Healing (continued)

My healing journey continues. I have become very aware of the fear I feel around men in general. A trauma block of sorts. I am going to attend a healing session with this healer:

DOALEOVA-1.jpg picture by robcarris

Doña Leova is a Traditional Healer from the Nahuatl Indian nation of Puebla, Mexico. Her work is based in a cosmology of Healing that is known as the “Tradition of the Grandmothers”….. named because historically, one grandmother would share the practice with one granddaughter who would then go on to become the next practitioner.

Within her Community she is renowned as a Medicine Women and in her tradition a “Limpia” (or inner cleansing) is a form in which using a combination of body-work, massage, prayer and the intention of the healer and the client the echo of old pains, traumas, fears and tendencies that no longer serve the client can be released and cleared. Generally people feel lighter, more balanced, open and profoundly relaxed following a treatment.
Her work is deep…. and filled with Kindness…..
If you have success stories on healing from trauma from verbal abuse, please feel free to share.

 

Beeth There. Done That. ORG

I just listened to a very inspiring piece on NPR about a rehabilitation program for women who have suffered the trauma of human sexual trafficking, prostitution and associated drug addictions. Wow, this made my heart soar. Thank you Kathryn Griffin-Townsend. Visit: http://wevebeentheredonethat.org.

From their website:

We’ve Been There Done That is a non-profit organization started by Kathryn Griffin-Townsend with a goal to rehabilitate women who have lived through sex trafficking, prostitution, and associated drug addiction.  A former cocaine addict and prostitute, Kathryn Griffin-Townsend credits rehabilitation programs with changing her life.  Kathryn has been featured in The Houston Chronicle, ABC News and most recently, The Steve Wilkos Show for her unabashed, toughlove, tell-it-like-it-is style that strikes a chord with the women she helps.  We’ve Been There Done That has been serving the Houston community for almost a decade, having helped over 1,000 women.  The program not only helps to rehabilitate, but also to reintegrate them into society and has the highest success rate of former prostitues not going back to the life.  The outreach program has garnered so much praise, both locally and nationally, that their resources lag behind the number of women who need help.  To that end, We’ve Been There Done That is always accepting donations to assist.

Self care after a hard week

20130321-211924.jpgI’ve had a tough week. Really, I’ve had a few tough weeks, but today I’m just feeling like its all catching up with me. I am so thankful though for all I have, for all the people I love who are in my life. A gratitude list is always helpful for me when I feel a need to tune in and reset. I have prayer bleeds around my neck… Been praying for days for a friend’s life to be spared… please God. Adele, MIKA and Lennon keep me company on Pandora, as does my faithful dog.

It’s amazing to look back on my life and the many dark moments that have kept me prisoner of pain. Today, although a certain melancholy is present, along with just a feeling of exhaustion, there is also a sense of compassion in my heart. I overrate today… And I was conscious of it. I knew no relief would come from that extra macaroon though. And that consciousness made all the difference. That and choosing to not hate myself after. Instead I choose to acknowledge that I’ve been under a lot of stress and I need to rest and take good care. Even if that care comes in the form of coconuts goodness, that’s ok. Some part of my being needed that nutrient today, so I choose to trust that. I trust that my body knows what it’s doing, what it needs. Indeed, trusting is akin to compassion.

So on today’s gratitude list: my capacity to feel compassion for me. Thank You God.

Radical Self-Acceptance

20130320-235848.jpgMy dear friends, I want to invite you all today to a warm and beautiful place. It is the place within each of us… Our souls’ home. Although this is the sweetest place to be, I am saddened by how few of us have the key to the door that leads there. In the simplest terms, all we need to get there is the complete acceptance of who we are, and the willingness to just be who we are.

But unfortunately, apparently only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful. That’s 98% of us who waste our precious life force energy on feeling anxious about our noses, weigh, or the hair on our toes! (These are actual examples of conversations I’ve had with women!) It’s hard to believe that this would be the case, especially considering how smart and well educated these fellow women are. In effect it seems that no amount of education in our patriarchal system actually makes us immune to the self-hate we are brainwashed to adopt into our psyches.

So how did I break through the brainwashing? It’s a little bit like finally seeing the Matrix we live in. The messages to hate ourselves are everywhere, and are so normalized, we don’t even notice them. But I finally saw through it all after learning about the nature of abuse I’ve had to deal with in my family of origin. It finally got so intense that I finally had to seek out information about it. And you know what I learned? It’s that none of the horrible stuff had ANYTHING to do with me! It was all the another person’s pain that they were using me as a garbage dump for. Well, that made me see the bigger patterns in our society. In effect, none of the stuff the media suggests has anything to do with me personally. It’s all just a way to make money, because if they can keep you insecure, they can keep you spending that hard earned cash. It all became so clear for me. There is such parallel between the personal self-hatred, the abuse in my family, and the general self-hatred sold to us in the media. It is all connected and it is all normalized so we don’t even realize it is happening.

But I did realize, and I am no longer willing to hate myself for the benefit of others. I’ve adopted a policy of radical self-acceptance. I consider myself a soul activist. The change has taken place, there is no going back. I invite you to join me on this journey and I welcome you back home.

Why beauty no longer matters

As a survivor of a spectrum of personal boundary trespasses, I’ve had a challenging time with developing a healthy sense of self. Part of the way this has manifested for me is an unhealthy body image, and a preoccupation with beauty (and my perceived lack of it). It was a truly challenging mindset to grow up with. As a young woman I have not been able to feel safe in a relationship or trust men to find me beautiful because I did not think I was.

But something remarkable happened over the last few weeks. First of all a recent hypnotherapy session allowed me to tune into my inner child and find out that all I ever needed was to feel safe. Since it was not a feeling I was accustomed to at home with my own father, it was hard to allow myself to trust complete strangers to accept me for who I was. So I realized that the thought that I was not beautiful was actually just a self-defense mechanism my mind created at a young age to keep the bad away. Continue reading

How I confronted my verbally abusive father

victoryRecently I had a breakthrough moment in my relationship with my dad. He had another one of his yelling outbursts which finally pushed me to see the truth about verbal abuse. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of research about this topic and how to deal. I found a great series of books by Patricia Evans on the topic, and have opened up about this to close friends, my therapist and called 2 hotlines to gain as much perspective as possible. I found a lot of information about what verbal abuse is, but surprisingly very little on how to actually deal with the close person in your life who is doing it. I want to share my story in the hopes that it might be helpful for someone to read. And if you have dealt with this issue in your life, please share your experience here too. I know someone out there is looking for guidance, just as I am.

First Thing’s First:Prepare

Since I’ve been exposed to abuse throughout my life, I’ve had a very hard time developing a healthy sense of self, and the self-confidence to speak my truth, and trust that it is worth being heard. I’ve been convinced all my life that the things I have said were not true, did not matter and were invalid. So as you can imagine, it is very hard to go from this state to one where you can say “STOP” when someone is hurting you again. Any such protests are simply met with more invalidation and even intensified abuse. So I have to say that the foundation of the confrontation that finally took place with my dad was a preparation process that took many years. I have been working on healing my sense of self, trusting my inner voice, and finally allowing that voice to be expressed for at least 3 years since I began working with my amazing art therapist. I have also been journaling, creating art work, practicing yoga and meditating on a daily basis. Each of these things has helped me discover who I am and realize that my voice is valid. I would also add that a particularly helpful therapy for me was hypnosis, as it allowed my therapist and I to work on the subconscious level of my mind where many of the negative things my father has told me over the years have been stored, influencing my daily decisions without me even knowing it. Continue reading