An old tree tells the story of the promise, the heartbreak, and strength of a lost marriage.

Nothing stays, or stays the same.

A tree dwarfs two exuberant travelers wearing celebration clothes. They are surrounded by dances of love and joy.

Promises are made.

The oak is majestic — like it had no beginning, and certainly no end. Its expanse is breathtaking. Its branches are sturdy and long. …


It’s not just divorce that hurts kids. Infidelity brings a whole world of pain.

Let me get this out on the table.

First, as a clinical psychologist, I helped a number of couples negotiate the decision and the process of ending a marriage. I worked with the children to try to help them find ways to dealing with one of the major punches in the gut of growing up. …


Openness to our soft spots makes us stronger.

Last week I ended up in the local ER with infections in my legs so bad that I could barely walk. A quick look, and the doctor told me I’d be admitted. She instructed a nurse to stash me in a cubicle until they could find me a bed upstairs…


At the point of giving up on my life, I was reminded that creativity might help me want to save it.

Waiting

I sit on a long bench in the waiting room. My mother is next to me. Right next to me. Shoulders touching. So close I hear her breathe.

There is no one else sitting on the bench. But she knows to sit so close. I am 34--years-old and my mother’s…


I don't know how she sees me

Touching

When I touch my mother, her eyes alight on me, it's only for seconds, but I know I've connected. Her hands are not the same. Once constantly charged with the care of six children, they now sit small and folded, as if waiting for something to engage them. When I…


The love-fueled presents that once had no value to us, may become the things that carry us out of our darkness.

So many gifts

A gift says as much about a giver as a receiver. Some gifts are celebrated immediately with expressions of great joy. Some are tangible — we wear them, eat…


Another doc bites the dust

I’ve been on a streak of bad health. As a result, I have had contact with a number of physicians and nurses who were complementing my internist in the management of my illness. For the most part, they have been quite competent and caring. Except some were lacking when told…


Making it through the maze without losing your mind: A Practical Guide.

We struggle to manage depression and anxiety, deal with traumatic experiences and understand our self destructive impulses and actions. We long to improve the quality of our relationships and reach for lives that are more challenging and satisfying. The first session of psychotherapy is the ultimate blind date, with much…


A generous and excruciating gift

One Year Ago Today

The Uber driver idles impatiently as he deposits me in front of my favorite restaurant. I struggle with the cane that is supposed to give me “balance,” something I’ve never achieved on my own.

My eyes scan the long porch for him. He isn’t there. …


What a crock!

A number of years ago, there was a popular commercial in which “seniors” were told, with gusto, that they weren’t getting older (in direct contradiction to every bit of biological wisdom), they were, instead, getting “better.”

I’m a week out from my 69th birthday, and I can honestly say that:

Martha Manning, Ph.D.

Martha Manning, Ph.D is a writer and clinical psychologist, loves the marriage of darkness and humor. Depression sufferer. Mother. Growing older without grace,

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store