This sums up a lot of my journey. It’s only now, having healed and worked through the damage that I feel okay to talk about growing up in the kind of environment described here.

And it’s tough to talk about it because it’s subtle, constant and has a cumulative effect. It’s hard to talk about psychological and emotional abuse because the abusers are careful to avoid “leaving a mark” so to speak.

The gaslighting is maybe the worst part. I still don’t always feel that I can trust my own feelings and emotions. And I’m still learning to manage the physiological stress reactions from years of never knowing when the “other shoe would drop.”

Eventually I had to choose between my own mental and emotional well-being and remaining in relationship w/ my toxic and abusive family. I went no contact 4yrs ago and have experienced so much healing and beauty.

The fog cleared enough that I could reevaluate my journey. I went back to school, finished my BA and now I’m in the first year of seminary, working on my Masters.

I’m grateful to the therapists, friends and loved ones who helped me to see the abuse for what it was. They helped me to name it, confront it and heal.

And it feels good to not be scared anymore. It feels good to be able to talk about this. I’m also grateful for the community of survivors that I’m beginning to connect w/ on social media.


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