Tag Archives: therapy

Guns, Drugs, and Burgers

You ever kneel down to a three year old and hold up three fingers and ask them how old they are. They light up and proudly hold their three fingers up and answer, “I’m three”!

Then you change the configuration of your three fingers and ask again and they respond, “No!” Holding up the original three fingers and repeat in a determined tone, “I’m this many!” This is our dilemma socially when it comes to society and culture.

The latest shooting in Florida is another in the tragedies involving guns. There are many folks out there who do not like guns and use these situations to further their delusions that guns are dangerous. They do this to the detriment of all of us.

I don’t want to focus on the family and community failing this kid and his victims. I want to focus on mental health. We do not understand mental health as a nation and refuse to listen to the folks that do understand it because the voice of ignorance is to damned loud. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Until we understand this basic premise we’ll continue to see incidents like this because there are a lot of sick and neglected young folks out there that we’ve marginalized.

You don’t have to stretch the imagination far to consider sexual abuse in the same light. Luckily mental health folks are very involved with this problem in America. They have to work real hard to be heard over law enforcement budget concerns and a sensationalized justice system.

For years we were told to watch for the guy in the trench coat hanging around the neighborhood. Now we’re told to watch the computer screen for predators lurking in the dark web. This allowed law enforcement to create a whole bureaucracy within the justice system. The incidence of these crimes haven’t subsided, like school shootings.

The reason these issues are still prevalent is because the whole time the real danger for most victims was in the family or family friendships. The majority of the perpetrators didn’t fly in from outta state to abuse a child, they were already in the house or neighborhood going to parties or get togethers forming relationships and trust. That’s not as sensational as the guy caught on camera meeting a 15 year old in a sting set up on TV.

We don’t even consider the psychology behind the horrific legacy because the headlines are sensational. The answer is identification of behaviors and treatment to prevent these tragedies.

Addiction to drugs is another “epidemic” in America. For over a century we have labored under the ignorance that “it takes an addict to treat an addict.” This is another mental health area that the folks who understand the condition have been drowned out. Mostly by entrepreneurs seeking to come further outta their own addiction.

These folks kept the narrative quasi spiritual with an experiential twist. “If you haven’t been there, you don’t understand!” Soon religion got involved and turned the “12 Steps” into some purpose driven stairway to heaven. These systems could do more harm than good. Mental health professionals understand addiction on a therapeutic level that have psychological principles as their foundations.

They understand the addiction is a symptom. They understand that an addict is an addict. Whether you’re a 40 year old upper middle class house wife popping Xanax and hydrocodone to make it through the day or a heroine addict drawing water from a mud puddle to heat your fix, you’re the same. They understand that the addiction, regardless of its form, is a response to the addicts experiences. Not the drug choice.

Another fiction we’ve endured is the “cop shooting” lie. I call it a lie because this one is purposely developed. The real issue was not race. It was about poverty and policing. We still never got to the bottom of the issue because we never identified the issue.

Turns out it didn’t matter what race you were, if you were living in the lower socio economic class you were more likely to end up in a violent confrontation. Poverty, not race was the variable we should have been looking at.

The other issue is law enforcement leadership. First problem is the “close ranks” mentality that had folks shaking their heads and confirming for many that police were above the law.

Second was the fact that folks were being shot in the head or shot with tens of rounds. Anyone who has been around weapons understands this is a training issue. You’re either not properly trained or trained to kill, that’s fact.

Leadership, the guys in the offices, seem only interested in careers and photo ops. They seem outta touch with the guys on the ground “driving” a beat. They weren’t interested in policing, they were driven by spreadsheets and promotions.

Lastly the dollars involved corrupted the system. The rules rewarding departments through seizures changed policing to bounty hunters. If you don’t make the big bust your representatives and leaders are asking questions because the jurisdiction next to you just had a 3 million dollar photo op and received a nice chunk of military surplus for their “X Force. Now you have bounty hunters that used to be police dressed as soldiers. The communities see this and react with their own ideas of who’s the bad guy and what does that really mean.

We could go on about McDonalds and obesity. Casinos and gambling, or alcohol and driving. It doesn’t matter the vice you chose. The food, drug, sexual partner, weapon you chose is you reacting to your environment. Your actions based on your mental condition. Focusing on the weapon, pill, or burger is not a solution. It’s a co dependent approach to curing social ills by folks who have no business in the socio political culture of leadership.

Mental health is the most important topic of our times. There are entire cultures suffering from cognitive dissonances as family values. There are political structures that are developed on co dependent strategies. There are folks out there who benefit financially and politically from these confusions. We need the mental health community to sound off. Take a stand and send the message that only psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist and counselors can help us identify the origins of our ills.

Media has become the bitch to the highest bidder. It’s ideologically bankrupt and only interested in sensationalizing American life. You wouldn’t call a carpenter for a broken leg. We need to take a stand against ignorance to save our sanity.

Billions of kids went to school yesterday and came home with bags of Valentine goodies. Hundreds of thousands of people came home from surgery and can’t wait to get off their pain meds. Billions of gun owners shot paper targets and cleaned their weapons and billions of family members and friends hugged a child without ill intentions. This is the time for thinking. Reacting got us here, the same place we’ve been stuck forever.

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Awakened

Thoughts of you framed in the shadows of lattice separate my heart from mind. I wonder about in the stillness of a gentle breeze caressing my dreams towards you; towards us intertwined outside of this prison, where flesh is a memory.

There are layers in here that spiral downwards or upwards to freedom. I lay here as a vessel of dreams only to awaken to memories of you wrapped in the hope that Love is all I remember, not what I fear. All these places I travel motionless, they’re sweet lies.

When is a hopeful expression. I hold you in my thoughts as my soul screams for the touch of just a finger tip on my lips to quiet my mind. A life of pictures, words, and dreams meld into the reality that I can have you in my arms once again, but the nightmare begins when I awaken.

Tense Moments

Life is relentless waves of now
Discarded as memories
Or hopes that tomorrow
Will reveal new stories

Live in the moment they say
Finding myself here
Blinded by yesterday
And hopes far or near

You can never go back
As I remember it’s today
And the past is tattooed
In every word I dream or say

Tomorrow is a sunset playing
With the moons patience
While I travel along the horizon
Searching for another chance

I walk through all three tenses
Holding yesterday and tomorrow
Creating now in a moment
Of joy and sorrow

I’m bound by the future
And free of the past
Hoping to hold now
And make forever last

We can’t escape our past.
Or leave tomorrow behind
So now is not the time
Or a single moment to find

Out of Rhythym

All my memories in a box filled with tears and laughter
It’s magical and mournful
As I stand here empty and fearful of what comes after

It’s all gone, but I’m stuck here
In between yesterday and tomorrow
feeling sadness and fear

I can’t be here now with my body and soul
No matter how I try I’m trapped
A fragmented existence neither present or whole

Some say slow motion, or maybe surreal
This space isn’t now
And doesn’t seem real.

I speak in sentences I watch float away
With memories of tomorrow
fearing yesterday

I hear those voices
whispering in my mind
Sometimes they’re yours
And others are mine

So together we’re lost in time
No rhythm is safer
Than living a rhyme

Night Sweats

I dream long nights away to other fortunes. Like the sweat from arduous journeys; the scenes twist my fears and desires into macabre premises. Relentlessly I forge ahead through lucid expressions of guilt or joy painting memories from reality. Awakening between here and there leaves me rigid within the breath of now.

It’s here I’m an artist. I paint without brushes, write with my thoughts, or make love with my mind satisfying the worlds desire to consume me. This is a battle in a war that has waged within my souls since dreams were born.

I’m no warrior or epic lover conquering my ego, more of an observer of possibilities yet realized. Here, in the safety of the subconscious I see the world through my eyes. No filters to color people or anoint my belief. Here I’m human and true to something beyond reality.

Like the child stoically looking through the rear window of a car as it slowly drives through the fog of gray leaving something behind that will never be found, I’m outside of myself, divorced from the nature of my silence by layers of understanding.

These are silent films. Noise is expressed through colorful scenes and emotions. I know the colors that represent the set, but I’m smart enough to leave that pallet on the shelf, so as not to hinder the meanings I want myself to feel. Color gets in the way of feeling the meanings, like emotions mask the lovers affair with herself.

Dreamers speak of awakenings as if the morning won’t return to day and put to rest the nights toil. We live in an awakening of denial that all we see, all we feel, our entire existence is nothing more than an awakening to self; we always know.

In the end we are a dream. We are a history. Most importantly we are here as a possibility. The most import part of that possibility isn’t food, family, or fortunes. The most important part of that possibility is shaped by those hours spent in another reality realizing fears or conjuring desires that shape tomorrow behind the scrim of now. It’s here monsters and miracles share meanings and myths.

Gaze

I look into your eyes till you become a feeling and desire consumes my heart. I no longer see us, I feel the space that’s always one pulse away from something unexplainable. A place where love pales in comparison.

I keep writing in hopes of finding the words; in the same manner I keep looking deeper into your eyes hoping to find that space where you and I no longer are us. Where a minute is eternity.

Your eyes are embedded in my soul. I breathe to see you past anywhere sight could take me. Blinded by the beauty of us. The beauty of two people without a world to cloud the light of love.

I no longer look at you; I’ve seen what loving deeply means. Your gaze draws me within myself where the embers of us burn forever. Your eyes are like a soft breeze igniting memories and hopes into the fire of now.

Every time I look in your eyes is like looking into the lucid heat of a mirage. I feel the heat of our love warming my soul and suddenly the world melts around us. So I’m lost within now stretched across moments and space, hiding from time and the world, lost within you.

In My Own Way

Neon thoughts blinking and begging for my mind to settle. Racing thoughts speed past my brain leaving my mind to a primitive state of survival.
I close my eyes and the scenery doesn’t change, it enhances the confusion making me dizzy with nauseated fear the day won’t end if night is all i see.
My ears are deaf to my surroundings and scenes of an electric existence replace the sound of the tv that sits alone repeating episodes of drama.
I hold my keys in my hand forgetfully trying to escape wondering if the hum of the car and the sound of rubber on asphalt will at least transport me to the nowhere that’s quite and relaxing.

I can smell fresh cut hay and exhaust with my memories. I can taste the straw dangling between my tobacco tax stained teeth. My muscles tighten at the memories of the work I hated that I wish I could still do. At this moment I want a field of hay, or a 60 pound ruck to sweat the world away with the calm feel of exhaustion.
I’m never in the proper tense. Then I was here, now I’m there. I travel off kilter never in the moment. The hope and dread weigh heavy on my footsteps. It’s hard to move forward while I’m trying and difficult to sit still without thinking of every move that would get me to now.
I don’t know if I should slow down or speed up. I can’t seem to have my ambitions align with my motivations. I’m intelligent, but being smart eludes me. I’m compassionate, but angry. I’m engaged, but distracted. The pace of my life is impossibly random.
So here I sit writing to you hoping I’m not the only tortured soul who’s spirit has a mind of its own. I’m thinking about the work I have to do and the words screaming to get out of my head. Then I remember my mind controls my brain that is full of experiences and dreams. My life is full of hopes and dreams. So all I have to do is move out of my own way.