Lost Youth

Think of you when you were 16, imagine that at home waiting for you are unwarranted beatings and sexual abuse. You have no family that can help you, because those abusing you are your parents. No one to run to because the last time you went to the police they turned you right back to the abusers. The same people that have abused you over and over have the law at their side to continue the abuse. Imagine that you see no way out; that the abuse has reached the level that you are actually willing to take someone’s life… one of your parent’s live.

I actually have a very close friend to me that was sexually abused by a step brother. Not only was the abuse ignored, the victim was the one that ended up in the foster system and group homes to be further damaged by a society that was supposed to protect him. It enrages me that there are so many people that turn a blind eye to this kind of abuse and will do nothing to stop it. It infuriates me even more when these people are the ones whose job is to serve and protect. Just think of what your reaction would be if you are abused over and over. How far can someone be pushed before they snap?

Nathan Ybanez was 16 when he killed his mother; a mother that started sexually abusing him at age 12. His father started sexually abusing him even at an earlier age and through his whole life he beat him just when the mood struck. I know some of you are thinking what I was thinking when I read the story, why didn’t he run away… the answer is simple, he tried, but every time the police brought him back to his parents.

You see, boys are thought to be able to take care of themselves. It is reminds me of the double standard of those that believe that a husband cannot be the victim of domestic abuse. Males are not protected the way they should be and in Colorado the sport of convicting children as adults has already claimed 15 youths. Rehabilitation is not an option; the only answer is life in prison without parole.

In no way am I trying to downplay the severity of what a female rape victim goes through, but a that a boy that is raped has less recourse than a girl. Boys are supposed to take care of themselves and the system literally turns its back on them. In this disposable society are the male victims of sexual abuse simply throw a ways?

Nathan did not have a fair trail. The lawyer was paid by his father and did not even mention the abuse Nathan suffered through the trial. The defense attorney even went as far as saying that Nathan had a “hole” in his soul. What chance did this 16 year old have? Did the system work for him?

He was convicted as an adult at age 16 and put in jail with rapist and murderers, you do the math. Even though this crime was something he committed, he did not deserve to be processed and charged as an adult and have a chance at rehabilitation. He lost his youth to the system. Just like the West Memphis Tree, our society continues letting our system make jails a business instead of the rehabilitation places they are supposed to be. When are we going to wake up and realize this as a society? The more we lose our youth to war and to the system, the worse the future looks for our kids.

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Getting to know me, Holiday Style

Taken from Candy.

GETTING TO KNOW ME… HOLIDAY STYLE

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!
You know the drill. forward, THEN change my answers to your answers.

Be sure to leave a comment or trackback!

Everyone has time for a few moments of fun! Don’t be a scrooge!!!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I like both, but being the holidays, Egg to the NOG. Actually the creamer I am using is Eggnog Flavored.

2 . Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wraps them for sure! I suck at wrapping but still love doing it.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Colored!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
What the heck is a Mistle? and how does it lose a toe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
No set time. This year I will be away so no decorations… maybe a little hat for Shayla.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Why? I love Natilla… is a Colombian dish that can only be compared to the taste of pumpking pie…
Many Colombian dishes come to mind… I don’t know, what are some American holiday dishes?

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
When I got my very first Atari 2600! I did find it before X-mas but still… man was I excited.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I do not remember what it is to now know it was my parents… I know I ruined for my lil sister (Sorry Caro!)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Kinda… I like to stay up and open up presents at midnight… it has been a family thing since I was a kid.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Lights and Ornaments.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Snow is pretty to look at… to shovel, drive, walk or do anything with is a pain… I think it is overrated!

12. Can you ice skate?
Nope, but will like to.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Besides my 2600… I guess my first bike. It was red!

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
The message of Peace and Love… no seriously.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Natilla.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
La Novena y El Pesebre (the nativity scene).

17. What tops your tree?
A Star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Both are cool… I tend to like to give more than receive.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
The little drummer boy, or the “Mamaaaa donde estan mis juguetes” LOL… that is a funny, kind of like Grandma got run over by a rainder that goes.. Mom, where are my gifts, Baby Jesus did not bring them… its a sad song, but funny in a way.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Not a huge sugar fan, but you know I do like candy canes. Yum!

Heroes Muthaf0k@!

If you don’t watch TV, are not in the US(even outside the US, you can now watch! JACKPOT, thanks Daniel! ) or basically have a life outside the boob tube you probably have no clue what I am talking about, but Heroes is one of my favorite new shows. Even though the season is coming to an end, today you have the oportunity to be totally entertained because the SCI FI channel is running a six episode Marathon. Yes every single episode. Now if you totally hate TV and think it is a waste of time, at least check out the graphic novel. It is truly a work of art.

As the story begins you have no clue that this show will take so many twists and turns. It really is a comic book but without the cartoons… its hard to explain how well done this series is. It manages to have so many cast members and storylines and yet make it all work. I want to know what is going on with each one of them. Seriously, check this series out if you have not done so already and if you missed an episode, today at 6/5c.

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Emotional Blackmail

Like a restaurant refusing to take Amex or Discover anymore, I have stopped letting people blackmail me emotionally. I have learned through the years that people use emotions as currency and I can fall easy prey to emotional blackmail. Thankfully there are those around me that help keep me sane and remind me that people do not have power over you, you give them that power.

Guilt is a powerful tool used by many to get their way. I am sure we have all been victims at one time or another of someone making us feel guilty about an action or situation. The worse kind is the one that attempts to make us feel guilty about the way we feel.

Many people do not understand that emotions are involuntary. While many of us have learned to control our emotions in certain situations, we are not able to fully control everything that we feel. Emotions are thoughts that carry feelings, and they steer them inside our brains at speeds that are times are impossible to stop or even slow down. They come crashing into our heart and make us, happy, sad, desperate or elated.

When we give people the key to our hearts, we open a door for them to look inside and see what feelings have more power than others on that emotional highway. They learn that maybe family overrules career when they are both racing towards a decision. They can use that knowledge to support our decisions, or use it against us to hurt us where it will cause the most pain. However it was our fault when we get hurt because we are the ones that let them take a peek inside ourselves.

I am not saying that we should be guarded, but rather to learn to take what people say for what is really worth. Sometimes those close to us say things that might hurt, but we need to learn when to let words hurt us because they are trying to make us see something we have overlooked and when it is plain emotional blackmail.

We must all learn to live life for ourselves and not for others. God’s greatest gift besides love is free will. We can make decisions and learn to know what to listen to and what to hear. It is important to learn to discern between what is tough love and what are emotional bombs.

The Importance of Love

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
- Mother Teresa

At mass today the priest mentioned the quote above from Mother Theresa. The sermon was pretty funny, the priest had a hard time remembering all the characters from The Lion King and also kept on confusing the titles of the movies he wanted to talk about. He called Simba, Samba and Simbalaya… who knows maybe he wanted to dance the Samba or was hungry for some Jambalaya. He also said could not remember the name of the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. His message was simple, Jesus gave his life for us and all of the movies mentioned above have either sacrifice or resurrection as a theme. The ultimate sacrifice being to give your life to save someone else’s. How many people are you willing to do that for?

Mother Teresa was asked by someone how can they help end hunger and she recited the quote above. Love it is such an important aspect of our lives, yet it is sometime overlooked. I don’t think wealth is measured by how much you have but how many people love you. I am blessed to have a family that loves me and friends that in my heart are part of my family.

I think we all need to remember what love really means and make an effort to show it in everything that we do. From the moment we wake up we should radiate a message of love. Let’s cure the world’s hunger for love, smile at someone today and see what effect it has.

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