To Tell or Not to Tell

One of the most stressful things about sexual abuse, besides the abuse itself, is the taboo against telling someone. Abusers tell victims (children and teenagers), that they must not tell anyone, and that they will be hurt badly or killed if they tell. The abuser also may tell the victim that a loved caregiver will hate them because they are so bad.

Often the victims of this crime grow up with a terrible secret knocking constantly at their consciousness. It’s like throwing a ball against the wall and catching it. You wish you had someone to catch it, but you alone keep catching the secret and throwing it back into your mind, because you believe you will suffer grave consequences if you tell.

According to psychologists, eventually the secret abuse settles somewhere in the child’s sub-conscious and cannot be retrieved. Sometimes the secret remains hidden years after the abuse is over. My secret, the sexual abuse by a maid, was not revealed until I was middle-aged. I went to a mental hospital and my therapist helped me remember my abuse. With that came the realization that I had wanted to tell my mother very badly at the time, but did not, because my abuser told me she would kill me with the butcher knife if I ever told anyone.

Therefore, these secrets, the secrets of sexual abuse, eventually hid in my subconscious. Along with that, I developed alternate personalities that didn’t even know about the abuse. It was only when I had the courage to tell my therapist that the stress of hiding the secret was released.

If you are suffering from abuse, it is very important to tell someone. Telling is a key to healing.

My story has been told, but there are millions of stories out there that have never been told. Every year the Children’s Advocacy Centers in the United States help over 100,000 children who have been abused. These children may be battered, beaten, starved, locked up, berated, or forced into having sex with an adult or sibling. This is not acceptable in our American society, where we value each life. We must pass stronger laws to stop it.

We must address the needs of girls who are being abused by their fathers or step fathers. Often the first thing they do after being assaulted is tell their mothers. Unfortunately this disclosure is often met with retaliation and disbelief. How many young girls have been slapped in the face, yelled at and told they have dirty minds. They are accused of lying. If Mom won’t listen, I strongly advise these girls to tell a teacher or responsible caregiver about this incest. To tell can lead to release from this situation.

A little known fact is that mothers are committing a felony in most states if they don’t report the abuse and do something to stop it.

If YOU are being abused or you are suspicious that a child is being abused, please call the Child Advocacy Center or Children’s Services in your area. It is their job to investigate and RESCUE ABUSE VICTIMS. Their phone numbers are on the internet. Or you can call 1-800-4-A-CHILD, the national number for reporting abuse. My prayers are with you if you decide to tell.

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A Time-saver for the Thanksgiving Hostess

Why does Thanksgiving seem like such a warm fuzzy holiday until it actually arrives? You picture yourself around a big table of smiling relatives and friends before a huge, perfectly browned turkey and five or six sumptuous side dishes.

Unfortunately, if you are the hostess, one by one these ideal fantasies disappear as the actual day approaches, and the reality of bringing this feast into fruition begins to weigh on your mind. The first bubble pops when you enter the grocery store to purchase the last few items you’ve forgotten. Suddenly the list seems very long and you begin to feel like a blind sardine pushing a half ton truck through a crowded stream.

When you get to the checkout, the second bubble pops when you faint as the checkout girl tells you the bill is over $100. A kind older man who is not fixing thanksgiving dinner helps you to your feet so you can put the groceries on your credit card. As you leave the store you notice other shoppers who are audibly crying in the check out aisles.

After you get home and put away all the groceries and sundries, you are exhausted and fall onto the sofa in relief. As you are resting the third bubble pops when you realize you don’t have enough chairs, so you quickly phone your nearest relative who has some folding chairs they can bring when they come TOMORROW!!!

Suddenly you are back on your feet beginning your preparation for two pies. Now the remaining bubbles are popping simultaneously, as you realize you will be spending the entire day tomorrow baking the turkey and making the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. What in the world are you going to do?

My tip for the exhausted hostess: Do thanksgiving backwards. PUT THE TURKEY IN THE DISHWASHER!

Heavy Purse Syndrome

As a hippie at 30 years of age, I hitchhiked for months carrying only a backpack. I went with two young men and we hitched from LA up the West coast to Vancouver, and crossed over into Newfoundland, a trip of more than 4,000 miles.  I did it without a purse.

How is it that as an older woman, I can’t go anywhere without my huge purse? It measures 15”W X 9”D X 5”H and weighs 4 – 5 pounds? At what point in life did I decide to carry a purse? I know the answer to that. I was 31 and I got a job. In other words, I went straight.

Believe me, it’s not the money that makes it heavy. It’s everything else that has found its way into my handbag. Apparently as I got older I needed more stuff, and I have inadvertently become a victim of heavy purse syndrome. By the way, punching a whole in the bottom doesn’t work. Even though the weight of the purse hurts my arm and my back, as soon as I take the smallest thing out, I need it within the first hour of leaving the house.

If I take out my comb, the wind comes along and tangles my hairstyle beyond hope.

If I take out my compact, my nose suddenly looks like a traffic signal.

If I take out my cuticle cutters or my Band aids, I get a hangnail that bleeds on my white sweater.

If I take out my day planner (which is the smallest one available) I am late for everything and miss my appointments.

If I take out my Kleenex, my nose begins running like a faucet.

ARE THERE OTHER WOMEN WITH THIS PROBLEM?

I know I’m complaining, but I don’t know what else to do but tell the world about my heavy purse dilemma. Maybe someone has a solution. I know African women carry things on their heads. Has anyone else tried that?

The worst part of it is that the older I get, the more stuff I need with me to stay reasonably alive until I return home. Of course I need to carry my cell phone, my keys and my wallet, and I’m just not comfortable without my hand lotion, a nail file, and lip balm. I mean they are necessities. Call it stuff ad infinitum (stuff that multiplies infinitely).

And now for the final admission of guilt. I am continually thirsty and I usually carry a bottle of Aquafina in my purse! All I need now is a sandwich, and … but hey, I have to draw the line somewhere!

 

The Wedding Beefcake and the Beef

Women love weddings. We plan for years for the perfect wedding for ourselves and our daughters and spend large fortunes on dresses, food, cake, flowers, reception halls, a band, and invitations. Why do we do this?

Because we love it! It’s our dream day, the one day in our lives when we can let it all out and do exactly what we want. That is, of course unless the groom disagrees. The groom should be told from the get-go that he has no say whatsoever on anything that happens at the wedding, except when he finally says “I do” at the right time.

I think all women love weddings, even those who aren’t related to the people getting married. We get all sweet and gushy when we see a man who is finally giving up his freedom to take care of a woman because he loves her. Unfortunately, to witness this event, we really need to be accompanied by a man.

Have you ever noticed that more women attend weddings as guests than men? Think about it. When was the last time you saw a group of men telling jokes, drinking beer and throwing peanut shells in the back row of the church during a wedding? Honestly now, never! Men would much rather stay home dressed in their sweats than actually sweat it out in a suit in a church. I know there are exceptions to playing wedding hooky, such as pastors who must be in suits in church every week and don’t seem to mind. But in general, I believe men like to avoid getting dressed up and going to weddings.

What we women need to do is begin early in the season to prepare our man for his eventual attendance at a wedding. That’s why the invitations have those little cards you return, telling the bride who will be attending. Once your man has stood by and agreed to attend, and you have sent back your acceptance card, there is no wedding hooky permitted. It’s now compulsory.

At night while he is sleeping speak to his subconscious about it.

“How wonderful it’s going to be to see Megan walk down the aisle in June.”

He manages to wake up enough to mumble, “Who’s Megan?”

“You know the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol.” During this nightly brainwashing be sure to stress how beautiful the bride will be. You know how men like to see pretty women.

A few nights later, tell his subconscious about the food.

“I hear they’re serving filet mignon at Megan and Chad’s wedding in June.”

“Who’s Megan?”

“You know, the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol. She’s marrying Chad.”

“Who’s Chad?”

“Your friend, the groom, who is very fond of cocktails and steak.” In this case use beef and alcohol as the subconscious prize for attending the wedding.

During the pre-wedding brainwashing be sure to stress the beefcake and the beef! Subconsciously you are implanting the idea that the wedding will be a very gratuitous experience for your husband. Finally when the day of the wedding comes and your husband begins his pre-wedding whining you can remain firm in the thought that he will not be playing wedding hooky. Jim and Carol are counting on him to be there for the beef and the beefcake, and he witnessed you filling out the acceptance card.

This subconscious brainwashing should work unless your married to a man like my husband, who simply says, “I ain’t goin,” and tells you to go by yourself.

I’d love your opinion on this issue. Do women love weddings, while men try to avoid them?

Reblogged from June, 2012

 

My Neighbor, the Yard Gnome

gnome A Three Part story by Nancy DeLaval   Miller

Part I

When I first met Jessica and Paul Yardley I thought they would be great neighbors. They were polite and friendly and their place looked like a picture from Home and Garden magazine. Often, during those first weeks after they moved in, I would see Paul working in the yard – mowing, planting, pruning, watering – he did everything with a pleasant smile on his face. He seemed very happy.

However, I soon learned that Jessie wasn’t happy at all. When we got together for coffee one day, she expounded on her husband’s faults. He was lazy and stupid, shirked his chores in the house, and all he wanted to do was work in the yard. I came away realizing she was very bossy and quite dysfunctional, even crazy perhaps.

Friday, she came rushing over to my house and knocked loudly on the back door. “Can I talk to you?” she asked, pushing her way into the house. I agreed and we sat down at the kitchen table. “Paul won’t come in the house!” I had no answer for this and she went on. “Paul went out to work in the yard on Wednesday and never came back in. He finished the mowing two hours later and I kept expecting him to come back in the house, but he didn’t. I didn’t really care at first. I needed my nap and I had to watch my soaps, plus I had to prepare dinner. It seems like the work never ends.

“When dinner was almost ready, I went out to call him. I saw him standing by the bird bath with the hose.

“Paul,” I called out.

“I’m over here,” he yelled back. His voice sounded a little weaker than usual, but I didn’t think anything of it. He was some distance away.

“It’s time for dinner.”

“I’ll be in soon,” he said smiling at me. I thought his smile was a little stiff, but I was too far away to get a good look. I was tired from a long day’s housework and I went back inside. I called him two more times that evening, but I finally ate dinner alone. I even ate some of his, but I left him some on a plate. Then I did his job, washing the dishes. That made me really mad and I called him several more times to come in, but didn’t get an answer. That evening I fell asleep in front of the TV, alone.”

Unbelievable as it seems, Jessie told me that Paul never came in that night. In fact, he never came back in at all, and it made her very angry. The next day she went out to find him. He was still standing by the bird bath with the hose. She decided she needed to check him out carefully, so she trekked all the way out to the bird bath to see him.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Making sure the flowers and the birds have enough water.”

“I see that, but what about you? Aren’t you hungry?”

“No, I’ve just been sipping a little water from time to time.”

She noticed that he looked shorter than usual. “Aren’t you going to come in soon? I’m sure the birds and the flowers have enough water by now!”

“I stop sometimes and wait for the birds and squirrels to get a drink. A deer came by last night with two fawns and……”

“I don’t really care if the president came by,” she screamed. “I need your help in the house!” She was finally losing her patience with her husband. Didn’t he know that he had responsibilities in the house? The dishes were piling up and he forgot she needed help with the vacuuming. And why would she care if the wild animals had enough to drink?

After an uncomfortable silence she said, “Well, I’m going ahead with my day. If you want to stay out here all day, I guess that’s up to you!” She was mad and stomped into the house.

The next morning she called me and asked me to come over and try to convince Paul to come back in the house. When I saw him I was shocked. He seemed much shorter than I remembered, so I looked down to see if he was standing in a hole. He wasn’t. His white hair had grown longer. His face looked the same but his body was much smaller than it had been. Paul Yardley seemed to be morphing into a little yard gnome. Even his clothes and shoes must have gotten smaller, because they still fit the same way. And somewhere he found a long pointy red hat.

“Take that hat off,” Jessie demanded. “It makes you look stupid.” He just looked at her and laughed. She didn’t want the neighbors to see him wearing it. She grabbed at the hat, but then grimaced.

“Feel this hat,” she said, giving me a direct order. To my surprise, the hat was as hard as a rock. I was taken aback. Jessie and I couldn’t pull it off. We looked at Paul with total bewilderment. Then I touched his shoulder and it was hard too.

“What happened to you?” I asked. He just stood there watering and smiling and didn’t answer. I wondered if he could even talk. Could his mouth move if it was stone? His eyes were still alert and moved around, looking at me and the lawn.

“Quit turning into stone and come in the house,” Jessie demanded, but by noon Paul had turned completely into a yard gnome. All the yard work was meticulously done, but we never saw him move a muscle or a stone arm or leg, or give a toss of his hard head. He was as hard as a rock, and couldn’t talk, so Jessie turned off the hose and went shopping.

“I knew he would figure out a way to avoid doing his chores,” she said.

Stay tuned for Part II of  The Yard Gnome

Throwing Away Women’s Lib

Thinking about our coming holiday, Mothers Day, reminds me of how much women lost because of the Women’s Lib movement. In order to understand my unpopular opinion, we have to look back in history to the role women played before Women’s Lib became popular.

During the fifties and early sixties, most women didn’t work. They stayed at home and were housekeepers and mothers, living useful, comfortable lives. They kept the home looking nice, cared for the children and prepared nutritious meals. And they had time leftover for pleasurable activities. How many women have that today? Are the Housewives of Hollywood the only ones?

Now, women have to be housekeepers, mothers and have jobs. They had idyllic lifestyles and threw them away, insisting women be given jobs that were traditionally filled by men.

The men said, “Okay, then work!” I think at the time women were aiming to get good paying office jobs, and they wanted paid the same amount as men, something that has never really materialized on a national level. I know there are exceptions to this lower pay scale, but for the most part I think men still earn more.

The worst thing about it is that we didn’t only lose our easy lifestyles, where we could spend a little time in recreation during the day, but we lost a lot of respect from our husbands. Women began to feel “equal” to their husbands and insisted they be considered for all kinds of labor intensive jobs, such as factory workers, highway workers and soldiers. I don’t know how these women do it, unless they are in excellent physical condition.

I’m sure there are many of you who believe Women’s Lib was really a great liberation for trapped woman. I welcome your opinions in my comments section. Are you happy with the changes that Women’s Lib made in our country? Or do you agree with me that we lost more than we gained?

Mother’s Choice

Our society seems to have an enormous problem with sex. Our children become sexually active at a very early age, TV shows are overrun with sexual content, and marriages are crumbling because of sexual sin.

One of the things that is most prevalent in our ‘over-sexed’ society is sexual abuse of young girls by their father, their mother’s boyfriend or second husband. The men who do this are surely dysfunctional and have no conscience. How do they conclude that having sex with an underage daughter is okay?

This is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a family, signaling the downfall of that family unit. The mother feels betrayed by both her daughter and her husband and then must choose between them. The father’s sin has been found out and he is disgraced and ruined. The daughter is drowning in shame and disgust from the pain and agony of abuse.

I’m glad I never had to choose, but I believe that if your daughter tells you she is being molested by your mate, believe her.

This problem is aggravated by our socio-economic system here in the US. Since women bear the children, they most often win custody of the children in a divorce. Then they must somehow fulfill the duties of nurturing, caring for and providing for these children, and hold down a full time job that often pays next to nothing. I think most of these women feel desperate and if they can find a man who will join them in this difficult situation, they will often marry the first man who comes along or sacrifice marriage for a live-in boyfriend or lover.

It is no wonder that many women can’t handle it when her teenage daughter tells her that Mom’s boyfriend is molesting her. If the mother accepts the accusation and kicks the boyfriend out, how will they survive financially? And how can the mother have any self-respect knowing her new husband/boyfriend is not sexually faithful to her and would rather have sex with her underage daughter than herself. It is much easier to deny it, and, unfortunately, many women do exactly that. They scream at the daughter, telling her she’s “a disgusting liar,” and refuse to believe her.

Trusting and believing your daughter is the right choice in this situation. If you accept your daughter’s accusation, and do something about the abuse, you will save your daughter’s self-esteem and the hurt and shame of further sexual abuse.

You will probably lose your mate, but how can you be happy living with him any more, now that you know he has uncontrollable sexual urges, he’s been unfaithful to you and he’s a liar. Who else has he been with?

Your daughter will always be your daughter,  but your husband may someday be your EX.

If you do not believe and help your daughter you will regret it for the rest of your life. Who else can she turn to? She will soon leave home to escape the abuse, and without a place to sleep, or food to eat, she may accept money for sex in order to live. It’s a lose/lose situation for her.

Mother & Daughters

In my lifetime, I’ve been divorced three times, but I still have a wonderful relationship with my daughters. They are both nurturing and helpful to me, and I love them and care deeply for them. Here is picture of me and my daughters, celebrating Easter many years ago.

To Spank or not to Spank

That is the question. Our society is coming out of an era when children were spanked and disciplined for doing things that are wrong and not doing things that are right. Spanking a child with your hand or an implement was the norm. Years ago, school teachers and principals were famous for “paddling” the children. The motto was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Spanking was society’s effort to control bad behavior in children, and I’d say it worked for the most part.

Many of these efforts to discipline children were based in the scriptures. Proverbs 22:15 says “folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him,” and  “discipline your son, and he will give you peace: he will bring delight to you soul,” 29:17.

I raised my daughters with discipline, using the rod on them when they willfully disobeyed, and I espouse the biblical view on discipline. However, I was taught to spank them in love, which I interrupted to mean don’t yell and scream at them, but explain their wrongdoing in a loving voice. I also believe the spanking should not be too hard, just enough to get the point across.

Psychology books are for and against spanking, depending on the author and subject, but I do not believe spanking is child abuse. I believe it is correction, but it should be used after all other efforts to control the child have been explored.

Each young mother must make her own decision about whether to spank her child or not. Many mothers don’t spank their children, and I believe in general, children have not benefited from this standard. There are some very patient women who can handle screaming tantrums, and the hysterical behavior of undisciplined children, but I never could maintain my calm during such “fits.” I basically had to spank my girls, because I had no idea what else to do.

Please believe me I am not championing violence towards children, but I know from experience that out-of-control children can destroy property and offend people when left to their own devices. They can become tyrants, demanding everything their parents can give them and then some.

If someone doesn’t teach children not to run amok, throw things and take things that belong to other people, how will they learn? Unfortunately, women are now afraid to discipline their children when they are in public and the children know it. The children know they can do anything they want and their moms and dads can’t touch them if they’re in public. This has resulted in many unfortunate temper tantrums in malls and stores.

Author Laurie Ann Smith of Canada, who was abused as a child and is now a speaker on child abuse, believes the same thing I do, that spanking is not abuse. It is a wake-up call to get the child’s attention. Beating is abuse.

Child abuse is wrong, but correcting a child who is willfully disobeying is “training him up in the way he should go”(Proverbs 22:6). How many of us have been to a home where there are children who have not been disciplined? Usually we can’t wait to leave, because the children have taken over the home. They run, scream and play, often tormenting adults and other children.

Sending children to their room used to be a valid form of discipline and is not abusive. However, today children have so much electronic equipment in their rooms (televisions and computers) that they can happily entertain themselves for hours, so there is often no hardship involved in being sent to their rooms, and the child doesn’t learn anything about his behavior.

I think modern women of the 21st century honestly believe their children are good at heart and would never willfully hurt someone else, but this isn’t scriptural either and is not borne out by experience. Most children are extremely selfish and want their way all the time. If we do not curb this unfortunate behavior, when they become teenagers they do whatever they want. This method of no discipline can lead to some very nasty teenagers who do whatever they want.

So my point of view on this matter is that it’s better to spank a child than let him or her become a tyrant. What do you think? Do you think it’s abusive to spank a child?

Bad Face Day?

Sometimes I wish I was invisible. It happens when I’m tired, relaxing in my pajamas, and have totally neglected my grooming for a day or two. Have you ever done that? As long as no one sees you (husbands excepted), you’re okay, but what if you suddenly have to go out? What can you do to disguise your bad face day?

Suddenly you realize you’re out of something vital such as milk, coffee, ice cream or donuts, or another item that is necessary to your survival on the planet. Maybe your prescription needs refilled. Maybe your son needs a ride to kick-boxing class, or perhaps you left your driver’s license at the market.

Whatever emergency has occurred, you must leave the house. How can you disguise yourself quickly in case you see someone you know? What if they see you?

I’ve got just the remedy for a BAD FACE DAY, and it can be accomplished in five minutes. I timed it.

  1. Immediately put on a maid’s uniform. This has been known to fool many friends and neighbors, but not all. Don’t forget clunky shoes. You need to look like you’ve been cleaning the kitchen floor all day.
  2. Quickly smear WHITE OUT  all over your face. I recommend having at least a gallon of this cover-up ready for use.
  3. Plop a wig on your head. The wig must be a different color than your hair, so people will think you are someone else.
  4. Put a hat or scarf over the wig.
  5. Put on a pair of sunglasses.

By this time you should be disguised enough to fool your neighbors and friends. Move quickly once you’ve left the house. Get to your car immediately and jump in and shut the door. If you move really fast the neighbors can’t get a good look at you and will think you have hired a maid.

Movie stars have the hardest time being invisible. Every time they walk out the door some photographer is ready and waiting to get a picture of them. I can’t imagine a worse fate. If someone snaps a photo of them, a tabloid editor may decide to run the photo in an article called, “Bad Face Days for the Stars,” or “Who’s the Ugliest?” How do they handle it?

They follow the above instructions and remember to move quickly once they’re outside the house. Any photographs that are taken will probably be blurred and the tabloids can’t use them. Ha ha!

There is one drawback to this plan, so watch out for it. You will forget you look terrible and see yourself in a mirror. Inexperienced women have been known to scream. After going to so much trouble to disguise yourself, try not to be frightened by the maid in the mirror.

 

The Wedding Beefcake and The Beef

Women love weddings. We plan for years for the perfect wedding for ourselves and our daughters and spend large fortunes on dresses, food, cake, flowers, reception halls, a band, and invitations. Why do we do this?

Because we love it! It’s our dream day, the one day in our lives when we can let it all out and do exactly what we want. That is, of course unless the groom disagrees. The groom should be told from the get-go that he has no say whatsoever on anything that happens at the wedding, except when he finally says “I do” at the right time.

I think all women love weddings, even those who aren’t related to the people getting married. We get all sweet and gushy when we see a man who is finally giving up his freedom to take care of a woman because he loves her. Unfortunately, to witness this event, we really need to be accompanied by a man.

Have you ever noticed that more women attend weddings as guests than men? Think about it. When was the last time you saw a group of men telling jokes, drinking beer and throwing peanut shells in the back row of the church during a wedding? Honestly now, never! Men would much rather stay home dressed in their sweats than actually sweat it out in a suit in a church. I know there are exceptions to playing wedding hooky, such as pastors who must be in suits in church every week and don’t seem to mind. But in general, I believe men like to avoid getting dressed up and going to weddings.

What we women need to do is begin early in the season to prepare our man for his eventual attendance at a wedding. That’s why the invitations have those little cards you return, telling the bride who will be attending. Once your man has stood by and agreed to attend, and you have sent back your acceptance card, there is no wedding hooky permitted. It’s now compulsory.

At night while he is sleeping speak to his subconscious about it.

“How wonderful it’s going to be to see Megan walk down the aisle in June.”

He manages to wake up enough to mumble, “Who’s Megan?”

“You know the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol.” During this nightly brainwashing be sure to stress how beautiful the bride will be. You know how men like to see pretty women.

A few nights later, tell his subconscious about the food.

“I hear they’re serving filet mignon at Megan and Chad’s wedding in June.”

“Who’s Megan?”

“You know, the beautiful blond daughter of Jim and Carol. She’s marrying Chad.”

“Who’s Chad?”

“Your friend, the groom, who is very fond of cocktails and steak.” In this case use beef and alcohol as the subconscious prize for attending the wedding.

During the pre-wedding brainwashing be sure to stress the beefcake and the beef! Subconsciously you are implanting the idea that the wedding will be a very gratuitous experience for your husband. Finally when the day of the wedding comes and your husband begins his pre-wedding whining you can remain firm in the thought that he will not be playing wedding hooky. Jim and Carol are counting on him to be there for the beef and the beefcake, and he witnessed you filling out the acceptance card.

This subconscious brainwashing should work unless your married to a man like my husband, who simply says, “I ain’t goin,” and tells you to go by yourself.

I’d love your opinion on this issue. Do women love weddings, while men try to avoid them?

Reblogged from June, 2012

 

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them