Blonde woman sitting on steps, smiling.

Welcome! Meet Karen

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. 

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.

That was 1994, when my older son Matthew, eight, started to become, well, not Matthew. It took three years to figure out what was going on, during which time myriad misleading diagnoses, clueless doctors, and baffling behavior changes in my son nearly caused me to self-destruct.

During that time, when my child had 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 others like me may learn from my journey. And yes, there are others. I recognize 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-butt 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 story will be a book 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.

Better yet, subscribe by entering your email so you don’t miss a thing. (You’ll receive a confirmation email, so please check your junk mail folder if you don’t see it.)

As a bonus, you’ll receive my free 10 Steps to Fight Your People-Pleasing tip sheet. 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 I’d love to hear how you and I “clicked.”

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

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