holiday self care

Don’t Be A Grinch! : Managing Holiday Stress

"Keep Calm and Get Your Ho Ho Ho On!"

Disclaimer: I am a therapist, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and I wear many other hats. And I am actually writing this article for myself. Like you,  I am also human. And I need to be reminded on some tips for self-care during the ubiquitously frenzied holiday season. Please join me as I spell it out for us:

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Don’t Get Sucked Back into the Vortex: Hoovering Is Not A Compliment

"The best karma a narcissist can receive is actually the weight of your indifference and success after you leave them." - Shahida Arabi, 30 Kickass Affirmations for Going No Contact with an Abusive Narcissist

Didn't a wise person once say "being forewarned is forearmed?" Indeed, the (U.S.) holiday period between Halloween (October 31) and Valentine's Day (February 14) is prime "hoovering" time for psychological abusers.

Just what is "hoovering," for those of you who are late to the bandwagon of the latest buzzword (i.e. narcissism) to modern times?

Hoovering: (definition)- noun- The state in which a psychological abuser (typically an individual manifesting symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or perhaps a blend of other Personality Disorders) returns to attempt to abuse a former source of narcissistic supply (i.e. ego fuel) via text, email, phone or in person (Schneider, 2015). The term "Hoover" refers to the vacuum (by the Hoover brand), as an analogy to suctioning up and reconnecting with prior sources of ego gratification by the narcissistic abuser.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Abandonment Fears of a Vulnerable Narcissist: BPD at the Core

When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” Brene Brown
We, in the mental health field, who work with survivors of psychological abuse generally are versed in the subtle nuances of personality disorders. As a strengths-focused therapist, I have always been loathe to assign labels to human beings. However, as relates to healing in the aftermath of psychological abuse, my clients often find relief in understanding the specific type of abuse they have sustained. In many circumstances, the clients I work with have been impacted by narcissistic abuse, whether in family, romance or work settings. Psycho-education empowers my clients to heal, as they work through cognitive dissonance after experiencing a multitude of emotional abuse tactics by their abuser (Louis de Canonville, 2017).

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Silent Treatment, Ghosting, and No Contact: Telling It Like It Is

"Don't let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace." Dalai Lama

Time and again people are confusing the concepts of silent treatment, ghosting, and no contact. These topics are deployed as relates to communication between dating partners, friends, family members, and colleagues, and not always with the best of intentions. So to further assist with defining each of these concepts, the purpose of said action, and the intended response by the "executioner" of such statements shall be the focus of this article.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Push-Pull Dynamic of a Romantic Relationship with a Narcissist

"A mistake that is repeated more than once is a decision." Unknown Author

In my private practice I work with many clients who are healing from toxic relationships in love, work or family. Commonly, my clients are managing cognitive dissonance in the aftermath of a myriad of abuse weaponry by their psychological abuser, including gaslighting, blame-shifting/projection, silent treatment, and power/control grandstanding. What many are confused by is the push-pull cycle of "come close/go away" behaviors.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

“You Don’t Have to Be a Jackass Whisperer”: Studies in Narcissistic Behavior

"Don't Try to Win Over the Haters; You are Not a Jackass Whisperer." Brene Brown

I don't mean any disrespect to donkeys/jackasses/mules in the natural world. I actually really love animals. But for the purpose of illustrating a point to my readers and clients, the jackass archetype is your basic stubborn, arrogant, narcissistic (fill in the expletive) jerk/diva.

I work with many clients who are healing in the aftermath of toxic relationships in love, work or family. And today I'd like to share some advice on moving forward from these hollow, dangerous people.

competition in motherhood

Maternal Mental Health Awareness

"Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than the natural laws." Barbara Kingsolver

Many of us women grow up with notions of becoming mothers some day. It is how we are socialized; we play with baby dolls and tenderly feed the pretend bottle to our dolly. We visualize what it will be like to be a mother someday, setting a table for tea while zooming off in our tricycle to work. Conceptualizations of motherhood morph and change with the times, and yet here we are, biologically, and in many cases sociologically and psychologically, primed for motherhood.

Enter real live baby, full time job, and perhaps other children and a spouse. There are many pressures on the modern mother to not only attend emotionally to her child(ren) but to also provide for her family.  In essence, so many pressures and expectations of motherhood can add tremendous stress to the new mom.


Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Perinatal Loss: An Empty Cradle

"It is the kind of heartache you can feel in your bones." Unknown author, following loss of baby

Social Media will light up this October with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month posts. Perinatal loss is the term for the death of an infant during pregnancy or shortly thereafter--it may include miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

Statistics are staggering and likely minimum, 15-20% of all child-bearing women develop perinatal depression/anxiety during the period of time between conception and a year beyond childbirth (PSI, 2017).  That is way too many women who are holding onto that suffering in isolation, likely due to stigma, among other factors.

However, when a woman (and her partner) experience perinatal loss, that percentage goes up significantly, and newly mourning parents are at particular risk for depression and anxiety subsequent to the perinatal loss of their baby.