Monday, January 15, 2018
"Never Say Never"
For as far back as I can remember when I first entered the counseling profession I would always say, "I'm never working with Pedophiles." I have always referred them to other therapist. I was not willing to be open-minded about their story preceding or leading up to the act. YES- I was judgmental. Over ten years ago when I was doing contract work, I had the pleasure of going to the jail to interview a father about his child. Upon entering the jail, I heard the large metal doors slam close behind me and immediately the sound petrified me. I remember asking the jailer how would I get out if something were to happen. She replied, "You can't get out until I let you out." Needless to say, I never entered another jail where I was required to have the metal doors slam close behind me.
Last year there were a series of events which occurred, one in particular was my transitioning my private practice from counseling children to counseling adult women. With this transition came a significant drop in my income (which I knew would happen). I wrestled with the idea of getting a job because I was having a feeling of failure if I re-entered the workforce from private practice. However, God assisted me in confirming this decision as I was "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and not being able to do anything outside of necessity for my household.
I began working at the prison on December 5th to be exact and even though I am still unsure how I feel about the environment, I can say that I have learned a lot about myself. I am back working a five day work week which I haven't done since 2013. I don't have my phone for 8 hours a day (unless I go to my vehicle) which is a total change! I am working around fifteen other counselors (with a variety of attitudes) which I have never done. The most important change and thing which I have learned is regardless of how heinous the crimes are that these individuals have committed, at the end of the day they are still human beings. Some have changed, some desire change, while others have no remorse for the crimes committed. Again, I say, never say never because never in a million years did I ever think I would be working in a prison with murderers, rapists, and child molesters on my caseload with me being able to see past their crimes and being non-judgmental in order to provide them genuine therapeutic treatment. Time and circumstances changes things. Doc Dee
Monday, October 16, 2017
Self-Care is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves. It is difficult to pour from an empty cup. While one may appear to have it all together and on point with their day to day existence, lack of self- care will expose your truth eventually. While self-care consists of small gestures to care for oneself, these gestures are very important. Lack of self-care can chip away at the authentic person you are or the masked person you pretend to be. However, I must flip the coin because if you don’t possess self-care then you do not know how to care for yourself. When you don’t have self-love you allow people, including you, to misuse you and/or abuse you. You become a doormat, a revolving door for others, and/or will lash out at the wrong people.
As I began to write this and put it into words, I reflected on many individuals whom I meet that do not have self-love. How do you teach someone to develop self-love? How do you teach someone self-worth? How did they come to not know how valuable their own happiness and existence is? There are so many “How’s” to question. While venting to my own therapist, I was reminded that all our “roots” stem from childhood. That which we experience in childhood good and bad will guide us into our adulthood. Childhood experiences can and most often will determine our present and future.
While some of us may have experienced questionable childhoods, it is still up to us to design “our” blueprint for our lives. I have always had self-love even when I weighed less than 110 pounds as an adult for numerous years. I always knew that I was beautiful, no one had to tell me this. Maybe a little thin but I was beautiful; my response would always be when you become fat with age, I will become fine. When people told me that I was unable to achieve because of, I achieved it despite what I was told. I also had to realize that everyone was not built like me, everyone was not resilient like me, everyone wasn’t determined like me, and some settled for whatever unlike me. I must remember that most people will not do a self-evaluation, and do not know how to do a self-evaluation because of the façade they have displaced for so long.
Self-evaluation requires you to peel back the layers of hurt, pain, disappointments, victories, near victories, and the hits and misses. Self-evaluation requires you to accept responsibility for yourself. Self-evaluation required you to examine your love for yourself. It requires you to see what’s missing and why you allow yourself to be treated a certain way. Everything we do begins with self. While we can examine others and their faults and flaws, it ultimately comes back to examining self, especially if you’re in a relationship with someone who treats you less than. Knowing your worth is important; knowing yourself is important. While I love my parents, spouse, children, and friends, I love myself more. I love myself enough to know I must effectively take care of me in order to take care of them. Do a self-examination to see the quality of your self-care and self-love. #DocDee
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Last month as I decided to expand and improve my Women’s Empowerment group on FB the “Topics of the Month” idea came to me. While deciding on which topic would be first I was challenged to look beyond the fleshy faults to see the beauty of others when they were being “ugly.” The main point which continually comes to mind, “Perception is the only Reality.” I immediately became hurt, disappointed, and upset by how I was being portrayed and received by a few individuals who did not know me personally nor had taken out the time to get to know me personally or maybe this was just my perception of the events. In addition, some of the individuals that I thought knew me really did not know me at all. What was I going to do with the information and these feelings associated with the information? Was I going to sulk, pout, curse, attempt to prove the naysayers wrong, or continue being who I have always been- my authentic self (sometimes good, bad, or indifferent)? I had to sit still, process the information and my feelings, and move on it in a way that would be fitting to my authentic self and not my fleshly self. That flesh can be the devil sometimes!! I had to move forward knowing that my internal beauty was at stake and that I have individual watching what I say and/or (good and bad). Would I allow my personality, attitude, and inner beliefs to be dictated by others and/or fueled by anger and hurt? I did when I was younger! Back then when you came for me, I was definitely coming back for you, full throttle. However, since I am older and have grown mentally and spiritually, I learn to choose my battles wisely. Every fight doesn’t need to be fought and every fight (while you may be pulled in) is not about you.
It goes back again to the inner beauty- intelligence, grace, politeness, charisma, integrity, congruence, and elegance. Do I jeopardize destroying my inner beauty because another has hurt, disappointed, or angered me? Do I love myself enough to know that my inner beauty carries me much farther than my outer beauty ever could/can? You can be the most beautiful/ handsome person in the world but if your personality is “ugly,” then the ugliness surpasses the outer beauty ever time. I find beauty in COURAGE to do things that others may be unwilling to try or do. I am PERSISTENT in what I say I will do or achieve. I am GRATEFUL that God continues to bless me each day with the gift of life so that I may be a blessing to at least one person each day. I am finding CALMNESS in my trials and tribulations because the battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s. I am still learning the GENTLENESS characteristic of inner beauty because I am still “A Work In Progress,” and I treat everyone I meet with UNSELFISH LOVE as this is what God requires of me. I can love you and not like your spirit or decision-making. Hence, those are your decisions to make and not mine.
The last of the inner beauty characteristics which prompted me to blog are: The woman with inner beauty loves and respects herself; is confident and not cocky; has a gorgeous heart; is supportive and inspirational; considerate and kind; genuine and real; loyal to her friends; and her significant other/husband; honest and true; visionary and intelligent; and passionate and strong. All of these characteristics stood out to me and for me as this is what I strive to be daily. I may miss the mark some days but these are the characteristics that I desire to possess. What does your inner beauty say about you? Are you consistently beautiful? Doc Dee
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Sometimes we take life for granted and fail to take notice of the “little” things which should be celebrated. When we sit still and listen to the silence is when we can appreciate the “little” things. With there being so many absent fathers, broken homes and marriages, I have learned to appreciate the “little” things. I find appreciation such as my sons coming in the room or house asking, “Where’s dad?” I appreciate this because my dad wasn’t there so I appreciate that my children have an active father in their lives. I attempted this task with my first child’s father but I knew that I wasn’t meant to be with him. I was about to sacrifice my happiness for her to have a two-parent home. I woke up one day and I’m appreciative that I did. My husband has been in my daughter’s life since she was three and he loves her unconditionally as though he is her biological father. Appreciative because I had a stepfather that was jealous of my biological dad and the few times that he came around would result in an argument between him and my mother. My current stepfather has been good to me. However, by the time he came around I was finishing high school and headed to college.
I love watching my husband interact with his children, daughters and sons, but especially my sons. I love that he teaches them that their shirts should be tucked in their pants (not sagging) and they must wear a belt. Haircuts, appearance, and speech, and respect (yes sir/ yes ma’am) are important. I love watching him be a great father of what a man looks like: chores, yard work, repairing vehicles and heavy equipment, and opening the car door for me. He’s a splendid example of what our daughters should look for in a mate/husband; hardworking, a provider, and God-fearing man. He allows them to see that he has flaws and some weaknesses which shows his human side, therefore, they know that no man/woman is perfect. The other night I confessed that I was happy but a tad bit jealous because my children have something that I always longed for when I was growing up (a present dad and a great relationship with him) which is a great relationship with their present and accounted for dad.
I didn’t know what a healthy biological father relationship resembled but he has taught me. In addition to, I was able to witness the relationship he had with his father before he passed years ago. Watching him makes me wonder what my relationship with my biological dad would have looked like at their age. Would I have been emotionally healthy vs. feeling like I had a void? Would I have been physically safe and nurtured by a healthy male presence in the home? All the What ifs…. My dad wasn’t available for me as he and my mom were divorced when I was young and then he began wrestling with his personal demons (unaddressed PTSD and addiction) and he may have done more harm than good because he would not have been able to be emotionally available. He can’t make up for lost time but he is a great grandfather to my children and for that I am appreciative! No need to hold grudges, be resentful or bitter but appreciate the “little” things. Doc Dee