My counselor left me in no doubt early in my counseling what he thought of my emotional understanding; he called me an emotional moron. At the time, I felt a little put off, today I realized he was being kind. I work at a school that teaches high school students what they need to know to become preschool teacher assistants and hopefully someday a preschool teacher. I was working on the assignment for emotional intelligence. I realized today that a 3 year old has a better understanding of emotion than I did when I started counseling. I also realized that a huge portion of all my counseling sessions centered on connecting me with my own emotions, identifying them, and gaining some grasp that I can control them once I accept them. I am still trying to bring this whole thing into to some semblance of order. From the earliest time I remember, my mother ‘corrected’ me on my perception of my emotions. If I said I hated something she told me I didn’t. I was told repeatedly that this woman that abused me I had to love her because she was my mother. If I was happy she would tear me down until I was sad and hurting then she would ‘cheer’ me up to be the hero. I shut down. I shut off. I refused to allow her access to how I felt. She twisted my emotions like a bully on the playground tormenting the smallest kid or pulling butterfly wings off. Emotional abuse is subtle, deniable, and happens right in front of other people without them even realizing the abuse is happening. I believe that emotional abuse is one of the leading causes of CPTSD. No data to prove this assertion just my gut feeling of understanding that the first thing an abuser does is enmesh their victim by grooming them for abuse. Misplaced trust and twisted love are the chains the bind the victim to their abuser. My counselor spent hours and hours trying to teach me to untangle my emotions. He couldn’t do it for me. It was why he called himself my Coach. He could tell me what to do, give me suggestions, but I had to do the work. I recognized this early on when a psychiatrist was working with my medical doctor, she told me she was going to fix me. I wouldn’t make an appointment with her. I knew at some level that she didn’t get it. My emotions were mine to fix not for her to further twist. I’m thankful that I waited for a different counselor to help lead me out of my emotional maze. Healing emotional damage is a slow painful process but not impossible. Training, reteaching, suggestions and corrections I stumbled along. I get stronger every day. I am breaking the ties created by false teaching and abuse in my childhood. I can relearn healthy ways to interact with people. I can develop the skills I was denied as a toddler. It is possible to heal the scars of abuse.