Wellspring - Ending relationship and sexual abuse in Saratoga County


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Parents: Here’s Your Back to School Reading Assignment

Parenting during the high school years isn't easy!

On the once hand your teen will have to  function without you in the very near future, so you've gotta let go and give him/her autonomy. Your child may be in college in a year; he or she needs to learn how to function without you. There will be colds and flus, breakups, parties, missed buses... and mom or dad won't be there to help them through those daily challenges.

On the other hand, as they experiment with this newfound freedom one bad decision, e.g. driving drunk or using drugs can have serious, even life-ending, consequences. And with Internet activities and designer drugs it's hard to stay ahead of dangerous trends.

How many patents keep cough medicine  in an unlocked medicine cabinet?  How many wouldn't bat an eyelash if their 16 year old had a cold and self-medicated with cough medicine. Probably most.

Would you provide your child a drug so he/she could experience  visual and auditory hallucinations and out-of-body dissociative sensations? What if that drug also may cause confusion, rapid heart beat, vomiting, dizziness and loss of motor control if misused and taken in excessive doses. 

One in 10 youth ages 12 through 17 reported that they abused OTC cough medicine to get high.... and it's right in your medicine cabinet.

Here's what you need to know to prevent teen cough medicine abuse. It's a quick read, but it could save your teens life. Make this your summer reading assignment, and pass it along to any other parents of teens.

What’s your secret?

Here's a topic I've never written about... happy marriages!

Why not? I can't imagine.  I've been very happily married for over a quarter of a century (yikes, we sound ancient when I word it that way.) My parents' waking hours were devoted to each other until death altered their daily routines. My husband's parents celebrated their golden anniversary and led their lives with the love and devotion to rival any 1950's  family TV show. Many of my friends have been happily married even longer than my hubby and me. I believe in happy marriages, and I've seen many of them.

But, it took reading this delightful advice from a couple celebrating their 70th anniversary for me to realize  it's about time to give happy marriages a moment in the limelight on this blog. Kath and Bill's advice made me smile. It's not really relevant to my relationship (they estimate 25,550; my guy and I have had about 5), but that's the key. Every relationship is different... and every happy couple's secret to success is different.

So what's our secret?

My advice- Accept the person you married for who they are... you're not gonna change them, nor should you. It's funny, the very qualities that made you fall in love with him because he so perfectly complemented you-- are the very same traits that will perplex, challenge and annoy you a few years down the road when infatuation's 'fresh off the shelf' glossiness softens into a patina of familiarity and predictability. It's the same guy. No changing the rules mid-game.

My husband's advice? Start off right; be thoughtful and choose your partner wisely.  Know when to say "yes dear' and leave it at that.

Works for us.

So what's your secret to a happy relationship?




All it Takes is a Few Good Men

I just read an interesting op-ed column  in the NY Times by Frank Bruni, Tackling the Roots of Rape, that links the pervasiveness of sexual violence to the messages we give boys about what it means to be a man. Be strong, fight for what you want, don't act like a girl, etc. I think he's right. Those messages do set up a mindset that men can use to justify sexual violence. They also set up a mindset that justifies excusing such behavior as 'boys being boys' grows from pulling ponytails to sexual violence. Those messages are the social norms that become our measure of a man. If we want to eliminate sexual violence we need to change our messaging.

What I think he missed is that while the majority of men have been exposed to these messages, if asked to think about it, don't feel that way. The overwhelming majority respect, value and treat women as equals. The majority of men would be opposed to any acts that degrade, harm or violate women.

If we want to empower men to create change among their peers to eliminate sexual violence, we need to  give them the message that a man stands up for what he believes in and speak out when he sees injustice. Even if his teammate, best friend, co-worker or college pal is the one committing the injustice. We need to practice those words not just when an egregious act is happening, but when we see any injustice.  That's leadership. That's manliness. That's what creates social change. All it takes is a few good men standing up for what's right to turn the tide from the negative messaging. Most men would follow that lead.

Want to know how to do it? Watch this video. It's really this easy!

P.S. The same applies for women. It's just as important that we look, speak up and step up. Think about the negative social messages we inadvertently communicate and speak out.



Drinking, drugs or wife beating… which will it be?

Oh Pete Rose. He should have just left it at 'I screwed up. I should have done better.I should have told the truth.' During a radio chat with John Phillips, Rose was lamenting his compulsion to bet on games that cost him his career. He opined that if he'd picked a better vice... say wife beating... he would have been given a second chance. But gambling- no wiggle room on forgiveness there.

It's  a sad commentary on our social values that assaulting your partner is seen as  a forgivable little vice. Pete, I appreciate your willingness to pass along hard earned lessons about honesty to young athletes, but I think you struck out as a role model once again.

Drinking, drugs or wife beating… which will it be?

Oh Pete Rose. He should have just left it at 'I screwed up. I should have done better.I should have told the truth.' During a radio chat with John Phillips, Rose was lamenting his compulsion to bet on games that cost him his career. He opined that if he'd picked a better vice... say wife beating... he would have been given a second chance. But gambling- no wiggle room on forgiveness there.

It's  a sad commentary on our social values that assaulting your partner is seen as  a forgivable little vice. Pete, I appreciate your willingness to pass along hard earned lessons about honesty to young athletes, but I think you struck out as a role model once again.

Want to Feel Better Today… Try One of These

Helping others fosters happiness. If you want to be happy, do something to make someone else happy. it's that simple... and the effects are long-lasting. Need some ideas? Here are 25 to get you started.

I have a silly ritual. Whenever I see a penny on the ground, if it's tails up I flip it over and leave it
there. I like to think that the next person who happens by will not only be one cent richer, but their walk will be a bit jauntier because they've found a lucky penny. And because accepting what's given to you with grace is also important, if the penny is head-ups up, it's mine and I say thanks to the universe for offering me a small blessing. Now I don't have any superstitions that a penny wrong side up is bad luck (a penny is a penny); but I like to think that a tiny gesture may bring a smile to someone's face.

Need more reasons to help others? Did you know volunteering is linked to better health, happiness, self-esteem, and even longevity. One in three adults in the US volunteer, giving us one of the world's highest rates of volunteerism. And according to US News and World report, "communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism." . Click on the link to US News to find out how helping others makes us happy.

Want to Feel Better Today… Try One of These

Helping others fosters happiness. If you want to be happy, do something to make someone else happy. it's that simple... and the effects are long-lasting. Need some ideas? Here are 25 to get you started.

I have a silly ritual. Whenever I see a penny on the ground, if it's tails up I flip it over and leave it
there. I like to think that the next person who happens by will not only be one cent richer, but their walk will be a bit jauntier because they've found a lucky penny. And because accepting what's given to you with grace is also important, if the penny is head-ups up, it's mine and I say thanks to the universe for offering me a small blessing. Now I don't have any superstitions that a penny wrong side up is bad luck (a penny is a penny); but I like to think that a tiny gesture may bring a smile to someone's face.

Need more reasons to help others? Did you know volunteering is linked to better health, happiness, self-esteem, and even longevity. One in three adults in the US volunteer, giving us one of the world's highest rates of volunteerism. And according to US News and World report, "communities with lots of volunteers are more stable and better places to live, which in turn further boosts volunteerism." . Click on the link to US News to find out how helping others makes us happy.

It’s a National Problem that’s Only Getting Worse

It's basic, waking up and knowing nothing bad is going to happen to you.
 
There is elder abuse occurring in every zip code in the US.
 
 
Elder abuse is a national problem that's only going to get worse with the aging of the population.
 
Those are the opening word of this eye-opening video about elder abuse. As the documentary shows, family members and caregivers are often perpetrators of elder abuse... and the it's often difficult to identify when an elder is being abused. An elder may become a prisoner in their own home... captive and abused or neglected by a child or grandchild.
 
To identify it, we first need to understand what it is. Watch this video; it's the first step toward ending elder abuse. We owe it to them.
 
 

2 Sons Plead Guillty to Murdering their Parents… Within the Same Week


Just one week ago the Saratogian covered the story about a son who bludgeoned his mother... and I remarked we're fortunate these types of crimes are rare in our area. Maybe not as rare as we'd hope... today's Saratogian reports that a son in Rensselaer County pled yesterday guilty to bludgeoning his mother and father.

Any death due to abuse is one death too many. But let's not be complacent about elder abuse until there's a horrific incident like the two that have been adjudicated in the past week. Many more elders live in fear, are neglected, are financially exploited... but we're unaware because their stories do not become headline news.

Earlier this year Leadership Saratoga explored the issue of elder abuse in Saratoga County and launched an initiative to increase public awareness. Click below to hear what Jackie Hakes learned as she participate in the project.



What can you do?
Educate yourself about elder abuse.

Be aware of vulnerable elders in your community. Check in on elder family members and be alert for signs of neglect, financial control, or isolation. Often we assume that as long as there's a family member looking out for them, all is well. It may not occur to us that the family member may be abusing them... but 90% of elders are abused by family members.

Let's also remember that most family members who care for an elder are concerned, kind and supportive; they are doing an act of love. So you can also show your support by offering caregivers respite. Even an hour or two is a welcome break.

Tomorrow;
In their words. Stories  from elders about how they were abused.

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