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 ...

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.” ...
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 ...

SELF CARE AND CREATING SPACE

SELF CARE AND CREATING SPACE   When is the last time you created an empty, peaceful space for yourself whether physically or in your mind? As human beings living in a consumer society with an overload of media and activity, it is necessary for us to take a break from the action of the world. This break could be filed under self care. I tend to read books and articles of many types. Spiritually, I enjoy reading books with meaning to me including materials of multiple religious and spiritual views. In this blog, I mention a book with a definite Christian slant. Some of you may scoff at the writing style because of this perspective. Others of you will lean towards it because of the religious view of Christianity. For me, although the author addresses her past of child abuse through the Christian lens, Bonnie Gray speaks to survivors’ hearts when she talks of dealing with her past. Her book, “finding spiritual whitespace: awakening your soul to rest” contains some concrete ideas on how to create space and a thought-provoking section on joy. Bonnie Gray did not face the abuse of her past until she was around 40 years old ...

TEARS AND CREATIVITY

TEARS AND CREATIVITY   One day I decided to research tears on the Internet. Tears are a part of my life still; and, I sought more information on the general topic of tears. As I wrote on my blog, https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/an-unpaved-road/: “Over the years, I have learned to acknowledge tears as a friend of sort. Tears are a release for me. They originate from sadness, tension, and/or joy.” In my researching, I discovered Rose-Lynn Fisher. She is a photographer who took pictures of tears through an optical microscope. It captivated me. I would not have thought of photographing tears. The uniqueness of tears in these pictures reminded me of the uniqueness of snowflakes as well as the uniqueness of each of us as human beings. What a creative idea to photograph tears! Here is Rose-Lynn Fisher’s website link: http://www.rose-lynnfisher.com/tears.html Many of us, myself included, get stuck at times.  Maybe you are in a career field that doesn’t fulfill you anymore. Maybe you are in a relationship that is not healthy for you. Maybe you never really had a career and are stuck being unemployed or in a dead-end job. Maybe you are stuck in a spiritual manner. Creativity. Thinking outside the ...

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 ...

WHY DO WE LOVE THE PERPETRATOR? HOW CAN WE LOVE THE ABUSER?

WHY DO WE LOVE THE PERPETRATOR? HOW CAN WE LOVE THE ABUSER? Initially I fell in love with the idea of love – the romantic Prince Charming who rescues me, the modern day abused Cinderella. At the age of 20, Tom M. (also at the age of 20) initially filled the boxes that needed to be checked for me (also at the age of 20): Roses Poetry Gazing into each other’s eyes Wanting to spend all his time with me (a red flag I did not recognize) Dinner and wine And More … Oh, I so wanted to be loved and to love. My family-of-origin could not receive love from me. How can you honestly receive love from an object you abuse and torture? You see, no one wanted my gift of love; and, I was a child filled with the yearning to love and be loved. The quote below intrigues me: “There is yet another illusion, that it is important to be respectable, to be loved and appreciated, to be important. Many say we have a natural urge to be loved and appreciated, to belong. That’s false. Drop this illusion and you will find happiness. We have a natural urge ...