Hope Amidst Traumatic Grief

Dear Liz,

A very good friend of mine was murdered about four months ago. Her death outraged and saddened my entire community, and I’ve had a hard time accepting that she’s gone, because it just doesn’t seem real. I’m writing because I’ve had many dreams about her since it happened, and I’m not sure what they mean. Maybe she’s visiting me? Maybe my brain is rewinding to that event? Could you help me out? Continue reading

College Student Silenced by Professor’s Academic Freedom

Dear Liz,

I have a professor who has recently been talking about a sexual assault case. The perpetrator was a woman and a school guidance counselor who plead guilty to four counts of felonious sexual assault. The victim was a 14-year-old boy who was later diagnosed with PTSD and depression, after the assaults took place. Three college professors wrote a character statement for the defense team supporting the perpetrator. The president of the college fired the professors for supporting her. My professor personally knows the perpetrator and keeps telling my class how she is a good person and how her life is ruined because of this case. He also keeps telling us how it is stupid that the professors got fired. He expressed how this “one bad thing” is going to ruin her life. During this discussion in class I was getting really upset, but I did not feel comfortable speaking up. My roommate and I both have him as a professor, but in different classes. The next day my roommate came back from his class crying, because she was so upset about the conversation he had with her class. Later that day, my professor sent both classes an incredibly biased news article, basically expressing support for the three professors and the defendant. I think it is incredibly ignorant of my teacher to talk about the case the way he has been. However, I do not know how to address this problem. Please help! Continue reading

Victimized by Crime: Hope and Healing After Trauma

Dear Liz,

I’m a 26-year-old woman living a charmed life: 2 great kids, loving husband, well-to-do, intelligent, very attractive, very outgoing personality. A week ago I came home from shopping around noon and walked in on 3 teens (probably) burglarizing our house. Thankfully I was unhurt but was left tightly bound, gagged, face down and hogtied on the kitchen floor. I struggled furiously but couldn’t get free. Three hours later my kids and two of their friends arrived from school and found me “mmphing” and lying all tied up in a helpless, embarrassing heap. They removed the gag from my mouth but had to get a neighbor to untie the rest of me. I was humiliated and felt my self-esteem completely evaporate. A week has gone by and I’m depressed and feel like a schnook. For my kids to see me so utterly bound has destroyed my pride, sense of dignity. How do I recover from this mental ordeal and regain my sense of confidence, pride? Continue reading

Follow The Star: The Miraculous is in the Ordinary

The feast of manifestation, or Epiphany, is traditionally celebrated the 12th day after Christmas, January 6. It marks the day the Three Kings arrived at the birthplace of baby Jesus, and welcomed him.  They followed the star, and found their way, and celebrated when they arrived.  

As the Christmas story tells us, the Prince of Peace had a stepfather, and his name was Joseph. Joseph appears to have been an ordinary man of his time.  He was a devout Jewish man, faithful, hard-working, and he was betrothed to Mary, having taken her into his home.  At the passing of a year, she would be his wife, and they would then be intimate and begin their family.  But that ordinariness was interrupted, and Joseph was to endure a test of faith greater than most.     Continue reading

When Siblings Disagree: Caring for an Elderly Parent Amidst Family Discord

Dear Liz,

I have four siblings, we are all in our 50’s. My mother passed away 40 years ago. My father is now 85 with Alzheimer’s for the past 7 years. I am the youngest of the four and my father gave me his health directive 8 years ago. Now that I have become my father’s legal guardian, my eldest brother has taken the role to be the “overseer” of me and reports on me to attorneys and a trustee of my Dad’s trust, in fact insisting that I report to these people on a regular basis every email, every call, every issue. Continue reading

Moving Beyond Resentment: Finding Peace after Being Wronged

Dear Liz,

I took care of my cousin’s son (was awarded emergency temporary custody).  I took him to all his appointments, provided for him, did everything to get his SSI benefits back, raised him as my own with my SSA money.  His mom decided she wanted him back and turned my life into a living hell.  SSI said they couldn’t give me my money after finding he was disabled in my name, but they gave his mom his check after I gave him back to her.  She even used him for the income tax season. Continue reading

What is a Relationship?

Dear Friends,

Over the last few months, I’ve received a number of questions about relationships, all of which shared a common theme:  one person appears to be 100% invested, while the other is not.  I’ve heard from a number of women who are upset and confused, because while their partner is professing his love, he is also questioning the relationship.  I’ve heard, “he needs to treat me better” and “we love each other, but we’ve started to fight Continue reading