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Be Careful Around Those With A History Of Sexual Abuse

(Here is the place to put a graphic picture of sexual abuse; but that might be considered child pornography.)

I am talking about the abuser, not the victim.  The chances are extremely high they will offend again and probably had committed other offenses before they got caught.  Also offenses tend to escalate over time as it takes more and more of a thrill to “get off”.  Some people protect and support offenders because they think they deserve a chance and they would like to believe that the offenders have reformed.

It takes extreme vigilance to protect potential victims from these offenders.  You and any other responsible adult who know about the offender should attempt to shadow the offender and keep them from being alone with potential victims.  To do this, you have to think like an offender.

The sexual abuse often reflects the offenders’ full time commitment to getting access to potential victims and to collect information that would help them do this.  A sexual offender never says to a responsible caretaker I will watch your child for you while you go to the grocery store and while you are there, I will get your child to undress and play a “fun” game with me from which I will get sexual  pleasure.

Should you believe me? Yes!  I have conducted interviews with many victims of sexual abuse, often by play therapy and by using drawings,  One thing I have been careful not to do is implant an idea in a child’s mind where one didn’t exist and to try not to commit further trauma.  The child may be frightened and somehow feel guilty.  These are ways that the abuser knows to keep the victim from talking about the abuse with anyone.

When abuse occurs, children do many things in an attempt to help them handle it.  They may learn not to trust their feelings and/or intuition.  They might put a lot of it out of their mind as it is too hot to handle.  But the unconscious usually retains the memories of sexual abuse somewhere and also the feelings associated with it.  It is like a splinter.  It may hurt a little if you leave it alone but it might hurt a lot when you take it out.  Then the pain can go away.

Possible consequences of sexual abuse are confusion about sexual identity, decreased or even absent libido, and a sense of inferiority that never goes away.  Don’t wait for someone else to do something about it!  The sexual abuser counts on this.

 

Who Are You?

How do you define yourself?  By what others tell you?  By what you think you should be? By what you really are?

Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given?  Thus we may never learn who we really are!  Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are!  Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgWho are you?  In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are.  We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.

Even identical twins are not entirely identical.  In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.

Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with.  Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.

Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so.  My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.

rp_374391220_666c62562e_m.jpgI ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology.  I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!

Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog.  I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense.  That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy.  I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

So who are YOU really?

 

Who Is the Winner in the Marital Dance of Anger, The Sexual Side?

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgI have been investigating problems with getting positive responses in marriage.  I have read that being angry can often make you lose in a marital argument.  That is if you are female.  If you are male, it often is a different story.  When a female is angry with a male, she can be seen as irrational, illogical and overly emotional.  Women often are afraid their security is in jeopardy and if their mate disagrees with them, they are afraid their security is at stake.

Women in our society have been encouraged to meet a man’s needs so that the men will depend on them and thus the women will feel more secure in the relationship.  This can lead to a woman feeling she is unable to meet her own needs if they don’t coincide with her husband’s needs.   Even worse, a woman may not know what her own needs are; because she has put them on the back burner so often.

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgWomen also, if there are children in the family, put their childrens’ needs before their own for the children’s sake.  At birth, children can only survive if their basic needs are met:  food, shelter, temperature, safety from harm, and also (in the case of human offspring) affection.  Many, many years ago, a mother spent ten days in the hospital recovering from giving birth.  The child was kept mostly in the nursery.  Now it is in one day and out the next.  Caring family and friends can alleviate this problem by helping out for the first week or two.

Women often learn that it is important to meet her husband’s and children’s needs first so much so that she becomes emotionally bankrupt.   Also, how many women have it pounded in their heads that they must meet their husband’s sexual needs or else he will go elsewhere to get them met.  This threatens her sense of security big time.  Also, for women’s sexual needs to get met, she has to know what she wants to accomplish in a sexual relationship and how to get it done.

rp_272680378_bd063659bc_m.jpgMen often have a lot of practice learning how to be satisfied sexually and very little experience focusing on what really arouses a woman and brings her to climax. Too much faking goes on especially on the woman’s side.  If too much time is spent meeting the male’s needs, then a woman may give up trying to get her needs met and falsely tell her male partner that she has come to orgasm after he has come to orgasm first because she is tired, possibly even bored, and no longer interested in sex and having an orgasm; because men often know what needs to happen for them to ejaculate and do their duty.

Sexual arousal for a woman can be a different ball of wax and possibly neither she nor he knows what makes a woman “tick” when it comes to sex.  Unfortunately, men often think that they know it all when it comes to sex and they only have one-half of the picture and women often don’t disabuse men of their ideas about sex for women as being similar to theirs.

 

As You Get Older, You Get Wiser If You Are Flexible Enough

I am older; but I have yet not completely grown up nor am I set in my ways.  You can always learn something.  At this time, in this society, knowledge is growing by leaps and bounds.  What we once thought true is not necessarily true now.  Join me in this fascinating journey as I make my way into the future.  Sometimes these people are even married to each other.

Yes, sometimes I learn things now I wish I had known and used when I was younger.  Most people experience some bumps in the road in their marriage when they retire.  I did and still am.  That doesn’t mean you can teach old dogs new tricks I hope.  I am still adding to my self-help book collection.  Even if on my social security. I have to find them at thrift stores.

I hope I am  better grandparent than I was a parent and there always room for improvement in my relationships with my children and their spouses.  We don’t have to necessarily fall back into old patterns of relationships and fight the same battles over and over.

(To Be Continued)

 

 

Wasting Some Of Our Most Valuable Resources: Children

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgIntroducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts).  Children do exist in the womb.  At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of  independent existence.  In my lifetime,  science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb.   The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist.   No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.

Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”.  I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults.  How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgHere is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state.  Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area.  This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights.  This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.

A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children.  One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve.  It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do.  Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty.  Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesChildren at different points in life need different things.  Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child.  How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.

One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad.  Nature requires diversity and  that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgChildren also learn at different rates and in different ways.  Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this.  Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward”  and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.

Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences.  For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves.  Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences.  Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Attitude; Change Your Attitude, Change Your Perspective

Have you ever been told to change your attitude about something? For example, whether it is about “stay at home moms”, “homeschooling” or any subject up for discussion?

Have you ever thought about it this way?  Which comes first in this process, changing your attitude or changing your perspective?  Have you ever changed your attitude after you have changed your perspective? or vice versa?

rp_5617089955_d20fe0f1ab.jpgBecoming unsatisfied with the available public schools, might lead to you changing your mind about the appropriateness of homeschooling for your family.

Debate teams prepare to be able to defend both sides of a disputed issue and this prepares them to see the points of view or perspectives of both sides.  Lawyers often participate in debating in order to help them to be able to take both sides of a disputed issue such as “guilty” or “innocent” in court.

rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpgWe often jump to conclusions and staunchly take one side in an upcoming vote in our government.  Who do we prize? People who can change their minds when necessary and alter their perspective to do this or people who stick to “their guns” no matter what?

Gaining knowledge is a process of gathering information and evaluating the appropriateness of it as well as altering theories when necessary to fit new information.

Versus Bad Vibrations

Versus Bad Vibrations

Think of how science has changed when it comes to considering what matter and energy are made of.   Initially, it was atoms, neutrons, and protons.  Then it was found that matter and energy were interchangeable.  Now we focus upon waves of energy as the foundation of matter.

Yes, being too flexible can be inappropriate at times.  For example, you go to a car show where different car dealers are offering their latest models for sale and as you go from booth to booth or exhibit after exhibit, you find yourself constantly persuaded that the latest car offered is the best.

rp_6544823393_9183bdeff5_m.jpgIt may be that from one perspective, i.e. cost, one vehicle is the best; but from the perspective of safety, another car is the best.  Or the vehicle that might attract the younger crowd appeals to the man or woman in a mid-life crisis.

 

Don’t Let Other People Get You Down

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpgAre you observant? sensitive? and/or vulnerable to other people’s problems?  Do the people around you often wind up raining on your parade?  Fear? frustration? anger? Almost all negative feelings can be catching.  Should you stay in such a situation because you feel that you have obligated yourself to stay?  That has often been my situation in the past….

I have walked out on one movie in my life.  I usually feel that I have to stay because I paid for it or because somebody else told me it was good.  I didn’t trust my own judgment!  However, there was one movie that mesmerized me and it was three hours long.  I didn’t move for three hours and suffered the consequences when I could hardly get up at the end!

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgI have learned to dodge people especially strangers when I see them coming towards me with a storm cloud surrounding them.  I know that I am not a part of their problem and I don’t want to become a part of their problem.  Sometimes I have seen people come for an evaluation and I just positively know that they want to and probably will make a complaint about me to the agency that referred them.

Sometimes it’s a parent or a relative of the person referred.  To them, I am a “professional” target.  They want to prove me wrong and possibly to get me in trouble.  I have played “turtle” with these people and kept my head in my shell to avoid conflict and did not confront them about their attitudes because that is what they seemed to want.

rp_333788350_150_150.jpgThere are also “poor me’s” who want to share and share their problems with you in order to ultimately prove they are unsolvable.  As both of you become more and more depressed in the process, no progress is made and perhaps the process has gone backward.

Don’t be a mirror and reflect other peoples’ problems.  Don’t soak up “bad” feelings and experience a downer.

On the other hand, be careful and don’t get sold on something another person is extremely positive about and make decisions you can’t back out of later.  Say let me take a minute, let me think about that, I’ll get back to you.  Even better say it is a decision you can’t make until you consult with another person you are involved with whether it is a financial planner,  spouse, or boss.

Genuine feelings can be shared and it can be a great experience whether it is happiness or grief.  I once cried with one of my daughters over a lost relationship.  I never regretted that.  Sharing feelings can be relationship building.  You also don’t want to be a cold fish that never seems to care about anything.  Sometimes food can’t be enjoyed because the person eating it can’t taste it.

Exhilaration can be catching.  Have you ever laughed so hard that you couldn’t catch your breath?  One of the most solemn persons I know grew up in an orphanage.  He or she did not do without the necessities of life or responsible caregivers, but there was something lacking in his childhood and it was the mutual sharing of feelings.

Focusing On What Doesn’t Work Or What Is Wrong Instead Of What Is Right Or What Does Work!

rp_300px-Angry_Talk_Comic_Style.svg_.pngHow depressing!  How self-defeating!  Especially when you judge yourself by other people’s standards.  Will we ever get ahead as a person (or a country) if we keep doing this?

This is what makes news so depressing!  Also, when people focus on what is wrong with themselves or others instead of what is right.  In school, I  had to find out for myself if a teacher was good or not and not take other peoples’ experiences with the teacher as gospel truth.  One person may consider a teacher as too strict while I might experience him or her as just and fair.

rp_300px-Grad_Students.jpgRecently on the news, I saw a presentation about a principal who had applied what he had learned about schooling children and helping them learn to his own independent middle school that was doing quite well.  In fact, he used the money he earned from a publishing a book on this to fund the school.

Usually, independent schools like these which are successful are not used as models for other new schools.  “Charter” schools also do not always continue to get the support they need because other schools doing more poorly than these suck the life out of them because the funds are needed for schools like these which don’t do well.

rp_3907004058_644dbdf9b5_m.jpgMaybe we should fund more “committees” to find solutions (things that are already working) than to find problems on which money is then wasted by usually applying previously tried and failed ideas to deal with once the existing problems which we usually find that we already know about.  This is putting good money after bad.

Creativity is often discouraged because those who are invested in already existing solutions resist becoming outdated and the institutions invested in them feel threatened and want to maintain the status quo.  Is this one of the reasons why “big government” is hard to prune once it is established?

rp_342149110_150_150.jpgIndividuals also find it hard to shift gears when they have invested time and money into what seemed appropriate to them because their parents did it or they could possibly make a lot of money at it or it would provide them with security when actually their talents lay elsewhere and though they mastered the profession they never did as well as they would have like to especially when comparing themselves with others who might have had talents and interests better suited to that occupation.

For example, I have a daughter, maybe even both daughters, that like to work outdoors.  With one daughter, she did not wind up finding a job where she could apply her major but became involved in another area where she could also work outdoors.  In fact, she been working part time at this all through school.  What she was motivated to learn on her own became a lot more satisfying to her even though she made good grades and successfully took a lot of science classes for her actual college major.

rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpgFor me, this has been a long journey.  I found things that I liked to do and was good at doing aimed less at the mentally ill population and more at the everyday population (like I am doing here on this website).  Also, my expertise comes more from doing what feels right and involves more creativity on my part than faithfully following established routines.  My lack of self-confidence kept me from focusing on these things and kept me focusing on what I thought the establishment wanted.

 

rp_300px-Little_girl_drawing_with_blue_pencil.jpgSome of these areas are and were the interpretation of drawings and the use of drawings in therapy, diagnostic interviewing where the person doing the information is led by what the interviewee says and does.  Another area was doing hypnosis and relaxation therapy following a loose guideline of what needed to be done depending on the goal of the therapy or the diagnostic information  needed or previously received.  I also found that flexibility was important in determining on what the person or persons I was working with needed.

The Art Of Giving

kindness, giving awayJust recently I gave somebody something and I wanted to tell somebody else who knew him or her what I had done.  But I stopped and told myself that that wasn’t the point of the gift and it would instead have ruined what I had been trying to do.

We all in the past might have been a secret Santa to someone at holiday time and the best part of it was when the person didn’t know who had been doing such nice things and we had the secret thrill of seeing the other person’s pleasure and confusion when they found that something had been done for them or a small gift showed up at their door or on their pillow.

familykidpictureOften giving is more satisfying than getting.  I know a lovely lady who when she gives a talk to children may give them each some unexpected treat like a candy bar or a dollar.  The pleasure that she gets from this is reflected in the expression on her face and the timbre of her voice.  She often does not have a lot to give, but she gives away what she has and doesn’t expect anything in return.

rp_319628280_150_150.jpgWhen someone gives something and does not expect something in return, this is true giving.  There can be the delight in surprising someone with an unexpected present of something that the giver instinctively knows should be given to the other person at the opportune moment.

Gifts that are given with expectations of what the person who is receiving the gift must do in return is not a gift.  Real “Gifts” come with no expectations and the giver will not be happier if the gift is accepted with great appreciation than if it is not appreciated and thrown away.

rp_300px-Pecan_Pie.jpgOn the other hand, when receiving a gift, remember that if a gift (even if it is unwanted) is given in a spirit of joy and goodwill, often it should be happily accepted  in the spirit that it was given.  Most of us know that if a small child gives us a gift (even a pebble or a flower), we should appreciate it for what it often is an expression of love or affection and rather than keep it for themselves, they give it to you.

 

Does Your Conscience Get You Down?

rp_300px-Clouds-8.JPGI am proud to be a moral person, not an amoral person; but this can lead to self-judgment and the feeling at the end of the day that you did something that might have offended others that you weren’t particularly proud of when you thought about it later..

You can become preoccupied with such possible mistakes to the point that it may spoil your day.  You may go to sleep ruminating about what you think you did wrong and it may ruin an otherwise acceptable day.

pebbles_ripples_pondChock that one up to experience and vow to think before you do it again, but let it go.  If you are that concerned, then you have already learned your lesson and surprise, surprise, the other person or persons may not have been upset at all or didn’t even notice it.

We all have an early-warning system like this once we decide to treat others like we would like to be treated.