It’s All So Toxic

posted in: Observations 0 |
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Of course, one of the tell-tale signs of depression, and unhealthy responses to trauma, like abuse, is overly black and white thinking. Going to extremes, if you will. So, it’s easy for many of us to fall into these toxic traps. It’s easy to think that we should feel shame about what happened to us, or that we can somehow rid ourselves of that shame, and anger, by simply refusing to do anything but be positive. But neither one of these is real healing. Real healing, like real emotions, and real people, are messier than that.

It’s still worth it though, as are a lot of those messy emotions and people too. If you let yourself get out of the black and white thinking, you just might see that too.… Read More

Quick Thought #18 – Sports as an Example of The Lens We See Life Through

posted in: Quick Thoughts 0 |
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Just like in sports though, sometimes it’s not about how the world works, or what mistakes we made, it’s about the other team. In our case, it’s the abuser. They did this. Healing is understanding that, and coming to grips with the fact that our lens is wrong. We’re looking at someone else’s actions and choices through a lens that only sees ourselves. We were abused, maybe when we told someone, we weren’t believed, or maybe even as adults, when we share our experiences we make others uncomfortable. But it’s not us. Other people get to make their own choices, have their own reactions, and choose who, and what, to believe.

What we need to do, is start untying other people actions and reactions, from ourselves. The abuser chose to abuse. The people who refused to help, made that choice, and the people who still don’t believe us, have their own reasons for doing that. None of it has anything to do with us, those are other people making their own choices, playing their own game. We can do everything right, live our life to the best of our abilities and still “lose” in these interactions. It happens. It doesn’t lessen us, it shows us who these other people are, and tells us about their agendas.

We learn from that, and move on. We do not blame ourselves for their agendas.

It does take developing a more mature lens to view life through, and that takes time, and work. Are you up for it? Or maybe the better question, are you tired of blaming yourself?… Read More

The Importance of Just Listening

posted in: Child Abuse, Depression, Recommended Reading 0 |
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The people who helped me, and continue to help me, are the ones who will ask me questions and then just listen. They want to hear my story, even though they can’t fix it. They know that they can help by just giving me a space to tell my story, without worrying about the need to fight off their attempts at fixing something that may or may not be relevant at all to my situation. (i.e. I’m glad your cousin felt better after a walk in the forest, but that’s not what is happening here!) 

So please, just listen. Make the space around you, even if it’s virtual, a safe space for your friends and loved ones to tell their stories. Find small ways to help, if you can, but also know that by just listening, just sitting with our stories, you are already helping so much.… Read More

Why Reading Just The Headline is Misleading

posted in: Newsworthy 0 |
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The content of the article is pretty accurate, but if you saw the article shared on Twitter, for example, with just the headline, what would your take-away be? Oh, the headline? This is what it said:

“If this happened to you in childhood, you may have mental health problems”

That headline seems to imply the exact opposite of the content of the article. The study they are reporting on, actually says the opposite of that. It implies that we really don’t know or understand all of the causes of mental health issues. For some, it may be tied to childhood trauma, for another person it may be tied to something else, or someone with a lot of childhood trauma didn’t grow up with mental health issues. 

Since we know many, many people only read the headline and then either move on, or share based on the headline alone. I can’t help but wonder how many people are sharing something, assuming that it says that childhood trauma causes mental health issues, when the article actually says it’s more complicated than that. … Read More

Lauren Book on Fight, Flight, or Freeze

posted in: Recommended Reading 0 |
Reading Time: 1 minute

Somehow, even though this is from 2016, I hadn’t seen it until last night. It’s a TEDx talk by survivor, and advocate Lauren Book. (https://laurenskids.org)

In it. she shares her own story, and some words about going from victim, to advocate and how we can all advocate for children, but the part that really caught my attention was the beginning, and no not just because she uses an air horn. It’s the description of our responses to trauma, and how they are just part of us, mostly outside of our control, especially as children. Lauren’s freeze response wasn’t just a one-time event either, it went on for years, and was tied to thinking that all of it was her own fault.

If this sound familiar, that’s because it is really common. We just don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about sexual abuse at all, and if we do, this kind of response is usually met with some nasty comments about why we waited to say anything. Those comments simply communicate that the person saying them, knows nothing about the brain and trauma response.

Don’t be that person. Watch and learn a thing or two.… Read More

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