D-bom Moments

For those new on the blog, this is another abbreviation we use around here, so this is how it began:

“We see and understand more about our behaviors. We come aware. And aware. And aware. . . Often, we feel uncertain about what to do with all this awareness.” - Melody Beattie

A friend of mine used to say that her awareness was like “Dawn finally breaking over Marblehead.”

Marblehead is a coastal Massachusetts town but is also a fine metaphor for a thick skull…and “Dawn breaks over Marblehead” is a Massachusetts expression which means “Duh. I finally get it.” I think it’s a terrific expression to define a defining moment, an epiphany so to speak, and when I lived there I heard it used it all the time. I started using it because it sums things up quite nicely. I now call it D-BOM (DEE BOMB) for short. I’ve used that expression a lot in the more than 20 years since I first heard it. I used to use epiphany but d-bom is so much better.

The beginnings of awareness are incredible. We start to feel as if we’ve been asleep for a million years. Suddenly we can see, really see, what other people are really up to. Whereas everything baffled us before, we now have clarity. Sometimes we feel we have too much clarity. It’s like being on a diet and losing some weight where nothing you own fits yet you are not at your goal weight yet so you have nothing to wear. It’s a feeling that you’re in an in-between stage but you need to get where you’re going and you don’t know how. GPYP/GPYB/GBOT all require observation, preparation and cultivation. We start to observe our thoughts, feelings and interactions with others. We learn to step back and look at the world around us and the people in it. Then we start to prepare to change things and later we cultivate that change.
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Posted in breakup, featured, recovery, relationships | 10 Comments

Real Respect and Real Love In Action

hearts1Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience. – M. Scott Peck

This has been requested over and over again.

One thing I’ve written about is that most people don’t understand that saying “He’s in a better place.” (after a death), “There are lots of fish in the sea.” (after a breakup). People rationalize to avoid reality of the situation. Sometimes you have to play with rationalizations to help you through the shock of what has happened and that’s okay.

It’s a problem when people rationalize to stay in a situation they can and should change. You SHOULD NOT search for an excuse to stay stuck. In relationships people say, “No relationship is perfect.” or “All relationships have problems.” And while that may true and there are relationships that can use a little tweaking to bring them closer to perfect, there are other relationships that are train wrecks and need to end and both people need to get into therapy ASAP.
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Posted in featured, love, recovery, relationships, self-esteem | 17 Comments

Is It Grief or Is It a Pity Party?

cryingIn the first reviews of Getting Past Your Breakup, it was lauded for its depiction and explanation of the grief process and how it applies to breakups. It hadn’t been “done” by many other authors and having spent almost 15 years doing academic research (including 3 theses on grief and 3 different subjects: literature (for my B.A. Honors thesis), adoptees (for my Master’s degree thesis), and the 8th Amendment and victim statements (for my J.D. (law) thesis), I rolled it into the subject of breakups as I had been helping people through the grief after a breakup for years.

Many therapists and counselors have NOT been schooled in grief so they are not aware of what their clients are going through. And that is NOT their fault. I’ve looked at many Master’s in Psych or Social Work or Counseling and very very few offer a course in grief counseling. Very very few. It’s terrible. I watched so many therapists in my supervision group or on the job purposely lead their clients AWAY from their grief when they started to get close to it. That made me more adamant to work with people to get them TO IT because that is where the HEALING is, and then to write about it.
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Recycling Redux

Grief is a spiral. But am I going up or coming down?” ~ C.S. Lewis

This is response to a comment in the Check-in Thread, but it’s always good to re-run it. I talk about recycling in GBOT because dating often triggers recycling, but so does an anniversary date, the ex’s birthday, moving into your own place, going on a trip you were supposed to go on together etc etc etc. Many things can trigger recycling.

There is a standard body of grief and loss literature but it’s still evolving. Still, I’ve read most of it over the past 20 years or so. I’ve written countless papers and 3 college theses on grief.

One thing that researchers do agree on is that grief is a process and it can vary wildly from person to person depending on the person, the loss, the type of loss, the person’s history with grieving (or not) and environmental and social factors.

As I read dozens of researchers and “grief experts” I noticed that the tasks are inherently the same: acknowledge that there was a loss, feel emotional pain about that loss, work on restructuring you and your environment to adapt to that loss.

We don’t just feel loss, we also feel rejection, abandonment, insecurity, fear. The whole emotional gamut. We are in a state of heightened sensitivity and can become very emotional. We can feel confused and disorganized, like the world is moving beneath our feet. Who are we? Where are we going? When will it stop?
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Posted in featured, recycling | 55 Comments

Coward-Crazy-Lying-Liar-Cheaty McCheat Cheat

potato1I’m going to start doing a short commentary on litigants on judge shows and their wacky behavior, but for today I’m going to do a long post (a diatribe, actually) on one group of nutjobs that appeared on Judges Mathis and Judy earlier this week. My future “Today in Judge Shows” will be much shorter, but this episode was just way too much for me (who has, seemingly, heard everything).

We begin with Mr. John Cunningham the third (there’s two more like him??? Ick) is a cowardly crazy-ass cheating cheater lying liar bananahead. BTW, I’ve tried to find out where the Cunningham Cowards are from so that no other Cunninghams are mistaken for them, but I could not figure it out. If you know these characters, let me know (and gawd help you if you do). My apologies to all other non-crazy John Cunninghams of the world.

Mrs. John Cunningham III – didn’t catch the lady’s first name but it should be Griselda Uglyheart. In my opinion this woman is the devil incarnate…she looked angry and sounded insane. To me, she was nuttier than the day is long…and anyone so desperate to hang onto the trophy that is Mr. Crazy, Cowardly, Cheaty McCheat Cheat Cunningham, needs her head examined. That is my opinion and I think it’s a good one (feel free to disagree but you might not when you hear the story.) Seriously, let me know what you think of this loser crew from hell.

Okay, what is this about?
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50 Shades of Ick

dvI really have issues with this book – poorly written and promoting something I find disturbing. Because of my abuse history, I thought it was me but since I’ve let my feelings be known, others have come out to thank me for letting it be okay that 50 Shades is not your thing. Because the movie came out the same time as my book, a lot of interviewers have asked me about it and I’ve managed to just say, “It’s not my thing…” without launching into a tirade. I think this Washington Post article sums it up well for me. Nice job Washington Post!
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Name That Character Contest

I’m writing my first fiction work. I am really struggling with character names and keep changing them. So many people seem to really like making suggestions so I thought you guys might and I’ll turn it into a contest. I start my formal class the first week of March, so I will name the winner by then. You can name one character or all of them. If I pick one of your names, you win books and acknowledgment in the new book!

Details after the jump!
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2/16 Check-in Post

Green Check MarkValentine’s Day is OVER, the holidays are OVER! Let’s get back to HEALING! How is everyone doing???? If you posted late in the last check-in post, feel free to copy here. :)

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Water Seeking It’s Own Level (again)

Water splash

“It is a spiritual principal that we will continue to encounter others who will embody the opportunity for us to learn our most pressing lesson. When we learn to overcome the problem in ourselves, our ‘teachers’ fade away.” – Robin Norwood

It is uncanny that we can meet and be attracted to the exact person who is going to make us miserable exactly the same way our last partner did. There are so many conscious and unconscious things at play but water does seek its own level.

I have included the Relationship and Life Inventories in both GPYB and GBOT for a reason. First, it’s SO important to know where you are and where you are going. It’s IMPORTANT to change “your type.” It is important to realize that YOU matter. And it’s important to know you can work out your “issues” without playing them out in relationships. You do not have to marry your mother or date your father again. Shoo, Mr. Oedipus…you’re not needed here.
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