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Archive for March, 2009

What is going on with so many people today who say they are going to do something and then they don’t?  I am not talking about the ones who make a commitment and because of extenuating circumstances have to change plans. 

I am not even talking about the ones who just decide that they don’t want to do what they said they would and they let you know that they changed their minds.  I am talking about the ones who say that they will do something and then disappear into the sunset without a single word.

Maybe it is just me but when I give my word, it means something.  If someone makes a request that I am not sure about, I will say that I will look into the matter and get back to the other person and that is exactly what I do. 

Many times I have made plans to meet someone for dinner and for one reason or another, one of us can’t make it at the last moment.  Well, that’s okay.  One of us will pick up the phone and we will call to confirm.  And if one of us can’t make it, that is just fine.  We will re-schedule for another time.  It doesn’t matter what the reason may be.  It might be that one of us just doesn’t feel like going that evening.  That is a perfectly acceptable reason among real friends.

But I am really bothered when I go to someone for help on behalf of someone else and I am told that the matter will be handled and then I don’t hear a word.  I know that we all get busy and sometimes we forget things so that is the reason that I will follow up regarding the request that I made.  And if I don’t get a response on the follow up, I know that I will have to start all over with someone else to help me and that often, I have lost precious time in helping someone if there is an impending deadline.

I guess that some people feel that it is perfectly alright to disrespect another person in this way because they are important enough to do so.  And I don’t know about the rest of the world but if I have come to you for help and/or guidance on a particular matter, it is because I consider that we are close enough to do something like that.  If you don’t feel that you want or care to work with me that is fine.  At least give me the consideration to let me know that you are not in a position to help, no matter the reason.

If you choose not to help me after you agreed to do so and you can’t even give me the courtesy of a phone call, e-mail, whatever, please count on the fact that I have no respect for you and if I lose respect for you, we will no longer have any association.  There are too many wonderful people out there who are willing to help or who have the respect and courtesy to let me know if they are not in a position to do so.  If you can talk the talk, then I certainly expect that you can walk the walk.  I would do no less that that for anyone else.

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I am honored by all of the responses that I received from a lot of really strong, courageous women who took on the fight and got out of their abusive situations no matter what the cost to them.  I think that there is one aspect left to discuss before moving on to another subject and that deals with starting over.  Here again, I am only sharing what I chose for myself and this is not to say that whatever anyone else chooses is wrong.  My choice is what worked for me.

I will never forget the day that I left.  The feeling of freedom was indescribable.  I felt that I had been given a new life and I had every intention of doing the best with it that I possibly could.  Although there were the immediate matters with which to deal, I knew that I had to handle them quickly and put them behind me if I was ever going to be able to start over. 

I got a divorce and ultimately left the state.  My ex had no idea where I was and I was pretty sure that he did not have the resources to find me.  I spent all of my time and effort securing a new job, new friends and a new life.  Whenever something from the past intruded, I made every effort to put it aside as quickly as possible.  I had spent enough time living the nightmare and I did not plan to keep re-living it for the rest of my life. 

Although my experience was really bad, I have chosen to learn from it and never held on to any hate and/or anger.  I understand that my ex was an extremely troubled person who felt that it was okay to take his anger and insecurities out on me.  I had to reach the point where I realized that there was nothing that I could do to change the situation and that there was nothing that I was doing to cause his behavior.  I needed to leave in order to survive and that was it.  I did learn that he died a few years ago, all alone, on Christmas Day.

The bigger lesson that I needed to learn was that I could learn from the past but not live in the past.  I could not change what had happened during those years but I could allow the lessons of that time to shape a kinder, gentler me.  I had the ability to structure a whole new life in which I could treat people with all of the kindness and love and understanding that I had not received in my marriage.  I also learned that all that I have is today and that when I go to bed at night, I wanted to be proud of the day that I had created.  The lessons that I have learned have become the basis for the lyrics for the music CD that my husband and I have created.  Not surprisingly, it is titled “Let Life Happen” and was the pre-cursor to my blog and the website.  Please feel free to share the music on this website and you will have a better understanding of the lessons that I have learned from that abusive time.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

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With the big story in the news regarding the violence that occurred in the relationship between Chris Brown and Rhianna, the question that keeps surfacing is why Rhianna would go back to Chris after that beating.  Was she just that dumb, stupid, crazy, etc.?  Many people think so and everyone has lots of advice to give but unless you have been in that situation yourself, you have no idea about the dynamics that are in play.

I have no idea why Rhianna has chosen to stay with Chris, if, in fact, that is the choice that she has made.  However, I can share my particular situation and the reasons that I stayed in my abusive relationship.  But as no two people, and therefore, no two relationships are the same, I can’t begin to advise someone else about what is best for them.

I was married the first time at the age of 24.  My husband and I dated for a year and although he did tend to drink a bit too much on occasion, it was never a problem.  We both worked and loved to play tennis in our spare time.  We lived together the last 3 months of that year and decided that marriage was good for both of us.  The honeymoon lasted 4 months.  I don’t know what brought about the change but he did become a different person.  He stopped working and began drinking and smoking pot on a regular basis.  And within a very short period of time, he decided that rather than defending his actions, he would go on the offensive and started to accuse me of cheating on him when it was he who was cheating on me. 

When he did come home, he started with the accusations and progressed to slapping and punching me.  I never raised a hand to him nor did I verbally abuse or even yell at him.  I was afraid to do so because I was afraid that he would get even more violent.  Things escalated to the point where I had a loaded gun in my face on a regular basis and he threatened to kill me.  As a result of my fear, he was able to control my comings and goings.  He would show up at my office to check on me to be sure that I wasn’t flirting with someone.  When I got home after work and on weekends, he would call to make sure that I was home and it didn’t take long for me to follow the rules in order to avoid the repercussions.  If he returned home at 3 a.m. and wanted something to eat, he dragged me out of bed and would verbally and physically abuse me until I did what he wanted.  And, most importantly, with a gun in hand, he regularly reminded me that if I ever decided to leave, he would hunt me down and kill me.

The day after our 10th wedding anniversary, I moved out.  I had reached the point where I felt that if he did come after me and kill me, it would be preferable to living as I had for so long.  I had returned to him every day during all that time because I had made a commitment to spend the rest of my life with him.  I returned each day because I thought that I could find a way to fix things.  I returned each day because I loved him.  I returned each day because I couldn’t imagine abandoning another human being who had no job and no money.  And I returned each day because of the fear of death.  But, the day that I left, I knew that regardless of whatever may come my way in the future, I would never have a bad day now that I was free.  And I have never had a bad day since.

If you or anyone you know might need help, Check out the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

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 I love to think.  I love the satisfaction that I get when I think through something and come up with a great solution or a better way to do something.  I love to think about the topic that I will choose each week for my blog.  I can go on and on but I have recently discovered that my thinking could be vastly improved if I considered not only what I was thinking but how I was thinking.

I believe that there is a solution for every situation that may arise and if you send a “problem” my way, I will find a solution.  This applies to my own life.  I cannot solve other people’s problems because I don’t think the way that they do and I know that each person’s response to a problem is greatly shaped by their own personal experiences.  If someone wishes my point of view on a situation with which they are dealing, I can share that information based upon my perspective.  But every person has to think things through for themselves in order to reach a conclusion that works for them.

Now after all of my years of thinking, I have finally found that I have continually made that process so much more difficult and time-consuming for myself because I was allowing my emotions to enter into my thinking.  Sometimes it was a matter of what other people would think about my choice.  Sometimes I did not trust my own instincts.  Sometimes I did not believe that I had enough information because I wasn’t an expert in a particular area.  And worst of all, sometimes it was because someone else told me that I was wrong about my choice and would try to get me to do something differently.

Now the more I thought about my thinking, the clearer it became that I cannot reach the best decisions if I keep straying into an emotional realm.  So I have been practicing and each time I start to allow emotions to enter, I stop myself and go back to addressing the problem.  If I feel that I need additional input, I will do research and I will discuss the matter with those whose opinions I respect.  But in the end, I need to make my own decisions.

I first ask/pray for guidance and direction from God. Then I gather all of the information that I can find, ask others that I trust for their input and allow my instincts to come into play.  With all of these factors, I make my decision with the knowledge that I did all that I could with the information that I had and based on who and what I am as a person, I know that I have reached the best decision possible for me and for me, that will always be enough.

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