Ten Tools for Trauma Survivors

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 andContinue reading “Ten Tools for Trauma Survivors”

When Survivors Dare To Believe They Are Worthy of More

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 meansContinue reading “When Survivors Dare To Believe They Are Worthy of More”

Narcs Get It Twisted

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 eitherContinue reading “Narcs Get It Twisted”

Narcissists Are Not Nearly As Interesting As Their Survivors

Narcissistic abuse is a strange phenomenon to experience. Because of the very nature of the abuse, victims get sucked in gradually and often have a hard time putting their finger on what’s going on. Many experience “waking up” to the realization that their parent, boss, or partner is a narcissist. Initially it can feel likeContinue reading “Narcissists Are Not Nearly As Interesting As Their Survivors”

Why You Can’t Be in a Narcissistic Relationship ‘Just A Little Bit’

  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 processContinue reading “Why You Can’t Be in a Narcissistic Relationship ‘Just A Little Bit’”

Emotional Neglect Harms As Much As Overt Abuse

I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional home with a raging, alcoholic, narcissistic father. I still carry a lot of pain over the traumatic memories of his irrational outbursts and propensity to punish me for imagined slights. I struggle with an overbearing sense of responsibility and need to be blameless as a result of hisContinue reading “Emotional Neglect Harms As Much As Overt Abuse”

For Trauma Survivors, ‘Pushing Through’ Isn’t Heroic- It’s Avoidant

I study a lot of stories, and I am well-versed in the power of inspirational stories to uplift and entertain through shared catharsis. We can learn a lot about our own lives through storytelling. However, there is a big reason why some stories that feature characters who rise above their circumstances go down as all-timeContinue reading “For Trauma Survivors, ‘Pushing Through’ Isn’t Heroic- It’s Avoidant”

A Productive Sadness

My husband came home late last night to find me curled up in my favorite furry blanket, staring at the wall. He has found me like this many times before, often on days like this one, where I process a new traumatic memory in therapy. “Can I get you anything?” he asks. “A better childhood,”Continue reading “A Productive Sadness”

Why Trauma Survivors Can’t Just Let It Go

It seems the deeper I journey into the healing and recovery process, the more I find that much of our cultural and conventional wisdom does not help trauma survivors. All the trite platitudes and sayings that might help someone having a garden-variety bad day can actually become giant triggers for someone living with trauma. Let’sContinue reading “Why Trauma Survivors Can’t Just Let It Go”

The Difference Between Trauma and Anxiety

I’ve been living with the effects of complex trauma for a long time, but for many years I didn’t know what it was. Off and on throughout my life, I’ve struggled with what I thought was anxiety and depression. Or rather, In addition to being traumatized, I was anxious and depressed. All mental health isContinue reading “The Difference Between Trauma and Anxiety”