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.
Like all survivors, I have good days and I have bad days. Unlike popular opinion regarding emotions and moods, PTSD isn’t always something I can control with my thinking. My inner parts believe they are living in the past and they are sharing those past emotions with me. When that happens, I have a choice. I can choose to validate my inner parts by acknowledging that I feel like crap. Or I can ignore it, shove it back down, numb it out or any of the methods encouraged by society. And while being happy at all costs makes the rest of the world comfortable, I am done making everyone else comfortable at my expense. So I have bad days. I have days when I feel hopeless about the future. I don’t feel this way because there is any significant problem with today. I feel this way because I felt hopeless during my trauma. And that feeling was completely justified. It was truly hopeless. I have days when I feel so anxious and agitated I can barely stand the presence of another adult human being, let alone my children. I don’t feel this way because my current life is agitating me. I feel this way because I am still angry about the past. I am angry with the perpetrators and I am still working through it. I am angry with myself because I am still blaming myself for something. And it doesn’t mean I haven’t worked with my anger yet. It means I am not done. I have days when I feel undeserving of anything good. I feel no matter... read more
I often write about trauma recovery as a process or steps. I do this for many reasons. First, I have always loved making a confusing thing more understandable. I think this is a gift that I was supposed to bring to the world in one form or another. Second, it is a defense mechanism. Let’s face it. Trauma recovery is messy. It doesn’t make a lot of sense except in hindsight. And I love to be in my brain. It feels safe. It feels controllable. It feels less scary. And even though I may be fooling myself, it helps a little. Third, it appeals to your defense mechanisms. I love that I can make you feel a little safe too. And if we create a community of momentary relief from the trauma recovery process, we should do that. But today, I wanted to do something a little different. Today I am going to get super-real. I am going to discuss what the real process looks like because we all know it doesn’t come in 4, 5, 6 or even 7 steps. It looks more like a child’s finger painting project with a dot at the end (or realistically there may be no dot at the end but we will hope). It doesn’t make sense. We can’t control it. It never feels safe. And we just want the whole thing to be over. So here is a realistic account of what trauma (and in my case, memory) recovery looks like: I have an energetic or physical release somewhere in my body. I get the sense that something isn’t quite right.... read more
“Maybe if they die, I won’t feel so guilty for speaking up. Maybe they will apologize on their death bed. Maybe they will finally say the right thing. Maybe I will find a way to make everyone stop fighting. I’ll finally be the peacemaker I wanted to be. I don’t want to burn those bridges. I might still need them. I always wanted a mother. I always wanted a father. Maybe they will treat my kids how I wanted to be treated. Maybe if I let them buy me enough stuff, it will fill the hole of emptiness from not having real parents. Maybe they will change. Maybe they will tell me they love me and mean it – just once. Maybe they will finally see me as a good person. Maybe they will tell me that. Maybe things will be different if I wait a little longer. Maybe I won’t have to feel the pain of rejection and abandonment from childhood. Maybe everything will be better without that. It shouldn’t have to be so hard. I’ll just wait for them to be better, to treat me better. It will happen, won’t it? I’ll just wait.” The Inner Child The Pain is Real There’s so much judgment out there for those of us who leave a family behind. Survivors talk to me all the time about how they are invalidated and judged for their decision. Outsiders seem to believe it is a flippant decision made to get the parents back for their minor infractions. The abuse is often minimized. The decision to leave is seen as irresponsible, disloyal and... read more
I make it clear that my recovery journey involves repressed memories. And honestly, it hasn’t been an easy thing to explain. Most people can’t fathom how our brain can dissociate to that extent. Most people can’t understand how we can forget such incredibly traumatic events. But that’s the point, isn’t it? It is because they are incredibly traumatic that we forget in the first place. My story is extreme. I forgot the majority of my childhood. Even before I started recovery, I used to ponder my lack of memories. I even told my father I could not remember living in the same house with him. He pretended not to understand why. Most of my memories have been tied to my inner parts who would take over during traumatic times. This recent discovery of Dissociative Identity Disorder has led to a much better understanding of my past and how I handled it. But I have heard from many survivors about their own stories of memory repression. Sometimes, they remember most of their trauma, but not everything. Sometimes, there are only a few events which are repressed. Sometimes, they remember everything with no emotions tied to the memories at all. However it manifests, the biggest problem with memory repression is the doubts. People love to tell us how repressed memories are somehow less reliable than other memories. While I will be the first to admit human memory is fallible to some extent, repressed memories are certainly no less reliable. But society has told us differently. There have been entire foundations created to discredit the recovered memories of abuse victims. So now,... read more
Dear Karma Kid, I know you have heard it a hundred times, but your past doesn’t define you. And because you have heard it a hundred times, I am going to explain what I mean. You are not evil because you grew up amongst evil. You endured evil. You experienced evil. But none of those things make you innately evil. I know the statistics. Those who commit evil have been through their own trauma. That is true. How could they know it otherwise? But you are not what you experienced. You don’t have to claim victim, survivor, or even overcomer as your primary identity. Sure, you have a story. And your story sucks. Your story sounds so horrible, a screenwriter couldn’t come up with that crap. But it isn’t all that you are. It isn’t even most of what you are. Don’t get me wrong, there would be no Beating Trauma without it. But it doesn’t define you. More importantly, it doesn’t limit you. There aren’t certain thresholds of life that become unavailable to you because of your story or any other reason. More importantly, you aren’t destined to fail because of your past. You are worthy of the same beautiful life everyone can attain by gaining a deep self understanding and working hard. You are worthy of great things even though the first part of your life was far from great. You don’t have to live with the label of evil because you were coerced to do evil as a child. This is a tough one for you. I get it. You were brainwashed. You were told you... read more
I never ask for help. Some might say that is a result of my own need to be perfect. Some might blame it on my inability to trust. Others might say it is an inability to be vulnerable. And honestly, those are all true to some extent. But recently, I have come to understand another angle to the complex kaleidoscope that is my inner world. I have found another inner part. And her understanding of the world is very complex and somewhat mature. It is so mature that I am struggling to separate from some of her beliefs. In other words, she seems right to me, at least somewhat. Interestingly, she comes as the yin to my mean girl’s yang. I have to admit I didn’t see that coming. But apparently, when my mean girl split, there was another simultaneous split. A very calm, caring and rational being came to exist at the same time. I have to admit I like her. She doesn’t yell at me. She doesn’t insult me. She is even a bit vulnerable like some of my younger parts, but not in a desperate way. That said, I also realize she has caused me some significant problems in life. Her expectations of how the world works have been the ultimate form of sabotage. I believe her to be trauma-bonded, but not in the traditional sense of the word. She is not so young that she believes we must love those that hurt us. I have another part like that. She is different. She believes we are bonded to the abusers for life, but not through... read more