If you are living with someone who:

  • always makes you wrong
  • makes everything your fault
  • never takes responsibility for anything
  • never sincerely apologizes 
  • puts you down or belittles  your feelings
  • isolates your from friends and family
  • showers you with love when they do something awful, and then do that awful thing again
  • manipulates social situations with family and friends so they get their way... all. the. time.
  • insists on controlling all the finances
  • repeats the same fight over and over
  • won't be direct or fully truthful, or worse, just lies all the time

...then, you need a place and people where you can feel safe, heard and seen. 

Emerging Empowered within or from a toxic relationship is the goal. 

Our Emerging Empowered Community is the answer.

What Does Emerging Empowered Mean?

Find your voice, reclaim your power, rebuild your life.

In your life journey, you’ve likely met one or two of the relentlessly difficult, crazy-making folks know as Hijackals®

That’s what has drawn you to this group. 

Dr. Rhoberta Shaler created the word, Hijackals, to describe people who hijack relationships–for their own purposes–and then, relentlessly scavenge them for power, status, and control. It could be a parent, partner, ex, friend, or co-worker. Anyone you're in regular, close relationship with who exhibits narcissistic, passive-aggressive, controlling behaviors and has a constant need to win and be right. 

Toxic relationships are abusive relationships. 

You can find help here if you’re with a Hijackal, have left one, or were raised by one, with this low-cost access to resources, insights, skills, strategies, and support.

What's included in this Community Membership?

  • Workbooks and Discussions

    Online workbooks - private and just for your own self-work. Prompt-driven journals, themed around different aspects of Emerging Empowered from toxic relationships.

    Online Discussion Groups

    Join in the groups. Ask a question. Learn from others. Share your experience. The discussion groups work like Facebook groups, easy to use and read, even from your mobile device.

  • Other benefits

    20% off all Dr. Shaler's online courses (new ones always being developed).

    Download free Ebooks, articles, audios and videos ONLY for members. Be surprised with new content regularly.


It’s a great question. 

The simple answer is that, for many reasons such as time, relationship, or financial restrictions, not everyone can access private, one-to-one sessions.

It became clear to her that providing another way for those struggling to break the bonds of emotional abuse to receive the valuable information and experience that she had to share. 

The  Emerging Empowered Community is a very personal endeavour because: 

  • We care about you, your safety, and your well-being.
  • We know how good it feels to have a lifeline when you feel alone with the pain, exhaustion, chaos, and confusion a Hijackal is so good at creating. 
  • We have been in your shoes, having had Hijackal parents and partner, so we really know what you're going through, and what you need to do. 
  • We know how it helps to get the best insights, strategies, and support when life seems exhausting and you're not sure what to do.
  • We understand that it can feel overwhelming or hopeless when the help you need feels out of reach
  • We want you to have a safe place and companions on the journey that "get it!" 

You may need help and direction right NOW! With membership, it's available immediately by joining in, using the tools and resources available, and talking with other members.

Join Today

Get on the path to Emerging Empowered from the toxic relationships in your life.

Easy Options to join

We want to make it easy for you to get the support you need. Choose the payment term that's best for you!

About Dr. Rhoberta Shaler

Dr. Shaler leaves a legacy of deeply personal work in the field of toxic relationships.

Dr. Shaler passed away on April 3, 2024, peacefully, after a lengthy battle with lung disease.

Her work focused on helping the partners, exes, and adult children of the relentlessly difficult, toxic people she call Hijackals® to stop the crazy-making and save their sanity.

You've maybe already listened to her podcast, "Save Your Sanity: Help for Toxic Relationships" or found her YouTube channel, ForRelationshipHelp, which just passed 35k subscriber! (Wow, thank you!)

"I have lived this experience of relationships with Hijackals... in every way. Parents, partners, exes, co-workers, bosses... I learned why I kept finding myself in relationship with these really challenging people, and have now dedicated my work to helping YOU move through that learning more quickly."

This community is just a small part of her body of work, and commitment to helping folks who feel trapped by their unhealthy relationships.

Dr. Rhoberta Shaler

What others have to say about Dr. Shaler...

“Thank you so much for your podcast!! Your genuine care of others in taking the time to generate the information in this podcast emits itself so strongly!!! It has brought me to tears, helped me to identify behaviors, and finally given me the ability put a name with a face! I would love to maybe speak with you one on one at some point. ...thanks again! 💕”

“Raised by, and all partners have been Hijackals... after nearly 5 years of Severe verbal and emotional abuse, I’m out! I recommend you to women I meet who are in same boat. I’ve learned so much from you, the cycle is over!! Thank You ❤️

"These journals are a gift. Having that extra guide to help me sort out my thoughts, and really dig deep into where I stand brought me so much clarity. I feel able to move forward now!”

“The monthly Q&A sessions have been so great for me. I feel connected, and a lot less alone in my challenges. Thank you for that opportunity for community."

"I sincerely appreciate diligent and experiential experts like you. I owe you one for my going no contact with the Covert Narcissist both episodically and for good...The untold story is yet to be shared. I'm both assertive and positive.”

We want all members to be safe and to feel secure.

Some agreements about joining the community...

That is why we have chosen to provide a private sanctuary for you. This is a place for people who are struggling in relationship with a Hijackal - a relentlessly difficult, toxic person. 

If the Hijackal is your spouse, your ex, your parent, your boss--or, someone you feel you HAVE to communicate and spend time with, or are not ready to release from your life--then, you are in the right place to get support.

Choosing to become a member also indicates that you have read, and understand, the disclaimer below. 

We reserve the sole right to decline membership to anyone we feel would be unsafe or create an uncomfortable environment. 

To become a member of our Community, you must agree to abide by the following principles. 

Members who choose not to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to this space will have their membership terminated with no notice and no refunds.

  1. Agree to complete confidentiality - what happens in the circle stays in the circle

  2. Agree to a culture of mutual respect, politeness, empathy and support. Members who demonstrate they are unable to have respectful and supportive dialogue will be ejected without discussion nor refunds.

  3. Agree to only disclose what you are comfortable discussing with others. Do not simply blurt out a rant and then decide you shouldn't have said that. Be thoughtful in your sharing.

  4. Agree to use non-violent language. This is a safe place, and many folks may be recovering from highly-traumatic situations and relationships. Be considerate of your fellow members.

  5. Agree to respect the experiences of others. If you think what you want to share could be triggering to someone else, please write in CAPITALS, 'TRIGGER WARNING' or 'TW:' at the top of your post. You are welcome to post whatever is important and concerning for you, and by doing this, others can choose to read it or not.

Common Questions

  • Will I actually get to talk with Dr. Shaler?

    Sadly, this is no longer possible, as Dr. Shaler passed away in April 2024.

  • What if I want to quit?

    If you decide this isn't for you, you can quit anytime. There is no contract. You can keep everything you've received up to that point, and you can always come back again if you wish!

  • What about my privacy?

    Our platform is on a secure network, and not connected to social media. Content is only accessible by members and admins.

    We recommend memorizing a unique password so that nobody else can access your account.

    We do our utmost to monitor the system and keep you safe, however as we know, some people are very good at manipulating the system. If we discover bad actors, they will be immediately removed and banned from the system.

    Do not share personal contact information - location, workplace or other identifiers. You are responsible for keeping your own counsel on what you'll reveal to anyone else here.

  • Can I keep what I write in Workbooks? and who else sees them?

    Yes, you can download individual weekly modules, and entire workbooks at the end of each series. Workbooks are only accessible to you. They are not public nor sharable.

Easy Options to join

A safe place where you are among friends and peers, who have been or are in a relationship with a Hijackal--a toxic person--and know what you’re going through.

*The fine print (as always):

Subscriptions are non-refundable, but you can cancel anytime. Your subscription will remain active until the end of your most recent billing cycle (unless you are terminated for bad behavior).

Subscription & membership in the community is at the sole discretion of Dr. Shaler's team.

Professional Services Disclaimer: The content of this site has been written for the general interest and information of the reader. Nothing said or implied on this site should be taken, or construed in any way, as legal advice, or personal advice of any kind. It is entirely informational, offering readers, subscribers, followers, and members educational resources, anecdotes, case studies, and stories. Every effort has been made to offer citations for all direct quotes, and links to appropriate websites.

Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD makes no representations about the suitability of the content of this site for any purpose. All content is provided “as is” without any warranty of any kind. Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to the content, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD be liable for any special, indirect, exemplary or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever, including but not limited to loss of use, data or profits, without regard to the form of any action, including but not limited to contract, negligence or other tort actions, arising out of or in connection with the use, copying or display of the content.

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Links to Other Sites Some of the sites listed as links herein are not under the control of Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD. Accordingly, Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD makes no representations whatsoever concerning the content of those sites. The fact that Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD has provided a link to a site is not an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship or affiliation by Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD with respect to such site, its owners or its providers. Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD is providing these links only as a convenience to you. Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD may or may not have tested information, software or products found on these sites and therefore cannot make any representations whatsoever with respect thereto. There are risks in using any information, software or products found on the Internet, and Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD cautions you to make sure that you completely understand these risks before retrieving, using, relying upon or purchasing anything via the Internet.

Trademarks “Hijackals” and “Sow Peace” are trademarks of Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD. All other trademarks are either owned by Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, Rhoberta Shaler, or by other companies.

Copyright Notice The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 2016 by Rhoberta Shaler and/or Optimize Life Now LLC & Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, 350 W. 9th Avenue, Suite 101, Escondido, CA 92025.

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This disclaimer is governed by California law and any disputes shall be resolved in San Marcos, CA.

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