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.
4 Reasons We Struggle in Relationship & 4 Things We Can Do About It Let’s face it. Relational trauma leads to less-than-stellar relational patterns. And while some healing must happen in relationship, re-traumatization is almost guaranteed. So as I mentioned in another post, there are some aspects of trauma recovery that must happen in isolation or with professional helpers only. But when we are ready to venture in to the world of relationship again, we have to be aware of how we perpetuate our relationship patterns. And believe me, that is painful. It might be the most painful part of recovery. So I want to take this opportunity to help you with it. I want to show you some examples of how you might be perpetuating your trauma patterns based on your own expectations. What do I mean? When we expect the world to work a certain way, it does. Now there a million reasons that statement might trigger you. It sounds awfully victim-blamey. It sounds very new-agey. It sounds like you have tried that and it has failed. But stay with me here. Consider what I have to say about it. It is not your conscious beliefs that are driving this fiasco. It is your inner parts. And while I love them dearly, they need to be taught some new things. Their expectations are ruining lives. So how do those expectations ruin your life? Here are some examples. They think in terms of “all or nothing”. This is actually meant to be a phase of childhood development, but many of us never grow out of it. We have... read more
In my early life, my perfection mask was the best. I covered up all of my insecurities with accomplishments and acquisitions. But I had unconscious beliefs that I knew were the “truth”. I unconsciously knew there was something horribly wrong with me. I unconsciously knew that horrible things had happened to me. I unconsciously knew it was my fault they happened to me. So I was damaged. But I didn’t consciously know until I was pregnant with my twins. At that point, something started to shift. My insecurities started to come forward. My panic that my children would not be safe began rising from the depths of my repressed trauma. I started to get in touch with my intuitive understanding that everything I thought was real was not real. And by the time the twins were born, I was in a full panic most of the time. I had no idea how to care for kids. I knew I had not been taught by my own parents although I didn’t know why I knew that yet. As the memories came back and the emotions were felt, I made several promises to my kids. I would never traffic them. I would never sexually abuse them or allow anyone else to do that. I would never physically abuse them or allow anyone else to do that. I would not neglect them. I would love them unconditionally and be emotionally available to them. I would be a real mother and protector. I wanted to do these things because I didn’t want my children to feel as damaged as I felt. I wanted... read more
I have been coaching trauma survivors for a few years and I love it. I love it so much, I have been known to jump around my office and cheer for the amazing progress a client is making. I love it so much, I struggle to find balance because I always want to check in with my email and Facebook. It isn’t coming from obligation. It is coming from purpose. And I love that feeling, even when I have to focus on balance because of it. But when the intuitive message came through loud and clear that I was supposed to start my first group, I was hesitant. It was one thing to coach clients on a 1-on-1 basis, but it was very different to run a group. Let’s face it, those of us with relational trauma can struggle in groups. I wondered what I was getting myself into. How many triggered survivors would I have to talk out of leaving the group? How many times would I cringe as I watched conversations with varying opinions go in a defensive direction? I worried. Mostly, I worried whether or not I would be capable of moderating a group of survivors in a way that would feel safe. I did not want to be a part of the problem. I did not want to run a group that became another source of invalidation for a survivor. I have heard the stories. It’s hard to find a home when we already have a tendency to separate and isolate as a defense. And when someone disagrees with us, we might take that all-or-nothing... read more
I’m going to get real about helpers today. Helpers can come in many forms. They can be therapists, life coaches, energy workers, EFT practitioners, mentors and more. All of these professionals have the potential to help trauma survivors. But these relationships have the potential to get off track, to cause harm, to re-traumatize. In social work school, I had one professor who had us frequently repeat the mantra, “Don’t sleep with your clients.” It was sort of tongue and cheek and it sort of wasn’t. But I am not talking about the obvious stuff today. The stuff that throws us off guard is the stuff we don’t see coming. Maybe we don’t see it because it is subtle. Or maybe we don’t see it because we are repeating our unconscious patterns and haven’t developed awareness yet. Either way, we can be thrown off our recovery path when we repeat patterns with our helpers. So here is my list of what not to do if you are a helper or a help-seeker. Helpers: Don’t deny a self-diagnosis. When a client is exploring whether a particular mental illness describes them, don’t dismiss it. Your clients might have a tendency toward “catastrophizing” or even hypochondria, but examine it with them. Explore the possibilities. I find this to be especially necessary with dissociative identity disorder. We have seen the Hollywood version of D.I.D. and we assume this means we would know immediately if we met someone with this disorder. But that’s not true. It can be very subtle. Parts are great at disguising themselves, especially in front of helpers. If you are thinking,... read more
The holidays are hard for survivors of trauma. I know that’s not a shocking statement. Our circumstances are usually less than stellar. Either we spend it without the majority of our family or we spend it with them but wish we hadn’t. Our external situation can create so much angst. In the past several years, I have come to terms with my holiday situation. I have come to enjoy my small holiday gatherings, usually involving one or two friends and my children. I really do like it. It is so much less complicated. And there is room for the creation of my own traditions. All the fretting I did about my kids getting the bad end of the family deal has been for naught. My kids don’t know what they are missing. And believe me, that’s a good thing. That family sucks. But there’s another side to the holidays for survivors. It is the unpredictable inner world. You never know when it will rear its head. For me, I was introduced to a new part on Thanksgiving Day. He seemed like a pretty amiable part in the scheme of things. I was okay with this part. I was working through the memories and emotions without too much fanfare or resistance. It’s never pleasant, but I was doing okay with it. But two days before Christmas, it all took a turn for the worst. The expression from this part made a massive shift. It got nasty. I came to understand this part was repeating my father’s words, but I didn’t know that at first. I was inundated with the horrific... read more
5 Reasons Recovery is Not Fair & 3 Things You Can Do About It During the past ten years, I have been on a recovery journey full of miracles and pain which surpassed my greatest imagination. And over the past three years, I have worked with many survivors of trauma who are taking their own trek to find a better way of living. I have learned many lessons about life from my own journey and the journeys of others. But there is one life lesson that rises to the top. It’s not fair! That may sound like the ranting of a two-year-old, but it’s also true. There is nothing particularly fair about this life. And when it comes to a childhood of trauma, it is the most unfair. What do I mean? I thought you would never ask. I’ve been creating a list just to prove my point. We have to treat our inner parts like nobody ever treated us. You may have heard of the term “re-parenting” during your recovery journey. It may have even triggered you. How dare anyone suggest that you have to do the job your parents never did. It isn’t fair that we have to be compassionate, accepting and loving to our inner parts when we never experienced it. How are we supposed to do that? How do we express love we never had? Where do we start? There was nobody to save us in childhood and there is nobody to save us now. Despite our deep longing for a savior, human beings are not capable of saving another. They may be able to do... read more