Ten Tools for Trauma Survivors

A couple years ago, I hit a serious wall.  I was emotionally and physically exhausted, but didn't understand why. Sure, I was a mom, wife, graduate student, and ran a business, but this exhaustion went much deeper than my chronic state of busyness and hypervigilance. Sure, I knew I had a rough childhood and had … Continue reading Ten Tools for Trauma Survivors

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Love Bombing And Other WMDs

Abuse survivors are usually wary of new relationships for extremely good reasons that are not their fault. Almost always, the cycle of abuse starts out as something that appears wonderful. The new guy or gal is interested in them. Not only interested, but infatuated. They too-quickly claim they are "the one." They study their target, … Continue reading Love Bombing And Other WMDs

The Difference Between a ‘Normal’ Parent and a Narcissistic Parent

Those who have survived abusive childhoods at some time or another have run into someone (or many people) making banal excuses to explain away their experience. "Parents aren't perfect." "They were doing their best." "Just wait until you're a mom or dad." While it's true that no one is perfect and most people don't intend … Continue reading The Difference Between a ‘Normal’ Parent and a Narcissistic Parent

Gaslighting Creates A Longing To Be Understood

When I was a child, I had no tools or language to understand the abuse that was happening to me. What I did know was that I was constantly misunderstood. My parents often accused me of doing things I never did and punished me for not doing things that were not mine to be done. … Continue reading Gaslighting Creates A Longing To Be Understood

When The Creepiest Stalkers Are The People Who Raised You

  When I was thirteen, my father burst into my room while I was doing my homework, and demanded that I follow him outside. He lead me in the dark to the steep, empty hillside behind our house to point out that "some guy" could see right into my bedroom window. He then berated me … Continue reading When The Creepiest Stalkers Are The People Who Raised You

Narcs Get It Twisted

Conversations with narcissists often start out like this. You make a statement about something that matters to you. It doesn't matter what it is exactly, but the fact that it holds some meaning or significance to you is what the narc hones in on. The narc then demeans the thing you care about, through either … Continue reading Narcs Get It Twisted

Tearing People Down is not ‘Real World’ Training

I mentor a group of young adults, and was recently handling a situation where another mentor systematically tore down much of the esteem I had spent several weeks helping them build up. Her reasoning for doing this was to "toughen them up" and get them ready for "the real world." When asked her why she … Continue reading Tearing People Down is not ‘Real World’ Training

Why You Can’t Be in a Narcissistic Relationship ‘Just A Little Bit’

  Ending a relationship of any kind can be tough, but when someone tries to disentangle themselves from a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath, the experience is a special kind of hell. From the beginning, partners are groomed to cater to the needs of the narc while denying all of their own. It's an insidious process … Continue reading Why You Can’t Be in a Narcissistic Relationship ‘Just A Little Bit’

Why I Never Keep Secrets

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

Emotional Neglect Harms As Much As Overt Abuse

I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional home with a raging, alcoholic, narcissistic father. I still carry a lot of pain over the traumatic memories of his irrational outbursts and propensity to punish me for imagined slights. I struggle with an overbearing sense of responsibility and need to be blameless as a result of his … Continue reading Emotional Neglect Harms As Much As Overt Abuse