Transcending a Childhood of Abuse and Trafficking


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.

Stepping Up:

3 Steps to Overcoming the Awareness Challenge

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Ways that I can support you in our work together...

Calming the Storm

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.

A Legacy of Light

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.

A World of Light

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.

Join the Discussion

The Definition of Me

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

What Matters Most

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

Getting Out of My Way

Lately, I have been inundated with confusion.  This is normally a sign that I am considering change.  But I am not considering change in my conscious mind.  I don’t understand it in my conscious mind.  I am not in charge of it.  It is something happening on an unconscious level.  But in my conscious life, it wrecks havoc.  I am completely unable to make a decision.  I have no sense of my next direction.  The only safe choice I can make is to wait.  And I don’t wait well. From what I have been able to figure out, there seems to be some debate about the concept of punishment versus ownership.  This isn’t new.  Since I discovered my Karma Kid inner part, this has been a common theme.  But it seems there is a significant amount of inner debate at the moment. What is the difference between taking ownership for past adult mistakes and assuming every bad occurrence is punishment for my past? Is it possible to see bad things as “just a thing to be dealt with” instead of “the universe hating my guts”? Can I let go of the self-blame for my childhood experiences, have compassion for my mistakes as an adult and still take ownership for those adult mistakes? Can bad things happen without a temper tantrum?  Can I allow them to happen without assuming the day, week, year is ruined?  Can I allow them to happen without pointing to my clear failings as a human being? These questions are up for debate at the moment.  And it is anything but quiet.  As I am sure... read more

The Power Shift

Sometimes I give in to my inner child and check up on the old family members.  Social media allows for such things, and I am not sure if that is good or bad.  And the decision to check up on them (although very infrequently) comes with a ton of self-ridicule.  “Why do you need to do that?  They are scumbags and abusers.  Who cares what they are doing?”  And that is true, but it doesn’t help to tell myself that.  It is natural and normal for me to wonder.  It takes a long time to break the connection to people we grow up with.  That said, there is never an inkling that I should get in touch with them.  That longing is long gone. But what I saw was an attempt to make me angry.  I saw several blatant, expensive and planned scenarios that were arranged to upset me.  My immediate reaction was, “of course they did that”.  And I heard my inner parts begin to chatter.  They were angry.  They were agitated.  They were frustrated.  But I just went with it.  I stayed aware and I let them chatter. I wasn’t sure where it was going, but an hour later, I was hit with a moment of clarity.  I was in the grocery store.  I don’t know why my moments of clarity always come in grocery stores.  I actually burst out laughing in aisle 5.  In that moment, I figured out something so important. In my recovery, I have been focused on letting go of the ties to my family, of their power over me.  I have always considered them... read more

Waiting to Collapse

I love the Olympics.  Other than the World Cup, it is the only sporting event I watch.  I am fascinated by international sporting events.  I think we should resolve all of our conflicts in this manner.  Of course, we would have to even the playing field with some proper coaching and training for all. But I digress.  This morning, I saw a video in my Facebook newsfeed.  As usual, Facebook always seems to know what I need to see.  Or is that the universe?  I’m not sure.  But this video touched me in a deep way.  While Gabriella’s perseverance and determination was admirable on so many levels, that isn’t what impacted me most.  It was the support.  I watched the Olympic officials off to the side as they followed her (later learning that one was a doctor watching her for signs of health risks).  And I watched them waiting at the finish line.  And I knew she would be okay. Many of us on this recovery journey are exhausted.  I often feel like Gabriella on the inside, even when I don’t look like it on the outside.  Honestly, I probably do look like it on the outside.   I am just fooling myself.  But I have come to a realization lately.  Similar to most of the emotions I feel, it isn’t that I feel this way.  It is my inner parts who feel this way. While our inner parts may feel like formidable opponents in our trauma recovery journey, in reality, they are overwhelmed.  They are young.  And they are always handling more difficult circumstances than their age allows.  Yes. ... read more

You Owe Me

When I was growing up, there were many phrases I didn’t want to hear. “Wait until your father gets home.” “Don’t make things up.” “You made another mistake.” In a normal family, these statements might be bad (and certainly not good parenting), but not necessarily abusive (although maybe).  But in my family, they meant trauma.  Traumatic experiences were coming, and I had to brace myself, dissociate, run or hide.  These statements brought up all my adrenaline-fueled reactions to a ridiculously bad childhood. That said, there is a statement that beats them all.  One phrase had both immediate traumatic implications and a huge long-term impact.  And unfortunately, it was used often.  That phrase was, “You owe me.” Of course, that doesn’t sound like something a parent should say to a child.  But I didn’t live with real parents.  My parents were quick to remind me of the things they did for me.  They wanted to be acknowledged and revered for those few moments when they did something for me.  They wanted my undying gratitude for their moments of helpfulness.  But most importantly, they wanted to hold it over my head, so they could use it as an excuse for their future abusive behavior. And they did use it that way.  When this phrase was used, I was unable to process their abuse as entirely bad.  I had to see it as something different.  It was “an eye for an eye”.  It was my payment for their protection, financial support or moment of helpfulness.  It was what I had to do to continue to expect my parents to do things for... read more

Stepping Up:

3 Steps to Overcoming the Awareness Challenge

 Sign up to receive updates from the

blog and get my FREE eBOOK. 

Begin taking steps today!

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