Ah ha moment!!!

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Yes, Jason Patric and Danielle Screiber are not perfect.  I am not a perfect human being.

Sometimes I catch myself wanting to make a derogatory statement in an attempt to devalue a person because of their ignorance and asinine comments that continuously spew from their mouths. But, oh, what would that make me??? So, I take it in and remember their statements are NOT me…that’s it’s their issues. I find it much easier to tolerate people who are ignorant and angry by reaching deep down and finding some empathy. We’re all humans, and I’m not perfect, so why should I expect others to be?

AH! Caught myself! Anyway, I’ll let the comment sit and simmer…

Jason Patric and Danielle Schreiber

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Stand Up For Gus, (Jason Patric) Out of curiosity, I wonder what the percentage of celebrities is that don’t include their names on their beloved children’s birth certificates. Be a man, if you want to be a father. Admit your shortcomings, admit your faults. Admit that Danielle is not the only immature one in this instance, and I’m sure you’ll get even more folks on your side. I’m all for equal parenting and father’s and mother’s rights, but I believe that the truth goes further in finding justice… In essence, you signed away your rights as a father with the letter you wrote and by shirking your responsibilities as a father by refusing to have your name on the birth certificate. Any father I know that desires a child does not say “don’t put my name on the birth certificate”. My father had to fight for his rights to get his name on my B.C. Your semi-celebrity status argument does not fly, especially with me. However, who am I? I’m just am adult child of Parental Alienation that believes some celebrities don’t believe they have to follow the rules of humanity. You’re human. Start with some humility.

Wow!! After I wrote that I realized that I have some very strong feelings about this situation. I am a loner here on this one.  Nearly everyone in the Parental Alienation community is supportive of Jason Patric.  Why the heck am I so against him? And, for that matter Danielle Screiber?  Oh! Not to mention their lawyers.  What is it? 

I suppose I’ll have to give it some more thought.  However, this simply could be my intense psychic abilities guiding me. 😉

Owah Tagu Siam: The Quest of a Human-Goose

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Owah Tagu Siam

 

Daily chant time, folks! Say it with me now, Owah Tagu Siam… Owah Tagu Siam… Owah Tagu Siam… Owah Tagu Siam… Oh What a Goose I Am….  Yes! Oh What a Goose I Am, Indeed!  My husband and I have taken a vow to remain goose-like. In fact, I think we should all be more like geese!  Sit tight, folks, let me explain…

Did you know that Canada geese can teach us a lot about life? Well, if you are in their migratory path, you’ll notice that each autumn the Canada geese fly south for the winter to escape some very frigid temperatures. Notice the V formation that they fly in, as this is not just by chance.  It is simple physics that help us to understand why this V formation works; the goose in front takes on the main brunt of the air resistance, while the geese behind spend less of their energy by riding “on the tails” of the goose in front of them.  The flock can fly about 70% farther with the same amount of energy exerted than if each goose few alone!

Ah, but watch the geese long enough and you’ll sometimes see the lead goose falling to the back of the formation as the next one in line takes the lead.  Brilliant!  They take turns!  In addition, these geese make the most beautiful “Honk, Honk, Honk” sound, and it’s not merely music to my ears, it’s motivational! The geese are continuously communicating with each other and “honking” to motivate the lead goose.  Personally, I like to imaging that they are saying, “You can do it!”, in their very best Waterboy voice!

I’ve always had an affinity for geese, although this morning really just reaffirmed my admiration for these creatures.  As my husband was in the shower in morning, I sat in the bathroom reading aloud some statistics about sexual fantasies and how they are normal even in healthy and happy relationships. (Yeah, my husband and I are cool like that. It’s all about preventing hedonic adaptation!)  I was reading from a Huffington Post article that explained the survival theory of sexual fantasies, and was happily surprised to read that geese are the only species that pair only once during their lifetime. In fact, if one mate dies, the widow goose stays unmatched until death! (Although, the article, suggests that this is not the wisest way to go for keeping the Earth populated, thus the survival instinct of sexual fantasies about someone other than the primary partner. However, I disagree!  Canada geese have kept themselves very well populated!)  Well, I can relate to that.  You see, my husband and I are sort of obsessed with each other.  In fact, we have made a vow that we are going to defy our own words that we included in our vows “till death do us part”. Yes, we have a pact: if my husband dies before I do, I will remain single; and if I die before my husband does, he will remain single, so there will be absolutely no question about who we will “be with” in the Heaven. (We LOVE being in LOVE!)

  Now, back to my obsession with geese; they are also fiercely loyal.  And by fierce, I mean FIERCE – the Merriam-Webster definition, as well as the Urban Dictionary definition #6.  Don’t get near their babies or their nest – OH NO!  They will start hissing, and flapping their wings, and they will chase your a$$ down!  Yes, that’s sort of like me when someone tries to mess with my family! Ha! I’m that mean mama goose who will go crazy on your a$$!  Ha!

I adopted an intense perspective of loyalty after reading one of my favorite books from one of my favorite women, Here If You Need Meby Kate Braestrup.  In this book, Braestrup describes her immensely painful, yet transcending and transformational ordeal of having to identify her husband’s remains, after he was killed in a car accident during a chase on an icy road (he was a Maine State Trooper), and the ensuing process of laying her husband to rest.  It was at this point that she remembered her father’s words, as he recalled his Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis” or “always faithful”, as well as her promise to her husband after she read the book Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies?, by Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D.. Now, going back to before her husband died, Kate writes in her book Here If You Need Me, that after she read Iserson’s book, which was a (wildly romantic) anniversary gift from her husband, Braestrup realized that we, as a society, have become so sanitary and so far removed from the process of death that we have become conditioned to leave the ugliness of death into the hands of others (And in my opinion, we have done the same thing with the beauty of child birth. Empower yourselves, women! Childbirth is wonderful! Embrace it! Don’t allow doctors to dictate how you will experience childbirth! Although that’s another post in itself.). Braestrup wrote that after she read the book, she called out to her husband, Drew, from her comfortable lawn chair, “Will you take care of my body when I die?”, and his apt response was, “Sure, honey”.  After that commitment, Braestrup felt instantly more “like a Marine” she “felt distinctly braver”, and it is this feeling of faithfulness which led to her firm desire to personally be responsible for washing and dressing her husband’s lifeless and broken body, and then accompany her husband’s body to the crematory, instead of leaving the task to the mortician.

As you might imagine, after I read this immensely moving story, I called out to my own husband as tears rolled down my cheeks and I sobbed, “Honey, will you take care of my body when I die”?  Well, my husband didn’t give me the quick, “Sure, honey” response.  He came into the bedroom room where I was sitting up on our bed, gripping the book with one hand and wiping my eyes with a tissue with the other, and he said, “WHAT?!”.  Needless to say, after I read to him the moving excerpt about Kate and her experience, he looked at me with tears in his own eyes, and said, “Of course”. 

So, that’s our story of how we adopted the motto “Semper Fidelis” into our relationship.  Always faithful. Just like the geese who, when one is tired or ill or dying, will be accompanied by another goose, while the others continue on their journey, for as long as the goose needs to recuperate or die in the presence of a loved one, rather than all alone. Yes, my husband and I are geese.  Emotional, loving, passionate, teary-eyed geese, which are fiercely loyal to each other and to our family, but most of all to God.

By the way, my dear readers, did you know that my husband and I had an arranged marriage?  As you may, or may not know, my husband is from India and I am Irish and Polish, with a wee bit of Scottish.  Although it is neither our nationalities nor our customs that have anything to do with our arranged union.  Yes, well, I was telling this to a friend the other day.  I told him, “Yeah, my husband and I have an arranged marriage.  My Father arranged it all.”  My friend, knowing my and my husband’s background, responded in utter shock, “YOUR father arranged YOUR marriage?!!! NO WAY!!!” And I was like, “Seriously, my Father did!  YAHWEH!!!” Ba dum tssshh!   

Moral of this blog post? Be more like Canada geese. Love each other more intensely. Encourage each other. Support each other. Lift each other up. Be eternally faithful to each other. Not only to your spouses and loved ones, but to all of humanity! BE HAPPY!!!

 

Related articles and links:

  1. Sexual Fantasies: ‘The Normal Bar’ Finds Fantasy-Infidelity Link (Huffington Post: Divorce):  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/26/sexual-fantasies-the-norm_n_2554070.html

  2. 5 Thinks Geese Can Teach Us About Teamwork: http://lenwilson.us/5-thing-geese-can-teach-us-about-teamwork/

  3. Fierce, Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fierce

  4. Fierce, Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fierce
  5. About Kate Braestrup: http://www.katebraestrup.com/aboutKate.html
  6. Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup: http://www.amazon.com/Here-If-You-Need-Me/dp/B002SB8QZ0
  7. Awesome song, Yahweh by U2: http://youtu.be/jyzPtjIP2eo
  8. Bed and Bored by Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/18/bed-bored-the-element-of-surprise-in-making-love-last/
  9. Just for fun on this Friday! Danny Quirk artist: http://dannyquirkartwork.tumblr.com/

 

Who Moved My Freakin’ Cheese?

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Who Moved My Freakin’ Cheese?

If have you have read the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” you understand what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t read the book go out and get a copy NOW and read it…please.  (You can purchase it for a little as $.01 (plus shipping) from Amazon.)  As alienated parents we are all like these little mice that are running through this maze of the family court system, lawyers, psychologists, reunification therapists, mediators, etc. etc., etc., and still we are without our cheese (our children OR our peace).  A few of us have broken out of the cycle and found our cheese (our children OR our peace), but most of us continue to wait, and wait, and wait for our cheese to magically reappear.  Well, how is that working for you?

Look, I don’t have the answers.  I don’t know the answers.  Show me one person who has a solid plan laid out and I will probably laugh.  Why?  So many of the “plans” that I’ve heard people advocating for are simply ridiculous.  Yes, that may be harsh, but the truth does not take into account our feelings.  Why are these plans ridiculous? Because they are so often one-sided, or at least not multi-faceted.  We need a holistic plan that takes into account the plethora of differences and angles that real life requires. We are not cartoon figures; we cannot create one rule and say “This rule of law will fit everyone!”  We need to come together and figure out a way to pull us (humanity) out of this quagmire that we have gotten OURSELVES into.

Wait, what?  You may be saying, but “I AM THE VICTIM HERE!”  Why should I have to take responsibility for what my ex-spouse (or whoever the alienator is) did to me? Well, for starters because the longer you remain a “victim” the longer you will sit and wait for your cheese to reappear.  However, if you say, “I refuse to be a victim of the system, I am going to get something done about this lack of cheese” then you will find yourself working to create a tangible plan.

Many of us are finding support for what has happened to us, and that is perfectly fine.  In fact, it is necessary because for those severely alienated parents, or even slightly alienated parents, you have to grieve over the loss of the way your child use to be, or maybe the presence of your child in your life.  Grieving is a necessary step.  (Check out the 5 states of grief.)  However, where to go when that process has taken you as far as it can take you?  That’s where many of us get stuck, and we turn our frustration, our hurt, our anger on other alienated parents to relieve us of the icky feelings that have come to stay with us, sort of like an uninvited visitor who sleeps on your couch and makes a mess of your house.

There has been research done on rats that shows the pain-aggression relation that we as alienated parents also experience.  Basically, the rat in the study is given a painful electric shock and in turn that rat bites an inanimate object that is placed in their cage, whether it is wood, rubber, or a metal target.  Nearly every shock that was delivered to the rats caused the rats to bit the inanimate object, and when the shocks ceased, the biting ceased as well.  So, in context of this article, who do you think the rats are?  Yep, you guessed it. Us.  When we experience pain, we turn around and bite, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about check out many of the online discussion groups that alienated parents go to for support, such as those found on Facebook.  These are filled with rats biting other rats (or alienated parents biting alienated parents).

Is this the best place to focus your energy on?  What if we took that energy and focused it on positive change?  But, how can we do that if our pain comes out as aggression?  We need a way to filter out the pain in our behaviors otherwise it will most probably be counterproductive.  By the way, those of you who saw the Dr. Phil episode on November 1, 2013, “Parental Alienation: Who’s To Blame?” will understand what I’m talking about.  In fact, instead of filtering out or pain before we act, it would be much better to change our thinking so that we don’t experience the pain in the first place, or rather to start we can work on quickly recognizing pain and changing tracks so we don’t continue to travel down the rails of a crazy train…  (Check out cognitive restructuring)

For those of you who are advocates, what are you advocating for? Change of laws? Maybe punishing the parent who refuses the other parent their agreed upon parenting time? Maybe forcing reunification therapy onto the alienated children? Maybe forcing the alienated parent into therapy? Maybe this, maybe that?  How is that working for you?  Look, like I said before, I do not have the answers.  I simply know that whatever we are doing is not working. I’ve heard that in other countries there may be laws in place that are strict on the alienating parent, such as the criminalization of Parental Alienation in Brazil.  However, has that law actually improved the lives of divorcing couples in Brazil?  If someone has the stats on that please do enlighten me.

Here is the problem with the system, in my most humble and completely unprofessional opinion: laws require lawyers, judges, money and time.  How do you feel about that?  Personally, I feel like it is an unjust system because those with the means have ample opportunity to seek proactive justice (or injustice is many cases) whereas those without the means are at a clear disadvantage. How is that fair?  In addition, I’ve heard some folks suggest that if the power was given to the police to enforce parenting time that we wouldn’t be in this predicament (as when one parent is denied parenting time they immediately call the police and expect them to enforce the parenting plan).  How are the police-enforced laws working out for us? (Example, the prominent case of the shooting of Amadou Diallo, among the devastating number of other victims of police violence.)  Just take a moment to think about the laws that we are requesting the government to enforce upon families? Oh my goodness, we are inviting a police state to rule over families. Holy moly!

So, let me get back to the root of the problem: the separation of families. As couples divorce they want the same rights afforded to them as they had in marriage, and many want even more rights than they had in marriage! Let’s take another look at that. Merriam-Webster defines divorce as “a complete separation between two things”.  When a child is in an intact family they are basically under one rule, they only have to “serve one master”; the two parents are one whole unit who the child has to submit to. Now, I really don’t want to bring biblical talk into this, as it can be interpreted in so many ways, but humor me for a moment: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24.  In this context it is referring to money; however this is a reoccurring that runs throughout the bible.  But, let’s just use that and put it in the context of a dissolved union.  A union that was two parents, but now those two parents have separated for whatever reason, and now the child(ren) have to “serve two masters”. You can see where I’m going with this, right? Okay, so if the “masters” are on the same page and are similar in their parenting styles and have a well-oiled relationship with open communication and freedom of love then the child will find it much easier to serve those two masters.  However, in a high conflict situation where those two “masters” despise each other and have taken entirely different roads that lead create a polar opposition in their relationship (whether it is a physical or emotional opposition), how can the child possibly be expected to “serve those two masters” with peace of mind?  How is that possible?  In addition, many of us who are experiencing parental alienation are aware of the imbalance of power that exists among the parties. Take the imbalance of power and add it to the equation that one cannot serve to masters, and realize the cause of Parental Alienation.

So, how do we get off this this wild, spinning merry-go-round?  Or shall I say, how do we get off of this exercise wheel and get there to find our cheese rather than wait for the cheese to come to us?  Good question.  I don’t know.  However, I do know that we do have the power to change ourselves while we are looking for the cheese.  We can choose to go around biting other rats when we experience pain, or we can choose to seek ways to stop accepting the painful shocks.  We ALWAYS have a choice. We can CHOOSE to be victims, which leaves us powerless to the threat of the abuse (check out the story of the fox and the lion: http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/overcome-victim-mentality/ ) or we can CHOOSE to refuse to be a victim and refuse to allow others to control how we feel. Or, alternatively, we can CHOOSE not to make a CHOICE.  Either way, we are choosing our outcome.

How do you remain proactive against abuse? Have you found the perfect lawyer who has agreed to fight your case for your and force your ex-spouse to agree to reunification therapy in order to change your child’s view of you? Have you found that expert who will get up on the stand to state that undeniably “this child has been affected with Parental Alienation Syndrome”? Have you found that the reunification therapy or the expert testimony has not worked as though you had hoped because despite Order after Order the other parent still has an emotional hold over the child? What do you do then? Do you go back to the lawyer and insist on going back to court to enforce the Order or to impose sanctions on the offending parent?  What if sanctions are imposed? Let’s say that the other parent is Ordered to pay a fine for every day they are preventing you from parenting your child? How will those fines be enforced?  Will they be taken out of the account, or out of the paycheck as the way child support is currently? Let’s say that for every day of parenting time that is denied to you, the other parents is denied the same amount of parenting time and you are rewarded your lost time. Does that punish the other parent?  Yes?  Does that also punish the child?  How does that affect the child’s schedule?

Let’s look at it like this.  Did the child choose to live two separate lives with two masters? Are the rules that govern your home different from the rules that govern the other home? How about the comfort of the beds? The routines of the day? The schedule or schedules that the child is expected to follow? What about the half siblings that the child may have to leave and have a “half” of a relationship with? What about step siblings or half siblings that the child now has to “compete” with for time and affection as they travel between two homes.  What about the extended family that the child has to have a half of a relationship with? What about the friends that the child has to have a half of a relationship with.  What about the expectation of the holidays and the mere thought of having to wonder where will I wake up next Christmas morning, or who will I celebrate with next Hanukkah, or next Eid, or next Diwali, or next Kwanza, etc…

Even in the most amicable of divorces, or “complete separation of two things”, I’ve never heard of children becoming famous authors who have rewritten fairy tales that start off with “Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in two houses…”.  Have we come to a point in humanity in which we are comfortable with the saying “There’s no place like two homes”.  I can’t say for sure.  I don’t have the answers.  It may be like having more than one child, for example.  When I was pregnant with my second child I had an intense fear that I couldn’t possibly love my second son as much as I loved my first son, because that love that I experienced was so great, so intense, I just didn’t think it could be replicated.  I went off to the hospital in (late stage) labor in tears of sadness with the idea that it was going to be necessary to split my love.  Needless to say, I left the hospital with the realization that my these two children need not share the love that was presently contained in my heart, but rather my heart grew in size to contain all that much more love for my second child (and so forth, for my third, fourth, and fifth child). Yes, that is my experience with my own step-parents (for that story you can read An Adult Child’s Story; The Effects of Parental Alienation), I didn’t have to split my love for them, I just had that much more love to give, and in return I received double the love.

Look, if divorce is absolutely necessary, there are ways to go about doing it the right way and doing it the wrong way. (Too often divorce comes about because many people hold a false idea of what marriage actually is, and are not aware that they can work together to improve their marriage.-I’m not referring to cases in which abuse and other major issues are the underlying cause.)  However the divorce proceeds, sacrifice needs to be made on the parents’ behalf, not the children.  That is where I think we have it wrong.  I’m not sure how many divorcing couples realize just how much they will have to sacrifice.  In many situations couples, or at least one half of the couple, refuses to sacrifice anything.  Now, when something that was once whole, which is now completely separated in two, how can the receiving end of that split (the child) that once had the whole and now only has two halves be expected to treat those two halves as a whole?  In addition, it is the children who are usually forced to sacrifice their way of life and peace after a divorce (how many couples split their time in the family home to allow the child to have the same lifestyle as before the AND how feasible is that)?

In conclusion, are we expecting that the children change to fit our new needs?  Are we seeing Parental Alienation as a result of the natural competition for resources, as humanity struggles to survive on less, which if you think about it is why human traveled in clans to begin with (many hand make for light work). Are we expecting children to serve two masters? How can WE change and sacrifice to benefit our children, if they are our priority as so many of us claim.  Does that mean we have to suck it up and deal with a difficult person to parent with in whichever manner we have to?  Does that mean that we have to find a way to “Disarm the Narcissist”, as Wendy Behary suggests? Does that mean that we have to empower ourselves and look for answers within ourselves instead of searching for lawyers, judges, doctors and experts to tell us how to behave?  Does it mean we have to let go of all our bitterness, frustration, anger, and any negative emotion that we harbor inside of ourselves towards the other parent?

Like I said, I don’t know.  Only you are the author of your life.  Personally, I am grateful for the people who I have come across on my journey that have helped me to come to a greater understanding of myself and the world that surrounds me.  Maybe all we need is appreciation.  Maybe we need to be in the Here and Now at all times.  Maybe we need gratitude for not only the blessings we receive in life, but also for the tribulations we are forced to overcome.

My journey has led me to be thankful for so many people.  So, if you don’t mind, I’ll include my little gratitude letter here for all to read:

Thank you to my mom, who alienated me from my father, who showed me love and dysfunction- you have taught me to love unconditionally and to put into place healthy boundaries.  Thank you to my father, who at the age of 51 finally had a child and then suffered silently without that child from the time I was 7 until I was 18, yet who never uttered one bad word about my mother to me. Thank you to my three half-sisters who were forced and chose to care for me, especially during the first year of my life when my own mother was in a drunken black out for nearly the entire year. Thank you to my step-father, who treated me as an equal to his own children, and who was as close to a dad as any child could ask for.  Thank you to my step-mom, who treated me with the utmost respect and showered me with kindness, and as she had no children of her own I was honored to be as close to a daughter to you as I could. Thank you to my aunts, who cared for me and pampered me during the first 7 years of my life-only in your care did I receive that type of treatment and I am forever grateful I could be a carefree girl in your care. Thank you to one of my first loves, who showered me with love and abuse- I would not be an advocate of domestic violence had I not experienced it myself AND you made me understand that there is both good and bad in every person, and that is just the way it is. Thank you to my friends, both who have walked with me into danger and dumb situations and to those who called me dumb for the situations I put myself into. Thank you to my Jean, who was my pastor, and is a lovely feminist who taught me that it was okay to fully love Jesus and His teachings, and who really broke down the bible to me. Thank you to my professors who inspired me to search for answers, and taught me that knowledge is sexy. Thank you to my favorite boss who taught me the importance of working together in a small group setting in entire equality. Thank you to the feminists that I have come across who have taught me about women’s rights and equality, and the lack thereof, and thank you to the few feminists who have thrown me for a loop and made me question feminism.  Thank you to those of you who tirelessly advocate for alienated parents, who spend years of research to educate the public about Parental Alienation, who sincerely want to help alienated families.  Thank you to so many women who have inspired me and challenged and motivated me. Thank you to so many men who have inspired me and challenged and motivated me.  Thank you to my adversaries who have inspired and motivated me and taught me that I don’t have to allow them to control how I feel about myself, or about them. A huge thank you to my husband who is willing and eager to travel along this path with me-sometimes we joyfully skip together, and sometimes we need to drag each other.  Thank you to my beautiful children who have made me realize my potential, my limits, my gifts, my shortcomings, and make life so challenging and beautiful.  Thank you to God my Father, who created me and walks with me as I fulfill my purpose. Thank you to Mother Earth for sustaining me and nourishing me.

Thank you to whoever reads this – for being fully human and imperfect.  Thank you for suffering through this as I refuse to proofread my own work. Thank you.

 

Are Women Created to be Subservient? No Way…

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I beg to differ with the above meme! A strong woman is one who can bench press more than 100lbs! Whereas a Woman of Strength is one who:

-Can make decisions for herself AND collaborate with her husband and others on the decision making process;
-Has strong opinions AND can listen attentively;
-Works to change HERSELF and works to change the WORLD for the better;
Encourages and believes in HERSELF and OTHERS;
-Has Pride AND Humility;
-Strives for balance between focusing on Herself AND focusing on Others;
-Knows when to have a “Me First” attitude, or an “Others First” attitude, and finally a “Together We Can” Attitude;
-Knows that “Do what I say, not what I do” doesn’t work, but modeling the behavior she would like to see in others goes much further;
-Is grateful for what she has
-Understands that being miserable and frustrated will only lead to more negativity, but being joyful and content leads to wonderful, positive changes in her life;
-Darkens a room when it’s time to go to sleep, and allows the Light in during the day. Duh.
-Does not seek to be served, nor seeks to serve others – but rather works in equality to get the job done.
-Can give instructions, as well as accept instructions
-Is Helpful
-Has Control over her own body
-Knows that God is the only one that she should serve! (Unless, of course, she is an atheist, or agnostic, which is her own prerogative.)

PEACE to ALL THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK IN BLACK AND WHITE. LIFE IS SO MUCH MORE WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

ADHD and Parental Alienation? Serious???

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So, I’m wondering how ADHD and Parental Alienation have become intertwined.  ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development. I’ve heard many people in the PA community also bash ADHD.  Here’s my problem with that argument: ADHD encompasses a much larger community than that of the PA community, or single parent community for that matter.  In fact ADHD  is so prevalent, that the number of children ages 3-17 ever diagnosed with ADHD equal 5.2 million children (source: CDC).  That is a huge statistic.  Boys by far outweigh girls.  WHY is this? 

First, I have to say that my opinion on the cause greatly differs from that held by some in the PA community.  In fact, I take a more holistic approach, and what I’ve learned over the course of about 8 years in regards to ADHD, autism, and other such related issues that have bombarded our kids over the past few couple decades at an increasingly alarming rate is that there is something much darker to the cause of these diagnoses.  No, I don’t not believe it is single parent homes, or Parental Alienation… I believe it’s the vaccinations and toxins in our foods that our kids are being bombarded with.

Why do I believe this?  Well, for starters because my son was diagnosed with ADHD.  My son is from an intact family, who is conscious about healthy living and communicating.  My son, who is nearly 10 years old, has had this type of temperament since he was a young baby.  From the time he was about 6 months old I noticed his level of energy.  By the time he was walking he was very careless and fearless about what he could do, whereas developmentally children usually learn to use caution in new situations.  When he was 3 he started running away from our home-literally would open the door and run down the street.  Every temper tantrum I ended up chasing him down the road.  He was very impulsive, especially when he became angry.  To prevent this behavior, my husband and I installed numerous locks on our front door.  How many times the police have been called because we couldn’t find him (his specialty is finding secret hiding places in the house when he is angry), or lost him when he ran away at an amusement park or the mall, or how many times we had to shut down a major department store because he ran away.  BOY, this kid was quick!!! I started putting him on a “leash” and you wouldn’t imagine the looks I got from strangers.  In fact, I gave those same looks at people before I realized it was literally a life saver.

Fast forward a number of years, his teachers became more aware of his difficulty in concentrating in school and his work was greatly affected.  He went through the school testing and we put an Individualized Education Plan into effect.  I took him to a specialist who diagnosed him with ADHD, although we had already known this for years.  However, I chose not to medicate him.  In fact, as a general rule of thumb, our family is more holistic minded and we don’t do “meds” as many people do.  The children have religious exemptions for vaccinations, and if you’ll look into the statistics and the big business of BIG PHARMA, you just might agree. (Talk about government controlling people- forcing us to inject toxins into our bodies, and people voluntarily popping pills for all sorts of “ailments”.)

However, after about 4 years of going the natural route (i.e., dietary changes, fish oil pills, natural remedies, etc.) I am at my wit’s end.  In fact, after really thinking about ADHD (Inattentive type) I have come to conclusion that I suffered from this my entire life.  I don’t need a doctor to tell me that.  Since my son has an IEP in place and I’ve been researching vaccinations since 2005 I have met many parents in the ADHD/Autism/LD community, and I have to say that most of them are intact families. 

However, there is indeed a high correlation between ADHD (and related issues) and divorce. Why is that?  I believe that the studies show that the additional stress that is created from having a child with a disability adds to the pressure of a relationship and puts a couple at a greater risk of getting divorced.  Do I believe ADHD is over diagnosed?  Hell yes.  Do I believe that children are being over medicated?  Hell yes.  Do I believe some parents medicate kids instead of researching and implementing behavior modification techniques?  Yes.  Do I believe that Big Pharma and the Government have a perfect union?  Yes.  How does that involve the court system and divorcing parents?  I have not a clue.  I haven’t made any association as of yet…

So, if you have some information that you would like to share, by all means please do so.  I think it would be interesting to read your comments. 

Thanks!

Come On, Get Happy!!!

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ResponsibleforHappiness

I want to ask YOU, are you choosing anger and sadness over happiness?  Are you making a conscious decision to feel bad or feel better?  Are you aware that you can be happy again?  I’ve been think about this for the past year and I’ve come to a conclusion that happiness is, indeed, a choice and a very important SKILL to learn.  Yes, happiness is a skill!

I’ve come in contact with many alienated parents and families over the past few years, and the majority of them are dealing with extremely sad and confusing situations that include abuse, divorce, loss, and lots of pain.  There is no denying this.  To add to this already fast spinning, or maybe a nauseatingly slow spinning, emotional roller coaster, the plight of these parents become even more clouded during the “fighting” process in court, with the zombie like trance of paying out money to lawyers and other professionals, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Some parents have become so embroiled in the process that they actually lose focus what is really important.

By the way, what is REALLY important?  I suppose each parent will have to seek that answer for themselves.  However, let me take a shot in the dark here and say that “getting my children back in my life” will top the list.  Okay, so how to go about doing that?  Again, there are a million paths to take that all lead to the same destination (of course, I’m referring to our final destination).  So, what do we want our emotional state to be while we travel along our path to our final destination?  Do we want to be miserable, sad, angry, lonely, bitter?  Although we may see it as outside circumstances causing these feelings within us, we can do things that are solely in our control to become happier, more joyful, and healthier individuals thereby separating our outside experiences from our own feelings of happiness and self-worth.

I’m no expert on happiness, however I do believe it is not only obtainable but imperative for us to do all we can can to remain happy.  For our children’s sake.  For our own sake.  For the world’s sake.  Without happiness, what is life worth?

I recently watched the documentary “Happy”, which “takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.”  After I finished watching it, I watched it again.  In fact, I encourage all who read this blog to watch it.  (You can currently find it on Netflix.)

I won’t go into the specifics about how happiness can be achieved, or the benefits that happiness can do for our body simply because I am still emerging myself in learning about it.  However, I encourage you to look it up for yourselves.  After you watch this movie, maybe check out the book “Feeling Good; The New Mood Therapy” by David Burns, M.D..  You may also want to check out Barbara Fredrickson‘s website http://www.positivityratio.com/ and take the positivity ratio test.  If you are really interested in learning about the psychology of happiness, here is a great video that can be found on TED- you’ll see Martin Seligman, Ph.D. talk about Positive Psychology.

Even from the most tragic and horrific events people can and do learn to heal.  In fact, for some it may be only through times of adversity that we can achieve the growth that we would not have been able to otherwise.  For instance, Melissa Moody’s story that she tell us about in the documentary “Happy” is the epitome of experiencing and overcoming trauma.  Here’s the catch:  according to scientist in this film “Happy” say “those who endure hardships recover more quickly than we expect and may even be happier because of a traumatic event — especially if they tended to be happy before it occurred.”  In addition, “One of the main ingredients for happiness, the sociologists and psychologists say, is having meaningful relationships.”

So, what do we do when those meaningful relationships, i.e., OUR CHILDREN, are the relationships that we rely on for the main ingredient of our happiness?  Well, I suggest we go out and make new relationships.  NOT to replace your children, but to build new connections that will in turn build us up and give us the strength we need to find our happiness (again for our children’s sake, for our own sake, and for the world’s sake).  One possibility is to join a support group for parents affected by Parental Alienation, or even start a support group of your own, and find the most positive people in the group to befriend.  😉  Another possibility is to volunteer your time helping others.  Yet another possibility is find something unique and active to do such as joining a Gorilla Run, (watch “Happy” to appreciate such an event’s benefits) or maybe join a Laughing Club (really, it is great fun and healing!)

In Japan, one of the world’s most wealthiest countries, there is a phenomenon called Karoshi.  Basically, employees are overworking themselves to DEATH.  However, despite their wealth, Japan only ranks #42 out of 156 countries in terms of happiness!  (Denmark ranks #1 on the happiness scale.) In fact, we may very well have to name some equivalent to the phenomenon here at home of the parent/child murder/suicide, especially if we continue on the path of overworking ourselves through the maze of the family court system as we continue by way of splitting up families, inviting the family court systems to intervene in our personal lives, alienating ourselves from society, and isolating ourselves to the point to where humanity as we know will become something completely unrecognizable.  After all, we are social creatures, so why are we becoming less and less social?

However, I do believe the pendulum is swinging back and this will not come to fruition.  I do believe we all see the importance of remaining happy, social humans.  Yes, the world has changed, and probably we need to all change our long-held beliefs about what is “right and wrong” in the world.

Go ahead, find your Flow as you venture out to change yourself, your family, and our world.  One person at a time.

Polka vs. Muriel’s Wedding


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As I was driving my kids to school this morning we were listening to the radio (it’s a big thing in our family) and The Tide is High by Blondie played and it instantly reminded me of my dad.  It’s such a strange song that brings memories flooding back because my dad was a traditional Polish man who enjoyed the Polka through and through.  I think he only played The Tide is High once in his Saab.  It was very shortly after we reunified and while riding in his car he popped in a tape deck of Muriel’s Wedding and he told me that he really enjoyed The Tide is High.  I thought is was strange back then, and I think it’s strange now.  However, after some thought I wonder if he was trying to be “cool” and play what he thought might interest me instead of his old school Polka (personally, I prefer the Polka).  Anyway, it put a smile on my face this morning.

Nevertheless, my dad’s love of Polka runs through my veins and one song especially stands out, although by no means “politically correct” it does remind me of my dad.  “Hiya, hey, hi how are ya doing?”  That was one of his common greetings. 

On that note… Enjoy some Polka and be happy  😉