How Much Is Too Much Abuse?

  I’ve known for a long time that I grew up in a dysfunctional home, but it was only recently that I decided to fully accept that I was abused. Accepting it meant that I was willing to take that knowledge out of the dusty back corners of my mind where I had been storingContinue reading “How Much Is Too Much Abuse?”

Too Smart to Get Caught

When I was growing up, I was taught that abuse was something that happened to disadvantaged people. Uneducated people. Trashy people. People who, because of their social status, “didn’t know any better.” If a woman was hit by her husband, it was too bad that she was too dumb to be with him to beginContinue reading “Too Smart to Get Caught”

The Story of What Happened

I run into people looking for a sound bite length version of what happened to me. Here it is. I was abused. That’s it. For some, that’s not enough information. They want to know the juicy details. They want me to tell them a story. They are looking for some shocking piece of information thatContinue reading “The Story of What Happened”

A Proud Victim

It’s time to reclaim the word “victim.” It’s time to reclaim it because we are told it’s something we shouldn’t be. Victims make people nervous, as if we had leprosy or see-through leggings. People don’t like victims, and they are quick to point that out to anyone who suggests they might be one. Victims areContinue reading “A Proud Victim”

The Empath – Narcissist Connection

I feel the feelings of those around me. I always have. If someone scrapes their knee, a tingle will shoot up my leg. I get headaches around anxious people. I get knots in my stomach around angry people. I completely short circuit around liars. I know what people are feeling, whether they are in theContinue reading “The Empath – Narcissist Connection”

Missing Attachment

I am the mother of three young children, and it inevitably comes up in small talk on playgrounds and Sunday school, or wherever moms congregate. “Do your folks live nearby to help out with the kids?” I usually deflect with a comment about my in-laws, who live out of state. I throw in a reassuringContinue reading “Missing Attachment”

The Burden of Achievement

My go-to method of coping with abuse is to achieve. School, and eventually work, were my escape. They were the places I got positive reinforcement for doing a good job, and I was always eager to please. At home, if I did a good job, it would either go unnoticed or there would suddenly beContinue reading “The Burden of Achievement”

The Confusion of Denial

I am a (sometimes overly) considerate and empathetic person, and my natural desire to honor the dignity of others sometimes gets in the way of admitting what happened. I was conditioned to protect my abusers and not myself. I put far too much care into what would happen to their “feelings” if I told theContinue reading “The Confusion of Denial”

When Your Mom Is Not a Good Mom

They are everywhere on social media, those sentimental memes about mothers. But because I was  abused, to me they read like my worst nightmare: My mother actually does stalk me. I cut off contact with my mother over ten years ago because I did not feel safe, and because I decided it was more importantContinue reading “When Your Mom Is Not a Good Mom”

I Have Something To Say

It’s time for me to come out. I wish there were rainbow flags and parades for things like this, because maybe it would make it more fun. When my friends who are gay come out, they get to say, literally, “I’m happy.” But the news I have to share is not happy. In fact, itContinue reading “I Have Something To Say”