Author: Patti Carmalt-Vener

Beware the influence of enmeshments in deciding life’s paths

Dear Patti,  I’m 15 and graduating high school next year. At age 3 I already had a large vocabulary, began reading adeptly, and am frequently reminded I’m extremely intelligent. While I have deep appreciation, respect and humility for all talents and abilities bestowed upon me, to grow up always considered gifted, different and “special” has more often than not felt like a curse. I’m the sole progeny on both maternal and paternal sides for two generations. All attention is on me and I’ve felt like in order to be loved and make everyone happy, I’m expected to consistently perform brilliantly. ...

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Practice makes perfect for a good night’s sleep

Dear Patti, I’ve had trouble sleeping on and off for several years. It’s difficult to turn off my thought process and fall asleep. Once I’m asleep, though, I’m OK and usually don’t wake up until morning. When I was pregnant, I went to a hypnotherapist because of my intense fear of experiencing a painful labor and birth. It was expensive, but I saw the clinician monthly for a total of six meetings. Each time I fell asleep at the end of the session. I always wanted to go back to hypnotherapy and see if I could get help with...

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The four distinct patterns of twinship

Dear Patti, I’m a twin. Five years ago I went to a weekend conference about twins and met my husband, Peter, who is also a twin. Peter doesn’t like being a twin and values his individuality above all else. Growing up, he felt his mother just loved the attention from having twins. He has no contact with his brother, which I find very sad. He doesn’t hate him but he felt invisible growing up because he was always compared as “second best” to his brother. Peter said his brother often took credit for things he did and their parents...

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When alternative advice is more annoying than helpful

Dear Patti, My husband Dennis and I have been married 32 years and I love him dearly. Despite ups and downs over the years, we’re now semi-retired and love being together. Unfortunately, he has always had an annoying habit he does all day long and can’t seem to stop. It may sound petty, but it makes me angry. The problem is that no matter what another person says, Dennis feels compelled to question or amend it. When our neighbor was excited and ready to buy a car, Dennis brought up two other cars for him to look at first....

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Coping when family members are the turkeys at Thanksgiving dinner

Dear Patti, I love Thanksgiving and have always enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my friends and family. Much as I enjoy spending time with people I’m close to and grateful for, however, Thanksgiving the past two years has been nothing but a chore.  My husband’s parents are no longer alive and his older sister (the present matriarch of his family) has agreed that I host Thanksgiving and she hosts Christmas. Every December she complains endlessly about how much work it is. When she comes to my house for Thanksgiving, she always brings extra food and says — behind my...

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Upcoming Events

1:00 pm Castle Green Wedding and Event O... @ Castle Green
Castle Green Wedding and Event O... @ Castle Green
Feb 25 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
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1:00 pm Sierra Madre Playhouse Event @ Sierra Madre Elementary School
Sierra Madre Playhouse Event @ Sierra Madre Elementary School
Feb 25 @ 1:00 pm
In conjunction with the current production of “Nothing Is the Same,” the Playhouse presents a free family event, a tour of the school’s Japanese Goodwill Garden, plus tea and Japanese tea snacks available for purchase,[...]
4:00 pm Book Signings at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Book Signings at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
Local Author Day features Chiqeeta Jameson, author of “Don’t Sell, Let Them Buy: Master the Sales Conversation and Guide Your Customers to a Successful Outcome…Every Time,” Colette Barris, author of “Claretta Street” and Belinda Busteed[...]
4:00 pm Performances à la Carte @ Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Performances à la Carte @ Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
Performances à la Carte and Girls on the Run Los Angeles present the performance, “The Innas, Ettas, Annas & Donnas of Mozart’s Operas” is an afternoon of concert arias and duets featuring a variety of[...]
4:00 pm Restoration Concert @ South Pasadena Library Community Room
Restoration Concert @ South Pasadena Library Community Room
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
The concert features the Los Angeles Piano Sextet, consisting of current and former members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, performing works by Mozart, Poulanc[...]

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