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.
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
One of the most important and difficult aspects of recovery work is finding balance in our lives. During our traumatic experiences, our inner parts split off in an attempt to keep us safe. In doing so, they stored their childlike beliefs until they had the opportunity to heal from their past experiences. And these beliefs consider the world from a black and white perspective. It is not a balanced view. But in healing, we can find that balance. Not surprisingly, it takes time and patience to get there. While we need to find balance in every aspect of our lives, one of the most significant is how we view our family. I have heard from most survivors that they struggle to let go of their family. We usually have at least one part who feels an inextricable connection to them. This part is tied to them through blood, DNA and traumatic experiences. All these things can create a contract with those who treat us horribly. Strings are attached and they are hard to cut. But that is only one side of the pendulum swing. Within us, we also hold that inner part who despises the family. And while that anger is not misplaced, that same anger may also be aimed at the self. “If the family is bad, so am I.” “If the family is capable of horrible abuse, so am I.” And on some level, that may be true. All people are capable of both good and bad. But it is our choices that make the difference. We aren’t born with an unfulfilled destiny to commit evil written on our cells. We make that... read more
For the past several years, I have been on a journey to heal my trauma. And not surprisingly, it hasn’t been easy. I have discovered countless belief systems holding me back from the life I want to live. I have expressed more emotions than one body should be capable of holding. I have written my forgotten childhood in hundreds of pages of documented recovered memories. As a part of my coaching business, I have spent hours on the phone with other survivors helping them to learn the same techniques I have learned. I have never felt lonely or bored or without purpose. On the contrary, I have sometimes felt that my life was hurtling out of control and I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to. (I didn’t want to though.) With all the beliefs I have left behind, there has been one nagging, unresolved feeling. I have had NO desire for a social life. I just haven’t really seemed to care about it much. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t felt isolated either. My children are always around. I interact with the parents from my children’s school. I talk with clients all day long. I even go to parties sometimes. And when I am around people, I have been known to NEVER EVER shut up. I know you are not shocked about that. But when I am considering what to do with my free time, the desire to be alone wins almost every time. My extreme extroversion is barely noticeable. And honestly, when it comes to intimate relationships, there has been absolutely no interest. While the later may... read more