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Shame

The Dark Side of People-Pleasing

If you’re feeling like the people YOU like, don’t like YOU — and you don’t know why — the first thing you want to look at is whether you are people-pleasing.  People-pleasing is the act of changing yourself to make people like you — trying to match their interests and values, flattering them, and hiding …

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CPTSD: Can People SENSE It In You?

It’s awful to say, but have you ever noticed that when your Childhood PTSD symptoms are “up” again, it’s as if you have a dark cloud around you that people can feel? It feels a bit like an invisible force that pushes people away. It’s one more weird thing that can happen when abuse and …

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Take the QUIZ: Has Childhood PTSD Affected Your Romantic Relationships?

Early abuse, neglect and other traumas can create distinctive, negative patterns in adulthood, especially around dating and relationships. The video below describes my new quiz, identifying some of the common signs that CPTSD may be at work in struggles you experience today.   Ready to start healing your relationship life? Register for my online course …

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DESTRUCTIVE PEOPLE: Does CPTSD Make It Hard for You to Spot Them?

Detecting who is safe and supportive — and who is NOT — is a level of discernment that can be damaged by past abuse, neglect and trauma. In this video I talk about common challenges spotting people who are unhealthy for us. And I talk about the two emotional reactions that must be healed in …

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Did Childhood PTSD Teach You To FIT Yourself to CRAP?

One of the harmful effects of growing up with abuse and neglect, is that we get ALL too good at fitting ourselves to unacceptable people and situations. Long after normal people would have left the scene, our minds tell us it’s our fault, it’s a unique situation, we should stay and make it work. In …

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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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Childhood PTSD and BLAME: How Much Is Too Much?

  When we’re talking about abuse and neglect in childhood, there’s no way to avoid placing blame on the parents who perpetrated the abuse or neglect. On some level, even if they had mental health problems or addictions that clouded their awareness, they had to know that what they were doing was wrong. This early …

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Childhood PTSD and The Guilty Feeling: When Is It Real?

Abuse and neglect in childhood can leave a lifelong residue of guilt for things that were never our fault. This same fuzzy thinking can ALSO make us numb to the awareness that we HAVE actually hurt someone. This can make it painful to decide whether to stay connected — or cut off contact — with …

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Childhood PTSD and Getting Triggered: How Can You Feel Safe?

When CPTSD is active and our brains and emotions are dysregulated, we can be easily triggered by things that upset us — things people say and do (or don’t do), things that are shocking or hurtful, and just everyday stressors. Getting triggered can cost us hours and days of disruption, so the search for a …

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Feeling Naked

When I was six years old, some moms took a bunch of us kids to the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk, which was (in my pre-Disneyland years) my actual, best place in the whole world. Somewhere in the half-mile of noisy carnival rides and smells there was, in those days, a Fun House that had …

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