Good evening! Please pardon the poor organization of this post; I get bogged down in trying to decide what's most important (and which should therefore be listed first) and what's less important, or what's not important at all. I have a poor grasp of the skill that is separating details properly into the categories of "relevant" vs. "irrelevant", so I usually overcompensate by just drowning folks in unnecessary details. Apologies in advance. I suppose I should start by saying a little bit about myself. I'm a 34 year old bisexual woman who lives in the American Southeast. I was raised in what I've come to realize is actually an extreme version of Baptist Christianity (it was normal, to me...), but am now somewhere between an atheist and a new-ager. My mother is (I strongly believe, without having the benefit of a professional opinion) a narcissist, and up until I was a teenager I was undeniably her golden child. I have two brothers, one younger, one older, both of whom laid claim to the title of "scapegoat" until I stole it from them more or less permanently at 15. Since entering into a relationship with another woman, I have doubled down on the scapegoat status, and could probably be considered for the Scapegoat Hall of Fame (which is somewhere in Chicago, I believe). My parents were together for my entire childhood; my father only divorced my mother after my younger brother moved out of the house. He did his best to shield us from her, but mom made it her life's mission to keep him at least arm's length from me emotionally. That distance has been difficult to bridge, as an adult. I am being treated for Bipolar Type I, and probably have a smidge (hah!) of PTSD as well. I have been in two previous serious relationships: a ten-year-long marriage and a five-year-long common law relationship, both with men who were varying degrees of abusive. Now, I am married to a beautiful woman who is the light of my existence, and who has had a charmed life, more or less. That innocence has made it tough to get her to really understand where I'm coming from, and why I do or think the things I do, and I realized that I've probably been leaning a little too exclusively on her for my own emotional growth and support. A few days ago, I had a blow-up with my mother on the phone over some of her recent unacceptable behaviors (long, long, long story), and during my profane ranting and screaming, I threw at her that I still remember a very traumatic incident she perpetrated on me in my childhood, which I'd resolved long ago never to even think about, much less speak aloud. That's about when I realized I needed to talk to someone. I'm in the process of switching therapists, and even spewing the TL;DR version in front of my wife was a step I'm not ready for, much less going into any detail about how it completely defined everything about my adult life. So I decided to seek out an anonymous collective of internet people who have all agreed to be mutually supportive of each other's traumas and psychoses. And now I'm here. So... with that awful, disjointed exercise in "how not to introduce onesself on the internet" out of the way... hi!