Learning How To Stay Calm In Scary Situations

Learning How To Stay Calm In Scary Situations

I was looking at YouTube and I came across this video of a college student working outside of his dorm. He was collecting trash as part of a work study when a cop came up to him and started questioning him about his reasons for being there. The young man then pulls out the only ID he has which happens to be a student ID.

The cops questioned him about having identification with his address on it. As many of you know, school IDs do not have addresses on them, and depending on the student they might not have driver’s licenses. Well, as the student tries to explain that he doesn’t have anything else, the cops starts asking him about his birthday and all hell starts to break out.

This is the reason so many black children are killed in the line of fire. The student was rightfully upset, but he didn’t understand that he was risking his life by walking around not following directions. In my opinion, this cop tries to insinuate that this kid is becoming a threat to him. He was saying trigger words like threat, weapon and things such as that which would have warranted the use of a gun.

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After the video continues a man walks outside the building and confirms the identity of the student which prompts the policemen to ask the man to talk to the student due to the student being upset over the encounter. This situation was in bad need for conflict management from the start. It’s time for policemen to start taking the deescalation training seriously. I recall going to a conference once with two young officers sitting behind us and they laughed and goofed around nearly half of the training. If we want things to get better on the outside, we need to make sure we are teaching better on the inside.

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Knowing How To Spot Munchausen Syndrome

Knowing How To Spot Munchausen Syndrome

Many of you have probably seen the show on Hulu called The Act. As an ex child abuse investigator, I have been pretty vocal on knowing what and when to report child abuse. This morning we are going to talk about learning how to report abuse and when normal isn’t normal.

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One of my most emotional cases dealt with a young mother who nearly mastered the art of deception. The case was centered around a toddler who was subject to multiple surgeries and needless test. By the time I entered the picture the mother had started keeping a visual log of photos detailing her abuse. I still remember seeing the enormous stack of photos and having a chill of sudden fear run down my spine.

I’ll never know why she kept so many photos of her son detailing every sick moment. My gut tells me that she was going to use those photos as a reason to assign death at a later date. We are talking about hundreds of photos with nothing but sickness and a detailed walk down torture lane. She knew the right words, she knew the right people, but she got a little too overconfident in the end.

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In the end I got my butt chewed off by our lawyers and the judge because I did something most investigators would never do, I went against the hospital by forcing their hand in learning the truth. When I got the case this child was slowly dying, he wasn’t gaining weight, and he was on a pure liquid diet. I had to threaten hospital social workers in order to keep him safe, but by the end of three weeks, I had all medical proof I needed.

His vitals rebounded, he gained well into the 50th percentile and he was now starting to eat by mouth. The child I saw weeks ago couldn’t sit up and he couldn’t wave at me. Now he was now able to walk around the hospital room and give me his toy trucks. We were awarded custody of him, but we couldn’t get the DA to sign off on charges of child abuse due to them not knowing much about the Munchausen Syndrome.

Two things could have saved this kid a lot of pain and heartache. The first thing is having a medical professional call in a case prior to him being nearly 4 or 5. By the time I stepped in, he had already been to quite a few hospitals. All of the doctors said they suspected something was off. They were taking notes, but the mother moved from place to place.

Correspondence is key when you are dealing with someone who suffers from this syndrome. If these hospitals would have linked up a year ago, this child would have been removed a lot sooner. Another provider stated that she felt like they were being forced into performing surgeries by the parent. The parent knew just enough medical terminology to fake symptoms and syndromes.

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This child was surrounded by medical personnel but it took years for someone to call in the abuse. Remember you work for the child. If you are an investigator , be diligent. I know the department presses you to close cases due to numbers, but life surpasses any number system. If you feel like something feels wrong, investigate it. Do not close that case until YOU are sure that child is safe.

Lastly, never assume that certain people can’t be abusers. If you saw little Todd walking and eating three months ago and now every time you see him he has a sippy cup in hand, ask why. If you babysit this child and he eats for you, but the mother swears that he can’t eat, ask why. If you still feel like something is off, call CPS. You just might be saving a life.

Will The Nation Ever Trust President Trump?

Will The Nation Ever Trust President Trump?

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If Trump were to win in 2020 would the nation be able to support him as our leader? Watching President Trump interact with the Queen and her family this week made me think about how we see our nation as a whole. I would like to think that if he were to win the election fair and square that we would all be able to support him. However, I fear that there will never be a blanket of support due to his stance on certain issues.

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So, how does Trump differ on issues like immigration? President George W. Bush was friendly in terms of immigration. According to this article https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010905-2.html we see that not only was President George W. Bush more open towards immigration, but he saw Mexico as an important ally. President George W. Bush went on to have more meetings with Vicente Fox like the one he had below. They often talked about Mexicans being willing to take on jobs that Americans weren’t willing to take. Perhaps, in some circumstances he was right.

 ” A Mexican proverb tells us that “Que tiene un buen vecino tiene un buen amigo” — “He who has a good neighbor has a good friend.”  Today, both our countries are committed to being good neighbors, and good friends. Friends deal in good faith, and disagree with respect.  Friends stick together, in good times and in bad.

The problems with our attitude in terms of immigration started when America went into a recession. Prior to that, I can’t ever recall having anyone talk negatively about immigration. I think we did what people normally do when they suffer, find a scapegoat. During times of chaos people often blame others for misfortune and sadly, the ones that took on the bulk of the blame came from the southern border. While drugs have been an issue for many years, we started to focus more heavily on those drugs and started playing the blame game in regards to jobs.

By the time Obama came into office we were dealing with millions of Americans out of work and an unknown number of illegal immigrants working in positions that once went to workers who now were standing in line at food banks. Not only were we looking at a shortage of jobs for American workers, but we were also looking at jobs that were pretty much tailored towards people who spoke Spanish which sadly placed American workers out of the running for positions. Obama was popular because of his stance on immigration. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/29/remarks-president-comprehensive-immigration-reform

We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules.  We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law.  That’s common sense.  And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.  

Either way you look at it, both Obama and Trump have been trying to fix our immigration issue. The problem is that we are trying to fix a system that has been broken for too long. Immigration is now so bad that is it threatening the infrastructure of the countries like Honduras and Guatemala. We have to find balance for our future as well as theirs.

The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Impact On Poor People

We live in a nation that offers great promise to those people who are willing to work hard. Ask any self made millionaire or billionaire and they will tell you, nothing short of hard work helped to enhance their lifestyle. My parents grew up working in the potato fields with their parents until they grew of age. They were able to save enough money working in those fields to buy the land we now call home.

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I never thought about the meaning of hard work growing up because it was just part of our life. My father would get off of his job and come home and farm the land. It was normal for me to help with picking greens, peas, and even snapping beans because it was our way of living. As an adult, I now understand that my parents were doing what any other hard working person was doing, they were trying to make sure we were able to survive.

As I would grow older, I would start to listen to music aimed at bringing awareness to poverty and different lifestyles. After I got married, I found out for the first time what it felt like to live on a budget. Budgets weren’t fun, but being hungry wasn’t either. I soon learned that college was our only way to securing a better life. We were determined to make it work for our children just as our parents were determined to make it work for us.

In both instances hard work was the only way to make a difference. After my husband got out of the Army, I started working for the shelter system. I was able to see women take as little as 30 percent of their incomes and buy condos for stability. It was enlightening and encouraging to see how people wanted to rise from the ashes of poverty and forge a new future.

While working in investigations I ran into many kinds of people. I ran into those who were trying to make a difference and those who had given up.

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I saw apartment complexes full of drugs, prostitution, abuse, and other criminal activity. I witnessed complexes who had seen mass removals of children that once frequented the area. Many of these people lived like they were in third world countries. The apartments were run down, pee soaked the sidewalks and the walls. People could be seen walking from complex to complex with beers in hand, all before noon. These people lived in free housing.

Sometimes, when we give free housing to those who can do better, we help to increase the likelihood of drug usage. I’m not telling you a stat, I am telling you the tale of two complexes. Many of the removals that came out of those areas dealt with families, living in free housing. I once had a manager come out and ask me if we could just bring a bus and round up all the kids! I looked at her and frowned, but after I got inside the area, I understood the reason. The drug problem had gotten so out of control that it had started to roll over into other properties.

We couldn’t even get policemen to come with us in those areas. I once had to enter an apartment with another investigator that was riddled with drugs and weapons. Two hours after I made it home, police officers called and asked if I made it out okay. I know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be telling the world that she wants this wonderful idea of utopia to exist for all people, but the fact is, people need work. I’m sure Ms. Cortez went to college because she wanted to work. I find it a little hypocritical to tell others to be lazy when you know working is the key to a healthy future.

If you want to help people, you tell them how they can rise above their current situation. You give them hope by bringing in new programs to help assist with personal growth. We should be helping our neighborhoods to do better and we should be talking about the need for HIV tents that pop up like flowers. It’s time to get real about helping those who need help, or politely get out of the way of those of us who are trying to help people do better in life.

Summer School My Way

Summer School My Way

My children can’t go to summer school, so I will bring it to them this year. It appears that both of my children have inherited my husband’s disdain for history. I happen to love history, life science, social science, and even managed to take extra classes in those areas in college. So, it is safe to say we will start today with a lesson on how it all started.

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This morning we will start off talking about Pangaea, Continental Drift theory, Southern/Northern Hemisphere and how we all started. If you are wondering how and why we decided that our children needed this lesson, it is because one of our lovely children thought California was in Texas. It really was a wtf moment. We have helped with history homework in the past, but for some reason that lack of knowledge never came to surface.

After we made it to the store, my husband politely asked me if I would teach our children this summer exclusively over the subjects they seem to be low in, and of course, I was delighted. This morning I will work on my lesson plan, and try to help the girls better understand the world as we know it. I knew those classes would matter one day!

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I have science and history covered. However, I need help with drama. Both girls are in theater and both are on the fence about their drama classes. I would like to do something for them to help them gain more confidence in reading plays and memorizing them. Does anyone know of a good method for studying drama?

Walking Dead/Fear The Walking Dead And The Big Question

Walking Dead/Fear The Walking Dead And The Big Question

I’ve been thinking about the end of the world a lot lately. Perhaps, it is because I looked at all 4 seasons of Fear The Walking Dead within two weeks. The shows that showcase the crashing of civilization like my book The Last Love Story all leave out the real struggle. Why am I now thinking about storing up pads and tissue? Could it be because it is that time of the month, or is it because one of these days a horde of females might need these goodies to save the world.

There’s always one thing missing when writers talk about the end of the world in regards to women. To be fair, I have been there too. Sometimes we leave out the real stuff. You are writing this story and you want to show this woman as a bad ass, but you don’t want to show the real side of being a woman. So, we leave out the talk about periods and the reactions they have on our body.

I think back to my two novellas dealing with end of the world stuff and not once do I mention cramps, pads, or cramping so horribly that you can barely walk. If the world ended this week, I would be done for. There would be no walking ten miles, picking up pikes or bursting through houses. I would be chocolate covered zombie food with a hint of salt. I promise book three will have periods and the fear of running out of tissue because that is the struggle. Walking into the bathroom discovering a lack of tissue has never been so scary.

AMC/Fear The Walking Dead, make one of those boxes have pads or tampons to give us hope. We can’t be destined for a future of no sanitary items, or could we?

Using Disability As Cash Cow

Fair warning*** Some of you might not like the article of the day. However, it’s Friday, so you will get over it. When I first starting working in the social work field I was introduced to the disability cash cow.

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Before you get irate, I’m not talking about people needing help because they honestly need help. My mother worked most of her life, she got sick in her 50’s which resulted in her having to get disability. A few years after she got her disability, she died. I’m talking about people placing their children on disability as a means of income. There are some issues that will automatically give birth to the need of disability, however today we are talking about the ones that do not.

My first encounter with this situation started around 2012. I was at work and a lady entered my office with her three children. All of her children were under 7 and two of the three were diagnosed with disorders. In most cases, I haven’t heard of people giving children under five schizophrenia diagnosis. Yet, I am not a doctor, so maybe it happens. However, when I questioned the mom about letting her children attend school red flags started to show up.

She went on to talk about how she didn’t want them in a school and how the school wouldn’t be able to take care of them like she did. She was in a shelter and from what I could tell she had other people looking after her children most of the day. She then told me that she was getting around 1500 a month in disability and she was in the process of getting the youngest child placed on disability for their ADHD.

My daughter as many of you know suffers from ADHD/ADD and ODD. She was briefly diagnosed with having an intellectual disability until she was retested a couple of years ago. Around the time she received the intellectual disability diagnoses someone tried to talk me into putting my child on disability. I was told she would be able to get money because of that and her ADHD. I smiled and politely informed the person that I wasn’t placing my child on anything because I was going to help her learn how to control it.

Here’s the point, there are times when someone might need to get disability, but I would think long and hard about it before I sign any papers. Maybe talk to someone in legal. My daughter works and she plans on going to college to get a career. While her struggles have been real, our encouragement has been never ending. I always think back to the 19 yr I met years ago. She was bright, funny, and such a pleasure to be around. I would often make her read aloud in group when we went over coping skills. At first she was scared, but later she started to really shine.

I asked her why didn’t she think about going to college one afternoon. She then informed me that she had a low IQ which prevented her from being able to go to college. Apparently, her mother told her she was too slow and put her on disability with the help of professionals. Her mother was using her disability as a cash cow until she moved out of the house and then issues started because she wanted to work. We must always think about what’s good for our children and not what’s easiest for us.