Dear Human Resources Department, Your work culture is toxic. How do I know? Almost inevitably, your advertised job opening goes something like this: "Fast-paced company seeks flexible, self-starting multitasker with strong attention to detail who thrives in a chaotic environment." Let me stop you right there, HR person, because what you advertise is not a … Continue reading Hey, HR: If You Want a Productive Workplace, Maybe Stop Advertising for Psychopaths?
A couple years ago, I hit a serious wall. I was emotionally and physically exhausted, but didn't understand why. Sure, I was a mom, wife, graduate student, and ran a business, but this exhaustion went much deeper than my chronic state of busyness, hyper-vigilance, and hyper-focus. Sure, I knew I had a rough childhood and … Continue reading Ten Tools for Trauma Survivors
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
Healing can be a long process, especially from complex trauma. There is an entire lifetime of coping mechanisms that survivors must unravel before they can decide what to keep and what to toss out. The process of becoming who you really are is tough for anyone, but for those who survived childhood abuse, it means … Continue reading When Survivors Dare To Believe They Are Worthy of More
I am one of many who struggle with the loud pops and bangs of the Fourth of July. I am not a veteran, but I have been through a domestic war. The other day my kid was excited to have a new friend over. They were happily playing a hide-and-seek-type game when the child suddenly, … Continue reading When Fireworks Set You Off
Conversations with narcissists often start out like this. You make a statement about something that matters to you. It doesn't matter what it is exactly, but the fact that it holds some meaning or significance to you is what the narc hones in on. The narc then demeans the thing you care about, through either … Continue reading Narcs Get It Twisted
I mentor a group of young adults, and was recently handling a situation where another mentor systematically tore down much of the esteem I had spent several weeks helping them build up. Her reasoning for doing this was to "toughen them up" and get them ready for "the real world." When asked her why she … Continue reading Tearing People Down is not ‘Real World’ Training
Ending a relationship of any kind can be tough, but when someone tries to disentangle themselves from a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath, the experience is a special kind of hell. From the beginning, partners are groomed to cater to the needs of the narc while denying all of their own. It's an insidious process … Continue reading Why You Can’t Be in a Narcissistic Relationship ‘Just A Little Bit’
My mother had a knack for triangulating people through toxic secrets. She learned the behavior from her mother. She would start out by dropping some heavy piece of information that as a child I had no business knowing, and then say, "Don't tell your (dad, brother, teacher, grandma, etc.) because I don't wan't to upset … Continue reading Why I Never Keep Secrets
Whether you run in evangelical circles or not, chances are you've encountered someone who has started a sentence with, "God told me to..." and finished it with something inspirational, aspirational, or irrational. Depending on the denomination, it might get thrown around as a common catch phrase, or it might be reserved for more serious, "big" … Continue reading Why Spiritual Abusers Love To Say "God Told Me To"