Dangerous Compassions

dear man

dear man Laura-Marie

Hello–how are you?  My friend and I were talking about DBT, and they reminded me how DBT has some cool acronyms.  They like DEAR MAN.  Yes, me too!

Here is a nice handout describing it.

dialectical behavioral therapy

Have you done DBT?  Some people do it in the hospital.  I did it outpatient for some months.

It was developed to help people diagnosed with Borderline function better.  But it was recommended to everyone at the mental health clinic I went to for some years in Sacramento.  That was right after I had my first big diagnosis of bipolar I with psychotic features.

I like the material but had huge issues with the teacher and the space where we met.  My autism needs were conflicting with my other needs.  Wow, I found a post about quitting from 2008.  I remember it very clearly.

I like the advice I mention from the Idaho penpal who says I should do things that make me happy and use my talents.  Sounds like great advice even today.

I’m surprised by the post’s big huge first paragraph.  These days I’m careful to break up ideas into bite-sized pieces, as a kindness to the reader.  People need little rests while taking in information, and I respect that.


I read the handout to Ming, and we talked about the tactic.  The handout says DEAR MAN leads to better communication.

But to be a broken record and not back down is not good communication.  More like a way to try to get needs met when the person you’re talking to is unskilled and might not be caring.  It’s a last choice option for a shitty situation that needs change, for your own survival.  Not a way to make respectful, strong, long-lasting bonds.

new home

Ming and I are in our new home in Oregon, living in community, trying to make respectful, strong, long-lasting bonds.  The people here are smart, respectful, good hearts, creative.  Their language skills are strong.  So I don’t think we would need DEAR MAN here.

But in other places, doing some confident, clear, repetitive asking could be helpful.  When we need to advocate for ourselves or another person–when safety is at stake, and a boundary is crossed that can’t be crossed.

How do you get what you need?  Does the world meet your needs, as is?  Do you have asking skills, and is advocating a lot of work?  I hope you’re snug, fed, housed, and have safe, delicious water to drink.  I hope you sleep well with helpful dreams.  Wishing you low pain days and all the hugs you need.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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