Thinking About What Matters: Victim or Survivor?

We live in dangerous times; times made more dangerous

by the use of history to bolster victimhood.

Quotes about victimhood, the thorn among the troses and how to move beyond the bad times. s

Emotional Fitness Training Thoughts

When did your ancestors step out of slavery? Or perhaps they were the strong and powerful of their era and captured, sold or bought slaves? Do you own both sides or use history to bolster your sense of victimhood?

Slavery is as old as humankind, so everyone’s ancestors include slaves and slave owners. History is important, but not as a place to vent current hurt. I oppose using history to defame people out of context. Too much of that is happening today.

Thomas Jefferson is a prime example. He was a man of his times and his times was a time when slavery was accepted. George Washington kept slaves but is not as defamed. I think that is because Jefferson made one of his slaves his mistress; that resonates as painful to most women, particularly any who have been assaulted.

What you need to think about this issue. Jefferson’s relationship with Hemings evolved sometime after the death of his wife. Hemings was in her teens and Jefferson in his forties. Certainly, that made her a victim both as a slave and as a child subjected to an adult’s sexual desires.

However, think about this: Sally Hemings can also be thought of as a survivor. Perhaps she used her sex appeal to her advantage.  Maybe, she didn’t and felt raped every time he entered her. Either way, we do not know. Because we don’t know,  the chances are just as good, she used what she could to improve her life and her children’s lives. It is even possible she loved him and he loved her.

After Jefferson’s death, Hemings was “given her time,” and lived her last nine years freely with her two younger sons. She saw a grandchild born in the house her sons owned.

Hemmings’ children did far better than the other slaves he owned.  They lived in Jefferson’s house and were trained in a number of trades which made it possible for them to become self-sufficient once freed. Jefferson freed all of Hemings’ surviving children: Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston, as they came of age. Moreover, they were the only slave family freed by Jefferson. They were seven-eighths European in ancestry, and three of the four entered white society as adults. Descendants of those three identified as white.

My point? We don’t know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it comes to the good and evil in historical figures. History should not be used to spread hate. I am not saying whitewash Jefferson but see the whole man. Seeing only what you identify with good or bad,  is prejudice.

Prejudice is what we need to be fighting. How? We need to learn from history so we can do better and help others do better.  We must honor the good as well as denouncing the evil.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips 

Tip one:  Do not use history to “Awfulize” current hurts. An earlier post of mine asked the Me Too Movement to not see a grope as the same as a rape. dong so is awfulizing. So is the effort to make current racial problems in the USA the equivalent of the chattel slavery (owning people as property with no rights) of past centuries.

Tip two: Strengthen all your self-soothing skills.  You might want to buy my e-Book Self-soothing to Create Calm in Your Life. 

Tip three: Know when more is needed. If you can function, have flashbacks, are always depressed or angry, harbor suicidal or homicidal thoughts, get therapy. A good place to start is the Suicide Hot Line.They are there 24/7 to can help you figure what more you might need to get and stay emotionally strong. Here’s the USA number:  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  Call 1-800-273-8255. You don’t need to be holding the pills in your hand tor loading a gun to call them.

Thank you for all you do

Practice Kindness and share, comment or like this post. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do. You will help keep me strong.

Katherine

Links Of Interest

 

Thinking About What Matters: Opinions

We live in dangerous times; times made more dangerous by how people handle opinions that disagree with theirs.

Quotes about leting people's opinons' hurt you.

Emotional Fitness Training Thoughts

First a story: 

A woman called her psychiatrist in the middle of the night, after an argument with her husband. He had berated her, saying she was an awful mother and a worse wife.

As she was complaining, the psychiatrist cut her off and said, “I just want you to know that the scar you have running across your forehead and down your left cheek is both ugly and offensive.”

The woman replied, “What are you talking about? I don’t have any scars on my face.”

“So did my comment hurt you?” asked the psychiatrist.

The woman replied, “Of course not, I have no scars on my face.”

“My comment was as false as your husband’s remarks are. You let them hurt you because you believe them.”

This story was attributed to Abraham Twerski, MD, a Rabbi and a Psychiatrist specializing in addictions. He asks us to think about the reality of other people’s opinions of us and to dismiss the ones that aren’t true. Possible, but hard to do.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Tip one: Opinions are not facts. They are assumptions and as someone once said, “When you assume something about m, you make an ass of you and me.”

Tip two: Some when their opinions are contradicted get angry. Anger is a cover-up emotion hiding pain, fear or fear of pain. Just being wrong is painful as is fear of being wrong.

Tip three. Some do not get angry but take the negative opinion others throw at them to heart.  

Tip four: When someone throws an opinion about you at you, do a reality check,  Is the opinion true? Partially true?   If true or partially true, how much does it matter? If it matters lots work toward making it false. If it doesn’t matter let it go.IF If it is false, let it go.

Tip five: Changing your negative self-talk helps you let go. Why the saying “Not my circus, not my monkeys” helps. 

Tip six:  Strengthen all your self-soothing skills.  You might want to buy my e-Book Self-soothing to Create Calm in Your Life. 

Thank you for all you do

Practice Kindness and share, comment or like this post. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do. You will help keep me strong.

Katherine

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A Thought About What Matters: Beauty and Dreams

A quick post about dreams, the more you understand the stronger your Emotional Intelligence

Thank you for all you do

Practice Kindness and share, comment or like this post. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do. You will help keep me strong.

Katherine

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A Thought About What Matters

Thank you for all you do

Practice Kindness and share, comment or like this post. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do. You will help keep me strong.

Katherine

Links Of Interest