How I Wish, Little One

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Little One

Oh how I wish I could hold you in my arms forever, staring at your button nose and tiny little hands that hold me oh so tight.

Oh how I try to memorize every detail of you. From your soft wispy hair to your chubby cheeks to the way your tiny toes wiggle as you dream. Do you dream of me?

Oh how I wish I could keep you this innocent. So precious you are as you gaze up at the stars in the night sky. Your big eyes soaking up every twinkle.

This world doesn’t deserve you … I don’t deserve you.

Oh how I wish I could stay in this moment with you forever.

I cheer you on during all your firsts. Your first smile! Your first laugh! Your first tooth! I don’t know who’s more excited, me or you. So proud I am of you! How happy I am for you!

How sad I am for me.

I know I will never get these firsts back. I know there will be a day where you will no longer crawl in my bed at night to comb your fingers through my hair. I know that one day soon I will no longer be the center of your world.

But you will always be the center of mine.

“It goes by so fast” I’m warned; and they are right.

Look at you now! You’re crawling! Now you’re walking! Now you’re running … away from me.

 I am afraid to go to sleep because I know I will wake up one day and you will be gone. But I want you to know, I will always be there with you, every step of the way.

As you go from my little baby that I couldn’t put down long enough to make myself a meal, to the teenager that rolls your eyes and sighs at me, I will yearn for the simpler days of watching cartoons and singing nursery rhymes with you.

However, I am so excited to watch you grow. Though my heart will ache for the days that you were still a tiny baby, I rejoice in the person you are growing to be.

 I excitedly anticipate the days of family road trips and vacations. I want to show you the world. I can’t wait to be there for you when you get your driver’s license and when you get married. My heart skips a beat at the thought of watching you become a parent. Oh how I pray that you look to me for guidance when you struggle.

I can’t keep you a baby forever, but you will always be my baby. Being your mother has been the best thing I have ever done. Watching you grow will be both the hardest and greatest experience of my life. You will understand when you become a parent one day.

Until then, let’s just hold on to each other for a little while longer.

Oh how dearly I love you,

Mom

 

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A Mother’s Sins

Mothers. We love to hate them.

No, not really. However, mommy troubles is one of the most cliched topics to talk about during therapy. Then there is Freud who was on a whole ‘nother level of mommy issues. Let’s not talk about that though.

Let’s talk about our Mother’s Sins.

I’ve noticed that it is easier for society to openly talk about the failures of a father, but not our mothers. Mom’s hold a sacred place in society (as we should *wink*) and when you openly shame your mother you are met with gasps and hisses.

“But she’s your mother!”

dislikeBut mom’s are people, too. Mom’s fail. Mom’s commit atrocities. Mom’s are just as capable of being a “worthless” parent as a father is. So why do we have to sneak away to a therapists office to talk about the time that mom beat us with a wooden spoon; only to then turn around and praise our mothers for doing that exact thing? Why do we hold moms up to a higher standard than fathers?

I think all children believe their mother to be perfect. When the day comes that we finally realize our mothers aren’t perfect, we choose to deny it. It’s hard to accept that mothers are human, too. We’ve spent so many years of our lives looking toward her for guidance and acceptance. She could heal our boo-boos with a kiss and rub our fever away. How could she be like me

Then there are mothers who don’t deserve the title. The mothers who beat their children unmercifully. The mothers who neglected them and belittled them. We ask ourselves how a “mother” could do that to her children?

“All women have the basic mothering instinct.”

But they don’t. For some women, that “switch” never turns on.

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So how do we heal from this?

I think the first big step is to take our mothers off the pedestal. Yes, mothers are amazing creatures who should love you and who should nurture you. As a mother myself I couldn’t express in words how much I love my children. However, that doesn’t mean I want them to think of me as “perfect”. I want my children to feel comfortable coming up to me and telling me when I have failed them — that way I can take the steps to fix it. Just like everyone else, moms don’t always know when they have messed up. If we continue to perpetuate the idea that moms can do no wrong then we shut down any form of communication. I can’t speak for all mothers, but I know I wouldn’t want my children to feel like they couldn’t talk to me.

We should also quit muffling the voices of those who choose to speak out against their mother. Being told “you can’t talk about your mother that way” is an invalidating statement and leads to more frustration. All any of us want is to have our feelings validated. To be told you should love someone who has hurt you just because she gave birth to you is not conducive to the healing process. Then we wonder why there is so many maladjusted adults walking around. Being constantly shut off and shut down isn’t what I would call “healthy”.

It took me years to finally accept that I could love my mother for all the good times. All the times I laughed with her. The many hours she spent rubbing my head when I was sick. The nighttime cuddles in bed while she read us kids a story. I could rejoice in those memories while also feeling anger for the times she chose a man over us kids. Or the time she beat the snot out of me in our living room while the rest of our family watched. Or when she left for her date just moments after I was standing on our roof with a butcher knife threatening to kill myself. For years I didn’t know I was allowed to hate and love her. No one told me that it was alright. I thought I had to love her through it all just because she was my mother. I wasn’t allowed to hate her because she’s my mother. But I did. I hated her with every fiber in my being at times. The hate was as true and as real to me as the heart beating in my chest; and I hated myself for it.

Thankfully, I was able to talk to my mom about all the pain she brought me when I became an adult. She was open to listening and took responsibility for her failures — well most of them at least. I thank her for that because I needed to have my feelings validated. I needed for someone to listen. I needed her to allow me to hate her. That doesn’t mean I have forgiven her fully because she continues to do things to this day that hurts me, but because she was willing to listen to me, I was able to let go of a lot of the pain I held on to for so many years. I finally was able to let go of the hate.

If you have a mother, like mine, who is willing to listen and accept your feelings and your experiences I suggest sitting down and talking to her. She might not give you the apology you expect and she might not change, but by “putting it all out there” you are releasing all that pain. You will no longer have to harbor it and hide it from the world. You are giving it life and therefore you are on the path toward accepting it.

Some people don’t have that luxury though, so they are essentially stuck. They are stuck forever reliving those moments alone because society has told them that mothers do no wrong. I’m here to tell you,

WE DO!

I know we are encouraged to forgive those who  hurt us. We are told of the relief that comes along with it. We will finally be free from the pain that has tortured us for so long when we forgive.

That is a bunch of Oscar Mayer Wieners.

Forgiveness isn’t that simple. On paper it sounds simple, but in practice it’s much harder. It takes years and years and years to finally get to the point of true forgiveness. You can’t just say “I forgive you” and then BAM a fairy brings in her magical wand and frees you from your pain.

 You must feel that anger and that pain.

You have to go through all the emotions that society will tell you that you’re not allowed to have because “she’s your mother”. Yes, she is your mother, but that doesn’t maker her exempt from doing horrible things. Allow yourself to feel that hurt. The important thing is to not let that pain eat you alive. You have to feel it to let it go, but don’t let it become part of your identity.

Forgiveness is simple, it’s the letting go that’s hard. 

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Mental Illness Monday

Disclaimer
I’m not a mental health professional. I do not hold a degree in psychology or psychiatry. What I know and understand about mental health is from my many years as a patient and from my own research in hopes to figure myself (and others) out. Please consult a professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.

fox

“But, Grace, it’s Wednesday.”

I know, I know. However, I, for the life of me, cannot come up with a blog post idea for today. Maybe it’s because I actually got some sleep last night and my brain doesn’t know how to function with adequate rest. It’s all up for speculation. That said, I’ve been wanting to do an installment in my blog about mental illness, so I decided to publish my Monday blog post early…or would it be late?

What made me decide to write about mental health disorders?

[insert rainbow here] Ignorance. [insert rainbow here]

If I hear one more person say they are bipolar as an excuse to be a horses rear end, my head will explode. Also, I like to take any opportunity to open up a dialogue on mental health.

With education comes awareness. With awareness comes understanding. The more we talk about mental health disorders the better we are equipped to help those who suffer with them. 

 

bipolar awareness

Let’s begin, shall we?

Since I already mentioned it, let’s talk about

Bipolar Disorder

No, Nate, you are not bipolar because you yell at people. You’re just an ass.

donkey

Bipolar isn’t characterized by the ability to switch moods in an instant. It isn’t defined by how angry you get. Using it as a way to intimidate people is sad, tired, and annoying. People with true bipolar disorder can suffer greatly and you’re an insult to them — and to yourself. If you want to be a donkey just be one and own it, alright?

 

The National Institute of Mental Health defines bipolar disorder as

“Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”

“A shift in moods! See I’m bipolar!”

Shut it down, Brenda.

Everyone has shifts in their moods. If you’re human, you’re going to have mood swings.  Those who suffer with bipolar have an unusual shift in moods.

Bipolar I sufferers will have high highs and low lows. These episodes are categorized as manic and depressive.

  • Manic – During mania a person will be unusually elated and excitable. They may go days without sleep because they feel they have too much to do. They will be extremely productive like maybe cleaning their whole entire house, their car, and repainting their walls all in a days time. They will feel like their brain is moving faster than their mouth can speak so their speech pattern will become erratic and quick. They may go out and get involved in dangerous activities like going on a drug/drinking binge or having sex with multiple partners during their mania. They can be agitated easily by things that may seem insignificant and snap at you. These manic episodes are like a high to the sufferer and it can be enjoyable. They will feel on top of the world.
  • Depressive – A depressive episode is much more than just feeling sad or lying in your bed for a couple days eating ice cream. The sufferer will feel all the symptoms of depression: hopelessness, increased activity, apathy, trouble sleeping, no appetite, etc. The risk of suicide increases significantly during these depressive episodes. According to Mental Health America, 30% – 70% of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder (Mental Health America, Suicide, para. 1, 2019).

Bipolar II is less extreme with behaviors. They will experience what is known as hypomanic episodes. During hypomania a person will feel very good and their productivity will increase.  On the outside people who have these episodes will seem like they are just highly functional and outgoing, but family and close friends will notice the personality shift.

The National Institute of Mental Health warns that without treatment those who suffer from hypomanic episodes may develop severe mania or depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Signs and Symptoms, para. 3, 2016).

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Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that impacts its victim greatly. The good news is, there is treatment for it. The bad news is, it might take a while to convince the person suffering from bipolar to accept help. When experiencing mania the sufferer is less inclined to seek out help because they feel almost invincible. It can be difficult for a sufferer to let go of that euphoric feeling of mania for mediction. If you have a loved one suffering from bipolar disorder it is important to catch them when they fall — and they will fall — because it is during these depressive episodes that they are the most likely to accept help.

National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 

Story time

My last therapist told me she believed I have bipolar II because I explained that I would have days to where I would feel “amazing”. I don’t have an official diagnosis yet and I’m not quite sure if it I believe it. However, during these “amazing” days I will become overly productive and “bubbly”. I will talk to everyone who will listen, which is the opposite of my “normal”. I will also have periods to where I become obsessive and fixated on certain things. A couple months back I drilled holes in my wall and was pulling up corners of my carpet in all the rooms in my house because I became obsessed with home improvement. At first I felt that I was just being productive, but then after talking to my husband, I realized there is a pattern to my behavior. It was then that I knew that what I was experiencing wasn’t necessarily “normal” and I probably do experience hypomania episodes. Can you recall a time when you figured out that maybe your behavior isn’t “normal”? Leave me a comment below.

Bibliography

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/suicide

 

 

Another Failed Relationship? Maybe You’re The Problem

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“You deserve so much better.”

“They won’t find anyone as good as you.”

and one of my favorites

“Never get jealous when you see your ex with someone else. because our parents taught us to give our used toys to someone less fortunate.” -unknown

These are the things we tell our friends — and ourselves — after a breakup. You are the one that can do better. They are going to regret ever having left you.

Have you ever thought that maybe you’re the problem?

Maybe they are the ones that can do better. Maybe it will be you with the regrets.

I don’t say this to be cold, but it’s true. None of us want to think of ourselves as the problem. After a break-up we point our fingers at our ex. It was their fault the relationship failed.

It takes two to tango though, right?

Ideally, a relationship should be equal. In some cases one partner will drain the other of all their emotional (and sometimes physical) assets and move on to the next person. They are the narcissists of the world who only use people to further themselves. What about two regular people though? As they say, there are three sides to every story.

His side, her side, and the truth.

The truth is, you are to blame, too. The truth is, you are not perfect.

Perhaps your ex deserves better than you. Maybe you were toxic to their overall well-being. Or maybe you were toxic to each other.

The fact of the matter is, while telling ourselves that we hold no blame in a relationship dying might feel good, we are doing ourselves grave disservice. If we do not hold ourselves accountable we cannot fix our faults.

May I also interject a thought: When you insult your ex you are also insulting yourself. If they were as bad as you are now claiming them to be, why were you with them in the first place? See where I’m going here? 

In reality, every relationship we have will end — until you find “The One”. Another reality check — no one is perfect. With that said, referring to your ex as a “used toy” is degrading and kind of tacky. Just because they weren’t “The One” for you doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect for someone else. So instead of insulting your ex (especially if you share children) how about saying something like, “we weren’t meant for each other” or “we both had our faults”.

Now let’s get more personal.

If you find yourself in one failed relationship after another, it is time to step back and evaluate your role in your relationships. What kind of significant other are you? Are you caring, devoted, loyal? Are you kind, respectful, appreciative? Of course you won’t be perfect and you should not strive to be. You are going to have days where you’re grumpy. You are going to say and do things you shouldn’t. But how do you come back from these moments? Do you apologize? Sincerely apologize? If your apologies usually have a “but” somewhere in them, I can almost guarantee that it isn’t a sincere apology. To say “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you made me so mad.” deflects the responsibility from you and projects it on to them. A more sincere apology would be a simple “I’m sorry I yelled at you.” If you feel you must give an explanation as to why you yelled, try using “I” phrases. For example, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. just felt that you weren’t listening to me.”

Let’s break that one down a bit.

I’m sorry yelled at you. just felt you weren’t listening to me.”

First, the obvious: The “I’s” Usually we are advised against talking about ourselves so much, but in some contexts it is quite important. When using “I” phrases you are still taking responsibility for the action, in this case yelling, and you are also owning the reason why you did it in the first place.

Second, the less obvious: “felt” This is a tricky one. The projected meaning of a sentence can completely change with one word. When saying you “felt” or “feel” you are expressing how you perceived the incident without being accusatory. When you leave out the “feel” statements your apology is now becoming a Blame Game. For example: “I’m sorry I yelled at you. You weren’t listening to me.” When you explain how you perceived a the situation you leave the door open for further conversation and explanation. Things aren’t often what they seem to be, so it’s good to keep that door open for your partner to explain their side. This keeps the dialogue open between you two which allows for the possibility of a resolution.

argue

Let’s continue

Do you know how to have a healthy argument? Or do you use manipulation tactics to win a fight? (e.g. “I’ll just leave so you’re better off without me!”) Are you even aware that you can have a healthy argument? A healthy argument is not one in which you are competing on who will “win”. A healthy argument is one in which  you are trying to find a common ground or a compromise or to just be understood. Cursing and belittling should not be part of an argument. When you curse at or belittle your partner you are disrespecting them and showing them that you don’t care so much about how they feel, but more so how you feel. Storming off and/or threatening to leave also shows your partner that you don’t care about their feelings or looking for a resolution. However, it is wise to know when to walk away to cool down. Sit down with your partner before an argument even starts and talk about what you will do to signal that the argument has gotten too intense for you and you just need to have a moment alone to calm down. Sometimes in the heat of the moment it is hard to verbally express yourself so you could come up with a hand gesture or a head nod.

FYI: Everyone is going to argue. After your relationship leaves the “honeymoon phase” the amount of arguments are going to have will grow exponentially. This will happen in every relationship. So if you are thinking about leaving your partner because you argue all the time, don’t lose hope just yet. It could just be the phase your relationship is in right now.  It will eventually peak and fall back down again. You have to argue to learn about each other. Arguments are a way of learning your partner’s boundaries and eccentricities. 

Do you say “please” and “thank you”? Or do you demand your way? Even these simple phrases that we are taught as children should be used with your partner. Do you show appreciation when your partner does you a favor? Maybe he or she picked up on the dishes duty this week. Did you acknowledge that? Or did you ignore it because you expected it? I know we don’t like the idea of praising our adult partners. We are not their parents and they should be doing these things anyway. However, it is nice to feel appreciated and to have your efforts acknowledged. You like to still be told “I love you” occasionally, don’t you? Same thing.

All of these little things do matter. When you are neglecting the basics in favor for the grandeur, you are neglecting the very foundation in which your relationship rests upon. Whether or not you feel the affects of this, your partner may and he/she might be suffering for it.

So while you’re chomping at the bit to slander your ex partner at any opportunity, think to yourself, “Am I also to blame?”

The first step in recovery is acknowledging that there is a problem. It’s time to start acknowledging your role in your relationship — both when it is succeeding and failing. That way you can make a change in hopes of fixing your relationship. If there is no fixing your relationship, then you can be better for a future partner and hopefully have a more successful relationship with them.

Look in the mirror. Tell me, what do you see?

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The Science Behind Spanking

Should we spank our children?

The older generation often support spanking as a useful tool for discipline and the general rearing of children. The younger generation feel that spanking is only teaching our children that it is acceptable to hit people out of frustration therefore it is an ineffective form of punishment.

You should already know by now that I had to consult the professionals. And by consult, I mean I opened my internet browser. And by professionals, I mean Google.

When typing in the keywords “spanking children research” and “spanking children effective” unsurprisingly several articles appear. What is surprising is the number of articles against spanking. I assumed there would be an even number of articles on both sides, but it the overwhelming majority claim that spanking is ineffective and harmful to a child’s development.

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But why?

Studies have shown that spanking causes a rift in the child-parent attachment leading to numerous mental health afflictions including, depression, anxiety, the increased likelihood of alcohol and drug dependency and maladjustment. One of the reasons be is that spanking causes the increased levels of cortisol — a stress hormone– which causes the negative outcomes. Studies also suggest children who are spanked have lower academic success and slower cognitive development. Interestingly, there is evidence that spanking causes a reduced volume of grey matter in the brain. (U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research, The new millennium: addressing causation and broadening focus, para.3, 2012).

On the other hand, there has been studies that show no relation to physical punishment and negative outcomes. However, there has been no studies to prove that spanking ever provides a long-term positive outcome. (U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research, The new millennium: addressing causation and broadening focus, para. 4, 2012 ).

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “Although research began to accumulate in the 1970s that showed that most physical abuse is physical punishment (in intent, form and effect), studies of child maltreatment have since clarified this finding. For example, the first cycle of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect39 (CIS 1998) showed that 75% of substantiated physical abuse of children occurred during episodes of physical punishment. This finding was replicated in the second cycle of the study (CIS 2003).40 Another large Canadian study41 found that children who were spanked by their parents were seven times more likely to be severely assaulted by their parents (e.g., punched or kicked) than children who were not spanked. In an American study,42 infants in their first year of life who had been spanked by their parents in the previous month were 2.3 times more likely to suffer an injury requiring medical attention than infants who had not been spanked. Studies of the dynamics of child physical abuse have shed light on this process, which involves parents attributing conflict to child willfulness43 and/or rejection,44 as well as coercive family dynamics9 and conditioned emotional responses.45” (U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research, The new millennium: addressing causation and broadening focus, para. 5, 2012).

Perhaps the reason for the parallel between spanking and increased violence with parents is simply due to their own inability to control their emotions. It is suggested that if you do spank your child to never do it while angry because you run the risk of escalating into abuse.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics News and Journals Gateway corporal punishment has been on a decline in recent years. Only half of parents under 36 years of age reported to use spanking as a form of discipline. (American Academy of Pediatrics News Journals Gateway, Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children, Corporal Punishment para.1 ). Many people claim that this is the reason why children are disrespectful in today’s world versus 30 or more years ago. However, according to Nation Public Radio’s article “American Academy of Pediatrics On Spanking: Do Not Do It, Ever.” it is stated

“In a new policy statement issued earlier this month, the group warns that “Aversive disciplinary strategies, including all forms of corporal punishment and yelling at or shaming children, are minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term. With new evidence, researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children.”” Pediatrician Dr. Shu adds in the article, “”We know that the brain does not grow and develop as well once there has been physical punishment to the point where it can cause learning problems, problems with vocabulary and memory, as well as aggressive behavior” (National Public Radio, American Academy of Pediatrics On Spanking: Do Not Do It, Ever., para. 2 & 8, 2018).

The American College of Pediatricians article Research on Disciplinary Spanking is Misleading, claims that these studies that have been conducted are not what they appear to be. They claim that there is three flaws to these studies which are

  • The Correlation Fallacy
  • The Extrapolation Fallacy
  • The Lumping Fallacy

In the article they compare spanking to the use of chemotherapy in cancer patients. An excerpt of the extrapolation fallacy compares the two by saying, “If low-dose chemotherapy against cancer is associated with better outcomes than high-dose chemotherapy against the same cancer, is it correct to extrapolate that no chemotherapy will yield even better results for the patient than low-dose chemotherapy? Of course not! Yet, this is precisely the kind of flawed reasoning Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor use in their anti-spanking research.” (American College of Pediatricians, Research on Disciplinary Spanking is Misleading, Extrapolation Fallacy, para. 1, 2017).

The American College of Pediatricians claim that certain studies performed were flawed because during the research the “latest meta-analysis condemns all spanking without considering either appropriate ways to carry out spanking or disciplinary situations in which it might be an appropriate option. Although Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor1 commendably dropped most of the studies from Gershoff’s2 previous meta-analysis that investigated overly severe physical punishment, they still included a few studies with overly severe usage, such as “spanking the face, hitting on the head or back.”17 Of their 75 studies, only four explicitly limited spanking to their stated focus of “hitting a child on their buttocks . . . using an open hand”” Of those four studies it was found that spanking was a better alternative than other disciplinary measures taken such as time out. (American College of Pediatricians, Research on Disciplinary Spanking is Misleading, para. 4, 2017).

In conclusion of the American College of Pediatricians article they stress the importance of ensuring children that any form of discipline comes from a place of love and concern and that spanking should only be used when all other disciplinary action fails. (American College of Pediatricians, Research on Disciplinary Spanking is Misleading, Conclusion, para. 2).

The definition of spanking per the dictionary is

Spanking noun
an act of slapping, especially on the buttocks as a punishment for children

It is important to note that once you replace your hand with an object, or choose to spank a child anywhere other than his/her buttocks, you are treading close to the “abuse” territory. The American Academy of Pediatrics vehemently opposes spanking and offers other disciplinary suggestions on their website healthychildren.org .

If you so choose to spank your child the Wikipedia page on spanking states the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no child under two years of age should be disciplined by spanking. (Wikipedia, Spanking, In the home, para.3, 2019). However, I have been unable to successfully find a link on the AAP website to corroborate that claim.

It seems that one of the biggest factors in the opposition of spanking is the fact that most parents have difficulty separating themselves from their own frustrations before spanking their children which often leads to injury. In all the articles I cite it is mentioned at least once that parents often escalate from an open handed spank on the buttocks to something more severe.

If you are inclined to spank your children make sure you are able to regulate and control your own emotions first. Spanking should strictly come from a place of love and guidance. Spanking should never be used to release your frustrations or to punish a child for aggravating you. There must be a clear lesson as to why the child is receiving punishment not simply because they “deserve it” or because they are “bad”(it is important to inform your child that they are not bad, but their actions are).

With any form of discipline it is important to use those moments as a teaching moment. To just discipline a child without explaining why they are in trouble will only lead to confusion and frustration. The child cannot learn from his/her mistakes if you do not tell him/her what it was that resulted in their punishment

Think of it this way. How would you feel if you were written up at work but never told why? It would be frustrating. Now what if the explanation your boss gave you was a simple “you were being bad”. That would be confusing.

Adults tend to forget that children feel and think in the same capacity as we do. They just lack the acquired skills to understand how they are feeling or the appropriate ways to express their emotions. When disciplining your child think about how you would feel and act accordingly.

Listen, Teach, Learn

Bibliography (not alphabetized)

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/11/666646403/the-american-academy-of-pediatrics-on-spanking-children-dont-do-it-ever

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447048/

https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/parenting-issues/corporal-punishment-a-scientific-review-of-its-use-in-discipline/research-on-disciplinary-spanking-is-misleading

https://www.healthychildren.org/english/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/pages/disciplining-your-child.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanking

Accepting Yourself

Yesterday I hesitated on publishing my Serial Killer Saturday post. I worried about how people might react.

Will people think I am strange? Will people think I am awful?

Some might think of me as too “nice” to post such things. On the outside, I am usually quiet. I rarely cuss. I speak kindly to others. Posting about serial killers is a contradiction of my personality — or so it would seem. I worried about offending someone by writing about such a topic.

Will people look at me differently? Will I upset them? Will I anger them? Will I sicken them? 

“My God. I’ve turned into a chameleon. I change my personality with every person I meet. How I talk and how I act is a reflection of who I’m with, not of myself.”

I am a people pleaser.

While I think that it is a good thing to want to be a nice person and to strive to bring happiness to others, I used to take it to the extreme. Over the years of changing my personality to fit the ideals and expectations of everyone else around me, I lost myself. I recall the day that I had the realization that I had absolutely no idea who I was.

I was riding in the car with my husband right after we dropped off one of his coworkerschameleon at home. During the ride I put on my “mask” and altered myself to fit the personality of our back seat rider. On our ride back home I turned to my husband and said “My God. I’ve turned into a chameleon. I change my personality with every person I meet. How I talk and how I act is a reflection of who I’m with, not of myself.”

I had been doing it for so many years that I lost myself along the way. I knew right then that I had to start making a conscious effort to be true to myself; whenever I figure out who that person is.

It took me many years, but I am now getting to the place to where I am comfortable with the person I am. I know who my loyalties belong to, I know which direction my moral compass is pointing, I actually know what my hobbies are now! Oh, how I yearned for a hobby for so long!

“That’s why we surround ourselves with those who love and accept us for who we are.”

I’m going to believe in things others may not. I am going to do and say things that some people might not like. Not everyone is going to like me or the things I do — and that is fine. I won’t be ashamed to be true to myself anymore.

If I’m not going to be me, who will?

None of us will be liked by everyone and that’s why we surround ourselves with those who accept and love us for who we are. After I published my post I said to my husband “What if people think I’m weird for posting about serial killers?” to which he responded “You are weird though. Sooo, I’m not sure what your question is?” He was right. I am weird and he loves me for it.

“Regardless of the path you walk in life. No matter what decision you make. You will always have a critic.”

We shouldn’t strive for people to like us because we live up to their idea of who we should be. We should strive to find people to like us for who we are. Regardless of the path you walk in life. No matter what decision you make. You will always have a critic.

At the end of the day you are the one in charge of your life.  Do you want to live the rest of your life as the reflection of someone else or do you want to live your life as yourself?

Be true to yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself.

love yourself

Serial Killer Saturday

Disclaimer

This blog post is gruesome in nature and may be considered graphic to some readers. Though I tried to withhold especially graphic details this blog may contain content not suitable for some readers.

I’m a 26 year old woman with a passion for writing and animals. I enjoy long walks on the beach, horse back riding, and reading about serial killers.

Too much? Maybe. Good thing I already bagged a husband and, per our marriage contract, he is legally required to sit idly by while I indulge myself in the phenomenon of serial killing and also learning the best way to hide a body.

Since the release of the Netflix’s “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” I have discovered that I am not the only one who is overcome by her morbid curiosity when it pertains to serial killing. That is why I decided to come up with the latest installment of my blog:

Serial Killer Saturday

*fireworks* Oooo! Ahhhh!

I feel it is important to explain why I am so intrigued by serial killers. It’s not that I am glorifying them, but I am just fascinated by the works of the mind. What drives a person to murder? What causes a person to be so completely disconnected from their fellow man? Is it nature or nurture?

There is something that piques your interest when you hear that someone has brutally murdered their family. Like the old idiom says, “It’s like watching a train wreck. You don’t want to stare, but you can’t look away”.

Those of us that are intrigued by serial killers do sympathize with the victims and their families. We do agree that serial killers should be locked away and/or executed (depending on your stance on the subject). We believe what the perpetrator has done is grotesque and just downright despicable. But there is something that drives us to want to know more about them.

I think this is a normal human reaction. We want to understand the misunderstood. We want answers for our questions. We need to find something to put our finger on and say “Aha! That’s why!” And when there is no clear reason as to why it happens, we continue looking. Humans need closure and so often serial killers leave the door wide open. Maybe serial killers don’t even understand why they do the things they do. Or perhaps it is their final act of control and manipulation to leave the victims and their families with unanswered questions. Either way, we are driven to continue seeking out the answers.

We need to know why they aren’t like us.

Since Ted Bundy is the hot new topic as of late, I feel we should start with someone else a little less “popular”. I wanted to start with someone that is special (for a lack of better words) to me. My mother had named me after one of the killer’s victims. My mom was reading a biography on him while she was pregnant with me and she fell in love with the little girl’s name. Also, coincidentally and unbeknownst to my mother, the serial killer’s trial of the little girl’s murder began on my birthday. Enough about me. Let us began, shall we?

Albert Fish

(b. 1870 Washington, D.C.)

Albert Fish was a notorious serial killer, rapist, and cannibal of the early 20th century. He had claimed that he had victimized 100 young boys. He enjoyed raping and torturing children and often targeted those who were the most vulnerable such as the handicapped or orphaned.

Before he became an infamous serial killer, he was born to a family that was plagued with mental illness. His brother was admitted to an asylum, his mother suffered from hallucinations, and his sister had suffered from some form of mental illness. Albert started to suffer himself from hallucinations and psychosis in his 30’s. However, it wasn’t simply the mental illness that drove him to kill. When Albert was barely a school-aged boy his mother had sent him to live in an orphanage because his father had died. At the orphange he was subjected to sadomasochistic behaviors, regular beatings, and sexual perversions. The Wikipedia article on him quotes Albert Fish as saying “”I was there ’til I was nearly nine, and that’s where I got started wrong. We were unmercifully whipped. I saw boys doing many things they should not have done.””

After his mother obtained gainful employment she was able to retrieve Albert from the orphanage where he shortly began a love affair with a telegraph boy. This is when he was introduced to the act of drinking urine (urolagnia) and eating feces (coprophagia). Shortly thereafter he began self-mutilating by whipping himself and inserting needles into his groin. Something had snapped in the mind of Albert Fish at the orphanage. His mind, already predisposed to mental illness, had been corrupted further by the abuse he withstood during his short time there.

At 20 years of age, in 1890, he married his wife who bore him six children. He claimed to have never abused his own kin, but during this time he was molesting young boys regularly. His wife left him in 1917 for another man leaving Albert Fish to raise their children alone.

In 1919 he escalated from molestation to torture. Albert Fish tortured Thomas Kedden, a young man whom he had been in a relationship for nine years, for two weeks in an old farm house paying special attention to his penis and actually cutting half of it off. He wanted to murder Thomas but ultimately decided against it. However, his interest for murder and cannibalism became insatiable and uncontrollable. He trolled for vulnerable children to find and torture often claiming that he was acting on God’s command.

In 1928 Albert had answered an advertisement in the newspaper of a young man named Edward Budd. Edward had been looking for work and Albert seen an opportunity. Albert had promised to hire Edward and his friend. When Albert sent out to retrieve these young men this is when he met 10 year old Grace Budd. Albert Fish usually sought out young boys to unleash his revolting desires on, but once he met Grace he quickly shifted focus from Edward onto her.

A few hours after meeting Albert, he had managed to convince Grace’s parents to allow her to accompany him in attendance to his niece’s birthday party. Albert took her to an empty house and let her pick wildflowers outside while prepared to murder her. Though he didn’t sexually violate her he wanted to take care in not getting blood on his clothes so he undressed in the house. When she went into the house to search for him she found him naked and tried to run. That is when Albert Fish chased after her and continued to murder and cannibalized Grace Budd.

Six years later in 1934, perhaps in a way to confess his deed or to relive it, he mailed a handwritten letter to Grace’s mother, going into detail how he murdered and cannibalized her daughter.

At age 63, Albert Fish was captured by law enforcement. Willingly –and excitedly– he confessed to the murder of Grace along with three others and he admitted to the stabbing two additional people. A year after the murder of Grace Budd, Albert Fish was put before a jury on March 11, 1935. Albert pleaded insanity and had a number of psychiatrists testify about his numerous of sexual fetishes including those such as flagellation (whipping), piquerism (penetrating one’s skin with sharp objects), and infibulation (surgical removal of the female genitalia) and diagnosing him as clinically insane. Though the jury knew he was insane, they felt he should still be executed due to the heinous nature of his crimes.

Albert Fish was found sane and guilty for the brutal slaying of Grace Budd. On January 16, 1936 Albert Fish met his end in the electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

Albert Fish was a true monster, except he didn’t lurk in the shadows like the monsters you read about in novels. He walked the streets in the daylight trolling for his next victim. He gained the trust of countless young boys. He disguised himself as a feeble old man to the Budd family, fooling them into trusting him with young Grace. He was a bad seed from the beginning and by the end he was a rotted fruit filled with maggots.

The story of Albert Fish should serve as a reminder that evil does exist and it often hides in the least expected places. In feeble old men. In fathers and husbands. Looks can be deceiving and lies can be believed.