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 Entertainment, Parenting, Uncategorized

My Thoughts on the Movie Spotlight

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve just sent my WIP off to my beta reader and I’m crossing my fingers that she likes it. 🙂

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I went to see the movie Spotlight with my mother. I wanted to see how the Catholic Church had been exposed for the abuse they had allowed to happen.

Spotlight

The movie was well done. I liked the characters and the way they instilled humor while discussing a very dark issue. The plot development seemed realistic and I feel that it was as close to the real life events as we’re going to get.
The truth of the movie sickened me. It enraged me to think about the priests who perpetrated the crimes and all the church did was move them to another parish, or put them into some kind of rehabilitation program. When they moved, they continued their abuse and the church did nothing for the victims.

 

This is the part that upsets me the most. How could they ignore the victims? I mean here they are supposedly teaching us about morality and they not only allow this type of abuse, they cover it up.

 

This tells me that we must be our children’s guardian at all times. If this type of abuse can happen in a church, it can happen anywhere.

 

Here are the warning signs of abuse:

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people. Outburst of anger.
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts. Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy. Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person
Image courtesy of Allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

I found this list on this site, and for more information click here:

http://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/warning_signs.htm

This movie opened my eyes to how vulnerable our children are. These abusers seek out professions that put them in contact with kids. They’re not just priests, they’re Teachers, Child Psychologists, and Childcare Directors. Thankfully we do have some checks in place. I know my local school conducts background checks on all their employees, most schools do, but that doesn’t mean we should be lax about picking up the warning signs.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I’d love to read your thoughts! Please leave a comment!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Stop Abuse before it starts

Hello Everyone! I hope you enjoyed Laurie Cameron’s post last week! I’m back this week discussing another issue that faces our young people of today. And the topic that’s on my mind is a serious one.

As I’m sure you all know Jerry Sandusky was found Guilty on forty five of the forty eight counts of sexual abuse that he was charged with. This didn’t surprise me at all.  The man is a predator and he’s the worse kind because he appears to be such a nice guy.

As I pondered this case, I started thinking about the victims. How did they get involved with their abuser? How does this start?

As I researched this horrendous event I noticed that these kids are groomed by their abuser long before the abuse happens. The kids are given special attention and gifts from the abuser. He builds a rapport with the child and breaks down his or her boundaries. This is the reason the abuse continues over a number of years, because the victim is so confused about what is happening. The abuser is so nice.

I also noticed that the abuser targeted children that were in less than ideal circumstances. Look at the kids Sandusky abused. They came from the charity he founded called “The Second Mile”, a charity for underprivileged and at risk youths. These kids didn’t have parents or didn’t have a lot of parental involvement.

I realized that was the key right there, parental involvement. Abusers will not target children who have good relationships with their parents, because they don’t want to get caught.

So parents, get involved with your kids. Go to their sporting events and get to know their coach. Hang out with them once in a while. Find out who they’re hanging out with when you’re not there. And if you see an adult being overly attentive to your child and buying him/her gifts, you should be on high alert. This is a huge red flag and the relationship should be nipped in the bud, or at the very least supervised.  Let’s stop this kind of abuse before it starts.

Sadly, even when parents are involved with their children abuse still happens. So here are some warning signs to look out for that show your child may have been or is being abused.

Behaviors

  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Excessive Masturbation
  • Asking questions about specific sex acts
  • Age in-appropriate sex play with friends, siblings, pets, or toys may indicate abuse has occurred.
  • Thinking that the body is dirty or bad
  • Sexual nightmares where the child wakes up screaming or sweating


Physical Symptoms

  • Urinary Tract or Yeast Infections
  • The child starts wetting the bed
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Eating may become difficult; the child may gag or complain about painful swallowing.
  • Difficulty Urinating or Deficating
  • Bloody Urine or Stool

For more detailed information about these signs click the link below:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/225236-signs-of-sexual-abuse-in-children-teens/

Abuse is a serious problem. If you suspect your child has been abused please seek professional help.

I want to thank Livestrong.com for some of the information provided in this post.

I also wanted to let everyone know, that there won’t be a blog post next Thursday as I won’t have internet access next week (Scheduled maintenance) but I’ll be back the week after that. J