Tag Archives: respect and disrespect

Out-of-Control People

Are we regressing to barbarism from civilization? What is going on with all these people who think it’s ok to get into brawls and fist fights in streets, on airplanes, and even at graduations?! We teach children to “use your words” but these are adults! Is it all the rampant medication people are on? Is that why they have no inhibitions? Are they all drugged? Or just “entitled”?

Ok, so everyone has the “right” to express themselves, but in physical altercations? Really? I’m astonished. People have become disrespectful and dishonoring, and it is making them dishonorable. And it won’t be long, if this trend continues, before we lose our status in the world. Respect is the foundation of civilization not physical power, not brawn. The best system of government (God’s) is based on respect.

One of my friends just went through a horrible ordeal. Her neighbors have been harassing her for years. Finally, last year I went to the police with her who said there was nothing they could do until the neighbors damaged her or her property and she had evidence.

Last week we were texting and she asked if she should call the police. I said, “If he’s on your property.” The next thing I know, she is calling from the police station crying and saying he called the police and they showed up in force, called her out of her house, and nine of them surrounded her with big guns pointed at her. She was terrified, her PTSD from childhood abuse  was totally triggered. I was in shock, wondering what had happened, and asking, “How could you let this happen, Lord?”

The next day her pastor and I went to see her. Her story was the neighbor had set a screen against their fence so it would fall over on her driveway, when it did she kicked it off, and he called police. The charge was she was terrorizing and threatening him with a machete.

Fortunately she doesn’t have a machete, but the police arrested her and took her to jail before searching her house. When they didn’t find one, the charges were dropped but it was three days of missed work and terror.

It was hard, but God used it for good. She was with a group in the holding room while waiting for arraignment, and female addicts waiting with her. They couldn’t believe it when she told them she used to be a heroine addict. She was able to say, “You don’t have to live like this. There is another life. You have a choice.”

She said if felt so good to be able to calmly say that. Her friends have said, “God just needed someone to speak to those girls!”

When they released her she had no way to get home, so two policemen took her home and she got the chance to speak with them without undue stress. She told them what her neighbor had been doing for ten years and both of them said, “He is a stalker, you should press charges for wrongful arrest, missed wages and mental anguish.” That was the other good thing that came from it. I see it as a God-given opportunity. She’s not sure.

At three this morning I was impressed to get up and pray for healing for her and two people who live emotionally crippled from disturbed attachment. It stretched into five women while I was praying, and just now I thought of two more.

Disturbed attachment, more commonly known as a form of abandonment, is a deep issue that can only be healed by God–at least in 30 years as a family-systems therapist I haven’t found another way. Somatic  therapy is very helpful for trauma, and I have been successful to a point with abandonment, but if you know you struggle emotionally from disturbed attachment, God wants to help you.

First, own it. Admit it. That is always the first step. Then ask God to  heal it by giving you evidence that you can feel of His deep mother-love for you. It has to be experiential to heal. It has to reach emotions. Don’t be surprised if there is a flood of tears that have been stored for years. Let them come. Don’t stop them; it’s part of the healing process. The pain may be gut-wrenching but it will pass fairly quickly.

Then find a place where you can feel like you are sitting in God’s lap and just feel His love for you until you feel different. You’ll know when it happens. Don’t rush it and don’t stop it. You will be tempted to think it won’t happen for you, you aren’t worth it, but that’s a lie from the evil side trying to interfere. God wants to heal you.

If lots of lies come to mind–negative things you believe about you–write them down and one by one as you make opportunity, ask God to bind the dark side in Jesus’ name, and tell you the truth. All you have to do is own them and want them healed. Again, God wants to heal you. He doesn’t want you or anyone disrespecting you.

As Israel’s king, He came down harder on disrespect than any other thing–of Him and others. (And I’ve been heavy into His government, writing Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy!) We don’t think respect is that important. But it is the foundation of civilization.


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A Perspective on Bullying

Bullies are insecure, scared, people who don’t feel they have power.

For instance, in school children where the news has been focused, bullies may feel scared at home.  Perhaps a parent is a bully, demanding obedience without consideration or listening, acting out his own stress.  If a parent is  loud, harsh and overbearing,  because he is much larger the child is frightened and intimidated. The child feels helpless and so goes to school and finds someone he can wield power over: a younger, smaller child he can intimidate.

Or maybe parental divorce or fighting is causing insecurity.  The child is afraid but has learned either at home or at school that it isn’t OK to express fear or weakness.  So he does what he sees modeled by the adults in his world, he turns his fear, sadness, worry into anger and aggression.

In psychotherapy we call this projection–putting our own feelings on someone else, or displacement–acting out feelings of fear against someone who doesn’t cause fear in us. The point being that we aren’t taught to be OK with our own feelings and work through them, or at least contain them without acting them out.

You can help your children by listening to their feelings, encouraging them to tell you about their day and then really paying attention.  If you treat their feelings with respect and don’t discount them, they will tell you if they are being bullied. Then let the school know, and if they brush you off, let law enforcement know. The bullies need help too.

Of course, the best is to bully-proof your children by making them secure in your love.  Bullies almost never pick on confident, happy children. They go after the kid who is shy, timid, or feels inadequate or bad about himself. Kids who live with disrespect, either towards them or between parents, feel bad.

Don’t be afraid to tell your kids that you love them.  Sometimes we think that is weakness–it isn’t.  Also don’t be afraid to set boundaries and tell them no. This also makes them feel secure.  Kids need to know that someone is in charge, just not disrespectfully. You don’t like to be disrespected either.

Let them know that you will always do your best to keep them safe, that they are adequate–hardwired for struggle–and worth your time and attention. Actually be present with them and LISTEN when you are with them. Let them know that they don’t always have to agree with you, even though they do have to obey, because it is your job to keep them safe.

Kids need rules, but not shame. They don’t need your anger or fear.  Children need love but not permissiveness, thinking they can do whatever they want. They don’t need bullying that pretends to be parenting.  And bullying can also be letting them do whatever they want and giving them everything.

Kids just need you to be you, taking care of you, so you can be strong enough to attend to them wisely. If you (or they) are being treated disrespectfully, set boundaries.  If your boundaries aren’t respected, get help; you are a victim.

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