KBR Mom and social worker
Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe, MSW, LCSW
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KBR Mom and social worker

Parenting~ Anonymous

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 09/03/19

Oh, you think it's easy
But you must really not understand
The importance and pressure 
Of helping run a family
With all of its ups and downs

When you were young and energetic
It was always just you and me
I'd carry you through youth
And all of the steps through it

But then you were in school
And it wasn't just me and you
I was still carrying you
But you were walking up your own steps
With me close beside you

And then came high school and college
Where it felt you were slowly slipping off my back
You, your studies, your friends
And eventually me

Then graduation came along
And you were on your own
There wasn't much of me and you
Just me at my job and you at yours
With no carrying, just walking by

Finally, I was on your back
Being carried through the rest of my life
It was me and you again
But, at the same time, it was not

I wish for the old days with your youth
Fun and play was all we needed
But then it was me and you, 
But in a happier way
And I would carry you with ease

Maybe someday, I'll start to slip off
And you'll be on your own again
But no matter what
It'll always be me and you

For 2018

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 03/14/18

Though I have been remiss in regularly posting, here are a few hopefully cogent thoughts for a difficult time in our world. 

1. #ArmMeWith Appropriate Student to counselor rations to provide mental health services needed. 
2. "And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through." 
~David Bowie
3. "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." ~MLK
4. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."~MLK
5. "A Man who stands for nothing will for for anything."~ MalcolmX
6. "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." ~Prince
7. "Happiness is when what think, what you say and what you do are in harmony." 
8. "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." ~Gandhi
9. "You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody." ~Maya Angelou
10. "You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm."
~Meredith Atwood
11. Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9. FB/sun gazing
12. "It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be." ~Albus Dumbledore
13. "Actions do have consequences." ~AE
14. "You learned more than you regret." ~KS
15. "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." ~Stephen Hawking
16. "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." ~Maya Angelou
17. "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences." ~Audra Lorde
18. "Sometimes you have to get in trouble--good trouble, necessary trouble--to make a way out of no way." ~Rep John Lewis

With blessings and with thanks, 

17 Things for an epic 2017

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 01/26/17

Two years ago, I wrote a post as we looked to a new year. This year, I find myself even more reflective. Embrace this list, make it your own, agree to disagree, but not disconnect ~KBR

1. "To all the little girls watching...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world." Hilary Clinton
2. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway," Eleanor Roosevelt
3. "I've been absolutely terrified, and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do. " Georgia O'Keefe
4. STOP the Stigma of Mental Illness!
5. "Compassion is an action word with no boundaries." Prince
6. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLK
7. Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9. 
8. "Hope will never be silenced." Harvey Milk
9. "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." Prince
10. "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." MLK
11. If you cannot be kind, be quiet!
12. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it. 
13. "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Carrie Fisher
14. Whatever it is you do, do with your whole heart. 
15. There will be those who say you are Nasty... be who and what you are with your whole heart. Stay NOISY, not nasty. 
16. Find your own superpower, don't ever expect it to come from someone else.
17. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

Dear Disorder

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 06/10/16

Sir Winston Churchill once said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." When it comes to mental health and emotional disorders, the sufferer and those who love them often lack the courage to say what needs to be said, to own the scary and to talk back to the part of the sufferers brain that maintains a vice grip on the entire family. 

Empowering any individual to find their courage, as painful as it may be to say or hear, is part of the gift I am lucky enough to give and receive every day in my personal and professional lives. In finding their courage, or perhaps maybe in finding mine, I may use the letter below. It isn't always easy to find the right words or draw a picture to capture the message, but it is most important that we try. 

Dear (insert disorder here), 
I didn't ask to welcome you into my/our life. 
I don't want you here to take over my/our family. 
We hate you, we fear you and we are more exasperated with you every day. 
You are not (insert individual) the person who I/we love. 
We/I have the power to tell you off. 
We/I have to power to tell you where to stick it. 
We/I have the courage to fight back against you.
We/ I have the courage to love ourselves enough to be better. 
We/I have the courage and power to be in control. 
You are not (insert name here), you are a beast we/I will banish.
You are not the boss of me/us!

May we all find the courage. 

Sometimes, it is the little things

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 01/26/16

Recently, I heard Marc Maron express in a podcast, (it is) "good for the soul just to have conversation." I spend my days engaged in conversation with such a wide variety of people that I couldn't be more thankful for the nourishment my mind and soul receive. Until there is one of those confrontations that takes the wind out of my sails and can only be labeled as soul sucking. 

I get it. We aren't all going to like each other, there will always be people with whom we do not get along. The details of my most recent challenge are not important here, except to note I know I had done nothing unprofessional, unethical or dishonest. What is important,for me is that we all  take a minute to ponder how those littlest of moments, the smallest of negative words, can  reduce relationships to mere threads. 

Just as the smallest of negative exchanges can lead to catastrophic damage, the smallest of kind words can treat the soul like a delicious piece of chocolate (if that is your fancy). In one moment, we can make someone else's day by the most seemingly insignificant of gestures. Last night, just when I needed it, I got one of those soul nourishing moments, all while I heard more and more that could have sucked my energy dry. 

Thank you to both opportunities. To the one who derailed and decried what and who I am, thank you for the chance to take a look at myself and ensure I did the best I could. To the one who helped build me back up, thanks for the sprinkles exactly as I needed.