I’ll never know who hurt him and made him a monster, only that he is one. What I do know, though, is how he fooled me into thinking he was my everything.
Maybe it’s because we’re talking about mental health and healing more these days or maybe there’s been a dramatic uptick in the number of sociopaths showing their hideous faces to the world; either way, we sure are throwing around the word “narcissist” a lot.
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders* (DSM–IV), psychologists diagnose a client with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) using…
If you’re in a relationship with an abuse survivor, you’ve likely seen the random emotional reactions that don’t seem to match their apparent triggers. Perhaps you’ve watched us struggle to process what seems like simple details before taking action.
You’ve probably realized that we startle easily and we’ll flinch when you raise your voice around us, even if you’re not raising it at us. We try to hide it because we know it’s not rational and it’s not your job to make us comfortable, but we’re not always effective.
Even those of us in therapy sometimes struggle with simple tasks…
Humans screw up. It’s in our nature. It’s what we do about it, however, that separates us from one another.
Those of us with basic human decency at least slap a “sorry” on it. The more enlightened of us make a targeted effort to apologize and change the behavior. And then we’ve got those other jerks who still owe us an apology we’ll never get.
We’ve all heard “you can’t help ’em if they don’t want to be helped” or “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” but knowing that doesn’t stop us from reaching out when people are hurting.
I’ve got this friend I adore who recently buried herself in a series of terrible choices that have completely altered the trajectory of her life.
As her friend sitting on the sidelines, I want to help, especially in such a complex situation. Initially, my role in this was that of listener. I heard her while she got her thoughts…
I was sitting on a downtown patio in the most gorgeous Memphis weather enjoying Saturday brunch with my partner and our friends, and there they were, walking down the street hand-in-hand.
It was the first time I’d seen him in ages. And this monster — who put me through so much toxic abuse, who lied incessantly to and about me, who betrayed his wife and ushered in my divorce because he said he wanted to be with me and I believed him — had a girl on his arm.
It sounds weird, I know. So many people can relate to a fear of failure, but a fear of success? Well, that’s just absurd. Why would anyone be scared to crush their goals?
Allow me to share a moment with you.
Nashville, early 2000s. I’m driving there nearly every weekend for months to work on a country music demo, promote myself as an artist, and plan a showcase for industry execs. I’m talking to people who seem to care. I even had my own artist’s booth at FanFair (now CMA Fest)! My mom’s so proud.
The showcase comes and goes…
Ladies, help me out with this one. You know what’s up.
You’re out for the night. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. It might be a date. Or perhaps it’s a trip with a girlfriend to gossip. It might even be that you’re going alone like a grown-up.
But there’s something we all know — no matter what life’s like on the outside, we’re all best friends in the bathroom.
Y’all are always asking what we’re doing in there for so long, so I’mma tell you.
We are saving lives, folks.
Having a total come-apart because your person just dumped…
“All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Writing as therapy is not a new concept. There’s a good deal of research about how to use writing to process emotions and experiences, and while there’s discussion around how to use it, many researchers agree that there are benefits on the mental, emotional, and even physical levels.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lived a tough story in some way. And while we can’t (and won’t) compare suffering, we can compare notes on what…
Recently, I’ve been drawn to stories from people discussing their paths to healing after (thankfully) getting out of abusive relationships, and I find myself connecting most to the ones that talk about struggling with fear-based reactions to stimuli or getting triggered, as is now trendy to call it.
I read one article that praised the author’s partner for adjusting his behavior after she had a trauma response to him yelling out from another room. While that’s not a bad thing necessarily, the more I thought about it, the more something about it didn’t sit right with me. …
Therapy, Me, & the 38103: Stories about life, trauma, recovery, creativity, and finding a way in this place from a kid who’s finally getting her sh*t together.