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

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Who Am I, and What Do I Want?

Healing from narcissistic and emotional abuse is a lifelong unraveling. One has to scrape through many layers of gunk made up from the minimization of abuse and misplaced, mis-formed thoughts about one's self and the world they live in. In many ways, I consider myself extremely fortunate and privileged to have escaped my abusers and … Continue reading Who Am I, and What Do I Want?

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

Emergencies are Easy- Healing is Hard

A couple weeks ago, my daughter had a medical emergency. I was four hours away. My husband and I had just hiked in to a remote location, eager to spend a few days in silence and contemplation. It was also much-needed chance to re-connect with each other. The last few weeks had been especially busy, … Continue reading Emergencies are Easy- Healing is Hard

For Trauma Survivors, ‘Pushing Through’ Isn’t Heroic- It’s Avoidant

I study a lot of stories, and I am well-versed in the power of inspirational stories to uplift and entertain through shared catharsis. We can learn a lot about our own lives through storytelling. However, there is a big reason why some stories that feature characters who rise above their circumstances go down as all-time … Continue reading For Trauma Survivors, ‘Pushing Through’ Isn’t Heroic- It’s Avoidant

Why Trauma Survivors Can’t Just Let It Go

It seems the deeper I journey into the healing and recovery process, the more I find that much of our cultural and conventional wisdom does not help trauma survivors. All the trite platitudes and sayings that might help someone having a garden-variety bad day can actually become giant triggers for someone living with trauma. Let's … Continue reading Why Trauma Survivors Can’t Just Let It Go

Actually, It Was That Bad

Recently, I wrote about the ways "It's not that bad" has kept me from owning and validating the true cost of my traumatic past. There have been times I have envied those with physical trauma because they received all the validation and support that was denied me as a survivor of psychological trauma. There are … Continue reading Actually, It Was That Bad

Bracing for the Second Wound

I imagine most of my posts this week will be about processing the almost-crash we experienced, here. I've been doing my best to manage things as they come up, and I am realizing just how much extra time and space I need to allow myself right now. The tension, exhaustion, and nightmares are back. I … Continue reading Bracing for the Second Wound

A Trauma Milestone

I just spent the last few days on retreat, where my family later joined me. It was some much needed self-care away from the trappings of life. Over the last several months, I've grown more aware of how necessary self-care is for someone like me facing the realities of complex trauma head on. Speaking of … Continue reading A Trauma Milestone

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