Your Beliefs Create Your Reality: Part 3

What you CHOOSE to believe in is a measure of your level of consciousness or awareness.

What you CHOOSE to believe in makes a statement about you as an individual and all those who helped to shape you.

  1. Your parents.
  2. Your friends and relatives.
  3. Your educators and mentors.

They are all products of the society in which they live.

But it was YOU who ultimately made a CHOICE as to:

  • who you would emulate.
  • who your role model(s) would be.
  • how big of an impact you would allow them to have on your life.
  • what you wanted for yourself from life.

There is an endless debate in the social sciences as to whether the significant early life choices are made consciously or subconsciously or by a combination of both, and how much control an individual has over external influences. It really does not matter. The only thing that truly matters is:

We can change WHO we are anytime we wish.

It only takes is a willingness on your part to LEARN about the most interesting person in the world: YOU! Instead of researching the lives of the rich and famous, spend that time studying your being.

How to begin to explore your inner self:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE that you are a product of your upbringing and your society and there was nothing you could do about this.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE that you were not aware of this when you started your journey, and FORGIVE yourself and those who influenced your early choices.
  3. Become introspective. ANALYZE how you became WHO you are. Chronicle the sequence of events in your life AND THE CHOICES YOU MADE, whether good or bad, that have brought you to the present.
  4. BE GRATEFUL for the good choices you made, but LET GO of feelings of regret and resentment as they will hold you back in your search to understand how you  became you.
  5. PLEDGE not to repeat your mistakes, and to THINK before you act whenever you are tempted by past negative patterns of behavior.
  6. Remind yourself that YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING YOU DO, as well as EVERYTHING YOU ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT.
  7. STOP FOLLOWING BLINDLY. Question everything–especially when someone tells you not to question something. Open your mind to new possibilities. We are CONDITIONED by our societies to BELIEVE certain things about ourselves and others. Our parents, teachers, media and religious figureheads are quick to fill our heads with THEIR BELIEFS rather than encouraging us to research and study a subject to reach our own conclusions.
  8. CHANGE how quickly you make decisions and form opinions. When presented with a new idea or a new opportunity, do not make a snap decision based on your CONDITIONING. Instead of ACCEPTING or REJECTING, try THINKING. Pondering allows more time to consider the viability and ramifications of an idea or opportunity.
  9. STOP BEING LAZY. Making changes to your life requires you to WANT MORE which requires you to DO MORE!
  10. STOP BEING GULLIBLE. An informed well-read INDIVIDUAL is rarely taken in by charlatans or easily manipulated, except when their sympathies and kindness are exploited. These traits are potential liabilities but worth keeping as part of WHO you are. You would be less human without them.
  11. YOU WILL NEED EXPERT GUIDANCE. You could buy a thought provoking book to use as a guide, like Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! which chronicles my misadventures in life and would be a good START on your path to behavioral understanding. Next, you could research a number of the more serious disciplines to find meaningful insights into, philosophy, psychology, theology, sociology and so on. It is possible you will hit a stumbling block on your road to enlightenment.  If this should happen, I recommend a chat with a professional therapist (psychologist) who may supply the PERSPECTIVE you need to keep moving forward in your quest to answer the question: WHO AM I?

It is easy to follow.

It is tougher to be a thinking individual . . .

ONLY thinking individuals can change their REALITY.

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Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

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A reader need only have an open mind to enjoy Ms. Creant.

Readers also possessing a sense of humor, will love it.

Blurb:

This book was created for everyone from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything which influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow and change—at any stage of life.

About the intended reader and a caution:

Ms. Creant was written by a man, from a man’s perspective, for men, and those soon to become men. Yes, many women have embraced the book as well, but it is doubtful any young female teenagers are likely to be handed a copy. It is difficult to state the exact age a young man should begin to explore the realities which lay ahead for him, so my first thought was to say age thirteen—the sooner the better. HOWEVER, I recommend we err on the side of caution. The book contains adult situations and sarcasm that the youngest readers may not comprehend without adult guidance to give them some clarification. This could cause an important message to be lost on them, or worse, they may embrace the poor behaviors illustrated. There are both young men and boys in the age range between thirteen and fifteen with significant variations in maturity levels found throughout the group. We can safely state that a young man is ready for Ms. Creant when he has experienced any of the following life events:

  • He has a poor attitude towards school.
  • He has been rejected by a girl.
  • He has a girlfriend.
  • He has had his first sexual encounter.
  • He has had his first heartbreak.
  • He has been caught with alcohol or drugs.

The important messages contained in Ms. Creant:

  • WHO you become is more important than WHAT you become.
  • Make smart choices.
  • Be aware of yourself and your possible futures.
  • You must always have a plan.
  • Stay in school.
  • Say no to drugs.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • How to recognize and keep you and your friends away from a date rape scenario.
  • Never stop working on self-improvement.
  • Completing a post-secondary education is a must.
  • There will be time for serious relationships once you have completed your education.
  • Chase your dream.
  • Choose to be happy.
  • See things as they are—not as you would like them to be.
  • Learn to recognize your own behavioral patterns.
  • We must rethink how we are raising our daughters.
  • The difference between sex and love.
  • Equality is achievable when we stop trying to manipulate each other.
  • Settle wisely.
  • Balance and communication are the key elements of a successful relationship.
  • Behaviors to avoid if you want to remain faithful.
  • How to survive the end of a serious relationship.
  • Understand menopause—it happens to all humans.
  • You can change anything and at any age.
  • To be completely healthy is to supply nutrition to all four parts of your being.
  • If you are pragmatic and grateful, death need not be scary.
  • Unbiased moral teachings might save humanity.
  • Parents must teach what the schools are not.
  • All sociological problems are directly linked to literacy.
  • Fear spreads quickly when rational thought is not present.
  • Political correctness is undermining freedom of speech—the communication of ideas—retarding humanity’s growth.
  • Working to become the best person you can be will make you a role model—an influencer—for others yet to come.

Ms. Creant is a relatively light look at the human condition.

Why was Ms. Creant written?

This was my attempt to change a world which becomes more distressing with each passing day.

By writing about many of the most difficult issues facing mankind with a pinch of humor, it was my hope that a conversation would be started which could spread awareness.

  • Men need a better understanding of both themselves and women.
  • Women need a better understanding of both themselves and men.
  • Both sexes need to see the world for what it is if we are to create change.
  • Continuing to live obliviously in a dream or a bubble made tolerable by escapism will not adequately prepare your children and grandchildren for the challenges they will face as these last two generations attempt to save humanity.
  • We cannot allow the goal of true equality to be corrupted by political correctness or reverse discrimination.
  • The patriarchy that has been with us for the past 5,000 years must be left behind.

Our present educational systems encourage ACCEPTANCE of what is thought to be known rather than the exploration of the subject matter which could bring about a paradigm shift.

The most fundamental teachings of philosophy—learning WHO we should strive to become—is no longer valued. Morality, ethics, and scruples are now increasingly rare traits found in the people we meet.

Most societies in the West have CONFORMED to the destructive and soon to be fatal ideology of economics based thinking. By placing a higher value on the words uttered by celebrities, the wealthy, religious zealots, and sports heroes than we do the words of the most brilliant minds, we are accelerating the fall of Western civilization.

We are teaching a watered down version of history, INFLUENCED by political and religious agendas, which focuses our attention on names, dates and places, instead of the more important causes and effects which led to wars and the fall of various civilizations throughout recorded time.

There are four interconnected elements which can adversely affect the health of a human being, but most people are not AWARE of them, nor do they know how to take care of each one.

Our educational systems pump out DAMAGED kids. In North America at least, human behavioral studies could help students to begin to understand themselves and others while simultaneously introducing them to a number of the sciences. An introduction to psychology, biology, genetics, anthropology and sociology could give children some PERSPECTIVE to assist them in surviving their K-12 education. Except in the most progressive schools, these studies are all but ignored until it is too late. Most of the emotional damage is done years before they reach college. Teaching young adults about human behavior when the student already has a fully developed identity is like closing the barn doors after the horses ran away.

Higher education has its problems too. The lesson most learned in universities is that degrees can be bought by those whose influential families are alumni or financial contributers. Money and power should not be held up as something for young people to strive for or envy. Corruption within the most important institutions in the world must end.

The grant system INFLUENCES academia. The saddest proof of this is in the statement: ‘ We are paid to search for answers—NOT TO FIND THEM.‘  Specialization within a general field of study has created division amongst scholars and furthered compartmentalization or outright suppression of findings. Until researchers stop being held back by doctrine within the peer review system, hard scientific evidence will continue to appear to the public as being subject to interpretation.

Serious subject matter handled in a not too serious way.

MsCreant.EABarker.com

Your Beliefs Create Your Reality! Part 1

America:

Division and the Falsehood of a Polarized Populace:

Throughout your entire life, you have been hearing about the futility of bucking the system. ‘You can’t fight City Hall.” are words we all have heard more than once. When we hear things again and again, we start to BELIEVE them. This causes you to accept this as a truism—a truth which is undeniable—so you, like your parents, teachers and role models, knuckle under and go with the flow, seeking what little happiness you can find in your short time here. IT IS BRAINWASHING designed to promote apathy. Conformists will tell you that everything I have ever stated here, or in some other writing, is an oversimplification of the problems which exist in America. In  doing this, they further the cause of apathy which is designed to maintain the status quo and to make you BELIEVE that change is too difficult and not worth the grief.

Change is not only achievable but simple if you BELIEVE it is possible.

When the media shows you examples of political activists from all over the world being arrested and wrongfully sentenced to ridiculously long periods of incarceration which do not justly fit their crimes, they are reinforcing the idea that you are better off towing the line. Meanwhile, the same media will, at best, dedicate only a few seconds of coverage from places like Standing Rock which clearly shows huge numbers of peaceful protesters rising up against the broken system. THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS NOT TO BE ENCOURAGED so they do not show it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/social-media-standing-rock-bridge-1.3861014

Again, this same media will spend a great deal of time with in-depth coverage of anything that can divide Americans. Fear mongering topics like race and religion are always top stories, followed closely by guns, abortion etc. NEVER DO THEY COVER WHAT AMERICANS NEED TO BE PAYING ATTENTION TO.

Topics like:

  • How the military industrial complex receives more tax dollars than education.
  • How the big pharmaceutical companies are charging many times more in America than anywhere else in the world.
  • How big oil and gas companies are reckless in their pursuit of new reserves to the detriment of safe drinking water and clean soil which sustain your food supply.
  • How none of the above pay taxes.
  • How endless cuts to social programs have historically always led to civil unrest and/or a society being plunged into chaos.

It is long overdue for Americans to decide on and BELIEVE in real lasting change.

  • Are you willing to continue to sacrifice the lives of your sons and daughters in the name of patriotism, in wars that do not bring prosperity, as the world’s policemen?
  • Are you willing to:continue to lose your loved ones just because you could not afford the necessary treatments?
  • Are you willing to pay the added costs to import all your drinking water and food?
  • Are you willing to continue to be thought of as a backward easily manipulated people?

If this is not your idea of a great nation, then there is something you can do about it, and it will not require a violent overthrow of your government.

Looking for commonality instead of difference is the key to the creation of a new political party which puts the needs of every American before all other concerns.

How to build a new political party quickly:

  1. There are Republicans who are ashamed of their party’s leadership. REACH OUT TO THEM and invite them to talks. THEY ARE READY FOR CHANGE!
  2. There are Democrats who do not like their party’s ties to Wall Street. Invite them to talks. THEY ARE READY FOR CHANGE!
  3. Create a grass roots platform of “… by the people, for the people.” where the party’s position on hotly contested issues are answered simply with: We will let the people of America decide this. Reform through referendum, accountability, and transparency, is a platform which can attract the best and brightest to the cause.If only 20% of card carrying Republicans and Democrats are willing to commit, you have a foundation for a new national Republicratic party. (Demolican? You might want to work on better names.)
  4. By speaking of equality, it will take little to bring the female vote here—especially after this current administration—but YOU MUST BEGIN BY REACHING OUT TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA NOW to enlist their participation and support. Also in this fearful group are people of different ethnic backgrounds and people of non-Christian religious faiths. THEY ARE READY FOR CHANGE!
  5. Only 58% of eligible voters voted in 2016. There were abstainers on both sides who could not in good conscience vote for the presidential candidates their parties endorsed. There has always been about 25% of eligible voters who do not show up to the polls. They have been waiting for this party. REACH OUT TO THEM and invite them to talks. THEY ARE READY FOR CHANGE!

Fear is created where the seeds of ignorance are sown.

Let’s imagine you are just Joe or Jo Average American. You lead a busy life and may not follow politics or have any interest in becoming involved. You do your civic duty by voting and that is about it. This is completely okay. If you work and pay taxes, you are a model citizen. You watch the news and are worried by what you see happening elsewhere in your country. You probably wonder how long before it hits close to home. Creating this fear in you is the desired response of these news stories. You will willingly go along with any solution that the government claims will keep you and your family safe—including giving up some of your freedoms.

Statistics claim that 40% of Americans go to a house of worship every week, but the numbers vary wildly by state and by the type of religion. For the sake of this point, we are lumping you in with the devout.

So what can an average American do to keep their town safe from the coming anarchy?

  • Get guns? No.
  • Store up water and provisions? Not a bad precaution, but no.
  • Form a militia? You are getting warm, but no.

The answer is to reinforce your community.

  • Concrete barricades and bunkers? No.
  • Machine gun emplacements? No.

community   noun   Fellowship, being alike in some way.

Just about everyone living in your community is ALIKE in that you all share the same fears of violence and persecution. You must REACH OUT to everyone in your community that you have been conditioned to fear. Believe me, they have been conditioned to fear you too.

Only through communication can a safe community be created.

Not fearing your neighbors is a beginning.

  • Church groups can be formed and plans made to visit all the different houses of worship in your community. In doing this, you begin to tear down the myths and stereotypes spun in the media about people whose BELIEFS are not as different from your own as you might think. Takes on religious stories aside, they want peace, safety and security for their families too. It is almost guaranteed you will receive a warm welcome, and you might make some new friends in these travels.
  • Joining local business associations is another way to get to know members of your community. Again, sharing concerns about the security of your businesses can make for some commonality among business owners in your community.
  • Joining the PTA or being a part of after school programs is a great way to get to know your neighbors who also have children. They have all the same parenting problems that you do and sometimes more, if they are attempting to raise their child in the ways of two different cultures.
  • Getting involved in charitable and community events are a couple of other ways to form these new friendships.

Friendships imply a modicum of mutually assured security in a community. It has been proven in the Middle East, but the media does not show you stories such as these.

Polarization is difficult to cultivate where truth exists.

America is known as the “home of the brave” so be brave America, and go get to know the neighbors you are being told to fear. The relationships you forge may be your community’s best defense.

 

This is the new theme for the 2017 blog series.

I hope you like it.

You can now grab a copy of my book anywhere in the world (so they tell me).

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Do you have guys who are difficult to buy gifts for?

Do you want your guy to read more?

Do you want to keep a young guy from leaping before he looks?

Do you want to figure guys out?

Reviewers love Ms. Creant (and most are women).

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is a non-fiction book chronicling one man’s somewhat humorous journey to understand women, relationships, life, society and civilization.

Available in e-book & 8×10 large print editions in both paperback & hardcover.

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp

Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab

Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6

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Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp

itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv

Chapters/Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

 

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (e-book)

 

Blog 25: Why do we hurt people that care about us?

This may be yet another middle-aged guy thing.

Recent events have me questioning myself and a new person in my life.

I have too much on my plate, so I deemed it necessary to take a break from social media in order to FOCUS on turning my new place into a home. During this period, I will also be finishing the last round of edits on my manuscript, which I also believe to be a reasonable step. Additionally, it is possible that I have reached the point of exhaustion, as I cannot remember the last time I took even an entire day off or got away from things for a while. In my estimation, taking a break from everyone who can INTERFERE with those goals may not be healthy, yet it seems as though that is what I wish to do.

Attempting to understand what is driving you is never easy.

In my case, I am stressing over MONEY and TIME; but most people have those worries. When I was younger, those things cropped up from time to time but now it seems more frequent. I have had minor health problems and minor injuries that have negatively affected my projected timeline for the COMPLETION of my goals. This is an ongoing nagging FRUSTRATION that has been plaguing me for the last six months. EXPECTATIONS are my problem right now. If you do not have expectations, then you cannot be let down. Life rarely goes as expected, but knowing these words often is not enough to stave off stress.

My VISION of the life that I have been working toward, did not include the possibility of a significant other for reasons that are graphically detailed in my book. Instead, I imagined a life where I would write, travel, lead a healthier lifestyle, and only engage in casual sexual encounters. That is my idea of a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life that would ultimately make me HAPPY. This latest sexy cutie threatens my PLAN, and I have DOUBTS about my ability to meet her long-term needs.

If you allow yourself to stray off course into a relationship, you must have PATIENCE; and patience is something that is in very short supply with me these days.

We all love the feeling of being loved, and we can cling to the new exciting adventure just to keep that feeling. Lately however, I have found myself taking a PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE approach to this wonderful person, as my heart and head wrestle for supremacy. When I am pragmatic, my comments often tear at her fantasy of our future, causing her to be unhappy. I do not like myself when this happens; but it does happen, and quite regularly. There are a great many obstacles in our way, if we were to attempt a serious committed relationship, and I question whether I have the ENERGY or DESIRE to try it one more time. Sometimes, I actually RESENT the intrusion in my life by this beautiful young soul, and we have talked at length about my mixed feelings towards a long-term relationship; yet she PERSISTS, believing that we were brought together for a reason by a divine influence. Her beliefs allow for her to construct a happily ever after story that she is pursuing RELENTLESSLY. Anyone that reads my stuff knows that I do not believe in such things, so her ideology bothers me as well. I all too often view her caring interest as a DISRUPTION due to her INCESSANT need for communication that I view as unnecessary blathering via telephone or text.

I know that I am someone whose singular FOCUS allows me to COMPLETE things.

I know that I may have unrealistic EXPECTATIONS, and I am trying to make a conscious effort to swim with the current more often.

I know that my PLAN for a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life may get lonely or tiresome but should I not at least try it?

I know I am not PERFECTLY happy, but can a perfectionist ever truly be? I would like to find out though.

I know that my PATIENCE is directly tied to my stress level and I must get better at managing stress.

I know that my planned lifestyle changes will improve my ENERGY level.

I know that my internal CONFLICT will persist until I either commit or withdraw from this relationship.

I am very conscious of the fact that I am not being FAIR in this relationship.

I would MISS her if she was no longer in my life.

There is a fine line between doing what you know is best for yourself, and being selfish or narcissistic.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how HOW SEVERELY DAMAGED THE AUTHOR IS.

I hope your biggest problem is that someone cares about you.

E. A.

Blog 24: (My Birthday Post) So what is mid-life?

Another birthday has arrived.

They are coming faster it seems.

A writer in his late forties shares a little too much.

At this point, I am well into mid-life and spend a great deal of time dealing with issues that ONLY people of my age can relate to. Younger people should read this however, as ALL this stuff is just around the corner for you, and it will be here faster than you can imagine.

My book explores the subject of MANOPAUSE nicely, so I will refrain from being repetitive. Instead, in this post, I will explore the tragic comedy of my personal situation.

Your birthday should be a time to be a little introspective but do not obsess or be unhappy about your circumstances just because another year has passed.

Just like having an old house, MAINTENANCE seems to consume more of your time these days if you want to remain attractive to the opposite sex. However, you do realize that you will eventually reach a point where the ones you are attracted to will view you as TOO OLD. That scares me. The upside of that day arriving, is that you will be able to let much of the maintenance slide.

Mirrors are your enemy!

My advice is to reduce the size of them or remove them from your place altogether.

If you are not ready to make that move, then you will have to face what appears there on a daily basis and do what you can about it.

The pessimist within, looks at my body in the mirror after getting out of the shower and notices that my mid-section has a layer of fat that was not present in my thirties. My pectorals need work but that is do-able. A little more walking or sex and I can shed some lbs. and tone my midriff up… some. The optimist within, realizes that I still have a better body than half of the guys out there that are still in their thirties, so I have that going for me. Most of those guys are chasing women in their twenties anyway, which leaves women in their thirties and early forties more readily available and vulnerable to my intellectual stimulation tactics.

Rogue hairs are showing up everywhere.

F. S. H. or follicle stimulating hormones are present in guys too.

The pessimist within says this is a real sign of old age being just around the corner. The optimist within realizes that a razor and tweezers are all that are required to make the problem go away so you can continue to live in denial for another week or so.

Grey hair has been an issue for me since I was in my thirties. My Nazi dominatrix hair-dresser insisted on eliminating them back then and has been doing so ever since. I don’t dare disappoint the mistress. The pessimist within, notices that my beard is about 50/50- salt vs. pepper now, but it can be colored as well. The optimist within reminds me that there are plenty of guys in their thirties that are losing their hair while I maintain a healthy full head of hair. Additionally, my grey is confined to only those two places… so far.

Your libido is not what it once was.

THANK GOD!

I remember getting hard with every slight breeze, sexy picture or beautiful woman that I came across. It was a very unproductive time in my life. The pessimist within notices, that I can sometimes go a couple of days without wanting sex. The optimist within me sees this as an opportunity to get stuff done.

Middle-age forces you to consider your mortality.

Your health will be noticed more often now.

The pessimist within looks back over this past year and remembers back issues, joint pain, a few colds or flu’s that seemed to linger, too much coughing and head congestion due to anything but my nicotine addiction (Denial, denial, denial.) and a fortunately short- relatively minor bout with the shingles virus. The optimist within realizes that it could have been much worse. My cardiovascular system is still quite good despite the abuse and I see many younger people in far worse shape than myself.

My Dentist and I will develop a new friendship due to my paying him far more regularly now. Smoking, sugar, wine among other things have wreaked havoc with my once white smile, but as my grandmother often said: “At least I still have all my teeth.” I did loosen one recently and that has me a little worried.

My energy level is at an all time low but I have discovered napping and really enjoy it.

You must fight off the urge to be critical.

You were incredibly “young and dumb” too.

It does not help that your patience is at an all time low, but if you are conscious of yourself, you can pretend that you still have the thick skin you once had. Every time I want to take a strip off someone younger than myself, I flash back to what I was doing at their age and it helps me to keep my mouth shut… most of the time.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how YOUR ATTITUDE AND GRATITUDE WILL KEEP YOU YOUNGER LONGER.

Enjoy your birthdays… there may not be that many left.

Be as young as you can, for as long as you can.

E. A.

Blog 23: What Is Abuse?

Have you been or are you currently a victim of abuse?

This is a tough topic.

We will explore the grey areas and the results might surprise many of us that BELIEVE that we are in a non-abusive relationship.

I have witnessed or counselled people on almost every aspect and type of abuse without ever realizing the nuances of abuse- never truly connecting all the dots for myself.

Did you ever wonder what happens when the cheerleader marries the football player? This post was inspired by a friend that confessed to me that she has been living in fear and has been the recipient of brutal physical attacks over the last twenty years. It sickened me to hear this. I told her that this is not how anyone should live and encouraged her to contact several different agencies and groups for assistance. She was EMBARRASSED to let others know of her situation. I could not fathom how someone could risk serious person injury or even death because of ego.

I found a wonderful brochure in a waiting room that everyone should read. It is simply entitled “ARE YOU COOL?” (Yes, the title appealed to my ego and I think that I am very cool.) The brochure was reprinted by the YWCA and copies can be ordered through METRAC. Inside was a quiz that went as follows: (I included my own answers from all my previous relationship experiences as I was not in a relationship when I took this quiz.)

Relationship Quiz

In a relationship, have you ever experienced:

  1. physical violence?

YES ____ or NO ____

(I had to answer YES even though she was drunk.)

 

  1. threats that your partner will leave you if you don’t do what he/she asks?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. being kept away from your family and friends?

YES ____ or NO ____

(NO.)

 

  1. not being able to look at or speak to other males/females?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. having to justify your whereabouts?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. your partner using guilt trips to get his/her own way?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. not being able to go out without your partner?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. any put-downs about your physical appearance?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

 

  1. your partner never being satisfied with you?

YES ____ or NO ____

(NO; that I am aware of.)

 

  1. fear or intimidation by your partner?

YES ____ or NO ____

(NO.)

 

  1. being treated badly or humiliated in front of your friends or family?

YES ____ or NO ____

(Again I was forced to answer YES.)

If you answered YES to one or more questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

“Well DUH!” went through my mind. I learned from these relationships and wrote a book about my misadventures. The mere fact that I have personally experienced EIGHT of a possible ELEVEN did shock me a little though. I am a six foot three inch tall guy that is in good physical condition, weighing in at two-hundred pounds and very capable in a fight, as my early bad boys years proved.

I never thought of myself as a VICTIM until I read this.

On the inside of the brochure is a relationship thermometer that ranges from COOL (blue healthy zone) to WARM (amber warning zone) and finally to HOT (red danger zone). Again I would ask myself if I had ever experienced any of these, but this time I would also ask myself if I had actually DONE any of these.

ARE YOU COOL?

Is your relationship healthy?

Find your relationship on the thermometer…

IN THE BLUE HEALTHY ZONE:

Responsibility- Do you and your partner make decisions and solve problems or conflicts together? (Typically, YES.)

Trust- Do you and your partner respect each other’s feelings, wishes and opinions and do you support each other? (Typically, YES.)

Honesty- Do you and your partner accept responsibility for your actions and talk openly and honestly with each other? (Typically, YES.)

Fairness- Do you and your partner work through conflict so that both of you are satisfied and are you each willing to compromise? (QUESTIONABLE- I believe there is a fundamental problem here. I do not believe that people who compromise can also be satisfied. I wrote at length about the word compromise in my book and how it usually means that one party makes more concessions than the other, or capitulates completely to avoid an escalating conflict.)

No Threats- Do you and your partner talk, act and resolve conflicts in ways that make you both feel comfortable and safe? (Typically, YES.)

Financial Partnership- Do you and your partner share financial decisions and responsibilities? (YES.)

Respect- Do you and your partner respect each other’s feelings, opinions and differences? (Typically YES.)

 

IN THE AMBER WARNING ZONE:

Blame & Denial- Does your partner blame you for making the abuse happen, avoid personal responsibility or deny that there is a problem? (YES, I have had partners with these traits.)

Jealousy- Does your partner check up on you or act jealously or possessively towards you? (YES, I have had this happen to me.)

Control- Does your partner boss you around, give orders, or make all the decisions? (NO, I have not had this happen to me but YES I make my wishes clear when a woman moves into MY place, I expect that it remains my place. However, on the few occasions where we got a place together and were both contributing financially, it became OUR place and had to respect her choices… however bad they may be- especially in the areas of decor and household purchases. If this makes me a control freak, so be it. I like what I like.)

Criticism- Does your partner criticize your appearance, your ideas, your family and your friends, or purposely embarrass you in front of others? (This one is an eye-opener: YES, I have been with critical partners and YES I have been critical of my partner at times. How do you encourage growth and change without criticizing? I had an epiphany here. Perhaps my problem is an unwillingness to accept partners for who they are and whoever they might become- to love their soul and ignore all else. I doubt that I can fix this defect in myself. This may be why I choose to remain unattached.)

Fear- Does your partner have a quick temper, a history of mistreating others, threaten suicide or make you feel afraid? (YES, I once had a partner that threatened suicide but I called her bluff and she did not hurt herself. NO, I do not believe I have used fear as a means of control.)

Force- Does your partner force you to do things that you don’t want to do and make you feel guilty if you disagree? (NO, I have never been forced into anything but YES guilt has been used to manipulate me into doing things I did not want to do. NO, I have never used force against my partner and I consciously avoid using guilt as a weapon to get what I want.)

 

IN THE RED DANGER ZONE:

Physical Abuse- Does your partner slap, push or kick you? (NO.)

Sexual Abuse- Does your partner force you to be involved in sex against your will? (NO.)

Financial Abuse- Does your partner control all the money and how it is spent? (NO.)

Threats & Intimidation- Does your partner threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, pets or scare you with looks, actions or suicidal behaviour? (NO.)

Emotional & Verbal Abuse- Does your partner shout, yell, put you down, call you names or make you feel badly about yourself. (This is interesting. Women have shouted, yelled, put me down, called me names but rarely, if ever, made me feel badly about myself. My self-esteem is not fragile. Arguments will get heated sometimes and YES I have raised my voice out of frustration but to the others I would answer NO.)

Isolation- Does your partner control where you go and when or keep you from family and friends? (NO.)

The brochure concluded with:

HEALTHY or UNHEALTHY?

Having a partner (boyfriend/girlfriend) can be an exciting and important time in your life. If your relationship with your partner is a HEALTHY one, you and your partner will feel good about yourselves and value each other. However, sometimes relationships can be HURTFUL and have a negative effect on your feelings of self-worth and self-confidence. This can happen if your partner is abusive towards you. If this is the case, you are in an UNHEALTHY relationship. Remember, being on your own is also a healthy way to be. Having a partner is not a necessary part of life. Discovering life for yourself can be exciting and rewarding.

What is abuse?

Abuse is being hit, slapped or pushed around. It can also be invisible and leave no marks. Emotional and verbal abuse can be terrifying and equally dangerous.

Does your relationship include abuse?

You may feel that it’s your fault if things aren’t working out. Sometimes living with abuse seems better than being alone. You may hope that your partner will change and the abuse will stop – chances are, things will get worse! This happens to many people – you are not alone and IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! Remember, all forms of abuse are attempts to control. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE, BE YOURSELF, TAKE CHARGE!

What the pamphlet did not delve into is where abuse comes from.

  • It can be a learned behavioural trait. Being a witness to abuse as a child can lead to being abusive as an adult. To these individuals, abuse has become accepted as being NORMAL.
  • It can come from brain injury and brain chemical imbalance. Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder commonly lead to abuse. In some cases, the treatments work but many patients will quit taking their medications or abuse substances that counteract the effects or the medications. If the abuse begins years into an otherwise normal relationship, the victims often stick it out in the hope that things will somehow return to the way they once were.
  • Jealous possessives are people that are very insecure. They usually have low self-esteem or low self-worth because of the emotional damage they carry with them that could have begun in their childhood with bullying, been imparted into them by the educational system or their family members.
  • Psychopaths have trouble understanding right from wrong. They are usually identified and hopefully treated. There is only a very small percentage of violence from persons with psychological disorders despite what movies and the media tell us. Most people with mental disorders are more likely to be victims than perpetrators.

Settling is the first problem. We make bad relationship decisions based on our self-worth with the romantic, but unrealistic notion that we can change the person we select into our ideal mate. From there it is fear of loss that makes us stay in unhealthy relationships as well as a warped acceptance of the unhealthy relationship as time goes by- eventually, IT JUST BECOMES NORMAL.

Not everyone looks very hard at themselves to try to understand their behaviour. Most people will take the easiest path in life, which often results in them living in an abusive environment and raising children there. This perpetuates abuse generation after generation. It is very sad.

What does it take to remove one’s self from an abusive relationship?

  • BRAVERY- you must believe that a better life can be had despite your insecurities.
  • PATIENCE- you must realize that it probably took some time to get you into this situation and it may take a while to get yourself out of it.
  • HELP- few people just pack a bag, get on a bus and leave forever. Most have to get in touch with family, friends and most importantly… the AUTHORITIES on the subject like police, counsellors, groups and organisations that specialize in this area.
  • HONESTY- You must tell everyone what has been happening to you. It will not be easy and some will wonder why you let things get so bad before doing something about it. Others will just open their doors to you. This honesty will afford you some safety. An abuser that is found out is less likely to do anything that could get them in trouble with the authorities.
  • PLANNING- with the guidance of social workers or other PROFESSIONALS, you will be able to leave for somewhere safer without having to worry about the details of your former home.

 

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as HOW HAPPINESS IS ATTAINABLE.

 

I will spend the next little while trying to understand why I persist in writing about tough subjects.

Hopefully, something funny will be the inspiration for the next one.

Until then remember “Life is what YOU make of it.”

E. A.

 

Blog 19: Why? It is a Good Question.

Three year-old’s love to ask this question. It seems the aged like it too.

An old woman from Norway that had never left her country before was given a trip to Los Angeles by a distant relative. While touring the Hollywood Hills looking at massive homes with multiple vehicles she was asked what she thought. She uttered one word.

Why?

Where she grew up, a house was shelter and only need be big enough for the number of occupants that reside there. She could not fathom a thirty room house that was mostly empty and she did not see the necessity for more than one vehicle.

She viewed it as wasteful.

She seemed quite interested in the roofs of these homes. She asked what they were made of and was told that they were Marley tile roofs, copper roofs and solar paneled roofs among others.

She asked: Why not use grass?

No one in the car could answer her question.

Later the same day, she overheard a conversation about private Health Insurance and asked: Why would you not want to use the Public Health System? It was explained to her that the best most immediate care was private.

She asked: Why?

No one in the room could adequately answer her question.

In touring L.A. she saw many homeless people that were her age on the streets.

She asked: Why do they live like that?

It was explained to her that many older retired people did not have pensions that could afford them housing. Some needed medications for mental disorders that they could not afford.

She asked: Did they not work their whole lives?

An answer came back that stated: “Just because you work your whole life in America is no guaranty that you will have a nice retirement.”

She asked: Why do they not live in the empty rooms of those big mansions?

A very young Great Great Niece of hers answered this one. She said: “Because rich people are afraid of poor people.”

She asked: Why?

The car was uncomfortably quiet for some time after that.

At dinner there was talk of sending her Great Niece to University and which of the schools on the list was the most affordable.

She asked: Why do you have to pay to educate your children if they are going to live and work in this country their whole lives?

No one attempted to answer.

She told her Great Niece about her University days so many years ago, and how excited she was back then at receiving her P.H.D. Everyone at the table was stunned. They had no idea that this very modestly dressed woman of few words that lived in a small three room grass-roofed house in Europe had an advanced degree.

She went on to point out that her family did not have to pay for her higher education as it was part of a government social program that included: free health care where you just walk into any hospital you want and an old age security plan that kept most everyone living comfortably after retirement with around 50% of their pre-retirement wage. Everyone that worked in the country paid about 15% of their wage into these programs. She added that there were not any homeless people and very little crime where she lived, and left it to us to connect the dots.

The rest of her short visit was spent talking about the family tree for the most part and visiting some tourist traps.

As we were driving her to the airport, she asked that we stop the car just ahead. She got out, walked over to a homeless lady and gave her all her remaining American money and got back in the car without uttering so much as a word.

As she was about to board she turned to us and said:

“This is the one of the richest countries in the world. You really should ask your government where they are spending all the money.”

Her doctorate was in economics.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as SUPPLYING SOME ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION: WHY?

Have a great week.

E. A.