At Thanksgiving, my wife and I celebrate by stating what we are the most grateful for in the past year. Countless thanks go out to her for being employed and healthy. Due to her employment, I have health insurance and the ability to seek medical attention when it is necessary. Even though I have a list of medical conditions and quirky foibles, my wife has been by my side for 27 years and continues to love me. She is a blessing that goes beyond the mysteries of life, a partner who encourages me to reach for the impossible, and a friend who supports my efforts to be as authentic as I can be.
My thanks are for endless moments of incredible joy and happiness we have together observing the sunsets in Portugal, swimming in the Dead Sea in Jordan, exploring the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico, and climbing the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. The mist in the distance of the cliffs remind me of reading books like The Mists of Avalon, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. These books have fueled my imagination for creating characters in my novels who seek truth and unconditional love, and who are challenged continually by life’s traumatic events.
I am honored to receive the 2018 Living Now Evergreen gold medal presented to my book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness. The Living Now awards are given to books that change people’s lives. When I had a six percent chance of survival, I wrote this book which transformed my life. Many readers have given me feedback that the book has transformed their lives as well. I truly believe that healing from illness and trauma starts in the soul where the spark of life is fueled and fortified.
I am beyond grateful for creating “The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing” (TRUTH) program that helps people heal from all types of trauma. TRUTH program is a tremendous gift which allowed me the time to research proven techniques to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit of the participants who make a continual commitment to heal from trauma. I am grateful for their endless efforts to resolve issues including physical, sexual, and emotional harm.
Being asked to write monthly articles for Sibyl Magazine has been a highlight of my year. I want to thank Sibella Publications and staff for allowing me to help women who are trying to heal from trauma. Surviving trauma can be a very lonely place, but it is my hope that readers have found their voices and courage in my words. Stories of sexual abuse and assault need to be told – and told often – to eliminate this terrible wrong in the world.
Also, I am grateful for my friends who pick me up in dark times, celebrate the good times, and are my true family. We are all warriors in our world of constant change. This Thanksgiving I am overflowing with a soul filled with gratitude and a life filled with blessings.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Sacred circles are not new. Creating a sacred circle was performed in ancient times when my ancestors wanted to honor their deity and to be protected from wild animals and fierce tribes. Evidence reveals that these circles appeared as early as 300,000 years ago. The sacred circle has grown more acceptable in many cultures. When I am in a sacred circle, I am open to all my emotions and beliefs. I can take an honest look at my own fears and blocks, seek protection and healing, and focus on being safe and centered. Every night when I create a sacred circle around myself, I ask the Divine Spirit and the four directions to help me create a circle so strong that I feel safe from past threats and daily world bombardments.
In my childhood I did not have the benefit of a sacred circle to tell the truth, even though the first lesson I learned as a child was to always tell the truth. For children, like me, who were physically and sexually, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically abused and traumatized, this lesson becomes a dire challenge. Frequently threatened and told to lie, I found myself ebbing further and further away from the truth. The result was a life filled with trauma and untruths.
Within a sacred circle I do not forget my memories, I feel safe to express my feelings including anger and fear. I can tell the truth without repercussions. In my past, I consulted medical resources on trauma that caused stress and pain in my body. I wanted a prescription to take this stress and pain away, so I would not have to suffer, but I was not given a pill to take away the horrible flashbacks and terror that would haunt me both day and night. A sacred circle is not a pill, but an opportunity to touch and heal those memories and flashbacks in a safe environment.
I mindfully create my sacred circle for the healing of my mind, body, and spirit; and for the freedom and safety I am given to live in a world with so much uncertainty. I wish I knew about the power of a sacred circle when I was growing up because I believe this powerful tool would have kept me from being so traumatized. As an adult, I am grateful that I can create a sacred circle where I can tell the truth and not be afraid of being harmed or threatened. I can live in this world, which is full of adversity and chaos, and still find a place where peace, love, and hope reside in my world.
Just like my ancestors, I consciously celebrate my life in a meaningful, joyous, creative, and empowering way. When I tell the truth in my sacred circle, I can touch the stars and hear the heartbeat of humanity. I treasure this beauty in my life and in my sacred circle.
Let me know what you think about this article by adding your comment.
Never give up!!!
If you’ve experienced trauma and want a positive way to express your feelings, please join us for our “Writing Through Trauma Workshop.” You’ll learn how trauma can compromise your health and wellness, and learn ways to heal. Workshop 1.0 is for beginners who are exploring healing through writing. Workshop 2.0 is for writers who have taken Workshop 1.0 and want to pursue other creative forms.
These writing workshops are held at a safe and comfortable location. Please review the attached poster for details.
I hope you’ll join us.
One of the first lessons we learn as children is to tell the truth. For children who are physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused and traumatized, this lesson becomes a dire challenge. Frequently threatened and told to lie these children — now adults — grow further and further from the truth.
That is until now. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing with you a new program to help resolve trauma issues to achieve a healthy mind, body, and spirit. If trauma is making you sick, check out the T.R.U.T.H Program and find out how you can live a life of possibilities and promise.
T.R.U.T.H Program =
The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing
Coming soon . . .
Mudslides in India; wild fires in California; hurricanes in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida; earthquakes in Mexico City — if I didn’t know better I would think that Mother Nature is seriously pissed at us. She’s blowing steam and is rattling the Earth. Who can blame her? And then, Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers broke his collarbone when Vikings player Anthony Barr took (in my opinion) a vicious hit on an unprotected quarterback.
What’s going on in our world today?
News about devastation and cruelty are happening every second. I went away to Portugal for two weeks to escape the insanity. I didn’t want to read the newspapers, listen to radio programs, watch TED talks, or even have conversations with friends. Bad news is everywhere and I just wanted two weeks of peace and relaxation. I did find it in Porto, Lisbon, and Luz, Portugal. There were sunny days, trips to ancient Roman ruins, boat trips down the rivers dividing steep mountains with vineyards growing on the terraces, yummy food, and friendly people. Mother Nature was there, too, enjoying an unusual heat wave. I could feel her presence in the wild ocean currents, the colorful volcanic rock, the strong winds blowing off Cape St. Vincent, and the glorious sunset on the south westernmost point of Portugal — forming the end of the European Coastal Path. (Okay, I got that last part from a description in a brochure I purchased at the Cape’s gift store.) I love to travel and see new sights and experience new cultures.
I came home from all that relaxation with a terrible cold along with jet lag and I was down for 16 days. Hmm, 12 days of vacation followed by 16 days of fevers, chills, nasal distress, and coughing non-stop. But the memories I have of our trip will last with me for a long, long time.
If the world has got you down in the dumps, I recommend a trip to Portugal to unwind and refresh. Their Sangrias are out-of-this world! I found true happiness in this wonderful country.
Never ever give up!!!
Have you read the June 2017 AARP article? Find Out Who Voted For The Health Care Bill: AARP opposes act it calls an “age tax” on Older Americans. If you missed it, it was a stunning article that affects ALL the baby boomers. Here’s what it said:
“The U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 passed the American Health Care Act by a razor-thin margin: 217 to 3213. It includes an “age tax” that AARP says would add as much as $13,000 to the cost of insurance for those 50 to 64, and would discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and diabetes. What’s more, we believe it would cause millions of Americans to lose coverage and put Medicare in worse financial shape.”
This isn’t health care — this is death care! Especially for people like me who have diabetes and cancer. I want to thank the 217 representatives who’ve voted for my death! That’s right folks, those Republican representatives who you voted in last year are calling the shots and they want those of us with diabetes and cancer to ill-afford treatment and medications and, ultimately, die. They’re playing “God” with our health care and I can think of no greater sin than taking the lives of others. Doesn’t world history hold numerous stories of the destruction of humans by the millions? Why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? I’ve tried to stay out of politics in this blog but, day after day, I’m inundated with news like this that really frightens me. I know many people with diabetes and cancer, some are close friends, and all are at-risk because of our current legislation.
DO YOU CARE THAT THIS IS HAPPENING? If so, I really want to know how you’re really feeling about this American Death Care Act?
Don’t be fooled into thinking this type of health care is great because it isn’t health care at all — history calls it GENOCIDE — the systematic killing of, or a program intended to destroy those of us who are sick and ill!
Bless us all!
Never Give Up!
This article appeared in Psychology Today on May 25, 2017. I’m so sad to see such disrespect for LGBT children. A variety of studies indicate that LGB youth are nearly one and a half to three times more likely to have reported suicidal ideation than non-LGB youth. Research from several sources also revealed that LGB youth are nearly one and a half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide. These studies do not include transgender youth. [Source: http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/migrate/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf]
Betsy DeVos needs to be educated on LGBT issues!
Here’s the article:
Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000272 EndHTML:000056970 StartFragment:000042700 EndFragment:000056926 StartSelection:000042738 EndSelection:000056880 SourceURL:https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/political-minds/201705/betsy-devos-is-okay-schools-banning-lgbt-studentsBetsy DeVos Is Okay With Schools Banning LGBT Students | Psychology Today
Betsy DeVos Is Okay With Schools Banning LGBT Students
Gay and transgender students are commonly victims of harassment and bullying in school. Studies have estimated that as many as 80 percent of transgender youth (link is external) experience bullying, and this mistreatment is one of the greatest predictors (link is external) of behavioral and emotional problems among these kids. 82 percent of gay and lesbian students (link is external) report similar bullying. 31 percent of LGBT students (link is external) say that their schools do nothing about it.
The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also plans to do nothing, when it comes to anti-LGBT policies in schools receiving federal funding. During yesterday’s Congressional testimony, US Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts) asked DeVos about Indiana’s Lighthouse Christian Academy. The school receives over $665,000 in school vouchers. The school also states (link is external) in its handbook that if a student is from a home in which a “homosexual lifestyle” or “alternate gender identity” is practiced, that the student can be denied admission or expelled.
Rep. Clark then asked Secretary DeVos if she would step in and require the school to eliminate its discriminatory policy in order to receive federal funding. After several attempts to avoid the question, DeVos ultimately answered that she would not. A video of her testimony is available here (link is external).
Pediatricians, psychiatrists, and psychologists (with a few extreme exceptions) have been working tirelessly to improve the health of LGBT youth. They have spent countless hours working with schools to make them safer for these students. As school climates improved, we started to see students thrive. One transgender 13-year-old girl (link is external) I worked with has straight A’s, was in her school play, and is already thinking about college. Gay and lesbian students are valedictorians, varsity team captains, and class presidents.
If we’ve learned one thing about LGBT youth, it’s that when we take away the bullying and rejection, these kids succeed. The Lighthouse Academy, by refusing to accept these students, is bullying and rejecting. It is the job of the Secretary of Education to do everything she can to end this bullying so that these students can thrive. Secretary DeVos refuses to accept this responsibility.
We know that when a family rejects a child’s LGBT identity, it can increase the risk of suicide almost 20 (link is external) percent. I’m afraid of what will happen when the head of our national’s education system does the same.
Jack Turban’s writing on neuroscience and children’s mental health has appeared in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Kevin MD among others. Find him on Twitter @jack_turbanÂ or online at jackturban.com.
PLEASE never give up on educating our educators!
Child abuse has been going on for centuries and the statistics aren’t getting any better. The fact is, as long as men believe their wives and children are their property, domestic and child abuse will never be eliminated. This belief breaks my heart and it goes against all religious and civil principles know to humans.
Abused children are too young to understand why they’re being hurt. Many children, in fact, take on the responsibility for being hurt. We need to put the responsibility where it belongs — on the men and women who abuse and neglect their children.
Here are some chilling stats:
Scope of the Child Abuse Issue
Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children).
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
Yearly, referrals to state child protective services involve 6.6 million children, and around 3.2 million of those children are subject to an investigated report.
What really angers me is this:
The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.
How can this be happening in our so-called civilized culture? It happens because it’s a devastating secret that needs to be exposed. AND, let’s not condemn the children who do break the family secret, which is another form of child abuse.
If you are or have been sexually, physically, and emotional abused you need to know two lifesaving things: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE! GET HELP IMMEDIATELY!
Let’s eliminate this widespread war against our children. They can’t help themselves so we must. If you know of a child who’s being abused, immediately contact your local police.
Five children die from abuse or neglect every day in the United States.
Help me stop child abuse. April is Child Abuse prevention month. What can you do to help our children?
Never give up!
In Part 1 of my blog, Life-long Effects of Lead Poisoning on Adults, I explained the side effects I have due to lead poisoning as a child. I have many auto-immune diseases and I wondered if the lead affected my immune system. I’m a walking medical petri dish and I want to know if there’s a correlation between lead poisoning as a child and my ill health as an adult. I’m not looking for something or someone to blame – I just want answers to the cause of my many health conditions.
First, let me give you a list of all the health issues I have (no sympathy required): Type 1 diabetes, kidney infection, hypertension, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid), clinical depression, cataracts, sleep apnea, and Stage 4 colon cancer – twice! When I asked my primary physician why I have so many health problems, he basically told me I had a bad gene pool. I accepted his answer with no further questions — until now!
Does lead poisoning in children cause damage to the immune system?
“The simple answer is yes,” says Elizabeth O’Brien from the Lead Education and Abatement Design Group in Australia. She adds, “but the problem is that many other things can cause problems with the immune system, so the only way to determine if lead is the cause is to ask the doctor to do a blood lead test.” She further states that, “Heavy metal exposure may develop autoimmunity as well as immunotoxicity. Autoimmune diseases are those in which an individual’s own immune system attacks one or more tissues or organs resulting in functional impairment, inflammation and sometimes-permanent tissue damage….” This is exactly how diabetes Type 1 is explained in medical journals.
In his work, K.P. Mishra, M.D. wrote an abstract on Lead exposure and its impact on the immune system: a review. He states:
Metal toxicants which affect the immune system may contribute to an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cancer. In the recent past, there has been a growing concern among health and environmental scientists on the impact of environmental exposure to heavy metal lead on human health. In some instances, the immune system appears to be exquisitely sensitive to the toxic heavy metal lead as compared to other toxicological parameters.
In their abstract, Lead and Immune Function, authors R.R. Dietert and M.S. Piepenbrink stated,
The heavy metal lead is a widely deposited environmental toxicant known to impact numerous physiological systems, including the reproductive, neurological, hepatic, renal, and immune systems. Studies illustrating the capacity of lead to impair immune function and/or host resistance to disease date back to at least the 1960s.
Dietert and Piepenbrink also found “…lead exposure can produce a stark shift in immune functional capacity with a skewing predicted to elevate the risk of atopic and certain autoimmune diseases. Age-based exposure studies also suggest that levels of blood lead previously thought as safe, that is, below 10 microg/dl, may be associated with later life immune alterations.”
Hundreds of studies have found links between lead poisoning and: auditory and visual system alterations, behavioral impairment, renal function damage, Parkinson’s Disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, neurological disturbances, autism, osteoporosis, asthma, and peripheral artery disease.
What can we do?
The medical conditions above lead me to ask what can we do to prevent all of these health and behavioral effects. Here’s a list:
- Don’t panic! Never give up!
- Prevent lead poisoning from happening in the first place.
- Check the windows and paint in your home for lead if your house was built before 1978.
- Remediate all sources of lead in the environment and in your homes.
- Give immediate medical attention to children suspected of being lead poisoned.
- Require a lead blood test for all adults exhibiting the health problems listed in this blog.
- Recommend more research studies in repairing the immune system from lead poisoning.
- Provide federal grants to extend all researchers who have a vested interest in the correlation between lead poisoning and the immune system.
- Tell us your stories of how lead poisoning has impacted your health as an adult.
This is a HUGE task but a very crucial one. If we want to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with lead poisoning, lower medical costs, and expand current research, we must raise the awareness of life-long effects of lead and find solutions – today!