Alexithymia and the Hermeneutic Laborer

When Your Partner Can’t Talk About His Feelings “She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not. She loves me!” Saying this while pulling petals off a flower is a silly way to determine whether she loves you, but it’s easier than engagingContinue reading “Alexithymia and the Hermeneutic Laborer”

Emotional Labor

Who’s Really the Boss? It sounds like a capitalist’s dream come true, monetizing your feelings. Except it’s already come true. There are many jobs that include emotional labor. Sociologist, Arlie Hochschild was perhaps the first to write, back in 1983, about emotional labor in her book The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. In herContinue reading “Emotional Labor”

Just What is a Good Grief, Charlie Brown?

Here was the world famous authority on grief; and there I was, your humble writer and shrinker of heads, sitting with him in a conference. He had just spoken about grief, the things that will cause it, what it does to people, and how to help them heal. He had many wise things to say,Continue reading “Just What is a Good Grief, Charlie Brown?”

Wrapping Your Head Around the Inexplicable

Part Two: Taming Wild Thoughts Lots of inexplicable things happen all the time. The ones that disturb our dreams, we call trauma. But, if you allow yourself to look, the inexplicable is all over the place. We try to stuff it in mental boxes, so we don’t have to live in that mess, but notContinue reading “Wrapping Your Head Around the Inexplicable”

Wrapping Your Head Around the Inexplicable

Part One: Listening Without Memory, Desire, or Understanding You don’t get it. Your husband cheated on you when you thought your marriage was fine. Your teenage daughter used to be sweet, but now she says she hates you. You told your wife a hundred times how to load the dishwasher and she still does itContinue reading “Wrapping Your Head Around the Inexplicable”

The Hatred of Sex

The Point of Sex is Not Just to Come, But to Come Undone Why would anyone hate sex? Yes, sex is pleasurable, but it’s also dangerous. It’s often most pleasurable when it’s the most dangerous. It lures you in with the promise of satisfaction and leaves you with a disease. It’s a tool of abuseContinue reading “The Hatred of Sex”

Wanting is Better Than Having

It’s hard to admit such a thing, but I’ve always been disappointed in Christmas. Even as a kid. Oh, seeing my family is good. Opening the presents is fun. I would be remiss if I said I don’t appreciate the gifts. Giving my own makes me feel virtuous all over. But, when all is saidContinue reading “Wanting is Better Than Having”

Status: The Influencer of Influencers

Social status has a secret influence on your life. If you’d like to understand how, the first thing you must do is to get rid of the image you may have of those who shamelessly flaunt their status: the ruthless social climber, the top hatted mogul, the braggart with the golden toilet, the virtue signalingContinue reading “Status: The Influencer of Influencers”

Longing for Community

I was on Interstate 86, heading east, returning from a road trip that took me across most of the country, when I entered Allegany County, in western New York. It was a place I knew well, but not as well as I might. I lived in Allegany County for two short years before I movedContinue reading “Longing for Community”


I lot of people mistake venting for therapy. They think that if they can say what’s on their mind, they’ll feel better and get that problem off their chest. They will, up to a point. If you have something you’re trying to figure out, or something you need to be honest about, then vent away.Continue reading “Venting”