(written 03-07-2017)


I’m planning what I’m going to say as a speaker at an SAA meeting coming up in a couple of days. As I write down the history about my addiction, I revisit a memory I haven’t had in years.


My ex had found out that we were pregnant with our first child a little over 14 years ago. She tried hard not to tell me because she knew I was studying for my annual recurrent training. I used to get extremely uptight and stressed before oral and practical exams; not the best person to be around.


But she couldn’t keep this to herself.


We were playing Scrabble. I can’t remember the words she kept coming up with, but they were like: Dad, diaper, father, baby, crib. Something like that.


Each time she put down a word she had her mischievous smirk on her face. The one she has when she wants to tell you something, but would rather you figure it out instead.


I love that look.


Anyway, I stopped at one point and asked if she was trying to tell me something. Of course, all she did was smile.


I looked at the board. I looked back at her. I looked at the board. I asked if she was insinuating what I think she was insinuating?


“We’re going to have a baby,” she told me excitedly.


At that moment, my insides froze. I locked up. Other than going through divorce, I have never felt as much fear as I did then.

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner I figured it would be good to share a blog about gratitude. As I reflect on this past year and what I’m grateful for I realize a shift. You see, I used to only express what I was thankful for once a year, on Thanksgiving. There was the tradition of stating “I’m grateful for…” during our sit down family dinners. But those dinners, with my career and the amount of actual dinners the four of us had at the kitchen table, were few and far between. However, this year has been different.


I search daily for grateful things. And I don’t wait until I have to share them with someone else (although that’s always nice to do too), but I share them with me. I still find it takes a lot of mindful work. I believe human nature allows us to focus on the negative as the path of least resistance. However, when I truly see how beautiful life can be, instead of allowing myself to get stuck in the ruts of life, I am more at peace.


Here are 7 Things ACoA’s and Children of Trauma can be grateful for, by Tian Dayton.


Remember, just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you can’t be grateful today or find thanks on Friday (even if you’re battling Black Friday shopping crowds). Make gratitude a daily routine!

(written 02-14-2017)


Five days ago, I worked on extracting the poison that has been toxic to my behaviors and not only harmed my marriage and my girls, but actions that have damaged myself to the core.


I grew up in a family where children were seen but not heard, where I learned not to trust others, and where I learned that it wasn’t safe to express feelings. I used the analogy in Part 1 that for me to heal, I need to stop attacking the leaves and the branches of my tree, but go all the way down to the source, right to the limb where my behaviors were learned.


The main issues I wanted to focus on were:

  • Being a surrogate spouse to my mother at the age of three, then having her emotionally leave me for a new man when I was six
  • My belief that to be connected as a family, my step-sister had to be there
    • that I wasn’t important enough to have my step-father, mother and I be connected as a family
    • the belief that I was a third wheel
  • Having a temper tantrum in my room, but no one knowing how to take care of my needs
  • My step-father’s unexpected and uncontrollable anger, rages, and outbursts
  • My Grandmother’s use of shame to control my family

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