Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Other Side of Prince (or Princess) Charming...

As I have worked to support individuals, couples, and groups of people navigate the challenges of relationships online, I have come to understand how much easier it is for narcissists and sociopaths to find willing "hosts" to feed their need for control and power ONLINE. The anonymity of online networking, makes it even more appealing for these individuals as anyone can pose as several different people at once, thus creating a steady stream of potential "victims". It is VERY common, and even given my background in mental health, it was difficult to admit that I have also fallen victim to the lures of the narcissist's charm. Being falsely guided by the fantasy, and unsure who is "playing a game" and who is "real" we can all be mislead when engaged in a virtual world. This is not isolated to romantic relationships and can certainly be the interplay between platonic friends with a "non reciprocated trusting giver" and his or her "self focused, chronic taker". The BDSM community is a breeding ground for this type of dynamic and as I've watched this lifestyle become popular in Second Life, I worry about the psychological aftermath of some of these relationships.

I hold no judgements and realize that for some, the D/s lifestyle is very healthy and productive. However, I have encountered far more abusive relationships created under the premise of "consenting exchange of power" that have left people who are very loving and giving in heartbreaking devastation.

I found the article "Grooming Is Not Always Idealization..."a great introduction to how to identify and protect yourself against people who might have their own best interest at heart when drawing you into their web. It is written in the context of a male as abuser, but do not misunderstand that women are just as capable of these behaviors and traits. Other very good posts are "30 Red Flags" and  "Catch Me If You Can: Avoiding Narcissists and Sociopaths" and are both equally full of insight.

I hope that some of you are able to catch yourselves before its too late... and that for those who have already felt the pain of leaving such a relationship, that it will validate the things you've experienced and assist in your healing.

 In Love and Light... <3

Friday, July 12, 2013

"Stand Your Ground": Zimmerman Trial bringing life to "The Purge"?

I have watched the details of the Zimmerman murder trial closely as I always find it curiously convenient which stories the media selects to distract our attention. There have been numerous cases of young African American males (and other minorities of various ages) who have been senselessly murdered or convicted unfairly for similar crimes. I, therefore, begin to ask “why this one….why now?”
Not long after huge debate over gun control following the Sand Hook tragedy, we found ourselves in the middle of a trial for justice for a man who “Stood His Ground” against the threat of a 17 year old African American male who “suspiciously” was walking through the neighborhood eating skittles while on the phone with a female friend. I don’t know about you, but who has a conversation on the phone with someone while scheming to break into someone’s home? A better question is why would you need to get out of your car to determine what street you are on when there are only three streets in the neighborhood and you are on the main street AND are an experienced Neighborhood Watchman?

I am prayerful that justice for Trayvon will be served. What horrible precedent will be set if Zimmerman is allowed to go free after deciding he is above the law? With that kind of enforcement of “Stand Your Ground” -- WHO is to judge when a person feels "threatened" enough to draw a gun and shoot someone they feel is "suspicious"? Additionally, the restrictions placed on our constitutional right to bear arms will make it so much easier to selectively decide who has the ability to protect themselves and who does not...

As we await a decision from the jury, Facebook and Twitter are abuzz with posts and tweets, some very contemptuous, about feelings relative to race and privilege in this country. The timeliness of the controversy around the Aaron Hernandez case and the divide amongst fans relative to his affluence as a rule out for his guilt despite the presented evidence is curious to me. There are even tie-ins with Paula Dean and her recent fall from grace which seem to be fueling a large racial divide around the outcome of this case. It doesn’t seem to matter that both Trayvon and George are minorities (as Zimmerman identifies himself as “Hispanic”) but the idea that “if I feel threatened and think someone is doing dirt against me” I should have the right to “Stand My Ground.” All of the tension and racial debate combined with these ideas make me nervous. Are we slowly allowing the premise behind the movie “The Purge” to manifest in our reality? (Does the scene at 1:11 below seem eerily familiar to you?)

If there is a “Not Guilty” verdict, I pray that each of you will consider what is really on trial here and look more closely at the impact a precedent like this will have on each of us… individually …as “The People.” With more restrictions placed upon our civil rights and regulations that begin to close in on who will be allowed to own weapons, we “The People” seem to be slowly backed into a corner by those in authority, while we argue and point fingers at one another! 

Please do not fall victim to further division amongst us … many of whom will be impacted the most by the precedent that could be set here.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall…

…Justice for Trayvon is Justice for All …

One Love ... Acu <3

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