And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

July 26, 2004

The Conventional Choice

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 4:44 pm

So here we are at the beginning of the Democratic convention. It is very different than when I was a child. I remember watching the 1968 convention and seeing all of the emotion and passion. I was facinated. But tonight I fear that it will be a scripted and emotionless prefunctory exercise. I am going to vote for Kerry but mostly because I do not like the way the neo-cons are running things. I am not sure Kerry will be much different, but at least he will not be smirking and mugging all of the time. I also hope he spends more time in Washington working instead of at home playing.

I must admit that I had hopes for Kucinich, but alas he did not have the backing. I had hopes for Dean, but alas he was too real. I do not have much hope for Kerry, I think he is in the pocket of big business or they would not be letting him run at all. I think it is a matter of being acceptable by big business or you cannot run.

I must admit that Ralph Nader is still one of my heros. I admire his ability to run even with so much criticism surrounding him. He speaks truth to power, and power does not like that. He has been vilified by most everyone and I think that is wrong. I think he just says what he knows to be the truth. I like him as a voice for the rest of us.

At any rate the race is on. We will watch the rhetoric run rampant. We will watch as the mud flies. We will watch as the true issues get lost in the silly wedge issues and silly “moral” issues cloud the truth. The truth is the gap between the rich and the poor is growing at an alarming rate. What happens when it reaches a critical point is revolution. This has always been the case in the past. I think we are closer to that now than ever before. I know that we have the most powerful tool we have ever had—The Internet—the great equalizer. Everyone’s voice is accepted here. You can say whatever you want, and the test is who reads it. The fact that 10 million people–world-wide—protested the war in Iraq is proof that it is a growing force to be dealt with. I like that a lot.

March 26, 2004

The 9/11 Tragedy

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 7:44 am

I have been watching the 9/11 commission hearings and one thing that keeps coming up for me is how much we are looking for who did something wrong which led to the tragedy of that day. I cannot help but think that it was one of those unavoidable things that happens in the world. It was a terrible thing and I do not think we can just accept that things like this happen without there being some way of stopping it. The problem with that is that the only way to stop it is to curtail the freedoms of everyone to the point where we are under surveillance continously. I hear a great deal about the Bush administration not taking the treat of terroism seriously and because of that the attacks happened. I think this is truly a case of not wanting to accept that awful things happen and that there is not a lot we can do about it. Because we do not live in a world where everyone knows what her or his actual needs are and how to fulfill them, we are going to have people doing things that impinge upon the rights of others to get their needs met. I look at the ways some Muslims are willing to sacrifice themselves for the promise of rewards in heaven and I think what a tragedy. What if their leaders were helping them develop into the best person they could be here. What if they were helped to love themselves and others and to put their energy into solving the problems instead of hating and wanting to destroy enemies.

Of course I look at our society and think that we are trained to be consumers and good little workers. What if the focus here was about loving self and others and looking for ways of making the world safer and more user friendly. So much of our energy is used up working to make money so we can have things. These things do not mean much and yet we spend most of our time and effort trying to have more stuff. There is not much money to be made in trying to make the world safe and happy, instead we are mostly motivated by fear. So we see the world as being scary and awful.

I know that governments are usually run by people who think it is their job to protect us from some real or perceived menace. For years here it was the Soviet “Red Menace” so the government was essential to protect us from communism and the threat of nuclear attack. We never really came under attack and we did not need the nuclear arms race to be safe, but once we began it was hard to stop, we had let the genie out of the bottle. So now we have huge stock piles of weapons that we do not need. We are also very afraid that some terrorist group will get a weapon and use it on us. Gee, could this have been averted by not developing these weapons in the first place? This is not an easy question and it brings up a number of other questions. One of these questions is how many weapons do we need? We have a military-industrial-congressional complex that seems to exist for the sake of itself now. They are always looking for ways of making more weapons and more money. They do not exist to make us safe. We do not need huge stock piles of weapons to be safe, and yet they continue to manufacture them. We put more money and energy into developing weapons than we do into anything else. What if we spent that money on developing ways of using our natural resources and the planet in such a way as to help it sustain us?

Some Muslim countries seem to try to turn their people into weapons, we seem to try to turn our resources into weapons. What if we used that energy differently? It is something to think about.

January 14, 2004

How The Right Wins

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 2:56 pm

I just watched a segment of Democracy Now from Democracy One of the issues presented was about the White House’s new plan to use peer review of all scientific data that is going to be presented to the public. The representative that was defending the White House was from the Chamber of Commerce. The person representing the other side was a former Department of Energy Offical. The DEO person kept saying the the White House was trying to keep any information that might cost big business money quite and this is why they want to start managing information. He said the review process we have now works. The COC guy said they wanted to make sure the review was presented to the public, and in saying that said they wanted “transparency”. I listened for a while and noticed that I was becoming very upset. The DEO guy kept trying to make a point and engage the COC guy to no avail. The COC guy just kept going back to his point that they wanted to have transparency. I finally stopped listening. I have had time to think about it now and I think I finally got a big piece of what was so hard to hear.

It has been my experience that when I am discussing something with another person that I become less interested when the other person does not listen. I see that when politicians are discussing something they just keep making their point and do not engage in discussion. I have a negative reaction to this type of manipulation. I know that the other person has an agenda and that they do not want something as dull as facts to interfere with their beliefs. I have seen this many times.

When I was a child I saw this type of manipulation often. My father would use it then my brother began to use it as a child. I would talk to them and never get answers or a direct response. They just kept making their point. If I continued to try to get a discussion started they would eventually turn to personal attacks. I see this is what the Right often does. I remember watching Phyllis Schaffly debate about the ERA (Equal Rights Admendmant) in the 1980’s. She never answered questions and would just go back to her orginal statements or comments. She always had a smug look on her face and I wondered why she always seemed to feel as though she won. I see now that it was again a case of never legitamizing the other person’s point of view by engaging it. In the case of the COC guy, he simply ignored both the DOE guy and the host, Amy Goodman by ignoring their points and talking about his agenda. It was a very interesting situation.

I like that I finally see this so clearly. I have always been sensitive to someone having a hidden agenda with me. I remember asking one of my college professors why Phyllis Schaffly was so opposed to the ERA. Her response was “Who knows”. I knew at the time that it was not so much what she was saying and that she had some hidden agenda. I do not know whether it was about wanting to hurt women, wanting to keep women in their place, wanting to promote her view of the way women should act, or what. I do know it was not about what she was saying. I believe that a part of it had to do with pleasing the people who backed her financially. I know that big business was opposed the the ERA because it would have required them to give equal pay. I also know that most reasonable people would be alright with that. So to oppose the passage of it based on that would not have been a problem with most people. So the ones who stood to lose the most looked for ways that would be alright. They played to the fears of people. I remember an aunt of mine saying she did not want it to pass because she did not want anyone telling her that she would have to being working construction. I remember thinking that the entire admendment was only 24 words and only referred to no governmental body being able to enact laws that adbriged the right of anyone based on gender. But the right (big business) managed to make people afraid by using people like Ms. Schaffly to scare people about it. Wow, they are quite something huh?

November 29, 2003

Something Shocking

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 8:58 am

If you want to know more about how the rich have taken over our government read this article.

September 23, 2003

Can Capitalism Catch on in Iraq?

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 9:04 am

Well here we are four months after Dubya declared the end of the war in Iraq still knee deep in it. We are losing troops everyday. Our brave soldiers are dying and being maimed for what? To bring Democracy to Iraq? I don’t think so. What we are truly trying to bring to Iraq is our own state sponsored religion. This is Capitalism. We worship the Almighty Dollar here. We are sold on the concept that the only thing worth having is money. We work our entire lives, and for more and more Americans this means that they have to work two or three jobs each to make it at all. But we must work, must have money, must have things. We have been brain-washed into thinking that the person with the most money is the best person. But can we “make” another culture believe in Money as the most important thing there is? Perhaps the people of Iraq believe something else is important. Perhaps they pray five times a day because they believe in something beyond this world. But that does not seem to stop Bush and Company from trying to privatize their country in the name of our religion. L. Paul Bremer is trying to give their country to the highest bidder. I wonder how many Americans would feel good about some other country coming over here and selling off our assets? At any rate Paul, good luck with turning their country into America of the Middle East. Perhaps he should start with commercials, we all know how much they keep us buying and in line. They he could bring some of the neo-cons like Rush, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity over to demoralize any opposition. Keep up the good work Paul. Always working for the rich has its rewards$$$$$$$.

September 22, 2003

How Are We Doing?

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 11:36 am

I am sitting here reading a news story about the devastation in Iraq. I am saddened and angry about what has happened to a sovereign nation as a result of this ridiculous war. The fact that we are there at all is stupid. We have no right to march into another country, who posed no threat to us, and start telling them what to do with their country. I read about the groups of men maurading through the streets raping women and girls who are then put back on the streets to be killed by their male relatives in honor killings. I read about soliders who are being killed daily by the angry people of the country. I read about 60% unemployment and people starving to death. The water, electricity, and food is not getting to people. The infrastructure is in ruins. I then read about Paul Bremer and company working on ways to privatize all of the essential needs of the people of this devastated country. They want to help American companies make a lot of money. Then I start to think about what is happening in this country. I see how our jobs being outsourced to other countries. I see our state’s cutting back services. I see millions of jobs having been lost over the past two years. I see hugh tax breaks for the top 1% of wage earners being given, which further erodes the ability of government to do what they are here to do. I see our evironment being attacked by big business. So I begin to put this together and what do I see. I see that the Bush administration is has no desire to be fair and to help. If you want to see the truth of how much human suffering matters to them just look at what they are doing in Iraq. Our soldiers are being put in harm’s way just to make money for Halliburton and Bechtel, et al. They could not defeat a country that had been significantly weaken by 10 years of sanctions. Now they are treating those poor people as non-indentities for their own selfish purposes. The rich are getting richer and the poor are being ignored in the name of Capitialism. How awful. I am ashamed of our country’s elected officals. I think it is important to look at how they are treating Iraq. They are treating us the same way. For just one example of this look at the way the police here are being treated. They have to spend most of their budget on homeland security measures, for what????? Nothing that has been done will stop a terrorist. We are not engaged in a traditional war. This is about fighting poverty and injustice, not people. But the cowheads in Washington have their own agenda. They are not sharing the truth of that agenda with us, but they have their own. We need campaign finance reform, because they just cannot say no to big business. They just keep giving them what they want because they get money to do it and big business has more people on the elected officials than we do. So we need to start paying attention and doing more. I am doing this, and voting. You can do what makes you feel connected and involved. But get connected and involved. We can make the difference.

July 25, 2003

Hooray For US

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 4:02 pm

Today I read on that the Congress of this great country fought for us today. They voted to stop some of the more extreme parts of the Patriot Act. This one was about law enforcement being able to just walk into our homes without judicial oversight and arrest who ever they wanted. Wow, I am so very proud of our representatives right now.

It has been scary to watch the types of manipulation and lies be perpetrated upon our country by some very slick and shady people. From that spoiled brat who is our President Select – baby Bush and all of his self-important and nutty appointees, from Cheney (I love money & power), to Wolfowitz (my hero is Hitler), to Michael Powell (I love being courted by big media), to Condi Rice (I love pleasing my men), to Carl Rove (I love being in control).

But today our representatives did what they are there to do. They said, “That is enough.” I have been very upset and scared about losing this wonderful home of mine ~ the USA. I have always loved this country. I know we have problems but one of the things that has always made us so strong is that we admit mistakes and grow as a result.

The basis of democracy is that this is a place where everyone gets to be who they are. I think that for the first time in the history of the world we have a source of information that is available to everyone. We have the Internet.

It is an unblinking and unflinching beacon. It gives even those of us with little power the ability to get the truth. Here is a place where you can instantly find out what is going on in the world. We can talk to people from around the world. We can see news sources from around the world. This is especially important in times like this when there are those who only want us to see or read what they want. Big media is mostly interested in profits, they do not want to upset anyone. Therefore they want to give only the party-line. The neo-cons (the current reactionary group) want to remake the country in their image. They only want us to follow. The biggest media group that completely fits this image is Rupert Murdock’s Fox news—just tune in a watch the slanted and funny antics there. But at this point in history we have a way of finding out more about what is going on than ever before.

I am so happy to see some break in the strangle hold the rich and ultra-right religious have been getting. I know it is really only the beginning, but it is a beginning.

July 18, 2003

Bomb Iraq

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 3:52 pm

[Note: This parody is circulating on the Internet. Sung to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it”]

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think someone has dished us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let’s look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It’s “pre-emptive non-aggression”, bomb Iraq.
Let’s prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They’ve got weapons we can’t see,
And that’s good enough for me
‘Cos it’s all the proof I need
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam’s gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
(And he tried to kill your dad),
Bomb Iraq.

If your corporate fraud is growin’, bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin’, bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain’t easy,
And your manhood’s getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We’ll call it treason,
Let’s make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

July 17, 2003

To Thine Own Self, Be True

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 8:56 pm

Today I am reading news accounts of events leading up to the war with Iraq. One of the mainstream reporters is trying to make a case for the intelligence community having purposely put erroneous information in their communications with the President in order to pay him back for saying some negative things about them.

He (Jim Hoagland) then goes on to talk about why the war is a good thing and that we should not allow this feud to get in the way of supporting this war. How absurd. I have been reading a great deal from various sources about what got us into this situation. It looks to me as though it is a series of events. Most of which involve the current administration and greed and wanting to be in control.

From the beginning of recorded history wars have been fought. Although many reasons have been offered, the truth is war is about power and control. In this country we now have an administration that has become drunk with power. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Project for the New American Century crowd feel invincible right now.

They lie directly to us about very important matters. I understand why a number of Americans are not looking beyond the lies. I have worked as a psychotherapist with sex offenders. When I first began working with them they were directly lying about their offenses. I was sure that just by telling them that I knew they were lying they would break down and admit it. Boy was I wrong.

They convinced themselves that they were right. I remember one in particular who kept saying, “She wanted it. I could tell. She would walk through the house wearing very little. She would smile at me. She would sit on my lap and wriggle around.” I remember saying to him that, “She was 3 years old!”

What I did not understand at the time was that he was coming from a place of protecting himself from any information or thoughts that would interfere with his being able to continue feeling good about himself. For the first year and a half that I worked with this population I kept trying to get them to admit what they had done by coming straight at them with the truth. It did not work.

I then began to look at myself. I was the one directing this and I needed to see what I was doing that was not helping. I began to talk in my own group, a supervision group with other mental health professionals. There I began to understand that I could not deal with the people in my offender group until I found that place inside me that could connect with them. I saw that in order to understand where they were coming from that I would have to find my own offender truth.

So I began talking in my own supervision group about that. I began to see that I could offend people. While I do not sexually offend, I am capable of offending. I looked at the time I spent with the Tampa Police Department as a crime scene technician, and how I had become cynical about entire groups of people. For instance, I began to see that I had started to see black people as being mostly bad, criminal, and scary. I remember being with a group of whites once, and joining in the negative comments about blacks. I also remember feeling badly about myself afterwards.

It was around that time that I began to understand that I had allowed myself to slip into negative thoughts and feelings about an entire group of people. I felt I needed to make some changes. I became involved with the Urban League. I knew that I needed to look for situations that were different. In being with the dedicated men and women of the Urban League, I was able to stop thinking negatively about a group of people.

So while I was in my supervision group I began to talk about how disgusted I was with the people I was working with in my offender groups. I saw that I was giving myself permission to ignore my own prejudices and project all of my stuff onto the offenders. I began to see that I had put them in the “others” category so I could tell myself that I was not like them.

I had to finally admit to myself that I had the ability to hide from my own truth and pretend that others were the problem. Over time I began to develop a better working relationship with the people of my groups. At one point a few years later I was helping a person set up an offender program. he said something to me that made a big impression. He said, “It is amazing to me that you can hold their feet to the fire and never let them off the hook without ever trying to take away their dignity.” That meant a lot to me and it took a lot of personal work.

So what I am trying to say here is that if we want to change the current problems in America and around the world we are going to need to look at ourselves first and try to figure out what is stopping us.

I know that during the Clinton administration I paid little attention to the politics mostly because I found the whole thing to be stupid. I could not have cared less whether he had an affair. I also saw that some people were trying to find more dirt on him. I understand that a man named Scaife, from the Mellon fortune, had spent millions to find more dirt. Nothing came of it but it was 8 years of little people who wanted to get Clinton out so they could have their way.

Well now with the President “Select” in office they finally have it. This is the most corrupt, deceitful and greedy group to ever be in power. And make no mistake, it is all about power and control. The way I see it we already have a state sponsored religion in the US. It is called capitalism. The God is the dollar, that is actually printed on the dollar “In God We Trust”. The places of worship are the malls and stores. The ministers are the media. The hub of the religion, or the sponsors of it are the Washington DC crowd, our ‘Vatican City.”

The dollar has become more important than anything in this culture. It is what drives so many. Yet there is no truth to money and yet it has become the measure of what a person is. That is ludicrous. There is no truth to money it only means what we say it means it has no actual value. We have lost a great deal of liberty and freedom in our pursuit of it. Today many in Washington are closing their eyes and their hearts to the needs of society so as to continue to have a job. I know that I have at times run after the dollar as well.

I was very caught up in the pursuit of it in 1995. I was in private practice and doing quite well financially. But the person I was working with kept taking more and more of the money. I worked harder and harder. I got breast cancer. I then began to re-evaluate my life and my priorities. I saw that I was wasting my life pursuing something I would never get. I thought I would be happy if I could make enough money to feel secure. It just never happened. I then saw the cancer as a wake-up call. If I did not begin to live my true life and begin to discover my true self I was going to die. This was a very loud alarm signal for me. I began to think that perhaps I had the wrong priorities.

Within 3 years I closed my practice, packed what would fit in my car and began a new life. This was very difficult. I left everything behind. I now have a new kind of life. I know more about who I am and why I am here. I have time to think now; I am taking the time to get to know me.

I think that is the true purpose for being here. Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” But to do this I have to know who that is. It takes time and quiet to listen to myself. I think all of the people in Washington are young souls who do not see anything beyond their own physical needs. I think this is common for many. I also know that I have been there. It takes work to change the mind set. It takes a willingness to look at self. It also takes a willingness to admit you are wrong. As Aristole said “Unless we cad admit we are wrong we cannot grow.” George W. Bush is a good example of not being able to grow. He acts like a petulant and spoiled child. The fact that he does not want to take responsibility for what is going on is a true indication of how immature and child-like he is.

I can understand it, but from the President I expect more. They are now involved in spin control that frankly makes little sense. They are doing little to deal with all the other huge problems. Once again we are focusing on minutia instead of seeing the big picture of corruption, lies and tax cuts for the rich. We are in danger of losing more than just money. I read something today on Bush Watch by Dr. Gerry Lower which talked about something very important. Dr. Lower said, “Much of what we Americans have been asked to believe over the past half century is simply not worthy of human belief, and parents have largely dealt with that fact by covering it up, ignoring it and going with the flow to provide their children with really no viable information as to how the world does work or ought to work. One just needs money, that’s all, don’t ask what for.”

This was an “aha” moment for me. I see this as a truth. I can see that over the years we have worked harder and harder to get less and less. When I first began to work in private practice I was getting 70% from the group. as the man who ran the group got bolder he took more and more. He finally took 70% and I got 30%. He simply did it. Of course I realize that I did not insist upon a contact that would have prevented this. I will have to live with that fact. He will have to live with his actions. I can see how different things are now. I am sure that this happens with people as the mature. We can see more and understand more. I think money has become the desired objective in life. The problem with this is that because there is no truth to money it does not satisfy. Just like all the addictions it does not bring the desired objective.

June 17, 2003


Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 9:04 pm

I just spoke with my friend Laura. She asked why I was not involved politically in view of the passion I have about it. I could not come up with any good reasons. I told her it was about living in a very conservative area where support for liberal ideas is not abundant. She said I could find a way if I wanted to. I know she is right. I am not content to just sit back and do nothing. I know it is perhaps somewhat risky but I also know that I am capable of taking risk. I left Tampa even thous I had a great deal going for me there, that was a high risk situation. I think that I have let myself grow enough to take risks and let the fear just be th truth. I know that I can handle myself. I also know I have a wonderful support system with Mark. I have friends like Laura who will help me stay balanced. I know that I like to debate. I found out how to do that when I was working with offenders. I think working in politics would be fun.

I woke up again in the night. I feel depressed and lethargic. I am trying to understand why I am feeling this way. I know a part of it has to do with moving. I just talked to Mark and I got down to what it is for me. I feel helpless because I just feel as though there is nothing I can do about things. I have been watching television and movies my whole life and even though I know it is fantasy it always seems as though the people are able to be in control of their lives. I understand that this is actually about the hopes and dreams of the writers and the people who bring these ideas the screen. But I keep wishing I could feel feel as in control. I understand that feeling out of control is normal. I also understand that each of us has our own way of gaining a sense of control. If people would just understand that the world would be a better place if they could love and accept themselves and others. If people could just make themselves happy then the world would be a happy place. I know that things are not that simple. But what a world we could have. I want to have some control right now. I want to have a job so I can feel as though I have that type of control even though I know that feeling in control does not happen at work. This is more a case of feeling as though what I am doing now is not enough so I want to do things differently. I know intellectually that I am only in control of me. Recently I have been looking outside of me a great deal. I have been looking at Washington and politics in general and feeling helpless about the way things are. I understand why people (the ultra-right wing conservatives for example) are trying to feel in control by creating a world that fits into their idea of perfect. I know that we all feel as though if we could just make the world fit into our idea of perfect then perhaps the world will be safe enough so that we can feel safe. The problem is that every person has their own way of feeling safe and secure. So there is no way of making that hapen. Plus if people ever feel as though they can rely upon their own judgment then Madison Ave., the government, big business, institutionalized religion, and many others will find themselves obsolete.

I am sitting here feeling as though I do not matter. I sent a resume out to get a job as a clinical supervisor of a drug program here in Springfield and as usual I am not getting called. One of the worst parts about this is I do not know why. I know I am filling in the gap about it with my own fears. I am playing the critical card again. I would not like having to go to work every day any more, and yet I miss it. I wish I could help myself feel important. I know that it is only me that matters in terms of how I feel about me. I feel as though I should do something important. I feel as though I am just wasting my life because I am not sharing it with others. I know intellectually that it only matters what I think and that no one else’s opinion is important. But I wish I could help. I see so much pain and suffering and I wish I could help with hat. I know that everyone is here to find their own way and that I am here for the same reason, but I feel as though just doing it for me is so very selfish. I guess I feel that unless someone else hears it, it does not matter as much. That is a key. I feel as though unless some else hears it and agrees then it is not as important. I know that is not true and yet it does feel that way. I know one of the reasons I as a woman have felt unimportant is that I have always felt as though what I have to say was irrelevant and silly. I did not know that is how I felt until now. Wow, that means a lot. I know that this is because I have not usually felt as though anyone took me seriously. I also know that I am the one who does not take me all that seriously. In order to fit in I have negated my own thoughts. I used to negate my feelings, but through years of working on that one I have learned to listen to them and it helps me in all situations. I have not paid as much attention to what I thought. So that is the reason for finally writing it down.

I read some stuff yesterday about misogyny. It seems there are several sites on the internet devoted to saying women have it easy. This astounds me. I do not think anyone has it easy. I think we all have struggles and that everyone has to understand themselves for themselves. This is very hard since there are no easy ways of doing this. I also feel as though you can never understand self by looking through the eyes of another. While looking at the sites saying that women have it easy I was stuck by several things. One was the feeling of hatred. I know that it says volumes about the person who created the web site and not much about anyone else, but it is a shame that someone has to carry such negative feelings and not have a way of resolving them. I can understand how much fun it is to point the finger at someone else. As a feminist I can look at men and see all of the problems they have created upon the planet mostly things like war, hatred, ethoncentrism, ect. But I know that is not the point. It is more important for me to empower myself and others than to indulge in finding fault and affixing blame. I know that as a woman I have been told a lot of things about the way I should act and feel. I also know that it is up to me to decide. So I look at sites that affix blame on others as giving in to that delicious urge to blame someone else for my problems. I remember growing up that my mother took the blame for everything from my father. My father always seemed to blame her for all of the problems. At least until I was about 11 then he began to say I was the blame. Of course my mother always blamed my father. My brother began to blame my mother and then me. I began to blame my brother and my mother. No one took responsibility for themselves. It took some time after growing up to stop looking outside of myself for who was responsible. I spent a lot of time wrapped up in looking at who was causing the problems in my life. Then when I got into my mid-thirties I began to see that the only one causing the problems was me. I then began to look at how I had gotten to this point. I saw that I had been critical and damaging to myself about myself. I was parenting me the way I thought I had been parented. I now understand that my interpretation of what my parents did or why was my own. Finally I asked my mother to talk about what she had seen and what it meant to her. I got some interesting answers. She had forgotten some of my most important life events and had seen many other things in a very different way. So it struck me that I was looking outside myself for to understand myself. I wanted my mother to see things my way. That would feel as though I was right and I hoped that would help me feel validated and loved. I finally began to see that her experience was just as valid as mine and that I needed to validate my own experience. That let her off the hook for my feelings. I could finally connect with her at a deep and human level. So now I have a deeper connection with my mother and myself. I could begin to parent myself and heal the wounds. I began to parent me in a way that made a difference to me. So now when I feel out of control and sad I know that I will help me understand and look at what I need. Now I know that I can make it better.

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