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

I Have Much More To Say

One year ago today, I created my very first post, I Have Something To Say.¬†This was a huge milestone in my recovery for a few reasons. Because of the type of abuse I experienced, I had a huge mental and physical block about speaking up publicly. The knots in my stomach, lumps in my throat … Continue reading I Have Much More To Say

A Productive Sadness

My husband came home late last night to find me curled up in my favorite furry blanket, staring at the wall. He has found me like this many times before, often on days like this one, where I process a new traumatic memory in therapy. "Can I get you anything?" he asks. "A better childhood," … Continue reading A Productive Sadness

Integration

Writing about the nature of abuse along with my own personal experience of it has been an extremely helpful tool for me to better integrate who I am. For a long time, I distracted myself from going there, knowing full well that when I did, it would be intense. Eventually, that strategy failed and I … Continue reading Integration

Someday, I’ll Have to Deal With That

I consider myself to be fairly self-aware and introspective. I've always been willing to look at my life and my life choices from every angle and make adjustments when necessary. And yet, there was this one area of my life that I felt, instinctively, was too big, too dark, too scary for me to face … Continue reading Someday, I’ll Have to Deal With That

When Hope Looks Like Grief

Lately, whenever good and meaningful things happen, I burst into tears. They aren't happy tears, they are the tears of grief. And yet, this grief is mixed with gratitude. It's the simultaneous recognition of two profound truths: my past was indeed horrific and that I have already survived my past. For too many years, I … Continue reading When Hope Looks Like Grief

What I Deserve

I have survived quite a bit, and on most days, my resilience and adaptability are strengths, not weaknesses. But there was something about my resilience that made me feel like a fraud. Even though I did survive terrible things, and even though I did turn as much of my life as possible into something positive … Continue reading What I Deserve

Moving On

"Well, admitting that I was abused emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and spiritually was healthy and important for a season, but I want to be done now. I'd like to go back to being myself again. You know, disconnected and ignorant of the real impact all this had on me. I'd like to move on now, as … Continue reading Moving On

How Bad Was It?

It seems like a simple thing to figure out, but it's not. in order to cope, I spent many, many years believing my abusers' lies. It wasn't that bad. Other people had it worse. There was something wrong and shameful about me, especially if I had a problem with what happened. Even though I acknowledged … Continue reading How Bad Was It?