What Abuse Tells Me

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths.


Now hug her back.


The sniffling stops and she looks up at me. Does she feel it too?


I have often said that being sexually abused as a child becomes a wet jean jacket as an adult. As long as I stand there very still and nobody touches me I will be fine. The problem is-I have kids. They need me to touch them.  They need me to hold them. Sometimes I feel like I can. Most times I fail. I sit in the pain and anguish that surrounds my failure. I overthink it. The trauma clings to me like wet denim and I cross my fingers that ‘it doesn’t fuck them up.’


The problem with abuse is that it never stops. It stays on a spectrum and spills all over everything like a toddler pouring juice. The problem with abuse is it is stored in a sacred space that only peeks out when things are calm. It pokes holes in the calm of the family and ruins the flow of the morning. The problem with abuse is that it is forever.


As a child of the 80s I have often marveled at the lack of supervision and the subsequent and inevitable abuse. I have no less than 15 moments that are crystalized and cumulative (see: CPTSD) and crawl up the back of my brain with insect legs  to dilute pure joy with inky black drops of trauma.


“You are damaged and repulsive.”  It tells me. “They are going to find out how disgusting you are. It is just a matter of time.”


It is hard to describe what abuse tells me.


But it is never over.


Deep breaths.

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths.


thecynicaltherapist View All →

The Cynical Therapist came to be when two therapists became friends. SoulMates or Kindered Spirit Animals… Call us what you will…. We are two bad*** chics Licensed to teach you how to grow into your full potential and add some humor along the way.
Laurie Wilson and Elle Anzalone are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Huntington Beach, CA.

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