To My Abusive Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you are estranged from your children. I'm sorry that you drove them away after years of blaming them for your own problems. I'm sorry that you only saw them as a extension of yourself, something to mold into your fragile self-image. You missed out on so much. They … Continue reading To My Abusive Mother on Mother’s Day

Letting Go of Toxic People

  Because I had been raised by abusers, I used to think that I could handle difficult people. I see the traps long before most people do, and I thought seeing them meant I could manage to avoid them. But I learned in the hardest way possible that I am not immune to abusive people … Continue reading Letting Go of Toxic People

Mixed Feelings

One of the most difficult aspects of facing the full impact of child abuse is the conflicting feelings that go along with it. The parent-child connection is hard wired into us, so when the people who literally gave us life become the ones we have to protect ourselves from, it's mentally and emotionally exhausting work. … Continue reading Mixed Feelings

Non-Supporters

Since making my abuse known to the public, I have received a wide range of responses, from dead silence from close friends to private and public encouragement from acquaintances and unknown fellow survivors. I expected the range, and I was curious to see who would choose to step up and who would choose to slink … Continue reading Non-Supporters

When is it Abuse?

We have all, at times, completely lost our mellow in the face of conflict. We've all said things we shouldn't have said, or done things we shouldn't have done. We've all hurt the ones we love. It's human. So what's the difference between that and abuse? There are a lot of ways to classify abuse. … Continue reading When is it Abuse?

Labels

"I'm not sick, you're sick!" This is what a family member barked at me, eyes glowing with contempt, when I confronted him about his behavior. After a psychotic episode in his twenties, he had been diagnosed Bipolar with Delusions of Grandeur, but rejected the diagnosis. His outward behavior ranged from catatonic to aggressive, and always … Continue reading Labels

It Runs in the Family

When my grandmother died, I found some papers from the 1940s from a psychiatric institution, along with a few letters. I asked my uncle about it. He told me that my grandmother's sister had been hospitalized, and then died from a lobotomy. My grandmother felt guilty. She was the one who authorized the procedure, so … Continue reading It Runs in the Family

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 begin … Continue reading Too Smart to Get Caught

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 the … Continue reading The Empath – Narcissist Connection

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 important … Continue reading When Your Mom Is Not a Good Mom