I Can Only Imagine Movie Trailer

I am very much looking forward to this movie.  It looks amazing!

Many of the people I’ve worked with in the last 20 years are parents who experienced a traumatic family event.  Now, their own children struggle with a similar situation.  My goal is to help everyone get through it in the best way possible, which is not always easy, depending on the circumstances you find yourself in and the mindset of the people who are involved.  Even some of the professionals have scars that they carry, scars that create their own toxic contributions to conflict or family drama.  Still, no one should ever give up hope for a better family life.

I enjoy working with parents, regardless of what they have done in the past or how difficult their situations may appear on the surface.  While many shy away from “high conflict” families, I tend to embrace them, especially when I can work one on one with them.  Why?  Why do I do it?  It can certainly be painful and stressful.  It is often hard to watch parents who are hurting their children.  Many of them do not even realize their part in the struggle, but for those who take the little seed that I plant and let it grow, the results are amazing.  For that reason, even if there might only be a handful in hundreds, I am compelled to continue working with parents.  Once someone works through pain, trauma, abuse or anger and recognizes their own piece in the relationship puzzle, their eyes are opened.  They cannot un-know what they know.  They cannot undo the past, but they can create their future.  It is a blessing to see and the effects are not just in them, but ripple to others, children, friends, neighbors, and the community.  Parents willing to self reflect out of  pain and into peace to be awesome role models for their children are the greatest parents I know and I admire them deeply!

Please go see the movie, “I Can Only Imagine”.  I can already see the greatness within, even simply from getting a couple of minutes worth of a glimpse.  Have a glimpse of faith and hope.  I pray it plants a seed in you!


Have you ever heard the term “gaslighting”?  It is a term used to describe a severe form of pyschological abuse played out in the high conflict divorce setting.  Back in 1940 and then again in 1944 there was a movie, in which a con artist sets out to make his wife doubt her own sanity and make others believe that she is insane.

Anyone who experiences this in the form of a custody battle will forever label the court system as crazy making, upside down land, or as I call it, la-la-looneyland.  The person doing the gaslighting is masterful at this manipulation of their ex, court authorities, and most times, even the children.  Nothing makes sense.  Real evidence is ignored while false accounts of events by the manipulator are believed without any proof whatsoever.  Even evidence to the contrary will be ignored.  It is as if all of these educated court authorities become mind controlled zombies.

I often tell people to keep in mind that if it took you years to figure out what and who the con artist really is, you cannot expect the court authorities to see through him/her when they are only dealing with the two of you in brief, intermittent events.  Most times, the manipulator’s words are believed because they seem so far fetched that even highly intelligent judges, lawyers and parenting authorities, decide that it must be true.  It is just plain too crazy to be made up!

Here is an article about gaslighting and the effects of gaslighting on a target.  See if you can understand why someone in the family court/custody dispute setting might appear to be an unstable person, when in reality they are the stable one.


Both versions of the movie are available on netflix, but not to watch instantly.  I have linked them on the sidebar if you want to buy them.  Here is the trailer from the Ingrid Bergen version.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Divorce Nastiness Spans the Globe

*The following is a repost from 8-9-11

It is shocking, sometimes, the level of nastiness a divorce can sink to.  The problems are not just in United States divorce cases. You can read about this nastiness online around the world. I saw this case on the news today.  What do you think? Was this a set up? Should what someone does in their personal life affect a custody decision? Does the decision to drink and drive show poor judgment on the part of a parent? Should they lose custody or have visitation limited? What do you think?


It all reminds me of War of the Roses just a bit!

And if you have ever seen War of the Roses, here is the infamous car scene!


What Do You Want to Spend Your Energy on?

*the following is a repost from 8/7/11

It takes a lot of energy to hate.  It also takes a lot of energy to fight.  There are times that you do have to go to battle and fight with all you’ve got, but there are also times when you have to realize you did the best that you could, it didn’t go the way you had hoped, and now it’s time to let go of the fight.

Some people cannot let go of the fight, even after they have exhausted all avenues and there is nothing left to try.  I’m not sure if they can’t let go because they don’t want to admit they have reached the end or if they continue the fight because it is all they know.   Is it a matter where they know the enemy, the players and the terms of the battle, but to try something new they have to fear the unknown? The devil you know being better than the devil you don’t know?

If you are one who continues to rage on, do you ever get tired? Aren’t you just exhausted?  Do you want to use all that energy on a never ending battle until all of your energy is gone, or could you learn to use you energy in positive ways? I can never know what’s in your heart and why you have to continue to do battle. I do give you credit, however. It takes a great deal of courage to get out of bed every day and face what you face.

If you stop to think about the incredible amount of energy that you are extracting, it is enormous. Just think what you could do if you put that energy to use not against someone, but for someone. What if you used it for you?  Have you been telling yourself, “I can’t”, when it comes to stepping into a new career?  Have you been telling yourself “no” when you think that maybe you should go back to school?  Do you tell yourself that “it’s impossible” for you to meet someone new and fall in love?  That’s silly.  Look at all you have done and are doing!  Look at your drive that gets you out of bed every morning!  Look at how you excel at single parenting? Look at how amazing you really are to be going through the things you are going through and not hide under the covers until the kids turn 18. You really can do more than you think you can.

Can you try to move away from the negative place you are stuck in and move toward the positive? Sometimes it just takes a short break away to help you see your way to the light. Try this exercise for a week:

Pick a day that you will start and then take a week off.  Off from what?  Off from any and all facets of the battle. For this one week, you will give no energy to the battle, whatsoever. You will answer no phone calls, answer no emails and have no discussions about the battle during the entire week.  None.   Not with anyone.  If you can physically go away somewhere for a week that would be the best thing to do, but I know that some people cannot do that. During this week, think of how you would really like your life to be and start envisioning that life.   Do something fun for yourself and plan a fun day or evening for you and the kids, and again, no discussions about the battle.  If the kids bring it up, tell them that you are all on a break and the plan for the week is fun, nothing angry, nothing sad, nothing complicated.  This one week out of your life is to relax and enjoy life.  You may have forgotten how to do that!  Keep everything positive this week.  Watch some uplifting movies like, The Pursuit of Happyness.” Read some uplifting books like, Chicken Soup for the Soul.  Listen to uplifting music.  Nothing angry, nothing sad, nothing depressing for one whole week.  You can do it.

Once you experience joy again, you’ll naturally want more of it.  My hope is that if you try it, you’ll start getting back into the light of life instead of the darkness. Give it a try. If it works even a little, make plans to do it again. Start to replace the negatives with positives here and there. Pretty soon, the negatives won’t be attractive to you at all.  If you can put most or all of your energy into positive changes in your life, you will be amazed, and you won’t want to put so much energy into negatives anymore.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Verbal Ingenuity

The following is a  re-post 10-12-11


Doesn’t there come a point when you are just so tired of verbal attacks and accusations that you start to just agree with everything your opponent says?  For example, one time my ex husband said to me, “God, you are a bitch!  A Nasty, evil pathetic person!” Normally, my reaction would be to defend myself from such garbage, to argue with him, as if I might be able to change his mind about me.  That’s rather futile.  This time, when my ex threw out the verbal attack, I just said, “You are absolutely right.  Aren’t you glad to be rid of me?”  That shut him down fast.  It didn’t matter that I agreed.  No one was around to hear about it and if by chance my ex had recorded our conversation and I’d been asked about it in a courtroom, I would have just said, “I agree that is his perception of me.  Everyone is entitled to their perceptions.  That is not how I perceive myself.”  I think that would shut down any cross examiner also.

There are a couple of books that talk about how to use your words to deflect attacks. One is Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson, Ph.D., and Jerry B. Jenkins and the other is Tongue Fu by Sam Horn. I strongly recommend reading these books.  You can learn how to stop verbal exchanges from escalating.  

Verbal Judo is used for law enforcement training.  I can see why.  There is an example in the book of a police officer being able to stop a domestic argument without having to do much at all.  There was no getting in the middle and trying to break up the fight. Instead, he walked in, sat on the couch and started reading the newspaper, while the fight raged on.  Then he nonchalantly asked if he could use the phone to call about a car for sale.  His behavior baffled the fighting couple so much that the fight was over.

Another example from Verbal Judo is about Verbal Judo being used against the author. He was driving behind a kid who was driving like a maniac and when they both arrived at the same destination, George asked the kid, “Where did you learn to drive?!?  The kid answered simply, “Texas.”  Where was George to go with that answer?  Nowhere.  There is nothing more to say.  The kid used verbal judo against George.

One paragraph from the book struck a chord with me.  I thought about what it said in terms of people stuck in the court system and engaging in an ongoing battle with you ex.  It seems so true for people in the court battle situations that I have highlighted it in bold.  The paragraph was, “You’ll find that you can remain calm, which is a particularly valuable art.  If your antagonist can upset you, he owns you at some level.  Even if you score an immediate “victory” by telling him off, he may own you later when the encounter is evaluated by your boss, in court, by your family or wherever.” Emphasis mine.  That is definitely something to think about.

Tongue Fu is about the same tactics from Verbal Judo, except that it goes farther.  It is more about interpersonal communication.  Sam includes the importance of keeping control of your emotions and staying focused on positive things.  The book has an endorsement from John Gray, author of the Mars Venus books.  I love Mars Venus books and I own all of them.  As a matter of fact, I own several copies of certain ones.  Sometimes for my Life/Divorce Coach clients or those in one of my classes about dating, you’ll receive one from me as a gift.  I find them so helpful.  They even helped me change my thinking about my ex and going through the court system.  I had to think, does he act this way because he is out to destroy me or is he just acting in the Mars way?  Now that I understand the differences, I am successful in all aspects of life.  So, if John gray recommends Tongue Fu, count me in!  Anyway, back to Tongue Fu.  When discussing how to take charge of your emotions, she writes about bringing the people who make you mad along with you.  They’re in the car, they’re at the dinner table.  You brought them with you.  You don’t have to choose to do that.  Leave them at the court house where they made you mad and do not let them ruin your day.

In my life before the family court experience, things like this came easily to me.  I was usually able to keep things like this from controlling my life, but I lost these skills during my court battle.  Thankfully, I found a way to get them back.  It takes practice and a deep desire to change your life.  It is exhausting to be angry and hate filled all the time.  If you’re tired of it, tell yourself that you are done.  Say, “Enough!” and stop playing the game. 

I did it and I know you can, too.  I got so fed up that I didn’t care what happened.  I had to contain it to only certain areas of my life where I’d let it in.  I even got to the point where the Parenting Consultant had made one too many demands on me and I finally told her, “You got five years of my life and you are not getting one day more!”  She knew I was serious and not the meek, unassertive, gutless woman that I had been brought before her years earlier.

When you get to the point where you are just fed up and don’t care anymore, things start happening.  I think of the movie, “Office Space”, it is a classic.  The main character gets hypnotized into not caring about things anymore.  The more he doesn’t care, the more good things happen to him.  He gets promoted, he gets the hot girl, he does things that make him happy, like not going to work on Saturday, and his life is changed.  Watch it and think about applying the I don’t care anymore attitude to your life and your court hassles.

I hope that you get a chance to read Verbal Judo and Tongue Fu and even the Mars Venus series.  These are very helpful for anyone who is dealing with a difficult person.  You can use these skills in the court setting, at work and in relationships. You can learn to communicate better with everyone you meet.

To find more books by Sam Horn, John gray or to purchase Verbal Judo or Tongue Fu, check the sidebar and my store page!


What are Your Favorite Funny Movies


I am working on something for people trying to single parent and/or coparent with a hostile ex.  I am looking for ideas on some of the funniest movies out there.  I do know some, but would love to hear about movies that you find rip roaringly hilarious.  I may learn some about some that I am not aware of.  If you can help me out, that would be fantastic.  I’ll let you know what is in the works as soon as I put it all together.  Please email me at coachmethrough@gmail.com with your ideas!


Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Because of a bill signed by my Governor in Minnesota, I got the boot from Amazon.  My account will be closed on June 30th.  I have never made much money from the sales links to Amazon, but I thought it was a fun way to promote my blog.  Soon you will notice the sidebar ads leave my website.

I am going to still try to recommend books and videos for people, as well as songs.  Music can be so healing.  It just won’ be through Amazon anymore.  Darn politics always getting in the way of fun!!!  Oh, well.  I just wanted to let you know why the blogs may start to look a little different.