“ You will never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus
Denial is a mechanism we use consciously or unconsciously to alter reality, usually to pretend it is better than it is. We don’t want to see aspects of life for which we have no solution or we don’t like the solution.
Let’s look at this. In most cases we are going to have to eventually break through our denial so to speak, so why not sooner rather than later. I remember a father who called me several times with new information each time that his child was in trouble with drugs and alcohol. He wanted me to validate that his child wasn’t in trouble. If the information about a college student in trouble with substances is getting back to his Dad, well it’s certainly not something I am going to deny. His son is probably in serious trouble. Do everything including getting evaluations and treatment if this is you. If something horrible happens, you know you did everything you could. If your child is in trouble, it is up to you to acknowledge this fact. In many cases your child may be screaming for help.
This week Barbara Walters interviewed Peter Rodgers, the father of Elliot who killed 7 and injured 13 innocent, beautiful young people in Santa Barbara. Peter is the only parent of a student/mass murderer who has ever spoken on television. He understands that he missed the seriousness of his son’s problems. Everyone touched by Elliot’s actions, resulting from his problems, will never be the same. Life as they knew it will never be the same. Their hearts have been broken and their hearts will never be the same. They will wish they could turn back the clock to just do one thing differently to save their child’s life. We can’t miss serious problems particularly one’s that will lead to harming other people. Peter has promised he will find some way, whatever he can, to help others who’s children are at risk. We need to really look at all the systems that failed here.
I think it is a time for all of us to take a deeper look at our own lives and ask, “Am I in Denial about something in my life?”What would you do as a parent and what are you doing if you have concerns as a parent? As most of you know, you have until your child turns 18 to “help” your child without his consent. Would you be able to have the backbone to make sure your child gets the help he needs. Would you see that your child needed help? Are you having the conversations with your child to really know him? Do you know what makes your child happy, sad, angry, offended, fulfilled, joyful, resentful and on and on. How are you guiding your child on these issues? We are often horrified at these tragic events that devastate people’s lives. Unfortunately, we then go back into our denial that it could never happen to us. Let’s all do something different in honor of the precious lives that were taken so horribly and unnecessarily that day. Take a look in your little world and see where you are in denial and take a little whack at it. Do something you would not have done before reading this article. Don’t say it doesn’t apply to me.
Kudos to the police and domestic abuse agencies in several communities in England who are being proactive in preventing domestic abuse around World Cup soccer events after research has confirmed a 35% increase in calls during these times. There is also an increase when England wins. One community called well known offenders to recommend they watch the world cup without incident. Other communities had extra personnel available during the matches. This is what can happen when people get out of denial and stop pretending, in this instance, domestic abuse isn’t a problem. There is shame that is associated with abuse. Unfortunately, this shame contributes to people suffering domestic abuse in silence. When posters are put up everywhere, calls are made, resources are communicating, and help is mobilized because we are not coming from denial, everyone benefits.
Kudos also to the FBI’s Cross Country Organization who held it’s 8th sting last week saving 168 children and arresting 281 pimps. Sex trafficking is going on in the United States, in our cities, with our children and when we don’t deny this fact we can find solutions for these children. Everyone wins when we get out of Denial!
Do something today to whack away at your denial about something in your life! Take a different action Now!
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost
© Anne Brown 2014. Permission needed for reproduction in any form.