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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Can you hear me now. By Christi Finney Olsen

When I became part of CDA, it wasn’t for my own gain, it still isn’t. I became part of this so that people would hear my side of the story and maybe not feel so alone. All too often the addicts get to tell their stories and no one hears from the family, friends, wife, husband, child, etc. Lisa and Ian encourage me to tell and share my story and for them I will be forever grateful, without them I may have snapped. People need support, to feel as though someone can empathize, understand, help them through. I have been feeling like I am not reaching out enough to let these people know I am here and I get it. What if there was someone in my community that needed my help? How do they find me? How do they know I am here? Would they have reached out? My heart aches that souls are lost. What if a horrible tragedy could have been avoided just by this person realizing he was not alone? What if I had stopped and asked this person how they were doing instead of waving and just walking by? Everyone has issues, problems, things that happen behind closed doors that aren’t discussed. Not everyone is dealing with an addict in their home. Not everyone can handle it on their own, and not many of them reach out or ask for help. There’s a lot of shame and hiding. We sweep things under the rug, when we are out in public we put on a smile and make everyone think we are doing just fine. It’s not until we are alone, and know we are alone, that we break down. It doesn’t have to be this way! You are not alone! There are so many of us in this world, country, state, city…… there is no reason to suffer in silence. Be heard, start a blog, talk to someone close to you, email me and ask for a shoulder to cry on. Do not let this build up inside until you snap. It’s a process, writing has helped me speak out and get things off my shoulders. I am growing every day. This week my community suffered a horrific tragedy and loss of life that affected my children, many of my neighbors and friends and me. It might have been avoided if this person had reached out for help. It weighs on me tonight as I write that I might have been able to help this person. Now, I will never know. How could I have known? In memory of Max 2007-2013 Written by Christi Finney Olsen

Friday, March 27, 2015

Narcissism

110,000 people have visited this site. Thank you. It makes me feel like I'm not alone.
kathyescobar.com


I've had more experiences than one person deserves, more lives than I should have had. I see people, endless lines of people, each living different lives, each making different choices, and I see myself in all of them. Or maybe I see them all in myself, how one simple act or decision could have left me on the same path that they're on, and how simple decisions drew me away from their path. Life is much more than poetic bullshit, and at the same time that's all it ever is. My life, my poetic bullshit.

I tell myself things to make me feel good, to make me feel special, because I am a narcissist. We all are. Maybe it's actually the truth that makes us special, not the lies that we tell ourselves. I like to tell myself that I'm special because many people who have lost themselves to heroin remain lost, but maybe the truth is that their not lost, just making different decisions, and taking different paths. I give myself accolades for making the choice to not use, but I don't hear many people who have never used standing upon soap boxes declaring themselves victors. Where are the accolades for the people who never made the choice to deviate from the path of sobriety? Do they have some sort of support group where they tell tales of how they were once offered an escape and denied it, where everyone sits in a circle congratulating them on their strength? Sobriety-Anonymous? 

The truth is that I'm not special, I was stupid, arrogant, weak. Now I crown myself victorious for conquering my own demons just like everyone else does everyday.  I defeated my own stupidity, somebody give me a fucking medal. Somebody notice that I'm special, because I see lines of people who are much more special than me, and I need my badge of narcissism. 

I set myself adrift on the tides of fate, so I may blame others for my mistakes. 

Poetic bullshit.



Friday, May 23, 2014

Relationship Police

Ian and Lisa White, 2012

I get so hung up on my own ego that I, quite often, overlook the fact that it is my own ego hanging me up. 

Today I looked in the mirror and firmly stated aloud: "I chose to be here." Then I followed it up by blaming another for my situation and shortcomings. This I think is normal but for me it's not ideal. Naturally we all gravitate toward situations that contribute to our self-confidence or comfort zone. Put quite simply: if something feels good we repeat. It seems so simple, yet can span such complex situations. Take drugs for instance: use can be repeated to the point of physical and/or chemical dependence. Just like sex, drugs or any other substance, situation or solution that lends itself to an instant comfort, things that make us feel good get saved in the reward center in our brains and carry a risk of becoming a compulsion. 

Being selfish has become a compulsion to many of us because it's both natural and requires the least amount of energy. Focusing on what we perceive as good for us both awards us with our desires and allows us to not expend the time or energy thinking of others. The problem is that we don't chose to live in isolation, but rather form communities and societies living together and amongst one another but thinking only of our own individual needs/wants. 

The rules and laws that we have put in place to regulate the actions of individuals are created to limit the selfish actions that can harm others. For example: if a man is late for an appointment he may be inclined to drive at speeds that are dangerous to those around him. The dilemma of being late belongs to the man, and others driving near him shouldn't be put at risk for his selfish desire to make up time. To discourage driving at unsafe speeds we've employed speed limits and have appointed people to enforce those limits and dole out repercussions to people who don't abide by the law. Nearly ever law or ordinance is designed to protect the masses from the selfish actions of the individual. 

But while we develop written law for our public actions, our private interactions are self-governed and this is where the majority of our violations against others occur. There is no law dictating the treatment of spouses, and no marital police waiting to hand out citations. We make decisions  and agreements with others concerning how we will treat and be treated and then hold one another accountable to those agreements. But does this system work? Many of our actions when in private differ from our actions whilst in the company of our partners. The way we act and interact  with people that we find sexually attractive can be compared to speeding: if we don't see a police officer around we usually allow ourselves to speed. Many times our behaviors while away from our partners differs from our actions when our partner is there watching. This becomes a issue in most relationships and is a major determining point in our decisions surrounding who we form relationship with. Trust is having a feeling that someone is doing the 'right thing' regardless of our presence or absence. We all would like to think that others can be trusted to uphold the law, but a short drive on the freeway will make you question this. When a police officer stations himself in an area most people will automatically and immediately apply brakes when first seeing him. When we're not under the watchful eye of authority we revert back to selfish behaviors. This can be seen in our personal lives as well, and many times the way we conduct ourselves would be considered 'speeding' in the presence of our partner. But this dynamic is unfair to our partners, because it forces them to be an authority figure and requires them to decide an appropriate consequence as well as deliver the punishment. But is this the reason we enter into relationships? No, we initially enter into relationships to form mutually beneficial partnerships

One reason many marriages fail is because we initially enter into marriage to be on a team with another person, both people working toward mutual goals. But once that partnership is formed we immediately begin to make one another an authority figure by keeping information from them. Just as many would not consider themselves on the same 'team' as a police officer enforcing the speed limits, this behavior makes it difficult or impossible to be on the same team as our partner. How can we overcome this hurdle and form lasting relationships with trust in the actions of our spouse? 

It begins, just as society did: with a meeting and discussion addressing problems and the collective decision to put boundaries in place. We sit down, talk about areas of concern and then determine 'laws' governing our actions and 'sentences' for our crimes against one another. And then we have to, not only, hold one another accountable but more importantly hold ourselves accountable. We need to remember that a relationship is partnership that we have decided to enter because we are better as a team than we are on our own. We then need to treat that partnership as a privilege and an opportunity for mutual advancement rather than self- serving gratifications. As the saying goes: "there is no 'I' in team" and I chose to be here. 




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Human Traffic

Today I ventured into the "wrong" side of town. There was a gloom hanging on to area, like wet pants heavily weighed down but still clinging on. Prostitutes and dealers stood on every corner, each trying to command the largest amount of real estate as my car approached. I allowed myself a quick smile as I thought of the amount of entrepreneurs here. The women would look as if they were excited to see me, like they somehow recognized my car, then when they saw I was a female their look would turn to disappointment or even resentment and they would continue to walk. A walk with no destination, but all with an end. As I was driving I began to look at them, to really study them. They were all so similar they could have been from the same family, sisters even. All the same shape, build and age, definitely the same age. They appeared to all be in their twenties, although I'm a poor judge of age at times. Then the obvious question became lodged in my mind like a thought to wide to pass without being broken down. If they were all the same age, and all "entrepreneurs" without retirement accounts paid for by taxes, where were all the thirty-something year old prostitutes? A quick scan of the dealers confirmed the same assumption: they were also of the same age range. The women began to blend with one another, each one exactly the same as the last. The shock came when I began to recognize them, each one had a hard look to her face, like a petrified and painted bit of sculpted clay, showing no emotion, showing only hard. Behind the hard eyes of each of them lay the same thing: nothing. It was that that I recognized. I knew that vacant place their stares originated, I felt that same hole in my soul. But which of us was in the wrong place then, them or me? While I took a journey far from my conceived path of physician, I never came anywhere near the reality or even thought of prostitution. But still I saw the look on them that I used to see in the mirror every day. It didn't occur to me until I had reached the safety and comfort of my home that the look I was recognizing was not familiar to me because we had some bit in common that other people didn't understand, it was familiar to me because I did understand it, and so did everyone else. I recognized them because they were human

Today instead of crying for myself I cried for them, for my sisters, for my fellow human beings.


As recently as 1991, police in a southern California community closed all rape reports made by prostitutes and addicts, placing them in a file stamped “NHI.” The letters stand for the words “No Human Involved.” (Linda Fairstein, 1993, Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, New York: William Morrow and Co.). 

The average lifespan of a prostitute in a major city in 34 years old. 
-aje.oxfordjournals.org/.../8/778


Monday, January 20, 2014