Some of us stay much longer in a toxic relationship than anybody with half a brain should. But for some reason, we just keep going back for more, long after most others would have walked out the door.

Maybe we have a twisted sense of love. Maybe through circumstances of our choosing, we linger out of some misguided sense of duty.

The answer is not simple. For whatever reason, our partner is our Kryptonite.

Does Kryptonite imply a weakness or an allergic reaction? There’s no clear answer to that question. …

Another year has rolled around and it’s that time of year… it’s Momma’s birthday. I remember the Sundays we all gathered at home. She always said, “give me my flowers while I’m living.” We understood, and we did not wait until she was gone to celebrate her life. She was so right.

The pineapple chiffon cake she loved. The gifts. The cards. She always said, “you didn’t need to do that.” But most of all I remember all of us gathered together around the table with our little ones, laughing and enjoying the time we had. That’s what she loved…

She always wore a smile and hid the darkness deep inside.

She seemed happy. She had finally made it out. Others loved her and loved her dance.

Somehow it was not enough.

No one saw it coming.

She always wore a smile and hid the darkness deep inside.

If you looked deeply into her eyes, past the sparkle, you could see the sorrow.

Few chose to look that deeply. They preferred the sparkle.

She was a wonderful actress on the stage of life. It was her job to make others feel free of the demons that consumed her.

Her life had made a difference and the hardships had been worth the heartache. Somehow, when everything was said and done, life had worked out for her and hers. That’s what mattered.

Oney’s Story: Phoenix Rising, Part II

In the End, Her Life Was a Thing of Beauty

Oney awoke and on this morning, all seemed right with the world. Mark was sleeping soundly beside her. As she lay there in the dawning of the new day her thoughts turned to the events that had brought her to this place.

The year was 1899. Earlier that year, she and Mark had wed. Being the ‘Scarlet Woman’ all her adult life, the expectation of marriage never entered her mind. Although the label was unjust, it had become her lot in life. Yet somehow, she had survived.

When Hiram had handed her the Contract…

Death, divorce, empty-nest syndrome, tragedy, any number of situations can cause a person to experience the Holiday Blues.

It doesn’t happen to everyone but for many people, any holiday can be a dreaded time. Often friends are heard saying they would like to just skip this holiday or that. “The holidays just aren’t like they used to be.” Death, divorce, empty nest syndrome, tragedy, any number of situations can cause a person to experience the Holiday Blues. With the right twist of events, no one is immune. There are certain steps a person can take to protect themselves. Here are five tips on banishing the holiday blues.

1. Focus on the Present

How-To-Survive-A-Holiday is often learned early in a person’s life. Each ‘traumatic…

Beautiful is not a word usually associated with a funeral. In our Southern heartland family, the love that exudes from such an experience even though coming from a sorrowful event, can absolutely make your heart glow. It makes you proud to belong to such a family. To have been born into this family makes me one of luckiest people in the world.

I come from a very large family. There were ten siblings in my father’s family. The memories I have of going to my aunt’s and uncle’s rural farms were some of the happiest memories of my childhood. All…

“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

That’s how we start. Our innocence will take us to places that as adults we dare not tread. Our patterns of thoughts and behaviors are learned early in life.

No one hands us the key to unlock the door to a perfect life. We have to figure it out on our own. Please, say it ain’t so…

My life got off to a rocky start. That 18-year-old me played havoc with my life…

Four Techniques a Narcissist Uses

She was just a teenager when she met him. He was damaged goods. But he was beautiful… on the outside, any young girl would have thought the same. He had already learned the art of manipulation. He was no longer tender. Definitely way past that one. It started out bad and stayed bad. Rotten does not become fresh. She was too young to know such things. The stars in her eyes were far too bright.

How does a man-child become rotten at such a young age? Is it genetics, temperament, environment? His cake had been…

What’s in a Name?

In 1922, my father was born on a dusty county road. It was a rural farming community that had lots of corn and cows. It was the best place in all of America to be born. I can’t imagine a more ideal place...unless of course you call having ten babies at home on the farm ideal. If you were lucky the doctor would come by and welcome the newest member of the family.

My father was number seven of ten. As you can imagine my grandmother was running out of names. …


It is the small things, like Father telling me of the sea he traveled and his home, Deutschland. He said it had rich farmlands much like where we lived. A river ran nearby his home. He took me with him as he fished from banks of the Catawba. He would say his name which sounded like ‘Richards’ but it was not the same. It has been so long ago the memories fade… yet I cling to them. When Father died, I wept and sat in the cabin for weeks waiting on him to return. But he never came. As time…

Rita Richards, LCSW

Rita is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker ; graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a Psychotherapist, Storyteller, Genealogists, Family Lover, & Overcomer.

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