Monday, June 11, 2012

Murder on Murder Creek Road


On a cold winter night in a heavily wooded rural area in southern Mississippi, a man was brutally murdered while he casually sat on his porch smoking a cigarette.  News of this act of violence sent shockwaves throughout the small country community, especially as friends of the murdered man learned the shocking truth about the identity of the number-one suspect.

The murder of the author’s brother-in-law, who lived on Murder Creek Road, was the inspiration for this book.  Patricia Daspit then spun a fictitious tale of mystery around this actual event.

If you love crime novels, you won’t want to miss this complex, intriguing murder mystery that unfolds along the Gulf Coast of both Mississippi and Louisiana.  This spellbinding plot contains many twists and turns before finally revealing what really happened that night on Murder Creek Road.

If you’d like to receive a copy of my new novel, please send a request by email to daspitpatricia@yhoo.com.  I will mail you a signed copy of my new book for just $20 (that’s $6 off the regular retail price) plus $2.50 shipping cost.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Priscilla Exposes Herself


You probably found this title and the picture a bit shocking. I know I did. However, I also found writing this particular post extremely difficult because I knew I would have to fully expose Priscilla’s embarrassing defiled psyche in order to make the point of this information meaningful and more helpful to the reader. “Why should we care about what happened to Priscilla?”, you ask. Only because she’s a real-life example of the unfortunate devastation the Five Deadly D’s can inflict on one’s life.

In Priscilla’s case, she emerged from adolescence with a broken spirit due to the fact that her heart had been broken by a continual onslaught of one life-changing disappointment after another. She had been “set up” by an extremely dysfunctional childhood to be easy prey for the Deadly D’s of “dependence” and “defilement” even before reaching puberty.

My next book, Murder on Murder Creek Road which is moving through the publication process as we speak will dramatically flesh out the raw, but real, details of Priscilla’s defilement. Also, the reader will be allowed to watch behind the scenes at how she managed to redefine herself while the mystery of the murderous plot unravels.

In this post we will first examine the dynamics of how Priscilla was set-up in childhood to live many years of her adult life thoroughly bogged down in the swamps of the fifth Deadly D defilement.

In the post following this one we’ll discover how Priscilla finally learned to get “unstuck” by disciplining herself to take each deliberate step to “redefine” herself. Learning to redefine one’s self is actually about learning to set “healthy” boundaries. This process should have been learned in childhood. But, if one’s childhood years were spent in a dysfunctional setting, then the child has effectively learned to become an emotionally unhealthy, boundaryless adult. This condition is definitely NOT a good thing.

We’ve already talked at great length about the “false identity” being the lies you were taught in childhood that became your “truth”. Consequently, the first step of redefining one’s self is to clearly identify the lies in order to redefine our personal truth. We’ll put flesh on this process by using Priscilla’s experiences.

Priscilla was the youngest member of her family-of-origin. She was at the very bottom of the totem pole, meaning she had the least amount of power. Consequently, she was the most “compliant” one in the family. Since she was especially compliant, very eager to please everyone else, she wholeheartedly embraced all the lies she had been told about herself as “unquestionable truth”.

Once she deliberately began the redefining process by carefully examining what she had been led to believe about herself, the following is what she discovered.

She saw herself first and foremost as a very weak person. She believed she would always have to lean on someone more “powerful” than herself in order to merely survive in life.

She saw herself as someone whom other women would always dislike, perhaps even hate. Her childhood served to thoroughly convince her that she would never be able to please another female. Therefore, she would have to attach herself to a man as her only hope to survive life’s challenges.

She saw herself as a being who had absolutely no rights. She believed she had no right to do anything that pleased and/or nourished her personhood. All her energies and efforts had to be directed at pleasing others never herself.

She came to accept that her very existence depended upon her ability to discern what would please the man and then to perform as best she could in that capacity. Also, she felt she had no right to tell a man “no” to anything he desired from her.

Pretty ugly stuff right? Can you see how Priscilla’s “false identity” literally drove her from one destructive relationship after another with men? Her dependence upon a man led to the expected destination of being defiled by these men. Not all addictions are physical like alcohol, drugs, etc. Emotional addictions can be just as destructive to the individual as the physical ones.

This first step of the process, clearly identifying the lies, is so very painful that most people simply won’t do it. Oh, they’ll find some reasonable-sounding excuse to side-step this process. But the truth is, once the individual gets started, the intense pain associated with this crucial first step quickly frightens him or her away.

Look at this quote from Henri Nouwen, author of many books regarding healing of damaged emotions”

“You have been wounded in many ways. The more you open yourself to being healed, the more you will discover how deep your wounds are. You will be tempted to become discouraged because under every wound you will find others. Your search for true healing will be a suffering search. Many tears will need to be shed. But do not be afraid. The simple fact that you are more aware of your wounds shows that you have sufficient strength to face them.” Henri Nouwen

If I could sum up Priscilla’s dysfunctional self-concept in one statement it would be this: She believed she was a pathetic weakling who was completely unworthy of anyone’s approval, let alone love. Her one-word definition of her personhood would be “pathetic”. To this day Priscilla cringes whenever she hears that word on television or in conversation with others. She had been told that she was “pathetic” over and over again by her only sibling. This devastating practice continued well into her adult years until she finally learned to simply walk away whenever the verbal abuse began. She couldn’t stop her sister’s assault, but she didn’t have to stick around to hear it.

The next step of this “healthy” process is to search your memory in order to capture things that non-family members have said about you. Since childhood taught you to see yourself through the eyes of your family-of-origin, it is imperative that you now diligently seek to see yourself through the eyes of friends, people who have come to know you in a different setting.

For instance, when Priscilla was going through one of the most difficult experiences of her adult life, the people closest to her kept commenting about her “inner strength”. Naturally, she felt they were merely trying to encourage her by telling her something that wasn‘t necessarily true. However, at one point, her closest girlfriend stared into her eyes and said, “Priscilla, your sister constantly tells you how weak you are. The truth is, she’s the weak one. You are very strong. Look at all you’ve overcome. It takes genuine strength to do what you’re doing each and every day.”

Another lie Priscilla had always believed about herself was that other women would never accept her. Again, during that same difficult period, there were three special women who tenderly embraced her, nourished her, and helped Priscilla find her way through the frightening emotional tidal wave she had been forced to endure.

These are just two examples of how important it is to the overall healing process that you learn to dispel the lies buried deep within your psyche. Probably the hardest thing Priscilla had to do throughout the entire “suffering-search” process was to fully accept that she was not a pathetic weakling. It had become her “identity”. Trust me it’s never easy to give up your identity. Never!




Next time we’ll begin to explore the ways in which one goes about learning to set healthy boundaries in one’s life. Good boundaries provide a safe haven in which your soul’s inner garden can finally begin to bloom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Broken Heart/The Five Deadly D's


We’ve all probably heard the expression, “She died of a broken heart?” Recently scientists have discovered that a heart broken by emotional distress can result in a serious heart condition. The world of science has named this condition “cardiomyopathy” or “broken heart syndrome”. The physical stress brought on by the emotions can cause a person to experience the same symptoms as a heart attack. Usually, however, this condition causes no permanent damage to the heart.

Ordinarily, this term refers to an emotional state of feeling extreme sadness, being severely grief-stricken, and experiencing intense loneliness through some act of rejection.

WHAT BREAKS A HEART?

Based on personal experience, as well as the experiences of others closest to me, it is this author’s opinion that "disappoint-ment" is the root cause of what generally breaks a person’s heart.

One expects a romantic relationship to turn into marriage, yet it doesn’t. Or one gets married only to experience a painful divorce. Maybe an individual has suffered the loss of a spouse or child and finds her hopes and dreams for future happiness dashed in an instant. The list of ways we can be disappointed is endless. People will always disappoint you. Heck, life in general disappoints us.

However, I would suggest that the majority of people will never really realize how the first huge “disappointment” they experienced took place when they were little, powerless children. We are born with intrinsic needs that we inherently expect to be met by our parents. But, since our parents probably experienced the same disappointments in their childhoods, they disappoint us in the same way. And the beat goes on without anyone realizing what happened. Unless and until one realizes how his/her heart was broken in childhood and deals with those unresolved issues, this person will pass the dysfunctional baton down to his/her children. In other words, you will break their hearts with the same unrecognized, unintentional disappointments that you experienced. Hurt people hurt people.

WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS TO A PERSON WITH A BROKEN HEART?

Disappointment can lead to “discouragement“. Even though the individual was born with certain talents, he/she may not posses the “courage” to explore their god-given gifts due to the fact that their heart is stuck in disappointment. Discouragement greatly diminishes our confidence. Without the necessary courage and confidence to explore one’s possibilities, one could end up living out his/her life in a state of quiet, perhaps even hidden, “despair”.

Despair is a persistent feeling of hopelessness. When one’s heart has been broken by deep disappointment, the individual usually feels “invalidated” as a person at the same time. Ask anyone who’s been betrayed if he or she felt invalidated by the betrayer’s lack of loyalty. You’ll almost always receive a “Yes” answer. Any form of rejection invalidates the rejected person on some level. Lack of loyalty translates into being “unworthy” to the heart of the betrayed person.

Whenever someone’s heart has been broken by disappointment, which then led the individual to live with discouragement, quickly followed by despair, this person has unknowingly become the poster-child for “dependence“. In order to survive these unseen forces that literally have taken control of his/her psyche, this man or woman will turn to some brand of “dependence” in order to survive. Be it drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, etc., the afflicted person must find their own brand of addiction in which to lean upon as a means of survival.

Like Priscilla, many women find themselves desperately depending upon a man to cure their ills. In her dysfunctional way she thinks if she can just latch on to the right man, she’ll be okay. She foolishly thinks he’ll take responsibility for her well being and do the things she doesn’t have the courage or confidence to do for herself.

Unfortunately, whether your particular choice of addiction has come beautifully gift-wrapped or not, they all lead to the same unsavory destination defilement“.

When a woman has allowed herself to become completely dependent upon a man to validate her personhood, she cannot have any boundaries in that relationship. Meaning there’s nothing she won’t do to get and keep her “fix”. She has come to believe that she cannot survive without a man in her life. (My new book, Murder on Murder Creek Road, reveals a lot about Priscilla’s acquired dependence upon men.)

If you remember nothing else about this post, remember this: Any form of dependence has it’s own “flavor” of defilement. Defilement means being ruined, damaged, destroyed, polluted, abused, or violated. It may come gift-wrapped in a handsome, Prince Charming-type man, but if it’s your “fix”, it will eventually defile you. Any form of addiction will ultimately lead to the same distasteful destination.

About now you might be saying to yourself, “Well, this is certainly depressing. Is there any good news in this post?” The answer is “Yes”. And here it is: If your heart has been shattered by the Five Deadly D’s, you can choose to stop the train, get off and “redefine” yourself! However, it has to be a conscious, deliberate choice of your free-will. By not making a deliberate choice to redefine yourself, you’ve already made a “default-choice” to remain on the run-away train. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking you didn’t have a choice. By not deliberately choosing to change, you’ve chosen to remain stuck! It’s that simple.

How do I redefine myself?”, you ask. As suggested in the above paragraph, one must first decide to be proactive, not reactive. The next time we meet I’ll share with you how Priscilla redefined herself.

Friday, October 14, 2011

MEET A HEALED HELPER!

What is a healed helper? This picture perfectly portrays a beautiful, symbolic rendition of a healed helper. Look carefully at the picture. Do you see that the woman appears to have been captured in a mild whirl-wind? Notice the beautiful roses. It seems the woman is standing in the midst of a rose garden. And, take particular notice of the three butterflies flitting about her in this magical scene.

Let’s take each symbol separately to explain how they all fit together in this mystical garden.

First, the beautiful roses. Priscilla believes that each woman was created by God to represent beauty, while man was created to represent strength. Childhood wounding distorts our beauty, as well as weakening the male, before we can develop into the beautiful, strong creatures we were created to become. Instead of growing into our calling, our life’s purpose, we become “withered” by our dysfunctional childhoods. Therefore, early on we become a “blighted rose”. Healing of those devastating wounds replenishes and restores our beauty and strength.

The butterfly has long symbolized “transformation”. The ugly caterpillar enters the cocoon to eventually emerge as the colorful butterfly. This process is commonly known as metamorphasis. As wounded individuals enter into an emotional healing process for their wounded souls, they will one day emerge as the colorful, fluttering butterfly.

Finally, the whirl-wind typically symbolizes spinning, feeling dizzy and confused, moving through a quick succession of events, or experiencing a difficult time. All these characterizes are involved in the often tumultuous healing process the transformation.

Since this entire mini-series has been presented from Priscilla’s perspective, this final installment shall follow that same format. For this reason, our references to a healed helper will use the third-person pronouns of she, her, etc. Please keep in mind that a healed helper can be male or female. Gender is not what’s important. It’s the experiential knowledge of the individual that really makes the difference when one attempts to reach out with a helping hand to a hurting person.

Before an individual can become a “healed helper” she must first endure the frightening whirl-wind which will probably spin her around in a confused, sometimes dizzy state through each step of the healing process. Eventually, she must necessarily enter the cocoon where the deepest, most difficult part of the overall process takes place. As she struggles to remove herself from the confines of the cocoon, her wings are strengthened by the struggle. Once she is able to split the cocoon’s wall and wiggle herself free, she is ready to emerge as a very different creature. The colorful butterfly is finally freed to fly away, leaving the ugliness of the cocoon behind. As the butterfly takes flight, the previously blighted rose-blossom suddenly rejuvenates and fully opens to reveal its’ restored beauty, as if to smile at the initial flight of the new creation the butterfly.

Although this deep inner healing of childhood wounds is a painful, frightening process, this picture depicts the genuine beauty that can come from the pain. Before we say good-bye to the woman in the picture, let’s examine what it means to be a healed helper.

WHAT IS A HEALED HELPER?
A healed helper is a person who has first taken full responsibility for all her bad choices in her adult life. She has been awakened to the fact that she is in life exactly where she has chosen to be. However, she has made a free-will decision to learn to practice new behavior patterns by consciously making better choices for herself.

She is a person who has deliberately become enlightened as to the powerful effect her childhood experience has had on her adult life. This enlightenment was harvested first by a free-will decision to revisit her childhood, and then to confront all the unresolved issues buried deep within her psyche.

She is a person who has learned to “forgive” and to “let go” of all her excess baggage.

Finally, she is one who uses all the hard-earned enlightenment to redefine herself in a more authentic manner.                                              


WHAT IS SHE NOT?

A healed helper is not someone who “has it all together” and no longer feels challenged in those areas of past wounding. She will continue to struggle in those same areas. However, since she is consciously aware of all the familiar “pit-falls”, she quickly recognizes the “need” to struggle in a given area of her soul. Before the enlightenment, she didn’t see the flashing caution-lights. Consequently, she simply made a free-fall into the dark pit, time and time again. Shown in this light, one can easily see that struggle is actually a good thing. It denotes awareness as well as a willingness to change.



WHAT DOES SHE DO TO HELP OTHERS?

First, a healed helper has learned to discern in others the same destructive tendencies she has struggled with herself. Consequently, she can speak with the afflicted person through a voice of experience.

She offers comfort to the hurting person through a sincere willingness to listen. That old saying, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” is absolutely true. Simply being willing to listen to a person in pain is the best medicine one can administer.

If we possessed the reasoning skills to reach out to one another in love at an early age like these two adorable babies have done we wouldn’t need healed helpers!


WHAT SHOULD SHE NOT DO?

A healed helper should never present herself as an authority on anything. While she can speak with a sense of authority regarding her personal experiences, she must realize that we all react differently to the same stimulus.

She should never judge any individual for his/her personal reaction to their particular situation.

Being ever mindful of our individuality, she should never advise anyone to follow hard and fast rules of behavior.
 


In conclusion, if you remember nothing else from this entire mini-series, please remember this one last admonition: Never say, “Well, that’s just the way I am.” You chose to be the way you are while you were under the subconscious influence of unrecognized, unhealed emotional wounds, You can choose to be different to be better. It’s never too late to change your mind about who you are who you want to become. You can choose to redefine yourself.

The choice is yours!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MEET A RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST!


Is it good to be a perfectionist? How does one become a perfectionist? In order to answer these questions, we should look to someone who is quite familiar with this condition through personal experience our case study, Priscilla.

Is it good to be a perfectionist? Priscilla would give a resounding “No!” answer to this question. Based upon her own life-experience she would tell you quite emphatically that pursuing perfection is futile, painful and extremely dysfunctional.

How does one become a perfectionist? This reply requires a bit more reflection and effort to answer than the first. In Priscilla’s case, she has come to realize that what “set her up” to foolishly strive for perfection was the deep wound in her heart of having always felt like a victim from a very early age and into adulthood.

Why did she feel like a victim? Because she had spent ALL of her formative childhood years, as well as ALL of her adolescent/teen-age years, in a state of “learned powerlessness”. If one feels powerless in any given situation, one feels victimized by the circumstances of that particular situation. Furthermore, if one has always felt powerless, than this person develops a “victim mentality”.

This victim mentality caused Priscilla to feel weak, pitiful, and pathetic. These feelings turned into voices in her soul (False Identity) that continually reminded her of her inferior condition. Even though Priscilla had long ago internalized all the lies as her personal truth, she still had a little spunkiness. A slight spark of her god-given gifts had not been completely snuffed out. Consequently, she came to believe that the only way she could overcome her pathetic state was by trying to be perfect in any and all areas that had earned her any form of favorable notice.

For instance, Priscilla’s dad had always told her that she must look pretty and keep a clean house. Is it any surprise that she became determined to “perfect’ these two areas of her life. Most of Priscilla’s adult life was spent on looking as good as she could and keeping an immaculate house. She gave no thought to character, integrity, or wisdom because these things were never discussed, modeled or even mentioned in any way in her family-of-origin environment.

Since all of Priscilla’s passion and energy was spent on perfecting these two areas of her personhood, is it any wonder that she felt victimized when these pursuits brought her NONE of the favorable attention she fervently sought after? Her dad often told her what she must do. However, Priscilla can’t remember a single occasion when he complimented her appearance or the cleanliness of her home.

Allow me to share one snap-shot memory that portrays this point. While Priscilla was going through a particularly rough period of her adult life, she had lost an unhealthy amount of weight. During this time she saw her dad at least once a week. He would say, “You’re too skinny. You need to put on weight.”

Once her circumstances improved, she began to eat normally. Unfortunately, she rapidly put on too much weight due to the fact that her metabolism had slowed way down during the time she wasn’t eating properly. During one of their regular weekly visits her dad said, “You put on too much weight. You need to go on a diet and take off some of that bulk.”

At this point, Priscilla was finally learning to put down some boundaries in her life so she “spoke up” for herself. She looked at her dad and said, “Before, all I heard from you was how bad I looked being so skinny. Now I’m too fat. Why didn’t you say anything at all when I was transitioning from being too skinny to being too fat? What? Did I miss seeing you on that one day when I must have been right in the middle? Wasn’t there some point in this big pendulum swing when you actually thought I looked good?” Her dad was shocked and couldn’t utter a word. His silence was a welcomed relief.

Priscilla has no memory of ever receiving a compliment for anything about her personhood from any member of her family-of-origin only criticism. Yet she continued to work harder in those areas where she stupidly hoped to reach perfection in order to win someone’s approval. When acceptance never materialized, two devastating components occurred in her psyche.

First, the smoldering anger continued to mount due to the unmitigated “unfairness” of her situation. However, expressions of anger were totally outlawed for the children in her childhood home. It had to be repressed at all costs. The only way she could hide this seething anger was to deny its’ validity and then turn it inward on her personhood.

Second, the repressed anger turned inward fueled self-condemnation, which eventually turned into self-hatred. As the voices of her false-identity relentlessly mocked and taunted her psyche, she slowly began to despise everything about herself.

In an attempt to conclude this post, allow me to switch gears by giving you a good- news/bad-news scenario. The good news is “behavior is learned”. The bad news is “behavior is learned”. I don’t think we can “unlearn” anything. However, we can learn good and even better behavior in order to dilute the power of the bad behavior we learned and adopted as children.

Priscilla continues to struggle every day with the bad behavior she learned as a child, like feeling victimized and condemning herself in her soul. That’s the bad news. But the good news is she will never give up the “good fight” to learn to love her good qualities and to nurture those qualities within herself.

If you remember nothing else from this post, please remember this one point: Behavior is learned. If you don’t like your present behavior patterns, you can teach yourself new ones. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pain-free. But, with persistence and passion, you can become the person you really want to be!

HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

REFLECTIVE QUESTION:

After spending time in deep and private reflection, can you begin to identity aspects of your behavior patterns that really aren't natural to you?  Are you willing to confront the source of these learned-behavior patterns?  Are you willing to "own the issue" in order that you may take the necessary steps to affect change in that area?