Friday, December 12, 2008

We not shoot, you not shoot

We not shoot, you not shoot

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005

Hi all,

Yesterday the last British soldier who was present at the famous Christmas Truce in the First World War died.

You know, in the First World War there were trenches all across France, Belgium and Germany, in which millions of soldiers died just to gain a couple of miles of territory, only to loose them a month later. On of the most senseless destruction of human lives ever seen.

The trenches were often just hundreds of meters away from each other and from there the two sides attacked each other with just invented poison gas, machine guns, and other. In between was no man's land, a destroyed desert.

On Christmas morning 1914, on the German side the soldiers started singing
'Silent Night, Holy Night'.
Then a German soldier climbed out his trench, walked into no man's land, and said to the British:
"Merry Christmas. We not
shoot, you not shoot.

This started a spontaneous truce, which spread across the more than 700 kilometers of trenches. Soldiers climbed out of the trenches, shook hands with their official enemies, sang together and played soccer. German officers invited British officers into their tents for a glass of wine. A hairdresser would cut the hair of soldiers of both sides, in the middle of no man's land. On some places, the truce lasted several

What this has to do with recovery? I don't know. I had to cry when I read this in today's newspaper. It shows me that although there is much evil in the world, most ordinary people only want to do the good thing.

A simple song about Christ can touch people's hearts and cause them to do incredible
wonderful things. This story about the Christmas Truce is world famous and has touched many more people than the unknown German soldier could ever imagined.
Anyway, after reading this I decided that I will stay sober for another 24 hours. It's day 12 today and this evening there is a meeting.

All the best to all of you,

Reprinted with permission from a Sex Addiction Recovery List I've belonged to for more than 4 years.

This article is for informational purposes only.
Please contact a licensed professional in your area
if you are in crisis or require mental health services

David Bruce

Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cleaning up your wreckage

That's an A.A. term, well a 12 step term really.

What it means is while we were:
  • Druggin

  • Raging

  • Codependent-ing

  • Manipulating

  • Being a Control Freak

  • Over Eating

  • Drinking

  • Insert Drug of Choice Here

  • ... while we were addicted... someone had to wipe our ass.

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    Do you know how "they" came up with the term: "Co Dependent"?

    That term originally came from the term: "Co Alcoholic"

    It came from the 1940's, researchers in behavior and psychology found that alcoholics seem to always have a Co Alcoholic. Apparently you can't be an addict in a vacuum!

    For Example:

    If you're half of a parenting team (father and mother) and one of you is frequently drunk and incapacitated... it stands to reason that the other half of the team is doing the others share of work.

    If I'm high... my spouse is gonna have to 'take up the slack'.

    ...or Some body's gonna have to!

    Those same researchers were amazed to discover (and this is clinical, it's in the decades of case histories... don't take my word for it, I'm not just making this stuff up)

    ... were amazed to find that the (usually women) co alcoholics kept on falling for another alcoholic!

    Wife Beaters followed the same path... women who got beat up by their spouses, when (or IF) they left the abusive man...

    they went out and found themselves the same kind of guy!

    You see, codependency is: "A disease of irresponsibility"
    And it's a learned irresponsibility at that.

    Ok, enough of the set up...

    Cleaning Up Your Wreckage means:

    You let your loved ones down

    They were 'Wronged By You"

    While you were (insert drug of choice here)high, compulsively masturbating, over eating, drunk... while you were "NOT PRESENT" ... somebody had to wipe your ass.

    That was unfair to who ever was covering for you while you were fucking up.

    It doesn't matter if the person who covered for you was, themselves, unhealthy.

    That's IRRELEVANT.

    You screwed up, you dropped the ball, you let someone else carry YOUR WEIGHT.

    and that person or persons, whoever they are (mother father, family friend, old girlfriend) got wronged.

    You left Wreckage

    At some point you're going to have to 'Clean up the Wreckage you left behind'

    You're not going to be able to 'come to terms' with your past
    (I really do hate that phrase, but I know I'm writing this to people outside of 12 step group terminology)

    I'm cleaning up some of my wreckage.

    I was.. for the first 3 years of my children's lives, a loving, capable father.
    For the next 16 years I 'blew my fuses', my kids did not have a functional father.

    OK, I can't undo the past... it was what it was.

    John Bradshaw said in an audio tape series I had, said:

    "The best thing we can do for our kids is to let em see us heal"

    When I heard that 10 years ago, I 'wished' I could pull that off.
    I wanted to pull that off... the fact of even considering "let my kids see me heal" even being on the table led me to this:

    I could see how far I'd have to go to pull that off.

    If I'd not 'wanted to do that' (3 of the 12 steps don't say "DO THIS", they say "become READY to do this")... I'd not have been aware of the distance between where I was and where I needed to be if I was gonna pull that off.

    so... I created an N.L.P. reframe for me to 'collapse anchor' when ever my 'irrational jealousy' kept me from being a functional father.

    All my kids wanted was a father, they did not require that I be a perfect father, they did not require that I even be a functional father... what they DID want and need was for me to be there when they needed me to be there. ie, do the best I could under whatever circumstances presented themselves.

    Fast Forward to a few years ago:

    My kids were in college (not that I helped.. they actually qualified for student loans because I was non functional... often homeless, couldn't keep a job, spent the money badly when I did have a job), My kids needed ME to help them with their homework.

    By the grace of god, my kids needed help with their computer skills, one of my daughters even took web design classes... Not only did I get to help her with her HTML skills, I was the ONLY person in her life that even knew HTML skills.

    Fast Forward to today: Not only am I in daily contact with my two youngest children, (I'm consider my self lucky that they even talk to me)I'm a GrandFather...

    I'm doing the Granddady Day Care and I love it.

    I'm even finally earning enough from my web writing to be able to be there for my grandchildren...

    It IS possible to 'let your kids see you heal'

    even if you were fucking up as much as I was.

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Ten differences between being a martyr or a victim?

    from http:///

    1. Martyrs are people who recognize they are being taken advantage of and choose to remain in the situation. Victims are people who are taken advantage of but are unaware of being treated as such. Once victims recognize that they are being treated unfairly, they have the choice of remaining in the situation or not. If they stay, they risk becoming martyrs.

    2. Martyrs are those who recognize that their rights are ignored and abused but choose to remain in the situation and continue to be treated this way. Victims are individuals whose rights are ignored and abused but were unaware that they would be treated in this manner before they entered the situation.

    3. Martyrs are people who let others know how unfairly they are being treated but choose to remain in this unfair position. Victims are people who let others know they have been treated unfairly. They have the chance to leave or change the situation in which they have been victimized. Victims often suffer silently for long periods of time before they are able to verbalize the unfairness of their life situations.

    4. Martyrs often knowingly continue to enable or set up situations in which their rights are violated or ignored. This ``setting up'' is like a prediction or prophecy of failure into which, consciously or unconsciously, the martyrs play, fulfilling the prophecy. Victims often unknowingly set themselves up for continued abuse and violation of their rights. They are often confused and bewildered as to why this occurs. They lack insight into the actions that bring on this abuse.

    5. Martyrs often seek sympathy for their plight. They seek support, advice, and help from others. Yet they seem stuck in their current course of action and seem to be unable to resolve it. Victims frequently never seek help. They are often frustrated and lost as to what needs to be done to get them out of their current situation. Once victims have been offered help and make a conscious choice to remain stuck in their situation, they become martyrs.

    6. Martyrs frequently let the people whom they feel are taking advantage of them know how badly they are being treated. Martyrs often resort to badgering, nagging, scolding, threatening, belittling, antagonizing, and verbally putting down those whom they perceive to be taking advantage of them. Victims rarely let the people who are taking advantage of them know how they feel about this treatment.

    7. Martyrs often believe it is their obligation to remain in their position in life. They would feel guilty if they let go of the current situation. They fear taking the risk to change the situation. They are apparently comfortable, habituated, or submissive to the situation and believe a change would be worse for them and for the others in their lives. Victims often want a change and are desperate for a solution to their situation. As soon as a victim gives in to a situation, choosing not to resolve or correct it, they become martyrs. The saying, ``If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,'' applies to the martyr's state in life.

    8. Martyrs have a story line which is stereotypic and habitual. They rarely change their tales of woe. One can meet them several years later and find them still suffering from the fate they were experiencing when you last talked to them. Victims experience their plight temporarily, get help, and are more apt to get out of the situation. If after getting help and changing, victims experience the same problems later, they could be martyrs at that time.

    9. Martyrs often mask their behavior with an aura of willingness and desire for behavioral change in their lives. Usually they are only fooling themselves, since the others in their lives can see by their behavior and attitude that there is no possibility of change. Victims usually are open and honest about their discomfort and willingly seek behavioral change. Their sincerity is easily perceived by others due to the actions and behavioral changes that take place.

    10. Martyrs are ``professional'' help seekers. They make the rounds of paid and volunteer helpers, advice givers, counselors, consultants, anyone willing to listen to their tale of woe. Unfortunately, they usually ignore the assistance, advice, or direction they are given. This frequently results in their ``helpers'' giving up on them in frustration and discouragement. Victims, on the other hand, seek help in a ``crisis'' only after the pressure of their problems becomes too great for them to bear. They are highly motivated for a ``change'' and are rewarding people to work with as they and their helpers witness the benefits of the help, advice, and direction given.

    Ok, so why did I post this?

    Because if you're doing self destructive behavior, you are a codependent.

    If you're a codependent you're doing Victim Behavior

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Build me up, ButterCup dont break my heart

    Do you think that current society's built in mindset, the set of norms that are woven into the fabric of our perception, totally supports being codependent?

    How about love addiction... that's a codependent trait if ever there was one.

    And popular culture most definitely reinforces it.

    Want to know how and where?


    Country Music

    That's right, popular music teaches us (at a very young age I might add)
    that it's Normal to be love addicted.

    Now a healthy person (person with functional boundaries would simply leave a relationship that obviously caused them more pain than it was worth!

    Not a love addict.

    "I'll be over at ten you told me time and again... but your late... you let me down again"

    "I took a Louisville Slugger to his tail lights..."

    Need I say more?

    The only way to un do this is to 'install' new behaviors to over write the programming.

    Fold your arms (fold your arms the way you always do, do it without thinking about it)


    Fold them 'the other way' (if your right hand was pointing up on your left forearm, swap em, put your LEFT hand up on your right forearm)

    Feels Funny doesn't it?

    This crap is NOT set in stone... just reinstall the software, reinstall 'windows' over top of it self... wipe out or cover up the old family of origin script and replace it with a new one.

    ONE YOU choose, not one that you mindlessly allowed to be installed while listing to MoTown.

    (Damn, I really do like that song, the melody at least... I LOVE MoTown)
    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries 4 Codependents

    Saturday, August 30, 2008

    Fasting for your Mind

    Everyone has heard of fasting.
    The practice of taking a hiatus from food.
    Doing so has lots of beneficial effects on our bodies.

    Mostly ridding our body of toxins.

    What about ridding our minds of toxins?

    Sound like a good idea?

    Here, do this:

    Don't think a negative thought for seven straight days.

    Can't do it?
    Of course you can't...
    What this means is if a negative thought comes into your mind, let it go.

    Don't let a single negative thought stay in your mind for
    more than a moment or two.

    Often when I hear people speak about meditating, they complain
    that they can not concentrate.

    OK fair enough, do the following, this is like a visualization:

    Picture a train, lets say it has almost a hundred cars...
    You are on one side of the train tracks.
    What you're focusing on, what you're meditating on is on the
    other side of the tracks...

    A distracting thought pops into your mind,
    instead of bitching and moaning that you've lost your place...

    See the distraction as a passing railroad car.

    Remember when you get stuck at a RR crossing,
    waiting for the long train to finish up?

    You can still see the street, the cars on the other side of the train.

    Get the picture?

    So do it, do it right now!
    Seven days with no negative thoughts

    OK,OK here is an additional tactic:

    Picture your postal mail box.
    Negative thought comes in.

    don't open it!

    If you want, you can even write on it: "return to sender"

    Put that damn thing back in the mail box and flip up the flag so the mail man/ mail person can send it back where it came from...

    It doesn't live here:)

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Monday, August 04, 2008

    Respect doesn't come naturally for an addict

    Respect doesn't come naturally for an addict.

    Self respect.

    Addicts do not have it.

    What makes it worse is that they're not really aware of the lack of self respect.

    Treating yourself with respect takes practice... it's unnatural for an addict.

    Fold your arms

    Now fold them the 'other way'

    Feels Funny doesn't it.

    You're going to have to practice this, baby steps...

    When you spend all your money again...

    you didn't even leave money for cigarettes.... and you're beating yourself up, feel like shit... kickin yourself...

    do something, even if it's a small thing, something symbolic to treat yourself with respect.

    This is like putting money in the bank, it accrues interest, it compounds...

    a token action (I bought myself socks one week, and underware the next, in the recent past when I was still using) each day is not 30 days of little things...

    it's 30 days of building momentum, compound interest, the sum of the parts equals much more than the individual parts.

    more coming
    I promise

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Thursday, June 26, 2008

    Being Punitive is counter productive

    It's counter productive to bitch at, to harangue. to be 'punitive' to an addict you love or care about or are friends with...

    An addict is already a world class, olympic level self depracator
    consciously on a scale of 1 to 10 addicts are aware of this 'beat themselves up' at maybe a 3, unconsciously, however (they're not aware of this) on a scale of 1-10 addicts are actually beating themselves up at a 9.5

    Addicts self depracate (beat themselves up) good enough already...we think nothing of this... we've become so accustomed to thinking of ourselves in such a shitty light that we don't even notice it.

    Alanon does not go any where near close enough to teach codependents of addicts:

    Food addicts
    Sugar addicts
    drug addicts

    All of them (internally) are kick them selves... to bitch at them or accuse addicts of 'not having will power' is counter productive

    If you can't back away from being punitive with an addict you care about, YOU have control issues of your own to deal with...

    Dont be the pot calling the kettle black!

    "Let he that be without sin cast the first stone"

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Erectile Dysfunction and Crack smoking

    Most of the 50 something male crack smokers I've smoked with all have the same thing going on with them internally:

    They have ED
    shit happens when you:
    -get older
    -haven't taken good care of your self physically
    -smoke too much (cigarettes I mean)
    -drink too much coffee (diruetic, hurts your kiddneys)
    -don't get enough sleep
    -let yourself get stressed out over stuff you can't control
    -have bad boundaries (which means you let yourself get all worked up over stuff that isn't your problem, and have imaginary problems ie 'thems fightin words'


    Either no hydraulics OR limited hydraulics

    There are two kinds of ED:

    Zero hydraulics

    There are 3 chambers inside your tool that are supposed to fill with blood when you get aroused.

    and the most prevalant kind:

    Limited hydraulics
    the check valve at the base of your tool doesn't hold.
    (What is a check valve? it's a plumbing term for a one way valve, one that lets fluid flow in one direction but not reverse, when a fluid is under pressure it flows in one direction, release the pressure and it flows back the other way according to gravity)

    what does that mean?

    blood flows in, but runs back out, there is a check valve of sorts, a one way valve, it's supposed to lock, meaning the blood flows in, you begin to get hard, but when you try to put it in (or put the condom on) it gets soft.

    you get just hard enough to piss yourself off... and you've gotten your partner hot and you can't deliver the goods

    when a man smokes crack, as soon as he exales the first blast, all you can think of is sex...

    and women that smoke crack.. well lets just say they're easy

    more coming, I've got to get ready to go to work.... I keep losing my jobs

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

    Monday, May 12, 2008


    Stress Management Series - Part 2 -Build Healthy Coping Methods
    It can be helpful to identify and examine your coping strategies for managing stress. One way to do this is by journaling.

    Journaling doesn't have to be a complicated or time-consuming activity. Over time, you will probably even come to enjoy it. In the beginning it can be helpful to keep it simple, and just record:

    What happened (argument with spouse, stressful incident at work, receiving bad news, etc.)
    How you felt when it happened (anxious, angry, sad, panicky, etc.)
    How you reacted (what did you say or do?)
    How you could have reacted better (talked it over, removed yourself from the situation to calm down, talked to a friend about it, etc.)

    As you begin to see a pattern in the types of incidents that cause you a lot of stress and how you deal with them, you will be able to formulate a plan for dealing with these situations more effectively and in a healthier manner.

    This can be a very effective way of developing better coping strategies and learning to manage stress.

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior