Excerpt from Section One
We’ve come a long way, baby...or have we? We are doctors, lawyers, ministers, psychologists, engineers, teachers and CEOs of big companies. We are waitresses, clerks, childcare workers and stay-at-home mothers. Many of us are like the proverbial duck, appearing self- assured and well put together on the surface but, underneath, paddling like crazy to stay afloat.
In my work the number one issue is relationships. The anticipation of a “happily ever after” relationship and the resulting disappointment in the lack of healthy connection has women suffering from anger, depression, anxiety, shame and guilt. Some of you are grieving a loss of identity; some of you are dealing with wearisome sexual issues and many of you have little or no sense of being significant.
It is hard for a woman to understand and respect her value if, as a child, no one told her of her worth. Such a woman tends to allow men to define her and, if the definition is made with abuse or neglect, she lives accordingly. Even a woman who is aware of her significance can lose her sense of meaning if she connects with the wrong man.
Some women are uncertain about their right to want more out of life. They express feeling of disappointment or emptiness, and I hear these excuses: “There is no money. My husband wouldn’t like it. The other people at work would make my life hell. People would talk about me. I can’t leave here.” And, of course, “Who is going to take care of my children?” They discourage themselves from going after what they want because they fear there will be a huge emotional price to pay. They fear abandonment by the very people who profess to care about them.