Trauma Fumigation

Since writing more about the abuse I experienced and its subsequent long-term effects, friends and acquaintances tend to respond in a couple of ways. Some will comment on my "braveness." Speaking up is a life-changing milestone in my healing and recovery. It requires a lot of courage to do so, for a wide range of … Continue reading Trauma Fumigation

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's … Continue 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 is … Continue 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 can … Continue reading Overwhelm

Integration

Writing about the nature of abuse along with my own personal experience of it has been an extremely helpful tool for me to better integrate who I am. For a long time, I distracted myself from going there, knowing full well that when I did, it would be intense. Eventually, that strategy failed and I … Continue reading Integration

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 their … Continue reading Point of View Ping-Pong

When It’s Not Enough, It’s Enough

Many survivors, myself included, struggle more than usual this time of year. Perhaps it's the darkness. Perhaps it's the expectations. Perhaps it's the collective anxiety of the season. For me, it's all of these and more. I can prepare, plan, and manage all the tricks I know to deal with my stuff, but complex trauma … Continue reading When It’s Not Enough, It’s Enough

When You’re Curled Up In A Ball

As I write this, I have an excruciating migraine. It's the kind that would knock out most people, but I get them so frequently, I've learned to push through even when the pain is intense. However, earlier today, I was completely debilitated, curled up in a ball, in too much pain to even whimper. It … Continue reading When You’re Curled Up In A Ball

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, one … Continue 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 of … Continue reading Hoovering Sucks