How Kind Strangers Positively Impacted My Childhood Traumas

Remembering them helped me re-process neglect, abuse, and abandonment

Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness
Published in
8 min readOct 14, 2021

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When I was a young teen, a sequence of life-altering events occurred. My father, an evangelical pastor of a fundamentalist, cult-like church, retired from that role and then my mother divorced him. Two years after, she moved states away, leaving my sister and I behind.

I had not noticed her mental disarray or inability to mother me until she physically vanished, yet I always sensed a haunting absence of a mother figure before the day she left for her new, childless life.

Taken back by the staggering contrast, a clear “before and after” my mother’s departure, it was hard for me to recognize other neglect, abuse, and trauma I endured. Her neglect was so obvious that it minimized all other forms within my perception.

Yet her grand exit left the door open for more trauma to enter.

The same year as my mother’s exodus, my father began dating a detached, bizarre woman. Her son would eventually move in with her into our house and go on to threaten and torture my sister and I.

Phone calls to and from my mother became nearly non-existent and would only elicit her response of “what do you want?” if she picked up.

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Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness

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