Category Archives: Self-esteem

You’re fucking A…

You have a beautiful soul. No matter what filthy mess you’ve gotten yourself into. No matter what financial mess you’ve created. No matter how much you fucked up with your spouse, the kids, the parents…you have a beautiful soul. It’s still in there. So stop beating yourself up and start living from that space instead.

No matter how many hours, days, weeks, or years, you’ve wasted messing yourself and/or your life and/or the people around you up, you can live a good life. Great life. Because you’re fucking A. Your soul is brilliantly beautiful and bloody marvelous. And you know it, don’t you?

We all know it.

Our own self-perception is weird, isn’t it? I keep thinking about what a mess my life is. It doesn’t matter how high up the ladder I climb, how kind people tell me I am, how many people I’ve helped…I keep looking at certain things thinking I’m an effing mess because I should be further along, or so I tell myself. Mess is my word of choice. I’m sure you have your own.

You can just live. This moment is all you have. And it’s your gift from up yonder. Yet, most of us have a measuring stick we are looking to, to check if we’re using this moment as we should. But what we really should is see it as a gift and live it as we want.

Maybe it’s just the other perfectionists and I who have that measuring stick. It’s natural that you know what’s good for your life and bad for your life. If you’re spending this moment robbing someone…well, it’s not going to serve you, or them. But if you are simply sitting there wondering if you achieved enough today, was good enough today, created enough today…then it’s time to shut up and start living instead of worrying. Enjoy yourself for F’s sake. Make use of this godly gift called life.

You know that one person who truly cares for your–the friend who loves you, the lover who treasured you, the child who adores you, the person who can’t wait to work with you again–maybe you should start seeing yourself through their eyes. Instead of thinking you aren’t worthy of their love and appreciation, act as a person who are. Accept that they see greatness in you, start seeing greatness in yourself and start acting as a person who is great.

And now I’m going to stop sulking about feeling behind in schedule and have a dose of I-love-myself-coffee. And possibly an Oreo cookie.

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

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Filed under achievement, confidence, diary, Musings, perfectionism, self help, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, Thoughts

The fire within…

It doesn’t interest me what you’ve done wrong. What your sins, or twisted thoughts are. I don’t care if you’ve been to jail, or been involved with a gang. We’ve all made mistakes. All desired the wrong things. All fucked up miserably. At some point, we’ve all failed. Simply because we walked into life backwards somehow. Got the wrong end of the dick stick. Were conditioned to do things that didn’t serve ourselves and others. We were turned sour by life. 

And it doesn’t interest me what drugs you’ve taken to cope with it, or how much sex you’ve had to get through it. I don’t care if you’ve tried killing yourself, or ate till you couldn’t move. I don’t give a damn. So you weren’t given an instruction manual for life. None of us were. We all tried coping in different ways; some more successful than others. 

No, what interests me is what’s inside your soul. What makes you smile, even when no one is watching. What makes your heart come alive with wonder and your eyes widen in amazement. I want to know what turns you on in life; what quickens your heartbeat and sends shivers down your spine. 

I want to know your capacity for loving; how much love you have for your favorite passions and how much love you can give to another human. I want to see your willingness to serve another soul.

I want to know how much you’re willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. But I also want to know you don’t sacrifice so much you’re left wounded. 

I want to see your soul, naked and beautiful. 

I want to hear your heart beating with love. 

I want to know that the passion within you is still there. And I want to see it awaken, like a spark turning into a fire. I want to see you set ablaze. I want to see you burn with the beauty of all that you are. 

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

P.S. This post was inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation (as seen to the left on this page…while I don’t agree with all of it, most of that poem is brilliant), just as For my lover: an invitation… was.

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, self-worth, Soul, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Not tonight, darling…

Ever heard that one? I have a headache. I am tired. I’d rather watch Netflix. My pinkie hurts. My boss is doing my head in, so I can’t relax. Take your pick.

In real life, it’s usually more along the lines of: “I don’t feel like it.” Or: “I can’t be bothered.” Or: “I have no inspiration.”

You know what? To get inspired you first have to start. It’s not like anything turns itself on by itself. Right…

One of the rules of magic, according to William Whitecloud and co. is “Engage your will.” If you don’t engage your will, you’ll sit on your ass doing nothing. Hence, life will be pretty boring. Not to mention: depressing. If you sit alone all day wiggling your toes, sooner or later, you’ll end up thinking miserable thoughts. It’s like ahving a one-on-one with your inner demons. Which is why Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert. But that’s 40 days and nights to face yourself and move through and beyond your pain and demons. After that, you need physical and intellectual stimulation. Love. Companionship. Joy. Laughter.

Sometimes, it’s not because we’re lazy we don’t move our butts. It’s because we’re scared.

Imagine someone scared of heights living in a place like Australia. To get to another country, they’d have to use a boat, or a plane. Let’s say they get seasick. A plane is the only option. Unless they get over themselves, they’ll never see the rest of the world. They’ll never sip coffees in Paris, have tantra classes with the hippies in San Francisco, party in LA, check out the jungle in Mexico, see the Northern lights in Finland, or do any of those other cool things one can only do in certain places.

To someone not scared of heights, this doesn’t make sense. But fear is a very real thing, even if it’s completely imaginary.

Let’s say you know that it’s possible to overcome fear though, because you’ve done it. You’ve done it and you know how amazing it is to be on the other side. So you try to convince the other person to try it.

The problem? Most people also fear change. Or they fear the pain they may encounter overcoming their fear. Or they fear the effort it will take to overcome the fear. Or they fear they can’t do it and if they try they will prove that. Or they fear the happiness they may encounter as they don’t think they deserve it (see Your inner dominatrix… for more on that). Or they don’t want to face the emotions they’ll have once they get to the other side of the fear and realize they’ve wasted 30 years being afraid of something. Of course, that’s silly as they can just focus on the next 30 years and be grateful. But our minds work in silly ways.

Let’s have a look at an example of fear. I used to be scared of rejection. So let’s have a look at rejection. 

If you fear rejection, you won’t go on a date, because you’re too scared being rejected. Or you won’t talk to people, because you’re too scared being rejected. Or you won’t say what you want, because you’re too scared of rejection. Or you won’t apply for a job, because you’re too scared being rejected. It depends on your type of rejection fear. 

Now, rejection happens to everyone. Sadly, no one in kindergarten informed us that five out of ten people will give us a hard time. If you want to make friends with five people, prepare to be rejected by another five. Sometimes even more. 

Because no one told us about this, we take rejection personally. We end up thinking we’re not good enough, or some other such thing. We get wounded. It hurts. We don’t want to hurt. So we hide away, or become bullies, or we become aloof, or sit alone and eat lots of candy, or do some other such thing, depending on what strikes us as a good idea at the time. 

Basically, we put a plaster on top. But the plaster a) doesn’t allow for the wound to heal b) keep other people at bay — it’s a defense. Now, because we have a wound, every time someone as much as hints at rejecting us, it hurts more than if we didn’t have a wound. And with every hurt, the wound becomes bigger. 

The plaster (defense) will further add to our sense of rejection because other people, or at least the right kind of people, usually don’t get close to those who are shy, bullies, or aloof. So we become a self-fulfilling prophecy on top of everything else.

To find friends, lovers, great work opportunities, etc. we will need to handle rejection. It will hurt a little bit, but the treasure is worth it. 

It’s kind of like getting off our asses and going for that run, cleaning the house, or showing up for work: it will take some effort (pain) but it’s worth it. Because it makes us feel good. 

I don’t know what it is you’re avoiding doing in your life that’d make you feel good. Maybe you’re avoiding it because of fear. Maybe you’re avoiding it because you don’t think you’re worth it (you need to suffer to atone to some past mistake of yours). Maybe you’re avoiding it because you think the effort is too much. 

I’m here to tell you it’s worth it. Because whoever said life begins outside your comfort zone was damn right. It does. The real life. The one worth the effort. The one that will make you see stars. 

I mean just think about first time sex. The fear. The panic about getting it wrong. The knowledge that you don’t have a clue about what you’re doing. The fear of asking for what you want and doing what you want because of the possible embarrassment if the other person disagrees. The potential rejection. And then think about getting over yourself. And practicing. And doing what you want. Asking for what you want. Little, by litte. And in the end actually having good sex. And you’re worth it. You just have to claim it.

So, darlings, I’m telling you: orgasms are on the other side of your comfort zone. Enjoy.

Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926735621605/

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Filed under depression, diary, emotions, Fear, Inspiration, life lessons, Love, Motivation, Musings, overcoming fears, relationships, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, self-worth, Thoughts

Go a little wild already — why anger can save your life…

I read a book many moons ago that practically saved my life. Yes, I know, lots of people say shit like that, but I pretty much literally mean it. Because it saved my hands.

Many years ago, I bought a book called Curing Back Pain: the Mind Body Connection by Dr. John Sarno. I never read it. When I left LA I gave it away, or packed it away somewhere never to retrieve it.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself getting shooting pains in my hands and arms. I was told I had repetitive strain injury and it was incurable. While it supposedly stemmed from typing, working as a writer, it affected everything I did. It got so bad I feared I couldn’t drive anymore.

I tried healing, I tried acupuncture, I tried using a chiropractor who also put needles in pain points, I tried massage, I tried raw foods, I tried medication, I tried Chinese medicine… The massage and needles into pain points helped for a short period, but then the pain returned with a vengance. People said it could have been triggered by stress. I went through all the stressors in my life. All the potential causes.

When I asked friends on Facebook about tips and recommendations, someone mentioned Sarno’s book. I dismissed it, thinking something stemming from “repetitive” movements couldn’t be caused by the mind. Stress can lead to a lowered immune system and general malfunctioning, but I had a physical condition that needed a physical solution. Or so I thought.

Back in LA and on a trip to Vegas I one night, in a bout of desperation, googled help once more and once again came across Sarno’s book for the purpose of repetitive strain injury. I was desperate. So I read some of the reviews. And I got the book.

A few days later I was typing again.

Sarno talks about how pain can be caused by the brain by a physical condition he calls TMS. This syndrome comes from the brain signaling the body to narrow the blood vessels and thereby causing pain from mild oxygen depravation.

His theory is that most of us repress anger. Usually we get angry with the people we love the most. We’re angry with our parents for fucking us up. With our children for throwing tantrums. With our boss for making us do things we don’t want to do. With our partner for not loving us the way we want to be loved. With our friends for acting in ways we don’t agree with. Then we feel ashamed. Because we know these are the very people who love us, or at the very least help us, or support us. So we bottle up our emotions instead of facing them, or discussing them.

Sometimes we suppress the anger because we’re scared of losing people if we confront them. Sometimes it’s because we feel ungrateful because the person is doing so much good for us, or love us, so why can’t we just let that one thing we’re angry with go?

I think we bottle up a lot more emotions than anger, but think about it: is there any one person in your life that you haven’t been angry with? And have you dealt with that anger? Discussed it with them? Have you even faced your own anger?

Sometimes it’s really simple as well — something we would face in a heartbeat if we only knew we were suppressing it. But we suppress without thinking. For example, we feel anger towards our baby for keeping us up at night, then ashamed as that’s what babies do. We’re the parent. We’re supposed to love them. So the brain, without us as much as realizing, suppresses the anger and distracts us from it with pain. If we think about the pain, we don’t think about the anger.

Some wounds cut deeper. The parents who loved us, but fucked us up. The friends in school we never stood up to, who semi-bullied us for what felt like an eternity, but were our “friends.” The partner who was constantly working to provide for us, but never spent time with us and who we didn’t want to pressurize too much, because, well, they were working. Guilt often stops us from dealing with anger. We could just express a want to spend a little bit more time with them, while also acknowledging the importance of their work, but we don’t. Or we could tell our well-meaning parents that we really don’t want to live as they want us to, no matter how much we love them. But we don’t. Because guilt, or fear of losing them, or simply fear of conflict in general, stands in the way.

If you don’t stand up for what you want, you’re constantly angry even if on the outside, you’re cool as a cucumber.

Learning to communicate your feelings, without for that matter blaming someone else for you having them, can help you overcome anger. Standing up for what you want, without for that matter putting someone else down, can help you overcome anger. Acknowledging that you get upset and it’s alright (even if you’re upset with a baby keeping you up at night) can help you overcome anger.

I believe, the closer we are to someone, the angrier we will be with them. That doesn’t mean we don’t love them. That doesn’t mean we can’t look upon them through the eyes of understanding. It simply means we have needs and those close to us are the ones that most often don’t provide us with what we need. Usually not because they don’t want to, but because they’re either incapable of doing so, or don’t know what we want in the first place. Chances are half the time we don’t either, we just feel something’s wrong. We’re dissatisfied. It took me reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to figure out we have different ways in which we need to be loved to actually feel loved. Relationships are a science in their own right. And it took me reading that book to figure out why people who love each other can still be in a bad relationship.

People try to love us by telling us what to do. By not telling us what to do. By forcing their religion upon us. By forcing their beliefs upon us. By punishing us. By staying away from us. By giving us gifts. By not buying us anything. By showing they love us so much we suffocate. By refraining from showing love at all.

People do all sorts of things in the name of love without asking us what we need, or sharing how they feel. And as a parent I’m guilty as hell of this. And when it comes to our own childhood, the truth is, not a single person in our childhood didn’t fuck us up in some way, because they tried to impose some idea or other on us that wasn’t right. Because that’s what they’d been taught to do. That’s how their life had shaped them. And we know they loved us, so we feel guilty about being angry, but love doesn’t prevent people from making mistakes. And just because we love someone, doesn’t mean we have to agree with them.

We’re all guilty of doing things in the name of love, that have nothing to do with love. They’re just things we’re hardwired into believing we should do. Just as we’re guilty of being angry with every single person who ever crossed our path for longer than a minute.

Understanding dissolves anger. It’s hard being angry with a person once you understand them. And once you look upon someone’s past, you understand them. You understand why they became who they are and why they act as they do. However, you still have to stand up for yourself. Just because you understand how someone is acting doesn’t mean you can let them act in ways that ruin your life, or dissatisfy you. It just means that when you approach them about it, you can do so from a place of love, instead of a place of blame.

Suppressed anger doesn’t just cause physical pain; it causes psychological pain too. I don’t necessarily think that repressed anger is the only emotion that can cause both physical and mental pain either. However, I do believe most unpleasant emotions lead to anger in one form, or another.

So who are the people you’re angry with? (Or should I ask: who are the people you love the most?)

And what book is it that you know would change your life, that you’re not reading? I guess I finally have to pick up Seven Habits of Highly Effective People…and then regret I didn’t do so ten years ago. But as my post Your inner dominatrix… can attest to, regret and punishment doesn’t take your life forward. Encouragement and praise do. So when you pick up that book you know you should be reading, do that thing you know you should be doing, take that course you know you should be taking…don’t regret you didn’t do so sooner. Congratulate yourself upon finally doing it instead. Finally doing what you know you really must to get the life you’d truly love.

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Filed under Healing, life lessons, Personal Development, personal growth, Personal Journeys, personal stories, self help, Self-esteem, self-worth, Uncategorized

Getting naked with Socrates…

I’ve been working on copy related to researching ancient history and wisdom lately. This spurs thoughts. Thoughts and I are like a runaway train — once I get going, I keep moving. Which is why I’m spewing out blogs at an unnatural rate for someone who really doesn’t have much time for blogging. It’s also due to a lot of events, trauma and emotional upheaval in the past couple of months, as well as meetings spurring thought. You can’t always spew your thoughts out at the poor people who instigated them. But I tend to chew over what people say. Particularly if it relates to a problem. And I have to unload somewhere. This is my unloading place. The place where I dump my thoughts. Sometimes unceremoniously, sometimes with a lot of bravado. I like entertainment, after all. Which is why I apply outrageous headlines and a lot of humor from time to time.

So this time it’s about Socrates. He asked questions. I’ve been thinking about that lately as someone told me they don’t like taking direction. Good philosophers, psychologists, coaches and leaders ask questions. They let people reach their own conclusions. Often they may guide them towards answers, rather than asking questions they have no clue where they will lead, but still: they ask questions.

Since I was a kid, I’d analyze people. Whether intuitively, intellectually, or both. Then I’d randomly blurt out my conclusions: often a pain point and its potential solution.

Then I studied acting and directing: I learned to break down scripts so as to figure out the thoughts behind the characters’ actions. From there I learned to break down the characters so as to be able to recreate their pasts that had led to these thoughts.

Through all of this I learned not just to understand others, but to understand myself. I understood the thoughts we think, where they come from and why we think them. Hence, I came to understand why I have the emotions I have. It’s due to my thoughts. However, it did not teach me how to change them. Not really.

While awareness tends to lead to a level of change, it doesn’t change everything. Being aware of a destructive pattern AND why you formed it, isn’t necessarily enough to change it.

You have to be willing to face yourself and the pain that comes with that to create change, but while that may help you let go of some things, it doesn’t change everything. Until you face something, you keep it bottled up. That means it’s still there. People are scared of facing pain, but by suppressing it they actually cause so much more pain, because they don’t let it go.

I always imagine this as a house: if something bad happens you let in a storm wind. You can try and contain that wind in one room by locking it in. Preferably far away from you, so maybe in the basement. But the wind is still rattling around in there. If you open the door to the basement and then to the garden, you’ll face the wind, you’ll feel its destructive force, but then it is released. It’s gone.

On the flip side of the coin, some people get stuck and revel in their own past/pain and, thus, also get stuck in it.

The thing is, releasing pain isn’t always enough. Because it’s usually attached to a coping mechanism that causes havoc. For example, when I get stressed I read, or binge watch netflix to escape from my own thoughts, but when I wake up the next day I have even more stress because instead of dealing with my to-do list, I was lost in a story.

If I’d taken ten minutes to meditate, or go for a walk, to deal with my stress and then tackled the to-do list, I’d been much further along and had LESS stress the next day.

In other words, you have to replace a dysfunctioning pattern with a functioning one. Let’s say someone overeats. They face the pain that is causing them to choose unhealthy and too much food to numb their pain. They’re willing to let go of their pain. But if they have no idea of what healthy foods are, or how to eat healthily (such as eating before your blood sugar tanks), they may very well not function properly anyway.

Plus, even if you let go of pain, stress, or whatever else is causing you inner turmoil, you’ll always face it again. And either you’ll relapse into the dysfunctional pattern to relieve your anguish, or you’ll use another one.

As Russell Brand said in his book Recovery: someone told him heroin saved his life. It was his coping mechanism. But it was a coping mechanism that was killing him, as well as destroying his social life, finances and work. Dealing with whatever made him use heroin in the first place AND finding better coping mechanisms led to him becoming clean. And as he also said: if a heroin addict can do it, so can you. That gave me hope. Because we all have unhealthy patterns, be it around finances, eating, drinking, work, exercise, relationships, or whatever else it may be.

My point though, is that my sterile approach in the past of serving people uncomfortable truths doesn’t work, beyond a possible wakeup call. You have to direct them towards something else. And love is the bridge to that.

Alan Kazdin, of the Yale Parenting Center, has, through studies around the world, come to the conclusion that punishment does little to facilitate change. Disregarding bad behavior, or giving someone a small consequence, while paying a lot of attention to and encouraging good behavior, leads to the biggest changes in a child. He even does things like workshopping tantrums. If a child throws severe tantrums, hitting adults, etc. he workshops the child through tantrums where it doesn’t hit, then praises that. He replaces one behavior with another and the bridge is love and encouragement from the parent. Once you’ve locked down having a “normal” tantrum, you can move onto having less of a tantrum, no tantrum and doing really well.

You replace one dysfunctional coping mechanism with a less dysfunctional coping mechanism until you can get to a great coping mechanism. One that actually helps you face the real problem. Such as how to handle distress.

Positive reenforcement has been used with great results on addicts, as well as in the workplace. It makes sense. When people resent you, they’re not very willing to do something that pleases you. The more you nag, punish and degrade, the less they will be willing to do what you want them to do. Also, the more you look down on them and punish them, the more you encourage their self-hatred and destructive patterns.

Actions have consequences. That needs to be shown. But giving attention to negative behavior and punishing it does not change the behavior.

Knowing this doesn’t always mean you can implement it. I failed in my own home. I raise a child on the autism spectrum who has PDA. He’s violent. He’s abusive. I was at the point where I was spending money I didn’t have to have nannies 24/7 as it wasn’t possible to be alone with him. And I was furious with myself because I reacted to his behavior, but imagine waking up to a child who is verbally and physically abusive 50% of the time and you never know when you’ll be hit next. And I didn’t have a controlled environment. He started attaching the neighbors children, his siblings, the dogs, the furniture and me.

When my child’s anxiety kicks in, and it’s been high lately, he tries to control his environment with violence. This is a destructive coping mechanism. PDA lends itself to this kind of aggressive behavior, but he was further raised in a house with his biological family where there was domestic violence and so his behavior is on another level.

I’ve now had to temporarily place him with his grandmother and a number of other people living in that household, and put professionals in place on top of the psychologists to try to help him to the point where it’s possible to have him at home again. This isn’t ideal, but neither I, nor his siblings, could live in fear anymore. Understanding and therefore loving someone doesn’t mean you can handle their abuse, or control your own emotions when subjected to it. And I’ve been all over looking for help from social services, schools, therapists…the list goes on. I wanted a controlled environment for him where Kazdin’s methods could be implemented but I can’t find one. And I’m out of money for having nannies 24/7 and even with that in place the situation was horrible. When I had a stomach bug and fever last weekend the toddler concerned asked me if his brother had “broken my head,” because of the violence. He had already moved to his grandmother at this point, but that alone was a horrifying thing to hear a toddler say.

I’ve had hell with the situation at home and I’ve felt ashamed about it too. I was caught in a catch 22 where we I couldn’t give up on the child, nor expose myself or his siblings to abuse. Plus not having the finances to, you know, ship Alan Kazdin over. In the end myself, his nannies and psychologist worked out a plan forward. I do think it’s important to talk about these things. Because what I experienced at home with a child, some experience with an adult.

This kind of coping mechanism (trying to control your environment using violence) is different from coping mechanisms to deal with inner pain from past trauma, current emotional stress, etc. in that it is a form of manipulation. This person isn’t just trying to handle their inner distress, but the distress they feel relating to people. Other coping mechanisms related to controlling relationships might be anger, extreme helplessness, crying hysterically, bullying, hiding away, pleasing, or threats to leave or stop loving someone. None is healthy. Expressing how you feel and learning to also see past your emotions, is a lot healthier. For example, my child fears not being loved to the point where he can’t handle any attention given to any other child. But he is loved. His emotions, based on his interpretations of past and present experiences, are telling him he isn’t though. And he acts on those emotions. They aren’t real, but he thinks they are. He’s created a world where he thinks he’s unloved and does anything to prove it to be true. 

Till this day I still have a hard time not telling people what their thoughts are, why they’re acting the way they’re doing, and to sort their shit out. Or what their patterns and coping mechanisms are and to sort their shit out. But it doesn’t work beyond the initial wakeup call. For some that might be enough, just as being thrown in a prison cell may be enough to wake someone up. But as Socrates discovered so long ago, you often get further by asking questions than spelling things out. And as Kazdin discovered, behavior isn’t changed by telling someone what’s wrong, but by showing them what’s right. By encouraging them and making them feel good doing the right thing. This, in turn, will help them love themselves, which I think, really, is the cornerstone of great behavioral patterns. Because once you love yourself, you act in ways that serve you and others. 

Speaking of which: most forms of depression spring from an obsession with self; an obsession with some dysfunctional, or painful part of self. Once we stop thinking about ourselves and only focus on serving others, we forget to be depressed, because we aren’t obsessing about what we should achieve, or what others think about us. We’re too busy helping someone else. That’s another way, I suppose, of changing behavior. 

For that matter, this blog is a coping mechanism for me to deal with my thoughts and emotions and I think it’s distracted me enough from work this week. It’s starting to move towards being dysfunctional. 

On that note my darlings, it’s time to stop writing. 

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Filed under addiction, addictions, autism, autism spectrum, Behavior, drug addiction, Parenting, pathological demand avoidance disorder, pda, positive reenforcement, Psychology, Self-confidence, Self-esteem, Self-help, self-worth, Uncategorized