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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Children & Teens

A Counselor’s Journey through Postpartum Depression

It is one thing to study postpartum depression as a professional and it is a whole different matter to experience it personally. As a counselor, I knew the signs of the disorder but while experiencing it, I was oblivious to their symptoms. Fortunately, I had a wonderful doctor who quickly and accurately assessed the different situations following the births of my three children.

Baby #1. I’ll never forget the moment I realized something was wrong. Our...

General

How to Know If You Are in Danger

It had been years since Stephanie heard from her ex-husband. He would send the occasional random text messages with some type of mime or joke, but nothing of substance until today. Today’s remarks came across brash and accusatory. Hidden between the lines of communication was a demand for a face-to-face meeting and a threat if she didn’t. Puzzled by the verbal attack, Stephanie anxiously began rehashing and questioning her previous actions. But what she failed...

General

Gaslighting: How to Drive Someone Crazy

A man obsessed with stealing valuable jewels murders one woman and attempts to drive the other one (his wife) crazy. His single-mindedness, driven by selfish motives, caused him to deceive and manipulate in order to obtain what he wanted regardless of the cost to others. Fortunately he is discovered just before he tries to commit his wife to an insane asylum.

While this is the dramatic plot of the 1944 movie Gaslight (starring Ingrid Bergman) it...

Family

Wise Words for Those Living With a Narcissist

Shortly after their marriage, Jack became aware of the narcissism in his wife. At first, he thought it was immaturity but after their child was born, things escalated. Unable to fully attach onto their child, she became more demanding and self-absorbed. There were times when life seemed to be a series of competition over who would get more of Jack’s attention.

Twenty years later and now divorced from his wife, Jack’s relationship with their child was...

Coping Skills

Stopping the Self-Abuse After Being Abused

The verbal and mental abuse that Michelle experienced during her 15 years of marriage was extreme.

After a drawn out divorce, Michelle was finally free from the daily assaults. She believed that leaving would be the hardest part of the battle, but it wasn’t. A constant barrage of abusive thoughts and intense emotions still flooded her; rendering her shocked and confused.

Alone at night, she would reply her ex-husband’s harsh words and wondered if he was right in his...

Family

Sacrificed at the Altar of Narcissism: Parents of Adult Narcissistic Children

There is a an old story dating approximately 4,000 years ago about how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac on an altar. Abraham and his wife Sarah waited decades for their only son together and since human sacrifice was prohibited, this request seemed unusual. The story talks of the faith that Abraham had as he placed his son on the altar only to find that God had given him a lamb in replacement....

Children & Teens

The Forgotten: Children of Narcissistic Parents

Paul reluctantly began therapy after a poor review at work. His office did a 360 approach which involved getting input from other team members, clients, and superiors prior to the formal evaluation. The process revealed that Paul lacked effective communication skills, procrastinated unnecessarily, didn’t cooperate well in group settings, and seemed either anxious or angry on a regular basis.

His boss recommended therapy to work though his issues. While Paul knew that he was different, he...

General

10 Lies Narcissists Say about Love

It was love at first sight when Alice first met her partner. They seemed so perfect for each other, falling instantly and intensely in love. Now only three years later, she was dazed, confused, frustrated, anxious, and severely depressed by the relationship. What was so ideal before was now a nightmare. How did this happen?

Alice failed to recognize the narcissistic warning signs of her partner in the beginning of the relationship precisely because everything was...

Family

The Obsessive Narcissist: Stopping the Suffocation

Certain professionals such as attorneys, surgeons, and pilots are highly valued for their persistence, myopic focus, and single-minded determination. These traits enable a person to be very successful in environments that not only encourage but reinforce this behavior. After all, no one wants a surgeon who is easily distracted while performing open-heart surgery.

But when this behavior is directed onto a spouse or child, it can become suffocating. Relationships require a bit of finesse, a give...

Family

The Dysfunctional Ways a Family Protects a Narcissist

It wasn’t until college that Susan realized the level of dysfunction in her family. There were signs earlier in her life but the pieces were never put together until she stumbled on the word narcissism. Then, it was as if a dense fog was lifted and everything became clearer.

Everything the family did catered around her narcissistic mother. Her mom was a successful politician who spent continual hours on the phone, in meetings, holding press conferences,...