Poem #236

The emptiness of this room whispers
to me with the same pain you had in your voice:
“Sometimes love just isn’t enough”

With those words you made the poetess
in me want to set on fire all of the poems she wrote.
If not love, then what?

#savingme – Shame, shame

This is the hardest post I’ve made so far.

Shame is a hard topic for me. I hate parts of myself and I am working on healing them, but honestly it has not been easy for me.

I spent years feeling ashamed and alone. I had this idea in my head that if I let anyone get close, they would inevitably hurt me. I fought against myself. I would run away from relationships or I would let someone in and then push them away.

I started to add more Shame on top of the shame I already had. I started drinking to numb the pain, and all that did was cause more pain. I was stuck in a vicious cycle.

It wasn’t until a counselor told me that I had it all wrong, did I really start to understand the root of my fears. He taught me about transferred emotions. An idea that was foreign to me.

TRANSFERRED EMOTIONS

He explained that when we are young, under the age of 10 or so we don’t understand what shame is. Yes we know the difference between right and wrong. We can feel bad about something and scared of being punished, but at that age, shame is something we can only feel if it is transferred to us by someone else’s actions.

This is not to say you can’t have emotions transferred to you as an adult, you certainly can and it happens all the time.

For me it was the daily abuse, and eventually sexual abuse (at the age of 7),that I suffered from. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I truly understood what happened. I felt dirty and unclean.

I kept asking myself questions:

Why did this happen to me?

Was I a bad kid?

Did I even deserve to live?

The last thought plagued my mind for almost 15 years and still surfaces now and then.

NOT YOUR FAULT

I don’t know if I’ll ever be fully healed, but at least I am trying. One thing I have figured out, is that I am not to blame for my abuse. There was nothing I could have done to change what happened, it wasn’t my fault.

I did make some choices that I am not proud of, and while I probably made some of these choices because of my trauma, they were still my decisions.

I am making amends with my choices in the best way I can, by being a better person. I have been sober for years and while there have been some slip ups, I have never stopped trying to be a better person.

I hope this helps other people who have gone through, or are going through similar situations. While writing this is harder than I thought it would be, it definitely makes me feel better than I thought it would.

So, if anyone out here has been through verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse, it’s not your fault.

People make choices and no one has the right to abuse you, and you don’t have the right to transfer that emotion on to another, just because you were abused.

Abuse is never an option and you deserve better.

Blog: https://oneregulardad.home.blog/

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here. 

Positivity Press #50

It happened shortly after we were married. My wife and I were out driving one day when something caused us to pull off to the side of the road.

We stopped for a few minutes and as we started driving off again we looked each other in the eye and made a promise to each other to never NOT do what we had just done.

And 33 years later, we’ve managed to keep that promise.

So what exactly could have caused us to pull off the road that day that led us to making such a lifetime commitment?

A kid’s lemonade stand, of course!

lemonadestand

We had just been married a couple of weeks, and we were driving around trying to get familiar with our new neighborhood. We noticed that a couple of kids had set up a classic lemonade stand on the corner. They had a homemade posterboard advertising the business and a small table with a pitcher of lemonade and some dixie cups beside it.

My wife suggested that we stop, and I still remember how excited the kids were that someone was stopping to buy their lemonade. We bought two cups, left a generous tip (probably a quarter), and as we drove away, we couldn’t stop talking about how such a simple transaction could make someone feel so happy. And we weren’t talking about the kids, we were talking about ourselves. (The kids selling the lemonade seemed pretty happy too 🙂 )

So it was right then and there that we made a pledge to each other that we would ALWAYS stop at a kid’s lemonade stand whenever we saw one, and I think we’ve held true to that promise.

In fact, what inspired this post is the fact that I stopped at a lemonade stand today. It was an easy one to stop at; it was on a quiet street, and it was set-up on the side that I was driving. That’s not always the case; over the years we’ve done u-turns and crossed four lane highways just to get a cup of lemonade and keep our promise to each other.

I also think that over the years I’ve grown to appreciate lemonade stands even more.

To me, it’s a tradition that reminds me of simpler times. Kids are outside with their friends; there’s no electronic gadgets necessary to sell lemonade; kids are doing it because they want to, no one is forcing them to do this; kids get excited when you leave a tip, no matter the size of the tip.

I’ve also gotten more sophisticated over the years in the questions I ask these budding entrepreneurs. It used to be simple questions like “Are you having fun?” or “Is this your first time to sell lemonade?” Now I ask them if they know what their profit margin is on each cup, if they’ve calculated the cost of acquiring a customer, if they’ve tried split testing different marketing approaches, if they plan to expand to other neighborhoods, if they’ve considered franchising, if they have an exit plan, or if they’ve thought about an IPO someday.

Of course my wife just tells me to be quiet, and to leave a big tip.

Our own kids even would set up the occasional lemonade stand. They really hit the jackpot when they discovered how popular a lemonade stand would be at Villanova University on move-in day. They would make enough that one day to not worry about having another lemonade stand until next year’s move in day. Of course, like any good business idea, other kids started to do the same thing, and then it got so out of control that the local police had to shut down the stands. As an interesting side note, one of the stands shut down was being run by a couple of Andy Reid’s sons. Reid was the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles at the time.

And who knows what great things could be accomplished using the simple idea of a lemonade stand.

Alexandra “Alex” Flynn Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer, two days before her first birthday. In July 2000, in spite of her own failing health, she decided to open a lemonade stand, aided by her older brother, to raise money to help children with cancer. They held an annual “Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer” on the family’s front lawn. Her first lemonade stand raised over $2,000 and turned into an annual tradition.

In 2004, Alex passed away at the age of eight at her house with her parents at her side. By that time, her stand and inspiration had raised more than $1 million toward finding a cure for the disease that took her life.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by her parents in 2005 to continue the work that Alex began. Since Alex set up her first lemonade stand in 2000, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million.

So the next time you see a lemonade stand, please stop and buy a cup. Who knows, you could be funding the next Steve Jobs, helping to find a cure for cancer, or simply making some kid’s day. All those quarters can make a difference, and a happy marriage.

Blog: https://jborden.com/

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If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Poem #232

I see you hiding in the shadows
of what they told you that you should be.

I can feel your heart break every time
they bend your will.

Step into the light, there’s nothing to hide.

The world always judged those
carrying change in their heart.

#savingme – You are a survivor

In my post “The story behind the name Luna” I shared a part of my story about domestic abuse. It actually gave me courage to dive deeper into this problem and open up about it here because I think this is a great community to share such stories and help each other. It took me years to speak about the torment my father put me through and I can relate to many children who were abused and today I want to write a little bit about how to deal with abuse after it’s done.

When I was 11,12 years old the problem with my father started solving and it wasn’t over until a few months ago. I haven’t lived with him for years and I last saw him and spoke to him about 5 years ago. That chapter of my life is over now but it still takes me a great amount of strength to close that chapter in my head. My problem was that I identified myself with what he has done to me and I believe that’s the problem of many abused children out there. We develop a bad opinion about ourselves based on what the person who abused us had done to us. We often feel like we aren’t worthy of anything, become introverted, depressed, scared to live the lives we deserve and we can’t step out of our pasts. Going through abuse leaves a strong scar on the one’s personality, sometimes even on our bodies and I will be quite honest and say it’s impossible to hide that scar or erase it so wear it proudly!

Don’t be ashamed of yourself and of who you are and of what you’ve been through. Instead of waking up every morning feeling like you are worth less than others, feeling like you will never reach happiness, wake up and say to yourself “I’ve been through hell and I survived that. World, bring it on because I can handle you!”. Don’t call yourself an abuse victim but rather call yourself a survivor because that’s what you are. Your body and mind were strong enough to handle the weight of abuse and I know how heavy that weight is and you are still here. You are biting and scratching your way through life. You know how to handle difficult situations and your power can never be drained out. Even when depression hits and you feel worn out just repeat those words to yourself.

Who you are depends only on what you want to be so be a survivor, be a warrior and show the world there’s happiness after abuse. Learn how to show your scars to the world and demand respect for them and respect your own past because if it wasn’t for it you wouldn’t be the strong person you are. Even if you feel weak, trust me you’re not. Shift your state of mind and you will turn your life around. Remember: You are a warrior, you are a survivor.

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#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to savingmestory@gmail.com and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here.