Wednesday, February 15, 2023

You're The Man Now

Watching television and finding a patterner that shows up in families regardless of ethnicity, or religion. After the death of a father figure, someone turns to the oldest boy child and says, "You're the man of the house now. You have to step up."  Young girls are asked to take on extra responsibilities to help the mother get through the day. Stop doing that. They are still children and have enough to be responsible for. They just lost a parent, processing that fact, and worrying about what happens now is enough. 

My father passed away when I was 15 and I assure you processing that, adjusting to a new norm that I had no choice in making was a heavy enough load. My family was changed and learning to find my place again was all I could handle. My mother was lost, she relied on my father for nearly everything. She was now the primary parent and wasn’t prepared for that role. I had older stepbrothers, however, they didn't live in our home, so I took on responsibilities I was not prepared for nor did I have enough knowledge about. My younger sister by only two years didn't adjust well to me telling her what to do. She became rebellious and at times refused to listen to me at all.

Boys came into my life around this time. Again an experience I was not prepared for. I soon was involved with a boy four years older than me. He became my world, we met in October, and by late April of the next year, I was pregnant, and by June I was married. Again another responsibility I was not prepared for. I was now a teen mother and married at age sixteen.

As I look back at that time of my life a helpful alternative from an adult might have been, "I know you are probably scared and wondering, what happens now, knowing our lives will be different and it's okay to feel scared. We will have to make adjustments, and we can work together to get things done. It's okay to feel sad and cry. Always know you can talk to me and I will do my best to help you."   As parents, too often we think we are supposed to have all the answers, you don't have to have all the answers immediately, it's okay to say to a child, I am a little scared too and sad, but we can get through this. No responsibility, other than those they are already responsible for, should be placed on the child. Children do not step up to be an adult or have the answers.

Along with my own experience and working as a LAC (Licensed Additions Counselor) and behavioral change facilitator for domestic violence perpetrator classes and victim's assistant, I saw firsthand the pressures we place on our children. We fight in front of them or send them to their rooms to listen in the dark to the scary sounds downstairs. We place adult responsibilities on their shoulders, those shoulders aren't built to carry that load.

Regardless of how difficult it may seem for us, the adults, we must bare the responsibility, look for the answers, and let the children be children.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Grey's Anatomy DOA

Watching season 18 of GA has been painful, to say the least.  The writing staff seems to have lost their reasoning and sense of direction or purpose.  Season seventeen was painful, but understandable as the show was making the effort to show how Covid was affecting the nation, the hospital, and relationships. All in all, they did a fine job.

Enters season eighteen. It has been painful from the beginning. We viewers all hoped, now that the corvid writing had ended, our favorite characters would appear once more and the show would go on.  Instead, we have a tired Merideth, a shaky Amelia, and a missing Maggy.  I personally am okay Maggy is m-i-a, she has never been a favorite for me. I am struggling to try to figure out why Nick Marsh was brought back.  The most sensible match for Merideth is Dr. Cormac Hayes, played by Richard Flood. The previews for this week's show, however, suggest we may be losing both him and Dr.Owen Hunt.

Amelia has struggled with addiction since she first steps foot on Greys.  As a retired addictions counselor my view of the writing for this character needed to be researched a little more.  They keep saying she has recovered, however that isn't what has happened.  Amelia is simply a "not using". It is concerning for this writer, as recovery is much more than not using substances, it's about how the person faces their life on a daily basis. Just about the time, we think she is on the road to recovery the writing shows us she isn't. Recovery is also about taking back responsibility for that my life, and feeling good about it. Amelia's character has never truly recovered. She lives in fear every day and shares that fear with everyone.  True recovery brings confidence back to the addict. This doesn't mean the person gets cocky or arrogant, but rather the person feels capable of making daily decisions for themselves, learning to trust themselves again. She has never reached this point. She questions everything she does or says, as well as those around her.  She doesn't trust anyone really and most importantly she doesn't trust herself.

Addison, our double board-certified, confident and beautiful Addy, it was so great to hear she was making an appearance, but the actual arrival left us wondering, what was the point.  Addison's character is a great part, too bad the current writers forgot that. She and Merideth seemingly made a truce with their past, but it was so trivial we almost missed it. I was hoping Addy would have a bigger part in this season and maybe return to Grey-Sloan in a meaningful manner.  No such luck apparently.

As for Dr. Baily, besides the fact I haven't been a fan since a few episodes before they made her chief, she doesn't feel part of what is going on now.  She is still fighting to show who is boss and losing. The false relationship the writers keep tossing out there between her and Merideth is painful. She made it clear years ago she didn't like Merideth, she's been jealous of Mer since the beginning and I've seen nothing through the years that convinces me she has changed her mind.

So in conclusion, for this viewer, it is time to call it. Stop all efforts to resuscitate, the patient coded.

#Grey's Anatomy #hemoraging #time of death

Friday, October 29, 2021


We often think of this word with regard to searching for healing.  I try to practice reflection every day.  While looking at myself I try to strive to be the best me I can be. I have learned when I journal, I am able to put on paper what I can’t express otherwise.  At times I save the writing and others are ripped up and tossed. The exercise of putting thoughts down in black and white, and discarding brings clarification and relief for me.

This week my social media feed has had several postings from those in obvious pain.  I say obvious as the words they use, and the message posted clearly indicates they are hurting.  One of the best lessons in my twenty-plus years as an addiction counselor, a batterer’s invention specialist, and providing services for victims of domestic violence, there is a common theme “Hurt People; Hurt People”.  When our own pain becomes too much to face, too overpowering, to deal with, we do and say things we don’t mean. We lash out, we point fingers, we become defensive, and we hurt the very people we love the most. Unfortunately, while in our own pain, we no longer have the perspective of reality.  We shut down, we no longer hear others therefore we can not hear their message of care or reason.  I have long found when I write, the message is found by the people who need it most, including myself.

As the AA Big Book points out; Acceptance is the answer to “ALL” of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation- some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. Alcohol can be substituted with almost any extreme action. We become “addicted” to many things and use them as crutches to navigate life. Truth is the only answer.

My truth, my affirmation for today:

I sit in my silence, I breathe in and breath out, I close my eyes and relax to listen to that voice that is always inside of me beseeching me to listen, not speak, listen, not let random thought confuse me or overpower me. In the silence, the truth can be found. In the silence, I become more open to reality and to acceptance. I wish all acceptance and peace...


Friday, March 5, 2021



I am not them or they, I am me

Standing two feet on the ground

Simply wanting to be free

Free to walk down the street without fear

Free to say what I want loud and clear

Free to do what I please

Even taking a knee

Free to be the person I was born to be

No matter how I look on the outside

My true Spirit lives on the inside

I am not a he or a she I am me

You can’t keep me down

For I will stand my ground

I will unit in the streets

I will speak what I speak

My brothers and sisters will unit with me

For you see we are not He or She

We are all born just to be 

I  AM ME...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Division Of Our Country

I was watching a video clip and the speaker made the statement, " Our country is more divided now than it has ever been".  Really?  I concede the country is divided and we have much to mend and heal. The racial divide, gender, sexual orientation, pro-choice, left or right, Christian or not, religion in school the list goes on and on. Yet this still does not reach the level of the aforementioned statement.

Let's talk about the most divided time in our nation's history.  A mere 154 years ago, April 9, 1865, was the end of the Civil War. A war fought within our borders. A battle that took 750,000 lives, that's roughly 504 deaths a day. A clear and a greatly debated subject of who and who was not equal as human beings. The need to support a lifestyle that far too many had grown comfortable with, the idea that color divided and defined who was and who was not worthy.  Not just worthy of possessions and wealth, but of being treated with respect and dignity, to be called "human".  At that time men, women and children deemed slaves were mere property, and their treatment no better than the animals that served their owner. Oft times treatment wasn't a good as that of animals.  Step out of line, not knowing your place could bring punishment of such cruelty it defies comprehension.  Families were separated, people sold and traded like goods to be had.  Their difference measured yet further based on the depth of their skin pigmentation.  The darker their skin the less value they held.

We have the opportunity before us to decide which side of history shall we stand on. In another hundred and fifty-four years, when this time and place is discussed will people speak kindly of the condition of the human race, will the memory of you be one of those who stood and maintained the integrity by standing with the marginalized of today and walking with them in the journey of equality, of justice and of common decency. Will you be remembered as that person who held to their own moral convictions even if it meant standing alone or at least felt like you were. Every day we are watching as people of families are being pulled apart, sanctioned for their desire to live a better life, to seek refuge from tyranny, wanting only to be free and live as every human has the right to.

And while it may feel like "our country is more divided now than it has ever been"  now is the chance to speak up, speak out, march, write the countries leaders, vote for people of good conscience and moral character and assure we do not reach that level of injustice ever again.  Help to give what every human deserves, the right to be treated as a human, live with family and support their family unit.  Be the friend you would want to have, be the neighbor that is dependable, be the light at the end of a very long tunnel and most of all express love and compassion to all you meet. May the darkness that overshadows our nation at this time be released and our light of inclusiveness shine brightly.

Love is always the answer... Namaste

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Poem The Master's Plan

The Master’s Plan
The stars, the moon, the sky high above
Were all made from a gentle hand of love
The rivers the streams where gentle ripples flow
Reflection of the evening’s sun all aglow
The fields and the grasses the wildflowers grow
We've only to listen and we will know
Arise in the morning to the birds while they sing
Their voices in tune with springs gentle rain
A man and a woman were placed here too
The long-ago beginnings of me and of you
Made in the image, but what does that mean
How do you see what’s never been seen
The heart knows the answer it’s simple as can be
Breathe in the Spirit and then share it with me
I Am that I Am the breeze gently whispers
It doesn't matter if I’m a miss or a mister
God knows our hearts and that’s all the matters
Don’t get wrapped up in all of the chatter
With arms wide open and love in our hearts
That’s where real change finds its start.
Mattie Herald ©

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sacrifice - After all I have done for you...

  1. Recently I heard a parent say about her child, "she doesn't know all I have sacrificed for her.
  2. The dictionary defines sacrifice this way:  noun:  An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure, as a verb: Offer to kill as a religious sacrifice.

  1. I have to ask myself, did this mother really offer a "sacrifice" in the name of her daughter? My best guess is no. Yet I have heard people make statements like this one many times when it comes to their children. I don't see providing for and raising children as any type of sacrifice. Any and all we do for our children should be done so in respect, nourishing and an understanding that when bringing a child into the world accepting the fact that I now must care for this tiny human until they are no longer under my care and/or can care for themselves. When they become adults they still need our care and love. We need to be a sounding board, a safe place to bring questions and concerns. And although we may see a situation that needs our advice, we must allow them to live their lives as they see fit. One of the hardest rules to follow, keeping my nose out of my adult child's business unless they ask. There are a couple acceptions to the rule, domestic violence, and child abuse, and we need to educate ourselves in these areas in order to give the best advice. Even then we have to allow our child to make their own choices. When they continue making painful choices, it breaks our hearts, and all we can do it offer our knowledge and support until they are ready to make a change.

  1. As a parent my life changes, my priorities and needs for myself may have to change in exchange for the needs of my child. This isn't a sacrifice, this is being a responsible and loving parent. I make these changes willingly and without feelings of loss. The only feeling and action is the unconditional love for my children.  This doesn't mean I approve of all their choices and the way they may have chosen to live. It simply means I stay in my space and assure them I am always available and love them. Being a parent isn't easy at times nor rewarding for that matter, however, we do what is expected and do so willingly and lovingly to best of our ability.  Telling a child, " you don't know the sacrifices I made so you could have", is shaming to the child, causing them to question and debt themselves and their worthiness. In order to raise confident and able humans, we first must recognize being a parent is never a sacrifice, but a privilege and honor.