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About Me

I reside in Ontario, Canada, married over 35 years, never had children but do have one ‘spoiled’ dog named “Emma”.  

Intense psychotherapy began in 1994 (at age 38) to deal with PTSD (childhood sexual abuse), which ultimately led to years of major depression, hospitalizations, ECT treatments and unemployment.  Throughout these years, I journaled daily, and thankfully I did as ECT robbed me of considerable long-term memory.

Those journals were of such assistance,  I was able to compose articles to articulate and express all of the emotions felt in areas of my life that were explored in therapy.  Writing has always been my passion.

I returned to work for about 6 years, however, presently life is still a struggle with bouts of depression, coupled with chronic migraines and unemployment.

At this moment, I remain in therapy dealing with the sexual abuse caused by a neighbor when I was 6 years old, and especially the harmful emotional abuse from my narcissistic mother.  Her hurtful words, lack of empathy and constant criticisms have had such an impact on my life.  I question which abuse was worse.

This blog started in 2007.   What exactly will you find while you scroll through these posts?  Good question:

I post articles in a “what comes to mind that day” or if I’ve discovered an editorial which relates to mental health that peaks my interest. A variety of various topics, beautiful poetry, quotes for inspiration, images and reblogging from other blogger’s incredible posts.

Mental Health/Illness topics addressing: Stigma, PTSD, childhood sexual abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, narcissist parenting, narcissism, migraines or chronic pain, eating disorders, other mental illnesses, psychotherapy, or abuses.  Also, personal articles about my own journey through depression, the healing process of PTSD and maternal narcissism with therapy etc..

With “Living in Stigma”, opportunities have come my way in the form of a series of articles on mental health on the website “Mind Your Mind”.

In 2011, I was interviewed via podcast on “Safe Space Radio” from Portland, USA on the topic of “Mental Illness Stigma“.

Invited as a “guest” to write various posts that relate to mental health on other sites.

  • Join me at another site: “Deb-Living in Stigma” where I include some posts from this blog, as well as, a hodge-podge of other topics.
  • You can take a peek at some of my replies to questions asked on

Currently, I’ve placed this blog on hold and ventured into the world of writing children’s books.  On, (my username is skyblue79) I’ve created a few children’s picture books and poems as a start, and thoroughly enjoy this unique form of writing.

Thanks for stopping by, if it wasn’t for all of you this blog wouldn’t be the success it is with over 435,000 visitors.



Twitter @livinginstigma




Leave a Comment
  1. michellegallagher92 / Jan 15 2017 6:13 pm

    I am twenty four and I have PTSD I hate it so much it is so difficult to cope with Ive been in therapy for three years I feel haunted every day by my past memories like I am still there half the time. flashbacks are my worst to cope with as I feel it all over my body, keeping distracted and doing a blog is good for my mind, and I love to write but it is hard especially feeling the terror and pain that go with the memories.

    I think whoever writes about PTSD and is willing to share their experience is very courageous xxx it should be talked about more.


    • cherished79 / Jan 18 2017 4:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing. PTSD, memories, triggers, and flashbacks all suck! Life is hell that we must keep reliving the past. The only way I survived this mess was through therapy (years of it), to get to a place where I didn’t break down crying when I typed my posts or talked with my therapist. I consider you courageous, brave and strong to be able to withstand what has happened in your life surrounding pain and abuse, and calling yourself a ‘survivor’ and not a ‘victim’ is a fantastic achievement. Writing is cathartic and sharing is terribly brave, so kudos to you. Continue on, it really does become easier, but at your own pace. I always say “the abuser sleeps peacefully at night, while I have my nightmares”. If you need help, just contact me via comment or email: . Big hugs, Deb


  2. Daisy in the Willows / Jun 28 2016 8:11 am

    Thank you for being a part of the willows #SHOUTOUT


    • cherished79 / Jul 6 2016 5:46 am

      Thank you for including me. (I really appreciate the work you put into writing the Shoutout post). 🙂


  3. Daisy in the Willows / Jun 12 2016 4:50 pm

    I think you are awesome – have a blogger recognition award


    • cherished79 / Jun 23 2016 10:08 am

      Thank you so much. I don’t know how you ended up in my spam folder (which I rarely check) so sorry for the late reply. I feel honored. Hugs, Deb 🙂


  4. revengestar / Jun 1 2016 7:22 pm

    We need more blogs like yours. Plenty of good information in a non-judgemental environment. Will follow.


    • cherished79 / Jun 1 2016 7:35 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m so happy my blog is serving it’s purpose and is helpful. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. utahan15 / Apr 29 2016 11:59 am

    nice to meet you deb. i too have mental autistic. aspberger s son. and all of that. so shout write bring the sun to it all. best wishes!


    • cherished79 / May 16 2016 7:21 pm

      Sorry for the late reply, just got back to my blogging. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂


  6. Robert Matthew Goldstein / Feb 28 2016 1:49 pm


    I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award.

    If yours is an award free blog please feel free to do nothing.

    Accept this nomination as an expression of my appreciation for
    your blog.

    Rob Goldstein


    • cherished79 / Feb 28 2016 2:15 pm

      You are too kind, but I am now an award free blog. Thanks for the RT’s, appreciate it so much. That new site I was telling you about requested an “interview of the week”, and I’ve only been on it for one week. So far I’m liking the exposure and freedom to write on a variety of topics. Deb xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Matthew Goldstein / Feb 29 2016 1:13 am

        That’s great…It takes me awhile to learn new things — so It may take me awhile to explore it but I will…:)


        • cherished79 / Feb 29 2016 7:27 am

          Sounds good and you should take the time to think about if you want to just stick with your blog. Taking on too much can lead to disaster.


  7. lynettedavis / Feb 15 2016 10:21 pm

    Thank you Cherished for following my blog MEMOIR NOTES. As an ACoN, your blog is invaluable to me! I would love for you to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my upcoming memoir about growing up with a narcissistic mother. If you’re interested, please send me an email ( and I’ll get the link to you. Thank you. Feel free to edit this reply.


  8. Sandy Sue / Feb 14 2016 2:00 pm

    HI, Deb, Thanks so much for visiting my site and choosing to follow along. It looks like we’ve travelled this journey together an never even knew it! So much of your story is my story. It’s wonderful to meet another Bipolar Warrior Princess.


    • cherished79 / Feb 14 2016 8:24 pm

      Yes, love connecting to another blogger who has invested her time and emotions with eloquent writings. We are both Princesses aren’t we, what a beautiful way to word that. Hugs, Deb 🙂


  9. Juana / Feb 4 2016 4:28 pm

    Hi, again! I nominated you for the 3-day quote challenge. There’s no obligation to participate.


    • cherished79 / Feb 4 2016 7:12 pm

      Thanks so much for the nomination, but sorry I won’t be a able to carry it out now that I have this blog, Twitter and now took on my newspaper, wow, maybe I took on too much? You think? Appreciate it 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. DanicaPiche / Jan 31 2016 7:00 pm

    Hi Deb! I’ve nominated you for the “Champion Award”. You can find out more and pick it up here:
    If you are unable to accept this award for any reason please accept this nomination as a gesture of my appreciation.


  11. Patricia / Jan 17 2016 8:48 am

    I so love the name of your site. I still have the need to be cherished. I was as a child but my parents were so self absorbed and dysfunctional that I didn’t feel or benefit from it. If you read some of my posts, you will come to know how much I love my mother and loved my father. I have struggled with my emotions about them but made the effort to understand why they were as they were and that they did the best they could with what they had to work with. I had dealing with my mother’s alcoholism and my father’s co-dependence to add to the mix.

    I spent two years volunteering for and then employed by Crisis Intervention of Houston answering hotlines. It was the most rewarding thing I ever did. I talked to many, many people with PTSD and was surprised to find that the diagnosis has been extended to Sexual Abuse and so many other traumas. It makes sense, I just didn’t realize. I am humbled by your courage to keep fighting not only for yourself but others. Writing my blog is giving me confidence and support that I am so grateful for. I think I just found a real gem when you responded to my post. Thanks again.🌹


    • cherished79 / Jan 17 2016 9:27 am

      Thanks and you’re the first person since starting this blog (2007) that has ever commented on my blog username “cherished”. I always wanted to be cherished when I was a child, but never felt it from my parents, nor even while as an adult either. Not until I met and married my husband in 1979 (hence the name ‘cherished79’) did I feel that I mattered to anyone. We are still married and he has been my rock through all of this PTSD hell, what with the sexual abuse and emotional-narcissistic abuse via my mother.

      Your blog is lovely and eloquently written while appearing that writing for you is cathartic also. Stay strong. Hugs to you. Deb

      Liked by 1 person

  12. hubby1974 / Jan 14 2016 5:44 am

    As one of my precious followers, I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award.

    When you visit next, I’d love if you could leave a comment – hint, hint 😉
    (not really a ‘hint’ – more of a reminder)


  13. lifebeyondmommy / Jan 11 2016 9:05 pm

    Deb, your blog is beyond inspirational. I am honored that you are following my blog. You are very gifted. I am so glad I have started this journey. Connecting with strong people such as yourself is just the beginning!


    • cherished79 / Jan 12 2016 8:47 pm

      Thanks for the huge compliment and makes me proud that I’m getting the message across about stigma. I love your blog, you should be proud, an artist and a writer, pat on the back for you! Happy we’ve connected. Deb 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Juana / Jan 4 2016 9:17 pm

    Hi, there. I found your blog via a reblog on Just Plain Ol’ Vic. Mental health is one of my areas of interest, so I’m glad to have found another blog on this topic to follow. So many people struggle with mental health issues for so long, and despite many advances in our society, it is still a very taboo topic. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. I really liked the recent infographic on bipolar Vic reblogged on his blog.

    Take care.



    • cherished79 / Jan 7 2016 8:52 pm

      Thank you so much, unfortunately, your comment landed in my spam folder. Sorry for the late reply.
      Mental illness stigma is a huge problem, that’s why when I set up this blog my hopes were to bring to light how it affects all aspects of physical and mental health. I appreciate your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. manyofus1980 / Dec 30 2015 10:12 am

    very nice to meet you deb! I am from ireland. I think you follow my blog therapy bits? I love your blog. Keep it up! XX


    • cherished79 / Dec 30 2015 4:50 pm

      Yes, I am a blog follower of yours, happy we’ve connected. Thanks for stopping by to comment. 🙂


  16. SHUTTHATNEGATIVENOISEOFF! / Dec 27 2015 11:21 am

    Keep up the great work dear!

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. No pressure.

    Continued Love, Light and Blessings, Emma


  17. Shrewed Up / Aug 16 2015 7:39 pm

    Hey there, I’ve nominated you for The Brotherhood of the World Bloggers Award. Please do not feel obligated to accept. If you are interested, just follow this link for instructions: Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. breakdownchick / Aug 7 2015 1:55 pm

    I just want to say thanks for the support you have given me during my blogging journey thus far.
    I nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty award.
    If interested:


    • cherished79 / Aug 9 2015 7:43 am

      Thanks so much for the compliment and the nomination, makes me feel good for me and my blog. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • breakdownchick / Aug 9 2015 9:01 am

        You’re very welcome &well deserved. Thanks for your support! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  19. breakdownchick / Aug 1 2015 11:13 am

    Hi hun! I nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂
    For more info:


  20. booguloo / Jul 29 2015 11:40 pm

    You should look at I think it might bring you alot info, that you might not know about. If I was in San Fran i’d be there. If you think my post that mentioned Uncle Ernie is too strong.. You can take it off without me feeling bad.


  21. nevernotlaura / Jul 13 2015 1:32 am

    I also have a Bipolar diagnosis without having experienced a proper high. I have depression and mixed states mostly.


    • cherished79 / Jul 13 2015 9:18 pm

      Sometimes I believe they diagnose Bipolar too quickly, so many people have this disorder. Do they really do a thorough enough test?
      Thanks for commenting. 🙂


  22. Shellie Woods / Jun 15 2015 11:09 pm

    This blog is very informative! Thanks for all your thoughts, I know it helps and will continue to help others!


  23. anxietybug88 / Jun 6 2015 10:37 pm

    Incredibly interesting blog. I’m glad to give you a follow, and I look forward to reading more of your posts and articles!


  24. Just Plain Ol' Vic / Apr 30 2015 10:05 pm


    Thank you for choosing to follow my blog. I too would like to remove much of the stigma associated with mental illness. I think I will give your blog a follow because I still have so much to learn! There can never be too much support.


  25. La Sabrosona / Apr 27 2015 7:50 am

    Hi Deb, What part of Canada are you in? I’m near Toronto. I’m happy to have found your blog today. I look forward to spending more time here. Be well 🙂


    • cherished79 / Apr 27 2015 4:27 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. I just took a peek at your lovely blog; wish I knew another language! Looking forward to reading your posts so we can keep in touch, and I also live in Ontario. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • La Sabrosona / Apr 27 2015 4:31 pm

        I always say it’s never too late to learn a language. I would love if we kept in touch 🙂 Thanks for visiting my “casa”.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. concernedmum7 / Mar 25 2015 3:22 am

    Loved reading about your story. As a person who struggled with depression in my teenage years, I will always have an affinity for anyone struggling with these circumstances. I look forward to reading more about you and your very astute insight. I too found solace in my writing as a young child. I have more diaries then I care to count 🙂 When I was teaching I used to have my students write as a form a therapy but I fell away from doing it myself. I just discovered WP and have used it to express feelings about my current situation, but am excited to use it as a platform to write from my heart about other things. Hoping things feel a bit better soon, continue writing, no better form of therapy


    • cherished79 / Mar 25 2015 8:31 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words and stopping by with a comment. 🙂


  27. Amina Berg / Mar 20 2015 10:34 am

    Hey, just wanted to say how inspiring it is to look around your blog, and learning more about mental illness through someone else. Thank you for sharing you story!



    • cherished79 / Mar 21 2015 1:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and making my day with your kind words. Love your blog by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. A Gathering Room / Jan 21 2015 3:12 pm

    thank you for sharing your journey of “courage” with all of us, I look forward to reading through your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 / Jan 21 2015 7:37 pm

      Thanks, you made my day! 🙂


  29. den169 / Aug 28 2014 8:06 pm

    I wish you peace!


    • cherished79 / Aug 30 2014 8:53 pm

      Thank you. 🙂


  30. justwanderingthru / Aug 9 2014 9:32 pm

    Hi! I want to thank you for your support. I have nominated you for a “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!”😊


    • cherished79 / Aug 13 2014 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much, I feel honored. Deb


  31. annarosemeeds / Feb 25 2014 1:24 pm

    I just wanted you to know that I nominated you for an award here –


    • cherished79 / Feb 25 2014 6:23 pm

      Thanks so much for nominating me. 🙂


  32. Maggie Danhakl / Jan 15 2014 3:03 pm

    Hi Deb,

    I hope this finds you well. I represent Healthline, a medical website dedicated to providing trustworthy health news and advice.

    We just launched a new product with our partner TrialReach that allows you to search for clinical trials in an area for a specific medical condition.

    I thought you would be interested in our ADHD clinical trial results:

    I am writing to ask if you can help spread the word about this great new tool by including it as a resource on your page:

    Please let me know if this would be possible. I’m happy to answer any other questions as well.

    All the best,

    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199
    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 / Jan 17 2014 4:49 pm

      I will post in a couple of weeks.


  33. Therapisttee / Jan 1 2014 11:00 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for liking and reblogging my post from I appreciate that.
    You also have a great site and I will certainly pass this on to clients who are looking for such sites.
    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 / Jan 2 2014 7:36 am

      Thank you for your comment, I changed my mind and decided to “un” reblog your post due to fact that, although full of information, it contained too much advertising. I did however place you on my links. Sorry about that, but just letting you know.
      Note: an e-mail was sent today just in case you missed this comment. Cheers, Deb


  34. S.Srinivas / Dec 20 2013 5:30 am

    Hi Deb

    Thanks for liking and sharing a post of mine.
    I like the spirit that drives your blog.
    Even if we can make a difference to one person, I think everything’s worth it!
    Carry on! You rock

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 / Dec 20 2013 5:55 am

      Thanks for your comment and the compliments. Take care. Deb


  35. asummerofnew / Dec 15 2013 6:33 am

    Hi, thanks for liking my post. Just wondering how you found my blog? (I’m new to this whole blogging thing and struggling to find good blogs I want to read with some humour in them). I too have experienced mental illness so my heart goes out to you and your current struggles. I’ll definately be stopping back in here to see how you’re going and read your entertaining posts! Thanks!!


    • cherished79 / Dec 15 2013 7:25 am

      Hi and thanks for responding.
      When you put “tags” on your blog, it goes into a “reader”. You can view the reader (I found) on the front page of WordPress on MY BLOG. I happened to look under the tag for “embarrassment” and your blog came up; I was able to write a comment, or reblog or “like” or click onto your entire blog, because you used that tag. If your keep your tag as simple words, people will find your blogs easier on the reader and possibly “follow” your blog. Words that you used for your tag in your latest article: “writing”, “embarrassment”, “retail”, are GOOD words for tags, but words like “cool kids”, “brain cells” “not so good” are not common words so not so good. Hope this helps. Deb


  36. Tracy Rose / Jul 11 2012 9:17 am

    Hi Deb,

    We were wondering if you could include as a resource on

    Healthline provides a very comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones.

    For more information, visit:

    Also, Healthline just launched a photo contest “What Does Happiness Look like to You”: We encourage you to share the contest with friends, family & anyone you believe would be interested in participating.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Warm Regards,



    • cherished79 / Oct 30 2012 9:49 am


      Absolutely, I added it today. Sorry it took so long, kind of under the weather. Deb


  37. Katherine O. Cooper / May 5 2012 8:16 am

    Deb…I’ve not stopped by your blog in several months…glad I did…sounds like 2012 had some “speed bumps.” Hope that you are entering May on more solid ground…I didn’t realize that you were N of the border. I hope that spring is treating you well.

    Best wishes,



    • cherished79 / May 8 2012 9:45 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words. These have not been great months, nor was last year. Still living through a bad depression coupled by suicidal ideation at times. I was on short term disability for 6 mos. and now approved for long term. Unfortunately, the monthly benefit amount is very low and would be difficult to live on if I were a single person.

      In March 2012, I was in the hospital for 3 weeks on the mental health ward, as things were going from bad to worse. But I do think it helped a bit and while in hospital it was a nice break from thinking of the things that were triggering everything. Also, I had a very good pdoc.

      I sometimes don’t even have the energy to keep up this blog, so there will be gaps in posts.

      Take care and thanks for your note.



      • Katherine O. Cooper / May 9 2012 6:56 am

        Deb, You’re welcome and thanks for the update on how you are doing. You are in my prayers, Kate


  38. tamingthehamster / Mar 23 2012 9:06 pm

    Keep us posted!! You’re in our thoughts!


    • cherished79 / Mar 24 2012 1:03 pm

      Thanks for your kind wishes, should be getting out next week.


  39. tamingthehamster / Mar 23 2012 3:03 pm

    Hey, Sorry to hear you have been in the hospital. Will be thinking of you! Take care of yourself and keep fighting. Hope you are back home soon!!


    • cherished79 / Mar 23 2012 8:56 pm

      Yep, home for a weekend pass, but think I may be home end of next week.


  40. tamingthehamster / Mar 23 2012 1:28 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been in the hospital. I’ll be thinking of you. Hoping things get better for you, keep fighting and stay strong!!


  41. tahitiangoddess / Mar 18 2012 7:02 pm

    Hey–you’re me (except for the marriage part.) Same age, location, and diagnosis. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 / Mar 23 2012 1:21 pm

      Good to have company – sorry for delay in reply have been in hospital.


      • tahitiangoddess / Mar 23 2012 2:40 pm

        I’m so sorry cherished! Hope you are doing better now.


        • cherished79 / Mar 23 2012 8:55 pm

          Thanks for your wishes, home for the weekend, hope to be home for good next week.


  42. Melany / Feb 6 2012 9:46 am

    Dear Deb,
    I read some of your posts, and I felt sad because your mental illness lasted so long and that impacted your life so profoundly.
    I think that you should be aware that your therapist is exploiting and misleading you. That stops you from taking fresh perspective and healing.
    I was depressed at one time and everything seemed hopeless, but now I see how damaging was impact of those people. You should let yourself heal.
    Your blog reminded me on that time and made me sad. I felt that I have to tell you this.


    • cherished79 / Feb 9 2012 8:42 am

      Thanks for your thoughtful post. The therapist I currently have has been excellent in walking me through the PTSD for childhood sexual abuse, and not misleading me. I will continue with her as her methods work. I’m happy you’re not in the throes of depression; what a feeling that is.


      • tamingthehamster / Feb 9 2012 6:59 pm

        Hi Deb,

        I was reading your reply and I was just wondering what type of treatment your therapist is using with you. I have just started CBT(cognative behavior therapy), I think its also called Prolonged Exposure Therapy. I am also dealing with PTSD as a result of being sexually abused as a child. Have you heard of these types of treatments? Do you know if they are effective?


        • cherished79 / Feb 10 2012 11:18 am

          Kudos to you for stepping into the therapy world for tackling PSTD, as I feel that is the only way to work through guilt, resentment etc. It took many, many years to believe it wasn’t my fault of the sexual abuse, however, at times, I still think so.

          The therapy that my psychologist I am seeing now (for 3 years) uses, as far as I know, is just “psychotherapy”. Maybe it is CBT. It’s really working; she is very good. The first therapist I had in the 1990’s was way over her head with me and the PTSD and used psychodynamic psychotherapy. I became too attached to her and that was a major mistake. Also I pushed myself to learn more of what happened that I ended up in a mess and the start of years of very black depression and hospital stays. The flashbacks and memories were excruciating to go through and drained so much of me I eventually lost my job. I’m not saying that would happen to everyone, but for me it was a disaster.

          I hope this helps. Keep me informed on how you are doing, and pat yourself on the back, this is tough, draining work.

          All the best,


  43. stillfighting / Jan 23 2012 9:47 pm

    Hi Deb, I am 33 years old and was diagnosed with PTSD almost a year ago. Thank you for posting your story. I recently started my own website.
    Feel free to visit and comment. I’m a rookie writer so any feed back would be great.

    I haven’t finished reading your website yet, but have added it to my favorites. Thank-you for sharing your story – it helps to know I’m not alone, and that there is a real living example of dealing and healing. I will definatly keep following you.

    Keep up the great work!


    • cherished79 / Jan 25 2012 7:21 am

      This is excellent that you are keeping a journal as that was my savior at times and, although sounding bizarre, gave me comfort. The PTSD is horrible to deal with, but a word of advice – find a good therapist. Give it some time with this person and if you are getting nowhere, look for someone else. I made the mistake of holding on to my therapist for over 5 years and I think it made me worse. A therapist must be qualified to deal especially with PTSD.

      I really like your blog and you are doing great.



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