Too Scared to Watch TV

Baby in pajamasGrowing up, I was always too sensitive to watch certainly movies. Maybe I should even say “most” movies. Even cartoon violence scared me.

Now, my fear is still similar. When friends or roommates watch The Walking Dead or even a PG movie like Tomorrowland, I cower in my bedroom.

Is this fear good or bad? I am not sure. It certainly makes me an outcast. Now, I just feel lonely and stupid. Poor Anna Rose, too scared to be a big girl. After all, it’s just TV, right?

But what if I have a point? What if all that violence touches a part of me that most people ignore? What if my fear should be listened to instead of silenced?

 

Red Flags You are Dating an Abuser

It is important to take a look at this list not only for yourself but others in your life. The sad truth is that many women and men are in abusive relationships. Also, more men and women are abusive than they might even know. We need to deal with this issue instead of ignoring it.

Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse

Here is a list of red flags that may help you to see early on that you are with an abusive personality. If you are seeing a few of these characteristics then you need to assert some boundaries with them and see how they react.

If they fight you about having simple personal boundaries then you need to realize that you may be in an abusive relationship. 

Tell them you have to go sleep early one night because you have a lot to do the next day. If they do not accept this, then there is a problem.

No one should give you guilt or shame you that you are not good to them, when you are doing simple basic things to take care of yourself.

It is not normal for someone to threaten to leave you or call you a bad girlfriend if you want to do things for…

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We Must Treat Mental Disorders as a Serious Problem

This Monday, a man in New Hope Minnesota shot and wounded two police officers at a committee meeting where they had just been sworn into service. They returned fire and shot Raymond Kmetz who it seems went into the situation hoping to be killed.

Looking back at the gunman’s life, reporters have found that he was troubled with mental health issues which caused him to lose his home, be committed to a mental hospital, and threaten police multiple times. Although the hospital diagnosed him with organic brain dysfunction which made competency unlikely, the court failed to prolong him from his commitment in 2013. You can read more about this tragic story in The Star Tribune.

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My Whole Being Aches: Body, Mind, and Spirit

My friend Kelsey with a coin in her eye

Whether it is with joy, fear, or depression, our whole selves react to our feelings.

Each morning for the past few days, I have awoken wondering how I am going to make it through the next few days. School, work, medical appointments,  honor society commitments, and friendships are all weighing down on me. Although these are all good things, the amount of everything in my life is so much that I feel like I am going to break.

Our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits are more attached than we realize. When in pain, every bit of ourselves aches. Joy radiates throughout our beings when we hear good news and makes us think good thoughts and feel well. Thus, it would make sense to see our whole self as connected.

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Recovery in the Media: #55. Maleficent

Maleficent

Maleficent shows the power of our actions, good, evil, revenge, and love.

55. Maleficent

Last week, my brother and I took an unusual visit to the movie theater to see Maleficent. Although I struggled with the film’s use of violence, the overall message touched me deeply. Fairy tales were part of what taught me to love reading. However, their black-and-white view of people has come to trouble me sometimes. Thus, seeing villains redeemed gives me hope for mending my own faults as well as finding good in this hurting world. Because of this hopeful message and other similarly positive themes, Maleficent seemed like a good choice for Media Monday.

Synopsis: Everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty. However, how much is known about the villain, Maleficent? This movie shows the story through her eyes. Once a sweet fairy with huge wings, the girl falls in love with a boy, Stefan. At first, these two share true love’s kiss. However, they grow apart as her magical kingdom is attacked by its human neighboring land. After Stefan betrays Maleficent, vengeance and deep hatred replace her tenderness and joy. How will she respond when power-hungry Stefan becomes king and has his first child? Surely, revenge is in order for her pain. Continue reading

I’m a Bad Luck Magnet for Cars

Saying goodbye as the brothers drive away

I have always feared being around cars much less driving them.

Most teenager long for their driver’s license and the freedom of driving. Youth ran to get their license at 16 and dangled their keys in front of others, causing envy and longing. At least, that seemed to be the response of my friends and family.

I, on the other hand, dreaded cars and everything related to them. Driver’s Ed was one of the worst experiences of my life. The fear tactics that amused other classmates terrified me. Anxiety about crashing and nightmares with graphic images haunted me even when I was a passenger. Worse yet, my intrusive thoughts (probably from OCD) would enter my head and refuse to leave. Suddenly, I kept visualizing killing others and myself in horrible ways. The responsibility and power one has when they drive a car crippled me with fear.

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Recovery in the Media: #41. The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars reminds readers not to judge before you get to know someone and their story.

The Wednesday Wars reminds readers not to judge before you get to know someone and their story.

41. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Last spring, I took a class on Modern Shakespearean Fiction. One of the books that we read was The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. This young adult novel held me captive from the first page. Lots of humor but also heartache filled the pages and made the story interesting as well as touching. Although there is no mention of mental illness in the book, its message of hope in hard times and discovering oneself were powerful. Thus, I am excited to recommend it on Media Monday.

Synopsis: Holling Hoodhood thinks it is bad enough to have class with Mrs. Baker who seems to hate him. However, his life gets worse when he has to spend extra time with her every Wednesday while his classmates are at religious education. She makes him read Shakespeare and contemplate difficult life questions. Could anything be worse? Slowly, Holling begins to identify with parts of the plays that he is reading as he struggles with a controlling father, budding forbidden romance, a rebellious older sister, and the Vietnam War. As the school year continues, the bond between student and teacher grows as the young man starts to find himself.

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How Can I Add Peace to an Violent World Without Being Overly Anxious?

Missing planes, youth dying, countries taking over hurting people, governments punishing their people, robbers taking from those with little, murderers stealing innocent lives – we are constantly hearing about violence and unrest in the world. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. Often I wonder, “How can I help? I need to do something to be of us and stop this misery. But what?”

Then, I begin to wonder what will happen if this turmoil comes to where I live. There are many in communities near me who are struggling, hungry, and feeling broken. How can I reach out to them? What if this starts to affect me in a deep way, like my family is killed or my home destroyed? This could happen any day.  This video impacted me greatly and reminded me of this.

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Recovery in Media. #13. Secondhand Lions

Secondhand Lions

Funny but touching, this movie always cheers me up.

13. Secondhand Lions

My parents watched this movie a few years before they allowed us three girls to see it.  After viewing it, I understood my mother’s nervousness about some of the violence.  However, I loved this tale of maturing and hope.  Plus, who doesn’t love lions?  This ranks up with one of my favorite films because of its touching yet humorous moments.

Synopsis:  Once again, Walter’s mom is leaving him alone.  This time, the young boy finds himself with his two cranky uncles who don’t even have a TV much less any idea about how to take care of a kid.  However, townsfolk whisper that Hub and Garth, the uncles, hid away a stash of money.  Slowly, Walter convinces his uncles to spend some cash and enjoy life.  Meanwhile, they begin to give the tween care he has never received.  Many adventures occur throughout the summer such as a pet lion, airplanes and shooting at annoying salesmen.

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No News is Good News

No News is Good News

On the phone with Mario copy me – a different type of news

News scares me.  As a little child, I cringed when the television reporters came on with their large microphones and urgent voices.  Death counts on the radio caused me to cry.  Even newspapers – something that you read – made me feel ill.  After awhile, I simply avoided it all.

Hearing about kidnapping, hatred, and wars was more than I could stand.  Although I struggled to understand the feelings of my peers, the emotions of people I never met overwhelmed me.  When a woman was abused, sometimes I literally felt as if someone had punched me.  I mourned the deaths of babies, criminals, and soldiers alike.  Scariest of all, I understood the desperation and anger in the minds of killers.  Finally, I connected to the world around me.  However it made me feel awful and lonely.  Taking on the burdens of others, I nearly crumbled.

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