Tag Archives: #addiction

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and Chaplain Tammy understands that one in every four children lives in a family with parental alcoholism, causing adverse childhood experiences, leading to incarceration.

Children’s Mental Health Week ~ Tracing Your Family’s Cycle Of Alcohol Misuse Can Help Break The Generational Familial Cycle

Tracing Your Family’s Cycle Of Alcohol Misuse Can Help Break The Generational Familial Cycle

As we are writing our new programming for our residents at Folsom State Prison, one thing has become extremely heavy on my heart:  We have to stop hiding and denying our generational strongholds. 

Don’t we all want safer communities, unity and peace? 

I sure do!

Why are we so ashamed to dig in and start shifting the paradigm by talking about our struggles that led us into this mass incarceration fiasco through honest, open and transparent conversations?

Building healthy communities requires open communication, not hiding behind our facades/screens/pretentiousness.

My own personal tragedy opened my eyes to a need and cause worthy of all cost and exposure!  After all, there is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!

Having those shackles removed is liberating!

The longer we hide behind our Sunday facades of Christianity or pride, denying there’s a problem from the shame, judgment and fear, more lives will be lost.  We will never have peace and/or healing and each generation will become more volatile and violent. 

Our prisons are already filled with over 2.2 million broken beloveds. That’s not counting their families and those precious littles who’ll fall into hurting children grow into hurting adults, so it’s urgent we start transforming our prisons into healing centers.

This is why Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is dedicated to delivering ACE-aware curriculum that breaks the cycle of intergenerational and systemic trauma and crime merging both the good news of the gospel along with the proven neuroscience in collaboration with the ACEs Aware initiative.

Restoring broken lives through God’s Great Love infused with restorative justice practices in order to decrease criminal recidivism requires focusing on the effects of early life experiences and environmental change, and that includes the family and all of its dysfunction.

Show me “One Family”

that doesn’t have dysfunction!!!

We’re not doing anyone good by denying it; the struggle is real!

At Blameless we aim for Folsom State Prison to be an iconic symbol of healing and wholeness where all parties (staff, residents AND loved ones) transform culture through trauma-informed practices and resiliency.

Incorporating the families into the curriculum during this extensive isolation period is necessary in dealing with unresolved trauma, which includes addictive behaviors, an inability to deal with conflict, anxiety, confusion, depression or that innate belief that we have no value.

No Value?

Basic human need is belonging; knowing “I MATTER!”

Individuals who have the capacity for intimacy and connection believe that they belong and are connected to others are opportunities that usher in healing. We have to reestablish this safety zone.

This closeness should come through the family, right? We need our loved ones involved now more than ever as we campaign for 3,000 tablets for programming for each resident at FSP!

This is the story of our amazing Lord who meets us in our pain and is using every heartache for something bigger than we could ever ask for or imagine.

Jesus didn’t suffer so we would stay broken, He came to redeem lives and bring healing.

One thing we know about people who are traumatized, is that a supportive family and a sense of community lessens the impact of the trauma.  We need to become healing organizations and start valuing all of mankind.

Every life has value!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Forgiveness Practice

I decided to start this awareness campaign on Sunday since it’s generally celebrated as the Sabbath and admit, if I didn’t have an allergic reaction and sensitivity to alcohol, I’d be the first person to uncork a bottle of my favorite Jesus Juice any time. 

I’m not here to judge. I’m here to bring awareness to one trauma that fills up our state prisons along with watching a few of my own friends leaning into increased drinking due to the loneliness they’re feeling being socially distanced.

It took an allergic reaction a couple of years ago to help me understand the many underlining strongholds that are associated with addictive behaviors, like abuse and depression, that my own family lineage passed down.

Time to sever the dysfunction and that requires awareness and tools for identification!

Our prisons are filled with beloveds that have the highest ACE scores. With four or more ACEs, you’re seven times more likely to become incarcerated in your lifetime.

T.R.A.U.M.A.

As Dr. Robert Anda, Co-Principal Investigator on the ACE-Study, writes, “Growing up with alcohol abusing parents is strongly related to the risk of experiencing other categories of ACEs.” 

In other words, a parent’s alcohol misuse causes drinking behaviors; drinking behaviors cause secondhand drinking – the negative impacts of a person’s drinking behaviors on others, such as:

  • verbal, physical, emotional abuse;
  • neglect;
  • unpredictable behaviors;
  • parents separate or divorce;
  • alcohol-related domestic violence;
  • alcohol-related crime that results in incarceration.

These drinking behaviors, in turn, cause ACEs to a child, such as:

  • physical, verbal, sexual abuse
  • physical, emotional neglect
  • living with a problem drinker or alcoholic
  • parents separated or divorced
  • incarcerated family member.
  • domestic violence against one’s mother.

We encourage you to use this wonderful template that’s been created to trace a Family’s ACEs Tree (click here to download) hoping it will help you in understanding the familial cycle of alcohol misuse in your own family.

Please understand, we’re not suggesting that just because one knows their Family ACEs Tree excuses or even minimizes or erases the impacts of their own traumas, nor does it stop the triggers one still experiences as a consequence of those ACEs. 

Rather, we pray that it will help with the healing process, by developing pacifying and reassuring techniques to counter those impacts, and in time, to forgive — to forgive oneself and those whom hurt them so deeply.

And that forgiveness can be as simple as letting go of the yearning for a different outcome by understanding that everyone was doing the best they could with the tools they had at the time and/or what they knew at the time — which was likely — well, another novel.

Until next time…

Permission To Serve Without Reserve?

Blameless Helping Hands

Choosing To…

Serve Without Reserve!

When feeling unwanted, not cared for, unloved and forgotten by everyone…

I may not know you personally, but one thing I do know: You have been badly hurt in your life. You have heard words that have assaulted, even stung.  Words filled with hate and lies that you just can’t deny or shake off!  People have said and done mean and damaging things to you.

However, beloved, your past does not define you!

My heart pours into yours being a sister in Christ filled with compassion and understanding. You may not hear just how radiant and valuable you are, but you are! Your life does matter and the world needs what only you possess.  I appreciate how precious you are and everything you’ve taught me.

Thank you for teaching me how important God’s Great Love is!

As I turned the corner, our eyes met up; yours filled with shame, mine filled with joy and delight. You see, God answered my prayers. Your life means more to me than we dare to understand. I get you because I’ve been there. Felt that! Lived that!

God doesn’t want you crawling back into your shell. God wants to pour love into you and breathe life back into your dry bones. His Great Love! Our paths crossed so you might understand somebody sees you and that you’re not alone. You are being offered warmth and acknowledgement from a heart filled with love and compassion.

I understand it’s hard to trust others when you’ve been rejected, but grab a hold of the loving hand extended. You don’t have to hide any longer in fear or rejection. You no longer have to invite people into the inner parts of your heart that offer more sabotage and seduction than support just to exist.

Blameless Fear Not Isaiah 41.10

I may have never been homeless living on the streets, but I was just a paycheck away from it for many terrifying years being a single parent. We relate because I have lived through the chaos and poor decisions leading up to homelessness. I’ve experienced what it’s like being alone and abandoned.

God has placed people along your path who will treat your heart with care.

Understanding what hopelessness and paralyzing fear does to a beloved through attacking thoughts of not being enough and the shame that accompanies those lies is intense.

Beloved, there’s no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! Nothing you did cannot be forgiven. Receive the forgiveness as a strength, not a weakness.

God promises double for your trouble (shame) in Isaiah 61:7!

When we embraced, I could feel your desperate hold due to fear that turned cold. You shivered and hung onto me like an addict needing her fix. You grasped for air as your face was buried into my chest with tears that drowned and overwhelmed your soul. I am forever dressed in your tears that permeated my own soul.

Your hopelessness mirrors the darkness that exists due to a few bad choices and decisions. We all make mistakes. God will turn your ashes (pain and mistakes) into beauty if you will let go and learn from Him through them. 

Blameless Psalm 37.23

God wants us to run this race victoriously all the way to and through the finish line. He fights for us by sending support from others who will speak words of life, love and encouragement. A new family! ♥♥♥

Embracing God’s amazing grace offers us hope by guiding us out of the darkness with His strength. You don’t have to go at it alone. That’s why He crosses our paths with other beloveds. That’s the light that will help guide you out of your darkness!

Blameless Light Of Your Love

I am trying to love and emulate what Mother Teresa said about giving: “It is not about how much we give, but about how much love we put into giving.

I don’t understand why we’re so reluctant to reach out and extend a helping hand to those who are in need, but maybe it’s just fear.

I admit, there are times when I encounter others in need and I act like I’m blinded to it. I either don’t want to be inconvenienced or feel what little I have to offer really wouldn’t help much. Truth be told, that’s a sinful act of omission; failing to reach out and do good by helping another. 

Ouch!

Jesus commanded us to be on the lookout for such needs by showing compassion and pity without expecting anything in return. 1 John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

Serve Without Reserve

At least you looked at me and we shared a smile!

I wish we could bottle up all the love and grace that is extended to us before it disappears. I’m praying many others will choose to mirror the kingdom of God this side of heaven through choosing to serve without reserve.

Give Until It Hurts

When we help others, we live out what Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!