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Welcome to a Daily Dose of Encouragement

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

I’m glad you’re here.

I’m still learning…

“Ancora imparo.” Michelangelo The Michelangelo quote above is said to have been his last words as he departed this realm at in 1564 at the age of 88. It’s not important to me if the attribution is accurate, though I am inspired by the image. Ancora imparo (I am still learning) is an invitation …. are we still learning? Am I? This blog has taught me the value of reflecting and writing, not for others, as I first imagined, but for me. The practice of reflection and writing reveals gifts from my healing journey. Childhood trauma has devastating impact on…

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Comfort

“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.”― Naya Rivera Recently I comforted my sister in a way that I now need to comfort myself. You may be able to relate to the scenario in your own life. I took on a big challenge at work, it went well…but not perfectly…whatever that fiction is. Rather than breathe in deeply with satisfaction and pride, I gripped the missed opportunities, the slight stumble, the failure to “nail the landing” for almost 24 hours. Worrying over it like a…

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Action

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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Justice

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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Again

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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Release

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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Kindness

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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