Friday, March 30, 2012

...greater treasures than Mega Millions...

Mega Millions was recently over 1/2 a billion dollars...
(and at the same time Powerball was over 60 million)

...but get this, a few months ago Jordan learned how to give kisses...(before it was a very hard concept for him because of partial blindness and coordination) now I get kisses everyday...he says 

"you give me a kiss and I'll give you a kiss" and he does...and so how very rich am I ???

(posted earlier...)

So sometimes I get grief about posting a lot about the novel "The House that Silence Bought", about my kids, and specifically about my son Jordan. And whatever. 

Jordan and overcoming abuse was the inspiration for the novel...some of you know that, some not. Please read the novel, we would appreciate it. I used to think that the book would be just a forum for Jordan later in his life; mainly because he has no idea he is disabled. But these days I fear he make make it to later in life. He is nearly 15; but behaves like a 5 year old. That is hard for a parent to face. But what is harder to face is that he is not growing very much. There may be many reasons for this; for instance he is on a lot of very damaging medications. These drugs not only potentially damage his liver, mess up his sleep patterns, but also when conbined seemed to be affecting his growth. So of course prayers and welcome. 

I used to wake up nights wondering what would happen to him after I died. But lately, I am scared for a different reason. I mean I do not know how  much longer I will have him. Reality says, though, that none of know how long we will have anyone that we love. 

So if I brag on my kids...especially Jordan...uhm, get over it maybe...part of it is normal mom stuff...part of it is part of framing his life...and those of us who love him, need that. 

We all spend a portion of our time here on Facebook trying to sound educated, intellectually stimulating and politically attuned...again, I for one think life is incredibly short and blessed...and what might make the world a better place is appreciating what we have, while we have it. So when you run out of clever posts, just take a few minutes and brag on your kids, your spouse, your friends...the people you love.

(Jordan ~ the  inspiration for the novel "The House that Silence Bought")

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

...spotting emotionally unavailable men...


Is there such a thing as an emotionally unavailable man?

Do some men purposely withhold their feelings, their approval and their attention?

Do the ones who do it, mask some insecurity they have about their own inadequacies? Or do they really just not feel as much as other people and therefore don't see the need for displaying their emotions?

What kinds of things make a man emotionally unavailable?

Does he has a wife, girlfriend or sleeping partner? then he is emotionally unavailable.

Is he is hard to reach; and go hours, days, or even weeks without feeling like he has to communicate? When there is finally communication, does he makes it seem like there is something wrong with you that you wanted more communication? Is there is no explanation for the lack of communication? Is there is no flow between one conversation to the next? Do you feel like things are stopping and starting a lot? If you have no idea when will be the next time you two will communicate, he is emotionally unavailable.  

If he wants you to keep an open mind, wants no labels, boundaries or definitions of the relationship, he is in fact, emotionally unavailable. 

If he doesn't want to talk his feelings, about where you fit into his life or how he sees your relationship, he is emotionally unavailable. 

So, it would be uncomfortable if your guy has one or two of these traits, but it is time to do some serious evaluating if he has all of them. Take a deep breath though, because you are not going to be able to change him. All you can do is start seeing the signs that you are with an emotionally unavailable guy, decide how to proceed, and take the steps to dissolve the relationship. But bigger than that, is you have to figure out if you have a habit of dating this kind of guy. If you see a pattern you must start changing your habit. Also there may also be a correlation between the emotionally unavailable man and the men that can develop abusive tendencies. After all theses men may reason that you knew what you were getting when you got together with them; and that their abuse was something you drove them to because you wanted something from them they couldn't give. Though not all emotionally unavailable men become abusers, but some do. The underlying issue for you as a woman who wants to develop healthy relationships, is why would you want an emotionally unavailable man either way?

I can only blog about this because I have been there. But what can you do about it? After all isn't there times when he is charming, sweet, and maybe even romantic? Maybe. But if you are starting to feel badly, unsatisfied and overtly insecure after your communication with him, it may not be you, it may be him. The insidious thing is you cannot tell if he is clueless or doing these things on purpose. Which can leave you second guessing yourself.

I have dated guys who had a couple of the traits. I also have been in the unenviable position of dating a guy who had all of the traits; and it was very hard to assert myself and insist on better treatment. Why? Because the emotionally unavailable guy will usually turn the tables on you and make it about your faults, instead of just owning that they refuse to become available to you. And if you are damaged enough, you may bend over backwards trying to prove to him that it was your demanding, needy insecure nature that pressured him and caused him to withdraw. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Emotionally unavailable guys were that way before you and will be so after you; which means its ok to leave them. It is more than ok, it is really all you can do to protect yourself.

You have a right to break up with someone if they are with someone else and they did not tell you. 

You have the right to politely ask when you will hear from them again. You have the right to expect some sort of flow from one conversation to the next. Rest assured, if he wanted to get to know you, he would make his communication steady and reliable. 

Any desire to stay away from definitions, labels or boundaries simply means he doesn't want to commit to giving you what you need emotionally; and from such, you have a right to flee. 

When the time comes to discuss emotions, you have a right not to feel like you are pulling teeth to get a healthy exchange. If you don't know if he sees you as a girlfriend, it is acceptable and emotionally healthy to ask and expect a clear, decisive answer. In fact I will go one step further, if he wants you to feel secure, cared for and protected emotionally he will provide a lot of this on his own without having to be asked, pinned down or chased. And if you do have to assert yourself, for any reason, he will be proud of you for doing so, not ridicule you or make you feel badly. 

If you need immediate assistance for an abusive situation, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

...have you walked a mile, in these shoes...?

...I was putting Jordan to bed tonight...and it occurred that I already have a man in my life...his name is Jordan...he will most likely always live with me, always need me around...and there may not be one man in ten million that will ever look upon him that way I how could I date a man who wouldn't? People who have physical or mental disabilities cannot help it...they do not choose to be thought of as burdens or inconvenient...they are shunned, cast aside and ignored by a large portion of the population, even by members of their own families...but you know what? I don't have to take care of Jordan, I get to take care of is a privilege and a joy...
There are few pains in life as acute as the loss of a child. I almost know what this feels like. Or maybe I know altogether what it feels like. Because while I have my son Jordan as a disabled young man, I did indeed lose my child who had been born whole and healthy.

It gnaws at a parent when their child suffers something they cannot fix, mend or make amends for...and it damages without repentance. Never mind all of the complications that came with our story; because even if no hindrances accompanied his injuries back in 2000, his injuries still would have left a gaping wound in all of our lives.

I have faith in God.  I cannot imagine what any of this would have been like to face had I not. Still over the years I have questioned everything; my faith is not perfect, merely resilient.

So in almost every way imaginable I can relate to the partial loss of a child, every bit as much as the complete. Jordan wafts between his world and ours. Sometimes he has great clarity and resolve, but mostly he struggles with making sense of the world. The poetry in is that he doesn't realize that we all struggle to make sense of the world around us. There is great joy in the fact that Jordan has no clue he is disabled.

But unlike a parent who has had to bury a child, I die a little every day in all the things that Jordan will never do, accomplish or see. Everyday I mourn for this little guy, who is so easy to love...and yet is all but cast aside. I am not jealous of those that bury their children; I am grateful for all I have in still having Jordan. All I can liken this feeling to is a sore that never heals; because we wake up to both loss and gain everyday.

May 10, 2000 is our own personal ground was the unraveling and the exposing of all faults, sins and frailties...and we get bombarded almost daily with could haves and should haves.

Jordan is preparing for junior high. Which is a far cry from the original prognosis that he would be a vegetable at 7 months. So of course we are grateful. And his charm, wit and intelligence can light up a room, as much as his limitations can suck the breath from my very lungs.

So why do you ask do I write a blog about helping women overcome abusive relationships? Because it wasn't right what happened to Jordan. It wasn't right that his own father had been abusive. It wasn't that my own family could not be bothered with us in any substantial way...but mainly it wasn't right that my self-esteem and confidence was so lacking and damaged that the best possible choices I had to make still contributed to the events of May of 2000.

Blogging about empowering women, is not about putting men down, even abusive ones. The abusive ones will meet their day of reckoning either in this life, or as part of their judgement. Blogging about empowering women is about helping hurting women to see that if they keep picking broken men, it is because they themselves are also broken.

There is a lie out there that we have to have a man in our lives in order to be complete...while that can be true, it doesn't have to be true. It becomes a lie when we, as women, put having a man in our lives over taking care of ourselves.

I wanted desperately my own father's approval, but he was by nature withholding and indifferent. So I went out in search of making my own family. The thing was I couldn't have possibly known what to look for in a man, except for the qualities of being withholding and indifferent. The more withholding and indifferent a man was, the more I worked at making him love me. Winning such a man over became a hobby, then a sport, then my entire way of life. Which left me no time for self improvement, realization or enjoyment. The only goal was landing a guy. And since I was starting out with withholding and indifferent men, it left much to be desired in actually finding a man with decent, loving or caring characteristics. With each new broken relationship came new baggage, new hurts and wounds, and eventual desolation. My first relationship abused that daylights out of me...the next relationship included a miscarriage...the next, vile sexual habits and disrespect...the next, abuse from a child...the next rape, verbal abuse, control, and threats of suicide...then came the supposed friend, who in 2000, decided it was okay to prey upon me and my two children. He abused my 4 year old daughter and almost killed my 7 month old son...and with all that I was slammed in the face with every unhealthy relationship I had ever undertaken, every flaw I possessed and every weakness that was part of my nature.

So not only were both of my children hurt...and there was nothing I could do to alleviate that pain...I had to come to terms with the grim realization that had I had a healthy self image, any confidence and assertiveness to speak of, that I would have never been in such a position...Judah, my daughter's innocence died, Jordan's life literally almost came to an end...and my entire concept of myself was obliterated...not to mention coming face to face with glaring family, if I seem a bit too, whatever...there is just cause...try not to judge...

And I will try not to judge you,as well...see because before all of this I was so sure of who I was, what I believed and what I was capable of...I was judgmental...I was critical...I was so certain that my faults could not have been as bad as other's people's. I was wrong. People smoke, sleep around, steal from their jobs, run red lights, cheat on their spouses and other things...and those things do not come close to putting them on the path of destruction that lead to my son nearly dying in early May of 2000. To everyone I have judged, I am sorry. I do not know where you are in the world, but know that what I did was out of ignorance and self-preservation. It was not my nature to be critical or self-righteous...they were traits spoon fed to me by some of those I loved most. But...I could have refused. I could have adopted compassion instead. I partook in that which I hated most, and became the same. This is part of the weight I carry. Because those that I was so sure I was better than? Guess what? Those sins that I had judged in others? Well, none of those other people's sins led to their children being abused. Or led to their son almost dying and becoming permanently disabled.

I didn't physically harm either of my children; but I was so battered emotionally, that I couldn't see what was so obvious to a healthy person.

Getting to healthy is so any relationship...even if you have to let go of the relationship to do it. That one truth, is why I blog. To have even one women make a shift before having to face catastrophe and desolation, is all I can hope for having survived this. To never have you have to walk a mile in my shoes...that is what I owe to my children, especially Jordan.

...the miracle that is my daughter, Judah...

(Jordan ~ the  inspiration for the novel "The House that Silence Bought")

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).