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 ...

HOW WE ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND OURSELVES AND OTHER HUMAN BEINGS

HOW WE ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND OURSELVES AND OTHER HUMAN BEINGS   Do you know what temperament you had as an infant? What time in your life did the physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse you suffered begin? Was the trauma a one-time occurrence, multiple incidences, or nearly daily? Where you in a domestic violence relationship? Are you in one now? Did you suffer extreme abuse, ritual abuse and/or torture? These are all questions that could be pertinent to how we attempt to understand ourselves and other human beings. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Whose definition do you use to definite the words introvert and extrovert? Do you think of yourself as a highly sensitive person? How do you definite highly sensitive? Are you an empath? Are you quiet? Shy? Intuitive? Talkative? Out-going? Do you now suffer from PTSD symptoms or have you in the past? Recently I read a book titled, “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You” by Elaine N. Aron. It is an older book. Aron defines the traits of a highly sensitive person (HSP). She also expands on the concept to help HSP cope in the world. I did ...
Gratitude

GRATITUDE

GRATITUDE   The past week or two have been rough ones for me ... and, when times get hard, I remember gratitude! We all have difficult days or periods in our life filled with challenges. Survivors of abuse and trauma may sometimes fall into old habits that do not work for us anymore. Or maybe life starts to seem like one big challenge after another when you add the healing journey and the pain that entails. Yet, the healing path also contains joy and freedom. Sometimes we do not notice the positives; or, if we do notice, we push them gently aside as not so important. Also, there are times when dealing with the pain is a positive in itself! Going through the hard times, the pain, and the challenges make us the strong, resilient, compassionate survivors that we are today. The first time I gave serious thought to the subject of gratitude was when I began attending 12 step meetings for my alcohol problem in December, 2002. Gratitude and gratitude lists are important aspects of recovery. Believe me, when your thoughts are concerning your next drink and you are dealing with huge life stresses, gratitude may not be first ...

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILDHOOD ABUSE CONSEQUENCES

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILDHOOD ABUSE CONSEQUENCES LOYALTY OR STUCK IN RELATIONSHIP AND/OR IN LIFE?   As a survivor of domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse, and as a life coach, I understand that certain traits I have were most likely caused by the abusive situations and perpetrators. Two of these traits are loyalty (often misplaced) and an unwillingness to take risks (even calculated ones) due to inertia. Even after leaving the violent situations with the perpetrators, this inertia or immobilization kept me in other situations longer than was beneficial for me. Articles and books have been written about these subjects. Judith Herman’s book, “Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror” is a classic; and, I highly recommend it. Bessel A. van der Kolk in “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” covers many of the issues with attachment as well as loyalty to the abuser. He writes on page 133, “Children are also programmed to be fundamentally loyal to their caretakers, even if they are abused by them. Terror increases the need for attachment, even if the source of comfort is also the source of terror.” ...

ACKNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE AND KNOW YOUR BODY (AS A SURVIVOR OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE)

ACKNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE AND KNOW YOUR BODY (AS A SURVIVOR OF ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE)   Our bodies as victims of rape, incest, domestic violence, abuse and/or torture suffer when the trauma occurs. The trauma affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and often spiritually. Many times, especially if the abuse is repeated, a victim escapes her body and the pain through dissociation. When the incident (or incidences of abuse) ends, the victim can become separate or stay separate from her or his own body. Often times, survivors are not very aware of how their bodies feel at any given point in time. Many survivors treat their physical bodies poorly. Self harm, cutting, alcohol, drugs, and overeating are common. If you ask a survivor where they feel anger, sadness or any emotion in her body, the person may not be in touch enough to answer. Eventually through the survivor’s healing process, the body is acknowledged, experienced, known, and loved. There are many healing modalities. Trauma-based yoga (and yoga in general) has been shown through research to facilitate healing. On September 12, 2015, I attended and presented a workshop entitled, “Survivor’s Resume” at the WINGS Foundation Conference in Denver, Colorado. The WINGS Conference is an ...
survivor's self compassion (after abuse)

SELF COMPASSION: ONE ASPECT OF SELF CARE AFTER SURVIVING ABUSE

SELF COMPASSION ONE ASPECT OF SELF CARE AFTER SURVIVING ABUSE   Self compassion can be a difficult attribute to acquire or regain after surviving any type of abuse – rape, incest, extreme abuse, ritual abuse, domestic violence, etc. Many times the victim has a difficult time not blaming oneself. The blame and shame survivors feel afterwards can cause a toxic poison to run through their lives. How can a survivor care for oneself with gentleness and compassion when one feels such shame, blame, and a sense of deep unworthiness? Acquiring self compassion is a progression. Through the process of healing (whether via therapy, non-invasive neurofeedback, and/or other methods), survivors gradually shed the shame, the blame, and the sense of worthlessness. I know I did. As I healed, I realized how little self compassion I extended toward myself. The perfection part of me demanded more of myself than I did of anyone else. Would I treat a friend through words or actions like I treated myself? Definitely not. As time passes, I am more able to treat myself with the loving care I know I deserve. I can see how much progress I have made in this area in the last ...
Faith after Spiritual Abuse

SURVIVING SPIRITUAL ABUSE AND THRIVING SPIRITUALLY NOW

SURVIVING SPIRITUAL ABUSE AND THRIVING SPIRITUALLY NOW   I am a survivor of spiritual abuse as well as a life coach for other spiritual abuse survivors. Spiritual abuse has many definitions. Religious abuse falls under spiritual abuse, in my mind. I do not know if all spiritual abuse is religious. Semantics can be a way to get lost and avoid the real issues. I shall avoid that pitfall by voicing my thoughts and sharing my past. Individuals have asked me why I am still a Catholic or if I am still a Catholic. Others wonder why I wander from one type of church or spiritual experience to another. I seek an even deeper relationship with God. That is a given. I was born and raised a Catholic; and, I attended Catholic schools through high school. As I was human trafficked to two Catholic priests (as well as to others) during my childhood, religious and spiritual confusion entered my life at an early age. Of course, I was too young to realize that religious and spiritual abuse was occurring. I was trying to be a good, little, Catholic girl. To grow up in a household of abuse from an early age ...

SELF CARE: REST AND RECREATION – MAKING TIME FOR FUN

SELF CARE: REST AND RECREATION MAKING TIME FOR FUN!   How do you define “fun” for yourself? How do you enjoy spending your free time? Do you have free time? Do work and home duties fill your life leaving no time to spare? Is self care on your list of priorities? As survivors of abuse, we might have a tendency to neglect the rest and recreation segment of our lives. In general, our society focuses on working hard, making a living, buying material goods, and keeping busy. The state of the U.S. economy has made it a necessity for many people to work more than one job. It can be quite difficult to maintain a balance between work and play. A balance though is needed. It is imperative that we get the proper amount of sleep. Relaxation and recreation are necessary for us to gain and keep a proper perspective on life in general. Today I went to see a movie! Oh, I have plenty of work that needs to be accomplished as well as household chores. I, as many survivors of abuse, tend to push myself too hard. I knew that taking a break would be helpful in more ...

Non-State Torture, Ritual Abuse, Extreme Abuse

NON-STATE TORTURE, RITUAL ABUSE AND TORTURE,  EXTREME ABUSE   As a survivor and a life coach for non-state torture, ritual abuse, and extreme abuse survivors as well as other types of abuse survivors, I am well aware of the immensity and intensity of this subject. In order to even begin to write this post, I need to take a deep breath to reach deep down within myself. To speak of sexual abuse, clergy abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, and rape takes courage. Most people know someone who has experienced one or all of these types of abuse. Many people believe they have not met someone who has survived torture or ritual abuse or mind control. Those subjects are still somewhat hidden. Many survivors keep their past of surviving ritual abuse and torture to themselves for fear of being disbelieved and/or thought of as mentally ill. I know. I was disbelieved (as was my daughter). I was also given a diagnosis of schizophrenia by a German court-appointed psychiatrist. (Read: www.hopeforus.wordpress.com). It can be easier to give someone a mental illness label than to believe that person and face the truth. In my journey, I have connected with quite a few ritual ...
freedom after speaking of abuse and/or torture

FREEDOM TO SPEAK OF THE ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE

FREEDOM TO SPEAK OF THE ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE   When was the first time you felt the freedom to speak of the incest, rape, abuse and/or torture you experienced? Did you always recall the abuse or did you put it aside, repress it, or deny it until you were forced to face the truth or until you were safe and strong enough to do so? If you always remembered the abuse or are in a current abusive domestic violence relationship or relationship with abuse of any kind, sharing your story with someone is the first step to healing. To those, like me, who repressed our pasts (of sexual abuse, incest, human trafficking, physical abuse, ritual abuse, and/or torture); we had to awaken to ourselves. Individuals have asked me how I can be so open with my life’s story. Some have questioned the relief I feel after sharing my extensive history of abuse, incest, and torture. This post will begin to answer those inquiries. At age 45, I began to recover bits and pieces of my gruesome past. These memories arrived almost always when I was alone. Fortunately, I was in therapy at the time I started letting the abuse return ...