Adults Abused as Children

For about ten years, my husband, the marriage and family therapist, and I led Stepping Stones, a support group for adults abused as children. It was peculiar in that we didn’t sit around commiserating, but studied Scripture on how to climb out of that pit together. The topics are:

  • Face the Problem
  • Assess the Damage and Make the Commitment to Recover
  • Correct Your View of God
  • Set Healthy Boundaries
  • Improve Your Self-Image
  • Overcome Fear
  • Learn to Control Anger and Depression
  • Increase Your Capacity to Trust
  • Deal With Sexual Issues
  • Give and Accept Forgiveness
  • Determine Whether to Confront Your Abuser
  • Life Beyond Survival

So, we’re thinking about putting the material online for people who don’t live near us to use to recover. Anybody out there interested in something like this? If so, what do you think would be a fair price? If you’re out there feeling alone with your secret, I’m talking to you, and praying for you.

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Perfection

Today Shiloh, my red Labrador Retriever, and I were surprised by a pitbull on the loose. We were walking along, practicing Shiloh’s training, when all of a sudden there was this extra dog right at my feet. Now, I believe I’ve heard rules for encountering pitbulls somewhere, but since there was no lead time, I just reacted with as much sense as I could muster. I was not perfect, not even close, or probably even wise. I just kept my bare legs in between the two dogs, calmly saying no,

magnifique ♥♥♥ go away. My heart was beating like a bass drum. Shiloh just wanted to meet this new friend. I was not friendly. I imagine there were warrior angels saying and doing a whole lot more than I did, because the pitbull went away. Phew!

But it got me thinking about perfection, which I believe this morning was proven to be an impossibility. I have always wanted to be perfect, and I know a lot of other people who feel the same way. And yet, there are all these rocks in the road. Unanticipated events, selfishness, time constraints, incapacity, etc.

But there’s another thing. I don’t think God even expects us to be perfect. He said we wouldn’t until heaven. Why do I want something He has said isn’t possible? One reason is that I hate conflict. My imperfection causes conflict, inside and outside myself. and yet, conflict is as sure a thing as perfection is unachievable. So, I’d be better off practicing my skills at resolving conflict than longing for perfection that’s never going to happen.

What are the conflict resolution guidelines? Lemme see, I’ve got time to think about this. No pitbull at my feet, and the fear factor has decreased. Ask questions first to be sure I understand the situation. Listen to what the other person says. Find out what they’re feeling. Speak in “I” messages. I need, I will, etc. Develop a plan that, if possible, will make both of us happy. Then work the plan. That’s not perfection, but it’s a good shot at it. Probably wouldn’t work with a pitbull, though.

More on Old Women

FB_IMG_1497906725097  Ok, so I saw this blog where an old woman who has nothing on me, she’s only in her 40s,  was griping her face off about being told older women should not wear hoop earrings. She even dropped f bombs about it. I don’t disagree that older women should be treated as intelligent adults, who can dress themselves. However, I hope at the end of this I do not sound to you as out of control as she does to me.

As I have developed the capacity to grow gray hair in ever larger quantities, I have noticed that there a lot of younger generation men and women who think the color of my hair gives them license to treat me like a child, specifically to talk down to me, as if my brain isn’t functioning. I find that confusing. Children do not have gray hair. What is the connection?

Perhaps the least offensive of these young people (and here I make a huge leap to respectfulness – the woman in the blog called these people “Toddlers”) call me and my husband “honey, dear, sweetie” when they serve us in restaurants and other public places. Now it is nice to receive terms of endearment from people to whom you are endeared, but I hardly know these people. What is their problem? It seems to me that if they want to be my sweetie, they should at least ask me if I’m ok with that first.

You may think I do not realize my memory and joints are not what they once were. I do, and I adjust. It does not necessarily follow that everything I ever knew went away, or that I should be told I shouldn’t have a large dog, walk too long in the heat, or get too far from a bathroom or any other comment that is none of your business. I am an adult, and I can figure these things out on my own.

Sometimes I think I may be better at remembering things than the younger generation. For instance, I remember that when you walk into a room you greet everyone there unless you’re at a convention. It seems to follow that when you are spoken to, you respond, even if you are texting the president. It also follows that when you receive texts, emails, etc. you let the sender know you received them, even if you aren’t ready with a response. One of those squirrely little smiley faces will work, and it’s fast. Isn’t that common sense? Apparently not.

Though I think I could be in danger of  being accused of a rant, I have one more thought. As we all attempt to appreciate each other’s differences, might the younger generation, to whom this present world does truly belong, at least right now, until they are moved along by the generation following them, remember that discriminating against older people comes in the form of refusing to take advantage of our experience. I’ve met a few fogies who insist on holding court ad nauseum, but very few. Most of us wait to be asked, and in many cases, we wait in vain. That lacks as much sense as assuming a family should be led only by the husband. That was never God’s plan, and if that’s so, we women can go do something else other being wives.

This has been very little tongue in cheek. I think it needed to be said, though. I won’t bring it up again, honest.

 

Hope

I have discovered something I didn’t know before having my knee replaced. Hope is believing that tomorrow I will be a little bit better than today, move a little more, walk a little farther, hurt a little less, love a little more, and so on. Hope gives us motivation, a positive reason to put one foot in front of the other. That’s why God said faith, hope and love are a big deal – the only deal. Only faith pleases him, hope makes us see this glass half full, and love is a happy command. Gosh, I could wax eloquent here, but I’ll wrap it up at that. Feel free to give me your thoughts, I’m all alone over here you know.