Before Forgiveness

One of the most common non-helpful responses to someone suffering from the fallout of abuse is to push the victim toward forgiveness too soon. Usually it's coupled with some form of shame that the victim "should" feel something other than whatever she is feeling. Sometimes, it's coupled with well-meaning platitudes- "It's the Christian thing to … Continue reading Before Forgiveness

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

Boundaries

Wouldn't it be nice if we all lived in harmony? Wouldn't it be great if everyone respected one another as human beings? Wouldn't it be wonderful if every interaction with others stirred up feelings of warmth and connectedness instead of fear and dread? But alas, some people suck. I used to think it was my … Continue reading Boundaries

The Mysterious "They"

My mother was obsessed with them, but I never figured out who they were. For a while, I thought maybe they were the neighbors, but that didn't make sense. Other than waving hello as we passed by, we weren't really friends with our neighbors. We didn't know each other any more than what was said … Continue reading The Mysterious "They"

Real Family

  All my life, I've felt like an orphan. My parents and brother are technically still alive, but have never been real family to me. After enduring years of emotional, psychological, sexual, and spiritual abuse, I made a decision in my early 30's to go no contact with them. In order to do so, I … Continue reading Real Family

Common Forms of Spiritual Abuse

  I have a unique and diverse perspective on spirituality, religion, and faith due to my own eclectic spiritual background. For the record, I consider myself a devout Christian of the Roman Catholic tradition. I have been a "born again" Christian and experienced the worlds of protestant non-denominational churches, church plants, evangelical churches, and charismatic … Continue reading Common Forms of Spiritual Abuse

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

When It’s Time to Get Some Help

Complex trauma is like an impressionistic painting. Up close, it's a bunch of tiny brush strokes, a jumble of dots and colors. It doesn't look like anything, just stuff, seemingly unrelated. It's not until a person takes several steps back to look again that the whole picture emerges. At least, that's how it was for … Continue reading When It’s Time to Get Some Help

When You Can’t Be The Parent You Want To Be

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had panic attacks. I was terrified of having children, for good reason. I was afraid that I would succumb to the cycle of abuse that I grew up in. As much as I had already made many choices that were vastly different from my parents, I … Continue reading When You Can’t Be The Parent You Want To Be

The Best Thing You Can Do to Help a Trauma Survivor Heal

  I went no contact with my abusers many years ago, and in the years following, I spent much of the time putting the whole ordeal behind me. I escaped, and I went on to live a fairly successful and happy life. Or so I thought. A couple years ago, I hit the wall with … Continue reading The Best Thing You Can Do to Help a Trauma Survivor Heal