Topic: Parenting Inspiration

Backlash: Example of Protecting the Predator

The Daily Beast website tweeted a #MeToo photo illustration that accompanied a column about sexual assault and harassment. #MeToo has gone viral on social media. (The Daily Beast)

Out of the 100 or so messages of support for participating in the #metoo social media campaign, this is what I received in a message from a cousin’s ex-wife of about 25 years, I have not spoken to her or seen her in about that many years. (All text is verbateum, however, I removed the last name she included in the text.)

“WED 6:36PM

When the cycle of abuse creates victims that become perpetrators who is there to help heal their guilt and shame? Do you think that just because that unspeakable act occurred that these young boy perpetrators were not bullied by an older male sociopath relative to participate?? I do not know all your details just as you don’t know mine. Was there no other way to confront this issue without this public humiliation? Actually victor doesn’t even have Facebook so its just passing that guilt and shame onto the family when they see this. And honestly did you ever talk to Victor. Maybe he would be able to admit his wrongdoings at this time and apologize and maybe work with you towards a healing plan. A plan to break the cycle.

This is similar to Victimizing the victim. Just how you felt when people asked you why you let this continue to happen right? When ignorant people said “why didnt you tell your mother?” Or “why didnt you just say no and run away?”

I say this from my own wounded heart as you know some of the path I have endured as well. However I chose to not continuously be the victim. Many years ago I once again confronted my abuser straight on. I was expecting a denial just has he had denied for many years. But this day he actually apologized. He was sincere and extremely shameful. And I thought that would help me heal ….but it just felt hollow. Because I realized that my entire family had generation after generation of this cycle. I chose not to call out his siblings for not intervening. But it is out there. Not on Facebook because this is not the media I would ever chose to enhance a family healing plan. This is public knowledge in my family but not on social media.

If you truly wanted to help this cycle end you would realize that its far bigger than just being a victim. Generation after generation has ignored this shit. Its maddening. And I applaud your “in your face attitude” but this appears to be selective shame. I have never seen a post that publicly shames your own mother that let this abuse carry on And do not even begin to tell me that she didnt know. She knew. Because it happened to her I bet as well. If you want to believe that she didnt know then thats your choice but then why didnt she protect you. Why didnt the main people that should have been protecting us shield us from this harm??Dont you see?? The whole family needs to work towards the healing to break the cycle. This is shaming the entire  family not Victor. Its hurtful but if you truly think that this heals you then so be it.”

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Brentwood Private School or LAUSD Public School

There is no stereotypical predator. They don’t reveal themselves as different. In fact, they blend in with us all. They are moms, dads, coaches, priests, daycare workers, police officers and teachers. We would be naïve to believe that sexual predators are only male or that they belong to a certain class and or race.

A pedophilia does not discriminate by class, race, gender or age. There is no demarcation between “elite private school in Brentwood” and an inner-city public school. Sexual predators find ways to have access to children. They are often in a role of trust; we believe our children are safe at school, practice, band or church. This is clearly an assumption.

Should we have been talking about this before now? “Yes. “ We have to be proactive as parents and community members. We have to help our kids navigate a world that includes predation, online, live, in public and private spaces. There is no need to terrorize our children, but to believe they cannot handle the conversation is negligent on our part as parents.  Our children are vulnerable. Help them notice when something does not seem or feel right. Remind them to stay attuned to their body. Make sure you as a parent are approachable. Tell them that there is nothing you can’t handle. Let them know that they can tell you anything. Repeat this over and over until they believe you.

 

Summer Safety: College Orientation, Sleep-away Camp, Sports Camps, Day Camp, etc.

This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about being safe, travel in pairs and always let someone know where you are going and where you will be.  Remember, that a young high school student on a college campus for orientation, academic or sports programs will be exposed to college students and college life. This means they may be confronted with drugs, alcohol and or being invited to parties they have no business going to.  This applies as well to adult and or teenage counselors with young children.  Remind your kids that they should always be in groups with their peers. No safe adult is going to ask to be alone with a child, for any reason.

Talking Points

Always go to the bathroom, back to your cabin with a friend(s)

Stay in groups when wondering the college campus or field trips

Don’t go anywhere alone with an adult or counselor (unless it is an emergency, injury etc.)

 

Our Community and Our Children

So, I came upon this a few weeks ago and could not believe my eyes.  When I initially drove past this spot it was full of young middle school kids.  I decided to go back after dropping my child off for practice.  When I arrived, the kids were gone, but the backpacks, sweatshirts, and debris were still there as was the small airplane size bottle of liquor.  My first instinct was to find out who had left the mess and have them clean it up.  So, I took it upon myself to open the abandoned backpack and read the name on the school work. Bingo, I got the name.  A few minutes later the boy to whom the backpack belonged came for it. I asked by name if he and his friends had left the mess.  He said they had.  By this time James from the Pali Garden Cafe was looking at the mess, the man who owns the office building where the brick wall is was out surveying the mess too. He stated that the kids often leave their trash on and around his property.

I told the boy to please go find his friends, get them to clean up as he would be responsible for it all.  He left and returned with a few boys and girls.  They immediately started cleaning up and a few boys even apologized to me.  I reminded them that this community belongs to all of us and we are all responsible for keeping it clean and beautiful.  No one claimed the liquor bottle, but they gave up the name of who brought it and drank it. So, someone’s Paul Revere middle school son is drinking, this is an important detail.

My second instinct was from a parent’s perspective. I would be extremely upset with either of my children for participating and contributing to such a mess.  I challenge my kids to be upstanders, not bystanders, I want them to have the courage to interrupt a bad idea whether it by their friends or acquaintances. The box of cereal was dumped everywhere and pulverized, there were boba beads thrown and smashed against the wall, ketchup dumped, food containers left, and other contents smeared on the sidewalk.  Please talk to your kids.  Know what they are doing and with whom. These are our boys and girls who have the freedom to hang out in the neighborhood, ask them to me mindful and stand up to their friends.  This is a benign result to a bad decision. It no one stands up to this why would they stand up to a friend who is drinking and driving?  It is part of the same continuum if you ask me.  P.s. If you see my children behaving poorly, being disrespectful to others and or vandalizing property, please tell me.

 

Watching from a Distance

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say that the sibling bond stands out during moments of stress and fear. The bickering, the competing, the tattling and the noise gives way to gentle encouragement in these times. I watched my daughter face her on again off again fear of the ocean. Re-acclimating to the fun and surprise of crashing waves on the shoreline is a distant memory, as today the waves seem bigger and scarier. My son takes his sister’s hand and talks her through the fear, the same fear he felt moments ago when faced the same ocean.

  • To all my peeps! Nice photo. @trishalisonphotography #feelingthelove #gratitude #grateful #integrity #hope

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  • Look it’s me @2moms2kidstv and that dude @mattydel Matthew Del Negro from @shondarhimes Scandal. What? Check it out. 10,000 No’s on iTunes

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  • I lived in fear every day of my life until at age 12. My brother John kicked a door which broke against my forehead. A welt and two black eyes later, I told my mom I would not come home until he was gone. It was the first time I stood up to his cruelty, but continued to keep the sexual abuse a secret. it wasn’t until 1984 I saw @teddanson in “Something about Amelia,” that I heard the word incest for the first time. #nomore #metoo #standup #bestrong #ibelieveyou

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  • Halloween is so scary you might poop. #kiddrawing #scary #spooky #halloween #trickortreat

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