As a survivor of family-controlled child sex abuse and trafficking, I spent the first half of my life running an exhausting marathon obstacle course. I was pushing my way through life like I was at war every day, always waiting for the next shoe to drop, always expecting the next horrible thing to happen to me. I was living a life full of abusive relationships, emotional swings and fear-based decisions. I was sure that inner peace was just not possible for me.
But eight years ago, my twins were born. Almost instantly, I realized that my recovery could no longer be avoided. For the safety of my twins, and my own peace, I knew I had to muster the courage to face the shadows. I had to bring the darkness to the light. I had to commit to transform even though it terrified me.
The past eight years have been hard, but I have to admit, they would have been impossible without my recovery. I know that. Through my recovery, I have relieved myself of the constant inner turmoil that ruled my outer life. I have gained the ability to experience a peaceful presence that I never thought possible. Most importantly, I have stopped the manifestations of trauma that haunted my family for generations. I know that cycle is stopped and that adds to my peace.
I have transformed myself. Now let me help you bring your darkness in to the light.
Let me show you how to leave the past behind and find the peace you are so desperately searching for.
Let me help you find your own gift that lives below the years of pain.
It is possible. It is not easy. It takes strength and courage. It takes commitment to awareness. But it is possible.
Let’s start now.
3 Steps to Overcoming the Awareness Challenge
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Ways that I can support you in our work together...
When we can calm our own inner waters, we can reflect the storms of the world differently. Our inner world reflects our outer world. Our outer world guides us to our next inner journey. When our waters become still, our path appears before us. Clarity comes, but only once we can find the peace to see it.
As parents and survivors of trauma, we want to stop the cycle of abuse. But there is deeper work to be done. Uncovering our inner beliefs and shining a light on our shadow world can bring a new legacy of light to our family. Our children can learn from our example and adopt a new way of living.
I am dedicated to spreading awareness of the horrors of child abuse and trafficking. I do this by shining a light on today’s abuses and the effects on victims. Being trauma-informed requires that organizations and media partner with survivors. I can work with you to end violence through awareness.
We often talk about triggers as if they are catastrophic events which leave us (and everyone in our vicinity) reeling from the retraumatization. Many believe that a trigger has to be something so closely linked to our trauma there is no mistaking the pattern in place. This can lead us to the false belief that trigger avoidance is a feasible strategy for life after trauma. This also leads us to the false belief we will know when our past trauma is triggered. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some huge triggers in my life. When my children’s father abandoned our family, the resulting emotional wreckage was clear and intensely painful. While I didn’t have my memories back yet, I knew the impact on my life was significant. I knew it was a reminder of something. I just didn’t know what. But most of my triggers are not the proverbial “baseball bat from the universe”. They are whispers. And they leave me with a general sense that things aren’t right. They leave me with the sense that I am trying to fix the unfixable, to live a life that wasn’t mine to live. Most of my triggers seem to be saying, “You are fighting a losing battle.” In reality, I am not fighting a battle at all. But my inner parts don’t know that. They believe this life is all about the fight. They are fighting to stay alive. They are fighting for resources. They are fighting to get the love they want. And when a series of things goes wrong or doesn’t work the way I planned, the... read more
Love, Peace and Purpose This week, I achieved a huge milestone in my life. I have wanted to be an author since I published my first poem in a kid’s magazine at 8 years old. Monday, I released my first book. When I started this journey, I thought the hard part would be writing enough words for a book. I figured since I knew how to blog, I would just write more words. Right? That sounds logical. I hate when I try to be logical. In reality, the past two years (yep, two years) have been an obstacle course of self-sabotage and defense mechanisms. In fact, writing the words was the easy part. Getting out of my way was a nightmare. I heard constant phrases like: “Who do you think you are?” “You’re not good enough.” “Nobody’s going to like it.” And for a while, I believed it. But I kept pushing anyway. I changed direction a few times. I wrote several outlines. More than once, I started writing concepts only to put them aside. It wasn’t the right topic, not yet, not now. But then, I had an epiphany. I woke up to a new understanding that our inner parts are driven by something greater than trauma. It came to me as I wrote a blog post and I knew this had to be the basis for the book. To back it up, a mentor emailed me after reading the post and said, “You should write that book now.” But even from this point, there was plenty of self sabotage to overcome. A year later, I have completed... read more
I have learned one important thing about the recovery process. It is never boring. Just when I think I have pieced together my past, I will get a memory back leading me to question how I could possibly forget it. Just when I think I am entering a calm emotional state, a new emotion will come floating to the top and take me out of the present moment for a day or four. And just when I think there could not possibly be another inner part to explore, guess what happens. This has been my experience this week. I have been in an integration period. I could feel myself processing out some of the old pain from my Karma Kid. I knew I was transitioning. And being the optimist I am, I was hopeful there wasn’t anything behind it. I’m just kidding. That’s not optimistic. That’s delusional. But it is a delusion I like to embrace on a regular basis because it keeps me going. That delusion has ended as another part has revealed herself. As is true with all my parts, I was already aware of the belief system this part holds. As a matter of a fact, this was one of the very first beliefs I became aware of. I remember exactly where I was. It was eye-opening and disturbing at the same time. It is a defense mechanism that has never let me down. And it has never failed to produce the intended results. I affectionately refer to this defense mechanism as the “superiority complex”. It is directly related to the inferiority complex. It is a... read more
When it comes to trauma recovery, I often hear concerns from my clients about how change will manifest for them. Change is scary for survivors. During the traumatic years, change was never good for us. Needless to say, the idea of purposefully instilling inner change goes against all the defense mechanisms we have spent years building. But even for those who have come to embrace change through recovery, there are concerns. “What if I change so much I don’t recognize myself?” “What if I don’t change enough and I still recognize myself?” “What if I change so much, my current friends and family walk away from me?” “What if I get so comfortable being alone, I don’t care if they walk away?” From personal experience, I can confirm all of these happen. I can also confirm they are not as bad as we think. Let me explain. When I started this journey, I wanted to change myself. I hated who I was. I hated everything about me. Of course, I didn’t know that on a conscious level. But unconsciously, I wanted to be a different person. To be fair, this might have been part of the motivation for my inner parts to consider this journey. If I could be someone else, it might be a great thing. Since I started my recovery, I have been through massive change. I have had hundreds of changes in perspective and moments of clarity. I have changed substantially. Most of that change showed up in two ways. The way I react to difficult people and situations. The way I feel compassion for another’s... read more
There are thousands of reasons our inner parts avoid this recovery work. It’s scary because the emotions feel impossible to survive. It’s scary because they are ashamed of their past and don’t want to be rejected yet again. It’s scary because they don’t want to get in more trouble from their abusers (or others who seem like their abusers). But there is the reason of all reasons. It may be the most existential of all the reasons. “If I recover from my past, if I let go of all the ties to my abusers, all the contracts I thought they made with me, what is left? Who am I?” If I am not defined by my past, how do I define myself? And where did the need to define myself come from in the first place? I wasn’t born with that need. When I was born, I just was. I just existed. I didn’t need labels or contracts with others. I didn’t need a tribe or a clan. In a way, I did. I was completely reliant on others to survive. But I never needed the label that came with it. But in our society, we become so lost, we need labels. We need them to define who we are. And even more importantly, we need them to define who we aren’t. We separate ourselves from others with our labels of them and us, us and them. We make ourselves feel better with our labels. We can put ourselves in nice, neat categories that make life more bearable. In my adult life, I have many labels, some have stuck... read more
The Darkness I traveled this past Sunday and Monday. As a single mother without extended family, traveling isn’t easy. I have to ask friends for help, or pay for overnight babysitters. Neither option is simple for me. But as an extrovert who loves interpersonal exchange and public speaking, traveling to conferences and giving presentations does give me that motivational shot in the arm for the days I don’t leave my house. This trip was preceded by several days of intense anxiety. I knew it wasn’t related to the trip. I was getting a memory back. I was getting some sense of it in my dreams and my mind activity. But I could not seem to overcome the anxiety and release the memory. When I got to the destination airport on Sunday night and went looking for ground transportation, I was sidetracked by someone who had a particular interest in guiding me to a particular cab. My gut was saying to walk away from this guy, but I was tired, and he was already taking my suitcase and piling it into this cab. I was planning to find an Uber car, but this guy didn’t even give me a chance to ask. He was wearing an official airport shirt, but I guarantee he was making a commission from the cab company. Once I was in the cab, I knew I would spend more than I wanted. And being on a tight budget, I was not happy with the outcome. In the scheme of things, it was probably an additional $20, but the trigger overwhelmed my system. I had been ambushed.... read more