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Mental health

It’s Their Drama, Not Yours

I learned a valuable lesson today:  “It’s Their Drama, Not Yours!  I’m a fixer-upper by nature and it doesn’t hurt that I am in a helping profession.  “Did I hurt your feelings”  Whose feelings are they?  “You should have known in the first place that I didn’t want to do it!”  “So why didn’t you let me off the hook?”  Am I a bad guy because I should have known that even though they said,”Yes,”  They really didn’t want to do it.and they felt it was an imposition.

Now whatever you do, they get mad because you couldn’t read minds.  They take that load off their shoulders and put it on yours.  Now you end up feeling bad instead of them.  It is like a sudden rainstorm landed right above your head and you get soaked.  They wind up feeling better and you have accepted a part in their drama that you really didn’t want and really didn’t earn.

What if you had a really good time and thought they had too.  Whose fault is it?  It’s not yours and why didn’t they “fess up earlier that they didn’t want to be there.  Imagine you cooked a really good meal from a recipe you found and wanted to try and felt you had successfully mastered a good meal.  Then someone tells you that there was something in the meal that caused an untoward reaction in them and you should have known it would, but they didn’t remind you and ate it anyway.

Another person who ate the meal smiled and said that they liked it but really they didn’t like casseroles as they were a meat and potatoes type of person.  What happened is that you fixed a nice meal for a couple of ingrates.  What a waste of time! and now you get mad when you didn’t feel bad before.  Is it catching?  Drama attracts drama.  Sometimes no one is happy unless no one else is happy.

Is drama a disease?  Sometimes it is not so bad when the contagion involves happiness and success.  How about learning that someone is going to have a baby.  Whoops there was one person in the crowd who is childless and unable to get pregnant or better yet did successfully have a baby by in vitro fertilization and then lost it to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).  This can be a wet blanket and the person with the news now feels bad that they even mentioned it in front of that person.

Some people even stage a situation so they can create drama.  This woman had a display of fragile glass perfume bottles on a coffee table and almost the first thing that she did was to call the toddlers present attention to it and if they would not have touched the perfume bottles in the first scenario; but they will now.  Possibly it will result in a broken bottle or two, maybe the most expensive ones.  The payoff in drama is superlative and the instigator is super comfortable in her innosence, but the others don’t know how she did it or even that she set it up.

See the previous post, “Leave the Drama to the Lama”.  Feelings can be catching; but often not in a good way.  Have you ever left a group when an argument became heated.  Some of these situations can leave you shell-shocked with PTSD  (post-traumatic stress syndrome).  This is what makes soap operas so exciting.  What will they stir up next?  Calm down.  Go listen to some soothing music, take walk in the park.  Make a quick exit back to where you are feeling good again.  If someone had a bad cold would you stand close to them, kiss them or maybe even drink out of their glass.  You wouldn’t expose yourself to that so don’t expose yourself to somebody’s drama.

Sometimes drama is fun like in movies or books; but you know it is not really happening in front of you.  You might get scared, laugh hysterically, or even shed a few tears but you know down deep that it isn’t real.  If you tend to take some things seriously, then you might avoid certain types of stories.  Me, I don’t like horror shows.  There are enough really scary things happening in real life.  Has anyone followed the news lately?

 

Devilish Behavior And The Las Vegas Shooting – A Hypothesis

There has been a lot of people looking for a motive for the shooter in the Las Vegas shooting.  They haven’t found any accomplices and the shooter was a known moderately (by Vegas standards) successful gambler and he had openly lived that life before the shooting.  He had gone on 12 or 13 cruises in the last year.  He had several homes. It apparently took a lot of planning, the acquiring of specific knowledge, and the scoping out of other possible locations and events where he could have carried the same type of atrocity.  He knew how to aim his semi-automatic weapons standing upon special platforms and he had made calculations to be sure he would aim the rifles in such a way as to enable him to kill or wound the most people.

Now you might not believe in the devil and/or in demon possession as described in the Bible but it seems to fit here.  Could a bargain have been made with the devil which allowed him to live the successful life he did even though he started his life with a very low-level job?  Also, his girlfriend said that he would struggle and thrash in bed (was he fighting with a demon or dealing with demon possession?).  It also accounts for the extensive planning that he did, the knowledge that he acquired, and possibly the targets.  Surely the devil would like to have him choose a target which would include a lot of lovers of country music which are often Christians?  Maybe he didn’t need an accomplice if he already was involved in a pact with the devil or had opened himself to demon possession.  As I present this hypothesis, I am calling upon the name of Jesus to rebuke the devil and his accomplices and to protect me from the devil.

The possibility of mental illness has been proposed, but it usually is not possible for a mentally ill person to be so successful in doing something that involved so much knowledge and preparation.  Was he a narcissistic sociopath? a paranoid schizophrenic?  Often mental illness leads to confusion and unrealistic ideas of special powers and also unrealistic ideas of how to carry out distorted ideas.  Yes, they can desire to kill people.  Maybe he had it in for Christians; but if he did, he told no one about it.  There has so far been any evidence of any delusions.  He was not the type of guy who stood out in any crowd and he was known as a frequent successful gambler but he did not cause any problems.   He was not known to associate with anybody but his girlfriend and, if not her,  prostitutes.

 

Things That Children Absolutely Need (Which Usually Cost Nothing)

Children are like African violets.  (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.)  They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted.  Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of.  Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.

As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support.  When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant.  The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.

Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child.  Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.

Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction?  Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.

Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another,  This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling.  This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.

The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling.  Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive

Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases).  Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.

Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right.  The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought.  They often cost more time than money.  First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.

Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support.  A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian.  The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!

Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored.  “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed.  Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.

Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children.  Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost.  Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well.  The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.

 

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FINALLY I AM FREE TO BE ME!

My happy face anyway!.

Finally I am free to be me.  Are you free to be you?

I just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

Would you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions can offend me.   (Am I right or wrong? )  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

You probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

Precursurers to Domestic Violence

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgThere are some things a woman should look out for when establishing a new relationship with a man.  Don’t believe that his last girlfriend or wife deserved to be labeled as the “bad” one in the relationship.  Be careful if either you or he came from a family where violence was common or accepted if a woman or child did not do the right thing according to the man of the house.  Be aware too that men or women can come from families where violence was common among the women of the family.

There is no real excuse for violence.  When anger is considered “justified” because the person who is angry thinks that someone or something made him or her feel that way and that is enough to justify acting it out.  This can lead to a very explosive situation.  Add alcohol to this in some people and the situation becomes even worse.

Anger Controls People

Anger Controls People

Being the only man in the family, besides my elderly grandfather, my dad was called upon to “handle” his brother-in-law when he was in an alcoholic rage in order to protect my mom’s crippled sister and kids.  My dad had been quite an athlete in his youth but this did not always help when my uncle was threatening them with a butcher knife.  Also, my younger brother was still at home and had to witness this.  I don’t think Police usually made domestic violence calls back then.

Women and children and even some men are not punching bags and it can leave a strong impression on some children even if they themselves don’t get hurt.  “Don’t hit him; hit me” was a brave statement made by a sister when her brother got hit, not her.  How helpless does a child feel when they watch their sibling or parent get hurt on purpose when the other parent has a “mad fit” and takes it out on him or her?rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpg

 

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 Naturally Show Affection?

Do you show affection or is it awkward and uncomfortable if you do or someone else does it to you.  It has a lot to do with your upbringing.  My family background is German and there were few displays of affection while I was growing up and it remains awkward for me to do this even today.

rp_20070403_personal_space_comfort_zones.pngI have said, “Love you,” to some of my family members whom I truly love and they were shocked and didn’t know what to say.  I once tried to give my ailing father a hug and he froze.  Anger was easier to express in my family than affection.

Physical contact is an important part of showing affection.  We all need to be touched whether it is a back rub or physical contact like curling up on the couch to watch a movie with someone.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesThere is a story about “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies” that illustrates that people need love and affection and can die without out it.  Due to an old witch, people got the idea that the amount of warm fuzzies that a person can give is limited and they were encouraged to use cold pricklies provided by the witch.

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgIn my family anger and criticisms were the cold pricklies that kept me alive.  Disappointment was sometimes used too.  The warm fuzzies were few and far between and they didn’t feel very warm.  They mostly were given at a distance as when I would show my Dad my new dress.

rp_342852690_150_150.jpgMassages of hands and feet can heal certain parts of the body according to Reflexology,  Hands are convenient to use as it doesn’t require removing any clothing.  Holding each others hands in a group as we pray or meditate or visualize something and the arms can be stretched out to put some space between people as they do this.

Could this affect someone’s sex life.  Very definitely so. With all the bands on physical touching in most places, people don’t get much chance to bond this way or offer support and reassurance this way.  Sexual relations can be life getting to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank

rp_272680378_bd063659bc_m.jpgSexual relations can be life-giving to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank You Mam.”  Is it manly to do a little making out to get ready for sex?

Pets often get more love and affection than the human family members and they know how to get it.  If love and affection are not encouraged when one is a child how can he or she display these things as an adult?

141167840521223colorfulgrandcanyonWhen I went to Sedona, I had the most beautiful massagre and I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable although I was undressed under a sheet.  I was not embarrassed when she touched me intimately in parts that I never had been caressed before.

Do you know that boys especially when they start to mature are considered too old for sissy things like displaying or receiving love and affection.  It is amazing that because of things like this, that we don’t wither on the vine.

Why People Can’t Change

Why people can’t change:

1.  They would have to admit they were wrong about something.

2.  They might have to make some other changes too.

3.  It would take too much time.

4.  They are waiting for somebody else to change first.

5.  They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.

6.  They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.

7.  Having to be always right even if it kills you.

Why they should change:

1.  To stop putting money down a rat hole.

2.  To become an example for somebody else.

3.  To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.

4.  To save more  time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.

5.  To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.

6.  To learn something new.

In the long run there are great benefits:  For example, learning to drive as an adult.  Erased my dependency on others.  Gave me freedom.

amygdala

 

 

 

When Feelings Aren’t Wrong In Therapy

Don't Ask; Don't Tell.

Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.

When feelings aren’t wrong in therapy and might be a warning sign:

As a therapist, I have been in psychotherapy working on my own issues.

It seems that the first thing a therapist might say is trust me, I only want to help you.

So you entrust your soul to a therapist you don’t know who you think has the appropriate credentials to help you solve your problems but who in the end only creates more problems for you.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

Here is my story:

The details are fuzzy but they often are when dealing with sexual abuse.  One of the first things this therapist told me was that he found me sexually attractive and this made me feel uncomfortable; but he reassured me that I shouldn’t feel that way as it was a compliment.

Months later, maybe even a year later.  I came back to see this therapist at his invitation to let him know how I was doing after I had completed therapy with him.

I opened the door to his office and saw him lying on the floor with some pillows around him and he said,”Come here.  Let me touch you.”  I don’t remember the rest of what happened.  I was at the very least surprised and disconcerted by his proposition.

I don’t remember the rest of what happened.  The details are fuzzy and any attempts I have made to create a time line has been even more confusing.  It took years for me to remember this and by then it was too late to do anything about it.

What is appropriate and what is inappropriate in therapy?

Common sense would tell you that touching, especially titilating touches, are not appropriate either during or after therapy while the client still relates to the therapist in the therapist role.

Sexual abuse victims are extremely vulnerable to this kind of thing and the practitioner’s code is “Above all else do no harm”.

Do you see how this orientation on the therapist’s part could have rended most of the therapy ineffective?  maybe even harmful to me?

Therapist’s have a big responsibility and they must constantly monitor their feelings towards a client and seek supervision if they are unsure about this.

Clients place a big burden on the therapist and there has been a code of ethics created for him or her to follow in their relationships with a client.  It would seem to be easy to do this if the therapist has common sense and a personal code of conduct not only as a therapist but also as a human being.

The biggest trap is transference in the therapist-client reationship.  This happens when either the therapist or the client perceives the other person in the relationship as being like someone from their past and acting toward that person like he or she would with this figure.

Therapists should be trained to avoid this trap and to use this information about their own possible transference to promote healing in the client versus letting it happen on their part and disrupting and corrupting the relationship.

 

 

 

 

Stop! Think…Could A LadyBug Be Self-Actualizing?

rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg(Work in progress.  More to come.  Including the essay that was the idea for this post.)

The epitome of personal achievement in Humanistic Psychology is the self-actualizing person who only reaches that point after overcoming the hurdles of satisfying basic needs: physical, security, social, and self-esteem ones.

It is not the person you might expect him, or is it her, to be?  ( Don’t we generally think of ladybugs as female?)  Fame and wealth aren’t necessarily the highest goals and meeting the needs for these self-aggrandizing or often other-exploiting objectives often can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a sense of “Is that all there is?”

Then what is a self-actualized person?

Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualized people:

1) Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

2) Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

3) Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

4) Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Now what has a ladybug got to do with this?  This description of a ladybug that was brought to my attention by one of my honorary “sisters” (as I only have brothers) fits most of the description of a self-actualized person quite well.   To be continued…

Part of the Lady Bug series

Part of the Lady Bug series

A ladybug in the essay is a very realistic person who knows where she stands, what she can contribute, and what those around her need.

A ladybug has a sense of what is right and wrong and endeavors to follow this self-created code no matter what others think or try to tell her.

After achieving the ability to do what others consider to be correct and being able to conform to the desires of the world, the ladybug develops a sense of individuality and what makes her “tick” and begins frequently marches to the sound of her own drummer inside.

Yes, a lady bug has her own drummer and a need to follow her own beat.  The determining of which is her own private goal and often involves some inward searching which does not always require the presence of others.

Earlier a lady bug was described in “The Self-actualized Lady Bug”as a necessary part of the garden  of creation and often overlooked in the scheme of things but as very necessary for the maintenance and growth and health of the plants there in.

She contributes to the welfare and well being of others and can be very industrious even considered insignificant until she is no longer there to do the work.  Sometimes she stands out by her choice of bright wrappings which may be even considered frivolous by others.

She is self-motivating and concerned with the needs of others.  She also knows the “right” things to do and is motivated to do them.

Could there be Gentleman Bugs?  Of course!