What ‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’ Really Means, And How To Avoid It

Many years ago, when I was still in contact with my abusive family and seeking help from several mental health professionals, one psychologist in particular lit up with recognition when I described the situation. A family member had been previously diagnosed by another psychologist with “delusions of grandeur,” and even though the other family memberContinue reading “What ‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’ Really Means, And How To Avoid It”

Trauma Isn’t Lazy

Trauma survivors seem to worry more than most that they are being ‘lazy’ when they aren’t 100% productive. Let’s expose that lie, shall we? The traumatized brain is anything but lazy. In fact, it is over-worked, over-stimulated, over-active, and over-stressed. Trauma survivors have an enlarged amygdala, which triggers the fight-or-flight response. In a survivor, thisContinue reading “Trauma Isn’t Lazy”

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”

Love Bombing And Other WMDs

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”

Who Am I, and What Do I Want?

Healing from narcissistic and emotional abuse is a lifelong unraveling. One has to scrape through many layers of gunk made up from the minimization of abuse and misplaced, mis-formed thoughts about one’s self and the world they live in. In many ways, I consider myself extremely fortunate and privileged to have escaped my abusers andContinue reading “Who Am I, and What Do I Want?”

The Difference Between a ‘Normal’ Parent and a Narcissistic Parent

Those who have survived abusive childhoods at some time or another have run into someone (or many people) making banal excuses to explain away their experience. “Parents aren’t perfect.” “They were doing their best.” “Just wait until you’re a mom or dad.” While it’s true that no one is perfect and most people don’t intendContinue reading “The Difference Between a ‘Normal’ Parent and a Narcissistic Parent”

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”

When Fireworks Set You Off

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”

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”

When The Creepiest Stalkers Are The People Who Raised You

  When I was thirteen, my father burst into my room while I was doing my homework, and demanded that I follow him outside. He lead me in the dark to the steep, empty hillside behind our house to point out that “some guy” could see right into my bedroom window. He then berated meContinue reading “When The Creepiest Stalkers Are The People Who Raised You”