When Fear Rules !

Archive for October, 2021

A Homeless Child in Flatbush

by on Oct.13, 2021, under Controlling-Manipulative People, Second Book: A Homeless Child In Flatbush

My Second Book

I will soon be publishing my second book, “Homeless in Flatbush” . It has taken me time to write, edit and I will most likely re-edit again as I re-live the experience that I was privileged to be a part of in my career as a Psychologist. This and other true stories of people going through emotionally charged  times in their lives dealing with real life conflicts  and struggles , some facing controlling and manipulative people, or facing their fears and self-defeating thoughts, has been both intensely rewarding, but also at times, emotionally draining for me.

RJ, the heroine of this story, was only ten years old when she contacted me through my Blog. I believed it was a scam or sting operation when I was first contacted by her. At the same time I thought, if this is real and true, do I really want to deal with this child, or can I even find people to help her ? However, after a few contacts, I was hooked !

The first thing she told me was that she was homeless, in an area known as Flatbush, near Brooklyn, New York. Not with a family, but alone. How could that even be possible ? But she had taken at least a year to plot and plan her escape. Escape ? Yes, she had been living with her mother and two year old sister in a small one bedroom apartment over one of the many bar/delis that dotted the landscape in Flatbush. Her mother had told her very matter of factly, that RJ would have to start contributing to paying bills by working at the only business her mother knew, “servicing men”, after her tenth birthday. RJ knew exactly what she meant as she had for years seen the parade of men coming to their apartment and going into mother’s office, the only bedroom. Since they had no TV, she would listen to worn out religious cassette tapes on a battery driven player that was held together with duct tape to drown out the sounds emanating from mother’s bedroom. Renee wanted nothing to do with this way of life, so she knew she had to leave.

It was inconceivable to me that a ten year old would have the personal strength, the courage, the tenacity and the survival skills, to make it on the streets by herself. She proved me wrong ! So she and I built a Support System of special people who could help her to break free of this life on the streets. 

I worked with her from the age of ten to fourteen, as I guided her through the many challenges she faced. She held me to my promise that somehow we would get her into a school, find her a family that would love her, and help her become a strong person who could help other children, because that is what God would want her to do.

There were many high points, but many disappointments. However, in my mind, she was a success against all odds.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Emeritus

The Benhaven Group


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Abuse Increase during Covid Lockdowns

by on Oct.01, 2021, under Controlling-Manipulative People, Stopping Abuse

Stay at Home Orders due to Covid-19 or any health crisis are inconvenient to say the  least but critical for anyone who has underlying health conditions. However, I received a note from my friend, Verna Griffin – Tabor, CEO of Center for Community Services which offers programs and assistance for women experiencing abuse, which highlighted the unique issue of those experiencing abuse in the home during these times.

“ Stay-at-home orders are terrifying for those who live with an abusive person {emotional or physical} , as isolation is a key tactic of any abuser. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in both the severity and the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual assault nationwide since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Statistics indicate that you or someone you love has experienced this type of harm.” VGT

One in four women and one in ten men experience sexual violence, physical violence  and / or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.

Be aware and supportive of any friend or family member who you are suspicious of being abused. Make contact more often so they may feel more comfortable in exposing the signs of abuse they may be experiencing. You need to be part of her or his  Support Team, encouraging them to seek counseling and not try to go it alone. Yes, the tactics of Abusers is to isolate their victims as well as to shame, blame and guilt them.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Retired 


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