From “On Animals and Virtue”

She was an unlucky mare, an erstwhile school horse: sway-backed and tired and hungry for love. I was unlucky myself, and did not mind her ungainliness…

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From “An Anguished Choice To Help A Son With Mental Illness”

For years, [my son’s] death wish trumped everything. If he could not perform the act himself, then he wanted me to do it for him. It was the one and only sacrifice I could never make for him.

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From “The First Time With Charlotte: New York City, circa 1996”

Every one of our hook-ups, if you want to call them that, as alien and lovely as Victorian horsehair upholstery against bare legs.
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From “Angst Begets Art: On Finding Beauty In A Life Of Anxiety”

The riches we bequeath to our children can largely be reckoned in currencies of fear.
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From “Breasts are not a Requirement”

The first time I tried on a pair of falsies, I was 35 and built like a string bean.
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From “Small Change”

One night in the slow, hot crawl of late summer, our cat spontaneously combusted.

(nominated for the Pushcart Prize)

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EARLY MORNING SUNLIGHT FILTERS THROUGH BALSAM FIRS AND FERNS AT TWITCHELL LAKE - NARA - 554393 - Public Domain - Anne LaBastille, 1938-, Photographer (NARA record: 1422473)

From “I Was Mighty”

We grew up near the mountains and the woods. We knew from forests.

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From “Dentist of the Wild West”

Right while I’m getting my braces, and saliva I can’t swallow is pooling in the back of my mouth, Doc Hallowell tells me about square dancing.

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From “Benjy, Awake”

On a blossom-scented spring day, my son Benjy, almost eleven and off kilter, begged me to help him kill himself.

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From ”There Be Mental Illness Here”

Ten years ago, things were already going steeply downhill but I was not prepared to admit it.

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From “Dialogue”

Ute Schmidt’s first lesson, upon arriving in Boston, is that Americans talk fast and laugh at things that are not funny.

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The Latest from Deborah at Psychology Today

  • In Disability-Land, Friendships Can Turn Toxic
    For parents of complex kids, unsolicited criticism can be particularly painful--especially when it comes from people we respect. ... Read More
    Published on: 2015-07-19
  • When The Apple Falls Close to the Tree
    In many cases, children with clinically significant psychiatric symptoms have a parent or other family member(s) with the same, often undiagnosed, issues. ... Read More
    Published on: 2015-06-28
  • 10 Notes for Parents of Complex Kids
    You thought you were a doer, a go-getter, indefatigable and unsinkable? Think again. And welcome to the club! ... Read More
    Published on: 2015-05-06
  • Overprotective Parenting Doesn’t Work
    As it turns out, negotiating real-life, reasonable risk can be a very good thing for kids. It can teach them that they have power in this world--or someday will. That they’re competent. And that sometimes, if you really really want something to happen, you have to MAKE it happen, without mom o… ... Read More
    Published on: 2015-02-02
  • Your Kid Has a Mental Health Disorder?
    I know it sounds corny, but Love helps. It does. Platonic or romantic or filial or parental or sibling love. Doesn’t matter, it’s all a healing balm. Spread it around generously. And wrap your wounded hearts in a gauze of generosity and forgiveness--for yourself, for each other, for the … ... Read More
    Published on: 2015-01-01
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