Tag Archives: psychology

Rough Edges

When it happens, there is never a pill strong enough, a sleep deep enough, or a distraction long enough to take away the pain and ache of loss. 
There is no completion to grief. After a while we learn to love it and embrace it because after awhile, it becomes part of who we are. 

Grief is a part of love, it is loves underbelly. It’s the jagged edges of our day and the dark part of town we are afraid to walk through at night. The deeper we love the more pain of loss. It is truly a testimonial to our own legacy that we have truly loved, and loved deeply. 

Do One Thing.

The world around us is unraveling. People are unraveling. We don’t feel safe anymore. Protests, senseless mass murders, terrorism, the ongoing turbulence and mistrust of our law enforcement, the increase in gun sales, workplace violence, and corruption in many of our religious
and spiritual communities. And even our places of worship have become targets for deranged and misdirected violence.
Our leaders have become weaker, our economy has become overburdened and our dollar has become worth less and less. Which forces us to work even harder and longer. Will we ever get relief or change?  Or will it only become worse.

Have we been so busy observing mankind loose his mind that we have lost site of our enormous sense of responsibility and power as individuals? The small things that we can do that become ripples into large change? It’s time for us as people, as community members, as employees, as students, as young adults, as families, worshipers, as non believers, and as humankind to create a change. WE are the world. WE are what determines whether we choose anger and isolation from one another or to choose love and kindness in our actions or reactions. Only we can stop the madness. WE are the answer.

I believe in us.
Try this. Do one kind thing today for another person. If everyone would do just one nice thing for another person once a day or even once a week imagine the impact.

To do nothing is to decide to relinquish  control to all of the evil and chaos around us to the haters.
Hold a door open for someone, buy the persons coffee behind you in line, say hello and make eye contact with someone who looks distressed, let that person in your lane when your driving instead of pretending you dont see them. If you see someone standing in the rain, offer them an umbrella. As a nation being kind to another came naturally after 9-1-1 thats just who we are, and no amount of terriorism will ever disrupt the soul of this country.

Love can change everything. Believe it.

Signs your dating an unstable person.

She/He has no history of long term or significant lasting relationships. Most emotionally healthy individuals have a dating history of at least a few relationships that demonstrate some stability or consistency.  When they describe why things didn’t work out there is a sense of balance for both parties. If the person your dating seems to carry immense hostility with ALL their  X’s or if they refer to themselves as always being the “victim” of  prior relationship failures, it’s a big red flag. This is a sign that there is no or little insight into their own prior mistakes or failures. They are quick to blame everyone else for circumstances not working in their favor.

Her/His job history is unstable. And it’s never their fault. You may hear things like: “They don’t like me”, or “I had a horrible boss”. If someone has personality problems they rarely own their mistakes and are quick to blame everyone else. Healthy individuals are able to see areas of themselves that need improvement and they accept responsibility for their part of a problem, and hopefully learn from the experience.

She/He fights or is often rude to authority figures, friends, co-workers, or service staff. Of course everyone experiences a bump in the road now and then with other people. Yet his or her life seem to be filled with excessive drama including frequent interpersonal conflicts that seem petty. Chances are this person has a lot of trouble getting along with people.  They may lack social skills and view others in extremes. More specifically, they will vacillate between highly regarding a person one minute then devaluing them the next. If the person your dating  is struggling to get along with lots of other people then eventually, they are going to have trouble getting along with you. 

She/He irresponsible with money or has excessive debt. Enough said.

She/He has few or poor boundaries. Going through your personal things, checking your phone, going through your wallet or purse, frequently creeping your social media and overly questioning you about pictures or people. Emotionally healthy individuals are respectful of you, your time and your belongings. Your allowed to go at your pace with how, when, how much and if you share. Healthy individuals have enough self esteem and clear perspective to know that kind of behavior is inappropriate. If you feel your personal space is being infringed upon don’t second guess yourself. It’s happening. 

 She/He becomes overly attached too quickly. Emotionally healthy individuals  will remain consistent with seeing their own friends and continue to attend activities even after you begin to date. Their life doesn’t stop. That’s not to say that you aren’t excited to spend time together, or that adjustments aren’t made, by you mutually; there’s a difference. When dating begins a grounded person will maintain a balance between living their own life, maintaining their own interests and activities and sharing time with you. It’s all about balance. If the urge to merge happens too fast it’s a red flag. Remember decisions made together is one thing, being held to an expectation when your not ready is another. 

Nothing takes the place of using your own instincts and following your gut. When you begin dating someone and there are things that bother you, listen. Usually break ups occur over things you probably noticed early on but choose to ignore. It is a lot easier to start a relationship then to get out of one. 

Marriage can be a precarious place for women in their 40’s…

When a married woman reaches 40, and often older, her life begins to change. The children she longed to have are growing older, her education has begun to pay off as she has developed her own career. She is earning her own money and is contributing to the household income, often significantly. She has developed a broad and strong support network of other women and co-workers who she trusts, and who provide her with emotional support in addition to social outlets. She has matured. She has developed a “net” for herself. She has reached a different place in her life, emotionally.

The decent, loving, stable, nice man she met 15 or 20 years ago, now her husband, is a good father and provider, and yet she discovers that she does not need him in the same ways that she once did.  So why are so many women at this life stage finding themselves questioning their own feelings and asking themselves “Am I crazy for thinking about leaving?” He doesn’t drink heavily, he’s loyal, he is smart, he loves me, he doesn’t run around at night, and we get along. Slowly, her life which use to feel very fullfiling suddenly feels vanilla. When she speaks to her family and friends about her feelings she hears “What is wrong with vanilla?” or “are you crazy? he’s such a good guy and father you should feel lucky! I think there something is wrong with YOU!” So, she tells herself that she just can’t leave. She can’t justify it. And she can’t hurt him. Her feelings are suddenly not as important as these things in the face of logic. She tells herself that she really has no good reason to leave. She just can’t get out. Marriage is a commitment and it has its ups and downs right? And besides things can’t always be exciting that’s unrealistic. There are dips in all relationships. So she waits, hoping things might feel better. She may ask her husband to go to counseling but he’s not really doing anything wrong. It’s her own emerging feelings that are driving her ambivalence. She says to herself “If I can only hang in there another few years until the kids are done with high school”. The safety, consistency, and love, she once felt, the children they have together  shouldn’t it all be enough? These things once gave her great joy. Yet SHE has changed inside. Her emotional needs have changed, she has grown, she finds herself feeling lonely in the marriage. These are some conditions that often create a dangerous and vulnerable environment and for an affair to be set in motion. Women having affairs isn’t talked about much in social media, but it happens quite frequently. Women simply aren’t as comfortable revealing or owning such behavior.

Many of the reasons that woman marry when they are younger are fulfilled by their 40’s. By that time they are much more comfortable in their own skin and more emotionally mature. Later in life they can  provide for themselves, and the emotional needs they had in their 20’s have been realized. They have also become more comfortable and secure with themselves and the world. Emotionally, they have a built a network of friends and support, financially, they have begun to make their own money, martial sex has become flat as the emotional connectedness has diminished. Conversations have become dry and routine. It is often described to me as an ” unexplained emptiness” never felt before. The desire remains to have a partner yet she doesn’t NEED to be with anyone. She is filled with guilt, angst and confusion.

Of course all relationships go through ups and downs. Especially those that span a decade or more. The stress of raising children, financial changes, job changes, experiencing loss through death, and tragedy that is just life. Couples therapy can significantly help with recapturing the intimacy and connectedness lost over time. It cannot however, change an individual’s  sense of who they have become or how they feel. If one person in the marriage is not “all in”, no matter how wonderful their husband or wife may be, it might be time to change direction. Feelings are feelings, needs change, what you have to offer now may not necessarily be enough 15 years from now for your spouse.  Women are emotionally dynamic and organic creatures. Sometimes it may be about the relationship. Sometimes though it may just be about us. 

Listen.

What is really good for me? What is really good for you? Is it what makes us happy or does most of our contentment come from within if we work hard at it and all the other good stuff is just extra?
Go into your heart, pull out the weeds, clear the brush, break down the walls and look at what’s in there what is it?
Is it love? Is it fear? Is it shame or maybe there a gaping hole that’s always being filled by things that we think gratify us. Maybe those things we put in the hole, if we have one, are the things that keep us apart from at least some of the joy and happiness we desire for ourselves.

What is it that makes us feel fulfilled?
Is our work? Does it come from being a good parent or spouse? Is it having a sense of mastery over something important and gives us feelings that just maybe we are making a dent in some small or significant way in our world?
Go into your head clear the chatter,
Stop the thinking, don’t try to hear, just wait and listen.
Listen to you. Your talking by the way, your dreams your aspirations, the flashes of happiness or even sadness we might see before we fall asleep at night. Our thoughts when we hear a song that swells our heart, or when the sun warms our face.
Just listen you will know.
Listen to your feelings, your images,
your dreams, the things you doodle when your not thinking, heed to your senses, does something move you inside,?
What exactly is the expression of our own authenticity?
That is our power source. Not money or position, or status. It is you.
It is me.
What is really good for us? What makes us truly happy?
You know.

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Can you handle the truth?

Getting honest with yourself is hard.
Staying honest even harder. It’s so much easier to avoid, ignore, compartmentalize, and just turn our heads the other way. We can. We do. Doesn’t everyone? Well, eventually we pay for that detour. It hits us over the head one day and forces us to look at that old and familiar ugly mug of reality. What we have refused to acknowledge, what we minimized, sneaks back to visit us through the back door. Lying to ourselves can be so much more comfortable then honesty and vulnerability. Whether it be avoiding looking at something inside of ourselves or doing emotional reconnaissance on someone we love.
Is living in denial a bad thing if we are enjoying the ride? Or does acceptance of the obvious eventually give us a longer ride at the end?
Insight is cheap unless we are willing to do what’s hard.
Making honest choices based on truth. A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.

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Depression is a flaw in chemistry….

not in character.

“Sadness is what you feel when something in your life goes wrong.
Depression is something you feel when everything in your life goes right”

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2015/01/22/madison-holleran-suicide-note-dispel-myth-selfish-suicide/

IF YOU ARE IN SUICIDAL CRISIS,
CALL 800-273-TALK (8255)

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Toss the Mask..

Do you wear a mask? What do you not want others to know about you? This gets to the center of your fears and insecurities. Everyone, yes everyone has baggage. Things they struggle with or things that make them feel poorly about themselves. Some are better at hiding then others, some ignore it and their issues end up “leaking” out in other ways in their behavior or through an addiction. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy to hide parts of oneself. Especially the things that bring us shame. It keeps us isolated, afraid and often left to feel very alone. Our perceptions can become distorted about how we see others and ourselves. It really becomes a lot of work and makes life so much harder on us.
When we hide who we really are, it keeps others from truly loving us. It keeps us at a distance from others and that prevents us from having and developing closeness and intimacy. When you do something you feel was an error in judgement or a mistake acknowledge it, talk about it, be open about it, but don’t hide it. Own it.
You will feel “cleaner” emotionally, not only because you were honest with yourself but you addressed it and you took the step to share it with someone. Those who truly belong in your life and love you will see the mistake you made but more importantly they will see you, more then the mistake itself. Everyone has problems everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has things to work on its just part of being human. Acknowledging it and working on it separates the wheat from the chaff. Be who you are. Let people you care about see you.
Toss the mask, your worth it.

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Hot for Teacher…

If your an adolescent or a young man under the age of 16, there may be a hot teacher at a school near you and if she hits on you, chances are she’s serious. And these women most of them are quite attractive. I mean like some are hot. What’s up with that?
Almost weekly in the paper and/or online news I am reading about another adult female professional teacher who had sex, with teens or a teen at the school where they work.
In a the closet, in a car, In the parking lot, near a bar at her house, at the beach, in the classroom or where she’s going to teach.

Brianne Altice, 34, was arrested in October 2013 after one of her former students approached Utah police and told them that he had a sexual relationship with the English teacher beginning when he was 15 years old. He was able to describe tattoos on the teacher’s body, and told police that they had sex at least seven times, including once in a public park.

Summer Michelle Hansen, 31, was charged in August 2014 with sex crimes involving 5 students at the California high school where she taught special education. Hansen allegedly sent sexually suggestive texts to at least one student, who claimed she had sex with him as a “prize” for doing well in a baseball game.

Diana Leigh Farnell
Diana Leigh Farnell, 28, turned herself in to North Carolina police on Sept. 12 following accusations that she’d had sex with one student at the high school where she taught English.
One student told WCCB that he noticed flirting between Farnell and certain student in his English class

Rachelle Gendron
Rachelle Gendron, 27, was charged with five counts of rape stemming from her alleged affair with a
14-year-old student. The former sexual education teacher allegedly sent the boy photos of herself in “various stages of undress, with breasts and genitals exposed,” according to an indictment.

And of course the most publicized:
Debra Lafave
Plead Guilty Former middle school teacher Debra Lafave found guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Lafave, now 31, whose sexual liaisons with a 14-year-old middle school student made tabloid headlines, avoided prison as part of a plea agreement. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara/FILE)
* all sources Huff Post

Recent psychological discussions in
my community on this topic are circulating that these woman who commit this boundary crossing with young men seem to have very different motives then their male teacher perpetrators. Not that it makes their behavior any less psychologically damaging or inappropriate of course. Many of these woman were said to be “lonely” and were seeking to perhaps care for a male who seemed to have had a turbulent or difficult home life, and the emotional nurturing the teacher offered soon developed into the teacher wanting to feel sexually attracted, or wanted by, the adolescent. So she made a move. Clearly she’s not getting what she needs in her own world so she chooses vulnerable young men most, I’m sure, who have never had a sexual experience. Maybe she thinks that’s a gift she’s giving. It is of course just the opposite. It’s a shining albatross.
Here in the USA all teachers are warned from the time they get into their degree programs to the time they are hired that any physical or sexual relationships with students is prohibited and emotionally destructive to the student. And it is. Very.
Although many teens in our
culture often boast it as ” hot” if you get a hook up with an amazingly pretty teacher, it has lasting damaging effects on the student in more ways then I can begin say. Into adulthood.
I treated a man of 39 who told me his first sexual experience was with an older woman (he was 14 she was 28) who was his summer school teacher.
He carried so much shame and guilt for so many years and not only struggled socially with girls and woman after this, he stated that throughout his life with women he had severe trust and intimacy issues. And he never really did well relating to girls his own age. No shock there folks.
His first sexual experience was with an adult who used her power in her position as a teacher to seduce him for her own needs. This is not mutual or equal, at least not initially. These kids who brag about having sex with a smokin’ teacher are not as well received by their bro peers as you think. One kid videoed the teacher giving him oral sex in a school closet. He then showed his friends and one of them went home to tell his parents he was so effected by it.
Most kids know it’s just not ok. And most do tell. Although it can of course feel appealing as well.

The recent retired Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader who was married to a very wealthy CEO in Baltimore, MD tried to pay the family of the young man she seduced 10 Million dollars to keep the incident off the radar. The family looked out for their son and decided it was not in his emotional best interest to do so. She was just a mom who seemed to be oddly obsessed with her sons friend.
I guess throwing money at a problem doesn’t always make it go away. The now accused rapist Molly Shattuck, 47, once made history as the oldest woman to become an NFL cheerleader. On November 6, 2014 she was indicted in Delaware on nine counts, including two counts of third-degree rape, four counts of unlawful sexual contact and three counts of providing alcohol to minors. She brought underage boys to a beach house, gave them beer and blowjobs and her marriage was over in 3 weeks.
As I always say, everyone has an emotional breaking point. Talk to your kids about boundaries even when they are teens. The more mental health funding that gets cut, the more of this acting out we will see. I’m very interested in everyone’s thoughts about this. In particular from other countries.

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