Winter 1995-1996 STRESS ALERT FOR THE WINTER HEATING SEASON Volume 1 Issue 1
Change of air quality from summer fresh air to cooked, possibly polluted indoor air. Less fresh air mixed in with the cooked, heated air, less oxygen and more carbon dioxide (used-up) air.
Less outdoor exercise, more buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, more anxiety.
Less sunshine, and this can bring on depression, called "seasonal affective disorder", SAD.
Less fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet, possibly more fatty foods and foods with cholesterol.
Starting around Thanksgiving, more sweets and fatty foods, more things that we know are not good for us, but we eat it anyway, for tradition.
Economic issues can come to the surface, arguments over how much to spend for Christmas presents, and it costs more just to keep warm in this weather.
In families that are already under stress caused by low wage jobs, or unemployment, these extra factors can push someone who can barely keep their temper under control over the boiling point.
And that is where you folks answering the 911 calls pick up the story. You do not know all of the story, who said what, who hit who, who isn't getting treated very fairly.
It must seem so hopeless, you arrested the man, because he is usually the one who hits, but he gets right back out of jail, and goes home, and it is the same old soap opera, all over again. Nothing ever changes, by getting him arrested.
You can never figure out why she stays with him, You end up blaming her for staying with him.
That is all there is for an answer. The criminal justice system does not have the answers.
If he is the breadwinner, what happens if you lock him up? How is she going to pay the bills? That doesn't seem to be the answer either.
Well, when you get ready to listen, I have a lot to tell you, about stress and how this can cause the bad behavior that you see in domestic violence, and once you step outside the usual criminal law mindset, and understand that people are not all good or all bad, but that even good people can act bad sometimes---in fact, they may act very grumpy when they need love the most---once you open up your rules and your procedures to alternative pro-active approaches, I am the one who has the answers you need.
I have lots of good ideas about how you can doing something real that might help most families, and you can start doing this as soon as you understand, about stress and nutrition, and how this sets the stage for bad behavior.
Before change comes understanding
I have lots of good ideas about how you can doing something real that might help most families, and you can start doing this as soon as you understand, about stress and nutrition, and how this sets the stage for bad behavior. After you understand, the solutions are easy.
The answer, thankfully, is YES.
You can find out if they have anything to eat in the house. You can get an idea of the kind of diet they eat, from a look in the refrigerator.
But, before you start onto this path, you must abandon the idea that you are going to find something to use against the person in court. It just will not work if that is your mindset.
You can find out if alcohol or drugs is part of the problem, but not for purposes of arrest. You have to step outside that mindset in order to be able to help them. Think of drug and alcohol abuse as self-medication for the utter bleakness of their hopes for the future, or for some, of self-medicating for undiagnosed head injuries or attention deficit disorder. Leave behind the search for evidence.
Hand them a waiver in writing, signed by you, saying that nothing that you find can be used as evidence against them. Tell them that you have some new answers now, and to find out if they will help we need some families to try the ideas out.
One thing not usually understood, is that some people, especially men, can have spasms in their cerebral arteries, that can be triggered by additives that are put in commercial beer and wine. If these are involved, make a note of which brand, and take one with you, not as evidence of their wrong-doing, but to test it for additives that can harm people, for instance, if too much was put into a batch.
You can check the indoor air quality, by noticing if the air is breathable when you first walk in. As we all tightened up our houses, we trapped ourselves inside with indoor air pollution and poor ventilation. This can definitely affect the brain and behavior, especially if there is any pre-existing brain injury.
You can notice if there are any unusual loud noises that cause auditory stress.
You can notice if there are any unvented gas-burning appliances, and you can check to see if there is a chance of "back-drafting", with two flue pipes competing for the control of the airflow. Opening a few cracks back up can help fix this. It might be possible sometimes to have a look at the heat exchanger of their furnace.
A crack there can be releasing carbon monoxide into the house. Look for a sooty residue around duct registers.
A new kind of stress, something that is not as easy to detect, is to be on the lookout for high levels of electromagnetic frequency radiation. I am still researching what people can do to protect themselves against this. Electronic gadgets are not just luxuries anymore.
We insist on becoming dependent upon them, so that they are a necessity, but they also give our energy bodies more random frequency noise than they were evolved to be exposed to.
You can ask about their ability to pay their bills. Is unemployment or low wages a stress on their marriage? Are they in bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings?
Are they remodeling their house? Dust or poor ventilation can cause unusual problems. The stress of unaccustomed disorder can affect the mind. Being pulled out of their usual unconscious habits can be dis-orienting.
Have they made a recent move? Just changing homes and cities can put them under a lot of stress.
Does anyone in the family have an old combat injury, especially that has affected their head?
Attention Deficit Disorder? Allergies? Breathing problems? Heart problems? These can all affect the brain and behavior.
Are they high school graduates? Many times, someone can improve their behavior after getting more education, which increases the interconnections between their neurons.
Any signs of fundamentalist Christians or other fanatical close-mindedness? These kinds of unresolvable contradictions can keep people tied in knots, that do not promote becoming centered and clear.
Be especially alert to any factors that influence indoor air quality, including electromagnetic radiation from electronic gadgets.
While you are in their house-- remembering that nothing that you see or hear can be used against them in a court of law---try to "tune in" to their ordinary reality, not the strange one that just erupted.
Many marriages exist on more than one plane; try to treat the violent one as a temporary insanity, due to some kind of stress. It is what I call a "false" universe, a reality that does not hold together in a regular pattern, like a temporary disturbance.
It is your task to find out what the stress factors are, and whether they are economically correctable. Stress depletes nutrients, especially neurotransmitters, and that affects behavior.
"Do you really want to prosecute or not?",
how would you like to have some real healing alternatives to offer a family in trouble?
How far does our society have to unravel, before the present anti-family stability epidemic can be seen for what it is----a reaction to stress?
How many bread-winners do we want to lock up and give them a criminal record, when there may be a more wholistic pro-active way to solve the problem?
How many children do we want to scar emotionally, from seeing their fathers handcuffed and taken off to jail?
What I am proposing is new, a fresh approach to family disturbance. Instead of treating the man (usually) like a pariah, which seems to work against family unity, why can't we discard our present mindset on this, and look for the real things that could be fixed, that would lower household stress, and would help him improve his behavior?
Aren't we endebted enough, building more and more prisons, trying to pursue this false doctrine of crime and punishment, and ignoring the reasons why so many men lose their tempers and hit: the tremendous stress that they are under.
Don't we have enough statistical studies telling us that the incidence of spousal abuse and child abuse rises in areas of high unemployment?
Ask yourself, who profits from this tragedy?
Why are we locked into this self-defeating cycle?
Why can't we seem to rise above this one misunderstanding?
Our present criminal justice system clearly is not working. Even worse, our mental health and social workers trained in outdated and obsolete slogans and blaming and labeling, what I call the "thought police", clearly are not the answer.
I am asking you to give this some deep thought, from now until the New Year.
Resolve to rise above these laws that clearly do not work.
corrections made 10/12/97