Monday, September 30, 2013

A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum

Throw Back to 1972

Monday Monday

I was suppose to attend a training to recertify my CPR. Instead I had to leave work early to attend a 2p meeting in town. Seriously, 30 dollars to park for two hours?

Walking in Center City around 15th & Walnut Streets was like walking in New York City in Times Square. If one did not walk fast and on the right side of the sidewalk, one would be knocked over to the ground and trampled on.

It is Monday, folks! Not Christmas!

I will have to reschedule my CPR recertification for next month. Thankfully, it only needs to be recertified every two years. I did CPR once. I doubt I will ever use it again. I will reach for the phone instead. My work place requires CPR certification. I am not taking it because I want to jump in and save a life. I am taking it because I have no other choice. The one time I used CPR, it was unsuccessful.

The appointment in town? More bad news to cope with. I do not think I will ever get use to bad news even when I know it is coming.

The most interesting statement I heard today. "If you are white and educated, you will be looked upon as you should have known better". When I heard that statement, I was too shocked to respond. Does one need to apologize for being too white or too educated or too stupid? The verdict is still out on that one! I am thinking that the ones who actually believe that statement are the ones who should have known better no matter which color they are.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Daily Living

Kohl's had a block buster sale today. I treated myself to a red peacoat. I always wanted a red coat so I grabbed that opportunity today and purchased a short red peacoat. Those who know me, know that I love shoes with a close second to jackets. I wear a lot of black, gray, navy and recently I have been adding some color such as creams, blues, pinks and corals. I have been cleaning out the closets of clothes, shoes and jackets, I do not wear any longer so I can donate them to St. Francis.

A week ago I purchased a nice pair of heels that are a deep red. They look great with a black skirt suit I have.

Today, I also treated myself to flowers from Whole Foods. The Fall Bouquet is sitting in a vase on my dining room table. Whole Foods have beautiful flowers at a fair price.

I felt a bit under the weather today. Glad I had the day off from work.

I have two vacation weekends planned. The first weekend in December, we will take the boys to the mountains to celebrate Nikolas's 9th birthday. The weekend of my February birthday will be in Gettysburg. I think we will pull for a September 2014 trip to Ireland. No plans were made yet for Ireland. I will check out some sites. I want to fly into Dublin and stay two nights, rent a car and then drive to Donegal and stay there two or three nights before we drive to County Mayo for another two or three nights then return to Dublin and stay another night before flying back to the states. I figure our base will be in those three areas and we can drive out to other areas if we want to. I have no interest in tours. I want to travel the back roads, visit the places the locals visit. No stone kissing or crystal factories for us. If I want to look at crystal from Ireland, I can walk over to my China cabinet.

I thought about Thanksgiving in New York.

I think it would be great to spend Thanksgiving in New York.

Lillian Marie Weleski Liss and More


Mar. 22, 1929
Gloucester City
Camden County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Mar. 8, 2000
Gloucester City
Camden County
New Jersey, USA

"Lillian is my grandmother, i called her "nanny". Lillian is the Sister of Ronald Weleski and John Weleski. She is the mother of Leonard Liss(Luann) Martin Liss(Leah) John Weleski(Maria). She is a proud Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Sister, Friend. She would have been a GREAT Great-Grandmom. She worked at Yellow Cab as a dispatcher. She was Married to the late Dominic Pologruto. When her mother passed after giving birth, Lillian took on the role of mother to her brother John and raised him with her two sons. Her Grand children in order of birth are Sean, Matt, Derek, Regan, Leah, Nichole, Megan, Anne Marie, Melissa, Gabrielle, Zachary,and Alexis. " (Leah)

I discovered this linked to my grandparents' Find a Grave Post, I uploaded some years ago.
Lillian was my paternal aunt. I last saw her alive when I was a child. I mention "alive" because I did attend her viewing after she died. It is my understanding she died from a stroke. Lillian was my father's older sister. I do not know her granddaughter "Leah" who linked her grandmother's grave post to my grandparents' grave post but I wonder how much truth is in the above post.

Lillian Marie Weleski Liss was born in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. As an infant, Lillian resided with her parents at 166 Roxborough Ave Philadelphia Pa 19127. The Roxborough Ave address was the home of my great grandmother Eva Wisloski. As I mentioned in my family history, the name "Weleski" was not the original spelling of my ancestors name. The spelling was Wislosky changed to Wislocki changed to Wisloski then to Weleski.

Lillian would spend most of her "growing up" years on Commissioner Street in the East Falls Section of Philadelphia. She lived around the corner from her Schroeder relatives. When my grandmother, her mother died in February 1945, Lillian was one month short of her 16th birthday. My father, her brother, Ronald was 11 years old and would not be 12 until October of 1945. My grandmother, Marie Schroeder Weleski died two days after giving birth to my Uncle John.

The next nine years, the children would be raised by my grandfather, their father, John. When John died in 1956, my father was in the military and John Jr. went to live with Lillian and her husband in the Strawberry Mansion Section of Philadelphia.

A few facts, I was told about their life after Marie Died.
  • My grandfather's drinking problem became worse and his anger was more explosive.
  • My great grandfather Charles Schroeder took my father under his wing until my great grandfather died November of 1945.
  • The Weleski children were neglected and my father told me there were many nights the children did not eat.
  • Lillian took over a lot of the responsibility.
  • Lillian was often times envious of her Schroeder cousins which lead to anger issues and insecurity in self.
  • Lillian probably married early to leave the home as my father, Ronald left to serve in the military.
  • Lillian raised her brother John who was nine years old when their father died.
  • Lillian had a difficult time getting social security for her brother John because their father never changed the family name legally to Weleski. Apparently, when Lillian and my father, Ronald were born their legal names were listed as Wisloski.
As far as the above Find a Grave Post from Leah Liss linked to my Schroeder/Weleski Post, I was told by my father Lillian was not legally married to Dominic Pologruta. According to my father, Lillian lied about the marriage. My father, Ronald and John found out the truth after Lillian was interred in St. Mary's. A few months after Lillian died, the funeral director contacted my father, Ronald to tell him the funeral bill was never paid. Apparently, Lillian had a life insurance policy and the sons/son or whoever took the money, changed phone numbers and left the bill unpaid. My father was furious.

Apparently, there was not a whole lot of truth in the family.

My memories of Lillian are not fond memories. I was taken to her home in New Jersey by my father when I was a child. There was a painting of my grandmother, Marie, hanging on Lillian's wall. When I told Lillian, I thought her mother was pretty, her response to me was, "Well, you are not pretty like her". I was a child and her words cut me like a knife. When I became an adult, I was told Lillian was an "ugly duckling" compared to her Schroeder cousins and this created jealousy. After Lillian's death, that painting which hung on her wall was given to me by my father. It has hung on my wall, the last 13 years. The painting was done around 1940. Someday I will pass it down to my own granddaughter.

I am sure the Lillian I knew as a child was not the same Lillian her grandchildren knew. It is evident that Leah loved and adored her.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I am drinking my coffee and watching the sun rise. I have been on this kick the last few weeks. Today, I am working. This morning I will be counseling. This afternoon, I will be teaching. Then, I will drive up to Washington Crossing to see my parents. Bad news is better given in person.

All of a sudden, I have a writing block. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cheap Trick - Surrender - Midnight Special TV - 1978 HQ

Throw Back to 1978.
I danced to this song at the Penalty Box in New Jersey. The legal drinking age was 18yrs old in 1978 in the state of New Jersey. The Penalty Box brings back wonderful memories.

ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man (Live In Texas)

Totally fun to see in concert.

Blue Angels Music Video - Dreams by Van Halen (1986 Original)

The song was made in 1986. However, I recall seeing the Blue Angles as a kid at Willow Grove Naval Base with my father and brother. It was one of the few memories I have spelling with him. My memories with him were unique experiences as I saw and did things I probably would have never done.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care of Business (Live)

Throw back to 1976.
I was 16 yrs old and received my driver's license then spent a summer in Southern California driving my grandfather's car and blasting this song.

The Raspberries, Go All The Way

Throw Back 1974.
 I was 14 years old and at Father Judge's Dance when I heard this song for the first time. I dated guys with hair like this and worse!


I wrote two posts, published them, then placed them back into draft. I don't know! I guess I am second doubting myself. At least they are back in draft and not deleted so I can post them anytime.  How do I feel right now? I feel helpless and scattered. The "scattered" was very noticeable in work as I sat in our daily treatment team meeting and had to be reminded that I had a patient discharging on Sunday. I completed his discharge but forget to report it. my director had to bring me back to the present and then he had to do it again when I miss-placed my car keys and spent 40 mins looking for them. I know I appeared scattered, but I made a decision months ago to keep my personal life "personal" no matter what, especially in the work-place. For the longest time, I was in the negative as far as paid-time-off. However, I am plus 64 hours as of today.

I do feel helpless. He is in so much pain and there is not a single thing I can do about it. I feel like I am losing both my son and granddaughter and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

I can't express how much I hate that feeling.

I like things in a neat little package. This is beyond things in a neat little package and his father? Well? It is a comedy of errors. His father's pathology has finally caused irreparable damage to his son. His insanity about deleting every single thing has come around and bit him firmly in the ass and the son will pay the piper. It is all very sad. Very Very sad.

And I thought plastic on the furniture was bad? I feel so damn helpless.

I will republish those posts in a few days.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celtic Woman - You'll Never Walk Alone

Growing Pains

Being off these last two days have been insightful and productive. I allowed myself to feel some feelings which is always healthy, I thought about those who lie, disrespect and are disloyal. I got a lot of housework done and much needed rest.

I never liked lying. Actually, I really hate lying and wonder if those who embellish the truth actually do believe that others cannot see through it. I know I see through the lie immediately. However, I generally do not tell the person who is lying that I believe they are lying. It is sad when you cannot believe what someone is saying. It is even more sad that someone cannot tell the truth. Coward is the word that crosses my mind. I struggle with whether or not to confront a liar.

Disrespect is something I have allowed people to do. I do not allow anyone to disrespect me anymore. It becomes a habit for people to disrespect once one allows it. Boundary is the word that comes to my mind. Boundaries are very important for all of us to set even if it does hurt to set them.

Loyalty can be confusing. How does one define loyalty? I always thought the word meant, "I have your back no matter what". I am really not sure anymore.

Growing pains. I feel like I have growing pains. I am growing as a person but it hurts like hell. I am told that pain will pass. I guess it is not passing fast enough for me. I know that I have a lot more growing to do and that means there will be a lot more pain.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Codependent Life

I lived with false hope for a long time believing that as long as I kept trying that things would get better. But things did not get better - they got worse. Then over time I gave up hope and I did not even try at all, I merely tried to get through another day. Even though I did not realize it at the time, I had the proof right before my eyes that no matter what I did or did not do I could not change them.

The scary part of having no hope is that I not only gave up on trying to change them I gave up on myself as well. I did not care if I combed my hair or not. My house was a wreck. I was so sure that there was not anything that I could do to help myself. About the only feeling I can remember having was fear. Fear that things could get worse.

Focus on the solution and not the problem, and the solution was in me. I had to want it to own it. I have learned that recovery is not by accident. It required a deliberate and premeditated action on my part to face the truth in my life about how I had been living, how I thought, and how I felt about things. I had to come out of denial and face the truth before I could change it.

In reality it was truth or consequences. Without change my life would continue the way that it was and it WOULD get worse.

Do what I should do and could do today and then tomorrow do it all over again. I make flexible plans for my future knowing that at any given moment those plans could change.  I am told to make the plans and then leave it up to God. I am not sure I buy that idea. As a matter of fact, the opposite has happened to me. Some people have this undying faith and belief in God. I think there is a God but my God does not have any such power.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Do Accepting And Letting Go Really Mean?

What Do Accepting And Letting Go Really Mean?


Stabilization, Sober Judgment Peace
Once considered more valuable than diamonds, the amethyst gem has long been a favorite of kings and queens for its royal purple hues. Amethysts abound in the ornaments of the British Crown Jewels and were worn by Egyptian royalty. They have been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning royal jewelry, scepters, and crowns. Catherine the Great was so fond of the amethyst that she sent thousands of workers to search for the gem in the Urals; the stones they brought back were prominent among her royal jewels. Many other monarchs admired the amethyst and identified with its supposed power. This admiration is the source of the expression "royal purple."
Through the ages, various special properties have also been prescribed to amethyst. The word amethyst is derived from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning sober. In ancient Greece, the gemstone was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage from Amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. To men, the amethyst promised sober judgment and industry; to women, lofty thoughts and religious love. It was also claimed that amethyst had a sobering effect on those "drunk" on love's passion. Even today, amethyst is considered a stabilizing force for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors. Leonardo Da Vinci believed that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence. The stone also is supposed to bring peace of mind to the wearer. In general, the gemstone is believed to be a calming, tranquil influence that symbolizes peace.
In some legends, the stone also represents piety, celibacy, dignity, spirituality and devotion to God. Among its reputed benefits was an ability to make the owner more successful in business, protect the soldier and assure victory, help hunters, guard against contagious diseases, and control evil thoughts. It is also believed that amethysts bring on pleasant dreams because they allow you to channel positive universal energy. Amethyst is the traditional anniversary gemstone for the sixth of marriage.

Pat's Birth Stone

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Being an ACoA Impacts Our Adult Intimate Relationships

The Setup
Maintaining a relationship with another person who is hiding an addiction can feel like a dance in which routines that circulate around drinking or eating, for example, become rigid and uninterruptible. Or there are hidden behaviors that make the family system feel fake, superficial or tense. Since family members organically make the myriad small and large relational adjustments that living with addiction inevitably demands, everyone gets drawn into the awkward dance. They learn to adjust their expectations not to expect normal behavior, not to take for granted that plans and people can be counted on. They learn that those they love can have terrible, frightening and sometimes immoral hidden sides. They learn to hide their true feelings because if they let them out, there will likely be some sort of explosion, implosion or painful scene. Over time the cumulative stress of the sorts of relationship dynamics that surround addiction can be traumatic, and something inside of us changes.

The sad news is that ACoAs often import the kinds of behaviors and expectations that we learned in childhood into our adult, intimate relationships. We layer our childhood experiences onto our partners and all too often recreate some of the relational turmoil that we experienced as kids, whether or not addiction is present. Long after the stressor is removed, in other words, we live as if it's still present. The booze or drug may not even be there, but the behaviors and attitudes we learned are still with us. And so is the hidden resentment, confusion and hurt. When that old pain gets triggered we overreact, underreact, or alternate between the two -- we explode, implode or shut down.

Wired for Overreaction
ACoAs can have larger-than-appropriate reactions to slights and stresses in relationships that are based as much on experience as on what is happening in the here and now. The trauma we experienced as kids left us with an emotional deregulation. We have trouble living in four, five and six, we cling instead to extremes. We shoot from zero to 10 in the blink of an eye, not knowing just how we got there. We get triggered. Something occurs in the present that hurts us and that sets off old, unresolved and oftentimes unconscious pain from the past. The unconscious content of that pain jettisons to the surface and lands on whoever is closest.
The kid in us gets hurt or mad all over again. And we feel helpless and confused all over again. Because we may never really have made sense of what was happening in our families as children, when old pain gets triggered, it's often that wordless, confused and unprocessed emotion that surfaces. Consequently as adults we don't know where it's from or what to do with it.

Why Didn't We Just Get Over It?
As kids when we were surrounded by family chaos, we felt overwhelmed. Because we were in a high state of stress, nature took over to protect us from harm: our fight-or-flight responses came into play. Our prefrontal cortex -- the thinking, planning part -- shut down along with the language part of our brain. Our muscles flooded with increased blood flow and we spurted adrenaline to prepare us for fight or flight... but we could do neither. Where would we have gone? So we froze and all of that feeling of fear, anxiety, and pain went underground and never got "right-sized" or brought back into balance. And because the adults we'd normally have gone to in order to express our scared feelings and get reassurance were often the ones causing the chaos to begin with, that pain remained unconscious and unprocessed. It is that very pain, anger, confusion and anxiety that is triggered when we try to create intimacy as adults. The very feelings of vulnerability, dependence, neediness and closeness that were part of our childhood relationships follow us into our partnering and parenting. And when there is unresolved pain, anger and loneliness attached to these feelings, that follows us, too. This buried pain is what gets triggered when we try to create closeness as adults. Hence, we overreact -- we import the old angst into our new relationship. Even a mean look, a loud voice, rejection or anger can make us shiver inside and return to that helpless, frozenness we experienced as a kid. We're that scared child all over again, locked in the body of an adult. Some of the ways in which ACoAs re-create old relationship dynamics in new relationships are through:

Transference: We transfer or project the relationship dynamics from a relationship in the past onto a relationship in the present.

Reenactment dynamics: We recreate the painful unresolved relationship dynamics from childhood that are still frozen and unconscious within us, in our relationships with our partners.
Projection: We project feelings that we cannot bear to sit with onto our partners and make the feeling about them or about the relationships rather than examine where it might be coming from within ourselves.

Eliciting responses: We vibrate feelings and unfulfilled expectations or negative expectations into the atmosphere of our relationship, which elicit corresponding responses from our partners -- then we get what we expect.

 When couples get into a conflict, here is some of what happens.

The Fight: Example A
We are triggered by the intense feelings accompanying intimacy, so we:
  • Blame our partner (or children) for what we are feeling.
  • Make our pain about our partner, rather than recognizing that the intensity of our reaction may have historical fuel.
  • Feel like a victim, see our partner as the aggressor and ourselves as the disempowered victim.
  • Collapse into helplessness and/or become aggressive and intimidate our partner.
  • Clearly this is a recipe for disaster when it comes to resolving conflict and getting to the other side of it. When we're stuck in Fight A, we stay stuck and believe our only options are to keep fighting, disconnect, or self-medicate. The following is an example of how a couple might climb out of this stuck place.
The Fight: Example B
We get triggered by the intense feelings accompanying intimacy, so we:
  • Blame our partner (or children) for what we are feeling.
  • Make our pain about our partner rather than recognizing that the intensity of our reaction may have historical fuel.
  • Feel like a victim, see our partner as the aggressor and ourselves as the disempowered victim.
  • Collapse into helplessness and/or become aggressive and intimidate our partner.
But then we...
  • Back up, breathe, self reflect, take a moment to calm down, take a break.
  • Feel, articulate, and explore feelings that have been triggered.
  • Identify sources of transference that may be at the base of projected pain.
  • Identify possible historical sources of overreaction and overly intense emotions.
  • Separate the past from the present.
  • Talk about the issues that have been triggered from the past and move into talking about what is happening in the partnership that needs to be addressed.
  • Ask ourselves as a couple how our feelings, attitudes, and behaviors may be affecting our family relationships and your children.
  • Make a simple plan for trying out new attitudes and behaviors.
  • Kiss and make up.
As you notice, the fight looks very much the same in both scenarios -- after all, we all fight. It's normal. How we handle the fight is where the rubber meets the road, where real and lasting change can take place. Learning to use these triggered moments as growth moments can turn what could be a progressive disconnection into a progressive connection and a building of empathy and trust. Our trigger moments become deep healing moments. After all, it's the deep love and trust that we long to feel, that is getting this pain to come alive again. Our very wish to connect can unblock the the frozen feelings that are in the way of connecting. As we process those feelings with our partner, we come to understand ourselves better and our relationship deepens. We become each other's friend, rather than the enemy. We separate our past from our present. And then it's time to move on. For ACoAs, this can be hard. We carry memories of endless scenes and fights that never got resolved, where the only solution was to stuff it, hide our feelings and pull away or to explode or self medicate. Time to start some new habits, have a fight, handle it, and live to fight another day. But in between, build trust, honesty, intimacy and good faith. In other words, enjoy life.

For a deeper look into how childhood dynamics get played out in adult relationships read "The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: How Childhood Pain Impacts Adult Relationships" by Tian Dayton Ph.D.
For a webinar on this subject by Jerry Moe and Tian Dayton go to

Aaron Alexis: Another Ignored Cry for Mental Illness Help

Aaron Alexis: Another Ignored Cry for Mental Illness Help

When are we, the country going to wake up?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hold On Let Go

I am in a hold on let go pattern this morning. After a few weeks of feeling ok with the world, I awoke to that old feeling of hold on let go. I want to hold on to the past but know that I need to let go. I wonder if I have to let go entirely?  I miss the old life. I am still adjusting to the new life. There are still parts I want to hold on.

I cannot get caught up in this type of thinking today. Weekends are always more challenging. I will visit a son and head off to see a grandson play football.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to Class

I am not so sure why I am up so late. Maybe, I know I do not have to get up at 530a tomorrow for work. The joy of having a complete weekend off. I wish I could say the same thing for next weekend. Well, let's just stay in the present.

I registered for classes in January at Bryn Mawr College over on the Main Line. I am taking classes January through March on Fridays to become certified in trauma. It has been something I have been interested in for some time and when I saw the series, I knew I had to register. Most of the patients I see have trauma in their backgrounds in the form of some sort of abuse, neglect, witness to or of violence, incarceration, I have a training in the city on 9/23 for Trauma Informed Care but it is only a one day overview. Once I complete this series of classes in the winter, I will have completed for certification. Five Fridays over ten weeks, six hours per day and the end result is 27 credits which I require 25 credits per year anyway to work in this field. Bryn Mawr is a nice college. I have taken classes there earlier this past year. Of course, it is not cheap. I guess that is why they serve a nice lunch at the break. Then, I get paid for being off to take the classes because it is work-related.

Win-Win for all of us!

I guess when I run out of choices at Bryn Mawr, I can go around the corner and try Villanova. I already maxed out at Drexel.

Short and Long term goals help me move forward.

School is something I do for myself.

School is fun when you already have a degree.

School is about knowledge and part of the fun is the ability to take classes that interest you unlike classes that are mandatory for a degree though I have to admit, I had a variety to chose from at Drexel. Drexel is a great school!


I am powerless translated means that I am not God in anyone else’s life. Worrying and sacrificing my life for them, won’t save them and it robs me of my own life. When I sacrifice myself to make them happy or to try and make them like me or to make them do what I think is right, the more of me I lose. The more of myself that I sacrifice the more I have to sacrifice until the real me doesn’t exist anymore.

I became a fraud, a counterfeit doing things I didn't want to do and saying things I didn't mean trying to hold on. To what I was trying to hold onto I have no idea. It was not real I can tell you that much for sure, because, even when they responded the way I wanted them to I did not trust the results. I was not honest about my motives and I did not believe anyone else was either. I was living a lie trying to control and I believed everything they did was a lie to get me off their back. We were just defusing the problem temporarily until the next time.

It took a while for me to realize that my personal battle trying to control other people was sucking the life out of me and it perpetuated a desperate hopelessness that never went a way. Nothing I tried to do to “save” or control someone else ever made those feelings go away because it was not built on honesty. Accepting my powerlessness was like taking a big gulp of air and it gave me hope.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Relapse Prevention and More

I went to an excellent training on Relapse Prevention in King of Prussia yesterday. I really love the classroom. I feel like such a nerd because I love the entire learning experience and it awakes a personal energy from within. I wrote several notes and once I compile them I will share them here on the site. Though I did discover a frightening statistic that was a little close to home. Before I write about statistics I just want to add that I am a person who loves science as much as I love history so research based evidence and numbers are definitely "me".


I especially love genetics.

There are 40 genetic markers according to the latest research that pre-disposed us to addiction. Science states it is probably more than 40 markers but thus far 40 markers have been found. What does this mean in numbers? If a child is born to one or two parents with an addiction (substance and/or a process addiction like porn, gambling, shopping) whether they are active users or in recovery, the child has a 50 to 80% chance of acquiring an addiction. Scary? Yeah! If a child is born to parents without an addiction but who have one or more grandparents with an addiction, there is a 50% chance of that child acquiring an addiction. The way to look at this 50% is the same as having a 50% chance of a child being born a male or female. These numbers were a bit overwhelming to me evident by my expression in the classroom that prompted the instructor to point me out and ask me what I thought.

This is just based on genetics without the environmental factor included.

I wish I knew this 30 odd years ago. Of course, science was not that advanced. So what can one do when the children are already here and have this genetic predisposition? Well, there are protective factors that should be in place for anyone who has a small child born with this genetic make-up. What are these protective factors? Some of these factors include postponement of experimental alcohol and drug use in adolescent. Kids are smoking pot and drinking alcohol at age 10, 12, 14 years old and some have already moved onto other drugs such as pills, heroin, PCP and cocaine. Then there are children born to mothers who are actively using. The light to the genetic fuse box is lit at birth which increases their chances even more.

Have you ever wondered why some kids raised in the same family use and others do not? Or some kids use and can walk away but others become addicted? Kids raised in a home where neither parent uses and one or more developed addiction? You would expect that in a family were one or both parents have or had an active addiction. How many people really know their family history? Maybe, grandpop was never spoken about or grandmom was hidden. How much do people really know? What about the porn addict or the shopping addict? Are these people ever spoken about? I doubt it. Maybe some people cannot wrap their head around genetics and are still believers in the moral model? Some may say that genetics is an excuse. Well, the numbers, research and methods do not lie.

I know. It is a lot. One maybe thinking what does this have to do with relapse prevention? Well. It means a ton and more. You need to see where it all began to come up with a plan to arrest it and place it in remission and if one thinks there is some magical cure, well, wake up! There are a few things that really stand out to me as a result of this training. First, it is the statement "addiction is based on a fear of living". A fear of being uncomfortable. You cannot talk someone out of addiction because he or she must feel it. A whole lotta words with very little sense you maybe thinking. I will get my notes together and write more about it in depth. The best model to use in addiction is the Recovery Model based on a Public Health Model with three specific hallmarks.

In this field, we are required to have 25 credit hours of education per year mandated by the state and to keep our licenses to practice. Once upon a time, all one needed was recovery to be a counselor. Those days are long gone. You must have a graduate degree and a license to practice whether one is in recovery or not. If you work with a co-occurring population (mental health + addiction) you need further training. It is a horse and pony show at times. There is even an international license to practice in all states and every country. Amazing!

Going off topic. Sorry.

To sum it all up, I will be back with a look into the Recovery Model. Some will agree. Some will not agree. It is ok. Whatever road one travels can lead to the same destination. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Just a Mom

I found an online support group for moms. I no longer feel so much alone. There are other moms out there feeling as I do and experiencing the same type of isolation as I am. I have no experience with this sort of thing and all the feelings that travel along with it. It also helps me understand the process in which we will all face and how to navigate through this process. One mom summed it up, "when someone dies, there is a funeral and one receives cards of condolences". A mom facing this sort of loss, does not get the closure of a funeral and she is ostracized from society. She loses support when she needs it the most, especially since she needs to be supportive at a most challenging time. Generally, she is held accountable as society needs someone to blame.

Walk Slowly and Carry a Big Stick

I have read with great interest all the articles about our possible involvement in another middle east conflict. What I think is really interesting is all the dramatic headlines and comments. I do not believe in commenting on news's articles, because I believe that the articles are embellished to catch our attention and the comments I read are down right stupid or ridiculous, though one or two may actually make sense because someone actually educated self on the main issue.

That was a mouthful!

Articles with headlines such as "children scream in the night" or "red lines drawn" are nothing more than propaganda. We all know what the word propaganda means? Right? Of course, women and children died and more are refugees. It is the nature of war. Will our involvement stop the chaos in the middle east? No! No! No Again! Have we learned NOTHING from history? We have no right to police the world. We have no right to spend money we do not have to force what we believe is right on another country. Where is the rest of the world? Why does the US believe they should always lead the policing of other nations? If I hear the president and/or secretary of state or any other politician state, "we must bomb to protect ourselves from this happening in other countries (chemical warfare)", I am seriously going to be the one screaming in the night. I have a few common sense ideas for the government of the old USA;

  • Protect our borders
  • Feed our hungry
  • Provide the unemployed or under-employed a decent job
  • Educate our children
  • Police our systems that are corrupt and failing
  • Protect our people
  • Protect our people
  • Protect our people
Before we clean someone else's side of the street, we need to clean our side first then clean out the closets, attics and basements!

Yes! We have a lot of cleaning to do of our own. We are not perfect. We are not great. We are faltering. Take a look around. We need to impeach Obama, then clean out the senate and congress. If we do not get our act straight, we will have a second Civil War right here. People are fed up. People are really fed up. I am fed up. We need to clean house from the top (president) all the way down to the local "walking the beat cop".

Our fore-fathers must be rolling around in their graves.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Her Cats

Painting by Erica Volpe

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Blank Page

I am sitting here thinking I should write something. I continue to look at the blank page, so I decided to write exactly what I was thinking. I should write something on this blank page. Wow! I already wrote a few sentences about absolutely nothing. I guess I could mention how wonderful Bill cooks or brings me flowers. How much eating tapioca pudding reminds me of my grandmother or how exciting my day was at work. Maybe I could write about all my grandchildren and how they are all back in school, 7th, 3rd and 1st grades to be exact. How much I miss having little ones under foot or dancing to the pop corn popping in the microwave. How about the camping trips when my boys were young or graduating to an air-conditioned hotel room. What about all the soccer, baseball and football games. The roller hockey. The grade school years followed by the high school years before college and/or military tours. Maybe all these statements should have a question mark vs. a period and how all these sentences are running into each other or the fact, who cares? Really?

It is Tuesday. I worked another day. I threw in another load of laundry. I opened a package from Macy's and ate a delicious dinner cooked by my husband. I could write about the pool closing for the season and the weather will be turning into Fall before Winter and the holidays will be upon us. Preparations for a life changed and how it will all turn out. Not sure if I am ready for the change only to realize the life I knew already changed in which I grieved, held on and remained steady. Maybe I could write about the small circle of people I hold close and the ones I left behind and each time I think about reaching for the phone, I remember the last words spoken, then stop dead in my tracks and never pick the phone up.

I have become very tired. There is little fight left if any. Surrender. Acceptance. Preparation. Unfairness. Someone is getting away with something. Someone will pay for the actions of another and those close will feel the pain. Truth be told, the pain has been there but we move on because that is what we do because we come from strong stock and those words from my own grandfather ring clearly in my ears. We are a family. We love each other unconditionally. We are strong. The chaos has been removed. We are calm and ready to address life on life's term as we have always done in years past and will continue to do so in the years ahead. There is a reason why he carries his name. He is strong and a survivor. We have taken a page from his book and studied it closely and follow it as the days continue to pass.

One day the truth will be told and the actions that night and the months that followed will be written about for social media to see. It is not time yet but the time is coming. She will not serve the time deserved but she will have to live with self until the end of her life and answer to God.

In the meantime, we will be alright. We have each other.

I guess I had something to say, afterall.     

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Pain Life Happiness



Want to know one of my main happiness philosophies I embrace – which helps me to stay happy on a daily basis?

First let me give credit where credit is due. I discovered this happiness philosophy via Aristotle – who I consider one of our world’s first self help authors. Back in his day, Aristotle wrote a lot about something called “Eudaimonia” – which roughly translates into “true happiness”  –  versus the “fake happiness” far too many of us get lured into pursuing.

Here’s the big difference between “true and fake happiness” – quickly explained:
  1. “Fake happiness” is all about pursuing “pleasure.”
  2. “True happiness” is all about pursuing “the education of the soul” by embracing strong character values,  prioritizing insight, and wanting to grow into one’s highest potential.
Basically, Aristotle believed that there’s a big reason why so many people are unhappy. Too many people foolishly confuse “pleasure” for “true happiness”— when the two are incredibly different.
Need a little more detail on the differences between the two?
Okay – here’s the difference – more slowly explained:
  1. “Pleasure” is all about “immediate gratification” of the body and/or ego – and often includes lack of moderation, lack of insightful judgment and lack of being aware of longterm consequences. Pleasure is about being impulse-driven in your choice-making. Unlike “true happiness,” pleasure merely brings a temporary blip of joy -which is unsatisfying in the long run.
  2.  “Happiness” in contrast often has a time delay till that “feel good high” kicks in – but it creates “long-haul joy” – because it’s all about growing into your highest potential. It’ s about being growth-driven in your choice-making. True happiness comes when you prioritize wanting to bloom into your best favorite you  – recognizing “insight and growth” as your purpose for being here on this planet – not the temporary superficial high of pleasure.  Pithily put: True happiness comes when you surround yourself with people and experiences which increase your soul’s self-development—hence the joy lasts as long as you last—because the joy created becomes an integral part of who you are as a unique, thriving individual.
Aristotle believed that too many people live impulse-driven lives – and not growth-driven lives — which for him explained why so many people in his day were on a constant roller coaster rise/fall of happy/sad/happy/sad/happy/sad – because that blip of pleasure is fleeting! The same thing applies to the depression problems in our world right here and now – as well as why our world has massive credit card debt, problems with obesity/eating disorders, and high divorce rates.poster one soul
In summary:
Aristotle believed “true happiness” is about living a “soul focused life” – not an “ego-focused” life by overly-prioritizing money, status, fame, glory, superficial beauty – or a “body-focused” life by overly-prioritizing lust over soul-connected love or  yummy junk food over healthy food, or being overly caught up in surface beauty/glitzy clothes rather than valuing what makes us all unique souls.

A Day in the Life