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”

Overwhelm

As a trauma survivor, some days are more manageable than others. I am learning the long, slow process of better recognizing ways to prevent overwhelm and ways to better care for myself when I am overwhelmed. Even so, sometimes it comes on so fast, I can’t deescalate. For me, feelings of stress and anxiety canContinue reading “Overwhelm”

Point of View Ping-Pong

I have always been a perceptive person, able to see any situation from the point of view of others. Growing up, I never understood how I could see my parent’s point of view, but they could never see mine. And the (not so) funny thing is, their point of view was always skewed in theirContinue reading “Point of View Ping-Pong”

Validation

Recently, Arc of Hope, an (excellent) child abuse recovery and support network on Twitter added me to a list titled “Abused Kids/ Child Abuse Victim Army.” Seeing myself associated with being a victim of child abuse sent a shock through my body. It might sound weird, but it felt like a new revelation. Now, oneContinue reading “Validation”

Hoovering Sucks

I went no contact with my abusive parents many years ago, but my mother, a covert narcissist, still continues to hoover me in. Hoovering is a strategy characteristic of Cluster B disordered people wherein, like a vacuum cleaner, they try to suck people back in to their manufactured drama. It is yet another form ofContinue reading “Hoovering Sucks”

Actually, It Was That Bad

Recently, I wrote about the ways “It’s not that bad” has kept me from owning and validating the true cost of my traumatic past. There have been times I have envied those with physical trauma because they received all the validation and support that was denied me as a survivor of psychological trauma. There areContinue reading “Actually, It Was That Bad”

"It Wasn’t That Bad" Is Worst Of All

Even though I had all the classic symptoms and psychological traits of someone who has been abused, it took me a long time to understand and own what happened to me. For many years, I thought that it wasn’t that bad. After all, there was no physical evidence, at least not in the way aContinue reading “"It Wasn’t That Bad" Is Worst Of All”

Like Nails on a Chalkboard

I am a highly sensitive person, and I often find myself in the position of understanding people better than they understand themselves. I often physically feel what others are feeling, and I can sense whether their thoughts are clear or whether there is a jumble of static in their brain. People who are not empathsContinue reading “Like Nails on a Chalkboard”