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“My Wish” a poem I wrote many years ago.

                                         My Wish

                              By Dave Shreve

  

One day I caught a leprechaun, And he told me a story so true.

He said “you can have three wishes, Anything I will give to you”.

He said I could have a racecar, Any kind that I like.

Or I could have the planet Mars, Or even a motorbike.

He said I could have a million bucks, Or all the gold in the world.

Or I could have the universe, Or even my hair uncurled.

As he told me all I could have, Off my shirt I picked some fuzz.

Then when he finished, I told him what my wish always was.

I don’t want a racecar, Any kind that I like.

I don’t want the planet Mars, Or even a motorbike.

I don’t want a million bucks, Or all the gold in the world.

And I don’t want the universe, Or even my hair uncurled.

Then I told him what I wanted, as I stared at the stars above

I said to him with a tear in my eye.

All I ever wanted was just to be loved.

 

 

Abuse: Forgiveness vs Understanding

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I am writing this post on abuse. Physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. I am not a professional, these are my opinions based on my experiences, things I have read and studied and people I have had intimate discussions with about this subject. My only motive is to try to give the reader a different way of looking at the subject. I do not believe that we as people are made from a cookie cutter. So I do not believe that the ideas within conventional therapy work for everyone. My hope here is that someone who reads this will find some peace and understanding and will benefit from the ideas I have expressed.

If you have even just a few close personal friendships, then you probably know someone who has been abused. Physical, sexual, mental and/or emotional, it doesn’t matter what kind of abuse it is. It is a horrible thing to experience. And to make it worse, most of the time, the abuse to a child is inflicted by someone who is suppose to be protecting them and loving them. The scars inflicted on the victim never really go away. Some people deal with the memories and pain of abuse, better than others. I believe how well you deal with it has more to do with your emotional ability to reason through the experiences, than anything else.

People who haven’t been abused don’t understand or have more of a predisposition to burying emotional hurts. They will say things like “get over it” or “ it was the past, let it go” but quite often, that is easier said than done. What I have learned from others and especially my own experiences is that as long as I live, there will always be triggers that remind me of something painful from my past and there will always be people in my life that do and say things that cause my fears and anxieties to resurface. And it is my choice on how I deal with these anxieties and fears. Do I let them ruin my day, or do I except them for what they are (the past) take a deep breath and remind myself, that I am not going to be a victim any longer.

If you go to church and ask a religious leader what you should do, often you are told to forgive your abuser, forgive the people who didn’t protect you from the abuser and forgive yourself. That is real easy to say. But the action involved can be the hardest thing you have ever come up against. To a point I can understand why others believe that forgiveness is the key to healing. Because if that is how you deal with your pain, then you can find healing in forgiveness. But being able to forgive someone for hurting you so bad is not as easy for some people as for others. Forgiveness isn’t always the same thing to everyone. It has many levels. And forgiveness does not mean forgetting, it does not mean you are responsible for anything that someone else did to you, and it does not mean you have to let your abuser back in your life at any capacity. One of  the benefits of it is, is that forgiveness allows you to release the anger and not allow the memories to upset you all the time, ruin your relationships and make you miserable, because of something someone else did to you. And another part of forgiveness is understanding the whole picture. Realizing and accepting your innocence and knowing that NO ONE is deserving of abuse, especially a child. But again, it is very hard for some people to find the ability to “just forgive”. And I understand that.

The good news is there are other ways to find peace. Finding peace doesn’t mean forgiving, yet it is often a byproduct. It doesn’t mean forgetting. It means understanding. Understanding and coming to terms with what happened, why it happened and how it happened. I know each and every situation is different. Yet they almost always are deeply connected with one of a few factors.

No Normal, Right minded human being would abuse another human being. If someone is an abuser (regardless of how normal they seem) they have something terribly skewed in their mind.

Alcohol:

Alcohol abuse has been a factor in the abuse of others for as long as it has been around. Many people do stupid things when they are drunk, they act in ways they would never act when they are sober and do things they would never do when not under the influence. This is unfortunately true when it comes to abuse too. Quite often some of the gentlest people become angry and mean when they have had too much to drink. This is because of the affects alcohol has on the brain.

For example: There have been studies that show support to a cognitive disorganization interpretation of the effect of alcohol on aggression. One study sites: “The cognitive disorganization hypothesis posits that alcohol abuse increases the likelihood of violence, because it interferes with communication among family members and results in misinterpretation of social cues, overestimation of perceived threats, and underestimation of the consequences of violence.”

Studies also show the effects of alcohol on “The deviance disavowal hypothesis suggesting that the perpetrator attributes the violence to his or her alcohol abuse and thus avoids or minimizes personal responsibility for the violent behavior.” And thirdly, studies have indicated that “The disinhibition hypothesis proposes that alcohol’s pharmacological actions on the brain interfere with the actions of those brain centers that control (i.e., inhibit) socially unacceptable behaviors.”

Now by no means does this excuse the abuser. Please don’t get me wrong on that. If someone chooses to abuse alcohol or drugs, knowing full well that they act inappropriately under the influence, then they are guilty of whatever they do while under the influence. (EX: Someone chooses to drink, chooses under the influence to drive. Has an accident and injures or kills someone. They are guilty and are going to spend a long time behind bars) Being drunk doesn’t excuse anyone from their actions. As far as I am concerned and generally speaking, if someone physically, sexually, emotionally or mentally abuses a woman or child while under the influence, they had a predisposition to do this when they were sober. They where just better in control of their social cues when sober.

Alcoholism is a terrible disease. It is very sad that people get caught up in any type of addiction. All children dream of what they will be when they grow up. A princess, a truck driver, president or a doctor, etc. They all have hopes and dreams. No one hopes to be a drunken abuser or a failure in anyway. It is sad when a life is exposed to things that make being intoxicated a way to escape the horror and pain. Everyone of us was once a child, innocent and with lots of potential. But life has a way of hurting us to the point of such desperation, that we create a counterfeit identity for ourselves, simply to protect ourselves from life.

Emotional Damage:

For some children life is so bad that is causes them such pain and fear that they create an alternate identity, often that identity is a very confused and even a selfish identity. Just like with alcohol, mental and emotional turmoil can cause many similar disorders as disinhibition hypothesis, cognitive disorganization hypothesis and deviance disavowal hypothesis. (listed and defined above). The innocence of a child is so drastically impaired from pain and fear, that in the child’s own mind, (what he or she is seeing being done), becomes acceptable behavior. Because that is what the child is taught, by example and forced into by fear. And whatever the child does to help him or herself cope with the pain, becomes an emotional safe place when they get older.

It becomes such a part of their subconscious, that they don’t even realize it is a habitual coping device. They would claim, “They believe it is normal. It’s just their personality”. This is why so often, the abused, become the abuser. Not because they were born monsters. But because they have been hurt so badly, that their minds have been terribly discombobulated with the painful information that they have received by example. It’s like the little boy in 3rd grade that is labeled a bully. Always beating up someone. It’s because his daddy is always beating him and his mommy. People don’t think about what has happened to the boy. They just see his behaviors and then label him bad.

And again, like I said about alcohol, This is NOT an excuse for hurting someone else. Across the board, it is never ok to hurt an innocent victim. This post is simply my way of trying to help the reader see the whole picture, to gain understanding in order to promote healing.

Mental & Emotional Illness:

Unlike the previous two examples of why people become abusers. There is also those who are born with a predisposition to mental or emotional illness. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mental and emotional illnesses that can cause someone to not have a proper perspective of what are and are not socially acceptable behaviors. And these illnesses can be so obvious to everyone, or so subtle that you wouldn’t know they had problems, unless you were real close to them. Often, but not always mental and emotional illness is hereditary. And society only wants to label the extreme cases as a problem, yet we all know the person at work, that everyone says that they have thought in the back of their minds that this person is going to go postal one of these days.

With all three examples I have used, the common denominator is the torment, the inability for them to correctly interpret social cues and the loss of reality, that leads to such a dysfunctional way of seeing life, justice and compassion for others. (Before I say anymore, let me say this: I do NOT excuse or condone any type of abuse and I believe anyone who abuses another person, needs to be institutionalized. They are a danger to society and will only further the abuse and pain) Often people label abusers as the devil. ”Evil to the core.”  When in reality abusers are more often scared, hurt, confused children in adult bodies. Whatever has caused them so much pain, has also altered their sense of right and wrong. They act out of an altered sense of perception of life.

Forgiveness and understanding is not for the abuser, it is for the victim. To help them heal, find peace, release themselves from the pain, grief and guilt. My prayer for the victim is that they learn to love and be loved. That they don’t follow destructive behaviors, but find peace in their hearts and minds. I so badly wish I could hug every person who was ever abused. Hug them and tell them how much they deserve love. My heart breaks for the hurting.

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications

My New Tattoo; Wile E. Coyote “SUPER GENIUS”

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Why Wile E. Coyote?

Wile E. is a go-getter, he is not a quitter and he has high self esteem, in spite of his failures. Wile E.’s creativity surpasses any other character on TV. He is always figuring out new ways to catch the Roadrunner. And though he has never gotten the opportunity to delight his pallet on a tender juicy Roadrunner, he never ceases to try. Wile E. sees himself as a “Super Genius” this fact may be argued by most everyone who has ever watch him in action, but in his mind he is. And frankly I have to agree with him. So many people these days try something once, twice maybe even 3 times. Then they give up. Wile E. never stops trying. And that persistence he has is what it takes to succeed. Not brains, not talent, not money, but the perseverance to get up when you fall and try, try again. There are some great quotes about this subject:

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
Mark Twain

Making Positive Changes

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To be successful at making positive changes, you must learn to tune out distractions and pay attention to what is important, today. Because you can’t change the past, and allowing it to hold you back is a huge mistake when trying to make positive changes.

 You cannot change The Past, but you can learn from it.

When the same situation arises, you can do things differently and enjoy a more successful today.

Look at what happened in The Past.

Learn something valuable from it.

Use what you learn to improve today 

Don’t stress over the future (what will happen tomorrow) When you focus to much on the future, you become anxious, Because you can’t act on something until it happens. All you can do is plan for the future, starting now.

 Have you ever heard the expression “One day at a time”? That’s what it means. You can’t change the past and you can’t act on the future till it gets here. So all you can do is live today, focus on today and don’t allow guilt from your past or the anxiety of the future control your thoughts.

 You need to define your purpose. What is important to you. When you live and work with Purpose, and respond to what is important, “One day at a time”. You are more able to lead, manage, support, befriend, and love.

 Success is becoming who you are capable of being. Progressing toward worthwhile goals. Each of us defines for ourselves, what it means to be successful. 

Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off… the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases. 
Rick Maksian