This was on my mind ...

Its On Us

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It’s On Us

Sooner Than We Think

 

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It IS on us, just like Joe Biden said. ItIsOnUs.org.

It is on us to step up and step in when we see the potential for abuse.

I’d like to take it one step further though. I think it is on us to step in sooner. Changing the culture requires a comprehensive approach with an audience that’s young. That’s why I am on the board of GoPurple.Org. a non-profit organization that sponsors a program called Bloom365.

Bloom365 is a 7-day, school-based educational program that addresses the epidemic of abusive relationships by targeting its root causes. Abusive relationships can take many forms from bullying, teen dating abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault to workplace harassment and stalking behaviors.

Abusers and their victims often learn the behaviors that lead to those roles early in life. Bloom365 intervenes at the middle school level. It teaches young people about healthy relationships, empathy and boundaries. Meanwhile, we serve as a conduit to safety for those in the school that are already being abused. We hand out cards in the beginning if they want to write a confidential note. These are the things we see:

 

“I did not realize that if he choked me that I have a good chance of getting killed.”

“I am afraid to go to the mall with my friends because he gets so jealous. What do I do?”

“She keeps stalking me and has threatened to hurt herself if we break up. I did not know I should tell someone about this.”

We also get a glimpse of those who might be struggling with insecurity, depression and the effects of experiencing or being exposed to abuse and get an early opportunity to intervene. They send us things like this:

“You know that empathy thing you keep talking about? Well, I don’t have any. Nobody cares about me and I don’t care about anybody else.”

“Now it all makes sense. I understand why my mom doesn’t leave, she’s stuck in a cycle.”

“I just realized that my first boyfriend coerced me to have sex with him and that is considered rape. I wasn’t ready and did not want to do it, by the said he would find someone else. So, I did it.”

We don’t just educate and go though. Upon conclusion, Bloom365 leaves behind avenues for on-going involvement and continuing student participation in an effort to help create a new generation of adults fluent in the behavioral language of healthy relationships thereby decreasing relational abuse.

I know it sounds like a herculean task, changing the way we see relationships in general. But Bloom365 has been evaluated by the Arizona State University Morrison Institute fir Public Policy and is shown to be effective at changing attitudes, increasing knowledge and motivating teens to break the cycle before it starts. What if we implemented something like this countrywide?

We can effect mass cultural change; we’ve done it before. Remember when we jumped all over seat belts and smoking, targeting a generation of young people across the board to change habitual behavior? When I was young there was no seat belt use and smoking was welcomed everywhere restaurants, planes, you name it. Things change when we get serious and start early.

Abuse starts sooner than you think. It begins in the hearts and minds of both the abusers and the abused when they are young and forming ideas about what’s right and wrong. Because peers exert more influence on each other during their adolescent years than at any other time, we should start addressing the situation sooner than we do. In addition to stepping in when it’s about to happen or responding when it’s over what would happen if we made a concerted effort to keep it from happening at all.

That’s why I support Bloom365. Go to http://www.gopurple.org and see what we do.

 

Come Bloom with us!

 

Me By the Numbers

Me By the Numbers

Judge Lynn Toler

Age: 56

Height: 5’1”

Weight: 5 pounds more than I’d like. 10 pounds more than my mother would like.

Kids: 6 (4 that came pre-assembled; 2 BigE and I made from scratch)

Years on Divorce Court: 9

Years on the bench before Divorce Court: 8

Years Married: 27

Years Happily Married: less than 27 more than 15: (not bad I’d say)

Number of Siblings: 1

Number of Siblings that I am taller than: 1

Shoe size: 5

Shoe Count: indeterminate and growing.

Twitter Followers: 27,000

Facebook Fans: 400,000+

Instagram Followers: 1500

Books Published: 3

Unfinished books looming on my hard drive: 5

Hours a day I say I’m going to write but don’t: 3

Average time spent in the grocery store: 15 minutes

Visits to grocery store each week: 6 (I think we all can see the problem here)

Minutes I can talk on the phone before I get cranky: 7

Days a week I play tennis: 0 (I hurt myself and I’m mad about it.)

Days a week I would like to play tennis: 7

Jobs I have: More than 3 less than 10 (Frankly, I’m unsure)

Number of things I am grateful for: Too many to count.

How to Fight the Feeling
What 20 is For

“You’re 20!

If I had 20 back oh, what a mess I’d make.

20 is for you. 20 is for growth. 20 is for the pursuit of a tomorrow that is better than today. 20 is for options. 20 is for passion and knowledge and enjoyment.

It is not for continuous compromise. It is not a time to say this is the guy that I gotta make it with, because this is the guy that I have. And no matter what compromises, no matter what I don’t like, no matter what he does, I have to put up with it, because he’s my man.

20 is for firing dudes when they don’t act right.

20 is for figuring out what you like in certain men. 20 is for finding what kind of men are out there and which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to discard.

It’s not for picking up other people’s clothes, it’s not for sticking it out when you’re not enjoying it anymore. 20 is opportunity to move onward, upward, forward. Get a large life so that even if a dude doesn’t end up in it, you still enjoy it.

20 is for creating all of that potential, not just compromising your way into the corner of a closet somewhere, wondering what the heck happened? You don’t have any children, you’re beautiful. You’re working, working at a gas station. Nothing wrong with it. But at your time off, don’t be looking to spend time with him. Go look to spend time with some books and your brain, to get a new degree. So that you could put the gas station in your rear view mirror as you step forward into some other kind of existence, that won’t include him!”

Ella Escapes Her Ersatz E-Life … Love in the Shadows of Social Media

Virtually Ignored

                                       by Lynn Toler

                     I.

I am engaged in a virtual battle
with women I never see.

Enticed. Seduced.
Snap-chatted.
Induced.

An invisible army declared war on me.

I saw that share.
They’re everywhere
in multi-platform pursuit.

Contact, painless.
Conduct, shameless.
A snap, a click
and now some chick
has shown you all of her.

It was unrequested
but then you kept it.
So tell me, where’s the line?
How can I defend a border
no one can define?

                    II.

From inconsistent to
intermittent …
then to not at all,

You flickered, then faded.
Now you’ve made it
your business to be
anywhere but here.

Like a singer, inhaling between phrases,
I paused in your absence.
Holding my breath whenever you left
exhaling upon your return.

Love … babies.
Tomorrows … maybes.
Just what I wanted to hear.

Love … babies.
Tomorrow … No maybes.
Anything to keep me near.

I handled my business
or so I thought.
You took my love
… and the things I bought.

  A dabble here,
a message there.
It was, you said, just fun.
People out there do that.
But then there was that one.

Caught up in the winds of your wants,
carried off by the parts she flaunts,
this woman who once blew by blew in.
Now I’m on my own again.

Love … babies.
Tomorrow? Maybe.
Me? one of several verses, I’ve found

Love … babies.
Tomorrow … maybe.
You sang that chorus all over town.

                    III.

I would like to just let it go.
You know,
walk off without a thought.
But with so many in common,
I’m electronically haunted.
It’s luxury I haven’t got.

I see you, hear you, know who you talk to
whether I want to or not.

Keeping up with what folks do
I find my self,
by myself,
searching for a piece of you.

Your trail consumes me.
It’s hard to resume me.

I await every installment
without involvement.
Imagination, untethered.
I weather
a storm of disregard.
I never knew the wind of wanting could blow
so bitter and so hard.

With one click I work the hurt.
Stuck in a mire of maybe.
A friend of a friend
on Instagram
says she is having your baby.

There are so many ways you don’t reach for me.

I am

Ignored. Defeated.
Not shared.
Deleted.

So I watch the show, you know
that episodic and sad theme song,
staring you and whoever’s new
entitled “I’ve Moved On”.

                      IV.

Not down
because you’re not around.
Still speaking
because you are not my sound.
Unbowed because
you are not my king.
Still in the game
because of the strength I bring.

The baby in my arms
… a piece of you, that’s true.
But now I’m stronger
so I no longer
find my Peace in you.

There are so many ways I have to sustain me.

My tomorrow is not a sorrow.
I look forward to it.
It’s options and opportunity.
I’ll do far more
than just get through it.

Praying. Earning.
Not mourning.
Learning.

Just being.
It’s freeing.
Possibilities? Teeming.

Beginning today, everyday
will be better than yesterday.
I have passions to pursue
joys to get to.

I am embarking on better times.

More from JudgeLynn

Divorce Court

Speaking

Words

Best of Judge Lynn

Books

You’ve asked. She’s answered. In Dear Sonali, Judge Lynn speaks to all the young women who call her Mom2 or the Auntie in their Head.

My Mother's Rules" is a humorous, easy to follow self-help guide to managing your emotional life.

Using lessons learned on the bench along with humorous anecdotes from her own 30 year marriage, Judge Lynn Toler wrote "Making Marriage Work" as a logical and simple guide to bringing back the practicality lost in relationships over the years.

Connect with Judge Lynn

Its On Us

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

************************************** It’s On Us Sooner Than We Think       It IS on us, just like Joe Biden said. ItIsOnUs.org. It is on us to step up and step in when we see the potential for abuse. I’d like to take it one step further though. I think it is on us to step […]

Me By the Numbers

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in This was on my mind | No Comments

Me By the Numbers Age: 56 Height: 5’1” Weight: 5 pounds more than I’d like. 10 pounds more than my mother would like. Kids: 6 (4 that came pre-assembled; 2 BigE and I made from scratch) Years on Divorce Court: 9 Years on the bench before Divorce Court: 8 Years Married: 27 Years Happily Married: less […]

What 20 is For

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017 in This was on my mind, Uncategorized | No Comments

“You’re 20! If I had 20 back oh, what a mess I’d make. 20 is for you. 20 is for growth. 20 is for the pursuit of a tomorrow that is better than today. 20 is for options. 20 is for passion and knowledge and enjoyment. It is not for continuous compromise. It is not […]

Ella Escapes Her Ersatz E-Life … Love in the Shadows of Social Media

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in This was on my mind, Uncategorized | No Comments

Virtually Ignored                                        by Lynn Toler                      I. I am engaged in a virtual battle with women I never see. Enticed. Seduced. Snap-chatted. Induced. An invisible army declared […]