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  • Child Abuse,  Domestic Violence,  Substance Abuse

    Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?

    Today I’m turning my blog over to Kassandra Lamb. Writing and psychology, have always vied for number one on Kassandra Lamb’s Greatest Passions list. In her youth, she had to make a decision between writing and paying the bills. She was partial to heat, electricity and food, so… Now retired from a career as a psychologist, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe with her always kind, generous and insightful protagonist, Kate. When not at her computer, transported in mind and spirit into Kate’s world, she lives in Florida and Maryland, with her husband and her Alaskan Husky, Amelia. She also hangs out on Twitter and Facebook. Take…

  • Substance Abuse

    An Inside Look at Alcoholics Anonymous

    Last week, we talked about What Al-Anon is really like and had a look on the inside by someone who has dealt with loving people with substance abuse issues. Chris Stachura shared her story with us. Thank you, Chris! This week, I want to give you an inside look at how substance abuse can cause a multitude of problems for people. Thankfully there are programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that can help. I’ve been told many times that it literally saved someone’s life. Darlene Steelman has generously offered to share her story with us today in the hopes that anyone reading this that needs help will seek it. Like Chris,…

  • Substance Abuse

    What is Al-Anon Like?

    When someone has a substance abuse issue, loves someone who does or is involved in domestic violence, seeking assistance for the first time can be confusing and intimidating. Taking that first step is often scary. I’ve recommended the services of many of these over the years. Sometimes people took my advice. Sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes they found help on their own. Sometimes they spiraled further out of control. I know that many of them who sought assistance either through recommended services or on their own, found them to be very helpful. I’ve had people call me from out of the blue years later to thank me for something I did…

  • Child Abuse,  Domestic Violence

    Protecting the Abused

    My heart is heavy as I write today’s post. Within the past two weeks, I’ve read about child sexual abuse, missing persons, rapes by spouses, teens driven to suicide by bullying, and children being killed by their parent. Is this the world we live in? After twenty years of working with families and children, I’m still shocked by each new tragedy. I still feel the emotional rawness of each new story. I still feel the despondency at the loss of innocence. I still feel the rage at those who would cause harm to others. I still feel the overwhelming need to make things right. Realistically, I know I am one…

  • Domestic Violence

    Domestic Violence: Are You Safe at Home?

    Robert Montgomery said, “Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.” What a beautiful sentiment. Home should be a place where all who abide there feel safe and cherished. Unfortunately, there are some homes that know violence and fear instead. According to the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.3 million Americans are raped or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner each year.  One in four women will experience intimate partner abuse at some point in their lives.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that, on average, more than three women are murdered…

  • Child Custody,  Coparenting

    Co-Parenting: Putting the Past Where It Belongs

    It’s healthy to look back over the past and think about what you did that worked for you and what sucked the life you might have done differently. This probably includes putting the past behind you.   When it comes to putting the past behind some of you though, you might need to seek professional help one on one. Some of you have had a more difficult time dealing with the ex and have had some pretty bad experiences. I understand that. There is nothing shameful about seeking help from a counselor/therapist or other professional. If it helps you — it helps your child. And that’s the important thing, right?…

  • Child Custody,  Family Court

    Preparing for Family Court

    I want to give you some helpful information on preparing for Family Court. Let’s say you’ve been served with divorce papers. Or, you get a petition to modify custody or access (anything that might change the parent/child relationship). Or, maybe you’re the one doing the filing. You need to prepare for court as far in advance as possible. Here are some of the things you’ll need to do: Hire an attorney. Make a commitment to keep your child(ren) out of the middle of any arguments the two of you may have and to refrain from speaking to them about court unless absolutely necessary and then in only the most general…

  • Child Custody,  Coparenting

    Co-Parenting When Medical Issues Arise

    When my dad was hospitalized, I reflected on my blessings. Two parents who love me and my sister. I also had time to think about all those cases (not one or two, but MANY) over the years in which parents so hated each other, that the kids were forced to endure revolting behavior from one or both  of their gene donors. And those past cases (which translate to living, breathing kids for me) basically  ticked me off. Now those of you who have learned to put aside your differences and think of your children first, probably can’t imagine not telling the other parent when their child is in the hospital…

  • Coparenting

    Respect: An Integral Element of Co-Parenting

    Basically co-parenting boils down to “cooperative parenting” or parenting together. It is a firmly held belief with professionals that children fare better when parents can minimize any trauma during and after their divorce and can communicate, cooperate, and compromise with consistency. Respect is an integral element of co-parenting effectively. I realize not everyone ends their relationship amicably. It would be great for them and their children if that were possible, but unfortunately, it isn’t always. Co-parenting is even more difficult when a marriage ends with hostility. However, it is extremely important for your children that any animosity be put aside. You have to put your children’s needs and best interests…

  • Child Custody,  Coparenting

    Using Kids to Communicate With Your Ex – Don’t Do It

    A friend reported over-hearing a conversation between a mother and child recently. The mother was telling the child to tell her father things that basically the mother should have been discussing with him. And the child was telling the mom how the father wouldn’t listen to her as “that’s not what’s in the court papers”. I’d like to be able to say this hardly ever happens. But I can’t. During the past 20 years, I’ve often heard similar conversations myself or more tragically — children’s versions of these conversations. This is probably the second “wish” kids have who have parents involved in custody litigation. When I asked kids what they…