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…


Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Overcoming childhood trauma and narcissistic or parental abuse are extremely difficult but it is doable. When I started this journey, I couldn’t see for miles — hundreds and thousands of miles. Turbulent airflow forever.

Many healing steps, which follow the 12-step program, didn’t fit me. I am not a proponent of “surrendering to a higher power” or “forgiving” the perpetrator. I believe that those steps, taken too early, can further harm or cause internal denial and invalidation of the victim’s experience. …


Coming to terms with the father you didn’t have so you can heal

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Father’s Day is around the corner. Whether you had a good relationship with your father or not, society has a tendency to minimize or satirize the complicated relationships that we might have with our parents without truly addressing them. A woman with “Daddy’s issues,” is both a joke and a caricature even though a woman with these issues might have lifelong patterns that put her at risk for victimization and unsuitable relationships without understanding why.

As much as I love a heartwarming story and film about a father and child or a father who changes his ways, more often than…


How do we remain authentic amongst inauthenticity?

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Due to new work demands and the world reopening as a result of Covid-19 vaccinations, I’ve had to interact with more and new people in the last two months.

It was not a good experience.

Every few months the universe sends me tests. To see if I have overcome maladaptive habits and my old ways of interacting with others. Boy does the universe test me.

I am struggling.

Quarantine gave me the safety and the solitude to discover who I am. To become more authentic to me and to feel more comfortable being myself and being alone.

Going outside, I…


Can My Body be a Safe Home?

Photo by Inge Poelman on Unsplash

I disowned my body when I was eleven years old. It happened when the police came to our apartment and my father made me apologize to him even though he was the one who hit me.

I didn’t know that the police were there to protect me or that the neighbors had called the cops on my father, not me.

At the time, and even now, I still see myself as the perpetrator instead of the victim. After all, I was the one who angered my father. …


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

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

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…

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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