This is a super unsexy but informative essay describing the vicious cycle of the co-dependent and abuser cycle that is formed during childhood. It’s probably going to read like a scientific paper with an ugly diagram and stilted language but give me a break! I’m trying to save the world here!

I believe that most of the problems that we have today, from personal relationships to work to politics to the cycle of poverty, addiction, crime, mass shootings and more begins with childhood trauma. Without further ado. . .

A trauma — it could be physical, sexual, verbal, mental, emotional…


For daughters who have complicated relationships with their mothers

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash

Mother’s Day is around the corner. For some of us, it’s not a happy day. It’s not one where we can celebrate or thank our mothers. It’s a day that remind us of how unwanted we were as children or a relationship that we have yearned for our entire lives.

For years I pretended to love my mother while also hoping one day that she would finally love me and we could finally have a close relationship like the ones that I saw at the mall, on tv shows, or on cards. …


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

It started in 4th grade. In a small town outside of Houston, Texas. With comments from innocent kids like “Why is your face so flat?”

“Ching chong chee chung!”

“How do Chinese people name their kid? By throwing pots and pans down the stairs!”

Every year, it escalated. From girls laughing when the teacher said my name to girls getting in my face and slitting their eyes as they taunted “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these.” They were always the popular girls. The pretty girls. The cheerleaders who wore ribbons in their hair, Doc Martens, and the latest “IT” bag.

No one stood up for me. Not a teacher. Not another student. When I tried to stand up for myself by attacking back, teachers…


Can skin improve with therapy and higher self-esteem?

Photo by Melanie Kreutz on Unsplash

Do you have chronic cystic acne?

I’ve had acne since I was about 13 years old. I’m 34 now. Like many people, when I started getting acne, I naturally thought it was the result of becoming a pre-teen. My skin was dull, coarse, greasy, and pimply. When it worsened, my mother blamed it on the junk food that I was eating. I thought so too but looking back, I had a pretty healthy diet. My mother forbade us from eating meat, so we mostly ate vegetables at home. My father hardly ever used oil, and I ate a hamburger maybe…


How trauma is misused as a device in fiction and the falsity of the hero’s journey

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Growing up, I loved to read books, especially fiction books about kids and adults with trauma who go on to do great things. Through these books, I saw myself and the life that I hoped to live, which is why I loved Harry Potter. It was also my way of escaping the reality that I lived in.

Harry Potter experienced a lot of trauma. As a baby, his parents are murdered. From there, he goes to live with his abusive aunt and uncle, the…


A look at quarantine life one year later

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A year since the world shut down and went home, semi-permanently, I think it’s a good time to reflect on the positives that might come from such a heartbreaking and discombobulating year. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, chaos, and fear. But I think it’s also been a year of growth and a year in which we’ve seen people come together and really face the issues of our time.

In March 2020, I was in the middle of an artist residency at the Ace Hotel in NYC. Every Sunday during the month, I got to spend an evening in…


And renewed my faith in solutions

Photo by Kasia Serbin on Unsplash

I tried EVERYTHING. When I say everything, I mean everything. I washed my hair with apple cider vinegar. I didn’t wash my hair. I stopped using hair conditioner. I used olive oil. I used fancy face wash. I bought paraben free shampoo. I added tea tree oil to my shampoo and conditioner. I tried using salt. I even tried turmeric, which stained my pillowcases, sheets, and clothes.

I tried different ratios of apple cider vinegar to water. I bought Pantene Pro-V. I threw it out. I once showed up to set with such oily hair, from soaking my scalp in…


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What if you could take a self-love pill the same way that you take a vitamin in the morning or the evening?

Every morning you wake up, the first thing you do, on an empty stomach, is to swallow a pill that gives you permission to accept yourself, take care of yourself, and trust yourself a little more? What would your life look and feel like?

Before bed, you take another self-love pill that gives you courage, a sense of safety, warmth, and comfort? Twice a day keeps the doctor away. What dreams would you have at night?

I wish…


You can recover from your past sexual and emotional abuse

Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

Writing about this makes me nervous and scared. As a survivor of covert emotional incest, I carry a lot of shame. Growing up, my father often alluded to my grandfather possibly sexually abusing my mother. If this information was true, why did he place me in the care of my grandfather for nine years? I was too young for the way that my father shared that information. I was already angry at my grandfather for being an alcoholic, so when my father nonchalantly exposed such information, it further divided me and isolated me from the rest of my family.

As…


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Let me say it again. Fatal flaws do not exist. You do not have a fatal flaw. No one has a fatal flaw. You have read too many Greek mythologies and written too many English essays for your own good. To teachers and writers who perpetuate the myth of a fatal flaw — stop it please! Gain some insight into modern day psychology and analyze these texts through the lens of childhood development, attachment theory, codependency, abuse, and trauma before you walk into a classroom.

A fatal flaw is the kind of fatalistic, static, all or nothing, victim blaming, and…

Charlotte

My private diaries. I write about mental health, childhood trauma & dysfunctional family systems. Show your support: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/HelloCharlotte

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