Welcome to a Daily Dose of Encouragement

A blog for survivors of childhood trauma … the life-affirming healing journey continues … together.

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Action is the antidote to despair. Joan Baez, singer, songwriter, activist Today I was reminded of the power action has to lift despair. Living through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) the ability to act, to escape, or to get help was limited. As children we had no power to take liberating action. Often children who experience ACEs blame themselves. Self-blame and shame further contribute to a sense of powerlessness that lingers. As adults, we can act on our own behalf even on days when we feel powerless. We can reach out to a friend, dance, dream-up an adventure or write a…

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Patterns and Change

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge. Tuli Kupferberg, poet, peace activist Lately I’ve been up against persistent patterns of numbness and distance. I know where they began. I understand their destructiveness. I see them and feel them. I see how they injure others. Yet, the grip of these patterns remains powerfully paralyzing. As a survivor or childhood sexual abuse (CSA) I have learned that the only way to recover from these painful patterns is to retreat and spend time in relationship with myself. Time alone quiets the world and I am able to hear my heart. Slowly I begin…

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The “gods” within you

Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods. ― Peter A. Levine, Clinical Psychologist, Author Living decades beyond Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) does not automatically resolve the deep impact of trauma. I wish longevity alone removed the residue of trauma; that each passing day diminished patterns of self-doubt into oblivion. My experience has taught me that resolving trauma is a practice – more akin to endurance training than a gift from the gods. And like endurance training, some days are nearly unbearable and bring me to my knees. The key word being “nearly.” Even the…

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Today, thoughts about what justice means for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE.) There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor, author, professor, activist, Nobel Peace Prize recipient I am reading the news about the Boy Scouts of America’s settlement with the 84,000 men, who experienced Childhood Sexual Abuse while participating in BSA activities as children. Wall Street Journal Article, June 18, 2021. Although 84,000 have filed claims against the BSA, the number of boys…

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A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. B.F. Skinner, American Psychologist Today, encouragement to continue your healing journey. As an adult survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse at times I feel discouraged that I am not further along in my healing. I feel frustrated by the persistent patterns of self-doubt and fear. I catch myself paying attention to where I fall-short and ignoring effort and progress. When I notice these habitual ways of thinking about and judging myself I try to redirect…

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Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. Eckhart Tolle Today, encouragement to let go. Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) is a triumph! Yet, years later I feel my jaw clench and my shoulder muscles tighten as I brace for a blow to my sense of safety. As recovery continues, I am better able to notice when I have outsized reactions to situations and am learning to release my need for control. I have a new skill available to me. I can walk away. I can let go. I can release what…

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Compassion over Fear

Courage does not always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher Today, encouragement to move through your fear. To me, among the heinous harms caused by Childhood Sexual Abuse are the loss of trust in one’s self, and the loss of feeling safe in the world. I notice that as I continue my healing journey, I sometimes experience paralyzing fear of situations that do not warrant it. The distortions in how I perceive myself and others in the world collide in the most ordinary of places,…

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The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. Oscar Wilde Today, encouragement to slow down to notice and offer kindness. The lingering harm caused by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) like Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) at times feels overwhelming. What helps me when I sense these feelings of residual oppressive negativity is to look outward to see how I can provide a moment of kindness to another. This could be as simple as returning a call to a lonely relative to chat, or stopping to talk with an elderly neighbor, or some days it is as simple…

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Turn your wounds into wisdom. Oprah Winfrey Today, acknowledge and celebrate your earned wisdom. Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse is a journey of steep hills and deep valleys. Recovery brings moments of searing grief as we realize the profound loss and broad impact the abuse has had on our sense of safety, confidence and identity. Early on in my recovery, the deep valleys felt like bottomless chasms and the steep hills felt like harrowing peaks. The moments of wisdom were few and fleeting yet very worth the work. Wisdom from our wounds is the silver lining of the storm of…

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Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. Walter Elliot, Scottish Politician Today, encouragement to continue your healing journey. I described being a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse to a friend as feeling like I started the hundred meter dash a quarter of a mile behind the start line at the bottom of a steep hill. It is arduous. It has felt “unfair” and, at times, futile. Surviving CSA, a trauma that is central to one’s sense of identity, is a massive achievement achieved each day by taking one more step, one more…

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