It’s another lazy Monday morning and I’m so glad I got to sleep in today. I’m really beginning to hate working the weekends. I tease my prince that if I ever get married again that I’m going to marry for money. That way I could quit my job and I would never have to work again. He laughs and tells me that I’m stuck with him for life. I’m not complaining. This princess would be lost without her prince.

I met our two new doctors who will be taking over our unit at the beginning of June. I don’t think they know what to make of me. I’m outspoken, and they looked at me as if they were thinking that I needed to “stay in my place.” Yeah, right!

It’s time for another edition of Go Ask Mother. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and I’m just now catching up with my mail. I’m sorry that I’m such a slowpoke about getting back to everyone. Sometimes I think I need to hire a personal assistant to help me get through my day. Does anyone know someone who wants to work for free?

Here are some of the questions that I’ve received from my readers:

In response to the Virginia Tech Shootings, Forty Two asked:

“How do you differentiate between someone who suffers from a mental illness and someone who’s adolescent experiences have led him to believe that people are cruel, indifferent, and must be punished?”

Hi Forty Two:

You ask a very interesting question. Where is the line between genuine hurt for reality based offenses, and insanity? I guess the answer lies in the second part of your question concerning punishment. I think an individual crosses the line when they are all consumed by hatred and the need for revenge.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. I have a very good friend who spent 5 years in a Nazi concentration camp, and lost his entire family at the hands of Nazi murderers. He has every reason in the world to hate the human race, but he refuses to be consumed by hatred. He told me that he has been able to give meaning to his suffering and that this is what keeps him sane. He said that he’s known a lot of survivors that can’t get past the hatred and the lust for revenge, and that these people were eventually driven into madness by their loathing of humanity. Today, my friend is a rabbi, and a founding board member of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

I don’t believe that people are born evil, I believe that they are created by what happens to them in their lives. I have a feeling that Cho’s problems started long before he entered school and was bullied by his schoolmates. His great aunt in South Korea was interviewed, and she said that Cho’s emotional problems started to manifest themselves in his early childhood. It’ been reported that some of his writings revolved around the subject of sexual abuse. I hope I’ve been able to answer your question.

Cliffie from Canary Feathers asks:

“Oh Great Mother of All Nurses:

In your last edition of Go Ask Mother, in which you discussed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, my eyes bugged out when you said, “we are what we think.” That’s right out of James Allen, Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Norm Peale, Robert Schuller,
Wayne Dyer, etc. This leads me to my question. Mother Jones, what do you think of that whole positive thinking movement that sells so many books and seminar tickets. Do you ever use it at work?”

Hi Cliffe, thanks for writing me. I’m flattered that you consider me the Greatest Mother of all Nurses. *I’m blushing*

I’m amused when I see new books touting that their pages hold the never before told secrets to finding happiness. The information in these books is usually valid, but it’s not new, it’s recycled wisdom that’s been repackaged for an updated look that generates a lot of revenue for the authors.

One of the newest books hyping happiness is called The Secret, edited by Rhonda Byrne. The book is based on the movie of the same name. In the beginning of the book, Byrne writes that the book’s pages reveal information that has been hidden from the common man throughout time in an effort by the rich to maintain the social and economic status quo, and that by following the book’s philosophy, the reader can create the life they want, whether that means getting out of debt, finding a more fulfilling job or falling in love. Bryne has compiled the writings of many new age hip and trendy gurus who have also made tons of money by recycling ideas of the people that you mentioned in your letter.

Talk show hostess, Oprah Winfrey has embraced Byrnes book, and the book is currently being showcased on Winfrey’s website, guaranteeing its blockbuster success within the literary marketplace. One of my coworkers bought the book and brought it to work, and as I was flipping through its pages I thought, “Man, why didn’t I write this? I would be rich!” One of the secrets Byrne doesn’t discuss is how to find a great literary agent. I don’t know if Byrne has found the secret to finding happiness in her own life, but one thing is clear, she has found the secret to making a whole lot of money. Maybe it’s sour grapes, but I never use pop psychology books while caring for my patients at work.

If you have any questions or comments for the edition of Go Ask Mother, please send them to nurseratchedsplace (at) yahoo (dot) com.