Deborah Rouse-Raines from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a finalist in the Dear GMA Advice Guru Contest. Read her application below!
I'm uniquely qualified to be GMA's advice guru because of the varied positions that I have in my life. The foundation is my medical experience as a board certified OB/GYN, but just as important are my roles as a mother of 4 children, wife of 17 years, sister to 6 siblings, host of a morning advice segment, writer of a health blog, community advocate and school volunteer. As a gynecologist I treat physical ailments, as well as the emotional and psychological aspects of healing that are only shared in that intimate setting. Nothing can compare to the pain of losing a child and counseling a family through that complicated and delicate journey that goes beyond simple post op instructions. A teen who comes in with an STD needs to be counseled about why they were involved in destructive sexual behavior and how to respect their bodies. As a mother of 4 grade school aged children, twin sons and 2 daughters, everyday is a new challenge and I am often called upon to give insight. When my children are little, it's small details like how to get kids to sleep. As the children get bigger, so do the challenges. Today's teens face the most difficulties with the pervasiveness of technology. I've become an expert in how to navigate it with them. ...I am more than a list of titles and roles. Most importantly people see me as a friend that they can trust to give straight, honest answers on almost any topic. I am already an advice guru in my community and am ready to be GMA's next advice guru.
What's the best advice you have ever given? What was the result?
The best advice that I have given is no matter how bad things seem right now, it will change and you are not defined by this moment. I've given this advice many times but most importantly with a Marine returning home from the first wave of the invasion of Iraq after 911. He was depressed to the point of wanting to commit suicide from a potent cocktail of PTSD, getting over a lost love, and facing the dating world of Manhattan (which he described as worse than combat.) I helped him to see life is not perfect and one should appreciate the moment they are living in now. Everyone has their own private battle and their actions may have nothing to do with you, so quit the self-blame. I encouraged therapy, medication and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and he is now married, leading a successful life in Manhattan.
What would you tell this person: "Whenever there is an issue between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one with his mother?