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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.

Humor Heals

Laugh as much as possible, always laugh. It’s the sweetest thing one can do for oneself & one’s fellow human beings. Maya Angelou I haven’t laughed enough lately. I am taking things (too) seriously; work challenges and changes, friends going through tough things, children finding their way to independence. You know, life. Life, the source of so many intense feelings yet, I seem tipped way too much toward striving in all its effortful, lines in the forehead grimaces. I remind myself today how much I adore the miracle of mirth in the midst of a meeting. I grin when I…

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Integration

Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: What darkness did you conquer in your story? Mountains don’t rise without earthquakes. Katherine Mackenett Conversations at work have shifted dramatically. It may be pandemic reckoning, but I think it is more fundamental. I coach and consult in a global organization where integration of the whole person into their professional identity is encouraged, at least more, than when I began 25 + years ago. There is recognition that fragmentation from Adverse Childhood Experiences, like Child Sexual Abuse, exacts a high toll on wellbeing, creativity, and expressing our humanity.…

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Growing Through Pain

When it hurts, observe. Life is trying to teach you something. Anita Krizzan, poet I’m a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse and a survivor of recovering from CSA’s festering wounds and their exquisite pain. Yes, recovery and healing hurts before it sets me free. The pattern in my healing journey plays out like this….I get to the brink of nearly unbearable emotional pain. Intense pain that almost convinces me that pounding my head against a brick wall would be soothing. I writhe in anguish within my skin while miraculously keeping it together outwardly – meeting obligations, fulfilling responsibilities. At some…

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Your Experience Matters

Today, reflection on the uniqueness of each survivor’s experience. We live in a time when Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) like Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) are researched and better understood. I find this validating of my childhood experiences. It is reassuring, in a strange but confirmatory way, to read a research paper that identifies the physical and mental health consequences of childhood trauma. Yet, no research paper has completely captured my CSA experience. Initially, this was deeply upsetting to me. I felt omissions of same-sex CSA perpetrated by adult women against girls as another strike of trauma. In a 1980’s edition…

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New Beginning

Every moment is a new beginning. Elie Wiesel, Author – Holocaust Survivor – Nobel Laureate The start of a new year can happen each day. Every moment that we connect to the world with equanimity we allow ourselves to begin again. Life lived in the long-shadow of trauma obscures the choice to begin again. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) create scars in our thinking, distort our growth, and embed survivial patterns that at one time made a kind of sense. As we step out from under that oppressive shadow we see ourselves anew and a rainbow radiates toward beginning anew. What…

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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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