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Abuse 101: A primer for those who feel abuse is someone else’s problem.

Abuse happens to other people. Abuse only happens in “those” families. In the evolutionary spectrum, people who become victims of abuse are Darwinian failures, part of a genetic line unlucky enough to have been stamped with the violence gene. Not the problem of upstanding people of good quality.

I understand well enough that if you are not exposed to it, abuse of any kind seems foreign and incomprehensible and there is very little to encourage someone to navigate the ugly waters of the dark underbelly of society if they don’t have to. Understanding abuse and what affect it has on you requires turning around for just a second and facing. It. No surprise that it’s something few of us want to do.

So I’ll open a small window into what abuse does to society and what it likely does to you regardless of how far away from its effects you feel you are. When I planned to write this blog, I knew what I would find. But I wasn’t prepared for the flood of information that met me on the internet.

Imagine the financial cost of dysfunction and how it manifests itself. Crime. Robbery, assault, identity theft, murder, drug use, drug sales, drug production. Begin with the cost of police protection, insurance rates going up, private and government recovery from vandalism, destruction and theft. Then consider the cost of maintaining a court system, legal aid, and lawyer’s fees.

Add the cost of injuries from crime in the form of insurance and disability. Add to that the loss of income and the loss of spending power due to those same injuries.

And finally consider the place where crime reaches a crossroads, becoming a multi-billion dollar monument to failures. Prison.

The following links show a direct connection between abuse and the process of becoming a convict. I find it telling that government agencies, not prone to going out on a limb, felt that a study was warranted by the correlation between abuse and criminal status. Please review the following links:

http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5525017/k.5115/Justice_Study_Prior_Abuse_Reported_by_Inmates.htm

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/community/abuse.html

http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/15/3fall1998/a_inmate.html

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/fs000204.pdf

 

According to a number of posts such as this one the prison population doubled in the 1980’s:

http://www.learnliberty.org/videos/why-is-the-us-prison-population-so-large/

Is the assumption that abuse is linked to crime and all of its associated evils a leap of faith or common sense? I consider the latter to be more realistic.

What this means to you, to me, to all of us is that part of the rotting foundation of our society begins and ends with abuse and horrific childhoods. Imagine that we start as clean slates, no pre-conceptions, no fears, no entrenched reactions to certain stimuli. Imagine a puppy. Give it love one day and kick it the next day. After a while you’ll have one confused angry puppy. The dog won’t evaluate the danger of anyone he meets; he’ll react as if the worst case scenario had occurred. He’ll bite and attack anyone he doesn’t know.

Imagine a child, brutalized sexually or physically. Imagine being in a pressure cooker where there is never anyone to turn to, where the fear never ends. Imagine enduring pain and horror for years and knowing that no one will come and save you. That the best you can do is save yourself, that you are the only one you can count on. That the world doesn’t care and that you owe the world nothing for what it’s put you through. Imagine the brain, in its cleaver convoluted way, that can make the most twisted view of reality true in your mind, reinforcing its lie as the atrocities visited up you  grow until there is no other truth.

Of course this is a child’s view of a harsh reality. But a child’s view gels and becomes a world view, unchangeable and never questioned. And eventually it isn’t a view at all. It’s an explosion waiting to happen, barely understood by the very person who explodes in anti-social rage. And it’s control of that rage in the end that becomes a remote concept, not worth considering or understanding.

Not all abused victims become this kind of nightmare; millions of them refuse to repeat the awful storm of confusion and pain that they experienced. For some, dysfunctional parents are a negative example that tells then, point for point, what not to do.

 

But not everyone has the resolve or the possible places of refuge to dodge the bullet of complete meltdown. In the end you will likely find these same people breaking into your house, or attacking you. And eventually, you’ll find them in the court system and eventually, in jail.

So when you are having a bitching session about the decline of society and the fact that the government is bleeding money at your expense, look towards the little child who lives next door to you who never says much and spends a lot of time out of school for mysterious ailments and injuries that no one can quite explain. Or the small boy who lives in the house where the cops keep showing up for domestic violence calls, the same house where screaming and the sounds of violence are a daily occurrence. Watching abuse can do as much damage as experiencing it.

Those children, and there will be millions of them, may end up costing you. Costing you tax money, costing you an increase in insurance premiums. Costing you your life.

And when you look at “those” people who have the lack of grace to be violent and twisted and you think that it has nothing to do with you or the society you live in, take another look.

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An opportunity to discuss abuse and the law

Hi Everyone,

    For those of you that are interested, I have set up a group on Good Reads called: Abuse and the law. I have  book to start with: A book by a domestic violence victim describing her typically harrowing path through and out of domestic violence. The book is called “Torn from the Inside out” and the author is Sara Niles. 

   We will be reading this book for three weeks starting March 16th. We’ll be discussing this book both in terms of Sara’s experiences but also the way she availed herself of the law to protect herself. 

   Please join us. I hope to eventually to discuss how laws can be changed or bolstered to offer more protection from abuse.

Thanks,

Neil

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Child abuse and 911 as themes in the book “The Railroad”

Neil Newton: Author of the novel “The Railroad”

 

Two years ago I was lucky enough to have book published: The Railroad. While it is fiction, I have a more personal connection to the story than might be apparent to anyone who reads it. The story was inspired by 911 or, more specifically, my experiences on September 11, 2001. I am a New Yorker and was working a few blocks south of the Twin Towers back then. I found myself in the subway only a block and a half from the World Trade Center as the towers went down. I emerged into a false night as the dust covered lower Manhattan. Eventually I was fortunate enough to walk north to my home in Chelsea, cheating the death that had met so many that day.

 

The memory of 911 is fading, something that is disturbing but something I consider to be part of the healing process. There are things left to remind us of what happened: positive things like the the new World Trade Center and negative things like first responders who have succumbed to respiratory illnesses that our government is just beginning to admit are a result of breathing in the toxic soup that came out of 911. If there are true heroes of 911, the police, fire, and medical rescue workers are certainly the best examples.

 

It’s hard to explain the sense of loss that followed that day; an oppressive hopelessness on a surreal stage. In the months that followed I thought about loss and pain and transformation. Out of that came the book, “The Railroad”. The book incorporates child abuse as a theme, something that fit, in my mind, with the experience of watching the world fall apart. I have found that, as time has passed, I have spent less time trying to sell the book and have used it more as a platform for making people aware of child abuse and domestic abuse. I am still working in that direction and have not marketed the book in the traditional way.

 

One of the realities of writing is that you often don’t know why you’ve added certain elements to a story. In “The Railroad” the book touches both on 911 and more substantially on the issue of child abuse. I had to ask myself why both these topics became part of the book, almost as if they were connected. There is nothing necessarily profound about writing. An author has incidents and issues jumbled up in his or her head and often connections appear between things that may not seem obvious on the surface.

 

911 and child abuse? It was the horrific shootings in Colorado that made me understand why these two things seemed connected to me. The issue is theft.

 

We are all given so many resources: so many years of life in an unknown quantity, so many opportunities to make our dreams a reality, so many chances to form relationships that are important in our lives. In the weeks after 911 I had to grapple with what I’d lost. Fortunately it wasn’t the loss any loved ones or even acquaintances. In the end it was the loss of my home town .Of course, New York didn’t disappear that day; the area affected by 911 was geographically small.

 

It might be hard for all of you to believe a New Yorker would see his or her city as the same safe haven that someone in a small town would. Certainly there is more danger in day to day life in New York. But I never would have thought that my city, large and imposing as it is, could be as vulnerable as it was on 911.

 

I remember telling someone only days after 911 that I thought that someone had stolen my city. In the wake of the destruction, the predatory news crews from all over the world, the disconcerting break in our routines, I felt more like a freak in a sideshow than I did a New Yorker.

 

Child abuse, physical and sexual, is a theft of another kind. For victims of child abuse, there is often no safe haven to lose in the first place and the assumptions of trust that act as a foundation to being human are ripped away. The aftermath of child abuse can be even bleaker than the original theft of trust at the hands of abusers. The issue here is the slow, insidious way that the dysfunction of child abuse leeches the sense of purpose out of life. It separates us from our fellow men and shrinks our view of the world until we can only see a few feet in front of us. Every person I’ve known or people I’ve seen interviewed who were victims of abuse always talk about the parts of themselves they have lost. While some people have taken the awful lemons of abuse and made lemonade by helping other victims and telling their own stories, there are many more who suffer in silence, who may never learn to be dancers, musicians, teachers. Whatever dreams they might have normally pursued are barred to them in ways that even they can’t understand. This is theft in its most basic form; it’s a theft that is built into the fabric of someone’s life and it can make loss and failure seem inevitable. For many abuse victims, their problems become a moving target that often defies both understanding and healing.

 

Is it so hard to understand why some people are so zealous about removing the blight of child abuse from our society? All of us carry fears from our childhood that make us less than we could be. For a victim of child abuse those fears and constraints become constant companions limiting the scope of what they can do. Our prisons are filled with victims of child abuse and medicating the beasts that live within us has become a thriving industry.

 

The loss to our society is incalculable and it’s one that I believe we have been willing to bear because a solution seems so far out of reach. It shouldn’t be surprising that there are dozens of agencies and organizations dedicated to attacking the issues surrounding child abuse, domestic violence, bullying and countless other social problems. I have come to believe that avoiding these issues will cripple our society in ways that we can’t imagine.

 

People have expressed these ideas far more eloquently than I can. This quote comes from a poem, “Maud Muller”, by John Greenleaf WhittierFor of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been”. If we take these words to heart the awful consequences of child abuse of any kind becomes all the more tragic.

 

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In Response To “10 Reasons You Don’t Get Laid”

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This is one of the best blogs on this subject I’ve ever read. The blogger does not judge nor set a “fire and brimstone” standard that is based purely on a concept of right and wrong. He or she backs up the arguments in the blogs with sound humanistic values. I would say if anyone was a “pussy” it was the man who wrote the original article that the blogger references. To me “getting laid” is like over eating (something that I am familiar with): the immediate thrill is satisfying and drowns out the void that fuels a repetitive cycle of distracting oneself from oneself. I doubt the that the original author of the referenced article feels anything but a general sense of dissatisfaction that is blunted by a rush from the same habitual and mindless addiction.
Put it this way. Sooner or later you have to find your value system or your just end up repeating the same crap and being bored with yourself and boring everyone else. Finding yourself is a tall order and not taken lightly but it’s something we all have to face sooner or later. What kind of life do you have when your sixty something and still trying to “get laid”. Pretty pathetic if that’s all you have to do with your life. Pretty pathetic if you can’t connect with someone else enough to have a satisfying relationship. I’d like to think we all will aim a little higher

Originally posted on Forte E Bello:

I recently read an article entitled, 10 Reasons You Don’t Get Laid. In it the author freely advocates for casual sex with many partners and explains his take on why men in our day and age don’t “get laid” as often as he seems to think they should. Among his top 10 reasons are the following: “You lack confidence, you neglect your hygiene, you’re a social cripple, you’re needy, your’e lazy,” and “you’re a gentleman” which he defined as being a “pussy”.

For the sake of this blog I’ll restrain from speaking my frustrations regarding the article (they are many) as to avoid any personal attacks on the author. Instead I’d like to challenge the perspective of this article as well as that of culture by suggesting that perhaps there are other reasons men out there aren’t “getting laid”. I have known dozens of men throughout my life who made the…

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Child Prostitution

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What will our world be like when this is everywhere. And will it matter that you don’t have deal with it because “it happens to someone else” when this is all around us? Is it possible that the weight of trafficking, child prostitution, child abuse and domestic abuse will start to eat holes into our society?

Originally posted on Captivating For Captives:

child prostitution

There are few things in life so monstrous as child prostitution, something that many find hard to even think about. But when we choose not to think about it, we fail to do anything about it. And through our inaction, we abandon the innocent children who are caught up in the reality of those terrible circumstances. If you can’t bear to even think about it, how much worse is it for the children who are actually living it?

About half of sex trafficking victims are children. The average age is approximately 13, many are older, some are as young as 5 or 6. Outrageously, some are even younger.

Children get caught up in the web of child prostitution in various ways:
In the developed world:

  • Children who have run away from home due to abuse, neglect, inadequate foster care etc and are coerced into it by pimps who ‘befriend’ them and…

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SEX Slavery

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The new scourge. If we don’t address these issues there will come a point when we will be overwhelmed by them.

Originally posted on Captivating For Captives:

‘Forced prostitution’ or ‘sex slavery’ is not an alternative career choice that simply comes with some extra occupational hazards. These women are not ‘prostitutes’ in the well-known sense of the word. Sure, many women choose to become sex workers and are paid an agreed amount; however there are many women and girls who do NOT choose this life for themselves, but are forced into it.

If you’ve seen the movie Taken (2008), you’ll already have some idea of how the process may work. These women are slaves; they’re not free to make their own choices. They don’t get paid. They are forced to do what they do. On top of that, they have usually been brutally raped at the outset, beaten, threatened, starved, lied to, sometimes drugged and have endured all of this alone and in deep fear for their lives or their families’ lives. They often contract STDs, sometimes…

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Signs Of A Sociopath, Psychopath, And/Or Narcissist

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Not something you could anticipate without experience. None of us are taught to recognize people like this until we meet one.

Originally posted on SociopathLife.Com:

So you have met him or her! The perfect person to spend the rest of your life with!  Hold On!!! Not so fast!!  Ask yourself these following questions, they may bring some clarity to who/what you are actually dealing with.
  1. Charming~does he/she say all the right things? Is he/she over-the-top with compliments? Never ending stream of hearts & flower words, text and emails to you? Has this abundance of charm set him/her apart from anyone else you have met? Is he/she to good to be true?
  2. Egocentric & Grandiose~has he/she told you how successful their career is? If they are a parent, have they told you what a hand’s on parent they have been? Has everything in their life been pretty much ‘perfect’? {except for the ex-relationships}. Do they tell you how demanding their career is? Or other personal obligations?
  3. Disconnection of Their Past~does he/she have any relationship with his…

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