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.
The Process When it comes to recovery, I am lucky. I am lucky because I get flashbacks along with my emotions. I know what you are thinking. That doesn’t sound very lucky. But flashbacks give me valuable information about why I am experiencing the emotions. It can keep me from drowning in them because I know where they are coming from. I can say to myself, “This emotion is about that flashback.” And I can calm my brain down (sometimes). But there is an unlucky part. I often get the emotions first. Sometimes I get the emotions a day or two before the flashbacks, sometimes it is only minutes, but there is some period of time where I am not sure where the feeling came from. But even with this, I am lucky. You see, my memories come in themes. I get a wave of memories back at a time and they all relate to something I am processing. The great thing about that is the emotion and memories are similar. So after I make it through the first in a series (which is a bit of a mess), I know what I am in for. This latest round of memories has been quite the journey. There were a bunch of people in my childhood who felt the need to tell me what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t succeed. My adult self recognizes all of these conversations as projections, but my child self is still trying to determine if they were right or wrong. With each memory she shows me, I am able to show her... read more
Inner Battles Planning for the future is hard for survivors. In many cases, we spent a childhood seriously questioning our ability to live to the next day, year or decade. The end always seemed to be right around the corner. In reality, it might not have been, but it felt like it. We may have even wished it was. I am no different in this regard, although I was unaware of it for quite some time. While I have a part that doesn’t see a future, I also have a planner perfectionist part who always overrode anything else. She was in charge for all the big future-oriented events. She saved the money. She bought and decorated the houses. She planned the vacations. She made sure everything was in perfect order all the time. She pushed through the exhaustion, the flashbacks, the emotional swings and any hints of the truth. She was a direct replica of my mother in that she internalized all the survival mechanisms that were employed by my parents. The most important mechanism was the mask of perfection. It wasn’t until I started to override her (which caused quite an internal war) that I began to notice the other parts. And one such part was holding all the futility, all the resistance to the future. For a while, I wished I could push that part back where she came from. Based on my willful default personality type, I wanted nothing to do with futility. But I knew that pushing this aspect of self back in to the shadows would do nothing but make it more prominent in... read more
This week, I experienced a physical release in my body. I get these often as a part of my recovery. The emotions and memories have been stored in my body and I am releasing them as I recover. But the physical releases come with good and bad. I love the feeling of freedom that comes with the release. I have to expend much less energy maintaining that particular defended place. I have less muscle tension to keep me drained. However, with those releases come emotions. And they can be hard to handle. I have also noticed that location matters. When I have a physical release in my knee, the impact can be more tolerable. I can handle the anger and sadness as long as I can keep it from impacting my family. But I knew I was in trouble with this one. The physical release happened just below my heart. I can’t think of a more potent spot than that. To make matters worse, I could feel the desperate attempt to shut it back down. I had to focus for hours to allow it to stay released. I knew I was in trouble. After the release, I was inundated with hopelessness. It is the worst feeling of all the feelings. It is the feeling that brings the suicidal ideation. To stay present with that feeling is the most difficult thing I have ever done. To make matters worse, I have noticed I am not alone. While the feeling of isolation can contribute to suicidal ideation, I certainly don’t wish these feelings upon anyone. Yet I have been approached by... read more
The Emptiness Over the past few days, I have been feeling an unusual emptiness. It isn’t sadness or depression. I am used to those feelings. It is as though a part of me has dropped away. But this part of me is not really me. I am still here. I have checked in with my parts. They are still here. But they are a bit quieter, a bit less distracted, a bit less focused on the past. And maybe that feels empty to me. What do I do with all of that extra time, energy, focus that was spent on the past? I am assuming I should spend it in the present moment. I should spend it manifesting my dreams. I have read that is a good thing to do. But I think I am in this middle period where something has left but nothing has come. And honestly, it feels weird. It isn’t a bad weird. It is like the first time I felt joy and I started to cry because I didn’t understand it. I am not crying though. I am just sitting here staring at the wall (or writing like now). I am trying to understand this new feeling and let myself feel empty. I am trying to visualize the positive things that could fill it up. If I am not inundated by the response to my traumatic past, by the feelings of anger, the need for revenge, the grief of the deep loss that was my childhood, what could fill that space? More joy? More love? More present moment experiences with my children? More of... read more
Over the past month, I have written two articles with a focus on anxiety. I have experienced anxiety from a young age. I have also noticed it in my children. And I have some observations about how it starts, how we pass it down, and how it manifests. PsychCentral: The Anxious Cycle: How Children Inherit Our Anxiety The Huffington Post: Anxiety in Children: Don’t Look the Other... read more
I Am Glad To Have Met You Over the past 6 years, I have been blessed to meet you and learn from you. While I didn’t know about you for many years, I have learned that you are those parts of me that separated during my traumatic childhood. While you used to sabotage my every move and infiltrate my fleeting peaceful moments, we have a different relationship now, a much healthier relationship. This healing spiral we have been traveling has brought us through some rough memories and emotions. You have been brave in your willingness to share information, express deep emotional pain, and help me question the world around me. While you have been highly motivated to let go of your pain, you have been less motivated to trust, and that makes sense. But you keep considering the possibilities that I bring to you and for that, I am grateful. That One Thing There is one stopping point on this healing spiral that brings the most pain, the most resistance. While letting go of the betrayals by friends, the years of trafficking and the sex abuse has been possible, you still can’t let go of the parents. It isn’t that you can’t let go of those particular parents. You just can’t let go of the idea that you deserve parents, real parents, unconditionally loving parents. And you are right. You do deserve it. You did deserve it. You deserved parents that didn’t manipulate you, sell you, rape you, and tell you how worthless you were. But you didn’t get that. And you won’t get that in this lifetime. They... read more