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Shame The Great Manipulator, The Great Trap Of Unworthness

I was raised on shame.   It was my claim to fame.  I was not recognised for what I did well, but for those things I did not do so well.  I was also convinced over time that I could not do them well and when that happened that people would give up on me.  I thought there were only so many things in life that other people would approve of and that I was not capable of doing them well enough to make other people proud of me.  I was recognised for what or where I could not meet up to other people’s standards and I felt like I was a great disappointment to my family so much so my relatives did not want other people to know that I was related to them.

I was so easily made to feel shameful that I was bullied, I was suicidal, and I was made to feel that I could never meet up to other people’s standards (of which there was only one set) and I would ultimately be rejected and thrown out on the street if that was possible.  There was only one person to blame and that was me and I didn’t know any different.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Worse yet I realized that in sexually inappropriate situations the victim (that was me) was always the one who should feel ashamed and had something to hide instead of the reverse.  Getting caught in a sexually compromising situation was something I should cover up, sneak out of, and pretend didn’t happen even though I now know it qualified as sexual abuse.   It was something to be covered up and forgotten if possible.

Brene Brown with her doctorate in Social Work found that we have three shields that we can use as shields against shame.  We can forget or not talk about what we see as a shameful situation.  Men will tell you that they are not comfortable talking about certain things that happened to them as they were growing up or even later in life such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and even had pushed these things so far out of mind that they did not remember them.

Another shield against shame mentioned by Dr. Brown was appeasement.  If someone is dissatisfied with you or something you have done, you try to make it up to them or make them so happy or satisfied in another way that they will forget that you did not or might not make them happy.  Another word for this might be “brown nosing”.

Another possibility would be going towards or against the person or situation that makes you feel shameful and take it out aggressively toward them or it.  This is the third shame shield mentioned by Dr. Brown.  Could the liberal Democrats’ behaviour after the election of President Donald Trump be an example of this?  Are they ashamed that their candidate did not win over such an unlikely candidate?

Sometimes our entire life can be motivated by shame and others can get what they want us to do by shaming us and can feel better about themselves by winning over us in this way.  I have often felt that being a woman, especially a woman professional, made me a target for this sort of thing.  If a woman can do it (what I did) it must be something easy to obtain and therefore not worth much.  The step between someone with a Masters degree and a Ph.D. must be pretty easy if she can do it.  I did not attend the graduation ceremonies when I received my doctorate (because it was not such a big deal)?

Does It Make Sense To Say Life Makes No Sense? How Do You Make Sense Of Life? Are You Influenced By How Others Make Sense Of Life? We Are All In This Together But We Often Try To Go It Alone.

Does it make sense to say life has no sense?  Science has theories about life which it proves or disproves. Things we thought were inanimate and dumb actually are not that way.  Animals are miraculous animate beings with strengths and skills we have never thought of.  Not only are they necessarily not like you, they have their own ways of thinking, communicating and viewing the world.  Even plants react to certain stimuli.  What about us?

Are we blocking abilities because we think we don’t have them?  Who are you really inside?  We are fearfully and wonderfully made it says in the Bible.  Why do we often reject that?  Does everything happen for a reason but we think that we are unable to figure this out.

We are unique individuals.  We all have strengths and talents as well as weaknesses.  Why do we compete with each other when we can do so much more together?  Why do we constantly pattern ourselves against some other person’s standards and achievements?

When I was trying to decide on my career (the most important path in my life at that time).  I did not discern and value my own unique qualities.  I was always encouraged to consider what other people would think.  Individuality was lost in the shuffle.  I accomplished many things but society did not pat me on my back and my family had no idea about what I was doing.

Now the meaning of life is to determine your path in life and to allow yourself to meander a little.  Also be a little bit forgiving of yourself especially in this critical, hypocritical world.  We must combat these forces that hold us back and act as brakes on our vehicle of life.  Criticism, fault-finding, and belittling other people as a way of building themselves up by other people holds us all back.

The world is full of manipulations and plots to keep us from reaching our destiny.  The average fault-finders only want to build themselves up, not you.  This sabotages cooperation and promotes the power and wealth of a few.  Their motto is there is not enough to go around and I am going to get mine before you can take it from me.  What a grand scheme for these peoples’ lives which leads to substance abuse, relationships that may sabotage them and be unfulfilling, and a focus on things, not relationships.  They are not to be trusted and because of this, they think that everybody else can not be trusted.  What a flimsy throne that kind of ideology can make.  They focus on things that can not make them happy in the long run and backfire.  Remember how Scrooge ended up in The Christmas Carol.

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.

 

Are Private Parts Not Private Anymore?

Viewing Private PartsRemember when you were not supposed to share your private parts with anyone, but a parent, or with someone else usually a medical person when your parents were present.  Later you were told you could choose to share them when you were an adult; but not with someone you didn’t want to share them with.

Now we can view others’ private parts anywhere on the street, in magazines, on the internet, and in advertisements.  It is hard to say, “No, I don’t want to look at that, I don’t want to see you that way, and if you are going to do that either you must leave or I will leave myself.”

It is still alright to feel icky and to refuse to view things that you don’t like.  As a long-time psychologist, I thought I had seen everything and nothing surprised me or offended me.  If viewing something does not have to be done in the line of duty, I still can say it is inappropriate and switch channels or walk away or if it is my space, tell someone to leave and possibly not to return.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Private parts are your personal possessions and they are there for your satisfaction and enjoyment.  This can be spoiled when someone tries to use another person’s private parts for their satisfaction and enjoyment only and will say anything or do anything to make it happen.

Feelings can become detached from the event and the victim may not remember what happened.  This is a form of self-defense and possibly a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  This makes it difficult for the victim to bring up from inside him or herself what happened in order to digest it properly.  This also can interfere with a person’s appropriate sexual development.

The victim has a large price to pay.  What about the offender? Usually as long as he or she can do it, he or she will do it to more and more victims and in worse and worse ways.  It could be called an addiction.  It usually has to do with what an offender needs to do to get sexually excited and to reach orgasm.  Like alcoholics need more and more alcohol, the offender takes more and more risks and does more and more damaging things to his or her victims.  The frequency and intensity of the abuse also can increase.

 

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.

 

Robin William’s Suicide, Completely Misunderstood!

(No media have been added because to do so might  make light of this tragedy by focusing on the “clown” not the person.)

Laugh clown, laugh.  Could it be that comedians and persons with depression who commit suicide are some of the most misunderstood people in the world.

We all enjoy laughter.  It has even been proven scientifically to help people fight cancer.  Why do we laugh when others put themselves down?  Why do we laugh when we put ourselves down or worse yet why do others put us down and expect us to laugh about it?

What people don’t realize is that if people feel threatened enough to put us down that we may be more powerful and talented than we think.  Otherwise why we would be seen as such a threat?

Things people say about us create mind chatter.  It may even have a little truth in it.   Also most of us  believe it is better to laugh than to cry.  But why would someone who loves us do this to us anyway?

Have you ever been told that you don’t have a sense of humor when other people make jokes about you at your expense.  Maybe it is a way for comedians to control being put down this when they make fun of themselves.  Other comedians ridicule others to get the same thing.

Deep underneath what does it do to one’s self-esteem?  As the thoughtless mind chatter is repeated over and over, it can become the truth at least from our point of view and maybe others too.  Ridicule is not funny and eats at your insides.  It is worse enough when others do it to you but what about when you do it to yourslelf.  Traitor!

When you get real good at it, how can you stop yourself when other people begin to expect that you will put your show on any time, any place.  Can you imagine a comedian at his or her spouse’s funeral making a joke of it.  I can. What a Sad Sack.

If you get recognition and also re-numeration for it; it must be be worthwhile  and it often becomes who you are.  Then why are you so unhappy?  Why would you commit suicide to get out of the situation?  You can’t or shouldn’t always take work home with you; but comedians do.  On top of that no one wants to cry with you when all they expected from was a few good laughs.

Imagine a prostitute who doesn’t enjoy her work.  Doesn’t a comedian somewhat prostitute him or her self to make it in the world.  You can’t just pretend to be or act happy to be happy.  Only the real thing works.

On top of this, put depression, the dark night of the soul when a person feels hopeless, like the worst person in the world ,and possibly even deserving of hell if they commit suicide,  even if it doesn’t seem reasonable to others.  It is a job  hazard associated with being a comedian especially if the depression feeds a dark sense of comedy which makes other people laugh at and accept him or her.  This could be considered as reinforcement for being depressed.  Drugs are also a way to self-medicate and they work for awhile but eventually can  lead to self destruction and death and/or an “accidental” way of committing suicide.

Add to this the possibility that a person is not only severely depressed at times but also has manic states, possibly extreme manic states, which fuel their comedy and creativity and impair their judgment.  Often to medicate this state results in killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Please do not condemn Robin Williams for ending his life as he saw it and not as we think we understand it.  Aren’t suicidal people often in hell on this side before they ever go to the other side?  Who are we to condemn them?

 

How Do You Confront Denial?

In A State Of Denial

In A State Of Denial

How do you confront denial, especially in yourself?  You most need to do this when you have been putting something off and the adverse consequences are multiplying.  Even more so, you may have had opportunities to solve your problems which you didn’t take and now regret that you didn’t take them.

Now you can grieve over your losses or potential losses and do nothing or you can open yourself up to trying something new.  Life is a series of passages which come and go.  Children can’t remain babies forever and as people get older, they acquire more physical limitations whether due to age, accidents, or the type of physical activities that they have engaged in.  For some people, this happens sooner than later.  People leave your life whether through death, disagreements, or deciding to pursue new goals that are incompatible with your goals.

New people keep coming into your life unless you are a hermit.  Do you welcome them or resent the fact that you now have to deal with someone you don’t know well and who are replacing people you were once were well acquainted with and who were very comfortable to be around?  Having a quiet incident free life can be a mixed blessing, it doesn’t prepare you for when life knocks  you for a loop.

Do you greet new things in your life by saying “I can’t” or “I won’t  do that?”

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Denial Is Not A River In Eygpt

denialquote,EgyptDenial (the Nile) is not a river in Egypt” is something I might have heard of in Alcoholics Anonymous; but it’s something said by Mark Twain first.  Many people use denial because they say to themselves,,”Denial will never hurt anyone.  It will keep me out of trouble.”  The sometimes scarey trouble of having to do something about it such as when you have $40,000 in credit card debt and you keep making the minimum payments.  It will hurt nobody (but me and you).  Sometimes we are afraid of what other people’s reactions will be to what we don’t want to admit to.

denialroadsignDenial can become so evasive that we no longer are living in the real world.  We may forget what it was that we were denying and this results in a second denial when reality hits us in the face and we have to deal with the consequences.  Then the only thing that we can say (and we now believe it to be true), “I don’t remember doing or having that.”

Denial is one way of dealing with too much stress.  We can’t handle everything that we need to handle so we conveniently forget one or more of them.  This way we miss appointments, don’t get assignments done, and even have a physical condition get worse.  How often have you said,”I don’t have time to deal with that now,” and then to compound the problem have even forgotten that something needed to be done.

“Me?  Face the things I have denied.”  “No, way!”  I have got enough to do and/or worry about right now.  Many of the things we avoid this way generate a lot of anxiety.  Sometimes our body tells us this by creating a physical problem or by making it get worse.  I have done this and have developed hives (both inside and outside my body), earaches, and stomach and bowel problems.  It’s not “all in your head”; but it is not all outside you either.  Some people call them psychosomatic problems?

stressedoutWhat can you do about denial?  Obviously you can take some of the things you stress about off your “To do list“.  You can look for the hidden stress factors which you are basically denying right now and do something (which you have been putting off  doing) This is because doing this will you think make you even more anxious.  With these types of psychosomatic symptoms, recovery can be almost instantaneous when you “sh.. (defecate) or get off the pot”.

I am at my personal limit when this happens.  I often become even more anxious by resolving the problem but there usually an end to the process and I get some relief.  Then I wonder why I tried to deny this problem for so long?  There is a price to pay which does not seem worth it at first and that is why you deny the problem.  Often there are  at least two choices in the process of resolving this problem and neither appears to be a good one.

When in denial, I have carried such burdens by denying them for such a long time that looking back I wondered why I let myself live that way?  How about you?  Is there something you have put off dealing with? or something stupid you are doing which is a waste of time and money (like getting life insurance policies with your spouse with each other as beneficiaries when you really down deep, underneath it all are headed for a divorce)?

signs,doublebindLast, but not least, to avoid one obstacle in life by not seeing it, you start stop seeing other obstacles and soon you have blurry vision and “blind spots.”  You begin seeing more and occurrences through the filter of denial and you get further and further from what is really there or reality.  If this hits home, I suggest you look up the topic, “mindfulness” as it helps develop realistic thinking  and helps you to avoid missing some of the things that are going on (like the look on a person’s face which doesn’t match their words) that would help you make a better judgment.

For example,  you may have been denying to yourself that the person might not have your best interests in mind, but you feel stuck because you feel that person is the only one that can help you.  Sometimes that is called a double-bind.  It is when a person says something that is not matching what they are doing otherwise, like their tone of voice or lack of eye contact.  Denial of one part or other of the equation is a way of dealing  with it and you can guess which people go for (especially if they are all ready insecure).

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Alcohol Problem? Why Not Try Hypnosis?

alcohol-addictionWith the twelve step programs and all the addiction services out there, I have never heard mentioned that someone tried hypnosis.  How about you?  Maybe it should not be the only thing an addict tries but it could be an adjunct part of his or her therapy.  People with addictions need all the help they can get.  Hypnosis with a qualified hypnotist who has worked with weight problems and other addiction problems couldn’t hurt.  It would be cost effective if done in groups and that might encourage someone to try it when they wouldn’t do it on their own.  At the very least it would teach a person how to relax without seeking their drug or addictive behavior of choice.

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