Category Archives: reblogged

Being an EMDR Trauma Therapist Teaches You a Lot and Most of It Is Good

Yes! This.

Go With That

I’ll start with what sucks.  People do astonishingly terrible things to other people–unbelievable, unspeakable, and completely fucked up things.  This happens all the time and on every street.  Trauma happens in virtually every family.  A fair chunk of trauma is caused by people who claim to love the people that they hurt.  Many of the most severely traumatized people I have worked with had extensive contact with modern safety net services throughout their childhoods, with repeated foster care placements that resulted in round after round of additional childhood sexual trauma inside the systems designed to protect them.  Many of my clients have never had a single safe person, a safe place, or any safe time.

In the vast majority of cases, trauma doesn’t end in childhood.  It certainly doesn’t end with the person becoming my client.  Trauma is alive in my clients because so little of it has ever been…

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Triggers in random places

I saw this article on my Facebook feed, about a father who sexually abused his daughter several times, but will be spared jail time “for the sake of the family”. I understand the denial and reaction from the family (it sucks, but it’s all too common). What kills me is the court’s validation of that denial (though that doesn’t exactly surprise me either)… I didn’t think I’d have such a strong reaction to it, but it’s hit a nerve. 

I’m angry and crying and so sad…

Some of what the family said to gain leniency for the father are things I’ve heard within my own family growing up. While the circumstances were not the same, the denial of abuse among certain family members took the same path…

My heart is breaking for the little girl in that article. I want to run over and protect her myself, since no one else in her life seems to want to do it… regardless of any “evidence” that the dad will not assault anyone else, the kid deserves to feel safe and supported. She shouldn’t be forced to continue to live with her abuser, or to see him ever again. It’s not fair to her (even if she feels she needs to protect him)… her life will never be the same because of him. She will deal with this the rest of her life. Yeah, she may get to a point where she’s more healed and balanced, but she will be forever impacted by not only the sexual abuse, but her family’s rally around dad… who is there rallying for her? She must feel so invalidated and worthless…

What are they teaching their kids with this, that you can break someone, but as long as you’re sorry it’s going to be ok? Bullshit.

It’s not fair… she deserves so much better.  

Damaging things adults say to kids (link) 

Damaging things adults say to kids…

To this day, I still have trouble crying, let alone doing it in front of anyone (and how this was challenged yesterday as I grieved the death of a favorite pet both as she was being put down, and a few hours after)… 

Another one that sticks with me too this day, and prevents me from explaining myself or saying much at all most of the time was “don’t talk back” (similarly final as the “because I said so” in the article). There was no defending yourself, clearing up misunderstandings, or speaking at all while being reprimanded. You took the wrath and punishment regardless of fairness, and you simply did what you were told…

Great article on another aspect of hypervigilence

Trauma Makes you Live in a Backwards World

Meanwhile, used to terror or violence, no big challenge ever seems big enough. You miss the warning signs of the big problems because you are focused on avoiding the small ones. Cause and effect in backwards world get disconnected from reality. Even when there is proof around you, you don’t see it, you don’t believe it.

This is a great article. It explains so much about how trauma can cause a person to miss the big stuff because they are so focused on avoiding all the little things that might mean problems.

healing complex trauma ( link)

Write the saddest story you can in 4 words…

I saw this on fb…


“I loved you once…”

it can have so many endings:

…but then I remembered.

…and you betrayed me.

…then you used me.

…and I saw your true colors.

…you broke my heart.

…I still love you (and I don’t know why)…

The myth of the teenage temptress (link)

how patient suicide effects psychiatrists (link)

Shared from WordPress

A Letter to My Daughter — From Your Trauma-Recovering Momma. –

make rules for yourself (a link)

I saw this about grief, but it can also be true for depression, especially the part about platitudes (and simple things you used to enjoy) being grating…

Also important: the part about remembering to eat. I lose my appetite when really depressed (comes after the stage of eating every comfort food I can get my hands on).

Shared from WordPress

Healing Quotes Littles 567 –

What I wish people knew about ptsd (reblogged link)

What I wish people knew, too –

Trauma-Informed Creative Arts Therapy Articles

This came across my feed and I wanted to share/save it. I really like this page, they have a lot of good info and resources. It’s mostly geared towards professionals, but there’s other resources there also.

Trauma-Informed Creative Arts Therapy Articles

One of the first articles listed is about art journaling as self-help.

Things seem to move in circles

Part of an entry from 2 years ago works perfectly again for this week:

had some trouble with some flashbacks earlier today.  got through them ok, but they triggered a stirring in my head also.  still don’t have a clear picture about what was disturbed, but some of the monsters have been roused from their slumber.  they are starting to shift and awaken. not sure I want them awake. don’t know how to get them tucked in all nice again.  trying to get through some of it with art. not really getting anywhere with that.  don’t have coherent words or phrases to explain them.  can’t put pictures to any of it.  just sensations right now, moving, shifting, causing sparks. waking more monsters, but they’re slow to rise this time… really wish I had more talent to put them to pictures.  wish there were words with which to speak of them.

Only maybe this time the pictures are just grey haze, no form or specifics. Most of what was awoken is still trapped in physical sensations. No words or pictures. And my tongue feels heavy like stone if I try to think of how to describe any of it…

For laughs: little chicken by Rudy Trubitt

Heard this song on my brother-in-law’s serous xm radio (sometimes he listens to the Disney station for haha’s)… omg, wicked funny!

Was searching and found it on this other blog,

Laugh, just be prepared to sing it for the rest of the night.

holy links batman!

Ok, so in a (seemingly futile) effort to find an article on parenting to the emotional needs of your child that my brother wanted to read, I keep stumbling across a bunch of other stuff I want to read. I have no time at the moment to devote to the tons of articles I’m finding, however I do want to save them for later. If I simply bookmark them, I’ll never look at them again…

So, in case anyone else is also interested, here’s a dump of some of the stuff I came across today. I have not read any of them yet, so I dunno how useful or interesting they are, but either the topic or title piqued my interest:

now that I have those written down, time to hurry my butt up and get to work – doggie play day!!!! 😀 I love when my boss puts me into camp.

Oh, also, if anyone finds any articles on parenting to the emotional needs of your kids, could you link me to them? a week later and I still can’t find the article I’m looking for. The wealth of info available on the internet is amazing, but quite overwhelming at times!

Six kids books that use psych techniques to help kids (link)

Got this through my feed and want to save it somewhere for later reference.

Six books that use psychological techniques to help kids (from

Also, I picked up some cool finds while tag-saleing this weekend, one of which is an antique (from the 70’s?) book that explains death/grief to kids. I will take some pics when I remember to bring it in from the car.

twolah blog entry “what they don’t tell you about trauma”

I came across a blog entry on To Write Love on Her Arms the other day and wanted to share.

I don’t totally agree with all of it all the time, but maybe I need the reminder…


7/4 – just found this also… To Those Who May Not Understand

My attempt to express my stress… through Harry Potter Images ;)

I like these. Must try it myself next time…

Dearest Someone,

When times are tough, when times are dark, and when times aren’t at all fun I guess we draw upon the things that we hold closest to our heart in order to find something to hold onto. Photos of my family, photos of my friends, and knowing I have an amazing support system of incredible, fantastic people all give me something to grip onto tightly. They are my safety net, they are what I clasp when things are too tough, when I’m slipping away slowly and the depth and darkness of PTSD have got the better of me.

Because, at the end of the day I’m slowly starting to realise and accept that I have achieved incredible, surreal things. From speaking at the Houses of Parliament to holding on when things have reached there spikiest, toughest, most brutal, horrifiying (almost the end) moments. I am made of tough stuff, we…

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constant triggers and a perpetual state of flashbacks…

Two years after this post, I am noticing the flashbacks are not as intense all of the time. I have habituated to the triggers to a degree. They are still easily accessed, and still difficult to ground from, but it’s not as much of a confusion of reality anymore (though after reading this post again I find myself slipping back into that feeling-state rather easily. I don’t mean to, it’s just that close to the surface still)…
I’ve certainly dealt with a lot here. Both L and I knew this move would be life-altering in some way, however neither of us knew exactly how. It’s proven to be life-altering on so many levels… L finally escaped the vortex of her draining big-box retail job to find something new. I faced more of the past than I even knew existed… It’s been an eye-opening experience. There’s still a lot to work out around it all though. It’s been over-all positive. I don’t mean the financial worries, the insane depression, the triggers, the flashbacks, or any of that stuff, but it has set both our lives’ onto an adjusted course. Had I not returned and been faced with all of this in a form of unintentional flooding, I don’t think I would have had the breakthroughs I did. I think I would have been struggling with faceless demons for a lot longer. At least now I know what I’m fighting. Now I know what to wade through to be able to come out on the other side…
As stressful as this was, I’m grateful for it. We met wonderful people, learned new things, went places we’ve never been… and I was reminded how much I love the beach ❤

both sides of the wall

In talking to D today, I finally found a way to describe what it feels like to live here again.  We were talking about what is different down here, and how I feel like I can’t ground effectively.  I likened it to lucid dreaming – where you know you are dreaming, but are also lost in the dream.  That’s what it feels like most days (almost always) to be back here.  I have snippets of the past constantly playing out in my head, be it emotions, sensations, or visual flashbacks, there’s always something there.  I am aware that it is memories of the past, but I can’t shake them.  I live alongside them daily.  I am at once 34 and much younger.  I remember sights, sounds, and smells.  I can feel the sensations in my body.  I can tell myself that they are the past.  I am aware that they…

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He Never Hit Me (Huffpost link)

Powerful read… He Never Hit Me (

“By hurting me, he showed me he loved me. He cared enough to go that crazy. He cared so much that he was overwhelmed by anger or jealousy or sadness and simply couldn’t control himself.”

Sometimes I think the hardest thing to integrate is the coexistence of love and abuse… very confusing.


powerful read (link inside)

A friend posted this on fb… powerful read on domestic violence relationships…

please read with caution, as it might be triggering for some.

5 things an abused women wants you to know.

shame and attachment in therapy (link to outside article)

Came across a link to this on a support forum. It’s a post on shame and attachment in therapy. It makes a lot of sense to me… I was originally going to slip it into another post, but I couldn’t figure which one it made more sense to add it to, so it’s getting its own post…

I recently wrote to TM that I am mad at myself for kinda feeling attached to her, for feeling she is safe. I don’t want it from someone I know I will lose from my life in short order. I would rather have it from people I expect to be around (my wife, my f.o.o., my close friends)… It would be easier that way, but not necessarily safer.

Do You have Athazagoraphobia?

An interesting concept to think about.

I used to chalk my belief up to a weird perversion of object permanence. I guess this kind of is exactly that. I tend to believe if people don’t see me and interact with me regularly, they forget me. I get the impression it actually happens. I also fear that people find me really annoying and distasteful to be around. I have trouble reaching out to friends and family because I worry that 1) they hate me, and because of that, they 2) consciously try to forget me or remain away from me.

Lemme tell you, it frustrates my friends. I can’t tell you how often I get asked why I didn’t call or come by… How do you explain that you feel like people would rather gouge their eyes out than have to spend a moment with me?

There was another part that stuck out to me: the fear of forgetting. I often hoard memorabilia, and I journal incessantly in an effort not to forget more than I already have. People call it materialistic or anal, but I keep hoping an object connected to a memory will keep the memory alive. When so much of my past is a huge blank, I grasp at anything that may help me to not forget… Sadly, it doesn’t really work. I go back and read journals but cannot connect to them or remember accurately what I was talking about. I look at items from my past, and have no clue what they were from, or who gave them to me. I take pictures all the time hoping photographic evidence will trigger a memory, yet so much is still lost. It’s not as bad as it had been before college, but it’s still there. One of the worst memories to have lost is my first date with my wife. I know what she has recited to me over the years, but the rest is super foggy. I have snippets of moments from the night, but most of it is gone. It’s no reflection on her or the night (because I’m still with her, and we went on a second date relatively soon at my initiation). It’s just “the story of my life”…

But I digress. This is an interesting blog on a phobia I had not heard of before, but one that makes perfect sense to me.


Discussing Dissociation

Drawn by ... On deviant Art. Drawn by


I have learned a new word today.


Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten, ignored, or being replaced.


Ooooh boy, what a powerful word that relates to intense feelings held by soooo many dissociative trauma survivors. And since abandonment and neglect is often a huge and prominent part of the trauma history, is there any wonder?

First, let’s learn more about athazagoraphobia.

Here is a quote from :

“Athazagoraphobia is a rarely discussed phobia. It means the fear of forgetting or the fear of being forgotten or ignored. Thus, Athazagoraphobia is of two types or has dual components: it might be seen in dementia patients in their early stages (or patients suffering from other medical conditions where memory loss occurs) where they fear forgetting their own identity and other things. Alternatively, it may be seen in spouses or caregivers of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients…

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how to direct readers to a random post on your blog

in case anyone else wants to allow for “random viewing”


is this possible?


1. Go to Appearance -> Menus

2. Create a Menu, doesn’t matter what you call it.

3. Click Links and type your WordPress URL and after the URL make sure you put ‘?random’ and then type your Link Text which can be ‘Read A Random Post’ or whatever you want.

4. Go to Manage Locations and put your menu in the Header Menu.

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complex ptsd

so, been following kati morton (an lmft out of california) for a bit now (at least 8 months), and I think she’s a pretty good resource.

a few days ago she posted a video on complex ptsd… I may or may not have cried watching it…

check her out. she’s a good resource. she’s got her own community site, is on facebook & twitter, and has an enormous library of videos on mental health…

Trauma Informed Organziations

I thought I had re-blogged this, but it isn’t showing up on my site…
Something really important for all organizations…
Funny how it’s very in-line with something my wife was saying about a new potential job: everyone has their reasons and their struggles… Maybe even retail needs some trauma-informed training… (PS – My wife rocks because she is the one wanting to point this out to everyone at the new job! See, I haven’t totally spoiled her and made her hate the world…)

Out of the Rabbit Hole

crystal light

I am currently working on a certification from the University of Buffalo on Trauma Informed Organizations.  I have been studying trauma related materials for a while. It has been fascinating and helpful  healing for me.

What is a Trauma Informed organization? It is an organization that has taught trauma informed care from the person who answers the phone to the CEO. It is the basis for policy and procedures. Trauma informed agencies and organizations are totally aware that every contact with a patient makes a difference in their reaction to the care being offered and also in their ability to get well.

For example, a person with mild PTSD is coming to see a doctor for stomach upset. The admission person snarls at them because they are lacking some information on their admission form. She tosses the clip board at the patient and says snottily, “you need to fill out…

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Self-compassion & recognizing limits

An article on self-compassion and understanding your limits was definitely something I needed to read today.

The last few days have me slamming hard into my own limits around processing my trauma. I am working towards acknowledging them to myself, and admitting them to TM (as much as I don’t want to in the moment because it means we will need to tweak our approach). I certainly want to push past my limits, but I need to do so carefully. I really wish I could keep seeing her for longer, and maybe a bit more often to help move past this, but therapy has its own limits and boundaries.

On another note, a friend pointed out something to me last night that was hard to hear, but definitely something that needs addressing. She was suggesting some coping strategies that I have used in the past, but have become huge triggers in the last year (mindfulness around breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation… well, they were always triggers, but not this intense in the past. I could utilize at least breathing techniques in the presence of someone I trusted. I can no longer do that without triggering or intensifying flashbacks). My problem comes from the memories that have surfaced recently. In them, I would pretend to sleep in order to “get it over with” faster. Pretending to sleep involved slowing my breath and relaxing my muscles so the person would believe I was asleep… I didn’t understand why these two techniques were so difficult for me until last year, when the cognitive memories started accompanying the physical and emotional ones. Since then, my reactions to the two techniques are incredibly intense and visceral. In the past, I would panic when I tried them, but I was able to try them without my whole body shaking; not so much any more. I know I need to work on this, but I’m not totally sure how. Time with TM is limited in so many ways, and there is so much to cover. 😦

Anyway, back to the article on self-compassion. It can be found here on While their articles are often geared towards professionals in the field, they have a wealth of articles for clients, friends, and family. I don’t always agree with what they post, but some are spot on, like the one mentioned.

The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children (link to an article on

Another article that resonates, so I wanted to share.

With my recent trauma processing with TM, so much of this is in the forefront of my experiencing. Even the unintentional trauma of watching those who are supposed to protect you go at it brings up a fear that is so shattering. It’s nice to see that there is understanding growing in the field. I remember trying to explain some of the effects to clinicians, and it simply not being understood for the full impact. This also explains a lot around my issues with attachment. Yes, members of my family were not abusive, but those who were overshadowed their efforts… It was never safe… Poor TM, she is getting the brunt of those fears lately.

found at right here.

getting “profeesional” – books on grief (for kids in kid bodies or kids in grown-up bodies)

Funny how when I get overwhelmed with my own stuff, my “profeesional” side kicks in. I take a detached and intellectual jaunt through all of the professional resources I keep around… It’s just much easier than being mired in my own emotional mess.

Anyway, I stumbled across this list of books for kids that deal with grief. I may have to find some of them (especially the pop-up ones, OMG, pop-up books are the best!!!!!… ok, putting my inner child away now).

the list is on It’s a site I’ve liked articles from in the past, but never really ventured through. One day it might be worth the wander.

anyway, the list can be found here… One that piqued my personal interest was The Flat Rabbit(public library) by Bárður Oskarsson