Archive for January, 2008

Online Friendships

January 31, 2008

As a novice to the blogosphere, I have been surprised to find real friendships developing with people I have never met in person, and probably never will.  I worry about them. I confide in them.  I feel connected…. I’m wondering what your experience of online friendships has been?

The Drowning

January 30, 2008

Along with a flare in my lupus symptoms lately, I’ve been pretty depressed. Denying it to one and all, but when my daughter, also a therapist, keeps pointing it out to me, I stop and take note. And yeah….I have been depressed. I was attributing it to the lupus, but am now realizing belatedly that very soon it will be the anniversary of my father’s death. He was younger than I am now when he died of cancer. Somewhere, not too deep inside, I’ve always had this doom feeling that I too would die an early death. From illness. My father died of cancer. So here is the poem I wrote about that defining experience about 25 years ago:

THE DROWNING

Every now and then you hear of one.

You shudder    shake your head   and knock wood

when next you swim (as if you had a choice).

Streaming downriver with all the rest of them

buoyed by careful innocence and a fine summer

day    kicking    laughing    gasping    splashing

you hoist yourself on the dead man’s float 

for a gulp of air.

The mute scream sails skyward like a black balloon.

A man has gone under    heels over head   like a

tumbling fetus.  You try to grab him but he’s beyond

your reach     all flailing limbs   and bobbing head

and     naked    naked    naked    white

sinking feet first into it    the spiral crystal chasm

the one you never see in the middle of the river

because you had this fixed idea

about the natural flow of things.

I LOVE YOU! you scream at the head

just before it goes under.

What hurts the most later is the stillness of the water

unmarked but for jeering green reflections on its surface:

just watch how they drip through your fingers.

The river continues across the void.

He re-emerges   head first   squirting water

from his mouth like a playful dolphin

warming his face in the sun.

He smiles faintly back at you but

moves on    regret tossed behind

as distant as the grief that

always lies ahead.

by Psychscribe copyright 2008

Psychscribe Quote # 14

January 30, 2008

“I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts our sleep so much as the fear…that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived.”
HAROLD KUSHNER

How Would You Describe Your Relationship with Yourself?

January 29, 2008

This is purposely an open ended question/title. Since most of my readers are introspective souls, I hope you will enjoy.

Affairs: Have You Strayed? (Repeat Post)

January 26, 2008

* I’m sorry to have to repeat, but my previous post didn’t make it into the categories due to a bug that wordpress is diligently working on. So for those who never read the first one, please read on: 

Affairs are one of the most frequent reasons people come to couples counseling. I plan to begin a series of posts about affairs that may be of help to you and your partner. But first I’d like to hear from some people who have been through this. (The next post will ask questions of the spouse or partner who has been cheated on.)

Are you male or female? Have you ever had a one nigh stand? An actual affair? Why? Did you choose to remain with your partner? Why? Did you tell your partner? Why or why not?

Would You Stay if Your Partner Cheated? (Repeat Post)

January 26, 2008

* I’m sorry to run this again, but my previous post didn’t make it into any of the categories due to some bug that wordpress is working on correcting. So for those who didn’t see this, here it is again:

 Most people start off proclaiming: not me! No way! If my partner was willing to risk our relationship, that would tell me it didn’t mean very much. I could never feel the same.

Its a real hard hit to find out that life just is not black and white. Affairs are one of the most frequent crises that bring people to relationship therapy. The person who had the affair really doesn’t want the marriage or partnership to end, and neither does the person who was cheated on. They usually arrive feeling somewhat dazed, like they can’t believe they’re in my office despite their value systems. Despite their own behavior.

Would you stay? Have you stayed when you never thought you would?

Would You Stay if Your Partner Cheated?

January 25, 2008

Most people start off proclaiming: not me! No way! If my partner was willing to risk our relationship, that would tell me it didn’t mean very much. I could never feel the same.

Its a real hard hit to find out that life just is not black and white. Affairs are one of the most frequent crises that bring people to relationship therapy. The person who had the affair really doesn’t want the marriage or partnership to end, and neither does the person who was cheated on. They usually arrive feeling somewhat dazed, like they can’t believe they’re in my office despite their value systems. Despite their own behavior.

Would you stay? Have you stayed when you never thought you would?

Affairs: Have You Strayed?

January 25, 2008

Affairs are one of the most frequent reasons people come to couples counseling. I plan to begin a series of posts about affairs that may be of help to you and your partner. But first I’d like to hear from some people who have been through this. (The next post will ask questions of the spouse or partner who has been cheated on.)

Are you male or female? Have you ever had a one nigh stand? An actual affair? Why? Did you choose to remain with your partner? Why? Did you tell your partner? Why or why not?

Psychscribe Quote(s) #13

January 24, 2008

I needed some inspiration this morning, surfed YouTube, and really liked this by pokerworld.  Hope you do too.

Would You Have Cosmetic Surgery?

January 23, 2008

When I  was in my 30’s I swore I would NEVER, EVER get any “work done” as they say. It was a big political thing to me…and actually still is…the way the culture promotes…demands…. youth and beauty…. particularly for women… Its as if you’re really not worth anything without it.(Hollywood movies are a perfect examle of this). I loudly defied that value to everyone i knew…I loudly rejected it…not ME i said, blindly looking into my distant future…

Well now, 20 years later, I can see how much I’ve internalized that value…and to be brually honest with myself, I wish with all my heart that I could do the very culturally induced and encouraged medical mutililation (cosmetic surgery) that I protested and none the less inernalized! I cannot risk any unnecessary surgery due to my lupus, yet not a day goes by that I don’t lift my jowls and pull back my neck and think oh! How much better I woud look!

I read a quote somewhere like “Being beautiful is only difficult once you lose it”…I couldn’t agree more….

(This post is a response I made to a post in  Amberfireinus’s Weblog.)

Psychscribe Quote #12

January 21, 2008

“Would the little kid you were look up to the person you grew up to be?” Author Unknown

Are You an Alpha Female?

January 20, 2008

I know they exist, and I know I am one. I tried to find some objective definitions of alpha females but couldn’t find any. So my working definition is that an alpha female is strong, confident, and a leader.  The problem is that many people of both genders really can’t stand alpha females  I think this is because they feel threatened.  A man who is a strong, confident leader is an alpha. A female who is a strong, confident leader is a bitch. What do you think?

OOPS! Never trust anyone OVER 30!

January 20, 2008

THAT was the exact hippie quotation. I can’t believe no other boomers corrected me on this 🙂

Never Trust Anyone Past 30

January 18, 2008

In the hippie days, that slogan was everywhere: “Never trust anyone past 30.”  It was a dividing line…anyone older than 30 was considered “old” and not to be trusted because it was assumed they had a vastly different value system.  People who once touted that slogan became truly depressed when their 30th birthday hit. And I do mean hit.

I’m wondering if people will tell me where the dividing line is now, in your opinion? What age would be the beginning of  “old” and how old are you?  Boomers, young people (whatever age that is!) are all encouraged to reply.

 I really am curious, so thank you in advance for your replies.

Where are the dog people?

January 18, 2008

Only cat people responded to my post Are You a Cat Person or a Dog Person.  I guess there are no dog lovers on wordpress….

Guilt & Shame: What’s the Difference?

January 17, 2008

A lot of people get these two feelings confused.

Guilt is the feeling you have when you’ve done something wrong.  It comes from inside of yourself. Its something you may want to make amends for. It nags at you. Maybe you were unkind to someone. Maybe you broke the law. That kind of thing. It does not consume your identity..

 Shame, on the other hand, is something that is done to you by the bad behavior of another person. It is abuse.It is usually done to children, who grow up feeling they are damaged or defective in some way. Their whole self concept is negative, because they’ve grown up thinking there must be something inherently wrong with me if an adult would treat me that way. The same thing happens when an adult is assaulted. They absorb the shame of the abuser, thus keeping the abuser in control long after he or she is gone.

Therapy can help you to put the shame back on the abuser, where it belongs, and take back control of who you are.

Psychscribe Quote # 11

January 17, 2008

“Don’t hide the lines in my face when you photograph me. I suffered too much to get them.” Anna Magnani

Lupus – I confess

January 16, 2008

Well, anyone who follows my blog has probably figured out by now that I have lupus.  I hide behind my screen name on this because I’m afraid my clients will either not want to work with a therapist who has a chronic illness, or feel like they need to take care of me. I realize the word “confess” in the subject line sounds like I feel like I’ve done something wrong. I don’t. I just mean I confess to the truth  that I’ve sort of, kind of, been hiding in my blog. There are some patients of mine who have the link to this blog. These are paients I have a longstanding relationship with who I trust will not draw back in horror. And who I trust are healthy enough to handle this infomation.

I think I’ve chosen to come out of the closet on this because there is a stigma about having it, much as people whispered about someone having cancer when I was growing up.   Or else people don’t know what on earth it is, or have heard only horror stories. I will tell you my story in a subsequent post. I want to raise public awareness about this disease and as of this post, I’ve had a defining moment! And it feels good.  It also feels good to me because lupus affects mostly women,  and I have always been a champion of womens issues.      To be continued….

Are You a Cat Person or a Dog Person?

January 16, 2008

I admit outright that I am completely biased, since I have two Maine coon cats,  but here’s what I think. Cats RULE. Dogs are ruled. So cat people, independant themselves, are drawn to  independent felines. . And dog people, perhaps craving devotion (?), are drawn to devoted canines. What’s your take on this?

Psychscribe post on different blog today

January 15, 2008

Today’s post, Learning to Love an Aging Mother, can be found at http://cafecrem.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/learning-to-love-an-aging-mother/  Thanks for reading.

Do You Remember Your Love Story?

January 14, 2008

I’m sure you do. And if you think about  it now…how you met….when exactly you knew you were in love…it feels really good, doesn’t it? How often do you remind your partner of this lovely beginning? The details, the music, the time of year, that special secret place….? Way too many couples let all this fade into history. Not a good idea at all. Because with the fading of the memories comes the fading of the romance that brought you together. Romance is a major nutrient for any relationship. We need it to keep the relationship alive, well and healthy.  

I don’t care if you’ve been together for two years or forty years.   Take the time, periodically, to light a candle, sit on the couch together, play your old songs, and remind each other of your love story. Every little detail. You’ll be delighted to discover what you each remember.  And then the most magical thing will happen. For a while, a very nice while, you will turn back time and be those same two people who saw only the good in each other. And felt all that chemistry.  And then…..who knows what might happen on that couch

Would you be willing to tell us about your love story?

PSYCHSCRIBE’S NEW BLOG

January 12, 2008

Hi Everyone! I am very excited to tell you about my new “baby”. The new  blog is called  “What’s Your Biggest Regret?”  Please come visit at http://biggestregret.wordpress.com!

Thanks so much,

Psychscribe

What is Your Core Value?

January 11, 2008

 Here is my core value: personal authenticity.  It hasn’t changed in over 20 years, though I do believe for some people the core value does evolve, morph into something else…  I think the core value is most definitely connected to our personal defining moments……so I need to think about which of mine this springs from….. Think about it if you will and tell me, what is yours?

Psychscribe Quote # 10

January 11, 2008

“Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the  bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much  about those things if you blew an aneurysm this afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?  ……… Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.” Anna Quindlen

Best Advice I’ve Ever Seen

January 11, 2008
This is a speech by Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer prize winning author, at a graduation
ceremony at American University., where she was awarded an honorary PhD.
“I’m a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don’t
 ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here
 this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be
 hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands
 of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only
 person alive who has sole custody of your life.
Your particular life.
Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a
 car, or at the computer.
Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart.
Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.  People don’t
 talk about the soul very much anymore.
It’s so much easier to write a resume
than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter’s night, or
when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve received your test
results and they’re not so good. 
Here is my resume:
I am a good mother to three children.
I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent.
I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe.
I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have
tried to make marriage vows mean what they say.
I am a good friend to my friends and they to me. Without them, there would
be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out.
But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at
best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true.  You cannot be really
first rate at your work if your work is all you are.
So here’s what I wanted to tell you today:
 
Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the
 bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much
 about those things if you blew an aneurysm this afternoon, or found a lump
 in your breast?
 
Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water
 pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and
 watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls
 with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and
 first finger.
 
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love,
 and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up
 the phone. Send an email. Write a letter.
Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever,
and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness
that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give
it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.
All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will
never be enough.  It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and
our minutes.
It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids’ eyes,
the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.  
It is so easy to exist instead of to live.  I learned to live many
years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned
that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you
get.
I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of
it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do
that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:
 
Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in
the back yard with the sun on your face.
  
Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you
do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.”