Where Are You?

 

Pale blue eyes search for heaven

 

Pale blue eyes try to see a time of peace

 

Pale shaky hands come together in desperate prayer

 

Pale shaky hands reach for invisible comfort

 

Pale thin body covered in baggy clothes, hides

 

Pale thin body quakes

 

 Pale blue eyes search for heaven

 

Pale shaky hands come together in prayer

 

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13 YEAR OLD BULLIED … AND … SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL

GUILTY

 

My 13-year-old son is the victim of bullying both by students of Owosso Public Schools (Middle School) and by the principals and teachers who stand by and allow the bullying to continue. He has developed extreme anxiety and frequently experiences mood swings due to the pressure, humiliation, and trauma he is forced to endure day after day. He is pushed, punched, kicked, tripped, cussed at, degraded, and screamed at by staff if he reacts in the least (and he does react, as most anyone adult or child would.) Again, this happens every single day he is at school.

 

    A few months ago, Cherokee, my son, was heading from one class to another when another child pushed him down a flight of stairs. I went to the school about this. I asked them to do something to stop the bullying. They said that they watched the video tapes but Cherokee was out of the line of sight so they couldn’t tell who had pushed him. Cherokee told them who pushed him down the stairs. I followed up 3 days later to see what they had decided. The Vice principal Mr. King said that he talked to the other boys who Cherokee had named as his attackers. The boys denied having assaulted Cherokee, so Mr. King dropped the issue. The boys were neither reprimanded or suspended for their attack.

 

    As time has gone forward, these types of attack happen habitually. Cherokee is often sick at school or calls to come home. Teachers such as Mrs. Anderson, his math teacher, allow Cherokee to be bullied even during class. When Cherokee asked for help, she scolded him and told him to get back to his seat.

 

    Today, 3/20/2013, Cherokee was shoved in the Gym class from behind. He turned around and grabbed a child behind him. As the ingrained response was triggered, he put his left hand on the child right shoulder and his right hand on his chest. He neither pushed nor harmed the child. Unfortunately, the child Cherokee reacted to was in front of the ones who actually shoved him. For this act of self-defense, a taught, ingrained protective response due to the year of bullying, Cherokee has been suspended from school. Mrs. Dwyer, who claims to have seen the incident, reported to the principals that Cherokee had “scooped” the other child. Cherokee denied the allegation and begged to be able to tell his side of the story. Mrs. Dwyer screamed at him to get out of the classroom that she did not want to hear him. The school called me to come get him.

 

    When I entered the office, I told them I wanted to speak to both principals and Cherokee. They said initially No I would talk to them first. I refused until Cherokee entered the room. So they sent for him. The first thing I asked Cherokee was if he was allowed to tell them what had happened. Of course, as is customary, he had not been allowed to. He was simply suspended without being able to voice his statement. With me there, he told what happened. He admitted that he reacted to the first person he saw. I told the Principals, Mr. King and Mr. Collins that he would most probably not have reacted the way he did had they stopped the bullying at any point during the school year.

 

    Mr. Collins said, “We get reports about problems with Cherokee weekly.” I said, ” I get reports of bullying DAILY.”

    How can a school and its staff, when bullying is against the law, continue to allow it based on their personal preference for one child over another? If a child is ADHD, Autistic, overweight, or in any other way, “different” at Owosso Public Schools, they are the targets both the students and the staff. The early teen years are difficult for all children but for those labeled different or troubled… It is hell on earth.

 

My name is Shelly Baxter. My son’s name is Cherokee Shrum. At 12 years old, he became the target of continual torment at the hands of students and staff of Owosso Public Schools. A year later, it continues.

POWER TO DO, BE, OR HAVE ANYTHING!

As you can tell, my writings have been absent for more than a week. Every day, I thought about writing and every day I allowed myself to say, “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired.” I was allowing myself to be wrapped up in doing for everyone else and neglecting myself. So, what has changed? My thinking has!

Did you know that whatever you think about, you give power to? What you give power to; you cause to happen repeatedly. When I was thinking everyone else is using up my time that is what happened. I was giving energy to the loss of time, which perpetuated the loss of time. If however, I give energy and focus to having enough time for everything. That is what happens! Whatever we put our minds to is what we create! We are literally creating our life right now! You can make anything happen simply by thinking it, believing it, and receiving it. What we believe we achieve! When we think of something we need to act like we already do it or have it or are it, now. We don’t say someday I will be rich. Instead, see yourself and wealthy NOW. I am not saying go on a spending spree with your last dollar but I am saying to visualize to perfection what you will do once you have your million dollars. Not just, I will buy a house. Really, what does that house look like? Where is the furniture? What does the furniture look like? What does the kitchen smell like? Visualize with vividness and it WILL happen. Don’t just visualize though. Act it out. If you say, “I want to be happy” then you need to visualize yourself as happy and ACT happy! You will find that you are happy. You will become happy simply by the energy and the power you gave to being happy. This is not a maybe it will happen, or I hope it happens. It is much more than wishful thinking because we are giving our energy to it! If you don’t believe me let me give you an example from my own life.

Last week I learned that a coworker was leaving the company for another job. All week long, I imagined myself in her position. At this point, I didn’t really realize what I was doing however, anytime I walked into the company I thought about it. What if I asked for the position? I have less seniority than Carl does, would it even be possible? The excitement of doing that job grabbed hold of my mind and didn’t let go. I saw myself working independently. I visualized every day DOING the job. The weekend came and went and it was nearly her last day on the job. I walked into the conference area where we all met before we started our day to receive instruction from the manager. After everyone had exited the room the boss said, “I want to talk to you about something.” I turned to her and for a moment thought, “Oh no, what did I do?” When I voiced that she laughed and said, “Nothing, I want you to take over Cheryl’s position.” You could have picked my jaw up off the floor. I realized right then what I had done! I gave my thought, my energy, and my power to the idea of doing this job, of having this independence. I created this. I have the power to bring forth anything I desire and so do you!!!

So what is it that you want to be, have, or do? Make it perfectly clear in your mind! Give time to yourself to bring it into being. Allow yourself to see that you already are what you want most in the world. It will happen. Keep doing it. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately because the universe is realigning itself to give you what you want. Just as what we give good power to happens, what we give negative power to also happens. If I had said to myself, “I wont get the job. I’m not good enough.” I promise you the universe would have said, “Your wish is my command.” I would not have gotten the position. If I think every day, give power, and worry to the thought that my van is going to break down, guess what is going to happen. My van is going to break down. Whatever you give your thought and energy good or bad to WILL happen!

Now, I see myself as a writer. I give energy to the thought that I am a writer. I tell myself I have enough time to write. I see myself writing. Guess what happened. I woke up early on my day off, feeling totally rested with not an ounce of stress or pain in my body. I focused on having time to write. The universe or God, which ever you choose it to be, said, “Your wish is my command” realigned itself to my desire and provided me the time to write. I am so grateful for this opportunity and the knowledge that anything I desire, anything I give my thoughts and energy to, I can make happen. I am the creator of my life. The universe/God is like a parent who wants to see their beloved children happen and so grants every wish. So then, be brave enough to see yourself, as you want to be. See yourself having that new car. Look at your hands. Really look. Now see your hands wrapped around the steering wheel. The car is yours. Money and wealth can be yours. Love can be yours. Happiness can be yours. Gratefulness can be yours. Peace and harmony can be yours. Anything you can dream of is already out there waiting for you to want it, to think about it, to be it. Simply see it, believe it, act it. It will happen.

Overcoming Frustration

I think many of you would agree that frustration is one of those emotions that seem to override everything else. How many times this week have you wanted to pull your hair out, kick, scream, yell, or maybe even hit something (hopefully not someone)? How many have you felt this way today? Every one experiences frustration or stress from time to time. It happens when we don’t get what we want, when things don’t work out the way we expect them to or when others don’t behave the way we want them to.

Even I experience this. Yesterday is a great example. My plans yesterday included getting the boys (teenagers) off to school and sitting down to write for my blog and work on my novel. I was stressed about my novel because I have rewritten this chapter twice. So I was ready to give it another go and make it work. I woke up ready to and pumped to put out some great work. Then, the school called. I was informed that schools were closed due to icy roads. Immediately my plans changed without my wanting them to and my frustration level rose. I felt tired and unmotivated. I still completed a partial morning routine. Then the boys got up. For some reason one of them was out of sorts. I do not know if he was overly tired or stressed but his tension-increased mine. We ended up butting heads for most of the day. By six in the evening, I had given up any hope of redeeming the day. I was more than exhausted. The emotional conflict that resulted from my frustration at failed plans was far too much. It was also unnecessary. I did not realize until later that I had let go of my control. I did not have to give in to the negativity that I felt. I did not have to give in to the upset, angst, and anxiety that I had been swimming in all day! I am at this point not certain about why I did not realize this but it happens when we let that stress, negativity and frustration consume us. Yes, I wanted to pull my hair out, kick and scream. I did none of those things I was not kind. I did not use the THINK method in my frustration I vented, I snapped, and I quarreled…. Like a teenager. I am thirty-seven years old. There was really no need for it and it did not help defuse the situation, nor did it make me feel better. What could I have done differently yesterday to make the day not a complete loss? Well, there are several things.

  1. I could have started over. I needed to clear my space. If I had completed my morning routine, my space would have been clear. An uncluttered workspace, whether it is the desk when I am writing, the counters when I am cooking or the table when I am eating means an uncluttered mind. When we let go of clutter outside the clutter inside diminishes greatly! Therefore, the first step in overcoming frustration is to see if there are environment factors contributing to the feeling of frustration. It is important to our psyche to have a neat and clean environment.
  2. I could have left the situation. Going or a walk or maybe going to the café for some herbal tea or even making tea at home and going into my bedroom would have helped. I was standing in the middle of tension that was literally palpable. I could feel it. I was breathing shallow, quick breaths and I felt like I was consumed by the stress. When we leave a situation, we are not fixing the situation but we are fixing ourselves so that we can see things in a new perspective. Yes, it is winter, and it is cold. Even if a walk were not optimal, moving away from the source of fire would have meant I wasn’t burned. It would have given me a chance to breathe and think more clearly.
  3. I could have reminded myself that things change. Plans change on a daily basis. I could have entered into this with a feeling of acceptance. To do so would have alleviated the frustration before it magnified once the boys were up. Emotions are contagious. What I was feeling most likely escalated the tension with the kids. To accept the change in plans would not have been difficult. Sitting down and writing a new to-do list and creating a new plan for the day would have made things run much more smoothly.

When we accept that things change, we can look at things in a different way. We can see where improvement is beneficial. We can change with the changes. It is all a part of reinventing ourselves on a daily basis. We really can choose if we will have a good day or a bad day. What we think about, we bring forth. When we focus on a thousand ills we will be besot by the troubles of life. If we think of a thousand joys, the troubles of life disappear and we bring forth a garden of flowers and beauty rather than weeds.

Overcome frustration by stopping everything. Take a deep breath. Look around you. What in your environment is causing you stress? Deal with it right away. Clean up. Clear a space for you. Then make a list of what you need to do. Accept that plans change and change with them. Leave the situation and gain a new perspective. Come back and do one thing at a time. If the kids are bickering, take the time to talk to each one of them. Find out what frustrates them. Offer them a way out. Maybe give them a chance to take a walk or go visit a friend. Sometimes even our kids need to leave the situation so they can distress. Finally, rethink. If what you are doing is not working, it is time to do something else. Do you remember the stop sign method? This is a great time to use it! Frustration and stress does not have to consume us. We have the ability to CHOOSE our path! What kind of day will you choose? As for me, I choose to be happy!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. All comments and suggestions are welcome! Do you have any ideas on relieving frustration and stress? Please leave a comment for our readers!

Daily Prompt: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Daily Prompt: Changes

You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?

Write what you are afraid to write and your humanity will come alive. This post gives me the opportunity to write what I am most afraid to write.

Change in my life has always come from necessity until very recently. In the past I have left everything behind (except my boys) to completely reinvent myself. Leaving or changing relationships for me did not just mean leaving the person; it meant changing my life and myself. I always believed that whatever I did, it had to be to better myself. I left abusive relationships and just plain unhealthy relationships and it was always cold turkey. Once I left, I never looked back. I never changed my mind. There were times when I needed help to do this. I am human. I have made a great number of mistakes in my life but instead of dwelling in the past, I moved on to live in the present.

    Sometimes in life, change thrusts itself upon us. This causes a great deal of anxiety for many people. Change is hard. Of course, anything worth doing is hard. For a long time I was very independent. I worked for a doctor’s office and made good money. I loved to spend that money. Then one day I woke up. I was in a hospital bed unable to walk, move, or even open my eyes. I was completely paralyzed. I remember hearing my mom (though I may have imagined it) yelling, “Breathe Shelly! Breathe!” I felt like I was floating away from everyone. I saw my own body lying on the bed, my dad was at the foot; my best friend was to my left. I could not see my mom, but I could hear her as plain as day. I was, according to the doctors, dead for a number of minutes. I had gone into status epilepticus. I was having so many seizures my body was just done. It had taken all it could.

    You see, during the time of “big money” I allowed myself to become a cocaine addict. One day I became very depressed because I was unable to end the addiction. I told myself over and over, this is the last time. Finally, it was the last time. I overdosed on cocaine and Prozac. I went into seizure after seizure. By breathing stopped. My heart stopped. I don’t know how long it was. I don’t know how long I was even in the hospital. What I do remember, is after I was finally able to leave the hospital (still barely walking, I had to use a walker to keep from falling) I went directly to Kairo’s Drug Rehab for women. From that day on my whole life changed. That was 5 years ago today. Today is the anniversary of the day I entered rehab. I got clean. As it went with the other changes in my life, I never looked back. I never changed my mind. I was clean, finally, and I vowed to stay that way. I am to this day, a recovered drug addict. I have not touched cocaine or any other drug since that day. I have my Mom, my Dad, and my best friend R. to thank for helping me through that tough time. I will be grateful to them for the rest of my life. I owe them everything. This is how change was thrust into my lap. It was do or die.

    I prefer to change things all at once. Tearing a band aid off quickly and completely hurts much less than peeling it back a little at a time. Change is much the same way. When walking away from something or someone, we must make the decision and do it. Thought without action, is wasted time. I learned that once the desire is strong enough one must take action before it is too late. I told myself I wanted to stop using. I told myself that every single time I bought more powder. Telling myself was not enough; I needed to take action. My lack of action nearly cost me my life. It nearly cost my parents their daughter and it nearly cost my boys their mom. In my life, I will never let that happen again. Where action is needed, there will be action.

    Change is a part of life that is constant. Impermanence is what life is. Once we realize that everything is impermanent, we can cherish what we have now, and let it go when it is time because we know it was, from the first day, meant to change. Things and events change us and we change things and events by our very presence. Accept change and flow with it. If there is something, you don’t like in your life, or something that makes you unhappy. It is time for change. Take the action needed. Don’t ever let it be too late and wish you had done something differently.

That is my story of change. Thank you for taking the time to come to read my work. As always, make it a GREAT Day!

    

CHANGE YOUR WORLD: CHANGE YOUR WORDS



Words Have Power

Words have the power to break or heal, build or destroy. Words can change people. We writers know that perhaps more than any one. How we use our words is how we create our lives and our image. Do we think about the same thing when we are not in front of our book or article? When we are face to face with another living being, we all need to remember what our words do every minute of every day.

CHANGING YOUR WORDS

If you are in the habit of using negative language and want to change the easiest way to be sure the words you are using are positive is to use the THINK Method. Think is an acronym that will help us all to keep our speech kind and thoughtful. It is important to remember that even if we are working hard to be more positive with other people, we also need to be aware of how we are speaking to ourselves. You are important. Treat yourself as such. Before you speak to yourself or another, consider this:

T Is what you are about to say truthful?

H Is what you want to say helpful?

I Is what you are going to say inspiring?

N Are your words necessary?

K Are your words kind?


Mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Mom had a good point because the saying about sticks and stones is wrong. Words can hurt. So, before you speak to yourself or another THINK first.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Make it a great day!