When Father’s Day is Complicated

My relationship with my father has been complicated. Many people who read these pages might assume he is the narcissist who set my soul on fire to write this blog, but it was actually a different narcissistic personality in the family who triggered me into remembering my childhood and facing the way I was treated …

2. Nana and the Heritage Singers

In celebration of Mother's Day, I am sharing some excerpts from my upcoming memoir--sort of a memoir within a memoir about my paternal grandmother. You can read part one here: 1. Nana's Hands If you’d told me we were going to move to an Island where daddy would chop down the alder and fir trees, scrape …

1. Nana’s Hands

For the first nine years of my life I had only two memories of my father’s mother. One was a sock monkey which she had hand-sewn, wrapped in brown paper and sent through the mail. The other was camping with her when I was four and we got up before everyone else to pick huckleberries. After we …

Be a One Woman Riot

When I was a kid, if my siblings and I argued or made too much noise, we were put on silence. Silence meant we were not allowed to speak or make any noise. If we found a way to communicate through spelling letters through sign language or motioning, we might even be put on frozen …

Why You Need to Talk with Your Younger Self

Have you ever met a stranger who reminds you of your Grandma? Or reminds you of a mean aunt who verbally abused you? When we react to other people and various stimuli, we are often reacting to our past experiences. These clues might seem like nothing at first, but consider how the triggers of the past influence the …

Restoration from Narcissistic Abuse

When I was eleven, I had a tabby cat I loved dearly. When we moved, I had to start school late and to make it worse I had to take the fifth grade for a second time due to all of our moving. I was worried I'd never have any friends. But one thing cheered me, …

We Are Shaped by Our Stories

You've probably heard the saying, "We're only as sick as our secrets." One of my secrets is that my family was often homeless. It happened for a short time when I was eight years old. Then we lived in a cabin with limited utilities for most of seven years. During that time, we took our …

Re-Framing Our Life Stories

A couple years ago, a man in my church told me to hurry up and finish my memoir so I could move on with my life. Sadly, this person has probably never read a memoir unless it was of a sports hero. He was assuming I was damaging myself for writing about my unconventional childhood, …

Tale of Two Mamas

It feels like I’ve had two mothers in my life, but she was the same woman. I remember the mama who polished the pipes under the sink, kept the house spotless and made sure I didn’t get any germs in my mouth. I remember the mama who drove all over town to find me a …

Little Red

Little Red. We've all heard about her, but we didn't recognize how much we had in common with her. Little Red is the symbol of all who were abused in the home and church in the name of love. Nothing is more sinister than believing we are loved and safe only to be ravaged by …