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Archive for the ‘Counseling’ Category

Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

Some of the tell tale signs of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Lack of enjoyment in day to day activities

Not deriving any joy from things that used to excite the person earlier

Difficulty in concentrating in any task

Feelings of anxiety and perpetual fear

Feelings of irritability triggered by trivial things

Isolation from family and friends

Detachment from work and life

Inability to take big or small decisions

Lack of interest in work

Avoidance of certain situations and people at work

Unprovoked outbursts of anger

Constant feeling of dread and imagination of doom

 

Causes of Compassion Fatigue

Some common causes of compassion fatigue are listed below.

Interacting with and taking care of terminally ill patients day in and day out

Caring for a physically or mentally challenged child

Counseling grief stricken families in times of grave environmental disasters

Counseling victims of sexual abuse

Working in a help line to support and encourage trauma victims

Working in close association with mentally challenged people

Providing support to people suffering from depression

via Compassion Fatigue Causes.

 

As an advocate the key to success is being able to balance compassion so that fatigue is avoided, or if it occurs that it is quickly diverted and conquered.  I am fortunate that I work at a place that takes “wellness” seriously and we are allowed to go into a wellness session for almost 2 hrs each month paid for and flexed time away from the phones, giving one an option and opportunity to balance a 40 hr work week on the phones with folks in various crisis situations  with some downtime to take care of you (the advocate).

Sometimes the wellness sessions would include meditation methods, a bit of art therapy, a bit of learning of various techniques that we can also share with the callers, some yoga, some zumba, pottery making, learning to laugh, and so much more.

More important is to take application of the things learned from the wellness sessions to make a better quality of your own life.    Healthy eats, exercise/movement, quiet time, time to voice and be an activist outside of the work environment, and so much more.

A great book that wasn’t mentioned in the connective article to read about compassion and taking care of yourself is a book called 

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

 by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, which can be found on Amazon.com.  It’s definitely a worthwhile book to read and may become your “Bible” beside you if you are a caregiver in any aspect.  Their website is something that is valuable for continued support in your own journey for continued caregiving of others — http://traumastewardship.com/.

What ideas do you have to focus upon to combat compassion fatigue in your everyday life and continue on the enjoyment of the journey of Caregiving in the sense that it is really meant to be?  Would love to hear more ideas from you.

 

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Empathy can be literally defined as:

em·pa·thy [ émpəthee ]   Audio player

  1. understanding of another’s feelings:the ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings or difficulties
  2. attribution of feelings to an object:the transfer of somebody’s own feelings and emotions to an object such as a painting

[ Early 20th century. < Greek empatheia “affection, passion” ]

 Ashoka Fellow Molly Barker, Founder of Girls on the Run International®, who has been working to build-up Ashoka’s Empathy Initiative. suggests the following:

Empathy has been a hot topic at the summit. Typically considered a soft skill and not necessarily essential to leadership (at least in the traditional sense), Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka, has uncovered a number of thematic connections between all of those folks who are social entrepreneurs. Empathy has been and continues to be at the top of that list.

Empathy is one of those things … “things” because I’m not sure precisely what to call it … that I’ve taken for granted. I was raised in a very empathetic home. My family members are empathetic. My children are empathetic and most everyone – heck, EVERYONE! – I work with is empathetic. I’ve naturally, based on my own experiences, assumed that most people would understand why empathy is essential to being human … a kind of “duh” sort of thing. A clear and VERY obvious outcome of Girls on the Run is the ability of every girl and coach to give and receive within an empathetic context.

In my mind, without empathy we lack the ability to deeply connect with another living creature. Empathy affords us the experience of being one in experience with another, putting aside our own ego, the need to be right, and being with the emotions of another. It doesn’t mean fixing them, making the emotions go away or enabling the individual. To me it simply means being with their emotions without interference from me.

via So how do you get empathy, anyway? (Hint: You won’t find it in a lecture.) | Ashoka.org.

As an advocate, I am always under the impression that being with empathy is demonstrating a concern and understanding of the here and now of the caller/person communicating with (no matter the mode of communication).  It isn’t a time of formulating one’s opinion of the situation; it is more important to sort through options and more options for the situation given at hand, as well as providing emotional support and guidance for catapulting forwarding to the light at the end of the tunnel, in order to move forward to, hopefully, without the burdens of the crisis situations at hand.

People need to have a voice in their lives moving forward, they need to see and weigh out the options available for them (because when in crisis mode, you rarely see through the mist of the tears caused by the emotional and/or physical pain currently enduring); however, they need to know that they aren’t crazy, that they have lives that are valued, and that they can do things and make great decisions that affect their own lives, as well as those around them.

How do YOU see empathy?  How do you apply empathy in your daily lives?

 

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a great fact sheet resource to Domestic Violence  and Children:  Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates, answering such questions as:

How do children react to domestic violence?

What are some typical short-term responses?

What about children’s responses in the long term?

What are the factors that help children recover?

What should parents tell their children about domestic violence?

How much information is enough but not too much?

What should a parent tell a child about the parent who was abusive?

How can advocates protect children from adult information?

How should parents respond to and cope with their children’s feelings about them?

What are some strategies for managing children’s behaviors that may occur in families with domestic violence?

How can advocates determine when a child needs more help?

and,

What is secondary trauma and how does it affect me?

 

 

Click on the link below to learn more:

http://www.nctsnet.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/DomViolenceFactSheet_final.pdf

 

 

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Jamie Olive is my hero.  Last year, when he came to the United States and make a debut in the small, sleepy town in West Virginia, he clearly made an impact and difference in their lives.

This year, he might have taken on more than he could chew by tackling the enormous Los Angeles Community.  By the end of the last show, though, he gained the support of the new supertindent of the LA School system.

He’s got the right ideas though.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and is aiming to put things into good perspective with good eats, starting in the schools.

I thank him for his perseverance in keeping on the school systems.  I look forward to see the long range effects of his efforts.

What’s next for this hero?  Can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve for the next leg of his crusade!

News | Jamie Oliver (US).

 

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One of the most creative and latest/greatest social sites being placed out on the world wide web recently is a site called, Soul Needs!

It really works on getting to know people for their wholesome goodness, as well as a place for each and every person to come and explore fitness by way of the mind, body and soul.

Create your own profile.

Explore the “Circles”, various communities centered around specific topics or needs for fulfillment — or, create your own.

Take the many quizes available on the site to explore where you stand with your mind, body, and soul.

There are also other areas in development — entertainment and events, to begin with.

If you are wanting something a little more fulfilling than the social sites you have been to lately, you really should take the time to explore this more by clicking on the link below:

 

SoulNeeds Beta – Dashboard – txbluebonnet.

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Everyone needs a place to go to where they can heal, be safe to talk, and empower others along their healing journey.  For those traveling the healing journey due to domestic violence issues, Facebook’s page called, Domestic Violence Voices, offers just one such place.

It’s just a great feel good place with a great community spirit.

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OMG, just read a blog posting that an author stated that,

“There is an oft-repeated, but false, myth that Super Bowl Sunday is the worst day for violence against women.” 

Of course, the author then adds,

“Would that it were that easy.  Domestic violence doesn’t care what day it is.  It is an every day (and everyday) problem of individuals, families, and society as a whole.  The solution to domestic violence cannot, by definition, take place only within the family unit.  It is a public health issue if ever there was one.”

The first sentence sent the hair up on the back of my neck — MYTH?  a fallacy???  I don’t think so!!  I have been working in the domestic violence field for more than 5 years now, not counting the 15 years that I have been a paralegal and the many years of physical and emotional domestic violence that I personally encountered for many years, and yesterday was probably the first experience I had had with working specifically on Superbowl Sunday in this industry and I wrote the following on another site…..

entitled, “Underdogs come up and win! Thank goodness someone did!!!”

Today has been a rough day for me. For many that know, I answer crisis calls for a living. That, in itself isn’t too bad because I generally can separate myself from their pain and move forward to the next caller.

Today, it has been different. Perhaps, it is because I have never worked in this field on Superbowl Sunday; I don’t know. It seems like I had before, but I don’t remember it being this rough.

Superbowl for most people can be all fun and games, but from the domestic violence perspective it can be quite the opposite. I have been receiving higher risk crisis calls today percentage wise than I ever have, I believe. I mean, usually, it is just calls wanting more information or how to plan to help from friends or family members OR understanding how they need to understand why they need to stay away from the abusive person OR some students wanting help on their projects.

Today, though….

* a woman’s face was bashed in by her ex and she just returned home from the hospital. Her ex was on the way to p/u the kids and she needed to ensure their safety until she could reach the attorney and the district attorney in the morning….

* callers calling from places they are hiding from their abusers….

* callers from the other room while there abusive partner was enjoying the superbowl game after having beaten them up. They were seeking shelter space….

* callers wanting us to call 911 for them…

* caller stating that her husband had just “disciplined” her daughter by yanking her hair and dragging her through the house and throwing her into the doorway. The daughter now has a concussion….

* other child abuse calls being called in….

and sooooo much more.

It is times like these when one gets these sort of calls you would like to be able to hang up the phone and call “The Equalizer” to take care of things. I guess I always loved that show because the actor would do so in a not necessarily violent way to get the point across to the aggressor — a sort of person who advocated for the underdog.

It is sort of the peace de la resistance (sp?) in the fact that, at least, one underdog has won today — even if it is from an event that seems to masks the pain of others in the same day.

Some day — I wish the pains of the victims away and the abusive/aggressive folks of this world find peace so that we can all live in the world as one happy family. Is it really too much to ask for???

Now, try to tell me, after my experience yesterday on a domestic violence hotline, that Superbowl Sunday isn’t one of the worst days ever for domestic violence.

In all fairness though, there are hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of calls received day in and day out throughout the entire year.  Domestic violence isn’t just domestic violence on Superbowl Sunday; however, the intensity culminates to something that is both exasperating and emotional.

Some day…..

the violence in the home has to end!

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Making lists doesn’t always put our world in order, but it certainly helps us to feel more orderly.

~ Anonymous

lol..

I don’t know how many lists that I have written over the years, but it has certainly made me rest better at nights very often so that I could have a renewed perspective of the upcoming day, as well as a renewed charge and dedication to eliminate as many of the items off of my lists.

How about yourself????

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Life isn’t perfect — it never really is. A man lost his wife tonight who he had been married to for 14 years, dated for 10, and known each other as children growing up.

I have been on many victim bereavement calls after the death of a person. They all take you back in a certain way. This one bothered me more than per usual because, although the paramedics had already come and gone by the time that I had arrived, the woman’s eyes were still opened. I guess I am just used to paramedics in the past closing the eyes of the deceased before I arrive — and when I had found my own husband dead, his eyes were already closed (but my husband had also often talked with his eyes closed – a habit of his for some reason).

Currently at work, working on advocacy in another realm tonight; however, the vision of the woman still remains engrained upon my mind. I am sure that it will for quite some time.

Throughout life there are things that approach the way we feel about life and treasure life for what it is and is to be. Seeing death in people, as morbid as it may sound, is one such way that we gain a greater perspective and value for life and the life we live each day.

As family members thanked us for being there, I mentioned to them that, “I can’t say that we enjoy being here, but we are indeed happy that we can help in any way that we can.” I even had one woman bless me tonight; this is certainly not your normal sequence of events at a scene.

I think I remember from a time when my closest grandmother died a person told me that for every death there is a birth. In so doing, while we sadly will miss the person leaving us and heading towards their life after death (for those of us who do believe in that), it is a joy in being able to look forward to births to follow.

I wonder what great birth will become of this death tonight, as a result. Who knows? In the meantime, we are always forever touched in our souls by life’s experiences — the good and the bad, the life and the death.

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Today I awakened at my Alzhiemer’s client’s home to find that she is distraught over her cat.   She threw her cat out the door after the cat appearing to have changed colors (say what?). She said that the cat turned pink.  After seeing the cat last night myself and wondering if the cat were pregnant because she was big around, I was wondering if she meant that the cat was about to have babies or what.  Still not sure what she meant, but I encouraged her to take a shower after engaging her in the Joel Olsteen show this morning and having some freshly squeezed orange juice and toast.

I put out some cat food while she was in the shower after not seeing the cat myself.  After cleaning up the home we left but she thanked me for everything as she was encouraged by Joel Olsteen’s power talk about minimizing our adversities and putting a magnifying glass towards the bigger and better things to come for us ahead – and, she agreed the the shower did make her feel refreshed as well.

We set out and went to Denny’s for breakfast and then off to Sun Harvest for some bits and pieces for things to make at home.  Poor thing.  She got in her mind that she was going to make her famed chicken soup and when I told her that we might not need to buy a whole chicken because it won’t fit into the toaster oven, she felt despair and disgust to her son who had taken apart her stove to keep her from setting the place on fire accidentally.  I tried to point out that she might be able to do the same in a crockpot and she toyed with the idea for a moment then said, “No, I just want my stove to be working!”.  We went around and put some of those ingredients back and searched for other possibilities that she could do — for instance instant oatmeal with the water boiled in the electric kettle, etc.

When we finally got home, we prepared some tuna salad for sandwiches this week and put away the groceries we did purchase.  After calling her son to tell him that he really must get the stove working and hanging up on him after a conversation about his love life that isn’t working out too hot, she pulled up a chair for me to sit in and said, “Come.  Talk to me!”

I sat down and I got a lecture about taking a chance with life and finding a man for me.  She called me a “gootah” (phonetically correct, but Jewish for a woman that does things for everyone else but herself).  She says that she wants me to go out and spend $100 on myself — a new dress, earrings, lipstick — and go dancing.  She says that I should get a sign to wear (like a nametag) and say that I am a free woman! (I can just see it now — women who have already been married and are now divorced and/or widowed must wear a “W” – – an “M” inverted for “woman” and signifying turning over a new leaf!  OMG…lol…..

As I finally was heading out the door after spending 30-1/2 hrs this weekend with her this weekend, she said to me, “You are a lovely woman.  I enjoy spending time with you because you make me feel sane and you are fun to be around.  You need to buy that dress, earrings, and lipstick — and, find something daring to do!”  It almost sounded like a preacher giving me a charge to do for the week ahead, as well as a challenge to find something daring to do.

Thank goodness she has Alzhiemers and she may not remember that she told me that next weekend or I might have to actually report to her the daring thing that I did this week; however, on the other hand, because she does have some degrees of Alzheimers, I might have the same lecture next week.  Oh, nooooooo!!! lol….

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In reading some profiles on Fubar (much like MySpace), I ran across one that had this written on it (by “Lonewolf”)…..

The most wonderful of all things in life,
I believe, is the discovery of another human being
with whom one’s relationship has a glowing depth,
beauty, and joy as the years increase.
This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope;
to be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

I, especially, love the part about “…Don’t dismiss your dreams.  To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose. ….”  We all need a purpose in our lives – a purpose for the enjoyment of the moment, and for our future ahead of ourselves (whether or not we can determine what our future is exactly).

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This is the first morning that I have felt half way awake since I woke up on Saturday afternoon b/c I then left Saturday night to work a shift from 6pm Saturday night until 2pm Sunday with an Alzhiemers client.  When I arrived her, there was a new shift person that was there for the first time and it had made her extremely nervous and frustrated.  I managed to settle her down that evening and she awoke refreshed and rearing to go, while I awoke with a backache from hell b/c I had slept on the wooden futon bed all wrong.

It took me a while to get moving and she hopped in and out of the room I was several times asking me what was the agenda today.  Finally, I got her engaged in the Joel Olsteen preacher from Lakewood Church in Houston TX on the television.  I told her that he was a powerful speaker and she sat and listened with great intensity.  He spoke about frustrations and not letting people get under your skin and get the best of you — in another words, not to let other people steal your joy.  This was poignant for her….

as well as for me (for what had happened earlier this past week and what is about to happen this week).

We both went forward into the day with a great attitude and went to have breakfast at an Austin tradition hole in the wall place, then tried to go to the LBJ Wildflower park (but we ended up being there an hour too early) then window shopping for a bit before we headed back home.  While we were back home she relaxed reading the NY Times Newspaper and a book about Elvis Pressely.  She became recharged and we headed to the local Dairy Queen to find a sign outside the door over a trashcan stating “Bad Attitudes Here” with an arrow directed towards the trashcan.  We laughed about the irony of it — especially after the Joel Olsteen sermon about the joy and marched into the Dairy Queen saying “No one is going to steal my Joy!” and ordered some delicious waffle sundaes.  (BTW, did you know that the first Dairy Queen was actually in Canada???  That was something that I hadn’t known before.)

At any rate, I went from her home to my home to sleep for a few hours before heading into an overnight shift.  Getting off Monday morning, I was still exhausted because I hadn’t caught up on my sleep yet.  Today, though, even after working last night on another overnight shift, I am feeling recharged (at least, for the moment…lol…).

On the desk I share with another employee at the hotline, I tore off the 7th quote of the day off of the 2008 calendar and revealed the 8th.  Today’s message was — “There’s nothing noble in being superior to someone else.  The one mobility is in being superior to your previous self.” — a Hindu proverb.  That is, indeed, so very true.

Today, the supervisors are meeting to decide about who is to get the permanent overnight shift (you see I have been working as a relief for the past 5 years) that is open.  Myself and two others applied.  One is disqualified from applying because she hasn’t been there long enough to transfer to another shift; the other one would not be a good choice because she has argued with the employees on the overnight shift in the past.  Hopefully, the logical choice will be me.  Even the overnight shift folks are all rooting for me.

But that has no effect on the rhyme or reason of the supervisor staff.  We’ll see.

All I know is that I am better today that I was yesterday — no matter their decision and choice — and, no one can still my joy.  My real joy isn’t whether I am working PT or FT; my real joy is being able to be the best advocate that I know myself to be.

Of course, I am going to have to remind myself to think positive.  My coworkers have already planned to order out for our meals tonight.  We’ll see and hope that that might be in celebration that I am “in” for the FT position.

No harm in keeping my fingers crossed for the best though, right?

Any prayers would be appreciated….as I really need the FT work income wise, which will allow me the opportunity to not work for 2 employers quite to the extent that I have been.

At any rate, please remember that there is no stealing the joy!!!

😀

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Although I have run across this blogger, known as “Midnight Dancer”, on another social site (currently called Fubar and fka Cherry Tap & fka Lost Cherry), his blog entitled “Let’s Dance Through Life: Love, Honestly, and the Internet” has a posting called “No Guts, No Glory” and poignantly states:

It has been said many ways: No guts, no glory. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Life is full of chances and opportunities. But to take a chance .. to reach for an opportunity … there is risk involved.

Some people like to play it safe. They don’t want to take a risk. They have been hurt before and are afraid of being hurt again.

That is totally understandable. I have taken many risks in my life, and I have been hurt. The question one has to ask themselves is, “is the risk worth the reward?”

I have always answered this question, “yes!” Because I know that the reward is the best thing I would ever dream of, and I have said that I will go through anything to get that. And if I quit, then all that I have gone through in the past would be for nothing.

But sometimes … I waver in this. My courage begins to falter. Sometimes I think, “Not again. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too much.”

Then I try to take a deep breath, and think, maybe the next risk will be the one that pays off. And I remind myself; I repeat it to myself like some kind of mantra. “No guts, no glory.”

I had responded by stating that…. “Hmmm… I am sure that my crisis callers may not all appreciate that motto or mantra; however, it is certainly one to keep in mind indeed for all of us who have ever taken risks — or about to! :D”

Don’t you think???

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Received Oprah’s “Today’s Mission Calendar Inspiration” email today wherein in the first paragraph it states about the January issue, “Let the hot air out of the self-esteem balloon–and find a more stable basis for carrying yourself through the world.”  What a great quote!

Wow!  Isn’t that a formidable quest at times???  A more stable basis for carrying oneself through the world???  After all, our world as we might know it gets shaken up all the time — divorce, marriage, becoming pregnant, realizing you can’t have children, in a domestic violence situation (whether it be physically or emotionally OR even if it doesn’t directly involve you but involves someone that you love or have as a friend), illnesses, deaths, etc.  We don’t plan on these events happening in our lives (directly or indirectly) but many are destined to be inevitable to happend, after all wherever there is life, there is also death around us.

For some, it can feel like a never ending cycle.  “Let me off of this roller coaster ride, please!” some will say; others, will not feel the affects of the roller coaster rides of life in general because they live ever so protected lives whereas many of us will feel small in comparison.  After all, how is it that they can have such even keel lives and others don’t?  I certainly don’t see “Hurt me!” written on the foreheads of victims nor do I see “Immortal!” written on the foreheads of those seemingly completely escaping the vast majority of the effects of the rash, bumby roller coaster ride.

How does one truly set out to find oneself more stable for carrying oneself through the world? 

* Having one job that can support yourself and your family?

* Advocating for the future of others?

* Having a job that allows you to afford to be able to spend more time with your family?

* Decluttering life’s “treasures” from one’s home?

* Having an income that will provide for a possibility that you actually have a savings for those emergencies and/or to set aside for retirement — so that one can truly enjoy retirement?

* Vowing to live healthier?

* Having opportunities for vacation time so that one can truly enjoy life?

* Restoring one’s faith in humanity?

* Having an opportunity to make time to enjoy doing things that one enjoys doing besides just working, sleeping, working, and sleeping?

What in the world is it going to take to make one more stable in order to carry themselves in the world?  What would it be for you?

For me, it would be to find that perfect balance in life where I can work to have the bills paid and a bit left over for savings, while having enough time to continue doing the things I enjoy doing — ie,  being with family and friends, blogging (go figure, huh?), artistic endeavors — as well as achieving the things that I want to do — ie, writing the book that is swarming in my head and waiting to be put into print, traveling to other countries that I haven’t been yet to (Belize, Equador, Scotland, Ireland, and Peru), building a modest home in the countryside, and finding a mate to share the rest of my life with one day (someone, that I can see us sitting in our rockers on our porch on our countryside home and just reminiscing about the good things in our lives when we become too old to move around like we had in the last 40-50 years of our lives).   Obviously, though, not all of those things can be accomplished in 2008 — or, can it?  We all must realize our limitations without letting our visions of our limitations stimy our growth. 

I am not sure that one can ever truly find that “perfect balance in life”, but surely one can attempt to try, can’t they?

Goals are nice, but getting them put into action seems daunting at times; sometimes, appropropriately determining one goal in particular is more important that setting many that will merely set us up for failure of being able to accomplish anything.  The purpose of having a New Year’s Resolution, after all, can be to light that fire of inspiration below ourselves to motivate ourselves to move forward from whatever level of instability that we have had in our lives in the past to empower us to move towards the level of stability that we all really truly desire.

Do you have a goal that you are going to put into action?  What might that be???

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I am often wondering what this truly is. What is normal, afterall? For a person that works the typical 8a-5p shifts, sleep hours might be 9p-6a…or something of that nature. However, for the person working the night shifts, it may invert drastically.

As for me, my hours shift according to the day… sometimes working day shifts; sometimes working night shifts. This can really wreak havoc on the system when one can’t supply a consistent schedule or order in ones day to day events. Yes, one can use a little shuffling for a change of pace; but, how long should this shuffling of pace be and remain a good factor in one’s life remains to be seen.

What do you do to normalize your life if you have a messed up schedule???

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has become a way of my looking at life in the advocacy world when answering domestic violence calls on a daily basis… or in working with the elderly… or in my victim advocacies….

It is a way of, essentially, looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. Instead of going home a bit exhausted from the many callers I wasn’t quite sure the seeds I was planting in planning for them to be safe and living a fruitful life was working, I started a while back counting the “God Bless You!”s I received that day. It would seem that those seeds might just germinate and grow into a future that one could have without victimization, harm, destructive behaviours, etc.

How many “God Bless You!”s have you received today??? or, how many “God Bless You!”s have you shared with someone else today???

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those at the Justice for Children program. 

“It is the position of Justice for Children that PAS is junk science.

“P.A.S. per se (not “parents lying about abuse allegations”) is not a syndrome.   People lie on the witness stand every day but that does not make it a syndrome.   Various credible studies have documented that the incidence of false allegations of abuse in custody proceedings make up significantly less than 5% of all abuse allegations  in custody proceedings.  When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a “syndrome”  — knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst.  Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” – Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children

PAS is touted to be an accepted psychological “syndrome” when, in fact, it has no scientific foundation and has been routinely rejected by courts and mental health professionals as admissible in the courtroom.  Nonetheless, PAS is still being used by unscrupulous attorneys and hired gun “experts” to attack the credibility of, parents, usually mothers, and undermine the testimony of little children who have accused their fathers of unspeakable acts of abuse. “

For more information see their posting on Justice for Children

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“A woman is beautiful at any age, if she feels good about herself.”

–Rose Morgan

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“Grace will lead me home” – the title of the book she is promoting and speaking out about domestic violence, bringing home to a lot of victims of domestic exactly the fears, trials and tribulations that they have faced and feared.  Check out her story in these YouTube videos:

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcZg2_BDZKo]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 1

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SkgsHX2g0w]

– Robin Givins Story, Pt 2

 

 

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFaEJDO_zs%5D

– Robin Givins on ABC  (NOTE: sad to see the hate comments left on this video)

  

“You have to talk about it to conquer it!” – Robin Givins

(what a great quote!!)

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October is domestic violence month.

I have a dear friend in Pennsylvania who heard one of Congresswomen speak out with the declaration of Domestic Violence Month and everything uttered out of that woman’s mouth was as if the victim is always a woman. Here, in this video below, sent to me via a Canadian friend of mine (under the guise of a “joke” – “Never marry a woman larger than you”), demonstrates that the victim isn’t always a woman…and the police in the video took it ever so lightly that they just drove by the residence.

When is domestic violence going to be taken seriously — whether it is a man or woman being victimized and the perpetrator held accountable for his/her actions??? After all, isn’t violence just as much a violence no matter who is doing the assault?? As a domestic violence survivor, I couldn’t find myself laughing while watching this video?

What about you???

PS. While the “joke” opened up the can of worms with domestic violence battle, the slur made with the title implying that women that don’t fit the idealist image of the skinny minnie woman (oftentimes wayyy to skinny to fit the mold of the “dream woman”) would be a bully, is downright degrading and not respectful to a woman who is truly a woman without the skinny minnie or bullying imagery. Oh, don’t start me on this one….  What would Tyra say (do you think it might be “So what! if women aren’t skinnie minnies, it doesn’t mean that they are all bullies?” “Who says fat women aren’t better than skinny minnie women?”  “Why do fat women have to be laughed at?” or, “What’s so good about this video, it certainly dehumanizes women and in no way represents women on the whole???”)????

I don’t think that there is a blog space that is large enough for my soap boxes!! That being said though, I believe that this video surely sparks something to think about for everyone.

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Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.

– Anonymous

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3618804012.jpg

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One day I decided to quit…. I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

“God”, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”

His answer surprised me…

“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo”.

He said. “In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

He said. “Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.  Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”

He said to me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don’t compare yourself to others.”

He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they both make the forest beautiful.”

“Your time will come,” God said to me. ” You will rise high!”

“How high should I rise?” I asked.

“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.

“As high as it can?” I questioned.

“Yes.” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”

I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you……..

Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you Happiness.
Bad days give you Experiences.
Both are essential to life.
Keep going…
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But Only God keeps You Going!
Have a great day! The Son is shining!!

God is so big

He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small

He can curl up inside your heart.

(Story was sent to me via email.)

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD2bxNPme7Y]

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Before there were computers, there was a help desk for introducing the book! 😀

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFAWR6hzZek]

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What a novel idea! 

I was exploring around in 43Things.com.  If you haven’t gone there yet, you really should.  It is like having a large to do list; however, it is out there on the net.  Wouldn’t necessarily put your grocery list on there — or anything extremely personal (breaking up with my boyfriend, for example) — but, a general goal list for yourself – ways to improve your quality of life, or the lives of others is absolutely perfect for this on going list.  I haven’t put 43 Things yet on my list there, but it is growing (and shrinking as I mark things done off) constantly.

At any rate, while on 43Things.com, I discover a link to The Petri Project, which then leads me to the link for Vocation Vacations, part of the reason surfing on the net can become so very interesting!!

This is a place where one can explore, for example, other options to career paths if you are feeling that you have capped out at your career, feeling that the “life” of the career has been dimmed for some time, feeling that you are never going to reach any degree of potential in your present career — and, instead, you are finding yourself saying, “If only I had taken this (or that) career, life would be so different”, or “If only I had a way to work myself into a new career, I would jump out of this one in a heartbeat”, etc., etc.

This is a place where you can take a look at your “dream job” and explore the possibilities, even taking a vacation from your present lack luster job and truly get a hands on experience in your dream job to see if you would still consider it worth pursuing one day soon.

Go explore Vocation Vacations at your earliest convenience if you are even remotely dissatisfied with your present job and dream of all the possibilities and, possibly, even start putting it into action!!

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Lose your wealth, you lose nothing. Lose your health, you lose something. Lose your integrity, you lose everything.

– Stew Leonard

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“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it,

because you will suddenly have

all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”

– Jerry Gillies

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I wanted to change the world.

But I have found that

the only thing one can be sure of changing

is oneself.

 

– Aldous Huxley

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“Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as knowing what to do next.”

– Herbert Hoover

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Here is your Work Horoscope
for Tuesday, June 12:

The weather forecast didn’t say so, but you’re experiencing a serious brainstorm today, with all the flashes of brilliant ideas that entails. Your enthusiasm and electricity turn you into a natural leader.

Funny.  I wonder if that also means that I am going to ace my math exam this morning???? 😉

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Your say is needed to make sure that DV programs are funded.  Lifetime is pushing the petition to be signed and states the following:

Tell Congress to fund critical programs that help thousands of victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence

Sign the Petition In just a single day, domestic violence programs served nearly 50,000 adults and children in the United States.* These programs provide emergency shelter, counseling and legal services critical to families trying to escape abusive homes and break the cycle of violence.

Every 2.5 minutes another American is sexually assaulted.** Rape crisis centers, schools and clinics across the country offer medical assistance, counseling and prevention programs.

Today, these lifesaving programs are in jeopardy if Congress does not decide to fully fund the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2005, which Lifetime viewers helped to make law.

You can help again! Make your voice heard by signing this petition to urge Congress to give the funding needed to keep the doors of shelters, rape crisis centers, and prevention programs open and ready to rebuild lives and make communities safer.

Sources:
*”Domestic Violence Counts,” National Network to End Domestic Violence, March 2007
**RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), calculation based on United States Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey

http://www.lifetimetv.com/endviolence/signthepetition/

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Seeing a blurb in SparkPeople in posing the question, “Is Procrastination Curable?”, I decided that it just might be a great time to write about it (that ugly word we all hate to admit to – procrastination):

“Procrastination. Putting off until tomorrow what you could do today. Is there a more counterproductive habit around? It causes more stress and anxiety than the Grinch in December. Procrastination solves nothing and usually makes things worse. It piles up unfinished business that lurks in and preoccupies the dark corners of your brain. You hope the pile will disappear, but for some reason it doesn’t. The worst part is that once we put off things we’d rather not do, we start to delay the fun stuff as well. How many times have you said “no” to an opportunity because you had to take care of something you put off earlier? How many lost opportunities can you accept? Let’s make action a habit instead. Tomorrow, focus on your toughest hurdle first. Get just that one thing out of the way and enjoy the rest of the day. Be firm and don’t let yourself off the hook. After all, it’s not going away. Follow that one strategy and you’ll be surprised how the momentum carries through the rest of the day. Do it now!!”

 

Procrastination can often rear its ugly head up in my world…

* cleaning house and decluttering one’s own life (in and outside of the home)

* remembering to take care of own’s own health before the needs of others around us (taking care of others is important, but without our own health in good shape, we aren’t going to be any good to them)

* writing a blog posting on a difficult (often controversial) subject matter

* remembering to have some humor and laughter in one’s own life (after all, laughter and humor can oftentimes be the best medicine in this world)

* delaying responding to a job offer or date because one thinks too long about it

* remembering to love yourself as well as others around yourself

* delaying to buy something that you really need while it is on sale

* remembering to say prayers for others around you (so often we pray for our own needs naturally before praying for others) and maintain the spirituality in our lives

* writing or calling a friend even just to tell them that you are thinking about them rather than waiting until you have something truly earth shattering to say

* remembering to continue to build relationships around us (building relationships is a two way street; if you haven’t heard from someone lately, contact them today!)

* taking time for oneself to have a vacation from work thinking that the needs of the business may not survive if you are not there

* remembering to be one’s own best advocate

* being that part of the village that helps a child

* remembering that we don’t have to be paid for everything that we do; it is okay to volunteer your time to meeting the needs of others

* and, so very much more!!

We all do it — procrastinate on some degree or level.   Recently, I have been guilty of it as well and have begun to take action.  For example, oftentimes, I will just let some ailments cure themselves; however, I have advocated for myself and found a way to get the treatment that I needed most immediately in order to feel “whole” and “healthy” in spite of having no insurance to pay for the needed care.  It took some whining and stomping of feet in an sense to get what I needed done, but after a lot of pleading, it has been taken care of this weekend.  Although the aftermath is currently a bit painful, it is certainly a window of opportunity to feel healthy again.

I have also done something about the feeling my career may be going as far as it may go by, upon hearing of a grant education opportunity to take a new path, I immediately responded and presented my case and won an opportunity to take that path through some additional education.  I am excited about that opportunity and look forward to learning, once again, about a field of sciences — a path that I should have continued some 30 years ago, but got diverted all because of a physics course that I had been advised wrong about.  That is a long story and all a part of history.

My daughter is about to have a baby girl in a little over a month from now.  I am truly excited about the baby coming into the world and have been enthusiastic in helping them as much as I can.   Because of her anticipated arrival, I have been making an effort to declutter much of my home and life so that focus can be had to help them out whenever possible as well.

I have vowed to make 2007 a part of making it about me this year — no longer procrastinating fussing about getting help for my health ailments that prevent myself being “whole” on the inside; no longer procrastinating about doing  something that might help me get out of the rut that I feel myself in career wise; etc.  Although, I love what I am doing for a career right now, it is barely able to meet the obligations for my bills and nothing left over for me.  I have no money available to do as I would like to do — travel, make myself more healthy, visit friends and family that live far away, etc.

What say you?  It isn’t too late to make 2007 a part of making it all about you either.  It is never too late, it is just delayed greatly if you procrastinate too much.  What procrastinations are you going to put aside to move forward in your life???

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“And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught”.

~Khalil Gibran in The Prophet

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“The Encyclopedia Galactica, in its chapter on Love states that it is far too complicated to define. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: Avoid, if at all possible”.

 

What do you think????

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When does a Protective Order become more than “Just a piece of paper”? When you advocate for programs like this come into place in your state!! See the following article

Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” 😀

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Hooked on a Feeling????

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfwyuofTdV0]

It seems a shame to see someone hit bottom as he has been shown to the world this week by his daughter’s own video of him. I don’t think that she was trying to be spiteful, just at her wit’s end as she tries to intervene and help her father.

Anyone who has been around an alcoholic, they know of the pain of watching them spiral downwards from the person that you knew and love, and one that you know is still somewhere in that body that seems to be deteriorating as the evilness of the alcoholism takes over their heart, body and soul.

At some point, one has to draw the line and walk away (if that is what it takes) in order to bring home a point that they need help and ask for that help. Unfortunately, one of the hardest lessons to learn in life (because we are natural nurturers and caretakers) is that the only person we are going to change is ourselves. We have that power to say, “This is my wake up call and I am going to change.” Until the person you see spiraling downward truly states that, from the bottom of their heart with absolute and resounding meaning (and not for the sake of keeping you around), they want that help, there isn’t much that you can actually do other than encourage them, provide them the resources to call, etc. They have to want it… they have to crave for the help…they have to have the determination for success in getting the necessary help needed.

Hopefully, David Hasselhoff will, too, crave and desire for the help that he so apparently needs, as evident in his 17 yo daughter’s video of him in his seemingly rock bottom state of mind.

Hopefully, he’ll find freedom soon in his own sobriety….

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cejq10jZ0kQ]

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Found this article on him and thought I would share it with you all, although, I am sure, that he would prefer all this media exposure to just go away and quiet down. The author certainly does make a good point in the end.

Published on April 29, 2007 by Ezine @rticles

Alex Baldwin Doesn’t Get It
by Douglas Bower



Alex Baldwin’s tirade against his minor child needs to be seen for what it is—child abuse. Not only is it child abuse but is also so typical of the mindset and the philosophy that Americans so easily resort to when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault.”

Here is what Baldwin said after calling his little girl a “thoughtless little pig” and threatening to come from New York to Los Angeles to “straighten her out”—a threat to the kid’s safety if ever there was one.

“Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child,” he wrote. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case.”

1. “Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child.” – The man is not worried that what he said to his daughter would affect her adversely, only that what he said to her was released to the media. He is not concerned about how his abusiveness might affect the girl but how the release of the recording might affect her. Is this man in his right mind or is this indicative of just how much his character is flawed?

2. “I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. ”— The man is shifting blame and not taking personal responsibility for his words or actions. He is sorry for losing his temper but blames “parental alienation” as that which drove him to lose his temper. No, Mr. Baldwin, “parental alienation” is your perception of a stimulus provided to you through the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself. Parental alienation, whatever that is supposed to mean, is not some animated, sentient entity capable of doing anything. It hasn’t arms nor legs, a brain to think with, or anything else that would enable “it” to “drive” you to do anything. Your loss of temper is a behavior you chose to deal with a situation. (Since he is referring to someone committing the sin of “parental alienation,” he must certainly be blaming the child as the alienator—it’s the child’s fault for alienating him—“parental alienation” made him do it.)

3. “You have to go through this to understand.”— If ever there was an indication of the lack of critical thinking skills in the minds of Americans, this is it. This is something to which many resort in trying to justify their irrational and ill-chosen behaviors. Think a moment to what this man is actually saying: If you went through what I’ve been going through, then you would not condemn me. And, if you’ve never walked in my shoes, then you do not have the right to criticize me for calling my daughter a little pig.” This man is claiming that the only way we could “understand” why he did what he did is if we had undergone this spookily-termed, “parental alienation.” This man is not apologizing but trying to justify his bad behavior. And, he claims, you would understand why he abused his child if you had undergone his trials and tribulations. I don’t have to have murdered someone to understand why someone resorted to bad behavior by killing his neighbor. I don’t have to have sexually abused a child to know that it is ill-chosen behavior. I don’t have to have stolen something that didn’t belong to me to understand that stealing is wrong. How, I would love to ask Mr. Baldwin, would our understanding help us to “get it?” How would our undergoing “parental alienation” help us to understand that what Mr. Baldwin did to his daughter is somehow justified? After all, Mr. Baldwin seems to be saying if we had ever undergone “parental alienation,” we would understand—cut him some slack.

4. “I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated…”— See how the man is trying to shift blame? What the man is sorry for, I cannot fathom, but I most certainly see that he is blaming the one who violated a court order. Baldwin cannot, at least as yet, just say that no matter what the circumstances were, no matter what the situation dealt, no matter what information he was provided to which he had to respond, that he was wrong—period—for lashing out at that child.

The past decades, if not a century, of psychoanalytical psychobabble has taught Americans that they are victims. If they act out with bad behavior, it couldn’t possibly be the fault of the one who chose the bad behavior. It was “the circumstance’s fault.” If they get caught in some behavioral sin, then it wasn’t their fault but the fault of someone or something that provided them with something to which they had to respond and did so badly.

Every circumstance, situation, problem, child acting out, a spouse acting out, a boss firing you, is just information provided to you. You get to choose how you are going to react to what is before you. All we ever do is behave. From the time we are born to the time we die, all we do is choose behaviors in response to a stimulus. What marks us as mature, sane, and rational is how we’ve learned to think critically through a bad hand dealt us and choosing the correct, socially appropriate and morally correct behavior.

Was one of Alex Baldwin’s choices when his daughter didn’t pick up the phone when he called to lash out in an abusive tirade at her? Yes.

However, thinking, and I mean using critical thinking skills, is what would have directed him to consider better alternatives. He could have ranted at the girl or he could have made a better choice. A little bit of maturity would have gone a long way in preventing his childish behavior.

Oh, Mr. Baldwin, we understand perfectly and are wondering,

“Just who is the child here?”

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Tyra Banks’ “So What!” Campaign is such a great movement to set forward. There are so many people out there that have such low self-esteem about themselves. Sometimes, largely due to fitting into the image of what other folks “think” that they should be. Why should that matter???

Tyra Banks often states throughout her ongoing campaign:

Every woman has something in her life she has to fight to overcome…whether it’s a body issue, a relationship crisis, an emotional challenge or a fashion emergency! Rather than wallowing in the negative, why not embrace the positive?”

I can understand wanting to fit into the morals and beliefs of the society insofar as being good in the sense of being non-criminalistic; however, being “good” doesn’t have to mean that you fit into a size 5 outfit when you are a size 26. Some expectations are not real or reasonable. Insolong as your size 26 isn’t posing any health risks, why care if the typical modeling look is a size 5? Is a size 5 even happy about their lives? Isn’t it more important to be happy and enjoy your life???

Relationships aren’t built solely on the outside packaging. They are built upon what a person sees in the other’s soul, personality, nature, emotions, etc. Those who build their relationships that they surround themselves with (either on a organizational or personal level) purely upon the outside packaging, they are indeed missing out on the relationships that are built upon common interests, personalities, emotions, etc. that add to the reason for living on this grand earth we call home.

Life is limited to what we know of it as we exist in the past, present and future. Why waste the time on earth without getting to know our neighbors and friends and build lasting relationships???

Not sure that I would, at my size, want to be pictured in a red swimsuit with the number of my weight on my chest; but, I do wish that there would be far less judgemental people in our world and base their opinions of others for who they are and not who they should be in their eyes! I am beautiful i my own right; hear me roar!! lol….

If you have a “So What!” comment, please add here and/or submit to the Tyra Banks’ “So What!” Campaign.

Someone might want to have a talk with Dr. Phil before he does his May 4th show! 🙂

UPDATE:  See about the April showing of the “So What!” Belly Brigade!!

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is the name of an article (subtitled – Shattered by loss and overcome with lonliness) in the February 2007 issue of Vogue written by a woman (Joyce Maynard), who is an author of a syndicated column, who found herself being a penpal with a man in prison.

The article is interesting and intriguing as you want to know why does a woman with seemingly intelligence get involved and scooped into the realms of having any sort of a relationship with a someone in prison. After all, what kind of life can that be? Someone who may never leave the walls of the prison; someone that is in prison for some sort of a horrendous crime; etc. Just like the Mendez brothers, who killed their parents years ago, maintaining some level of relationship with women who are now, I believe, their girlfriends.

Joyce offers us an insight as we begin to read the article:

“I will tell you now one thing about men in prison:

As much time as the rest of us spend going to jobs, taking care of our houses and meals, our children, our pets, carrying on relationships and breakups, paying bills — having sex perhaps, if we are fortunate — that is time men in prison have for writing letters. Not surprisingly, they get good at it.”

I bet! Who wouldn’t be able to master the art of writing without given too much else to do within those prison walls. Strangely enough she indicates that he doesn’t write much about his life in prison. One would think that he would, but instead he talked about his past life, one that he could intertwine with what she could actually relate to — his family, his child, etc.

She goes on, further, to explain her justification for anxiously waiting for his continual correspondence with him by stating:

“I know how this sounds.  So I will say, in my defense, what any woman who has been single for a while probably knows already.  I had been out in the world of single womanhood long enough by this point to understand that just because a man you may be dating is a cardiac surgeon, say, or a tenured professor at some Ivy League University, or a partner in a major Boston law firm is no guarantee that he won’t be a sociopath.”

This is so very true; after all, we hear about very worldly folks being victimized of domestic violence just as much as those neighbors just down your street or in the next neighborhood over from you.

I have heard of other people getting involved with the prisoners, thinking that they could help them and, just perhaps, they could right a wrong and help them to see justice. Truth of the matter is though that true justice is that they are probably still in prison.

The prisoners are called “con” men oftentimes for a good reason. They didn’t get there because they did any good for someone; generally speaking, most of them got where they are by doing some form of a con or criminalistic action.

Oftentimes, they “reel” someone into their “good” side by presenting them with things that they can indeed identify with. With the technology available out there today, they are not limited to just letter writing, unless they have no access to the internet; however, some of the prisoners do have internet access, even if on a very limited basis.

Some of the ways to determine if you might be dealing with a con in prison, one can:

1. Ask to view them on a cam. Sometimes, they will have one available that you can see; however, they often won’t let you see them on a cam because you will be able to see them in the same outfit each and every day. Of course, this isn’t a fail proof system because there are many that won’t set up a cam because of the perverts out there who only want to cam for one thing only.

2. Ask them to send photographs of themselves. If all the photos look like mug shots (or in the same outfit), that is certainly a good sign that they are in prison. They have limited options of taking photos where it doesn’t look like they are in some sort of an institution.

3. Check the times that your emails or IMs are sent to you. If they have access to a computer, it might be that they are with a limited access timeframe and schedule. If you are getting emails and IMs at the same time of the day or night, it just might be a good sign that they are in some sort of an institution requiring a rigid routine process.

4. Ask them about what they did in the day. If they don’t talk about their activities there and just talk about the past, it is a good chance that they are avoiding about telling about today’s activities — they are as mundane as they can be from one day to the next.

5. Be concerned if they get upset or focused upon a particular subject matter consistently. Sometimes this is a sign of a matter that is particularly close to them because they have felt that they have been wronged by the justice system. When they feel that they have obtained a certain degree of a level of confidence, they are going to springboard you into action to help them appeal their case, which is also a good sign that they had pegged you from the beginning that might be able to have influence on the justice system – writers, reporters, lawyers, paralegals, and many of the other occupations can be susceptible to being pursued by a con.

When you find that you are being wooed by a con, there are several things that you can do:

1. Don’t communicate with him anymore; and, block his emails and IMs.  Remember they are the one in prison; not you.  If they are determined to find the person to help them, they will give up and move on to another target person.

2. Report the convict to the police. Hopefully, you haven’t given the convict your home address.

3. Report the convict to the warden at the prison. As much as they try to control the communication, they need to know if they need to pay particular attention to one of their convicts.

To exercise safety in the future from a predator convict (or anyone you communicate with), be sure to:

1. Never give out your personal information — especially, your home address, phone number, etc. Remember sometimes folks can search your phone number and find your address. Always exercise caution.

2. Be wary of those who contact you and want to accelerate a relationship really fast.

3. Always be observant of who you are talking to, what they are talking about, and how they communicate with you.

4. Make sure you can truly trust a person.

5. If you must meet a person, always meet them in a public place. I would suggest this for the first few hundred times. Well, not necessarily that much; but, make sure you are absolutely comfortable with them. Many of the cons who are out and about, can be quite conniving as they are very charming and charismatic. Of course, if he is in prison, he will never be able to manage to meet you in person.

Of course, nothing is set in stone. Just because a person fits the bill under one potential flag instance, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a convict; however, if there are more than one potential flag instances waving, I would certainly suggest that you put up your guard and walls of protection immediately. It is always better to error on the side of caution rather to find out that your error was not to pay close enough attention to your instincts!

Eerie is the feeling one gets to read Joyce’s article wherein, even until the end of the article, she is still longing about the relationship with this man, a man who will never see the light of the day outside of the walls of the prision walls.  She states that she doesn’t visit him, but romantiziing about a relationship that will never be in flesh is indeed very surreal.  It is sad to think that one would even seem to desire to seemingly give up on the real life to have a surreal existance.  This is not living in the present.

One must, no matter how lonely one might think they are, sink their heels in the soil of the terra Earth and look for ways to live and live safely!  One should never place themselves in a situation to be a prisoner of love; one deserves so much more!!

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