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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


I sit here crying as I write this. I have just gotten off the phone with my dad.  "you know how your mother is, just go with it...don't rock the boat...play the game..."

Let me back up a little.  I sent my mom a private message last night on FB. I wanted to explain why I hung up on her last month and why I am hurt.  I hung up on her after she said horrible things about me and my children. I just couldn't stay on the phone with her any longer.

She keeps telling people she "doesn't know why I did that".  The contents of the letter were to help her understand why I got upset. I even quoted parts I remembered.  My mom has been emotionally abusive to me my whole life. Physically too, at times, as a young child. I am working on taking care of myself in therapy right now more than ever. I am trying to sort through the abuse I suffered at the hand of my gf. I am trying to reclaim my spirit and acknowledge that I am worth something. I am trying to take up for myself for the first time in my life.

He is asking me to not do this. He is asking me to "play the game" with my mom. I can't play any games anymore. It destroys my spirit. He said I was splitting the family and asked if this "made me happy"?.  I told him that I was taking care of myself. He said I was wrong.  Basically, he is asking me to let my mom do and say anything she wants to do or say to me or my children or about me or my children and take it like a man, so to speak.

My dad did not grow up with a mother. She was an alcoholic and died when he was 12. He never knew his father. He was raised by various family members. My mom treats my dad very poorly. She curses at him and calls him names all the time. She degrades him in front of other people. My dad just takes it  because he doesn't want to stir the pot.

He wants me to handle this the way he does. I just can't. He is making me feel like I am a horrible person for not making amends with my mom and "acting like nothing happened".

I guess this hurts so much because I have always been there for my mom.  More than any other sibling, I have rearranged my life to help my parents. I acknowledge all they have done for me and I am quick to tell them this.  I love my parents. I know my mom is getting dementia. This is a tricky time to try and assert myself, but there has to be a way I can do it and still feel like I am doing the right thing. 

I told my dad that I can't come over there and watch the way my adult sister uses them.  I really and truly am trying to take care of myself. 

I guess it's just too much to ask me to accept abuse anymore.  I acknowledge my mothers history of having an emotionally abusive mom herself.  I guess I just wish she could  have some insight and responsibility in admitting when she has hurt someone.  I have learned a lot about how to mother my kids. I can tell you that I see my mother in my behaviors often.  Unlike, my mother, I spend a lot of time feeling guilt over things I have done or said to my children. I know how to apologize most of the time. I am not at all perfect as a parent. But I am introspective almost to the point that I blame myself too much when there are problems with my kids.

I just needed to vent. I know that the way I am feeling is right. I know because I have to take care of myself. I HAVE to.  I am on a journey of taking care of my young self that is still very scared and unsure of herself in this big world. I am proud of my attempts to defend myself. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to not be abused anymore by anyone.

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