Cynthia28's Blog

February 19, 2012

I love tea

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — cynthia28 @ 9:30 pm

I love tea. I have been drinking tea since I was very young. It was something my mom and I did together. We still do when we’re in the same state. I started out with a common brand name of black tea. I have graduated to pretty much every kind tea out there. Am I an expert? Well, I don’t know about that. I do know that some teas will never be my favorite and others I keep stocked in the house at all times.
So, as I love tea, and I love free samples, I am going to blog about tea and the sample I receive. I will also blog about those that I buy regularly and compare what I have. I am also going to attempt to grow my own tea bushes. Not the herb type that are part of every garden. There is nothing wrong with them, but they are not my focus. So, stay tuned. We shall see what comes of this

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April 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 11:43 pm

My guess is you have all realized I am very liberal. I used to think it was how I was raised. My parents are very liberal as were my dad’s parents. However, my mother’s parents were very conservative. So how did they produce two children that were very much liberal. I always chalked it up to not wanting to be like their parents and being smarter than their parents(which isn’t fair, as my grandparents were very smart, just not liberal.) Then, I read this study Liberals brains work differently

Turns out, there are brain differences in the brain structure of conservatives and liberals. Liberals are able to show more compassion and are more able to be flexible when plans change. We are able to see both sides of a situation and change our minds when the information presented makes more sense. Hmm. Good to know.

This song came out when I was in highschool. The line that always stuck with me is about people waiting in line for welfare and some smart ass punk say “get a job.” Most people want to work. Some are unable to. Very few don’t work just because they don’t want to.

So, to lighten up the whole thing and to make fun of us all, I scanned some cartoons from the book “Why Dogs are Better than Republicans.”

Why they are better,  Why they are the same,  Why they are better than dems.

My parents always said they would support my brothers and me in anything we wanted to do as long as it was legal, moral, and we didn’t become republicans. We only have one black sheep in our family. He is the republican, but we love him still.

What does this have to do with community psychology? Well, it seems as though the conservative forces tend to blame the victim, tend to be more ethnocentric, and tend to want to remove help to those who need it because poor people just don’t try hard enough (the whole, “it is the problem of the individual, not the system” thing). I just don’t get that kind of thinking. If we allow poor people to remain poor, with little food, we continue to produce people who are at a huge disadvantage. According to Norman Garmezy of the University of Minnesota, minorities are most likely to have less. We also know that lack of food will cause developmental delays. These delays may be perminent…Here is a link to that information. undernutrition and brain development. Do we really want to have that in one of the richest nations in the world? I don’t. Just one hungry child is one too many. Just one sick person without health insurance is one too many. It costs us so much more to plug the holes , than does prevention. Yet, when funding is cut, as we are seeing in Arizona right now, prevention services are the first to go. Then, people get layed off, as has happened with the behavioral health agencies in the state. There are all ready too few jobs. How many of these people will now need to collect unemployment? We are not prevention oriented. Too bad for us.

April 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 12:27 am

My dad is one of the most gentle souls ever. He is a big man, 6 feet 4 inches and broad in the shoulders. Yet, most people (with the exception of a highschool boyfriend) can sense his kindness. He is a social worker and does individual counseling. Many of his clients are women who have had abuse in their lives. They are not trusting of most people, let alone men, yet they are comfortable with my dad as a councilor. So, how is it I got hooked up with an abuser? I really have no idea.

There was very little yelling in the house as I grew up. I mean, my brother and I had the usual fights and sometimes my mom lost her temper with us (not that I blame her now for that. We were hell on wheels sometimes. Actually, I was hell and my brother was usually just sticking up for himself.) My parents never fought. They have disagreements, of course but fighting, yelling, and especially violence just didn’t happen in our house. We were rarely even spanked.

So, how could someone from a good family end up with an abuser? It happens all the time. Often, an abuser can appear very charming and caring to begin with. Once the victim is sucked in, the campaign to keep the victim off-balance begins. My ex showered me with presents and kindness until we signed the marriage certificate. Then, the problems began. I became a statistic.

I was luckier than most. I had a place to go when I finally left. I had the support of my community and my family. I had a good friend who gave me great advice and helped me with a safety plan. Still, it took me months to leave. My ex controled all the money, all the food, how much time I was allowed to be on the college campus, and who I talked to. The two things that pushed me to leave were the fact that I was pregnant and I did not want my unborn baby hurt, and he threatened to take my dogs (how had been with me for 6 years), and dump them in the desert. The night I left (actually, he kicked me and the dogs out, but refused to give me any keys to the cars), I got so mad I kicked in the door. I am 6 inches taller and 25 years younger than my ex. Yet, he scared me. I was right to be scared. He made good on the threat against the dogs.

Now, for some facts and stats. There are a few major reasons women don’t leave. Check out this article Why Don’t They Leave.  Society still blames the victim. Women are still a minority, so there are fewer resources available to help women and empower them to leave. There is always the threat to children, pets, and extended family that are all too often carried out. There are even fewer resources for women with pets. Most DV shelters do not allow animals, mostly due to licensing issues. Read about the numbers in this article pets sometimes keep them in the situation. This is changing, and there are ways to help women with pets. Some DV shelters are teaming up with local humane societies and other animal rescue organizations. The organizations will take the animal into the shelter or foster home for no charge and return the animal when the victim is set in a new situation. This gives them more resources and maybe empower them to leave.Border Animal Rescue, with whom I volunteer, is set up to help in this area. Here are some great videos about two DV shelters specifically for women with pets.

There are few statistics about extended family injuries and death, because then get counted under different stats. However, these deaths do occur. I am hoping to get that information soon. Maybe that will be my next blog. And, I will talk about how it affects kids.

Some other information about DV: (Interesting. The wheels look very much like the Ecological Perspective wheel. Again, the outer circle keeping the individual oppressed.)

 information on domestic violence. 

What it should be!

What it is:

Power and Control wheel.   Community Accountibility Wheel.   Imigrant and refugee power and control wheel.   GLBT Power and Control wheel.  Medical wheel

March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 4:47 pm

     How many of us have ever said, “Why don’t they just leave?” when a woman is being abused. I was one of those people. I had no sympathy for a woman who put up with abuse. Then, I became one of those women. Why don’t women leave? Women don’t leave for a few reasons: Fear, lack of resources, lack of financial and economic freedom, children, feelings of guilt, Societal Disbelief Concerning Battered Men. This is not the complete list.  For the a more complete list of why women might stay, visit this site,http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/women/page4.htm. This site is informative as well. http://www.ibiblio.org/hazine/battered.html It is not easy to leave. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous. 

     What are the statistics? According to Callie Marie Rennison from the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims. Of females killed with a firearm, almost two-thirds were killed by their intimate partners. The number of females shot and killed by their husband or intimate partner was more than three times higher than the total number murdered by male strangers using all weapons combined in single victim/single offender incidents in 2002(The Violence Pol’y Ctr). See this site for even more details compiled by the American Bar Association http://new.abanet.org/domesticviolence/Pages/Statistics.aspx.

     Although we are getting a little better about helping women and empowering them no matter where they are in the process of changing their situation, we still blame the victim for staying, for not being strong, for putting up with it, and in some cases, it is said the victim enjoys the abuse or deserves the abuse. As a society, we still look at domestic violence as an issue related to individuals. We do not look at the societal piece that perpetuates the problem. We do not acknowledge that women are still oppressed in the United States. Here is a wonderful interview about domestic violence and Community Psychology. http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications_states/files/0315.pdf 

     So, little by little, with the philosophy so small wins, we need to talk to women and men about domestic violence. We need to help women understand that there is support while they are still in the situation and if and when they choose to leave. We need to help people, who don’t understand why women stay, realize this attitude is about blaming the victim and it keeps women in the situation longer and it does not help them with the fear and embarrassment domestic violence causes. Here are two videos that talk about how to help. The first is from the Center for Disease Control (so I was not able to put the cool little t.v. screen in the post)   httpwww.cdc.gov/CDCTV/BreakTheSilence/.

This Youtube video is quite good as well.

     I know I did not talk, in depth,  about all the difficult and dangous reasons women do not leave. That is for my next blog.

February 23, 2010

Mental illness and recovery

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 9:42 pm

 

There is a growing movement in the treatment of mental illness. That movement is called the Recovery Movement. In the not to distant past, it was believed that people with a serious mental illness would not be able to do more then control their symptoms. They were often told they would do nothing productive in life, not have a job, or at least, not have a job that was more than dish washing, janitorial, or grounds keeping. People with mental illness were told what they had to do and what medications they must take. If they questioned the amount of medications, the dosage, the side effects or other treatment they received, they were called “non-compliant.”

Some of those who received a diagnosis that falls under the label of severely mentally ill decided they no longer wanted to be treated as a diagnosis, but as a person with a diagnosis. They told their doctors they wanted something better for their lives and wanted to make a difference. One such person is Dr. Patricia Deegan. Dr. Deegan was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was a teenager. The doctor told her the best she could hope for was to control the symptoms. She believed this for a while. Then, she decided she wanted more. She attended college and earned a Ph.D in Psychology. She has been a driving force in the recovery movement. Watch Dr. Deegan talk about her recovery  

There are a number of definitions of recovery from mental illness. What it does not mean that all symptoms are gone. Recovery means regaining some of the roles we fill in our lives, or did fill before the symptoms of the disease started. It means recovering some, if not all, of our living, learning, working, and social roles in life. A recovery model and definition from Mecklenburg’s Promis http://www.meckpromise.com/node/6 . Here is what SAMHSA has t say about the subject  http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma05-4129/.

Some of the basic ideas of the recovery movement are directly related to community psychology. One of the most important goals of the movement is to empower those with a diagnosis of a mental disorder. The hope is to teach them to ask questions of those they see for help, to get involved with their treatment and encourage them to bring family and friends with them through their journey of recovery. The goal is to give them the power to have a life that is not all about the illness.

Another issue was the idea that the person was the problem and the person must do as the system said. This is not so, anymore. The system was broken, is still not working so well, and is being fixed; slowly it is true, by small wins. Person first language and person centered planning are two keys to recovery. Person first language is simple. “Do not refer to me by my diagnosis. I am more then that.” Person centered planning means including the person’s goals, ideas, requests, needs and wants in the treatment. It means moving away from “you are ill and to get better you will do as we, ‘the experts’, tell you to do”, to “you have an illness and we, the experts, will ask you what you want, you need, and we will listen to your concerns. We will give you all options and help you choose how you want to proceed. We will encourage you to stay in the community of your choice and help you grow to your potential.”

Yes, the goals are set high for those with mental illness. But, why not? The goals are set high for every one else.

Just an interesting video to dispel some myths about mental illness,http://vodpod.com/watch/1233197-pat-deegan-phd-recovery-workshop

February 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 11:12 pm

It is a sad state we are in now: The economic state and the state of Arizona. As the budget problems continue, the fear of more losses for those who can least afford it grow. There are new proposals every day on what cuts to make. However, the population most affected by those cuts remains the same. Those who live at or below poverty level are in the most fear of losing even more. And, in the long run, the most danger. The cuts to services for the poor may save some money in the short run but will affect all of us very deeply in the long run. The more people  with no insurance for medical or mental health problems, the more people will end up in emergency rooms for help, unemployed, and homeless. This will cause much more of a deficit then we are seeing at present.

Is it not the goal to have every person who is capable, working? Yet, new suggested cuts would eliminate funding for the state’s GED programs. Not only will this keep more people from getting a job, it will cost the state more in educating people in the traditional school system and end federal matching dollars.It seems people need someone to blame for the economic problems. It seems easy, for some, to blame the poor for everyone’s problems. “If they would just go to work…if they would try harder…if they would quit breeding…” “You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply,” says South Carolina’s Lt. Governor. Unbelievably cold-hearted. I don’t know what the answer is, but to cut money to basic education, medical care, and food is not the correct one. To remove hope leaves people with nothing. The poor already have too little. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpb4nwfiaPY  Lt. Gov of South Carolina.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31959.html#ixzz0f5BMPuG0 The written report for Lt. Gov of S.C.
http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/article_9409490a-5b29-50e1-8380-ff916e0a5ea5.html Cutting GED funding

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/college/article_6a916c6f-76e4-5cb3-b8e3-c1f37538bcf8.html Cutting GED funding

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/02/02/20100202healthcare-rally-arizona-capitol.html Health care cuts

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2010/01/13/morrison-institute-the-consequences-of-cutting-ahcccs Consequences of Cutting Healthcare

http://www.azstarnet.com/news/opinion/article_200c4bf0-63a6-5f01-aee1-8d3d53624ada.html More about the Lt. Gov of S.C.

January 23, 2010

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 6:01 pm

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