Emotional Wilderness

In my family, I got little attention from my parents unless I was bleeding or broken. If I cried, “I’ll give you something to cry about” was a common admonition used to shut me up. In that emotional wilderness, my tears dried up, leaving a salty residue. At the time, I couldn’t have said how …

What was Hardest was What I Needed Most

Before those emotional breakdowns at twenty-three and twenty-five years old, I had not seriously addressed the abuse effects—distrust, anxiety, perfectionism, depression, and, underlying them all, shame. After the second breakdown, I began a journey into emotional and spiritual wholeness. I fought the most intense battles from 1977 to 1987. What was hardest was what I …

Crazy-making Parents

“I understood his following my mother in her foray into oblivion. I didn’t jump into the fray either. My father didn’t make any sense, and my mother wouldn’t talk at all. This is why we don’t visit, I thought. They are too crazy-making. Is my father loading a gun, while his wife and son-in-law discuss …