The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: Mental Health

Time See What’s Become of Me

Mother Nature has a bit of a cruel streak when it comes to New England weather. Last week she dumped 14 inches of snow on us and today she come back with another 3-5. My wife checks weather on her phone and says with regret, “Well, I guess this isn’t actually going to keep me […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

Fairy Tales of the Mind

Sometimes I wonder what (or who) lives deep inside the mind. More importantly I wonder when they moved in and claimed their space. Worse still, like recently graduated millennials, once these notions move in they tend to reside rent free. Who can we blame for these fairy tale notions that distract us from living our lives? […]

Did you sign the waiver?

At the beach the other day, I saw something familiar play out . A mother was trying to coax her daughter into the rough surf at the Charlestown Breachway Beach. “Look,” the mom said, “your father and sister are out there, and I’m going because it’s too hot to sit here. So, let’s go!” The little girl, about […]

Slow Learner

For months I have been struggling in yoga class with certain poses, one of them being “half moon”. Consistently I have fallen out of this pose, much like several others that plague me — eagle pose, warrior three, crow pose and wheel. But for what ever reason half moon pose has become one of the […]

Growing Season

My front yard now inspires me. This had not been the case prior to last Friday. For years the front of our house has been a mess. On one side of the front porch the pine tree that started out small was crowding out the Pee Gee hydrangea, as well as encroaching on the corner […]

Prisoners of the Mind

The emails start almost immediately. It makes sense; I threw my students a curve by combining the last two essays into one that will receive a double grade. The topics shared a connection anyway — captivity — so I figured it’s really no big deal. Still, it got them panicked. After a number of class conversations, and responding […]

Why Listen to Us?

The first time it came to my attention was when my wife paused a commercial and replayed it. “You’ve got to see this,” she said. The commercial was for BED — Binge Eating Disorder — and made a point of stressing that the condition was a real thing. The television spot went on to say that, […]

In Search of the New Normal

Yesterday I went through my nightstand in search of some paperwork from years past that could save us a whole bunch of money if we were an organized household that filed things correctly. I never did find the paperwork. What I did find was a treasure trove of memories. Birthday cards from my children, drawings, […]

Daydreams and Molotov Cocktails

What do you do when life hands you a really shitty situation completely out of your control? Many of you know our story, for the past seventeen months our lives have been a drama of epic proportions. Recently I was talking with a good friend who said to me, “I don’t even know how you […]

To Place in a Special Way

I sit at the kitchen table looking out over the snow covered deck. It’s almost 930 and we’re just clocking in to our second snow day of the year. Apparently this big bastard of a storm is flying up the coast and by the time it hits New England it’ll have the same punch as a […]

Becoming Human

“No matter what mistakes and illusions have marked my life, most of it I think has been happiness and, as far as I can tell, truth.”  — Thomas Merton January 31st commemorates the birth of mystic, writer and Trappist monk Thomas Merton. One thing that always amazes me about his writing is Merton’s profound honesty with […]


Author’s Note: I wrote the below post on September 22. It was originally going to run on another site in a series on relationships and bullying. I was going to remain anonymous for a variety of reasons, one of which was the shielding of my daughter. But that was before my husband had to suffer […]

This Just In…

Here’s a preamble of sorts. We have intentionally avoided publishing much about our family saga as of late. We made this decision solely in considering our youngest daughter. Much has transpired that we did not want her exposed to. We did not want her reading hateful, hurtful things. Most recently an email in which her […]

Emotional Customer Service

Sometimes we get lost, our bearings go askew. The compass in our hearts wobbles as it seeks some emotional equivalent of the magnetic north. As the needle wavers we waver with it wondering how we could have gotten here. How is it, we think, that I misjudged the point of reference, so wrong about the thing […]

Clean up your damn mess

My youngest daughter has a habit of jettisoning her belongings as if she were a tornado. Backpack in the kitchen, shoes near the door, soccer uniform in the mudroom and socks in the pantry. Half-filled water glasses can be found on her dresser and once in a while I will notice an empty ice cream […]

The 26%

I need to tell you why I am not writing about what I should be writing about — it is overwhelming, daunting and confusing. Essentially, this blog grew out of personal struggles with our oldest daughter and extended family. Originally we intended to dedicate time and space to the discussion of forms of mental illness, […]

Just Say Yes to Drugs.

It was June and we were there for a diagnostic evaluation. We hoped that getting input from a clinical psychiatrist would help us understand our oldest daughter’s recent behaviors — moodiness, irregular sleep pattern, preference towards isolation and detachment, difficulty maintaining personal relationships with peers, lack of interest in her romantic relationships, lack of motivation […]

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