I was in my 40’s as a Practicing Social Worker before I learned about Developmental Trauma and it’s impacts. I have an ACES score of 8/10. I have survived and overcome extensive and multiple forms of trauma, yet I never once considered myself victimized.
Like many of my clients, I studiously internalized blame for things that had happened to me – as so many of us have been socially indoctrinated to do too.
I have lived in fight, flight or freeze most of my life and, though meds were thrown at me left and right, I was never shown how to turn down the freaking volume on that shit! Nor did I realize that my mental health was actually a symptom of something greater.
Of something 100% natural and human and….CHANGEABLE.
I was so convinced my own problems weren’t valid, that I had ‘privileged’ myself out of owning any type of trauma as happening to me because, well, you know, I was the ‘professional’. YOU were allowed to be treated with dignity and respect, but I often excluded myself out those I advocated for.
It’s a blind spot many providers have for good reason: YOU, the client, are why we do our jobs! And a life of service (whatever form that takes) often has costs and sacrifices that need to be made, right?
I was innocently and unconsciously neglecting self instead of finding the common ground.
I was harming myself trying to feel ‘normal’ when that should have never once been my goal (anyone here NOT living under that same illusion!).
So, I took meds, I did meditation, I sought spirituality, I joined recovery communities, I hated certain recovery communities (and no professional I was working with dared to ask or wonder why), I became a social worker, I obtained numerous certificates, I sought training, experts and mentors. I’ve done it all.
And there were no sustainable answers to be found for my internal distress, despite the myriad of methods I had become familiar with….
What no one ever told me was that the answers for all of the noise in my head, the incessant chatter, the brutally abusive inner critic – the answer for all of these internal struggles was NOT, in fact, ‘just try harder’ as we have been told. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
What I have found most helpful in my own life transitions was learning HOW to move from Powerlessness to Empowerment (which is built on gaining knowledge, building skills and gaining confidence in your own ability). I have found this most effectively through a spiritual framework based in the Three Principles and Indigenous Beliefs (Nature is an incredible teacher) and learning about Harm Reduction, Complex Trauma (and it’s presentations), the critical role of the nervous system and, most importantly, what these tools pointed me towards…
That I was never BROKEN!
That YOU were never BROKEN!
That WE were never BROKEN!
Yep, I’ve lived my whole life thinking that I was ‘damaged goods’, not ‘good enough’, trying to ‘prove’ my worth, begging for affection in a world that couldn’t see me (and definitely does not see far too many of us). I’ve lived my whole life protecting myself so well from that fear that I ended up creating the very things that would bring those ‘realities’ to life.
I pushed people away, I lived for ‘escape’, I isolated, I lived a protestant work ethic of pushing through no matter what… right until my last nervous breakdown/suicide attempt/hospitalization in 9/2019 as a result of harmful ‘help’ that was forcing me to violate my own internal, professional, ethical, cultural, and spiritual beliefs. I now understand why so many people die under such conditions. It was a desperation that I wish on no one – that FAR too many of us face. It was a feeling that I have in common with most of the clients I’ve ever had and, even worse, left me with a belief that the world was better off without me, that I was a burden and that everyone would be better off without me in their way.
Until a very clear moment came in that Psych hospital in which I claim my own ‘lightening bolt’ spiritual experience.
Since then, my entire practice has shifted HOW I work with clients.
I care less about your diagnosis and more about its symptoms. I care less about what’s ‘wrong’ with you and more about what’s ‘right’. I care less about either/or thinking now and live firmly in the land of Both/And.
Most importantly, I care about Sustainable Individual and Collective Solutions to our common pain points.
So, I hold the world a little more loosely now. I’m not confined to an internal prison of shame. I can breathe the fresh air and know that there will always be a Blue Sky regardless.
Want to know HOW to heal?
To clear your cloud cover? Gain Clarity? Align your Inner world with what you’ve always known (or maybe were even afraid to dare to believe) was True?
Let me show you HOW to uncover YOU. In all of the Light that you are.
I promise you it isn’t by working Harder.
It’s time to work Smarter…
Because the World needs YOU. ALL of you.
It’s all there ever is anyway…