A confession: I have a hard time keeping up with my own brain. Since I discovered my brain buried at the root of so much of the dysfunction in my life about 20 years ago, I’ve been learning more and more about how it works and paying ever-increasing attention to it. The only problem is that it’s really a challenge to keep up with. And I don’t just mean keep up with the 300,000 peer-reviewed neuroscience studies published every year. I mean keeping up with the changes that take place in my own brain day in and day out, sometimes minute by minute – often painful, limbic-hijacking, emotionally overwhelming changes.

Don’t Bring Canines to a Dog Fight

Take one morning last month, for example. I was working in my home office when I heard my wife out in the kitchen using her command voice on Bodhi, our English Golden Retriever. She was ordering him to stop growling at Abby, the Bernese Mountain puppy who was edging in on Bodhi’s breakfast. My wife commanded him once, then twice more. Suddenly all hell breaks loose – Bodhi attacking loudly, wife screaming, Abby squealing in great pain.

Two dogs grin against each other

I dash into the kitchen to find Bodhi with his jaws clamped around Abby’s throat, my wife futilely attempting to separate them. I immediately jump into the fray, whapping Bodhi smartly on the nose several times. But he refuses to release Abby; she continues to scream. Amidst this chaos she manages to bite my hand and draw blood.

Unable to separate them – adrenaline cranking – I pick Abby up off the floor. It’s then that I notice that Bodhi doesn’t actually have her by the throat. Instead, his first lunge at her has hooked his canines around her collar. In her attempt to get away she has apparently flipped a 360, which ended up wrapping her collar tightly around Bodhi’s canines, leaving him unable to release her. But now Abby’s collar has turned into a tourniquet that is slowly strangling her.

Once I clearly understand the problem, I drop Abby and pick up Bodhi. Abby’s weight then pulls the collar down off of his teeth and frees her. 15 minutes later, both dogs are roughhousing playfully with a chew toy, the incident apparently fully forgotten.

I, on the other hand, am left with a nervous system still overloaded with a stress cocktail of adrenaline and cortisol and who knows what else, trying to restore homeostasis more than a half hour later.

Witnessing Dog Trauma Drama

After the dog drama was resolved, the observer part of my brain watched transfixed as that unremitting flood of stress hormones generated all kinds of afflictive thoughts and emotions: “Bodhi has to go. He’s out of control.” “These dogs are more than my wife and I can handle.” “The house would be much calmer and cleaner with fewer dogs and no cats. We’re their prisoners.”

On and on such stress-generated thinking continued, until I did the thing that brain science has taught me almost always works to calm me down: I moved my body. It’s not for nothing that every single cell in my brain eventually traces a route that terminates at a muscle (or that exercise reduces MS symptoms). I leash Bodhi up and off we go for a long walk around the Dog Park.

Moving and Shaking

Knowing that a primary regulatory function of the brain is to regulate arousal, and that the majority of its cells are designed and dedicated to moving the body has given me a new-found appreciation for the close connection between body, mind and thinking. And movement. I do my worst thinking under stress and some of my very best out on the log trails that crisscross all over Whidbey Island. I’m reminded of Steve Jobs’ practice of regularly insisting on taking many of his meetings walking.

And that’s only one good thing to know about my brain. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for less than 299,000 others, even if they are a true challenge to keep up with.

Also, feel free to share this story with other dog owners in your life. And your own scary dog stories here.

Finally, what kind of disorganized brain could really get rid of a dog like this?

Berner Puppy

And now, lest I forget, here’s another Enchanted Loom offering for your rapid viewing enjoyment on Diane Ackerman’s lovely exploration, An Alchemy of Mind.

The Dark Side of Highly Sensitive People

by Sally Mynewskin*

I work with a lot with Highly Sensitive People in my private psychotherapy practice. I have two very different perspectives on them.

(When I am finished with this article I expect to get a lot of unhappy, critical responses.Years ago I would not have written this article. I didn’t want to take the crap I expect to get. Yes, a part of me is an HSP. But because of my evolution, I have toughened my hide and am jumping into the pit and bracing for blowback).

What You See and What You Get

A Ultra-Sensitive-bannerPerspective 1: Indeed HSP folks are creative, artistic, friendly, misunderstood and under-appreciated. Their inward reflections and thoughtfulness adds a lot to the understanding of human dynamics. And the world would be emotionally and intellectually poorer if they didn’t exist. So a tip of the hat to the contributions they make to marriage, family and society.

But there’s a definite dark side to an HSP.

Perspective 2: Their hypersensitivity makes HSPs really difficult to live with. They are rarely direct with their wants and needs. They pout when don’t get what they want. They hate conflict and disagreement, so they don’t speak up or negotiate effectively. ​They give lip service to change as long as “We can be nice to each other.”

They hope their minds get read so they don’t have to assert themselves to get what they want. They are often passive aggressive.  

They feel abused when raised voices happen during normal marital disagreements.

I Don’t Want to Hear It

When they show up in couple’s therapy and I give them feedback or insights into their own contribution to their marital mess (believe me, there is never an innocent participant in marital distress), they get testy, defensive and howl that I am picking on them.

If I soften my feedback so they can handle it, they miss the point and merrily believe they are innocent and the partner is the real culprit for the mess the marriage is in. I have to edit what I say to walk the thin line between insight and confrontation, while offering tools and teaching communication skills.

20qgdgpAnd they don’t really believe they need or want to be taught better communication and negotiation skills – which means being more assertive – which may lead to tension and disagreement. For HSPs such change is to be avoided like a pit of rattlesnakes. 

So, to recap. HSPs are misunderstood (which is what most of humanity thinks as well) and under-appreciated (also, which most of humanity believes), and they do make insightful, creative contributions to the world in many, many fields.

But they can be a pain in the ass to live with.

We Need to See Someone

What happens if one HSP marries another HSP? I can only speak for those that show up in my practice. They enter therapy with one of two major complaints:

Their kids are in trouble or underachieving.


They describe their marriage as stable but boring. There is no passion. They want more passion in their marriage but do not want to do anything that may arouse a strong emotion in their partner. ​Trying to get them to create some energy in their relationship so it has more life is like trying to start a fire underwater​.

HSPs see the irony. There is little passion without strong self-definition. But they do not want to tolerate the tension for the sake of a more alive marriage.

That’s all for now.

Comments are welcome. But please be gentle.

* A pseudonym

Earlier this summer I went out into the garden and began removing the sucker stems from our tomato plants. Sucker stems are those small, pesky branches that grow at a 45 degree angle between the main stalk and large stems. While I’m not a botanist, I’m imagining that this pruning becomes an energy-channeling intervention that allows the tomato plant to concentrate its energy and maximally deploy nutrients in the service of actually growing tomatoes.

Well, it turns out that the brain has its own natural “sucker” pruning process. It’s called apoptosis (the second “p” is usually silent. Why scientists don’t simply remove that second “p” in the service of letter energy conservation, I have no idea). How the brain mostly determines which sucker stems in its network need to go away is pretty straightforward – if little traffic (action-potentials) ever travels down that road, best to remove it and “apop-tow” it off to the waste removal plant.

Pruning goes on constantly in the brain; renovation makes things happen. Learning is the antithesis of pruning. Learning grows new branches and new connections. Unlearning is what happens with apoptosis. Organic unlearning allows us to forget things non-essential for effective living and make space in the brain for new learning.

Learning How to Addict

Now here’s where things get really interesting.

a Ice cream MagnumBecause of the way neuro- transmitters generate pleasure, the basic structure of the brain is biased towards addiction. For example, I have a “sweet tooth.” What that really means is that my brain and body are addicted to sugar. Being addicted to sugar, my brain fires action potentials over and over again across the same circuits all in the pursuit of satisfying my addiction. Repeatedly activating the same circuits builds and recruits additional wiring as I go online and order Goetze’s Chocolate Cremes, Wiley Wallabee Australian Black Licorice, or Chewy Original Caramels from The Lovely Candy Company. Yesterday, Emmybear, the Bernese Mountain Dog and I made a special trip up to the Goose Grocery to buy three Magnum Double Caramel Chocolate Ice Cream Bars. I didn’t share even a single bite with her. A large part of my week is spent researching and exploring new and novel ways to feed my addiction. That said, a powerful way to think about addiction is … accelerated learning!

Turns out there’s a significant opportunity cost in pursuing such extreme and focused learning called addiction, however. One way that cost shows up in my brain is in the form of apoptosis – all the circuits I’m no longer activating that I was previously – like interests in sports, or income generation, or relationship-building – all those circuits are beginning to weaken from disuse. Eventually, many of them will simply be cleared out of the network due to concentrated inactivity.

That’s the good news. Addiction concentrates the network much like clearing suckers grows robust tomato plants. But there’s even better news.

Mindset Makes It Happen

Once I get myself into a skillful Neuro-Sucro-Dental Treatment Program (and the crucial word here is skillful), and actually unravel my neural Sweet Tooth Network, now my brain has tons of open space, much like a developmentally delayed child possesses. a spacious neural networkMy brain has now been set up to burst into full bloom and make huge developmental leaps that I most likely would never be otherwise ready for in this lifetime! That’s one reason so many drug network-remodeled addicts end up being involved in or running treatment programs. Had they not suffered from and surmounted the addiction, their developmental trajectory may very well have taken them off to corporate America fully satisfied with working in a cubicle somewhere.

If you want find out more about why addiction is not a disease or a moral failing, and about this developmental delayed-learning model of addiction, I wholeheartedly suggest you buy and read former drug addict neuroscientist Marc Lewis’s recently published book, The Biology of Desire. Feel free to start by checking out my Enchanted Loom review of it HERE.

Why HSPs Need SUDs

A number of years ago I took a volunteer job with a community service agency that I thought would be great fun. At the same time that I showed up, so did a woman my daughter’s age. When the director of the agency introduced me to Carolyn and told her that I was a neuroscientist, I immediately noticed her eyes grow wide. Pupils in the eye dilating can mean any number of things, and it’s happened to me often enough upon people finding out what I study that I don’t lend too much significance to it. Any interest a person might show I don’t take personally. dilated_pupils_by_korneraMostly I expect it’s interest in what they might find out that can help them live their lives with increased happiness, satisfaction and well-being. Instinctively, on some level many of us know that neuropsychiatrist Bruce Perry is right: “We’re all fundamentally in the brain change business.”

Over several months Carolyn and I got to spend increasing amounts of time together working for the agency. As people will do, we shared bits of our personal history with each other. It was no surprise to me when one day Carolyn identified herself as “an intuitive,” nor when she self-identified as an HSP – a Highly Sensitive Person.

Healing Searching for a Happening

When, later on she felt safe enough to confide in me that she was also had a history of incest and rape, I wasn’t surprised either. What I was surprised by, was how genuinely happy Carolyn mostly seemed to be. By day. But HSPs are often highly sensitive for good reason – usually an amplified need to detect and assess threats in the world around them.

By night, things for Carolyn were much different – not so joyous and light. She frequently suffered nightmares and insomnia and had trouble with environmental toxins and a wide variety of foods that she was allergic to. She also had difficulty sustaining relationships of any duration. When I asked her once what strategies she used for repairing relationship ruptures, you can probably guess her answer: “None.” Essentially, once she had a disagreement with someone, she wrote them off for good. Needless to say, loneliness was a recurring theme in Carolyn’s life.

Safeguarding Safety

Learning all this about Carolyn, and knowing what I know about trauma and the brain, I began to consider how I might help her after she specifically asked me to. In an attempt to come up with something that might be useful when the inevitable rupture of our friendship showed up, I thought it might help to introduce her to SUDs.

I first learned of the SUDs (Subjective Units of Distress) Scale when I worked with people as a grief counselor. Essentially it’s a way for caregivers to find out how much subjective pain people immersed in the end-of-life trajectory are in. We ask them to give us a numerical rating of their pain on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. We can agree ahead of time what number will necessitate receiving more medication.

For people who’ve suffered trauma that may have been accompanied by “speechless terror,” a SUDs scale of 1-5 is a better fit, since it only requires holding up one hand. With Carolyn I explained that anytime I say or do something that disturbed her, all she had to do was hold up one hand and show me five fingers. Whenever I saw that I will either stop talking, lower my voice and/or move away from her. Then, as her distress begins to subside, she can show four fingers, then three or any other indicator she’s able to in order to regain control and successfully emotionally regulate herself.

An Unqualified Unsuccess

I wish I could say that the use of SUDs was an unqualified success. It wasn’t. The first time Carolyn had need to use it with me in response to what I thought was an innocuous comment, I wasn’t near her. I made it in an email. Email is a terrible medium to try to address and resolve emotional issues. a_hand_drawing_a_hand____by_eduardosouza-d1uciwxAll the many cues we unconsciously take from face-to-face interactions are missing – body language, facial expression, voice tone, etc. What often happens is email can trigger a traumatic memory and flood our system with stress hormones, which the brain then associates with the sender, overlaying past trauma onto the present – all outside our conscious awareness. After she received my email (explaining how the brain stores trauma from the past and overlays it onto the present!) Carolyn immediately refused to have any further contact with me.

Needless to say I was sad and confused by what had happened, and deeply disappointed that our experiment didn’t turn out anything like I had expected or intended. Since then though, I have had opportunities to introduce and used SUDs with other HSPs quite successfully. The single thing I changed was that I introduced it with several low arousal experimental practice sessions immediately afterward and included suggestions about what to do when you’re triggered by an email: send back a picture of The HAND! And do your best to stay in some kind of contact. That is afterall, how brain cells work best.

So, after many decades neuroscientists have finally gotten around to constructing a “femunculus,” the female version of a model that shows the amount of cortical network the brain devotes to various body parts. Until 2011 all we had was the male homunculus to marvel at …


What’s quite striking (not in this representation, but in the femunculus) is it offers up a possible explanation for why any number of people in my circle seem to own more than a small number of shoes. A great many more.

These Boots Were Made For More Than Walking

I genuinely appreciate a good pair of shoes. About once a year I splurge when an email arrives from Skechers announcing a 30% off sale and buy myself a new pair, usually a lightweight, slip-on loafer. I wear them for everything from hiking to logging to landscaping. For dress occasions, I have a pair of Josef Siebel shoes that my sister bought me for my birthday about 10 years ago. And that’s pretty much it for me sadly when it comes to shoes.

Other people (who shall go nameless) whom I know, have as many pairs of shoes as there are days in the year. And every month the number keeps growing. What in the world could be driving such behavior? I think the femunculus may provide an answer: Zapposthesia!

Zapposthesians of the World, Unite!

In some subset of the human race – especially among those artistically inclined – a well-documented condition is known as synesthesia (8 times more women than men in the UK report having it, for some reason).

UW brain scientist, Eric Chudler, over at Neuroscience for Kids, has this to say about synesthesia:

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). Therefore, synesthesia literally means “joined perception.”

Synesthesia can involve any of the senses. The most common form, colored letters and numbers, occurs when someone always sees a certain color in response to a certain letter of the alphabet or number. For example, a synesthete (a person with synesthesia) might see the word “plane” as red or the number “4” as purple. There are also synesthetes who hear sounds in response to smell, who smell in response to touch, or who feel something in response to sight. Just about any combination of the senses is possible. There are some people who possess synesthesia involving three or even more senses, but this is extremely rare.

Synesthetic perceptions are specific to each person. Different people with synesthesia almost always disagree on their perceptions. In other words, if one synesthete thinks that the letter “Q” is colored blue, another synesthete might see “Q” as orange.

Some scientists believe that synesthesia results from “crossed-wiring” in the brain. They hypothesize that in synesthetes, neurons and synapses that are “supposed” to be contained within one sensory system cross to another sensory system. It is unclear why this might happen but some researchers believe that these crossed connections are present in everyone at birth, and only later are the connections refined. Adult synesthetes may have simply retained these crossed connections from childhood.

So, what might all this have to do with Zapposthesia, which I’m defining as … orgasmic shoe-buying? Well, what do you notice when you look closely at the femunculus below?

Femunculus Jpeg

It turns out that all the female sexual organs are located right next to the brain wiring for … the feet! Much of the way synesthesia gets its wires crossed is with brain structures in close proximity. Wires are much easier to cross when they don’t have to travel long distances (In fairness, the penis too is wired close to the feet in men as well).

How do we truly know what’s driving the shoe-buying in your life? Only a photopleysmograph knows for sure!

On another note, for a look at the latest Enchanted Loom featuring Jill Bolte Taylor, click HERE.

Once, a number of years ago, I remember sitting in a couples therapist’s office, driven by what seemed like 10000 traumatic memories surfacing in my psyche and my primary relationship simultaneously. I managed to compress them all into one single complaint: “She treats the dog better than she treats me.” While the therapist looked directly into my eyes, she actually spoke for my partner’s benefit: “Be kind to Mark,” she said, “And he will deliver you the world.”

200269666-001Not surprisingly, that directive brought me to tears, not only for its kindness and its clarity, but also for the essential truth it cut to. The therapist seemed to see through all the confusion and hurt directly into my truest true heart – a genuine desire to be an agent of healing presence, service and kindness – in that relationship and in the world.

If only being present, kind and healing were that easy.

In My Defenselessness Kindness Lies

Most of us (who don’t carry around the genetic neurophysiology for psychopathy) I believe possess true hearts just like mine. Those hearts unfortunately get buried under this, that or another Adverse Childhood Experience – none of us escapes childhood unscathed. Later, as adults, few of us wake up one morning and proclaim: “Today feels like a great day to be distant, wounding and unkind!” So, most likely something else must be at work.

In many cases when traumatic reenactments are surfacing for one person in a relationship, closely connected traumas which dovetail perfectly are also being triggered for the other person simultaneously. While my own brain’s transference and projection operations were working hard to paint my partner as my mean and critical abandoning father (transference and projection care little about pesky things like gender continuity), her brain was busy surfacing me as her angry, distant and disengaged mother. Heinz Kohut, the founder of Self-Psychology is famous for his observation that “the mark of a good relationship is when only one person goes crazy at a time.”

If only scheduling insanity to take convenient turns were that easy.

Tension Is as Tension Does

One thing I notice is that I mostly walk through the world with a degree of low-level brain and body tension, a kind of defensive tightness designed to protect me from some sort of impending unkind sneak attack lurking over the horizon. It’s something I need to be continuously on the lookout and at the ready for.

kindness-IIAs a consequence my brain and body are often surprised when instead, kindness towards me from others shows up. More often than not it cuts through that tension and takes me completely unawares. A big part of the reason every couple of years I post an invitation to donate to the research I do for this blog is because of the way it makes my brain and body feel. When a notification from Paypal shows up in my Inbox, how I read it is: “Someone wants to be kind to you!” I experience a palpable release of tension in my muscles and a shot of pleasure neurotransmitters in my brain. I can exhale. I am reminded that there are people in the world with demonstrable capacity to be kind and an intentional desire to promote safety and well-being. My kind of people. Not only that, but I take great joy in knowing the research that shows their kindness profoundly benefits their own brains and bodies!

Knowing what I know about how the senses take in energy and information and how the brain creatively constructs and compiles the inner sensory world I experience, you would think I’d be much better at touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing kindness than I am – that (in words Gandhi never spoke) I would be able to BE the change I want to see in the world.

If only giving and receiving kindness were that easy (not to mention quoting historical figures accurately).

Can’t We All Just Get Along Little Doggies?

There are nearly 8 billion other human beings on the planet, and all of us to one degree or another are busy co-creating our own sensory experience of the world. One day, I fully anticipate, a critical mass of human beings will wake up and find kindness no longer feels surprising in the least. It will simply be the direction the human race has ultimately run. Feel free to quote me on that. Accurately.

Below is a collection of unintended consequences that frequently show up in the wake of abandonment and neglect. Each one of the topic headings below is a hyperlink that will take you to the relevant research. The good news is that once we understand the implications, we can begin the work of creative restoration …

Lack of Modeling

When a parent abandons the family one of the main things that goes missing is the energy that person expended to operate inside and outside the home. They can no longer serve us as models – good or bad – for how to make sense of our nescient, unfolding nature. They also take with them any creative capacity, earning potential and/or the promise of a safe and manageable future. Two parents increase the odds of feeling cared-for and protected by competent adults. Anxiety and uncertainty often rule daily life when one checks out. And as this brain study reveals, anxiety and uncertainty literally unravel our brain’s neural network.

Diminished Novel Life Experience

The hippocampus in each of our brain’s temporal lobes is constantly appraising our environment for novelty. When it finds it, feel-good hormones get triggered. But when only one parent is left to do all the heavy lifting necessary for sustaining a household, novel experiences often are required to take a back seat to the urgency of meeting basic survival needs. Novelty, so critical for growing new brain cells and expanding existing neural networks, ends up getting literally lost in the shuffle.

Impaired Thinking Ability

Molly's scarf unraveledThe brain is a network formed in much the same way a knitted or crocheted scarf is. It works best when strong connections can easily move energy and information about. When there are tears in the fabric (the neural network), it can’t readily perform its proper function. Thinking ability is one of the functions that a brain with holes (lacunae) in it begins to have difficulty with, often without us ever realizing it, or ever knowing what to do about it!

Increased Stress and Poverty

When one of the parents leaves the family, we’re 4 times more likely to be poor, in contrast to families with both parents in the home. With poverty comes all kinds of additional stressors that lead to things like the inability to manage Executive Functions (see below), weak connections to friends and family and a serious lack of social skills.

Little Reliable Guidance

The Golden Rule of Social Neuroscience identifies that the more positive, kind, competent, caring people we have around us, the better our life will be overall. Losing a parent removes a significant source of the reliable guidance upon which the Golden Rule rests. And the older we get, the increasingly difficult time we have finding such people to help us.

Reduced Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt and overcome risk and adversity, such as being raised in a one-parent family.

Being resilient doesn’t mean living a life free from stress and pain. Resilience means we’re able to work through the difficult emotions and effects of stress and painful events. But without the parental resources in the home to help with that, many of us never learn how.

Resilience can develop as we get older and gain better thinking and self-awareness and more knowledge. It can also come from supportive relationships with parents, peers and others, as well as cultural beliefs and traditions that help us cope with the inevitable bumps in life. Fortunately, resilience can be learned and developed across the lifespan. And that’s a good thing.

Compromised Executive Functioning

Here is a list of the so-called Executive Functions:

  • Planning and Prioritizing
  • Time Management
  • Organization of thinking and environment
  • Working Memory
  • Metacognition
  • Response Inhibition
  • Easy Self-Regulation of Emotions
  • Task Initiating
  • Flexibility of Thinking or Behavior
  • Goal-Directed Persistence
  • Sustaining Attention
  • Disengaging Attention
  • The Ability to Regulate Information Processing Speed

How many of these abilities do you struggle with?

Degraded Impulse Control

Impulse Control can be defined as the inability to resist an impulsive act or behavior that may be harmful to yourself or other people, places or things. Impulsive acts are mostly not premeditated or considered in advance. They are usually acts which a person has little or no control over. There are six area where poor impulse control mostly shows up Trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling), Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Pathological Gambling, Kleptomania, Pyromania, and Not Otherwise Specified. Not Otherwise Specified covers all kinds of difficulties where we struggle to exert consistent self-control. Think eating, drinking, sex, exercising, over-talking – anything that runs the risk of becoming addictive or beyond our ability to easily control.

Increased Vulnerability to Drugs or Alcohol Abuse

drugs_by_outofworkNationally, drugs and alcohol abuse costs the country over half a trillion dollars annually. And that’s not even taking into account what we know it does to the brain – significantly reduces the brain’s ability to regulate and readily process energy and information – or what it does to future, unborn generations.

There’s one primary reason we use drugs or alcohol (and that includes tobacco) – in order to feel better. What we mostly want to feel better about is how stress hormones, constantly flooding the brain and body, make us feel. The unfortunate thing is drugs, tobacco and alcohol work, and they work quite well … in the short run. It’s the unintended consequences of the long run that turn out to be the much greater problem.

No Positive Answer to The Big Brain Question

The brain living in those of us who have been abandoned and neglected in life, by the very nature of abandonment and neglect, fails to have this fundamental question answered positively. We often spend much of the remainder of our days unconsciously looking to recover and reclaim what has been lost to us. Usually, without us ever realizing it, much of our drive and life’s motivation is to find people who might finally have the strength of heart, ways and means to answer The Big Brain Question – “Are you there for me?” – unfailingly in the affirmative.

Because this early wound is so deep and so global, our compulsion to try to heal it turns out to be so profound that we will often unconsciously devise rigorous tests for the people around us, to see if they can stand the pressure and come out the other side still by our side. More than a few good relationships have crashed and burned in the aftermath of these kinds of challenges. To be successful in skillfully passing such tests, researcher Andrew Boyd points out … we have to commit ourselves to the wrong person, but not just any wrong person. They must be the right wrong person. Turns out the right wrong person is not so easy to find for those of us with complex early abandonment and neglect histories.

For suggestions about how to address and resolve some of these dynamics, click HERE.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 425 other followers