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 have been at this recovery “stuff” for a while now. Most of us have discovered that this is a lifelong journey. I am not the only person who has figured that part out. But there are some other things I have discovered as I have moved through the darkness in to the light. I share these with my clients often, but honestly, most of us need to hear them more than once. Our defense mechanisms can make retention difficult to say the least. So I thought I would share my secrets with you even though they aren’t really secrets. But if I tell you they are secrets, your inner child parts might be more willing to listen up. So here they are. 1) There is a voice behind every emotion. Many people ask me how to find their inner child(ren). It may be the most frequent question I hear. It is not surprising. I write about the inner child(ren) all the time. And while there are many options for reaching out to the inner child(ren), there is one method that never fails. You must look behind the emotions. Any emotion will do: sadness, hopelessness, rage, even joy can provide you a window to the inner child(ren). And while you may not hear the voice at first because the emotion may be too intense, eventually you will hear a message. And when that happens, it is time to let that voice speak. I recommend writing it down. And I recommend not interrupting. It is tempting to soothe that voice. It is tempting to offer solutions. But don’t. Honestly, they... read more
The ‘R’ Word I went public with my recovery work about three years ago. During those three years, I have learned a thing or two about what makes survivors cringe and what doesn’t. Honestly, as a survivor, I already know what makes me cringe. And there is nothing that will divide a survivor community more quickly than the word – responsibility. There is so much tied up in that word. We are already trying to fight our way out of a sea of blame, shame and guilt our abusers placed on us. Even if we have largely removed any self-blame from our adult cognition, it is still creating difficulties for us beneath the surface on the unconscious realm. So when we see an image on Facebook that indicates we are responsible for our lives and our happiness, we want to throw the computer, tablet or phone out the window. I get that. I really do. I have some amazing friends building businesses in the personal growth sector. I love them dearly. But sometimes, I want to scream from the rooftops that trauma recovery doesn’t work like those traditional images say it does. We can’t just wake up one day and make a decision to be happy, rich, successful or even compassionate. We are up against a little more than our conscious thoughts. We have to dig deep. We have to find all those unhealed parts beneath the surface and heal them too. Otherwise, those decisions we would love to make ain’t gonna happen. The Subtleties Even with my extensive knowledge about this, I have touched a nerve with that... read more
I often work with clients to embody their inner parts and allow them to express. This is instrumental to the healing process. When we allow those parts to express, we allow those past emotions to release. It may feel backwards or illogical, but that is how it works. In my own recovery journey, I do this many times per week. But something occurred to me recently. I have never shared my written inner conversations with you, so this week I will. To set up this scenario, we are currently in the middle of a snow storm. I am feeling some anxiety about it, so I decided to write a conversation with my fearful inner child. I hope this helps you to understand how this process works. Please understand this conversation comes after years of practice at inner part embodiment. When you get started, it may be difficult to switch back and forth quickly. That is okay. Just embody one part and write from them for a while. It will be immensely healing. A Conversation Between Me and My Inner Child (8 to 10 years old): We are doomed. There is no way to escape. We can’t get out. This is just like before. We are completely stuck in this house, in this neighborhood, in this city. My plans can’t work like this. There must always be an escape route. Don’t you understand that. I hear you. I understand your need for a viable escape route at all times. But we are fine. We have power. We have warmth. We have food. We are safe in this home. The kids... read more
Determined to Escape When I was 8 years old, I was determined. I guess that’s not surprising. I have always been determined. But at 8 years old, I was determined to solve problems that no child should ever have to solve. I was looking for a way out of my family. I wasn’t just determined. I was desperate. And I thought I had found the way. That summer, I made a friend in an older college-aged kid. He was safe because he was gay. And at the end of the summer, he was leaving for college. I was convinced he would take me with him. I have no idea if he ever indicated he would take me. As an adult, I understand the absurdity in that. He would have been charged with kidnapping. Instead of going to college, he would go to jail and make enemies with my evil father. But as a child, I was convinced he was my ticket out of hell. I was sure he would save me. I finally had hope. Not surprisingly, when he left at the end of the summer, I was devastated. I was partially devastated because the only person I could trust (or so I thought) was gone. But I was more devastated that I wasn’t going to be leaving my family behind. I was stuck there. And my hope was gone. The pain was so intense, I made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide the night he left. After that failed, I made a decision to repress my memories. That was the night that I forgot the pain of my past... read more
I often mention the importance of self love and unconditional acceptance of all our parts. But I will be the first admit that not all parts are easy to love and accept. Sometimes I ignore a part because it makes my stomach crawl to consider I might embody those feelings. I have to work hard to bring them in to my awareness and embrace them with the same love I give the parts of me I can accept. I have so much trouble in accepting some parts it is hard to write it down here. But I know there is a chance that others struggle with accepting the same parts. So I will do it … for my survivor friends. 1) My inner cynic. I know how important it is to embrace what is and stop using all my energy to resist life. But I have one heck of a cynical part. There are days when I can feel the negative energy rising up in me. Sometimes I just want to watch a Matt Bellasai video and cheer him on. Sometimes I need to resist it all. Sometimes I need to complain about every little aspect of my life that isn’t perfect. And if I explain that away, I am resisting my resistance. 2) My inner serial killer. I wish this was a metaphor for something else, but it isn’t. You see, there are two types of rage. There is regular rage. I don’t have a problem with that. I can scream in my car. I can throw pillows. It helps me know when a new memory is coming.... read more
The Movement I love the conscious parenting movement. Amazing teachers like Janet Lansbury and L.R. Knost changed my perspective with their focus on respecting the child. I have to admit, the concepts came easy to me. I knew deep down inside they were right even though I did not experience that type of parenting as a child. I innately knew this was my parenting method as my conscious thoughts lined up with everything I was reading. I knew I was going to be that kind of parent, a respectful parent. I had already been in recovery for a few years from my childhood of abuse and trafficking so I knew I would be different from my family. I had removed the abusers from our lives for my children’s safety. I had already embraced yoga, meditation and some daily awareness practices. I was sure I was equipped to handle it. So I was surprised that, in practice, I wasn’t handling it. My kids were triggering me with their behavior. But their behavior wasn’t bad. It was normal for children. They were just being kids. They were pushing boundaries. They were expressing their individuality. And I was coming unglued. I was exploding at them for the smallest reasons. And I was so sad, guilty and anxious about it which made everything worse. I wanted to be the parent I was reading about. And I wasn’t. Bridging the Gap I decided that conscious parenting was not enough. I knew that my kids deserved respect. And I was aware of what I needed to do. But that wasn’t going to change my trauma... read more