Thursday, December 26, 2013

Schizophrenia

I felt a strong pull on my heart strings about moving back to Manitoba and re-establishing myself with my family in the late 1990's, after my divorce. I discussed it with my therapist at the time. She was concerned that the progress I had made in moving away from codependent patterns might be hampered or even reversed if I were to re-situate myself in the midst of the dysfunction so soon into the therapy.
 
It certainly was a valid concern for me, too. But, to hear her verbalize what I had already been thinking was enough to reconsider my course of action.
 
Two years later my mom died unexpectedly. What a shock for me, to lose her so quickly and without any warning. I felt horribly guilty for not being there for her on the one hand, but on the other hand I was really glad I didn't move back — because my mother was gone. It wouldn't have been the same living there without her. My aging mother was the only reason I even considered going back.
 
My dear devoted mother spent herself and her health looking after her "poor boy" with schizophrenia. The codependent pattern was still very much alive in our family. Her need to do everything for "Albert*" 1) wore her out; 2) undermined the doctors' efforts for his psychiatric care; and, 3) tied the hands of the government's social program to assist him in learning independent living.
 
After Mom's death I, the lone daughter, was expected to take over Albert's care, as far as Mom and Albert were concerned. While I loved my brother, I had to ask myself a hard question: "Am I strong enough to maintain the boundaries — stay centered in my own self-direction — and not be drawn back into the codependent patterns of my family?"
 
I phoned Albert. He was thrilled to hear from me and cautiously inquired if I might be moving back "to be with the family."
 
"I think of you and the family often, Albert," I found myself answering. "I love you very much. I know you are well established there. You have an excellent program of support to enable you to live and function independently. I know you have the ability to do it or the program wouldn't have considered you an excellent candidate, provided you with a home and responsibility for self-care. I firmly believe you are fully capable to look after yourself. And you have other family members and friends around if at any time you choose to socialize."
 
He seemed to understand, likely because it may have sounded kind of familiar. After all, the social workers and the doctors encouraged his independence. But, when Mom was around, she fussed over him and attended to his every need. And Albert let her.
 
I continued, "I have my work here. I am established here in Saskatoon. I don't want to uproot myself again. My friends are here and I have made a good life for myself here."
 
By now I had fully convinced myself that I could never go back to a previous situation which resulted in unhappiness for me.
As we wrapped up our phone call, I concluded by gently saying, "I love you, Albert. Take care of yourself."
 
He chuckled coyly, then reiterated what I said, "Yeah, 'take care of myself.'" Then he took on a more serious tone and continued, "I know that is what I must do."
 
So, while he knew he had to walk through his fears of becoming independent of his family, he also realized that what he desired more than ever was to stand on his own two feet and become a self-directed person.
 
That was more than ten years ago. Despite a few setbacks, during that time he acquired a job, maintained a home, paid his bills, shopped for his own groceries, cared for his health and well-being in accordance with his doctors and social workers.
 
On December 8, 2013, Albert left the planet. I know he's in a happy place now. Against all odds he accomplished in this lifetime what he set out to do, namely, break free of the codependent patterns of our family.
 
"Albert, you have got to know how really proud of you I am. You truly accomplished your goal of becoming self-reliant! You are awesome! Bravo! Well done!"
 
--------------------
* Albert is not his real name.
Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about 
the author's memoir.
Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2013.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

GMO Soup

You may not want to eat genetically modified (GM) foods, but chances are, you are eating them anyway. There are urgent reasons why we need to be aware of the dangers of eating GM foods. Monsanto is one of the most malevolent organizations and considered the most hated company in the world. Genetically modified foods are now accepted as one of the biggest threats to all living things.
 
My husband brought this soup home from the grocery store one day and showed me the list of ingredients. He asked me, "Is there any chicken in this soup? Or is it Soy?"
 
Not just Soy, but genetically-modified soy, since soy has been a genetically-modified grain since around 1998, according to wikipedia source files.
 
 photo GMO-Soup-logo-1.gif
 
I "genetically modified" the label so as not to give Campbell's Soups a bad name.
 
But seriously, if you want healthy food, you must read the label stating the ingredients and not take the branding as true by any stretch of the imagination. The real ingredients are listed below:
 
 photo GMO-Soup-ingredients.gif
 
Now, I ask the question: First of all, is there real chicken in this soup? Or is the "meat" really all GMO soy?
 
There are so many ingredients in this soup that my mother never even heard of as a soup ingredient. And the soup is called "Healthy Request." May I ask who requested this soup? Monsanto perhaps? Admittedly, many people are not aware of what are GM foods and where they are found, so now might be a good time to learn about what is really in our food.
 
So, I set out to inform myself with this video filled with valuable information. It is a video that many consumers might appreciate:
 
 
More good reading plus another (short) video (scroll down):
 
Seven Reasons to Never Eat Genetically Modified Foods
 
1. Increased Pesticide Use. Since plants become resistant to pesticides, it becomes necessary to increase the dosage year by year to have the same effectiveness. More pesticide use means more toxicity.
 
2. Have Been Shown To Be Dangerous To Your Health and Unsafe To Eat. More and more we hear of people developing severe allergies to food.
 
3. GM Foods Are Hidden In Animal Feed. Yes, if the animals are fed with GM grain, then the meat is toxic as a result.
 
4. GM and non-GM Cannot Co-Exist. The non-GM grain becomes contaminated by the GM grain through cross-pollination.
 
5. Long-term Economic Disaster For Farmers. In the past, farmers saved their seeds from year to year, but thanks to genetic modification, that is no longer possible. The grain does not have the strength to reproduce itself two years in a row. The reproduction process has been bred out of our food. Farmers must spend great sums of money each year buying new seed. Most farmers now admit they made a big mistake as a result of embracing Monsanto's suggested way of farming.
 
6. GM Companies Cannot Be Trusted. The truth of that statement is self-evident. GM companies lobby for deregulation and often don't do proper long-term testing of the results of their modification to our food.
 
7. GM Foods Will Never Solve The Food Crisis. The food crisis can only be solved by farmers becoming independent of Monsanto's treadmill which virtually enslaves our farmers.
 
Sources: gmwatch.org
 
alternet.org
 
bestmeal.info
 
Farmer Blames GMO Feed For Pig Deformities And Deaths
 
Health, Wealth and Happiness Website, What Are GMO's?
 
GMO Dangers
 
Higher Levels of Herbicide Found in Drinking Water May Pose Health Risk
 
 
After reading the above articles, I am convinced of the dangers of the Monsanto frankenfoods. Furthermore, (besides going gluten-free in 2005) I have made the switch to eating organic food whenever possible, and especially avoiding food that is overly processed and known to be a GM food.
 
I welcome your comments.

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2013.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shunning Ex-Members is a Religious Requirement

While browsing the internet today I stumbled across an interesting video. It is of particular interest to me because it was on the subject of religious shunning. While Jehovah's Witnesses official stance is that they do not interfere in family life, it is a personal choice to shun or not. Nevertheless, according to the video posted, I see clearly the official stance is merely propaganda for public consumption, in order to create the appearance of a benign religion — when in fact, quite the opposite is true. The true stance of the religion indicates that it is more important than ever to shun a "judged as having a defective faith" family member. As if humans have the right to judge. Watch the video here:
 
Source: http://spiritualbrother.blogspot.ca/2013/07/shocking-jehovahs-witness-convention.html taken from a convention talk of 2013. I'm glad the Watchtower Organization is showing it's true colors. It does indeed help people to make healthy choices about their spirituality, when their double-standard is so clearly displayed.

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" to learn more about the author's memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2013.