Empty Memories

Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. turmoil of emotional child abuse


emotional abuse 2In the quiet evening, your mind strays to younger days. Nestled in the love seat, you think about the lonely life that has lead you down the paths of disillusion. There in the confusion, disconnection is a way of life. Heart wrenching, love was in limited supply; not much to go around and rationed like a commodity. It was not associated with warmth but instead, related to the flowers or gardens.

You would sit in your room and play by yourself. Looking out the window, your mother is in her polka dotted blouse, dark slacks, and her garden gloves. She loves her tomatoes and corn on the cob. You just watched …. sitting inside. She never knew the love you desired or saw devotion because it was all about money – how much dad could bring home. You were too young to understand but you knew that love wasn’t suppose look like that. Looking back, you never heard, “I love you”, as you went off to school or while saying your prayers at my bedside.

Animosity seemed to rule the roost. You listened to your friends as they shared their stories on the way to school. They went out over the weekend and as you knocked on their door, you knew they would not be home.

You would have given anything for your parents to include you in their plans. But to throw a ball or enroll you in a curriculum outside of the classroom wasn’t going to happen. Sadly, you would come home and play while most of your friends played at the beach. Softball was the sport.

Yes, it’s sad as those from broken homes look back. You swore you would never do that to your own children. Now those days are long gone too and all that’s left are voids. Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. just tarnished empty pages. The snapshots are faded memories you just as soon forget.

For now, life is all but over; the mid-drift spreads and the hair turns gray. Thoughts are all that’s left, like trash to be thrown away. And here you sit as life goes on.

 


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Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. (Proverbs 11:29)

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

 

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Editor’s Notes:

Signs of Emotional Child Abuse:

 

  • Not showing affection.
  • Ignoring the child’s presence and obvious needs.
  • Ignoring the child when he or she is in need of comfort.
  • Not calling the child by his or her name.
  • Making the child feel unwanted, perhaps by stating or implying that life would be easier without the child. For example, a parent may tell a child, “I wish you were never born.”
  • Ridiculing or belittling the child, such as saying, “You are stupid.”
  • Threatening the child with harsh punishment or even death.
  • Continuous verbal abuse.
  • Comparing the child to siblings or peers.
  • Blaming the child for family problems.

 

Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid is child abuse. The result is serious emotional harm. But there is help available!

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization: http://www.paawareness.com

Prevent Child Abuse America: 1-800-CHILDREN or preventchildabuse.org
http://www.preventchildabuse.org/images/docs/emotionalchildabuse.pdf

 

emotional abuse

 

 

Almighty Child

Children that perceive such miraculous perception ought to flatter themselves in Holy water. Parent abuse is common….

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The word spread and men came bearing gifts. Animals grazed out in the meadows…. we all know the story. A child was born by miraculous conception. There is no other miracle greater than a child that two parents have been blessed with from God. Ah, yes. But most of us have experienced the blessing of your child’s birth. Then our kids grow up and they have the misconception they can do no wrong …

Too many times, I find friends being scolded by their children. It’s as if the child inherited permission from their grandparents. I sat outside in a refreshing breeze last night and listened to how an adolescent can run their lives better than their parents. Though some have never had the pleasure of bearing a child, the Almighty Child can do no wrong. A legend in their own mind, they believe you won’t find fault with their lifestyle. They wander unto this world having more knowledge and skill than those twice their age.

I believe we have created a new class of people – not rich, nor poor – but the self- righteous. They are perfect but only in a mirror, maybe. I hear the sins of these children that proclaim their innocence. Oh, don’t you wish you could return to the righteousness of youth where you could be as perfect as the children are today??

Telling parents all their faults they have made, it’s as if when they achieve enough demerits they will disown their parents. Somebody needs to shake them and remind them that wisdom comes from failures. If parents were as perfect as Christ, there would be no need to reluctantly remind them how irrelevant they are. When someone passes away, the child waits for handouts!

I remember my dad always said, “Those who live in glass houses ought not pitch the first stone”. I believe he was smarter than me. Children that perceive such miraculous perception ought to flatter themselves in Holy water.

The Ten Commandments are written in stone and now you know why. Children, today, will pay for their raising opinions. It’s as if you haven’t witnessed that rodeo played out before. Oh the roulette wheel your children spin. They gamble their life and all you can do is pray for them.

I wonder how many kids ever took the time to understand the Bible? I pray… not for them but for the parents that have been so badly damaged by their children’s immaculate conception of the philosophical washing – not by holy water but by the storm drains of the world.

 


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And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:20-21)

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. (Proverbs 23:13-14)

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)


 

Editor’s Notes:  Verbal abuse towards parents or other family members by young people is more common than many people think. It is an attempt to control and have power over you or others in the home.  It can happen in families of any culture, religion or situation in life.

Abuse can be a sign of:

  • The children hasn’t learned to control or manage feelings, especially anger. They act out their feelings without using any self-control.
  • The child hasn’t learned to deal with the stresses of life, to solve problems or cooperate.
  • They don’t value or respect other people.
  • They see a parent, often the mother, as weak and powerless.
  • The children are affected by alcohol or drugs. Some drugs can trigger psychosis (being out of touch with the real world) and violence.
  • A young person might act aggressively if they have problems with their mental health.
  • They may be anxious and lash out because they start to think they can’t trust those around them.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean you should put up with it. It is important to get professional help! Many parents find that acting early helps them feel like the parent again. When you do make changes, things seem to get harder before they get better, so make sure you have support. It is important to:

  • Believe in yourself – it isn’t your fault and it doesn’t mean you are a bad parent
  • Learn to remain calm and find ways to deal with stress. Go for walks, have coffee with a friend or do other things that relax you.
  • Build your confidence by patting yourself on the back for each small step you take
  • Talk with someone who can help. Your doctor is a good place to start.
  • Join a group with other parents who are dealing with this too.

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IQ 72

…we will find our way in a wavering world.


Squirming in my seat as a bored little boy, my teachers struggled to teach me. English, Math, Biology…. it didn’t matter for the text books all looked the same. Confused, like driving in fog, I found myself stuck at an intersection. You see, I tried hard to pay attention but my comprehension was minimal. Life was leaving me behind.

A football coach started to preach to me one day. “You’ll never amount to anything”, he said, “how can you with your lack of mentality?” A tear came as I cleared my throat. My shoulders hung low; I had no response. I knew not of God to stand with me as stones were thrown. Though demolished by insults hurled at me, my Lord was watching and giving me eternal strength. But I was too young and innocent to understand the beliefs instilled so I ran.

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Life was like a roller coaster. The climbs were challenging and the valleys were never ending but even as a small child with an IQ of 72, God had a purpose. I learned the greatest gift from God isn’t always the gift but “the giving”. As we walk through life, I propose you be ever mindful that even Christ, with all His many quests before Him, leaves a lot of life in question. It is God who holds the answers. Jesus, like a butler, only holds the door when heaven’s gates are opened. For there is no test score that defies aptitudes.

“For there the meek will inherit”, God’s promise to us all. Looking at the road I’ve traveled, doors opened and blessings flowed. I never saw a traumatic loss; blessings were disguised. But somehow life, with its twists and turns, gets sorted out as we grow older. They’re like the dawn – a new light comes and night is calmed. Channeled through life like running water, we will find our way in a wavering world.

 


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I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

 

IQ72

When The Shades Fade

…..dreams create the reality we live in


In the misty rain of an early dawn, you get a call at work. A soft gentle voice on the other end of the phone frantically sounds, “My water broke!” You jump in your car, speeding home to get her to the hospital. It’s not long and a baby cries. Life’s cycle begins again.

You stand in front of the nursery window and wonder, what will this child become? Will he be in technology? Or enter in the electoral college, or join the Forces? Get a degree in the name of your father and carry on like his grandfathers did? A tear evolves as the joy of God has created the offspring you dreamed of.

Before you know it the training wheels are gone and your little man has found his first taste of freedom. So proud of your child, he reminds you of you, and God has blessed the memories left behind. He smiles and waves goodbye; again, the tears you try to hide. Little does he know your days are numbered, shaded and faded by illnesses that only God controls. Then a young man’s dreams are shattered standing at a cemetery holding momma’s hand.

It’s not just children, though, that face blunt force. I think about the entrepreneurs that have tried and failed. And the geniuses that quit school. My heart goes out to kids who only hear, “You CAN’T”. I pray for the dreamers who’s shades are faded when God opens doors; they are afraid to take a chance. Giving up is never an option as dreams create the reality we live in! The fascination comes as the shadows fade; prayers are all that’s left. When God steps in and blossoms your creations, your dreams will graciously unfold.

Tried and tested, we all aren’t that lucky… but heaven knows we are all gifted in one category or another. You might be a street sweeper, a worker in a mine, or deliver the paper to a local community. Do the best you can! Take pride in yourself as dreams evolve with God’s help. Miracles happen as easy in church as the back alley of a big city. It’s prayers, not a steeple, that God hears.

Be blessed, I say unto you, for He has surely anointed you. If that strength has not yet come, be advised to run, as your dreams will carry you….or they will surely fade away.

Shades Fade


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Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Fifty Years of Broken Pieces

Can we ever break the chain of disaster, the aftermath, generations later?


Rocking back and forth, staring at the stars, they sparkle and bring such luster below. Solar lights glimmer in the dark. The moon, almost full, shines from the heavens and glows on my patio. Thinking back to childhood, sin abated my older brother and I. We are God’s chosen but we carried the hell our parents created. Never understanding, we would walk to school in the early sunny morn’ and home in the afternoon to the rain and thunder. We were unable to explain or comprehend them.

But my big brother was lucky for he ran away — as far as you can imagine – to the Mediterranean. He hid at the bottom of the deep blue with fish and monsters we’ve never seen. I wasn’t so lucky. I went a couple of miles down the street to the community college and faced the music every night.

Long after Pop’s passing, I was sheltered in reality; the past haunted me. There in my mother’s Polly Anna world of bridge clubs and egg nog, a socialite amongst her pillars, I was lost in the waves where the grain wasn’t so amber.

My brother married, leaving me in confusion of the future where only God knew the outcome. But coming from a broken home and then a complete loss, I had nowhere to run. Marriage was the only vise, but failure after failure left little hope. My brother and I both shared the consequences of our parent’s passing long after he was gone.

But yesterday, fifty years later, my brother now writes, “We commemorate that by grace, together, we have somehow come this far; and still today we miss our father’s love. He didn’t share in our lives as we suffered in our tribulations.” Sadly, I responded to my brothers thoughts, “I cannot imagine where we might be had our ladder been labeled by our father’s love.”

Today I think about all those who will relate. Can we ever break the chain of disaster, the aftermath, generations later? Looking at the repercussions from six decades ago of the final decree, disgraces me. To believe they were watching out on our behalf is almost comical, if it wasn’t so sad. So many children are left like Lord of the rings, begging for attention; hungering remains where hearts are left empty. Today as close as two siblings can be, (without killing each other), our love and respect protects us.

In the end, as the sun sets on another commemorative year, I just pray… may God bless, not just us, but all the lonely, parentless children whose lives are unfulfilled; for He knows those who hunger for salvation, still…..

 
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BIBLE:  But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. [Malachi 2:14-15]

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Where The Dogwoods Blossomed

…piece of history dedicated to things that will never change – Severna Park memories


My father bought a project, in a faraway place, around the bay in Maryland. I was three years old. It looked like we were moving out of the big city to a little community where I knew no one. One cold day, I packed my toys and some clothes, disgruntled that I had to move. My life caved. I was moving away from my best friend. I saw little importance of being stuck on a cliff and all the rules that implied.

Unaware of the significance of growing up in a little place called “Round Bay”, my father took on the challenge of remodeling a turn-of-the century covered dance floor on Eagles Nest Point. Sitting on a cliff, overlooking the water, our weekends became filled with hammers and saws. Mom, I remember, wasn’t very happy living on the old wooden floor, so she would cover it with rugs. It wasn’t much to look at, as I recall; just a roof and a floor but my father was planning to turn it into our home.

It took many months to rebuild that old pavilion. The story goes that in the summer, rich people would come to dance the night away overlooking the Severn.

Eventually… trying to make my mother happy, which was never easy, my father, then bought and constructed a house next door. Bless his soul! Most knew it as the “Smith’s”, but it was the “Bick’s” home first.

I guess I was five, when I was the only one to survive going over the cliff, on my tricycle. That was enough for mom! Things were sketchy and not long afterwards, mom and dad split up. My dad left and we moved to our third home on Waters Road in Round Bay. It was perfect because in the interim, my buddy and his family, moved from Randallstown to just down the road.

My good memories are plentiful. On the 4th of July, fire engines would parade through the neighborhood; in December, folks would gather to canvas the community singing Christmas carols; and then there was Yardley’s annual telephone book – which we now wish we’d held on to!

I watched as Round Bay blossomed after 1953. The swimming meets and festivities at Main beach; and boats turning from wood to fiberglass. Just a brief funny memory…. some years later, after mom remarried, My stepfather, Skip and I went to the Eastern Shore. He had a 12 foot row boat built for me for $125.00. Made of spruce, it sank every season until it swelled.

About 7 years old, we moved away from Waters Road. This time, my dad bought a house for mom, my brother and I, on Riggs Avenue in Olde Severna Park. He paid $12,500 in cash. Moving from Sunset Knoll, in Pasadena, we headed back to Severna Park.

Thanksgiving 1958, mom remarried. It was my stepfather, Skip’s birthday. I guess they chose that date so he wouldn’t forget. Confusing times back then… my dad disappeared; I didn’t know why.

Somewhere around 1960, we moved back to Round Bay onto Laurel Rd, right above “dead man’s curve”. My little brother was born in 1962. I was at Bea and Larry Cranes house – great friends of my parents. I’ll never forget when Mrs. Crane came running outside. I was on my bike, and she was yelling, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy! And it’s on my birthday!”. The stupid things you remember…

The Cranes and my stepfather’s family, the Carr’s, played a large part in St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church. Ironically, there silently stood in the vestibule, my dad’s name engraved on the golden shovel.

My dad passed away in ’65 – a terrible loss to any child. Now I commemorate his life. A man with such vision who played an intricate part in the community. Very few know that. Someday, I hope to retrieve the golden shovel. It no longer stands in the entrance of the original church.

Skip, my stepfather, was a great man; one I could say that his reputation preceded him. He started out in real estate in 1958, moving into a little red house up on the hill, behind Dawson’s store. Skip started working for Tommy and Cliff at the age of 14. He helped support his mother after his father passed away. Born in a house on the B&A, outside of Berrywood, there remains a statue to his legacy.

In 1971 or ’72, mom and Skip bought their final home at the water’s edge by the pier. He thought he was getting ripped off, paying that much money for a house. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. What an investment!

Proudly, I’ve spent a large part of my life as a little piece of Severna Park. I graduated from Severna Park High School in 1969 and was raised in a wonderful environment. This is an honor to share my true story with you, my friends and family…..dogwood blogThis little piece of history is dedicated to the things that will never change, my memories.

 

Recollection

God has somehow blocked the hurt within the heritage that shadowed a little boy’s childhood.


Last night, I sat in the most unusual place, and wrote my pastor a short story. It wasn’t so unusual for me to write where I was, but, thoughts came as I reflected back. Looking at life, like headlines, seemed to put it all in perspective. There, the highlights of my life, were dampened like a Saturday shower at a baseball game. God has somehow blocked the hurt within the heritage that shadowed a little boy’s childhood dreams. I’m not alone as I’m sure there are who have lost their parents. For all who can relatDana's dade, I write some memories…….      

Divorce, an act of closure, should never pertain to a child’s recollection. Children, somehow, seem to be a denominator in the equation. At the age of five and left alone, my parents fought amongst themselves. Like pawns on a chessboard, I was disposable. God is nowhere to be found except in our home at bedtime. Their selfish ways dictated their priorities. As a young child, I faltered in the melee, trying to break away as life frustrated me.  But history repeats itself.

My father’s father, a great man, bore a child of great vision that died too young to see his own grow up. So, alone, my soul was a dormant cavern where sharing memories were non-existent. I, lost in life and rejected by most, was perceived as slow and a little retarded. Dyslexia wasn’t even known as a word yet. I would sit in the corner and play with my toys and fantasize what it would be like when I grew up. I entertained myself throughout my early life. 

Mom remarried in the same church where my father’s name was engraved on the gold plated shovel that stands quietly in the vestibule. At eight years old, my little legs shook as the pews filled to watch the happy ceremony. My older brother and I looked on and wondered what happened to the man we called “Pop”. The voids stood tall and the childhood gap, between this and that, left little to be put in a scrapbook. Memories now fill an old man’s life with loss. The holidays and tree trimmings are a mere shadow against the window. Looking back, as pain remains, we must endure from generation to generation. Life has no reverse. 

On this day, I celebrate a man who gave me the inspiration to go on without him.  “Happy Birthday Pop”, who passed away at the tender age of forty-two.  I look to God; not to ask why, but instead, “thank you” for the brief moments I’ve had to remember the father who, once, was in my life. He is now an angel sent back to anoint my direction.  God has, undoubtedly, brought me the strength to go on a journey driven only by faith.