Posted in Life, lifestyle, Relationships

Domestic Violence: How aware are we? PT 3: Using Children

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Violence comes in many forms.  Some forms of violence don’t involve physical injury but the effects of non-physical violence can leave scars and wounds that last long after the relationship.  There are many factors that contribute to the inability to sever ties abruptly.  It can be very hard for people to understand unless they have found themselves in the same or similar situation.

Staying together for the kids

Abuse is often about power and leverage.  When children are involved, abusers often use the children as leverage to gain control.  Threatening to turn the children against a parent, or making a partner feel guilty for wanting to leave by insinuating they are breaking up the family are two very common manipulations abuser use to keep their partner from ending the relationship.  It is a natural desire to want to keep the family together or have both parents present in the lives of the children, but if the risks of harm outweigh the benefits, then taking some time to assess the current state of affairs may be a great idea.

If there is a combination of abuse taking place like, for example, verbal, physical, financial, etc, it can create a very toxic environment that may influence and manifest in your children’s behavior.  It may also have long lasting effects that manifest later in the child’s adulthood.  This is a factor that must also be considered when deliberating on whether to stay or go.  Financial exploitation or abuse often comes hand in hand with using children.  This can be a very difficult situation with a stay at home mom, for example whose job was child-rearing while the spouse was the bread winner.  Another notable technique is not allowing the other parent to see the children unless they comply with a request like for example, move back into the house.

Using the children is extremely cruel and exacerbates emotional, psychological and physiological well-being.  The children should not be used as messengers and visitation should not be used as an opportunity to engage.  A common myth is that this is just part of the territory when couples break up.  This is simply not true.  None of this is okay.  Even if this is as bad as it gets on the Wheel of Power & Privilege, make no mistake – it is still a form of abuse.

I have provided links below if you are interested in finding out more information.  Both organizations can help refer some local contacts if need be.  If you have any questions, you are free to reach out to me as well.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Family Solutions  – Father’s Rights

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Posted in Life, lifestyle, Social, thoughts

Note to the Lonely

“I’m lonely” is a phrase I have grown a custom to hearing on a daily basis.  It’s perplexing considering Earth is populated with an estimated 7 billion people.  Right here in my immediate geographical area, there is just about 12 million or so residents.

Between the high population of productive people and the apex of technology, how could this be?  All the tools that are intended to bring us together somehow alienates us.   Please forgive my Johnny Come Lately statement as we all know this narrative is quite familiar.

The caveat is intimacy.   Tangible interactions are seriously lacking.  We have somehow traded that away for fiber optics and the fleeting dopamine reaction from someone hitting the like button on our posts.  Now that we wrapped it up in a neat little bow…  what can we do about it?

For starters, we can go grass roots with it.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great activity that promotes wellness.  It is actually scientifically proven.  Aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling you get for helping and making a positive impact, you are out interacting with genuine people.  Depending on what type of community service you are decide to do, you can reap the trifecta of benefits that nourish you mind body and spirit.Charity Donations Fundraising Nonprofit Volunteer Concept

Adopt a Pet

Adopting a pet has tremendous benefits.  The National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI wrote a great article called The Power of Pet Therapy.  Pets are good to relieve anxiety, depression, and traumatic experiences.  If you are just lonely or you live alone, having a pet offers companionship and loving member of your household to come home to that is always happy to see you.  Having a dog in particular can encourage you to get out and get some fresh air and be active and perhaps meet new people too!

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Take a class

Pick a class!   Any class!  It doesn’t have to be gym class.  It could be a cooking class, dancing class, painting class, acting class, or self-defense class.  Maybe even a social group that meets up every now and again, like a book club.

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Taking a class is a great way to expand your knowledge, develop a new skill and meet new people in the process.  Our entire social sphere was built on taking classes. We learned to socialize by being in class from kindergarten through college.  As adults, it becomes more challenging to meet people – especially since we are no longer in school.  So, why not take something up that interests you where you can cannot with other people that have similar interest?

Mentor

This may fall under volunteering, but I think it deserves its own paragraph. Matching up with someone to mentor is a great fulfilling experience.  There is an invaluable social exchange that happens in that dynamic that impacts the lives of both parties involved.  Sharing our experience with others and helping them hone and shape their own personal vision can be quite rewarding bond.

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We can get so stuck in our current predicaments that we do not see the possibilities available to us to live a more rewarding life.  While you may feel lonely, there are people out there that would greatly appreciate spending time with you and getting to know you.  There are people out there who would love to converse and exchange ideas.  There are people out there you could inspire with your own experience.  There are people out there who would not feel so alone with you in their lives.