I am Brutally Honest About All My Baggage

Holding onto Hurt or Letting it Go…



Shame, Invalidation, & A Little Baggage…

imageMarsha Linehan, Phd., founder of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, defines invalidation as trivializing, punishing, judging, or ignoring a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and identity (Linehan, 1997). In order to understand the importance of this concept it is vital to differentiate how its definition in the field of psychology is unique. A quick review of Merriam Webster’s online dictionary yields the following definition: Invalid: “being without foundation or force in fact, truth, or law…logically inconsequent.” (invalid, n.d.)


Anatomy of a Misunderstanding…

Image“I am extremely hurt by this labeling Kathleen. I am COMPLETELY misunderstood. And I don’t think there is anything that I can do about it…”

The above quote is my sister’s response to an email I sent to my family when I first entered therapy back in 2010. I became interested in the insights from therapy models (like the DBT Skills Group I was enrolled in at the time. I applied these skills daily and found them very beneficial. I also was fascinated by the results of some MBTI assessments of myself and immediate family members.


And Cancer Trumps PTSD…

ImageAround late fall of last year as I was entering my final year of coursework, I was assaulted by a patient at work. This re-traumatizing experience forced me to seek the rhelp of my old therapist, whom I now visit with monthly. In our initial session she was quite direct with me about her disappointment about my lack of self care. This much-needed wake up call has resulted in a new exercise and nutrition regimen. Other steps taken included reaching out to others and taking time to de-stress. Finally, I made a conscious effort to avoid isolating myself and reached out to others.


“It was the most miserable day of my life…”

My husband stood in the kitchen watching our two young sons snuggling on the sofa in the living room. They were watching their favorite cartoon before bedtime. My husband’s eyes welled up with tears as he whispered quietly: “look at them, so happy, contented, safe and secure.” Knowing of my husband’s own painful childhood, I couldn’t help but get caught up in his love and gratitude for what we’ve created together


“IT’s Unspoken Rules”

Emperor In a previous post I shared my story of an bad relationship, titled “Stages of Change”. It has been over twenty years since I managed to leave. I often refer to this period as “the IT years” after my mother jokingly one day to “please stop saying that name!!” It was the most trying time of my life. In the 20+ years since leaving, I’ve grown by leaps and bounds. I’m grateful for the lessons learned and the loving marriage I enjoy today. In this post I share some of my 20/20 hindsight. What follows is an overview of his “modus operandi”. If you’re dating a guy who thinks like this – RUN!!!


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