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Alcoholism

Childhood PTSD and ANGER: Is it Ever a GOOD Thing?

For me, one of the biggest burdens of my past was in my relationship to anger. When I was a kid, the adults in my life went WAY out of control with their anger. I grew up watching my dad rage at my mom, and my mom berate my dad. The two of them would …

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CPTSD: Four Discoveries That Revolutionized Treatment

Now that we know adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can cause neurological changes, the old, mostly psychological approaches to treating CPTSD are making way for newer, brain-based treatments that hold promise for millions of survivors. In this video I talk about four discoveries that transformed our old understanding of the problem. I describe more effective strategies …

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CPTSD and The Attraction to Unavailable People: Video Excerpt From New Course (Part 1)

Last fall I surveyed followers of the Crappy Childhood Fairy to ask what topics I should be sure to cover in my new course on Dating and Relationships. By far, the number one answer was “dating unavailable and inappropriate people”. The new course is open for registration (!!!) and I wanted to give you a …

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Are You RE-Traumatizing Yourself? 16 Self-Defeating Behaviors Common with Childhood PTSD

Part of the damage from abuse and neglect in childhood is what actually happened when we were kids. But a significant part of the problem today comes from what I call “Inside Traumas.” These are self-defeating behaviors that are common to people who are frequently in a state of dysregulation. They start as an innocent …

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The Unexpected Healing Power of NOT TALKING About Trauma

Many years ago, I found a dead body. It was a man I had been dating for a few months, who had turned out to have even more problems than I knew when I met him. He showed up at my house high on something one night and I made him leave. I told him …

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The Never-Ending Wreckage of Growing Up Poor

Today you’d probably lump me in with the middle class, but I carry some residue of having grown up poor. I work with people who work hard to help the poor, but have not themselves ever been poor. There are things they don’t understand. People who grew up with money tend to think that poverty is …

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Brain Dysregulation is at the Root of Childhood PTSD: Learning to Re-Regulate Is Where Healing Begins

To heal from Childhood PTSD, it’s crucial to understand the role of dysregulation, which is the underlying problem that most conventional treatments have never really repaired or understood. Why I say Childhood PTSD, I mean the physical, neurological, emotional and behavioral effects on adults who had trauma as a child — abuse, neglect, exposure to …

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Growing Up “Hippie Poor” vs. “Hillbilly Poor”:

Recently I finished J.D. Vance’s excellent Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, a book that’s part sociological analysis about poor white Americans, and part memoir about growing up with a drug-addicted mother and all the crappy crap that goes with that. I come from the opposite corner of the socioeconomic spectrum (well, the …

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Charm School for Feral Girls

One afternoon in the sixth grade, all the girls in my class were sent to the cafeteria for a special, one-time class whose topic was a secret. We’d already had the men-stroo-ation talk, so why the mystery? The lunchroom chairs were arranged in rows. The teacher of the class was the mother of one of our classmates, who stood before …

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Boyfriends Are Poison (and Other Tips for Girls Who Grew Up Poor)

Here’s what they tell you: Work hard in school. Love yourself. Get enough sleep. Say no to drugs and tobacco. Don’t consume sugary drinks. Use a condom. Don’t let yourself be pressured into sex. Accept your body. Get a career before you have children. Eat five fruits and vegetables a day. Breathe!  Don’t bully. Dream big. …

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