Trigger Warning & Discussion Guidelines


kitten 1I am devoted to this blog being about healing, not abuse porn. That said, sometimes to talk about healing I will have to talk about hurting. Please consider this sticky post a trigger warning for every entry for childhood abuse of all kinds. If you are having a difficult day, this blog will still be here tomorrow! Consider looking at this picture of a kitten, instead, for now. Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Also, be kind and compassionate to ME. If you want to stroll by and attack me when I fuck up (which I’ve done, and I write about it) or because you don’t like queers or what-have-you, or if you want to fight about the psychiatric profession or EMDR or anything else, please know that I screen all comments and I just won’t let them through. This place is not a debate page. It’s a personal blog, and I’m blogging for connection and support.


greatmomAfter I told a coworker a bit of what I’m dealing with right now, and made some jokes about how badly I’m handling it, he got very serious and said: “I’ll bet you’re actually a great mom, though.”

And before I could stop myself, I grinned and whispered: “Yeah. I kinda am.”

And I even believed it! For, like, an hour. :-)

Falling Apart

552829-bigthumbnailYou know, I always thought that if a family had parents in it who basically got along and who didn’t get drunk and fight and beat their children regularlike and drag them through needless poverty, that this family would be a Happy Family.

But you know what? I was wrong.

Both of my kids are having a really REALLY hard time right now and I feel helpless and lost.

I was planning on doing some EMDR today on some mom memories, but instead I’ll probably talk about how terrified I am that my eldest will never move out due to his developmental disability and my youngest won’t make it to adulthood without killing himself.

Could you guys wait to fall apart until I nominally get my shit together?

No? Okay. I’m just going to hide under this bed for the next ten years, then– does that work for y’all’s schedules?

Self Punishment

-just-shut-up-300x300I’ve had two fairly large breakthroughs in the past week: the first was neurological, and I wrote about it.

The second was psychological: this Sunday, instead of sitting around feeling like shit but pretending I don’t and being snippy with my family and apologizing over and over which is apparently my Mother’s Day tradition, I broke the pattern.

I had breakfast with friends, and as I was headed home I realized that sadness was descending rapidly.

So I did something I’ve never done before: I drove to my partner’s apartment and I asked her to hold me while I cried over not having had a mother.

For years I would say it didn’t matter that I hadn’t had a decent mom; I was fine. My dad had been great, after all! Or: I’m too tough to have needed a mom, or: eh. Whatever. :shrug:

And following my own advice to feel the fuck out of my feelings made the rest of Mother’s Day much better: I laughed and laughed with my boys in front of a movie, we danced, I was delighted with the plant they bought me. I still felt sad, but since I’d felt and expressed it, it wasn’t controlling all of my reactions all day.

I felt great! I was so proud of myself!

Aaaaaaand now comes the Self Punishment.

I briefly felt good about myself, so I have to sabotage my work by fucking around on Twitter all day in the office and just not doing the freelance I contracted to do when I get home. That way, I can still feel like a fuckup who screws everything up!

I briefly felt good about myself, so I have to fall asleep every night after that (hours and hours past my bedtime) with “I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself” ringing in my ears, and I wake up to the same mantra. And then I run to the bathroom and take a horrifying shit.

A few times, I’ve been able to ask the part of me repeating this: “Really? You do? Why?” In a sot of ‘explain yourself’ kind of way, and she’s backed down and hidden behind my hypocanthus.

But she’s back again a few hours later: I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself.

I wish she’d shut the fuck up. But even if she won’t, I don’t care what she says. I refuse to stop growing and changing and being proud of myself. She can’t make me.

Thanks for all the great life lessons, Mom!

Dear Mom,

SEIU sent me an email; it wants me to make sure not another Mother’s Day goes by without letting you know what a difference you’ve made in my life.

Thanks to them and organizations just like them, on this Mother’s Day, I’m reflecting on all the things I learned from my mom:

  • How to pretend to care for others and simulate love conditionally — bragging about your children’s talents while simultaneously beating our bodies, telling us our natural desires were disgusting, and allowing child molesters unfettered access.
  • How to tell your children over and over again how much you sacrificed to make their lives better.
  • How to make your children terrified that if they ever spoke out about what was happening to them at home, no one would believe them, and it was what they deserved, anyway.
  • How even the small things—like a hand print across the face or a wooden hairbrush across the back of the thighs—can bring new and unimagined pain and humiliation into our everyday lives.

You enjoyed a wealthy and pampered childhood and ensured, through your alcoholism and refusal to address your mental health issues, that we grew up in poverty. You’d still be viciously abusing me if I hadn’t threatened to break your arm, shown you how I could do it, and then later cut off all contact with you. Your hatred, violence, jealousy, and creepy manipulation helped shape who I am today.

Thank your for teaching me that no matter how loud I scream, no one can hear me in the middle of nowhere.

Thank you for taking every penny of my paychecks so that I could put food on the table while your drinking remained unabated—even during the brief period of my childhood that you and dad were actually making enough.

Thank your for showing me how to be a judgmental, angry, and violent presence in the world (because after surviving you, you can bet your sweet ASS I’m indeed a force to be reckoned with!).

Sara, Mike, Kate, Shawn and the rest of the SEIU Digital Team were right; the link they sent me for selecting a card to honor you DIDN’T reflect our family! So I made one, just for you:


Hope you like it,

Email from SEIU I just received


On this Mother’s Day, we’re reflecting on the all the things we learned from our moms.

  • How to care for others and love unconditionally.
  • How to make sacrifices to make our loved ones’ lives better.
  • How to speak out about the things we saw that we knew were wrong.
  • How gratitude for even the small things—like a beautiful sunset or a cold glass of milk—can bring new and unimagined beauty and joy into our everyday lives.

Our Mamas sacrificed a lot so that we could have as many opportunities as possible. Their love and support helped shape who we are today.

Make sure you don’t let another Mother’s Day go by without letting your Mom know what a difference she’s made in your life.

Thank her for teaching you that your voice matters towards making our future better and brighter.

Thank her for working so hard to pay the bills and put food on the table while still fighting for more—because you know that she’s worth far more than what her paycheck shows.

Thank her for showing you how to be a force for love and justice in the world (because if you’re on this email list, we’re clear you’re indeed a force to be reckoned with!).

Select and send a powerful Mother’s Day card that honors your Mama today.

From our families to yours, happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas celebrating today!

– Sara, Mike, Kate, Shawn and the rest of the SEIU Digital Team

P.S. Don’t see a card here that reflects your family? Check out Strong Families’ Mamas Day here to make a card that honors your family today:

The next post is my response to it.