Entries Tagged 'Victims & Dangers' ↓

In the Face of Newton, CT Tragedy: Turn Towards the Light

I wish I had something poignant and comforting to say about today’s tragedy. I don’t.

There is no explanation, so I won’t search for one.

I will turn away from the dark, not indulging in the media frenzy or the useless hypothesizing about how the unimaginable can be prevented.

I will send my kids to school on Monday with the faith that they will be safe.

I will cling to the faith that a new, bright consciousness is awakening, despite tragedies that challenge the reasonableness of hopefulness, optimism, faith and joy.

Peace be with us, especially with the Newton families, school and community.

 

Change my life?  That’s what Tracee Sioux does every day for her clients.  For more details, click here.

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Change My Life: I Don’t Want My Child To Ever Feel _____.

I don’t want my child to ever feel . . .

. . . bullied.

. .  . unloved.

. . . like they have to ______.

. . . ugly.

. . . not good enough to ______. 

. . . left out. 

. . . sexualized. 

. . . objectified. 

. . . scared.

. . . bad about his/her body.

. . . _________. 

Fill in that blank with whatever you don’t want your child to ever feel. You know that thing that you are willing to start foundations over and blog about and go to the principal over. You know that thing that makes your guts hurt when you contemplate the idea of them feeling that. Most likely, it’s that thing that you felt and didn’t want to feel, and then blamed your parents for not “making” you feel something different.

Okay, so here’s what you do to ensure that your kid never feels that:

. . . sorry.

Take a deep breath and accept that this—preventing your child from experiencing feelings and having experiences—is not your job. It’s not even in your power, whether you believe it to be your job or not.

Take another deep breath and accept that your phenomenal parental powers do not extend into one sacred place—your child’s feelings.

Instead, we can  . . .

. . . listen to their feelings.

. . . validate their feelings.

. . . suggest that their feelings are not the only available feeling-choice they could be making.

. . . help them process and navigate their feelings.

. . . attempt to give them tools to handle their feelings.

. . . hold them responsible for their behavior in the midst of their feelings, thereby helping them to learn to have power over their feelings.

. . . model being in control of and handling our own feelings in the face of whatever it is we’re experiencing.

It might suck to be this powerless over our children, who we love so much. It may hurt to watch them hurt. It may feel like there is something we should be able to do. But, our powers are limited.

Every person, whether two or 90 has to govern their own internal experience. It’s part of being human.

To find out more about taking a deep breath and accepting the things we cannot control, making a life change, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Book Review: Bullied

BULLIED: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear  is written by Carrie Goldman. Goldman was prompted to write this book after her daughter, Katie, was teased for carrying a Star Wars lunch box to school. Her blog post on the matter has been called “the post that launched a thousand geeks,” and came with its own hashtag #MayTheForceBeWithKatie and she got a lot of media attention.

The statistic I like best from the book is that half of bullying behaviors will stop in less than ten seconds when another student intervenes. This means that bystanders and witnesses are one of the primary means of bullying prevention.

So, teach your kids to stand up for someone else. In other words, teach them to be a good human, it will change their lives.

Cell phones are a fantastic weapon in the ant-bullying crusade. Often when students report bullying behavior there is no evidence so teachers and principals tend to play the offenses down, and try to make peace. Some even blatantly ignore it because they lack the power to actually do anything about it. But, cell phones have cameras and video recorders on them now. That’s right. Any witness can pull out their cell phone on a bus or on the playground and get footage of what’s really going on. It’s hard to ignore hard evidence.

Bad at Being Human

We hear a lot about bullying these days. Lady Gaga has a foundation and everything. Glee addresses the issue a lot – mostly by featuring a lot of bullying behavior between both students and adults.

And our kids come home with stories. Stories of being teased or someone said something mean. Or the girls decide to shut another girl out. Or someone passes a cruel note.

We call it “bullying.”

Sometimes though I think we overreact. Just because your kid got their feelings hurt doesn’t mean they are being “bullied.” Just because someone doesn’t want to play with your kid doesn’t mean they are being bullied. Teasing someone about what they are wearing or what lunch box they bring to school isn’t necessarily “bullying.” It’s not very nice, but it’s not necessarily insidious, damaging behavior either. This kind of behavior doesn’t have to scar your child for life. It could just be a learning experience about how to stand strong in who you are.

Kids aren’t very good humans by nature. Hang out with a two-year-old sometime. They bite, hit, kick, steal, scream, throw tantrums and cry at the top of their lungs if they don’t get their way. They’re lousy humans really.

Parents socialize their children so they aren’t banned from the Mommy playgroup. They want to avoid their kid getting kicked out of pre-school for anti-social behavior — otherwise they are stuck with the little monster 24-7 and it’s exhausting trying to teach a feral beast the manners in which to operate in society.

In other words, we become good humans by sheer peer pressure and a desire for social acceptance. We teach our children how to be good human for the same reasons.

So, no I don’t think that a lot of what we’re calling “bullying” is actually bullying. I think a lot of it is just kids learning to be good humans. And learning takes practice. And mistakes. And social issues ensue. Some kids learn it easily and it becomes their currency. Others have a harder time at it, making more mistakes than others. Some have a terrible time learning impulse control – like just because I feel like kicking you doesn’t mean that I should.

The Real Mean Girls and Bullies

Then there’s the real bully and mean girls. These are the people who, rather than figure out a way to get what they want by being kind, realize that they can get away with a hell of a lot by being intimidating jerks.

This is demonstrated by repeated and malicious attacks against another person or people. I would say kid, but adults bully other adults all the time. To find out how to change your life and relationships using the Law of Attraction, click here.

You’ve heard plenty of stories, so I don’t need to give you a bunch of examples. Childhood can be like Lord of the Flies.

When I get out of high school it will be over, many people think. But, then you realize there are people who never learn how to be good humans. They just walk around being a-holes forever. And sometimes you’re going to run into one of them and God forbid they are your boss or your next door neighbor.

When Good Humans Confront Bad Humans

You know that whole be kinder to them advice? That never works when dealing with a bully. It works when dealing with someone who is just trying to learn to be a good human and made a mistake, but with a bully it’s just inviting more bullying.

The old adage keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Also bullshit. A bully is a bully. A mean girl is a mean girl. You keep them close and you’re just a sitting target. It might feel like this person will attack others and not you because they *like* you. But, it will be your turn soon enough. No one gets a free pass when dealing with a bully.

My favorite bullying scene ever is when Ralphie finally just loses it and clobbers the hell out of Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story. I loved the story that Joe Biden told at the Democratic Convention in 2008 about when he came home without his coat and his mother told him to go get it from the bully and he punched his lights out. I like these stories not only because the kid deserved to get socked in the mouth, but because the bullied took back their power. They decided to stop being afraid of the bully and decided to get their own power back.

Of course, if you’ve ever seen My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, you know that a cat fight doesn’t always turn out this way. You might end up with your $10,000 blinged-out mini-dress pulled up to your waist, with clumps of hair ripped out and a missing tooth and … the other gypsy wife is still a big fat bully. Fight. Repeat. Fight. Repeat. It’s their thing.

The point is you have to take back your power. I’ve been bullied by a few people this year and it did stop. And I didn’t punch anyone’s lights out or kick their teeth in. I just took back my power. I calmed down and thought, “Ok, what can I do to take back my power?” Once I gave her exactly what she threatened to do, which took away her ability to use it against me. Once I hired a lawyer and stood my ground. Once I called the cops, held my ground and stood back and watched her self-destruct. The Universe has been giving me awesome opportunities to overcome my fear of being bullied.

People always say “ignore it,” or “forgive it.” And sometimes that works – but only if you’re doing it in a confident way and not a cowering in the corner way. Don’t take anything personal is likely some of the best advice I’ve gotten. In each case I thought, the only reason this hurts is because I expect something different from this person. I expect them to be loyal, or sane, or rational, or fair, or kind. When I remove that expectation I can better find a way to take my power back. Here are some of my own rules and the ones I try to teach my kids. And this year, I’ve had the opportunity to teach them by example in real life.

1. Don’t hang out with bullies. They are feeding off your energy because they aren’t generating their own. Do not give it to them. Stay as far away from them as possible.

2. It’s about them. Their stuff is their stuff. You didn’t do anything to make bullying happen. They choose how they behave.

3. Don’t make excuses for them. I don’t care if their parents got divorced or their daddy touched them wrong, or they had a rough time of it or whatever. Everyone has a story. Their story doesn’t give them the right to treat other people badly. No exceptions. Do not let your own sympathy put you in the line of fire.

4. When people tell you who they are believe them. The first time. When they show you who they are, you better believe them or you’re in trouble. By which I mean, if they say things like, “I’m a Christian, but I’ll still kill you!” Which truly is the way a neighbor introduced herself to me. Realize that her belief in Jesus won’t prevent her from killing you if she gets upset. So maybe she shouldn’t be your new best friend.

5. Listen to your inner voice. You’ll hear the warning, “don’t hang out with her,” or “this guy is bad news.” Always listen and act accordingly.

Really Unpopular (but worth considering advice) 

Listen folks, I know we try to tell ourselves that our kids can be anything they want and that our kids should be their authentic selves 100% of the time and that all stereotypes are bad and we should get rid of them. And everyone should jump around in clouds and rainbows and be nice to everyone all the time, especially to my kids. Yada yada.

To some degree this is a worthy goal. Without ambitions like these we’d still have segregated schools and gay people couldn’t come out of the closet.

But, remember that when we’re dealing with children we’re dealing with people who haven’t learned how to be good humans yet.

Have you read the story about the couple who decided not to tell people the gender of their child in order to negate all stereotypes? They send the kid to school cross-dressing with weird anti-gendered hair. Not only does the kid wear girls clothes and boy clothes, but it doesn’t even match and its decidedly, purposefully odd. Not in a cute way. But in a political statement way. Political statement really isn’t the best look for a Kindergartener. There is no pronoun for the kids or teacher to use.

That’s just asking for it. Their great social experiment really puts their kid at risk – basically it’s painting a target on its forehead. Not just for bullies, but for everyone who doesn’t know what the hell to do with a kid who dresses in a skirt one day and camo the next. A kid who doesn’t disclose whether it’s a boy or a girl and uses both restrooms. Come on. Noone knows what to do with this, not bullies, not kids, not teachers, not parents, certainly not five year olds.

These parents are expecting FAR too much from people who haven’t learned how to be good humans yet. This is not to say their poor kid deserves bullying, but these parents are increasing the odds pretty heavily.

Everyone has to learn how to function in society. School is essentially a Lord of the Flies training ground for this. You’ll learn or you’ll pay. You’ll compensate for your weird or the other kids will point out the fact that you’re weird and it won’t feel very good.

This, of course, is based on my personal experience with bullying and is not taken from the book.

Back to the Book

BULLIED: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear  gives a lot of great advice for what to do if your kid is being bullied, bully prevention initiatives that schools can use, great advice about how to negate and prevent online bullying, how to prevent your kid from being the bully, and how to teach kids to be witnesses and defend the defenseless. Read it if this issue is a concern to you.

Last but most important — teach your kids how to be good humans. If it’s your kid that’s doing the bullying don’t let them get away with it. Teach them to be better than that. Teach them to step up to defend another. And teach them that just because someone says something asinine doesn’t make it true of them. Teach them to listen to their inner voices that tell them who not to hang out with.

Oh and, Don’t be a bully. 

Tracee Sioux is a Law of Attraction Coach at www.traceesioux.com.  She is the author of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories. Contact her at traceesioux@gmail.com.

 

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Change My Life: I Have Been Suicidal, Today I’m Not

Like many, many people I have been suicidal. As a teenager, but most severely with post partum depression after Ainsley was born. Though last year was pretty rough. Maybe the best way to say it is that every time I’m experiencing it is the worst time because it’s happening to me right then.

But, today I’m not. And it’s important to note that between these episodes there are years in which I am perfectly fine, happy and optimistic.

Thankfully each time I’ve had the mental wherewithal to realize that my suicidal thoughts were not normal. And to seek help. Of course, more than once I was prescribed the wrong medication, making me more suicidal. Gladly, I recognized that too and quit taking said medication.

After 38 years, having bouts of moderate to severe to crippling anxiety and depression I have finally found a mood stabilizer that works for me. I’ve also realized that my brain can’t handle not exercising. I also know that every time I drink, even a little bit, I can expect to have a down day the next day.

I have also learned to ignore my depressing and anxious thoughts. Not entirely yet. But I now know that if I entertain them, they will do me great and terrible harm. So, I dismiss them quickly. Sometimes I make lists of things that are awesome to quiet them. I keep a little box with compliments people have given me, so I can look at them and remember who I really am.

Also, I know that filtering the types of media and entertainment I allow into my brain has an impact on my outlook on life. Meditating is essential, not just when I’m depressed, but to keep me out of it. Listening to my inner voice can not be undervalued.

I also know that while it’s easy to isolate, that’s the worst thing I can do.

The best thing to do is to act as if I am not depressed and to continue to make myself do the things I would normally do: exercise, work, hang out with friends, show up at book club, call someone who loves me, accept help in any form it comes in, etc.

I’ve learned not to freak out when an emotional dip comes. I just do what I need to do to take care of myself and remind myself that it has always lifted and will again. In fact, I now recognize it as a clear warning from my soul to slow down, get quiet, and now, finally, I listen.

I’ve come to a place, finally, that I have learned to manage my natural tendencies and chemical imbalances. Some of it is inherited, a fair bit of it has been hormonal, some has been situational, but a lot of it is manageable with good habits and paying attention to my environment.

I’m lucky. When I get into a dark place I know I’m in a dark place. I’ve taken advantage of help available, even when I didn’t think I could. Some people don’t know they are in a dark place, they just think it’s a normal place. Some people don’t know how to get help.

Hang on. Get help. If that doesn’t work, get help from someone else. Don’t give up. It will clear, it will. One day you’ll wake up and feel a little better. Get your body moving and shift the energy in it. Make lists of your good attributes, make lists of people who do love you, make lists of things and people worth living for. Lists give you perspective – and something to do with yourself.

Don’t do it. It’s a trap. LIVE.

Help me change my life?  That’s exactly what Tracee Sioux does every day for her clients. You can find out more by subscribing to her newsletter.

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50 Shades of Being Treated Like Shit is Hot (Grey)

So I bought FiftyShades of Grey,the chick porn series that is flying off the shelves. Professional, strong women are getting all hot and bothered by hideously lazy and trite writing and messages even worse than Twilight.

I read a chapter or two, mainly because I was curious about whether I could still get horny. Synopsis: boring virgin college girl rejects appropriate advances by a nice guy and a good friend and instead chooses to be the sex slave of a high-powered, arrogant CEO who has her sign a contract allowing him to do any violent or abusive thing he wants to her. How deliciously orginal. Flipping to the middle I saw the word “suspension,” and thought:

“Tracee have you had men treat you like shit? Have they used you for sex? Have they tried to control your behavior and isolate you from your friends, family and outside interests? Have they been violent towards you, even hurting you during sex?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Was it sexy?” I asked.

“No! It totally sucked! It was painful, humiliating and made me ashamed for years and years afterward. It changed the way I felt about myself and men in general,” I remembered.

“Do you want to attract more of those kinds of men into your life simply because they ‘make one hundred thousand dollars an hour?’ or find abusing you anirresistibletemptation?” I asked.

“No way,” I said as I tossed the unread book into the recycling bin and hauled it out to the curb where the garbage man carried it off to its appropriate destination.

What the hell is wrong with us? Women, I mean. That’s what I keep wondering. There must me some kind of character flaw, deeply imbedded within women either straight up in our DNA or so deeply ingrained by over 2,000 years of culturally-enforced submission, that we think being treated violently and abusively is sexy. Even for pretend. I mean, would women have even tolerated domination by men if there wasn’t something in us thatwanted to be controlled and desired the act of submission?

Are we so desperate to bewanted anddesired that we are willing to seeanyadvance or attraction as good?

Here’s a truth you might want to ponder. . .

Reading sexually explicit material or looking at sexually explicit images is going to be sexually stimulating no matter what the content or subject matter is. Need I say more about this than to utter the name V.C. Andrews, author of Flowers in the Attic? Those books are filled with incest and completely abusive coercion, yet my generation could not resist passing them discretely to each other in junior high because of the explicit sexual content. (Do girls still read these?)

The choice is in what you want your brain to be wired to for a sexual response. If you read about submission and domination over and over and become sexually aroused, then that will become your fixation and fetish. Child molesters don’t just wake up one day and attack the nearest kid. They first dwell and fixate on the idea until their brain is so wired to this deviant sexual behavior that they then act on it, making all sorts of justifications to themselves in the process. It is the same with rapists. It is the same with any and all sexual behavior. What you focus on expands.

If, instead, you choose to entertain fantasies of making soulful and deep-heart connections with a strong and gentle, respectful, committed lover, your brain will be aroused and respond sexually to that.

What you focus on not only expands, but it is in fact, invited into your reality and attracted to you.

Consider for a second what kind of message the mass purchasing and reading of this garbage by educated, strong, independent women gives to men. “Treating us like shit actuallydoes turn us on. Keep it up! We love it!”

Explore the idea that we have expanded the domination and submission archetypes of gender and expanded the abuse of and violence toward all women around the world, (the reverse of what I imagine we would all say we want) by the mass consumption of this type of material. We’ve practically handed them the stale, old excuse, “but she likes it.” Think I’mexaggerating? Read this post about what junior high boys believe girls like: She liked it.

For me, having experienced the disrespect, violence, sexual abuse andcoercionof men in my life already, I know that I now prefer to fantasize about, and attract, the deep soulful connection I deserve. In reality there is nothing sexy about being treated like shit.

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