Bullying

Recovering from Abuse: Collecting Pebbles

One of the most common things I hear from survivors of psychological abuse is their confusion about why they didn’t notice the red flags sooner in the relationship.

It doesn’t matter if the toxic person is a parent, co-worker, friend or love interest, almost all survivors seriously doubt themselves for not seeing the toxicity earlier. Once a survivor’s eyes are opened to the abuse they have endured, they wonder why they didn’t set better boundaries before they found themselves in a world of hurt from the psychological games.

Survivors of this type of abuse have their lives completely rocked and thrown into chaos. The common question is “How did I let this happen to me?”
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Bullying

Why Trump’s Election May Be Especially Difficult for Many Raised in Dysfunctional Families

I have heard from many who grew up with dysfunction, abuse, or narcissistic control how upset they feel by Donald Trump's election. As one person told me, “It feels like a nightmare. An egomaniac who cares little for my welfare is taking over my country and there is nothing I can do about it. I feel like I did as a kid when my autocratic dad had total control over all of us.”
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Anger

How to Distinguish Between Normal Marital Arguments and Abuse

Arguments are a normal part of marriage or any committed relationship. Abuse is not.

It is easy to tell the difference if you know the telltale signs of abuse.

The ideal relationship is one where peace and harmony always reign or almost always. That certainly should be the goal of every couple.

On the other hand, what cancer is to the body, emotional abuse is to marriages and committed relationships.
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Bullying

Emotional Abuse in Children

Much of the work on emotional abuse has been written about adult relationships, yet children, pre-teens and teens have their own unique needs in these very important formative years. There are certain experiences, such as secure attachment, that need to be met in order for children to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, they do not always have that safe place in their own home.
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Family

Caring for Trauma Survivors and Caring for Yourself in the Process: Everyday Tips for Non-Professionals

Elise just told me about her past. I knew she had been through a lot, but not all that. She said her mom hit her and left bruises when she was a kid, her neighbor touched her where she didn't want to be touched, and I guess her brother was alcoholic. There was a lot of other stuff, too. It has gotten better in the last couple years so that is good. I have known their whole family for a long time and never knew any of that.

What do I do now? I want to help somehow, but is there anything to do? I don't know if I should tell someone. I feel sad.

We hope abuse and trauma never happen to ourselves or someone we love. When your sister, long-time friend, or neighbor tells you something you never expected, it can be confusing, upsetting, and scary.
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Bullying

Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Today

It’s clear that people from every socio-economic status have experienced one or more life events that have caused emotional trauma, thus creating PTSD. It’s not just a “veteran’s ailment,” and PTSD is gaining needed recognition in the psychotherapeutic healing community.

PTSD can be caused by childhood trauma, financial disasters, recession, loss of employment, loss of a relationally close family member, divorce, loss of home, sudden shift in life responsibilities such as having to be a primary caretaker for an elderly family member, physical and chronic pain, loss of health, or many other scenarios.
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Bullying

Trauma: The Lie Whisperer

Many, if not most of us, have been through some traumatic event in our lives. When you think back to your childhood you may see flashes of violence, abuse, neglect, or addiction. This might have been your "normal." This might still be your "normal." When we live through trauma something happens to us, without our knowledge. Lies are quietly spoken to our psyches. So what are these lies and who whispers them to those of us who have suffered trauma?

First, let’s define trauma. Merriam-Webster defines trauma as:
a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.
But why does “a very difficult or unpleasant experience cause someone to have mental or emotional problems”? Sounds like a silly question, right? One could answer; because it was scary, anxiety provoking, hurtful, debilitating, horrific, physically painful, and the list goes on. But this still does not answer the why of my question. Let’s break it down even further. What is the connection between experiencing trauma and internalizing it, resulting in, what Merriam-Webster calls, “mental or emotional problems”?
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