Traumas Public and Private: What if the Inner Child Grew Up?

Is it time to give up all hope that this pandemic and its mandatory pause might help us build a better society? Seems like it. We’re literally coming out of this pandemic guns blazing in the United States. 45 mass shootings in 30 days. Then today, Kenosha and Austin, with Austin mere hours after Ted … Continue reading “Traumas Public and Private: What if the Inner Child Grew Up?”

Flash Fiction

The Green Bench Originally published on September 14, 2010 by The Citron Review, nominated for Pushcart, and adapted into an award-winning short film in 2016 by Diane Sherlock Listen to him barking in the night. Fear shifts on the bed next to you, hogging the covers. Stare at the ceiling and wonder what to do. Forget … Continue reading “Flash Fiction”

Love – and don’t sideline – one another: CPTSD in the time of SARS-CoV-2

All over the world, we are seeing what it’s like when people withdraw into their homes. Some are homeschooling and parenting, some working full or part time, some having to do both. Many have lost their jobs. Some are alone, some with roommates they may or may not know well, others with family. An unknown … Continue reading “Love – and don’t sideline – one another: CPTSD in the time of SARS-CoV-2”

Part 10. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother As Home Base

from Jasmin Lee Cori: The message associated with this is “I’m here for you.” When you really take that in, then even in adulthood you will reference Mother as the place you can always come back to for refueling, comfort, or support. When the world beats you down, when your marriage falls apart, when your … Continue reading “Part 10. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother As Home Base”

Part 9. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother as Protector

From Jasmin Lee Cori: With separateness comes danger. In the best of circumstances, Mother is there providing protection. A very young child often senses Mother as all-powerful. She shatters the darkness, shoos away noisy children and barking dogs. If the mother consistently protects the child from intrusive and overwhelming stimuli, the child feels safe. Mother … Continue reading “Part 9. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother as Protector”

Part 8. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother as Mentor

From Jasmin Lee Cori: Here Mother is teacher not simply of some isolated subject but of a much bigger curriculum. She orients the child to successfully living in the world. She teaches her child how to get along with others, how to make good decisions, and how to manage time, meet responsibilities, and pursue goals. … Continue reading “Part 8. The Genesis of My CPTSD: Mother as Mentor”

Part 7. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Cheerleader

Mother As Cheerleader From Jasmin Lee Cori: A mother may have difficulty cheerleading for several reasons. She may be so undermothered and unsupported herself that she doesn’t know about cheerleading, she may be more focused on her own needs for support, she may be unaware of her child’s needs, or she may be threatened by … Continue reading “Part 7. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Cheerleader”

Part 6. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Mirror

Mother as Mirror From Jasmin Lee Cori: A mother’s role in providing reflection is one of her most important. It is how children feel known and come to know themselves. Mirroring happens both verbally and nonverbally, and there are several levels to it. The first is one where children feel contacted, met. When a child … Continue reading “Part 6. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Mirror”

Part 5. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Nurturer

Mother As Nurturer From The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmin Lee Cori [affiliate link]: Since a child’s first language is touch, much will be communicated by the mother’s holding and handling of the infant as well as by the way she continues to touch her growing child. Does the touch communicate real caring and love, … Continue reading “Part 5. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Nurturer”

Part 4. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Modulator

Mother as Modulator goes hand in hand with the First Responder role, this time, teaching the child emotional regulation that in time becomes self-regulation. From Jasmin Lee Cori: When Mother is modulator, she helps us transition from negative emotional experiences to positive ones. One way she does this is by first empathizing with what is … Continue reading “Part 4. The Genesis of my CPTSD: Mother as Modulator”

Part 3. The Genesis of my C-PTSD: Mother as First Responder

Mother As First Responder From The Emotionally Absent Mother (affiliate link) A very important role that secures Mother in her role as place of attachment is what I call Mother as First Responder. The “first responders” in our modern world are firefighters and police officers, the folks you call when there is an emergency. Imagine … Continue reading “Part 3. The Genesis of my C-PTSD: Mother as First Responder”

Part 2. The Genesis of My C-PTSD – Mother as Place of Attachment

Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash I realized that stating “The Genesis of CPTSD” in the title for this series was open to misinterpretation. This is very much about how mine started and so I made that adjustment. Your mileage may vary. Mother as Place of Attachment From The Emotionally Absent Mother (affiliate link): … Continue reading “Part 2. The Genesis of My C-PTSD – Mother as Place of Attachment”

Part 1. The Genesis of My C-PTSD – Mother as Source: The Hostile Womb

In her book, The Emotionally Absent Mother, Jasmin Lee Cori cites ten faces of a good mother, which I’m considering as I finish writing my trauma memoir. Her list of ten are Source, Place of Attachment, First Responder, Modulator, Nurturer, Mirror, Cheerleader, Mentor, Protector, and Home Base.  Unfortunately, my mother – as her mother and … Continue reading “Part 1. The Genesis of My C-PTSD – Mother as Source: The Hostile Womb”

New piece up at The Manifest-Station

Big thanks to Jen Pastiloff and The Manifest-Station for publishing my latest piece, The Inedible Footnote of Child Abuse. Please go pre-order Jen’s book, On Being Human. From Penguin Books: ABOUT ON BEING HUMANAn inspirational memoir about how Jennifer Pastiloff’s years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how hearing loss taught her to listen fiercely, how … Continue reading “New piece up at The Manifest-Station”

Were you abused?

At the end of the video is a questionnaire, a shortened version of the one on his website. If you have a high ACE score, you’ll score high on this one. But if your ACE score is low, but you still have the nagging sense that something was off, this is useful.

A pause

Last week I received the news that a dear friend had a stroke and was not found for days. This morning I learned that she passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon. So, a pause here and hopefully I can resume posting next week. But for now I grieve. If you are so inclined, please pray for … Continue reading “A pause”

What trauma does to you: Muscle Armoring

We’re always tense, always on guard, those of us with CPTSD. Braced. Tight. Clenched. Muscle armoring goes along with hypervigilance. The body is perpetually preparing for flight, preparing to fight, or stuck in freeze. There’s often pain when the muscles are constantly tensed and overworked. There can also be body imbalances, fibromyalgia, and breathing problems … Continue reading “What trauma does to you: Muscle Armoring”

Tips for Breaking Generational Cycles, Part Four

This will be painful. These abusive behaviors travel through families until someone makes the decision to feel the pain. That is part of stopping the cycle. You will survive it and a good trauma therapist or group can make it easier to bear. Consult with a psychiatrist about an anti-depressant. I found that bupropion (generic … Continue reading “Tips for Breaking Generational Cycles, Part Four”

Tips for breaking generational cycles, Part Three

Look for patterns around ages and dates. From my own experience researching my memoir, things recur on anniversaries, in patterns, at certain times of the year, or at certain ages. I was three when I was molested. My mother was three when her parents divorced and her little sister died and so on. This is … Continue reading “Tips for breaking generational cycles, Part Three”

Series: What Trauma Does To You, The Amygdala

Complex PTSD results from prolonged or chronic traumatic exposure as is the case with child abuse. For a child, there’s no viable escape and the people who are supposed to love, protect, and care for the child… don’t. Most child abuse includes just enough carrots – good times – to be utterly confusing. The good … Continue reading “Series: What Trauma Does To You, The Amygdala”

Brené Brown is wrong about compassion.

“As it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.” – Brené Brown That just isn’t true. We can. I am only recently practicing self-compassion, but was taught early in life to be compassionate toward others. I felt it deeply as a child thanks to my parents and … Continue reading “Brené Brown is wrong about compassion.”

Tips for breaking generational cycles, Part One

These suggestions are from the perspective of stopping the cycle with the next generation in mind. If you do not have children, these remain useful for your own well-being and those around you.  Acknowledge that an unhealthy generational cycle exists. Whoa! You’ve already broken denial!! Celebrate that! Identify the cycle and pay attention that there … Continue reading “Tips for breaking generational cycles, Part One”

Series: What trauma does to you – The Exaggerated Startle Reflex

With an exaggerated startle response, if I see someone out of the corner of my eye or someone comes up on me unexpectedly, I jump, sometimes shriek, my heart hammers, and my breathing is rapid and shallow. I feel like I’m jolted into taking flight, and just as fast, I can’t move and freeze. It … Continue reading “Series: What trauma does to you – The Exaggerated Startle Reflex”

The Green Bench

My award-winning short film about a mother coping with the onset of her son’s schizophrenia is back on YouTube and Vimeo. Thank you so much for your support.

Series: What trauma does to you

I’ve been in contact with many trauma survivors the past few years as I plumbed the depths of my mother’s sickness. I’ve listened to their stories, told my own, given and received advice. There are things that arrive as healing progresses. Growing up with a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder,  meant living with serious issues … Continue reading “Series: What trauma does to you”


The news out of Alaska shows that the public outrage over Brock Turner’s light sentence  (and similar cases) made no difference. It’s like they’re doubling down on letting these creeps off the hook. “Judge Michael Corey accepted the deal, noting the outcome of the case could be described as ‘breathtaking.’” Interesting word choice. Justin Schneider was let … Continue reading “Breathtaking”

Remembering 9/11

Lawrence Wright notes that we are forgetting pre-9/11 America and the way we were. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning The Looming Tower.  It was made into a well-reviewed Hulu series with Jeff Daniels, Bill Camp, and Tahar Rahim, which I have not yet seen. More about the day itself here. Few of the original 2,000 bloggers are … Continue reading “Remembering 9/11”

More generational cycles to break…

I’ve lived and researched and thought about breaking unhealthy generational cycles of sexual abuse in families. Now another wave of abuse in the Catholic Church has surfaced, this time in Pennsylvania (warning: graphic sexual content). I’m a convert (RCIA ’99) and still new to the Church when it came to light in Los Angeles around … Continue reading “More generational cycles to break…”

Speak up

When the Trump administration began to separate children from parents at the border, I knew some of those children would be sexually abused. It’s happened. Inevitably. And to a six-year-old girl. Any time you isolate children from the adults who love and protect them, disaster is inevitable. It doesn’t matter if it’s being done by … Continue reading “Speak up”

suicide, depression

Another suicide

Woke up to the sad news that Anthony Bourdain killed himself, also by hanging as Kate Spade, Alexander McQueen, L’Wren Scott, and Robin Williams all did. Another. As a professional reminded me yesterday, it’s not the depression that’s the dangerous point as much as it is that moment on the way back up that they have … Continue reading “Another suicide”

The Link Between Child Abuse, Depression, & Mental Health

  Another wealthy and famous person is dead from suicide. How much depression or Kate Spade’s mental health played a part is speculative until those closest to her decide whether and how much they want to discuss it. And how much they knew. Someone with depression can be an expert at appearing fine. She was … Continue reading “The Link Between Child Abuse, Depression, & Mental Health”

What’s brave?

Another predator is exposed. This time it’s Harvey Weinstein. Stars are making statements. Some of these are thoughtful and reflective. Glenn Close says she’d heard the rumors and writes, “Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.” Her entire statement is worth reading in … Continue reading “What’s brave?”

9/11: 16 years ago. Never Forget: part of Project 2,996

Annual repost and part of Project 2996 Robert Halligan Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 15, 2001. Robert Halligan, Age: 59 Residence: Basking Ridge, NJ Two WTC, 99th Floor Aon Corporation, Vice President SHOPPING ACROSS THE POND To a proud Englishman, America is a country of vexing insufficiencies. Its supermarkets know not of … Continue reading “9/11: 16 years ago. Never Forget: part of Project 2,996”

The task at hand

I’m devoting more time to my blog for patrons at Patreon as a matter of survival. If you enjoy this blog or my other writing, please consider supporting my efforts – $1/month or more – and tell a few others who’d be interested. I’m not exaggerating regarding survival. I have been job hunting for a … Continue reading “The task at hand”