I was interviewed by Host Marc Mawhinney of Natural Born Coaches.
Thought you might find it interesting.
Hope you had a great holiday weekend.
See my article on Psychology Today’s site.
This is my first time on this publication. Very exciting.
Hope you enjoy it.
After hearing about my Get Lost Girlfriend book, my new friend Gina shared this post with me. Very touching . . .
“I just came across an old letter from someone who used to be my best friend in the whole world, but who does not speak to me anymore because I no longer fit into the BOX she had me in. Her reasons for our separation had me thinking along about change and growth. I am not the same person I was was I was at 10… or 20… or 30 or even 40 … Each Decade brought new people into my life and removed some old ones. Each Decade Brought new experiences and growth. To expect someone NOT to change is just silly. I’d like to think I am a BETTER person all around NOW compared to when I was 17 , but to someone who lives in the Past… it may not be so.
Let go of the past, don’t blame the past (or others) for your present circumstances. Take Responsibility for everything that is presently in your life. Both the Good stuff and the Bad, YOU put them there.
Learn to FORGIVE others and Yourself. Allow those you love to grow…, But if they don’t want to , don’t ever let it stop YOU.
So as I throw out this letter, once again I say Goodbye old friend.
I forgive you and I wish you all the best
I gave her my book. www.GetLostGirlfriend.com/Book
I interviewed Jack Canfield about his new book “30 Day Sobriety Solution” and afterwards he talked about his reaction to Get Lost Girlfriend. What an incredible feeling to have someone I’ve admired for 30 years appreciate my work.
You can see Jack here. And I’ll say hello to you too.
You can get the book here http://www.GetLostGirlfriend.com/Book
I had a deadline in order to get my degree.
I HAD to finish!
But, ugh, no words were coming. I just sat there twirling a strand of hair, around and around.
And, then as my thoughts wandered, I started feeling over an old hurt with my Dad. We had never been close. He was always angry at me for something. It felt like I was the bane of his existence. He only had eyes for my mom and my little sister. He loved my brother Jason. THEY could do no wrong.
But me? I was always at risk of being in trouble, getting his blast of cold fury; being frozen by fear of the angry hand that could catapult out of nowhere and make painful contact with a body part. I mean, it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound. He only actually beat me a few times that I can remember, but the fear of both actual pain and more importantly, the soul withering humiliation attached to the judgment, were always present when Dad was “in a mood.” He never physically hit me after I was 9, but the threat was ever present and the contempt on his face was at least as harmful.
And where was my loving mother at these times?
Disappearing into the kitchen, cleaning up the mess of feeding the five us, as if, this was just a normal part of family life and she couldn’t or wouldn’t stop him from sullying my self worth . . . so at least she could distract herself taking care of the kitchen.
After I graduated college and was on my own living and working in New York, and after several years of therapy, I went down to visit my folks in South Jersey. My parents were caterers and when they semi-retired they continued to maintain 2 kitchens in their home. On this particular day, the visit to my folks day, my father was working in the lower level kitchen. He called up to me to come help him. He was making a fruit cake.
[‘A fruit cake, really?’ I hear myself thinking. ‘We’re Jewish, Dad. We don’t eat fruitcake. But, OKayyy… whatever. You are kind of a fruit cake, so it’s apropos I guess. I giggled to myself. I have to say that I really do enjoy my own jokes. And, I take after you right? Mom always said I was just like you and God knows I’m definitely a fruit cake in my own rights.’]
So as I mentioned before, my father had his moods. I was always a little nervous with Dad because he could fly off the handle and do something weird when he was pissed off, like – scream, throw glass soda bottles, smash cartons of eggs, rip the phone out of the wall like he was eviscerating a fish, and TEAR UP my art work that I worked on for an entire college semester!!! Yeah, he did that. I shake my head at the memory.
When he wasn’t having a temper tantrum, he tended to be quiet and not say much – just go about his business at work. He’d take out his aggression on a side of beef that he converted to various types of steaks and other cuts of meat to sell in the store. He’d hack away at the skinned flesh with deliberate whacks that were scary to watch. I generally used that time to go refresh the inventory on the shelves. There was always something that needed to be added or at least straightened out. But I could hear the pounding. When he was finished he’d take a big brush with metal bristles in both hands and scour the butcher block until all the blood was scraped off. But there was always a slightly oily residue left that was supposed to preserve the wood until the next massacre.
At home, he’d sit at the table, waiting to be served, staring into space, unblinking. When I was very little I used to wonder if being able to stare like that was something you were able to do when you became an adult. I also wondered, if when I was an adult I would grow to like peppermint instead of spearmint, lemon instead of cherry, chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla and any kind of sardines. The adults in my family seemed to like them. So it must be a function of age, right? Answer? None of the above….
But, back to the fruit cake.
My father asked me to measure out some ingredients and put them into the big stainless steel bowl for him. I dutifully found the containers and meted out what I heard him say – what I was virtually, well … 99.44% CERTAIN he had said.
He turned and inspected the table. After scrutinizing how I had carried out his orders, his face began to color and glow as he exploded in rage.
He screamed into my face, spittle flying, called me some variation of stupid idiot – which in my family was worse than the worst F curse you can imagine – said I ruined it, I ruined something again, I ruined everything didn’t I, because I never listened and I was so careless.
What was the matter with me?!
Why did he bother with me?!
Now he’d have to start all over again. Expletive, expletive….
Imagine my dropped jaw, wide-eyed-stare of shock.
“But, but, that’s what you said,” I stammered meekly, my mouth suddenly parched, unable to swallow.
He kept yelling and hurling escalating insults.
And, then, I saw a knife on the oversized butcher block table.
I’m a highly visual person with an active imagination. As if someone else had taken control of me, I was brusquely projected into a terrifying reverie where I saw myself taking the knife and after only a second of hesitation plunging it into his back.
Now, I’m silently screaming inside, horrified that I was capable of such a violent thought . . . addressed at my own father!
I ran upstairs and hid in a bedroom too stunned and hurt to cry.
I fumbled for my cell and called Isabel, my therapist. I told her what happened and pleaded with her to take away the terrifying feeling and shame that I could be that angry, that murderous; I could actually see myself stabbing my father.
We went through the whole feeling discussion:
It’s important to distinguish thoughts vs. actions, she reminded me.
Right, right, I know that.
I thought about it, I didn’t do it.
I resisted taking the knife even though I was madly incensed.
It’s human to have feelings, human to think and feel anything/everything.
People don’t go to jail for thoughts and feelings.
It’s the action that counts.
I spoke to myself even as Isabel did. We both addressed me with calming understanding to cool me down – She out loud, me in my mind.
You were angry.
Who wouldn’t be after being treated like that for YEARS.
You did the right thing, leaving the lower level and calling for help as a way to take a breath and take care of yourself.
It’s just a very angry feeling.
She had me talk some more, invited a few tears to wash out of my eyes, and after a while and a number of deep breaths, and me making a couple of very stupid, 5 year old jokes that brought forth her raucous signature laugh, I calmed down.
Even though I felt back in control, I couldn’t bare being there anymore so I packed up my few things, made my goodbyes to my mother’s tearful eyes [she always cried when any of us left] and drove back to New York.
This memory and others of his erratic explosions, being screeched at, struck, hit with a belt on my bare butt, humiliated and shamed; glared at with contempt; watching him lovingly play with my little sis while simultaneously remembering to turn and sneer at me, were going through my mind that day as I sat frozen in front of the keyboard trying to finish my Master’s paper. I just didn’t understand it.
Why? I shook my head back and forth. Why?
So, I took a short sabbatical from my report and wrote a letter to my father which respectfully expressed my sadness about our relationship. I no longer have the letter because I wrote it in long hand and mailed it to him. The one sentence I remember in particular was telling him I wanted to be one of the flowers in his well- tended garden.
Every spring he delighted in pruning, planting, watering, feeding, and growing the multitude of colorful flowers in the back yard of the home we lived in from the years I was 9 – 13. We moved a lot. But, when I think of where I grew up, that’s the house I most often find myself migrating to as the one that represented home.
After living in a city with concrete and sidewalks and honking horns right outside the front door, walking out into an acre of fragrant flowers and sounds of birds singing in our backyard felt magical. There were four fruit trees along with the roses and lilacs and peonies – two giant apple trees, a pear and a sour cherry. It was a fertile environment. Maybe Dad was happier there? I was no longer being hit, so maybe I was?
When my father read the letter, he called and told me he was coming to see me. He drove up to the house in northern New Jersey I was renting with a roommate. It was the old farmhouse on one acre of the 170 of the property. He was by himself [which was astounding in itself because he and Mom were inseparable]…
If you liked the first chapter, please help me spread the word…
So it just so happens that Nancy Krueger is one of the most expressive women I’ve ever seen. But then I saw my expressions and had to laugh. We’re BOTH such face makers!!!
Nancy is the winner of my Get Lost Girlfriend! fantasy book giveaway. AND, she
is enjoying reading and cuddling with her new fleece blankie.
You can see us talking about the books and mugging at each other here.
- There’s so much written about break ups in love – sex relationships, but what does it mean to be heartbroken in a friendship?
- Watch and listen in to my up close and personal conversation about friendships with World Famous author of Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield
- Realize you’re not alone, most people have experienced being abandoned by a close friend.
- Being dumped by your best friend is actually worst than being dumped by your spouse or lover
- Even the strongest, most resilient and successful people can be heartbroken by a close friend.
- It’s not just about women. Men feel the pain of loss, too, even when they try not to show it – to keep a stiff upper lip.
- Learn how to move through the pain of loss and reclaim your confidence and self esteem
- Hear how to heal the hurt AND find a true best friend
- Find out what I do for exercise everyday 😜
AND, to find out more for yourself get my book, Get Lost Girlfriend, go here:
My baby Stewie Louie Livingston went to sleep for the last time last night.
He was 13 1/2, adorable, playful, entertaining and a great companion.
We lost his brother Zach at 15, on New Years day last year and now this little boy.
Such short lives for such important members of the family. You are both very loved, Stewie and Zach. Forever and ever.
Great friendships actually extend life. A 10-year long Australian study showed that participants with solid friend groups were 22% more likely to live longer.
But what about friendships that sap your strength and drain life force. How do you know if you’re in the friendship from Hell?
1. She sets you up to compete with her other friends for best friend status
She shares information about the other friend that suggests the other friend gives her more or is more fun or shares interests that the two of you don’t have.
2. There’s an imbalance in talk time
She has lots of time for you to tell you about her issues, but when you start to talk she has to go.
3. She tells you what’s wrong with you without sensitivity
Honesty is important in any relationship, but the brutal truth is still brutal and damaging No wonder you feel awful.
4. You are reaching out more than she is
Relationships get toxic when the other person isn’t as invested in you as you are in them. If you’re reaching out far more often than your friend, they may not be that into you.
5. It’s all about how you need to change
But she sees no need for her to change. It’s about what’s wrong with you. If only you changed it would be fine.
6. You’re walking on egg shells.
You watch every word to avoid saying the wrong thing, to be careful not to offend her feelings.
7. You’re riding a friendship roller coaster
You don’t know what to expect, when she’s going to get upset with you. When it’s good it’s great, but then, for some unknown reason you’re on her s__t list and watch out! The inconsistency and lack of predictability leaves you insecure, off balance. It’s maddening.
8. You’re somatizing, actually feeling ill.
When you’re in a great friendship, your immune system is boosted. But toxic friendships are sickening. If you’re experiencing anxiety, headaches, IBS or other physical symptoms after an encounter with your friend, she may actually be negatively affecting your health.
To discover how to regain your equilibrium, value yourself and find inner happiness, check out my book . . .