To My Narcissistic Father

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

Teenagers

We are approaching a milestone in my house, where my oldest daughter is entering her teen years. Growing up, I was taught that teenagers were shifty, sneaky, untrustworthy, terrible, liars, cheaters, drunks, and sluts. In other words, my parents projected all their own bad behavior, along with a heaping dose of shame and judgement, onto … Continue reading Teenagers

In Sickness and In Sickness

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

Looking for a Home

I am obsessed with real estate. As a pastime, I scan Zillow for houses in the way that some people pick out wardrobes and party ideas on Pinterest. I know every house on the market in my zip code (and probably yours). I  pick out the prettiest houses in every city, searching hundreds of Victorians, … Continue reading Looking for a Home

Emotional Toddlers

  People who have experienced trauma often get stuck at the emotional age the trauma occurred if they have not dealt with it. It's why people who have been abused become abusers themselves. It's also  why someone who is in denial about their own abuse becomes irrational and defensive. People who have some disproportionate reaction … Continue reading Emotional Toddlers

Hate Couch, Part Two

You guys, I found my hate couch. It's the perfect dusty, moldy tweed. A little muted, and still not quite as hideous as the original inspiration, but it'll do, pig. It'll do. I had been watching it on Craigslist. They wanted forty dollars for the damn thing. Then they marked it down to twenty. I … Continue reading Hate Couch, Part Two

Just One Person

Because I was a good girl, I helped my parents cover their tracks. They were covert. They knew what to do and to say to look like normal people in front of others. I mostly played along with the image they projected out to the public, not because I agreed with it, but because it … Continue reading Just One Person

To My Abusive Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you are estranged from your children. I'm sorry that you drove them away after years of blaming them for your own problems. I'm sorry that you only saw them as a extension of yourself, something to mold into your fragile self-image. You missed out on so much. They … Continue reading To My Abusive Mother on Mother’s Day

Mixed Feelings

One of the most difficult aspects of facing the full impact of child abuse is the conflicting feelings that go along with it. The parent-child connection is hard wired into us, so when the people who literally gave us life become the ones we have to protect ourselves from, it's mentally and emotionally exhausting work. … Continue reading Mixed Feelings

When it Started

I have a strong memory. I always have. I remember going to Disneyland when I was two years old. It was December. We were sitting  in the parking lot, in our RV, eating breakfast and looking toward the park as the sun came up. I was anticipating the rides, and whether they would be scary. … Continue reading When it Started