When Love Hurts

This is a story of two little birds, both cockatiels.

It's about a kind of love that is destructive. It's about when love hurts.

It's also about healing, growing, and changing.

Once there were  two cockatiels who came to a rescue from a hoarding situation. One was named Mama Bird, and one was named Pretty Boy. They were mother and son.

Pretty Boy was quite pretty. He was gorgeous gray, full feathered, and looked like a healthy cockatiel should.

Mama Bird was not...
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The Power of “NO”

My mother says that my first word was no.

I’m not surprised that this was the first true word that came out of my  mouth.

Many children sing out the joys of no regularly and with enthusiasm. "Would you like more potatoes?" "NO!" "Put on your shoes please." "NO!" "Time for a nap." "NO!"

And why not? Children learn very early on that when they say no, something big and important happens. It could be that the food they dislike is...
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10 Things to Say to a Loved One Who Struggles with Depression

If you’ve ever been depressed, you know that awful feeling when well meaning people give advice that simply makes things worse.

There are lots of blogs that talk about what not to say to someone who is depressed.

Here are 10 positive things to say to help.

I’m sorry you’re struggling, and wish I could make it better for you. This phrase doesn’t imply that you understand what they’re going through or that they need to do something. It...
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True Greatness: The Pain of Hidden Illness

I had a very good friend named Mary who suffered from a disease called Lupus.

Lupus can be a mild disease, or it can be horrific and fatal. It can go from mild to severe, back to mild again.

My friend was very sick, and we’d often talk about how she looked fine on the outside, but her body was waging war on itself.

She was yelled at for parking in a handicapped space although she could barely...
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Dear Daughter: 5 Life Lessons for My Child

As my daughter enters the middle of her eighth year, she is changing and growing rapidly.
She vacillates between the feelings and needs of a child, and the desires of independence of a young teen.
Eight years old is an age of rapid maturation for many children. She picks up on the nuances of relationships. She hears the news and is afraid sometimes. She is learning her own boundaries and setting limits, but still...
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3 Steps to Battle Self-Hatred

Dear Reader,

If I were to sneak inside your head, just for a moment, what would I hear?

At your darkest moment, when you’re all alone with your thoughts and your thoughts are the things of chaos, when you can’t sleep, and you are at your lowest, what words would slip into being?

Is your head full of hate to yourself? Do you chastise and berate your actions of the day? Do you hear anger? Chastisement? Disgust?

If I could magically give...
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Sadness or Depression? Recognizing Mental Illness in Tweens and Teens

Kids carry around a ton of emotion.
As infants, they communicate with cries, screams, and eventually smiles and laughter.
Toddlers grow and begin to use spoken language in addition to laughter, hugs, biting, hitting, and crying.
The childhood years are generally calm. A second grader has not yet entered the emotional turmoil of the teen or preteen years, and has increased social skills that they didn't have as a toddler...
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Mourning Robin Williams: The Tragedy of Suicide

I'm not one for celebrity gossip.

For the most part, I'm content to let the stars of Hollywood live out their drama in their own world of fame. There are very few actors whose lives I pay attention to, or whose deaths I truly mourn.

Robin Williams is one of the them.

And tonight I am saddened. I am grieved by the death of a man who made his living through his expression of joy and laughter, who...
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Do You Have a Challenging Toddler? 8 Simple, Proven Solutions

Ah, toddler-hood: the years when a child's mind is growing faster than their speech, where they have big feelings but little control. Parenting a toddler is challenging to say the least.
My daughter is seven now, but I clearly remember those days of leaving the grocery cart full and walking out of the store with a flailing, screaming 2 year old. Nearly anything can set a toddler off: a cat...
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