Tag Archives: Relationships

A Life Altering Experience – Part 1

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A Life Altering Experience

When my husband, Ron, had his first stroke in 2009, he had just turned 58. How is that possible?

It happened before my eyes. It was Saturday, September 26th around noon. Isn’t it remarkable how we remember small details of a life altering experience?

Ron was standing in front of me; we were chatting about his pinched nerve. Just a week before, Ron became dizzy at work, and his employer insisted that Ron go to the emergency room. A co-worker took him to the closest hospital, and an ER doctor suspected that Ron had a pinched nerve that was causing his dizziness. The doctor referred Ron to a chiropractor.

He had just arrived home from treatment with the chiropractor when it hit.

While standing in front of me, in an instant, the left side of his face from his forehead to his jaw drooped down, and his words became a little slurred. He could walk and move both arms. He had no tingling anywhere or dizziness. Was it a stroke? He’s only 58. Was I overreacting? Did he fit the criteria or warnings of a stroke? I had that debate in my head for about 30 seconds and then took charge.

I told him to get in the car; that I was taking him to the emergency room. Like most men, he argued, but he couldn’t see what I was seeing. Hospital personnel approached my car as it came to a roaring stop in front of the ER entrance. I shouted to him that my husband was a “stroke alert.”

A stroke alert upgrades the time frame and service for medical attention, like upgrading to Firsthospital3 Class from Coach. A page overhead was heard throughout the hospital: Stroke Alert, Emergency Room. The page was repeated two more times. Unwillingly, I began to take this all in. Ron was seen immediately by a slew of doctors and nurses. He started having some paralysis on the left side of his body. Alas, the tingling symptom arrived at the party. And he had a headache now. Ron had IVs inserted, and wires slapped on, and beeping in under five minutes. The doctors asked me a lot of questions. They were glad I got him there when I did. I started trembling, realizing, praying. Everyone had solemn facial expressions and serious voices. They believe Ron was suffering a stroke.

The color drained from my face and fear flooded my body. I looked for a chair and sat down, frozen. Ron went for a priority MRI. I waited. Alone for the first time since this nightmare started, I called our son and totally lost it. He couldn’t understand what I was saying. You know how garbled your words are when you’re hysterical and try to talk? That was me. I finally got out some English—”dad,” “stroke.” Our son was on the next plane home. He also had the good sense to call family, but I didn’t know that until they appeared in the ER. I had some support now. And we all waited. Waited to hear how badly the brain was compromised. My mind drifted.

DSC00239We were living comfortably, at the time, in our empty nest. Ron played softball in a league during the summer and coached basketball during the winter. He was very active and fit. We were both working with great jobs that allowed us to have security in our retirement. Ever since childhood, a dream of mine was to live in the country on horse property. We started looking at small farms nearby.

Our son was happy. He had moved to New York City to pursue his second Masters Degree, plus his girlfriend (now wife) lived there. It was a win-win for him.

Life was good.

Then the MRI results were back. The neurosurgeon approached me. He said Ron was being moved to ICU. They found a blood clot in his brain. The plan was to go in and try to remove it. Surgery was scheduled for the next day, first thing. I swear I can hear this conversation like it was yesterday.

Ron handled the surgery fine but because of the location of the clot, it could not be removed hospital4without making matters worse, like killing Ron. It would have to remain in his brain. The hope was the brain would construct pathways around the blockage. So after a week in ICU, two weeks in rehab, and three months of outpatient psychical therapy twice a week, Ron could walk again and use his left arm. His speech improved. But cognitively, the damage was permanent. Ron would not be able to work again.

The medical bills were staggering. And I mean staggering. Ron sold his 79 Roadrunner, his motorcycle, and his Mercedes. And we still owed over $100,000.

But we were just at the beginning of our crisis. A life altering experience for us wasn’t over.

Tune in tomorrow for A Life Altering Experience – Part 2.

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

 

 

 

When You’re Left Out

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WHEN YOU’RE LEFT OUT – Dr. Sandy Nelson

As adults when you’re left out and rejected by a friend, it triggers childhood memories most of us can recall. Those cliques in class that excluded others in the playground games, or the secret chats by the lockers, or the in-crowd table in the cafeteria. Cliques that seemed to have fun seeing others isolated and alone.

Judith Sills, PhD, says in Oprah.com …being left out is not an inherently grown-up phenomenon. It is 1000213_10151708767561439_258385478_na grade-school agony that recurs throughout life. Being left out is an emotional drama that unfolds in three acts: discovery, distress, and, if you can get there, detachment. These psychological rhythms prevail whether you are reeling from the whispers of a group of girls at recess or excluded from a bridge game in your assisted-living home. Being left out is the dark side of friendship…

Female cliques—and the power they wield to trample feelings—are not just an unpleasant memory from junior high and high school. These groups that are aloof to outsiders thrive in the grown-up world too. It makes feeling welcomed as a newcomer difficult. When you’re left out, you know it. You feel it. It’s perplexing to be ignored or dismissed after a group has invited newcomers.

11046458_999199456780643_2534625398824416841_nDebbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul writes: Cliques tend to be more about power and control and less about the open door of friendship.

Clearly, there are good reasons to better understand the effects of being excluded when you’re left out. Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships, says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and has all sorts of consequences for modern psychological processes.

Being on the receiving end of a social snub causes a cascade of emotional and cognitive consequences, researchers have found. The social rejection of when you’re left out increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy and sadness. It reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks, and can also contribute to aggression and poor impulse control, as DeWall explains in a recent review (Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2011). Physically, too, rejection takes a toll. People who routinely feel excluded have poorer sleep quality, and their immune systems don’t function as well as those of people with strong social connections, he says.

As mature adults, shouldn’t we be more embracing of people who have initiated their interest in our clubs, groups, or even our coffee house gatherings? Isn’t this the gift of affirmation and inclusion we all seek?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

People Have A Right To Be Wrong

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PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE WRONG – Dr. Sandy Nelson

We are not satisfied to be right, unless we can prove others to be quite wrong. —William Hazlitt

Some years ago I discovered an important and liberating truth: people have the belief15right to be wrong. Including me. People didn’t need me pointing out where I thought they were misinformed or misguided about global warming or why their opinion about renaissance art was misconstrued or why GMO‘s should be banned from the planet or why Jon Snow should never be killed off.

Instead of trying to force unto others the beliefs I was passionate about, I found it incredibly freeing to grant others the right to their opinion! Imagine that! I no longer became frustrated with people who held views that opposed mine. The urge weakened to butt in and debate their opinion.

niceJudging the choices of others is not the best use of our time. Judging other people isn’t the best use of our character either. When we look down on people who have different opinions and beliefs, it appears we’re superior and we can get snotty and snobbish. UGH!

We all have preferences and opinions that we want respected and accepted but we can be brutal towards others whose preferences and opinions differ from ours. Acceptance of someone’s differing opinion doesn’t mean submission. It means you accept and respect the right of the person to hold his or her own views.

Today, join me in respecting the choices of other people—even if you think their preferences and views are inaccurate. And, better yet, ask why they hold the opinion they do and listen, not debate, listen. You might learn something unexpected.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Anger and Frustration: You’re Killing Me

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Anger and Frustration: You’re Killing Me – Dr. Sandy Nelson

So here’s the deal with anger.

Some family origins consider anger and frustration a language. That’s how they communicate. They shout, they sass with words. Even pep talks are amped up with sarcasm and yelling. Ever watch The Sopranos? Some people are untroubled by the use of anger when they interact. But I think they’re a small CAPUPVE5CARS043CCAOF72XDCA75Z6V9CADGWZF6CAOBVH8ICANMHFYZCATKRO9PCA9XJ8MACAUZ5MIOCA45A0SUCA0R2TBZCAN0OEEQCAZF83JVCAI62Q52CAQ6I7R1CAP6RTDMCAF1ZI92group.

If you’re erupting in anger and frustration with strangers or yelling critical wisecracks at people you claim to love, regardless of the reason, YOU NEED HELP. If you blame others for making you mad, YOU NEED HELP. If you use your anger and frustration to threaten or scare people, YOU NEED HELP.

Anger increases your risk of depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and other compulsive behavior. Workaholism and marital affairs are strongly associated with anger. Anger causes you to make mistakes and use poor judgment. It makes you a reactaholic—when other people push your buttons, you become a reactor. It’s connected to violence, crime, spouse and child abuse. Anger creates power struggles.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist, a consultant in family violence and a noted expert witness in criminal and civil trials, says, You have a resentment problem if some subtle form of resentment that you may not even be aware of, makes you do something against your best interest, or keeps you from doing something that is in your best interest.

Dr. Stosny offers an Anger Test and a Resentment Test to determine a current status with both. Are you ready?

ANGER TEST: Check each of the following that you experienced the past week.
____ Lost temper easily.
____ Got angry.
____ Got annoyed.
____ Felt rage.
____ Was impatient.
____ Felt restless.
____ Wondered why people can’t do what they should?
____ Got hot-tempered.
____ Had trouble sleeping.
____ Felt hostile.
____ Became infuriated.
____ Could not relax.
____ Became enraged.
____ Felt irritated by other people.
____ Felt like attacking people.
____ Was shaking with anger
____ Thought that if people would cooperate, you wouldn’t have these problems.
____ Got mad.

RESENTMENT TEST: Check all that apply. Do you ever feel . . .
____ Taken advantage of?
____ Manipulated?
____ Like whatever you do isn’t enough?
____ Unappreciated?
____ Like all you get from loved ones is a few crumbs now and then?
____ Like nobody understands you?
____ Like people rarely consider your feelings?
____ That you give more than you get?
____ Like hardly anything works the way it should?
____ That people hold you to a higher standard?
____ That you work harder than others for the same reward?
____ “Why should I be the only one who bothers?”
____ That you sometimes feel like nothing matters anyway?
____ “All I’ve done for them and look what . . .”
____ That you’d like to get back at those jerks?
____ That you can’t get over how unfair it is?

If you found yourself checking three or more statements as true for you in the Anger Test, Dr. Stosny would address you as having an anger problem. If you checked three or more as being true for you in the Resentment Test, Dr. Stosny suggests that you have a problem with resentment.

IMG_0222Some people view anger as power. A person who lacks self-worth, often demonstrates anger as a way to display power. To compensate for inferiority, insecure people use anger to show power. We can see this in bullies and batterers.

Now, if you can admit that maybe, just maybe, you might have a few issues in handling anger a better way, I have a FREE guaranteed way to chill frustration and anger, in 15 minutes, right now, privately. Just click HERE. Please.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.
drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

How to Ruin a Love Relationship

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HOW TO RUIN A LOVE RELATIONSHIP – Dr. Sandy Nelson

We all seek love relationships with predetermined expectations in our heads of IMG_3311how it’s going to be. And at first, it’s wonderful, all good, and all that. After that initial honeymoon phase, that’s when reality arrives and conflicts begin and we must decide if the relationship is worth the shattering of our expectations. It’s within those shattered pieces that real love can be put together.

But here’s some situations, rightly so, that will probably not give us a chance to discover real love and instead, will find us at the curb with the rubbish.

 

1. Break Promises

Promises made to someone we love can be thought of as swearing our intentions under oath to keep the promise at the risk of penalty of death. IMG_3179Promises are a big deal in love relationships. Do not make them lightly. Promises are not in the same category as a maybe, or if time warrants. No. To promise is to put our word on the line–that means our honor, our integrity, and our character. It’s a big deal which is why failing to keep a promise places the relationship in jeopardy.

 

2. Don’t talk

With this one, we might think we’re safe. After all, everyone talks. Talking about how the train was late, it rained, it didn’t rain, work was fine, traffic sucked and listenother surface topics could be consider talking if it is to a co-worker on the subway platform. In a love relationship it would be called a lack of communication. With someone we love, talking involves the sharing of our feelings and thoughts not just talking about the days events. When we want to listen to what our partner says, when we can acknowledge their point of view through validation, and we can open our heart to actually feel their experience, or thoughts or feelings, THAT is an expression of the love through talking. How likely is that going to happen? This may explain why it won’t.

 

3. Don’t help

If in the 21st century, we hold the 20th century bias belief that it’s the woman’s place to cook, clean, shop, do the laundry, and run the errands while the man sits in front of the television with a beer watching Magnum P.I. reruns, then we have some serious problems. Why do men do this?

 

4. Fight dirty

Is there really a need for name-calling, hurtful remarks, or screamning during arguments? Can’t we talk about upset feelings without hurting someone we IMG_3169supposedly love? Can’t the focus be on a solution rather than the failures, shortcomings, and faults of the person we love? Fighting while angry does nothing but hurt and wound, and maybe that’s the goal. If it is, we’ll find ourselves alone at the net. No one should tolerate or accept that abuse. Girl, here’s some help. And God forbid, if we strike the person we claim to love, we better be looking for treatment and therapy for that monster within us.

 

5. Be the boss

IMG_3253Ha! There’s no boss in a love relationship. There’s no head. There are two people, with two opinions which makes two people in charge. Each person is held in mutual regard. There’s no one superior and no one inferior. This is where compromise comes in–a balance of give and take. If we think we’re gonna be running the show in this relationship, then we have no respect and zero love for the other person.

 

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Traits of Toxic People

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TRAITS OF TOXIC PEOPLE – Dr Sandy Nelson

What is this mysterious crowd of individuals called toxic people? And why are they toxic? The personalities of toxic people are prone to traits found in codependency—they seek to control people for their own gain. Their thought process tends to be subjective and egotistical. Their behavior is chronically taxing and frustrating.

The agenda for most toxic people is to take advantage of others. They’re masterstoxic people2 of control—not the psychologically healthy self-control, but the psychologically unhealthy dominating control of others. They use people for their own specific needs.

Toxic people can appear to care about you, but typically the goodwill is not genuine, it’s a front, a scam. They resist supporting your goals for personal development because they want your time and attention to be spent on their needs and agenda. By degrading and criticizing you, they are able to lead you away from your pursuits and manipulate your devotion to theirs.

toxic people1Dr. Travis Bradberry states: Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. (read Dr. Bradberry’s article here)

You probably know some toxic people—they might be co-workers, they might even be friends, odds are you have a toxic person in your family, or you might live with someone toxic. Toxic people are sly. They edge their way into your life, and before you know it, they’re creating chaos and drafting you into their woes and problems. Toxic individuals are completely exhausting to be around and they can have a negative impact on your career and personal goals in life.

The distractions and stress that toxic people bring into your life are usually toxic peoplecostly. Most mental health clinicians would recommend ending relationships with a toxic people for your own well being. You deserve to have genuine friends and loved ones who value you without selfish motives.

Alexendra Palmer states: Detoxing makes you feel lighter, happier and healthier. Doing a food detox is easy, but what about getting rid of toxic people? (You can read Alexendra Palmer’s 5 Ways Your Life Will Improve After You Purge It Of Toxic People here.)

The sooner you remove toxic people from your life, the better.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

How To Listen Up! – Dr Sandy Nelson

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HOW TO LISTEN UP!

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.charlie brown listen

Is anyone listening?

It’s true that our high-tech, fast paced society today allots less time to listen to one another. Everyone is in a hurry, no one has time, but the need for communication and connection is more important than ever. Relationships at work and at home cannot thrive or survive without listening to one another. It’s imperative that we need to listen up!

Ever jump to understand a person’s disagreeing view? That’s not the first move of most people in conversation. People usually jump to judge, to argue, or to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

listen1But we can change that. When we listen to another person, we can refuse to be distracted by our own opinions and biases. We can accept that listening to a differing view is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. It’s only fair that If we want our point to be understood, we need to practice understanding the point of others. We need to listen up!

listen

Listen to what people say, not to what we want to hear. Listen to their choice of words, not what we want them to say. Listen to their values, their complaints, their priorities, their outlook, and how they speak about other people, because that will reveal who that person is. So pay attention, put down any distractions, look at the person speaking, and listen up.

To avoid the impulse to finish the sentences of a person who speaks slower than we do is often a tussle. This is a test of our patience. And another impulse to avoid is planning what to say next when we should be listening. Also don’t interrupt the person talking, or take calls, or look at our phone (or TV), or wave to someone we know, or stare at the floor or out the window, all of which convey that the person talking is a bother to us, and not important.

Look at the person talking, without distraction. Practice listening with the intent to understand. This earns the respect of others.

Think about it.FullSizeRender (8)

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Letting Go, Holding On – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Letting Go, Holding On

We’ve heard the phrase many times: The past is the past for a reason.

Did we not know that? What does it even mean?

It’s a nagging whisper to remind us that whatever or whoever we’re clinging to from the past should be let go. We need to set it down. It’s a jarring reminder IMG_2250that we can’t go back. The past is the past for a reason. It’s a sounding alarm.

How do we set down a past that occupies a great deal of our present thoughts? How do we let go of prior regrets, lost love, anger, and betrayals? These experiences may be dead in the past, but jeopardize our life, happiness and success today, right now.

When we can’t let go, we drag along with us a sack filled with yesterday’s aftermath that we refuse to leave behind. The sack is heavy so it holds us back, weighs us down, and handicaps our current efforts. We’re not able to keep up with the opportunities that are offered today. We may struggle to get ahead because we’re dragging around this sack of the past, we’re stuck in yesterday.

Dragging our pasts through life everyday will never allow us to change any bygone circumstances. Holding on to yesterday will not provide control over IMG_2321what has occurred. But we can be invested in our future and have 100 percent control over our thoughts and actions today.

The past is your history. It’s a history that may have been painful at times, but also made you more wise, more cautious, more kind, and more confident. You can honor who you were by becoming who you are meant to be. I love this quote by Jeffrey McDanielI realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go. How fitting after letting go is their return to the living in spring, more ample.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

 

 

 

 

Use Of Anger To Get Your Way – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Some people use anger to get their way. Do you know someone like that?

They adopt anger for power. They mistakenly blame others for their own weaknesses, choices, or situations. In anger they justify hurting others to boost their deflated ego—to conceal their own fear and inadequacy.

Any situation that frustrates us, especially when we think someone else is to IMG_0508 - Copyblame for it, is a trigger for anger, resentment, and aggression. But detonating anger, and acting with violence, does not set one thing straight. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Reacting in anger destroys relationships—we lose cooperation, we lose integrity, we lose respect and we lose loved ones.

Anger that’s expressed reactively murders. It kills happiness, peace, trust, love, success, and dreams. It shortens life. People who can’t keep their temper under control and who tend to explode in anger double their risk of a heart attack.

How anger and resentment from disappointments, frustrations, and setbacks are handled influences not only our character, but also our physical and emotional health. While anger can be justified, exploding in anger is NEVER condoned.

whoaToday, if you’re about to lose your temper, remember it’s more than your cool that you will be losing. You will be losing not only the respect and regard of others, but also put your health in danger. If you want to be a leader in your company, in your family and in your community, you will need to manage your anger, and use self-control—refuse to blow up.

Learn to express anger calmly, showing regard for the people in the room. They will be more apt to listen and respect you for it. And you will be more on target to get what you want.

Think about it.FullSizeRender (8)

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Fear of Disapproval Remedy – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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In the Introduction to A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson writes Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.1513222_879994992058784_1395873912393926812_n

I agree. This is a fear we are all acquainted with.

Fear is what we learned when well-meaning adults physically punished us for our childhood mistakes.

Fear is what we learned when our honesty was disapproved of by the showing of rejection.

Fear is what we learned when our trust was violated thanks to the betrayal of others.

Fear is what we learned when we made our well-being dependent on anyone but ourselves.

IMG_2957The more we need someone’s agreement in our lives, the more consumed by fear we become when we sense their disapproval or rejection. There’s enough scary aspects of life today that we have little control over. But we don’t have to be scared of someone’s opinion of us or fear someone’s disapproval.

The more anchored we are in the vast amount of love we’re born with, the less we care about what others think. The fear of someone’s disapproval doesn’t have to rock our boat when we are focused on our own self-respect and significance.

Try it. When you have a different opinion than someone else today, express it calmly and kindly. Then ask the other person why they hold the opinion they do. Seek to understand and allow the differences between you.

Respect and honor YOUR views and your self-respect will increase. Seek to understand and respect the opinions of other people and they will admire you. Soon your fear of disapproval will fade and you’ll be less dependent on the approval of other people.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated