Gaslighting Creates A Longing To Be Understood

When I was a child, I had no tools or language to understand the abuse that was happening to me. What I did know was that I was constantly misunderstood. My parents often accused me of doing things I never did and punished me for not doing things that were not mine to be done. … Continue reading Gaslighting Creates A Longing To Be Understood

Fear of Retaliation

Before EMDR therapy, I previously did not consider myself a fearful person. If I felt threatened, I would quickly push those thoughts out of my mind and focus on more practical, productive things. I learned to do this as a very young child who had no other option for coping with a cruel, punishing father, … Continue reading Fear of Retaliation

Trauma Fumigation

Since writing more about the abuse I experienced and its subsequent long-term effects, friends and acquaintances tend to respond in a couple of ways. Some will comment on my "braveness." Speaking up is a life-changing milestone in my healing and recovery. It requires a lot of courage to do so, for a wide range of … Continue reading Trauma Fumigation

Yes, They Meant To Hurt You

One of the best ways to spot a toxic person is to confront them about their behavior when you've been hurt. Toxic people will immediately act more hurt than you. They will almost always overreact and become extremely defensive at the slightest suggestion they did something wrong or malicious. They will feign shock  that you … Continue reading Yes, They Meant To Hurt You

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

What Every American Needs to Know About Narcissistic Abuse Right Now

There is a narcissist in the White House, and we are all in grave danger. From Dr. John Gardner's Duty to Warn to several Ivy League psychiatry professors' recent call to remove him from office, mental health professionals are speaking out. But is it too late? As someone who was raised by abusive, narcissistic parents, … Continue reading What Every American Needs to Know About Narcissistic Abuse Right Now

The Silent Complicit

They see themselves as good people. Conflict makes them uncomfortable. They don't want to get involved. They fear losing friends and family. They wish everyone would just get along. They are the silent complicit, and they are as toxic as the overt abusers they enable. In many ways, they are worse. They claim to be … Continue reading The Silent Complicit

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

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

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