The great Ouija board debate

Posted by Jessica Jewett 7 Comments »

Recently, I saw a discussion involving a woman who burned her Ouija board in an effort to put a stop to paranormal activity happening in her home. Some people said burning the Ouija board was the wrong thing to do. Some people said burning it was the right thing to do. Others said getting rid of it wasn’t going to solve the problem.

I have seen the Ouija board debate rage on for my entire life. Some say they’re just toys. Some say they’re inherently evil. Based on my experiences, I would say they’re neither a simple toy, nor are they tools of the devil, but they are certainly not meant for the inexperienced. As a 16 or 17-year-old girl, people brought an Ouija board to a party at my house and, being the impetuous teenager that I was, I decided it would be fun. About a year later, I had to move across town because the activity unleashed in that home was out of control. I made the fatal mistake that everyone new to the paranormal makes – I let my ego decide that I could control things even though I had nowhere enough education to even think about touching an Ouija board. When you play with any divination tool without proper training, you’re opening doors to allow any kind of entity in your life no matter if you asked for it or not. Without that proper training, you’re not going to know how to establish proper energy boundaries and you’re not going to know how to close those doors and banish whatever came through. That kind of thing happens a lot.

But are Ouija boards themselves inherently evil? I say not necessarily. Here’s why.

I don’t feel that any divination tools are problems on their own, just like a gun or a knife isn’t a problem by itself. It’s only when people use the objects for misguided or bad purposes do they become dangerous. Ouija boards, tarot cards, dowsing rods, digital recorders, cameras, etc., are simply objects until people put energy and intent behind them. Using any object as a focus point in opening/closing spiritual doors can either be dangerous or not depending on the level of experience the user has, as well as their intent in doing it. I could go grab a straw out of the jar in my kitchen right now and focus intent and energy on it, declaring that spirits can pass through the straw to communicate with me here. Then a simple piece of plastic becomes a divination tool. So in my experience, no object is more dangerous alone than any other. It’s the people who focus that energy of inexperience and lack of education that will unintentionally facilitate things getting out of control.

So what should you do when you accidentally get in over your head?

Ridding homes of divination tools is a start. It doesn’t really matter how you get rid of it. However, it doesn’t completely correct the problem. The doorways are still open and the energy walls (also known as boundaries) are still down. How do you fix a levee once it bursts open? You can never completely stop the water from coming through but you can slow it down and get better control over it. My suggestion is to give unwanted divination tools to people like RobertMurch.com who collect Ouija boards and know how to handle them. Then begin the slow process of trying to repair energy walls around the property and closing all open spiritual doors. Like I said though, once a levee bursts open, it’s almost impossible to completely close it again. Once you start dabbling in the paranormal, you become more susceptible to it and you may never completely escape activity. Think very carefully about looking into the unknown because the unknown is never going to forget your face.

I don’t really know if there is a situation in which using an Ouija board is necessary. I haven’t used one since that party. Very few investigators that I know have used them on a regular basis as there are better ways to establish contact. I’m not going to be one of those people wagging my finger and saying don’t ever touch one but I encourage all of you to seek a good mentor and proper education before doing anything with the paranormal. Education is the key.

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Sticks and stones

Posted by Jessica Jewett 4 Comments »

This person pictured at left is Ann Coulter.

Now you know why I’m here writing a blog called Sticks and Stones.

The truth is, I dream of a world where words like retard, cripple, cunt, nigger, kyke, homo, queer, gook, dyke, etc., no longer exist for people like Ann Coulter to use as bullying weapons.

There is an argument to be made that those words don’t really mean anything unless people feel hurt or anger about them. In other words, the words are just words and have no power until people attach negative connotations. I do agree with that but only to a certain extent. If you have ever been on the receiving end of those words repeatedly hitting you like bullets, one of two things will happen. You will either become tough to the point of not feeling anything anymore, or you will become so debilitated by the abuse that you never recover. That’s where suicides due to abuse and bullying happen. You cannot deny that it’s a real problem in the world, especially among young people.

In order to correct the problem of verbal bullying, it has to start with the adults setting the examples for the children. Like it or not, children are exposed to the media every day and it is evryone’s responsibility to teach them compassion. Children learn faster by watching the example of their elders than they do being told rules and ordered to follow them. A child growing up in an abusive environment is much more likely to grow up to be abusive and follow that example. These are facts.

When I was a child, I was bullied in school for multiple reasons. I was in a wheelchair, I wore glasses, I was shy and I was a bookworm. Added to that, the fact that I was a child medium got around as well. To suggest that I was bullied is an understatement. I didn’t really know any other way to live, so being bullied meant that I became a bully for a short time as well. There was a boy who was even less popular than I was named Omar. He was from a very conservative family and I think they were either Indian or some type if Middle Eastern. He was a classic geek and a momma’s boy as well. These were things he was raised to be and had no conception that he wasn’t cool until we started teasing him. Every day for a few years, we called him names and made fun of him in countless ways. Now, as a grown woman, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that boy a little bit and wish I could take back my part in it. I was called crippled and lots of other things, so I took it out on him. Of course I didn’t know I was taking my own bullying out on him at the time. I was too young to understand.

That is exactly why children need to be taught by example. The cycle isn’t going to break unless we change the way we speak to each other and show our children how to be compassionate.

So while we do have freedom of speech in this country and people have the right to express themselves in any manner that they choose, is it really okay? Is it okay to spew out words that have caused scores of people to hate themselves to the point of wanting to kill themselves? No. There are more intelligent ways to express disagreements than spewing hatful words at each other that accomplish nothing more than proving who can hurt who the most. Really think about it – what does name calling accomplish? If we expect our children to grow up to be intelligent and compassionate, then why are we not living up to our own expectations? Articulation and language has continued to devolve over the years in America to the point where we sound uneducated more than we have in prior generations. Only conscious decisions to favor compassion and articulate discussion over verbal bashing and insults will provide good examples for the children we don’t want growing up to be bullies.

Someone like Ann Coulter is very smart in the way that she knows exactly what she’s doing with her bullying language. It gets her headlines. It puts her on Fox News. However, she’s a perfect example of how furthering yourself sets a terrible example for those in generations beneath her. Just posting this blog gives people like her attention but I had to do it in order to make my point.

The next time you feel the urge to call someone a bullying name, thing about two things. One, think about the times you were called names and hurt by abusive language. Do you really want to perpetuate the cycle? Two, ask yourself if you’re really furthering your argument by using abusive language. I’m willing to bet that it doesn’t do a thing to help your argument but just makes you look tougher. We all need to work every day to become better people and compassion is one of the most important traits to develop. Not conditional compassion. Real compassion.

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Write for Arthrogryposis!

Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »

Okay, loyal readers, I’m putting out a call for help.

As you know, I have a rare and difficult congenital condition known as Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. Every year, there is a conference for parents with children who have this condition as well as adults with it. I have never attended the conference, but I was told that a doctor in attendance, Dr. Hall, called on everyone to begin a letter writing campaign to Congress and the Senate encouraging approval of federal and state funding for research and development of standard medical treatment.

You see, Arthrogryposis is a condition that has virtually no notoriety, no proper research, no celebrity patron, no nothing on a standardized level. Why, you may ask, is it important for there to be funding for research? For starters, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) means multiple joint contractures present at birth. A joint contacture is a joint that lacks normal range of motion, or in other words, is stiff and/or curved. More than 3 joints have to affected in 2 areas of the body to have a diagnosis of AMC. Approximately 30% of newborns with Arthrogryposis will die within the first few months of life because they have a lethal form of the condition that causes nervous system dysfunction. There are roughly 400 types of Arthrogryposis, and 1/3 of those cases are classified as Amyoplasia Arthrogryposis, which is non-genetic and nobody has a clue of what causes it or why.

In other words, it’s absolutely inexcusable that there hasn’t been enough proper research to at least develop a better medical treatment system than the experimentation we all went through as children. I was born about five years before any doctors remotely knew what to do, which meant that I was shipped to different hospitals in different states looking for somebody who could help. I don’t even know which type of Arthrogryposis I have. I’ve had roughly 18 surgeries beginning before my first birthday. Most were deemed as, “Well, this might work but we don’t know.” Many of my surgeries had no affect on the quality of my life whatsoever. Many were brand new in my generation and have now become standard “we’ll try it” surgeries for everyone younger than me. Doctors who were faced with treating Arthrogryposis in my generation and the generations before me are true cowboys of medicine because they had to take risks to try and help us. Their work has largely been ignored by the world because Arthrogryposis, like so many other rare congenital conditions, has no celebrity patron. We have no one fashionable to be our spokesperson, so we have to be our own spokespeople.

There is no cure for Arthrogryposis. There is only treatment to reduce the severity of the joint contractures and increase muscle strength to maximize the function level of the individual. Treatment often includes stretching the joints multiple times per day, serial casting, physical, occupational and speech therapy, splinting, bracing, tendon releases and lengthening, osteotomies (bone cuts), and external fixators. All of these things are extremely painful (speaking from personal experience). The fact that we keep putting ourselves through these treatments knowing there is no cure but only a hope to make life bearable is also quite mentally painful. I’m 30-years-old and I’m still facing major surgery. The contractures in my feet have reverted to the way they were before the first time they were reconstructed. It involves releasing tendons, breaking bones and re-positioning them. I will be facing 3-6 months of recovery once they decide to go ahead with it. This is just a glimpse at one surgery. Now picture going through it 18 times on different parts of your body.

Do you see why we need funding for better research and development of medical treatment?

I’m asking you, along with Dr. Hall, to help us bring attention to our legislative bodies. Email is not good enough. One tangible paper letter is equal to dozens of emails. You can look up your local state representatives here: http://capwiz.com/yo-demo/dbq/officials/ and when you find their addresses, send letters. Please commit to sending your letters between now and December 15, 2012, to make a concentrated impact. It helps if you talk about people you know with the condition, the way they’ve struggled to find proper medical treatment, what further funding would do to improve their quality of life, etc. If you don’t know anyone with Arthrogryposis besides me, I give you permission to reference me and use my picture. The point is to make the government understand that a 30% infant mortality rate is unacceptable, and so too is it unacceptable that there are virtually no medical studies to identify the cause of this condition, as well as long-term studies on treatment success.

Specific areas of research that we need you to mention in your letters include finding the cause of Amyoplasia (the sporadic type that nobody understands), mapping the genes in genetic types, and long-term outcome studies need to be done for common surgical procedures in this diagnosis. I also want to push for research in women’s medicine associated with Arthrogryposis. Roughly half of my doctors tell me I can have children like other women. Half laugh at me when I ask. Other women with Arthrogryposis are generally left in the dark as far as women’s health and sexual health. We’re all left to decide on the risk of pregnancy with very little information on the success or failure of it.

Please, please feel to contact me if you want help writing your letter. I will post my own letter as an example as soon as I write it.

Helpful links:

No idea where to start in writing a letter to your congressmen?! Start here: www.tiny.cc/writeforamc

Put fact sheets like these in your letters.

General Arthrogryposis fact sheet: www.tiny.cc/amcawareness
Amyoplasia Amyoplasia fact sheet: www.tiny.cc/amyoplasia

If you choose to write your state representatives on behalf of those of us with Arthrogryposis, I personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. Again, please feel free to contact me if you need help.

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