Friday, March 15, 2019

On Leaving Neverland

I'm watching Leaving Neverland and have mixed emotions.

First, I am also a survivor of sexual abuse, so it's hard for me to watch. It brings up raw feelings and memories that are painful – especially those of reporting my sexual abuse to others and being told I was lying (years later, most of those people apologized to me because they discovered I was telling the truth).

Second, I also know that accusations are not proof, and while most people who are abused are telling the truth, there are some who lie for fame, money, etc. The thing is, when you're sexually abused, there are usually NO witnesses FOR A REASON. Obviously, the abuser does NOT want witnesses. It makes things difficult because, without proof, it's one person's word against another's word.

Third, I am a huge Michael Jackson fan and I know he was never convicted of any sexual abuse. He was acquitted. Now, does that mean he didn't do it? No. It means he was found innocent in a court of law. But we all know that doesn't MEAN the person found innocent was truly innocent.

I always wanted to believe that MJ was misunderstood and that he was never truly guilty of the charges. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I couldn't bear to think that someone I admired and saw as incredibly talented was secretly a pedophile.

So now comes Leaving Neverland. I feel like I have to watch it no matter what – for my own edification. The other part of me also thinks, "The guy's been dead for a decade and they still can't leave him alone." The other side responds, "Yes, but if he DID do these things, the victims deserve to be heard and the truth to come out." But honestly, we will never know the absolute truth, because MJ is dead and it's never going to be more than weighing claims and charges by victims and others against a man who is no longer living and who took what really happened to his grave.

I'm torn because I can see many sides to this. What's also happening here is something in psychology that's called the Halo Effect, which is a cognitive bias in which one's overall impression of a person influences how we feel and think about that person's character. I have a positive overall impression of MJ and that has influenced how I see his character. But, as a sexual abuse survivor and knowing what it's like to have people not believe you when you tell them what happened, I remember the pain and hurt and can identify with others in that regard.

How many of you have watched Leaving Neverland? What were your impressions or thoughts afterward? This is a tough documentary to watch and I've had to pause it many times. Nonetheless, I will finish it. My emotions are in a jumble, though. That's the only thing I can say with certainty for right now.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

On Eugenia Cooney's extended absence

It's been about a month since Eugenia Cooney posted. Is she still alive? Is she actually in treatment, as widely reported? No clue. I don't regularly follow a ton of YouTubers or Instagrammers, but I first became aware of Eugenia a couple years ago and I've noticed her deteriorating condition ever since.

When I was a young journalism student, one of my first published (and paid) articles in the Colorado Springs Sun was about Anorexia Nervosa. I interviewed a local mental health professional about the condition. Bullying a person or telling them, "Just eat!" doesn't work. It's not that simple, folks. It's called an eating disorder for a reason.

My previous research on Anorexia Nervosa and ongoing studies in psychology are two reasons why I ended up finding out more about Eugenia and hoping she would get treatment. Over the months, she's lost even more weight despite her already extreme appearance.

Eugenia seems like a sweet young woman. She's about my daughter's age. The optimist in me hopes she can somehow turn her situation around and come out of this to live a healthier life, both physically and mentally.

The realist in me understands how the odds are stacked against her at this point. The memory of Karen Carpenter keeps popping up in my mind. What sad circumstances indeed. 😭

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Ladies, ya gotta love yourselves FIRST!

For women especially, it's difficult to love who we are. Most of us are overly critical of ourselves. I know I've always been that way – but I'm working on it. Sometimes all I see are the flaws, the mistakes, the ways I *should* look or *should* be, but am not.

Here's the thing: you've gotta learn to love yourself or you won't be in a space to fully love, support, and encourage others. I'm fortunate to have a husband who tells me multiple times a day how beautiful/amazing/sexy I am. He's more smitten with me than I've ever been with myself, so I cast a jaded glance in his direction when he tells me those things. Except he doesn't mean just looks – he tells me I'm a beautiful person as well. Nobody else may see me that way, but through his lens he does and he tells me every day, without fail.

All too often, I see other women and think, "Oh, her face is pretty and mine's so average' or 'she's so tall and I'm only 5'4'. I've always battled weight issues since I was a little girl, whereas some women were born a size 0 and stayed that way – they didn't have to eat a piece of fruit a day and nothing else to fit into that size 5 blue homecoming dress back in the day! By the way, that's incredibly unhealthy, so don't eat just one piece of fruit a day!

Then again, I'm just me and I have unique qualities nobody else has. There's only one Bev, and I like her better now than I ever have. Oh, I still have days when I lament what it would be like to be a trophy wife who looks great on someone's arm, but I guarantee you she doesn't have my personality. I'd rather have substance than a vapid, nonexistent personality and only looks to go on. Looks fade; personality lingers.

So, yeah, ladies. It's hard as hell, but keep working on loving yourself. It sets the foundation for opening up and loving others, as well as calling bullshit on yourself when you're not being as authentic as you should or could be. It's a lifelong journey that's not easy, but it's worth it. There's only one [insert your name here] in this world. Love who she is, flaws and all. Then let others know you love them, too – just as they are.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

[Quote] Roger Ebert: "This is all an elaborate hoax."

"The one thing people might be surprised about—Roger said that he didn't know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: 'This is all an elaborate hoax.' I asked him, 'What's a hoax?' And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can't even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once."
–Chaz Ebert, Roger Ebert's wife

The unexplained/paranormal will eventually be explained by science

Image source: Pixabay/Genty 1
Excerpt of a conversation I had with Shawna Kimble a short while ago:

I believe we continue to exist as consciousness because energy is never destroyed, it simply transforms*. I don't believe in a heaven or a hell, though. I DO believe that nothing is truly paranormal, even though for now we call it that because science has yet to explain certain things (but eventually, it will).

So, everything is natural and can/will be explained by science and the connections will all be made -- but certainly not by the time I'm still here on earth. I do believe in a strong case for reincarnation mainly due to the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. I believe there's nothing 'woo woo' about it and it, too, is explained by science.

I'm not sure if ghosts are ghosts or something else and we don't know what else to call it. We've had way too many weird/inexplicable experiences that could not be explained by mundane means. As in EVPs where I was addressed by name, for instance.

My beliefs and ideas are always changing and evolving based on new information I discover. So, I'm open to many things and will remain that way.

I think quantum physics is magickal, as is science. Magick, to me, IS science. So, it's all natural and will be proven/explained at some point.

Roger Ebert's deathbed assertion that 'it's all a hoax' has haunted me ever since I heard about it. I want to know what is really happening and how we've allegedly been hoaxed.

The world -- and beyond -- is far more complex and mysterious than we can ever imagine, and that excites me. I want to believe. BUT all things are natural, even though on the surface many experiences/events seem otherwise.

It is by science that we will ultimately unlock and understand the amazing and sublime mysteries and essence of our existence and beyond.
*The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another. The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. ... In the process of energy transfer, some energy will dissipate as heat.
LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS…/farabee/biobk/BioBookEn…

~Bev Sninchak,
Founder & Co-Team Lead
Colorado Springs Paranormal Association (C.S.P.A.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019. Make it what you want!

For me, 2019 will be more about enjoying experiences instead of stressing myself out over superficial markers or goals that make me resistant to the entire process. If I don't enjoy the process, why bother in the first place? No, I'm going to enjoy 2019 and approach it in a different way than I have many other years. There will be no list, no goal sheet, no set of markers to hit or attain.

For example, instead of setting a goal of reading X number of books this year and trying to hit a set, artificial goal, I'm simply going to read for pleasure without feeling like I'm punching a tote board for something I already intend to do for pleasure/knowledge.

I accomplish more and do better when I don't feel like every single thing I do has to be tied to a marker or 'have to' of some type. In fact, looking back on when I was most productive, it was when I WANTED to do certain things instead of being under the gun or pressure to perform for someone or something else. Therefore, I'm going to be creative and pursue my passions because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to.

If I don't finish writing a book this year, so be it. If I don't plow through 50 books or more this year, so be it. I want to enjoy the process of living, learning, and creating. To savor the journey and not just pass over the experience en route to a destination for the sake of it.

If you're like me, you have enough have-tos in your life already with work and regular life responsibilities. Engaging in hobbies or leisurely activities that bring you comfort and joy should be about that sense of peace, relaxation, and pleasure, which loops us back to cultivating more hygge in my life.

However you decide to shape and design YOUR 2019, I hope the new year delivers you the well-being you seek in whatever form that takes.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

[Dream] Letterman shows me the world — and we visit Neil Gaiman

In a new episode of "What the Hell Did Bev Dream About This Time?", I was treated to a vivid dream where David Letterman took me all over the place to see interesting things and people. It was like I was his assistant or something.

Along the way, my clothes got messed up, so I was forced to continue the journey wrapped in a towel. This made me uncomfortable and nervous, but Letterman paid it no mind as he had lots to show me on our trip.

Eventually, we ended up at a venue where Neil Gaiman (one of my favorite authors) was having his latest work presented (I believe it was in movie form). I was upset about still not having any clothes to wear, and especially since Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite people and, quite frankly, I had a crush on him. How embarrassing!

Soon after this turn of events, my alarm went off and I didn't get to finish the dream. Bummer! It was a fun, interesting, and realistic dream, so up till the time I woke up I enjoyed it immensely. David Letterman and Neil Gaiman in the same dream? MOST EXCELLENT!