My son Matt and me.
Benign did not mean harmless for my son Matt and me.

I’m so glad you stopped by. C’mon in and get comfortable because I have a story to tell you–a story about the dire consequences of people-pleasing.

Benign: A Memoir

The story begins in 1986, when my son Matthew was born, and I discovered that, in spite of being mature and well-educated and happily married, with big sister and babysitting experience, I wasn’t prepared for the challenges of motherhood.

But really, the story begins when I was a little girl and I learned to be agreeable because that was the only option for little girls back then. Raised in one of the nicest families in the world, I never learned how not to be nice, even when I grew to adulthood, even when my son’s puzzling deterioration called for me to shed my cloak of agreeableness. Even then–when my child was sick, when he needed me to be a fierce mama-bear–my compulsive people-pleasing stymied my ability to demand answers.

I couldn’t stand up for my son because I’d never learned to stand up for myself.

It’s a hard truth to admit, but I tell my story so that others like me may learn from my journey. And yes, there are others. I’ve recognized them in their false agreeableness as they have probably recognized me, or at least the old me.

I’ll never be the bad-ass, kick-ass woman like those you may know, but I’m learning to stand my ground. Parenting a sick child pushed me to the limits of what I was capable of as a mother, but I survived. I grew stronger.

Someday in the not too distant future, my memoir will be a book that you can savor from cover to cover, but for now, you can read my essays and posts about life lessons, self-acceptance, personal growth, and people-pleasing. To see them, click on “blog” in the menu bar.

I hope you’ll follow along as I close in on “The End.” To do that, find “Enter email” on your device, then (after you’ve entered your email, of course) “Click here.” You’ll receive a confirmation email, so please check your junk mail folder if you don’t see it.

As a bonus, if you subscribe with your email, you’ll receive my free assertive mantras pdf! If you need a nudge to find the strong, confident YOU within, it might be just the thing to get you started.

Feel free to drop me a note in the comments bar, or send me an email at contact@karendebonis.com. I’d love to hear how you and I “clicked.”

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

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