No, They Weren’t Doing Their Best

One of the most overused platitudes I hear in response to toxic parents is that they must have meant well, or they were only doing the best they could. This is a terrible thing to say to a survivor of child abuse. It's false and damaging to the victim, because it implies a false projection … Continue reading No, They Weren’t Doing Their Best

When Your Family is on TV

Don't laugh, but watching The Brady Bunch as a kid offered one of my first insights that there might be something wrong with my family. You see, in spite of all the Marsha envy and Peter ruining the song with his pubescent voice, they actually seemed to like each other. They talked to each other. … Continue reading When Your Family is on TV

A Letter to my Younger Self

Dear Younger Self, Trust your instincts. Your frustrations are proof that something is wrong. The knot of anxiety in your stomach is not normal. You should not have to dread going home. You should not have to live a life surrounded by their walls of negativity. You should not have to worry what kind of … Continue reading A Letter to my Younger Self

The Broken Projector

One of the most frustrating aspects of overcoming abuse is freeing oneself from the projections of an abuser. Abusive people by nature do not take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors, and victims of abuse often have an overdeveloped sense of misplaced guilt and shame. Abusers blame everyone but themselves for being out of … Continue reading The Broken Projector

Five Things Trauma Survivors Need in Order to Heal

I spent many years absorbing the blame for my abusive family, and exhausted every possible avenue of attempting to "get along" with them. When I finally went no contact, it took another ten years to feel safe enough to fully embrace my past and grieve. Even though I thought I had done quite a bit … Continue reading Five Things Trauma Survivors Need in Order to Heal

The Power of Resilience

Psst. I have a superpower. And maybe you do, too. There are many long term, far-reaching, negative effects that children of toxic parents endure, from physical health problems to emotional and social issues. Children of emotionally abusive parents often have the hardest recovery because it is so difficult to de-program all the negative feedback they … Continue reading The Power of Resilience

Absolutes and Gray Areas

I am naturally inclined to look at a topic from every angle in order to find the truth in it. Empathy and understanding have always been strengths, most likely developed out of a need to survive my toxic, abusive, narcissistic parents. I've always wondered why some people have such a hard time seeing other points … Continue reading Absolutes and Gray Areas

Protecting My Abusers

Victims do it. Abusers do it. Regular people do it without even realizing it. All too often in abusive situations, all the attention goes to protecting the abuser and blaming the victim. For most of my life, I absorbed the responsibility for my abuse. I did it because at a young, formative age, I was … Continue reading Protecting My Abusers

"But You’re So Normal!"

When the subject of my abusive past comes up, the surprised response I most often hear from others who have known me for a while is, "But you're so normal!" There are a lot of different ways of coping with abuse. For me, I thought I could perform and please my way out of it. … Continue reading "But You’re So Normal!"

Detox

Denial about the abuse I experienced had a grip on me for a long time. Even ten years after no contact, I still questioned whether the hell I lived through was my fault. I felt a lot of guilt about going no contact, but knew that I had to, for the sake of my own … Continue reading Detox