Posted in Parenting, Teen

What is the Underlying Cause of Addiction?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you and that you’re having an awesome summer. We’ve had a couple of weeks of hot, sticky weather and it’s the type of summer I used to love. However, I’m old now and the heat isn’t quite as much fun. Thank God for Air Conditioning! 🙂

It saddened me this week when I learned of Chester Bennington’s death. For any of you who haven’t heard, he was the lead singer of Linkin Park and he committed suicide this week.

 

It just breaks my heart that someone who gave so much to the world struggled with drugs and alcohol. I was further saddened when I found out that Chester was abused when he was a child by an older male.

I’ve done a little research on alcohol and drug abuse and it’s my opinion that the majority of addictions stem from abuse. Either emotional, physical, or sexual. I believe an addiction is a form of self-medication that has run amuck.

Photo via VisualHunt

Addiction is a symptom of a much bigger problem. So we as a society need to stop treating addiction like it’s something to be ashamed of. We need to support our addicts and help them get better. How do we do that?

 

Photo via VisualHunt

Good question and I’m glad you asked. 🙂

We need to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. We need to get our loved one into therapy so he can deal with the abuse he has received. Once we give him coping mechanisms for that abuse, the need to self-medicate will disappear.

I know it sounds so easy, but we all know it’s not. Dealing with the shame, fear, and anxiety this abuse causes is extremely hard. Abusers are smart. They know how to manipulate and control their victims so they can come back and abuse them over and over again.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to speak up and stop them. A fine example of this is the documentary, “The Keepers.” I know I’ve mentioned this one a number of times, but I’ve got to say I’m amazed by the outpouring of support the victims of Father Maskell have received. There are over one hundred thousand members in their Facebook group and the majority of members offer support to the victims who are willing to speak out about the abuse they’ve experienced.

Their goal is to get the Archdiocese to release their files on Father Maskell. They’ve got a petition going where they are asking the Bishop to release the files. If you’d like to sign the petition, click here:

Petition for The Archdiocese to Release Files on Father Maskell

They’ve got about forty thousand signatures and they’re hoping to reach fifty thousand.  This is a step in the right direction. The church needs to be held accountable for hiding the abuse and not turning the pedophiles into the authorities.

There are other forms of abuse that priests and other members of our society are involved in as well. I’m talking about human trafficking. Recently, I watched the documentary, “I am Jane Doe.”  Here’s the link to the trailer.

I am Jane Doe

Teens are being taken right off the streets and sold online. They are forced to have sex up to twenty times a day. It’s happening in every state in the US. It’s not just a problem overseas. How do we stop this?

By arresting the people who pay for this kind of thing. Once you eliminate the demand there’s no one to buy the product. I know easier said than done. (I think I’ll save this one for another blog post. It deserves its own.)

Photo credit: dualdflipflop via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

This is another form of abuse that will lead to addiction if these victims don’t get help. These victims did nothing to deserve this kind of treatment, but our society engages in victim-blaming quite often. So not only are they dealing with trying to come to terms with what happened to them, they’ve got society pointing an accusing finger as well. So you see how easy it is to slip into self-medicating behavior?

Once we step forward and stop the victim-blaming, we’ll be able to provide these people with the counseling and help they need. This is a huge step, I know. There are so many abused people in the world today. I’m not sure how to do it, but I’m open to ideas.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? Do you have any ideas on what more we can do to stop this horrific abuse? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Is Your Teen in an Abusive Relationship?

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’ve had a pretty hectic week. My son’s birthday is Saturday and I’ve been shopping for that as well as trying to get the kids ready for school. J

As I focused on the new school year I wondered what kind of social situations my boys will experience this year. Last year in my oldest son’s class they discussed bullying and bullying behaviors. I was excited to see this because it illustrated that our school system was taking a big stand against bullying.

Then I wondered about their teen years. I wondered what kind of relationships would they find themselves in. I hope healthy ones, but how does a parent know? I remember my teen years and I didn’t share a lot of things with my parents, I turned to my friends. Luckily, I had awesome friends. But what happens to the teen that doesn’t? How does a parent know?

So, I started researching and found that there are signs when a teen is in an abusive relationship. For example, if they stop hanging around their friends and stop doing things that they enjoy. The young teen is basically withdrawing and could even be depressed. This is a huge sign.

When I’m talking about abuse, I’m including emotional abuse as well. Emotional abuse is just as debilitating as physical, or sexual abuse. The problem is that it’s hard to see because there is no evidence left on the abused teen. What is emotional abuse and what are the signs? Below is a list of signs to look for in your teen.

Has your teen…

  • Showed a loss of concentration?
  • Shown signs of being afraid to upset their partner?
  • Spent excessive amounts of time in contact with their partner?
  • Lost contact with other friends?
  • Been constantly fighting with their partner?
  • Changed their behavior and/or appearance?
  • Had unexplained injuries?
  • Not been enjoying activities that he/she used to enjoy?
  • Become more aggravated and/or less independent?
  • Seemed persistent to be home at certain times to receive/make phone calls?
  • Seemed withdrawn from what is going on around him or her?
  • Told you about or have you been a witness to their partner calling them names, embarrassing them, or putting them down in front of others?

If  your teen answers yes to two or more of these questions they could be in an abusive relationship.

If you suspect your teen is in this type of relationship ask them these questions. If they answer yes to three or more of the questions they need your help.

Does your partner….

  • Have a short temper?
  • Act very jealous?
  • Exaggerate fights?
  • Tell or suggest what you should wear?
  • Try to limit who you talk to?
  • Make you tell him/her where you are going and who you are with?
  • Tell you when you have to be home?
  • Put you down?
  • Take up most of your time?
  • Hurt you physically or throw things at you?
  • Get angry when you disagree with them?
  • Pressure you to engage in sexual activity that you feel uncomfortable with?
  • Make you feel like you can’t say no to sexual activity?
  • Embarrass you in front of others?

If your teen is in this type of relationship a parent needs to intervene. But how? How do you intervene without alienating your child?

One step is to look into T.E.A.R. acronym for Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships. You can find them here http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php.

This is a great organization that can help teens and parents.  This is where I got the information for this post. J

Here’s some solid advice from T.E.A.R.

  1. Keep all lines of communication open. Sit down with your child and talk about the differences between a good relationship and a bad one.  Ask questions but don’t grill them. Also don’t yell at them or blame them for the abuse that you suspect they are dealing with.
  2. Always validate their feelings. When a parent validates a child’s feelings they realize that you really do want to help and that you value them.
  3. And the most important thing to do, in my opinion, is strengthen your relationship with your child. Encourage them to develop an aspect of their life without the abuser. Maybe join a church group or a club. Then join with them and spend more time with them. Instead of lecturing and giving advice, give them options. J

I hope this post has been helpful! For more information please check out this website http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php. They also have an abuse hotline. Here’s the number 1-866-331-9474.

*** I would like to thank T.E.A.R. for providing the information for this post. J