Boundaries and Standards

Excerpt from Getting Back Out There

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GBOT Excerpt

In response to the comment in the other thread, I posted an excerpt from the new book.

See it here:


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Post-breakup Holidays

This blog started on November 29, 2006. This post below was one of the first posts and received ASTOUNDING responses from around the globe! The blog was only meant for a handful of seminar students I had at the time, but this post sent it viral (I watched the readership go into the hundreds and then into the thousands within the first 6 weeks) and led the way for the book and the second book (to be released soon). So here is the post that started it all!

“I cannot believe I’m alone on Christmas Eve.” – me (December 1987)

We had separated in February. February 10th. I was anxious and depressed and upset through most of February and March. He was being open about his relationship with a woman he worked with. In fact, he introduced our poor, confused children to her and her children less than six weeks after we’d parted.

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Getting Back Out There

Getting Back Out There now has its own blog. To send email to ask questions regarding dating and finding real love after the big breakup, register for the new blog and then send me email. All identifying information will be removed!

Getting Back Out There Blog!

Excerpt from Getting Back Out There Chapter One

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Getting Back Out There: Publisher’s Weekly Review

I will be posting some excerpts in the coming weeks.

First review for GBOT (the trades get the book about a month before release):

Lawyer and grief counselor Elliott (Getting Past Your Breakup) offers readers humble and perceptive advice for recovering from heartbreak and reentering the dating world. In the five years since her acclaimed debut in 2009, Elliott has faced a number of ordeals: the death of her husband from brain cancer, a debilitating back fracture, a break in her hand that wouldn’t heal, and a tumor found in her knee during an MRI. In addition to her own experiences with love and loss, Elliott draws from friends, family, and colleagues, as well as couples who have sought her counsel. Elliott’s underlying message is that one must first grieve properly and learn to let go of past relationships, no matter how toxic, perfect, or tragic they were, before beginning new ones. Perhaps most perceptively, she identifies the early stages of grief as the crucial time to build reasonable standards and realistic expectations for future relationships. Elliott’s wisdom—well reasoned, unassuming, and based on experience—is not to be missed. – Publisher’s Weekly 11/30/2014

Amazon link for pre-order:

Barnes & Noble link for pre-order:

Powell’s Books link for pre-order:

Amazon Canada link for pre-order:

Amazon UK link for pre-order:

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Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks

In the US, Thanksgiving is today. I wanted to touch on gratitude for a bit.

If you’ve had a recent breakup or life isn’t exactly where you want it to be, being thankful for what you do have is a tough one.

As most of you know I reject the “think a happy thought” philosophy when it stands on its own and does not include a “but do your work that might be painful” component. My experience on both sides of the therapy table had led me to believe that in order to be successful, work must be balanced. You can’t remain in the painful past for a great length of time without coming up for air, doing positive affirmations and working on your confidence.

At the same time you can’t think a happy thought without working through the emotional garbage of the past. Neither way works by itself. Clinical depression MUST be treated, but even if a person doesn’t meet all the DSM criteria for depression, the holidays can trigger a lot of pain if you are working through things and feeling alone.

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Getting Back Out There

The new book will be released sometime next month or early January. In anticipation of its release, I’ll be posting some excerpts and blurb but if you have questions about getting back out into the dating/relationship scene…ask away!

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People Pleasing = Failing

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–which is: Try to please everybody. ~Herbert Bayard Swope

There are essential insanities and inessential insanities. Essential insanities get us in trouble with others. Inessential insanities get us in trouble with ourselves. It is always preferable to be in trouble with others, in fact it may be essential. ~ Tom Robbins

I believe that my life became incredibly happy once I said to hell with what the dysfunctional people in my life wanted from me. I realized, at some point, that I wouldn’t please them in a million years and I was sick of the fact that I had turned myself inside out by trying to do just that. Continue reading

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If you have recently registered and it said, “Waiting for admin approval” and you have not been notified you received it, please re-register or login (to see if it was approved. There is some buggy thing in the approval plugin and I have deactivated it so you don’t need to be approved.

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Stalking and PTSD

Requested repostcryingI’ve never written about stalking before though I’ve shared some of this with my clients and retreat/seminar/conference attendees. As most of you know, my speaking style is completely “off the cuff” and one reason why is my ability to delve into personal things (or not) and a feel for the audience…I switch from topics when this particular audience doesn’t seem to be feeling it. I try to stay relevant and not have any of my speaking engagements turn into a yawn, but anytime I’ve just MENTIONED stalking, people tend to sit up and take notice. I don’t know if it’s because of their own experience or a voyeuristic desire to listen to how it develops and unfolds. All of my stalking incidents could be a movie unto themselves, so I assume it’s riveting material. If it were not so personal, I would go into greater detail (which, as I said, I do on occasion with clients and attendees at a private event and now that more has been revealed to me, there will be more at the events).

In any case, stalking is a troubling subject and not one commonly talked about. My assumption, from being one, is that stalking victims live in fear even years after the stalking appears to have ended. It’s a mental hornet’s nest you don’t want to take a stick to. But, this year I heard that someone who had stalked me for years (but no time recently) had passed away. The result was one of relief and an insane barrage of repressed memories hurdling to the surface. So much of what I put away for years, unable to deal and not wanting to write about or talk about or acknowledge, came blasting through. It was partially a protection of myself, a protection of a family I had not been in touch with for years, and a protection of one member of the family who had long ago predeceased his stalker relative. But I did not go to the hornet’s nest. Upon hearing of his passing, the hornets nest came, unannounced and unexpected, to me.

I had been with this person for an incredibly short time but the damage he did was deep and powerful. There was unfettered abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal as well as destroying everything I owned including my psyche and despite all the previous acts of unkindness done to me (including abandonment by my birth mother and abuse by my adoptive mother and other boyfriends,)) and this short-lived relationship plunged me into PTSD. I only got through it after a full 10 years of drinking-to-forget, followed by 10 years of therapy and not drinking to recover from the abuse, cheating, lying and all kinds of terrible and horrible things.

One of my reasons for going back and forth in the relatively short-lived relationship was that he, like most abusers, wanted me DEAD if I wasn’t with him and he tried, on 3 different occasions, to kill me while I was trying to leave. A 4th and final time happened when he stabbed me, came about when I refused to cook eggs at 4 am for his drunken ass. I am going to go into this more on the Forums where I know who is reading it and it will be relatively private (and I hope all members of the Forum feel safe also using the Forum in this way or anyone who just reads because they don’t want identifying information in the public view, join the Forum and write about it.)
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