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…with an abundance of compassion

In a past email, I mentioned I have written a book. I am confident that it will be ready for self-publishing within the first quarter of 2024. My book is a self-help book, written in two parts. The first part is a memoir. Twelve chapters spelling out my personal stories, from birth to divorce, all the way identifying my childhood as my life’s driver. The second part is a twenty-one-day program I wrote while I was surviving my own grueling year. It is written with so much love and understanding, in hopes of guiding my readers out of anxiety, depression, compulsive behaviors and into a strong version of themselves, from worn out childhood driver to ready-to-go adult chauffeur. I’m hopeful that by transparently articulating my storyline, my short comings, I can offer comradery to my readers who may also have a childhood that has driven them off course into their adult lives, yet hold a desire to fire that childhood driver, and hire that adult chauffeur.

Here is a short quip from my manuscript:

I got home from Varsity Cheer Camp late in the summer before my senior year. I was waiting on a phone call from Leah so that we could drive the main strip, stopping at Sonic for a cherry limeade.

The phone rang. I answered it quickly. The female voice on the other end spoke,

“May I speak to Dr. Clardy?”

Students calling my father was not too unusual. I yelled for my dad to get the phone and in that same breath, I recalled my mom’s voice: “When a man cheats on his wife, the woman with whom he is cheating will call the house.”

I made a split-second decision to test this theory of my mother’s, and I stayed on the line when my dad picked up.  The female voice said with a purr,

“Gil, it’s me. I’m at your office. Tell your family you’re going to the grocery store. See you soon.”

I slammed down the phone so that my dad was sure to know that I knew. My mom was right. My head was spinning. I was filled with both rage and defeat.  He opened my bedroom door slightly and could see that I was already crying.  Gil, as I was no compelled to call him, looked past my sadness, and told me he needed to go to the grocery store.  He shut my bedroom door, and shortly after, I heard his car leave the driveway.

I called Leah to come over immediately, as I wanted to chase him to his office; I wanted to barge into his rendezvous with the female voice on the other end of the phone.  Leah arrived promptly, and when hearing my news, she cried with fury and hurt right along with me.  We drove to the university and to Gil’s office.  His car was parked alongside another car in the parking lot. Leah and I both had a strong desire to bust in on him and to yell our spitball words at both.  Instead, Leah and I circled his office many times before we decided to just go home. While we were brave in her car, the reality of the hostile confrontation scared us both.

Once I was home, my dad arrived shortly after.  He came to my room.  He knew that I knew. I stood up from my bed, and through my puffy-tear-filled eyes, I told him that he needed to leave.  I went on to say that his unhappiness and his absence were too painful for me and for my mom. I remember being filled with intense loyalty to her and the strongest desire to protect her.  I wanted to protect her the way I wished someone would protect me in this dysfunctional train wreck of a family.

He smiled at me and said to me in his very usual, everything is ok tone, “When did my teenage daughter become wiser than me?”

I remember thinking if he only knew.

-excerpt from Beth’s book (still untitled)

I hope you grab a copy of my book once it is released so that you can read along as my childhood experiences shape my teenage stories, which in turn shaped my adult lens. Divorce is something many adults can recall from their childhood; I know my experience isn’t exactly novel. The way my dad handled his marriage to my mother was a very strong driving factor I carried around for far too many years. Once I made the executive decision to reshape my experience in adulthood, my life became healthier, I became more vulnerable, more available for healthy and transparent connections. To do this, I had to fire that damn, wounded childhood driver, crippled from years of dysfunctional, worn out movements, and to hire my metaphorical adult chauffeur.

My staff and I at Vervewell work with couples wanting to communicate better, to become more transparent with each other, and who are working through secrets within their relationship. We do this with an abundance of compassion and skill, sans judgment.

Find everything Vervewell at Vervewell.org

Including :

  • each email under our Blog section
  • our podcast, lovingly titled: This Won’t Be Done By 5, which gives a nod to the on-going process that is the human condition. SEASON 3 now available!! NEW EPISODES!

And, as always, schedule with your Vervewell therapist through our website, whether it’s your tried-and-true therapist you’ve had for years, or you’re seeking a brand-new therapist…

At Vervewell, we’ve got you.

In helpfulness…and holiday cheers,
Beth Clardy Lewis, LPC-S
Founder at Vervewell