Home

From Estrangement to Reconciliation

50 Comments

Estrangement stories cross my path often lately.  It’s a painful and sensitive topic, for both sides.  Some people are hurting because they’ve chosen to estrange themselves, others because they don’t understand why a loved one has estranged.  Still others long for the relief of estrangement, but the pain of setting that boundary is clearly too difficult.

The journey of coming to terms with why we need to estrange ourselves can be grueling, depressing, and exhausting.  Desire for belonging to family is strong, and it took considerable pain – and 3 attempts – before I was finally able to definitively draw my line in the sand.  More

What’s Your Triad?

33 Comments

There’s a pattern of dysfunction called the Triad many of us have without even realizing it.  This is one of many things I learned about myself in therapy. 

 

Triad refers to the way people Think, Feel, and Behave. 

 1. Self Activation -Think

This involves an action of taking care of ourselves.

 2. Abandonment Feelings -Feel

This is the result of taking care of ourselves.  If we have any ‘gaps’ from our childhood, they rear their ugly heads about now.

 3. Acting Out – Behave

This is our reaction to the abandonment feelings.

 

A simple example of the triad More

Finding Healing in Unexpected Places -and a Book Giveaway

18 Comments

The theme of adoption has always been of interest to me.  As a child I used to tell people I was adopted.  I always thought if you were adopted it meant you were wanted, therefore special.  It never occurred to me there might be pain involved in being adopted, or giving a child up for adoption.  Over the years I’ve spoken with people on both sides of the adoption picture and now understand it’s not the fairy tale I used to fantasize about.

**Spoiler Alert

The British movie Philomena caught my eye recently because of the adoption theme.  Then it captured my heart because of the healing and forgiveness in her story. More

How To Help Your Depressed Friend

57 Comments

Friends and family were often at a loss of what to say or do around me when I was at my lowest points of depression.  Though it may have come with the best intentions, people would sometimes trivialize my feelings or give me a checklist of things to do ‘move on.’  They would also suggest I be more appreciative that things weren’t worse.  These responses actually worsened my state of mind.  The people who helped me the most responded far differently. 

The effects of depression/abuse/trauma trickle down to every layer of life.  In general, depressed people have great difficulty with relationships; this includes marriage, parenting, friendship, work, and church.  Those of us who have been abused have been taught that intimate relationships of all kinds, not just sexual, are dangerous.  We have been deeply hurt and instinctively keep our emotional distance in order to be safe.

Speaking from experience, though, I can happily assure you change is possible.  It’s because of a certain key people in my life that I’ve been able to make it this far.  I’ve been on both sides of the coin –the one being helped and the one trying to help –and I wanted to share some ways I’ve learned to help.  

Important Distinction

Some people respond to their depression by being very needy.  This personality type needs support, but they also need firm boundaries.  They need to be treated as if they are capable.  Do not rescue or coddle them, as this only enables them to remain victims.  It can also create caregiver burnout or resentment.  Help them learn healthy independency.

Other people respond by being very self-sufficient.  This personality is often very hesitant to ask for help.  If they do ask, it is a sign they may be feeling accepted by you.  No matter how small the request seems to you, it is probably a big step for them to ask.  Help them learn healthy dependency.

Here are ways to support either type of friend:

  More

The Old Violin

40 Comments

While joyful and exciting, the holidays can also be a difficult time of year.

There were many Christmases I bounced between having fun and enjoying the season with my husband and kids while struggling with deep-seated depression.

My lack of family-of-origin connection during the holidays magnified feelings of rejection and worthlessness; especially related to my dad.  A sweet and tender story about an old violin touched me many years ago during an especially difficult time of depression.  Though not a cure, it was balm to the soul.

If feelings of loneliness, worthlessness or rejection plague you during the holidays I offer you this story.  I hope it reminds you that you are indeed worthy and loved.

The Old Violin

~Myra Brooks Welch

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while to waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. More

Incredulous

28 Comments

Once again, an ignorant comment about rape is in the news. 

Disbelief rose as an offensive headline jumped out at me recently.   India crime chief causes outrage with ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it’ comment.”

According to a EuroNews report, Ranjit Sigha –the chief of India’s equivalent to our FBI – made a comment last week during a conference about illegal sports betting and the need to legalize gambling to make revenue from it.  “If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.’”  Now he’s crying foul, saying his words were taken out of context.  Even if they were, the fact that someone in charge of sexual assault investigations would use such an analogy is outrageous and unacceptable.

To even entertain the idea that being raped is like betting or any other illegal behavior that is hard to enforce is insolent at best.

It reminded me of More

Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: