feelings in the moment

FEELINGS in the MOMENT

FEELINGS in the MOMENT   Children show their feelings in the moment. If they are happy, you see their smiles. If children are sad, they cry. Young children and older ones who are abused often learn to hide their emotions. I know I did. In my abusive family-of-origin, I was often punished if I showed happiness. I learned to hide my emotions – sadness, joy, frustration, etc. When trauma occurs, whether a single incident such as one rape or constant abuse (including sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and spiritual abuse), we often deny the emotions that occur at the time. In long-term abuse, the victims many times choose not to let the pain and hurt show. As adults who have been traumatized, it is not uncommon to minimize the impact of the trauma. Abuse and trauma have a huge impact in our lives. Once a person begins to deal with the trauma – usually with the help of therapy – the victim starts to feel the deep and intense emotions. These feelings include pain, disappointment, despair, fear, and terror (especially if non-state torture was part of the victimization). Survivors may notice where in their bodies they contain the tension. Anxiety, panic, ...
fragile: handle with care

FRAGILE: HANDLE with CARE

FRAGILE: HANDLE with CARE   Life is fragile at times for all of us. As survivors of trauma of any type, we may tend to believe we are immensely strong. We are strong and we also have moments or times of fragility. I especially like to clean my abode before holidays and birthdays. A clean house, laundry washed, and papers sorted put me in relaxed state of mind. Nothing needs to be done. I can experience the holidays or a birthday free of chores and free of a list of items to accomplish. As I was cleaning my living space before Christmas, all moved along quite smoothly. A shower was next on my list followed by laundry. As I stepped into the bedroom, I heard a loud pop and glass breaking. A light bulb over the bathroom sink burst! A small segment of the bulb with very sharp edges remained in the socket. Small glass fragments were all over the sink, floor and bathroom rugs. Shoes, I thought. I must put on shoes! The sudden breaking of the light bulb appeared to be a sign to me. A sign of what? I do not know. Immediately gratitude washed over me ...
triggers - surprise attacks

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS   You are well on your healing road. Life is moving along smoothly or smoothly enough. You, as a survivor of abuse or trauma, most probably have insight regarding what triggers you. One day you realize old behaviors have returned. Maybe you are drinking more alcohol than normal, or you are turning to food or away from food, or you reenact part of the past abuse/torture, or suddenly you have a dream (or dream segment) that contains parts of what occurred during the abuse. Maybe you are irritable and less tolerant than normal. You realize that triggers have attacked you by surprise! What do you do? How do you cope? First, sit and breathe ….. More insight is available! You are growing and healing further. As you sit and breathe, relax. Let go of preconceived notions. In fact, let go of all thoughts for 5 – 10 – 20 minutes. Hear the silence as your noisy thoughts move in and out of your mind as clouds move across the sky. Pay little notice. Sit with yourself, your true inner being. Now, as calmness and clarity becomes prominent, reflect on the last days or weeks. Triggers can be ...
resiliency - life after shock

RESILIENCY: LIFE AFTER SHOCK

RESILIENCY: LIFE AFTER SHOCK   Resiliency. Life after shock is sobering. The shock hits! Bam! What is your personal response? How do you cope? Shocks initiate from diverse occurrences. These can be caused by individual trauma, as well as local, country-wide or global disturbances. A short list of causes of shock is below. There are many, many more. Rape. Loss of a child in a custody battle. A diagnosis of cancer for you or a loved one Unexpected death of a friend or loved one. A wildfire that burns your home. An earthquake that demolishes a city. A gunman that murders individuals in a movie theater or a school. Shootings in your local neighborhood – many of which result in deaths of innocent people including children. An election result that puts a narcissistic person in power who stands for division and hatred. How do you cope when your first hear of the news? What is your behavior the next day? A week later? A month? Years? If you research the topic of resiliency on the Internet, you will find many articles on this topic. My life (as well as others) have consisted of much trauma and moments of shock. There ...
courage to escape

COURAGE to ESCAPE

 COURAGE TO ESCAPE (And the COURAGE to DEAL with the AFTERMATH)   This blog post is dedicated to all those who took the risk of leaving a situation of abuse and those who are contemplating escaping from one. Whether you are a teenager who found a way to leave your home due to sexual, physical or emotional abuse and trauma or a spouse in a domestic violence situation or a victim of clergy abuse in any religious organization, I commend you for taking the steps needed to survive, to take care of yourself, and to have the courage to escape. If you are thinking of leaving a situation of abuse and trauma, the courage to escape is a necessary ingredient. Remember, you are worthy of freedom, peace and joy! Once upon a time, there was a woman who was in her late 40’s when she left one country ten years ago (2006) to protect her daughter, Megan. Yes, this is my story. The focus today is not on those early years after leaving my abusive husband and Megan’s abusive father. Today I want to share with you my journey into homelessness after my trial for custodial interference and my journey ...
freedom from triggers

FREEDOM from TRIGGERS

FREEDOM from TRIGGERS   As I am writing this post, it is Easter Sunday in the Christian calendar. This post on freedom from triggers may be triggering for some individuals, especially spiritual abuse and extreme abuse survivors. Please take care of yourself and use your discretion. The path to freedom for domestic violence survivors as well as other trauma survivors may begin with the actual physical freedom one experiences when the victim no longer is in the environment with the abuser/perpetrator.   Leaving the abusive situation means no longer having physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual abuse and/or torture perpetrated upon them. Freedom from triggers make take more healing and more time. Many survivors suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This may include flashbacks or other emotional distress due to triggers. Triggers may include persons, places, things, smells, touch … anything that brings memories of the abuse to mind and causes angst.  Some triggers may only cause mild anxiety. Others are seemingly more powerful. Anyone, not only abuse survivors, can incur PTSD due to a trauma. In the 1970’s, Jesus Christ Superstar (the play and the album) debuted. I owned the album and enjoyed listening to the music. Fast forward almost three ...

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL SEXUAL ABUSE, PARTNER ABUSE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL SEXUAL ABUSE, PARTNER ABUSE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE   Many names exist for abuse against another person in a relationship. These titles include: domestic violence, spousal sexual abuse, partner abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and others. Recently several people have brought domestic violence to my attention. I will use domestic violence (DV) as my main label in this article; but, please know that that covers a wide range of abuses – sexual and not. Domestic violence or partner abuse does not have to contain sexual or physical abuse. It can be emotional, mental, and/or spiritual in nature. Power and control is what the abuser seeks. First, a friend forwarded me to a link of Dear Abby’s. She responds to a woman who writes of sexual abuse in her marriage. http://www.kansascity.com/living/advice-columns/article59319388.html  Marital or spousal rape is a subject that is not frequently addressed. Next, I shared my thoughts on domestic abuse (partner abuse) from my own life with someone in a letter. Below is part of what I wrote: “When I was in the abusive situations – both my home of origin and my marriage – I did not have enough time to clear my head ...
silence and solitude

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION   The past week has been emotionally-charged. My mind and heart seek refuge in silence and solitude. As a survivor of trauma and a life coach for survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as other forms of abuse and torture, I know to be aware of my past trauma experiences possibly affecting my present daily life. This awareness helps. Retreating into silence and solitude when needed is a form of self care and self compassion. A question I ask myself is, “Would a person who has not suffered serious trauma react similarly?” In other words, is my reaction a “normal” one? As my healing process progressed and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms lessened, I discovered I reacted and acted in a healthier manner. In fact, I handled last week’s emotionally-charged challenges with calmness and finesse. Oh, I was not perfect! That is okay. I am grateful for my reactions and actions to last weeks’ stressors. It shows me how I am thriving! Life’s difficult experiences occurred to those around me. I, as a witness and team member, supported others. My strength and calmness benefitted them. It was a ...
chaos or peace

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?

SURVIVORS OF ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND/OR EXTREME ABUSE: DO YOU SEEK CHAOS OR PEACE?   Ever wonder if you seek chaos unconsciously? Did you grow up in a chaotic household? Were you a child in a home filled with domestic violence? Were you the adult in such a household (or are you now in a domestic violence situation)? Was physical and/or sexual childhood abuse part of your disruptive household? Did you suffer extreme abuse, ritual abuse, and/or torture as a child and/or as an adult? Did you adapt? Did you learn to deal “well” with chaos? Is it what you became accustomed to as a child and/or as an adult? Do you find yourself in a job that is high-paced and contains a sense of urgency? It does not need to be an emergency room-type job. Barista jobs can contain an element of urgency as well as can other types of employment. If you enjoy a fast-paced, multi-tasking job and excel at it, there is no problem. If you suddenly realize that you are exhausted and burnt out from the fast-paced environment with its element of chaos, what do you do? What choices do you have? Do you want to ...

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE

A LIFE COACH FOR SURVIVORS OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE   Recently I have been asked about my role and practice as a trauma and abuse life coach for survivors of abuse and/or torture. The question behind the question is usually related to therapy. Although I am clear in my writings on my website about the differences between life coaching and therapy, I would like to share a few of my thoughts regarding both therapy and life coaching. Therapy has been an important part of my healing process. Three different therapists played major roles in my healing process … three men with various therapy styles and modalities. Looking back, I can see how each one filled an important niche for me at the time. It amazes me how life or providence or serendipity gives you what you need when you keep your eyes and heart open. The therapy process is insight-oriented and tends to look mostly at a person’s past as well as present and future. Life coaching (or my style of life coaching) tends to look at the present and the future. In the following, I shall give a few examples of when or how people choose to begin life ...