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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

Warning Signs of Deadly Abuse


When asked by her therapist, “Have you ever been abused,” Nicole said, “No”. But then, for a split second, she looked downwards and frowned. Instinctively her therapist knew something was off. A few more minutes of probing revealed a boyfriend with anger problems. During fits of rage, he would destroy her personal property, grab her and not let her go, and call her obscene names. One time, he dragged her out of the car and...

Exhaustion

How Narcissists Keep You from Grieving


Margie was devastated when her mother passed away. Her mom was diagnosed with cancer one month and then gone by the next. She had a close relationship with her mom and frequently leaned on her for support in her marriage, parenting her kids, and balancing family and work. The loss left a huge hole in her heart that she tried to grieve but couldn’t.

The day of her mom’s funeral, her husband complained about being sick...

Family

Are You at Risk for Filicide?


On December 19, 2018, Terry Strawn a decorated Florida Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy, shot and killed his wife and 6-year-old granddaughter at his home. Then he drove to his daughter’s house, killed her and called 911, sending the officers to the school where he worked. When the police arrived, he committed suicide in front of his coworkers.

On October 15, 2018, Cynthia Collier, a home school mom from Columbia Tennessee, killed her four adopted children before...

Children & Teens

What is Sadistic Parenting?


As Monique recounted the abuse from her childhood, it became apparent that the abuse from her mother was not typical. While most abusers follow a pattern of tension building, incident, reconciliation, and calm, her mom did not. The tension building phase was constant with no break or relief from the ensuing harm. The incidents came out of nowhere with no justification or warning. There was no reconciliation phase, instead, Monique endured months of the silent...

Marriage

How Not to Say, “I’m Sorry”



As a therapist, I hear my clients say, “I’m sorry” frequently. It is done when a person wants to move on to a different topic, when they are not truly remorseful, when they want to pacify their spouse, or when they are feeling defeated. None of these apologies are good because the underlying meaning is not authentic. This does not improve a relationship.

A loving relationship requires some show of remorse for a couple to draw...

Coping Skills

Tips for Avoiding Social Media Addiction


It was in the middle of an argument during a marriage counseling session that Jerry blurted out, “You are more interested in your phone than me.” His frustration had reached the tipping point with his wife as he revealed his insecurity and feelings of disrespect, detachment, and disconnection from her. Jan, his wife, denied his accusation at first but then admitted that she was very involved in social media.

Social media had become a substitute for...

Coping Skills

Alexithymia: A Personality Trait


Dave started going to counseling because his marriage was falling apart. He said that wife had enough of his “lack of presence, no emotional response, and no intimacy.” While he agreed with her analysis, he was unable to describe it for himself and minimized the impact these things played in their marriage. He reasoned that because he was a strong provider, he was already showing love and therefore did not need to do it any...

Coping Skills

Obsessed: Narcissists and Their Food


It wasn’t until Tabitha had dinner at a friend’s house as a teenager that she realized there was something odd about how her family handled food. At her friend’s, there was food with a variety of healthy and even some unhealthy snacks. Her mother didn’t have a lock on the “special food” so no one could have access. Their mealtime was engaging and fun with everyone participating in the conversation. There were no snide remarks...

General

Do You Have a Machiavellian Boss?


Morgan had not noticed the book, The Prince, sitting predominately on her bosses’ credenza.

Perhaps she hadn't previously been in the office long enough to look around, but now seeing the book, everything became clear. Her boss had a common saying during meetings, “The end always justifies the means,” and expected everyone to operate on that philosophy.

“The end,” for her boss, was all about the bottom line and making the deal whatever the cost. While she...

General

Recognizing The Dark Triad


After meeting his new boss for the first time, Donald was impressed. Here was someone who ran his own business, was highly successful, knew nearly everyone in town, had considerable power, and enormous influence. He was charming, decisive, domineering, unfeeling, harsh, and intimidating. At first, Donald admired his boss. But then he had a private conversation.

It was late at night and his boss seemed to want to talk so Donald saw it as an opportunity...