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


"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’s a (not so) Wonderful Life

I love inspiring movies, I really do. Give me a (deserved) happy ending any day. I believe in the power of storytelling to transform hearts and minds, and point people toward what's good, beautiful, and true. But a satisfying ending in a story is what Aristotle would call "better than the real." Stories can offer … Continue reading It’s a (not so) Wonderful Life

Breaking the Cycle

"Just wait 'til you have kids. You'll see!" Wink wink, nod nod. Ah yes, the adage that you'll truly know the struggles your parents went through with you when you have children of your own. We've all heard it, haven't we? In a way, the realization that we were once snotty and irrational, and now … Continue reading Breaking the Cycle

I’m fine. Really.

Since going public about the abuse, I've felt the urge to go back and explain myself to friends and (moreso to) acquaintances that, really, I'm fine. The fact that I am in a place where I am making this information known is a huge step toward releasing it and moving on. I don't want to … Continue reading I’m fine. Really.

Trusting Again

I married the kind of person who talks to strangers. Willingly. If someone I don't know tries to approach me, a million thoughts race through my head in the split second when I am trying to decide¬† whether that person is going to rape me, kill me, or ask where the bathroom is.¬† My husband … Continue reading Trusting Again

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

Loving Yourself as much as Your Neighbor

It's known as the second part of the greatest commandment. "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's a solid way to live, right? For most people, it's a good reminder to think of others and treat them well. But for survivors of narcissistic and emotional abuse, it needs some clarification. Growing up in a toxic home, … Continue reading Loving Yourself as much as Your Neighbor

How Much Is Too Much Abuse?

  I've known for a long time that I grew up in a dysfunctional home, but it was only recently that I decided to fully accept that I was abused. Accepting it meant that I was willing to take that knowledge out of the dusty back corners of my mind where I had been storing … Continue reading How Much Is Too Much Abuse?

The Story of What Happened

I run into people looking for a sound bite length version of what happened to me. Here it is. I was abused. That's it. For some, that's not enough information. They want to know the juicy details. They want me to tell them a story. They are looking for some shocking piece of information that … Continue reading The Story of What Happened