Taking Life Back After Sexual Trauma

Taking Life Back After Sexual Trauma

While most of my blogs stay gender-neutral, this writing might have a strong slant toward a female audience.  Sexual abuse affects both genders and needs to be addressed for all children.  That said, it does seem to be more prevalent for little girls.  And the impact it has on girls as a population is devastating.  It shows in the body as chronic illness and pain caused by unexpressed emotions of shame, fear and grief.  It shows in relationship through all forms of domestic violence and codependence.  It shows through wage gaps and unfulfilled purposes and careers.  There is no aspect of life that is not permeated by the effects of sexual abuse. But why?  So many of us leave abusive homes and believe we have escaped our trauma.  I remember leaving for college, and although I didn’t remember my abuse, I was hopeful that things would be different, that I could finally live a happy, undisturbed life.  But as most of you already know, that didn’t happen.  It wasn’t going to happen.  And it doesn’t happen for any of us after a childhood of sexual abuse.  And it doesn’t make sense.  We do everything it takes to stop the cycle.  We work hard.  We do our best to avoid people like our abusers.  We try to make people happy.  We exhaust ourselves trying to make life better. But nothing changes.  We go from one bad relationship to another.  We get mistreated by people constantly.  It seems like the entire universe is against us.  With all our efforts to make our external life the best possible life, we have missed...
Embracing the Resistance

Embracing the Resistance

When we work with inner parts for a while, it becomes obvious that it is about resistance.  Our inner parts share their resistance to life.  That resistance can show up in many ways.  It can be a resistance to work (or doing anything at all).  It can be a resistance to relationships with others.  It can be a resistance to taking risks or living out our purpose (usually one in the same).  The real forward-movement comes when we look at our resistant thoughts, not the positive thoughts. But the mainstream self-help world wants us to believe that our healing and recovery happens when we focus on the positive.  It is definitely more convenient.  It feels a lot better.  If we spend our time inundating our minds with positive thoughts, it is a distraction from the pain we are in.  But it doesn’t work … not really.  The power lies in our ability to accept our shadow self, the inner parts within who don’t believe we could ever be good enough, do well enough or even belong on this planet.  If we don’t allow these parts to express, they will stay just below the surface inundating our everyday lives with resistance to what we want.  And there are no mantras for our conscious mind that will overpower the unconscious.  It will never happen. We may set an intention to write that book we have always wanted to write, but our unconscious is telling us we aren’t good enough to be an author. We may have a mantra to take more risks, but our unconscious is full of warnings about staying...
The Girl on the Side

The Girl on the Side

It will probably come as no surprise that I have struggled in relationship for most of my life.  Until I had children, I never felt like a priority to anyone.  And I can hear that inner part who tells me that my children have no choice in the matter.  So I guess the real statement is I have never felt like a priority to anyone who had a choice.  That sounds pitiful.  And I am not looking for pity.  I am just being honest because let’s face it, somebody has to be honest about this stuff.  And I’m going to be very honest.  This discussion feels a bit risky, and for me, that is saying something.  But risk is becoming a part of my daily life these days, despite how much my controller hates it. My relational life has revolved around this concept of “low priority”.  When I have truly fallen for someone, they have always been unavailable.  By unavailable, I mean they were either involved in a relationship or healing from a previous relationship.  I was an afterthought.  I was someone to pass the time with.  I was the person who would get them from one real relationship to another.  But I was never going to be that real relationship for them.  I was never important enough to them.  And the most significant problem was I didn’t know this.  I would tell myself they would focus on me soon.  I would tell myself they were going to leave that other relationship anytime and make me the priority.  I would tell myself things would get better. But that was...
Am I Trapped?

Am I Trapped?

I received my new passport today.  My initial reaction was an overwhelming sense of joy.  That isn’t very common for me, but in this case, it makes sense.  I LOVE to travel.  I almost love it as much as I love talking about trauma recovery and inner parts.  So you probably understand that is a ton of love.  I have been a traveler since a very young age.  I lived in England and the Netherlands and have visited many European countries.  I have a long list of places to see.  And this list is much more important to me than accumulating stuff.  But for the past eleven years, I have been raising my kids with almost no help at all.  I have also been starting a business which has been a bit of a financial challenge (to put it mildly).  I haven’t been in a position to travel.  And honestly, it has been breaking my heart. Last month, when I decided to practice an extreme form of self care and go to a conference in Scotland (and visit England too), you can imagine the upheaval in my inner family system.  My controller was there to shout all the reasons this was a fiscally irresponsible decision.  She quickly loaded on the guilt trips about leaving my kids for the week and how I should spend the money on them.  I should take them on vacation instead.  My mean kid was there to tell me how I don’t deserve to have something so nice and how everything would go wrong.  On the flip side, my younger inner parts were so excited...