Lying and Second Chances

January 18, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author (The Books of Terence T. Gorski)

“For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.” ~ Bo Bennett

When you catch someone telling a lie, should you give him or her a second chance? Or should you follow the advice of William Shakespeare: “Trust not him that hath once broken faith.”

This question, when approached thoughtfully, is more difficult to answer than it first appears.

When I ask people whether they should give a second chance to someone who tells them a lie, the answers I get range from “absolutely yes” to “absolutely no.”

Other people have developed rules for when to give a second chance and when to cut their losses by getting the person out of their life, or at least out of their box of sensitive secrets.

The answer to the question of what to do when you discover they are lying depends upon how we define the idea of telling lies and telling the truth. So let’s ask the tough questions that are not as easy to answer as they may seem.

What is a lie?

Here’s the dictionary definition: “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
Synonyms include prevarication and falsification. Antonyms include truth.

What is the truth?

The dictionary tells us that it is “the true actual state of a matter. That which is really happening or going on. Conformity with the facts or reality.” The the concept of the truth is further clarified as: “the real facts about something: the things that are true: the quality or state of being true: a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true; A statement that is supported by evidence.”

Wow! These are really circular definitions that essentially tell us “the truth is what is true!”

These definitions of truth beg a very important issue: the truth is rarely absolute and is usually relative to what is accepted as truth at the time and the “truth as we see it from our point of view.”

Most of the time to “tell the truth” means to “explain our best understanding given our point of view, the extent of our knowledge, and the currently best known and most widely accepted evidence.”

Honesty and lying are as much about the intent to deceive as it is about giving mistaken information.

If you make an honest mistake in solving a mathematical problem, it is usually not considered a lie. It is a mistake or unintentional error. It might be a lie if you deliberately falsify the answers for some secondary gain.

So, in my opinion, it would make sense to make the distinction between an honest mistake (I believe that what I am saying to be factual or true) and a lie (I know what is true and deliberately try to tell you something else).

I find that most people who tell one lie (i.e tell others that something is true when they know that it is not), tend to tell other lies as well. They use lies as an habitual tool to gain things of value in life or to deny some painful truths.

Sometimes the habitual liar can convince themselves that a lie is actually true. This can be a useful skill if you have to pass a lie detector test. Some people are skilled at catching people who are telling lies. This can be a useful skill to recognize and avoid getting hurt by con men and habitual liars.

Most actively addicted people tell lies about their alcohol and other drug use. They minimize how much they use and try to cover up the damage caused by their use.

Some addicts don’t actually lie, they just block out some aspects of reality so they are intentionally ignorant. This is called being sincerely deluded.

Must alcoholics, for example, never count the number of drinks they have or add up how much money they are spending on alcohol or drugs. They keep themselves willfully or intentionally ignorant in order to avoid facing the truth.

The truth is a continually evolving thing based upon our best understanding at the time. All we can really tell someone is our best understanding of the truth as Wevsee it at the current time and then explain why we believe it to be true (i.e. Present the evidence we have that makes us believe that it is true).

In the everyday world we operate on a common-sense definition of truth.

– I did or did not do this!
– I was or was not at a certain place at a specific time!
– This is what has happened in the past !
– This is what is happening now!
– This is what I believe will happen in the future!

Anyone who tells you they know exactly what will happen in the future is guessing or is sincerely deluded. No one can be certain about the future.

Many people have beliefs without evidence. They accept things are true without any real proof. Every culture teaches thousands of truths, both little and big, that people are supposed to accept as true.

So what should you do if you believe someone is lying to you?

The first step is to ask the question again and make sure you are understanding their answer. Many accusations of telling a lie are based in poor communication and misunderstanding.

Tell the other person very clearly that you don’t believe it is true and present your evidence. Tell them you are open to reconsider if they have better evidence. This gives the people their day in court. They get to describe the “truth as they see it from their point of view.”

Before jumping to conclusions it is helpful to detach, back up, observe, and investigate. The serious problem is not a single lie told in isolation to deal with a specific situation. The most serious problem is the person who uses deceit and dishonesty as a habitual way to cope with life.

If there is a pattern of lying, it is foolish to trust. Many people are habitual liars. In other words they are in the habit of twisting the truth to get what they want.

Trust must be earned. It must be built little by little, one step at a time. When building a relationship, it is best to self-disclose a little bit at a time. If the person responds by self-disclosing at the same level to you, go back a try again. If they continue self-disclose at the level that you are they are, they are probable trustworthy. If they don’t reciprocate, be wary and ask yourself if they are trying to hide something or to get you at a disadvantage by knowing more about you than you know about them.

If what you told them in confidence ends up on the grapevine, run the other way. People who gossip and tell you the secrets of others that were told to them in confidence will almost certainly do the same to you.

Recovery demands a policy of rigorous honesty this means:

– The willingness to look honestly at yourself and your past behavior;
– The intent to be honest by reporting the truth as you believe it to be while acknowledging that “I might be wrong.”
– To promptly admit mistakes and be willing to correct them;
– To look with a critical eye at what you believe and the evidence you have to support that belief; and
– To be willing to act in faith upon your best understanding of the truth until you find new and more compelling evidence that causes you to change your mind.

Rigorous honesty is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. This is because, as fallible human beings we are prone to lie to ourselves and it others. It is also because the truth is hard to find.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE -LIVE FREE

Don’t miss Terry Gorski’s books and workbooks on recognizing and managing denial.

Denial Management Counseling (DMC)

The Books of Terence T. Gorski


Alone

January 14, 2015

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By Edgar Allan Poe

“From childhood’s hour I have not been, as others were—I have not seen
As others saw.” ~ Edgar Allen Poe

ALONE
A POEM BY EDGAR ALLAN POE

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—


STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US

January 12, 2015

By Terence T. Gorski
Author
The Books of Terence T. Gorski

People who truly think and share their thoughts verbally and in writing cannot be silenced, even in death. This is because the ideas that they express that will live on. Ideas take on a live of their own and move contagiously from mind to mind. The ideas expressed are part of something bigger, a long tradition of like-minded thinkers.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. And those who come after us, will stand upon our shoulders.

So isn’t right for each of us to train hard so we can be strong in body, mind, and spirit? So we can have strong shoulders for future generations to stand upon.

This is an important job — perhaps the only job of any consequence. It is up to each of us to provide a strong set of shoulders for those who will come after us. This is our sacred obligation to all of humanity.

Those coming after us must stand on our shoulders, for they have no other choice. They need to have a strong platform upon which to stand — a platform that is worthy of them and of us all.

The Books of Terence T. Gorski


Violence Against Women: Fact Sheet 2014

January 12, 2015

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Intimate partner and sexual violence against women
Fact sheet N-239
Updated November 2014
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

Key facts:

Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.

Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.

Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.

Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.

Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.

Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.

In high-income settings, school-based programmes to prevent relationship violence among young people (or dating violence) are supported by some evidence of effectiveness.

In low-income settings, other primary prevention strategies, such as microfinance combined with gender equality training and community-based initiatives that address gender inequality and communication and relationship skills, hold promise.

Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present additional forms of violence against women.
Introduction

Defining Violence Against Women

The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.

Scope of the problem

Population-level surveys based on reports from victims provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings. The first report of the “WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women” (2005) in 10 mainly low- and middle-income countries found that, among women aged 15-49:

– Between 15% of women in Japan and 71% of women in Ethiopia reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime;

– Between 0.3–11.5% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by someone other than a partner since the age of 15 years;

– The first sexual experience for many women was reported as forced – 17% of women in rural Tanzania, 24% in rural Peru, and 30% in rural Bangladesh reported that their first sexual experience was forced.
A more recent analysis of WHO with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, based on existing data from over 80 countries, found that globally 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence.

– Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner, in some regions this is much higher. Globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.

– Intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women and child sexual abuse affects both boys and girls. International studies reveal that approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being victims of sexual violence as children. Violence among young people, including dating violence, is also a major problem.

Risk factors

Factors found to be associated with intimate partner and sexual violence occur within individuals, families and communities and wider society. Some factors are associated with being a perpetrator of violence, some are associated with experiencing violence and some are associated with both.

Risk factors for both intimate partner and sexual violence include:

– Lower levels of education (perpetration of sexual violence and experience of sexual violence);

– Exposure to child maltreatment (perpetration and experience);
witnessing family violence (perpetration and experience);

– Antisocial personality disorder (perpetration);

– Harmful use of alcohol (perpetration and experience);v

– Having multiple partners or suspected by their partners of infidelity (perpetration); and
attitudes that are accepting of violence and gender inequality (perpetration and experience).

Factors specifically associated with intimate partner violence include:

– Past history of violence;
marital discord and dissatisfaction;

– Difficulties in communicating between partners.

Factors specifically associated with sexual violence perpetration include:

– Beliefs in family honour and sexual purity;
– Ideologies of male sexual entitlement; and
– Weak legal sanctions for sexual violence.

The unequal position of women relative to men and the normative use of violence to resolve conflict are strongly associated with both intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.

Health consequences

Intimate partner and sexual violence have serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for survivors and for their children, and lead to high social and economic costs.

Violence against women can have fatal results like homicide or suicide.
It can lead to injuries, with 42% of women who experience intimate partner reporting an injury as a consequences of this violence.

Intimate partner violence and sexual violence can lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynaecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The 2013 analysis found that women who had been physically or sexually abused were 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection and, in some regions, HIV, compared to women who had not experienced partner violence. They are also twice as likely to have an abortion.
Intimate partner violence in pregnancy also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies.

These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, emotional distress and suicide attempts.

The same study found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence were almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking. The rate was even higher for women who had experienced non partner sexual violence.

Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health.

Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviours in later life. It is also associated with perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).

Effect On Children

Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.
Intimate partner violence has also been associated with higher rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity (e.g. diarrhoeal disease, malnutrition).

Social and economic costs

The social and economic costs of intimate partner and sexual violence are enormous and have ripple effects throughout society. Women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.

Prevention and response

Currently, there are few interventions whose effectiveness has been proven through well designed studies. More resources are needed to strengthen the prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence, including primary prevention, i.e. stopping it from happening in the first place.

Regarding primary prevention, there is some evidence from high-income countries that school-based programmes to prevent violence within dating relationships have shown effectiveness. However, these have yet to be assessed for use in resource-poor settings. Several other primary prevention strategies: those that combine microfinance with gender equality training; that promote communication and relationship skills within couples and communities; that reduce access to, and harmful use of alcohol; and that change cultural gender norms, have shown some promise but need to be evaluated further.

To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies that:

– Address discrimination against women;
– Promote gender equality;
support women; and
– Help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms.

An appropriate response from the health sector can play an important role in the prevention of violence.
Sensitization and education of health and other service providers is therefore another important strategy.

To address fully the consequences of violence and the needs of victims/survivors requires a multi-sectoral response.

WHO actions

WHO, in collaboration with a number of partners, is:

– building the evidence base on the size and nature of violence against women in different settings and supporting countries’ efforts to document and measure this violence and its consequences.

This is central to understanding the magnitude and nature of the problem at a global level and to initiating action in countries;

– Strengthening research and research capacity to assess interventions to address partner violence
developing technical guidance for evidence-based intimate partner and sexual violence prevention and for strengthening the health sector responses to such violence;

– Disseminating information and supporting national efforts to advance women’s rights and the prevention of and response to violence against women; and

– Collaborating with international agencies and organizations to reduce/eliminate violence globally.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/

Gorski Books


Kava and Relapse

January 1, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author

This information on Kava is reproduced from a Medline Article http://m.medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/872.html

Introduction

Kava is mind altering and mood altering substance that produces an effect on the brain similar to sedative drugs such as Librium or Valium. They are cross addictive with other mood altering drugs. Many people use Kava as they move into relapse process thinking that it will be a free high with no adverse consequence.

Many treatment programs use drug testing regimes that will detect and report Kava use. Lava impairs judgment and impulse control and generally does not produce the desired high or the desired mood altering effect of the drug of choice.

As a result of impaired judgment or impulse control it is easier to rationalize going back to the use of their drug of choice. Using Kava is the start of active drug use episode. It is usually preceded by many early relapse warning signs.

You can do an evaluation of your relapse risk using The Aware Questionnaire

Midline Article On Kava

Scientific name: Piper methysticum
Rank: Species
Higher classification: Piper

Kava or kava-kava is a crop of the western Pacific. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan; other names for kava include ʻawa, ava, yaqona, and sakau. The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties.

What is kava?
Kava—or kava kava—is a root found on South Pacific islands. Islanders have used kava as medicine and in ceremonies for centuries.

Kava has a calming effect, producing brain wave changes similar to changes that occur with calming medicines such as diazepam (Valium, for example). Kava also can prevent convulsions and relax muscles. Although kava is not addictive, its effect may decrease with use.

Traditionally prepared as a tea, kava root is also available as a dietary supplement in powder and tincture (extract in alcohol) forms.

What is kava used for?
Kava’s calming effect may relieve anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. Kava may also relieve pain.

When taken for anxiety or stress, kava does not interfere with mental sharpness. When taken for sleep problems, kava promotes deep sleep without affecting restful REM sleep.

Kava may be used instead of prescription antianxiety drugs, such as benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants. Kava should never be taken with these prescription drugs. Avoid using alcohol when taking kava.

Is kava safe?
Kava may have severe side effects and should not be used by everyone. Kava has caused liver failure in previously healthy people. You should not use kava for longer than 3 months without consulting your doctor.

Before you use kava, consider that it:

Should not be combined with alcohol or psychotropic medicines. Psychotropic medicines are used to treat psychiatric disorders or illnesses and include antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Alcohol exaggerates kava’s sedating effect.
Can affect how fast you react, making it unsafe to drive or use heavy machinery.
May gradually be less powerful as you use it.
Eventually may cause temporary yellowing of skin, hair, and nails.
Can cause an allergic skin reaction (rare).
Long-term kava use may result in:

Liver problems.
Shortness of breath (reversible).
Scaly rash (reversible).
Facial puffiness or swelling (reversible).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has investigated whether using dietary supplements containing kava is associated with liver illness. Reports from Germany and Switzerland about kava causing serious liver problems have led to the recent removal of these products from shelves in Britain. Other countries have advised consumers to avoid using kava until further information is available.

In the United States, the FDA advises people who have liver disease or liver problems, or people who are taking medicines that can affect the liver, to consult a doctor or pharmacist before using products that contain kava. People who use a dietary supplement that contains kava and experience signs of illness should consult a doctor. Symptoms of serious liver disease include brown urine as well as yellowing of the skin or of the whites of the eyes. Other symptoms of liver disease may include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicine. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.

Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:

Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and nonprescription medicines or other supplements you might be taking. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make other health conditions worse.
The way dietary supplements are manufactured may not be standardized. Because of this, how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. The form of supplement that you buy in health food or grocery stores may not be the same as the form used in research.
Other than for vitamins and minerals, the long-term effects of most dietary supplements are not known.

Reference:
1. http://m.medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/872.html

2. http://www.thefix.com/content/mood-and-mind-altering-substances00417?page=all

Gorski Books


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