The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC


The Best of Fathers

Dysfunctional fathers are constantly in the news: those who abuse, abandon, neglect, or even kill their children. While it is a sensational headline, too much makes it look like all dads are bad. Unfortunately, not much attention is paid to excellent fathers. They rarely receive any attention at all and are frequently tossed in the dysfunctional section for some minor offense.

The good fathers pay attention to the developmental stages of their children and mold their...


How to Tell You Are in the Presence of a Dangerous Person

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” Sir Walter Scott wrote this famous line in his poem titled Marmion about the Battle of Flodden (1808). (Interestingly enough, it is often misattributed to William Shakespeare.) His poem recounts a love story that survives despite a web of deceptions, manipulations, mischaracterizations, lies, and betrayals by two scheming people. It is tragic how people have not changed very much today.

Life would be...

Coping Skills

Warning: Misdiagnosis of Personality Disorders Can Be Damaging

The other day, a client came in describing his wife’s behavior as Borderline Personality Disorder. He had numerous examples of how perfectly she fit the profile and how he had been traumatized by her behavior. For example, she was fearful of his abandonment and in desperation would rage anytime he mentioned separation. Yet every time the conversation was redirected to him, he became evasive.

Physically, his face seemed unusually red, he was a bit shaky, noticeably...


Break the Spell of the Narcissistic Step-Parent

They appear at just the right time: a broken family is torn apart by divorce or death in desperate need of emotional security and starved for normal amounts attention. Enter the narcissist, hidden by a veil of perfection, who immediately endears themselves to every family member (pets included) navigating the personality differences with ease. They are charming, caring, generous, kind, and seem to have it all together. They anticipate the needs of others and come...


What Are You Afraid of?

A popular acronym for fear is false evidence appearing real. However, for the person experiencing this emotion, the evidence seems very realistic and eminent. These fears can paralyze a person for moments or even a lifetime if left unattended. They are dominant and determinate factors in daily decisions, thoughts, actions, behaviors, and other emotional responses.

There are even categories of fear such as the deep-seeded, driving, often subconscious, emotional forces that Freud identified. Then there are...

Coping Skills

How OCPDs Escape Responsibility

People with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) can seem to be overly responsible at first. But given time, their ability to escape responsibility becomes clear. After all, everyone has the same amount of time in a given day and while OCPDs seem to be more productive when compared to others, in reality they are less productive.

This is primarily because their obsessive traits, thoughts, and behaviors consume large amounts of time and energy. Their never ending...


Did Your Graduate Successfully Transition from Childhood to Adulthood

For many, high school graduation day rightly marks a transition from childhood to adulthood. No longer acting like a child, this new adult is properly equipped to embrace life and move forward with excitement and determination. Unfortunately, too many graduates fail to make this shift and thus drag out the transition well into their twenties.

Not all of this is the graduate’s fault. Parents who don’t want their children to grow up frequently fail to teach...


Recovering from an Abusive Narcissist

The path to healing after an abusive marriage is more like a winding mountain road than a straight line. Just when a person thinks they are moving forward, the road makes a sharp turn backward. Sometimes the best way to illustrate the journey is through a story. Here is Michelle’s route.

After 25 years of marriage to an abusive narcissist, Michelle finally decided to divorce her husband. It was bad enough for her to suffer through...

Coping Skills

50 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

The phrase “toxic relationship” is thrown around quite a bit in our culture. But what really defines a toxic relationship? And how can a person know they are in the middle of one? Fortunately, there are early warning signs. Yet it is unfortunate that is frequently overlooked in exchange for attention, affection, excitement, and the hope of commitment.

Sadly, there were more items than 50 that could have been added to this list, but it needed...

Coping Skills

The Bridge to Recovery in 12 Steps

The road to recovery is paved first with good intentions then morphs into hard work, determination, resolve, and commitment. Good intentions can start the process but it is not enough to complete it. Imagine a stretch of highway on a flat road which is far easier to pave then it is to engineer a bridge which spans across a large body of water.

The process of recovery is more like constructing a bridge over troubled waters....