I was born in 1970 outside of the United States, but in 1971, my parents moved to the U.S. We spent the next 15 years moving around (four times in all). When I was a teenager, we moved back to the country of my birth. This was a return home for my parents but a devastating experience for me.
I went through a very rocky transition from childhood to adulthood. I was being emotionally abused and covertly sexually abused and didn’t know it. All I knew was that I had low self-esteem, was constantly depressed, and couldn’t satisfy my parents no matter what I did.
I got a B.A. in English and went on to graduate school in library and information sciences. I tutored kids in English and worked at the university library. I was doing what any young woman in her 20s was supposed to be doing, but none of it really felt right. I still felt like an incompetent child, and it seemed like my life belonged to someone else.
In my late 20s, I decided to return to the States to live with my sister and brother. I truly thought I’d be free. The abuse, though, had taken its toll on all of us. We abused each other. I eventually slipped back into the role of the passive, obedient daughter/sister. I still felt like my life wasn’t my own.
Five years later, I ceased contact with my family. It was a really hard thing to do, but I had to protect myself from my parents, and I owed it to my brother and sister not to put them in the middle. My parents couldn’t see that they were abusers. What we can’t see, we can’t change.
In the spring of 2008, I came out of a kind of meltdown in my life. I was ready to start the process of healing. I was soon guided to a local teacher who helped me learn to interpret my dreams and to use Tarot with my dreams. Another teacher, Linda Gail Walters, helped me learn more about the Tarot, which I’ve been using since the 1990s. I’ve continued to expand my knowledge of dreamwork and Tarot, and I honestly don’t think I could have come as far as I have without them.
I’ve also continued to expand my spiritual interests. Although I’m an eclectic Neo-Pagan, I’m fascinated by many spiritual paths. I’m interested in mythology, art, good films, and good books. I occasionally write stories and like to play around with a photo manipulation program. I’ve recently started learning to draw.
In 2012, I reconnected with my sister, who in the course of 10 years has come to understand that we were the victims of emotional abuse. She keeps me updated on what’s happening with my parents, and unfortunately, my intuition was accurate. They cannot see that they’re abusive and will probably never change.
Although my abusive past has been a major influence on my life, I’ve come a long way in healing. Emotional abuse in particular is all around us and not taken seriously enough. That has moved me to create an informational website for adult survivors of childhood emotional abuse called Emotional Abuse Answers.