Tomorrow I will present a workshop on “Family Stress” at The Georgia Conference on Children and Families http://www.georgiachild.org/
Mom you don’t have a right to bring me into a world and not prepare a place for me
Mom you don’t have a right to mistreat and resent me because you don’t like my father
Mom you don’t have a right to drag me from dysfunctional relationship to relationship looking for a love to satisfy your heart
Mom you don’t have a right to put me in harms way
Mom you don’t have a right to pawn me off on others to raise (grandparents, daycare, friends) so that you can work or party or because you don’t want to be bothered
Mom you don’t have the right to sacrifice me for drugs and alcohol
Mom you don’t have the right to remarry without considering how I would be affected
Mom you don’t have the right to sleep with so many men that you don’t know who my father is
Mom you don’t have the right to poison my mind against my father
Mom you don’t have the right to have more children than you can afford or have time to raise, leaving me in substandard living conditions
Mom you don’t have the right to love me last
Mom you don’t have the right to be selfish
Mom you don’t have the right to have another baby with another man, and treat my brother or sister better because you like their father the best
Mom you don’t have the right to have strange men living in your home and leave me unattended for them to do to me whatever they desire
Mom you don’t have the right to ignore the fact that the man in your life is abusing me
Mom you don’t have the right to have me, when you have not healed from your childhood trauma, thus inflicting trauma upon me
Mom you don’t have the right to not take your mental health medication, thus making my life an emotional roller coaster
Mom you don’t have the right to ignore me and not teach me and become upset when I allow friends and the streets to teach me
Mom you don’t have the right to go on a television show to find out who my father is, thus letting the world know that I am unwanted and unplanned
Mom you don’t have the right to move me from house to house, thus making it hard to trust and create friendships
Mom you don’t have the right to make me lie or help you lie so that you can receive aid from the government
Mom you don’t have the right to pick and choose when you want to parent
Mom you don’t have the right to allow yourself to be abused in front of me, causing me to worry and live in fear
Mom you don’t have the right to become angry when I become just like you
Many people decide to commit to marriage every year, yet as we all know the divorce statistics are at an all time high. What makes some marriages last and others dissolve, sometimes very early; a couple of years or less. Many experts and others in the field would probably have many theories as to why so many marriages end in divorce. Well, I think that several considerations should be mentioned when trying to figure out the marriage dissolution maze. I purpose the following reasons as to why some marriages last and others do not.
Marriages that don’t work:
FIRST: Marriage is forever, at least it used to be. Many couples in today’s world enter marriage with the thought process that if things get “sticky” or if the couple becomes unhappy a divorce is just one legal document away. Marriage is no longer forever!
SECOND: There seems to be this unrealistic belief that marriage brings happiness. This is a touchy subject, many don’t like when I inform them that their spouse is not responsible for their overall happiness. This is a heavy burden to place on another person, to make someone else responsible for their happiness. A spouse can do little things to make you happy and two people can create awesome memories, but at the end of the day true happiness comes from GOD and self. It is each individual person’s responsibility to create a relationship with God and to find out his or her purpose in life, which will lead to happiness. To say that a husband or wife has to make someone else happy takes away individual responsibility. Ideally, only whole and happy people should marry, thereby lessening the pressure that can be put upon a spouse to create happiness.
THIRD: Many people show up in marriage with many wounds; such as past physical and sexual abuse, abandonment issues by parents, trust issues from prior relationships, and mental health issues. All of this can lead to a volatile relationship. Wounded people marry looking for someone to HEAL them.
FOURTH: Many couples are selfish and not willing to work through the hard times. Couples like instant gratification and when they do not get instant gratification they become angry, bitter, and resentful. Most couples spend time crying and talking about how and why they are unhappy instead of investing that time into their relationship.
Marriages that work:
1. Individuals allow selfish needs to die
2. Divorce is not an option simply because someone is unhappy
3. Individuals have a relationship with God
4. Individuals are self-aware and work on healing and solving their issues from the past
5. Individuals understand that they are responsible for their own happiness
6. Individuals are aware of their role in the marriage and execute it daily
When is it ever acceptable to use damaging words? From time to time we all say things that we wished we had not said, but for some people this is a regular occurrence. When two people are in a relationship whether its romantic or familial, conflict will arise, but the use of damaging words should never be acceptable. Sometimes words are not damaging, but they are harsh. There is a difference between harsh and damaging words and both categories have a different consequence or reaction.
For instance, harsh words may be words or statements that are true, but the person on the receiving end doesn’t want to hear or accept the reality of what is being said (denial). Harsh words may include telling someone that they performed poorly. This may seem harsh only because the receiver does not want to hear the truth. Sometimes harshness comes from the manner in which the message is delivered. Perhaps yelling is involved and cursing or name calling. Once hurtful words are said, the focus of the conversation switches from productivity to war and agony. So, how do you know if your words are harsh or damaging? Well hopefully this will help:
Here are some common damaging words:
1. Shut UP
2. You are a piece of crap
4. You are an idiot
6. You are worthless
The receiver’s response may also be a clue that the words are damaging:
1. If the receiver begins to cry
2. If the receiver feels attacked
3. If the receiver wants to end the relationship
4. If the receiver complains about your word choice
Nobody likes to suffer from a broken heart, due to a bad break up. Life would be great if couples could learn to dissolve their relationships in an amicable manner. Wouldn’t it be great if two people could simply say; “this is not working, we both agree that we want out, have a nice life, and see you around.” Unfortunately this rarely happens, instead there is name calling, fighting, court battles, lies, accusations, and sometimes violence. The person you once loved, you now hate and wouldn’t shed a tear if they died the next day. The truth is that the hate and anger is usually rooted in pain; the result of betrayal. So, how can someone move on from a broken heart and a messy break up? Hopefully the following suggestions will help.
1. Perform a relationship (autopsy)= examination of a dead relationship: figure out what went wrong, what role you played in the relationship demise. Maybe you ignored red flags, maybe you had poor communication, maybe you did not assert your thoughts or feelings etc.
2. Create boundaries: change phone numbers if necessary, change locks to your home, close join accounts, change passwords to online social media or any other accounts, create distance from your ex. (exceptions are made when children are involved), stop phone calls and texts
3. Social support: create a support system of friends and family, seek group or individual counseling if necessary, church support can be helpful
4. Exercise: to release stress, yoga, walking, running, or hand weights work well
5. Occupy your mind: volunteer to help others to keep your mind off of your problems, learn a new hobby, work a second job if possible
6. Positive words: choose your words wisely, don’t dwell on the break up, don’t share the story over and over, don’t ruminate in hurt feelings, don’t focus on the negativity, don’t burden friends and family with stories about how horrible your ex is or what their latest antics are (seek counseling if necessary)
7. Spiritual connection: prayer and meditation are essential, God heals all
8. Journal: express emotions, regrets, and lessons learned
The stop sign is an interesting object, often individuals can be seen yielding instead of stopping at the stop sign. The stop sign is important if one is going to successfully use it they must press the brakes of their car and come to a complete stop and then look for oncoming traffic in all directions, before driving on. Quite often individuals speed through the stop sign or simply yield, and forget about looking for oncoming traffic, one might look down at their cell phone or the dial on the radio before checking the safety conditions or traffic, or simply are just lost in deep thought.
One way to practice mindfulness is to STOP at the stop sign, to stop, take a deep breath, and look for traffic before driving off. This same technique can be used within relationships, before proceeding with a serious relationship, STOP, take a deep breath, look for signs of things that might hurt you (traffic) and then proceed once you have taken a careful look. In relationships important aspects are often overlooked such as signs of violence, lying, criminal histories, inconsistent stories, or unaccounted years in a person’s life. That’s why it is important to STOP and give yourself the opportunity to consider whether or not to proceed with a relationship, this act of Stopping may save time and heartache.
Here are some benefits of stopping:
1. Having the opportunity to gather your thoughts
2. Having time to consult others about your relationship
3. Feeling secure in your decision because you were not pressured and did not rush
Relationships are a lot of work, and like many other aspects in our lives, relationships require patience. Patience is key to having peace in life and in life’s circumstances. Ideally, we should have a greater level of patience with those whom we are in relationship with. Quite often those who we are in relationship with have the ability to evoke great emotional responses, because of the history, and emotions that are tied up within the relationship. With this being said, those that we love are sometimes difficult to love, which makes patience difficult as well. Can you remain in love and show kindness when your patience are being tested? Can you be patient when you are angry? Can you show patience when your heart is hurting and you feel betrayed? If not, how should one show patience in trying times? Here are some helpful ideas for maintaining patience in difficult times.
- Show patience by walking away from negative behaviors until you are calm.
- Show patience by praying for yourself and the other person.
- Show patience by reading bible scriptures daily regarding your specific issue.
- Show patience by meditating daily, this will improve your mood, give clarity, and allow for more patience.
- Show patience by understanding that you cannot change others only yourself.
- Show patience by listening to the other person, don’t interrupt.
- Show patience by not having the last word.
- Show patience by validating the other person’s feelings.
- Show patience by using humor, make yourself and or the other person laugh to ease the tension.
- Show patience by compromising and taking the higher road.