Check-In. September 21, 2019. You might be an abuser if you…

FB_IMG_1569079664199Check-In:  In the work that I do, to end systemic domestic violence, you may feel a variety of emotions.


1. If you were or are a victim, you may feel a surge of emotions.  Some folks call that being triggered.  That’s normal.  Realize that you are still healing.  Breathe.  Remember what you learned about being in crisis, and about crisis response.  You might want to fight.  You might want to run (flight).  You might not be able to think or move or breathe (freeze). Ground yourself.  Breathe.  Do your self-care.  Detach.  Disengage.  Breathe.  Call the 24/7 domestic violence support line at 1.888.428.0101, or call/text me at 520.909.3888.  Call your friend who supports you.  Breathe.  Write a letter to yourself.  Breathe. Breathe.  Breathe.  Relax your jaw.  Relax your tongue.  Relax your toes.  Breathe.  Relax your fingers.  Relax your scalp.  Relax your eyelids.  Breathe. Ground yourself… breathe.


2. If you read something I wrote, and respond in 3 seconds with a lengthy paragraph justifying your choices (totally normal)…  Realize that you might be part of the problem of the cycle of abuse.  When you are dismissive of what others are feeling, especially of individuals who are trying to escape the cycle, you are making things worse.  YOU are engaging in the Drama Triangle, where there is a victim, a perpetrator, and a rescuer (YOU).  This cycle of abuse is not, and should not, be about YOU.  Stop it.  Go heal yourself and stay away from the victim and the perpetrator.  Coddling makes things worse.  Enabling makes things worse.  It may sound counterintuitive because YOU want the victim to understand that they have responsibilties.  Believe me… they KNOW that.  They KNOW it because they have been abused physically, emotionally, sexually, religiously, financially, psychologically, or mentally…. they have been blamed, shamed, guilted, beat down until they are broken spirits.  Don’t beat them down further.  Be quiet.  Listen.  Believe.  Be kind.  Breathe.  Listen.  Believe.  Be kind.  Breathe.  Repeat.  Help the victim help themselves.  They don’t need to go from one co-dependency to another.

FB_IMG_15690796607043. If you are blaming and trying to shame others… you are part of the problem.  You are an abuser.  Truth hurts.  Actually for you, it doesn’t hurt.  You are the one belittling me, attacking me, calling the cops on me, devaluing me, and encouraging others to do the same.  I don’t hate you.  I am a humanitarian.  My greatest weakness is being a humanitarian, and you know that.  You don’t like that about me, and you see it as weak.  You are afraid of me because you know that I see through you.  Here’s the hope and truth I leave you with:

FB_IMG_1569079664199I believe you were doing the best that you could, based on your life experiences and your knowledge.  You didn’t see another way.  You were blocked.  You were a victim…. and you don’t want to believe that, because you were taught that it is not okay to be weak.  So you pumped yourself up.  You put on your big boy/ big girl pants.  You tried to force others to do the same.  Here’s the thing… they would do it in your presence because they were afraid to disobey you.  But when the cat was away, the mice would play.  And then you would be angered, and you would respond (some would say you would react) with more actions to control and manipulate that person to do what you wanted.  You might have done it Ted Bundy style or you might have done it with kool-aid, or with physical violence and intimidation.  Stop.  Stop it.  Stop the cycle.  Breathe.  It’s not your fault.  I love you.  I don’t know you.  But I love you.  I am sorry for the pain you went through.  I am sorry for the pain you caused.  I forgive you.  I won’t forget it, but I will forgive it.  And I will continue to work for systems, policies, budgets, that provide programs to heal these generations of unhealthy practices that have been allowed for generations.



If your tummy is churning…. breathe.


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“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


Turn Up For What? – September 14, 2019. U of A incident involving three young men, a racial slur, and assault.


With full knowledge, that I may be criticized for my comments regarding the recent assault at the University of Arizona…


I came across a comment in the thread that read: “I still don’t believe they should be in this university. They should be black balled from attending any higher education facility less they want to be known for supporting bigotry and racism.”

To which a response asked the writer to use the word banned or excluded instead of “blackballed”, to which the writer took offense. My response follows:


“I think the point is that there is implicit bias in our language, and in order to make real change, people need to accept responsibility and be more mindful (and intentional) in creating a culture for all of us. (On a side note, I understand that folks are doing the best that they can, and don’t want to be distracted from what they consider the “problem”. A less dismissive response would be: “Thanks for that heads up. I’ll use banned or excluded instead”).

Let’s empower one another. Let’s have solidarity against uneducated folks. Let’s have solidarity against alcohol abuse. Let’s have solidarity against abuse of power.

#StayFocused #EmpowerOneAnother #ListenBelieveBeKind #Solidarity”


Racism exists and is integrated in our language. I am guilty of using terms that are offensive to others.

Example: I was absolutely clueless during my 2017 campaign, and it caused significant damage to the campaign. My team was able to help resolve the situation; however the sense of trust was broken. Broken trust is difficult to rebuild. Coupled with my views on choosing humanity, empathy, and wisdom (because I have seen that the cycle of domestic violence perpetuates with our current systems), and the fact that I am asking for changes (most folks don’t even ask what I am trying to change)…


Next Steps:
1. Admit when we are wrong.
2. Forgive (don’t forget).
3. Be consistent with the offender. What did you do? Why was it not okay? What will you do instead? You took something that was not yours to take. How can you make it better? Breathe.
4. Have empathy for the victim. I am so sorry for what happened. You must have felt helpless and afraid and powerless. They took something that was not theirs to take. What can help you feel better? Breathe.
5. Don’t fan the flames. Find a real solution. It is so easy to change the situation into the Drama Triangle. In the Drama Triangle, someone must be blamed, and someone must be innocent, and someone is the rescuer. Quit trying to claim the fame of being the rescuer. It’s not about you. It’s about all of us. It’s about our children. It’s about generational violence. Don’t want to help? Fine. Don’t help. Get out of the way though, and stop interfering with those who are doing the work.

#GetOutOfTheWay #YouAreImportantAndTheCenterOfYourWorldButNotTheCenterOfTHEWorld #EgoBlasted #TurnUpForWhat

“It’s not your fault” — a message to family and friends who witnessed acts of domestic violence.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.

Something often not discussed is the guilt of family members who witnessed domestic violence/abuse,  but did not prevent the violence/abuse.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.

It is important to develop the mantra, and repeat it.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.

As a witness of domestic violence, it is easy to have guilt and shame put upon you. “Why didn’t you say something?!” “Why didn’t you do something?!” “Why didn’t you call someone?!”

As a witness of domestic violence, you most likely didn’t do or say or call because you were terrified.  You witnessed the violence and abuse upon your loved one, whether it was a human family member, or a furry family member, or a favorite doll.  Whether it was an uncontrolled rage, or a super controlled rage… it was uncomfortable, and most likely frightening to you. “I don’t want that rage on me.” “They deserved it.  They were bad.” “…we repeat the lies and excuses that the abuser espouses.

We laugh when we see videos of people smashing inanimate objects.  We excuse the behavior.  To a certain extent, events like pumpkin smashes are healthy.  Those opportunities release the adrenaline that is surging through the body.  We are taught that running releases endorphines.  We are told to go DO something.

What if that behavior is only appropriate in certain situations (as often behaviors are)?

What if what we really need to do is strengthen our minds, and prepare for the attacks of the abuser/violent offender?

We know that physical pain and deformities are reminders of the violence and abuse that was endured.  However, it is our mind that causes us to become hopeless and either lash out, or contemplate suicide.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.


Listen to your gut.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.

  • Set boundaries.
  • Tell the perpetrator, “No, thank you.  Leave me alone.  Leave us alone.”
  • Call for help.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.

Realize there was nothing you could do at the time to prevent the abuse and violence.  Forgive yourself.  Then, resolve to educate yourself on what causes domestic violence, and what causes vulnerable people.  Then act on it.

Remember:  We can neither control nor change others.  However,  we can find ways to help make things better, by speaking up when we see the cycle, or when we suspect the cycle.

That process may entail the victim lashing out at us, or shutting us out.  If there is that emotional roller coaster, something is amiss.  Listen.  Believe.  Be kind.

  • Listen to what the victim tells you, and listen for what isn’t said, but what actions show.
  • Believe your gut.
  • Be kind in your words to your loved one, and be kind to yourself.   Don’t blame.  Don’t shame.  Remind yourselves you did the best that you could.  Find an outside independent party, like a therapist who understands what domestic violence looks like.  Learn about the cycle of domestic violence:  The honeymoon period, the normal days, the build up, the explosion, the honeymoon…  Learn about coercive control and manipulation.

Remember: Talking to someone about suicide won’t cause them to commit suicide.  Talking to someone about being something does not make them that thing.  Talking allows the opportunity to bring forth the truth.

If you are concerned about a friend or family member, or you are experiencing feelings of shame or guilt, or something just doesn’t feel right, you can call Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse toll free, 24/7 at 1.888.428.0101, or call/text the Domestic Violence Support Services  for resources and referrals at 1.520.909.3888.

You are not alone.  It is not your fault.

“It’s not your fault.”  Hear it. Believe it.  It is truth.


Learn more about the cycle and lies of domestic violence and abuse, and what you can do to help end the cycle.  Visit us at  We believe you.  It is time for you to believe you.  If you need permission to believe, you have it.

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete. “

What YOU can do if YOU are in an abusive relationship

People will tell you to “just leave”… but if you are an empath (which you most likely are), it is not so easy to “just leave”.

The root of domestic violence is not anger.  The root of domestic violence is the need for control.  This may exist because the abuser did not have control when they were younger.  Maybe they were bullied.  Maybe they had super strict parents.  Maybe the kid they had a crush on embarrassed them in front of others.   Maybe they were guilted and shamed, and they felt like they had no control.   Because of this unresolved trauma, they were never able to process healthily through their emotions.   They were stuck.

Regarding the victim,  they may also have experienced the same life changing experiences… being bullied, intimidated,  shunned by their crush… but instead of trying to control others, they turned to pacifying, and trying to appease others.  They never learned to set boundaries.  They never learned to say No.  In fact, they were probably made to feel selfish and bad when they tried to speak up.

So, what can you do?  Not in any order, but numbered for discussive purposes:

  1. Become educated on narcissism
  2. Become educated on sociopathy
  3. Become educated on empathy
  4. Become educated on Adverse Childhood Experiences
  5. Become educated on trauma
  6. Become educated on unresolved trauma
  7. Become educated on manipulation
  8. Become educated on victimization
  9. Become educated on active listening
  10. Become educated on love versus control
  11. Become educated on emotional maturity and immaturity
  12. Become educated on crisis response
  13. Become educated on the cycle of abuse
  14. Become educated on passive aggressiveness
  15. Become educated on distraction
  16. Learn to love yourself
  17. Learn about negative and positive cognition
  18. Learn how to set boundaries and maintain them
  19. Find a supportive person*
  20. Breathe

*You can call Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse 24/7 at 1.888.428.0101.  You can also call/text 520.909.3888 for resources and referrals.

We are sorry you are going through this.  We believe you.  We believe in you.




Mailing address 917 E Pastime Road, Tucson, AZ 85719 Web Call/text 520.909.3888   Facebook   Twitter