A lot has changed since I released my first book, Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse, in the summer of 2016.

If we’ve been on this journey together since the beginning, you know exactly what I am talking about. A once obscure subset hidden in plain sight of the mental health field – is now a trending topic with a multitude of voices – and viewpoints to go along with it.

If we ever wonder how far we’ve come, just a look at Webster’s Dictionary’s 2022 Word of the Year – Gaslighting – is proof of the changes that have taken place in the field we hold dear to our hearts because it helped save our sanity and at times, our very existence.

I like some of the changes that have taken place since 2016 and some I do not. I like that millions of people are now aware of what the harm from narcissistic people looks like and that abuse does include those injuries we cannot see.

I do not like how watered down and normalized serious abuse has become. People throw around the word “narcissist” without regard for those who genuinely have been harmed by people without a conscience or empathy. Any differences of opinion are now labeled gaslighting. We’ve witnessed the core truths of recovery become unraveled and fraying from being pulled so aggressively apart.

If I am truly honest with you, I don’t like most of the changes that have occurred in this recovery space.

I find ego has taken over where actual knowledge and wisdom once resided. I find social media a collection of individuals who attempt to shout the loudest to have their viewpoints heard, whether correct or not. It’s all become so crowded it’s hard to really see or hear actual truths.

It’s become a loud rambling vortex.

Even so, as survivors of psychological trauma, we can take what is valuable to us within the current recovery world and leave behind what causes chaos or a drift from our recovery path. Individual healing demands we cultivate our space – both externally and internally – in a way that supports calm, rest, peace, and maybe if we’re lucky, a little hope.

Together we can be grateful for the changes that have taken place in the recovery community, while also distancing ourselves from the concepts, beliefs, and voices that cause us to re-engage with toxicity.

 We’ve worked too hard to waste time trying to educate others in the way their view of recovery harms people.

They believe what they believe, and if an exaggerated ego is involved, we have little chance of being heard anyway.

Together, let’s celebrate the growth we’ve witnessed in the field of hidden abuse recovery, in ourselves, and actively resist what is no longer – or never did – serve our healing.

Remember to keep dreaming big!

~ Shannon