Teen Dreams!

Providing a safe, comfortable space for teen girls between 13 and 19 to discuss their hopes, dreams, fears, and worries. Martyn A. Dell is a life coach specializing in coaching teen girls to become strong, confident, and beautiful young women. Martyn displays a warm, empathetic, non-judgmental attitude that makes all who visit feel welcome and cared for.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

An abuse of trust

Hello beauties:

I'm back after taking a couple of days off from posting. I'm considering moving my blog to another platform so I'm going to do some more research into it.

I caught a few minutes of renegadepress.com which is a Canadian TV show. The storyline tonight had a female teacher having an affair with a male student. Pretty topical right now when it seems like every time we turn around there is another adult being charged with molesting a child. It's sick!

"Relationships" such as these are wrong on so many levels. For one thing, there is an imbalance of power between the child and the adult. This means that anything the adult does with the child is exploitation, plain and simple. There can never be equality between a child (or teenager) and an adult.

On another level, adults have the ability to make choices clearly. Something that children and teenagers do not based on their life's experiences. When an adult chooses to molest a child they do so with the full knowledge that they are doing something wrong (and illegal.) Most don't care because they want the instant gratification of relieving their needs on an innocent child.

Adults will sometimes use the fact that the child enjoyed the encounter as an excuse that the child "wanted it". This is so wrong! Sexual contact can be very pleasurable and the child or teenager may enjoy it but that doesn't give the molester the right to take advantage of the child. It is not consensual because the underaged child cannot consent.

People that molest children and teenagers are disturbed and they do not have boundaries. It doesn't matter if the molester is male or female. A female molester is just as sick as a male one.

What is especially heinous is a molester that is in a position of authority over a child (i.e. a teacher, priest, club leader etc.) These people have a duty to protect and nurture children and to help them grow up to be productive members of society. Tragically, a molested child gets stunted. They are scarred for life. Now this isn't to say that they cannot get over the abuse and move on but they have an extra burden to carry while they navigate the treacherous waters of adolescence and young adulthood. This is a burden that no child should have to bear.

I'm going to get off my soapbox now.

Hugs to you!

Martyn

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Suicide is a permanent solution!

Hello beautiful ones!

Tonight I had a mind blowing experience. My wonderful mentor, coach, and friend held another class with University of Masters (where she is a master teacher). Tonight's topic was suicide and how we can help prevent it. It was just an amazing, eye-opening class.

The class brought back some memories that I try not to think of too often. They are painful and I don't like to be reminded of them because they show me at my most vulnerable point. I've mentioned before that my teenage years were pretty miserable. I often thought of killing myself. I wished I was dead. I used to look in the mirror and think that I was just the most colossal waste of space. I loathed myself and everything about me. I was wracked with guilt, shame, and self disgust.

Thankfully, the Universe had other plans for me and my life. I can think of a couple of things that got me through those dark days. One was my love for reading. Through books, I got a glimpse of the outside world and I think, subconsciously, I knew that there was something better out there waiting for me.

My other salvation was the love and acceptance of my friend Susan. I've mentioned her before. I used to help her with her housework on Friday nights. Most weeks we would just sit and talk. She would listen to my hopes and fears and give me unconditional support and encouragement. She was an amazing role model for me and I loved her dearly.

Suicide is a tragedy for all involved, the victim and the ones left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. There is such stigma attached to the topic of suicide. Victims are thought to be selfish. Really, they are in pain and the only option that they see for themselves is to end their suffering. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.

Please, if you are having thoughts of death or suicide, reach out for help. There are wonderful people willing to take you by the hand and lead you into the light. You don't have to do it alone.

If you know of someone who is talking about death or suicide, take them seriously. They have given you the gift of a sign that they are crying out for help. Don't ignore the sign. Take any talk of suicide very seriously and contact a trusted adult or professional.

I'd like to leave you with the chorus of one of my favourite songs.

"Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life"

The Fray "How To Save a Life" 2005

Here are some final thoughts that might make you feel better if you are entertaining thoughts of ending your life. You are beautiful. You are unique. There is no one else like you in the world and you cannot be replaced. If you were to end your life, there is no one else that could take your place because you are irreplaceable! You are a gift to the world. The world needs your talents and we are waiting for you to make your beautiful mark on the planet! Remember that you are loved and that, above all, you have value.

Sending you the biggest possible virtual hug,

Martyn

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How many wives can one man have?

Hello lovely ones!

I've just finished watching In God's Country. It stars Kelly Rowan (from the O.C.) as Judith, a woman married to a man with 7 other wives. She had 5 children of her own and her husband (her second) had 48 other children.

One of Judith's children, Charlotte, falls in love with a young man and wants to marry him but she is forbidden to because she is "supposed" to marry an older man, namely her stepfather.

Freedom of religion is one of the rights that we have. Everyone has the basic right to express their faith in whatever way they see fit. Polygamy, however, is illegal in both Canada and the U.S. Polygamous sects have been raided and the men charged with various offences like sex with minors.

I would have no qualms about men marrying more than one wife. Hey, whatever floats your boat. Not for me but who am I to judge. However, polygamist societies marry their girls off really young (there was talk of marrying off the 12-year old daughter of Kelly's character Judith) and they treat their women and children as possessions. I have a problem with that. Women and children are people and not property. And 12 is too young to be marrying anyone!

What I find really sad about this kind of society is that their women are prevented from getting an education. Judith didn't go past the 7th grade. In my opinion, education is crucial for a young person's development. When children are denied an education, I think their growth gets stunted. This does not make them productive members of society.

Well, I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening to my rant. That was a good movie and brought up some strong opinions. I love a movie that can do that!

Hugs,

Martyn

Monday, January 22, 2007

Community and Belonging

Hello gorgeous!

I am so excited today! I have had the best weekend. You know (because I've told you many times - like a broken record LOL) that I'm searching for my authenticity. I'm doing a lot of reading, writing, watching videos, and thinking as I process all that I'm learning. All this work has been fantastic, inspiring, and thought-provoking but there was something missing.

What's missing is the opportunity to talk about what I'm discovering and to get support that way. Now, this isn't to say that my friends have not been supportive because they have been. My coach, also, has been amazingly encouraging (in fact, she was the catalyst for my decision to start this journey to self awareness). So even though I have people in my life that I can talk to, they cannot really understand what I'm thinking and feeling because it is not in their realm of possibility. This is not to put them down or anything but they cannot walk a mile in my shoes because they don't feel as I do.

The reason that I'm so excited today is that I found two groups here in London where I can find people who understand me and what I'm feeling. I've been searching for resources like this for almost 7 weeks now and it just seemed like I was never going to find them. I was skirting around the periphery but I never landed in the middle. It's like a whole new community has opened up before me and I have the possibility of being accepted with open arms.

Community is really important to me for that sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. After all, "No man is an island." I think it was Ernest Hemingway that said that. I've felt so alone in my struggles for self acceptance, not all the time but a good deal of the time. Now it's time to reach out for the support and kinship that I crave with like-minded people. It's time to expand my horizons, network, and have fun.

I wish for you the greatest sense of belonging possible!

Hugs,

Martyn

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sex, Politics, and Religion - The 3 Taboos

Hello lovely ones!

I have a question for you today. Why is it that sex, politics, and religion are considered impolite topics for conversation? I have a theory about this. Everyone has their own opinion on these matters and no one likes to be told that their opinion is the wrong one. To spare the controversy that these things elicit, it was considered rude to discuss them in public in earlier days. Now it seems like anything goes and all topics are discussed in public. This is a good thing I think.

I've talked before about truth. In the coaching world there is the client's truth, the coach's truth, and the factual truth. We all have our own personal truths and they are filtered by our backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, judgments, and values. We like to think that our truth is the only RIGHT one. We often don't want to see that there is another truth out there that may be very different from our own.

Sex, religion, and politics are the ones that are most controversial because there are so many different points of view. Each of us has her own beliefs on each of these topics. What I learned long ago, way before I started my coach training, was to respect other people's opinions as long as they didn't encroach on mine. I have my own personal beliefs about sex, politics, and religion and if asked, I will share them. I do not, however, go pushing my opinions onto others. That would be rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful.

It's important to know where you stand when it comes to these three controversial matters. Only you can decide for yourself what your beliefs are. Other people may try to influence you but you have the ultimate say in what you believe to be true for yourself. Know your beliefs! Know yourself! Your opinion matters and it is your's alone!

Hugs,

Martyn

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Seabiscuit

Hello gorgeous!

I just finished watching Seabiscuit. That was a really good movie. Very inspiring. The underlying theme was overcoming adversity and going on to do your very best.

If you're not familiar with the story, it's about a racehorse named Seabiscuit who was on the verge of being put down when he was rescued by a loner named Tom. Charles, torn by grief at the death of his young son and abandoned by his wife, buys Seabiscuit and hires Red, a young jockey, to ride the horse.

These three men and the horse create a pseudo family united by the goal of having Seabiscuit win races. The efforts of Seabiscuit and his team united a nation during the dark days of the Great Depression. People were looking for any possibility of hope and something to believe in. They found hope in Seabiscuit.

Both Seabiscuit and Red overcame potentially crippling injuries to compete again in another race despite the risks. That shows true courage.

When you watch a movie like that you kind of have to ask yourself what you would do to achieve your goals. Would you risk your health? Would you risk being permanently disabled? What are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals? If the goal is important enough to you, nothing should stand in your way. Answers to these kinds of questions can determine your committment to the goal.

So, beautiful ones, what are you willing to do to achieve your goals?

Hugs,

Martyn

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dreams

Hello beautiful ones!

Here's another quote from Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul. The late Erma Bombeck, America's beloved humourist, said "It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else." Very true, Erma!

When we show our dreams to someone else we never really know what kind of reaction we're going to get. We could get any emotional response from the other person like ridicule, disgust, happiness, joy, enthusiasm, or confusion. There really is no limit to the different reactions that people can have when faced with someone's dream.

Sometimes people will try to put down our dreams because it disrupts the status quo and they don't like change. Other times, people will be jealous because we have dreams that they don't have or they are afraid that our dreams are more important than they are.

What we have to remember when we have a dream is that it is ours and we must protect and nurture it. We have to let the dream grow and come to being. Our dreams are sacred. They are a gift from the Universe.

If we choose to share our dreams with others, we must be prepared to defend them. I've had to do this with my mother. I told her that I found out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (coaching) and she said "Martyn, you're dreaming!" There was such disgust in her voice as she reacted to my news. I hope so! If I can't dream I think I would rather be dead.

I'll admit it, I have big dreams for my future. I know I'm going to achieve them, too. I'm not going to let anything or anyone stop me. This is my life we're talking about here and I'm the mistress of my own destiny. I get to choose how I want to live my life and what I want to accomplish and experience.

You, dear one, have the same opportunity to make your life what you want it to be. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be anything that you want. You deserve to have a life as wonderful and unique as your beautiful self. So dream those big dreams! Believe in yourself! The world is open to you and is just waiting for you to make your precious mark on it. Go make it!

Hugs,

Martyn