Guest Blogs

How to validate our emotions

Emerging From The Dark Night

Validating our own emotions is not easy for us raised in emotionally dysregulated or neglecting homes.  It is something I have struggled with so much in my sobriety and feel sad that its taken me at least 23 years in sobriety to get this lesson right.  What am sharing here below comes from the excellent book Calming The Emotional Stormby Sheri Van Dijk, MSW.

Calming the Emotional Storm

(the first step)… is to increase your awareness of how you think and feel about your emotions.  If you don’t know how you respond to your feelings, you won’t be able to change your response.  You can practice the following mindfulness exercise to help you become more aware of and accepting towards your emotions.

Sitting or lying in a comfortable position, take a few moments to let your body relax and rest, letting your breath come comfortably and naturally.  When you are ready bring your…

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Guest Blogs

Tattoos – NO APOLOGY

This survivor reclaimed her power in a beautiful and deeply profound way.

Touched2 MySoul

I hope our relationship has room enough for this conversation. I don’t require your approval. Though I do ask that you respect my decisions.

My tattoos are not some “old fools” thing. My tattoos are me screaming. They are my validation. When I was a child being strangled, and beaten and scared beyond my understanding. I screamed and no one heard me. No one saved me – including you.

My tattoos are me screaming now. Screaming at the top of your lungs for hours, isn’t allowed as an adult- they would lock me up in a psych ward and throw away the key! So I choose to get tattoos. They represent my survival. Though they are hidden most of the time. Those rare moments when they are visible and someone says they are beautiful – it helps to validate my pain. The very pain that no one validated when I…

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Guest Blogs

Dear Symptoms, Please Go Away

I strongly relate to this and thought I’d share it with you.

Untangled

There is a saying: “PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person.” That saying is a simple way for me to understand that try as I might, there are reasons my PTSD symptoms sometimes still have a firm chokehold on me. The list can be long depending on the time of year and triggers.

Autumn is beautiful and just started here in the Midwest. Blue skies and Vermillion colored trees often coexist with 70 degrees temperatures. This time of year, from late August until it snows represents trigger, after trigger for me. While I can appreciate the wonderful weather, the long season can be challenging with prolonged symptoms and what can seem like constant symptom management. If only my PTSD understood the calendar, and I could time my flashbacks to happen on certain calendar dates, instead…

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Guest Blogs

I Just Feel Like Celebrating

Katie made me realize how important it is not only to recognize but to celebrate our accomplishments as we work toward healing from trauma.

Becoming Katie Butterfly

I just feel like celebrating all my successes. I’ve come so far. You can watch my YouTube video to hear my reasons for celebrating.

Go Katie Go! Join me in giving me a round of applause!

It’s so important for us to celebrate our successes – no matter how big or small. You are all so amazing.

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Guest Blogs

I Can Tell-I Can Heal

Patricia Grace

Acceptance of symptoms from the traumas in childhood that remain have to be re-accepted over and over again; a body on hyper-vigilance which includes an exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbances, habitual negative thinking causing low level depression, disordered eating patterns stemming from age 8 as a survival mechanism, dissociation from the body- another survival tool, panic in small windowless places which includes elevators and airplanes, fear of people- knowing too well what they are capable of, and on it goes.

Patience and acceptance are not inherent qualities, they take effort and persistence. Persistence is part of my make-up. But no amount of it will take away the daily challenges. The work is ongoing. .

Out of the trauma grew a women whose voice is heard only if you listen carefully. A voice silenced in childhood, hushed by a mother embarrassed, and a family embarrassed, the voice goes mute. It is…

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Guest Blogs

Child Sexual Abuse: the Neglected Little Sister of the #MeToo Movement

My thoughts put into words.

Second Wound

I was enormously gratified last year to watch as the #MeToo movement erupted with a sudden and powerful force, to see sexual harassment and assault survivors courageously tell their truths as the world finally paid proper attention. I cheered the brave women and men who came forward, risking more of the judgment, doubt, and scorn they had likely already experienced. I felt hugely gratified to witness perpetrators of abuse finally being called out and made to answer for their crimes. Most of all, I cried tears of joy to know that – at last – our society is shining a ray of light on the dark, hidden, shame-filled world of sexual victimization, for illumination is the only sure path to the prevention of sexual abuse, as well as justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators.

I, too am a survivor, not of assault or harassment but of child sexual abuse…

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Guest Blogs

Just Be

I look forward to the day when I can take action on these wise words.

Patricia Grace

The struggle is to make room for all the feelings and not run. That door is locked, open it, let it air. Because closing off one room causes stagnation. Free the feeling by feeling it and acknowledging it is there which allows for quicker dissipation.

Running from a feeling freezes and locks it. There it stays until the door is opened. The tendency is to escape from feelings of sadness or loneliness on this bright sunshiny day. Yet those feelings accompany me daily as part of my whole repertoire.

Note those and move on, because other feelings also exist. When burying one, you bury them all; the bright greens of summer while walking the meadow as the soft breeze whispers through my hair, the heron startled by my presence lifting off with such grace to fish farther down the creek, the intense quiet of a summer day interspersed with a…

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