I am a 68-year-old woman who has been in a toxic marriage for 39 years.  I am also an 8-year crack and meth addict who uses to cope with the incredible pain and loneliness of a loveless relationship and the absence of any family support at this point.  There is no resentment towards them for protecting themselves and living their lives – just a gaping maw of emptiness and a desire to be out of my misery.

I have tried counseling, treatment, medication, work, physical and mental self-care, relocation, separation, community involvement, hobbies, and so much more… so many times without any success.  I believe that I was programmed for this from something in my youth, but I can’t prove it.  I’ve been raped, trafficked, lied to, abused, robbed, arrested, humiliated, berated, manipulated, gaslighted, and homeless.  

I’m writing all this to say to adults and young people – PLEASE start building up your (or your kids’) confidence, support system, financial health, faith, connectedness, love, supportive mental and physical health services, and a strong life purpose very early in life.  You were born to make a positive difference in this world and the better prepared you are to face the rampant hate, bias, obstacles, lies, and siren calls of the people and businesses that DON’T have your best interest at heart, the smoother your path will be in accomplishing your purpose.  Always be safe, be smart, lead with love, and have a fallback position in case of trouble.  Bless you all.


It’s been 11 days since I walked away from him. The first few days I couldn’t stop myself from checking on him just to make sure he was ok. He didn’t even acknowledge that I was in the room. It’s been 2 days of no contact and I have never felt this miserable in all my life.

Every time I think of him I ache. I’m not sure if it’s because I miss him or if it’s because I’m finally realizing that he never loved me or even cared about me. 12 years I stayed and endured with the hope that he would realize how lucky he was to have someone who loved him so much that they were willing to put up with the lies and the cheating and the stealing. Someone who loved him so much they always cleaned up the mess and made things right again. Someone who loved him so much that they forgot who they were and only cared about his happiness.

I feel like I’m finally waking from a never ending nightmare. But now I’m confronted with all this uncertainty and lonliness and anxiety and fear. Never been good at dealing with emotions so I’m really confused right now.

So many of you out there have survived this and my question is how? How do you totally reinvent yourself when so much of your identity was the person who hurt you the most? Sure could use some advice.


I experienced sexual abuse when I was a little girl. I told one of my caregivers and they didn’t do anything about it. I held that secret for several years, which wreaked havoc on my self-esteem and sense of security. I got the message “You are crazy and you don’t matter.” I don’t think that was the intended message from some of the people that were in my life, but I believed it.

I also suffered emotional abuse from a trusted caregiver in my childhood. When I was in my teens, I discovered alcohol and drank to numb the pain and to cope in society. I, of course, found myself in countless toxic relationships with people throughout my alcohol addiction.

My mother, who had been my biggest support system died when I was a young adult. It was devastating. I struggled with mental illness and alcoholism for several years and was hospitalized several times for suicidal issues. When I got honest about the abuse I experienced during my childhood, some of my family and friends called me a liar. It was very painful and I felt very alone. I finally got sober after I was sexually assaulted by a musician. I went to treatment, joined AA and worked the steps with a sponsor.

After about 12 years of working on myself in recovery (including a few relapses), I have eight years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol as I write this. Over the years of my sobriety I have done […]

Vicki Maree

Vicki Maree

My life started out with having a grandfather abuse me when I was 3 years old; then the abuse continued through the next generation by my older male cousins.

When I was 12 years old, I lost my virginity through rape. Then again, at 18 years old, I was raped by a stranger. At 23 years old, I was raped by my employer.

Recently, at 48 years of age, I was raped by my ex-partners best friend.

Mostly I have discovered that my experience does not define me.

I deal with my PTSD a day at a time.

I was blessed to find the rooms of AA and recovery.

For the past 13 years I have been in and out of recovery. Today I pray to God that I am relieved of my pain and restored to sanity.

In my past, I lost the will to live many times but somehow I always fought back when I found recovery at my rock bottom. The fellowship and God loved me back to life.

I see professional help as well. And I keep my life simple.

Today I am a strong women with freedom and love in my heart.

Molly Finnegan

Molly Finnegan

As of this writing, I have been separated from my ex-husband for 22½ years and happily divorced for 14½ years.  There was certainly one bright light after the wedding – my child… an amazing daughter to whom I refer as the best baby ever born.  She is everything to me, and I don’t believe that I would have weathered this storm without her support, encouragement, and a smile that would melt the deepest and tallest glacier.

“I am not going to be the one to ruin that relationship.”  That was not only my mantra, but it also became my commitment to my daughter with regard to her father.  Prior to separating, I communicated with my entire family that I did not want anyone to bad-mouth my ex in front of my child; by and large, they acceded to my wishes – but outside of my child’s earshot, one family member particularly insulted, demeaned, and criticized both me and my ex.  To this day, this person (to whom I am indentured) is blind to the fact that he/she is exactly like my ex in character and temperament – and they absolutely can’t stand each other (never have; never will).  Even though they have not been officially diagnosed by any mental health professionals, I can honestly say that both check off several boxes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

While I am including this TAR Tale under “Parental Alienation”, I want to tell you it is possible to minimize the effects of this terrible form of […]



What Leaving A Narcissist Behind Has Taught Me…..

You should listen to people who love you. Your friends, your family, your coworkers, perhaps even your dog. At the time, you just didn’t listen. You thought you loved them more than anything, and you thought your best friends were overreacting. Oh how wrong you were!

It turned out, they were right all along. Now you know better. Now you know they were only trying to help you.

You must set boundaries. I lived in a fucking cupboard in my own house, where my ex never paid rent. How disturbing. The first thing I did when he was gone was to have lots of sex in that cupboard; and I still do. 

You can’t let anyone have control over you. When you say something, stick to it; otherwise, they’ll walk all over you. Once, twice, three, times. And they will always blame someone else. No matter how much you gave them. They will steal. Oh yeah, I was ripped off, what kind of person steals from a dying person? A narcissist. But that’s past now. I am so grateful for my new life, for the life I dreamed of, and that I can finally live to the fullest. 

Words don’t mean anything. They are only spoken to give false hope. Narcs do that all the time. They promise all kinds of things just to calm and fool you. Words don’t mean anything to them. 

Actions are what counts. Now I have a man who would literally kill for me. […]


I am an alienated mother.  I haven’t seen my children for 5 years now.  My dear friend referred me to this website, and I hope that these tips will help others mitigate the damage from their own personal war of parental alienation.  Please stay strong, endure, and one day your children will come back to you.

Only speak about the other parent in neutral positive terms – if your child is having difficulty with their other parent, help them develop a plan of how they talk to their other parent and resolve a situation.

Be open to talking to your child about the other parent – what they like and value about them.  Remember it is not a competition – your child loves both their parents mutually.

Try to see the other parent like a business partner and relate to them in this way.  You are in the
business of raising your children together.

Be flexible and return favors – timetables with children may have to change suddenly.

Remember you are doing it for your child and not for the other parent.

Keep your children informed – predictability and routine are essential for children.  Let
children make arrangements directly with the other parent as they get older – let them have
some age appropriate control.

Never lose hope.


I am a mother who was alienated from my children in South America. I grew up in Ireland and emigrated to South America in my early twenties. I met my husband there, got married, and we had a son and daughter.  I can, like many people who are separated or divorced, say that we were happy at one time, enjoyed life, and had children together. But as one knows, life can change and rearrange. Over time my relationship with my husband began to deteriorate. It is one thing to split up, but to be deliberately and vengefully alienated from my beloved children is an entirely different matter.

I had a woman helper in our home. One day she came to me in the kitchen and said “Your husband is saying bad things about you to the children in the living room.”

I have witnessed separating parents who do not alienate the other parent. They are able to part and still be good, cooperative parents. These children play and go to school knowing that both parents love them. The benefits to the child are huge.  They remain being loved by their extended families. This benefits the extended families who are not torn from their nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. This leads to more peaceful communities which in turn leads to more peace in society.

Our reactions to being an alienated parent are not always what they should be. One is thrown into new […]


My childhood was one of abuse so frightening that I shut down emotionally to survive.  When I was 17 years old, my mother agreed that I could be married to a man, four years older than me, who had been my boyfriend for a year.  I wasn’t asked if the marriage was what I wanted, and I had never learned that I could actually have, or state, feelings about any situation relating to me.

Two days after the marriage my husband and I were sitting at home when he suddenly began screaming at me incoherently.  Grabbing me by my hair he dragged me out of the room, still screaming at me, and threw me outside, shutting the door behind me.  We were living with his father, which we did for the first nine years of our marriage, and it wasn’t until his father came home from work four hours later that anyone came to look for me.  I had crawled into the back seat of the car in the carport and was completely numb emotionally, unable to formulate any decision as to what I could do.  This set the pattern for our marriage.

As is often the case in such situations, my husband controlled who I could see, how much money I was given for the household needs and what was acceptable behaviour.  Anytime I transgressed, the screaming and throwing out of the house, whatever the time of day or night, was repeated.  I learned to walk on eggshells, saying little and […]



4 AM phone calls…

This is what I’m living now …

I’m guessing is okay to feel so much pain much. But is not.

I am drowning in my own tears.

I don’t know how to escape the spiral of madness l but I have hope there is a cure somewhere out there.

Where? In Paris? In Prague? In Buchurest? In me?

I don’t know. I will find my way.

I heard someone say to me, we are crossing the bridge of troubled waters. I feel can’t swim.

How does that feel???

Hard. Nah, that’s not the right word. It feels like I am burning from the inside.

I’m tired.

I don’t care anymore.

I genuinely believe life starts with yourself.

I need help, and I asked for it. I didn’t see this coming. There is still authenticity in this world. Love doesn’t have to hurt. But it’s killing me now.

I am not judged for the first time in my life by my new family of choice.

But I still judge myself.

Today, I want to jump from the bridge, because I am caught in a storm that I cannot control.