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 they … Continue 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 was … Continue 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 own … Continue reading Detox

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 minimization … Continue reading Minimization

What Evil Looks Like

I've always had a sense of the supernatural around me. Long before I studied what that means from a Christian perspective and gained all the Christian vocabulary, I saw the forces of light and dark at work in the world, and in my own life. I've always had a sensitivity to these forces around me. … Continue reading What Evil Looks Like

No, There Are Not Two Sides

I was in a meeting where a mediator was trying her best to stay impartial to a situation where a large volume of well-documented verbal and emotional abuse had occurred. She was a trained professional, but professionally speaking, she didn't want to be in a position to take sides on the issue. She offered the … Continue reading No, There Are Not Two Sides

Word Salad

  Once you see the signs of abuse, it's almost impossible to unsee them. I was recently party to a conversation between an abuser and someone confronting her intentionally vindictive behavior. The abuser simultaneously denied any wrongdoing, while also claiming she "forgot," because, you know, she's so busy and important, and also threw in a … Continue reading Word Salad

When Positive Thinking is Not Enough

There is a self help book by Louise Hay, written in the 1980's, called You Can Heal Your Life. It's about the emotional connections to disease in our bodies. According to Hay, our negative thoughts literally lead to our pain and suffering. Back pain is rooted in not feeling supported and carrying the burdens of … Continue reading When Positive Thinking is Not Enough

Permission

  For people who have lived under the thumb of an abusive or overbearing person, it is difficult to feel free to be who you are. I am in a long, slow process to lay down the burden of expectations that others have put on me, or that I put on myself as a result … Continue reading Permission