Taking Responsibility Rather Than Blaming

In our society today, all we hear is the term “victim shaming,” blaming, and apologizing. We never, ever hear anyone just taking responsibility for the situation. We don’t hear enlightenment. But, then this would not be sensational. People who are self-aware do not often get drama or excitement from the press or social media. Not unless you are in a Yoga, New Age, Spirituality, or Meditation forum or app.

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For Strong Women: Marge Piercy

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.

A strong woman is a woman standing on tiptoe and lifting a barbell

while trying to sing Boris Godunov.

A strong woman is a woman at work

cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,

and while she shovels, she talks about

how she doesn’t mind crying, it opens

the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up

develops the stomach muscles, and

she goes on shoveling with tears

in her nose.


A strong woman is a woman in whose head

a voice is repeating, I told you so,

ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,

ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,

why aren’t you feminine, why aren’t

you soft, why aren’t you quiet, why

aren’t you dead?


A strong woman is a woman determined

to do something others are determined

not be done.  She is pushing up on the bottom

of a lead coffin lid.  She is trying to raise

a manhole cover with her head, she is trying

to butt her way through a steel wall.

Her head hurts.  People waiting for the hole

to be made say, hurry, you’re so strong.


A strong woman is a woman bleeding

inside.  A strong woman is a woman making

herself strong every morning while her teeth

loosen and her back throbs.  Every baby,

a tooth, midwives used to say, and now

every battle a scar.  A strong woman

is a mass of scar tissue that aches

when it rains and wounds that bleed

when you bump them and memories that get up

in the night and pace in boots to and fro.


A strong woman is a woman who craves love

like oxygen or she turns blue choking.

A strong woman is a woman who loves

strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly

terrified and has strong needs.  A strong woman is strong

in words, action, in connection, in feeling;

she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf

suckling her young.  Strength is not in her, but she

enacts it as the wind fills a sail.


What comforts her is others loving

her equally for the strength and for the weakness

from which it issues, lighting from a cloud.

lightning stuns.  In rain, the clouds disperse.

Only water of connection remains,

flowing through us.  Strong is what we make

each other. Until we are all strong together,

a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

*This poem that is one of my favorites. I think all women who have faced trauma in one way or another should read this and feel comforted by her words. It really captures the essence and beauty of a strong woman.

Life on the Streets through a Social Worker’s Eyes

Today I told someone my address and gave them Oakland as my city instead of Columbus. An odd thing to come out of my mouth after eleven years have passed. From 1996-2010, I lived in Oakland, Fremont and Hayward, California. During this time, I worked for the Berkeley Head Start program and Alameda County Department of Social Services.

I “held” children from all different types of backgrounds: giving them hugs, holding their hands, providing transportation, sharing meals and listening to their stories. I read hundreds of court reports when the case was transferred over or wrote them myself. I gave them love by building trust with them through honesty and support and following through on their needs and wants. We worked a 37.5 hour week though there were times I was off the “clock” or didn’t take a lunch and a break – what was that? The best of us worked our hearts off doing due diligence for other people’s children and sometimes the quality effort, being self-assigned to a family, didn’t include looking at the clock. We were martyrs but it is easy to get lost in a life; that so desperately needs your help. Especially when those that were supposed to, had let them down so many times before – even us.

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Transpersonal Notes: Lies, Betrayal and Forgiveness

Psalm 64:1-10

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all  the upright in heart will glory in him!

How can you read this and not recall the ending of “Dangerous Liaisons,” when Glenn Close’s character, the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, is being laughed at, after she walks into the opera house. The movie shows us the conclusion of her lies and deception being flaunted in her face. How often though, does this reality occur for us? What is more typical is that the real life bad guys walk away laughing at us, having felt that they have won the day and thinking they reduced us, the victim, to a piece of trash which they have now taken out with the garbage. Take your power back. Walk away with your head held high. Leave with dignity. Fighting back will make you equal to them and you are much better than this. You deserve better.

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Death of a Child and Ending a Love in Sync

Funeral photo from the Hungarian Church, Columbus Ohio. Courtesy Reverend Kántor

Goodbye Forever,

May 24, 1987, was a day I would come to hate. It was the last day that we made love, though I would not know it at the time. Such a promising romance, love; we were the 80’s, we were fun. After that moment I felt as if I would be happy forever, such a young thing I was. Not a care in the world, life was not precious but wild and filled with adventures and cravings to take it all on. I drove to my store and danced through the building, telling everyone I was in love and feeling on top of it all. They had never seen me like this before and so the day began in love, in awe, in such magnificent freedom that everything I had ever wanted would be about to happen.

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CPT for PTSD

As someone who has been through trauma and survived it, I find this form of treatment [Cognitive Processing Therapy or CPT] to be the best and most healing of those that are out there for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This is a way of being involved in the treatment process – directly. It is a technique that helps one to look at their beliefs, through the help of a psychotherapist and re-examine them in a non-traumatic setting. It is not re-traumatizing (but your symptoms can elevate at first) and you are doing all the work. There are other techniques for working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and you should find the one that fits best for you.

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