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.
I haven’t met a survivor who hasn’t been invalidated as they have journeyed through their recovery process. When we hear invalidating statements, it hits us hard. But there is a way to make it less painful. Believe it or not, invalidation is a process. It isn’t a fluke. It isn’t random. It is specifically arranged by the universe to wake us up. And I am going to explain how you can do that in the least painful way. Step 1: We must have the initial pain of invalidation after a childhood experience. This invalidation may come with malicious intent. For example, if we experienced sexual abuse and try to tell an enabler parent, we may be faced with the famous accusation that we are making it up. Gaslighting is the most popular manipulation tactic used by enablers of sexual abuse. However, the invalidation may come in seemingly harmless statements from otherwise well-meaning people. In these cases, it is harder to unravel the impact on our psyches because it just didn’t seem so bad. For example, we might tell someone how we are going to rise above our circumstances one day, and we may be told to be realistic by someone who wants to keep us from being hurt by failure. Step 2: We must internalize that invalidation as a means to keep our pain as unconscious as possible. Let’s be fair, this isn’t really a step. It is an automatic occurrence that happens as a child is invalidated, but it is critically important to our reaction to invalidation in adulthood. Step 3: We grow up and decide we want... read more
What can I do about it? My work with clients often comes in themes. Most of the time, I find that my clients’ inner work is a reflection of my own journey and we grow together. But lately, a new theme is emerging. And it is not something I am currently facing in my own life because I am single. Many people are coming to me with the same message. “My husband is angry and I can’t convince him that he needs help.” Just because I am single doesn’t mean I haven’t lived with angry people. Until recently, I have lived with angry people my entire life. And because I lived with angry people, I know anger. I get anger. I lived most of my young life trying to suppress my own anger, only to have it come out as passive aggression and emotional explosions about small stuff. And unlike society in general, I have learned to embrace my anger. I have learned how to express my anger safely. And I have learned why we are scared of it. But I have also learned that the fear is not based in reality. It is suppression that creates the problem with anger. Safe expression is not the problem. While society doesn’t love anger, men have been taught that anger is all they have (as long as they express it privately). Their vulnerable emotions have been shamed with phrases like “man-up” and “don’t be a pussy”, which is very traumatic for a child who just wants to express.. It tends to be passed down from one generation to the next by... read more
I have been triggered today. While I don’t normally write blog posts from this place (unless they are written by parts), I feel I have an obligation to sound a wake up call when it comes to generational trauma. I feel a strong desire to write this despite knowing it is likely to offend some people. Leading up to Mother’s Day, I focused many of my Facebook posts on how to cope with having an unloving mother. It can be a hard day for those of us who struggle in our relationship with our mothers or those of us who no longer have a relationship with our mothers. Without fail, I would wake up each morning to at least one comment or message from a mother who had been cut off by her daughter. The messages went something like this: “I am in so much pain because I am no longer able to see my grandchildren. I don’t know why my daughter has chosen to cause me so much agony.” To be fair, I don’t expect every Facebook commenter to know my story. They think of their experience as traumatic, and it certainly is. But if they read my story, they would know that they are barking up the wrong tree. I left my mother many years ago because I knew the safety of my children was at stake. She did not prioritize the safety of children over the needs of her husbands when I was a child, and I knew that had not changed. And I received that email from my mother too, written much the same way as... read more
It’s almost Mother’s Day again. It comes every year without fail. I try not to play the “society says we celebrate this today” game, but it is hard when I grew up in an environment where conforming was a life or death situation. And even if I attempted to ignore it, I probably couldn’t. My kids are now old enough to remember these days on the calendar. That is great for a single mother on Mother’s Day. But that can be bad when I might otherwise want to pretend it is just another day. I can get through Mother’s Day because I am a mother. I can do my best to focus my attention on what a great mother I am (most days). I can celebrate myself and all I do. And the kids are great for my ego too. No matter how many times I screw up, they still think I am pretty awesome (except when I make them eat vegetables and clean their room). I usually get some homemade cards or trinkets and that is just perfect for me. But there is something in the background on this day. There is a dull hum saying “something isn’t quite right”. And that makes sense. I don’t spend Mother’s Day with my mother or my grandmother or any other woman in my family for that matter. I don’t go to the traditional overcrowded and overpriced brunch with 200 of my closest family members to celebrate all the mothers that are keeping the family name alive. It is just me and the kids, and a good friend I am blessed... read more
Happiness Is Not a Choice There are more clichés about being happy than the hairs on my head. Most of them frustrate me. Some of them even trigger me. They may be well-intentioned, but the result of these “happiness” memes and quotes is to invalidate other emotions. And by now, you know my deep commitment to unconditional emotional expression. So when I read “happiness is a choice”, I typically end up screaming at the computer, “No. It’s not!” Don’t get me wrong. It is possible to stop our thoughts from fueling our emotions. That is absolutely true. But when a feeling comes up in the body (and it comes first contrary to popular opinion), we have a choice. We can shove it back down and defend against it with a mask of happiness. Or we can allow it to flow through like it wants, like it needs, like our inner child needs. One choice denies healing. One choice allows for healing. All that said, I am acutely aware of the self talk created by my feelings from my traumatic past. Realistically, every single person in first world societies has this same self talk, with or without severe trauma. It runs on a continuum. And since my trauma was severe, my self talk is louder and more obvious. You may have guessed what that self talk says. “I’ll be happy when …” I’ll Be Happy When I Get a Break And there is nothing that fuels this self talk more than parenting. I’ll be happy when the kids are sleeping. I’ll be happy when they stop waking up at 6 AM... read more
Hi there. It’s the inner defender here. In reality, I am one of the inner defenders. Some inner defenders don’t like me because my methods draw attention. But I have learned through the years that some things work and some things don’t. And honestly, hiding away or being super nice all the time does absolutely no good. People keep coming around because they can sense weakness. The best approach is to be mean. And here are my reasons why. Being mean gains respect from the mean people. I definitely know how to get nasty. I have learned from the best. And since Elisabeth would never allow this behavior, I just take over and handle it. Since I am uncensored, I can beat almost any bully at their own game. I can be louder and I can use more threatening language. And they respect me. When they respect me, they leave me alone. Even in the case of my abusers, if I was mean to someone they didn’t like, it would almost be a bonding moment. And let’s be real, being nice just gets us hurt. People don’t respect nice people. They see it as a sign of weakness. Nice people don’t get treated nicely. They get bullied. It just doesn’t work. That is why I have to shut down the younger inner children. They are too damned nice to everyone. Being mean distracts people from the blame game. When someone is coming at me because they think I have done something wrong, there is nothing better than a nasty, mean explosion to distract them. The nastier I sound, the... read more