I’ve been attempting to write a bit more consistently and it’s been quite a challenge. One thing that has been interesting for me has been the recent increase in working with couples as a therapist. It is such a different vibe than seeing a person by themselves or a family as a whole. A spouse/partner can be your best friend or worst enemy and a lot of things in between. One thing that many of my clients have in common is the fact that they failed to make the small changes that would have helped them to avoid the major issues that came up. They grew apart over the course of months and years and they became so comfortable with avoiding meaningful communication that the other individual has become a stranger. But the truth is that you can’t undo years of damage overnight; there’s too much disconnection and both people have been going in different directions. It’s in those times that a major course correction is necessary. One of the things that I’ve learned is it the importance of making minor course corrections when they are still minor. Checking in, talking about tough stuff, and making time for each other are some of the things that have to be done intentionally because it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and take your partner for granted. Developing healthy communication patterns and fighting respectfully and effectively while remaining emotionally connected is a narrow tightrope to walk on. However, the things that are worthwhile are worth doing well. Great relationships don’t happen haphazardly. They are maintained through intentional effort, time, and emotional connection.
Twenty20, hmmessersmith 1. After you two hang out, he texts you to make sure that you got home safely. 2. He records the shows that he knows you can’t stand, so he can watch them after you leave and won’t miss out on any time with you. 3. If his phone beeps while you’re out on a date, he won’t even…
Recently there was a video making its rounds on social media that showed a father and son. The father starts off very calm explaining that his son had been acting up in school and that he felt some punishment was necessary while also teaching his son to defend himself. Then the video starts and I have to admit that I fast forwarded to the end as soon as I saw how bloody it was because (at times) I’m a sensitive soul and I always hate seeing people get hurt. The video showed the father boxing with his son. I use “boxing” loosely because it looked like someone of superior height, weight, and experience beating up on someone. The father didn’t hold back and landed multiple punches to his son’s face. The end of the video showed the father questioning the son while the son was obviously still bleeding pretty badly asking him if he would act up again in school. I ran across a follow up article on the video today and you can read it here . Basically, the father was arrested and the son was removed from the home as a result of the video. Let me say first and foremost that what the father did is pretty much the definition of physical abuse if you want to get technical. When a child discloses something like that to me I’m mandated to report it because of my profession and license–whether I agree with it or not. I’ve reported child abuse on multiple occasions as it’s been a regular part of the jobs that I’ve had. In no way am I endorsing the father’s method of parenting but I have also witnessed the opposite where parents stay up all night in shifts because they are terrified that their child will kill them in the middle of the night. I can assure you that being scared of your child and what they are capable of is terrifying. Neither option is ideal by any means. However, in addition to beating up his son who was clearly unable to defend himself, the father took it a step further and posted it on social media so the whole world could see (literally). He mentioned the son’s classmates and teachers as well in the video. That’s pretty humiliating and public shaming as a form of discipline is a horrible decision. But we also have to be honest. A startling number of kids these days do not have any respect for authority figures of any sort. There are too many horrible situations where there has been a conflict that involved an authority figure (law enforcement officer) that turned deadly for no reason at all. Also, by the same token there are also situations where someone was compliant and still ended up “mysteriously” dead. I guess my point is that you can’t really win these days. I think that the father had good intentions. He was trying to teach his (almost) adult son about making better choices and respecting authority and he ended up in jail himself with his child being removed from his care. I don’t have a solution to the problem but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve posting a video of a child being hit in the head until he’s bleeding profusely. There has to be another way.
I ran across this article pretty recently and it quickly caught my interest. I’ve included a link here . I’ve seen seminars, books, webinars, and programs all addressing this topic. So many people (both men and women) claim to have the magic formula and list their own love story as the proof that their way works. This article was specifically addressing a Black women as a group. Between the interpersonal cues, relationship coaching, speed dating, and other means of “catching” a significant other. The article challenges that thought behind the idea that a woman’s life should be defined by her relationship status. But let’s face it, unmarried women who don’t have kids aren’t typically looked upon with the same level of respect as career women who are married and raising their kids and balancing it all in a (seemingly) effortless manner. The article highlights the fact that shame is often a part of the internal narrative of black women and explored how one’s relationship status can contribute to levels of shame. That thought made me wonder how many products and advertisements are targeted to someone’s level of shame. Products that are marketed in a way that make you feel inadequate unless you become a consumer of the product. Very thought provoking read.
Once again, the Mike Brown case has regained momentum in social media, the legal world, and also in the actions of thousands who are protesting the most recent decision made in the case. There’s conflicting reports on what exactly happened but the truth of the matter is that Mike Brown should not be dead. From as young as I can remember, I was taught to respect authority figures. This included policeman. However, this teaching was also followed by positive contacts and interactions with policeman. We personally met and sang to our city’s chief of police. Our landlord was a former chief of police for the city and was a great person who went against the unspoken segregation rules of the city and rented a house to a black family on the white side of the train tracks. His sons were also active police officers who my siblings and I had the chance to interact with and ask questions about their jobs. As someone who fairly frequently has to call the police on someone or for someone, I can say that there are police personnel who do well at their jobs and those who do not. I absolutely believe that race does play an issue in the Mike Brown situation and other similar shootings that have happened in the last decade where innocent black men have been killed. With all the protests happening across the country and possible solutions to racial equality being submitted by many, I think that the value of respect played a role in this very unfortunate and tragic situation. Disrespect on both sides. I wonder if Mike Brown personally knew a lot of officers. If he had any prior positive interactions with law enforcement in a neutral environment. Lastly, I wonder if these positive interactions would have changed the outcome of the day. The truth of the matter is that if you’re being robbed, car-jacked, assaulted, or stalked, most likely you want the added presence of someone in law enforcement. Maybe part of the bigger solution to this whole mess and cycle of unnecessary deadly force is to push for accountability while also advocating for stronger community relationships between citizens and the local police force. No, it’s not going to be a cure all for all racial tensions but it just might ease it a bit.
I’m not going to lie, as a fairly young adult I don’t think about my mortality on a adult basis. Growing up I went to more funerals than most people have been to in their lives. It was always really sobering. This week on the wake of basking in the achievement of another significant professional stepping stone in my career, I was reminded of how previous life is. One of my jobs entails working the elderly population in a residential setting. This week I lost one of my patients. And by lost I mean that the patient died. As someone who is trained to intervene in situations in order to ensure safety and prevent death, providing emotional support as someone is dying is a new challenge. You find yourself going beyond your job description in order to do small things that might improve quality of life. To experience of starting a shift and seeing a patient alive to hours later when their body is rolled out by the mortuary technician is so sobering. I say all this to say that you never know how your actions can impact someone. Many times we are quick to talk about how we should have done things differently but how it’s too late. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. Express love and appreciation while they’re alive.
One of the things that I’m realizing about myself more lately is the fact that one of my pet peeves are people that waste my time. This is done by either a lack of communication or a general disregard to the fact that I have other responsibilities and things to do. I absolutely hate wasting time because it is something that I can never get back. Every individual has the same 24 hours in a day and our success largely depends on how we spend our time. For me personally, I like the equation of time=money because I think that on some levels it does. And maybe I think that way because I’m in a profession where I charge people for my time. I’m not time management expert but I do believe in maximizing opportunities and staying productive. Refusing to respect my time is an indication that my time isn’t valuable enough to command the common decency of actually sticking to the previously outlined time guidelines. Perhaps this is why I get so annoyed and perturbed over lack of respect for my time. Firm boundaries are definitely essential.