Depression and leaving me home with the dog

Content Note: depression, bipolar disorder, trauma The past few days have been rough as I struggle through this depression. Very tough, painful and scary tough. The sort of symptoms where other people walk away because my pain and anguish are so big. And I can’t blame them. It is like these intense feelings are pounding […]

Behind the essay: How writing about SSDI took a toll on my mental health

Sue Kerr trauma

Content Note: trauma, neglect, disability, Social Security Administration, mental health On October 28, I sent a draft essay to PublicSource to inquire about their interest in the topic. The final version was published on February 10, 2020. That’s over 100 days. I share this because I want to emphasize how much energy and time goes […]

Minute by minute with anxiety

Content Note: anxiety, trauma I have this stubborn belief that I can somehow untangle the strands of my anxiety from the strands of my trauma responses, that there is a clear line of delineation I can find if I just keep trying to feel my way through the fibers wrapped tightly around my chest. My […]

My family has had decades to break their silences.

“Do you feel comfortable sharing family stories about living people?” is a question I am frequently asked, particularly when I’ve just published a post about my trauma work.  I never feel comfortable or good about revisiting trauma infused stories, but not because I might upset someone in my family. The only exception is the other […]

The Xmas When I Grew Up Too Fast

Content Note: childhood, family dynamics, shame When I was either a little girl about 5 or 6 years old, I wanted a baby doll that wet its diaper for Christmas. This was somewhere between 1975-77. I was quite thrilled when Santa brought me that doll. It wasn’t quite as fancy as some of the other […]

Trauma and Tough Love Do Not Mix

Trauma Tough Love

Content Note: trauma, friends with good intentions, tough love   I did not have a particularly pleasant or peaceful holiday. Turkey Day itself passed relatively benignly until I got home. That’s when an overwhelming sadness swept over me as I realized I had spent the entire day with extended family, but not a single person […]

Ten Thanksgivings Without My Family

Thanksgiving placesetting

Content Note : trauma, neglect, family rejection, mental illness I don’t clearly remember the details of the last holiday meal I spent with my parents, but I know it was ten Thanksgivings ago. We were at Laura’s mother’s house and they were late. I was struggling mightily with mental health symptoms and not admitting yet […]

Processing Trauma with EMDR: Day One

Content Note: trauma, EMDR, child abuse, sexual assault For more info on EMDR, talk with your therapist or visit this page. We decided to incorporate Eye Movcement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into my therapy. Time has been the major cconstraint, so I’m documenting on my blog as a record for myself. Previously, my therapist had […]

The loneliness of October

Trauma and Loneliness

Content Note: depression, trauma, sexual violence The last time I saw a friend in person by choice was September 22, 2019. That was three weeks ago, a probably unhealthy amount of time without socializing. And I have zero plans to change that pattern. This loneliness, this self-imposed isolation, is not new to me, but my […]

Post Vacation Anxiety

We arrived home Sunday morning. All was well. I was a little tired, but I was expecting that. I wasn’t expecting so much anxiety. It feels like I stuffed so much down inside me during our trip to avoid ruining things that it’s seeping out of my cells now. I’ve got all the old symptoms […]