Bridging to the Future

Needing a Bridge
Bridge

First a confession. I’ve been selfishly bitter lately. I hid it with intentions of public protection, but really I was wallowing in bitterness to my molester.

The story all started a few weeks ago when I was told that the guy who molested me- who is listed on the Canadian sex offender registry and living under release conditions that prohibit his contact with minors- is now a Counselor. Yes, you read that right. But the info wasn’t quite right- he wasn’t a counselor yet, he was doing a practicum as part of his Masters in Counseling studies. The clinic he was doing the practicum at did a heck of a sales job bragging up how great a guy the rapist is. They bragged about his successful career as a teacher (which he lost due to his crimes), his successful career as a teacher(which he started when he lost his teaching job, and lost when he was convicted and sentenced), and on and on.

For any who’ve read some of my previous posts (like this) this won’t come as a major surprise. I flipped!! I called my brother who’s been with me in this from the start, and over the next few days we called everyone we could think of:
– the police who after a lot of checking said “wish we could stop this cause it’s sick, but he’s not breaking any laws.”
– the counseling clinic who’s owner said “he’s a good guy who served his time, he deserves a second chance, and just wants to help people”
– the university he’s studying at, talked to the dean of the counseling program, who consulted with their lawyer, who then wrote a carefully worded letter saying that they only care about academic performance.

To us, he’s just carrying on his trend of looking for vocations which will put him in one-on-one situations with vulnerable people.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I NEED TO LET IT GO!! I can’t let the bitterness over what happened yesterday ruin my today. And so, as I turn these words over to cyberspace, I turn vengeance over to God. I can’t do anything (legally) about him. And I can’t dwell on it anymore. So now, as I BRIDGE to tomorrow, I need to set boundaries, so that when anyone wants to talk about “him who will no longer be talked about”, I can change the subject of conversation.

So help me God!

Duane

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Brain drugs

Drugs???

No, not the kind I could put into my body. I’m talking about the kind of natural chemicals that my body produces to help me deal with stress, reward me when I’m satisfied, and keep me balanced. GABA, Dopamine, Cortisol, Oxytocin, etc. I’m in the middle of a book “Converstions with a Rattlesnake” about healing from trauma and addictions, and the last chapter I read was a rather overwhelming exploration of how these different chemicals, produced by the human body, interact with each other to affect my mental health and emotional well being.

It fascinates me to see some of the science behind the awesome high that can be had from human interaction. Simply gazing into the eyes of someone who cares about me can flood me with oxytocin. How much more, then, the rush from an embrace, or my favorite- “heart-to-heart” as taught in the Hoffman process.

I wonder, though, how much of what I need could be fullfilled by self love? As a single, divorced dad who doesn’t get to see his kids enough, can I love myself enough to fill the void of human interaction?

I know that there is a relatively intense satisfaction in writing in my gratitude journal. I also know that getting into meaningful, caring conversation online, like here on WordPress can do something for my well being. There’s so much to learn, I’d love to hear about others’ perspectives on this.

Love you all,

Duane

Random Musings on Commitment

Random musings? how does that even fit into the same sentence as commitment?  I mean there’s nothing random about commitment is there?  Probably not, but musing on a lot of different aspects of commitment today.

First, there’s the frustration that my Clematis can’t seem to commit to climbing the trellis it’s supposed to climb.  I mean that’s what a Clematis is supposed to do isn’t it?  Just climb already!  why do I have to keep tying you up to the trellis?  But maybe it’s about me not being committed enough to have cut away last year’s growth so that the new growth this year would have easy access to the trellis.  But hey, I’m new at this cultivation of Clematis thing.  How was I supposed to know that it wouldn’t climb last year’s growth?  I guess I just have to commit to tying it up!

And then there’s the weather.  I wish the forecasters and the weather could just commit to being on the same page.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that this past weekend we finally got the rain that was in the forecast.  maybe not quite as much as they were suggesting we might get, but still, a nice shot.  Not sure if that makes up for the last three weeks of frustration about getting told to expect rain and getting tiny showers instead.  That’s OK, we love what we got!  Very thankfull!

And then there’s the commitment to pessimism.  I work with farmers, and they have a bad rap for being pessimistic, but does the weather network really have to fuel that pessimism by telling us that we are in for a doozy of a drought this summer?  Ironically, this beef goes along with the last one.  The weather network says we will have a record drought, while their forecast for the next 10 days calls for showers nearly every other day- really?

On a more serious note, I’m beefing about myself.  How come, when I’m lonely, aching for a hug, do I get afraid of potential relationships?  I know I’ve been burned before, but really, freezing up at the concept of a date?  That’s taking it a little far.  Time to open up my toolbox and work on some fears and coping skills, I suppose.

And then there’s commitment to self improvement.  I know I need to work on forgiveness of myself and others.  I know I need to stop a bad habit or two.  I know I need to start a good habit or two- working out wouldn’t be that bad, would it?  Ah, motivation and commitment, I’d love to get to know the two of you a little better!

Truly trying to see commitment as not necesarily a bad word, I remain the man that I am,

Duey 🙂

Public Safety or Vengeance?

Or What’s this about castrating molesters?

I read last week about a politician in, I believe, Alabama, who is suggesting that the only way an adult who sexually assaults a child under the age of twelve should never be released from prison without being surgically sterilized.  I’m sorry if I don’t have the details quite right, I can’t even remember where I read it.    Thank You Sir!

I should preface the rest of this discussion by saying that I am a survivor, and don’t believe that I am speaking out of turn about this issue, however I also acknowledge that everyone’s experience is different and I do not speak for every survivor.

Now this notion stirs a lot of emotion in me and in people in general.  When I said “thank you” a little earlier, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with him, but it did get me thinking, and that’s (almost) always a good thing.  You could approach his proposal from many different perspectives.  First there is the politically correct notion that it’s all about the protection of other children from being further victims of the same predator.  Secondly, there is the notion that it’s all about  punishment for what the offender has done.  Thirdly, there are the objectors who insist that this is an inhumane idea.  I will try to very briefly address these three, and I’d love it if you would add angles to this discussion that I didn’t address.

First- PUBLIC SAFETY.  Great idea.  Frankly, if the only way to make sure that a repeat offender couldn’t re-offend was to lock him away for life, I’d be all for that.  The question is, does surgical sterilization take away an abusive person’s sex drive or violent nature?  I’m not an expert on that, so comment away, I can’t prove anybody wrong on either side of that debate, and that would have to be answered before this viewpoint really could be validated.  I’m sure there are experts who believe in both positions on this.

Second- PUNISHMENT.  Okay, now here’s where emotions come into the discussion for me.  In this prior post- https://dueyvan.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/on-over-reaction – I discuss what it feels like for me to have my molester walking the streets.  I don’t have any sympathy for molesters, and I’m not sure I’d disagree with lifetime sentences or banishment from everyday society.  If I caught somebody molesting a kid, I’d probably be on trial for serious assault or murder.  So, I don’t think castration is excessive from that perspective.  But ultimately this is driven by a human desire for vengeance, and “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord” is something I’ve heard often.  I’ve striven to forgive, and that’s darn hard to do.  This is such an emotional issue, and I could go on for hours about that.

Thirdly- INHUMANE-  Is it now?  Really, does someone who cannot respect the sexual rights of children, really deserve the right to maintain their own sexual life?  Is it really that brutal to expect someone to live the rest of their life without sex organs?  I think this argument is ludicrous, but I don’t really think a lot of sexual molesters and their rights.

If you’ve read this far, Thank You!  Please comment, and if you’d like to, feel free to share.

Duane