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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Laura Doyle "6 Reasons why Marriage Counseling is BS"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-doyle/marriage-counseling_b_1933187.html

A few week ago or so, I came across this article and became very angry. Unfortunately there was not enough space to refute the article point by point in the comment space, but luckily I have a blog :D. So you folks get to suffer through it with me.

  Some of my background: I have been to therapists off and on for the past 12 years. Currently, I'm in the last year and a half of a masters program to be a therapist (eventually to be certified as a family and marriage counselor). I'm familiar with the stigma of seeing a therapist, especially as I can't get my husband to go see one even though he has panic attacks and has alot of unresolved issues from his childhood that ambush him in the "here and now" of his life. So besides having been to a therapist (like the author) I've been trained in how to be a therapist for the past 3 years (unlike the author who has no therapy training but holds retreats in California to teach women how to attract the right man and have a successful relationship with them. I had no idea all you needed for that qualification was a journalism degree and a few books published! - sarcasm).

  1) "It starts with calling your husband a loser"
             Well, isn't that special. So going to therapy to try and fix communication with between you and your husband mean you're insulting your husband. Is that reality? Or is it stigma that needs to be cleared up? If someone is having panic attacks and ends up in mandatory therapy, does that make them a loser? So this one would be the husbands stereotype of what marriage therapy is.
              On the other hand, the goal of family and marriage counseling is to change patterns of thinking and behavior that are causing problems in the relationship. This would include negative talk, anger covering pain and hurt, and triangles that exist. If a husband feels that he will not be heard during marital therapy because the wife instigated the therapy and choose the therapist, that is a valid concern that would need to be addressed first and foremost by hearing him out and making sure he feels like he is part of the process. A therapist can do this with some strategic assignments or with some structural moves (both family and marriage counseling theories).

2) Some Marriage Counselor's are Failures.
          So your counselor got divorced. Which totally means they can't treat people who are married and trying to stay married. Awesome. Does that mean that an adult who failed english in high school shouldn't teach english as an adult? What about someone who did drugs? It turns out that peer counseling is actually very valuable and worthwhile. So someone did drugs in the past and is now able to counsel going through what they went through. Marriage is a relationship. We all have relationships and sometimes they're successful and healthy and sometimes they're not. But if we JUDGED (yes that is the word I'm using for this point) people based on their past and became prejudiced against them because of it, what does that make us?
          How else can I put this.. Well, I'll give it a try :D. Counselors are trained to use theories in order to treat their clients. Sometimes there is self-disclosure, but usually not to a particularly high degree. The therapy is supposed to be driven by the theory, not our personal experiences. If we self-disclosed and talked from our own personal experiences all the time then it would be more like hanging out with friends, not a blank psychodynamic slate for the client to project upon us and for us to be able to reflect back on them. Though, I am the last person to say that our experience won't help us. I believe that my childhood experiences of growing up in an abusive and neglectful household can help me be empathetic. But I can't JUDGE my client through the lens of my past experience because what they're going through is different.

3) Any fool can complain, and most do during marriage counseling.
        That is the truth, for both sides. But with a therapist who is properly directive and in charge of the therapy session, as it should be, that isn't what therapy is. A therapist is not someone you go too every two weeks or once a month to complain. It's someone you go to in order to develop new coping skills, to change a behavior that isn't working for you, to learn new communication skills. If you're just there to complain and get nothing out of it, then yes, the therapist is not doing their job and the time and money is wasted.
       Therapy is about helping the client develop insights about themselves which help them grow as a person. How much do you wanna bet that is what the author, Laura Doyle, is doing at her retreats, without a real background in training for it. Why? Because after a while with working with people, its supposed to be intuitive.

4) It's a hideout for hypocrites.
        Now here is where she really gets into the prejudices for the type of people that go to therapy. In fact, from this point forward, everything she talks about is almost an insult to the type of people who go to therapy. So yeah, people often go to therapy, either individual or couples, with a strong sense that they are right and the other person is wrong. But that is a breakdown in communication, which, again, is what the therapy is supposed to be working on. No one goes into therapy perfect and knowing what all the real deep problems are with a relationship.
       An example of this would be a couple in which one is high functioning and one is low functioning. So perhaps the low functioning is depressed and doesn't clean up around the house. The high functioning partner is working two jobs, cleans up and is thoroughly sick other low functioning and on their high horse about it. They go to marriage counseling and the high functioning gradually discovers that they are enabling the behavior by picking up after the person, the low functioning person gradually receives coping mechanisms to deal with the depression and whatever else is malfunctioning in the relationship. The high functioning realizes that the lack of affection is adding to the stress in the relationship and they start to do more things together. etc etc etc. So yeah, we could call the high functioning a hypocrite because they do not see how their being cruel to the low functioning perpetuated the problem, but its all in the word usage, isn't it?

5) Men are not big, hairy women.
    This one, honestly, made me laugh. Of course we should have respect for each other, but this also goes the other way in which women really sometimes need to know how her partner feels. So besides being respectful about his masculinity, he needs to be respectful for her femininity and need for emotional exchanges. This goes in with the criticisms for Laura Doyle's style and of surrendering to the man. I actually get this, but I think of it more as surrendering to life and choices and trying to find joy within life regardless of whats going on at times just to balance out. I do not want to "surrender" to my husband, I'd rather be a partner who can receive what I need as well as give him what he needs.
      But this point again, is going into the prejudices and is giving (sorry) men an out. Sometimes you gotta say what your feeling, even if the society you were raised in, and your family of origin, didn't do that. We do things for our loved ones we normally wouldn't do, because we love them. Sometimes we bend and change ever so much for them rather then wait for them to bend and change for us. In therapy, both sides are expected to eventually learn how to do this. And how to accept the other person.

6) It's the most expensive way to try and control your spouse.
    Is it me, or is this just rewriting what the other points have said? Again, I'll repeat myself. Proper therapy means that you learn to communicate and talk to each other in positive ways, and yes to sometimes simply accept each other. Of course some couples will go into therapy for their marriage when really they need to work on their own personal stuff, but that's when a therapist would say, "I'd like to give you a referral to another therapist to do some personal work, I really think you would get so much out of it and it would likely help the relationship with your partner."

Here's my shtick. Some therapists suck, they don't join well, they don't use theory properly, and they can't keep their life compartmentalized. Anyone who has gone through a few therapists knows this. Not every therapist is going to work for every person. But, saying that marriage counseling is BS is like saying that all movies suck, its just a gross generalization. Sometimes we hear things we aren't ready to hear or do not want to hear from a therapist, sometimes they're just plain wrong. Guess what, therapists are human! Holy shit, really? yeah, really, they're human :D.

      This is my story, I'm sticking to it. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cruise/Holmes Divorce Gossip

So I'm finding this interesting, mostly because I called it a few years ago like so many other people, especially as Katie Holmes started to look more and more unhappy. I mean body language much? So I will be the first to admit that I read People magazine, I go to their website and I enjoy the gossip (though not the mean stuff).
  Yesterday, I overheard a coworker complaining about the news of where Katie is sending Suri to school this fall being all over the radio waves this morning. She apparently thought they should be reporting about starving children, or the Syria civil war and things like that. Now I am not at all saying that that isn't important news, quite the contrary. And if you want to hear about it, cnn and all the other major news channels have information on that on the main page of their websites.
  But here's the thing. My life is hard lately, I'm dealing with cancer, and I do not have any money for bills, living paycheck to paycheck, I'm worrying about doing my internship and having to cut down on an actual paying job to do so in a year and a half. I have alot of stress. I do not have the money to even adopt a child through one of those charity agencies, nor can I go to Syria and solve their civil war problems. I will, and have, protested for some of the things in this very country I disagree with (such as banning same sex marriage or cutting funding to planned parenthood). But otherwise, I pretty much am in a place where I need to deal with what I have, and find amusement where I can.
  And people have found amusement in people who were in better financial straights then themselves for hundreds of years. Just look at Pride and Prejudice and the opening few paragraphs, who has rented a house and grounds, who has married, who has been disgraced. This type of gossiping shows us that those who have so much more money then us it literally boggles our minds, are just like us really with the same trials and tribulations (if not in money at least).
  I strive to never be vicious, but let the folks who enjoy the quandaries the rich and famous find themselves in enjoy it. It is what it is. So if I prefer to hear about Katie Holmes newfound freedom and what she is doing with it vs the war in Syria or starving children. This is not a bad thing, its a protective thing for our poor feeble lives that require us to find amusement where we can. I do not favor or encourage people who take it up to far and are cruel or stalking with it. The paparazzi need to take a chill pill. But that is my evaluation of why people find the rich and famous interesting in their comings and goings. I mean they take so many vacations when some of us haven't had one in 10 years. Its wishful thinking so we'll leave it at that.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Does being gay or lesbian hurt other people?

I am being honest here, gay's and lesbians do not bother me at all. My sister is gay and married, my first husband experimented after we divorced; does not bother me. But I wish someone would explain the disgust and hatred of consenting adults who love each other. If we remove the bible from the discussion, what would be your stance? That is a conversation I would find interesting.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another CNN article.. To exercise or sleep?

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/17/quad-athlon-swim-bike-run-inspire/

So this morning an article by Jeff Dauler called "Quad-athon: Swim. Bicycle. Run. Inspire!" was published and its a good article, very inspirational about getting in shape and running and 3 short bits of advice on how to get healthy in your head first. Good stuff.

  The problem? Well, its lovely that he has 30 minutes a day to run, but does anyone else?

So, I weigh 196 (okay 197 :P) pounds and that is only 10 pounds less then when I gave birth last August 2011. I lost 5 pounds in January (before grad classes picked up again for the Spring semester) doing 3-4 dances a night from Dance 3 on my Wii. So that was fun. Then grad school started and my schedule went to crap.

I want to lose weight, I really do. I don't want to weigh 95 lbs like I did when I graduate from high school (twig much?) but I would like to be in the 145-155 range. That would make me really happy. But I can't do it without exercising.  So I walk during my two 15 minutes breaks at work every day, and get out and walk or bike every weekend on Saturday AND Sunday (not either or haha), I've cut down my portions of food, cut out snacks and that's about all I have time to do. I do not have time to run for 30 minutes a day. And because of that, I'm back to 197 (fine, I'll be honest) and stable. So obviously I need to exercise more consistently and harder to lose weight.. But when? Seriously, when? When you have so much on your plate, when are you supposed to exercise at a gym?

When I'm not in grad school my schedule is thus:

  Wake up at 5:15 AM
  Get baby up, get her a bottle, change her diaper, feed her.
  Get dressed, cleaned up, get my bag together and out the door by 5:55 AM
  I have an hour commute on a bus
  Work from 8-4 with a half hour lunch (barely enough time to make a meal really, but I have to say that the
Smart One Meals are pretty good).
  Leave for the bus at 4 PM
  Hour commute home on the bus
  Get home and change the baby's diaper, make dinner for family, feed the baby, try and eat dinner myself, make sure 4 year old is eating, get kids ready for bed, try and have some family time with kids (yes they actually need this)
  Go to bed (around 8:30). 4 year old out by 9. I'm out a half hour later, only to be woken around 10:30, back to sleep, up again at 1am, back to sleep, up at 3am, up at 4:30 am (damn birds), up at 5:15 am
restart.

When am I supposed to get some meaningful heavy duty exercising in?
 I cannot be the only mom who is wondering this.. seriously. I cannot quit my job because I am the only person with a job as my husband is on disability and just had surgery. I have cancer so I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible with a teething baby so I'm NOT getting up at 4 am to exercise as I do not look like a bird.

Life just happens, and unfortunately, I have to realize that I'm going to be fat until I quit my job to do my internship (which is at least 20 hours a week in either Cooperstown or Schenectady.. but hoping for Cooperstown). With those hours I can exercise :P.

So here's to resigning to never being a size 8 again. But I would settle for a 12 :D

Be well, hope everyone had a great mother's day (at least everyone that actually reads this.. somebody does.. I saw the stats haha.

As my 4 year old daughter Lizzie would say:
"MEEP!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Women and Rape - Comments on a CNN Article

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/22/justice/miltary-academy-lawsuit/index.html?hpt=ju_c2

This is the link to an article on CNN.com called "Betrayal of Trust? Allegations of Rape at West Point, Annapolis" by Kyra Philips and Jessi Joseph.

 The reason for me blogging on this is because of the comments being posted underneath the article that actually make me want to throw up. Another website (http://www.oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php) states that one in four women in college report having survived a rape or attempted rape since the age of 14. I am a victim of rape, and molestation by my uncle. I know other women who were victims as well. I do not know anyone who was raped or molested who pressed charges.

  That being said, the comments on this article go from women ask for it for drinking to women are lying and cry rape when it never happened out of meanness. Considering that most women do not actually report rape or attempted rape, its highly unlikely that anyone would cry wolf in those circumstances. Do I believe that it doesn't happen, of course not. But why would a successful, high achieving, young woman report rape when she knows (from history, people) that her case will likely be blown up in the media considering where it happened. In fact, this case is hardly unusual. According to the website for the Military Rape Crisis Center states that every four hours a sexual assault or rape is reported to the US military.

  Also, you can read "The Lonely Soldier: The Private War on Women Serving in Iraq" By Helen Benedict, which documents real accounts of women in the military who were raped while serving overseas and how their cases were handled (or not as the case may be).

  With these kind of statistics, the comments I see under the CNN article disgusted me. If you want to read them please feel free to go there. In terms of copyright and such I'm not familiar with, and the fact that I do not want to read what new despicable comments have been posted, I'm not going to degrade my blog (lowly as it is) with them.

  Why did I blog about this? Because I have daughters. Because I was once in the army and they treated me just like everyone else while I was there in line, but once they discovered I had to go because I was pregnant I was a verbal punching bag. Because reaction to trauma such as rape does not equate Borderline Personality Disorder, but may just be shock and fear!

  I do believe that women should be able to serve in any capacity in the military that they choose and feel perfectly safe while doing it. If someone has a problem with it, where is the problem? With the woman who is trying to do her job, or the one who makes it a problem in the first place? Soldier is not a female or male world, it is gender neutral!

  We are making progress in this country, but the patriarchal threads that still bind and suffocate this country disgust me, and I hope that every article, every rapist who goes to jail, ever lawsuit, every man and woman who speak up to say "Women are not less then men!" breaks another thread!

  So I raise my bottle of water to every woman who has been raped and reported it and especially to those ladies who are all over the news now, Karley Marquet and Annie Kendzior. May you find peace, love and hope. You have been heard!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Attack on Facebook

Everyone is basically on Facebook, right? This is likely true. It helps you get in touch and stay in touch with old friends who may or may not live far away, right? Again, probably true. But does it really foster a sincere sense of community? I honestly believe that for weeks my friends will post (and this includes me) but very few people actually check out the posts and comment or do more then "like". For me, with all the craziness going on in my life, Facebook has not helped. No one calls me or drops by to check up on me.

  I actually do know that everyone has stress, that there is craziness in everyone's life. But there is a level that my life has gone beyond in which it would just be nice if people would circle the wagons and give me and mine support. Seriously.

  I have thryoid cancer that may or may not have spread to my kidney, I have to keep having ct scans to check it and the situation will be evaluated. Don't you just love having a life or death issue hanging over your head?

  My husband has 4 herniated discs, panic attacks, and is having gastric surgery on April 27th. So you can imagine how much fun that all is right now, right?

  My daughter Lizzie, who is four, is actually having panic attacks when I have to go to work.

  My youngest daughter Abby, who is 7 months old, was sick with fevers last week, though luckily that has resolved. At her wellness check yesterday the doctor expressed concern over her rapid head growth so she is going to be checked for hydrocephalus, which is spinal fluid on the brain. This means an ultrasound on Thursday.

This is my plate right now. My daughters are awesome, my husband is trying, but we're all either sick or stressed to the max and we have no break coming. It's like we're stuck in a tornado spinning around and around with bad news coming over and over.

My life may not be this:

But damn it why can't it be this for just a few weeks for once?
PEACE!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Scary Mommy" and other matters

Okies so a couple of things, I'm about 39% through reading "Confessions of a Scary Mommy" by Jill Smokler (here is the link to her website: http://www.scarymommy.com/) and I feel relieved. Relieved that I'm not the only batshit crazy mom in the world who is not the picture perfect mom that society thinks we should be. We have emotions, we are individuals, and damn it we need a damn nap.
 That's me singing on the inside with my alternate, perfect personality. Meow.

If you have some money, read the book. The snippets at the beginning of each chapter alternately horrify and crack me up, so yes, I'm getting weird looks (yet again!) as I walk around my workplace, kindle in hand, laughing out loud. It's kind of like smiling at a complete stranger (why is she doing this, is she sane, will she flip out?) hehe.

  On other notes, today I submitted part of one of my novels in progress to Paper Lantern Lit (http://www.paperlanternlit.wordpress.com/). So though the few friends I have allowed to read my writing have responding positively and want to read more, I'm petrified that I will never hear. Yes I said it, I'm petrified of having my writing rejected... Ahh well, my harpy will continue to be written no matter if the world does not meet her ;).

The above picture was taken in January.. Abby (the bald one) is getting bigger (yes I promise to add more pictures from now on, makes my writing more real probably, and readable.
  Either way, EVERYONE in the house is sick. The hubby's back went out again, Lizzie threw up yesterday and is at the doctors as we speak getting checked out, but mostly to get a doctors note (a $20 dollar doctors note lol), so that we can keep her home from school and she can rest. Abby is sick too. Have you EVER heard of a baby losing their voice? Well, you have now. And yes, yes I'm having them sleep with a humidifier, but it's not a magic wand that keeps them from getting sick.

  This Friday is a full moon and I've decided to take my freaky skills at making charms to the next level and make a few this friday to sell. Need some supplies though, perhaps I'll try and find nettle in the backyards around my house, and try not to get arrested. A little bit of cooking and no more stingy.

  Well, here's to another week, be well! Be real! Most of all be sarcastic!!!
 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Year of Ironic Mishaps

So, short blog that this will be, might as well update with or weird my life has gotten.
  Not supernatural or UFO weird, but the kind of ironic that makes you want to ask, what else could happen? I mean, really?

  My husband is at his normal for 4 herniated discs. My mother is becoming more and more determined to will herself to death so that then the whole world will feel sorry for her, but in the meantime I must cook every meal for her, and there is nothing wrong with her at all (but still hasn't left the house since last August..). hmm.
  Well, Mike finally lost enough weight to schedule his bariatric surgery, yes I'm still disapproving. Why? Because I'm going to have to deal with his shit once he realizes that having this surgery may make him physically incapable of overeating but he is not dealing with the reasons why he does it compulsively. But he doesn't listen to me so I'm letting it lie where it is.

  My beautiful 4 year old Lizzie broke her arm, though I'm not sure how. She was either jumping off the back of the couch or messing around in her grandmother's messy bathroom. I'm not sure which, and perhaps neither is she haha.
  Abby is doing good, though, my 7 month old, so yay!. Still a little cold but she's back to sleeping in her crib and not downstairs because she wakes herself up from coughing every few mintues.

  My white cat (I have two cats), darted out the door on Friday, and ended up the really huge pine tree in our backyard. So yesterday my husband was going on and on and almost crying about how she's going to die, and she's not answering him (probably because she doesn't like him haha) and on and on. I get exasperated (I know I sound cold, and I'm worried too but I've never heard of a cat who went up a tree and never came down when they got hungry enough. seriously.) and once outside I called to her (she of course answered) and I climbed up one tree limb that was maybe 3 feet from the ground. Seriously, just three feet. She didn't come, and I sure as hell was NOT going to climb up any higher (I'm not strong, I weight 200 lbs and am 31, so climbing trees is stupid, I KNOW this haha). So I reached my foot down to jump down, and jumped. Down on the side of my ankle and severely sprained it. So much fun. So my ankle hurts, I'm at work (yay), and of course Gwen the white cat is inside the house at home haha.

  I'm going to blame all the drama in my life on my husband, just for the day. Because he's not here at work, and because I can. You know, he actually has told me that I'm bipolar? and overemotional? Am I the pot and he's the kettle? or.. is he the pot and I'm the kettle? Oh blah, you know what? we're probably so freakin much that's why we're like this. I hate common sense when it's directed back at me. Blah :D

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Having Fun

So I'm kind of amazed that people actually check out my blog from time to time, not alot but enough so thanks!

  Still working on doing at least 3 dances a day (in a row haha) from Just Dance 3 from Wii. It's so much fun, and I really get going on it. My husband became very irritated about my concern on my weight recently. Again, if you are overweight and I'm making comments on my own weight that has NOTHING to do with you, just me. When I graduated from high school I weighed 95 lbs, though that was unhealthy I now weigh 195 lbs so that isn't healthy either. I would like to be between 145-155 and that would satisfy my concern with weight. To some, I suppose, I do not look too overweight if they are much more overweight then I am. My husband has this huge belly (sorry honey, but you do and you know it), so perhaps my comments about my jiggley but and stomach make him feel uncomfortable. But it has nothing to do with you. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

  So, I start my low-iodine diet tomorrow in preparation for my radioactive iodine treatment to get rid of any other thyroid and or cancer cells that may still be in my body. This means no chocolate, no dairy and I have to make my own bread. Okay, I can do that. Not pregnant this time (like I was last year this time and I didn't know I was even pregnant), so breaking my chocolate obsession/addiction that I have keenly developed after having two children  will be a good thing. I have to be on this diet for two weeks, so that is how long it takes to break a habit, yes?

  After the diet ends, still no more chocolate (except one candy bar a week, or longer if I can make it) and with working on my Dance exercise regime I should be good (by the way, you can track your exercise stuff on the game, it's sooo cool!).

  I'll post a before and after pic. :P

  Everyone have a good week, time to go check in with SparkPeople (same as weight watchers online but free :P).