The tragic story of Jeanette Marie Maples

She was a shy, quiet girl. Her classmates didn’t know so much about her, because she didn’t like to talk about herself. Her neighbors didn’t know her well, too. If they greeted her, she mostly didn’t greet back. It was not because she wanted to ignore them or to be rude. She was just scared.

Her name was Jeanette Marie Maples. She loved to read and she loved school. Actually, she was two times awarded for perfect attendance. But then, one day, she stopped coming to school. Her mother decided Jeanette would be homeschooled.

Jeanette Maples (source:

*the rest of this post can be strongly triggering and disturbing, so if you feel such content can upset you or trigger your own memories or trauma, maybe you would consider not to continue reading*

Continue reading “The tragic story of Jeanette Marie Maples”

Empathy vs. “always positive” attitude

What is the difference between empathy and an “always smile” attitude? How can they help, and how can they hurt? The difference between empathy and an “always smile” attitude is that empathy involves understanding and compassion for someone else’s feelings or experiences, while an “always smile” attitude seeks to perpetuate a positive outlook no matter the circumstance.

Empathy can be incredibly helpful, as it allows people to connect and understand each other more deeply. It can lead to more meaningful relationships and a greater sense of belonging. It can be a powerful tool when it comes to healing, as it allows us to show support and understanding to those who are going through tough times. Empathy is also a great way to build trust in relationships, as it helps us to understand and connect on an emotional level. By showing understanding and compassion to those around us, we can create a deeper connection and understanding with others. Listening is also essential when it comes to empathy; it allows us to truly understand where someone is coming from and be able to relate to their experiences. Listening with an open mind and heart can help us to develop the empathy we need to better understand and support our friends and family. Moreover, empathy can be used as a powerful tool to tackle difficult conversations or situations. When we take the time to understand and acknowledge someone’s feelings we show we truly care.

An “always smile” attitude can be harmful in that it ignores the realities of life, encourages people to disregard their true feelings, and discourages authentic expression. Some authors call this attitude “toxic positivity.” Toxic positivity is a term used to describe the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of positive attitudes. It can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or invalidation when people express negative emotions. This attitude can be extremely damaging, as it can prevent people from recognizing and validating their true emotions. Instead of simply being encouraged to “look on the bright side,” it’s important to acknowledge the complexity of life and all the emotions that come with it.

This doesn’t mean that positivity is bad or should be avoided. In fact, positivity and optimism can have incredible benefits for mental health. However, it’s important to recognize that life is composed of both positive and negative experiences and that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.

“Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what is behind them.”

(a quote I heard in one Active listening training)

Unlocking a New Path to Healing: How Self-Parenting Helped Me Overcome a History of Childhood Trauma

What is self-parenting?

Self-parenting has become increasingly popular in recent years as a coping mechanism for those who have experienced childhood trauma, such as neglect and abuse. The idea behind self-parenting is to provide oneself with the love and support that one may have missed out on during childhood. It is based on the idea that we all have an inner child and that we can learn to care for ourselves in the same way that a parent would. 

At its core, self-parenting is the act of being your own parent. It involves recognizing your emotional needs and taking the necessary steps to meet them. This includes things like providing yourself with unconditional love, understanding, and support. It also involves setting clear boundaries, creating a safe space for yourself, and learning how to self-soothe. Self-parenting is a way of taking care of yourself and providing the emotional support you need to heal (it should not be mistaken with selfishness).

My experience with self-parenting

Self-parenting has been a crucial part of my healing process. It started as an automatic process, I guess as a subconscious coping mechanism, and in the end, it has allowed me to take control of my life and be responsible for my own emotional well-being. It has given me the tools to manage my emotions and respond to difficult situations healthily and constructively. I have been able to develop a strong sense of self-worth. This has been particularly helpful in dealing with the guilt and shame that can come from experiencing trauma. I have been able to recognize my own needs and feelings and learn how to validate them. I also started to recognize the signs of my own stress and to take steps to manage it before it got too overwhelming. I began to feel more in control of my emotions, and I slowly started to heal. I learn to take responsibility for my own actions. I also felt more secure in myself, and more able to take care of my own needs. Self-parenting has also enabled me to recognize and accept my limitations. I have learned to forgive myself for my mistakes and to be kind and compassionate toward myself. This has helped me to become more confident, create healthier relationships with others and to make healthier choices in my life. 

A few suggestions that can be helpful:

Self-parenting is an incredibly powerful tool for those who have experienced trauma. It can provide a sense of security and self-love and can help to heal the wounds of the past. If you have experienced abuse or neglect, I encourage you to explore self-parenting and find ways to meet your own needs. With self-parenting, you can create a safe and nurturing environment for yourself, and begin to heal.

Some exercises you may try:

• Acknowledge your needs and validate your emotions. 

• Create healthy boundaries and practice self-compassion. 

• Spend time alone and focus on activities that make you feel good. 

• Identify patterns of self-sabotage and make conscious efforts to change them. 

• Take time to relax and recharge. 

• Spend time with people who make you feel safe and accepted. 

• Make sure to take care of your physical and mental health. 

These are just a few of the many self-parenting exercises you can try. It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with self-parenting is different and that it is a process that requires patience and dedication. I have found that self-parenting has been a helpful tool for me in healing from my past trauma and in building a strong foundation for healthy relationships. It can also be beneficial for people who have not experienced abuse or neglect as it is a form of self-care that can help build a strong foundation for healthy relationships. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to cope with their own pain and suffering.

Is the self-parenting form of selfishness?

No. Self-parenting means acknowledging your inner child – the little one – whose natural needs for love and a safe world were not fulfilled. An adult with such an inner child inside mostly can’t move on in life without acknowledging the emotional gaps that need to be filled. Only after acknowledging it and providing this child with a loving (self)parent, this child can grow up and become an adult who will be able to be a loving and caring parent, partner, or friend. Being a self-parent means providing ourselves with something that people from healthy families already have: a stability, and feeling of safety.

A few thoughts for parents:

How do parenting styles affect children’s self-esteem?

Parenting styles can have a significant impact on a child’s self-esteem. A child’s self-esteem is largely influenced by the way their parents interact with them and by the type of feedback they receive from their parents. Children whose parents are authoritative (not to be mistaken with authoritarian) are high in warmth, responsiveness, and expectations, tend to have higher levels of self-esteem than children whose parents are overly permissive (low in expectations) or overly authoritarian (high in expectations and low in warmth). 

Authoritative parents create an environment that allows children to explore their own interests and encourages them to take risks. This type of parenting style fosters a sense of autonomy and encourages children to develop a sense of self-efficacy. On the other hand, overly permissive parents often tend to be too lenient, allowing children to make their own decisions without guidance or limits. This type of parenting often leads to children feeling inadequate and insecure because they don’t have clear expectations or boundaries. 

Finally, overly authoritarian parents tend to be too controlling and restrictive, which can lead to children feeling inadequate, helpless, and powerless. Overall, it is important for parents to provide a supportive environment in which their children can explore their interests, take risks, and make mistakes. This will help foster a sense of autonomy and self-confidence in their children and ultimately help them develop a healthy level of self-esteem.

Why self-care is essential to parenting?

Self-care is essential to parenting because it helps you to stay physically and mentally healthy. When you take care of yourself, you can have the energy and mental clarity needed to be a better parent. Self-care can also help you to be more patient, flexible, and better able to handle stress. When you are taking care of yourself, you can be a better parent and create a more positive, secure, and supportive environment for your children.

Short video portraying the true cases of fatal child abuse

I made a short video portraying the true cases of fatal child abuse. The video is possibly triggering, because it depicts severe abuse so if you think you can be triggered by it, please rather don’t watch. The purpose of the video is to portray the suffering many children must endure and move the public to speak up and take a firm stand against any form of child abuse.
Let’s not stay silent!

The presentation in PowerPoint can be downloaded here. Slide Sources is clickable so you can open the websites I used as sources for this presentation.

They were nice to me, so this didn’t happen to you

I came across this post on Twitter, and I would like to share it here.

This is very true, many abusers are actually protected by being well-established in society. Simply, people around them can’t believe that “this good person” could do something bad.

I experienced this approach personally several times. I can’t specify the details, but it happened and not once.

I would like to tell those who have the authority to deal with abusers, this: please, when someone approaches you and tells you about something bad happening to them, listen. Opening up about abuse and especially pointing fingers at the specific person, in addition, respectable in society, takes a lot of courage. Trust me. If you simply say, “that can’t be true,” or “well, you are the only one saying this, nobody else complains,” you will just help the abusers to cover their actions. If you say “you know that this is a serious accusation, you can bear consequences if this is not true,” I may surprise you: yes, the person who approaches you knows it very well. And, I will repeat, it takes a lot of courage to come and say it. No normal person wakes up in the morning and says: “what would I do today? Oh, I know, I can accuse somebody of abusing me.” No, it doesn’t work like that. Those rare cases of false accusations are not an excuse to ignore the victim or to threaten with some “consequences.”

So, to conclude: if you have resources to help, please do it. If you don’t have, you can refer the person who is confiding to you to someone who can. But, please, don’t ignore, or downplay what you were being said.

A dilemma many child abuse survivors must face

Child abuse survivors often need to struggle with a dilemma of how to handle issues from their childhood. One side of the story is how things “should” be; another one is how they are. Many child abuse survivors have deeply embedded in their minds that they must look perfect, that their family must look perfect. This lie they needed to perform can become by time so deep in their minds they start to believe in it. Even when they are adults and far away from all those bad things, they may find it difficult to face them. True, it is easier to live when we try to suppress the truth and pretend that things were not so bad. But sooner or later, the suppressed trauma can burst out.

I came across an excellent short movie, dealing exactly with such conflict. I share it here.

Enjoy your watching.

My experience from the mental hospital and searching for the answers

One of the most important anchors for people with mental illness is that we can be sure we can rely on professional help. Generally, we can be sure that if our illness strikes again, we should be able to see the therapist or the psychiatrist. We should feel that they would show interest and try to help us.

However, I would like to share my experience from 4 years ago. In one of my previous posts, I told my story, when I almost lost my life. I’m suffering from depression and anxiety for many years, and that autumn 2017, I was going through pretty tough times. I experienced a series of disappointments and betrayals from people I thought I could trust. I don’t want to go into details; I just want to say my mental state was terrible. I was like walking in darkness. I attempted to end everything and I ended up in a hospital in ICU, four days in a coma. What I want to share here is the approach of hospital staff. And I would like to ask you to give me your opinion about this. You can share it in the comments below this post or just message me.

Continue reading “My experience from the mental hospital and searching for the answers”

15 Things People Said That Were Code for ‘I’m Struggling Today’

I came across this article today and I think it’s very true. I’m not very good with words and I noticed that I often use some of these phrases, when I’m asked how I’m doing.

15 Things People Said That Were Code for ‘I’m Struggling Today’