A Note From the Heart by Kelli Hernandez

Sometimes those who have had the great misfortune of having had a relationship with a psychopath feel permanently tainted. They’re afraid they will never be healthy enough; all they can be is  a “second rate” partner. This attitude makes me angry and I will try to persuade you that it’s isn’t right.  All of us who had intimate relationships with a psychopath feel deeply wounded. None of us are or could find “the perfect partner.” But that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t become and find “a suitable partner”. The “perfect partner” doesn’t exist. You are not perfect; I am not perfect. While personality disorders are clearly defined–with a specific list of highly destructive symptoms and behaviors–“normalcy” or “perfection” are constructs, ideals. But just because none of us are perfectly “normal” or “perfect,” it doesn’t mean that we’d make second-rate partners. What we have, which personality disordered individuals don’t have, is the capacity to love. 

If there is one thing I’ve learned from having pathologicals my whole life is this: Without love, there is nothing. Without love, we wouldn’t survive as a species. Without love, we couldn’t have partners. Without love we could not have children. Without love, we couldn’t help the homeless or cats or dogs. Without love we couldn’t help the homeless, or a helpless human being dying from a terminal illness. All of those things derive from love.

Without love, what you have left is pathology, evil and suffering. You have the destruction that psychopaths bring into the world. The children in the orphanages in Romania…..they didn’t have LOVE…..they were sick, many died, they lived in their own urine and feces and suffered disease……but love flew in and adopted some of them. Love is simple. Love encompasses so many beautiful things. When we can love ourselves, we can love others, no matter what state they are in! Isn’t that a wonderful thought?

I was never given love, but I have the capacity to love and I want to be loved. Because without it, we would die and others would and do suffer. Without love we have psychopathy. With love, we can recover from the psychopathic bond. I don’t expect anyone to be ideal; I can’t offer perfection to anyone. I want someone to accept me for me and am ready to accept those I care about for who they are.  That is the best we can expect and offer in life.

Kelli Hernandez

52 Comments

  1. Kel, as you can see I just posted your wonderful–realist yet positive–note from the heart. Claudia

  2. Claudia,

    I’m a little shocked. But it’s beautiful. Thank you. I believe it’s important. Kel

  3. Kel, you’re making a positive difference in the lives of our readers and friends and your message is positive, realistic and inspiring. Claudia

  4. Kelli – Beautiful post!!!!

    xo Linda

  5. Kelli, you know what real love is. It doesn’t hurt (intentionally), it helps and it tries to heal. Sounds like you are healing. Your friend, Donna

  6. Donna,

    That’s a beautiful thing to say. I appreciate it so much. Thank you.

    Linda, TY!!!!! XXOO

  7. Kelli and all: See from the examples that each of us have experienced what happens when you love someone who is not capable of giving it in return?!? It is essential and necessary to have love to thrive; all creatures want to be loved….

    I believe with each passing day the power of love can heal many things; I am truly blessed that I can love

  8. Linda, what a beautiful song! Claudia

  9. Linda,

    I see a new and enlightened spirit shining through you. Embrace your ability to love, yourself especially. You’re worth it🙂 XXOO

  10. Great essay, Kelli. ❤

  11. Very well said Kelli! It was straight from the heart and honest. Well done.

    I would add an addendum regarding you never having had love though. You may not have felt love from your parents growing up, or from a romantic partner. But, you are a mother and a grandmother. Surely you have been wrapped in love from them, even if you haven’t felt it. I have no doubt in the world it is there.

    The one thing I wanted more in this world than anything is children. It didn’t happen for me despite my best efforts to bring it to fruition. Those who have been blessed with children as well as grandchildren are lucky in love in a way some of us will never know. Moreover, finding a partner has no shelf life. Becoming a parent does. I can still go out and find a partner even if I’m single at the age of 89! Having a child doesn’t have a limitless lifespan of opportunity, unfortunately.

    Well written article Kelli. I was just struck by that particular comment inassociation with parenthood.

    Thank you for your honesty and authenticity in what you’ve written. 😀
    Lisa

  12. Kel, Lisa brings up an excellent, unforgettable, point: You do and have had true love from your children, grandchildren, Herc and friends. Claudia

  13. Lisa,

    what a great point you make as an addendum. The article was based upon losing hope of having a partnership after the pathological relationship and how having a pathological background may interfere with that ability specifically.

    I’m not lost on the blessings I have with my children and grandchildren. Nor my baby boy.🙂

    They are very close to my heart and are always present in my life in one way or another as well as mine in theirs.

    Lisa, I was not aware that you could not have children. I understand that to be a heartache for some who wanted to be, but could not be. I can only empathize because I don’t know it. I don’t take my role as a mother for granted, and cutting off the pathologicals in my bio fam (which means all of them), was a way in which I cherished my role as Mom, but also in taking my responsibility very seriously.

    Admittedly, part of the dream was realized, but the other will never be. I’m grieving the reality that a partnership in this life, isn’t possible and is something I will never know for me. I know this now, to be true for me. But I hope it’s a possibility for you. You’re beautiful and smart with a lot to offer. So maybe while your heart aches because your role as Mom won’t be realized (could you adopt if you wanted too? I’m curious?) it may be that having a partnership in your life can be.

    Thank you for such a thoughtful response. Kel

  14. Dear Kelli and Lisa, I believe i am older than both of you (62). I don’t believe you should give up on the possibility of finding a life partner or companion in the future. However, our responsibility right now though is to heal our broken spirits and learn to love ourselves. It takes some work but it can be done. You are both beautiful women who happened to give your love away to the wrong man who didn’t deserve you in the first place.

    My child and my grandchildren are only a part of who I am as a woman they feed a part of my soul. I read a dailey devotional every morning and yesterday’s message was “Be a divine expression in your own way, accept your Uniqueness”. Reading that made me feel better all day.

    I personally am keeping my heart and mind open to me finding a partner, I tell myself that I am worthy every day and that I will never ever lose me to another man. I will never waste any more time on someone who is not going to reciprocate my affection and I believe you both can find a way to feel the same. Affectionally, Donna

  15. Donna,

    I appreciate your comments so much. There is a lot of wisdom in what you’ve expressed. I think the ultimate in self love now is not to invest in another relationship. I keep this in mind and live it out according to my actions. I know I’m not ready, but I also understand that for me, it just isn’t a possibility. I’m coming up on one year now and getting through the birthday and holiday’s as a first without him is very painful. It seems my grieving is somewhat delayed.

    All in all, I’m surviving alone and the bottom line for me, is that I’d rather be alone, than with someone who would hurt me.

    Kel

  16. Kelli, I totally agree that going through the grieving process is necessary when we lose someone we loved and cared about. We all grieve and heal differently so yes, follow your own wisdom. Our’s are personal journeys. I am also facing his birthday next week as well as the DD day tomorrow.

    I also understand not being ready for any new relationships right now. It took me eight years to be open to investing in a new relationship after my last “Heart Man” died of cancer in 2000, then the new Narc showed up. So, my luck has not been good. However, I seem to get stronger after each loss. “Life Lessons” learned I suppose.🙂.

    So, my dear Kel, you can count me as a part of your support system and I did let Claudia know that I would be willing to exchange personal email addresses.

    I did adopted the mindset, that I would rather be alone then in another “FU” relationship. However, I won’t give up on being “Worthy”. Just Me, Donna

  17. Donna,

    Thank you for your support! I do feel a bit on the depressed side lately, although my therapist assures me that this is part of the process, but it’s a different kind of depression not like any I’ve felt before. It’s a very deep, DEEP kind of depression. It’s hard to talk about and because there is such a small support system, it feels like it’s never going to dissipate. I find it interesting that while I know I’m glad I’m not in the relationship anymore and wouldn’t go back to save my butt, I still “miss” him. In fact, that feeling is worse now than it was in the beginning. It feels to me that other things are coming up but there is a resistance of sorts.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and then having a narc appear in your life, UGH! I understand about “his” birthday, as mine is approaching his 50th in December and DD day is on the 4th of December. It’s very painful in the heart, even while the mind understands who and what he is.

    Yes, exchange of emails would be wonderful and I’m honored that you suggested it. Thank you so much, Donna. I look forward to hearing more of your story. You sound so strong and wise! Kel

  18. Kel, I am not trained in therapy, however I can be your friend because I have been where you are . I believe Claudia can help us get email connected. I am available until 11/22/11, then “Out of Connect” for 10 days. Back home on 12/3. I sound good. Smiles, Donna

  19. Donna,

    I know you’re not, and the more friends who have shared this experience the better! You do sound good! Claudia is a good friend so connecting will be easy!

    BTW, I have a great therapist🙂 Just hoping to get to the EMDR portion soon. Have you had this kind of therapy? It’s my understanding that it’s very helpful with trauma. Kel

  20. Donna and Kel, I’m so glad that you two have met on the blog. Donna, sure, I’ll give Kel your email. Claudia

  21. Hey Kelli! I don’t have any words of healing or wisdom for you. I wish I had something magical to say. I am very familiar with the pain you’re expressing regarding both the ex and your health. I’m feeling similarly today in particularly, for a couple of reasons which don’t really matter. I won’t elaborate on the reasons. Please know I understand to some degree what you are feeling. I’m sorry you are having to go through this.

    Donna, I really needed ot hear that tonight! Sometimes it just gets tiring looking at the bright side and I just get pissed off. lol. Today was one of those days. I want to turn my anger toward my ex and say it’s all his fault! He left me and is happily in a new relationship enjoying all the things he’s deprived me of. I’m actually amused at that thought that even came out of my head just now. I realize it’s completely false and I won’t wallow there. Nonetheless, the temptation to place blame on him for my anger and sadness is there today. Though, I will not! Tomorrow’s another day.

    Kel, it sounds like we’ll need to fulfill our coffee date soon.
    Lisa

    PS Kel, regarding the adoption issue. I’m feeling that I’m too old for starting that process at this stage in life. I have faith that life is meant to be a certain way. For reasons unknown to me, I suppose being a mother wasn’t meant to be. I’ll be the best aunt I can. Hopefully, I’ll get to be a partner at some point in my life. That’s not too much to ask is it? It’s still in the cards for you too! We just have to see what comes our way.Though today, I’m just going to be mad about the lack thereof.😉 Lisa

  22. Lisa, one of the things Kel and I were discussing on the phone last week is that at some point one has to accept in life that one can’t have it ALL. When you’re a teenager, full of potential, there’s a sense of open possibilities in life and energy within you that makes you think you can have it all. The world is at your fingertips; so many paths inviting. But when you begin choosing certain paths in life you start leaving behind others. I think part of why the psychopath lured me is because I still believed in the adolescent fantasy that you can have it ALL in life: 1) an interesting intellectual and artistic life; 2) a fulfilling, loving and stable family life and 3) an exciting, sensual, thrilling romantic life, always fresh, always passionate. I found out the hard way that points 2) and 3) are completely incompatible and also that if you pursue point 3) you’re likely to end up with personality disordered Don Juans, be they narcissists or dangerous sociopathic sexual predators like my ex.

    Part of maturing for me the past few years has been learning to accept that two out of three ain’t bad. Not just that, but true love involves a sense of responsibility and empathy that are absent from point 3), relationships based on excitement, pleasure and ego massages. But sometimes it’s very difficult to let go of wanting it all–and having all options or paths in life still open to us–because it’s what we’ve wanted since adolescence. Our moral character, the choices we’ve made and the priorities we have determine which options are still open and which aren’t. Instead of mourning dead ends, we have to have a sense of gratitude and wonder towards the avenues that still remain to be explored. You never know what–or who–you’ll encounter on those paths. Claudia

  23. Kelli, this is wonderfully written, and cuts to the centre of it all- That without love what do we have. That is all that matters. Beautiful. Michael

  24. Kelli and all: kelli you stated:

    “I’m glad I’m not in the relationship anymore and wouldn’t go back to save my butt, I still “miss” him. In fact, that feeling is worse now than it was in the beginning.”

    It is also worse for me too at this stage; the missing him. I think we have to remember also that maybe what we miss is just “something” that was in our life for 5-10 years, I suppose you could even miss a mean dog you had for so many years also in that sense. The missing of something that was a part of our lives for years even as damaging as it was. We are also “housecleaning” our lives so to speak; getting rid of garbage that rotted and turned toxic or old clothes that will never fit anymore; the only unfortunate part of that analogy is its a bit easier to get rid of clothes than it is a human being of flesh and blood that is.

    I DO NOT miss how he treated me but I miss the love I once felt for him and its difficult to say to myself STOP feeling love for what was only for the most part just an act for you. I also would like to comment on this supposed idea that they have moved on and are “happy” in their lives; we have to understand what happiness is to a psychopath – OF COURSE mine is content and happy with what he has but look at the SOURCE of what makes a psychopath happy. Duping, power, control, and exploiting others for supply… thats pretty much it but those are NOT the things that would make MY life happy. My personal happiness is going to take some hard work but in the long run it will sustain me for the rest of my life; his NEVER will; one month they are happy, the next month their supply is running low oops time to fuel up on some supply because I am getting bored and I need someone to predate to give me my “happy fix” — but it never lasts as OUR contentment will – TRUE happiness is far more difficult to achieve than creating triangles in your life, establishing mistresses, and screwing everything that makes your penis happy. So is he happy? Sure as long as they have the supply that feeds their empty selves, but its just a band aide to cover the sore that will never heal. I am sorry but to me that is not genuine happiness and they can give us the impression all they want that they have moved on and are happy but he is not fooling me any longer, this time he is only fooling himself x0x0 Linda

    PS And that is a message from MY heart x0x0x0

  25. Lisa,

    What I have found to be so true, throughout my sessions in therapy is not to flog myself for feeling a feeling at any particular moment or to tell myself I don’t feel it. When I recognize my feelings for what they are, honor and respect them, I find out more about myself. I’m not going to talk myself out of missing him, which is more symbolic than anything else. What does that mean? I ask myself. Well, it means I miss sex, I miss doing something kind for a partner. I miss sitting by the fire. I miss conversation. None of these things were real with him by any means, but they are the things that I LOVED and now miss. I grieve it more because I don’t feel in my heart, that I will have it again. The good things of me to share with a partner, ya know? Love and all the gunky stuff lol!

    Last night I got a phone call from my son asking me if I would consider taking in another rescue. A dog who has been abused. It didn’t take me long to say yes after he sent the pic of her. She needs some work and lots of LOVE. Well, I might not be able to give love to a partner, but I give it to my children, my grandchildren, my pets, and now, a rescue who has been so badly abused, she needs someone to just love her. So she will arrive on Thursday. My point being, that while I wish I had a partner at times (even though I know i’m not ready for such a thing) and miss the things that go along with sharing life with someone, love is still there to give. I think that’s what I want to keep in mind. Love is something the psychopath doesn’t and can’t have.

    So Lisa, because you can love, you have a right to feel the feelings you have about your ex, even if you’re angry, because you loved and that love was abused. If you didn’t love, it wouldn’t hurt or anger you and none of us would have to live with the process of this level of understanding of having been with someone who cannot. So get a punching bag and have at it. We will have coffee soon, my dear. My MS and my fibro are pretty active right now, so I’m not feeling so hot at the moment, but the flare will clear and I’ll have a bit more energy to make our coffee date! I hope you feel better soon. It’s hard to live with these illnesses, but it can be done. With a little bit of love🙂 Kel

  26. Linda,

    I understand what you’re saying here. I’m pretty clear that mine will never know love the way we can and do. The missing him part is very symbolic for me. I don’t miss him as he is, nor the abuse he inflicted. I suppose there will be moments like this as time goes on. It’s okay though. I think maybe looking for the simple happiness’s and joys in our lives is where it’s at. Seems it’s a habit to want something I can’t have. Claudia and i talked about this on the phone last week for quite awhile. I think there is a lesson to be learned in understanding that sometimes we won’t always get what we want, but that we need to appreciate more what we have. Claudia has a little more to appreciate than I do, LOL, but I do understand the concept. Linda, I think in your situation, you’re really moving fast towards discovering what you need to find love for yourself and others in your life. Who cares what the “animal” does, right? He’ll always be a predator and there will always be prey, but we can be so glad that we aren’t anymore. Kel

  27. Claudia

    LOL…..how funny! After telling Linda what I did about our phone conversation, you mention the same. Yep, the Danori Divas are at it again!🙂 Kel

  28. Michael,

    Thank you. As you write your book, Michael, whether it flies off the shelves or not, try to keep in mind the reasons and motives behind why you’re writing it. I hope your motivation is love for others and helping victims of psychopathy, no matter how well or not, it does. Blessings to you, my friend. Kel

  29. Linda, thanks for your message. How true! Loving requires commitment and empathy which are more difficult–but also much more rewarding–than living life only to exploit people. Every one of your comments sounds like a message from the heart: honest and insightful. Thanks so much for your contributions. Claudia

  30. Kel, please send me a pic of the dog by email! How did I miss that? Congratulations on your new baby! Pets are loyal, loving, sweet, adorable and smart. We save their lives and they, in turn, save ours. It’s reciprocal, just like the love. Claudia

  31. Claudia,

    I have a pic of her on my cell that my son sent me. I’ll have to convert to email and send then send to you. UGH! I think I’d rather wait til she gets here though. She is a shitzu and her name if Fifi. Go figure, lol! I’m preparing for her now, if not slowly. I’ll send you a pic as soon as she gets her tonight! Kel

  32. Kelli, It’s interesting you should say that. I almost gave up on the idea of my book for that very reason. Who am I writing it for? For me? A need to vent my spleen, or try and achieve something that resembles closure? Or am I writing it for altrusitic reasons, to help others? I thgink Kel the answer lies somewhere in between if I’m honest.

    I think above all though; if I could fantasise about my book ever comming into fruition, and how it was helpful….for me kel, it would something like this in an ideal word-

    Imagine someone who had encountered a pathological relationship, and they were tormented with self doubt, guilt, the aftermath, self reproach, and generally just left in trauma and shock at what the hell happened JUST NEEDING TO KNOW….they might read my book and say to themselves …..”yeah shit! thats what I went through”…. I think first things first Kel…people need to know what the signatures are that they have encountered Cluster B pathology. Then they take a sigh of relief (at least I did), and begin the process of putting it to bed and going to work on themselves (painful stuff!). Michael

  33. Kel, yes I did try the EMDR therapy many years ago after the deaths of my Mother and youngest brother. It does help alot and still use it every now anf then when I get really stressed.

    I am so happy to hear about your new little friend FiFi, I also have Shih Tzu named Taja and she has been my constant commpanion for the last 11 years. She has been a joy to love and have close to me definitely gives unconditionaly love and it’s been my pleasure to care for her. I truly hope that the love care you give to her you will get back three fold. Donna

  34. Michael,

    Good questions to ask of yourself. Honest answers often catapult you further into the healing process too. Perhaps it’s altruistic on some level, but in others maybe not so much. You sure get to know the truth about yourself when you’re able to be honest. That’s hard because sometimes being that honest with yourself doesn’t always bring forth a pleasantry by any means, but growing means looking at the good and the bad.

    I write on the blog. I don’t journal anymore. We all have our own way of processing this stuff. I do a lot of reading on it too, research.. but that’s calmed down a bit since I got sick and now am researching my illnesses instead lol! UGH!

    I think it takes great courage to look honestly at yourself. If you can do that and dig deep for the toxic garbage after the cluster B and HURT LIKE A BITCH, then you’re doing great! lol! Sounds horrible I know, but it is the truth.

    Another approach that I thought about Michael in wanting to pursue my career and hoping that it will help victims: When it STOPS being about the victims, it’s time to bail. If it is not at all altruistic, I will lose site of myself, my level of compassion and care. this is why, if I EVER get done with school and make it as a therapist specializing in this stuff, I will do one or two days a week FOR FREE of therapeutic services. I can make that time and it would keep me humbled. I’m constantly aware of that. My goals are not monetary. It is a mission to help those who are hurting and can’t afford it or don’t have insurance to cover it. They deserve the help too. I’m very fortunate to have insurance. I would like to live comfortably, but not more than that, nor lose site of my original goal to help victims. Anything beyond that would be exploitation. I don’t want to risk going there. Kel

  35. Kelli, I think that if we can provide information that is accurate, and be sensitive to the experiences of others; we cannot go wrong. And these things are free, and priceless…long may they be. Michael

  36. Donna,

    I had a neighbor who had a shitzu a long time ago. She was just so sweet! That’s a LONG time to have a dog with you! I have a wiener named Hercules. He is the KING of the household here. I could not give ten times the amount of love he has given unconditionally. We’re really excited about fifi coming! I’ve not cared for a shitzu before, so this is all new to me! I’m glad you shared about Taja, it gives me some idea what to expect as far as temperament, although fifi has been abused so she’s somewhat timid, particularly around men. Ironically, it’s my son that found out about her and she loves him, so we shall see! Kel

  37. Michael,

    Agreed and a beautiful way to express it. Kel

  38. What a lovely, true, great post Keli. Love is a wonderful thing to have and we are all lucky that we can feel it and give it to others.

    love lesleyxxx

  39. Everyone, speaking of love, this art video epitomizes, for me, the longing for love and romance:

  40. Claudia, a beautiful song, that on listening, just left me feeling that I should just listen and just feel. Nothing more. Michael

  41. Kel, I found this on tube re empathy. It reminded me of you. Michael

  42. Michael & Kelli, that is exactly how I felt when I discovered who I was dealing with. Michael, the way you described sort of being able to sigh, almost with a bit of relief upon discovering that you were dealing with a disordered personality. It was the same for me. All that shame, embarrasment, guilt, for having accepted so much mistreatment and then having become so dependent on affections of a person that seems like my own enemy at times rather than a lover.
    I think it is a great thing to be writing your book for your own healing and for others. I’ve considered doing the same thing. Only those who have been through our experience have any idea how emotionally devastating and debilitating being involved with a pathological personality is. The more avenues to make people aware of the “sheeps in wolves clothing” living out among us the better.

    Claudia, Unfortunately even though I’m no longer pining away for my ex, I nontheless remain unable to remotely focus on anything of a romantic nature. Just seeing the front video clip of that video is difficult for me. I don’t think I’m ready to venture into watching it. I do appreciate the sentiment behind your sharing it!

    Most of the music I listen to is about personal growth, struggles, lost love, stories about interesting lives,but very little is about anything romantic, or sweetly loving.

    Speaking of which, here is another Linda Perry song that struck a chord with me as it relates to psychopathic personalities. She is obviously singing about a struggle with alcohol. Even so, I can relate many of the lyrics to my ex.

    I have the lyrics written on one of my blog posts. You can go to the link if you want to read the lyrics.🙂

    http://www.whatisapsychopath.blogspot.com/

  43. Thanks Michael. I also love Jack Vettriano’s paintings as well, which go perfectly with the Helen Grayco song. Claudia

  44. Michael…

    Yes…….I understand this…..

    Kel

  45. Lisa, it’s healthy that you aren’t focusing on anything of a romantic nature yet. Your last breakup with your psychopathic ex is very recent still; you need to recover and heal before you’re ready to pursue another romantic relationship. I don’t know how long it takes people to heal, since it’s individual, as we’ve been discussing, but I do know that jumping instantly into another relationship is not a good idea. As for the book, writing about this subject is therapeutic for both writers and, if you publish it in any form, be it blog or book or both, for readers as well. Claudia

  46. Lisa,

    It’s normal that you feel the way you do, in fact, it’s a really good sign of self love. Giving yourself time to heal and not seeking out a new relationship. I think it’s pretty unusual if someone shows up in your life after something like this. Being alone can be painful, but it can also be a relief from all of the abuse and time to figure out all the feelings that go with it. You can listen to more music than I can! UGH! I still can’t bear to listen to much. I have trouble watching tv too, so I just avoid it for the most part, for now, but there are things I’m slow integrating back into my life.

    Insofar as writing a book: This seems to be a pattern here! lol! It’s hard to get a book published in the real world, but it’s easy to share your experiences close to home with others around you who are hurting or need comforting after the psychopath is gone. Domestic violence shelters are a great place to start. Kel

  47. Regarding the book theme, I KNOW!! I noticed that. lol. I think what we need to do is a collabortive book sharing our stories as different sections so others can see the similarities and patterns w/in the context of some very different people, in unique relationship that have a very common thread. Thereby realizing even though their predator(lover) is very different in their eyes. They may still be able to see the pathalogical patterns in their behavior through our individual, yet alike stories.

    What do you all think of that idea?
    Lisa

  48. Claudia,

    It just dawned on me why this artist is so familiar. My father has one of his painting. Ugh. Kel

  49. Kel, it’s a small world isn’t it? Claudia

  50. Lisa,

    RE: Your above post. I think that is a WONDERFUL idea!!! Not every psychopath has the exact same approach, timing of abuse, etc, BUT they share similar traits. A book chalked full of victims stories would be great in showing how different, yet similar they all really are. Hmmm…. lol! Kel

  51. Kel! Yea!! Now we just have to ask Claudia how we go about putting something like that together. I envision each story revolving around a particular theme. For example, your story in the cog diss section, mine the boomerang, Michaels the honeymoon phase (just throwing out random examples.) That or, each stories different, yet similar unfolding of the same phase. ie. your idealization phase, mine, Claudia’s, Michaels, then each of our devalue phase experiences as sub sections, etc I think I like that framework best. What are your thoughts? Lisa


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