Image: Focus Adolescent Information
My last post on Emotional Abuse got a lot of traffic and reaction. I rest my case. We still need to be working on this aspect of abuse because it is the hardest one to manage in my opinion because the damage can’t necessarily be seen. It can be covert , underhanded and hidden abuse. In no way does that mean I think we should be less aware of or less active in dealing with other forms of abuse. No way. Unfortunately history keeps repeating itself, we don’t learn and we just keep allowing abuse to continue. It has to stop. I’d like to think we are the generation and century of human beings who can change this. We have the brains, the insight, the tools and connectivity. Since my last post emotional abuse has been better identified. That’s a big step in the right direction. People need to know what it is. They need to know it happens and they need to know what it looks and feels like.
Image: Education Experts
The next step will be just as big but much harder. We need to work out ways of shutting it down and stopping it. We also need to understand why people do this to others. Joining together and bringing all our ideas to the table will help untangle a lot of this. All abuse needs to be out in the open no matter how hard that is to confront and deal with. It’s the first step. Allowing it to go on behind closed doors is no longer good enough. We need the research, the experts, the documentation. It doesn’t matter whether it’s cyber bullying, family emotional abuse, abuse within a personal relationship, at work , from an organisation looking at it clearly and then approaching it methodically is our only hope. Focus Adolescent Services identifies it very clearly and has some excellent links out to other related information.
It is never too late. There are lots of strength training programmes now and many are based on decent research to show the benefits of strength training for older people. Not all of them are gym centred. Some are chair exercise classes and others are strength training around simple props like the stretchy bands. It makes a difference. It means older people are taking control of their health.It means they are stronger and more mobile. They are more comfortable walking around and doing their daily tasks and some are even participating in marathons and high level sporting activities. The research being done has provided solid information as to the benefits but it has also looked at the best ways to help older people engage in strength training. COTA is one of the organisations which offers strength training classes for older people. Older people need to keep their muscle tone and bone density. They need to keep their flexibility and balance. All these things are achievable with help and proper guidance and it is making life for older people more independent and positive.
Most people are kind. There are a few who are not but the vast majority of the human race is considerate and kind. You get busy , though or stressed or preoccupied and kindness just doesn’t flow as easily as when you are relaxed. Shari’s Berries blog has a random act of kindness generator which can be used in so many ways. You can click it and get a random . You can focus on just family or just work colleagues. You can also download the whole list of acts of kindness and you could customise it to suit your mood and how you want be. You could create challenges. They really make you feel good. I did one last year and some of it was actually hard but I learned so much and it was just a positive contribution to my life even though I was the one doing the acts of kindness. It works. It creates a well world and a well you.
Kids Under Cover is a charity which is providing a simple yet effective solution to youth homelessness. Young people, like other people, become homeless for a variety of reasons. Kids Under Cover has taken on the challenge of youth homelessness to at least work on that. The video explains some of what it does. Their site explains more:
We respond to the needs of young people at risk of becoming homeless due to extreme conflict or overcrowding within the family home, mental health issues, and the housing affordability crisis. Taking an early-intervention approach to preventing youth homelessness by combining accommodation and scholarships for young people at-risk of homelessness.
It’s the early intervention approach which is invaluable. Stepping in to resolve and solve issues before another life is stopped in its tracks. We need to find ways of supporting young people and their families through difficult circumstances and Kids Under Cover is a way of looking at a tough situation and finding a practical pathway to success. One of the things the organisation does is have a cubby house challenge where the bespoke cubby houses are auctioned off to raise funds. You can read about it here because it is an innovative and novel approach to fund raising and awareness raising which has been very popular. It’s a great way to encourage our builders and architects and then involve the general public. All in all it’s a very positive and winning scenario. The next cubby house challenge is March 2017.
There is a fine line between dealing with and managing a control freak and being the victim of emotional abuse. Victim being the operative word. If you feel like a victim , you probably are and you need to get the help to deal with that frame of mind and set of behaviours. Easier said than done depending on the nature of the controlling behaviour. We all like to be in control. We want our coffee the way we want it. We want to be able to relax in the way we relax. We want to make phone calls the way we make them and do our washing the way we do it. We need to bring control freak back into common parlance so that we recognise unhealthy controlling behaviour in ourselves and then unhealthy controlling behaviour in others. It is really difficult when they play a key role in your life. uncommonhelp gives some really practical advice as to how to deal with control freaks. The best bit is that it is all doable so even if you find it hard to stand up for yourself you have a chance of being able to master these suggestions. Dr Judith Orloff analyses the situation better so that you can get some clarity. That’s important. Often you feel very confused. There is usually a reason that people become controllers. We shouldn’t minimise the behaviour by calling them micro managers or helicopter parents. wikihow explains really well the difference between someone who has strong views and boundaries and one who is a controller. Sorting it out for yourself is how you manage it. If you are not able to do that , it is important to use trusted, successful people to get help and information.
Why shouldn’t here be a song about Slough as there are songs about New York, Paris, Chicago? There are films about the Snowy River, Paris, Seattle. Why not Slough? Why don’t North American Indians call themselves pelican names when they are happy with Sitting Bull, Hawkeye, Lone Wolf? Why can’t people have mental legs as they do a mental head? Why do we think one person is weird and another one is okay? Why shouldn’t we have songs about anything we like? The French make songs about cucumbers, run away dogs, picnics, voyeurs, cigarettes. I didn’t know what I was going to get when I went to see David Brent. I just knew I liked Ricky Gervais and what he stood for. I know he is a complex thinker and can fight effectively for animal rights. I know I liked The Office .The film is set in and around Slough, Berkshire where Ricky Gervais was born. The humour is British and I had some really good laughs throughout the film. It’s a complex film, though, and not to be given a post modern reading. You listen to the song lyrics, you know the actor is being a character you know who is then reflecting on that character. The film questions how we define normality and how we define mental illness. It clearly examines how mental illness is not a disease, it’s not an illness as such, but a person with hopes, thoughts, dreams, relationships and more than anything, feelings. A person is not this bit or that bit but a collection of traits, experiences and thoughts and is a whole . It’s a Gestalt reading of human behaviour. We are not our fatness or thinness or our job or the clothes we put on. We are all sorts of things and some of those things are transient, some of them are determined as acceptable by the norms of society. He questions political correctness, body image, language usage, content of popular culture, work place expectations. It is a film which puts everything under a lens but not in an arduous way. It’s thought provoking and it makes you wonder. If you are familiar with people with mental illness there is a lot which you can relate to. You could even be asking yourself well, maybe it’s not right to call someone that when all they are is a square peg in a round hole. Who are we to put down and judge? Where did we get the parameters from to judge them? You don’t ask yourself that, though. You look at the film and realise people are people and they are all on the road of life trying to get somewhere and trying to do their best at getting there. I really enjoyed this film and I am glad I went to see it. It will be one of my favourite films. I need to think about it some more!