Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor

An Ongoing Journey of Survival from a Traumatic Past, with Jody Betty – Ep. 109

Throughout this survivor of journey which has been such a huge part of my life in recent years especially, I have come across countless incredible people from all walks of life, from all around the world. I can still remember the first time I hopped online and searched for “survivor chats” on Google. That was a moment that forever changed my view of what being a survivor was, and it gave me a sense of the support available from people just like me who were struggling to work through a past filled with invalidation, abuse, and constant struggle.

jody betty - suicide attempt survivor - abuse survivor - podcast on beyond your pastOne of the people that I connected with early on in my journey, was an incredible woman named Jody Betty.  We met on Twitter and over the years have continued to follow each other, support our respective blogs, and collaborate. Jody wrote a post on Surviving My Past, entitled “The Safe Place that Saved My Life”.  Where she talks about how her mind takes her to a safe place, a safe memory, to escape the pain of an abusive past.

Jody is an active writer for her own blog, JodyB2016.wordpress.com, as well as being a regular contributor on Sick Not Weak, with her column, Raw and Open, and on The Mighty .

Her stories center around Mental Health Advocacy and writing about her own struggles as a 3 time suicide attempt survivor, and being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depression, and ongoing struggles with passive suicidal ideations. Her traumatic past includes being sexually abuse as a child, sexually assaulted as a teenager, as well as experiencing domestic violence at home.

Jody bravely shares her journey to help others realize they are not alone, and that here is hope even when that means you somehow just survive the day, hour by hour. Throughout the years of her writing, and in the time that I’ve known her, countless people across the globe are encouraged and validated by the vulnerable way that Jody writes. She is as authentic as she is raw and open about her life; and through that vulnerability she is able to continue her own healing and help others along the way.

A few months ago, Jody reached out to me about coming on the podcast to share some of her story in a new way, by using her voice, literally. Of course, I welcomed the opportunity to chat with my friend and amazing survivor, because her story is one that cannot be told enough. Like all survivors who choose too, and are able to, “get this stuff out of our heads”, there is comfort and healing by opening up and telling others about our struggles and triumphs.

During my chat with Jody on this episode of the podcast, she opens up about the abuse she suffered starting at birth and continuing into adulthood, and some of her ongoing story:

  • Being born to a mother who was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and how her struggles in life began so very young.
    • In and out of foster homes, each time being pulled out and relocated because of abuse happening in the home.
  • An experience of nearly drowning which caused a fear of getting a bath or being around water
  • Being sexually assaulted by a group of people at a party, when she was 16.
    • That experience lead her to her completely closing out the world and shutting down inside.
  • The trauma of seeing her adopted mother pass away after battling cancer, when Jody was 19.
  • Her attempts at taking her own life, and the ongoing passive suicidal ideations that she lives with still today.
    • Coping strategies she uses to fight back when life becomes too overwhelming and the thoughts of taking her own life become too strong.
  • How writing her story has opened up a world of healing for her, and the support she’s found from fellow survivors.
    • The importance of finding a support system both online and locally.

I’m honored to know Jody, to call her a friend, and to help share her story in hopes that all who read it will be encouraged to keep going for another day when thoughts of the past tell them otherwise.

Be sure and follow Jody on Twitter: @onelastkick71, Facebook: @JodyBee and her writing on her blog and Sick Not Weak.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Rebuilding Trust in Yourself and Others, While Healing from Trauma, with Joanne Cipressi – Ep. 107

Rebuilding trust; once it’s broken it’s one of the most difficult things to heal. Trust is one of those things that can take quite a bit of bending before it actually breaks. We give others opportunity after opportunity to save it. We can endlessly justify what someone in our life did to us, and how they didn’t mean it, and how we shouldn’t be so selfish and quick to judge for any number of reasons.  We even blame ourselves for all the seemingly bad things we’ve done, and figure “who are we cut someone off just because…”.

Yes, rebuilding trust in others is very difficult, but healing the trust in ourselves can prove to be more problematic. We are our own worse critic, right?

How could we let this happen, what were we thinking, we should have seen this coming…the list goes on and on of the words we tell ourselves to justify the emotional beating we feel is necessary. Blaming ourselves is always easier than blaming someone else, because we can control us…we can’t control others.

When your trust in a parent, sibling, or authority figure is broken when you’re a child, the road to healing is indeed rough but certainly not impossible. When that trust is broken again, as an adult survivor who is traumatized, everything comes rushing back to take it’s seemingly rightful place at the forefront of your very being. All that hard work you did to heal and all the progress you made can seem like a distant memory. You may very well be knocked down temporarily, knocked sideways, and stumble a bit but all that you’ve done is not undone…you have get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, Joanne Cipressi, has done just that many times in her life and now works with survivors to help them heal and rebuild that trust.

As she outlines on her website: I have been a life coach for about 20 years. Between my upbringing, personal experiences, and my educational training, I have put together formulas for helping people retrain the way they think, feel and act so that they can achieve their goals. I have worked with people on so many different issues, problems and concerns over the past 20 years, that she truly understands what people need in so many areas of their life.

I have seen the transformation power that retraining the way you think and feel has. When you learn to make your mind and emotions work for you instead of against you, your life truly does transform. With deep care and love for people, I work from a place or understanding, compassion and intuitive guidance to move people to change.

Joanne is trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Advanced Hypnosis, Age Regression Therapy, Timeline Therapy, Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology, Reiki-Master, and more.  Using her skills and training, along with her personal experience as a survivor of both childhood and adult sexual abuse, she is able to help her clients through some of their most difficult circumstances a, transforming the way they think and feel about themselves, and embrace the progress of achieving their goals.

During our chat, Joanne and I discuss:

  • Some of her survivor story, which includes sexual abuse by her step father when she was a child, as well as a sexual assault as an adult.
  • Rebuilding trust in yourself, and others. The challenges and rewards of doing so, and why it’s so important and affects many aspects of our life.
  • Overcoming thoughts of and a mindset of suicide after trauma.
  • How and why she decided at 19, to become a coach and help others. A very interesting story which includes a conversation between two strangers that gave her the motivation she needed to make changes in her life.
  • How Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has helped her find breakthroughs in her own life and for her clients.

To learn more about Joanne Cipressi, including her upcoming book, and working with her, head over to JoannaCipressi.com  and be sure and follow her on Twitter @JoanneCipressi

Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

Healing Unresolved Trauma, Through Mind, Body, and Spirit – Ep. 102

When you come to a breaking point in your life, continuously being beaten down time after time, struggle after struggle, never seeming to gain your footing for any length of time, one of the things you might find yourself doing is praying for help and for wisdom. You reach out for help to God, the great spirit, the universe, or the higher power you connect with.

Healing from physical wounds is one thing, but healing emotional wounds is something entirely different. Not to minimize the pain of physical trauma at all, that’s difficult enough as it is and can leave lasting traumatic, emotional wounds that go far deeper than the physical ones that can heal in time. When you’re talking about the deep, deep wounds of emotional trauma that leaves scars only you can see; you need more than the body’s ability to regenerate over time on its own.

alexis acker-halbur - podcast - beyond your past - healing unresolved trauma through mind-body-spirit.It requires a commitment the likes of which you may have never experienced before in your life. Unpacking those old wounds that you’ve tried so hard to bury in the bottom of your mind, for years, even decades, is not something to be taken lightly. However, the rewards that can come from reliving those memories, processing and learning from them, and forging your personal healing path, are truly life changing.

Healing unresolved trauma takes a combined effort of mind, body, and spirit; which is exactly the message my guest on the podcast today is sharing with the world.  Alexis Acker-Halbur is the founder and creator of the Never Give Up Institute, and the author of “Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness” (available on Amazon).

Alex offers anyone who has suffered trauma or loss not just one way forward, but many. A survivor herself—of an astonishing number of traumas including, sexual, emotional and physical abuse, sexual exploitation by a therapist, rape, and cancer—she describes the connection between mind, body, and spirit and shows how the stress and anger she has experienced connect to her life-threatening illnesses.

I was in a hospital bed, diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and fighting for my life—not once but twice. I suddenly saw the connection of how stress and trauma made me so sick. I knew at that moment I needed to survive and find ways to help me thrive.

I founded the Never Give Up Institute to help you understand how unresolved stress and trauma can cause illness, increase financial difficulty, and keep you from living a meaningful life.

As a survivor myself, and someone who works with trauma survivors, the message that Alex shares today on this episode of the podcast, and what she teaches in her book and online program, “T.R.U.T.H.“, is one that resonates so much with me. I’m so honored to share our conversation with you. During our chat, Alex and I cover the following topics:

  • Some of her story of being a survivor, which includes childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, failed relationships and more, in addition to dealing with colon cancer, breast cancer, and auto accident, type 1 diabetes, and other medical issues.
  • The experience of going for a colonoscopy and hours later finding herself being prepped for surgery for colon cancer. She tells of laying in the hospital and praying for answers and help.
    • Her prayers were answered in the form of being presented with a list of every trauma she’s ever faced, every disease or physical challenge, and the matching correlation to a past that involved a multitude of unresolved trauma.
    • What she did with this information, and how it took it happening twice for her true healing to finally take shape.
  • How the body copes with unresolved trauma.
  • Her T.R.U.T.H. program (The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing)
  • The importance of the 3 pronged approach to healing, Mind, Body, and Spirit, and what this approach truly means.

As you’ll hear during our chat, I got chills more than once listening to Alex share her story and how her healing journey has unfolded and brought her to a place of launching her course, writing her book, and working trauma survivors. You don’t want to miss this one so be sure and check out the full podcast and also please consider sharing it with someone who could benefit it. You never know the difference it could make in someone’s life.

If you’d like to be a guest on a future episode of the podcast, simply click here to contact me and let’s chat!

Be sure and check out NeverGiveUpInstitute.org for more information about Alexis Acker-Halbur’s story, her programs, and her book “Never Give Up – Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness“.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

Podcast – Ep. 97 – Dynamic Running Therapy, and Authenticity in Recovery, with William Pullen

One of the keys to healing from trauma, overcoming anxiety, working through depression, addictions, and virtually any other struggle is figuring out a way to get what’s in our heads, out of our heads in a way that feels safe, validating, and in compliance with who we are as individuals.  By doing so we begin to chip away at the self-shame that so often comes when battling any mental health challenge.

By showing up authentically, to ourselves and the world, even in the wake of extreme events, we gain confidence and resilience. We learn that what happened to us, does not define our future, and the struggles of our past only have the power that we allow them to have. This certainly does not mean that we should try to rush through recovery, or feel as though we should just get over what’s happened.  Instead, simply understand that, in time, we can learn to live and thrive in our present life, rather than being held back by the very thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies which served us for a time, but are now keeping us stuck.

william pullen - podcast - beyond your pastMy guest on this episode of the podcast, is someone who has developed a very unique approach to work through those very struggles that no longer serve us. William Pullen, creator of Dynamic Running Therapy, is a practicing therapist in the U.K., working with clients not only utilizing DRT, but also integrative psychotherapy in areas such as : substance abuse, emotional abuse, anxiety, relationship struggles, career change, life transition, self-esteem, depression, and more.

Integrative Psychotherapy aims to facilitate wholeness between the feeling, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning – in other words the whole person. This is done in part through looking at aspects of the self that you may be unaware of and making them conscious. Together we can look at the life you want for yourself and how to achieve it. Change takes time and cannot be rushed. I believe in providing focus and space, not pressure. I believe in removing expectation, often routed in the demands of others, and instead aligning ourselves with what we feel inside. Change comes about by clearing a path to where we want to be, not forcing our way through to it.

I work in a way that is warm, empathic, non-judgemental, and direct. I am not a therapist who will stare at you in silence. I also believe there is a place for humour in therapy. My work draws on many theoretical orientations and styles. Because each person is unique, my work is different with every person that I see. I tailor my approach to help you and your individual needs. I offer a comfortable and confidential space where you can look at your life free of expectation or judgement.

Dynamic Running Therapy includes the use of a smart phone app, and William’s book, Running with Mindfulness: Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) to Improve Low-mood, Anxiety, Stress, and Depression. You can find his book on Amazon, and the app is available for iPhone users in the app store.

During our chat on the podcast:

  • We dive more into what exactly Dynamic Running Therapy  (DRT) is, how it works, and how this strategy can help not only with self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and depression, but many other mental health challenges.
  • His Tedx Talk, “Movement is Medicine“.
  • How the struggles of his past, not only in childhood but challenges in adult life, lead him into a role of becoming a Psychotherapist.
  • The importance of authenticity in healing from trauma.
  • Finding your purpose in life, what ever that looks like for you and no matter how long it takes to find, and using your combined experiences to shape who you are and your ability to relate to others.
  • Learning that staying in a survivor mentality can be detrimental to your overall healing.

I encourage you to check out William Pullen’s website, DynamicRunningTherapy.co.uk , to learn more about his work, DRT, and his book.  Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you found this podcast helpful, consider subscribing on your favorite podcasting app and leaving a review; I would appreciate it so much. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast – Ep. 79 – Julie Coons, the Challenges and Triumphs of Sharing Your Story as an Author

I’m so honored to welcome back returning guest, Julie Coons, to this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast. Julie first joined me back in October 2017, to discuss her upcoming book at the time, This Does Not Leave This House. That was an incredible show, and the first time that I was introduced to Julie, and learned more about her amazing and heart wrenching story of being a survivor.

Julie tells us that the inspiration for the title of her book, “This does not leave this house”, comes from being raised in a family where she was told regularly by her father, “what goes on in this house, stays in this house, it was their family secret and nobody’s business but theirs.”

As outlined on JulieCoons.com –

Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.

This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom.

So can you.

This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement to break the silence of abuse and finally end its vicious cycle. With strength and resiliency, Coons provides a voice for the silent abused, letting them know they’re not alone. Justice and hope can prevail. The abused can become victorious. Read the heartbreaking true story of her journey to triumph above overwhelming obstacles.

I wanted to bring her back to see how things have been going since the release of her book, and discuss more of how her life has changed, the struggles she’s faced and the trials that she’s overcome and used as a learning experience throughout the process. As you listen to our chat, we’ll discuss many topics, including:

  • Expecting backlash from her family, and what it was like to not get any at all.
  • The response of her friends who offered her incredible support and validation.
  • The struggles of being an author and a survivor of childhood trauma, including the memories that resurface while writing.
  • How writing a book is not necessarily as cathartic as you might think at the time, and in fact can be retraumatizing as old memories resurface and new ones come to light.
  • Dealing with reviews and comments, both positive and negative, and the struggles of not letting those define her or invalidate her story.
  • Updates on the situation with her mother and where she is now with those challenges.
  • Her new work of fiction, titled “Why She Lied”, is in the works, and Julie shares how that book is coming along and why she’s writing it.

All this and much more on this episode of the podcast is waiting for you, so grab those headphones or plug us into your car and join me as I chat with Julie.

I encourage you to check out JulieCoons.com for more information on her story, a link to buy the book on Amazon, and to sign up for her newsletter so you can stay in the know as she progresses on her new book.  Follow her on Twitter @JulieCoons1

Special Thanks to my Amazing Sponsors iNLPCenter.org and Daily Recovery SupportPlease consider checking them out and exploring how you might benefit from these two incredible resources. 

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on your favorite podcasting app…that would be so awesome and I’d sure appreciate it!

If you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming podcast, just contact me anytime right here!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

 

Podcast – Ep. 76 – Vennie Kocsis – How Trauma Manifests Itself in Adulthood – Food Struggles

Trauma manifests itself in so many ways in our adult lives. While we’d like to think that “what happened in the past, stays in the past”, the unfortunate reality is that regardless of when a traumatic event(s) occurred, the effects last long into adulthood.  That’s not to say that there isn’t hope for healing, because I absolutely believe that there is, but we must first understand what’s happened and then we can begin to heal from it.

For someone who spent about 30 years ignoring those effects, it was quite a shock when I finally did start to confront all those memories and bring them to the forefront instead of leaving them stuffed away in a shoe box, in the back of the closet of my mind. “Out of sight, Out of mind” can no longer be an option when we start to deep dive into recovery. As intimidating as that can be, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Being able to put the puzzle pieces in place, and shine light in the dark corners of our minds can yield incredible awareness and lead to self-compassion in ways that we never dreamed of.

Vennie Kocsis - Guest Podcast - Beyond Your Past

One of the struggles that I have faced my entire life, and most certainly as a result of childhood trauma, is in the area of food. Or better put, realizing out how unhealthy of a relationship I’d had with it for most of my life and finding ways to turn that around. Not out of guilt, but out of self-awareness and compassion for who I was, what I went through, and where I wanted to see myself in the future.

My guest, Vennie Kocsis, joins me on this episode of the podcast to discuss this particular aspect of how trauma manifests itself in our lives.

Vennie is an author, artist, poetry writer, and survivor survivor of Sam Fife’s Move of God cult.  My creativity is the therapy by which I have survived the memories of my childhood abuse. There are many  caves where memories hide out, and I intend to travel them all in this lifetime. I am raw. I am flawed. I am open and here without shame, to tell the true story of my own childhood. I write to survive, and I write for those who cannot find the words to tell their own story. Most of all, I write for those who cannot express it. For you, I give my heart and all of my tender parts.

I first met Vennie several years ago, through Twitter, and almost immediately we hit it off as friends and fellow survivors. Our mutual respect for each other as survivors and being willing to share so openly about our struggles, helped form a lasting bond of friendship that I value so much.

Her insight into the world of surviving some of the most horrific abuse imaginable has helped her in using her voice and talents to reach a huge audience with a message of hope and resilience. A message of finding ways to tell your story, and not be ashamed in asking for help.  To that end, not being ashamed to admit that she is still a work in progress, as we all are on our own journeys. She uses her book, Cult Child, her art and poetry to convey what’s in her heart both now and when she was experiencing the trauma first hand.

It’s real, it’s raw, it’s vulnerable, and it’s all about not being ashamed of who she is and the message that she has for the world.

In this podcast we cover topics related to food and survivors:

  • Self Shame with how, when, and what we eat.
  • Why dieting doesn’t work for us
  • Reparenting ourselves when it comes to food
  • Moderation
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • and more!

As you listen to the show, we hope that you’ll feel validated and encouraged with the realization that you are not alone. The struggles of looking at ourselves in the mirror each day can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way for the rest of your life.  Making small changes in our lifestyle and a conscious effort to give ourselves a break for a change, can be just the ticket towards finding that self-love and acceptance that’s been absent in our lives for so long.

This is the first in a series of how trauma manifests itself in adulthood, so be sure and watch for future episodes on other topics of being a survivor.

You can learn more about Vennie, her book “Cult Child”, check out her poetry and artwork, on VennieKocsis.com.  Be sure and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well, @VennieKocsis.

-Matthew Pappas

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

Podcast – Ep. 75 – Rachel Grant, Survivor Struggles and Mentally Ill Labels

Living in today’s volatile and controversial world can take its toll on anyone. With so much violence happening around the world, discord among not only world leaders across the globe but certainly in the US, and the phrase “mentally ill” being tossed around in context to some of the most heinous crimes in recent history, and it’s no wonder we can feel unsettled.

For survivors, it’s tough enough navigating daily life in the wake of a traumatic past, but add in all of the pressures of being bombarded with news and current events 24/7, and the struggle gets exponentially more difficult.

I too struggle with my own thoughts and even my most trusted coping strategies are taxed to their limits at times trying to stay grounded while “fighting the good fight” as it were, to raise awareness and get involved in areas that I’m passionate about. It feels like an uphill battle that gets steeper and steeper, even with the best plan and self-care strategies in place.

Rachel Grant - Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, Podcast GuestThat’s why I wanted to spend some time chatting with friend, colleague, and returning guest to the podcast, Rachel Grant. From the very first time that we collaborated back in the earlier episodes of the show, we’ve developed a friendship and mutual respect for each other not only as advocates and survivors, but as everyday people just trying to find our way in this world and make a difference while we continue to heal.

Rachel Grant is a Sexual Abuse Survivor Coach, with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Her website, RachelGrantCoaching.com features not only her individual and group work with survivors, but also her book “Beyond Surviving”, Facebook Group, Master Class, and free and low-cost Audible Downloads covering topics such as Shame, Boundaries, Abandonment, and much more.

 

Some of the topics that Rachel and I discuss on this episode include:

 

  • Feelings of Shame and Triggers that can arise in regards to the mass violence and political climate across the world.
  • “Mentally Ill” labels being tossed around in negative and stigmatizing ways in regards to school and church shootings, gun control, world leaders, and those who suffer with depression.
  • Getting involved in causes that we believe in, and trying to do too much.
  • Looking at labels in a different context, as a way to help feel inspired and educated, and provide direction towards treatment and resources.
  • Learning to pause, think before we speak and react, when it comes to highly charged situations, reducing anxiety, and in everyday life.
  • Using “service” to help get out of our heads, reduce burnout, and re-energize for not only our own journey but our involvement in causes we are passionate in.

Thank you again Rachel from coming back on the podcast and sharing your insight and heartfelt message for survivors. I’ve learned so much from you and I look forward to our collaborative work in the future.

Be sure and check out RachelGrantCoaching.com and follow her on Twitter: @CoachRachelG.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

 

Podcast – Ep. 72 – Author and Survivor, Larry Ruhl

There’s a certain type of kinship that exists between survivors of childhood trauma. It’s certainly not something that anyone would wish for, and definitely not the most desirable of circumstances in which to strike up a friendship, but none the less when you meet a fellow survivor, there is often this connection that allows the conversation to flow as if you’ve been friends for years.

It’s not only a mutual respect for one another, but a feeling of just “getting it”, by knowing where the other is coming from. Even though your stories are different, the feelings are often very similar if not the same.

I’ve found out first hand through my own healing journey, that survivors are some of the most compassionate, kind, and understanding people that you will ever meet. They know what it’s like to live through hell and find a way to keep fighting. To use their story to help inspire others, and to help give a voice to those who are still silenced.

That is certainly the case with my guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, as I talk with author and survivor, Larry Ruhl.

Larry’s book, Breaking the Ruhl’s, is his story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Throughout the book he faces the challenging questions. “Is it truly possible to move through the shame I carry every day? Can I have a full life without depending on mind-numbing drugs and alcohol? And the most difficult question of all: Do I tell? But how do I tell? Who do I tell? What happens if I do tell?”

Larry Ruhl serves as a board member for Taking Back Ourselves, which facilitates weekends of recovery for female survivors of sexual abuse, and is a registered speaker with the RAINN network (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). He previously served as a board member at Male Survivor. He also spoke at colleges and retreats to increase awareness of sexual abuse against men and boys. Today he shares his story publicly to spread awareness and to help others shed the shame and stigma associated with sexual abuse. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), with a degree in Display & Exhibit Design, and worked as a creative director at a textile firm for ten years until opening his own home furnishings/interior design business in 2004. He works as an artist and designer in the Hudson Valley.

During my chat with Larry we cover topics including:

  • This memoir is so personal and the story is so painful. How did you find the strength to share your story? Did writing it help you heal?
  • When did you first realize that what was happening in your household was not only not normal, but was physical, emotional, and sexual abuse?
  • You talk about how you’ve found a way to forgive your parents, but that you’ll never forget what happened. Can you speak to that?
  • You’re no longer in contact with your parents, but you are close with your sister, who still lives with them. Can you talk about how you decided to move forward with this book?
  • Now that the book has been released, how has it impacted your healing journey, your relationships, and your life as a whole?

Larry shares openly and vulnerably about his life and struggles, and offers such hope and encouragement during our conversation that you can help but be inspired by his bravery and the bravery of all who speak out and refuse to be silent.

I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to talk to this incredible survivor and I look forward to bringing him back on the podcast in the future to talk more about his story.  Thank you again Larry for your book, your message of hope, and your continued desire to reach those all who have survived the trauma of abuse.

You can purchase, Breaking the Ruhl’s on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. Be sure and follow Larry on Twitter & Instagram, @LarryRuhl

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 63 – Kristin Walker – CEO, Podcaster, Survivor – Using her Voice in Advocacy

Kristin Sunanta Walker is the CEO of the technology consulting firm, everythingEHR, and the founder of the Mental Health News Radio Network. She’s also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and an advocate for survivors of childhood trauma. She has interviewed leaders in the behavioral health community such as CEO’s of technology companies, counselors, best-selling authors, and global experts in the field of Behavioral Health. Her show is downloaded in over 171 countries and continues its reach with inspiring guests from every corner of the world.

Kristin is on the board of several organizations within Behavioral Health as well as the subject matter expert regarding EHR technology. Multiple strategic partnerships and speaking engagements about childhood sexual abuse, narcissism, and behavioral health technology keep her traveling schedule extremely full as well as being a sought after guest on other popular podcasts.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because my podcast, Beyond Your Past, is also on the MHNR Network, and I thought it would be great to chat with my friend and amazing advocate, Kristin, so she could share her story of being a survivor, her struggles and triumphs along the way, and of course about how and why she started this amazing platform for mental health and advocacy podcasters.

Podcasting is something that Kristin is passionate about, and even though the MHNR Network now has over 20 active podcasts and many more waiting in the wings, it didn’t start out like that. It started with her having a vision of just needing to get her story out there, to start talking about not only her past and the things that she struggles with, but to shed light on advocacy as a whole. She knew that she had to start talking about it; silence was no longer an option.

So she got a mic and started her own podcast, talking to anyone and everyone who would want to share. Over time and utilizing her connections in the business world, her own “1 woman show” blossomed into the MHNR Network. A place to give her a past, and healing, a voice, and where other people who had a similar vision could come together with a common goal of Advocacy.

During our chat, we cover several topics in a very open, vulnerable conversation:

How old were you when you were sexually abused?
How did that make you view men?
How has that affected your interpersonal relationships?
What were the circumstances around you telling and how old were you?
What people can you remember that helped you through this?
How did your past of being a childhood trauma survivor inspire you to start MHNR?
What is Mental Health After Dark?

It was a wonderful time chatting with my friend and fellow advocate, and I’m honored to share that with you now. I hope you’ll consider checking out her show, and as many of the other amazing podcasts on the network. It’s through using our voice, and sharing, that we can make a difference in our own journey of healing and in the lives of countless others.

Check out Mental Health News Radio Network and learn more about Kristin Walker by following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Matthew Pappas, CLC