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abuse

When Is Being Disabled A Disability?

rp_300px-Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg_.pngPeople often do not display common courtesy to the disabled.  They are often discourteous, inconsiderate, and just plain ignorant.  God, that does sound pretty inconsiderate, discourteous, and just plain stupid of me.

I have disabilities. caused by arthritis, a possible spinal cord injury, and inheritance.  I work hard at overcoming my disabilities especially when I or other people expect me to do things that are often awkward and unsafe for me to do.  For example, changing two litterboxes.  I have trouble maintaining my balance and walking especially in unfamiliar or crowded places.  Also, I can’t see behind me without turning my body around and I have trouble with dropping things.

Can you imagine what other people might think of me when they don’t know and/or acknowledge this?  I often take a back seat when other people are up moving around so as not to be knocked down.  I can’t carry a tray.  Can you imagine how this might effect me when there is a buffet?  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who spontaneously help me and that is a blessing.

I can do a lot of things on my own when there is no one to knock me down, butt in line, or otherwise take advantage of my disabilities?  Do they even know that they are taking advantage of my disabilities?  (Oh, in case you don’t know, I have had physical and occupational therapy; but some of the best therapy I have had is when I learned how to do something myself (and I could do a whole post on that).)

rp_308895522_e2ab0d2ebd_n.jpgI usually get myself to events and can go places while there if they are not too far away and there are no steps involved, but it does take me time.  This why I sometimes find it difficult to get to the bathroom and back during breaks and (get this) when I get to the bathroom someone is probably using the handicapped toilet stall that doesn’t need it i.e. to change clothes or to have a time-taking bowel movement or just because it is more convenient.

I guess some people are more considerate of others even when it is inconvenient than other people.  I have an aunt that had polio not only did she recover from that but later she went back to teaching with some accommodations.  (I was going to say several accommodations; but that that might make her mad if she knew I said that.)  I am much more understanding of her situation now than I was then.

It appears that some people don’t notice that some people have disabilities.  They often sometimes unconsciously or consciously take advantage of these people.  As a disabled person, I do often feel possibly unfairly limited by this.  I have a kitchen with an island in the middle which is convenient now for me, but I often have to wait for other people to go ahead of me when I or they think I would take too much time and bother.

If you see a disabled person sitting back and waiting for others to get finished doing something, it may not be because they want to, it may be because they feel that they have to.  Do you agree that people often do something around disabled people because they can, not because they ought to?

P.S.: I don’t feel disabled when I am in my recliner reading a book or watching TV.  It also does get me out of changing my grandkids’ diapers!rp_9429411558_188837b502_m.jpg

 

“Zombies” In Nursing Homes

We have a long history being unable or unwilling to meet the needs of older and even younger people with disabilities without warehousing them in nursing homes.  Yes, there are standards of care that these homes must meet; but people often only want to provide minimum standards of care so that the home will be reimbursed.

Recently a friend of mine was admitted to a nursing home and I have visited there several times.  The thing that I noticed on my visits there were the people who looked like “zombies”.  Previously I had only seen people who were catatonic schizophrenics that looked like “zombies.”

The people I saw in the nursing homes were neatly dressed and had their hair nicely combed, but they sat silently and immobile in a chair or wheelchair.  At mealtimes, their chairs were moved so that they sat up next to the table.  These women and men posed no problems as long as they remained that way.

They had joined the troop of the forgotten.  They caused no trouble for the staff and would stay anywhere the staff had put them.  I guess you could call them the living dead or “zombies.”  It seemed like they had just given up and the staff saw them that way too.

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Do You Respect Yourself As Much As You Respect Other people?

rp_300px-Grad_Students.jpgWhen  someone is rude inappropriate or disrespectful to you, are you too embarrassed to speak up for yourself or are you afraid that the other person might get angry at you?  Some people count on you doing this so they can keep on doing what upsets you either to you or others.  Sometimes we feel “we got it wrong” and if we said something we might be made to look foolish.

From the female point of view, some men think that they can grope a woman or cop a feel and the women won’t act like anything is wrong.  Somehow taking the blame on themselves, not putting it on the offender.  The offender sometimes says, “You liked it.  I can tell.”  They believe women somehow are inviting them to do this and they are just doing what the women want them to do but are afraid to say.

rp_8779146668_6e5def7ac9_n.jpgShould I list the men who have done this to me?  Also, some sexual talk, pictures, videos, and movies are off-putting to some women rather than arousing.  But we don’t want to rain on a man’s parade and let him do it and even watch, I would say sometimes uneasily,  ourselves.

Has woman’s lib gone too far?  Are women thinking that under the new era, that women should be more sexually active and cooperative when they are not comfortable doing it?  Is groping by your male seatmate in the back seat of a car while another couple makes out in the front seat satisfying or uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassing?

rp_5307249644_41b9ef6f0f_m.jpgThe woman’s idea of a sexual relationship is that it involves at least mutual affection, mutual sexual attraction, comfort, and privacy.  Some women up the amp even more and want the penthouse suite so to speak, etc.

Women can be very cautious about expressing their wants and desires sexually and it may be something they have not had practice doing.  Men like to express their dominance in a sexual relationship for bragging rights to other men (that’s a no-no) and the secure feeling that they are right about what their opinions are about what makes for great sex (for him) and they won’t take no for an answer.

Another true story, I had a professor like that and it was difficult for my office manager friend to keep him in secretaries he was so disgusting and predatory.  Yet, the rest of the office (mainly men) thought he was a great guy.  He was actually inconsiderate and self-engrossed.

emotional-abuse-disney-princess-16471851-496-479Did he try something on me, yes, and I did not consider him attractive or available (he was married and had a family) even though I was divorced at the time.  During that time there, I met a much younger man with whom I was comfortable with and who was attractive in a cozy comfortable way.  I wasn’t a cold fish, the professor was not my cup of tea and he was nasty to women and I didn’t like him or like to be around him.

True story, I was in a small crowded attic room with this professor and other students.  Several students and this professor were smoking.  My eyes started to water.  I am not a smoker.  He told me to take my contact lens out if the smoke was bothering me and that day, I was wearing glasses.  I said nothing.

11478115084_52613dd791_zHow much is allowed to go on; because we don’t speak up.  I once told my guiding pastor that it did not seem polite to start a ruckus in church but some people deserved ton be confronted.  I was not denying them Jesus but doing what Jesus did with his disciples when they were not doing the right thing,  They were ordinary men who sometimes got off in the wrong direction and Jesus knew what they were doing or were going to do and told them that.

What have I got to lose if I do this (speak up in public), maybe just self-respect.  Don’t let others “buffalo” you into accepting something from that them that you feel is wrong and should be stopped because somebody is or will or could be hurt.  We even though we are innocent bystanders sometimes have to confront the problem we see happening in front of our eyes even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

Once a man (I’ll call him a young man because he has a lot of growing up to do, was “high” in front and was very self-satisfied about how he was when he was high and even proud of himself.  I do like and love the guy but he can be exasperating sometimes.  I confronted him about being high (he thinks I am a nerd and don”t notice when he is high) and his “false” self-confidence and narcissistic attitude was really phony and annoying.

 

What Makes Child Sexual Abuse Easier? Gullibility, Secrecy, Opportunity, Second Chances, Disbelief

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Gullibility:  We would like to think the best of someone sometimes rather than the worst.  We can be gullible when we believe that any authority figure is an expert about such things if he or she thinks he or she is or should be.

Secrecy:  Family, friends, and associates of sex offenders are afraid if they admit they know about the person’s sexual offender status and/or offenses that some of the onerous might rub off on them and can cause them not to be accepted too so they don’t say anything about it or admit to having a relative or associate with such tendencies.

Disbelief:  (What actually is more onerous is not warning others that the person is not to be trusted to be alone with a child and/or to be in the care of a person who won’t keep the child safe as they see no reason to not to leave a child alone with this person under certain circumstances like when they go to change clothes and the child is taking a nap.)

Sexual offenders are often not found out until they have committed several different offenses with more than one victim.  Also offenses can become more and more onerous over time and what act that may have satisfied the offender’s need for sexual stimulation and climax becomes less satisfying and the offender goes on to doing  things that can not be considered victimless and/or harmful.

Many offenders often convince themselves and try to convince others that they are just educating and helping the victim with his or her sexual adjustment and not leaving it to chance with some other person when they reach adolescence or adulthood with a peer.

Also sexual offenders are not all men and they are not all homosexuals.  Anyone who inappropriately touches or has a child or in some cases adolescent inappropriately touch them in a way that causes sexual arousal and/or climax for the offender or the victim can cause mental and emotional pain, confusion, and discomfort that can be disabling.

Can You "See" What he is feeling?

Can You “See” What he is feeling?

What kind of things can a parent, either mother or father, do that sends confusing messages to their child?  Children can sense when somethings seems or feels right or wrong and in these situations are encouraged by the person doing these things that feel wrong to them to doubt their own feelings and “put up” with it and deny their own feelings or doubts.

People may have different standards of what is right and what is wrong but any responsible adult usually knows that what the offenders are doing in front of the child or making the child do is not in the child’s best interests.

Doing something for the child’s own good can be an excuse for bad behavior or an appropriate reason for doing something the child does not like.  Remember to think twice if a child avoids a person or situation and /or demonstrates the reluctance to do something.

When dealing with child sexual abuse, consult knowledgeable sources with experience and professional education in the area.  Remember even registered nurses usually specialize and do not work in every area of the hospital  or area of practice out in the community.

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.

 

Boundary Problems?

With what is going on in Europe now with boundary problems, it is getting more and more clear that having little or no boundaries makes them vulnerable to people who will take advantage of that.

taking-advice-badgeDo you feel that you are a pushover?  Why are you a pushover?  Is it because you want people to like you.  Can’t you think of a reason not to do it?

You think you are a good person and that others are good people too.  Not setting appropriate boundaries leaves you wide open to people who don’t think like you do.  It also leaves you wide open when you should be setting boundaries like with children and people who work under your supervision.  Are you the kind of parent or boss who often winds up picking up after their children and/or doing someone else’s work along with your own?rp_23219947_8c2cef7e59_m.jpg

How long can you do this type of thing without feeling angry?  “Read my lips” no more “nice” guy or girl.  You also lose people’s respect too.  I have grandchildren and I can tell who does and who does not set boundaries with the grandchildren by the children’s behavior.  You are courting chaos when you don’t do this.

Righteous anger?  Is that possible?  Is it polite?  When we continue to let people take advantage of us (and we know it) aren’t we lying?  Isn’t this a “sin?” of omission?  So this person or child takes advantage of us figuring we don’t really say what we mean.

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Trust, Mistrust, The Theft Of Innocence

rp_300px-Baby.jpgSorry to be so serious, so somber; but as I have been teaching child psychology this semester, I got to thinking about how abuse abuses a child’s sense of trust.  The first psychosocial stage in infancy, according to Erickson, is when an infant (future child) forms his or her sense of trust (or mistrust) in the world.  “Will I or won’t I get my needs met?”  “Am I safe?”  “Will anyone or anything harm me?”

Neglect! Sexual molestation!  Creating fear and anxiety in an innocent!  How horrible and disgusting.  I read an article posted on Face Book about a judge saying that a three year old was not harmed by sexual molestation.  Disrupting a child’s sense of security and safety.  Perhaps destroying and/or perverting the child’s physical and emotional responses to sexual stimuli permanently.

Little children are good at “reading” people and they can rely on their instincts to protect them and to help them meet not only their physical needs, but also their needs for love and affection and security.  When a child “read” another person as “unsafe” and is forced to accept them anyway, it messes up their whole “radar” system which is supposed to protect them from such people.  Such selfish, perverse, obscene interactions can destroy a child’s sense of trust for good

The younger the child the less able are they able to defend themselves from this type of abuse.  If older, they may sense that the abuse is wrong but may feel so shamed that they can’t tell for fear of being seen as “bad”.  Also a parent or caregiver can be an enabler and continue to let the abuser have unsupervised contact with a child whose sense of trust they are  destroying.

 

Conversation Stopper: People Are Rude Because Other People Are Too Polite To Call Them On It

Arp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifre some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite?  Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves?  Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it.  They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.

What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it.  It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t.  Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGeverybody looked to see who was coming in.  The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?”  It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked.  It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group.  This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply.  I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.

rp_7510823738_6616ac3a63_m.jpgSometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return.  Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience.  People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.

Forgive, Forget, Let Go…

rp_Anxiety.gifForgive, forget, let go….   Taking things another step further….   If you feel that you have to forgive someone in order to let go, you might really never let go.  Could it be possible that there is nothing to forgive and the very act of forgiveness is standing in the way of getting on with your life?

I had a very nasty? teacher once.  He would rap your knuckles with a ruler if you did something that he thought deserved it.  Altogether it was a very frustrating experience and I cried many tears over our encounters.  I had just started grade school and he was a music director who got stuck teaching elementary school kids along with his other duties  as organist and choir director.  He was very temperamental as sometimes musicians and other artists are.  Teaching was probably very frustrating for him and it probably kept him from spending all his time doing what he really desired to do.  He made my life  miserable and my cousin who was also in the same class room said that he picked on me when he could have left me alone.  I admit I was a challenging child, a quick learner with a lot of creative ideas.  It was difficult to keep me busy and I questioned his authority frequently.

For a long time I could not see this situation from his point of view.  I had a very unhappy time while he was my teacher (He wasn’t the only teacher that I had that I had trouble with in elementary school.)  The point was that in my school we had almost all male teachers and I don’t think any of them thought that teaching elementary school children was their life’s work like it was for women at that time.  I had one good year i elementary school, the year I had a woman teacher.

Altogether it was an unfortunate experience and it did not help my self-esteem.  My parents were also very frustrated with me being called to the office so often and their having had to come to school to talk about my behavior with my teacher or the principal.

Altogether it was a very frustrating experience for everyone.  Now who should be forgiven, the teacher, my parents, myself?  Sometimes saying that something has to be forgiven suggests malice aforethought.  Weren’t we all doing the best we thought we could.  I no longer see myself as a “bad” disobedient child, misunderstood maybe, but not bad.  Did I have a “bad” teacher or did he do the best he could in the circumstances?

Was this teacher taking his anger out on the children in the class by expecting too much of them.  Was he angry because he was being forced to teach when he would rather have been only in charge of  music?  My parents at that time like many parents in that era worried more about what other people would think and felt that children should be taught to respect their elders no matter what they were like.rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpg

Now that I can see more of the picture should I continue the anger and frustration by thinking that I have to forgive my elders for what they did to me when I was a child or should I let go with the understanding that they were only people that didn’t know better.  To me forgiveness can require a lot of time and energy and it has the flavor of  something that I must do for my own and others’  good.  Letting go does not suggest that what they and what I did were right but that there was a lot of misunderstanding and confusion involved.  Also to some extend, I was more concerned about what happened to my brother and cousin when they were in this teacher’s class with me.  It is always more frightening to see somebody else get hurt when you are not them and don’t know how badly they might be suffering when you already know how painful it has been for you in the situation.

Hatred, anger when attached to letting go makes it a greater burden than it has to be.  What might remain a burden for the “offender” to deal with no longer becomes one for you.  The biggest satisfaction an offender might have is not doing the dastardly deed but the fact that the victims have to deal and live with the consequences forever.  When it comes to this, the victim has to let go as the offender no longer has them in his or her grasp.  I realized a couple of years that after my divorce many years ago, that I was still cogitating over how my ex had treated me towards the end of our marriage and how unhappy I was. and that he may have gone on merrily without me and started his life over forgetting I ever existed.

If you come from the northern  part of this country, you may know about mosquitoes and how badly their bites itch and how you can create even bigger sores and create more irritation by scratching them,  People who get them often feel they are helpless and can’t leave them alone.  Often the next step is that you stop going outside in mosquito season and wound up being cooped up inside in the house during the hottest part of  summer without air conditioning.  Wouldn’t it been wonderful if you could have avoided that?  You can avoid something similar by letting go of old past hurts.

Don’t regurgitate, don’t do what cows do and chew your cud again and again.  Yes, learn from your past experiences but don’t let them monopolize the present or scar the future.  Sometimes you don’t have to forgive you just need to let go and take what the future brings an opportunity to do something different and new.

rp_Cult_and_Ritual_Abuse.jpgCAUTION;  A HISTORY OF SEVERE PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE AND SOMETIMES EVEN SEVERE MENTAL ABUSE REQUIRES PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE HANDLED ON ONE’S OWN.  Abuse can also happen when you are an adult.  Also do not let the abuser dictate how you handle the abuse.