December 29, 2015

A Beyond Survivor Tells Her Story

Having now worked as a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach since 2007, I can say that I have one of the coolest jobs ever. Not only do I get to spend my days walking alongside amazing men and women, assisting them in their journey of recovery, but I know without a doubt that my Beyond Survivors are a very special breed. They are generous, loving, world-changers, fun, and brave.

So, it's with great honor that I get to introduce you today to Toni, who became a Beyond Survivor in 2015. She shares with you a bit about her journey and what she gained from our time working together.



"She talked about feeling broken and unfixable, and I thought 'Yeah, that's exactly how I feel'...I think the thing that is most noticeable is my confidence level..."


You can learn more about my Beyond Surviving program here, but more importantly, leave a comment for Toni letting her know what you got from her story.

December 15, 2015

Mind Does Matter: How Thoughts Impact Your Weight Loss Goals

Today we conclude our series with Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. I hope you'll leave a comment to let here know what you've gained from this series!

--

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t -- you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Earlier in the week, I went up to the attic to bring down the storage bins with all my holiday decorations. My fiancĂ©e warned me not to do it alone and since he wasn’t available, he suggested my son help. I have done this many times over the years by myself, so I didn’t see the need for help. As I pulled the steps down, I wondered how much stuff was up there. Was it really cluttered? And as I climbed the ladder it all came into view and yes, there was a lot of stuff. As I started pulling out the bins, one thought kept rolling through my mind, “I have to get rid of some of this stuff.” This played through my mind over and over as I grabbed the bins and started down the ladder. Some of the bins were heavy, some were light, but I was pretty good at getting everything down, except for this one bin; it kind of got stuck on the way down. I tried to maneuver it. It was really light so it surprised me when I lost my grip and it crashed down to the floor. I wondered what was in it.

Downstairs, in front of the tree, I started opening the bins. Everything seemed well packed from last year and then I opened the last bin.  As I lifted the top I could hear the broken glass tinkling on the bottom. Everything had broken in the bin I dropped. And what was in there? Handmade things my children made through the years. An adorable framed Santa picture that survived nearly 20 Christmases. Everything had a memory attached and I was heart-broken, especially since one of the pieces was a reindeer painted on glass that my daughter actually made for her brother and not for me. My mind immediately went to my thought in the attic, “I have to get rid of some of this stuff.” Effectively, there would be one less bin in the attic now. I, indeed, found a way to “get rid of some of this stuff.” This was not the way I planned it, but it was going to happen nevertheless.


So I know you are reading this and thinking this is a mere coincidence. Isn’t it? Well, my education is in psychology and one of my strong areas of interest is in research and showing cause and effect. And this one-off situation is not concrete proof of cause and effect. However, I do think you will agree with me that our thoughts can cloud our perception of things. That when we feel sad, all we see is sadness in the world. When we feel anger, we curse more things in our lives that make us angry and feel angrier. Our thoughts seem to set us up for what we accept, see and do. Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction, are spiritual or even scientific you would probably agree that there is a connection between what we think, what we expect and what we choose to happen next, consciously or unconsciously.

If we do have this power to create worlds for ourselves by our thoughts how do we harness this power to make change in our lives? First, is to acknowledge that it is there. Acknowledge that you can create your world. Next, is to focus on the positive and on what you desire without focusing on what you lack or what you don’t want.

So if you are struggling with your weight and all you are thinking about is how you can’t lose weight, you are really believing that it can’t be done and may even be sabotaging yourself in this area without even knowing it. If we believe it, we make it so. You may have heard the expression, “keep your eyes on the prize.” And literally, this is the way to go. Think about what it will feel like to get where you want to be. Think about what it will be like to reach your goal and FEEL that JOY inside of you. When you think about how far you need to go, you will feel doubt and discontent. This frame of mind will keep you in doubt and discontent. Many people also tell me they initially lose weight and then can’t keep the motivation and start gaining it back again. Usually, they are still focusing on how long they still have to go and so, the road becomes even longer.

One of the things I help people focus on is creating one new small habit. A habit that fits in with the change they want to make. First we work on discovering the BIG GOAL. The goal might be something like losing 50 lbs. Next, we focus on creating the best habit that will help that person reach that goal and then incorporate it into his or her life. We don’t focus on how long the road is to get to the goal. We really focus on the “here and now” of doing that habit each day, because I know when you add in a new, healthy behavior and it becomes part of your life you cannot go wrong. Try it. Try just adding in something new that you can do every day. Make it your ritual. Like drinking water, or experimenting with a new healthy food. Then use the power of your mind to set your intention on doing that particular habit for the day. You can write down your intention, too. I do this each day. I set my intention on what is important for me accomplish that day in mind, body and soul. I put it out there and create that intention and follow it through the day. I am not thinking about tomorrow or two weeks from now. There is much power in the “here and now.”

We make our choices in the here and now and then we CHOOSE to follow through. Your choices are powerful. Make choices intentionally, and create your thoughts intentionally. We don’t have to allow life to pick us up and drag us through. Yes, situations occur and there are things we have no control over. However, you always have control over your thoughts. Make them positive and make them serve you in the best possible way. Henry Ford really said it best. 

I hope you will think you can reach your goals, because even if you don’t believe that today, that is my hope for you and I will carry it around for you until you are ready.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Blessings,
Toni


Sign up for Toni’s FREE guide to learn more about ways you can change your thinking to reduce your stress and live a happier, more peaceful life: The “5 Shifts to Lose the Stress” Guide


Visit my website and blog: www.StrongAtTheCore.com






--


Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She has been in the field of social work for 20 years and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She started Strong at the Core Coaching to help others who are struggling with health and wellness issues and are overwhelmed at how to begin making changes in their lives. Toni is a single mom with 3 kids, one of whom has autism. She learned how to turn her challenges into opportunities to create an amazing life. She uses this knowledge and experience to help her clients unlock their core strengths and turn their own challenges into opportunities to reach their goals. Toni loves running, strength training and yoga. She earned her coaching credential with the World Coach Institute and is a member of International Coaching Federation.



December 6, 2015

Tackling the Body Image Blues

Today we continue our series with Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She's sharing her own personal story, so I hope you will leave some comments to let Toni know what you took away from her journey.

--

My Story
Health & fitness are an important part of my life now. But when I was a kid taking care of my body was the farthest thing from my mind. I was an obese kid. I remember being weighed in the 4th grade. The teacher measured our height and weight and wrote them down on a chart in the classroom that everyone could see. I was mortified every time I walked by that chart. My weight was in the triple digits and everyone else had a weight in the double digits.

I really struggled with my weight. At 12 years old, I started becoming obsessed with my weight. All I could think about was losing weight. I started working out for hours on end and severely restricted my calories. I lost weight but I quickly dropped to a dangerously unhealthy weight.  I remember only wanting to look like the girls in “Seventeen” magazine.


I knew this was turning into a problem when everyone started telling me I was too skinny and I still saw an overweight girl in mirror. I wondered, “Why can't I see what they all see?” In my mind I still didn't look like the girls in the magazines and I thought I had to work even harder. Although I was never officially diagnosed with anorexia, I was clearly struggling with an eating disorder.

Then something strange happened. After years of extreme dieting, I started getting fatigued, sleeping all day and I stopped working out. I didn't feel like going anywhere and was getting depressed. I started eating normally again, but by my 16th birthday I started putting on lots of weight which made me more depressed. I went to the doctor. It was the middle of the winter and he said “take off your coat.”  I will never forget the look of shock in his eyes when I took my coat off. He said “oh my god, you have the thyroid of an 80 year old woman!” I was 16. He immediately diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid condition and I had a visible goiter, to boot. I was prescribed a medication called Synthroid and have been on it for over 30 years.


My Shift

Since I didn't have a family history of this disorder, I wanted to know how I developed this condition. I started doing research and discovered that anorexia, thyroid problems and depression are all linked. Hormones play a major role in all three issues. I probably destroyed my own thyroid through extreme dieting and screwed up my hormones and in turn which created both depression and an underactive thyroid.

So why am I sharing this story with you?  Well, I think it is significant that this crazy cycle started when I was a teen with a poor body image. My only goal was to look like the girls in the magazine. I didn't value my body and that is really my concern about the effects of body image distortion. Comparing ourselves to others sets us up to devalue ourselves and then we do things that punish, instead of nourish, ourselves. So, we end up severely depriving our bodies of nutrition and we mentally beat ourselves up because we can’t compare to the images we see in the magazines. This sets us up for failure and keeps us trapped.


Why Diets & the Media are Bad for You

I think having a negative view of our body also causes a lot of people to go on those quick fix type of diets that usually lead to yo-yoing in weight. Research teaches us that yo-yo dieting changes your hunger hormones for up to a year. You end up feeling extremely hungry after a severe diet and that is why it is so easy to gain back the weight after dieting. Also, every time you diet you actually have to eat less with each diet to be able to lose weight. So, the more diets you have been on in your life, the harder it will be to lose weight.

Also, exposure to thin models is related to body image distortion, as well as, eating disorders. We see the standard of beauty that exists in the media and we internalize it. When we compare those images to our our own bodies it causes body dissatisfaction. You and I both know that many of those images are “photoshopped,” but we still compare our bodies to the ones we see and we undervalue our bodies. Research suggests that advertisers are basically betting on the fact that you will compare yourself to the models in the ads and when you realize you don't measure up you will go out and buy that product so you could be more like the model!


Getting Healthy

So, the most important first step to take to get healthier is creating a healthy body image. When we start with a healthy body image we won’t struggle and punish ourselves with exercise or deprive ourselves of foods. When we create a healthier body image we can create a healthier body that is functioning at its best. If we destroy our hormones we will actually have trouble burning fat and utilizing the whole foods we need to provide it nourishment. Don't think about doing a diet. Diets are temporary. Think about creating both a healthy image of yourself and a healthy lifestyle. Add foods in your life that will bring you great health and work on LOVING YOUR BODY.  


How to Love your Body
Here are my top 3 tips to loving your body and to start getting healthy this holiday season.

1. Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do for your body image is to surround yourself with other people who have a positive body image. Being around other people who feel good about themselves will rub off on you.

2. Think of yourself as a WHOLE PERSON and don’t just look at, and critically evaluate, parts of your body. You are amazing, beautiful and incredible. You are more than the sum of your parts. And don’t you forget it!

3. Start becoming aware of how you feel in your body. One of the best ways to get in touch with what your body needs is to drink water. When you start properly hydrating, you will learn the difference in your body’s signals between thirst and hunger. Getting in touch with this will give you more confidence about making healthy choices because you will learn how to listen to internal rather than external signals about what your body needs.

I know you will SPARKLE this holiday season. I would love it if you would share with me your thoughts on tackling the body image blues to get better health. You can leave a comment below or email me at toni@strongatthecore.com. I will be back soon to talk about how important our thinking is to better health and wellness.


To learn more about ways to deal with emotional eating and what you can do about it, get Toni’s eBook:
Creating Calmness in the Storm: Five Ways to Tame the Chaos.

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongatthecore/?ref=hl
Join me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Strongatthecore
Visit my website and blog: www.StrongAtTheCore.com


--


Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She has been in the field of social work for 20 years and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She started Strong at the Core Coaching to help others who are struggling with health and wellness issues and are overwhelmed at how to begin making changes in their lives. Toni is a single mom with 3 kids, one of whom has autism. She learned how to turn her challenges into opportunities to create an amazing life. She uses this knowledge and experience to help her clients unlock their core strengths and turn their own challenges into opportunities to reach their goals. Toni loves running, strength training and yoga. She earned her coaching credential with the World Coach Institute and is a member of International Coaching Federation.




November 29, 2015

Nourishing Your Soul

We are so in for a treat this month with special guest, Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She's going to help us get through the holidays by sharing with us how we can nourish ourselves (instead of our stomachs).

--

The holiday season is upon us. Well, actually I think it started in August in some stores, but I will only take note of the season when the air is decidedly chillier. This time of year can bring us joy or it can bring us stress. That stress can take a toll on all of our systems and perhaps bring us to the breaking point, making us lose sight of our goals and even reverting back to behaviors we had expected were long gone. No one wants to end up going backwards.


SURVIVE OR THRIVE
In this three part series, I would like to take a journey with you, as we get closer and closer to the holidays, and look at how to ramp up the resources of your mind, body and soul to THRIVE this season and make a transformation in the area of your life that matters the most, your health. Today, I want to begin talking about how the power of your soul and spirit can help you grow by leaps and bounds.

When most people hear I am a health and wellness coach they are surprised to learn that I don’t immediately go into a huge discussion about what foods they should be eating or how much exercise they should be getting. In fact, I do like to talk about food, but not the food that is on your plate. I usually spend a great deal of time when I first meet a client talking about their “primary food.” The best way to explain primary food is to describe it as all the things that fill us up that we cannot physically ingest. Primary food consists of all the things that satisfy your hunger for life, not the hunger in your stomach. But nevertheless, we could not begin to grow and enjoy life without it.


FEED YOUR SOUL
Primary food is the healthy relationships in your life, the exercise you do, your hobbies and spiritual practice. In other words, primary food FEEDS YOUR SOUL. When you focus on primary food, your life feels full and you are being fed with all the things that energize you. After all, isn’t that what food is, the fuel that keeps us growing? So if you are thinking of creating a healthier lifestyle and are learning about better nutrition for your body, it is important to learn about what can feed your life and your soul.


We often think that getting healthier is only about the choice between eating healthy foods or eating unhealthy foods. But, great health and wellness is about striking a balance between all areas of our lives. If we focus on what we are ingesting we lose out on embracing the joys that fill us up in other ways and give us opportunities to go out and explore the world, feel better about who we are, what we do and the lives of the people we touch.

When you focus on adding healthy, primary food in your life you stop limiting yourself and beating yourself up over the food you eat. In other words, in this quest for wellness you get to see yourself in a holistic, whole-person way, focused on more than just the journey of tallying up how many cookies you had today. So if you are at a party and are starting to overindulge, think about what else would nourish you now? Instead of feeling numb and downing that plate of cookies, take a moment to think about what would nourish your soul? Is it talking to a friend at that party? Is it allowing yourself to sit quietly with the feelings that come up and just experience your connection to them? Whatever it is, next time you are faced with feeling like you are eating out of control, consider turning to a primary food and see if that is giving you what you need.


CHALLENGE ACCEPTED?
So, I have a challenge for you, if you so wish to accept, instead of counting your calories each day, I want you to spend one week recording the ways you fill yourself up with primary food each day and how the experience felt.

Come back here to share what you notice!

Challenge yourself to find more and more creative ways of adding more primary food into your life. See what shifts for you when you focus on primary food rather than “food-food.” I would love it if you would even share with me how this went. You can email me at toni@strongatthecore.com. I read all my emails and will answer them. I really can’t wait to hear how your week went, and I will be back soon to talk about how we can connect to our bodies in our journey for better health and wellness.

To learn more about ways to deal with emotional eating and what you can do about it, get Toni’s eBook:
Creating Calmness in the Storm: Five Ways to Tame the Chaos.

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongatthecore/?ref=hl
Join me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Strongatthecore
Visit my website and blog: www.StrongAtTheCore.com


--


Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She has been in the field of social work for 20 years and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She started Strong at the Core Coaching to help others who are struggling with health and wellness issues and are overwhelmed at how to begin making changes in their lives. Toni is a single mom with 3 kids, one of whom has autism. She learned how to turn her challenges into opportunities to create an amazing life. She uses this knowledge and experience to help her clients unlock their core strengths and turn their own challenges into opportunities to reach their goals. Toni loves running, strength training and yoga. She earned her coaching credential with the World Coach Institute and is a member of International Coaching Federation.




November 22, 2015

A Wounded Child's Healing Journey-Part 4

This week, Woody concludes his fabulous series! I hope you'll take a moment to comment to let him know what you took away from his posts.

--

FIRST STEP: QUICKSAND

In my last post, I shared the seven tools that you need to begin your journey towards healing. We have to honestly assess where we are; optimistically choose where we want to be; create a plan for getting there; be true to our values while en route; and check to see that we’re on the right course. We ended with “Hiking Boots.” No one starts out a hike without proper footwear. Not only that, it’s silly to put on hiking boots unless you’re ready to hike!

We all begin the journey in what I call quicksand. It is that place of helplessness and inertia. We’re

We carry learned helplessness into our adult lives. Because we believe that we have no control over our lives, but rather our circumstances control us, we feel stuck. Like quicksand, the more we struggle, the deeper we sink. For each of us, quicksand manifests itself differently. For some, it may be spiraling debt. For others, it may be bad relationships. It can be clutter or one of many addictions. But whatever it is, we feel we have no control, we feel helpless and stuck.

There is only one way to get out of quicksand, and that is through action. Yet this is a paradox, because when we are in quicksand, the last thing we “feel” like doing is acting. What we feel is apathy, fear, dread, unease, anxiety, overwhelm and sluggishness. All these feelings oppose action. Yet it exactly what do not feel like doing that we must do to get out of the quicksand.

The reason is easily illustrated by a train. Have you ever seen a train start moving from a full stop? In the first split second when the train goes from stationary to moving its first millimeter, it expends many, many times more energy than it will cruising its second mile. Likewise, when we’ve been stuck for a long time, taking that first step requires so more effort and will, and is harder than anything else we will have to do.

You’ve heard the say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” That first step is hard! But it is the hardest step you will have to take. The second step is easier. The third is much easier than the first. With each step, like the train, you pick up not only speed, but momentum. With momentum, you need less energy to move forward faster.


I remember, as a child, helping a grownup push a car. When we started pushing, my body was leaning into it on a sharp angle. It was so hard, even with two people, to get it to move an inch. As the car moved more and more, I was able to stand straighter and the car picked up speed. Then the grownup hopped into the car. I kept pushing. I was amazed that I  alone could get the car to go faster and faster and with one arm no less!

When we are inert, any action seems insurmountable. When we are in action, what overwhelmed us before is effortless when we’re moving forward. So our greatest obstacle is the actual action we must do, but our feelings. So it is with a great act of will that we must disregard how we feel, and act anyway.

In the last post, I mentioned the seven tools. One of them, “The Map,” is about having a written plan. This is so important because it is based on your goals, and it lays out the action steps for getting there. A well-crafted plan will break down your goals into small enough chunks so that what seemed so overwhelming is now reduced to a small and simple task that you can do right away. Then it gives you the next small task, and then the next. Take those first steps and you will learn the greatest lesson of all: you, and only you are in control of your life. You are not helpless. You have the power to shape your life into anything you choose it to be.


--
Woody Haiken, CPC, ELI-MP, founded Wounded Child Coaching to help others who have experienced child abuse, as he did. His recovery from the damage took decades. His greatest breakthroughs came from the coaching process, which saw him as sufficient, and the past as a teacher. Coaching has helped Woody release those things in his life that no longer serve him, and embrace those things that keep him growing.

Woody now shares his wisdom with others through the same coaching process that has revolutionized his life.

He received his coaching training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), and is a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. 

Go to https://woundedchildsjourney.leadpages.co/get-free-ebook/ for Woody’s free eBook, “The 4 Thought Patterns that Block Your Happiness & How to Change Them” 

To learn more about Woody and Wounded Child Coaching go to:

On Facebook:

November 16, 2015

A Wounded Child's Journey to Healing-Part 3

I am so pleased to continue our series with Woody Haiken today. He's going to be sharing with us his "Planning Toolkit"!

--

In my last post, I gave an overview of the Wounded Child’s Journey. I used an image that I created to illustrate that journey.

Just as I used the metaphor of varied terrains to illustrate the journey, I’ve taken the metaphor of preparing for a hike further to illustrate the tools you need to prepare for the journey. There are seven tools, “The Picture,” “Binoculars,” “The Map,” “Guidebook,” “Compass,” “Backpack,” and “Hiking Boots.”



The Picture
Going back to my last post, I shared an image that I created. I had you imagine that you took that picture while standing in quicksand. Just as a picture captures an instant in time, the purpose of the Picture is for you to look at your life as it in this moment. Unless a picture is altered with image editing software, it is an accurate representation of the moment. You need to take an unedited look at your life. There may be much in your life that you’re unhappy about, and would rather not face. However, the more honest you are with yourself, and the more determined you are to have a better life, the more effective you will be on your journey towards healing.




Binoculars
If you were to zoom in on The Picture, you would see greater detail. For example, on the other side of the bridge, there is roof of a small building on the edge of a field. With binoculars, you can see ahead
clearly, so you know something about your destination before you reach it. On the Wounded Child’s Journey, it is important to use your imagination as a set of binoculars to see the future that you want. All our lives, we’ve focused on where we’ve been, so our steps forward have been about avoiding what we do not want. Instead, you must look ahead and see the life of your dreams, and write it down.



The Map
If your dream life is a destination that you’re traveling to, then the map is the plan you need to get there. Given enough time and patience
with yourself and circumstances, you can have the life you envisioned if you follow a plan. What most of us do instead is go through our lives without written goals or a plan. This is because we believe that we are in the clutches of our circumstances instead of in control of them.







The Guidebook
While you’re on your journey to healing, you’ll have to make many choices. If you’re clear ahead of time on which values you will not compromise, no matter what, then when the time comes when you have to make one of these choices,
you are prepared. We often have many conflicting values. For example, you might have a value that says, “Honor your parents,” and another value of integrity. You might be faced with a choice where your parent asks you to do something dishonest for them. Your guidebook will help you reconcile these conflicting values and make the right choice for you.



The Compass
We all have an internal guide that lets us know whether or not we are headed in the right direction in
our lives. This inner compass is made up of our emotions, our intellect, our conscience, our intuition and our inner body senses.

More often then not, we go through life reacting to how we feel. We make our feelings our goal, rather than our guide. So, if you do something that gives you a good feeling, you’re likely to do it again when that feeling wears off. This is what’s behind all addictions. This is what I mean by making your feelings your goal.

It is important to understand that when we feel ‘off’ about something, it is in our best interests to find out what is out of balance in our lives, what we are doing that is taking us from our major life purpose and our goals. When you use the feeling of unease to let you know that something has to be corrected, rather than masking the feeling with something to make you feel good, then you’re using your feelings as a guide, rather than a goal.



The Backpack
You must decide what you want and do not want in your ideal life. It is important that your most basic needs are met, as well as your need for love and belongingness, self-esteem as for reaching your
highest potential. This requires that you evaluate your relationships and habits—how do they serve you? Do you want them as a part of your ideal life? If so, pack them. If not, leave them behind.





Hiking Boots
Finally, we have the hiking boots, the most important thing that we wear when we’re hiking. Until we put them on, we’re not ready to embark. Just like only one person can wear a pair of hiking boots, only you can
walk your journey towards healing. If you wait for someone else to heal you, you will wait forever. It is your journey. It begins with the willingness to take the first step, and it continues with the determination to see it through to the other side of the bridge.







--
Woody Haiken, CPC, ELI-MP, founded Wounded Child Coaching to help others who have experienced child abuse, as he did. His recovery from the damage took decades. His greatest breakthroughs came from the coaching process, which saw him as sufficient, and the past as a teacher. Coaching has helped Woody release those things in his life that no longer serve him, and embrace those things that keep him growing.

Woody now shares his wisdom with others through the same coaching process that has revolutionized his life.

He received his coaching training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), and is a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. 

Go to https://woundedchildsjourney.leadpages.co/get-free-ebook/ for Woody’s free eBook, “The 4 Thought Patterns that Block Your Happiness & How to Change Them” 

To learn more about Woody and Wounded Child Coaching go to:

On Facebook:

November 9, 2015

A Wounded Child's Journey to Healing-Part 2

I am so pleased to continue our series with Woody Haiken today!

--

In my last post, I shared my story of overcoming my abusive past. In this post, I want to share the steps to healing that I call, “The Wounded Child’s Journey.” This image illustrates the journey. To help you understand the journey, please join me in a little exercise of imagination.


Imagine that you took this picture with your digital camera. You aimed your camera towards those beautiful green mountains while you were stuck behind an iron gate. See yourself behind that gate. Look, with longing at the white bridge that crosses the raging river to the green fields. Now, look down at your feet. You’re surrounded by dry barren earth.

This is what life before healing is like. You see others living rich, joyful lives. You’re blocked from having what they have, but are tormented by being able to see what you want, but not attain it. Instead, you’re stuck, as if you were standing in quicksand when you took this picture.

We all start on our journey to healing in the same place, a place of helpless, a place where we have no control over the circumstances of our lives. We feel stuck. The more we struggle to improve our lot in life, the more we sink into the mire.

To begin the journey towards healing, we must exert a great force of will to start moving towards change. We’ve been in a place of learned helplessness for so long, that we believe we are unable to effect change in our own lives, so why bother? Quicksand is the perfect metaphor for learned helplessness.

To get out of the quicksand, we must have the attitude that we are going to do whatever it takes to move towards healing. At first, the more effort we exert to pull ourselves out, the more we feel ourselves being sucked back in. This is why starting the journey is the hardest part. In my next post, I will describe the seven steps for getting out of quicksand.

Once we’ve gotten ourselves moving towards healing, we are next faced by an iron gate that represents our self-beliefs. We have many beliefs about our worthiness, our capabilities, our lovability that are not based on truth, but rather the lies told to us by our abusers. This is the gate of false beliefs. It is much like being behind an unlocked gate that we believe is locked, so we never try to open it.

Once we accept that our self-belief system is based on false beliefs, we’re able to pass through the gate. On the other side is a terrain not much better than the one we left behind. It is what I call “The Battleground of Beliefs.” There are three main areas of conflict in the battleground.

We first have the conflict of circumstances. Our present circumstances are the result of the choices we’ve made up to this point. We may now live in circumstances that make our lives difficult, such as debt, bad relationships, or an unsatisfying job situation. To overcome this conflict, we must learn to let go of the assumption that our past predicts our future.

Next, we have conflict with others. The conflict we had with our abuser in the past is behind us, but we bring with us a pattern of dealing with others that was shaped by our past. We may even enter into relationships now that mirror the abusive relationships of the past. A major source of conflict with others is how we interpret their words and actions.

The third area of conflict is conflict with ourselves. Ultimately, all conflict is self-conflict. The defining moment of healing and growth is moment of taking responsibility, not for the abuse, but for our choices. Personal responsibility is crucial to healing. We are responsible for our own healing. If we wait for someone to heal us, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives. It is here that we have to face our inner critic, and deny its power in our lives.

Taking personal responsibility is the toll that we must pay to step onto the bridge. The bridge is where we reconcile with our lives. We first must forgive ourselves of the harsh things we’ve said to ourselves with our inner critic. We must reconcile ourselves with our past.

These steps all lead us to the only place where healing can happen, a place of self-love. Self-love was robbed from us. But only we can restore it. No one outside of ourselves can do it for us. As we love ourselves more, we let go of those relationships that do not support self-love. As we love ourselves more, we draw to ourselves others that will love us. Everything that we want for our lives on the other side of the bridge begins will self-love.

In the next post, I will share what I call “The Wounded Child’s Journey Toolkit,” seven tools that are necessary to begin the journey towards healing.



--
Woody Haiken, CPC, ELI-MP, founded Wounded Child Coaching to help others who have experienced child abuse, as he did. His recovery from the damage took decades. His greatest breakthroughs came from the coaching process, which saw him as sufficient, and the past as a teacher. Coaching has helped Woody release those things in his life that no longer serve him, and embrace those things that keep him growing.

Woody now shares his wisdom with others through the same coaching process that has revolutionized his life.

He received his coaching training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), and is a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. 

Go to https://woundedchildsjourney.leadpages.co/get-free-ebook/ for Woody’s free eBook, “The 4 Thought Patterns that Block Your Happiness & How to Change Them” 

To learn more about Woody and Wounded Child Coaching go to:

On Facebook:

November 2, 2015

A Wounded Child’s Journey to Healing-Part 1

I am so pleased to be able to introduce you to Woody Haiken today. Over the next few weeks, Woody is going to be sharing with us his story of healing from abuse and about the amazing work he does with survivors!

--

For most of my life, I felt that I was abnormal. I looked at the lives that others had. It seemed that everyone else was happy, had good relationships, friends, a close family and a satisfying career. It was as if I was on the outside, peering in. I saw myself as defective. Why? Because that is what I was taught about myself.

I did not realize that what I endured growing up in the early 1960s was “child abuse.” That term wasn’t yet in the cultural vocabulary. Yet I was the family scapegoat, always on the fringe of what my parents and sisters enjoyed. While they had family time in front of the TV, I was doing chores. If I was done with my chores, I was being punished for any one of a million manufactured-on-the-spot infractions of my father’s ever-changing rule-book. 




It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I realized that my childhood was not the norm. As a member of the Civil Air Patrol, I had to take training in child abuse because adult members worked with youth. The training was a video produced by the Boy Scouts. In it, ten signs of child abuse were described. As they were ticked off, one-by-one, I realized that was me, that was me, for nine out of the ten, that was me. The only one that wasn’t me was visual signs of bruising, since my father only injured me where clothing would cover the bruises.

I went to the chaplain who oversaw the presentation. I was in tears. “Why wasn’t there anything like that for me, when I was growing up?” I asked him. He was unwilling to talk to me about it. He told me to go get help. This was the first time in my life that I put a name to what I suffered as a child, and I felt more isolated than ever.

Over the next few decades, I sought out healing. What I found from most of the professionals I went to was a “get over it” attitude. Perhaps it was the era. I found that, as a man, I was expected to be stoic about my feelings. I had some deep emotions, but could never find a safe place to express them. By that time, I was in my first marriage. As is with most survivors of child abuse, I married someone with many of the characteristics of my primary abuser. While the abuse wasn’t physical, she was verbally and emotionally abusive. 

I had to bury much of what I felt. Turned inward, these emotions manifested as an autoimmune disease that crippled me for years. It wasn’t until I was out of my second marriage, which was worse than the first, that I began the journey towards healing. As I learned to love myself, the symptoms of my illness subsided. But even more significant than the return of my physical health, I gained insight into the process of healing from child abuse.

I call it, “The Wounded Child’s Journey.” There are several parts to this Journey. The first is awareness. Until I was aware that I was abused, I was not able to do anything to heal from it. But awareness alone is not enough. We can become aware, and then bitter and angry at our abusers. While we might be justified in our anger, especially since we may have been made to bear guilt for our own suffering, that anger has no outlet other than our own bodies. 



So with awareness, we need a genuine desire to heal. We have to be willing to do whatever it takes change our lives. We cannot go to those who harmed us and expect them to heal us. They can’t, and they won’t. We aren’t responsible for the harm we suffered, but only we are responsible for our own recovery.


In my next post, I’ll share the steps in the “Wounded Child’s Journey. I wish you well in your journey to healing from child abuse.


--
Woody Haiken, CPC, ELI-MP, founded Wounded Child Coaching to help others who have experienced child abuse, as he did. His recovery from the damage took decades. His greatest breakthroughs came from the coaching process, which saw him as sufficient, and the past as a teacher. Coaching has helped Woody release those things in his life that no longer serve him, and embrace those things that keep him growing.

Woody now shares his wisdom with others through the same coaching process that has revolutionized his life.

He received his coaching training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), and is a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. 

Go to https://woundedchildsjourney.leadpages.co/get-free-ebook/ for Woody’s free eBook, “The 4 Thought Patterns that Block Your Happiness & How to Change Them” 

To learn more about Woody and Wounded Child Coaching go to:

On Facebook:

October 25, 2015

10 Easy Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

Today we conclude our exploration of anxiety with some practical tips for overcome anxiety!

--
Everybody experiences shyness in certain situations at one time or another. Whether it's on a first date, or taking the podium at conference or even going to a party with new people, it's natural to feel slightly anxious in unknown situations. However, there is a disorder that many people confuse with simple shyness, that actually is far more intense and problematic than being shy.

Shyness usually only manifests in a particular type of situation, allowing you to be quite functional in everyday life. Social anxiety disorder, on the other hand, is quite different, where if left untreated will cause you to destroy every personal connection in your life. Here are 10 easy ways to overcome social anxiety disorder.

#1 - FIND A GOOD THERAPIST: 
This is usually the first step to serious treatment when you recognize that you may have social anxiety disorder. A good therapist will help you get to the root of your problem and proscribe exercises to do to overcome it. Try to get a referral from someone you trust.


#2 - JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP: 
A support group is a great way to interact with people whom you know will be understanding of your problem and supportive in your efforts to seek treatment.


#3 - READ AS MUCH AS YOU CAN: 
Get all of the self-help books that you can and look for ways to help change your thought processes and get you out of your shell. Knowing the most you can about social anxiety disorder will help you overcome it more effectively.


#4 - FIGURE OUT YOUR SYMPTOMS: 
Take notes and analyze how and under what circumstances your social anxiety disorder manifests itself.


#5 - ASSESS YOUR SAD TRIGGERS: 
After you've figured out your symptoms, look for what triggers them in social and professional situations.


#6 - PROCESS YOUR DISORDER: 
Come to grips with the idea that you have this disorder, and make a concerted effort that you will overcome it.


#7 - GET BACK OUT THERE: 
Look for little ways to forge small social interactions that you can use to build your therapy on. Idle chit chat and small talk is a great way to alleviate a lot of the stress and anxiety you are feeling.


#8 - WORK ON IT ALL THE TIME: 
For your treatment to be effective, you have to be vigilant. Work on it all the time to avoid the temptation to recede back into your mental shell.


#9 - WORK TO OVERCOME YOUR NATURAL RESPONSE: 
The most difficult part of the process of overcoming social anxiety disorder is retraining your mental habits and going against your natural inclinations. With effort and practice, you can do this.



#10 - EMPLOY THE POSITIVE: 
One of the most common traits of social anxiety disorder is the succumbing to negative thoughts and dwelling on them. But focus on the positive things you can do and use these as a basis to bolster your confidence.



---


Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/

October 16, 2015

How to Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness

Today we continue our exploration of anxiety, this time taking into consideration shyness!

--
Social anxiety disorder is the most-diagnosed mental disorder in society today. More people suffer from it than from any other mental malaise, and they suffer quietly, because even though it is the most diagnosed mental disease, it is estimated that the affliction affects many more people who go undiagnosed.

The primary cause of this lack of diagnosis is often that many people confuse the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder with that of ordinary shyness, as the two tend to manifest in similar ways. 


In fact, Social Anxiety Disorder is essentially a hyper-active, incredibly intense shyness that causes a person so afflicted to be overwhelmed by their phobia that they eschew the situation altogether.

It can be a tough nut to crack. Here are a few ways to help you overcome your Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness.


SELF-ANALYSIS
Focus on and analyze your negative though patterns. Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder constantly wallow in their own negative thinking, which is one of the sources of their low self-esteem. A sufferer must learn to retrain their thought processes and focus more upon constructing healthy, positive thinking.


BE THE CHANGE
Look for something simple to change about yourself. Maybe some element of your personal style, your clothing or your personal grooming. Look at your personal habits and look for areas of improvement. Try an exercise program.


PRACTICE
In private, rehearse some new social skills by researching topics you are interested in and discussing them. Practice these discussions in the mirror.


VENTURE OUT
Find new things to do outside of your comfort zone, but take baby steps. Don't overwhelm yourself by "diving in" full bore. Do something simple, like making eye contact with a passerby on the street.
If this works out for you, do it again. Add in a friendly "hello" as you pass. Try to initiate simple and easy conversations with people on the bus, at the library or at the store, but do it slowly.


REMEMBER

You are not alone with your intense shyness. Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders. Try to find a support group to supplement your therapy with a trained psychologist. Realizing that you are not alone in this can be a great way to move forward with your treatment, and to practice the skills and techniques proscribed to you in a friendly and sympathetic environment.



---


Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/

October 4, 2015

Surprising Facts About Anxiety Disorders – 7 Ways to Cope

Today we begin a three part series presented by Joshua Uebergang on anxiety, a major issue for survivors of sexual abuse.

--

Only anxious people understand what it’s like to feel anxiety. Getting told to “calm down” is annoying. Meeting people is not fun. A delay in someone accepting your Facebook friendship means they don’t like you.

I get it – once having an anxiety disorder own me years ago. It’s a weird experience. To help, I made a videographic of surprising facts about anxiety disorders. You might get surprised by the celebrities who suffer from anxiety, symptoms of anxiety, and ways to deal with the disorder.




Watch the Video:








See the Infographic:

Anxiety disorder infographic





---


Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/

September 28, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 5

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/pretty-woman-flowing-dress-spring-739209/


FIVE | molar abuse
 
I don’t like living life in the grey… why can’t things just be black or white?

Recently, I was talking to my therapist about how conflicted, anxious and full of guilt I was.  I told her I felt like I am going to lose it.  (Although I have said that to therapists before and they’ve told me that feeling like I’m going “to lose it” is a pretty good indication that I haven’t.  Insert “yet” here.)  Over this past year, every time I’ve gone to counseling and we would talk about abuse, I shut down emotionally and physically for days and weeks.  It has been eleven years and I still can’t say “I was abused” with certainty.

I don’t want to live life as a victim.  I don’t want to live life in self-pity.  However, I don’t ever want to pretend that I am “healed” and I don’t want to pretend that everything is “OK”.  I do want knowing to be for certain — for real!!  But, I’m tired and worn out.  I am filled with guilt.  I can write words for others to read, but are these words coming from myself?  For me, I can’t help!  I don’t want to move on with life, only to realize later that I didn’t really go through the steps of recovery and healing I needed to – that I could be better if I only just would have…..

I want to be full of life and confident … not “just” abused, wounded, lonely, uncompassionate, unsocial or depressed.  People do it… some do!  Some recover from sins committed against them, flourish and find victorious lives aver the storm of turmoil, shame and disgust.  I just want it to be not done or done – not in between!!  Abused or not abused – not in between!!  I still really can’t admit that I was abused.  I can type about it… it just flows out my fingers to the keyboard – I can’t say it!!  I can say it – but, not really.  I can say it, but I separate myself from the words “I was abused”… that happened to another person.  Everyone else has memories.  I have several “snapshots” of things I couldn’t make up.  It makes me believe that I’m making everything up or that something else has happened to make me this way.

I can become very emotional about other people’s abuse.  I can be very unemotional, almost scientific about myself.  To be transparent with you, here is my evidence:  I have the personality characteristics of a “typical” abused child.  I forget almost everything, especially my childhood.  (Well, and numbers… I’m am awful with numbers, but that really doesn’t matter.)  I have spent years disassociating to the point of not being able to move a muscle in my body, blink or whisper a word.  I have panic attacks.   I listen for sounds at night.  I watch for dark shapes.  I hate being under water and am terrified of heights.  I have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression.  I’m have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  I have been labeled with an “environmental” learning disability… a learning disability that should have been so debilitating, that I shouldn’t have made it through high school – let alone earning two bachelor degrees.  I am socially detached – well, I was much more-so as a child.  I have had five therapists treat me for abuse.  I have been in a support group with other sexually abused women and related to everything they said.  I have a few memories, but not like a rickety old movie real – just one second snapshots that come and go… things that no one would ever make up and things that put me in bed for days.  I’m not a good wife and I am emotionally detached from my children. (Please know!! As much as I am being honest– I love my kids more than myself and I feel I am a good mom, just not the one I wish I were.  Many “normal” women probably feel that way too.)  I have been on anti-depressants for seven years.  I have screamed so loud, no one could hear.

To function on a daily basis, that’s a lot to hide inside… and it takes years of practice!!   Is it a surprise that I have taught years of acting, without ever being trained to act myself?  Well, now that I think about it… no it isn’t!  However, the surprise I had, was that people can see through my smile and my frowns, especially trained therapists and other abuse victims.  Eventually, abuse pulls the curtain from the stage and rehearsal is over.

So, this remains my storm!  Thinking about all the puzzle pieces I have picked up or allowed myself safe enough to find, this is the picture of my journey that I’ve put together so far…

Thirteen years ago, I had a molar pregnancy when my oldest daughter was just a year old.  (I told you pregnancy was ironic to my journey.)  I never saw my baby, she was just days old when I miscarried.  But, even though I didn’t see my baby, hold or have memories of her, I knew I was pregnant — because the doctor’s told me. The 20-week maternity clothes told me.  The blood tests told me.  The surgery told me.  Not having a baby didn’t mean I didn’t have “proof” of being pregnant. 

Well, I don’t have “proof” that I was abused, because I can’t remember, I can’t see it or know it is there.  But!!   Even though I don’t like to say it and my family doesn’t accept it as true, all the doctors have told me I was abused.  The medicines, the learning disabilities, the depression… tests that prove something did happen for me to function the way I do as an adult!!  I believe that God has allowed me to not see the memories because I wouldn’t be able to handle them.  He has protected me, even though He couldn’t control the free will and horrific choices of others – He has protected me despite what any man could do.

In short, that’s my story.  It’s the best explanation I have for my journey… I call it Molar Abuse!

On this stormy journey, I am hoping to leave a mark that trauma and abuse recovery isn’t easy, comfortable or a short-term event – it is a process and you are not alone!!  I’m hoping that by sharing [to the best of my capabilities] throughout my journey, I can reach someone where they are – because no one ever reaches the end of this journey.  

Every day is a product of your commitment and effort to make yourself more important than what happened to you.  Finding someone who is at the same place as you is difficult.  So, I truly pray that readers who find my journal and find a familiar place in their journey will know they are not alone in this lonely place.


--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

September 20, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 4

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/sundress-summer-dress-girl-woman-336590/

FOUR | my journey journal

Over the last four years, I have kept record of my storms of trauma recovery, marriage counseling, personal therapy, disassociation, depression, an abuse support group, EMDR therapy, missing stages of development, neurological tests, brain scans, personality tests, learning disability tests, anti-depressants, ADHD and bi-polar diagnosis on When Rayne Whispers, my first blog… yet, few new memories of abuse and continued distance from my family, remained pieces that I just couldn’t seem to put together.

It has been important to me to continue to find my voice as an abuse survivor and a writer, despite the pieces of distorted, lost and repressed memories that I continued to put together.  Repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse as an adult is like being handed life in a puzzle box, having it shaken up and dropped all over the floor like a hail storm… all for you to pick up and put back together.  And, I’m not convinced you’ll ever find every piece - if every piece is in there.  However, if this is the life I was handed, I am so thankful for the bravery and intuition to start picking up one piece at a time and begin writing when I did. 

Recently I went back to the beginning of my blog… I was amazed when I reread the words typed by my hands.  Looking back at the beginning of my blog is like reading another person’s words.  Even now, I can see that I wrote in very detached sentences and thoughts.  Then I thought that I was being poetic and figurative with word-play, ironies and analogies as often as I could.  But now, I think I was searching for a way to say what I couldn’t say. 

Yes… that is why I felt called to journal! 

Writing when I had no story and when I only had whispers of words, even if for no one else but me… made a difference!  Even if I am the only difference it makes!  Looking back, I was on a journey and I was going somewhere… maybe not fast or in the right direction always, but I was going somewhere other than where I had been and that had to be!!  I continued to pray and write - soon my whispers started to become my journey.  I called it my “My Journey Journal”. 

I still yearn for a story… my story.  But as guilt and shame follow me, they also keep me mindful of my writing for others – it has to be part of my story!  I still try to not always seem depressed when I write and I don’t want to seem continually chipper.  Neither would adequately represent my journey.  However, it isn’t easy writing when you are depressed without a smile in sight and it feels like bragging when you aren’t.  I’ll say this, every day is a product of my commitment and effort to make myself more important than what happened to me. 

I struggle with the trap of generational cycles, only having moments now and then that I can actually remember without taking a picture and having to take naps every afternoon in avoidance what I’m not able to accomplish.  I struggle with guilt that I get frustrated if I am around other people for long periods of time, shame for what I don’t know happened and guilt for not being present for my family that doesn’t believe that this happened to me.  I have to admit that I have selective hearing and control issues.  I have unexplained phobias and intensified sensitivities to sounds and smells.  Co-dependence, triggers, narcissism and repressed memories are still terms that I am getting acquainted with.  Not feeling that I have “proof” that struggling through this storm is real is exhausting and it torments me.

I wish I could share some things that are OK with me… I know I sound like I am a mess.  I suppose I am, it’s just easier to share to obvious things in question.  Because, the thing I struggle with the most with who I am… is not knowing.


--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

September 14, 2015

If You Can't Remember, Does It Mean The Abuse Wasn't Real? - Part 3

IMAGE CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/guess-attic-girl-woman-pretty-hair-837156/

THREE | when rayne whispers

Ironically, even as an adult I never wanted to get pregnant.  Well, it just seemed creepy to me, to have something moving inside me and not be in control of it.  I’m so melancholy, even not knowing when I’d go into labor frightened me.  And then, you have to actually parent… messing up someone else’s life was the ultimate reason for abstaining from parenthood.

But, don’t you know that God has a sense of humor?  (Or, maybe that is how we are supposed to look at it… a great plan of protection is probably more accurate.)  During my first pregnancy, I was working at a Crisis Pregnancy Center!!!  Let me tell you, I was an office assistant in crisis!!  (In years to come, all four of my babies were born by C-section.  I knew what day and what time I would go to the hospital and I did not a labor pain in between.)  And, I’m OK… I made it!

So…. what’s pregnancy have to do with who I am in my journey? 

The women in my support group for sexually abused women, new-found mentors I was blessed to have on my journey and the inspirational speakers that I adored and aspired to be weren’t “there”.  By “there”, I mean they were not where I was mentally, spiritually and generally.  I admired all of these women so much, but the place where I was getting stuck [in my journey] began to resemble what I had experienced [at this point] twice already – in pregnancy.  If you don’t already know, pregnancy is uncomfortable, painful, exhausting, and full of unknowns --- yet, never companionless!!  It became more apparent to me as time passed, that although you may be able to relate to someone pregnant [after you’ve been pregnant], after you have gone through labor something happens and you don’t really remember how it [pregnancy] felt to live through anymore.  The freedom of labor brings a much bigger gift than the experience of being pregnant.

With this realization, my journaling became more intentional.  Not only had I disassociated so much of my life and knew that someday I wouldn’t be able to remember the struggles that haunted me, I was already mindful that there had to be others who felt like I did.  ---  There had to be other women who weren’t ready yet or couldn’t be freed from the bondage of abuse, yet watched it displayed to them that they could be free.  It felt like another lie of life, a discouraging piece of the puzzle called recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

I knew that if I didn’t start writing then, if I waited until I found freedom from the trauma and abuse, I would be skipping the whole process that I felt others were missing!  I thought, if I am going to go through all the pain and hard work of recovery, I should use the steps of this journey (not just the destination and a new life) to help others.  I hoped that someday, I would find a renewed life and be free from the suffocation and pain of abuse - but, at the same time, it scared me that I wouldn’t remember either (maybe it was just an excuse to stay comfortably where I was, I had lived there my whole life, after all).

I knew I didn’t have a voice… all I had was a whisper.  I wasn’t “healed” from this secret disease.  I wasn’t the most educated, informed or experience writer.  But, I had a reason to write and I wrote as often as I was able.  I found strength in thinking about being rescued from Childhood Sexual Abuse.  Abuse became my storm of recovery.  Victory over my healing was allowing the rain of emotion to fall on me, knowing that the thunder will pass, allowing myself to embrace the times of hibernation and letting my senses being refreshed. 

With this I say, it was four years ago that I began to find my voice and share my journey.  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share, even if with only a whisper, even only being able to hear the whisper of God’s presence, sometimes a whisper is all you have… sometimes it is all of have the strength to hear.

--
I am a Mid-West girl turned Southern wife and a mother of four.  I currently work in marketing, web and social media content.  I have degrees, have taught and professionally performed as a professional musician, an artist and in stagecraft.  If I were to describe myself, I would say I am creative, impractical, organized, imaginative, honest, frugal, and like being in control.  I have always dreamed of being a published writer or professional speaker - then I realized, I really didn’t have a story to share... well, several years ago life presented me with journey!  My name is Rayne... I don’t yet have a story to tell, but I have a journey to share.




BLOGS
www.myjourneyjournal.org
www.molarabuse.com

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/myjourneyjournal
www.twitter.com/raynewhispers
www.twitter.com/molarabuse

CONTACT
whenraynewhispers@gmail.com

Sign up for my free guide so you can stop spinning your wheels and instead navigate your way through each stage of recovery with ease and clarity. Get the support you need today

GET YOUR COPY