Last week AspiringMormonWomen.org published my essay “Healing Aspirational Shame.” Since then, I have been received many comments, messages, and responses to the article expressing appreciation for giving a label to the thoughts and feelings surrounding the incongruity between women’s aspirations and the messages from LDS leaders about women’s roles. I am curious to know more about the stories of other LDS women and continue to define and “unpack” this cultural experience or ‘aspirational shame.” So, if this article resonates with you, please me for a free online discussion group next week (Wed is still available, Tues pm group is full). See details below…
My friend and trusted colleague Michelle Farris, LMFT offers the guest post with great advice for divorcing couples about how to manage your own pain, end the blame cycle, and minimize the negative impact of divorce on your children.
What about the kids? Every divorce parent worries about what divorce will do to their kids. It may keep you up at night obsessing over how you could prevent your children from experiencing such pain. As a clinical counselor, I want you to know that there is something you can do. It may sound like an impossible task, especially if the pain is still fresh. You might be thinking that I don’t understand. Based on my own experience, believe me I get it. I know firsthand the importance of creating a positive connection with an ex. We worked hard to lessen the impact by keeping communication open and eventually transformed our divorce into a working friendship. As a result, a harmonious (and yes, divorced) family unit was born. And my son loves it.
What do Lisa Ling, Rosie O’Donnel and I have in common? Not much…except we have all been awarded a 2015 The National Association of Social Workers Media Award!
The National Association of Social Workers’ Media Awards recognize media professionals and outlets that help raise awareness about social work and social work issues.
This year about 1,000 social workers and others voted on 46 nominees.
Winners have been notified and will soon receive a formal congratulatory letter and trophy. NASW will also issue a press release on the awards.
This is a great honor, and I am so grateful to be able to share my understanding of mental health, relationships, and strategies to build a private practice with my loyal readers. Thank you so much to all who voted!
Click here for the full list of winners.
Q: I am a stay-at-home mom, and lately, I have been feeling like a failure. I feel like I can’t do anything right and that everything I do goes unnoticed. I have a wonderful fiance, who works hard to take care of our family and who loves me very much, but the problem lies with me. I can’t express my feelings to him. I have so much guilt inside of me: I feel guilty when I need money and my fiance gives it to me. I feel guilty if he comes home and the house isn’t spotless, even when the baby was a handful. I feel guilty if I take time for myself or if we go out without the baby. I feel guilty when the little one cries or throws tantrums when my fiance is at home, because I am supposed to be a good mother and a good housekeeper and a good fiancee, but I don’t feel like I am. I am a failure at everything, and I am just so sick of crying everyday. How do I get past this? Please, please help me.
A: Thanks for your email. You sure put a lot of pressure on yourself! But who says you have to be a perfect fiancée, house keeper, or good at finances? It sounds like you want to be more than just good at those things, it sounds like you want to be perfect. I wonder if there’s something deeper going on, or how you learned to be so hard on yourself. Watch the video for the full answer.
Take good care of yourself!
Some people joke that women talk in code (and there’s probably some small truth to that!). But what if women owned up to their mixed messages and instead spoke their truth and said what they meant? That’s the topic behind this round of “What To Say Instead.” While it can be tempting to speak somewhat passive-aggressively, it’s much better to be honest and authentic about our feelings.
The following scenarios are ones in which woman mask their true emotions with trite sayings. But doing so is harmful to relationships because it’s deceptive and can limit intimacy. Read about better things to say to communicate and bridge those connections:
Scenario #1: Jane gets a call from her sister. At the time, she is trying to make dinner for her family, take care of her sick baby, and help her recently unemployed husband comb through job applications. Her sister asks how she is doing. Her response: “I’m fine.”
What To Say Instead – If this is a sister with whom she has a close relationship, it’s okay to open up! She doesn’t necessarily have to divulge all personal details, but saying something as simple as, “I’m having a really hard day, honestly” is telling the truth. There’s a pressure as women to appear as if something is going smoothly, but it’s okay to admit we don’t have it all together.
Q: I am madly in love with my ex-therapist. This is not transference; I truly love her! I never had the chance to tell her, and now we no longer talk to one another. This has and is still bothering me. I can’t stop thinking about her, and it is killing me inside everyday! I wanted to tell her back then during sessions, but was afraid to, and now I will never have the opportunity to ever tell her. This is not healthy…what should I do? (28 year old female)
I’ve loved providing mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of celebrities for Reelz Channel. One of my favorite Celebrity Legacies episodes airs again today: the life of Princess Diana. I watched her life unfold in real-time during my adolescence and young adulthood. She was my princess. During her marriage to Prince Charles, she became a fashion icon, and among the most photographed people in the world.
The world was shocked to learn of the untimely death of Princess Diana of Wales on August 31, 1997 in Paris. A combination of factors, including a high speed chase from the paparazzi and an inebriated driver, caused the deadly crash that claimed her life, as well as that of her bodyguard and her boyfriend. She was only 36.
Q:All my life, I have never been able to do what i like to do for the fear of being judged by other people. It has come to such a point that I cannot think for myself; it always has to be “if I do this, what will others think?”I have good friends who keep advising me to be more social, but my fear gets the better of me. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a long time. I am scared if that if I keep being such an introvert, I’ll end up with no life. I have lost all sense of emotions in the last few months and am becoming desperate for companionship and just to be accepted.
A: Thank you for writing in. I wish I could talk to you to clarify how long this has been going on. I do have a few thoughts, though. You may have developed social phobia or another form of anxiety disorder. What you’re describing sounds like more than just simply being introverted. I really think you should get some help from a professional. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.
Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW
Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?
A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.
Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW
When you think of the idea of creativity, what comes to mind? A brilliant painter? A famous film director? An acclaimed composer? While those examples certainly are true, there is more to creativity than famous artists and their work. For the purpose of this discussion, the definition of creativity is the ability to make new things or think new ideas, transforming existing materials into something novel and beneficial. Here are 5 common myths about creativity: