No, There Are Not Two Sides

I was in a meeting where a mediator was trying her best to stay impartial to a situation where a large volume of well-documented verbal and emotional abuse had occurred. She was a trained professional, but professionally speaking, she didn't want to be in a position to take sides on the issue. She offered the … Continue reading No, There Are Not Two Sides

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Word Salad

  Once you see the signs of abuse, it's almost impossible to unsee them. I was recently party to a conversation between an abuser and someone confronting her intentionally vindictive behavior. The abuser simultaneously denied any wrongdoing, while also claiming she "forgot," because, you know, she's so busy and important, and also threw in a … Continue reading Word Salad

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"I'm not sick, you're sick!" This is what a family member barked at me, eyes glowing with contempt, when I confronted him about his behavior. After a psychotic episode in his twenties, he had been diagnosed Bipolar with Delusions of Grandeur, but rejected the diagnosis. His outward behavior ranged from catatonic to aggressive, and always … Continue reading Labels

Missing Attachment

I am the mother of three young children, and it inevitably comes up in small talk on playgrounds and Sunday school, or wherever moms congregate. "Do your folks live nearby to help out with the kids?" I usually deflect with a comment about my in-laws, who live out of state. I throw in a reassuring … Continue reading Missing Attachment

The Burden of Achievement

My go-to method of coping with abuse is to achieve. School, and eventually work, were my escape. They were the places I got positive reinforcement for doing a good job, and I was always eager to please. At home, if I did a good job, it would either go unnoticed or there would suddenly be … Continue reading The Burden of Achievement

When Your Mom Is Not a Good Mom

They are everywhere on social media, those sentimental memes about mothers. But because I was  abused, to me they read like my worst nightmare: My mother actually does stalk me. I cut off contact with my mother over ten years ago because I did not feel safe, and because I decided it was more important … Continue reading When Your Mom Is Not a Good Mom