When Your Family is on TV

Don’t laugh, but watching The Brady Bunch as a kid offered one of my first insights that there might be something wrong with my family. You see, in spite of all the Marsha envy and Peter ruining the song with his pubescent voice, they actually seemed to like each other. They talked to each other.Continue reading “When Your Family is on TV”

A Letter to my Younger Self

Dear Younger Self, Trust your instincts. Your frustrations are proof that something is wrong. The knot of anxiety in your stomach is not normal. You should not have to dread going home. You should not have to live a life surrounded by their walls of negativity. You should not have to worry what kind ofContinue reading “A Letter to my Younger Self”

The Broken Projector

One of the most frustrating aspects of overcoming abuse is freeing oneself from the projections of an abuser. Abusive people by nature do not take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors, and victims of abuse often have an overdeveloped sense of misplaced guilt and shame. Abusers blame everyone but themselves for being out ofContinue reading “The Broken Projector”

Five Things Trauma Survivors Need in Order to Heal

I spent many years absorbing the blame for my abusive family, and exhausted every possible avenue of attempting to “get along” with them. When I finally went no contact, it took another ten years to feel safe enough to fully embrace my past and grieve. Even though I thought I had done quite a bitContinue reading “Five Things Trauma Survivors Need in Order to Heal”

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 theyContinue reading “The Power of Resilience”

Protecting My Abusers

Victims do it. Abusers do it. Regular people do it without even realizing it. All too often in abusive situations, all the attention goes to protecting the abuser and blaming the victim. For most of my life, I absorbed the responsibility for my abuse. I did it because at a young, formative age, I wasContinue reading “Protecting My Abusers”

"But You’re So Normal!"

When the subject of my abusive past comes up, the surprised response I most often hear from others who have known me for a while is, “But you’re so normal!” There are a lot of different ways of coping with abuse. For me, I thought I could perform and please my way out of it.Continue reading “"But You’re So Normal!"”

Detox

Denial about the abuse I experienced had a grip on me for a long time. Even ten years after no contact, I still questioned whether the hell I lived through was my fault. I felt a lot of guilt about going no contact, but knew that I had to, for the sake of my ownContinue reading “Detox”

To My Narcissistic Father

Dear Dad, The young child that you molested and terrorized is no longer afraid of you. She resides within me now, safe from all your treachery. Today, I am a strong and capable woman and you are a sick old man. We both know that you knew exactly what you were doing when you abusedContinue reading “To My Narcissistic Father”

Minimization

“It wasn’t that bad.” “What happened to me is nothing compared to what you’re going through.” “Well, at least… {insert positive thought here}” “Others have had it so much worse.” “It was a long time ago.” “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now.” Our brains and bodies are experts at self-protection, and minimizationContinue reading “Minimization”