Cavemen Do Not Belong in the White House


I implore the men of this country who are on the fence about the candidates… This shell of a man is, and will be, a hazard to the future of every female in your life. Your wife, your girlfriend, your daughters, your granddaughters, your sisters, your mother… By voting for Trump to lead this country, you are saying that you approve of him as a role model because indeed he will be one if elected. And “locker room banter” will become the norm…acceptable…and out of control. The respect level for women will plummet and set them back a century. And God only knows how much it will increase an already inflated number of sexual crimes.

The females in your life cannot afford the wrong decision. They have weathered the storms of oppression and heinous treatment at the hands of men like him. Yet generation after generation, they have pressed on. Please don’t steal the ground from underneath them by supporting a candidate who degrades and demeans women every chance he gets. He is not sorry about what he said, he is only sorry about how it will affect his votes. And dear Lord, I pray it does!

I don’t care who he is running against. I would vote for anyone, anyone else because his attitude is detrimental towards females (as well as races, religions, etc. for which he has no respect).

Don’t take his attitude lightly. This is no laughing matter, as he seems to think. His frightening behavior will spread like a cancer amongst men who think it’s okay to look at the females in their lives as objects of utter disrespect. Please – think carefully before you vote, I urge you.

I am not responding to any debates about this issue, because I know firsthand what it is like to be victimized by men with “caveman mentality.”



(c) BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

Eye on the Prize

...they lived happily ever after.

…they lived happily ever after.

A quickie.

A quick blog post, I mean.

Had to submit a bio for an upcoming “open mic” night for authors and the excitement vibe is too big to keep to myself.

(This sh*t is becoming real!!!)


Bio extraordinaire:

Lynette Landing finally took to heart what her 3rd grade teacher said a few decades ago, “Young lady, you were born to write!” Although not so young anymore, Lynette admits that writing is her purpose. After years of producing course curriculum, she began ghostwriting and penned a category-specific Amazon award winner. Her talent is put to the test currently, as she co-author’s her first novel. Lynette’s former life as a corporate trainer and speaker has taken a back seat as she develops her writing career. Her muse is the ocean, creek, or any moving water (including the shower).

Never lose sight of your dreams. Never, never, never! No matter how difficult. No matter how stressful. No matter what obstacles get in the way. No matter who bails on you!

Keep your eye on the prize and never give up!

*The novel (about a crime that takes place in Philly) is nearly finished. You’ll be the first to know…


Absorbing negative ions – Longport, NJ

(c) BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

Compassion for the Grieving

Black dresses need no words.

—Black dresses need no words—

Having lost my mother only weeks ago, I’m doing the best I can to continue to work, pay bills, stay engaged with “life,” and be a source of encouragement to my father.  Oh. And stay positive, because as you know, our society has a low tolerance for anything less! It sometimes seems that the “compassion well” ran dry. To be clear, this has not been the response where my mom’s death is concerned. To the contrary, people have been gracious and kind and definitely compassionate. But her death triggered something for me that needed a much closer look. (I thanked her a few times for this!)

Wondering whether it’s best to stay as busy as possible (which I have been doing) or to “sit” with grief (which I also feel the need to do) I did some research and found a lot of great information, but far too much for one post.  So for the sake of this post, the message doesn’t concern how to grieve or how long to grieve, but rather the importance of distinguishing between grief and depression because they are very different. More importantly, I’m writing this to help prevent inappropriate actions and advice to those in your world who are grieving. In other words – be more compassionate.

Kelly Buckley was at the receiving end of inappropriate actions and advice. Shortly after losing her 23 year old son, she encountered a perplexing (but common) response from a doctor during a routine exam when she suddenly teared up over her tragic loss… “Paxil or Prozac?” he asked her, without so much as a simple condolence or a empathetic ear. Whoa.

Kelly, a medical professional herself, understands what the majority of the population doesn’t. That grief and depression are not the same. And while medication has its place and should be respected when used in the right circumstances, it is too often the quick response of an ever growing population that doesn’t want to be bothered with your grief! (Or maybe they just don’t understand it.) When anti-depressants are subscribed without listening, comforting, or communicating, you run the risk of numbing the pain and preventing necessary growth or the need to uncover core issues.

Thankfully, my own family doctor took a different approach. She took my hand and let me cry while she whole hearted listened. Then with compassion she explained what I already knew. That grief should not be dodged or rushed because it is an important and natural process (i.e. growth). And in my case, growth and uncovering core issues is far more important than numbing the pain!  I’ll explain…

As I said, my mother’s recent passing triggered something for me. It gave me a lens to evaluate situations that I hadn’t fully processed…or misinterpreted…or stuffed. Namely, the ending of a long-term relationship with Mr. Wonderful back in the winter. He couldn’t hack the mourning I experienced through several life changes that happened over a short span (relocation, son leaving the nest, career change, etc.) His actions and advice were inappropriate and his complete lack of empathy actually prolonged my grief process. Perhaps it was the labels he used to demean me, like “depressed”, “bipolar”, “psychotic” (and some I can’t mention), that nearly broke me. Hadn’t he used those same labels to describe his ex-wife to me?  Because I’d stuck by him through his own set backs (some physical issues that required hospitalizations), I was blown away when his response to my emotional state was, “I can’t put up with your sadness, you’re on your own!”  And his parting gift (given to me on my birthday) was the news that our relationship was officially over because he’d found someone new. Thanks dude, but the cake would have been enough.

Was I depressed or was I grieving? I wasn’t sure. But either way, he had me believing I was unfit to be in a relationship. One of our last conversations was just before I left for Florida where I had hoped to spend a few weeks healing, mostly from that final straw – the breakup. He toyed with the idea of joining me, said we could try again (wonder what his girlfriend would have thought). I went there to grieve, but more importantly to get as far away from the source of my pain as possible, so of course my answer was no.

And who schedules a vacation there anyway? And brings my replacement along? You guessed it. Mr. Wonderful. My family doctor was more outraged than I was when she found out! If I hadn’t held her back, I think she would have hunted him down with a club! Did I mention that I love my doctor?  “Passive Aggressive!” was the phrase she uttered as she shook her head in disgust. “He knew you were going there to grieve so he brought his new girlfriend to the same place? Honey, no, you don’t need medication! You just need to set much higher standards with men!” Grieving = growth.

About a month after my return from Florida, my mom passed away.  Grief of a different type.  I got to thinking about the black dress that women in some cultures still wear after the death of a loved one. In my own family, the black dress of mourning hasn’t been worn since my grandmother’s generation. A judgmental, impatient society branded it as “morbid” forcing many to forgo something that held such importance. The dress wasn’t “morbid,” it was a “statement”. It replaced the need to explain oneself. It was the unspoken message that everyone understood. “While this dress is on, please don’t expect me to come to your block party, or to volunteer at the church bazaar, or to square dance…because I’m in mourning.”

The black dress (dresses) would be worn for weeks, months, sometimes a full year, depending on the mourner.  I have a feeling that the women who kept it on the longest probably had a Mr. Wonderful who made them feel like shit for grieving and maybe even undermined their healing – and so they just kept the darn dress on! (Where endings with Mr. Wonderful(s) are concerned, vivid colors all the way.)

Thanks, mom.  I could sense your presence with me today.

Be sure to visit Kelly’s blog on the “Hello Grief” site.


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(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

In Memory of Mom


This post is dedicated to my mom, Lynette J. Santoleri, who journeyed to a safe haven on June 6, 2016.  With her guidance, I wrote the following tribute for her memorial service which took place on Saturday.

Lynette J. Santoleri 1936 - 2016

Lynette J. Santoleri  |  1936 – 2016

Everyone here had a unique relationship with my mom. To some of us she was a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, or a mother-in-law. To some she was a cousin, an aunt, a neighbor, a friend, or a confidant. To my dad, she was a best friend and a wife of almost 62 years.

Everyone here had a unique perspective about my mom. To some she was a comedienne and the life of the party. I remember how she loved to catch people off guard with a quick wit and a sometimes risqué sense of humor. To some she was a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear and a problem solver. To some she was a seamstress who could whip up a few festive floor length skirts for her daughters to wear at Christmas, or make matching dresses that had my younger sister, Jennifer, and I looking like twins. To some she was an incredible decorator, giving expert advice on wall colors and draperies. To some she was a visionary and a master crafter – I remember how she transformed a couple of 2 x 4s, some plywood, and a few tiles into a coffee table that looked like a priceless antique…or how she took some bits of nylon pantyhose, cotton, and red fabric and made a tiny newborn baby that became my favorite tree ornament.

Yes, my mom had multiple talents, but like many women of her generation, she was caught between paradigms – of living up to the ideal of the perfect homemaker – like a Donna Reed, or of taking a risk and exercising her independence – like a Gloria Steinem. And although she opted to stay home and raise a family, I could often sense her frustration at having to put a lid on all that she might have been if our culture had been more supportive and less judgmental.

As a highly sensitive individual, I often misunderstood my mom’s frustration and took it personally and it cost us precious time. But it was her frustration that became my driving force to live a different sort of life. In other words, in her own unique way, she motivated me and helped me to cultivate my own free spirit. Through her, I was able to become a more independent women, to leave relationships that were unhealthy, to step out of corporate American and put my own talents to use, and to fulfill my own dreams and passions (and maybe even some of hers).

And although she chose a more traditional route, those who knew mom the best could easily see her non-traditional side seeping out. There were the big hoop earrings and chunky costume jewelry and her ever-changing hair color and styles – I especially loved her bold decision to sport a soft orange afro and bright green eye shadow in the late 70s. There were the long thin brown cigarettes that she puffed on more as a fashion statement than any desire to smoke. And there was also her non-traditional decorating, like when she transformed the colonial dining room in our house in West Chester into a mini Egyptian museum, complete with hand made scarabs that she molded out of clay. Or when she lined the walls of the front entrance with dozens of cactuses of various varieties and sizes.

My mom was incredibly artistic and could often be found at our large kitchen table with paints, clay, crayons, embroidery thread, and ceramics, where her creativity became evident. She also loved playing Chinese checkers or 500 Rummy and I came to believe this was her non-traditional way of opening up conversation with her kids.

During her last several days on earth, I spent more continual one-on-one time with my mom than I had in a long time. I held her hands and told her all the things I had never been able to say. I assured her we would always be connected, but that we would have a different relationship – a better one. I also asked her to put on my heart, whatever it was she wanted the world to remember about her.

The other night I started to write her eulogy and after a page-and-a-half of typing, my laptop crashed and wouldn’t restart. Everything I had written was gone and according to Apple support, it was quite possible that my hard drive was shot. I took the laptop to Microcenter the following day where its usefulness is still in question. Perhaps it was mom’s way of telling me I wasn’t listening!  I had failed to write what she wanted me to write. I borrowed my son’s laptop last night and once again, I asked her what she’d want the world to remember about her. And this time I listened. My mom would want you to know the following:

She put a high priority on honesty and had an aversion to those who deceived or stole from others. I remember the time we went Christmas shopping and after leaving the store with her purchase, she realized the sales girl had short-changed the store by giving her too much change. Where most people would walk away, my mother went right back into that very crowded store and stood in line for almost 10 minutes just to return the extra $5. Even the sales girl was surprised. But that was my mom and she prided herself on that quality – she told me that it was something her parents, especially her father had instilled in her. It was an admiral trait and he’d be proud to know she took it so seriously.

My mom was extremely open minded when it came to structures or attitudes that divided people, like religions or politics or racism… She was an early embracer of the non-traditional family, and of multi-cultural, multi-racial, same-sex relationships – as long as people were kind and honest to each other, she could accept what most people resisted.

My mom loved deeply and that love was often conveyed in worry. She worried about her kids the most and would take on their pain, illness, sadness, and frustration as her own. I sensed early on that my mom felt the pain of others – even strangers. Like the time I was a passenger in her car as she drove to a doctor appointment and suddenly pulled off to the side of the road to help some elderly man make it up and over the curb. He was struggling and almost lost his balance as we were driving past him. She threw the car in park, ran towards him and linked arms with him until she was sure he had a solid-footing on the sidewalk in front of him. When she returned to the car, her eyes were moist. That’s the day I realized my mom was also a highly sensitive individual like me.

Like many of us, my mom was afraid of the unknown – especially death. She held on for days, probably for fear of what lie ahead. My dad, siblings, and niece were blessed to be with her when she finally took the step into the great unknown. I saw the look on her face change from struggle and fear to focus – as she truly saw the safety in the new world that awaited her. In that very second, I believe I saw exactly what she saw. A blue oasis, where the sand melted into the sky.  A small white dove dotted the blue background waiting to greet her. I knew she had just arrived and found myself saying out loud, “Mom! You are finally safe!” I felt immediate peace as she let go of this world for the next one.

Two nights ago, I opened a folder given to us by the Director of Hospice shortly before my mom died. It contained descriptions of all the wonderful services offered to the grieving family. In the very back of the packet, behind all the printed material was a single page. A poem printed on a scenic piece of letterhead. Chills ran down my spine. The scene was a muted beach where the cream colored sand met the blue sky. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was so much like the vision I had shared with my mom just days before. The poem was too perfect to be a coincidence – it was confirmation from my mom, that not only had she arrived safely to a world where fear doesn’t exist, but that our relationship continues on, only better.  

Below is the poem I found in that packet. Thank you to author, Henry VanDyke, for the gift of these words:

“I am standing upon the seashore.  A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.  She is an object of beauty and strength.  I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says:  “There she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight.  That is all.  She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

Mom, may your spirit soar freely and may your soul experience the joy you have longed for. I love you.

(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

I Love You Not


daisy-flowerNarcissistic love affairs seem to be on the rise. Did I say love?  “Ha, it may be an affair, but it’s anything but love!” is the sentiment shared by an increasing amount of men and women who now look back over the fantasy they thought was true love. I was intrigued enough by their stories to do some research and found that Narcissism is actually considered a form of Domestic Violence.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) offers the following definition of DV:

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

From what I’ve learned, Narcissists will almost always attract a very trusting soul. They seek out highly sensitive partners (HSPs) who wear their feelings on their sleeve and are overly empathetic. An HSP is the Narcissist’s prize catch, because *she will rescue him from all the “bad” people in his life. She will go over and above to make up for the wounds that he suffered at the hands of his “neurotic” ex, or his demanding children, or his dysfunctional boss. She will make sacrifices to meet his “limited” schedule and his inflexible demands, and she will ask little in exchange; just knowing that he “loves” her is enough.  (But remember, it’s not love!)

So why would she comply to conditions that seem way off balance? Why would she agree to give far more than she gets? Isn’t she the idiot for getting involved in the first place? No. Not when you consider the smoke screen he uses.

The Narcissist has a method, or to use the phrase provided by the NCADV, “a systematic pattern of power and control.”  It is through this system of emotional and psychological abuse that the Narcissist reels his partner in, clouds reality, and renders her “useless” at the end.

The trauma of psychological violence and emotional abuse is not obvious to the outside world. In fact the subtlety of these types of abuse can fool even the victim (HSP) themselves, and therein lies the problem. Through progressive and thoroughly orchestrated manipulation of their partner, the Narcissist slowly but surely isolates them, takes away their decision making power, destroys their self-esteem and convinces them that they are mentally unfit to be in any relationship.

Sound far fetched? If you saw “before” and “after” snapshots of the typical HSP, you would become a believer. They are often rising stars and pillars of optimism at the start of the relationship. By the end (however long it takes for them to finally wake up), most aspects of their life have crumbled to pieces – the last piece being the relationship itself. They have lost control of their life and they blame themselves.

That is exactly what the Narcissist wants, because he uses that as the excuse to move on to his next victim.It is deception of the worst kind. Worse yet, he draws on the sympathy of mutual friends and family for the so-called “hardship” he endured having been stuck with such an “unstable basket case.” In doing so, he drives a wedge between her and everyone he knows leaving her isolated.

Those who shared their stories had another similar sentiment, “Nothing hurts as much as the realization that what you thought was true love was anything but love.”  Each one in their own way said that no one wants to believe that the words “sweetheart, you are the love of my life” were inauthentic or have been uttered to every person before and every person after them. But one particular woman had a great point when she said, “I would prefer to accept the fact that he is incapable of love, than to accept the lie that he shoved down my throat, that I was unlovable.”

*Although written from the “female perspective” it is important to know that both men and women can be Narcissists and HSPs.  It isn’t about gender anyway – it’s about putting an end to silencing victims of Domestic Violence because in silencing them, we prevent them from educating themselves or safely opening up about the trauma they suffered. 

The following author paints an interesting picture about narcissistic “love”:

The Love Story of a Narcissist and His Victim – by Shahida Ariba

Once upon a time, his tenderness wrapped around you and his fingers traced the outline of your tattoo as his lips brushed against your ear. Most love stories begin with a kiss; this one begins with a well-constructed mask and premeditated murder. A first meeting where the conversation is sex itself; language becomes a weapon and a medicine, a healing balm for your wounds and a sick game of Russian roulette.  (Continued here…)

As always, your comments are welcome!

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(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – All Rights Reserved.

Ode To Love, Past and Future


couple-distance-resizedI’m going to love him more than I ever loved you. I know that more and more each day as my eyes open to who I really am and what I really had with you. It may have taken a long, long time, but I’m now fully aware of the fantasy I created while I was with you; the fantasy of a man who loved me unconditionally and was genuine when he said, “You are the love of my life.”

That fantasy belongs to another man whom I mistook as you. Everyday his presence becomes clearer to me as yours fades away. He is stepping into my reality now that I’m finally clear. Like me, he has been personally transformed by his own brokenness. He has humbled and ultimately flourished and become a whole man who has what it takes to be with a whole woman.

Emotionally stable and secure, he is knowledgeable on a wide range of topics and his diverse interests add to his appeal. He is solution driven and strives to make the world a better place by beginning with himself and his personal relationships – because he realizes the world around him is a direct reflection of him. And for these reasons, self-growth is his top priority.

He abhors the absence of interdependence and knows that the world will suffer if it settles for anything less, so in every decision he attempts a “win” for all involved. And he protects those involved by forbidding political camps, triangulation or anything else that lacks integrity.

He is flexible and open-minded and doesn’t cave under pressure (or the pressure of his most valued partner) because mutual respect and emotional support in times of trouble is the truest sign of love. And though he will not enable, nor expect to be enabled, he is keenly aware that the storms come and go for all of us at some point in time.

This great soul looks beyond the surface because he is astute enough to know that a compassionate heart is his partner’s sexiest feature. And it is that very feature that will connect he and I and form a bond that cannot be broken.

Yes, I will love him more than I ever loved you – but it is because of you (and the remarkable relationship that we shared) that I am becoming a worthy partner for him.

And for that, I am forever grateful to you.


(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – Lynette Landing – All Rights Reserved

***If you like what you read, please hit the “like” button (and share it with others!)  

You may also enjoy the following posts:

By the Grace of God, I Was Dumped!,

Life In the VoidWhen I Break Down, Casinos and Break-ups,

Are You Too Understanding?


Faith, Miracles, and a Renewed Purpose


UNDENIABLE COVER 2014Wednesday, May 4, 2015

From a very early age, I knew my life would have to be fascinating or it wasn’t worth my time. It would have to include the mysterious and the miraculous and take me from very low points to very high points in order for me to see the whole picture clearly. I knew I would take the lessons I’d eventually learn and share their message with the world. Maybe that’s why, as a toddler, I used to line up all of my stuffed animals classroom-style and play teacher. I was practicing.

At 5 years of age, I probably didn’t realize it would take me half a century to finally do the sharing. But some lessons take time…and sharing of the message cannot precede the lesson or it will be unauthentic and therefore useless. It took me forever to get that.

Miracles exist. They are regular occurrences that most of us miss. They require faith. If the word “faith” makes you uncomfortable then substitute it with something else. Use the word “belief” or “anticipation” or “expectation” or “knowing.” Those who believe, expect, anticipate, and know – are the ones that experience miracles on a regular basis.

What has happened to our ability to experience miracles? We rarely hear about them unless we dig deep. Has the media jaded us? Have we become too stressed? Have we lowered our expectations so much that miracles are no longer within reach? It seems that we’ve replaced the desire to experience miracles for the pleasure of complaining. Unfortunately, the art of complaining has far reaching consequences. It breeds negativity that can destroy an entire race.

Isn’t it time to choose miracles again?

This book is about faith, because faith it is the vehicle to miracles. I use the word “faith” because it is the word that was shown to me when I first received the inspiration to write this book on October 21, 2009.

“God” is another one of those words that can make people uncomfortable. Throughout this book, which spans several decades of my life, you’ll notice I use a variety of words to describe “God” depending on where I was in my spiritual journey. I’ve used the words: Goddess, Universe, Source, Creator, Great Spirit, Divine Feminine, Almighty, Higher Power…and even the word Team. These words may hold an entirely different meaning to you; therefore choose what is most comfortable.

On and off, throughout my life, I’ve lost my faith in many things, including God. Which is odd for someone who has not only experienced some of the most incredible miracles, but has also had some of the most fascinating interactions with God. A spoiled brat may reside in all of us. Mine was out of control at times. Losing faith in ourselves can send us spiraling into dark and scary places emotionally. I have struggled with that as well, yet always seemed to bounce back. Recently though, bouncing back seemed impossible, no matter how much I tried to save myself, no matter what I did to change the momentum. When hope diminishes, so does our recollection of purpose.  A string of “bad luck” and heart break corroded my purpose and I felt very little reason to exist.  For the first time in my life, I felt dead inside. In the darkest moment I’ve ever experienced, my faith in God was miraculously restored.

God will use any method necessary to wake us up. In my case, it was a storefront psychic in south Florida, less than one week ago.

When I started this book back in 2009, I never expected it would take me seven years to complete. But I’ve learned that the book is a living, breathing aspect of me that has it’s own timeframe in mind. The book knew I was far from ready to write about a subject as important as faith, even if I thought I was. I had a lot yet to discover about faith before I was permitted to pick up where I left off.

I returned to Pennsylvania from Florida on Monday afternoon with an entirely new understanding of faith. On Tuesday morning, I felt the gentle nudge of God directing me to pick it back up again. “It’s time.” The book is finally confident in my ability to continue as planned.

May your faith in you, in God, and in all of life, open you to the world of the miraculous!


(Preface for an upcoming book:  Undeniable: Blind Faith in the 21st Century)


(c) Copyright 2016 – BareNakedTalk – Lynette Landing – All Rights Reserved