Were You Expecting to arrive at Heal and Forgive? If so you were re-directed to my new blog.

The Heal and Forgive blog was born out of the publication of my first book, “Heal and Forgive.” I am happy that the blog has been helpful to a robust readership.

After my publisher recently went out of business the book was re-released under the title, “Mother, I Don’t Forgive You,” which is more in keeping with the premise of the book. I decided to re-title my blog along with the book.

I hope you will continue to peruse the posts and join in on the various discussions including our right as survivors to decide our own healing journey, with or without forgiveness.

The back story on the title change can be found on the post directly below:

Featured Post

Mother, I Don’t Forgive You – Why the Book and Blog Were Re-Titled

In 1992, after nearly a decade of trying desperately to forgive my mother, my life was spinning out of control.   Not only had I failed at f...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday, October 20, 2018


I just viewed a compelling YouTube video of trauma survivor Laura Welch giving a speech at UCLA. 

In her brave and powerful talk, Ms. Welch describes how she uses her voice to heal her PTSD after surviving multiple traumas including a violent attempt on her life.

Laura's mission is to "show others with PTSD there is a way out of the PTSD cage."

The video is worth a look:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My Guest Blog Post

I am honored to be this weeks guest blogger on Kathleen Poolers website, Memoir Writer's Journey

My topic is Reading, Writing, and Taboo Subjects.

Specifically: How do we heal when talking about our trauma is forbidden? How do we find validating stories when the subject matter is taboo?

I hope you will visit Kathleen's blog!

Saturday, February 24, 2018



4. to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.
“Gaslight.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/gaslight.

I remember the freedom I felt when a therapist told me I dissociate and again when I learned I had PTSD.  Identifying these problems opened the door to solutions. 

Similarly, after the first edition of Mother, I Don’t Forgive You came out in 2005, a reviewer opened his analysis with his definition of scapegoating. In a couple of short sentences, he clearly explained and labeled a concept I had spent years trying to describe.  What a relief!  

As a young adult, I used to refer to myself as a scapegoat, but I couldn't succinctly describe to others what the term meant. The reviewer not only defined the expression, but he also validated that scapegoating was a universally recognized behavior, and gave me the gift that I was not alone in my experience! These realizations helped me heal at a deeper level and aided me in writing my second book.

This past month, during the final proofread of Mother, It's Hard to Forgive You: Ridding Myself of the Family Scapegoat Mantle, the reader offered her dismay at the extent in which I was gaslighted.   

Holy cow! I thought. Once again, someone quickly and succinctly summed up my life experience with one word: gaslit!

As recently as last September, during an interview, I tried to describe how frightened and off-balance I felt when dealing with the crazy-making scenarios my family used against me.  As an example of how I experience these situations, I used a story about a 1950s movie I saw when I was a kid. 

The story synopsis: When a man had suspicious reasons to get rid of his wife, he arranged for a doctor to declare her insane.  When men in white uniforms arrive at their house to take her away, she is unable to convince them of her sound mental health and becomes hysterical. Then her husband chimes in, “See, she is crazy!”  and they drag her away in a straight jacket. 

When I was done with the movie synopsis, I didn't feel like I was clear or succinct about the psychological warfare my family imposed on me. 

After the proofreader gifted me with another term that so clearly described my experience, once again, I felt relief. I can now explain this part of my history simply: I was gaslighted!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mother, It's Hard to Forgive You: Ridding Myself of the Family Scapegoat Mantle

Announcing the release of Book 2 in the Mother, I Don’t Forgive You series. 

      Mother, It's Hard to Forgive You picks up where Mother, I Don't Forgive You leaves off.  After a childhood plagued with physical and emotional violence and a fourteen-year estrangement from her entire family, Nancy Richards discovers herself at a crossroads.  The mother she had both loved and feared as a child reached her by telephone to offer an apology for her abuse and to express a desire for reconciliation.
As she looks into the rearview mirror of her life and at the horrors inflicted by her mother, Nancy must decide whether to risk the safety of her present life or remain an orphan of circumstances. Is there really any reason to go back for more?
Richards takes the reader on an emotional and inspirational journey offering hope that healing from violence in families may be possible.