Monday, October 10, 2011
Today is World Mental Health Day and in the United States is also the day honoring Christopher Columbus. Some idolize, others despise him. I have grown to accept this man's actions through a diverse network of friends from all different backgrounds and cultures that went beyond what school books have taught me. Their stories are not much different than everyone else but unique in that they provide one that's enriched deep in tradition with a twist. How you ask?
If we stay in our positions for too long, we grow stagnant, much like when we're afflicted with emotional difficulties. If we let it overtake us we feel helpless looking at every situation as hopeless. For me, life has presented crappy moments what felt like eons with no way out but down. Through support on professional and informal levels, I like Columbus and my friends found a way to navigate myself in a world both foreign and waiting for our contributions.
My blog, the one that you're reading now) shares these experiences because I believe we all need encouragement and empowerment especially from ones who traveled the path. Everyday is a new day. It's waiting for us to explore it in and out as we grow and move forward in search of whatever we are looking for.
For me, I have already charted my course, and left a place I have known all my life for somewhere new. It was a bold and courageous move, being that I knew turning around would not be an option. It has been almost a year now and a decision I do not regret making. I have found that my soul and psyche are at peace in a way as never before. I owe this to the supports I have in place and being in control.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
October marks the month when an awareness to domestic violence is raised nationally. In my opinion 31 days is nearly not enough and one should be vigilant of how sadly and often it's occurring in homes across the world. For purposes of this blog post, I will provide you with information and resources available in the United States, but if you want to join a worldwide campaign to end violence around the world http://www.saynotoviolence.org/say-no-around-world
So you ask what is domestic violence. It is about one having control over another that can take many forms and inflicted in different ways. http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/what.htm Bruises are an obvious sign, but the emotional and verbal scars aren't. Though he and she can be used interchangably The Power and Control Wheel details what it is. The diagram can found and in the above picture and here http://www.turningpointservices.org/Domestic%20Violence%20-%20Power%20and%20Control%20Wheel.htm
Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone could be an abuser and anyone can be a victim. http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/myths.htm. However I would like to use the terms survivor and lately thriver. It implies the victim has overcome, living and is (hopefully) thriving to the best of their abilities.
Getting help means acknowledging there is a problem. Here's how one can get assistance in the US, call 1-800-799-7233 for referrals to help in your area. There's also information on the Internet, but suggest you are careful as web browsing on a computer you and your abuse share can be tracked. My suggestion if you find yourself in this situation, find another computer to use such one belonging to a trusted friend or library. There is a safety plan you can starting using as well which can be found here. http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/plan.htm
If you want & need informal emotional support, send me a private message (firstname.lastname@example.org) or pull me aside. I'll do my best to be there for you, as I know having been there with and without support. Sometimes the ones we expect to help aren't in a position or willing to, but there are others that are. I am not an expert but my passions include carrying out the following justice for all, ending violence, and advocating for those who may not be able to do so for themselves. This is why returning to school at the age of 37 means much more than the degree(s) I expect to and will earn.
Sometimes though, we watch from afar our loved ones who we suspect are experiencing domestic violence we wish and beg for them to get out. It isn't always that easy for reasons in that are many. Especially when there are children involved or their immigration status is dependent on their spouse. This link shows you how you can help and with hopefully the encouragement and empowerment she or he receives your wish and their safety will be fulfilled. http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/how-can-i-help-a-friend-or-family-member-who-is-being-abused/