Child Molestation

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As a child, we are at our most vulnerable, having to lean upon our parents for everything.  We are innocent, we are impressionable, and we are most needy.  The care that our parents take to rear us is paramount and can have long lasting effects, many of which will not only be difficult to mitigate, but some of which may never be dealt with or reversed.  Some psychiatrists and psychologists state that the first seven years, give or take, in the development of the child are so vital that it has lasting effects on that child’s personality.  Once the personality is set, there’s little that can be done to alter it.  It would take a strong adult, who realizes that they have flaws, which must also be coupled with the willingness to want to improve.  This, being self-development, is one of the most difficult challenges many face daily.  Some throw in the towel and accept their lot as they see it.

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B, while a young child, unfortunately, underwent what many young children go through, all over the world.  Child molestation.  One of B’s family members, whom he was trusted be in the care of from time to time, began engaging in this behavior with B from a very young age.  This behavior, child molestation, lasted for quite some time, even into B’s early adolescence.  All children are affected differently by being molested, i.e., fondled, etc., by a family member whom you are supposed to trust. 

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Some time later, into B’s mid to later adolescence, B would share this information with his parents.  All too often happens, is the denial of the parents of their children’s being taken advantage of in this way.  B would remind one of his parents of the fact that he told them this years before, and like clockwork, they denied ever having been told that.  B, as a parent at that time, understood the stance of his parent.  It is indeed a tough thing to accept that you failed your child directly or indirectly, by placing them in someone’s care, who chooses to engage is such behavior.  However, therefore this behavior persists in so many families, communities, etc.  No one is adult enough to deal with it.  And far too many times, time passes and dealing with well after the fact becomes almost what would seem a misnomer.

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It would take B some time to heal from this happening to him.  It affected his early manhood and played a major yet negative factor in his dealings with his, at the time, wife.  But B, having the determination and will to face the fact that he was deficient in areas, decided to begin his self-development.  He decided to take responsibility and finish his own growth process.  It is a process.

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B’s Epiphany on Dating and Mating

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                   I have heard over the years that people feel like they deserve a certain kind of mate.  People have felt as though that they wanted specific things in a mate, and whether they were willing to be what that desired mate wants was another issue that was rarely discussed.  While we all may desire certain traits in a significant other, there is a concept discussed in the Rationale Male, written by Rollo Tomassi, called the sexual marketplace.  The sexual marketplace consists of men and women who are rated on a scale from 1 to 10, which determines their level on the sexual market value scale.   This is spoken of in the Manosphere as well.  Rollo Tomassi in the forward to his latest work, “The Rational Male: Positive Masculinity”, defines the Manosphere as an online community of men that spans the globe and seeks to develop a better understanding of masculinity, the nature of women and how best to develop oneself with this collective knowledge.  The Manosphere in general is somewhat a male opposition to some of the negative tenants of feminism.  Depending on where one may fit, that will determine what they can reasonably expect to get for their own personal place on that scale.  A person’s sexual market value has to do with things such as age, looks, and other things to include status, and mental capacity.  Generally, looks is the first thing since that is what we see. 

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                With all this discussion about marketplace, let’s compare dating and mating to a marketplace of say goods and/or services.  Let’s stick with goods on this one.  Ideally, a person looks at price first when buying food, cars, homes, clothes, etc.  When one goes to a food market, one who likes healthier food and takes time to read the ingredients on the label, they are looking for the healthiest food based on those ingredients for the best price.  Dating and mating is a market where people in general, want someone with a sexual market value like theirs or higher.  This, again, is first based on looks.  So, people in general want someone who looks like them or better.  The issue comes in when people want what they want in a mate, whether they want to date and mate or just mate, but they feel as if they don’t have to bring anything or should be allowed to bring less to the table.  The dating and mating scene is a market.  It is not a place where you should feel like you can get what you want because you deserve it or you’re entitled to getting it.  The other person is giving up something just as you are.

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                 It is said by some that a woman’s prime is from the ages of 18 to 27, give or take a year or so, and a man’s prime is from the ages of 35 to 45, give or take a year or so.  So, at times, older men go after younger women, which makes sense since a man’s prime comes later than a woman’s.  There are times too, when an older woman will have an interest in a younger man. Regardless of this, dating and mating should be looked at, in my view, as the survival of the fittest.  No one is guaranteed anything on the dating scene.  According to Howard Bloom in “The Lucifer Principle”, the average man has mated with only a few women.  With all that said, women are the gatekeepers to sex, since non-consensual sex with a woman is rape, and men are the gatekeepers to relationships and marriage, since no woman can enter a relationship and marriage if there is no willing man.  A 5 on the sexual market value scale from 1 to 10 can expect to get a 5 at best.  That individual getting a 6 in a mate is pushing it.  But it also depends on that potential mate and the value that they see in that 5.  So, if the pool of available mates for any number on the sexual market value scale is undesirable by that number, then that person has a choice to either change their views or remain single.  We are attracted to what we are attracted to.  However, we are not entitled to have what we are attracted to.  A 5 on the sexual market value scale may want a 10.  But, that will more than likely not happen.  So that 5 will either accept and be happy with a 5, or lower their expectations.  Unless a 6 or a 7 is willing, that 5 will probably have to remain single. 

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                 As we all age, for the most part, our sexual market value will decline.  So, at some time we may want to sit down and decide what’s important.  Or at least, what’s more important.  If you are someone who desires to have a mate, this may not be what you have wanted to read.  In my view, we are not entitled even to the air that we’re breathing.  What makes some of us think that we are entitled to any particular mate?  That’s not my call to make.  But these are my thoughts. 

 

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Dealing with Dominant Personalities

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              B often had a difficult time while being a member of the church, “Soul’s Last Stop”, when dealing with people who had dominant personality traits.  This was nothing new to him, since while growing up, he would come across these types quite often.  The issues that B had with these personality types consists of a broad range that if unchecked, left B feeling perplexed and often withdrawn.  One such issue that B had was that some of them always treated B like he was less than they were.  They had to have more knowledge, more wisdom, and more influence.  These personality types would often push their will onto B and since B trusted them, he would oblige them yet got little if anything in return.  They would bully him with their ideas and a person like B having a mild temperament, would find themselves having to learn over time to be confident within their own skin enough to either deal with these personalities a certain way, or choose to not deal with them at all.

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                It didn’t matter if it was the leaders of the organization or if it were its parishioners, B would often come into mental conflict with these personality types.  In an ideal world, people would be okay with who they are and not try to make proselytes out of everyone else of themselves.  But this world is not that ideal world.  This world is based on other ideals.  The leaders of “Soul’s Last Stop” would often discount and not even consider even on the smallest scale, B’s ideas, thoughts, wishes.  After some time, B went into a shell and remained there for much of his tenor at “Soul’s Last Stop”.  Because of remaining in this shell, B would often be over criticized, humiliated privately and publicly for the most minute of things, laughed at, ridiculed and made the laughing stock among the males of this congregation.  B had faced physical bullying growing up.  This time he would face psychological and emotional bullying.  This, of course, did nothing in terms of positively affecting his relationship with his spouse Conflict, who stated that she needed a strong husband and father.  B was in no way ready for either role.

 

                After the two, B and Conflict, departed their membership from “Soul’s Last Stop”, B would encounter similar situations in later congregations.  It would take B years to learn that if things were not already complicated enough trying to have a family and he was still in the process of finding himself, they would remain and even get more complicated if he was going to continue in the church arena, moving from congregation to congregation.  Every dominant personality trait individual that B would encounter, were able to persuade B into coming within alignment of what they wanted.  Conflict would follow him down these rabbit holes for quite some time.  No matter how intelligent one might be, gullibility knows no bounds when your emotional state and ego in general are not where they need to be.

Lessons Learned from Ending Past Relationships and The Struggle to Obtain Forgiveness

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When transitioning into Christianity as an adult by his own volition, B, unfortunately, was coerced and encouraged into cutting a lot of people off.  B would lose contact with family, immediate and extended, and even friends, old and recent.  During the tumultuous time as an early Christian, B had no one to turn too, save the few people that were involved within the situation that B, too, was in.  None of them knew each other personally, and were “recruited” by this seemingly loving and stable organization.  They were all young adults, just starting out in life, all wanting to honestly and earnestly, wholeheartedly, follow the Lord.  It is difficult living in a brand-new environment, where you know no one personally, wondering what the people among you are capable of.

 

Due to me cutting many people off, during that time, and even subsequently for reasons stated above and others, B found himself going back to some of these people.  Family, immediate and extended, is who B would go back to first.  Trying to explain something that you can only compare to the Branch Davidians [1], or Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple [2], is very difficult when the people you are discussing this with have never experienced this kind of world.  Nevertheless, many of them forgave B.  Others refused to believe his story and often stated that he was either gullible, weak-minded, or just crazy.

 

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David Koresh

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Jim Jones

 

B would later apologize to the friends that he had leading up to joining the organization.  It was many years later.  They all seemed forgiving.  Some of them were quite hurt that B could do such a thing.  Telling them that he wasn’t in his right mind, and some of them even coming to that realization on their own, wasn’t an easy thing to do.

 

Over the years, B had begun to realize many things.  He had learned a great deal from his past.  Not everyone is allowed a second chance.  A second chance isn’t even guaranteed.  No one owes you forgiveness.  While you may even receive that forgiveness, you would be wise to not expect things to pick up where they left off.  B became aware that when you hurt someone, you don’t have a right to allowed into their heart, space, or anything concerning them.  Forgiveness is not to be taken lightly.  One has to learn how to forgive.  One has to also learn how to be forgiven.  Loving someone, trusting someone, automatically causes one to be vulnerable.  It’s not easy being vulnerable.  Especially when your trust and loyalty has been compromised a few times.  We must be careful who we allow in and be open to know that we will be hurt.  It’s how we handle it that will make us the bigger person.

 

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[1] member of an offshoot group of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Church that made headlines on February 28, 1993, when its Mount Carmel headquarters near Waco, Texas, was raided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); four federal agents were killed in the assault. A lengthy standoff between the group and government agents then followed. It ended on April 19, after some 80 members of the group, including their leader David Koresh, died when the Mount Carmel complex was burned to the ground following an attempted entrance by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. (Melton, 2013)

 

[2] Jim Jones, byname of James Warren Jones (born May 13, 1931, Crete, near Lynn, Indiana, U.S.—died November 18, 1978, Jonestown, Guyana), American cult leader who promised his followers a utopia in the jungles of South America after proclaiming himself messiah of the Peoples Temple, a San Francisco-based evangelist group. He ultimately led his followers into a mass suicide, which left more than 900 dead and came to be known as the Jonestown Massacre (November 18, 1978). (Britannica, 2016)

References

Britannica, T. E. (2016, December 22). Jim Jones. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica : https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jim-Jones
Melton, J. G. (2013, July 29). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from Branch Davidian: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Branch-Davidian

 

Struggling to Find One’s Self Part 2

Rock climber at sunset background. Sport and active life

During the time of B’s early adulthood, he spent some time in a city that never sleeps.  B had been raised partly in a large city, and partly in a small town.  To leave home to go to a city that virtually anything goes was a major culture shock.  B went from practically knowing everyone where he lived to a place where knowing everyone would have never happened, even if he wanted it too. 

 

While B lived in this city, he found himself encountering much of what he did back home as in the form of the crowd that he hung with.  What did make the difference is that he was in the military.  The military toned the young men down and turned them into young men that took life much more seriously.  While an adolescent, B had gotten involved in alcohol and drugs very early.  He experienced lots of alcohol in this city.  There was a night life that B had never experienced.  Where he grew up, most people would be in the bed by 2:00 am.  In the city that never sleeps, B and his friends would find themselves still up and heading home by 7:00 am.  They would ride through the city, go to clubs, go out to eat, go to movies, hang at pool halls, etc.  B wasn’t even legal yet at the time.  He was the youngest among his peers but was no stranger to doing adult things.  He would even experience women much more frequently while in this city. 

 

After a while of living this life, it had gotten old.  B became reminded of a promise that he had made when he was 9 years old.  When B was 9 years old, he got on his knees and prayed to God that if he would allow B to see the age of 20, that he would give his life to him.  Well, the age of 20 had come around.  During much of the year that B was 20 years of age, he danced around it and pushed it off and kept doing what he was doing.  But the age of 21 was nearing.  B had begun around the age of 19 to have sleepless nights where he would go through extreme levels of depression.  He would cry like a baby before he would fall asleep.  As the age of 21 neared, the tears began to flow even more.  B would find himself wanting to be alone more.  Not only was B crying myself to sleep, but he would beg God to take his life.  B no longer had any desire to live.  He cannot remember what triggered this feeling and expression.  He did remember that earlier in his life he did go through something similar.  But now it was paramount. 

 

Sometime later, while at work, a young man who delivered the mail had come in and began to as they say it in the Christian community, witness to me concerning Jesus Christ.  About a week or so into it, B was convinced that this was God using him to talk to me, to let him know that he had danced around it enough.  It was time to get saved, as they say in the Christian community.  Getting saved is a concept where you have a real-life experience with God where you decide to commit your life to God and live for him as a Christian.  Some people experience feelings, some don’t.  Some people go through real-life, as it would appear, religious experiences where they can enter a feeling of peace like they never had.  Others go through something that causes them to walk away from habits, addictions, etc.  This would come known to B as deliverance, which is the Christian concept of one being freed from sin and addiction.  He had tried to have this experience alone one night after work.  Nothing happened and B didn’t feel anything.  Since he had often heard that when you get saved, you are supposed to have this experience, he was convince that nothing happened.  The next evening, the young man agreed to come to B’s dorm room with him and assist me him in praying to God for life and salvation.  Salvation is another Christian term for giving your life to God through Jesus Christ.  This evening something did happen.  This evening B would go to the toilet after prayer to spit up or out something or somethings.  Nothing physical came out.  What did happen after about seven times of dry heaving, is that he walked over to his pack of cigarettes and balled them up.  He never smoked again from that time and never desired them again.  B felt a peace like he never felt.  He even began to think different.  B no longer hung around his friends like he did before and he had no desire for alcohol and took a different look at women. 

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But what came next would be the greatest struggle and most bizarre time of his life.  It took place within a matter of days.  Literally days.  Still before he reached the legally responsible age to drink of 21.  He would be introduced to someone that he would spend the next 16 years of his life with.  They would be introduced to each other through an institution that they would later find out that was in no way suited for their best interests.  This would make everything that happened, the experience with God and the deliverance, seem as though it was for nothing.  The depression that B went through, especially leading up to his salvific experience, would fail in comparison to the depression that he was yet to experience.  This would be the storm of his life.  B’s greatest challenge yet.

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Struggling to Find One’s Self Part 1

The-New-Power-Struggle-Brands-And-Their-Customers-Who-Will-Win-Q1Having been raised in an environment where old school pentacostal holiness ruled the day, B can definitely tell you that being different is nothing new for him.  Christianity is in various forms now, though it always has been, with some being more “common” than others.  Anyone not familiar with old school pentacostal holiness, it is a denomination of Christianity that states that women are not allowed to wear pants, shorts, jewelry, nor make-up.  There weren’t many male restrictions besides what males are commonly restricted within mainstream, if such a thing exists, Christianity.  B’s family definitely saw themselves as outsiders from everyone else.  If you don’t think like us or serve God like us, then you are not doing it right.  Sometime later, his immediate family would transition to Baptist, and then to more what you would call non-denominational forms of Christianity.  Baptist was more “mainstream” and didn’t have as many restrictions on it’s followers.  It would surprise B much later, that even Baptist was no more one thing than many of the other denominations.

 

As he grew up, he would leave church and do his own thing so to speak, though the religious upbringing was still there.  To those that may be offended by the reference to Christianity being a religion, I utilize the definition of religion provided by Oxford Dictionary, which states, that a particular system of faith and worship is a religion.  B would subsequently find his way back to church, though in a different form.  A form which he would later find was not the one for him.  B found that in his own personal life, because of his defenses being down when people said “I’m Christian”, and the lack of being taught many things about the bible to include the understanding of people in general, finding his way was quite difficult.  It would take him many years to develop as an individual, comfortable with his own thoughts and who he was.  Though B takes nothing away from the religious upbringing, and the fact that it kept him away from many dangers,  it, coupled with the lack of other teachings and understandings, would also lead him into quite a few.  Intelligence is great to have, though it has nothing to do with guarding you against being gullible.  Being a person that is easily persuaded to believe something, as the Oxford dictionary defines it, you can find yourself in many difficult situations that are not easy to get out of.  Being credulous can be dangerous in a world where some people are out looking for someone to dupe to get ahead, or just have nothing better to do than to make things difficult for other people.  It would take him sometime to fortify himself with knowledge and go through a few experiences that would make him strong enough to let go and move on.

 

Many people have other things that they grew up under that hindered them in one way or another.  I would not call Christianity a hindrance.  It has helped and benefited many people.  I would say, that it would be helpful if some would arm themselves in general with more knowledge to keep themselves from the pitfalls that are probably unnecessary.  At least some of them are unnecessary.  The old adage that what you don’t know won’t hurt you, in my opinion, is rubbish.  The more you know the better and the more you know the further you can go.

 

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The Life of Ben

Life is something.  It takes us down many paths.  Depending on how we developed in our childhood and adolescent years, has a greater impact on our adulthood than some may realize.  Childhood determines adulthood, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated in his “The Negro Family : The Case for National Action”.  Some of those young adults that learn early that they are underdeveloped, are faced with the decision that may cause them to have to spend a significant amount of time during their adult years correcting what was not developed properly during the childhood and adolescent phases.  This seems to be the case for many adults.

Benjamin Samuel Brasford, or Ben, or B, is one such young adult.  He started out in a loving family that were Christian in their religious practice.  There were some bumps and bruises along the way.  Ben faced the greatest challenge of his life just as he was entering his adulthood, that he unfortunately, was not prepared for.  Ben walked right into a brand new way of life and was immediately uprooted from his previous life.  He would eventually face another abrupt upheaval of life much later, not long after he transitioned out of some of the ideology that was taught him growing up and over the years.  Approaching life with the wrong philosophy, will keep you from reality, which will in turn limit your possibilities.

Ben has decided to share his life story with us.  It is a short story, that will be expanded at a later time.  There is still much work to be done in presenting a series that will lead to much more than just discussing Ben himself.  But this series will lead to different subjects and disciplines from differing stages and schools of thought as if to help one grow up into mature adulthood along with Ben.  If you are someone who is an adult and have found that you too, have been underdeveloped and you are going through life now wondering why you are struggling emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, then Ben’s story may be a story that can help you.