What Does Contact Get You?

change_edited-1The only hope is no hope. ~ George Costanza

When I first separated from my ex, I lost my mind about a month later and asked him to come back. Begged him, actually. He stood there stone-faced and said, quite nastily, “No.”
I was devastated. I was mortified. I was freaking out. It was one of the lowest points of my existence and there had been some pretty low points at that time.
My therapist later said to me, “Don’t ask a question unless you are prepared for every answer.”


After I got that (the bumps from slamming my head into the wall until I did are probably still visible), I realized that it also applied to sending letters or making phone calls. I was never a Boy Scout so I learned this late in life:

Be prepared.

Yes, be prepared. Instead of the insane fantasies I had about “I love you and I plan to show you that every day for the rest of our lives!” or “I never realized how horrible life could be without you!” I had to face reality that was most likely not ever going to happen and if it did happen, was not going to last.

Instead I had to be prepared for what was probably the odds on favorites to happen.

I had to be prepared for no answer. Be prepared for a nasty answer. Be prepared for a lie. Be prepared for weirdness. Be prepared for confusion. Be prepared to wish to hell you’d never made the connection.

I am so so so so very happy there was no texting or social media way back then. For as much as I made contact, I had to go to trouble to do it…had it been easier, I don’t know what I would have done. But that didn’t stop me (the difficulty) anyway. I contacted and contacted and contacted. I was losing my mind with contact. My therapist told me to SIT ON MY HANDS and for a long time, I had to physically do that. One night I threw the phone out into the snow. I had to rip it out of the wall and I was still convinced that I could just plug it right back in, so I threw it into the snow. Then I wrote about 100 letters that night and mailed about 6 of them.

Honestly. Hard to keep an obsessive crazy person down.
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Judge Show Insanity: Fool Me Three Times, Shame on Me

headsandI watch judge shows because I’m a lawyer and a therapist. I watch for the people stories rather than the law. The small claims cases that make up judge shows are first year law school subjects: torts, contracts, property.

However, the lessons from these shows should be heeded by everyone…don’t shower a lover with gifts and expect to be paid back…don’t get involved with a deadbeat because sooner or later you will be the debtor chasing them around for your money. Don’t bail someone out with money unless you have an agreement IN WRITING for payback. If you go on and on without enforcing a contract, the court may consider the contract null and void because you didn’t enforce the debt until you broke up. If you buy a used car, in most jurisdictions, you buy it AS IS (Massachusetts is one of the few exceptions) and unless you were induced by fraud that you can prove (and puffing isn’t fraud), you are stuck with it even if it breaks down as you drive away from the seller.

The most important thing that judge shows teach is that you can’t buy someone’s love and if you finance a relationship, chances are you’re going to lose a lot of money. I was in a relationship more than once where I seemed to be paying for everything. Putting “not paying for things” on my list of standards was hard, but I did it.
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Suicide Is A Real Issue When You Don’t Believe You Can Get Over IT

sunriseEvery few months I read an article about someone who committed suicide after a breakup or a person who went on a shooting rampage after a breakup. I urge people to spread the word that a breakup is a temporary thing and that you can get over it. I beg people to spread the word. Let people know that a breakup is NOT the end of the world. Then I will, inevitably, get an email from someone saying, “I’m not getting over it. I will never get over this.”
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9/30 Check-in Thread

Green Check MarkAs we bid September goodbye, how is everyone doing?

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Workbook Link

If you’ve written me that your workbook link expired, please let me know that it was reactivated (or not).

If you buy a workbook, please download it right away. The link expiration is a copyright issue and I can’t keep reactivating expired links as it increases the security/copyright issues. Thanks for your help with this!!!

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In Today’s Judge Shows: The Bouncy Bouncy Ex

packerIn today’s court shows, another example of the messes we make for ourselves that we don’t need to make:

On Hot Bench, one woman is suing another. The Plaintiff (P) met the Defendant (D) because the D was dating the P’s ex (X – the invisible Brian who had the brains enough to not show up to this rodeo or maybe he just doesn’t care enough).

At first it was a cantankerous relationship between D and P, but then D and X broke up and X was dating P’s cousin. (PC). D discovers she’s pregnant with X’s baby and she and P move in together. It doesn’t last long as P goes back to X (what a prize!) and they become engaged (conveniently before the court date). D can’t be around X so he doesn’t show up to the case because D has a physical anxiety attack around him and, because she’s pregnant, that is bad for the baby.

P is happier than a pig in poo that she has landed this cheating lunkhead. D looks mortified that she’s going to have a baby with the loser. But it sounds to me that P is happy to have “won” the prize over D and her cousin.
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The Draw of Social Media (and why you need to resist it)

socialnetAre your insides churning? Are you tracking every movement he or she makes? Are you interpreting everything he or she does and trying to figure out which things are really secret messages to you? Are you putting nonsense statuses up on your Facebook page/Twitter feed/Instagram etc to get them jealous? angry? sad?

How about Match.com/eHarmony/Zoosk/Tinder/Tag/whateverMingle or whatever…are you looking at his or her profile and figuring how when he or she is on line? Has he or she suddenly made themselves available again and you’re dying because you can’t stop looking at it.



Immediately defriend the ex and all of the ex’s friends and family from Facebook. Unfollow on Twitter and block on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Stay off of dating sites. Delete anything that is too tempting for you to have on your computer and not peek at your ex from time to time. That’s right: DELETE.

Playing games through social media is unhealthy and ridiculous. RIDICULOUS. Repeat after me: UNHEALTHY AND RIDICULOUS.

DO NOT trash your ex (or anyone else) on social media. If you put something in print, it can (and probably will) come back and haunt you. Anyone who is a temptation (to look at or to talk to or about) GET RID OF. Do not make references or call names to the ex’s new flame or anyone else for that matter. Conduct your life with dignity.

Healthy people don’t do this. Healthy people don’t spend their lives trying to send direct or subliminal messages to people who may or may not be reading. Healthy people don’t spend time trying to outmanuveur someone else by random ranking of vacuous people met in cyberspace. Healthy people don’t sit there and try to figure out what a defriend from a friend of a cousin of an ex really means. Healthy people say good riddance to bad rubbish and call it a day.


What are you looking at? What sort of information are you getting? How do you know that the information is real OR relevant? How do you know that whatever is going on (your photo down, another’s photo up, defriending, demotion etc) is even real? How do you know you are not being manipulated to STAY IN THE GAME. How do you know that?

The ONLY WAY TO WIN IS TO NOT PLAY THE GAME. By participating in Facebook follies and Instagram idiocy, YOU are playing the game. You are keeping trash in your head.

We are not Pavlov’s dogs on social media. We are not drooling when the bell goes off. If we are then something is wrong. You are programming yourself to look and to wonder and to whine and to stay weak when you need to be getting stronger. The endless peeking and worrying is just going to deplete you. You need to stay out of the ex’s head (for the 150th time) and being on the same social networking or dating sites is staying in his or her head.

Then you see something you don’t want to see and you react. STOP REACTING TO THIS STUFF. Stay off these sites. Stop worrying about what the ex is or is not doing or who he or she is or is not replacing you with. I recently wrote about doing a FB detox. I have not been on FB in WEEKS…and I have never felt better and I don’t have an ex to worry about and I conduct myself with grace and dignity. It’s hard at first because it’s a HABIT, but bad habits are made to be broken. At first it’s tough, but it gets so much easier. when I think about logging onto FB I think to myself, “Oh who wants that noise in my life? Not me.”

When you are tempted to do this GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Go out for a walk (there’s a whole world out there that does not exist in cyberspace!)….write in your journal (long hand…turn off the computer)….call a friend…figure out a new hobby. DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE.

Checking and rechecking social media gets to be an addiction and like an addiciton you need to go cold turkey to get clean. Move off the dime and get away from the keyboard and live your own life and stop peeking at the goings on of your moving on ex.

If you’re still expecting or looking for texts, turn the phone off and put it away. You have to detach and move on with your life. If you have to unplug several times a day (and you should be anyway) then so be it. DO IT. I am appalled at the crazy behavior I’ve seen from texting people, from hurting themselves to missing really spectacular things happening around them to failing to care for their children or pets. If your electronic device is stuck to your eyeballs, MOVE IT AWAY and look at life. LIFE. Life is short, put the phone DOWN and LIVE IT. If you CAN’T, that’s a problem – and one you are engaging in willingly.

It is time to BUILD A LIFE OF YOUR OWN, not to be compulsively checking up on your ex. If you were doing this in person you’d be driving by the house or hanging up the phone. This is just as bad but much easier….so STOP IT.

There was an old Simpsons episode where Lisa kept poking Bart and he kept saying “Quit it. Ow. Quit it. Ow. Quit it. Ow.

This is you and your ex. You’re not choosing to move away or do anything to make it stop. You’re just standing there while someone pokes at you. Quit it. Ow. Quit it. Ow.

Saying Quit it OW is NOT going to make it stop.

You MUST walk away. You must decide that you have had enough.

Go out for a walk, join a gym, GET A LIFE but GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

Does it hurt when you do that?


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A Person of Dignity

when-you-know-better-you-do-better1Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. ~ e.e. cummings

I’ve done a lot of strange things in my life due to my screwy upbringing, low self-esteem, relationship dependency/addiction, chaos in my life, confusion and reacting etc.

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Rubber, Meet Road

online-datingIn “Beyond Codependency” Melody Beattie says that relationships are where the rubber meets th road. You can tell where you are in process by looking at your relationships. You can see your own health by looking at the health of your partner. If your partner is a true sicko, what the F is wrong with you? That is the question.

Recovery from bad relationships takes time. We often are at a low point in our self-esteem and at a high point in questionable There are lessons to be learned that we don’t necessarily want to learn. There are steps to take we don’t necessarily want to take. And there are post-traumatic-breakup relationships that we rush into in an effort to leave the ex and the dingy past behind us.
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Discount It All Redux

When I read a lot of comments about wondering about the ex’s behavior or dwelling on the “why’s,” I know it’s time for a rerun of Discount It All.

When I was wrestling with the different things I was being told at the end of my first marriage, someone told me he was a pathological liar. I just stared at this person, unable to speak. The reason it left me speechless was 1) who SAYS that about your husband? and 2) I feared it was true.

There were so many things he said that were simply untrue and couldn’t be true because if they were true then a second set of things he said could NOT be true. It was head spinning stuff.
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