My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Murphy's Lie", falling shoes and other barriers to Happiness

We all know "Murphy" of "Murphy's Law". The law that states whatever can go wrong , will. It guards against undue optimism and enjoyment, reminds us not to be too happy or something bad might happen. And if we do happen to enjoy some success Murphy is standing behind us whispering in our ear.  Murphy is the Eyore, The Debbie Downer, the archetypal Sad Sack. He tells us to fear not only failure, but success as well, because after all, according to him it will all eventually turn out badly; inevitably the other shoe will fall.
Many people are familiar with this mind set, this legacy of overworked caution, but no one has perfected it more adeptly that children of Alcoholics, and with good reason.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent involves learning to negotiate ones way through a maze of mixed messages, to maintain balance on the fault line of shifting boundaries and to be able to become invisible when its safer than being seen, or heard.
One can only be invisible for so long before she begins to fade, the more parts of You that you hide, the less accessible they become. The more we fade, the less we believe that we need, or deserve. So naturally two things happen; our cloak of invisibility becomes a barrier that filters out not only the negative but everything else as well. We create an energetic block that prevents us from receiving Love, Prosperity and anything else pleasant that might come our way. If some amount of Love or good fortune sneaks it's way past out armor, we quickly recoil. "How did that get in here?!' as if a snake had slithered it's way under our bed. We are uncomfortable with it's presence, it frightens us because we don't quite know what to do with it. What we do know is how to sabotage it, one way or another, to make it go away so we can remain safe in our familiar belief system known as Murphy's Law. Like so many other lies society teaches us, we have incorporated it into our core set of beliefs so deeply that we don't even think to question it.

Once we begin to recognize Murphy's Law for what it is, the rusty old remains of an obsolete coping mechanism, we see that it is really Murphy's Lie.  Like any other step on the road to personal growth, health and recovery recognition and acknowledgement is the first step.  many will tell you the first step is the hardest, I don't know that's necessarily true, but I think it is the most disruptive. It rattles our cage, it challenges our inner Eyore, it throws us a little off balance. But once the cage stops rattling, and Eyore calms down and we get our "sea legs" we can begin the next stage of acceptance, we can stop judging ourselves and get down to the philosophy of "it is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't" and we are on the path that will eventually lead us to be able to accept being Happy when we are Happy to be in that Moment  not give a thought to Mopey Murphy and his proverbial falling shoe.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SURVIVOR: Be A Hero For Sara

Hello all,
I hope you are enjoying fall, the brilliant colors of the changing leaves and the cooler evenings that make for good sleeping weather.
I wanted to share this link for a few reasons. First I think it is a worthy cause to write a letter or sign a petition on behalf of Sara, I think you will feel the same if you read her story.
 This is a public issue, Sara has willingly given her story to the public in hopes of gaining support, and it is a brutal example of the kind of cruelty that truly creates awareness and empathy. number and statistics slip in and out of our mind. Statistics don't have faces, feelings, stories and voices. We need this kind of reality check, it prompts us to ask ourselves, where could intervention have occurred,? Was support was available to this young woman? And, since this happened over 20 years ago, we can take stock of some of the changes that have been implemented, that may have prevented this tragedy.

 © 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

SURVIVOR: Be A Hero For Sara: "Today, YOU have the opportunity to be a hero in the life of Sara Kruzan…a survivor of human trafficking. The daughter of a drug addict, at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DV awareness, are we really aware?

As part of my small but determined contribution to Domestic Violence Awareness month I'd like to say a few things. First having an "awareness month" for anything evokes mixed feelings for me. No one can argue against dedicating time to increase awareness of a social issue and it provides opportunities for survivors to be heard. But what, I wonder, does it really accomplish? Do people carry that awareness with them for the rest of the year? Does the help increase additional funding and programs?  Does the publicity really illuminate the experience and challenges of what families of D.V. face?  Are people told that every day women are turned away from shelter because there are no beds? Do people know that women, and even children turn to prostitution as a way to escape their abuser? Or how many women turn to alcohol and/or drugs to escape the reality of their miserable lives, to quell the fear that quakes in their stomach most of the day? And how about the long terms effects of living in a heightened state of fight or flight; how that changes your brain functions and disrupts serotonin and cortisol? There is a phenomenon known as complex PTSD, which is the result of long term regular exposure to trauma. How about the kids who grow up under these conditions? These kids brains are forming and developing under these conditions what does this say for their prognosis as adults? And given that fact how many of these children go on to become abused or abusers themselves?
There is a lot of emphasis put on getting women out of abusive relationships, or preventing them from getting into them in the first place (most of which are ineffective), but there is little long term support for women and children to assist them with the ongoing issues that linger even after leaving the relationship. And what about then abusers? They are basically lumped into one category...abusers, and yet there are different types of abuse. The Coercive control type is probably the most dangerous and the most difficult to treat. Men who use coercive control are the horror stories we hear about not letting their partner work, attend school, go out with friends and tend to more physically violent and very clever in their skills of manipulation. Abusers are dealt with via the criminal justice system, they generally don't do much time and  they are usually mandated to attend some kind of "anger management" program. It takes more than a few weeks of anger management for someone to change a lifetimes worth of conditioning and damage that makes someone capable of hurting the people they love. violent behavior is often a mental health issue and needs to be treated as such.  Just as we have to listen to victims to understand their needs, we have to listen to perpetrators to understand why they do what they do, to begin to understand ways to effectively intervene. I sincerely believe that, with some possible exceptions, most abusers don't want to be abusers, just like most addicts don't want to be addicts, but there are some behaviors that are formed early on in life that effect us in ways we can't control...until we learn differently. There are ways to do this, but they are not quick fixes, they don't come in a pill and they are not applied, or even taught to most service providers. There are a lot of things that are changing in the world. 20 years ago a woman would have to press charges against her abuser or he was off the hook, there were fewer resources for help for families experiencing violence, and women were less likely to come forward and ask for help.
We have moved forward in so many areas of response to DV and that is a wonderful thing, but we need to continue to move forward, to always be open to examining new interventions and solutions to problems, and to not be afraid to try something new. This is the kind of awareness I choose to focus on, to dig deep to look at the BIG picture and to tell it like it is, both what's working and what's not. And please remember abuse happens every minute of every day, don't forget about it once October is past.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard