It is also common is spouses and siblings,especially when a twin is lost through death or separation.  It directly affects those who fight together in wars, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Emotions can also be very varied without fitting a pattern of any kind.  They can run from solemn to trepidation to anxiety or to rage and disgust.  Many times feelings of jealousy or envy or even hate can follow when we see other children graduate with their classes or marry or we see other spouses with their mates, even after we feel that our sadness has dissipated. It is important that those who are experiencing many ranges of emotions are not alone but instead with friends and family members until the pain or shock that often triggers these erratic or difficult to deal with emotions calm down. When we are more clear of our own emotions then we can reflect on our own if we have the capacity to do so and know our own strengths and weaknesses. Any shooting of any nature often leads to temporary trauma in all of us.

In years past, the Medical Association did  not talk about post traumatic stress disorder in other situations outside of war.  As modern techniques expose more about the human brain, it is now more generally accepted that PTSD can and does exist on many levels of trauma and often times does accompany shock when death is totally unexpected.

The important thing with grieving is that we all know that there is not a clear-cut pattern for those who grieve.  Many emotions can be involved just as the more resilient or people with a history or exposure to death will feel fewer emotions.  Some may spend days crying while others who have been exposed to death can move on with few tears and gain acceptance earlier.  It is when grieving goes on for months into years with a total sense of helplessness that we should be certain to get professional help without any sense or feeling like we are weak or a failure.

We all have different ways of coping throughout life and a different time-frame in which we grieve.  Some find genuine laughter over memories of loved ones their healing tool.  Others will memorialize their loved one while still others who are use to solving their own problems in life will remain isolated amongst family members and choose to grieve alone.  Some will feel a responsibility and duty to do something first, and then grieve later when things become more quiet. Others will turn to Religion and the hope offered through its teachings while others will commit their lives to doing for others in an effort to feel good about themselves and to help lift the veil of sadness. Some delay going back to work and grieve immediately and find it only takes a few months to reach acceptance.  Others lose themselves in work and delay their grieving, because they feel a need to analyze the reasons why, first. When they finally accept the fact that there are no answers to the why they move on to the acceptance of death.

The main thing is that we acknowledge that not all things are great and that we do understand a necessity to grieve with the understanding that it should not be a lifetime condition that brings debilitating sadness. Some people will feel better talking about the death while others will want to choose who they discuss it with, if they wish to discuss it at all.  Many times those who grieve will blame the innocent bystander or take out their bad feelings on the closest people to them.

Grieving takes a high level of understanding sometimes. We cannot excuse poor behavior as being normal,and need  to understand that we may need to learn three simple words such as:”I am sorry.” Some people become over protective or obsessive out of fear of another loss during the period of grieving.  They will sometimes use poor behavior in order to deliberately drive away others who they love because they cannot bear the lost of another person in their lives. People who have a previous history of relieving bad feelings in themselves,on those closest to them, many times should ask for help during this time, while those who are close by understand this is not a time to judge, harshly.

Too many times we get stuck in one step of grieving and rather than feel the pain or get grief counseling will turn to alcohol or drugs and only compound our own grieving.  Grieving needs to take place, as the longer we delay it, the more problems will arise in the family as a result of our doing so. It is not uncommon for parents to delay their own grieving while making sure their children are o.k. first.  It is important that we understand that if we are not well then our children will not be  either.  Alcohol and drugs in moderation may help with sleep in the earlier days but should never replace or be used to deny the feelings of pain that we need to heal from, through grieving our loss.

We can grieve while also feeling genuine appreciation for having had our loved ones in our lives, and many recover as a result of the same. Some want to leave pictures up as a reminder of their loved ones, while others want to remove all reminders of them.  Some will continue to celebrate birthdays while others will feel a need to mourn. People are all different in their expressions of sorrow and we need to respect the same, but also remain cognizant of those who need professional help in order to cope. It is o.k to find moments of laughter and to look back after a few months or a couple of years and to acknowledge that we were not always rational during our grieving process.  Very many aren’t.

It is important that we understand that various levels of grieving in a marriage often leads to disputes that can lead to divorce if one of the members in the marriage are ready to move on and remember the good moments shared by the deceased while the other mate is still asking,”Why Me?” Grieving too many times will lead to intolerance in couples while it will bring others closer together since no one else can entirely understand their shared lost as clearly as they can.

We can often times treat those closest to us, during the grieving time pretty poorly, if we do not move ahead with the grieving process.  Children as young as 18 months can feel the loss of the bond of a sibling or parent and grieve. Children who lose their best friends can withdraw and be afraid of initiating new friends because to do so feels like betrayal to them. They can not always voice their feelings, or understand them, themselves. Children grieve differently from adults in that they often times do not cry but instead will act out.

Children may have episodes of unexplained rage or with draw into themselves.  When adults grieve it is especially important that when a child loses a sibling or a friend at an early age, that we understand that the children are losing the person in their lives that has always been part of their lives that they have confided in and made plans with for a future as well.  The most neglected lost of loved ones often does lie in the lack of understanding for the death of a friend or sibling, when they lose their friend or sibling too early.

The lost of a sibling is difficult for adults to deal with, but too few amongst us, understands the difficulty as the sympathy and understanding goes more often to  the parents,spouses, or their children. Siblings are often called on to be strong and to act as spokes people instead. The loss of a twin can compare to the lost of a spouse as many ideas,hopes,jokes,love,hate,upsets,plans for the future, and people in their lives are shared from birth and through out their lives. The identity or feeling of losing half of ourselves, when we lose a twin, is most like that of losing a spouse.  No relationship is more involved or longer lasting than that of  a twin relationship when their relationship begins in the womb they share.

What we as parents need to do is to make certain that our sadness does not spread over to our children or lose patience with our children if they are not shedding tears but are acting out. It helps  instead to discuss with them what they are feeling to make them behave the way they are.  Children should not hear everything about the shootings but sadly many will hear it from other sources and we need to be aware of the fact that details often become exaggerated and lead to nightmares in our children. When questioning them we need to be careful not to offer details but instead to find out what they know or are feeling and answer them honestly.

Just as some adults will cry for days while others don’t, the same is true with children. Children,depending on age, do not clearly understand the permanence of death.  They just know that their parent,friend, or sibling is not with them now and do not understand the long-term of death but feel a real unexplained sadness in themselves. Some will need our understanding on their level to cope without us forcing our own coping measures or the lack of the same on them. Grieving needs to be age appropriate just like everything else in life does.

The tragedy effecting our Nation in NewTown,Connecticut can affect our children around the globe and it is especially important that we communicate with our children about their concerns without expressing our own concerns.  It is alright to say Mommy and Daddy are feeling sad because they know that already but they should not be made to feel as a replacement for the children lost, or be compared to them.

We are each uniquely our own person and that applies to grieving as well.  We will not always be on the same page together nor do we have a time clock running.  If we need grief counseling we most definitely need to seek it out before we are left to deal with an unnecessary guilt or a prolonged sense of hopelessness.  It is important that we also rest during this time, when we can.  Grieving is exhausting and requires that we do get sleep.

Good luck and my condolences are with all of you.  I, like the rest of the Nations around the World, are wishing you the strength to recover on your own time and in your own space knowing our prayers and thoughts are with all of you.  May the goodness of the Season offer all of us the hope that we as a Nation will do something about such needless tragedies, in the New Year. God Bless all of us!  (See my previous post,”Guns And Mental Illness”)

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As Congress looks for and finds blame with their insistence that the deficit be balanced on the backs of the middle class,the students,the elderly,and the poor while refusing to look at the role they play by the continuation of the same, there is plenty going on in our lives that is about us.  While Corporations refuse to hire here but instead send jobs overseas to increase the wealth of its board members, it is about us. When we are not educated to meet the demands of the ever-changing market place it is about us. When weather causes havoc and turmoil in our lives, it is about us.  When we lose loved ones and are left to grieve our lost, it is about us. When others who can afford to do so, refuse to carry healthcare and we get stuck with their healthcare costs with increased premiums because Congress wants to eliminate Obama care, it is about us. With so much in our lives that affects us it is sometimes difficult to understand a lot of other things in our lives is not about us,as well.

Many times things happen around us and unless we understand that “it is not about us”, but rather our response to it, that causes us to get involved and often times it leads to our own pain, we will waste way to much precious time in our lives that will keep us from enjoying life. When a couple divorces to often,if we allow them to drag us into their lives by taking sides, we will end up feeling like we are the loser as well.  If it is a special friend and we take sides while the couple separates, it will to often cost us what we feel is a close friend, if the couple decides to reunite.  Even if we do not take sides but try to help the couple to understand each other, many times they will regret what they confided in us and feel uncomfortable around us because they told us to much about themselves, and too often we lose both friendships, even when they divorce.

The above situation had nothing to do with us but it is when we get involved in other people’s problems that it can become about us unless we realize it is they who have lost a valuable friend in us, and we cannot call ourselves a friend unless we do try to help, that we realize it is not about us but instead all about them.

I had an incidence in my life that took place when I won at the Casino and the person I was treating said,”God let me win because He knew I would be more generous and share than she would have been if she won.”  First of all, I do not believe that God had anything to do with my winning nor does He have anything to do with money.  I think people use the idea that God is in control of every facet of our lives to the point that if we even sneeze that God caused us to, instead of the fact that it was an allergy or cold that caused us to sneeze. I choose to believe that God is with those who suffer and give of themselves instead, since He gave us all free will and helps those who helps themselves. If God was responsible for everything in a person’s life then He would have no time left for those who call on Him in time of need.  My winning was not necessary for me to live,eat,breath, or find joy in my life,nor did my gambling cause us any hardship.I was thrilled when the machine hit, just as all of us are when we win.

I won because I went to the casino, without the other person even being in the same State much less the same Casino, I took the risk that gambling involves, and I chose the right machine at the same time it was ready to pay off.  Any person in the Casino could have put the same dollar amount in as I did and won the same jackpot. Our generous spirit may be a gift from God, as He does reward the generous in spirit ten fold, but my winning at the Casino had nothing to do with God nor the person who said I won instead of her.  We to often in our lives look at other people’s success or failure and think that either has anything to do with us.

We may all make mistakes as parents but once our children become adults they also take on the responsibility for their own behavior and if they allow others to mistreat them or they mistreat themselves,we can not help them if they refuse our help. If they become a success,then they deserve the credit over us because, “It is not about us.”  We can be concerned about them or proud of them but ultimately as adults they do decide what road they travel, with or without our approval.

As their parents,we only have control over our own response to our adult children’s actions and can only offer support when they ask us for the same. To force our beliefs on them robs them of the ability to form their own ideas or beliefs or to accept the mixing of their belief system with that of their spouses. Our adult children, and especially once they marry, need to make their own decisions even when we do not approve of it and they refuse to listen to what we often think is sound reasoning. “Sink or swim” our adult children’s behavior,  is no longer about us beyond our own reactions to it.

The sadder part of life is when our own children, who are not adults, emulate that character flaw in us that thinks everything is all about us, by thinking it is their fault when bullies bully them.  Bullies are made at home by over demanding parents in some cases or by neglectful parents in other cases.  If a child feels defenseless against the parent who thinks they are disciplining but instead the parent makes the child feel like they are  being bullied by the parent or a child cannot find reprieve from their own hurt feelings, many times they will bully others who they feel cannot or will not fight back.  When parents tell their children to hit back they help create another bully on the playground.  When teachers punish both children because they fear the parent of the bully or have not seen who is being bullied then to often it can lead to tragedy.

If we could as a Society tell our children that the anger that is unleashed by the bully is “not about them”,but instead about the home the child who bullies comes out of, then we could begin sitting down and discussing our differences with the bully. When Schools refuse to play a role in the discussion when the bullying takes place on their property, they fail the child who is being bullied by expelling them from school for the equal amount of time they expel the bully. When negative behavior is enforced by negative responses we teach our children that the adults in their lives cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

I had a case,myself, where I thought it might be possible to have an adult conversation with the parent of the bully, but instead the parent went into name calling and telling me it was not her problem when the child I was speaking about did not haul off and hit her daughter back.  It was not about us, but the children that needed to be heard, and it was lost on the mother of the bully.  Teachers run into this same attitude of these same parents, when they do show up but many times it is the concerned parents who show up instead.

We parents first, need to understand that there are people who are going to try to control the circumstances in their own lives by controlling those around them and it has nothing to do with us, unless we demand zero tolerance of bullies in our own homes,schools, or environment and do something about it instead of obsessing over it.  When we make everything about us, and then do nothing but complain we teach our children the same. When worry or inaction is viewed from the seat of children, they learn to tolerate what we have tolerated for to many generations,as being normal behavior. If schools,businesses, or we do not punish small children who bully,or permanently expel people who play on our fear or lack of action, then we all tolerate the bullies and it does become about us. Our children learn nothing through fists or violence but to be violent in return.

Just as there are kind-hearted people, there are mean-spirited people as well. Both types of people will co-mingle in almost any kind of group.  It has been my experience that a majority of men will just consider the source of an insult when issued by a woman, but some will fight it out when it comes from a man.  Not many people look at a fist fight as much of anything other than plain stupidity, so why do we tell our children to do the same?  If we ourselves cannot treat the person as having their own problems and know they treat everyone else the same way, then how can we tell our own children that, “It is not about us, if we do nothing to protect them when we do have supervision over them?”

I ask everyone this Holiday Season to consider what I am saying.  Store policy is not about us but about others who do shop lift or steal.  We may pay for their theft but if we feel that the questions being asked are about us, instead of policy, too often tempers will flare and our children are watching our own performance.  The same is true when someone is rude enough to cut in line; for us to allow someone else to spoil the experience of the Holiday shopping, when,” it is not about us” because we lose sight of the fact,that angry words will never make it right, but instead is a negative response from us who only adds to the chaos, then we understand what our own response does to inflame the problem.  Two wrongs never does make a right.  As Bill Clinton said,”it’s about the math.”

We need to spend more time thinking and communicating civilly if we are going to succeed as a Nation,as parents, or as the person we most want to spend time with during the Holiday Season.  If we ourselves are filled with anger that is spreading all around us,if we are rude to others, if we have a need to control, if we take a bad day out on others around us, if we are mean-spirited, then it is about us.

If we are none of those things, “Then It Is Not About Us.” When we understand the reality of another person’s bad behavior “is not about us”, we refuse to let their bad dispositions destroy our own joy.  If we insist on the opposite, then we are making our feelings dependent on their negative feelings which they are responsible for, and  as adults who said or did nothing to harm them, we are not responsible for their lack of respect.  Everyone will have a bad day but everyone is not entitled to ruin our day unless we give them permission to do so.

Have a good day everyone and enjoy the responses in yourself that you create ,that ARE about you, and let the other things that you allow to destroy your day go. The majority of harm that is done to us as individuals are many times as a result of our own reactions to life and is often created by our reactions to a disagreeable human being, who has their own issues to deal with, without our taking their negativity to heart. Enjoy the Holidays and celebrate!

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Too often I have heard throughout my lifetime, “It is not fair,” or “someone should do something about it,”or similar statements. We all know people who face the most tragic life’s lessons and still keep moving on without ever giving up, but too many of us refuse to accept or acknowledge the fact that there are others who suffer much worse hardships from our own.

There are those who believe,” that they need to do nothing to help others because they already get enough help” or “such and such is lucky” or “never had a problem in their lives.”  It has also been my experience that people who believe this are the first to react the most poorly when they chip a nail or break a heel off of their shoe or their car gets scratched or their tie begins to unravel.

The people who really learn the importance that we place on things is pretty shallow,are those who will be humbled in some way by life and learn from the experience when they do. It isn’t always fair and the suffering is often very real, but it is how we accept or deal with the tragedies of life, that is the real test of mankind.  We can always rebuild things and many times re-heal bodies but if we give up or curse others,the price we pay can and will lead to defeat. Even when we exhaust all possibilities there does come the day that we must accept our own limitations and embrace the factors that make us the person we are, the person we accept. Often times in life we are presented with  re-inventing a new way to live life to its best abilities without making comparisons in life.

I certainly am not suggesting that we do not grieve an important lost of a  home,job,or even health.  What I am saying is that the longer we dwell on the injustice of the same, the longer we ultimately pay a price much larger than what we ever should have had to pay.  When we look at others and say, “they are lucky,” too many times we are being unrealistic about the sacrifices they made in order to achieve their success or giving ourselves an excuse for the fact that we would rather quit, drink beer, or shop than make the sacrifices needed. When we recognize that no one escapes life without a few bruises and some heart ache we realize that the difference is in how they handle or recover from the lost, is what sometimes separates them from us.

The reality is, people who are willing to get back up and dust themselves off following failure or mistakes,which we all will face at some point or time in our lives, will succeed with each time they vow to come back better than ever.  It has to be there in action and without resentment or fear overcoming our determination to move on or to begin again. As long as we have people in our lives we all will either experience the just or unjust.

Anyone of us can be grateful when things are going our way, the difficult part is learning gratitude when we feel that our life is not, by seeking out what is good in our lives.  No one will ever experience a life where they do not have something or someone good in it, unless they flee from it or reject the idea or the person who does support them. Other times it is our own gift of determination and awareness that refuses to give up, that makes us get up and move on. It is when we waste time blaming others that we weaken our own chances to start over again. When we understand the lesson taught us we will reach gratitude in the process, even though our loss may seem insurmountable in the beginning.  Starting over can be the best thing we ever do, if we learn from our past. If we refuse to accept our own role in it, then too often we will fail. It is the price we pay that often becomes our best teacher in life and teaches us gratitude for the lessons learned.

Life often gets down to how we deal with the insignificant that too often gets blown out of proportion. Sometimes we do find people are in the right place at the right time but too often we refuse to accept that it is not a place that we would ever have traveled to or a job we would have wanted or were qualified for taking. People who base everything on the almighty dollar often fail to understand or appreciate the joy found around the table of a family who has food on the table or a person who is content with just having the people in their lives that they do.

Life for most of us is as rewarding as the lessons it teaches us and the price we pay for it. It is when we learn not to repeat the mistakes but to be grateful for the lessons learned that we become comfortable with what we accept as our own success. When we hear people complain that they just never got the breaks another person did, too many times it was under their own feet but they refused to take the next step or  make the right move that would have given them more.

People do determine their own goals early in life.  It does appear that some people make one mistake and pay for it all of their lives while others mess up all the time and end up a success.  We fail to see that each time the person messes up they often learn what will or wont work towards their own goals.  What made the difference is that they were not afraid to start all over again. We all have different ideas of what exactly success is;for some it is wealth but for many others it is being comfortable in their own body by giving more of themselves than what they took  in life.  A proud Father or Mother can find joy in the Children that become adults and in the way they repeat the lessons taught them.  Many will find a warm roof over their head a welcoming step that predicts the success of their lives.  As people we are not all looking for the same ideas or have the same beliefs, but whatever steps we take we have to be willing to learn from them.

What is happening with all the excuses and the blame being passed around in the Conservative movement as well as the Republican Party,following the election, is the same thing that makes them fail to understand their own mistakes.  Unless and until they accept the responsibility for their own failure to hear the majority of voters, they are bound to repeat their mistakes again and again. We can all take a lesson from their failure to take responsibility for accepting their own mistakes and their own out of touch sensibilities to the needs of the people.

My husband and I together began our lives in poverty with him being a student and my working towards paying his tuition right along with his working a part-time job.  What we had together, was an education and it is what opened the door that began our future towards retiring well.  We have been poor and we know how it feels to go without eating because there was no money nor anyone who we would accept help from, if it had been offered.  We had a great deal of pride and determination to achieve over what we had money in our pockets.

We have been lower middle class and upper middle class and will retire comfortably. It didn’t just happen without our going without along the way.  Even today I just buy enough clothes and shoes to cover me.  The biggest waste of money a couple will ever make is on clothing, despite this idea,” that we must dress for success.”  A few good pieces of clothing intermixed with other pieces is all that is really necessary, to “dress for success.” If we do make it to CEO or are CFO of  a large firm, where this makes a difference, the wardrobe will be compensatory in the wages, as well.

As my husband retires and we plan the next journey of our life I know personally that the places that we have lived and the things we have done will take their right of passage just as they indicate the sacrifices we were willing to make. The employers we had that rewarded hard work, parents who taught us how to live morally,and the schools we came from,all figure into the success that we worked for as well as the children we raised into adulthood, who will contribute to the success of their own lives.

We could never have accomplished what we did on our own, as it took finding an appreciative and grateful employer who was willing to reward our hard work.  It took me a lifetime of living with chronic physical pain, while accepting my own limitations but helping others with the problems in life they faced, and the two of us never giving up on our dream. It is about accepting the price we pay in life and not letting it get us down nor spending a moments notice on what someone else had.  As we drive away to explore the next journey in our lives and to once more view the great beauty of America and her people,I pray that we accept what lies around the corner just as we always have. Too many times we let bitterness replace the gratitude for the lessons we should have learned, for the price we paid in living. Be grateful everyone and have a great day!

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I have chosen to write today on the manipulator as they are especially active during the Holiday Season. We all know the manipulative by different names and faces but at some time in our lives we will all know several.  They are often times the charming that are generous with both their praise and gifts, until they have us totally convinced they are the victims of others,before they begin their attempts to victimize us.

If we could all just remember that people who do not expect something from us will walk away since they have nothing to prove, nor will they waste our time or their’s convincing us, unless we seek them out and ask for the facts, then we would all be the wiser before we find ourselves trapped by the manipulator.

Some are very obvious to those of us who have been conned ourselves, and too often when we try to warn our loved ones who are being victimized by these people or the person,we are the ones who lose the affections of our loved ones instead.  They are so charming while they convince us that they are the benefactors or benefactress of the World, before we become sucked into their schemes and realize that those who tried to warn us,were our real friends.

Many times they enter our lives when we are the most vulnerable and reaching out to gain knowledge or comfort.  They will many times be so perfect in our minds that we cannot believe ourselves that anyone so kind and generous can be in our lives. They run the gamut from Religious schemers such as Rev. Jones, who convinced or forced 900 people to drink the Kool-Aid,to claims of being a charitable organization but unless we check them out first they can be very convincing in their efforts to deceive, or many times they are a member of our own family.  No one is a better manipulator than the family member who needs alcohol or drug money and they often times do not stop with the family members but move on to the neighbors and strangers who will fall for their stories of victimization, just as we do.

When the charm runs out of the manipulator,because they can only sustain it for so long,we will either be made to feel that we  owe them the rest of our lives or we will wise up and run because just as charming as they can be, they can also be as intimidating.  While we are convincing ourselves that we have welcomed the perfect people or person into our lives they are learning our weak or vulnerable points and they learn to use them to their advantage when the charm wears off.  They capitalize on the negative feelings of guilt or feelings of betrayal in us, and use it to their benefits.  We should never think it is just our imagination or we are being unfair to them, after they have been so good to us, because they trap us into believing just that so they can gain control over us.

As we gain more knowledge and comfort with ourselves we recognize them readily and  to often think they are rather harmless to those of us who are aware of people who play on others’ emotions.  While we ourselves are no contest to them they often times see us as a challenge to defeat and will deliberately,in some cases, prey on those who we befriend, is our child, or another loved one, just to prove that they can out smart us and defeat us when we do think of them as being harmless. It often serves in the best interests of all of us if we do not make it obvious to them that we do not believe them, but remain firm in what our ground rules are because then the more likely they will be to move onto their next victim.  If we try to warn the next candidate to be victimized by the manipulator before they become victimized, they will not believe us either, unless they themselves are already wary of the charmers  who manipulate.

They appear at family gatherings such as Thanksgiving,in the malls,in our group of friends,at the  work place, at our church gatherings and in some cases even lead us in prayer,they are anywhere that the vulnerable can be isolated from others. If we donate to them once they will continue flooding our mail boxes or e-mail with more requests to give until they wear us down or convince us they need our donations, often under false pretenses. Other times they reach out through our telephones or the internet, as it is the perfect cover for the deceitful who never wish to be found out once they scam us into believing we are the most beautiful person in the World or they promise us that we will inherit a fortune if we just pay the taxes on it.If we are being manipulated or conned ourselves, we must first accept that we are as much at fault for allowing it to happen, once we become aware of it,as are the people who manipulate us.

So I offer all of us this Thanksgiving this simple advice even though I know those who need to heed it most, will not hear it, “If it is too good to be true, it almost always is.” We all make the dreams in our own lives come true.  It takes a lot of doing without sometimes and the understanding of those who help us to realize our dream.  No person ever realizes a dream as a single unit. It always takes a lot of hard work and co-operation to achieve our dreams.  It doesn’t fall from the sky and land in our laps, we have to earn it, and anytime we find others trying to take from us on a song and a dance or a story of victimization, we should never question our own motives but always question their motives, first.

Good luck is only what others are waiting for because they were not willing to make the sacrifices for others who truly needed their help or to make their own dreams come true.  Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time but if we are not willing to put out the efforts it takes to achieve then we will not gain from the placement either. Dreams can still come true when we recognize our own strengths and weaknesses and accept help from those who do help us, by rewarding those who help us, through just and fair wages.

I wish each and all of you all the joy of giving that Thanksgiving can bring to all of us if we give in the spirit of giving.  Once we become aware of the manipulator and we make ourselves dependent on the kindness or intimidation of the same, or allow those who do help ruin the spirit of giving, we must accept our role in the same. All the denial in the World cannot force us to fail to acknowledge that if we are being played by a manipulator there are others as well.

Sometimes people are placed in our lives to test the respect that we have for ourselves and humanity in general, and when we fail that test we will also fail the tests of showing respect to others, who truly do deserve our time and love.  We have a responsibility to not only ourselves but to those who care about us to understand the difference of those in our lives who do respect our spirit of giving as verses the manipulators who take without a conscious. Once we become aware of the fact that we are the ones being used, then we need to accept that we enable the manipulators of the world and we need to stop the time,attention,and money often given to the manipulators, for all the reasons that allow them to operate on the unsuspecting. If we cannot stop them for our sake or the sake of the manipulator themselves, then we need to be aware of those who we hurt by going into denial of the part we play in it.

Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation and when we fail to appreciate those who should matter to us, we lose everything else of value as well. I feel truly Blessed for having the husband I have had for 45 years,my terrific daughters and son-in-law, and the two Bestest grandsons that a grandmother could ever have. I appreciate the value they add to my life by just being the genuine people that they are and their own faith in their own achievements.

All we who truly love really want is for our loved ones to be happy and for us to be aware when they are not, by offering them the emotional support they need,if they need our help. Too many times I have made the assumption that they needed my help when their maturity was leap years ahead of my own, at the same age they are.  Age may be a teacher to those of us who are willing to learn, but we should not always assume that we know better because of it. May we all be Blessed this Thanksgiving while we remember those who are really victims with our generosity and prayers.  Have a safe trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

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