I can explain, but I want to stop explaining

Photo by Michal Czyz on Unsplash

I figured that having a history of long-winded family members, who never come up for air or know when they’ve gabbed too long, made me predisposed to being the same way.

Always discussing, elaborating, and explaining.

I remember a congregation of eyerolls and stir-crazy people listening to my father, an ex-pastor, when he would preach for two hours straight. Or even longer, on a bad Sunday. Lunch was calling everyone in the pews, but my father called louder. He had a lot to say and everyone needed to hear it, more than they needed lunch.


The dice keep rolling

Photo by Ajit Singh on Unsplash

When I signed up for therapy, my plan was to ambitiously blast through all my traumas, as fast as I could. Just rip off the band-aid!

I wanted to minimize the time it would take to heal myself into some sort of whole, sane human product. But unfortunately, I have a lot of baggage and a lot of trauma.

I anxiously tried to cram a bunch of trauma into cliff notes, unleashing as much as I could, only to discover that the “ripping off a band-aid” technique revealed an open arterial laceration underneath.

The result: emotional hemorrhaging.

I didn’t want…


A poem on recovering from abuse

Photo by David Dibert on Unsplash

Hypervigilant eyes search,
yet never find a formation.
I hear you so loudly, so clearly.
Circular doubts fight this as imagination.

Out the window, something moves.
It’s not you, it never was really you.

When we met, another shape took form.
Handcrafted Papier-mâché layers
designed an enticing invitation
with charm glistening, distracting, entrapping.

Layers never revealed
what lied beneath (all lies).

Only time tells, with too much time.
With thousands of hours I added up how
your presence was the only consistent contributor to my aching.

Hollow I felt when apart, but the hollow…


I was already on my way to body dysmorphia

Photo by Liel Anapolsky on Unsplash

For the few years my mother was married to her third husband, I didn’t get to know that stepfather very well.

I mainly knew he was a nightclub owner, noticeably on steroids, and bold.

My sister and I alternated between our parents’ homes until my mother and her new husband abruptly moved out of state, leaving us behind. They claimed bankruptcy forced them to relocate, but really, my mother’s untreated mental illnesses were secretly taking over the narrative, prompting her progressive absence in my life.

By summer, they arranged that we travel to visit them, the first of only a…


I thought it was a superpower but it’s my complex PTSD

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

I incessantly analyze my experiences.

In some ways, this has been helpful in processing my history of traumas, but in some ways, this makes it impossible for me to just be. I struggle to accept the present moment and actually feel what I feel.

My compulsive need to figure it all out is a gnawing desire, one that is extremely uncomfortable to consciously try to stop. Oh, please don’t make me meditate. There is so much momentum in my mind, that I fear the ricochet of a sudden halt in my thoughts.

Because I have to get one step ahead…


I am everything that my pen name allows me to be

Photo by author of a boab tree in remote Australia

Though introducing myself under a nom de plume feels awkward at best and deceptive at worst, I can confidently say that my written work is more honest than what comes out of my mouth in person.

Scarlett Jess Perrodin is not my real name, but it holds great meaning to me.

I have spent much of my life uncertain of who I am, existing as an anxious energy, confused by traumas, struggling to be authentic, and lacking the freedom to express any of this.

Writing has given me that…


3 techniques that take the sting out of interacting with hard humans

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Whether it be a family member, an acquaintance, a co-worker, or a boss, difficult people consistently do one thing. They exhaust me.

As an Empath, I often operate from a sense-and-shift-mode to handle people around me. But trying to anticipate and accommodate others all the time is draining.

I’m not often one to argue or stand up for myself, and social anxiety convinces me that jumping into a volcano would be better than a confrontation. But that doesn’t fix things either.

We all have experienced the frustration that comes from being around difficult people, sometimes learning the hard way that…


I hadn’t yet realized she was already far gone

Photo by George Bakos on Unsplash

My sister and I arrived at my mother’s house on Wednesday. It was her turn to have us.

Although tears in mother’s eyes were common, the glassy drops were exceptionally heavy that day.

“Girls, meet me in the living room, we need to talk.”

It was warning enough. I anxiously braced for impact, my typical response since the day she snuck us out of father’s house during her dramatic exit as his wife. As she began sobbing, I held her, trying to comfort her sorrow. I’m here for you, mom.

“We are bankrupt, your stepfather and I, so we have…


My parents had chosen my identity for me

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“A child that’s being abused by its parents doesn’t stop loving its parents, it stops loving itself.” — Shahida Arabi

I didn’t endure obvious abuse in my early childhood, nothing as overtly tragic as stories I’ve heard. But comparing is just my defense tactic to minimize my experiences. It wasn’t that bad.

What I experienced was emotional abuse and neglect, coupled with religious abuse and damaging indoctrination.

I was a pastor’s daughter. Beyond that, I was coaxed to believe I was spiritually “chosen,” a prophet, a minister, a healer, and a caretaker at the age of 5.

By preschool, I…


It was a world of sickness with no clear exit

Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash

This piece depicts abuse, some are graphic and can be triggering. If you are suffering abuse, reach out for help. Proceed with care.

After a decade, I became acutely aware of my source of suffering.

I felt shocked, as if I had just read the manuscript of my life for the first time and didn’t expect the plot twist: the man I loved was causing my anguish.

I had been sleep-walking through life as though he cast a spell.

The moment I first realized that he was possibly the culprit, the liar, and the abuser, was my awakening.

My brain…

Scarlett Jess Perrodin

Mental health advocate, anxiety juggler, abuse escape artist, maternal aura. Personal stories. Some hints of humor. A diamond in the rough is still a diamond.

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