6 Red Flags a Parent Might Be an Abuser

A POST FOR ADULT CHILDREN AND THOSE CONCERNED AN ADULT THEY KNOW MIGHT BE ABUSIVE* For child abuse survivors, it takes years—sometimes decades—to recognize, name, and understand the harm they suffered. There are many reasons for this. For one, many survivors apply the term “trauma bond” to their parent-child dynamic. This term was coined forContinue reading “6 Red Flags a Parent Might Be an Abuser”

The Discovery of No

I was 25, and I had just learned it was possible to say no. And just like a giddy two-year-old, I began to slap down this word in the midst of conversations, relationships, workdays. One of my library managers planned all our Halloween costumes that fall. We would all dress up as characters from The WizardContinue reading “The Discovery of No”

The End of Family

The last time I saw my father was in Austin, Texas. I was 25. My brother and I flew down to see our parents with high hopes for their happiness. They said they loved the city, that they loved the pace of it, that they were happier there than in their Seattle suburb. My brotherContinue reading “The End of Family”

Becoming an Abuser

I wince at the images of female strength and power in the media. Women in armor swinging automatic weapons over crowds. Women in bikinis shouting into microphones that respect means spending thousands on a ring you can’t afford. Women in Spandex punching other people into submission. These aren’t so much portraits of strength as theyContinue reading “Becoming an Abuser”

The Return

A sea-change had come over my parents’ house. The walls were still the same ice-blue. The kitchen where my father had assaulted me still had its polished parquet floor and the same Formica countertops. But once, there had been alliances. Once, my brother and I had commiserated in our rooms long into the night, plottingContinue reading “The Return”