Last October marked the 3 year anniversary of our adoption of Nina. Nina’s owner had passed away and she had been left outside for a year behind an empty house. Her story starts HERE.
That was the day I discovered her. She was an older dog but full of energy, happy and playful. I wrote more about our decision to formally adopt her in this follow up POST.
We never really knew how old Nina was, but she has become a very old dog. In the past 6 months there has been a rapid deterioration. If you look back at her previous post there was a spark, a happiness and energy. Unfortunately due to age this is Nina today:
Nina has a warm comfortable home that she has loved for the past three years. She has had regular medical care, dental care and grooming. She grew all her hair back after adoption and never had a flea again. She gained weight, ate well, played, walked and rarely ever barked. She had a short but happy life here.
I write because the time has come. We must make that decision that every loving pet owner never wishes to make.
She is confused. She’s not able to walk well. She can’t see nor hear. When she is able to walk, it is in circles as she has developed vestibular disease. She is often incontinent. She eats, but needs assistance. She appears uncomfortable.
We may not have to do it today, but we may. I just got the number for an in-home euthanisia Vet. I’m about to make the call to ask the questions and possibly schedule.
With tears I write. With written words I gain strength.
UPDATE: The in home appointment has been made for Friday 12/29 at 5 pm.
True freedom carries with it respect of differences. In public accommodation I must respect the freedom of others to live a different life than my own.
I practiced as a Respiratory Therapist in public medical accommodation for 20 years. In that practice I not only was required to respect different cultures, customs, politics and religions but wished to appreciate what made us human. What makes us human is differences, as well as commonalities. Humanity is empathy. Humanity is understanding. Humanity is having different experiences. Humanity is having different beliefs. Humanity is enriching each other.
I currently sell real estate. Selling real estate is a public accommodation. In this field I am required by law to respect all races, religions, beliefs, politics, sexes, sexualities, colors, practices, disabilities, abilities, politics and professions. I, by law, cannot discriminate. I also do not wish to discriminate nor exclude. I sell property to all and I relish all.
Understanding begins with me. Respect begins with me. Empathy begins with me.
I don’t have to live the life of the one I don’t agree with. I live the life I choose. I let others live their life and respect that they believe differently. I respect they have a different life experience than I do. In public accommodation I serve them.
Join me. Be human. Start right where you are.
In public accommodation enrich the canvas that is the art of humanity.
I am human. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I do not want to be perfect.
I, however, do want to be better. I am capable of improvement. I will do better.
These are choices. I choose to be honest with myself and those around me that I am not, nor will ever be, perfect. I choose to choose improvement. I choose to work toward betterment.
I have to accept that others are not perfect. I have to accept that others do not realize they are not perfect or that others may not choose to better themselves. I must realize that we are all human and thus flawed.
Where is this coming from? What am I actually contemplating here?
I am resolving an internal conflict about news I just encountered on this here internet thingy. It’s news about another of those accused and convicted child molesters. This one is not from Penn State but from television advertising of Subway sandwiches. Like my post about Jerry Sandusky, I was not there to actually witness Jared Fogle’s crimes and if his convictions are overturned I will post a retraction but since he is currently a convicted felon by the courts I will write a post about his actions.
Unlike Mr. Sandusky, Mr. Fogle’s is not appealing his conviction but allegedly defending himself in a civil lawsuit brought about by a victim seeking damages. I am actually relieved he isn’t appealing a conviction but am disturbed by the choice of defense in the civil suit. Choosing to blame the victims parents he alleges didn’t give the victim a proper home life thus leaving her wounded and available for his abuse? This somehow absolves him of monetary damage?
I am not familiar with the home life or the parents of the victim. I do not know the victim nor Mr. Fogle. He still abused her, she did not abuse him.
My old wounds of childhood abuse will always be with me. I realize that news like this will always lead me to revisit this part of my past in some way or another. I have to be grateful that I make better choices. I choose to take responsibility for my actions. In my quest for betterment of myself I must strive to not blame others for what was ultimately my decision and my action, even if others were less than perfect.
This post is about men who hold positions of authority who abuse that position and molest young boys.
I have a bias against this man:
I have a bias because I was molested by men who held, what I perceived, to be important positions of authority when I was at the impressionable ages of 12-14 years. I have a bias because Mr. Sandusky has been convicted in a court of law. The situations around his case brought back many painful memories. The possible cover up issues that swirl around his case remind me of the cover up that went on around the men who molested me.
To say I have a tender spot around this subject would be an understatement. Just when this had all died down and I thought that the reopening of my wound by the news of this story had subsided, I find this news of Mr. Sandusky’s appeal.
Wounds are reopened again. Does Mr. Sandusky have the right to appeal? Why yes he does, the appeal process is one of the great parts of a fair and just legal system. Do I have the right to my opinion through my own experiences? Why yes I do. Was Mr. Sandusky one of my perpetrators? No. Were his practices and actions similar to my perpetrators? Yes. Can I say for sure he is guilty as convicted by a court? No, I wasn’t witness to his actions nor was I present at his trial. Can I have an opinion that he is guilty as was found in that court of law? Yes I can.
First…Why do I write this? Second…Why do I post about such a tragedy of abuse? Third…Why do I choose to use Mr. Sandusky’s plight to express my hurt, anger and frustration on this subject?
First I will start with the last question: I choose Mr. Sandusky only because he has been convicted in a court of law and is currently serving time as a felon for this crime. I choose him because he opened the can of worms through his choosing to use his right to appeal. I choose him because the descriptions of the situations he put himself in, which are widely known, were all to common with what I myself experienced as a victim of other child molesting men. Should Mr. Sandusky win his appeal and be resolved of all crimes to which he has been accused and convicted regarding his abuse of young impressionable boys, I will amend this post with an update and an apology for using him and his case as post fodder for a subject that obviously affects me deeper than I have given realization.
Back to the first question: I write this because when I saw the news that Mr. Sandusky had filed for appeal I had a visceral reaction. My reaction helped me to realize the depth of the pain I feel to this day from actions inflicted upon me by those obviously self loathing men that molested me. For years I internalized it, justified it and took responsibility for it. Yes took responsibility for it in that I took the blame. I blamed myself for it because I was gay therefore I wanted them to molest me. I took the blame for it in that I was alone and lonely and wanted their approval. I took the blame for it in that I needed them and what they could do to advance me and help me in school.
For that second question: I post about the tragedy that is child sexual abuse because it needs to be talked about. It needs to be said that IT’S NOT OK. It also needs to be said its not ok to cover it up, look the other way and it’s not ok to say nothing. I raise my voice in hopes that one child isn’t molested because my voice helped someone to say something, do something to stop it.
I realize now that as a child, in fact until I was at this very moment, I didn’t have the capacity to step up and take the responsibility to say yes I am one of those boys. I choose to not take responsibility for what those twisted adults did to me, but to take responsibility for speaking out and raising awareness for those who can’t. Those men took my innocence. They took my virginity and exploited it for their selfish adult pleasure.
By writing this I take the first step toward taking it back. The men who molested me, and many others I am sure, are long dead. The ones who aided them by covering it up or simply saying nothing are gone as well. I have no need in opening that pandora’s box.
When a lonely and outcast young boy finds the acceptance of an adult male he is powerless for he yearns for some sort of acceptance, whatever it may be. When that adult takes advantage, the boy (or girl) becomes more powerless. Once violated, the youth is lost in isolated oblivion that can remain a prison for years and sometimes a secret for life. A secret that destroys from within.
Where there is smoke, there isn’t usually a fire, there IS fire. When you see smoke, say something before the fire gets out of control.
UPDATE: I realize after posting that in case an individual, male or female, who may find this post who themselves are underage and a victim…You Are Not Alone. Speak up, you deserve help. Realize that by speaking up you are not only helping yourself but those who haven’t the courage to or are the next victims behind you. You have a voice.
Yesterday we felt helpless. Yesterday we did something to change that. Yesterday we contacted our representative and senators. We provided this LINK so you could as well. With the aide of that link it took us 10 minutes total to write all three.
This morning we wrote President Obama and Vice President Biden. I am sure that our letters are lost in a sea of letters and communications they are receiving but they are there. Without hundreds of thousands of letters just like ours, the importance of responsibility regarding this issue would not be forefront in our leaders agendas. Please write how you feel to each and every one of our leaders that represents you.
You can reach the White House for both Obama & Biden … by simply clicking right HERE.
Below is our letter. Feel free to use it as an example, write your own or even copy and paste it if your view is similar to Fearsome’s:
Dear President Obama,
Please do not delay in pushing forward responsible, sensible gun control. Assault weapons have no place outside of law enforcement and military use. Handguns need only be in the hands of thoroughly vetted responsible citizens and in limited numbers….if at all. The tragedies we endure can and must stop.
Freedoms are actually limited in a free society. They are limited by the freedoms infringement on the safety and security of fellow citizens. Of this I am sure you are quite aware. I believe in you and I rest assured that you will do the right thing by pushing forward and holding those controlled by the gun lobby responsible for our recent tragedies.
Thank you for your years of service. You are an inspiration. You have accomplished many great things and your legacy improves not only the United States, but the world as a whole. May sensible gun control become part of your legacy to the absolute best of your ability.
(Your name here)
Go Ahead….do something, say something….don’t let those lost in Orlando be lost without your voice expressing the necessity of responsibility.
Through my own experience I find that one of my greatest challenges in life is reminding myself that I shouldn’t place undue expectations on other persons, places or things. The only thing in life I truly have complete control over is me. I can control what I do, what I expect and how I react. I control these things through choices I make. I cannot make choices for persons or things outside of me. It’s that simple.
As a human I expect. From past experiences I can project certain outcomes. Since I can think, I can make up outcomes that are realistic and also unrealistic. I can make up expectations. Expectations that are realistic and also unrealistic. In my mind, often without the knowledge of others, I place these expectations on things outside of myself. Things or persons to which I have no control. When theses expectations are not met, I am disappointed. Often disappointments become resentments.
Here’s the rub, I am responsible for creating these resentments. No one else created them. I created them through my own made up expectation and my chosen reaction. I play a part in everything in my life weather I created it or not. The part I play is me. If it’s my life, I’m in it.
I must always remember to examine what part I played, to take responsibility and let go of resentment. Period.
We met on the first day of first grade. The friendship was instant. When the morning started we were seated beside each other, by day’s end the teacher had moved us to opposite sides of the room. We just couldn’t stop talking.
Our friendship continued through high school graduation and through the trials and tribulations of dating in our 20s. She was kind of like the sister I never had and me the sibling she didn’t have. We saw each other off into our relationships that we each have until this day. We have remained friends through the years and stay in touch several times each year.
The glitch is this, my life has been financially successful and hers not so much. Unfortunately managing money was never her strong suit. Years ago when there was an issue and I sent out a thousand bucks as a loan. The loan was never repaid. Then there was a little loan of a couple hundred here and a hundred there, you get the picture. There was never any attempt to repay. I knew she really didn’t have it to repay me with anyway.
Then about 6 years ago with a disabled husband and two kids in school, she called me as the house was being foreclosed on. I faced a dilemma. I had started to resent the outstanding loans and now I was being asked for five thousand to save the house before they were homeless. Since she has no siblings and her parents were gone (both died in debt), I decided I could not loan her the money as I would never see it repaid but I could gift her the money expecting nothing in return. I gifted the money and the house was saved.
She has managed to get the kids through school as one is in college and the other is a high school senior. She has managed to get the husband through a near death illness a couple years back and kept up with the house payments.
She kept up the house payments until now. I got the call last Friday. She’s back in foreclosure. She asked for a loan. I didn’t give her an answer even though my gut said no. She asked me to think about it. I said I would. I just called her and told her no, no I cannot help.
I have the money. I have the means not because I make a good living. I have the means because I am responsible with my money. In order for me to continue to be friends with her I cannot become resentful. I would most definitely become resentful that I am saving a house that I saved before.
I have done what I can do. I have helped in the past. I’m still here for her as a friend. I still love her because I made the choice to protect my end of the friendship. I maintain my end of the friendship by not putting resentment over further financial assistance in the way.