Puzzle Piece

You are a part of a puzzle of someone’s life.

You may never know where you fit, but always remember that someone’s life may not be complete without you!

 You will always means something to somebody.

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Beef Bangers with Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

 

1 (360g) raw head of cauliflower

½ (90g) onion, chopped

125ml (½ cup / 15g) flat leaf parsley

125ml (½ cup / 15g) mint

125ml (½ cup / 15g) dill

125ml (½ cup / 15g) chives

310ml (1¼ cup / 150g) cucumber, finely diced

1 (130g) tomato, finely diced

juice of 1 small lemon

splash of olive oil

salt and pepper

8 beef bangers

olive oil

375ml (1½ cups) sour cream to serve

fresh herbs, to garnish (optional)82cac095a4d1430ba4658f9239d6363e

Method

For the tabbouleh salad, wash and dry the cauliflower. Cut it into chunks and add it to a food processor. Process until fine but not pureed. Add it to a mixing bowl.

Place the onion, parsley, mint, dill and chives in the food processor and blend until fine. Add it to the cauliflower and stir in the cucumber, tomato, lemon juice and olive oil. Season it to taste.

For the sausages, heat a pan over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and fry the sausages for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.

Serve the sausages with the salad. Add a few dollops of sour cream and garnish with fresh herbs, if you prefer.

TIP: The salad on its own will feed 4 people for a main meal but can easily feed 6-8 as a side dish.

Seeing the Illusion

Sometimes trying to help family members can be one of the hardest things that we can ever experience. We tend to give all we have to the ones that we love, and sometimes we are betrayed by the ones that we have given all to. It can feel like a knife cutting straight into our hearts. But there is always something that can be learned , even through betrayal. It is like when Jesus was hanging on the cross, and he was looking down at the people heckling him, he saw the illusion of the ego and it’s mad realm. But he also knew a love that could never, never leave him. That is what we can learn from a betrayal of a loved one. We can learn to see the illusions, but still feel the love that can never, never, never leave us. No matter what anyone Else does. Only then do we become free (to experience real Love). – Jim Long

The Many Face Of Child Abuse – Part 6

Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: July 2013.

Helping An Abused Child
What should you do if you suspect that a child has been abused? How do you approach him or her? Or what if a child comes to you? It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused in this situation. Child abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even harder to talk about.

Just remember, you can make a tremendous difference in the life of an abused child, especially if you take steps to stop the abuse early. When talking with an abused child, the best thing you can provide is calm reassurance and unconditional support. Let your actions speak for you if you’re having trouble finding the words. Remember that talking about the abuse may be very difficult for the child. It’s your job to reassure the child and provide whatever help you can.

Tips for talking to an abused child
Avoid denial and remain calm. A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial. However, if you display denial to a child, or show shock or disgust at what they are saying, the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down. As hard as it may be, remain as calm and reassuring as you can.
Don’t interrogate. Let the child explain to you in his or her own words what happened, but don’t interrogate the child or ask leading questions. This may confuse and fluster the child and make it harder for them to continue their story.
Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong. It takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse. Reassure him or her that you take what is said seriously, and that it is not the child’s fault.
Safety comes first. If you feel that your safety or the safety of the child would be threatened if you try to intervene, leave it to the professionals. You may be able to provide more support later after the initial professional intervention.

The Many Faces Of Child Abuse – Part 5

Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: July 2013.

If you need professional help…
Do you feel angry and frustrated and don’t know where to turn? Visit Chiworld.org for helplines.

Recognizing abusive behavior in yourself
Do you see yourself in some of these descriptions, painful as it may be? Do you feel angry and frustrated and don’t know where to turn? Raising children is one of life’s greatest challenges and can trigger anger and frustration in the most even–tempered. If you grew up in a household where screaming and shouting or violence was the norm, you may not know any other way to raise your kids.

Recognizing that you have a problem is the biggest step to getting help. If you yourself were raised in an abusive situation, that can be extremely difficult. Children experience their world as normal. It may have been normal in your family to be slapped or pushed for little to no reason, or that mother was too drunk to cook dinner. It may have been normal for your parents to call you stupid, clumsy, or worthless. Or it may have been normal to watch your mother get beaten up by your father.

It is only as adults that we have the perspective to step back and take a hard look at what is normal and what is abusive. Read the above sections on the types of abuse and warning signs. Do any of those ring a bell for you now? Or from when you were a child? The following is a list of warning signs that you may be crossing the line into abuse:

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line?
You can’t stop the anger. What starts as a swat on the backside may turn into multiple hits getting harder and harder. You may shake your child harder and harder and finally throw him or her down. You find yourself screaming louder and louder and can’t stop yourself.
You feel emotionally disconnected from your child. You may feel so overwhelmed that you don’t want anything to do with your child. Day after day, you just want to be left alone and for your child to be quiet.
Meeting the daily needs of your child seems impossible. While everyone struggles with balancing dressing, feeding, and getting kids to school or other activities, if you continually can’t manage to do it, it’s a sign that something might be wrong.
Other people have expressed concern. It may be easy to bristle at other people expressing concern. However, consider carefully what they have to say. Are the words coming from someone you normally respect and trust? Denial is not an uncommon reaction.
Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse
If you have a history of child abuse, having your own children can trigger strong memories and feelings that you may have repressed. This may happen when a child is born, or at later ages when you remember specific abuse to you. You may be shocked and overwhelmed by your anger, and feel like you can’t control it. But you can learn new ways to manage your emotions and break your old patterns.

Remember, you are the most important person in your child’s world. It’s worth the effort to make a change, and you don’t have to go it alone. Help and support are available.

Tips for changing your reactions
Learn what is age appropriate and what is not. Having realistic expectations of what children can handle at certain ages will help you avoid frustration and anger at normal child behavior. For example, newborns are not going to sleep through the night without a peep, and toddlers are not going to be able to sit quietly for extended periods of time.
Develop new parenting skills. While learning to control your emotions is critical, you also need a game plan of what you are going to do instead. Start by learning appropriate discipline techniques and how to set clear boundaries for your children. Parenting classes, books, and seminars are a way to get this information. You can also turn to other parents for tips and advice.
Take care of yourself. If you are not getting enough rest and support or you’re feeling overwhelmed, you are much more likely to succumb to anger. Sleep deprivation, common in parents of young children, adds to moodiness and irritability—exactly what you are trying to avoid.
Get professional help. Breaking the cycle of abuse can be very difficult if the patterns are strongly entrenched. If you can’t seem to stop yourself no matter how hard you try, it’s time to get help, be it therapy, parenting classes, or other interventions. Your children will thank you for it.
Learn how you can get your emotions under control. The first step to getting your emotions under control is realizing that they are there. If you were abused as a child, you may have an especially difficult time getting in touch with your range of emotions. You may have had to deny or repress them as a child, and now they spill out without your control.

The Many Faces Of Child Abuse – Part 4

picture by: http://divorceministry4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/child-abuse.jpg

Warning Signs & Risk Factors

The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need.

Of course, just because you see a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. It’s important to dig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs, if you notice something off.

Warning signs of emotional abuse in children

Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong

Shows extremes in behavior (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive)

Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver

Acts either inappropriately adult (taking care of other children) or inappropriately infantile (rocking, thumb-sucking, throwing tantrums)

Warning signs of physical abuse in children

Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts

Is always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen
Injuries appear to have a pattern such as marks from a hand or belt

Shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to go home

Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days

Warning signs of neglect in children

Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather

Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor)

Untreated illnesses and physical injuries

Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations and environments

Is frequently late or missing from school

Warning signs of sexual abuse in children

Trouble walking or sitting

Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior

Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason

Doesn’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities

An STD or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14

Runs away from home

Child abuse and reactive attachment disorder

Severe abuse early in life can lead to reactive attachment disorder. Children with this disorder are so disrupted that they have extreme difficulty establishing normal relationships and attaining normal developmental milestones. They need special treatment and support.

Risk Factors for Child Abuse and Neglect

While child abuse and neglect occurs in all types of families—even in those that look happy from the outside—children are at a much greater risk in certain situations.

Domestic violence. Witnessing domestic violence is terrifying to children and emotionally abusive. Even if the mother does her best to protect her children and keeps them from being physically abused, the situation is still extremely damaging. If you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship, getting out is the best thing for protecting the children.
Alcohol and drug abuse. Living with an alcoholic or addict is very difficult for children and can easily lead to abuse and neglect. Parents who are drunk or high are unable to care for their children, make good parenting decisions, and control often-dangerous impulses. Substance abuse also commonly leads to physical abuse.
Untreated mental illness. Parents who suffering from depression, an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness have trouble taking care of themselves, much less their children. A mentally ill or traumatized parent may be distant and withdrawn from his or her children, or quick to anger without understanding why. Treatment for the caregiver means better care for the children.
Lack of parenting skills. Some caregivers never learned the skills necessary for good parenting. Teen parents, for example, might have unrealistic expectations about how much care babies and small children need. Or parents who were themselves victims of child abuse may only know how to raise their children the way they were raised. In such cases, parenting classes, therapy, and caregiver support groups are great resources for learning better parenting skills.
Stress and lack of support. Parenting can be a very time-intensive, difficult job, especially if you’re raising children without support from family, friends, or the community or you’re dealing with relationship problems or financial difficulties. Caring for a child with a disability, special needs, or difficult behaviors is also a challenge. It’s important to get the support you need, so you are emotionally and physically able to support your child.