Image for post
Image for post

Question: When we broke up, my ex-boyfriend insisted that he hated me and tried to cause trouble for me with my friends, family and coworkers. He immediately got into another relationship but now he seems to be following me. He’s been stalking my Facebook and Instagram accounts and has shown up to public places where I’m hanging out with friends. I have no feelings for him but I wondered if he still does for me. Is he following me because he feels guilty about how he treated me or is he simply trying to upset me?

Answer: As the classic Neil Sedaka song says, breaking up is hard to do. Some people have difficulty letting go, others don’t know how to manage the uncomfortable emotions a break up brings while still others discover just how challenging (to say the least) it can be to transform a romantic relationship into a platonic one. If all that wasn’t hard enough, the advent of social media has made it easy for the ex-partner to be granted access to the thoughts, whereabouts and relationships of the former love. I get a lot of questions about the motivations of an ex-partner. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Pitch Perfect is one of those fun movies I watch whenever it’s on TV. While I wouldn’t recommend the two sequels, the original 2012 movie is definitely worth a watch. The movie revolves around Beca, a college freshman who joins the campus all-female a cappella group. When it first came out, I thought it seemed fluffy, so when my sister initially suggested seeing it, I imagined it would be entertaining but didn’t expect too much. That’s why I was completely taken aback by my whole-hearted enjoyment of it. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo from www.thetvdb.com

While he was still living, I’d visit with my 90-year-old great-uncle every week. He wasn’t fond of “gadding about” (as he put it), preferring instead to spend his time sitting in his chair or watching television. One of his favorite shows was Bonanza. Since his hearing loss made talking difficult, we’d often watch the show as a way of doing something together. It wasn’t a show I’d choose to watch on my own but, over the weeks, I started appreciating it more.

Bonanza is a western that ran for 14 seasons from 1959 to 1973. It centered on the Cartwright family (a widowed father and his three sons), who lived near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In addition to the horrible acting and cheesy dialogue, what amazed me the most about the show is how quiet it is. Although sometimes there’s action — people do tend to get shot at and punched — a big portion of each episode is spent in dialogue or relationship building. For example, in the last episode I saw (“The Last Hunt” for anyone who cares), Hoss and Little Joe, two of the main characters, spend a lot of time talking, hunting for food and caring for a Native American woman who was giving birth. Not a lot happened but you really understood the relationship between the characters. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by cfiesler on flickr.com

I’m obsessed with podcasts. I love listening to them while I exercise (they’re a motivator) or drive long distances. And it all started with Serial. Serial is a weekly podcast (spun off from This American Life) and it tells one story — a true story — over the course of an entire season. Their debut season was a doozy! It covered the story of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18 year old girl living in Baltimore, and the subsequent conviction of her 17 year old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for the crime. …


Part 3: Lessons from Hillary

Image for post
Image for post

Part 1: From Bad Ass to Punching Bag

Part 2: Candidate Hillary

The immediate aftermath of the 2016 election almost broke me. I was a mess watching Hillary’s concession speech. Not only was I upset over the outcome of the election but I was extremely distressed for her. How can she be so strong, I wondered (not for the first time). It seemed so unfair she had to console everyone else when she had to be dying inside. Watching it the second time via the docuseries wasn’t much better. Even though I now know what happened, it still hurts.

It wasn’t enough that the Republicans got what they wanted (by cheating, something you know they’re going to do again) but they had to try and humiliate her too. The third part of the docuseries was entitled, Be Our Champion, Go Away, and that’s exactly what it felt like back then. Pundits, politicians, the press, and people on social media demanded Hillary “take up knitting” or just drop out of the public eye. No other “defeated” politician has been treated in such a degrading way. Nope, that’s something they cooked up just for a woman. …


Image for post
Image for post

Question: My boyfriend and I moved in together because we got along so well. At first things were great but lately he’s not acting like a man. He doesn’t handle stress well, he refuses to pay bills or do chores (but when I call him on it, he denies it), and I can’t rely on him even to do simple things like feed the dog or pick me up at work. My friends say he’s acting more like a woman. I was recently going through his phone and found out that he’s bisexual. I’m confused. …


Part 2: Candidate Hillary

Image for post
Image for post
Photo from Author

Part 1: From Bad Ass to Punching Bag

While I’d been around for the Clinton presidency, I wasn’t as familiar with Hillary’s history prior to that. There were many things I didn’t know. For one thing, prior to Hillary’s candidacy, she’d been perceived as a radical liberal. She’d fought hard against this label as people tend to be suspicious of those of us who want to transform the system (yes, I’m being sarcastic; why do you ask?). That’s why it was ironic when the media painted her as a centrist, establishment candidate.

In other words, every time she tried to counter a criticism leveled against her, they came at her from another angle. When faced with the tried and true double standard for women, she just couldn’t win. And after over 30 years of this, I too somewhat bought into the narrative. …


Part 1: From Bad Ass to Punching Bag

Image for post
Image for post
Photo taken by Harry Skull Jr. on Flickr

My preparations to watch the Hulu docuseries Hillary? A box of tissues. Others might’ve brought popcorn but I knew I’d need a different kind of comfort. Although it’s been close to four years since I embarrassingly burst into tears on an airplane as I started to read her book, What Happened, I haven’t picked it up since. It’s still too raw. Sure enough, two minutes into the first episode and I was already in tears.

In the docuseries, Hillary was laughing about how she didn’t understand why people felt so negatively about her. She seemed genuinely perplexed but also amused. I’m glad she can laugh. I’m not there yet. She’s had a lot more practice moving forward. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Author

I’ve always been in awe of my mom, Judith Ann Holden Hook Dixon. She was so strong and firm in her convictions. If something needed to be done, she did it. If there was an unpleasant truth, she faced it. If there was injustice, she confronted it. She raced through life, always determined to get where she needed to go efficiently. One fond memory is waiting for her to pick me up at my grandparent’s house. …


Image for post
Image for post

Question: I’m in middle school and am bored with my classes. I know a lot of the material already but I’m still forced to do the homework. After school I always ask teachers stuff that nobody has ever heard of. My parents don’t understand me either. They worry that my grades aren’t good enough. I’m not getting top grades but that isn’t because I haven’t mastered the material. I’m too embarrassed to tell them what’s really happening. What should I do?

Answer: Being bored in school certainly isn’t very fun, is it? Although there are lots of benefits to our current system of education, one of the big drawbacks is that students who have diverse learning needs often fall by the wayside. For example, students like yourself who have already mastered the material or who have interests that are different from the “norm” feel left out or simply bored. This is a big problem and one that you need to address quickly if you are to maximize your educational possibilities. …

About

Dr. Misty Hook

Psychologist and writer. More of my writing can be found at www.thepsychologicalhook.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store