Fear Is Knocking At Your Door: The Beat Goes On

My Dear Readers,

I must admit that at first I didn’t get it. Like most simple law abiding folks, I got caught up with what I felt was the inadequacy of the justice system.  I was wrong.  The problem is neither the justice system nor the jurist overseeing the trial.  The problem lies within us. WE, the PEOPLE.

I am speaking about the recent judicial decisions and comments that were handed down in Detroit MI (Wayne County 3rd Judicial Circuit) regarding the brutal beating of an innocent motorist by a mob of black adult and juvenile males.

I also realize I am not the only one who doesn’t understand the rationale of the judicial bench.

The following factors are not disputed:

  • There was a vehicle-pedestrian accident in which a white motorist struck a 10 year old child who darted off the curb into traffic.
  • The motorist immediately stopped his vehicle and sought to provide assistance to the child.
  • The motorist was immediately attacked by a group of 12-20 black males.
  • A group of 100 onlookers stood by observing, taking no action.
  • The attack was finally halted when a black woman, a retired nurse carrying a .38 Smith & Wesson handgun, displayed the weapon and ordering the mob to desist.
  • Although 100 bystanders (all black) observed the assault, only three witnesses came forward to assist with the investigation thus limiting the numbers arrested to the four adults and one juvenile being charged in the case.

It was clear to me that given the information presented, the physical assault and mob action were racially motivated.   This was affirmed during the arraignment process when all five individuals where charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and ethnic intimidation.

As a result of the assault, the motorist, Mr. Steve Utash, was in a medically induced coma for 10 days, and has suffered brain damage that has severely reduced his ability to physically function as well as financially provide for his family.

Following victim impact statements by the victim’s family including the fact that Mr. Utash was pleading for his life, the total sentencing for all five individuals amounts to 7.6 years, probation and drug testing.

Many do not feel that the punishment received fits the crime.  The sad irony is that the victim will spend more time recuperating from the attack than the collective amount of time spent in jail for the perpetrators.

And worse,  the presiding judge’s statement that the criminal action of one of the defendants was due to “not having a father in his life that would have beat the hell out of him” was a disservice in the sentencing aspect of the judicial process. In response, Rochelle Riley, an African-American columnist for the Detroit Free Press, wrote:

“We watch the system work.  We watched—and waited for justice.  We’re still waiting.”

Charlie LeDuff, another African-American  columnist who writes for the New York Times, commented:

“Where are the old-school civil rights advocates who usually spoke out against such beatings?  Where was Reverend Al?  Why did it take Jesse Jackson almost two weeks to say something?  And nothing from President Obama.  Rage and hopelessness are no excuses here.  All Detroit, black or white, noticed the silence.”

We ALL, across the nation, noticed the silence.

It may be that throughout this nation, leadership, regardless of color or ethnicity, are silent and hopeful that the incident in Detroit will quietly go away.  It is very likely that African-Americans throughout the nation were just as upset as White Americans regarding the beating of an innocent motorist.  So why are we all silent?

It is just as likely that African-Americans throughout the nation are just as upset as White Americans regarding the lack of credibility in the sentencing of the five defendants. So why are we all silent?

We actively voiced our outrage over what happened in Jasper, TX incident in which a black man was decapitated and killed in an incident that was clearly racist.  Why do we remain silent now a situation in which an innocent white motorist was almost beaten to death and left with brain damage and now the inability to provide for his family?

In the New York Times, LeDuff records a conversation he had with three black men in the Detroit neighborhood where the mob attack:

“They called Mr. Utash an honorable man for stopping to help when too many people in this city don’t.  They mocked the silence of civic leaders.  They know the score.  They’re Americans.  And they also know that we can’t expect those leaders to solve this riddle of ours called race.”

They know the score.” Interesting. “They’re Americans.”  Interesting.   And most telling:

And they also know that we can’t expect those leaders to solve this riddle of ours called race.

Now let’s multiply that throughout the nation:

  • WE know the score.
  • WE are Americans.
  • And WE also know that WE can’t expect those leaders to solve this riddle of OURS called RACE.

Last week, I turned 61 years old. I spent a significant part of my youth growing up in the southern United States, during the time when segregation was legal.  I sat in the back of the bus, used facilities designated for “colored only” and attended segregated schools.

During my youth, I was unwittingly used as a tool to desegregate white-only schools.  I, along with countless other “colored” children, were directed by our political leaders, clergy and parents to endure traumatic events as we simply sought to achieve a quality education. We were removed from a warm, caring environment within an economically disadvantaged and low functioning school for colored children and placed in strange, socially distanced and hostile environments in which we were often the only black children in our classes. We were essentially sacrificed for the cause of integration.

I do not fault our parents, as I understand that they wanted more for our generation than they had been forced to endure within theirs. Needless to say, the experiences I had for the next two years were traumatizing.   There was no counseling offered by the school and no discussion at home as to what we endured.

What have we learned today from this social experience called integration?  Our children can ride at the back of the bus if they choose to (I personally do not, as it brings up painful memories.)   Our schools are integrated.  So are the restaurants and restrooms.

Racial strife and racial tension remains a major division among us today.  I have learned, as many other Americans have,  that you can pass legislation to direct and control human behavior.  However, no law can legislate what lies deep within the “psychological self.”

In our desire to distance ourselves from the pain, rage, and powerlessness that surrounds us, many of us close our eyes, silence our voices and stick our heads in the sand, hoping  that incidents like the ones in Jasper, TX and Detroit, MI will not happen “in my town, my city or my backyard.”

Integration did not solve the problems of the poor and disenfranchised.  In fact, crime is a major factor in ten cites with large ethnic minority populations.  So what do we learn from the mob action and resulting judicial actions in Detroit?

  • We learn that the judiciary continues to be inadequate in the administration of justice when race and ethnicity are called into play.
  • We learn that our leadership, regardless of color, will remain silent and hope that the problem will go away.
  • We learn that law enforcement and criminal prosecutions may be lacking in black communities because of the lack of citizen cooperation with ongoing investigations.
  • We learn of the frustrations of law abiding citizens of such communities seeking the same protection that is offered to other communities.
  • We learn that the lack of fathering can be utilized as a justification to minimize responsibility for criminal acts.
  • We learn that rage is a powerful and serious problem.  Not only in Detroit but also as in other cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore and Chicago.  It was in these cities that 82 people were shot within 84 hours of the most recent July Fourth weekend.
  • Most importantly, we learn to reinforce living in FEAR of each other

It has always been my belief that FEAR is simply another emotion.  It is neither good nor bad.  The issue is how we as people utilize fear.  We can continue to use it as a weapon, as it has been in this situation,  reinforcing our internal demands to live in fear of each other and therefore maintaining racial strife. Or, we as a society can come together and learn to live with fear and not in fear.

Fear is here.  Forever.  The fear that lives in Detroit also lives in cities throughout the country.  It is for us to choose how we respond to it.  In Fear or With Fear.

I didn’t get it at first, but I do now.  Rochelle Riley illustrates my journey to this point perfectly.

“…we don’t talk about rage until it presents itself or hurts someone. And rage has no place in the courtroom where Steve Utash and his family hoped for justice after he was nearly killed on an east side street.

Until we can ensure that the next person who stops regardless of their race, won’t face a pummeling squad, then no one is going to stop, no one’s going to help, no one is going to care. And the beat goes on.”

I get it now.  I truly get it.

To the Honorable James Callahan, Judge, Wayne County Superior Court, 3rd Judicial Circuit

Dear Sir,

I was WRONG.  I extend my sincere apologies to you.

I will continue to oppose your sentiment that the young man you sentenced “needed a dad, someone to beat the hell out of him when he made a mistake,” as it can be used to endorse violence as a means to prevent violence.  Instead, I continue to believe that advocating for violence as a response to violence will only create further violence.  In the end, we become victims who live in constant fear of each other.

However, it is clear that you are being used as the scapegoat or more specifically “left holding the empty bag”.  Our leadership, be it black or white, stands silently on the sidelines while you and the judiciary take the brunt of the hits from the media and the public.

 

I get it now.  I truly get it.  WE the PEOPLE can continue pointing the finger at each other or we can choose to accept responsibility and work for change in how we relate and interact with each other.  In fear or with fear.  We can choose.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Micheal Kane Psy.D. MSW CTS LICSW

 

Until the next crossroads…the journey continues.

 

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Advocating For A Beatdown: Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Right

My Dear Readers,

 

In the 5.4.14 post “Another Consequence of Racial Hatred,” I responded to an incident where a group of black men physically attacked a white motorist who was aiding a black child he had struck as the child was crossing the street. The attack, observed by as many as 100 onlookers, was halted when an elderly black woman intervened and put the motorist in a coma that he remains in today.

 

The media carried this incident across the country and the world, drawing comparisons to an incident in Jasper, TX when three white males, two of which were known to be white supremacists, murdered James Byrd Jr, a black man, by dragging him behind a pickup truck for three miles, resulting in his decapitation and death. The ensuing outcry from that case resulted in two of the men receiving death sentences, and the third was sentenced to life imprisonment.

I had the same expectations for justice as many others following the assault of the white motorist in Detroit, MI.  However, now that the legal proceedings have concluded, I am left confused and bewildered by the messages of the judge, who spoke not only for the “rule of law,” but also for the expectations of a “moral and just society.”

Here is where my confusion and bewilderment lies: one of the males involved in the attack was a juvenile.   The other three were adult males who (justifiably) received prison sentences for their roles in the racially motivated and unprovoked attack.

Upon the sentencing for Latrez Cummings, who by then had turned 19 years old and was being sentenced as an adult, the judge sentenced him to six months in jail.  Six months in jail for an unprovoked attack that left the motorist in a coma and struggling to survive?

One could assume that the lesser sentence was due to his status as a juvenile at the time of the criminal act. Okay. That would make sense to focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. The others, being adults, are fully accountable and are to be held to the consequences of their actions.

What I find shocking, highly questionable and totally unacceptable are the comments made by the judge during the sentencing phase.

The Associated Press (7/17/14) reported that Wayne County Judge James Callahan, in responding to Cummings’ statement of not having a father figure in his life, stated:

“You needed a dad, someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake, as opposed to allowing you or encouraging you to do it to somebody else.”

What?  Is he serious?  Are we on another planet?  Our society is demanding accountability, and the judge is telling this young man that he needed a father to beat the hell out of him to keep the child from doing it to someone else?

But it doesn’t stop there.  As the prosecutor openly objects to a sentence in which she describes as being “too light,” she adds:

“There are many young black men who were raised without a father but haven’t committed crimes.”

Judge Callahan, who is white, was obviously offended by her remark.  He replied:

“Did I ever use the term “black”? It does not matter if the person is black, white, yellow or red.”

So, if color is not the issue, does this mean that all young men need their fathers to “beat the hell out of them?”  Is this the “rule of law” and the expectation of a moral and just society? As a father, am I expected to do this?

My confusion and bewilderment aside, as a professional, as a person and as a father, I am writing the following OPEN LETTER to Judge Callahan:

To the Honorable James Callahan:

 

Dear Sir,

Respectfully, you are WRONG.  You suggest by your words that wrongful behavior must be used to prevent wrongful behavior, and that is a harmful message to send to society.

Granted, our citizenry was psychologically wounded by this attack.  The time of the sentencing was supposed to be a moment for healing of the wounds caused by racial strife.

However, the message that you provided not only serves to encourage more violence, but also serves to denigrate thousands of young males being raised in single parent homes who have not turned to violence as a means of expression.

You may have a lifestyle or live in a space where color and race are not factors, but the reality is that many of us have to respond to the issues of race and color every day.  As African American men, we respond to (and endure with indignation) spirit-wounding interactions on a daily basis just from hailing taxis, riding on crowded elevators and other simple acts when interacting with others in the public domain.

Your comments not only reinforce the concept of violence as a just and fair punishment for a slight, but also heightens FEAR, which often leads to more violence. Consider this: what will be on the mind of the next white motorist who has to contend with the legal and moral dilemma of stopping to care for another person following an accident while riding through a residential community comprised of people who are racially or ethnically different?  Do they stop and risk their safety?  What is the right thing to do?

Privilege and the good life allows individuals like yourself to wade in the legal waters with opinions that will impact the lives of others for many years to come.  What is sad, however, is that you truly do not understand the realities facing our psychologically wounded brethren as well as this missed opportunity to heal those who could have benefitted from prudent words and actions.

Judge Callahan, shame on you. Violence can never be the answer or tool for effective discipline for our children regardless of gender. In a moral and just society, it is essential that we identify alternative ways to communicate restraint and other such skills without the use of violence.

Just for a moment, consider the type of person who is raised with violence as his foundation.  What type of spouse will he become? How will conflict be resolved in spousal relationships?   Does one now add the term fear into the martial contract or vows?

Sir, this is not the type of society that I seek to leave for my children.  I call upon all men and women regardless of race, color or ethnicity to reject the reasoning that you have handed down from the judicial bench.

Your comments deepen the emotional wounds and diminish the good works of many of your judicial colleagues around this nation.  Truly, your words do not represent their beliefs or their oath of service to their communities.

One particular jurist, the Honorable LeRoy McCullough, Judge, King County Superior Court (Seattle, WA) is well known and respected by local citizens as well as within the legal community.   Judge McCullough has accepted it as his responsibility to serve as a role model from the judicial bench, church and community activities.

Judge McCullough has, on numerous occasions, spoken to youth, particularly young men of diverse ethnic communities, and offered guidance, role modeling and understanding as to the expectations of citizenry in a moral and just society.

One day Judge McCullough and I will have the opportunity to sit in fellowship and discuss your words.  The humanness of the error will be acknowledged, lessons will be learned, and as we conclude, the two of us will continue to honor our work and the passion of service to our communities.

Another missed opportunity.  What can we learn and take away from this?  To advocate for violence to prevent violence will only serve to achieve further violence.  In the end, we become victims living in fear of each other.

Let us stand at the crossroads and have the willingness to forsake violence and chose a different direction.

Without the rule of law, we live in a society bent on chaos.  As you sit on the judicial bench, please weigh your words carefully and serve to model the behavior that is desired in a moral and just society.

Respectfully,

Dr. Micheal Kane Psy.D. MSW, CTS LICSW

 

Until the next crossroads.  The journey continues…

To Me & From Me: The Gifts of Apology & Forgiveness

My Dear Readers,

Now and then, I receive correspondence which challenges me to integrate my personal experiences and beliefs with my professional insight.  Often, these are times in which I may be asked to step outside of my professional training.

Occasionally, people feel tormented regarding decisions they have made and must now contend with.  They often feel regret, fear, loss, and a sense of abandonment.  However, finding balance in these situations is not about debating what is right or what is wrong.   It is about the feelings that are associated.

Below is such a story…..

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Dear Visible Man,

I need some advice.  I am an African-American female in her mid-30s who was raised in the church.  My husband and I are college educated and have been married for 14 years.  We are a deeply religious couple.  We have been blessed with two children and have been looking forward to having more children.

Recently, my husband and I were laid off within months of each other.  Afterwards, I found out that I was pregnant.  Due to our fear that we would not be able to financially support another child, we made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I am now experiencing intense anxiety, feelings of loss, and guilt regarding the decision to terminate the pregnancy.   As I stated earlier, my spouse and I are a deeply religious family.  I consider myself to be pro-life.  I feel that that I abandoned my faith and sought the termination out of fear, and now, I feel guilty.

I have not been able to reconcile my actions and my faith.  I have ceased attending church or participating in church related activities.  The pastor and members of the congregation are inquiring about my absence.  I don’t know what to tell them.  I am so ashamed.

I have questioned whether God would abandon me for my actions.  Although I know that I did the right thing, I seek forgiveness.  After wanting another child all these years, I feel terrible having made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

My husband and I want to have another child in order to get back to where we were.  I am in good physical health.  I pray that God will bless us again.  Do you have any advice for me?

Feeling Lost, Federal Way, WA

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Dear Young Woman,

In all honesty, I have the desire to pass up this question and leave it to the members of the clergy to answer.  However, to do so would be a disservice to you as well as a missed opportunity for me as we continue down our individual Journeys of Self Discovery.

The questions that you pose are challenging ones, and to answer them, I will empower myself to share my personal beliefs as well as professional insights.

You have unresolved guilt due to your decision to terminate the pregnancy.

Young Woman,

In seeking God’s forgiveness, you fail to seek forgiveness from self.   By holding on to your guilt, you berate yourself for making that decision now, when you are no longer pressured by the fears that drove your decision to terminate the pregnancy. Times have changed, and hindsight is 20/20.

Given this, have the willingness to return to where you were when this decision was made.  Empower yourself.  Please do the following:

  • Have the willingness to recall and review those dark and difficult days.
  • Have the willingness to acknowledge the difficulty of your joint decision.
  • Have the willingness to have empathy and compassion for yourself and the pain you carry.

You are experiencing intense fear and anxiety.

Young Woman,

In your haste to bear the burden of fear and anxiety that God will punish you, you are minimizing your blessings.

  • Be reflective: you are not alone.  Your spouse of 14 years has been with you through the darkest times.
  • Be reflective: you have the blessings of two beautiful children.
  • Be reflective: you have good physical health and hopefully are capable of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to full term.

You are unable to reconcile your actions with your spiritual journey.

Young Woman,

The gulf that has developed between you and your church congregation may be a result of your shame, which comes from your belief that you have strayed from your spiritual walk.  Empower the self to explore your feelings associated with shame.

  • Be vulnerable to self.  Be willing to sit with your feelings of shame behavior.
  • Be exposed to your shame.  Be willing to embrace your shame.  It is yours and yours alone.  Cease avoidant and distracting behaviors.
  • Be open to trusting your journey.  It is your journey.  It is for you to trust the experience that is to be gained from this journey.

You are worried that God has abandoned you.  

Young Woman,

If we know that God is Love and about Love, why would God abandon you in this most difficult time? Reexamine your spiritual walk.

  • Embrace your belief within yourself.
  • Be willing to explore and revise your faith as you learn through your spiritual walk.
  • Empower the self to honestly walk your Journey of Self Discovery. 

You desire to have another child in order to get back to the state of life prior to the termination of the pregnancy.

Young Woman,

There is no going back.  In your memories you can return to what happened, but you will NEVER be able to go back to the state of life you had.  You are a different person now, and you must want to embrace that.  There is no going back.

So, what now?

1)            Extend the gift of apology to the self for the pain and suffering it has endured during these many years.

2)            Be willing to accept the gift of the apology and work towards letting go of the pain and suffering by providing forgiveness to the self.

3)            Embrace the self.  Extend love to the self and in doing so, “love me more.”  More.

 

Concluding Words

Young Woman,

We share a common background. I was also “raised up” in the church.  As a child, I was taught to read the scriptures and through those heavy, intense messages from the pulpit, to love God and fear his wrath, but I was also taught that when I did wrong, I was to get on my knees and cry out to God for forgiveness.

It was in my adulthood and during the Journey of Self Discovery that I arrived at the crossroads and sought a different path.   Too often, we seek out God for forgiveness and if those prayers are not answered, we assume that God has forsaken us.

I would hope that throughout the world, what we all share about God is that God is about everlasting love, mercy, and most importantly, forgiveness.  The one thing that we know for sure is that God will not abandon us. So, it’s not God that you seek forgiveness from—he has already forgiven you.  What is true for you is true for me and for everyone else in the world: forgiveness must come from within the self.

As you indicated earlier, you were raised in the church.  As you are now an adult, it is your right and responsibility, as you stand at the crossroads to view the journey of life as that adult.

You are the captain of your ship and the master of your destiny.   It is for you (and your spouse) to set the direction for the journey or journeys you are about to travel.

 

Letting Go, Moving On

 

The past is gone yet not forgotten,

Today is fading yet not gone.

Tomorrow has not yet be written or determined.

Let go of the past.

Experience the today.

Prepare for the tomorrow.

Let us not forget.

Let us have the willingness to forgive The Self and Accept the apology.

Let us honor the past, today and tomorrow.

-Dr. Micheal Kane

 

I wish you and your family the best and safe travels in your upcoming journeys.

The Visible Man

To Come Out of The Shadows: To Be or Not To Be

My Dear Readers,

Many assume that psychotherapists like myself  can look into a person’s eyes and see the trueness of the individual.  Of course, that is not true.  When a person comes to the therapeutic session, he or she brings their individual truth, or more specifically, what they view to be their truth, with them.

Even without a face-to-face encounter, we can still sense pain and suffering. We can still uncover and discover what lies within the psychological self and work towards recovery.

Where the homicide detective speaks for the dead, the psychotherapist can assist the living to find one’s voice.

Below is such a story…

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Dear Visible Man,

I am a 28 year-old black male, I am educated, and I have an excellent job in corporate America.  And, I have had sex with five different women in the past week.

I am writing because I want to examine my behavior.  I view myself as a product of my environment, meaning I associate with a group of men who, for lack of a better word, chase skirts and keep tabs on the numbers of hits they make.  I have come to seriously question what I am doing.  I know what I am doing is not right and I am playing with the feelings of these women.  I believe I am now at the place in my life in which I want to be in a serious relationship.

I have decided to start attending church again and engaging in activities with other people of my age.  What do you think of my chances of turning this around and finding a good relationship?

Tired of Trolling, Seattle, WA

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Dear Trolling,

I received your correspondence with great interest, curiosity and a lot of questions.  I sense a combination of fatigue and regret, but what’s missing is a direct sense of shame in your actions and behavior.

I am curious as to why you chose “Trolling” as your signature.  The term trolling can be defined in several ways; such as a means of fishing with a baited line, a person singing in a carefree manner, and finally, a way of provoking others.

Now comes the question (s):

  • Why are you really writing?
  • What is there to gain by staying in the shadows?
  • Are you standing at the crossroads?  If so, will you continue the same behaviors or go in a different direction?

“What do you think my chances of turning this around and finding a good relationship?”

I have two responses.  Indulge me.

Response #1: In a few short terms….

  • POOR
  • Absolutely not!
  • A snowball’s chance in hell

Response #2: You are lying to yourself.

  • You are hiding in the shadows, refusing to reveal your true self .
  • You are conflicted, wanting your cake and seeking to eat it at the same time.
  • You are wounded, yet you are fearful of healing the wound.

Young Man,

Stop trolling. Life is not carefree and most importantly, there is no free lunch.  If you want the meal, prepare to pay for what you eat or in this situation, prepare to pay for your actions.  Use the following model of RACE (responsibility, accountability, consequences and empowerment), come out of the shadows and allow the light to shine upon you. You may find that reality can be empowering.

You seek to place blame for your actions, on your environment (that is, the group of skirt chasers you have aligned yourself with.)  Stop being a victim and take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions.

Be willing to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Since you chose this path, why did you seek membership in such an illustrious group of fine young men?
  • What privileges or prestige did they offer you?
  • What are the actions and behaviors of the group that causes you to reject group membership?

You chose to associate with these people because they offered you something you value, and in rejecting that group, you fear that you are losing that privilege and prestige.  Instead, have the willingness to:

  • Prepare for the pressure of the group to force your return.
  • Prepare yourself for the new direction that may be unknown to you.
  • Reinforce and validate yourself as you go alone without the protection and safety of the group.

You have a successful life, a life desired by many, but you want it to be carefree.  As it was stated earlier, there is no free lunch.  Seek ACCOUNTABILITY for actions taken.

Be willing to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I want (or need) continuous and meaningless sexual encounters to fulfill me?
  • Do I love me?  If I do love me, then why am I seeking others to fulfill me?
  • Do I truly desire change?  How do I account for my actions?

Be willing to assume accountability for your actions. These are things you will carry as you walk the journey of life, for they cannot be undone. In assuming accountability, have the willingness to:

  • Acknowledge the damage you have done to others and yourself.
  • Take witness to your actions, valuing and validating the experience.
  • Advocate.  Share with others what you have experienced and learned.

You may be successful, but your actions are indicative of an individual who is emotionally wounded and psychologically injured.  Your endless use of sexual encounters attest that you are searching for something. CONSEQUENCES are reactions to what we “do or do not do.”

Be willing to ask yourself the following questions:

  • So in my longing, my search, what have I fulfilled?  What have I found?
  • When I stare into the mirror, what creature do I see?
  • When I go to bed or wake up, whom is the person laying next to me?

Be willing to acknowledge the impact your behaviors may have on others, especially the women who have strong feelings for you.  In understanding the consequences of what was done (or not), live with the knowledge that these women:

  • Will carry a searing wound along with your memory. Their dreams and desires, which included you, will go unrealized and unfulfilled.
  • They will take the awareness of being “played, used, or toyed” into future relationships and in doing so; the innocent will be made to suffer for your behaviors.

EMPOWERMENT is energy, a force that burns and builds from within.  It thrives on the human core values of belief, faith and trust.  Can you look within?

Be willing to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I truly seeking change from within or new fertile ground in which to resume old behaviors?
  • Can one who has done bad things transform into doing good?
  • As I turn around to examine the journey so far traveled, what have I learned?

The person who can answer these questions is the one who seeks the answer—you.  Just be aware that:

  • One can run away and yet one cannot hide.. hide from self.
  • As all travelers know…wherever one goes, the baggage is likely to follow.
  • Self is the first person one sees upon awaking and the last one before sleep.

Concluding Words

Young Man, come out of the shadows. As you stated,

“I want to be locked down in a serious relationship.”

Have the willingness to ask yourself the following questions:

  • When you are locked down, whom will you trust to hold the key to your freedom?
  • Under what terms will you be allowed out?
  • Since when does the inmate give the guard the key to his freedom?

Young Man,

In responding to your writing and without knowing who you are and what your experiences have been, I have looked into the psychological self of an individual who has been wounded and who is likely to continue to wound others unless there is an intervention.

The goal of seeking a serious relationship will not remove, seal or help you “forget” the pain that you have been carrying. You, like others, deserve a life without pain and suffering, and given that, bear the responsibility of not creating pain and suffering for others.  I urge you to seek therapeutic assistance.

To achieve a positive outcome in therapy, you must be willing to let go of societal beliefs that seeking therapy is an acknowledgement that you are crazy.  Instead, you can live in the truth that you are struggling on the journey you are traveling and that therapy can be a way of is responding to the wounds that have impacted your life.

Come out of the shadows.  As you stand at your crossroads, I wish you the very best.  Safe journeys.

The Visible Man