Family Secrets: A Reality Sequel

FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL was published over four years ago and has received favorable reviews as noted on both the Amazon and Facebook sites. My purpose in writing this blog is not to promote or market this book but to share with my readers the “sequel of reality” surrounding this publication. Most of my blogs have been highly clinical and informational and it was noted, by my dedicated readers , that I do need to become more personal , divulge my feelings and expose my heart for all to see as well as  switch hats from clinician to survivor. My recent mentor, Alan Eisenberg, Bully Recovery founder and a podcaster of Health University invited me as a guest on his podcast and encouraged me to share my heart and voice in this internet interview on the topic of bullies and in this  published  blog.

FAMILY SECRETS was a therapeutic tool for me to revisit my past as well as to reach out to victims of discrimination and the bullies in this world that inflict deep wounds and effect the life of their victims. There are many forms of bullying such as wife abusers, parent abusers , workplace bullies, members of the KKK, past and present political and world leaders as well as the school/playground bully. My own wounds are deep, painful and still throbbing in spite of the number of decades that has passed and the clinical knowledge and expertise that I do possess. Yes, there are many kinds of bullies in this novel which has contributed to my quest to diminish “bullyism” by shouting the logo, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!  Sharing my own story may enlighten victims to become survivors . The following blog is an unfinished sequel to a story of abandonment, racism, and the pain inflicted by bullies upon victims with the belief that they  ” have the power to hurt those who appear weaker”, a broad definition of bullies and tends to apply to anyone who is suffering at the hands of uncaring perpetrators who lack  a conscience .

Let me begin to share the history of my book and how it still haunts me now and deepens the wounds that were inflicted so long ago. Only two weeks after this book was released by my publisher, I received a message on my office phone answering machine from my long lost sister, Susan, a major character in my book. She fled from my life and family upon a very brief visit to America over forty years ago. FAMILY SECRETS does provide information on her reasons for this visit and her emotional resentment of her biological sister,  the father who abandoned her as well as the paternal grandparents who could not legally adopt her. She did find me, once again, by searching my professional ( psychological) associations membership guide and reached my office number, leaving an urgent message that our mother had just died. The lyrics of ” The wicked witch is dead” ran through my mind and may also have echoed into my sister’s as well. This significant event did result in yet another reunion which resulted in a most joyful two weeks with me and my hostessing of Susan’s two half siblings and her niece whom she had never met. Instantaneous bonding resulted and treasured memories were created from this family reunion with genuine tears and strong hugs upon Susan’s departure at the airport. Immediate plans were made for a reciprocal reunion  the following summer in London to meet her immediate family. Within days of firming up plane reservations and accommodations, an email was received from Susan directing that all plans should be canceled since this reunion would not occur. Of course, I was stunned,  emotionally devastated and quizzical as to the reason for this decision and I proceeded to call, email and send letters to her looking for a reason for this yet another abandonment of me, replicated by a mother and a father early in life.

It has been almost four years since this traumatizing incident with phone calls,  letters and emails also sent to those other siblings who participated in that joyous reunion begging for support in providing answers to this mysterious rejection. It was learned earlier that my half sister had joined Susan on an number of Alaskan cruises and Susan  flew into my country and over my home state to participate in sibling family events without contacting her biological sister who professed her love and confusion about her decision to abandon me. I have since declared my emancipation and rejection of  this family and those who chose to abandon me in my quest to find an answer to my burning question, WHY? Time is of the essence in my life as a seventy plus woman,  a three time cancer survivor and, unfortunately, I will have to wait until my time comes when only the Lord will give me the answers to this family secret as well as the unanswered “family secret” described in FAMILY SECRETS: A JOURNEY OF GOOD AND EVIL.

As I always conclude in my blogs with the request that you please do let me hear your voice and your feelings regarding this topic, this most personal story of my life.



I am always shocked by the number of news stories and articles that I read verifies all of the statistics and predictions about victims of bullying. An article in a publication entitled, TIDEWATER TIMES, included an article, “Mariah’s Mission”, on a young woman who was subjected to bullying in her middle school years. As stated by her parent, “….going into middle school, some of the bullying started and I could see her struggling with anxiety and depression.” ” In high school, seeking shelter from the perfect storm of bullying , anxiety and depression, Mariah began self medicating with alcohol and prescription drugs.

This true story of the struggles associated with Mariah’s mission to seek a valid diagnosis for her emotional dysfunction, I am certain will sadden all who learn of this young woman’s life. In spite of her abuse at the hands of bullies, incorrect mental diagnosis and her need to numb the emotional pain with the use of alcohol and drugs, she did continue to  function academically and participated in school activities. However, as the years progressed, her emotional pain became too great and ultimately, Mariah did take her life. I do suspect that , as a psychologist, Mariah’s early abuse by school bullies did open her emotional  wounds and she continued to bleed since the pain and destruction of bullies did nothing to heal her wounds and they opened the doors to other destructive behavioral patterns.

As many victims of bullying, Mariah did not displace her pain on others but directed that rage upon herself.  Many victims of bullies, displace their anger and pain at innocent victims. It was documented that the perpetrators of Columbine kept diaries on how they were hurt and rejected by school bullies as did the Sandy Hook murderer who targeted young victims within the very same school building where he attended and was brutally abused by bullies for many years.

Knowledge is power and I would like to provide shocking statistics on bullying, this dysfunctional and lethal behavior;

70% of children suffer bullying at their schools or 38,500,000 victims

One half of suicides among young people are directly related to bullying

Bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims ( Yale University)

30% of students are either victims of bullies or bullies themselves

160,000 children stay home from school everyday for fear of bullying

Bully related suicide can be associated with any form of bullying: physical, emotional, cyberbullying, texting.

Since the 1990’s, there have been 12 to 15 school shootings related to perpetrators having been bullied as students.

Yes, these statistics are quite frightening but they can be altered by social and school interventions. Schools should be a safe place to learn and anti-bullying programs are relevant in the prevention of the loss of another life. Knowledge is power and children, parents and schools need to understand this violent and dysfunctional behavior.

As a psychologist and author, I have focused on my quest in addressing this bullying dilemma. My latest book, NICKI NICE’S BULLY, helps children understand bullies and their behavior and how to deal with these frightening classmates. My website, does provide much information about this book which empowers children to protect themselves from bullies.