One of the sad facts that exist out in the real world is the amount of physical and mental abuse that is happening on a daily basis. And if one has never lived under those circumstances, it is hard to understand how one allows it to take place. What prompted me to go in this direction was a news story that my wife caught this week, where a woman was killed by her ex-husband. He then left and killed himself, with all of this happening while their children were sleeping. although one of the children discovered the mother just before she died. Is it something that they, the children, will ever get over? Probably not. Unfortunately abuse doesn’t end with one generation, but perpetuates itself through the following one, and if not stopped will remain within a family for generations. Statistics do not tell the true stories of the many tragedies that this causes, and with a failing economy it usually increases. In the above incident the abuse had been going on for close to 20 years before she was able to break it, but unfortunately, for only a short time.

As one who was outside this cycle of abuse I had no understanding as to why a person, who was a victim of abuse, just didn’t walk away. After all, it would seem like it would be a simple thing to just leave. But as I learned about it, I found that like in most things that appear to be simple, this problem is far from it. The question then becomes: “How do you know about such things if you yourself was never abused?” And that is a very good question. To put the answer in perspective requires a little history. Back when I was dating my wife I found that in her previous marriage she had been abused, both mentally and physically. When I met her I found, that as time passed and got to know her, that her self-worth was nonexistent, and she had absolutely no confidence in herself or her abilities. This is one of the common threads with abuse. So the above news story hit a little too close to her past.

Abuse usually begins subtly, and slowly escalates, and the abused never knows when it will happen or even the why. And when it does, there’s usually apologies saying that I’m sorry and it won’t happen again, but it always does. Eventually as time passes and the abuse increases the person starts to lose all sense of self-worth, and begins to live through the abuser, looking for approval from that person for any and all things. When they reach this point they cannot live without the abuser, and will actually defend and deny that anything is going on. It reaches a point that even if someone witnesses an incident, that all sorts of excuses will be developed to downplay what was seen. And the abused feel that they must, because if they don’t make it trivial, that it will be worse later, once they are alone with the abuser.

In something that is supposed to be loving, it instead, becomes hell on earth with no way out. Between the threats and the actual abuse, the person is kept off-balance and feels that there is no escape, and unfortunately many times that is the exact truth. While I do not know the circumstances of this murder – suicide, I will say that it has all the classic symptoms of abuse taken to its fullest. This is a shame that affects all of us, especially when we ignore or downplay it ourselves. I have found that this statement to be absolutely true: “Walk a mile in my shoes.” If you’ve never lived the life of an abused, don’t assume that the abused can walk away, just because you feel that you would. Many times, as in this murder – suicide, there are children involved, and the threats to the mother include the possibility of the abuse that she is living through being brought down upon her children – creating a never-ending nightmare for which there is never a chance to wake up and escape.

This is a tangled web, since the abused attempts to hide what is happening. She will deny, defer, lie, and change the subject to lead one away from the truth. The fear is so great, and the confidence so low, that she would rather stay with the abuser, than take a chance and run – knowing in her heart that if she is caught that the punishment for running will be severe. For her, the darkness is complete, and life becomes hell, and each day is a day full of uncertainty and with a great possibility of another beating. She never saw it coming when she entered the relationship, and blames herself for all the failures both imagined and real. After all, it is never his fault that she couldn’t read his mind – after all she was supposed to be able to do that, right?

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 7:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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So You Claim to be a Writer

Many times when an author has a blog, the material that is presented has to do primarily with the stories and books he or she has published, the story lines, and the characters within those created worlds. For authors like David Weber, who has 3 concurrent series, or David Drake with his RCN series, or Jack Campbell with his Lost Fleet series, or Mark L Van Name with his Jon and Lobo series, or even Anne McCaffrey with the multitude books, series, and stories that she had written, would make it easier to keep one’s blog strictly upon the many different worlds, characters, and stories that they have created. They, even though as in all things worth while, worked hard to achieve what they have, and I’m a late-comer to this party. At the present I have one self published book, and plans on releasing two others this year. So, if I were to maintain this blog on just the content of what I have out there, and what I have plans on releasing, and continue to write to this blog once a week, then in a very short period of time this would become a very boring stop.

One of the ways I view this blog, is to be able to put out my ideas, views, and feelings that I have arrived at, in the sixty plus years that I have lived on this earth. I’m not necessarily saying anything that hasn’t been said by somebody else, sometime in the past, or maybe in the present, but sometimes presentation is critical. Yet, all of us are guilty, at times, of believing that we may be the first to put forth these thoughts. Still, if one looks at the millions upon millions that have lived and are living presently, it becomes obvious, rather quickly, that there is very little that hasn’t been thought, and expressed. The old adage that states; if you want a new idea, read an old book – has much truth.

Each of us has a gift. For many they do not discover what their particular gift is until late in life, and very much regret that it took so long for it to be discovered. For me, my gift is teaching, plus I can tell one heck of a good story now and then. I know that I’ve always wanted to write, but again as I have stated in a previous blog, life and its many challenges got in the way. If we look back before the written word, teaching was through stories, so I guess in some ways I am just carrying on this tradition. All of us must remember that our view of this world is unique, and just as unique as each of us are from each other – even twins have distinct personalities from each other.

So if one approaches my blog thinking that it will be about my books, well, they would be partially correct. As I do post excerpts, and release dates for my writings as to when they will be available. And I do post short stories, that probably someday will become an anthology. Yet, if one is truly honest, then it would be recognized that we who write, write about our passions, whether it is disguised within the story or blatantly obvious. We try to put lessons of life that either we have lived or observed – hoping that through our humble stories that these life lessons can be passed on.

We are all locked into the times that we live. If you do no believe this, then read authors who wrote a long time ago. Here you see the societies that produced them, and how relationships existed back then. Even the language used, and the structure of the stories can be very different. It allows any reader to get a window into the world as it existed at the time of the author’s life. But if they were not stories that had touched readers, then these stories would have died, just as the authors had. So I guess in some ways a writer is trying for immortality through what he or she writes. After all, how many authors are you presently reading who are no longer with us? I know that a number of my favorite authors are dead. But they continue to live through their stories, and their worlds that they have created.

With the amount of written word that is published every year, and it is an unbelievable number if one researched it, it is surprising that any writer out there can rise above this mountain of works. Yet a few do. Whether it is in my future or destiny is unknown, but I can say I have the desire, and passion to try. And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?


This word can refer to many things, from losing a bet, losing a loved one through either death or separation, or losing one’s home through repossession, or destruction either from natural disasters or failure of modern conveniences. Just an observation, have you noticed that it seems like the small words have the greatest impact on us? In previous blogs I covered some of those small words, which just goes to show, if you write, that big words aren’t always necessary. There are many times throughout one’s life that loss shows up. Sometimes the consequences of these losses are minimal, and other times life threatening, life changing, and could lead one to even change their direction they had originally planned on traveling.

Why even discuss such a thing? As any who do follow this blog, they know that I’m in my 60’s, and because of this, have faced many levels of loss throughout my life. Some of these losses arrived at such a time, that it hurt. For example, there was a point in my life where I had $40 in my pocket, and that was all the money I had in the world. I was walking through the small rural town where I grew up and somewhere in those few miles that I walked that day I lost that money. I spent the better part of 2 hours backtracking and trying to find it, but never did. At the time it was devastating, but since I am still here, I obviously survived that incident. Yet, since time has a tendency to flow by, and one has the ability to look back, it changes the impact of the incident, as you compare those many different losses over time. From the stealing of a small transistor radio, which had been a gift in high school, to the death of my father, these all have their own moments and impacts in and on my life and the time they occurred.

Have you ever been a refugee? One doesn’t need a war or violence to become one. Natural disasters leave many that way for a period of time. I can attest to that, as in one natural disaster, my family had a devastating loss. Four of our homes were destroyed in that natural disaster leaving us homeless, and living for a short time as refugees. This included my parents, one of my brothers, my family, and one of our daughters. It was one of those life changing moments for all of us. It was a place where the road of life forked, and from that time until now, we are still living from the effects of that loss. As to the loss of my father, it was just the end to the journey he had begun 84 years earlier. This is a road that none of us can avoid, and someday, we too will pass from this world and will be a loss to our own family. But in the case of my father, we had really lost him at least 10 years earlier. And really the path to that point in time, began with his first heart attack in his late 40’s. This was followed over the years by 2 more, and eventually at the end of the 1990’s he had dementia, and the man we knew was gone, who he truly was, was forever lost.

So when we look at those small insignificant words such as loss, pain, if, are they really? Are they really that insignificant, or when we have to live with them, do we find that it is not so? Easy to say, but hard to live with, would probably be the true answer or expression. Yet without these small words and their impact, we could never appreciate life and its many joys.

One Chance

Before I get into this week’s subject, I’d like to state that the book “Time of Isolation”, is still on schedule for release in the month of June. Again the genre is Science Fiction, and it is book 1 of the Survival series, with a planned release of the second and final book tentatively titled “Desperate to Survive”, by the end of this year. There are two other books in the pipeline that are requiring serious editing, but are written. If all goes well I hope to release them next year. I thank all of you out there who are following me, I very much appreciate it. After all without you there would be no books, and no blog, and no reason to be doing this.

Life, unlike games, gives you only one chance to do anything. Many times the decisions that you must make that determine a direction you are to travel, in life, comes when you don’t have the experience to make an educated decision. So statements such as, “If I could only do it over.”, or “If I knew then what I know now . . .”, are quite common, and apply to all of us. So the decisions that we’ve made in our past, has placed us exactly where we are today, and with that one chance you must live with the outcome of that decision, or decisions. Since many times, it is a number of small decisions that seems unrelated at the time, that has led to major changes, and the condition where you are today. After all, seeing what our true future will be is not a gift any of us have – even though there are a number of people out there who claim they can.

At times in our lives we feel that we’ve been given a second chance on a situation or opportunity, but if one is truly honest, one would realize that with the time that has passed that this really is just a similar chance or opportunity. In the time that has passed us by, we’ve grown older, have additional experiences, had time to evaluate, and either grow or regress. Then, if something similar appears, we may have a better understanding of how to act. Yet, from conception to death our direction is only one way, no turning back, no, if only’s, no, if I could go back with the knowledge I have now, things would be so different. I suspect that’s why stories of time travel, and opportunities to see an alternate future, or people pursuing fortune tellers and psychics are so popular.

We all live in the present, and when you begin to try to deal with seconds, you realize how fleeting the present is. As you read this, the words are in the present, but just as quickly are both future and past. Once in the past, is what you’ve been reading, what you’ve been doing, the direction you’ve been traveling, helping, or hindering? In one of my past careers, I dealt with traffic accidents and the mayhem that these do to people. And thoughts about how “just one second”, or even less, could have made the difference between the accident happening, and there not being one. That is such a short period of time, and again you begin to wonder what it was that brought these people to this very moment. But once again the accident is in the past, and you are here in the now, with no way to go back and change or prevent the tragedy.

Again, I suspect that one of the reasons for the popularity of games, other than the challenge, may be the fact that you can go back and try other choices, see how they play out, be bad, be good, be things that you never could be in real life. To be able to even die, re-spawn, and live again, giving one multiple chances. In a sense if one really thought about it, this is a form of cheating, because again unlike that game with multiple choices, multiple lives, and all of the options available to you as the player, life only gives you that one opportunity, that one chance, and no more. Those choices you make, from the opportunities presented, allows you to continue on that road through your life and the unknown destinations, detours, and side roads it takes. After all, it truly is that journey and not necessarily the destination that makes you who you are.

Published in: on May 5, 2012 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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