40 years of faulty wiring

Poor Pathetic Parenting Produces Promiscuous Pitiful Pornography Prototype

Poor Mom and Dad. We’re always blaming our parents for every trivial mistake we make such as baring all for hard-core porn and deciding to skip college and go straight to work earning minimum wage for the next 10 years until we get it together and go back to angry-woman-Manasschool. It’s decidedly unfair when adults, even young adults, make poor decisions in their lives and blame their parents but sometimes the blame, at least partial blame, is placed squarely where it belongs. In fact, some porn queens, most of whom are anywhere from 18 to 21, just kids really, don’t know for themselves why they are into this way of life besides easy money. Well, easy if you don’t mind being forever branded a whore and contracting as many STDs as you can along the way.

I blogged about one typical porn queen in Tales from the Dark Side, a dark tale indeed about Colleen Applegate turned Shauna Grant in her hardcore porn films. A beautiful blonde, Colleen hailed from a cold, strict, self-righteous family that oppressed her to a point that when she finally broke away, she went to the extreme of degrading herself in Los Angeles pornography. Her mother stated “I wasn’t aware of how bad her life was until after she died.” No kidding. Meh. If you want to read more, click here.

I say typical about Shauna Grant because her sad story isn’t unusual in Los Angeles porn, where young girls are chewed up, spit out, and often left with drug addictions that are as hard as the porn they’ve starred in. Nasty. Lately violent and degrading porn is in high demand. The silly sappy stuff you see on YouPorn is the PG version of pornography. Yep. PG. The stuff that’s being filmed in L.A. is truly awful: young girls are supposedly gang-raped in videos, they’re beaten, called degrading names, forced to partake in BDSM scenes, and used in the worst kind of porn you can imagine. These scenes aren’t real in the sense that these women aren’t truly being raped, but after the fact they often feel as though they have been: their bodies hurt, their self-esteem plummets, they feel depressed and some are suicidal. Some succeed at suicide. Do these girls sound like whores to you?

You may wonder what drives a young woman into hardcore porn, especially the aforementioned degradation? Well wonder no more. A little online digging and I uncovered some valid, yet perplexing reasons, that the daughters of certain parents become victims of pornography. A list:

The Boss Is Mad1.  A truly nasty divorce absolute vindictiveness and no “amicable” anywhere to be found. These are the divorces where name-calling and false sexual abuse allegations occur. The worst kind is when parents convince their children to lie about a parent having molested them. Do children lie about this stuff?  Absolutely, when they’re under pressure to do so. Do they feel worse than shit for doing it? What do you think?    A study by Paul Armato showed that children of divorce score lower academically, and suffer “psychological adjustment, self-concept and social competence.”  

2. Furthering this concern, a 2002 study in The Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that adolescents from mother-alone or mother-absent homes are more likely to become sexually active at a young age, risk taking behavior that is compounded by substance abuse and lack of social support. I do have a bone (pun) to pick with the mother-alone conclusion. As a single mother raising a beautiful, healthy daughter I take offence to that statement. Mind you, I was a single mother by choice and there was no divorce. That might account for my daughter turning out so beautifully. That and my awesome parenting, of course.

3.   Mothers and fathers who weren’t parents: they were friends. Allowing daughters to set their own boundaries, get a boyfriend as young as they pleased, These parents didn’t teach their daughters how to set personal boundaries and that they had the right to be respected by boys. This is one of the worst parenting styles ever.

crying-girl4.   Families that raped and molested their daughters – a pretty obvious (and tragic) one. It’s possible that someone outside the family was molesting a little girl and the parents ignored it. I mean, how do you honestly not know this stuff? If you’re a distant, uncaring parent then you might just might not know about it but otherwise, you do and just don’t want to deal with it. I knew a young woman who was sexually molested by a neighbour for a number of months. When she got older and confronted her parents they claimed innocence. She killed herself.

6.   Parents that were prudes or mothers who were total sluts and didn’t have a good handle on their sexuality. This leads parents to inadequately educate daughters about sex, either teaching an abstinence only or a laissez-faire approach. Statistics on abstinence-only programs show this approach to be insanely ineffective. I love my mother with all my heart but that was her ridiculous approach and that was because she was raised in the previous generation. She truly did abstain until marriage. Mind you I didn’t become a slut or a porn star.  I only had sex with one boyfriend for 5 years. Honest.

7.   When Mom and Dad let men or women run in and out of their lives teaches daughters that significant others, and people in general are exchangeable. Kids need the truth about reliable sources of adult support and attachment.

8.   She was permitted to watch insane amounts of television. Wholesome role models such as Madonna, Paris Hilton, and scantily-clad skanks dancing around in MTV videos have proven to be a great substitute for caring mothers and fathers. And if you believe that one, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you.

9.    She got a smartphone when she was 10, and took awesome #selfies all day. With every picture she took to post to her social media sites, she became less sensitive to the idea of her images floating around on the web. Sexting, btw, is a booming practice, and a gateway technology usage that might lead to appearances on Internet porn sites. If a neglected daughter isn’t participating yet, she’s thinking it over.

gal_marilynmonroe_210.   Parents have let her peers raise their daughters and her friends want to be porn stars, Playboy models, the Bachelorette or any hyper-sexualized version of a real woman.

11.   Parents didn’t know their daughter’s friends. When a child has excessive contact with her peers and loses touch with safe adult attachments, the likelihood increases that she will become an addict, or become involved in sex for hire, as mentioned in addiction specialist Dr. Gabor Maté’s book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.

12.   Parents taught her to worship false idols before God. She never learned a healthy way to fill the spiritual void that is quintessentially human, especially when Mom and Dad are addicted to keeping up with the Joneses, or even better, being the Joneses. Isn’t it interesting that girls leave porn because they’ve found religion? No fake. Money, sexual exploration, and false adoration didn’t provide personal fulfillment like spirituality did. Who knew?

13.   The most tragic of all from parents’ perspectives: they truly tried their best but for whatever reason it wasn’t enough. Most likely, these were parents who simply didn’t have the necessary skills to raise a girl (or a boy) and yet they don’t know why their child has become a porn queen. In this category, you might include mothers who gave birth at the age of 16, or mothers who forced their daughters onto the birth control pill at the same age “just in case“, humiliating and infuriating her and emphasizing a lack of trust in her sexual behaviour.

14.   Mom and Dad loved her lots but they didn’t love her right. They weren’t in tune to her emotional and psychological needs. These parents have a problem with authentic intimacy too, and it’s often an intergenerational issue, a cycle that has never been broken and probably never will be. I knew a man like this once. He wasn’t a father (thank God) at that time. He was the strangest, most detached person I ever knew, able to manipulate people with insulting behaviour that he tried to cover up as if it was as natural as could be. He even manipulated a girlfriend into an abortion she didn’t want. When and if he becomes a father, his daughter is in for a very rough ride.

money_24077_lg15.   The parents were married to their careers and nurtured them far more than they did their children. I’m not talking about parents who have to both work a job in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Most of us have to do that. I’m talking about people who devote as many overtime hours into their careers as possible in the quest to get ahead and climb that promotional ladder, while forgetting that raising their kids just might be an important priority too.

16.   People who shower their children with gifts as a substitute for affection and spending time with their daughters are headed for trouble – and of course so are their daughters. These are the parents who protest, “of course I love her! I gave her everything a kid could want.” Materials (like false idols) are never proof that a person loves their children. In fact this approach is a convenient way to avoid spending time with their kids.

17.   A complete lack of stability. These are families with no roots, they pick up and move continually without a moment’s notice and no explanation to their children. Sometimes a spouse is left behind in the move and the daughter never sees him or her again. Secrecy, denial, and instability have severe effects on children, probably more than most adults realize.

18.   Low self-esteem and no friends. Traci Lords, an underage porn star, has discussed being bullied, beaten up by peers, and isolated at her school at the tender age of 14. Girls were envious of her pretty appearance and early physical development. Along with those characteristics, Traci had low self-esteem and few social skills, typical of girls who run away and have little attachment to their families.

lonely19.  Growing up in poverty. Some young women live in homes that provide scant food and clothing, they go to bed hungry, and worse, Mom and Dad seem to have enough money for dope but not enough for food. These girls want a way out of poverty and into fast, easy money. Enough said.

19. Parents who were themselves sexually abused. That vicious cycle again. It’s a killer.

20.  Children who were unwanted and unloved. Pornography becomes a sexual substitute for affection. Sex is a barter for love.

Obviously not everyone who lives in these difficult circumstances becomes involved in pornography so don’t get all riled up. For instance, some parents who are poor (not to be confused with poor parenting) manage to provide beautifully for their children. These are the parents who go hungry in order to feed their children. Poverty isn’t a sign of poor parenting. Many parents living in a high needs area I know are wonderful parents, who strive hard to help their children succeed academically and psychologically. They do not want their children to “end up like they did.” All of the aforementioned examples do not necessarily encourage  young women to enter into porn, certainly not when isolating merely one “point” on its own. The human mind as we know, is so much more complex than that.

People who are reading this blog and see themselves in it are probably pissed and in complete denial. They’re thinking “who is she to point her finger at me?” Someone’s got to do it. You certainly won’t. And of course there are people who are guilty of a number of these sad family tragedies yet who don’t see themselves in here at all. That’s probably the worst reaction to a blog like this one. If that’s you, your daughter probably isn’t in porn, but is it possible she’s developing other self-esteem issues? They say it’s never too late to turn your life around and perhaps that’s true of your parenting.

Well, perhaps.

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September 3, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, corrruption, Human psychology, Reflections, Relationships | , , , , | 9 Comments

John – the Other Side of Beth Thomas

One person I have completely and unintentionally ignored in the Beth Thomas saga is her brother, John.  John had to survive abuse from two family members: his father and his sister.  I will word this blog very carefully so as not to have any misunderstanding: I sympathize with Beth, a child of 3 who was horribly abused by her own father after her mother’s death.  She learned the horrible things she did to herself, her brother and her step-parents. Both children were victims and both children suffered. To quote Rudyard Kipling, a male survivor of childhood abuse and author of the Jungle Book, children accept “what comes to them…as eternally established.” watch how is emotional blindness created

Child literature has long documented authors’ experiences as abused children. Fairytales and folktales use socially acceptable metaphors, wicked witches and ogres, the way a child views an abusive, powerful parent, as the hero’s sources of evil. The stories reveal where the author’s “imaginative” perspective originates; it isn’t imagination at all but reality that shapes these stories, plots and characters. Kipling’s Jungle Book and its characters are proof of his own suffering. The abuser is disguised as Sheer Khan, the dreaded tiger who wishes to “devourMowgli. Khan is the woman who devoured Kipling’s childhood.

A very telling conversation takes place between the tiger and Mowgli, revealing an abused child’s wisdom that no matter how society protects the abuser it cannot conceal the truth from the child. “Can it be that you don’t know who I am?” smirks the tiger.  “I know who you are alright,” says Mowgli.  So did John and Beth. watch the jungle book – final battle

John was an infant during the trauma he experienced from his father and a toddler during Beth’s enraged attacks. He is an adult now. I wonder what happened in his psychological development as he matured. Did he also overcome his traumatic beginning? Did he learn to trust his step-parents?  Beth was abused because she was small and powerless.  For that reason, she learned to abuse her brother, who was smaller and less powerful than herself. Did he hate his sister? Did he believe Beth hated him? No one will ever know.  At first, John was adopted by good people yet they were people so traumatized by their experience with Beth, they felt they had to defend their decision to relinquish her. watch Alfred hitchcock – hitch Hike

David Pelzer’s experience, the “child called It,” and his mother’s “target child” (himself), is considered “one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history.” He became a troubled youth, broke the law, went into juvenile detention, associated with the wrong kids, was transferred among numerous foster homes, unable to trust or love, unwanted and rejected. Today he is a motivational speaker and author of several autobiographies and other publications that inspire youth to love and respect themselves and above all, never to fear the truth. In spite of his miraculous recovery, Pelzner’s life centers around his abusive past. He has never gotten over it, he is still processing and trying to understand it, even if he has learned to deal with it from a positive perspective. This is known as lifelong healing. At the same time, David Pelzer, like Beth Thomas, is living proof that it is possible to overcome the impossible life of a horribly abused childhood.  watch david pelzer on larry king 

I hope John’s story is the same.

July 13, 2012 Posted by | corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Education, Human psychology, Reflections, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Happy Halloween to all You 420-s

Seems a little strange to be wishing all you stoners a Happy Halloween in April.  Allow me to explain.  I check Yahoo news daily and being April 20, naturally an article about 420 was posted.  Click! I was immersed not in goofy smoker stories or the boring history of marijuana or the righteous fight for the advancement of the pot party in Canada.  This article hit home in so many awful ways. It went through a string of evil tragedies that should never have been and either occurred on april 20, or around that date. Read 4 20: a spooky day for stoners and deadly attacks. Consider:

  1.   Anniversary of the Columbine Shooting
  2. Deepwater Horizon Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that began a 6-month oil spill and killed 12 workers
  3. Adolf Hitler’s birthday
  4. the day after both the Oklahoma Bombing and the Waco Siege,
    the former being Timothy McVeigh’s answer to the “Davidians
    standoff against the FBI…the worst terrorist explosion in the U.S.A.
    until 9-1-1. watch this is what really happened on 911 

The odd term ‘420’ was started by students attending California’s San Rafael High School in the late ’70s at a Grateful Dead  (irony)concert, under the erroneous belief that 420 was police code for marijuana smoking. watch waco live coverage

So stoners, while you’re busy smoking and sharing your love for the Dead, are yourself are you referring to the band, or the victims of these irreversible, unforgotten tragedies, quite Grateful you aren’t one of the Dead? watch columbine shooting: the final report 1/5

Happy Halloween, 420’s. watch 1970s marijuana warning commercial

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Human psychology, Reflections | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anonymous Victims and Glorified Killers….Adding Insult to Grave (pun) Injury

You know what is so glaringly wrong about abduction-murder-rape cases?  Aside from the crime itself, it is almost always the murderer who creates a media sensation and becomes the famed name behind a tragedy that goes down in history books.  Far too often the victims are overlooked and fade into anonymity.  Clearly there are exceptions.  Consider:

  1. Tate-LaBianca murders committed by the Charles Manson cult in the late 1960s.  One reason the victims received significant attention was Sharon Tate’s celebrity status and that she was married to Roman Polanski, the one-time director of Hollywood films. Another reason the victims featured prominently in the press was the gruesome manner in which they were slaughtered. In watch E! Shocking Hollywood Murders – Tate-LaBianca murders
  2. Elizabeth Short – The Black Dahlia – murdered in 1948 either by exsanguination (blood loss) or blunt force trauma to the head.  Elizabeth’s beauty, her alleged reputation and the ghastly state of her corpse were the main reasons she dominated the media.  Also, her killer was never found. watch unsolved mysteries the black dahlia
  3. Lynne Harper – although her murder is better known as the Steven Truscott case, Lynne’s name is well-known in southwestern Ontario, Canada due to her age (12) and the controversy surrounding the wrongful imprisonment of 15-year-old Steven for her murder. Her murder remains unsolved, another reason Lynne’s name is relatively familiar. watch steven truscott gets acquittal
  4. Boy in the Box – people of the 1950s America were very familiar with this child since he became a national sensation.  In 1957 he was found nude and battered in a J C Penney bassinet box, abandoned in a junk pile on Susquehannah Road, Philadelphia. Five decades later, the Vidoq Society, composed of volunteers, are still searching for the killer’s identity. (read my blog Solving the Murder of the Boy in the Box: America’s unknown child). read America’s Unknown Child – the Boy in the Box
  5. Charles Lindbergh Jr. – the toddler of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, was abducted from his bedroom and accidentally killed when the killer dropped the infant as he climbed down the ladder from little Charles’ room. Richard Hauptmann was executed for the abduction and killing on April 3, 1936 but many believed Hauptmann could not have been the killer for various reasons. watch Richard Hauptmann’s statement from behind bars 1935
  6. Jonbenet Ramsey – now that’s a name everyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows.  Little Jonbenet, exploited as a beauty queen in several pageants, was found raped and murdered in the basement of her home.  Her murder remains unsolved. Watch real crime – who killed the pageant queen?
  7. Amber Hagerman – the reason for the Amber Alert system whenever an infant, child or youth is reported as missing.  A shame it didn’t work in the Victoria Stafford case. watch Missing Amber: The Amber Hagerman story

There are several more, however we shall move onto murder victims whose names have become as obscure as a forgotten memory:

  1. William Lyman – do you remember him?  That proves my point.  His 1837 murder in Rochester, New York, was sensationalized simply for the fact that he was the first person murdered in Rochester. 18-year-old Octavius Baron, a known miscreant, was executed for Lyman’s murder on June 7, 1838. Does anyone really care? Read rochester mysteries:the murder of william lyman
  2. Grace Brown – murdered in the early 1900’s by her love interest, Chester Gillette after he discovered she was pregnant with his child. Brown threatened to expose him to the upper class society he moved in if he didn’t marry her. Gillette drowned her in Big Moose Lake. On March 30, 1908, Gillette was electrocuted and buried in an unmarked grave near Albany, New York. Read The American Tragedy: the missing boat  Grace who?
  3. Robert Colvert, Marion, Velda and Betty Jean Bartlett – Victims of Charles Starkweather, the real life inspiration for the movie Natural Born Killers with Juliet Lewis and Woody Harrelson.  These people were the first four Starkweather murdered. Betty Jean was a young child at the time.  Bet you didn’t know that, did you? watch charles starkweather p 1
  4. Betty Gore – murdered by her husband’s mistress, Candy Montgomery, in a 1980 axe murder.  Montgomery’s mousey appearance made for a media sensation. Montgomery was the star of the homicide case and, not to be outdone by Lizzy Borden, had hacked Betty 41 times during the murder. Montgomery was acquitted. You might be familiar with the murder photos, but I’d bet my life (oops) you didn’t know Betty’s name. read murder by the book: candy and betty
  5. Marvin, Marvin Jr and Lester Gibbs – all poisoned by mama Janie Lou Gibbs’ good ol’ home cooking. Okay so those long-forgotten names mean nothing to most of us, they were people, victims, and they mattered.  Once. Watch deadly women: greed – 28:16
  6. George Melber – 5-year-old son of Mrs. Edith Melber who murdered her son with carbolic acid poison ostensibly to marry one Howard Kirk. Not a pretty sight and to think, it was the child’s own mother who did him in. Read Rochester woman kills son with carbolic acid

Worse, there are a number of websites that list serial killers by the number of victims they killed:  Read List of serial killers by number of victims.  No victim identities are included. Sad, isn’t it? Here is a partial list of notorious killers that are generally familiar to the public:
1. Lizzie Borden“Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks.  When she saw what she had done she gave her father 41.”  Sound familiar?  The victims identities, Andrew and Abby Borden, aren’t even acknowledged in this grisly crime.

2. Marie Hilley – sociopath who poisoned and killed her husband, poisoned her daughter, and poisoned and murdered several relatives in order to claim insurance money. Actress Judith Light played Hilley in a made-for-TV film in 1991.  She was found guilty and sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of her husband and attempted murder of her daughter. Watch a clip of Wife/Mother/Murderer

3. Blanche Taylor Moore – Like Hilley, Moore’s murder weapon of choice was arsenic. Moore murdered her ex-boyfriend, two husbands, father, and mother-in-law. Like Hilley, her motive was financial gain. Perhaps those two should get together for a picnic and swap stories. They might not want to eat each other’s cooking. On November 17, 1990, a jury sentenced Moore to death.  She has been on death row for twenty years and maintains her innocence. Watch a taste of poison – the story of blanche taylor moor

4. Karla Faye Tucker – convicted of murder in Texas in 1994 executed 14 years later. Because of her gender and publicized conversion to Christianity, she inspired a large international movement advocating the commutation of her sentence to life imprisonment. Garret hit Dean in the head several timers and Tucker attacked Jerry Dean and murdered his girlfriend Deborah Thornton with a pickaxe. She was executed by lethal injection on February 3, 1998.  watch karla faye tucker forevermore interview #4

5. Diane Downs – shot her three children on Old Mohawk Road, Springfield, Oregon on May 19 1983 so her married lover would re-ignite an affair with her. Downs was convicted of murder, attempted murder and criminal assault on June 17, 1984. She was sentenced to life in prison and has made several unsuccessful appeals for 28 years. Watch raw video: Diane Downs testifies at parole hearing

6. John Wayne Gacy – prominent community member and serial killer of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Gacy sexually assaulted and tortured his victims before burying most of them in the crawl space beneath his house. Gacy became known as the Killer Clown since he dressed up as Pogo the Clown for fundraising events.  Gacy was charged and convicted of 33 counts of murder.  Gacy was sentenced to death and remained on death row for 14 years until he was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994. watch john wayne gacy interview

  1. 7. Dr Samuel Sheppard – accused of murdering his pregnant wife Marilyn in 1954.  Sheppard was the inspiration for the movie The Fugitive. The case drew a media circus nationwide since Sheppard had been having an extramarital affair. The defense argued that the crime scene was extremely bloody, and Sheppard bore only a small spot on his trousers. The jury found Sheppard guilty of second degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison. After 10 years of serving his sentence, Sheppard was acquitted. watch the dr sam sheppard murder case his son seeks the real killer
  2. 8. Timothy McVeigh – a United States Army veteran who detonated a truck bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The delusional McVeigh sought revenge against the federal government over the Waco Siege. He was convicted of 11 federal offenses and sentenced to death. His execution took place on June 11, 2001. watch timothy mcveigh: this mission was accomplished

9. Aileen Wuornos – a female serial killer executed for the shotgun deaths of seven men in 1989 and 1990 in Florida. Evidence of Wuorno’s mental deterioration emerged when she accused prison matrons of tainting her food, spitting on it, and contaminating her food with urine. Wuornos was executed by death chamber on October 9, 1992. Watch aileen life and death of a serial killer

There’s something about morbid fascination with killers, rather than sympathy and remembrance of their victims, that makes one wonder about our priorities.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Human psychology, Reflections | , , , , | 3 Comments

Pain and Whitney

I’ve never been a big Whitney Houston fan. I always found her voice too shrill and sharp, as if she was on the verge of singing a half tone above soprano.  Belting out a romantic tune at the top of her lungs never made any sense to me.  And her movies? Meh.  The Bodyguard was so bad as to be painful. I never could get over that poster of Kevin Costner struggling to carry the 5’10” 165 lb Houston in his arms without falling over.  Waiting to Exhale fared better but Houston was far from Academy Award material.

Don’t get me wrong. Houston was a brilliant talent, a gorgeous woman and boasted an illustrious ancestry. I can certainly acknowledge all that. She just didn’t do it for me.  However, reading the news of Houston’s premature death on Rogers Yahoo! just about floored me.  I knew about the “tumultuous” marriage to Bobby the Egomaniac Brown.  I knew about the uncontrollable drug abuse.  I knew about the rumours that Houston was bankrupt. But dead?  At 48? A mere 3 years older than me. That left a pall that, after a week, still hasn’t left me.

I grew up to Houston’s tunes in the mid-80’s.  I actually liked her then. And thinking of her early career brings a flush of nostalgia that can’t help but sadden me: I was a teenager, high school, fashion and boyfriends were my life. Houston appeared during that crazy, 80’s “me” generation when everyone’s hair was wigged out and every girl I knew, me included, was layered in the Jennifer Beal Flash Dance look.  And Houston’s opening number “I will always love you” for the 1994 Grammy’s was aired the year I was expecting my only child. Those are probably the reasons her demise hit me so hard: those days are gone forever and I will never get them back.  So is Houston.  An undeniable legend, gone forever. And not only will she never be back, we’re not likely to see her equal again in my lifetime.

Houston’s personal pain dredges up a bit of sorrow in all of us.

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Celebrity Chic, Pop Culture, Reflections | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No One Can Make Me Feel Bad Without My Permission…

... Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States from 1933 – 1945. I love that quote. How many people could use a little more self-esteem, self confidence, so that the cruel words of a stranger, a friend, even your own spouse couldn’t hurt you? I don’t know the number either but I suspect the answer is lots. The reason I’m preoccupied with Eleanor Roosevelt this evening is because of a conversation I had online with a young woman.  She didn’t like her face, people insulted her face but they liked her body.  She didn’t even like looking in a mirror.  It’s a sad thing what the brainwashing by ignorant people and an even more ignorant media can do to young people.

I want to tell this young girl what about the many great things about her?  Perhaps her grades at school are exemplary, she may be popular because she is a truly wonderful person, perhaps she owns a wonderful talent in writing or playing a sport but even to me these words taste like that saccarine sweet nonsense of Disney movies.  As if.

I want to tell this young girl that lots of extraordinary people in this world were confronted with ridicule, rejection and insult merely because they weren’t “perfect“.  They didn’t fit someone else’s mold of beautiful, intelligent, talented, athletic but what saved these individuals was their refusal to believe in the cruelty of others, their refusal to give anyone permission to make them feel bad about themselves.

To quote Mohammed Ali, one of the world’s champion boxing heavyweights ridiculed in high school for his dyslexia:  “I knew who the real dummies were.”

I want to tell this young girl if she lived in a Muslim country, when she wasn’t wearing a Niqab she would dream of removing her veil and revealing her young face to the world. But I can’t say it as well as I’d like to, and so not without some irony, I offer her brief media exposure to a few unique people and their individual, difficult journey from youth to adulthood to make my point for me:

Watch the best motivation video.

December 4, 2011 Posted by | Human psychology, Reflections | Leave a comment

Runaways and Homelessness

The number of runaways has been growing since 1994. The majority of missing children are runaways–in 2002, of the 66,532 children reported missing, 52,390 were runaways. That doesn’t include young people whose parents or guardians did not file a missing children’s report. There are a plethora of reasons why families don’t report their teenagers as missing:

  1. can’t handle teens’ behaviour
  2. pressure from spouse
  3. don’t want police bringing child home
  4. lack of finances to feed and clothe the child
  5. apathy; neglect
  6. other issues

Watch more teenage runaways

Teenage Canadians flee home for lots of reasons. Some have been abused, while others don’t fit in at school, are LGBT, or they don’t fit in with their home towns.  Toronto has created a 12-member police squad to deal with runaways: arresting, charging and moving them to other areas. Many teens have mental health issues or borderline IQs. Street kids also are drawn into the sex trade, working as prostitutes or strippers. The teenage sex trade is rampant across Canada. watch notebook: runaways

Facts about Teenage Runaways:

 

  1. Most missing children are repeat runaways
  2. Most teens run away to escape intolerable conditions at home.
  3. Runaways feel neglected and have psychological problems.
  4. Teens will return home to see if difficult issues have changed and and if not,  they leave again.
  5. Teen runaways are more likely to get arrested than other teens. watch teenage runaways in the UK

Prospects for homeless teens are very poor.  Many do not get off the streets and become homeless adults, living a life of crime and poverty. Some die in their teens or 20’s. Most are unable to leave prostitution and become addicted to drugs.  Many teens become single mothers and are incapable of caring for their children. They face constant threat of violence/rape.

Ways we can help:

  1. donate money and clothing to street outreach programs
  2. donate food to food banks
  3. volunteer in youth hostels and soup kitchens
  4. hold Canadian government accountable for change in child abuse and homelessness laws
  5. ensure runaway programs are funded and supported
  6. work in the mental health field specializing in youth treatment programs
  7. report suspected or known child abuse

watch homelessness –  a short film

June 4, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Reflections | , , , , | 2 Comments

Obesity and Ostracism: How Guilty Are You?

Audience interaction time. There are so many prejudices in this world it’s hardly surprising that obesity is among them. Prejudice results from ignorance, ignorance meaning “lack of knowledge“.  Obesity leads to crippling professional, psychology and social consequences. Watch jess talks about obesity and discriminationHere are scenarios that are based on both discrimination and/or ability to perform work, and social isolation by peers.

    1. Unemployment. Obese people often experience difficulty obtaining or keeping jobs due to their weight. Watch Obesity and discrimination Were the courts correct in assessing this case as one of ability and not discrimination?
    2. Underemployment. This discrimination applies more often to women than men. Read page 3 of Bias, Discrimination and Obesity. Have you been underemployed based on obesity?
    3. Graduation from school. WatchToo fat to graduate. Is Lincoln University within its right?
    4. Watch Tyra Banks – Extreme Dieting. Which is less socially acceptable to you: an extremely underweight or an extremely overweight woman?
      Watch “Kirstie Alley’s Bikini Shock“. What do you think of the audience’s reaction to Kirsty Allen on Oprah? What is yours? Watch
    5. Watch Fight the Fat: Obesity and Bullying and Childhood obesity: Austin’s Story. Were you bullied for being the “fat kid” as a child?
    6. Watch Dr Phil: 3 ways I am making my child fat. Why do parents instill poor eating habits in their children?
    7. Watch Mom sues McDonald’s. What is your reaction to this mother’s lawsuit?

 

It’s a lot to think about. There aren’t right or wrong answers to these questions; perhaps a closer look at your own beliefs about the issue of obesity. Hey, it’s a start.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Health and Wellness, Human Biology, Reflections | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Will I Learn?

I love the irony of that title since I’m a schoolteacher and my career is all about teaching children curriculum.  However teachers are lifelong learners too and thank God for that.  Hopefully everyone is in that category.  The day you stop learning is the day you die, at least that’s my opinion and its gotta be since I NEVER LEARN.

Why is it that there are certain painful lessons I just don’t get no matter how many times I live them?  I read an awesome Native Indian piece of philosophy once.

A lesson will be repeated until it is learned.

My God I love that.  So poetic and yet it makes so much sense.  Think about how it applies to your own life.  I know how it applies to mine.  I always make such poor, ratty choices in men.  Always.  And I always fall for them way too fast.  I assume loyalty where there is none. I expect longevity when it is unlikely to happen.  I consider a man to be my boyfriend after only knowing that person a few weeks.

Ultimately I am proven wrong again and again.  Not just because of my own aforementioned illogical assumptions but also because of my poor choices in men: often very handsome, workaholics, unemployed freeloaders, unavailable, divorced, never married, unable to commit, a complete lack of mutual interests, disrespect for women, respect for women, and of course interested in sex but no strings, honey. That’s quite a smorgasboard and none of it especially tempting. 

By now I recognize an unavailable man who is not ready to commit and likely will never commit at least not to me.  I also know the type who is into sex without committment and the type who likely has a significant other but is sneaking around on her and therefore on me too.  I’ve been there, done it all, seen it all and I am ever so fatigued by it all.

And then I meet a completely incompatible man and am ever so excited as the whole cycle begins all over again. 

So here’s what I have learned:

  1. I am not wife material (see my previous post Always the Bridesmaid Never the Bride)
  2. I have good instincts about my poor taste in men
  3. I have superficial interests
  4. I am much better off playing the field even though I hate it
  5. I must become more light-hearted and less involved emotionally since I know these dudes are not now and never will be right for me

That is my ultimate decision.  #5 is the answer.  I can’t entirely stop dating.  How boring.  I can’t entirely avoid the opposite sex.  How unfulfilling.  I can’t stay at home and hide out.  How reclusive.  But I can admit I have rotten taste in good-looking, shallow men with nothing in common with me and still enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. That my friends, that is the answer and the secret of my (debatable) success.

What were you expecting, a fairy tale, ideal ending, the kind you see in the movies?  Get real. We can’t all play the Cinderella role. Some of us function quite well as the (not-so-evil) stepsister (except hopefully we look better in a full length mirror under flourescent lighting in a La Senza dressing room).

So thus my “relationships” (more aptly named encounters perhaps) with men are not perfect, not horrible, maybe just a compromise.

Perhaps the lesson has been learned after all.

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Human psychology, Reflections | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments