(Almost) every day on Instagram I share my day-to-day journey living with Complex PTSD due to childhood sexual abuse. Journey with me.
Nicely put together in memes and 2200 character captions or less, I walk through the ups and downs of my trauma healing process with vulnerable candidness in Thoughts Over Coffee.
On the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month I host Trauma Talk Uncensored with guests who share their experiences in life during and after trauma as we normalize the messiness of Complex PTSD and trauma recovery.
Sundays and Mondays you can watch Survivors share their stories and their healing with me LIVE on Survivors Speak LIVE.
If you feel like following me – please do – join my daily journey and participate in my live shows. Experience the healing magic of the survivor community that is growing on Surviving Childhood Trauma on Instagram.
If IG just isn’t your cup a tea – that’s cool too. Tune in weekly here for the run down on the week with links to all the shows.
Thoughts Over Coffee
Walk with me day-to-day as I journey in real time. Join me as I reflect and heal amongst the ebbs and flows of my process, learning, unlearning, and growing as I go. This is a journey of self-discovery and it is so empowering, even when it hurts.
I still struggle with measuring myself against the opinions of others.
In recent weeks I have felt an ebb away from Instagram. My mind has gone still in regards to concise and reflective sharing. I am in this in between where everything is integrating. A space where what I have learned levels up with what I am learning. It isn’t a very comfortable place to be, and I never know how long it will last but I always come out the other side.
While in this space in between, it is my self-care tools that help me navigate the harder moments and I do believe that the plan I have in place for daily life, also helps elevate me when my childhood wounds try to weigh me down.
This morning I took some measures on social media to set emotional boundaries for myself as I reflect on the effects doing my work with the public on social media has on me.
I turned off the number count on post interactions to comfort the part of me that often feels inadequate as I watch post interactions and analytics. I have set a rule for myself regarding my page statistics – every two weeks, no more. My value and the value of this community aren’t measured by numbers.
This morning I made a small change in the grand scheme of things but it was powerful in my own journey and for my own mental wellbeing. I showed up for myself today! Knowing that I have a daily self-care plan coupled with specific tools for high stress situations has been pivotal in building trust within myself and with my process.
Developing this plan took time and a lot of work, but I did it!
On goes the journey
It happens way more than I would like to admit. Sometimes it feels like my brain is actively looking for it, anything to reinforce a negative belief of myself. It is exhausting to keep an eye on and difficult to redirect.
On a couple separate occasions this week I have found myself creating a narrative in my mind based on speculation that reflects negatively on me and my worth.
I get so sad when I really think about how deeply this belief that I am not good enough goes. It breaks my heart when I truly connect with the wounded part of me, the child who internalized this belief through the fear and confusion of her abusive childhood.
I wish there was a quick fix for rewiring this belief system, some way to just make it stop – but healing doesn’t work that way.
When I look back on my years of healing work, I can see my progress.
I see that the work I have put in practicing how to identify, move through, and process my emotions (even the big ones) which is building my inner trust. As that trust grows, I see my worth through proper self-care, boundaries, and my ability to express my authentic self more. As I move through these cycles of healing piece by piece I am learning what it means to see my worth, to feel my worth, and to embrace my worth.
But I am still new at this, and those negative beliefs are deeply conditioned.
Even now, when my thoughts get away from me, I still take it minute by minute with honest curiosity (and my coping tools at my side) as I lean into all the emotions that come up due to my trauma.
I am on a daily journey with no timeline.
So are you.
Be gentle when your thoughts become difficult. Remind yourself that those beliefs don’t belong to you and remember that with patience and commitment to your healing, this will get easier.
On goes the journey
On Goes the Journey Coffee Mug
Healing childhood trauma is a journey, let’s journey together.
Whether you’re drinking your morning coffee, evening tea, or something in between – this mug’s for you! It’s sturdy and glossy with a vivid print that’ll withstand the microwave and dishwasher.
Self-care and coping skills are two things that have proven both challenging and empowering in my healing journey.
In the beginning days, the idea of coping through big emotions seemed ridiculous. In those moments of overwhelm, it didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do – I couldn’t get away from them. I was either flailing as I threw everything I thought I knew about coping into the air hoping something would land, or failing miserably at my attempts to suppress my emotional responses and criticizing myself for it.
I didn’t understand the concept of self-care or coping. I didn’t know what it meant to soothe myself when I was upset or agitated.
It took me a while to understand the fundamental truths about coping with childhood trauma while simultaneously trying to heal from it.
It took me a while to understand what my own personal journey with self-care and coping would look like.
And then with that knowledge it has taken me time still, to learn how to consistently apply it to my life in a meaningful way that supports my full well being.
Some days I get it right, some days are still challenging – but every day I make it through.
If you find self-care and coping skills challenging, please be gentle with yourself, you are still learning.
On goes the journey
We had a death in the family this weekend, sudden and unexpected. Death lands differently when you are actively healing. The emotions that others feel, exhibit, and move through land differently.
Even as I learn emotional boundaries I have felt myself struggling not to blend with my husband’s process. I don’t like seeing him hurting, and being new to his own journey of self-awareness and connection – this is a new one for him as well.
However, death and loss are old friends of mine and these recent events have brought some of my own stuff to the surface.
My mind has taken this opportunity to walk me through some of my own unprocessed emotions surrounding deaths I have lived through. Death isn’t easy – even when it is an abuser. As November looms, a month riddled with all of the major trauma anniversaries of my childhood, I find myself knee deep in emotional contemplation of the days leading up to and after my dad died. Funny how this happens.
It has been 16 years.
Sometimes the thought of grieving him makes me angry at him, yet – the grief is there. The loss feels huge, and it is permanent.
I don’t have to deal with him in real-time as I heal, or with the possibility that he would never take accountability. I watch other survivors struggle with abusive parents who gaslight them and deny them the reality of their experiences and I resonate because that is exactly what he used to do to me.
But now that he is dead, my mind can more easily bargain with the what ifs. I miss my dad and I wonder if things might have been different as we got older. I can’t help it. I miss what should have been and I grieve what I never had yet deserved as a child. A loving parent that protected and nurtured me.
Death of an abuser is such a complicated thing to move through. The emotions are confusing, contradictory, and they ebb and flow as I seek my own form of closure.
If this resonates with your experiences, be kind with yourself. I see you. Your emotions are valid, allow them to flow so you can move through them.
On goes the journey
This Week’s LIVE Shows: Watch Them On Replay
Watch last week’s episodes of Survivors Speak LIVE and share in the pain and the healing of other survivors as they share their stories. Click HERE to participate in this series either in writing or LIVE with me on Instagram.
Survivors Speak LIVE #85 – Stephanie’s Story
Survivors Speak LIVE #86 – Miriam’s Story
Survivors Speak LIVE #87 – Randina’s Story
This Week on Trauma Talk Uncensored I was joined by Rachael Brooks, author of Beads a memoir and rape survivor turned advocate. In this episode we dive into her book, the legal system, and what it means to reclaim your life after rape.
What was the last great conversation you had about? Write about it in detail: who was it with, where did it happen, and how did it make you feel?
Let’s explore your emotions one at a time. What activities, people, things, or places make you feel angry? What does this feeling sound like in your mind? Where do you feel it in your body.
Let’s explore your emotions one at a time. What activities, people, things, or places make you feel annoyed or frustrated? What does this feeling sound like in your mind? Where do you feel it in your body.
Check out the full Weekly Journal Prompts post for all 7 daily prompts plus a bonus for extra exploration. Or download the prompts in a ready-made e-journal NOW and level up your healing with guided writing!!
E-Journal #7: 7 Daily Prompts to Aid Your Healing Journey
Level up your journaling experience with this 11-page downloadable e-journal with focused writing prompts to aid you in childhood trauma healing and recovery.
Survivors Speak LIVE #88 – Molly’s Story: Monday, October 18th at 6pm central standard time.
More Resources Here at Surviving Childhood Trauma
- Book your 1:1 Peer Support and Guidance Sessions
- Join the Survivor’s Circle Online Peer Support Groups
- Join the Email List
- Shop Surviving Childhood Trauma
- Downloadable Focused Writing E-Journals
P.S Kelly Clarkson just released a her new Christmas album today which as me pumped and shamelessly listening to Christmas music in October. I watched her win American Idol in 2002 and have loved her and her music ever since. You should give it a listen too – or any other music that brings you comfort and happiness.