My mother had a knack for triangulating people through toxic secrets. She learned the behavior from her mother. She would start out by dropping some heavy piece of information that as a child I had no business knowing, and then say, "Don't tell your (dad, brother, teacher, grandma, etc.) because I don't wan't to upset … Continue reading Why I Never Keep Secrets
As someone who experiences complex trauma from child abuse, it's frustrating when a friend, family member, or say, an entire political party, continues to stay with an abuser even when they know he's toxic. But I understand it. Trauma bonding, also known as Stockholm Syndrome, happens when the negative experience of abuse becomes so great, … Continue reading Trauma Bonding
There are a number of resources and articles for survivors of narcissistic abuse, and taken in all together, are extremely helpful in better understanding the abuser and our own role in the abuse. There is a certain type of person narcissists, psychopaths, and Cluster B abusers tend to seek out. Terms like "codependent" and "empath" … Continue reading Codependent or Empath?
From a very young age, I learned how to take care of myself, physically and emotionally. I had to, because no one else was going to do it. I have early infant-toddler memories of being raged at if I cried for any reason, but the reason usually being that I was left alone for hours, … Continue reading Lifting the Burden
Wouldn't it be nice if we all lived in harmony? Wouldn't it be great if everyone respected one another as human beings? Wouldn't it be wonderful if every interaction with others stirred up feelings of warmth and connectedness instead of fear and dread? But alas, some people suck. I used to think it was my … Continue reading Boundaries
My mother was obsessed with them, but I never figured out who they were. For a while, I thought maybe they were the neighbors, but that didn't make sense. Other than waving hello as we passed by, we weren't really friends with our neighbors. We didn't know each other any more than what was said … Continue reading The Mysterious "They"
They see themselves as good people. Conflict makes them uncomfortable. They don't want to get involved. They fear losing friends and family. They wish everyone would just get along. They are the silent complicit, and they are as toxic as the overt abusers they enable. In many ways, they are worse. They claim to be … Continue reading The Silent Complicit
Dear Dad, The young child that you molested and terrorized is no longer afraid of you. She resides within me now, safe from all your treachery. Today, I am a strong and capable woman and you are a sick old man. We both know that you knew exactly what you were doing when you abused … Continue reading To My Narcissistic Father
I work in a career field that does not offer a steady paycheck or job security of any kind. Like many artists, I most of what I do in order to make a living is generated from self-motivation and hustle. Often, the hours of work I put in are not compensated, but rather considered a … Continue reading Knowing My Worth
After years of dysfunction and abuse, my alcoholic, narcissistic father and my enabling, codependent mother divorced. I was in college at the time. My mother hid behind "staying together for the children," even though we didn't want her to. I suppose she couldn't use that excuse any more when we weren't there. When she left … Continue reading In Sickness and In Sickness