Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salted Wounds

As I woke up on the bathroom floor, I realized I must have either hit my head or fainted. Pulling myself up I got to my feet. My head felt wet and throbbing and I could not stand on my left foot. Turning on the bathroom light, my heart jumped at my reflection in the mirror. Aside from looking like a raccoon with my makeup running, my face was swollen like a balloon. I had a black eye and a small gash to the head on the right. Upon further inspection, bruises to legs and arm, one was pretty nasty looking, the size of a saucer. Quietly opening the bathroom door, the house was dark and still except for the snore. I wondered how long I had been in there.

Hobbling in attempt toward the living room, it all came flashing back in vivid heart wrenching. It was supposed to be a surprise. I'd have the tree all decorated by the time he got home from work and he would walk into wonderland. What a joke that was as I looked at the brutalized tree in it's fallen glittery bits, broken all over the carpet. I'd never seen anyone do that before. Just take an eight foot Christmas Tree and use it as a weapon. Pain shot up through my foot as I forgot, not to put weight on it. I likely came out of it pretty good considering, but it was clear I was going to have to go to the doctor this time. Feeling terrified at the thought of having that conversation with him, I began to shake and decided to let him wake on his own.
I sat and cried, not because he hurt me, but because I just didn't understand how he could forget to love me. Was I so starved for any appearance of affection I was willing to take anything to get it? The very thought of this threw my body into convulsing sobs all over again in self loathing.

Coming back to my senses I looked around the living room. Gazing at the fallen tree I thought how very much alike we were in this moment. A beautiful broken disaster. I remembered then my mothers Christmas Trees and then the one I drew on a cardboard for my siblings, after they had left us. They forgot to love us too. How does that happen? How do people just leave or fly into rage if they say they love you? Was it all connected? So many questions came to my mind in an attempt to puzzle it out.

After he woke up, there were the typical apologies that found their way to the conclusion that it was all my fault. I also ended up with a concussion, walked with a cane for six months with a torn ligament and had to wait to go back to work until the eye healed a bit. Adding salt to the wound, I knew he was never going to change, it was up to me to change. It was then I realized I would leave and never come back. I would never allow my children to move into this house. Even if I didn't think I deserved better, they did.

This was a decision I had to continue to make over several years before I realized the choices I had. Requiring me to dial back my threshold for pain. It took even longer to come to the revelation that I could create my own choices. Life didn't just have to happen to me. My life was for me, not against me. No one had ever even said the word "choices" to me until I was well into my thirties. Had I understood this during the years of abuse I had subjected myself to, I would have called the authorities. Safety, security and love is a right to every human being. The choices others make for themselves in behavior or lifestyle is theirs as well. For me it was a long journey to discovery, but I am one of the lucky ones in this regard.

Although I'm battle worn, many others don't come out of these circumstances with their lives, let alone their dignity. Nicole Simpson is a tragic example. It doesn't matter what walk of life a person comes from. Domestic violence, psychological abuse and even worse atrocities happen daily. Even when it bewilders our minds at the how or why of these horrors, it can't and mustn't stop us from creating awareness and putting an end to it. This starts in our own homes and in our own hearts by example in the decisions we make. But there is much more to do beyond the perimeters of ourselves. We can all make an effort to educate and spread the word of hope. Had someone done so for me, I may have been spared many years of torment and neglect.

The lives of others can be spared now with the many more resources and advocates available today. Respect is the key element missing in human exchanges manifesting abusive behavior. If humanity had pure respect for itself, there would be no war or even a reason to put locks on doors. No one person has the answers. The resolve of humanities issues, requires a collective awareness and the will to create like minded consciousness. It can happen like a snowball and gain momentum the more we combine our understanding and unify intention. I've watched prejudice fly out the door in the face of tragedies like 911, where people do come together and unify for a moment in time. I believe it's possible for us to do the same, for the sake of love itself, for humanity forever.

We hurt ourselves when we hurt each other. We love ourselves when we intend the highest good for each other and back it up with loving action.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who believed in "The Golden Rule"; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" guess what, I still believe.

You are not alone. Call, don't wait: Domestic Abuse Hot-line & Resources:
National Domestic Violence Hotline> http://www.ndvh.org/
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence> http://www.ncadv.org/


Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's a Twitter?

If my son had come home from school asking this question, I would have likely believed his school friends had come up with yet another expletive. Or there was going to be some required homework on my part, in order to answer him. *grin* Something I often found myself doing during my children’s high school years.

But he’s 24, and as he hovers over my shoulder in baited curiosity, I laugh at his response as I show him my Tweet deck in all its buzzing glory. “Wow, What IS that?” he gasped. Prior to this moment, I had been subjected to all manner of assumptions about my online activities of late, having been too busy on Twitter to bother trying to explain, which would also require further diagnostics for my own self discovery regarding it.

By the way, It was quite novel for anyone to see me glued to the computer, the telephone no, they were used to that. Being an extremely social person and having had a high profile career most their life, my children were unfortunately subjected to my constant barrage of phone activity. While my work and my writing often found me at the computer before, they were curious to see me now so engaged in laughter and intensity. So in order to refute what otherwise would have been left to imagination and to avoid additional inquiry, I stopped everything (as mothers do) mid stream, and attempted to explain.

When I got past the quirky tools, the system dialogues, rules of 140 characters or less, and novelty of celebrity interactions; I showed him how Twitter is an online community full of some of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege to meet. There is heart, etiquette, understanding, compassion and caring which all took me quite by surprise.

I happened upon it purely on a fluke. Having gotten laid off my job in the entertainment industry. I thought it might be a good resource to network and find possible future employment. I had no idea I would find a life! By this I don’t mean a virtual life, because much of it has more meaning than that.

Intention is everything in all things. People can feel the intentions of others through time, space and distance. Twitter is no exception to this rule. The intentions of support and caring bleed through the cyber box and into real time, real life experiences for all of us. Twitter has become a tool for us to connect not only with people we may not have otherwise met, but to also cultivate awareness of issues for all of humanity. People all over the globe are coming together in these exchanges in order to communicate and assist hard and meaningful change for others. From celebrities, wealthy socialites to the homeless, they all have a voice. Many are championing causes on behalf of the sick and those affected by catastrophic life events. Some are mentors who bother to take the time to share their life experiences in hopes of making a difference.

I started out cautiously with mere funny banters with others a little at a time. As I began to friend some truly gifted and amazing people I became less leery and more revealing about myself and my personal interests. To my ultimate surprise, others appreciated my contributions of flavor and in site which had not otherwise been apparent to me.

I must also say, it took being apart of this community to realize how disconnected and unaware I really was even through all of my own life experience. The difference Twitter has made for me was the broad spectrum perspective of communal effort. The people I engage with are without prejudice or discrimination and are open and welcoming on all fronts. Rarely this is found in our neighborhoods, schools or work places.

Though the Twitter community is no stranger to controversies, the choices afforded about them expand globally. Each user initiates their own level of responsibility according to their own ability and resources as well as the life experiences they bring. Culminating active and worthy solutions for others in doing so and often finding resolve. Even bridging real life communities in some cases one tweet at a time.

While my friends there have often seen me refer to myself as the-girl-box, in initial jest, I have had to back step my own poke in fun at this. It amused me at one point to coin the phrase, but after having the opportunity to cultivate my own friendships that are truly meaningful to me, I have since realized there really is no box. It is a soulful transmitter, reaching hearts, connecting dots beyond a time and space continuum in higher purpose.

So, no sweet son, it is not a glorified chat room. Though I couldn't have told you what a chat room looked like until now, for now I am often lead by the hand to chat rooms from friends here for all manner of reasons. Charity events and fund raisers, blog radio shows and the like. I have even lead others to fun things as well, that some have found delight in.

The one thing I've neglected to say is there is pure love with those whom I have found on Twitter. Pure and unconditional. In our world of technological rampage, economical downturns, and societal breakdowns, there is something wonderful this way comes in cyber world. Authenticity can be found in anything you bring authenticity to. Like attracts what is like minded in the physical world, as well it does in what appears to be a virtual world.
A profound blessing for me is to now see the difference I can make with my energy and contributions.

A cord was struck in me long forgotten until recently. As a young girl I was a "wave the banner" kind of girl. Attending "No Nukes" at the Hollywood Bowl on what was called Survival Sundays and "Save the Whales" events were a regular part of my routine. When life changes occurred, I sadly had to put down my banners and attend to my own survival. Now as a direct result of being a viral part of the Twitter community, dear friends are not only helping me to heal old wounds but showing me how I can help heal others. So I'm personally blessed to have an opportunity to soon pick up my banners again, but now on a much more universal scale. As a matter of fact something very important is about to come out of me that may have the potential to help a lot of other people. Not something I would have ever expected to happen.

So, what's a twitter? Not a video game, honey. Nor a toy to be played with or taken for granted. It is a place where lives come together to share in hope, in love and inspiration that once upon a time didn't have this platform. It is a place where people honor and respect each other no matter what walk of life they come from or where they are going. We can't help being drawn to it. Some of us, me included can't help our obsession with it. Twitter Name: @SchuggaJoy

Where ever it is friendships are born so sacred is the meeting place.
After all, we are all only human. ~djs