Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor

Releasing Shame and Recovering Repressed Memories through Writing, with Elisabeth Corey – Ep. 132

elisabeth corey - uncovering repressed memories through writing - podcast on beyond your pastOne of the most helpful strategies you can utilize in your healing journey is writing. Whether it’s journaling, keeping a diary, blogging, writing letters that you’ll never send, or other writing methods, the benefits can yield incredibly validating and groundbreaking results.

Writing is also one of the more difficult things to do for many survivors, for many reasons, not the least of which is that it forces you to go back and explore thoughts and memories that you’ve may have spent decades trying to forget or at the very list simply ignoring because they happened so long ago. For some it’s a struggle because writing just isn’t your thing, or you simply don’t enjoy it, you’re not a storyteller, or your perfectionism simply won’t allow you to write anything and deem it acceptable.

Elisabeth Corey, MSW, and founder of BeatingTrauma.com joins me on the podcast as a return guest to discuss this incredibly beneficial modality of healing. I first had the opportunity to chat with Elisabeth back in episode 38 as we discussed working with our inner parts to help heal trauma. Inner Parts work is a specialty of Elisabeth and continues to be a focus in her work with private clients and in her group sessions, webinars, and other resources created for survivors.

During my chat with Elisabeth Corey on this episode of the podcast, we’re diving more into recovering repressed memories through writing:

  • How writing from our inner parts can help us connect with what we don’t remember.
  • What exactly are repressed memories, why are they so crucial to healing, and what misconceptions are there surrounding these types of memories?
  • How the idea that writing doesn’t come naturally for so many but why it’s so important.
    • On that topic, the type of writing that Elisabeth teaches her clients and those in her programs is not supposed to come naturally because of you’re diving into areas of your life that you’ve spent years trying to forget. In addition, the coping skills that served us during traumatic events can be a cause of keeping certain memories repressed.
  • How naturally, or not, do our inner parts take to writing and being given a voice?
    • Which parts are more resistant vs which parts are more open to having a voice?
  • Connecting with your inner child and writing from a place of your inner child’s voice and perspective, as opposed to an adults version of their voice.
  • Flashbacks, and how they are not always the overwhelming memories that cause so much turmoil and turn our world upside down.
    • The importance of using these as a learning experience in writing to help uncover repressed memories.

This was such an incredible chat with Elisabeth and she dives more in depth to those topics and shares her vast knowledge in a way that is validating and inspiring. I hope you’ll consider checking out this episode and sharing it with someone who might find it helpful.

Be sure and follow Elisabeth Corey, MSW on Twitter @BeatingTrauma and her website, BeatingTrauma.com, where you can also learn about her programs, webinars, and workshops.

-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.

 

How Childhood Trauma Affects Your Relationships & Boundaries, with Vennie Kocsis – Ep. 130

I’m honored to welcome back returning guest, Vennie Kocsis, as we continue our conversation on how childhood trauma manifests itself in your life, both physically and emotionally. In particular, we’re discussing the effects on dating and romantic relationships.

In Part I, we discussed the Physiology of Childhood Trauma, and how it affects not only emotional healthVennie Kocsis - Guest Podcast - Beyond Your Past but physical health as well. Vennie shares from her personal experiences as a survivor, as well as the research she has done to show just how trauma plays a profound part in the development both emotionally and physically. If you haven’t heard that episode already, I encourage you to check out here or on your favorite podcasting app.

We had originally intended to dive into more areas, beyond relationships alone, during this episode but as often happens, there is so much to cover that we thought it best to focus our time on this important part of survivor life. While relationships can be difficult to understand and navigate for anyone, the unique struggles that childhood trauma brings into the equation, add a dimension that not everyone can understand.

Vennie Kocsis is an author, poet, artist, and survivor of Sam Fife’s Move of God cult.  My creativity is the therapy by which I have survived the memories of abuse I suffered in my childhood. There are many caves where memories hideout, and I intend to travel them all in this lifetime. I understand the journey through trauma recovery, and I am here to share it with you.

I am a highly-sensitive, embodied Empath and integrated DID carrier.  I productively live with the aftermath left over from extreme child abuse. I  understand the journey through recovering from the shattering of religious and sexual abuse recovery.  I know the work it takes in returning to our original, authentic mind and inner child.  It CAN happen for you.  It WILL happen for you.  You can integrate the dissected pieces of yourself.  You can heal.  You can tell your story from a place of truth and vulnerability, rejecting critics and owning your own strength. I believe you.  I support you.  I am cheering you on! 

During this episode of the podcast, Vennie and I discuss some of the struggles for survivors and relationships:

  • The importance that “no means no” regardless of the tone of voice you use to verbalize it.
    • Understanding the fear aspect, and how “the way we say no” to someone, can be based on your past experiences of sexual abuse.
    • How dissociation can take over when you are in a romantic situation with someone, even if they are completely safe?
  • Understanding why survivors tend to try and justify the actions of others because of the grooming that affected our self-worth.
  • Healthy boundaries: not only the importance of having them in the dating and relationship world, but also the struggles of trying to find a way to implement and enforce them.
  • Being in a healthy relationship that ends, and the challenge of not going down the road of self-shame and self-blame for the reasons it ended.
  • Can a little bit of hypervigilance be healthy in the dating world?
  • Even in a seemingly safe social situation, triggers can arise that make us feel unsafe, and why it’s okay to remove yourself and not feel bad about it.
  • The trial and error that is part of dating and relationships for everyone, but especially for trauma survivors and knowing that even if you do something that you regret, it’s not the end of the world and you can learn from it and move on without self-shame.

This is such an important topic, and we hope you’ll share this episode with someone who might benefit from it. After all, everyone can use alittle validation and encouragement in this area, right?

Be sure and follow Vennie on VennieKocsis.com and TwitterPinterest, and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

The Physiology of Childhood Trauma, how Abuse Affects our Mental and Physical Health, with Vennie Kocsis – Ep. 129

My returning guest for this episode is my good friend, fellow survivor, and advocate for survivors of childhood trauma, Vennie Kocsis.

I first connected with Vennie during the early stages of reaching out for support online from the survivor community. I still remember like it was yesterday, she had responded to an article I wrote on Surviving My Past and we began chatting and keeping in touch over the years. She’s joined me for 2 previous episodes which have morphed into an ongoing series where we discuss how childhood trauma manifests itself in adulthood and the effects it has on our bodies both at a young age and as we grow into adulthood.

Vennie Kocsis is an author, poet, artist, and survivor of Sam Fife’s Move of God cult.  My creativity is the therapy by which I have survived the memories of abuse I suffered in my childhood. There are many caves where memories hideout, and I intend to travel them all in this lifetime. I understand the journey through trauma recovery, and I am here to share it with you.

I am a highly-sensitive, embodied Empath and integrated DID carrier.  I productively live with the aftermath left over from extreme child abuse. I  understand the journey through recovering from the shattering of religious and sexual abuse recovery.  I know the work it takes in returning to our original, authentic mind and inner child.  It CAN happen for you.  It WILL happen for you.  You can integrate the dissected pieces of yourself.  You can heal.  You can tell your story from a place of truth and vulnerability, rejecting critics and owning your own strength. I believe you.  I support you.  I am cheering you on! 

During this episode, we are talking about the Physiology of Childhood Trauma, and how sexual abuse affects not only our mental health but also our physical health. These effects can carry over into adulthood and cause not only the physical struggles of chronic illness and pain but the deep wounds created by the trauma create emotional challenges that affect virtually every aspect of our life.

Vennie has done a great deal of research on this topic and shares some of that knowledge during our chat, as well as her own personal experiences of the abuse she suffered and the ways she continues to heal herself.

  • We also cover some of the misconceptions of childhood sexual abuse, and how it’s not always violent in nature.
  • The connection between the biological DNA change of the body’s bacterial defenses when a child begins to eat the same solid foods as the family AND the nervous system at the end of the spinal cord which runs into the brain.
  • The damage to the physiology of a child when they are so young and how this can lead to misinterpretations of their body as they get older.

Vennie and I share this candid discussion because it’s the things that not everyone wants to talk about. These are some of the effects of childhood trauma that not only she herself has experienced, but so many others as well, and that’s why we are doing this series. To shed light on how being a survivor of childhood trauma affects you as an adult, but also to share the hope in healing and the important research that’s being down by leading experts across the globe to better understand not only how is affected but also how we can heal.

Be sure and follow Vennie on VennieKocsis.com and Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Look for more of our chat and we continue this discussion during part II coming up on March 28, 2019!

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.

Preventing Burnout in Trauma Recovery – Ep. 128

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before, “pace yourself so you don’t burnout”. Or how about, “take your time, what’s the rush?”

I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one who is literally sitting here in my chair with my hand raised right now. That kind of advice is timeless and applies virtually any aspect of your personal or professional life. Sure there are times when you are up against a deadline and need to work more quickly, but in many cases, deadline or not, finding ways to pace ourselves and work an issue more efficiently is usually to our benefit in the long run.

Recovering from childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic above, emotional neglect, bullying, or any type of childhood trauma is not something you can rush through. It’s a long process, full of ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, and virtually every emotion you can imagine.

One of the things I struggled with during intense times of healing was the concern of doing too much, too fast, and overextending myself without doing proper self-care. I was all in on my healing, which is not a bad thing at all, but at the same time, I often neglected the signs that I was approaching burn out or at the very least the signs that I just needed to ease off the throttle a bit.

The more I healed, the more I learned, and the more I wanted to keep going. That’s not to say there weren’t times when I just wanted to quit, because believe me those were quite plentiful as well. Still though, I was inspired and driven to learn about trauma recovery and how it affected me and what I could do to help myself. My therapist warned on more than a few occasions to take breaks and not “live, eat, and breath” this stuff so much. Hindsight is 20-20, and if only I knew then what I know now…

This episode is a look back at a previous podcast episode, #27,  released back in 2017, and is one where I’m reflecting on this very topic of burnout in trauma recovery.

It’s a good reminder for myself, and perhaps something to consider for you too, that the risk of burnout in healing from childhood trauma, or any type of trauma, is real but there are ways to help ourselves avoid this while still moving forward. After wall, we don’t want to quit and undo all the hard work that we’ve put in.

With my co-host, Joanne Cipressi doing some traveling right now, this was a great time to launch this little project of re-releasing some previous episodes. Many of these older episodes are during the early stages of the podcast, and consist of me just sitting down and talking through my survivor journey.

I hope you’ll enjoy this look back at my thoughts on how I dealt with this, by working through it in my head and with my therapist at the time. And remember, there is no time table in healing except the one you place on yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to heal at a safe pace and embrace the process, because the destination of healing truly is the journey itself.

If you’d like to be a guest for an upcoming episode of the podcast, we’d love to hear from you.

-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.

Solace in Chaos, how a Survivor of Childhood Trauma found his Peace and his Passion – Ep. 127

spencer gorman-prow - podcast on beyond your pastFinding your peace, your happy place, that particular thing that you absolutely enjoy and you are as comfortable as you can possibly be, that’s a special thing.  It’s cool enough when you discover what that means for you if you’re not a survivor of childhood trauma, but those of us who are survivors, discovering that zone is not something that comes easily but man when you find it, it’s amazing.

The events of the past seem hell-bent on doing everything they can to keep you from experiencing personal fulfillment and joy, which is one of the big reasons why it’s so special when you do discover what that means for you. Plus, it can literally be anything at all, which means that you as a person can feel free to embrace whatever makes you the most inspired and just throw yourself into it 100%.

Our guest on this episode of the podcast discovered that his place of peace, of inspiration, of solace, was in the kitchen working as a chef. Spencer Gorman-Prow is the author of Solace in Chaos, a Chef’s Memoir, which can be purchased on Amazon, both in paperback and in Kindle form.

An Executive Chef’s memoir of how he was able to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds of child sexual abuse and tragedy and forgive himself in order to achieve success. Chef Spencer relates his journey to health, happiness, and healing – all found within the chaotic nature of the professional kitchen. Prepare to be inspired and perhaps even find your own coping strategies within the context of your professional passion.

Spencer reached out to us to continue his journey of inspiring others by coming on the podcast to talk more about his story, including:

  • How the childhood sexual abuse he experienced changed his life, and when he was able to begin working those memories as an adult.
    • The lack of support available to him and how he navigated most of his healing journey alone until he met his wonderful wife.
  • Why he initially turned to alcohol as a coping strategy and a way to numb the pain of those memories.
  • Working through the trust issues, relationship struggles, as well as the self-blame that he internalized as a way to make sense of what happened.
  • How he began to find peace in the kitchen, and what cooking offered him as a place of peace amidst so much pressure.
  • How journaling helped paved the way for Solace in Chaos to become a reality.
  • The challenges of speaking out as a male survivor, and the importance of sharing your truth to not only aid in your own journey but also to help inspire others.

Be sure and check out Solace in Chaos, a Chef’s Memoir, on Amazon. A resource that will surely inspire you to speak your truth, explore your passion, and not be ashamed of who you are and what you went through.

You can also follow Spencer on Twitter: @ChefSpencer68

Please consider sharing this episode with someone who might benefit from hearing Spencer’s message, and don’t forget to subscribe to Beyond Your Past on your favorite podcasting app.

Thank you as always to our incredible sponsors, iNLP Center – offering world-class NLP & Life Coach Training to People in over 70 Countries…and Daily Recovery Support – Safe, Interactive, Group Calls for Survivors of Complex Trauma, 7 Days a Week. 

Your Hosts,

Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP & Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP

 

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.

 

Listen to the Cry of a Child, Barbara Joy Hansen Shares her Story and her Faith – Ep. 122

This podcast and my first blog, Surviving My Past, began as a way for me to help tell my survivor story. A story of experiencing childhood sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying, which began between the ages of 5-10 and lasted into early high school. While this podcast has evolved into all types of survivor stories and now features guests to help inspire and encourage you, there will always be a special place in my heart for survivors of trauma and I’m always truly honored to help any survivor share their story and end their silence.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, Barbara Joy Hansen, shared her story on my blog previously and continues to find new ways to inspire, educate, and encourage survivors to embrace healing, release the toxic self-shame, and find hope through faith.

Long before #MeToo & #ChurchToo, I lived with a silent scream for 40 years; having experienced sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological & spiritual abuse. I now choose to use my voice to help others with broken wings to break free from shame. I am a pastor’s daughter who has risen above generational curses with my voice! 

God has raised me from the ashes to give hope to deeply wounded & broken people including drug addicts & prisoners, as a result of my own inner soul healing. I recognize that lack of response on the part of churches when abuse strikes families of faith. I work with church leaders to help equip them to respond to the challenges they face today. 

Grieving my tremendous losses, I wrote my memoir, Listen to the cry of the Child, where I share how victims of abuse often conceal their pain as they carry their scars. Chained as prisoners of their past, many hide in secrecy, afraid of the consequences of revealing the horrors of childhood experiences. On the surface, they may seem carefree and happy, yet inside, a festering wound exists. The only road to freedom from this prison requires confronting the past and revealing its pain in the light of God’s love.

My story has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, CBN Asia, radio stations, and many websites and blogs, and I am also a regular co-host of the Stop Child Abuse Now radio show, sponsored by the National Association of  Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA.org)

During my chat with Barb, she shares deeply about her faith and the way God is using her and her husband to change the lives of countless survivors:

  • Barb tells her story of surviving sexual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse, and why she decided to write a book about her experiences. This is a very emotional story as you’ll hear in her own voice how she survived and ultimately continues to overcome the effects of abuse.
  • Her advocacy work recently took her to the Philippines as a humanitarian aid worker for two months. You’ll hear a detailed account of the villages she visited, the people she met, and the work they did to help children, families, churches, and inmates in prisons.
    • She shares how her message of faith and hope was received, and the lives that were changed as a result of her message and work.
  • We talk about the opportunities to tell her story on TV, Radio, and other media outlets, and how her faith continues to open up doors for her to share her message of hope and healing for survivors.

Barb’s story is one of deep sadness for the experiences she endured as a child, but also a story of hope, inspiration, and encouragement as she continues to be a beacon of light for survivors of trauma; sharing her story and how her faith has raised her out of the ashes and transformed her life.

To learn more about Barb, be sure and follow her on Twitter @BobbieJoyHanse1, Facebook @Barbara.j.hansen1, and LinkedIn.  You can purchase a cope of her book, Listen to the Cry of a Child, on her website www.listentothecry.org. 

Please consider sharing this podcast episode with a survivor you may know, or someone who you feel could benefit from hearing Barb’s story.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

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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.

 

Learning to Thrive after Childhood Trauma, with Emily Samuelson, Ph.D. – Ep. 115

Years ago, I was at a place that every survivor inevitably comes to when they decide to reach out for help and begin healing from a childhood that involved trauma. That place where you ask yourself, “am I ready to share my story?”

Now, to be clear, not every survivor chooses to share their story, and in fact often times one chooses not too, because of fear of retaliation, alienation by family and loved ones, or a multitude of other reasons. Unfortunately, many survivors never get the opportunity to come to a place of making that decision on their own because they aren’t able to reach out for help, or help isn’t readily available to them.

It takes time and, I believe working with a professional to fully comprehend what happened and unlock the memories in a way that is not re-traumatizing and in a way that allows the survivor to work through those memories in their own time, and learn from them so they can work towards a life that allows them to live free from their past.

emily samuelson - thriving beyond childhood sexual abuse - podcast on beyond your pastThe work I do now in overcoming anxiety and working with survivors, ultimately began in a therapists office and coming to the realization that I was a survivor, and what that meant was a revelation that has changed my life in countless ways. It took that first step though, of asking for help, which is at the heart of the conversation with my guest on this episode of the podcast, Emily Samuelson, Ph.D.

Emily is an author, and passionate activist on behalf of sexually abused children and adult survivors. Based on her experience as a psychologist and a survivor, she knows it is possible to heal. With over 35 years of experience, Emily specializes in the treatment of trauma. While living in Philadelphia, she was on the faculties of Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University and Hahnemann Medical College.

She has served on the Board of Stop the Silence and was a member of the Baltimore City Health Commissioner’s Sexual Abuse Task Force. Emily has been a consultant to the Ms. Foundation and RAINN, and has been a guest on numerous radio shows. She also wrote a chapter for the book, Celebrating the Wounded Healer Psychotherapist: Pain, Post-Traumatic Growth and Self-Disclosure, edited by Sharon Farber, PhD.

As it turned out, her practice is not far from where I live, so we decided that it might be a great idea to do my very first in person podcast. Everything went great, and it was an honor to chat with Emily and hang out with her awesome dog, Sam, while we recorded some thoughts about her book, “Soaring Above the Ashes, Thriving Beyond Childhood Sexual Abuse”:

  • Emily shares how she became inspired to undertake this project, which involved years of interviewing of interviewing survivors across the country; giving them the opportunity to break their silence and inspire others.
    • How she continued to work through her own healing journey as she spoke with the survivors, and through their insight, learned so much more about herself.
  • You’ll learn how her abuser was her father; yet her family never believed her and threatened to alienate her if she wrote about her experiences. Ultimately she did lose much of her family because she refused to be silent and came to the conclusion that her healing journey was more important.
  • We discuss the struggles of shame and blame, and how carrying that on your shoulders as a child is so difficult. The ability to put the blame on yourself as a child allows you to feel some control in the wake of events that were anything but in your control.
    • Emily shares the importance of working towards a place of placing the blame and shame where it truly belongs, at the feet of those who were the abusers, or enabled those acts.
    • We also talk about the struggles of reaching out and talking with someone, when staying silent seems like the safer move.
  • The survival skills that served you for a time; such as dissociation and hypervigilance, should be acknowledged and appreciated for how they helped you.
    • How can you take the positive aspects of dissociation and hypervigilance, and allow them to serve you and others.
    • On that note, actually understanding that there are positive aspects of those struggles in the first place.
  • We share more about the survivor community, and how much healing is out there when you simply look for it.

All this and much more during my powerful conversation with author, advocate, survivor, and Psychologist, Emily Samuelson.

If you are a survivor, at any stage of your healing journey, and even if you haven’t started it yet, the insight that Emily shares will surely speak to you and inspire you. Please consider this important chat with someone who may need it, and consider checking out “Soaring Above the Ashes, Thriving Beyond Childhood Sexual Abuse” on her website or on Amazon.

You can learn more about Emily Samuelson, Ph.D. at SoaringAboveTheAshes.com and on her Facebook page.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

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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.

 

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

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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 to 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 transformative 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 stepfather 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 JoanneCipressi.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.