Sunday, April 28, 2013

A sexual assault survivor, continued...

Photo of Wyoming Gorge provided by Carl Bozeman

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article


Carl Bozeman continued the interview.

In his words, “I am married but was in a marriage for 32 years with a woman who stood by me through all the ugliness that would surface in my life throughout the marriage.  We divorced after I had and out of body experience that freed me from all the demons of my childhood. While I wanted to maintain the first marriage, by the time I rediscovered myself, I had caused so much damage we were unable to keep it together.  I left my ex everything and moved into a new life with my current wife with who I have a wonderful relationship.”

It has been a long path to recovery for Carl.

He shared, “I endured 25 years of psychotherapy and medication. I suffered Post traumatic stress, depression and MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). I went through multiple testing and therapeutic processes to try to reach a point in time that could explain all that had happened. I used a procedure called EMDR which is a rapid eye movement procedure developed to help desensitize people who have been severely traumatized. I was on antidepressants for most of the 25 years I was in therapy as well.  I never was able to resolve the dilemma I thought my life was and so I decided to end it.” 
 
Carl continued, “As earlier described I had given up. I decided that the possibility of finding a point in time (past) that could be a catalyst for why I was so unhappy and the way that I was, was never going to happen. That is when I planned to end my life: I describe this in the preface to my third book. I’ll include it here:
As I look upon the layered blue waters separated by the uneven lines of foaming white waves breaking onto the California coastline I am moved at such beauty but saddened that this will be the last time I see it. The short flight from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to visit three of my four children lets me reflect on my troubled life. This is the last time I will see them and that they will see me. Later I will travel to Seattle to see my fourth child to say goodbye to him as well. They won’t know it is goodbye. All they will know is how much I love them, how much they have meant to me and how very proud I am of each of them. Their memory of me will be the pleasant time we spend together these next few days.
My marriage is over. I alone have wrecked it in every way and broken the woman I adored above all others. My infidelity, mental illness and erratic nature has ended what was once my greatest comfort and relationship with my best friend. I ponder my life as a child growing up in Tacoma, Washington with six sisters in a house too small to contain us. My father leaving abruptly at the age of seven and without any reason that I comprehended and, whom, I would not see or hear from for over fifty years. I consider the embarrassment of poverty and destitution that immediately befell us upon his leaving. How everything spun out of control and neighbors, relatives and my very own mother transformed into monsters who would abuse me physically, mentally and sexually. How my best friend, an older gentleman and neighbor would break the trust of innocence and sexually abuse me while crying and begging me to forgive him. A tear runs down my cheek as I recall those awful times. It is all I remember but not for long, I tell myself.
I reflect on my years as a father, husband and provider to my own family and all the activities I participated in with them so they could have what I could not. How I had protected them from the ugliness I had known when I was a child. I was dedicated to them and to my wife who stood with me as the demons of my past percolated into my awareness. I was a mess and I tried to protect my family from my own suffering and sadness but I could not. I would pour myself into over twenty-five years of therapy and medication and an endless search to find that one moment in a cruel past that would set the demons free and free me from the depression, post-traumatic stress and multiple personalities I suffered from. It would never happen. The moment would not come and so I would bring it all to an end myself. As I sat aboard that airplane, looking down, I felt relief but not freedom. Freedom would come later. A sudden but quiet end to misery, suffering and the unanswered question: Why?
While visiting my three children in Los Angeles we had decided to go to a late night movie that would start a few hours later but were unsure how to pass time until then. We were gathered at my oldest son’s apartment where we chose a DVD to watch, which, we all agreed would be a good means to kill time until it was time to go to the theatre. I was in an easy place and I was calm and relaxed. The struggle was soon to be over and knowing this gave me great peace. There was nothing else to do but have fun and enjoy this short time with my children. Then it happened.
Suddenly, I felt myself lifting out of my body in a most unsettling way. I hovered just above my children and myself and watched them, and me, watching the movie. I felt the lightness of this strange state and there was a purity to it that made me feel the cleanest I had ever felt. I was completely given over to what I was in that state and no longer felt any connection, whatsoever, to the person sitting in the chair as the physical me. In an instant I was swept up into an awareness that the human before me was not who I was. I was, clearly, not that body and despite all the suffering that body had been through there was nothing that would alter this exhilarating new perception of who I was. I could see that I was not the experiences of my physical body rather I now knew I was the experiencer of my physical body.
This recognition completely washed away everything I held as significant and causal in making the decision to end my life. None of what I perceived myself to be when that decision was made existed anymore and I realized, in that moment I truly was free. This new sense of freedom opened me up and everything about my existence changed. Who I truly am was trapped in a human body whose only awareness was human experience and all the human could do to stop it was to end the physical life. All that went away. I now saw something far beyond the human identity I had become and all my perceptions of what used to be changed in a way that became grand and wonderful. As this I settled back into my physical body I knew I was not what I once believed myself to be and I saw life, intelligence oozing in everything and it took my breath away! The double sidedness of everything, I once experienced, physically, ended. There was nothing that was not magnificent and in that magnificence all things blended into each other. 
Soon thereafter I left my marriage of thirty-two years, stopped all anti-depressant medications, ended all therapy, quit my job and career and began to write, which is what I continue to do. I was saved in a moment of despair and complete release of all worldly things and literally freed from darkness. I now share this new awareness with others.” 
His spirit gifted his awakening.

Carl talked about this, “I no longer worry or stress about human events including my own experiences that once were identified as good or bad or ugly, whatever. I know completely that I am not my body and that anything that happens is an experience of the human body, which we in our true form simply experience. I embrace all of life and see nothing but beauty and splendor that literally cannot be described with human language.  We literally are spiritual beings, other beings living in a human vehicle for a short while. All of it is incredible and it is only the ego (mind) that judges the experience as good and bad. We cannot begin to imagine with our minds how incredible we are outside the human experience. Mind isn’t big enough (even if we were using 100% of our brains capacity). We are the creative center of the universe. While I know it is impossible, using human language, thoughts and emotions to describe this I share, at best, pointers to those who search as I did in the hopes of helping them find the sheer beauty of everything we experience in this life and the awareness that we are more than that experience!”

He discussed his books, “My first book is an Amazon Bestseller titled, On Being God Beyond Your Life’s Purpose. It is the book I first wrote after having the out of body experience I describe earlier.  Its major themes are:
·       We are Gods; not a part of some higher consciousness or the physical incarnation of life forms through which God can experience three dimensional life but real gods in our own right with all the creative power we give to the God out there somewhere in the heavens.
·      Three-dimensionality has conditioned us to accept, as reality, an illusion that life is what we see it as through our five senses and that anything outside of that is un-provable and therefore unreal.
·      A significant part of the illusion we are conditioned to accept is that there is sin in the world. The idea of opposites permeates every aspect of life, which throws us into the judgment of that which is good versus that which is evil. Good and evil is a metaphor for the infinite range of possibilities we, as Gods, have before us. Sin does not exist as anything other than our conditioning defines it. Gods have no sin!
·      We can rediscover our true nature, our divinity, and see past the illusory life we live and upon discovering our true self we can experience life in a way unimaginable while in the illusory state.
·      Ultimately there is no purpose in life other than to experience every aspect of it and enjoy everything about it whether we consider it good or bad experience. Life is wondrous beyond anything the illusion we live under allows us to see.
The second book is titled: Are You Listening? Addressing the Divine Within. This book is a take on the Lords Prayer but under the guise that when you are addressing the divine it is really that part of you that occupies the body, to whom, you are really directing your supplications. It is literally talking to the God that you are. This is a short but poignant book that breaks down the various aspects of the prayer we all take for granted. 

This book is a free download for signing up for my periodic newsletter at www.spiritual-intuition.com

My third and latest book is titled: On human Being – Loving & Living Without Purpose. This is a book that is supposed to help us look at our human experience from the viewpoint that we recognize that we are Spiritual Beings (Gods) having a human experience and that what we are taught to look at is really the output of our conditioning as humans which for the most part, is really not what is going on.  It takes the approach that our experience is insignificant and unimportant in the realm of our infinite natures as divine beings.  It is a guide for being “God” as a human, temporarily.”  

Carl’s contact information, “I can be contacted through my website: www.spiritual-intuition.com or my email address carl@spititual-intuition.com .  My website has many ways to interact and share insights, ask questions and comment on various topics.  At the end of each section is a way to comment and share ideas that get posted to the website, thus adding to the overall base of information we all share.  I am on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CarlBozeman and Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/OnBeingGod

Human nature theories, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

The book I have written about, Ten Theories of Human Nature, authored by Leslie Stevenson and David L. Haberman, is assigned as text reading in one of my Mental Health Counseling classes. It offers thought provoking information as it overviews theories. Today's article with a bit of insight from Haberman touched on Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism.

It is my hope that you are open enough to learn about other's beliefs and the premise of each of these theories as it applies to the humans who so closely follow it.

As I said in the article, you may not believe in the higher power of these religions but if you can find a commonality, such as peace, you can honor your religion as sacred and still respect others with differing beliefs.

Do you have anything you wish to add?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Freud in the subconscious, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I love looking at the Rorschach ink blots to determine if I fall into a "healthy" category or not.

Blot #2

http://www.your3dsource.com/are-you-crazy-inkblot-test.html


According to Your3dSource.com, If you see 2 human like figures in this ink blot, it's healthy otherwise you may have issues relating with people.

I also love all of the classical detail from Freud relevant to his dream interpretation. This is more quoted from DreamMoods.com:


"Freudian Dream Tools:
According to Freud, dreams always have a manifest and latent content.  The manifest content is what the dream seems to be saying. It is often bizarre and nonsensical.  The latent content is what the dream is really trying to say. Dreams give us a look into our unconscious. Freud believes that we can chip through the dream's manifest content to reveal the underlying significance and its latent by utilizing the technique of "free association". Using this technique, you start with one dream symbol and then follow with what automatically comes to your mind first. You continue in this manner and see where it leads.

To further help in interpreting the cryptic images of our dreams,  Freud classified the images into the following five processes:

1. Displacement
This occurs when the desire for one thing or person is symbolized by something or someone else. 

2. Projection
This happens when the dreamer propels their own desires and wants onto another person.

3. Symbolization
This is characterized when the dreamer's repressed urges or suppressed desires are acted out metaphorically.

4. Condensation
This is the process in which the dreamer hides their feelings or urges by contracting it or underplaying it into a brief dream image or event. Thus the meaning of this dream imagery may not be apparent or obvious.

5. Rationalization
This is regarded as the final stage of dreamwork. The dreaming mind organizes an incoherent dream into one that is more comprehensible and logical. This is also known as secondary revision.
Freud is particularly preoccupied with sexual content in dreams. He believes that sex is the root cause of what occurs in your dreams. According to Freud, every long slender or elongated object (i.e. knife, cigar, gun, etc) represents the phallus, while any cavity or receptacle (bowl, cave, tunnel, etc) denotes the female genitalia."

This stuff is so interesting to me, I hope it is to you also!

Monday, April 22, 2013

My dream the Peace Corps, continued...


Photo of Honduran dancers provided by Barbara Joe


Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:


Barbara Joe continued the interview talking about the impact of her loss.

In her words, “After my son’s death, my three other children and little granddaughter kept me going, though I immediately became hyper-vigilant about them, jittery about each late night phone call or delayed arrival. If not for them, I don’t know what I would have done. I cannot imagine losing any of them, though, unlike other parents innocently taking their children’s lives for granted, I know that death always exists as a possibility for them and for any one of us. I’ve realized how short and precious each life is and that every day is a gift, clichéd as that sounds. Things that might have distressed me before, such as my ex-husband’s refusal to speak with me for years, or even such ordinary travails as being snubbed by a former friend or getting a parking ticket fail to bother me anymore.

Although it in no way can bring back our lost children, I’ve found solace through a support group for bereaved parents, The Compassionate Friends, where I’m now able to comfort parents still in shock after losing their own children. My son Andrew was buried along with our pet black Lab, Claire, whom he had named, in property we own in rural Virginia. On his gravestone, we put a line from Walt Whitman, ‘I stop some where waiting for you.’ Alex is buried in Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Miami, where he died. In 1997, I visited Alex’s family in eastern Cuba and gave them my photos of him. I am also trying to get him commemorated with a panel on the national AIDS quilt. Jonathan, my younger son, named his own son, now age 10, Andrew after his late brother. Andrew died on my older daughter Melanie’s birthday, making that always a bittersweet occasion. He also died a few days before Christmas, as did Alex, so those holidays are devoted more to remembrance than to celebration in our family. There are photos of both boys all over my house. I don’t mention their deaths when first meeting someone, as that is an immediate conversation-stopper. However, if asked, ‘How many kids do you have?’ I may say, Three on earth and two in heaven.”

Barbara seized the moment, “On my 60th birthday, with my kids and granddaughter gathered around, I made a wish and blew out all the candles (only 6). I then announced that since I’d be getting my wish, I would join the Peace Corps. My children were skeptical, because I’d often spoken about that possibility before, but had never followed through. Yet somehow, turning 60 was a turning point for me. Since the application process would be long and detailed, I decided to get started. I wasn’t afraid of the unknown because the worst had already happened to me and I was still left standing. I was not afraid of my own death, rather more afraid of not seizing available opportunities available while I still could. We only go through this life once. I thought I’d benefit from being in a totally new environment with new challenges, which turned out to be the case. However, death among children was a sad reality in Honduras, though I was able to offer genuine sympathy to parents there through shared experience.”

She talked about her life currently, “Today, I still live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, a few blocks from the historic Eastern Market and the capitol building, near the national mall and museums. The brick row house, which I bought with my husband back in 1969 when we first moved here, is now more than 110 years old. My granddaughter Natasha and her five-year-old son De’Andre live in a nearby Virginia suburb. Her mother, my daughter Melanie, lives in Norfolk, Virginia, about four hours away by car. I don’t own a car myself, preferring to use public transportation out of concern both for the environment and my own pocketbook. My other two children, Stephanie and Jonathan, live in Honolulu, almost on the other side of the world, although we do visit back and forth. I share my home sometimes with foreign visitors or friends on an informal basis, as the location is very convenient.”

She is active in her community.

Barbara explained, “After Mother died in 2006, I expanded my interpretation work, which has proved helpful to others and gratifying to me. Occasionally my clients have been bereaved parents. At age 74, I still work almost every weekday for a few hours as a Spanish interpreter, traveling everywhere on public transportation. Neither heat, cold, rain, snow, or sleet can keep me from my appointed rounds! I also return annually to Honduras, 9th time this past February, 2013, to volunteer with medical brigades and other projects partly supported by my book sales. I also have been invited to speak about my book and Peace Corps at libraries, in senior centers, on radio programs, and at continuing education centers. Grass doesn’t grow under my feet! I advocate for Peace Corps service for all ages, as it can enrich the lives of older as well as younger people and volunteers with more experience under their belts usually have more to offer and enjoy more respect. We also act as mentors to younger volunteers.

Her advice, “I help others and they help me, it’s a continuous circle; anyone can initiate their own reciprocal and expanding circle, different for every person. Follow your interests, your passions. Baby boomers, you have years of useful life ahead of you! When I go to Honduras, I work closely with local volunteers and also stay with local folks. They don’t have e-mail and few have phones, so they don’t know when I’m coming, but they always open up their homes to me. Honduras is a fairly small country, 8 million people, and I’ve become a well-known person there over the years. Hondurans call me, Dr. Barbara, even though I’ve never been a medical doctor, just a health volunteer. But in that capacity, during my Peace Corps service, by default because I’m a warm body with some knowledge and experience, I’ve helped deliver babies, hand over instruments in the operating room, suture wounds, monitor infections, and removed casts. I have escorted at least 100 children and their parents to visiting volunteer medical brigades, mostly for cleft palate or clubfoot surgery. Therefore, I’m often recognized when I travel in Honduras, a fish in a small pond. I say that if something is on your bucket list, as Peace Corps was on mine, go ahead and do it. You don’t know exactly what will come from that, but something new, no matter what your age. The average age of Peace Corps volunteers is 28, but a growing number are over 50.

Change is often more a matter of mindset rather than of getting a rare lucky break, though lucky breaks do help. Mostly, people need to proactively strengthen their connections with family and with their neighbors, friends, and associates, as well as in volunteer activities and travels and hobbies, trying out new endeavors that may succeed or fail—if the latter, just then let them go and go on to something else. I don’t have a TV set, so I never watch television, which with few exceptions, I consider a waste of time. Ditch the TV and you will have more free time to pursue your passions and interests.

Barbara described her written works, “While in service, I posted monthly, Letters to Honduras, on a website whose readers begged me to create a book. The title refers to the two towns where I served, El Triunfo and La Esperanza. On the cover and inside are numerous photos from Honduras. The cover’s blue and white colors are those of the Honduran flag. Readers have included future and former Peace Corps volunteers, baby boomers, arm-chair adventurers, and bereaved parents. My main message is that no matter what your age or challenge, you can forge a new path.
           
My book starts out with my first visit to Honduras in 1941 at age 3 with my parents, one of my earliest memories. My Dad was working at the time at Mayan ruins of Copán. By great good luck, I was assigned to go there with the Peace Corps, so it was sort of like a homecoming.  After briefly sketching my previous life, including the loss of my boys, I get right into the nitty-gritty of Peace Corps service, no sugar coating, telling it like it is, both its successes and challenges. I was very fortunate to have learned Spanish as a teenager when living with my family in Colombia, a skill that stood me in good stead in Honduras, as learning a new language at age 62 would otherwise have been a challenge.  Adventure, humor, romance of sorts, surprises, and even boredom, illness, and robbery all are included. The physical conditions, including bucket baths, using outhouses, and making tortillas by hand over a wood fire, are really pretty easy to get used to and, for me, the reverse culture shock of returning to the land of hustle and bustle, supermarkets, hot showers, and flush toilets was actually harder than going to Honduras in the first place. In Honduras, people have a very small carbon footprint. The book displays my photos on the cover and throughout. I’ve been surprised and gratified by the book’s positive reception. And, a few readers have actually claimed it inspired them to join the Peace Corps.  I’m thrilled about that. They went in with their eyes open. It’s also nice for me to have the book to reminisce.
           
Washington Post Columnist Ed O’Keefe said, ‘Barbara’s book is a great read… Buy and read this book, no matter your age (April 27, 2009).’ According to Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni,      PhD, in The Roanoke Times (Feb. 1, 2009), ‘This compelling autobiographical narrative is a remarkable triumph of the human spirit.’ Mid-West Book Review called it, ‘An inspiring read, (March 9, 2010).’ Peace Corps Writers named my book Best Peace Corps Memoir of 2009. It also won awards for Best New Non-Fiction Finalist from National Indie Excellence Awards and National Best Books.”

You can make contact with Barbara Joe through her blog, http://honduraspeacecorps.blogspot.com.