Marriage and Family Therapist
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross is a licensed psychotherapist with almost twenty years of clinical experience in the fields of clinical psychology and organizational management. She has worked extensively with a wide variety of…
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Michael Jackson
Posted in Anxiety by Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross on Jul 08, 2009

Today Los Angeles was rocked by the funeral of Michael Jackson. 20,000 people gathered at the Staple Center for this tribute to him. Millions upon millions watched around the world. I must admit that I am one of those people who have been overwhelmed by the media saturating us with information over the last week or so.  As we turn to CNN at night, to get a news update, we are bombarded with yet another interview or retrospective. I do realize the irony and hypocrisy of my adding to the topic overload by writing this blog but what can I say, I felt compelled.

That compulsion is responsible, in part, for flooding downtown Los Angeles today with mourners, celebrities and just people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  This was a man whose art crossed generations and broke cultural barriers. There is no sheltering our children from the news of his death as everywhere you go people are talking about it, and most televisions in most restaurant have been carrying his image and music. Our 7 year old daughter was full of questions about him and his life.  We answered them the best way we could leaving out the issues related to his alleged interactions with children but including that , while he was famous and talented, he struggled in many ways. She is now listening to his music with great enthusiasm. This is a good thing.

It is sad when someone dies and the sadness here is amplified by the loss of a talent that produced art which resonated with people throughout the world. Whether you adored this man for his talent or despised him for his reported personal behavior, most everyone can agree that he was a gifted performer.  The media frenzy has touched on the circumstances around his death but has really focused on the pain and trauma of his life. Sadly, many children are abused and many lives are lived in relative emotional torture and in the end there will not be a grand send off for most of those souls.  I can't help but to think that the individuals, who have suffered as children or have been forced to grow up all too soon, may feel a connection to MJ and may even find his music and his story healing. He was an exceptional individual but he was human and therefore flawed. That should be part of the message. I did not know him and I have no interest in standing in judgment. Very few people actually know the truth, whatever that may be, about his alleged indiscretions but many it seems, who did know him personally, loved him dearly.

Michael Jackson will most likely be more famous in death than he was in life - if that is even possible.  His music will be danced to and sung by future generations which will bring young and old together. This is a great thing. So while I am ready for the news media to return to other current events I was certainly interested in watching the impressive send off for this man. As it does when I hear of any loss, my heart goes out to those who were close to him personally and have lost a loved one. The dust will eventually settle and the spotlight will turn away from Michael Jackson and onto the events du jour.  It is time for that to happen but in my humble opinion, and as someone who grew up on the sounds of his music and smiles as I hear my daughter singing his tunes, today's grand funeral service was a fitting tribute.  RIP MJ and may your loved ones be comforted by the ever present sound of your voice and may your music always bring people together.

 

 

"He was often referred to as "The King" but the Michael that I knew always reminded me more of the Little Prince. . ..  ‘What moves me so deeply about this sleeping prince is his loyalty to a flower. The image of a rose shining within him like a flame within a lamp, even when he's asleep. And I realized he was even more fragile than I had thought. Lamps must be protected. A gust of wind can blow them out. . . ..  Eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart. What's most important is invisible.'"

Brooke Shields on Michael Jackson at his Funeral Service July 7, 2009

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129
All those leeches that hung around him everywhere he went wanted money from him, they weren't his friends, and the media was bored so they created stories about him as well as the guy that was pressing charges against him who angry with him for not helping him with a screenplay and decided to press those charges against him by getting his son Jordan to lie about being molested, it's in the book "Michael Jackson Unmasked". All M.J. fans and skeptics need to read it.
By StephP  Jun 04, 2011
128
we can't say for sure whether Michael was a pedophile---He and many who knew him well stand behind his innocence. Was there ever an accuser who wasn't paid off. If nothing else he showed poor judgement. When I saw "This is it", it really helped me to see the genius that he was in the creation of his music, dance and overall execution of his concerts and shows. His songs did touch the world. So since I don't know if he is guilty or innocent or somewhere in between, I choose to enjoy his music and all the people that he inspire.
By mamie1890  Jul 18, 2010
127
I felt very uncomfortable with the adulation shown toward Michael Jackson after his death. It seems we create mythological figures out of people when they die. I read the link provided in post 114 and it seemed to be spot on to me.

http://crime.about.com/od/sex/p/ped...

I realize in our society a person is innocent until proven guilty. However the history of Michael Jackson supports a strong suspicion that he did some terrible things. I wonder how some of those children who had been in his home in the past felt seeing the news media talk about him for more than a week as a great man and wonder human being? I don't know the truth and I probably never will. Not knowing the truth though means that I am not willing to glorify the man. I don't think our system of creating celebrities is a healthy one. I think we can find our hero a bit closer to our own lives.
By ChadC  Sep 20, 2009
126
The depth of my understanding and love of the soul of Michael could never be explained. The impact of his music in my life has been and forever will be a light I can count on when I hit the "play" button. His music is a sanctuary to my soul when I am at the deepest depths of my depression...one musical note.....and I will smile - yesterday, today and all of my tomorrows. Michael was a gift to all of us... and I am so, so grateful.
By vickpick68  Aug 05, 2009
125
Hi Cyndi,

I agree with you. There is a point when the media has gone too far. Some things are better left unsaid. It is really none of the publics business as to what happens to a star after they have passed. I would have preferred to be "naive" and not known about some of the things I have heard and seen since his passing. All of it made me feel horrible inside. Funny - I even mentioned this to my husband right after MJ's death - I said "I bet the media will treat this like its 9/11 all over again." I guess I wasnt incorrect... I grew up listening to this mans music with a glitter in my eye for him since his music did bring me to another place - a good place. I am upset with how his personal life has become the media fuel and the mockery is just absurd. I, personally have just stayed away from the news, papers, and magazines. I prefer to know only of his music rather than his sorted past, which was his, by the way - not any of ours. I feel sympathy for his family and children. Even if he was a less than perfect guy, that was his life to contend with, himself...not ours to judge. There are plenty of non-celebrities our there doing "worse."

PS - I am happy to hear that your daughter has become a fan! He was an amazing musician and entertainer.
By Spinnella  Aug 01, 2009
124
Anyway, since I've fallowed Micheal Jackson's career from when he was in his early 20s [was too young to notice when he was in the Jackson 5] in the early 1980s. I know that the press was printing lies about him and his lifestyle. Consider that he started performing when he was only 5 years old and had to work when other kids could play just be kids, he really tried to recapture his childhood by being with kids instead of adults. He had Lupus and the skin condition Vilitigo to deal with too. He was not a freak, he had to perform outragous show to keep himself up with the times and to compete with other pop stars. I did hear that he was jealous of Prince of Prince and the Revolution in the 80s amd ultimately outdid him as well as other performers. Everyone is being so judgemental and hateful toward him even after he died, would you like anyone to say these things about you? Look in the mirror and see what you see, are you really any better than anyone else?
He was a human being in a lot of pain, enough said.

StephP
By StephP  Jul 27, 2009
123
And trust me, in my journal I was VERY vulgar.
By GhostInTheMachine  Jul 27, 2009
122
omg, some of the responses to this is very graphic to say the least. I am not a fan of MJ at all, but composure should be in everyone's mind when replying to a public post. I wrote a journal state my feelings on MJ, I would encourage others to do the same instead of smearing this discussion. Cyndi was only trying to create a healthy debate, not a forum for insults and out and out vulgar comments. Personally I HATE MJ but will not respond in a vulgar way here. I saved my vulgarity for my journal.
By GhostInTheMachine  Jul 27, 2009
121
i am 23 and dont know much about the time when the child abuse allegations were in the headlines, however as a lupus sufferer and a discoid lupus sufferer i find it very f****** offensive when people call him a freak for covering his face and carrying an umbrella to shield himself from the sun. if you knew about these conditions then maybe you,d understand the danger sun and uv rays poses to our illness, i those who ridicule him for this narrow minded uneducated freaks!!!!
By atalyas  Jul 21, 2009
120
I grew up listening to his music and watching his videos on MTV. I even have some albums on cassette tape ["Bad" and "Dangerous" and long-playing record ["Thriller"] I got in 1982 or '83 for X-mas.
I found a website on the internet that plays full-length vidoes from the '80s and you can watch Micheal, Madonna, Lionel Richie, Prince, the Go-Gos, and the Bangles. I watch his "Bad" video a lot because his looks really good in it, I like his black outfit and chains {his whole look wasn't bad either}.
I am still really in shock over his death, I watched some video coverage of his memorial servous and start to cry, of couse I went back afew years and viewed video coverage of Princess Diana's funeral and started to cry too, that was another sad moment in history. But I had not "grown up with" Diana like I had with micheal Jackson, of couse I didn't listen to him in the late '60s [I was an infant] or 70's, I was too young to care then, I was more into disco and and the Bee Gees sound in the 70s, started listening to pop music in the 80s.

I don't think he was killed on purpose, but those doctors are certainly suspicious too me, I think they suplied him with too many drugs, of course he was probably unhealthy and people thought that he was. He looked frail to me when I saw him walk on the rehearsal stage in Los Angeles before he died. He looked fail to me a few weeks before his death when he was walking into a courthouse with an enterage and an umbrella over his head in his pajamas, he was showing signs of not bieng totally "there". Of course I knew that the accusations against him were false, he didn't get to have childhood and tried to relive it by hanging around kids. His father was physically abusive to him and his brothers and should not be permitted anywhere near Micheal's kids, or any of his grandkids at all! He really did have vilidgo, it was confirmed by some doctors, but I did read that he was taking a depigment agent to balance out the discoloration so his skinn didn't look spotty. His father said that he was probably taking an agent because he said that "white" hands is not consistant was the disease, that your hands remain dark.
I say SHAME on those who believed every story they heard from the media when he didn't speak to the media himself much, some people I know believe that he was a child molester, media probably started accusing him as well as people trying to extort money from him, remember the aquittal? The jury didn't believe the story the boy was telling was truthful because he was accurate. I feel bad that he had to deal with all that just because people didn't understand that he was behaving like someone who was lost, who didn't get a chance to be a kid and have play time because he started performing when he was 5 years old and ever since then, he was driven to be the best, to impress his family, and driven to always do better than he'd done before. He may have actually worked himself to death and wanted to get out of doing those 50 concerts, I think he was putting too much preasure on himself all the time, he had pressure to do interviews, pressure to do concerts, pressure to provide for his kids, pressure to be have a good appearance, pressure to attend trials brought against him, pressure to give good performances, pressure to write more songs, pressure to produce a new album, and pressure to just exsist. No wonder he felt sick and felt like he needed drugs.

StephP
By StephP  Jul 20, 2009
119
Another thing comment 115
I dont know why i give a crap what people like "YOU" say anyways look how you treat other people- i think it says it all your exact words to another member on DS
(fuck off and die this is a site for something BESIDES SELLING YOUR SHIT PRODUCTS YOU FAT ASS. I NEVER BEFORE CALLED ANYONE THAT BUT I'VE NEVER HAD A TUB OF LARD LIE TO ME AND SEND ME AN AD PRETENDING TO WANT TO BE MY FRIEND I WISH I COULD REPORT YOU! FUCK OFF AND DIE.)

Aint he nice..gee i wanna be your friend-----NOT!
By IonaJ  Jul 19, 2009
118
To number 115.
Oh do we really want to bring up mental illness do we?
Hmmm....so people who have mental illness are sick?
Thats strange. I am 99.9% sure there are people in prison in America who are innocent, some on death row....
If he was a pedophile he wouldnt be flaunting it i tell ya. MY ABUSER WAS A NORMAL PERSON!
You shouldnt judge a book by its cover.Also any parent who gives a shit about their kid doesnt except money instead of going through court. That to me tells me one thing- money =motive!
also who said MJ was molested? News to me i thought he was just physically and mentally abused by his father. Do you really know as much about him as you claim to?
Another thing because of his nose you make ignorant remarks. Who really is evil? Ask yourself that question. You may need to look at the "Man in the Mirror" This world is a sick sick place if you ask me.
By IonaJ  Jul 19, 2009
117
I couldn't have said it better. He seems to have been a very troubled man and I also do not wish to stand in judgement of him. His drug addiction was just something that made him like thousands of other drug addicts, I just wish he could have received the help he needed.
By retrobarb  Jul 19, 2009
116
I WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT MY CHILD WITH A GROWN MAN TO SLEEP, I WOULD NOT BE SHOCKED IF HE WAS GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY...HE HAD FIT THE SIGNS OF A PERSON WHO COULD DO THESE THINGS...HE WAS ABUSED HIMSELF.....HE WAS A TARGET FOR LYING AND MAKING LOTS OF MONEY FROM....SO WHO REALLY KNOWS THE TRUTH????
THE LORD DOES!
BUT WITHOUT ANY DOUBT THE PARENTS ARE GUILTY EITHER WAY, THE PARENTS OF EACH OF THESE CHILDREN BELONG PUNISHED FOR THEIR ACTIONS EITHER WAY...IF THEIR LYING OR IF THEY LEFT THEIR CHILD IN THE CARE OF A GROWN MAN
By MaryAnnBase  Jul 19, 2009
115
i'D SAY THERE IS A WHAT 99.9 PERCENT CHANCE HE WAS A CHILD MOLESTER. HE SHOULD HAVE
DIED AROUND THE AGE OF 10 HIMSELF RIGHT AFTER SOME PERVERT TOOK HIM AND MOLESTED HIM.
A STAR? WHAT A JOKE HE HAD ABOUT 1 GOOD RECORD ALMOST 30 YEARS AGO. HIS CAREER WOULD BE AS DEAD AS HIM IF IT WASN'T FOR ALL THE SELF PROMOTION HE DID BY BEING A FREAK.
REST IN PEACE NO WAY, HE SHOULD ROT IN HELL BEING FOREVER SODOMIZED BY THE DEVIL HIMSELF WITH THE TRIDENT END OF HIS PITCHFORK. IF I'M WRONG SO WHAT? EVEN IF BY SOME CHANCE HE WAS NOT A CHILD MOLESTER HE WAS MENTALLY ILL AND SHOULD NOT BE GLORIFIED IN ANY WAY. I WANT TO PUKE WHEN I HEAR WHAT A GREAT MAN HE WAS. I THINK A GREAT MAN PAYS HIS BILLS AND HE DIDN'T SEEM TO LIKE TO DO THAT EITHER HE STIFFED MANY PEOPLE WHO DID WORK FOR HIM. ANY 'CHARITY' HE DID WAS EITHER TO MEET THE KIDDIES OR FOR A TAX WRITE OFF OR FOR SELF PROMOTION. HE WAS AN EVIL PERSON I TRULY BELIEVE. PLUS
A TOTAL FREAK WITH NO NOSE LEFT DUE TO VANITY.
By pdharma  Jul 19, 2009
114
For those of you who are interested, here is a link to a site that explains the characteristics of a pedophile. http://crime.about.com/od/sex/p/ped... This is why many of us are highly suspicious of Jackson. He fits the profile and he stands accused of molestation by several children. The police took the allegations seriously, and so do I.
By bato  Jul 19, 2009
113
How many of you would have let your 12 or 13 year old sons sleep in the same bed with Michael Jackson, middle aged, accused pedophile, addict/pop star? Would you have turned out the light, closed the door and left them alone all night without any supervision? I'm guessing that 99.9% of you would not. I would never, ever have put a child at risk like that, not for all the money in the world.

Statistics show...and child psychologists will tell you....that it is very, very rare for children to make up sexual abuse allegations. Three different children from three different families made allegations against Jackson. That last child risked death threats and public ridicule by going to court. He was outed by the paparazzi. That child will never be the same. I have compassion for HIM, not Jackson. I am sorry that Jackson is dead because he was a human being...but I will not pretend that he wasn't a sick, sick man because people want to deify him. That's just wrong on so many levels, IMO.
By bato  Jul 18, 2009
112
now that MJ is dead maybe people will stop accusing him of something of which he was found not guilty.one of the victims admitted that he lied about MJ molesting him.at any rate all of that is between MJ and the heavenly Father.may he finally rest in peace.
By moanalisa  Jul 18, 2009
111
Most so-called family counselors and therapists are pretty ineffectual and not terribly realistic or bright. So I wouldn't take anything she says all that seriously, folks.
By deanna2150  Jul 18, 2009
110
kvntoday... she wrote this on july 8th and as far as i can see she hasn't commented on it... i'm the one who commented last so yell at me... i also don't see how someone stating their opinion can ruin their reputation... i'm sorry that was just ignorant for you to say that...
By darkaura2  Jul 18, 2009

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