The Three Words Childhood Trauma Survivors Need To Hear

Childhood trauma is a uniquely confusing experience. For many of us, the very people whom we were required to rely on for our survival were also the ones threatening it. It's hard enough to sort out this kind of abuse as an adult, but this disconnect can wreck havoc on a developing brain. Trauma research … Continue reading The Three Words Childhood Trauma Survivors Need To Hear

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The Difference Between Trauma and Anxiety

I've been living with the effects of complex trauma for a long time, but for many years I didn't know what it was. Off and on throughout my life, I've struggled with what I thought was anxiety and depression. Or rather, In addition to being traumatized, I was anxious and depressed. All mental health is … Continue reading The Difference Between Trauma and Anxiety

When You’re Curled Up In A Ball

As I write this, I have an excruciating migraine. It's the kind that would knock out most people, but I get them so frequently, I've learned to push through even when the pain is intense. However, earlier today, I was completely debilitated, curled up in a ball, in too much pain to even whimper. It … Continue reading When You’re Curled Up In A Ball

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

"It Wasn’t That Bad" Is Worst Of All

Even though I had all the classic symptoms and psychological traits of someone who has been abused, it took me a long time to understand and own what happened to me. For many years, I thought that it wasn't that bad. After all, there was no physical evidence, at least not in the way a … Continue reading "It Wasn’t That Bad" Is Worst Of All

How To Gray Rock A Narcissist

As a child of narcissistic parents, one of my proudest life accomplishments is over ten years of no contact with them. But let me qualify that. It also took over ten years of no contact to feel proud. For the bulk of my life, I carried all the guilt and shame about their bad behavior. … Continue reading How To Gray Rock A Narcissist

Abusers Are Weird About Holidays

Holiday season is a difficult time for many abuse survivors, especially if their abusers are family members. Even survivors who have gone No Contact can be quickly overwhelmed by the social pressures of the holidays. They are surrounded by advertisements of happy families in sweaters, beaming at each other while they pass the gravy, and … Continue reading Abusers Are Weird About Holidays

Why Psychological Trauma is More Damaging Than Physical Trauma

You were lied to on the playground.  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Neuroscientists and psychologists have proven in spades that words hurt most of all. But first, let's establish that abuse of any kind is horrible, heinous, and deserving of attention and care. The impact of physical … Continue reading Why Psychological Trauma is More Damaging Than Physical Trauma

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

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