The Voice Box

The Voice Box

No-Talk Rule – This foundational dysfunctional family rule demands children never tell the truth to outsiders and never speak up to their abusers. Blurry shapes floated in and out as I lay on the operating table trying to wake up. The smell of antiseptic burned...
The Threat of Peace

The Threat of Peace

The Threat of Peace Hypervigilance: The state of being highly alert to potential danger or threat I sat on the floor practicing my Forward Facing trauma techniques as I rubbed my hands across the thick bedroom carpet. Grounding myself in the present, I took a deep...
The Friend of Love

The Friend of Love

The Friend of Love – Resiliency My best friend is moving away. She’d been dropping hints for months, but I decided to retreat behind a wall of denial and hope for the best. The best was not to be. Ellen is moving, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. We...
The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves – Emotional Regulation My first grade year was the first time in my life I felt understood. I loved everything about school. The snacks, the smell of mimeographed worksheets, learning how to read and write, the playground, and most...
Orange Trees in the Desert

Orange Trees in the Desert

Fight or flight and emotional regulation The desert of the Southwestern United States has a strange, stark beauty all its own. Gorgeous sunsets, rock formations and deep canyons accented with spiky cactus resemble another world. If you grew up back east like I did,...