Who Is Your Role Model?
My father was the abuser, and my mother was Bipolar, so trying to find a role model as a kid was tough. It became even more challenging when I grew up and became a parent.
Let me back up a minute.
Life has been a whirlwind of ups and downs for weeks now. Six weeks ago, I stumbled against a padded storage chest and ripped a hole in my left shin. Thank heavens I was a den mother and knew how to apply a pressure bandage. The puddles of blood on the bathroom floor were more than enough to impress upon me the difficulties of recovery from this recent accident.
If you’ve never experienced wound care, I need to warn you. It’s not pleasant.
We desperately need these professionals to guide us, promote the healing process, and hopefully avoid infection.
I learned that some patients become extremely rude and agitated during the process as I talked to my team.
When the pain was the worst, I ad-libbed to make them all laugh. Yes, that’s my style. Mom used to call me her “Little Pollyanna” because I consistently smiled through the tears.
On Friday, I received the news that skin had finally covered the exposed nerve and the large wound on my leg. I was ecstatic!
My torture treatments were over.
No longer will they pick at my deep wound with their tweezers.
The burning, stabbing pain is over.
I intended to celebrate throughout the weekend.
And then, RBG happened.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg – Every Girl’s Role Model
Through her example, I joined the Chamber of Commerce in Lakeville, MN.
As she fought for my rights as a woman, I competed with men. I did the same jobs but never received the same pay.
When the news hit the airwaves that she died, I wept.
No longer did I feel joyous and celebratory. As hard as I fought to be treated equally during my 45 years working, I only had one employer who treated me fairly.
Before my role model’s body was even cold, the fighting over replacing her started.
I went from joyous to heartbroken to rage in less than two hours.
The saddest thing for me this weekend was the fact that I’m listening to her book, My Own Words, through Audible. It’s not a book I can digest in one, two, or three sittings. There is so much information that I choose to digest it slowly. The fact that Justice Ginsburg reads the book makes it seem like a gift that will never go away.
“At the heart of My Own Words is an abiding commitment to civility, to institutional norms, to the infinite possibilities of dialogue and cooperation, and the now-dubious notion that protecting outsiders and others is a core American value. . . . Above all, always in her own methodical way, what shines through these essays is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist, who truly could not conceive of a world without meaningful gender parity in the 1970s . . . as a collection of thoughtful writing about perseverance and community and the law, it is a tonic to the current national discourse.”, The Washington Post.
What Do We Do If We Don’t Have an Appropriate Role Model?
I wrote Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals to give girls hope and convince them to find someone to trust if they are bullied or abused.
Since I had to sit with my leg elevated for the past two months, I’ve embarked on writing a new book. “Re-Parenting” – Breaking the Chains of Abuse – with another of my favorite role models, Catherine Gruener LCPC. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Elmhurst, IL, Catherine helped me with the discussion sheet for the Elle and Cosmo books. We are now embarking on the biggest project of all. What do we do when we don’t have an appropriate role model. Do we continue the abuse?
We want to help change things.
I’m working with Catherine again on this new endeavor. Sadly, one out of seven of you reading this also suffered abuse as a child.
You must have felt some degree of terror when you had your children as I did.
How do we avoid and change the abuse of our childhood? It’s the only thing we knew.
And so, I’m asking you to share with me in the comments the challenges and fears you faced as a parent.
I know this may be the first time some of you have ever acknowledged you had a less than stellar childhood. That’s OK. If you prefer, you can send me an email to my author account at firstname.lastname@example.org. I understand.
To be clear, I will not use your name. I’m guessing we all suffered different forms of abuse. In this book, with Catherine’s help, I don’t want to miss anything. There are so many challenges when we become parents. They write parenting books for parents who had normal childhoods. Some of us didn’t.
I remember when my father used the back of his hand on my cheek to knock me across the room.
Mother was either in bed so depressed she couldn’t move or out flitting around being, well, her.
I remember the seven-year-old little girl raped for the first time.
Whether it was verbal, sexual, or physical abuse, I want to hear from you.
If it was neglect, I still want to hear from you.
I’m no different from RBG. I want to stop the pattern of abuse in this country.
An estimated 678,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2018. This is for them.