The Sandbox Writing Challenge #47 — Huh?

It’s time for another one of Calen’s questions. This one is from July 12th. Hopefully, I will eventually catch-up with them. This one also made me pause and think, and I will try to keep it a bit more on the light-hearted side then the heavy side of recent questions.

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What don’t you understand?

I am curious by nature and spend a lot of time doing research on various interests, but I will admit that there are some things that I just cannot quite grasp. I don’t know if it is because I am more right-brained than left-brained or if I just have a mental block on some subjects. I have an excellent grasp on most things creative – art and literature, to be sure, and I am also very interested in history. I enjoy music, but cannot read music to save my life. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the same with higher levels than Calculus with Math. I can grasp some understanding of science, but when it gets deep into Quantum Physics, I go all “what the fuck?” Math and Science really do interest me though. I am fascinated by those who understand them and can articulate them, even if I don’t completely understand.

It may come as a surprise to many, but one place I have a lot of difficulty is reading comprehension. I read well and I understand all of the literary techniques, but when it comes to relaying those things back to others, I get a mental block. That’s hard to share, especially since I am an avid reader and a writer. I have to keep “cheat sheets” on all things literary so that I know what a writer means when they use a literary device and I know how to use them myself when I write. But there are literary techniques that I just cannot understand. The worst one for me is writing form poetry, especially when it comes to writing in iambic pentameter or some other metered form. Doing all that counting to get a correct rhythm just confuddles the hell out of me. Maybe I am lacking a rhythm gene. I had a professor in college who kept trying to get me to write in Blank Verse, but I just couldn’t grasp the concept. I don’t seem to have that problem when writing Haiku, Senryu or Tanka though. Does not understanding meter make me a bad poet? Perhaps. Or perhaps I don’t need to understand those things to write decent free-style poetry, which is what I mostly write anyway.

So yes, there are many things that impact me as a curious-minded person that I don’t quite understand, that I get mental blocks, and have many head-scratching moments over. That doesn’t stop me from continuously attempting to understand though. I guess you could say that I keep forcing myself to delve into topics that confuse me in the hopes that eventually my brain will have an “aha!” moment.

Creative Question 17 – Political Porridge

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CQ17: Do we need to rethink our version of democracy; of elections and governance; of reconnecting with real people and their issues?

It is quite the political season, what with the US Presidential election looming, and since I am of a political mindset today, I figured I would attempt to delve into Kate’s Creative Question.

Normally, I am not a politically-minded person, but I am a history buff, so politics does interest me from a historical point of view. And I will admit that I am not a fan of Capitalism. I am a liberal progressive and I believe in inclusivity. I am not in favor of the top 1% having the bulk of the wealth while the lower 99% falls deeper and deeper into poverty. This is what Capitalism has done to this country, not just now, but throughout our history. In the past, huge monopolies gave the top 1% an economic advantage. These capitalists controlled our country’s wealth through our banking, trade and labor systems. The bulk of Americans lived in poverty-like conditions while these wealthy Capitalists lived in luxury. We saw changes during the late 40s and 50s when a middle class emerged through FDR’s policies and our country became economically strong.

So when did it all begin to go wrong? We can trace the decline of the middle class back to the 1980s when Reagan first proposed his “trickle-down” theory. The premise of this was that if we gave corporations (capitalists) huge tax breaks, then they would open more businesses, thus creating more jobs, and the wealth would trickle down to the lower 99%. It continued during GHW Bush’s administration when he first proposed NAFTA, the North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada. This deal was supposed to allow Mexican and Canadian companies to trade openly with the US. It was signed by Bill Clinton during his administration. What happened instead was that US corporations found cheaper labor, mainly in Mexico, and began moving their corporations out of the US and into Mexico. Other trade deals followed in the ensuing years, allowing corporations to move overseas to China, India, Bangladesh, etc. All of these corporations were looking for the same things – cheap labor, a lax on environmental laws, and more money in their pockets. And who got the shaft? American workers, the 99%.

So now we are looking at the same situation that we faced as a country before the 1940s. Capitalism has once again turned us into an economically backwards country. Those at the top love Capitalism because it makes them wealthy. They tell the American people that if we just worked harder, we too could reap the benefits of Capitalism, but they are merely feeding us a pipe dream. We are being lied to by those who hate the very idea that the 99% could be as rich as the 1%. Both sides of our current political agenda want to keep us living in poverty. They occasionally throw us bones to keep us pacified, but the truth is, as long as Capitalism is the American Way, the 99% will always be poor.

So what is the alternative? There are many corporations in this country who do the right thing. They allow unions and incentive programs, like sharing company profits with the workers. These corporations know that American workers are happy and satisfied when they benefit from their labor. Most of these are medium to small-sized businesses. They don’t get the big tax breaks of large corporations. And perhaps, that is what makes these companies better for our current economic situation. But what is more important is that these companies reflect a more socialistic atmosphere.

Socialism isn’t the “devil” that many Capitalist paint it as such, and it definitely is nothing even remotely close to Communism. Socialism is an unselfish form of government. Its premise is that when we help the less fortunate in our communities, we also help ourselves as a whole. It says that even the lessors of our people have value and should be taken care of – children, the elderly, the disabled. And we do this by everyone paying their fair share of taxes, the poorest and, most definitely, the wealthiest. Critics say that Socialism is Un-American, but those critics have been fed the Capitalistic pipe dream for centuries. It goes back to the days of Kingdoms and fiefdoms.  The wealthy deserve to remain wealthy and the poor must just endure. We see Socialism in action in small communities all over this country – charities, churches giving aid, food banks, bake sales for children’s school activities, etc. Capitalistic-minded people even participate in these kinds of events, but they don’t realize that these things embody the very spirit of Socialism.

Our government would benefit from adopting more Socialist ideas by giving incentives to companies that enrich their workers through unions and profit sharing programs, by creating a fair tax plan for all Americans (the poor and wealthy), by investing in schools, our infrastructures, and our health care, and finally, by punishing companies who outsource their jobs overseas. We need to stop being a selfish country where we think of ourselves as individuals and only look out for number one. We all have value and we should all reap the benefits of what this country has to offer.

 

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #46 — A Matter of Perspective

I am still behind on Calen’s challenges, but since they make me reflect, I am determined to continue writing about them. This one is from July 5th and it has definitely challenged me. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it now for well over a week, trying to figure out just what I want to articulate.

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06Whom do you look down upon?

I like to think of myself as an accepting and inclusive person. I try not to judge others or interfere in their decisions about life, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some whom I consider “unsavory” and yes, I do look down upon them. This is a hard thing to admit. Unfortunately, my admittance comes from watching this year’s Presidential election play out. It has been a long time since I’ve been involved in politics. I haven’t voted since John Kerry ran for President back in 2004. I became so disillusioned with the whole process after he walked away without a thorough counting of the ballots when he said he wouldn’t during his campaign. I began to see the political world in a whole new light, but I am not here to discuss conspiracies theories.

So what makes 2016 any different? Donald Trump and his ardent followers. I started paying attention while he was still going through the primary process. I listened to some of the things he was saying, his crassness,  his ability to say anything and everything regardless of how wrong or inflammatory his words were, and how his crowd of fans reacted with enthusiasm over those words. You see, I am a history buff and I have seen crowds respond this way in other historical venues – Hitler and Mussolini’s rise to power in the 1930s to be exact. I know what it looks like when people are angry and upset by the established government who doesn’t seem to care about the “little guys” out there. I know what can happen when a leader is careless with his words (or crass on purpose). Trump has stirred up the sleeping giants in our society – the White Supremacists, racists, bigots, and misogynists. These people now feel not only justified in their thinking, but they also feel like they have been given a mandate by Trump to openly do or say the points in their horrible credos.

Trump has consistently used violence in his campaign speeches – telling his followers to punch anyone who gets in their way, stating that he wants to “knock out” his critics, and alluding to gun owners to assassinate Hillary Clinton and/or any Supreme Court justices she may appoint if she is President. His apologists continually come behind him to clean up his “missteps” and refer to them as mere jokes. But the only people who are laughing are Trump and his followers. The rest of us see the seriousness of his words. Words that could have long term consequences in the future, especially if he becomes President. On August 24, 1964, John Pastore gave the following words during the keynote speech at the DNC about the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater:

“What does the Republican candidate choose to have anything mean at any given moment? This world cannot wait until Saturday to learn what he meant when he spoke on Monday. The man in the White House doesn’t have the luxury of a second choice. He has to be right the first time.”

Pastore’s words are just as important this election as they were fifty-two years ago. We don’t have time for Trump or his apologists to clarify what Trump has said on any given day. If he were President, his words would have to be correct the very first time he said them. If he were to say something inflammatory about a foreign country where our ties are not so strong, we could be facing another major war. We could lose allies. We could even lose the backing of important trading allies. But then, Trump doesn’t seem to care about these things. He has stated that if NATO countries haven’t paid their bills, we won’t defend them. He wants to renegotiate all trade deals and impose huge tariffs on imports. He admires Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Hussein, and Gaddafi. He sees them all as being strong leaders and wants to emulate them. I’ve even read that one of his wives said that he kept copies of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside. These are not the values of Americanism. These are fascist values.

So who do I look down upon at this moment in time? A would-be President who embodies fascism and his ardent followers who embrace his ideas.

Confessions and Thoughts on Hate

I have a confession to make. My family is racist.

This is hard to confess because I’ve always been an inclusive person. I believe in diversity and that all races should be treated equally.

It’s hard living in a household where the N-word is thrown around far too often. Just today, it was used twice. Once by my brother in relations to Black players in the NFL and once by my dad in reference to a Black player attempting to steal a base during a MLB game. They know how I feel about the use of that word, but since when has anything I care about deterred them? Never. Racism is embedded deeply in their hearts and nothing I say or do prevents them from being racists.

I have another confession. They are also anti-gay.

My family knows that I am bisexual and support LGBTQ rights. That doesn’t stop them from throwing around the word “faggot” often. Just recently, my dad said that he didn’t like Tim Kaine (the Virginia Senator who is now Hillary Clinton’s VP pick). Not because of Kaine’s politics, but because in my dad’s eyes, Kaine looks like a “faggot”. That’s his only reason for disliking the man. Doesn’t matter that Kaine is a straight man who is married and has children. Nope. Not in my dad’s eyes.

I’ve heard racial slurs and anti-gay sentiment in my household all of my life. I’ve even heard it from extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins). Living with these people, hearing their disdain for anyone who doesn’t look just like them, has always caused me deep pain. I’ve spoken up, but my words fall on deaf ears. One of my cousins even called me a Commie for my inclusiveness. What she fails to understand is that Communists are not inclusive people either. The proper words would have been a Liberal Socialist, but you cannot tell some people facts.

And now the news is filled with hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny and anti-gay sentiments on a daily basis thanks to the recklessness of Trump’s campaign. These people are crawling out from under their hate-filled rocks in droves. Hatred is fueling violence everywhere in this country.

I am finding myself retreating more and more to my spiritual base. I have to surround myself with crystals, meditate, and practice Ho’oponopono constantly. This isn’t just the sin, evilness, or whatever you want to call it, of a few; we are all responsible. Collectively, we cannot continue to allow such hatefulness to thrive. We have to speak up about it and never stop fighting against it. Love must always triumph over hate.

Creative Questions 16 – Childhood Memories

CC1CQ 16:  Please share a sweet childhood memory?

All of my fondest childhood memories come from the summers I spent with my paternal grandmother between the ages of ten through fourteen. Grandma was a loving, giving woman. She enjoyed simple, yet hard-working things – gardening, milking cows, raising chickens, canning and cooking. Leisure for her was snapping beans on the back porch or listening to her favorite am radio shows in the evenings after cleaning up the kitchen. Anyone who showed up at grandma’s house would be welcomed with a hug and a cooked meal. I don’t think there was ever a moment that a kettle of something wasn’t simmering on the stove.

Grandma also made me feel important. She made my favorite dishes, saved me jars of chunky applesauce, and whipped up batches of pistachio pudding for me every single year that I stayed with her. There were no televisions in her house, but she knew I loved to read and I was always welcomed to browse my aunts’ bookshelves for something to read (two aunts lived with her). Early mornings, I’d help her with the chickens and cows. By mid-morning, we’d been in the garden weeding or picking vegetables. When it was too hot to be outside, we’d go inside, drink lemonade, listen to music on the radio and I’d read while grandma prepared food. She didn’t like anyone fussing around her stove. Evenings were spent snapping beans or peeling and coring apples. At night, we’d gather in the living room to listen to her radio shows and of course, I’d always have a book in tow.

My memory isn’t what it used to be and it fads more and more each day, so I don’t have any specific memories. Just the lingerings of my time with grandma and what we routinely did each day, because with grandma, each day was a routine. She never swayed from her daily chores, even when she was tired or ill. That’s just the kind of woman she was. Always going about the business of doing things. She taught me that and to this day, I function better when I have routines and something to always be doing.

I didn’t get to spend the last summer of her life with her. In 1981, she moved from her farm back to the small town where she raised some of her kids. That summer, her kids refused to allow her to plant a garden because they said she was too old. I did visit a few times that summer and autumn, but I saw how “wilted” she’d become. Gardening was her life’s blood and she was cut off from it. By the following April, grandma passed away in her sleep. I still cherish the values she instilled in me and I’ve missed her every day since.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #45 — Take A Stand!

Time for another catch-up post. This one from June 28th. Calen has perplexed me with this one. Mainly because the title and the question seem to be at odds with one another. Here’s the question:

9_FeelingSmallWhat makes you feel small?

I’ve been thinking about this one for a couple of days because of the juxtaposition of the title and the question. This is not a bad thing though. Many of the things that have made me feel small throughout my lifetime have encouraged me to take a stand. I will give you some examples.

I am a middle child, and throughout my childhood and even into my young adulthood, I always felt “small” in both comparison and contrast to my older sister and younger brother. I was never perfect enough, or loud enough and often left out of opportunities within my family. Sometimes, I still feel small, unwanted, unloved and abandoned. I still feel the sting. However, I didn’t let that smallness prevent me from becoming a self-sufficient woman who went to college and earned three degrees.

I also know the smallness of being stigmatized due to mental illness, not only from society, but also from family and friends. I’ve been shunned, gossiped about, called horrible names, and even lost jobs because of my mental illness. The only way I know to stand up in this instance is to tell my story with the hope that someone out there who has mental illness will hear or read my words and know they are not alone.

And lastly, I’ve known the smallness of living with domestic violence at the hand of a Narcissist. No one can cut you down and make you feel less than human than a Narcissist. They pride themselves in shredding you of all sense of dignity. And because they see you as property to be held onto, it is difficult to get away and stay away from them. Again, only by leaving and telling my story to others, can I take a stand against domestic violence.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #44 — Lighting Up Your World

Another catch-up post, this time for June 21st. Calen has given me a lot to consider with this question:

light-bulb-technology-and-business-by-prophotostock-d7114sxWhat inspires you?

These days, I can’t seem to find inspiration anywhere. It takes me hours to even write journal posts here or in my paper journal. My mind is just too foggy. I have no light-bulb moments, no sparks, no ah-has. The creative side of me is just silent. A deafening silence. When you are accustomed to hearing three distinctive voices in your head giving you inspiration and then they are silenced through medication, it’s almost like being deaf and blind. Everything I do hear or see is bland, dull, monotone. Not even my glorious mountains inspire me these days. Instead of writing or drawing all day, every day, I spend my time binging on Netflix, but even watching my favorite scifi shows doesn’t spark anything within me. I no longer watch as a writer, but now merely to entertain my fogged mind. I keep being assured that this brain-drain won’t be permanent, but I remember how long it took me the last time this happened to recover, and recovery only came once I stopped the medication. I was medicated for 5 years and it took nearly two years un-medicated to get back to my true creative self. So as I struggle with my dilemma of whether to remain medicated or not, I guess I will go back to my deafening silence as I am mentally exhausted just from these two short posts I’ve written tonight.

 

Circle of Friends – July Edition

For July, Raili has asked us to consider “Absent/Lost” Friends. She gives the following questions for us to consider:

As I was getting my head around the theme for July’s Circle of Friends, what kept popping into my mind was the thought of friends who I have somehow ‘lost’. Some of them have died. Some have moved to distant parts. Some have drifted away. With some, we’ve drifted apart. The question then remains, were they friends at all ?  Is there a friendship legacy left behind by those who have passed through my life? The ones who have left an imprint on my heart ? And what about the ones who unexpectedly lob back in? Or the friendship that just picks up again as if it were only yesterday we last met even though it was decades ago. Are these friends ever truly ‘lost’ ?

I’ve stated many times that I have only a very few close friends and that has remained true for the majority of my life. I’ve gone through periods of friendships. I would have two or three friends for a couple of years and then we’d drift apart or we would move on with our lives. I’d make new friends, one or two, and the same thing would happen all over again – the drifting away or new directions. This has not only happened in my personal life, but in my online life as well. I remember so well how important the people from Pagan Lake on Yahoo Chat were to me so very long ago. And those I’d met while playing Vampires: A Dark Alleyway. I spent years getting to know these people, even meeting some of them outside the internet, and now they’ve all drifted from my life as though those moments never happened.

I don’t believe that any of these weren’t real friendships. We were friends because we had so much in common at the time. Many of those friendships helped mold me into the person I am today. To say that they didn’t matter or they weren’t real is ludicrous.

There have been a few times that past friends have come back into my life. With some of them, I was able to pick right back up where we’d left off as though not even a full day had passed between us. With others, it was awkward to see or hear from them again, especially since our lives had taken such very different paths.

I think what is truly important is the memories of those friendships. I’ve written in my journals about most of my past friendships because my memory has been failing for quite some time now. Even now, I cannot remember some of their names without reading back in my journals. Those that I do not have pictures of, their faces are fading away. I write down as much of the experiences that I’ve had with them in order to remember how happy our friendships were. I have to do this on a regular basis these days with each new friend that I make because I know there will come a day when I won’t even remember who I am. This is how I save those who’ve become lost so as not to be forgotten too. It is how I preserve the legacy of those friendships.

The Sandbox Challenge #43 — A Whole in One!

Another catch-up post, this time from June 14th. Raili has given us another pondersome question to write about:

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What makes you feel whole?

In all honesty, I don’t think I have ever felt whole. For my entire life, I’ve had this emptiness inside and try as I might, I haven’t been able to fill it up. I don’t even know what I am devoid of to begin to fill it. I’ve tried to fill it with love, sex, material things, education/knowledge, spiritual matters, and even through my writing and art. And yet I remain empty. Something is missing. I don’t know if it is because of my unusual circumstances (being a walk-in) or if it is my body’s genetic make-up, or even my mental illness.

Most of the time, I feel like a giant black hole that continually sucks in matter, but never gets full. This is probably why I associate so much with darkness as it is void of light, because even when I try to suck in light, only darkness remains. It is quite a conundrum for me. I’ve even thought that perhaps it is my purpose to be empty, in a Buddhist concept sense, but again, perhaps that is only me trying to be whole through a spiritual matter. I’ve even thought that maybe I just enjoy wallowing in my own misery, but being empty doesn’t really make me miserable. It doesn’t give me pleasure either. It’s more like I am neutral about the whole ordeal.

I think I’d like to be whole. It sounds quite lovely and peaceful, but altogether foreign to me. I ponder what it would be like to be filled to capacity with something other than emptiness. But then, perhaps emptiness is my wholeness and I should give up trying to fill it with anything.

 

Creative Questions 15 – Domestic Violence

CQ15 – Domestic Violence: What can I/we do about this?

Domestic violence hits very close to home for me. I’d like to begin with a little information:

First, I think everyone needs to understand that DV (domestic violence) isn’t just physical violence. PV (physical violence) is generally the endgame of DV. DV often begins with mental and emotional abuse which can and generally does escalate into PV. Many of the abused endure years and years of mental and emotional abuse. Sometimes, the abusers will use degradation, insults, and mind games long before they raise a fist. It is easy to overlook these abuses early on in relationships because the abused is still in the honeymoon phase and deeply in love with the abuser. Many shrug off these attitudes as the abuser is just having a bad day or they didn’t mean it and move on. The abusers will even use those as excuses. There may even be moments of PV involved – a slap across the face, a push or shove, or objects thrown. And then comes the apologies and the make-ups and the wash-overs. Some of these DV moments may even be rare in the beginning, but rest assured, they will escalate. This period is known as “testing the waters” of tolerance for such things. Will the abused fight back or capitulate? The more often the capitulation, the more certain the DV will progress. (Note: some may think that this is victim-blaming, but it is not. The abused may not even realize that he/she is capitulating. He/she may just be trying to keep the peace, but this IS what the abused is watching out for in these early stages. Each give-in, regardless of how small, is all a part of their game.)

Although DV can happen in any home, there is a mindset that comes along with most chronic abusers.

  1. They were most likely abused at some point in their childhood, or saw abuse to a parent as a child.
  2. They were quite likely either a bully or the bullied as children.
  3. Some have a narcissistic personality or are sociopaths

Narcissistic abusers usually prey on anyone whom they consider to have a weak personality (whether or not they do). As a general rule, they like companions who are compromisers, introverts, easily persuaded, or who have an illness of some kind that make them vulnerable. Narcissists like to control others. Sociopaths usually seek companions who are popular, extroverted and have strong wills. They consider those types of personalities a challenge and delight in tearing them down. These are not hard and fast rules, just as not all abusers are Narcissists or Sociopaths, but the majority are one or the other, or both. Keep in mind, Narcissists generally do their abusing covertly during the early stages of relationships; Sociopaths generally do their abusing out in the open and early on, especially with PV. Neither of these have the ability to show genuine remorse for their deeds or compassion toward their victims.

My own personal story begins with a 13 year marriage to a Narcissist. When we met, I was an independent woman in my mid-thirties. I’d always worked and taken care of myself. However, I’d just been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. Keep that in mind. Our relationship began fairly well. He was a generous man and attentive. We had some ideological differences, but for the most part, we had a lot in common and got along fairly well. The abuse began slowly. He would occasionally criticized me about my weight, even as he would say that he preferred “plump” women (we had met in a BBW chatroom on AOL!). He would try to enact “rules” about how he wanted things done, even though he was a truck driver and only home 4 days a month. And he tried to dictate which friends I could have or family members I could associate with. All of this was subtle for the first 4 years of our marriage. Then he decided we needed to move 1000 miles away from all of my current friends and my family.

During these first four years, I was dealing with my mental illness, often having numerous medication changes which altered my own personality. His subtle mental and emotional abuses were, however, beginning to impact my life. To keep the peace and my sanity, I often capitulated – a grave mistake. Giving in to his desire to move from VA to OK was the biggest capitulation that I made. After the move, the DV only escalated more. He had me isolated, often completely alone for weeks at a time, and at his mercy. He didn’t want me to work because of his paranoia that someone would break into our home with no one there, and since I was dealing with my mental illness, I agreed not to work. I had no friends and any time I tried to make one, he found reasons not to like the person and would do everything in his power to make me or  that friend break our friendship. Even the criticisms increased. By this time, I’d lost quite a bit of weight due to depression and even that didn’t please him. In fact, it only made matters worse. My body was now completely distasteful to him and he made no qualms about telling me so (he had a large breast fetish and mine had shrunk considerably due to the weight loss). The mind games came more often too. He would deliberately hide things and then put the objects back after I’d searched for days and worked myself into a frenzy over it. He’d call me crazy and erratic for my behavior and say other humiliating things to me over the incidents. If I did anything that displeased him, he would rant and rave and throw horrible screamfest tantrums. It would be nine years before the PV began. This came with pushing and shoving and throwing things at me. Thankfully, he never struck me outright, but the shoves into objects resulted in back and shoulder injuries. Those are just small examples of the abuse I endured. I will save why I stayed and how I managed to leave for another post some day.

I know this has been a long-winded reply to the question asked and I haven’t even answered the question, but I felt that some information and my own personal story were important. So, what can I/we do about Domestic Violence?

  1. We need to teach our children that violence is not the solution. This means both female and male children because not all abusers are males.
  2. We also need to teach our children that their lives have value and meaning, to give them a sense of confidence about themselves, and to ensure them that they do not deserve to be abused.
  3. If you are a parent and you see signs of narcissism and/or sociopathy in your child, get him/her and yourself psychiatric/therapy help ASAP. Although there doesn’t appear to be permanent treatments for these two disorders, there are some indications that early therapy can help.
  4. We need to educate the public more on DV, especially the police and the judiciary. Speak up and speak out about your own personal stories or those of friends and family.
  5. If you are the victim of DV, LEAVE as soon as you are able and get into programs for DV survivors – safe houses, therapy, and support groups. This involves a plan to leave – storing money and clothing somewhere safe for you and your children, finding a safe place to go, and developing an escape plan (when to safely leave).
  6. Remember, a restraining order may or may not keep you safe. The best option is to move far away from the abuser, if you are able. And, unfortunately, that may not even keep you safe. Depending on how violent the abuser, he/she will do anything to keep you his/her victim. That is why education on DV is so important!

I am sure there are other solutions to this problem, but my mind is growing foggy, so I will leave it at this for now.