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When YOUR Truth isn’t THE Truth

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Which Way Does Your Parenting Pendulum Swing?

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Drive Your Ex Nuts and Improve Your Position for Court at the Same Time

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So far, so… so-so.

April 7, 2017 2 comments

It was a LONG dark winter. My back went wayyy out. My older kitty died, horribly, at home before the vet appointment. (I think she had a stroke when her “brother” attacked her, I guess because she was sick. She became paralyzed and died slowly. It was horrible. I still cry, I still feel guilty. I should have noticed sooner she was not just getting old, she was sick.) She no longer came for her daily chin scratching orgies. She slept a lot, and hid. Then, one night, I realized she was horribly thin. (She had a ton of fur.) I could feel every bone in her back. I called the vet. Too late.

Add in literally months of cold and dark… and I did not fare well. Add in the election and it got serious. I had palpitations. I did not want to see my Trump voting neighbors, or dress up for the community parties I have been to every other year I’ve lived here. I stayed home. I ate foods I REALLY did not need.

I did’t smile. I didn’t laugh. I still get seriously irritated with the Facebook posts of the “everything is wonderful” crowd. (I’m still not down with that zeitgeist, but I’m slowly coming back to life.) Today my ONLY read fried in these parts posted on of those “everything is a choice” memes. I was pissed. You know, it is true–TO A DEGREE. But to those who carry deep trauma, the scars limit  how much “choice” you have in how you feel. Finally now that I am 60freaking 8 , there is a ton of science on that. For example: http://www.rawhide.org/blog/wellness/aces-child-trauma/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwzpfHBRC1iIaL78Ol-eIBEiQAdZPVKlxlxrRVj_nP3LXIKu4BDdwkBxiZMYbWnJueFn3fLAkaAqs58P8HAQ and  http://www.academia.edu/22177086/Awareness_during_anesthesia_and_posttraumatic_stress_disorder

My grandparents cane from Russia. Trust me, trauma is deep in the Russian soul. Deep in the Russian Jewish soul. And yes, I managed to have my very own personal deep trauma, ironically, by no one’s intention. I had my ears lanced, and the doctor apparently gave me just enough anesthesia to keep me immobile. Clearly I was “aware”– I was told I had been “crying out in pain” throughout the procedure (done in an office, not a hospital.) it was the 50s. No one knew better. (I left my body, and not in a good way.)

My mother was never loved or nurtured– so, despite her clear awareness I was suffering…neither was I.  As fate would have it, her father was (also) an EENT doc- so she said nothing to the guy torturing me. I get it. No one meant to mess me up.  But… they did. (There’s a lot more,  but enough is a enough…

I have made HUGE mental choices and come a long way. But the body remembers. So, I think I defaulted to “nothing is OK” again during the bad patch. Now, I am climbing out of that hole. Whew.

I try to use what I’ve learned in my law practice, but most people are not open to owning their own “stuff.” I do still attract people like those  grew up around– narcissists and the odd sociopath. I now shut don the sociopaths, but the narcissist can be very charming, and I do still fall for it, from time to time. (At least now I charge more appropriate fees.)

But these are chaotic times. Times of gaslighting by the president, when compassion is no fashionable. It will be interesting to see how what I have learned will play out.  Thriving in the midst of chaos. We shall see.

Avvo, the Election, and Why I Have Not Posted in Way Too Long

February 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Avvo.com. “Have no legal Fear”. Boy, has this company blitzed the advertising world. Television and smart phones, everywhere I look, I see their ads. Now, I’ve been on Avvo since it was a nuisance (early aughts??). Now it dominates legal marketing. (See https://lafleur.marketing/lets-talk-avvo/)

What does that have to do with not blogging? I’ll tell you. I spend way too much time fielding questions all day long is what. I feel like a shark– if I stop swimming (answering questions) I will die (no new clients). The irony is  not lost on me. Be it noted that family law is the world’s worst business model. Zero repeat business, and people are at the worst and most vulnerable, and least able to spare thousands of dollars. (Be it also noted that a few practitioners serve the Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Tiburon, etc. crowd. They get paid well. They are also a small minority.)

It also does not help that I refuse to engage in the horrors of litigating a family fight over children. I never have and I never will. And that’s 34 years of being a lawyer talking.

But Avvo has one upside. I hear from other lawyers, every single day. Unlike most people, I love to see what I may have missed or to find out I’ve been wrong. Ironically, despite my AWFUL typing (no editing on Avvo) many lawyers have gone out of their way to endorse me. (And be it noted I am truly working on this flaw of mine.) (It may be working … no flinching realizations for a good while now…

But the more Avvo advertises, the lower the quality of the questions people post. I have taken to deleting some without bothering to respond. I never used to do that. Here’s one I love: ”

When there are deadlines to file forms related to a divorce with the court, are weekends/holidays included or weekdays only?
Location: Alameda, CA

“I’m going through a divorce in Alameda county (California) and found a rule stating that I need to file/serve a status conference questionnaire 15 days before the scheduled conference. I’m confused as to whether this pertains to weekday/business days only or if weekend & holidays are included also?”

Now, there are state paid websites for EVERY county that tell you these things. Like this: http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/

But hey– The public is on their smartphone and Avvo grabs these questions. So pro bono work is now the domain of all Avvo lawyer users. And yes, the public now LOVES lawyers-as long as they are free. Thanks to one of a Avvos many boneheaded features, these people can now write to you directly and tell you what an idiot you are– thus revealing their (previously anonymous) name and details. Avvo does not care (and the public does not know) that I now have a duty of loyalty and confidentiality as to these folks, and cannot take any matter adverse to theirs. EVER.

But enough about me. How about the state of American law and politics? Could they be any more depressing? Let me just say up front, I KNOW this crisis was and is and will be a step to a much needed change in ALL our habits. Letting someone else deal with it. Not fact checking or asking ourselves “does this make sense”? Labeling those who disagree with us. An inability to see that EVERYTHING has two sides. These are habits that simply must change.

But to wake up to a world where (LITERALLY overnight) mean-spiritedness is the norm, and caring for the less fortunate is not scorn-worthy? No, I did not really see this coming. Every day the news is dreadful. now, I see that way too many people get all their news from facebook. I see posts from Breitbart from ACTUAL FRIENDS. (Critiques of what is and isn’t Constitutional from a citizen of a country where Constitutional Monarchy is the  government and there are no state governments. In short, from someone who does not know  what they don’t know–but states opinions as facts.)  (A major trigger for me.) BUT there is an upside! I can now say I have experienced the power of personal interaction to bridge such divides. We each cut the other slack because we have a personal relationship. There’s a clue, here…

So, I’m here to say, enough with the naming and blaming–time to make friends. As to the mean-spiritedness, it IS disheartening, and many people will actually suffer and maybe die. But As a Baha’i, I know this end is a beginning, and is long overdue. Still sucks, though.

So, I may decide to write, for my own sanity. As usual, I will speak of things many find unfamiliar. But if just one person thinks… it’s enough.

In The Service of Peacemaking

Woody Mosten is a world leader in mediation, practice and training. He is also a leader in providing training on how to be a trainer. Beyond his credentials experience and expertise, he is just a r…

Source: In The Service of Peacemaking

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Orlando Shooting Victims and Collective Trauma

A lone gunman with a handgun and an assault-style weapon rained a hail of bullets in a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier today, killing at least 50 people and wounding at least 53 others. The deadli…

Source: Orlando Shooting Victims and Collective Trauma

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