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Messages By: atlswan

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September 22, 2005, 2:19 pm CDT

I feel sorry for Rujon

I was amazed at the grief Rujon was getting from his own friend, Ty, for not being more "black." Is there one way to "be black"? Or "be white"? I felt very sorry that Ty, who claims to be his friend, would make him feel like less of a person for having certain hobbies or interests. Would Ty like to have someone telling him his views and interests are somehow not right because of his color? Fortunately, it looks like Rujon has a strong enough character to not let it change who he is.  

  

This situation, I think, is often reflected in today's young people. I've noticed how some African-American male teens give each other grief for actually succeeding in school and not getting in trouble, that they are an "Oreo" and "acting white" for getting good grades. African-American females, on the other hand, seem to be pulling ahead and going to college in greater numbers than their male counterparts. I wish I knew a solution to this problem because we need more successful African-American males to lead the way for the kids coming up now. 

 
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September 23, 2005, 6:58 pm CDT

09/23 What a Difference a Year Makes

Quote From: luvnmykids

  

   I had to comment on this subject.  Currently my son sleeps with me and my husband.  This started when he was 8 months old.  He was sick and I was scared that he would choke while he was in his crib and I wouldn't hear it.  Well now he is 3 1/2 and still in our bed.  If we try to make him lay in his own bed he cries and screams that he is scared.  I don't have the heart to let him cry himself sick so he ends up in bed with us.  If anyone has any advice on how to get him out of our bed I would really appreciate it.  I am expecting another baby in 3 weeks, so my nights are already restless.   I love cuddling with my son, but I also like to be able to cuddle with my husband from time to time.  We have  tried the whole.."letting him fall asleep in our bed and moving him to his bed later" but he is usually back in our bed about 2-3 hours later.   Another thing I have wondered is...he loves to play with my hair and in the middle of the night if he is starting to wake up he grabs my hair and holds on to it and falls back asleep.  Please...someone help me.  I am open to all advice and suggestions at this point.  Thanks a bundle. 

Suzy, I am not expert on childrearing and I don't pretend to be. But this statement said a lot: 

  

"I don't have the heart to let him cry himself sick so he ends up in bed with us." 

  

That  is the whole issue. If he thinks that if he cries long enough you will go and get him, he's going to continue to cry until you do. As Dr. Phil says, he has your number and he's dialing it. For one night, let him cry. He won't get sick. He won't perish. He'll realize that you mean what you say when you tell him it is time for him to sleep in his own bed. And no, I don't think it is being cruel. I can remember when I was a kid not getting something  I wanted and crying. When I didn't get it and realized my crying was getting me nothing but a red, wet  face, I stopped. 

  

As I said, just my two cents. I do hope things get better for you soon. 

  

  

 
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September 26, 2005, 7:20 am CDT

It's not always about ME ME ME

I've been married for two years now, and no, every day is not a bed of roses. That's real life. But I do love my husband and my husband is great about letting me know how much he loves and cares for me. It's a road with ups and downs, no doubt about it. But it has been mostly ups. 

  

The business of having these unspoken expectations (Marlon wanting a birthday breakfast and Shamika wanting to be spoiled) really baffles me at times. I'm not saying you shouldn't treat your spouse well. But sometimes it isn't all about ME ME ME. It's about asking yourself, "Hey, what can I do to make his/her day better?" Sometimes it means not dwelling on what you want but giving of yourself with no expectation of getting something in return. 

  

Also, it means a lot to say thanks for the little things. My husband does not like taking out the trash at all. But he knows that I work hard to keep the house clean and his clothes clean. So he takes it out, even when he doesn't want to. I always try to thank him when he comes back, and give him a hug or kiss. I don't want him to think I take it for granted that he does it. 

 
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September 27, 2005, 6:39 am CDT

09/26 The Honeymoon's Over!

Quote From: bzbluiii

Glad to see you again.  This is golfallday; had to change unernames cause of problems with this new board, but I am here.  How are you?  I hope you have not been effected by any of the bad storms. 

  

Good comment.  Too many people are only interested in what their spouse can do for them instead of putting their spouse before themselves.   If you're both treating each other with respect and communicating well then things will work out.    

Hey, lady! I kind of took a Dr. Phil break for a while since I was working in the office again. Now I'm a full-time freelance writer and back at home. So I was naturally pulled back into the Dr. Phil show! 

  

I hope you're doing well, too. Anything new? We had no hurricane problems here at all. A lot of Katrina evacuees are now making Atlanta their home since there was so much damage to New Orleans.  

  

Last night I told my husband that I didn't expect him to make me breakfast on my birthday and he told me he wasn't expecting it on his birthday either. It was kind of funny, actually. We're not really morning people so breakfast is no big deal to either one of us. For my birthday this year, among my gifts he surprised me with a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt since we both love the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" and that really limpressed me that he thought of it. 

  

I think that at least Shamika and Marlon are willing to work on their issues to make things better. That's half the battle. But that other couple...I just don't know. 

 
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September 28, 2005, 7:02 am CDT

Just my story...

I am not an expert in pharmacology or psychiatry. Neither is Tom Cruise. I will admit I got angry when I heard him bashing Brooke Shields for taking medication due to her post-partum depression since he had no idea how it can turn your life upside down. To accuse of her of somehow being "weak" was really incredibly tasteless.

     

 

 I suffer from chronic depression, which was diagnosed in my mid 20s. I'd suffered from it all of my life, never knowing what to do about it. I did go through some therapy that helped some but the clouds never truly did lift. When I hit 25, I found myself crying in traffic for no reason. I felt drained of energy, wondering why I was so miserable. For those of you who have been down this road, you know exactly what I am talking about. No amount of exercise or vitamins helped. Believe me, I tried. 

 

 

For me, Prozac saved my life. For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I could handle life without crying all the time. It was like being set free. I stayed on it for three years before, with my doctor's consent, weaning myself off of it over a period of weeks. I went back into therapy. Then my depression returned three years later with a vengeance. I went back on Prozac for another two years, then weaned myself off of it again in 2003. I've been doing pretty well since then, with occasional bouts that don't stay for long.

  

My point is that while medication is definitely not for everyone, and I do believe many children are on meds they do not need, there are times in our lives when medication is the difference between one's ability to function and wanting to die. For those who have not been down this road, they have no right to stand in judgment and accuse others of being weak when they cannot evem begin to comprehend what it can do to you. A person should not be made to feel ashamed for seeking help.

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

  

 
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September 30, 2005, 6:44 am CDT

Thank you for doing this show

I'm really glad Dr. Phil is doing a show on this topic. I sometimes have a problem "finding" my spine. My heart really aches for Beth's problems with her father.  

  

My father never took me out of school or kept me in the basement. But he was very, very controlling. He never hit us, but he could yell and get mad. I would do anything to avoid having him get mad. I find myself doing that in my adult life with others. It causes me to avoid confrontation at any cost, like Beth. My father, who I do love very much, died a few years ago. Everybody who knew him misses him very much, including me. But they don't know he could be really mean when he wanted.  

  

I do try to avoid confrontation with my husband, which makes me mad at myself. At times, I get frustrated with him about something and I will swallow it to avoid confronting him. I have to force myself to remember he's NOT my father and he's not going to yell if I calmly talk to him about my concerns. He's always been great when we talk things out. But memories can really control you at times, causing you to doubt your own value and hold onto old habits. 

  

Beth, I do hope you learn to believe in yourself. You triumphed over your past and you deserve respect. You go, girl! 

 
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October 4, 2005, 2:54 pm CDT

Being short is no big deal

I am almost five feet tall and weight 120 lbs. So I am definitely not a size zero like Melissa.

One very small part of me could relate to her because I have known what it is like to not be taken seriously due to my height and the fact that I look young. I am 37. A few months ago, a co-worker of mine asked me how old I was and I told her. She then told me that when she first saw me across the room at a staff meeting some months ago, she turned to another coworker to ask, "Who brought their child to a staff meeting?"

Naturally, I wasn't thrilled with hearing this but I've heard it before and I'm sure I'll hear it again. Being in my mid 30s, it is now a blessing to be considered youthful looking. I've heard the "I can't believe you are (insert age here)! You look so young!". But more times than not, the person will follow up with, "But when you opened your mouth and began to talk, I knew you had to be much older."

However, I have never been angry at overweight people that get rewarded for reaching a difficult weight loss goal. Why be angry at people who already struggle? Being short does have disadvantages, but it has never stopped me from doing what I wanted. I have struggled to stay at a decent weight since my 20s so I can truly relate to how hard it is to take it off and keep it off.

No, she's never going to get the jobs Tyra Banks or a taller model will get. But there are niche markets just for shorter women like us that would love to have her modeling for them. And she could do very well in televison. Plenty of shorter women there. Just look at Susan Lucci, I think she's only five foot three. You take what you have and make the most of it.

And yeah, I have to get a chair to reach the high cabinets. Or ask someone to reach something for me at the grocery store. That's often pretty humorous. But at least I have two legs that get me where I need to go. And a mind that works. Two eyes that can see. I am really very blessed. I hope Melissa will see that she is blessed as well.
 
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October 5, 2005, 8:29 am CDT

10/05 Moms: Cut the Chaos

I can understand why Lexi was not happy about her mother, Tara, driving her to school in pajamas. And that's she's concerned about her mother. But I can't help wondering why an 11-year-old child cannot make her own lunch. Maybe even do it the night before. I was making my own lunch at 10. It isn't that hard to do. It's one little thing that could help her mother out tremendously. And I know Tara would appreciate it.

As for the husbands that say, "I was raised with my mother doing all the work....", that's fine to say but now you are a grown man. Maybe the way you were raised wasn't the most helpful to your mother. Maybe she would have loved to have had a helping hand now and then. 

It's one thing to be grateful for all that your spouse does and to say it. That makes it so much easier. But to sit there and expect your spouse to wait on you hand and foot, that can indeed make you feel like a maid.




 
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October 11, 2005, 1:17 pm CDT

10/11 College Chaos

Quote From: canegirl08

Dr. Phil, 

  

I went to SMU for undergrad (I graduated in 2004).  I agree with you that it is an amazing school that really allows the student access to unlimited resources.  Please encourage Jordan to really get to know his professors.  Up until I moved out of Texas a few months ago, I still had monthy lunches with one of my favorite professors.   

  

I'm feeling a little homesick for SMU though.  I'm currently in law school at University of Miami.  As I'm sure you know with Jay, law school is tough and, unlike undergrad, they don't hold your hand if you are homesick.  This is my first time living outside of Texas since I was 4!!  I miss home so it is always nice to see little blurbs about home.  Thanks for the pick-me up Dr. Phil!   

Hi, caingirl. I didn't go to law school but my husband just finished three years at Vanderbilt Law. He could SO relate to what you're saying about the first year. He was alone in Nashville and I was four hours away. He called me every night that first semester, asking himself what in the world had he gotten into? There were definitely times when he considered quitting. Fortunately, he got through that first rough patch and made it through. We're married and he's working at a great firm now. 

  

Just know that it DOES get better and it does start to make a little sense by Year Two. Really! Hang in there and keep those calls and e-mails home to Texas going. 

 
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October 11, 2005, 6:12 pm CDT

Words of wisdom

Quote From: viviana

About Rats: I am a 55 year old retired therapist. At age 40 I wanted to adopt a rodent. I researched information about hamsters, gerbils, mice and rats. Rats won. I adopted Petra as a young domesticated rat.  Dr. Phil, Rats are Great Pets. They are intelligent and very friendly. I had Petra for almost 4 years, when she died of breast cancer. I also share and have shared my life with cats and dogs. The loss of Petra was as distressing as loosing any of my other pets. Rats have great personalities and are extremely clean animals and do not have the typical rodent smell like the other rodents mentioned.  

I kept Petra in a large puppy cage and only let her out when totally supervised, due to owning several cats at the same time. So I totally understand the girls and their rat pet. It's a cute rat.  

  

I would like to share with the college girls on the show that many of us have enjoyed the freedoms of being on our own at college. They repeated that they wanted to get as much out of these college experiences as they could. I wish Dr. Phil would have stressed that they could have a wonderful experience, with great memories, without all the alcohol use. I'm not saying they should totally abstain, but they are definitely over-doing it. Every day of their life, even after graduation, could be filled with incredible memory producing experiences. We know a lot more about alcohol use and abuse these days than when I was in college. A habit starts by setting up a pattern of use. They certainly don't want to go there. There is such a thing as alcohol poisoning, and they may not realize that even if they did not drink as much as they usually do at one party, that the alcohol from the previous night could still be in their system. A major problem is that you don't know you've over-done it until you've over-done it. Over-doing it with alcohol could be a death sentence. That would certainly impede the ability to create fun and memorable experiences and memories.  Alcohol poisoning HAS resulted in death for many college students wanting to get the full experience of the party.  Several days or a week of drinking can damage organs. Girls, you do not want to create a pattern in your life of not being able to have a good time unless you are mentally altered. In reality that is creating an experience you may wish you could forget. Alcohol and drug addiction is not a pretty picture. You don't want to need alcohol. Using it regularly is creating just that in your life.  

  

When I was in college, I had a girlfriend buddy, who became a really  good friend and we'd support each other in our resisting intoxicating substances. Everyone around us had partying with alcohol a priority. Align yourself with one or two of your friends with the same goals of breaking the pattern you have already developed. It will work. My buddy and I are still friends since the late 1960s. We went on to create and remember many extraordinary experiences in our lives. Many of our other college friends got lost in addiction and some aren't around to create any experiences at all because of their alcohol and drug use.   

  

Enjoy ALL of your life. Just please don't create a situation where you can't deal with a sober reality. Reality has a lot going for it. Addiction is a reality that will sneak up on you, and may follow you long after you desire to leave it behind.  

I really appreciated you comments concerning alcohol and the college experience. You make some very valid points that I wish more students would consider. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be very popular to NOT drink to excess in college. 

  

I went to a "party" school in the late 80s and early 90s because it had the best journalism school in my state. I transferred from a community college. It was the difference between night and day. At the community college, we all went to class and then left to go to jobs. At the university, many of my classmates made drinking their hobby. Many didn't have jobs and drove around in BMWs and Mercedes. I got bored with just my classes and got an internship. 

  

On the bus, many a conversation I overheard started with, "You won't believe how drunk I got last night." I can remember going over to a guy's house with some friends and watching my roommate's boyfriend drink shots until he got violently ill. It was a total turn off to me. I don't like the taste of alcohol beyond a glass of wine with dinner so as you can imagine, I didn't go to many parties in college. I had friends but we didn't drink. From an economical standpoint, I couldn't afford it either! I wanted to remember my college experience, not lose it in a haze of beer. 

  

It's easy to think that hard drinking is only a phase that young people go through, but as you point out, it can become a dangerous habit that can ruin your life. There is wisdom in moderation. And those that don't care to partake should not be made to feel like outcasts, either.  

  

As for the rat, I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to get one but I'm glad Petra made you so happy.  

 

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