Category Archives: Dysfuntional Family

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview December 1, 2016

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview on Family Saga Novel Brought To Our Senses

Alzheimer's Speaks Radio interview with Lori La BeyHeads up so you can tune in and listen to my interview with the fantastic Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks about my new dementia fiction saga Brought To Our Senses. You can hear our interview for the first time on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 1 pm CST, or you can listen anytime afterwards right here. Lori and her panel have great perspectives on the topics of the novel and bring up some really good points. Let me know what you think about our discussion! Continue reading

Author Interview with Caregivers Advocate Carolyn A. Brent

Families Must Work Together for Caregiving Success

Brought To Our Senses book signing benefitThanks to elder care advocate Carolyn A. Brent for hosting a fantastic discussion about my new novel Brought To Our Senses on her BlogTalkRadio show Across All Ages. Carolyn and I share a passion for the topic of family unity as it relates to the care of aging parents. Listen to the hour-long author interview here: Continue reading

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Nest, a quick and entertaining read. I think it portrayed a dysfunctional family accurately. Some people never change and not everyone gets their happy ending. That’s life!

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The Prince of Tides: book review

The Prince of Tides Pat Conroy book reviewI just finished reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy and absolutely loved it. The book was an emotional roller coaster for me with the laugh-out-loud antics of the Wingo siblings, the sadness of the physical and emotional abuse dished out by the Wingo parents, and the sheer terror of the criminal act committed against the permanently down-on-their-luck family.

I appreciated how the three siblings remained devoted to each other throughout the family’s hardships and the inevitable collapse of their parents’ stormy marriage. I totally enjoyed the bizarre tiger tale, the white porpoise mission, and the turtle vendetta, and loved how those adventures and many others were skillfully woven into the climax and outcome of the novel.

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This Is Where I Leave You movie review

Movies I like, Kathleen H. WheelerI went to see the movie This Is Where I Leave You, and I must say I really enjoyed it. Family relationships are so complicated in real life, and I think this movie does a good job of showing that. It’s not all hugs and kisses and happy times.In fact, your own family can get at you like no one else because they know you too well. With family, you fight, you don’t get along, you say awful things to each other, sometimes you don’t even like each other very much. But in the end you still love each other, and this movie proves that point with a dysfunctional but still lovable family. Go see it!

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Great movies about family relationships

I’ve been so busy lately, but I made time to see two great movies about family relationships recently. I highly recommend them both as worthy of your time and money.

Nebraska, the movie about family relationshipsNebraska was my favorite of the two movies. I thought this was a fantastic portrayal of how adult children must face the difficulties of aging parents. It runs you through the full spectrum of emotions in two hours – it’s a comedy, a drama, a horror story – all wrapped up into one. And then there’s a sucker punch at the end that really got me all teared up-well done! The best thing about it was how real it seemed. Families do have these kinds of problems, families do talk to each other this way, families do drive each other crazy, aging parents lose their minds and a filter on what they say. But in the end love is what keeps them together. I’ve got my fingers crossed for both Bruce Dern and June Squibb to win Oscars for their performances, which were outstanding, believable, and oh so painfully real. Continue reading

Airing Dirty Dysfunctional Family Laundry on Survivor: Blood vs. Water

Survivor Blood vs. WaterI’m a big fan of the reality TV show Survivor, and I have developed a keen interest in this season’s Blood vs. Water twist pitting family members against each other. Specifically, I’m fascinated with Aras and Vytas Baskauskas, brothers whose thorny relationship practically screams dysfunctional family. These two have spilled enough backstory in the first three episodes to confirm my suspicions.

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There’s No Place Like Your Childhood Home

Childhood Home For SaleNo other dwelling in which you reside during your lifetime will hold a place as near and dear to your heart as your childhood home. I was reminded of this universal truth recently after discovering the home I grew up in was listed for sale. Immediately I felt the urge to visit my old stomping ground to investigate.

The realtor’s sign in the front lawn provided the confirmation I needed. While the yard had been tamed for marketability, the house remained dark and foreboding upon inspection. My family’s secrets were safely stowed behind locked doors with windows drawn tight against the curiosity of onlookers. I was overcome by mixed emotions, wanting so badly to see my childhood home once again yet at the same time remembering how desperately I longed to escape that house in my youth.

Yet I still recall this home fondly, nostalgia creeping in over the years to soften the hard reality of what happened here, making the memories more bittersweet than painful. If the walls of my childhood home could play back the family history that unfolded over twenty-six years, a plethora of movie genres would be revealed: family, drama, comedy, romance, action, adventure, music, crime, sport, horror, war, and the finale an epic tragedy.

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Bullying Statistics: Sibling Bullying Common in Families

Bullying Statistics: Sibling Bullying and Family RelationshipsA recent study on sibling bullying within the family reinforced my suspicions on the subject. The study released by the Institute for Social and Economic Research [ISER] at the University of Essex along with the University of Warwick revealed some interesting statistics on bullying, including:

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The Debate Over Parental Alienation as a Mental Disorder

I had never heard of the term “parental alienation” until several weeks ago, and now I’ve seen it referenced in the news twice over the last month.  The latest AP article “Psychiatric experts assess parental alienation” discusses the debate over whether or not the mental disorder should be formally classified in the revised edition of the American Psychiatric Association‘s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  I especially appreciate the definition given for this syndrome in the article: Continue reading