Monday, April 30, 2012

What Forgiveness really means

This subject really interests me because I have had several people continually wrong me in my life with no thought that they had ever done so and no hope of apology or any kind of change in them. Dr. Fred Luskin talks about Forgiveness being for the abused; not the abuser. It's a way for us to move on with life and have a more positive attitude and circumstance. It is surrounding ourselves with safe people, and realizing that repeat offenders will most likely make us angry, sad, hurt or dissapointed again. It is not expecting anything, but HOPING for what you would like, and realizing it is not always within our power to grasp. Hope and change are always possible.
 He encourages healing through forgiveness. He states that forgiveness is not condoning or making excuses for bad behavior, or accepting that your circumstance is unchangable.You can leave! You can file a Protective Order, Restraining Order, TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY!
However, sometimes the person who hurts you is a parent, sibling or old friend. It may be hard to control when you see them or not, and how they act. But, you can control your emotional and verbal responses to their innapropriate behavior. This is Chris William's journey of Forgiveness.

 The person who has deeply hurt you; emotionally, physically, mentally or phsychologically will one day have to answer to a Higher Power. We cannot try to be God, Allah, "The Great Spirit" or the Master of the Universe. He has all control we do not. I really like the way that Dr. Luskin talks about Forgiveness and trying to enforce UNENFORCABLE Rules.We need to let go and let God and realize we cannot make a person behave a certain way.

The Nine Steps to Forgiveness
1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and no one else.

4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what offended you or hurt you two minutes—or 10 years—ago.3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning the action. In forgiveness you seek the peace and understanding that come from blaming people less after they offend you and taking those offenses less personally.
5. At the moment you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body’s fight or flight response.
6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are “unenforceable rules:” You will suffer when you demand that these things occur, since you do not have the power to make them happen.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you.
8. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving power over you to the person who caused you pain, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have.
9. Amend the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your heroic choice to forgive.

A Church Parish Pastor Shares his thoughts on Luskin's Forgiveness Technique;

Busted Halo-An Online Magazine for Spiritual Seekers;

The Power of Forgiveness:
                                         Stand in the Other's Shoes

Everett Worthington talks about our tendency at times to “ruminate” over our grievances, bringing them up every once in a while and chewing on them again, as it were. “Ev” is working on ways to measure unforgiveness - the amount of grudge and resentment we hold over an event.
He has developed some techniques that prove useful. One of them is the two-chairs technique. Someone with a grievance sits in Chair A and addresses a real but absent offender sitting in Chair B, telling him how he feels. The subject is then asked to move to Chair B and respond as the offender might. Sitting in the offender’s place to explain why they acted as they did, the offended subjects are forced to think “outside the box,” to put themselves in the other’s place, perhaps seeing for the first time circumstances they had previously overlooked. This can open the way for seeing both sides of the story, and, eventually, to forgiveness.(More at;

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Domestic Violence

Last year I took a class that was required for my Human Development & Family Studies Major.
The class was called; Family Violence. There were a lot of pictures of abuse and there were too many instances where I was horrified, cried, and was distraught because of what had happen to the spouses and children of an abuser.

An abuser can be; male, female, transgender, black, white, red, blue, orange or purple. They can be of any ethnicity or of any race in the world. The abuser could be physically abusing you at home, or verbally and emotionally abusing you at work, school or at other locations. They could be stalking you, following you or monitoring your internet, computer, phone and personal device use. They may be reading your emails, your history on your devices, and most of the time they are completely untrustworthy and scary. However, occasionally they can be apolagetic and promise that they will change, their behavior changes for a short time and they may give the victim gifts to help them get over the event. Remember, you have the right to feel safe, be safe and to be loved, valued and respected. If you feel threatened; physically, emotionally, mentally or psychologically: seek a safehouse. Find some shelter with someone your abuser doesn't know and seek refuge.Center for Women and Children in Crisis: , Safehouse;
Call the Utah information LINKLine: 1­800­897­link (5465)

Domestic Violence Shelters In Utah (

Utah Domestic Violence Shelters:
  • Utah Domestic Violence Advisory Council Salt Lake City UT 84103 801-538-4100
  • Blanding Safehouse Office of Social Services Blanding UT 84511 Business #: 801-678-3211
  • YWCA  Brigham City UT 84302 Business #: 801-734-2233
  • Color Country Cottage Women’s Crisis Center Cedar City UT 84720 Business #: 801-865-7443 Hotline/Crisis: 801-586-3842 Toll Free: (800)953-3842

  • Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency Logan, UT 84323 Business #: 435-753-2500 Hotline/Crisis: 435-753-2500
  • Seekhaven Moab UT 84532 Business #: 801-259-2229
  • YCC of Northern Utah UT 84001 Business #: 801-392-7273
  • Domestic Peace Task Force P.O. Box 682141 Park City UT 84068
  • Coleen Quigley Women’s Center  Price UT 84501 Business #: 801-637-6850
  • The Center for Women & Children in CrisisProvo UT 84063 Business #: 801-374-9351
  • Hotline/Crisis: 801-377-5500
  • New Horizon Crisis Center Richfield UT 84701 Toll Free: (800)343-6302
  • Women In Jeopardy Program YWCA Salt Lake City UT 84111 Business #: 801-355-2804 Hotline/Crisis: 801-355-2804

  • Office of Social Services  St. George UT 84770 Business #: 801-673-9691
  • Tooele Safehouse Office of Social Services Tooele UT 84074 Business #: 801-833-7300
  • Women’s Crisis Center Uintah Basin Counseling: Vernal UT 84078 Business #: 801-781-0743
  • Project Sanctuary West Jordan UT 84088 Business #: 801-255-5501

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence in the state of Utah, please contact the above numbers.
Peace and Safety my Friends

This is the Cycle of Abuse from;

  • Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)
Tension Building
  • Abuser starts to get angry
  • Abuse may begin
  • There is a breakdown of communication
  • Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
  • Tension becomes too much
  • Victim feels like they are 'walking on egg shells'
  • Abuser may apologize for abuse
  • Abuser may promise it will never happen again
  • Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
  • Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims
  • Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
  • Physical abuse may not be taking place
  • Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
  • Victim may hope that the abuse is over
  • Abuser may give gifts to victim

The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. 

It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the 'making-up' and 'calm' stages disappear.  

What is Dating Violence?(From

Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.

A Pattern of Behavior

Calling dating violence a pattern doesn't mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time. Here is a model of how it works:

Tension Building

Things start to get tense between a teen and their dating partner.


The abuser apologizes, trying to make up with his or her partners and to shift the blame for the explosion to someone or something else.
Cycle of Violence


There is an outburst of violence that can include intense emotional, verbal, sexual and/or physical abuse.
Every relationships is different, but the one thing that is common to most abusive dating relationships is that the violence escalates over time and becomes more and more dangerous for the young victim.

Power and Control

The definition also points out that at the core of dating violence are issues of power and control. The diagram below from details how violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over his or her partner.

Your Inner Thoughts and FeelingsYour Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:
  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless? 
Does your partner:
  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for their own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or ThreatsYour Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you? 
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?


Victim Beware: You are on an emotional roller coaster ride that will wear you down and deplete your self-esteem!
The Tension-Building Stage: The angry person becomes increasingly controlling during this period, which may take days, weeks, or even years to evolve and progress. Limits are imposed on the partner. For example, the abuser may decide what clothes look "right" on the partner, or what image is portrayed. They may try to define whom the partner may or may not speak with and about what, etc. The control is insidious and progressive. As tension and control increase, the partner attempts to accommodate the abuser in order to keep peace, to please the abuser, or for some similar reason. Despite actions the partner takes, the abuser becomes increasingly remote, contemptuous, critical, preoccupied, or otherwise on edge. The tension and control increase until culminating in the abuse stage.
The Abuse Stage: A major verbal, emotional or physically abusive incident occurs that was instigated by the abuser. A trivial event is often used to trigger the main event. The abuser actively looks for excuses to blow up over, and may set their partner up in a no-win situation. One angry man found reason to verbally abuse his girlfriend and destroy her property because he did not like the size of the pot she was boiling eggs in. Needless to say, the pot had nothing to do with anything. This opportunist had simply received a nod from a former lover, decided to change girlfriends, and wanted an out. The victim is often left feeling hurt - and confused.
The Remorse Stage: Once the blows are delivered, the abuser is calmed. Having blown off steam and regaining composure, the abusive person is full of apologies and promises never to do "it" again - if the partner distances. The more distanced the victim, the more intensely the abuser pursues...and pursues...and pursues. The abuser can be so charming and complimentary, the codependent victim's heart breaks. There is a compelling need to believe their abuser's promises and pleas and take them back. The more codependent and insecure the partner, the more vulnerable they are to the partner's attentive remorse. Abusers during this phase are wonderful! A "normal" person is unlikely to be so compelling and persistent in winning over their partner's love - because they have no reason to be.
As the relationship progresses, the abuse cycle typically escalates in intensity and in the temporal contiguity of its negative aspects. The abuse lasts longer and becomes more pronounced, while the loving remorse dwindles.
The abuser loves a good challenge. The goal is to win the victim back, at any price. At a distance, the partner is perceived as emotionally "safe." The harder the abuser has to work to win back his or her victim, the more the victim is appreciated. Once the relationship resumes, the abuser's mistrust prompts their poor recall of any tender feelings. Their fear inevitably powers the resumption of the abuse cycle. 
Doc's Advice: Trust ACTIONS, not words.

You and your children have rights! Be safe, make an escape plan!!!!!!!

Hugs! Chelsea