Posts Tagged ‘family’

She sat in silence, her head bowed low, her long, black hair cascading onto the table. The room became silent. Very silent.

I miss him. My dad.” She said, barely audible, her voice cracking. “I hate him for leaving me but I want to get to know him also. I don’t know why, but I do. I accidentally ran into him while shopping and I went to him, hoping he would smile and hug me. But he didn’t. He just said “Hi” and kept on walking. He didn’t even turn to look at me.”

How did you handle that?” I asked.

Oh, it didn’t bother me. I just turned numb and thought “What the hell.” Later on I did cry.”

Later on, she did more than just cry. If you do not know what a “cutter” is, I will tell you. A cutter is someone who casts out, temporarily at least, the emotional pain by exchanging it for physical pain. I have seen too many scarred arms and legs to know this is not uncommon and this self hurt method terrifies me. Most of this pain, or at least with those youth I talk with, is caused by mothers or fathers who have placed a higher importance on their own issues, rather than those of their children. Those parents who ignore the needs of security, of love and connectedness that these kids so desperately crave and deserve.

Alcohol and drug use runs rampant here. With domestic and sexual abuse a close second. For many of these youth, these events becomes the cyclic reality that is carried over, generation to generation.

My dad left when I was born and I have never seen him.” Another young lady shared with me.

My mom still talks about him and she told me he is dying of cancer. I would really like to see him before he dies.” She is beginning to get that watery, thousand yard stare. I am wondering where she will take this.

All us kids have different fathers but I live with grandma. She protects me and I can talk to her. But she is 91 and when she dies, my world will change. She can’t protect me anymore. ” She looks at me, wondering where I will take that.

Never tell anyone that you love them, unless you really mean it.” She continues, the tears beginning to cloud her vision.

She, a cutter also. Where does one go when the pain becomes so overwhelming? And how does one get to where these kids realize that there is an outlet where they can speak and let flow all that shit they keep bottled up, waiting to explode onto a razor?

Another youth, a young man, sits uneasily, fidgeting in his seat, listening to his peers talk about their pain. This one is quiet. As he sits, hearing those appalling stories, I observe that this pain he is holding onto is slowly coming to the surface. Quietly rising within, approaching and surfacing within his eyes. His face has flushed to a pasty scarlet, his eyes blurred, but he does not speak…. yet. In time, once the trust has been laid out before him, he may open himself up and his pain will flow like those of his peers. I do hope so.

I am learning that to have someone listen to their words is very important to them.

Healing the Hurt Within: Understand Self-injury and Self-harm, and Heal the Emotional Wounds

(I reposted as during a clean up….I hit the wrong button and this disappeared)…technology challenged????…damned straight.

From the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation….Support a great company

Read Full Post »

My attempt to maintain a connection with the many excellent blogs I have discovered drifting around the outer edges of cyber space  is usually based on time perception, environmental abnormalcies and the need for instant gratification when it comes to entertainment.  Here is an exceptional blog by Amy Kirk, who with her husband, raise to children on their 4th generation cattle ranch outside of Pringle, South Dakota.  The trial and tribulations of operating a ranch, or for that matter, a farm (which I do have experience, though eons past) is put forth with an outstanding style and sense of humor I find most refreshing.  Drop by and visit ranch life at it’s finest….

Winter feed



Read Full Post »

One of the phrases that my dad used to use is that there is more than one way to skin a cat, though there are basic elements to the process. When working with at risk youth, you must realize that in the beginning of any relationship where you and a youth attempts to establish a connection, there is an initial defensive wall that the youth has constructed around themselves to protect him/her from further hurt. The offensive weapons you will utilize initially are:

Trusting Relationships

At-risk youth need both empathetic and durable relationships. They need to build a sense of trust and have the time to communicate the complexity and frustrations of their lives and know they will not be judged. Once you have built this foundation and only then, will you be able to continue into a broader spectrum. This is much easier stated than accomplished. It will take time, they will test you constantly but in the end, if you show respect, consistency and empathy, you will succeed with most of them.

Realistic Goals

Many of the youth I have talked with seem to have some pretty unrealistic goals, learned from peers, ill advice, misconception and/or desperation. In the beginning I used to tell my youth to follow their dreams and that if their dreams were strong enough, they would succeed. This I have accepted that this idea should be categorized under “ill advice.” Though dreams are important, realistic goals need to be placed in the forefront. Not all youth are capable of great success no matter what they hope for. There are too many environmental, cultural and spiritual factors to contend with. Set the initial bar just high enough so that they succeed and as they reach this goal, set the next bar level a bit higher. Each successful goal reached is an element that build self-esteem and a stronger inner spirit. If they fail, explain that without failure there can be nothing to compare success to. Failure is only a component from which we learn.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         How you reach these 2 goals is as individual as you are.  There are many paths you can follow and in time, you will develop your own modality.  

Read Full Post »

You have made your decision and you now embark on a journey to a new world.  The world of at-risk youth and once you enter into this abstract world of a youth counselor, you are faced with the reality that you now have your first caseload of young, impressionable teenage minds and this can be more than a bit daunting. There is no easy path to follow during this time of your transition from a nonentity to a trusted mentor. I remember my first group of these same young impressionable minds and it was awkward and scary, to put it mildly. I felt like I was on trial with a prejudiced jury, in which case, I was already tried and convicted. These kids not only have no idea who you are, they already have preconceived ideas of who they think you are. 

For many youth, this scenario has played out numerous times with results being that their counselor has moved on to greener pastures and have abandoned them, just like many others in their lives. Though most youth will not tell you this, they do crave consistency and structure. So, for me, the first goal I entertain is to convince them that I am a real human being. This is the first step in building trust and which will become the foundation of every thing that follows. And this, by far, is the most difficult step.  Screw this up and you might as well become a WalMart greeter…. Many of these kids have lost the capacity to trust. Many of them have been hurt, abused and neglected by those whom they trusted the most. Then they are introduced into a system of social services or corrections where they have no voice in their existence, followed by rotating staff and or foster parents. It is no wonder that these kids have difficulty in connecting to and trusting anyone attempting integrate themselves into their lives. If you get hurt enough, you cease trying.

We can break down this dimension of trust and define it as a 4 step recipe.

Trust: is regarded as a generalized expectancy that other people can be relied on. Our trust in another individual can is based in our assessment of the ability, integrity, and kindness of others and the more we notice these qualities in another person, the higher the level of trust develops.

Integrity: is the consistency of our actions, credibility of communication, commitment to fairness, and the belief in someone’s words and actions.

Benevolence: is a belief that the other is genuinely empathetic and without judgment to our well-being.


Ability: refers to an assessment of the others qualities and recognizes that trust requires some sense that the other is able to meet our expectations.

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”

Friedrich Nietzsche                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ryeder…

Read Full Post »

What the hell is wrong with this picture?  These are news post taken from just one day’s postings by our illustrious and ratings orientated media.

PONTIAC, Mich. – A Facebook feud between two women who claimed to love the same prison inmate led to a high-speed chase and a crash that critically injured one of the rivals, killed her friend and left the second rival facing murder charges.

Clearwater, Florida (CNN) — A 20-year-old Florida woman involved in a love triangle was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder for fatally stabbing her romantic rival in a fight 15 months ago.

New Jersey Teens Charged in Videotaped Beating Death of Immigrant
Abelino Mazaniego Died After Severe Beating as He Sat on Summit, N.J. Park Bench

Staten Island Boy Accused of Murdering Family, Self in Gruesome Crime
Police say 14-year-old C.J. Jones Slashed Family’s Throats, Torched Home, Slashed Own Throat.

Parents, it’s about time you taught your kids what is important in life. Respect for self and others, having and maintaining good character, honesty, integrity, and self discipline.  Buying them off, ignoring them and trying to be their friend does not work.  It never has.  A good ass whipping will teach them better than the wimpy bleeding heart crap you “progressive” parents try to utilize.  And yes parents, I am laying it at your feet.  You brought them into this world, it is your responsibility to teach them. Not the schools, not the churches, not society and not the social service system.  Stop blaming someone else for your lack of parenting skills.  If you do not have them, learn them, if you are too stupid or weak, then get sterilized, but do something.
First and foremost, accept the fact that it is your fault and only your fault we have these types of teenagers……

ADDENDUM:  I have received a number of emails stating that I was generalizing today’s parents.  Not so.  Subtly put, “If the shoe fits, wear it and if it doesn’t, you are not included in the above group….”

Read Full Post »

Are you a leader or a ruler?  A ruler’s foundation is based on authority, sprinkled with fear and intimidation and can make for a weak structure within the confines of family or business.  A leader on the other hand will utilize an approach of understanding character and place experience above authority.  Using character and experience in making your decisions can enhance your leadership skills, while basing your decision making on authority will eventually extinguish character and experience.

Celebrate the success of others.  Bring people up – not down!

Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in
themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish
their goals.

The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team to be
solution focused rather than problem focused.

We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement.
Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.

If you want to get the best out of someone – you must look for the
best that is in them.

It is better to have one person working with you, than three working for you.

A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward….

Take Tanka….

“Tanka” is used in reference to delivering your best with all your heart, mind, body and spirit. It is the choices that you make and the actions that you take to be who you are.

Read Full Post »

We all have the exact amount of time in each day.  Twenty-four hours, no more no less.  How we spend this brief  element of our lives is chosen only by us.  Will we spend it well or will we waste these precious moments of life?  This is especially true as parents.  The following presentation brought back a flood of memories.    Watch and enjoy.

child, children, daughter, young, hug

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.


Read Full Post »