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Healing from child abuse Self help techniques

Poetry as a tool for healing

A large part of the healing journey is releasing buried emotions stored within your body. In order to do so you have to first get in touch with them. Many forms of creative expression can help us to do exactly that. Some people journal, some draw, some sing and some write poetry. Find what type of creative expression works for you. The benefits are enormous.

While we are being creative we operate more from the right side of the brain. This side of our brain is linked to our emotions and intuition. Hence, we can access our feelings and intuitive information from within us. It is much harder to do that when we are operating from our left brain which is focused on logic, reason, and analysis.

A lot of people in our society are very strongly left brained. We are taught to focus on the facts in school, to learn the right answer, and be rational and realistic. The message passed down in school is that being playful, creative, imaginative, and artistic is not as valuable to society and that if we want to succeed in life we should focus on learning a profession. But a focus on the facts and logic separates us from our hearts and our spirit. For many people it feels like a deadening, a deep loss. It is time to resurrect the creative, to reconnect to your heart and soul. Let loose and be creative. Your poems or art does not have to be beautiful or perfect. That’s not the point. The point is about feeling within yourself and letting out whatever is inside waiting to be released.

I wrote poetry for a few years prior to my entering therapy. I then switched to art as my main form of creative expression. Here are a few of my poems from the past.

 

The last tree. (By: Jodi-Anne M Smith, c1998)

The last tree, is a tree for us all to see, but how long will it last- as long as it has in the past?
We, humans who believe that all is ours to rape and plunder. Have destroyed the Earth and its no wonder,
Because people believe that they are the best, and they don’t seem to care about all the rest.
We are human, but also animal, and we have no right to ruin life especially on a planet as beautiful as this.
Rivers no longer flow, trees no longer grow. Volcanoes continuously blow, the atmosphere unstable, forever changing as carbon dioxide takes over and oxygen disappears
Because we cut down the trees, that help us to breathe. We cut down the trees, to use as we pleased.
But now we must pay; for the mistakes we have made. Hopefully before it’s too late.
Save the last tree, help it to breathe and then maybe we’ll see, that nature is more beautiful than the goods that are made, from the beautiful trees.
 

Strange Game (By Jodi-Anne M Smith 12/9/1998)

Life can be a strange game.You play to win, to earn and to succeed.But sometimes in winning you lose the lead.
Obtaining the goal can be enthralling.But if all you have is that, then the moment is fleeting
Forever searching, powering on, to find the next run, next glow, next surge – Fake fun
Giving your all to such a quest, is dangerous and destructive, it hurts you at best
It doesn’t really matter how high you climb, If you can’t open your eyes and see, if you can’t enjoy the view and the breeze.
Society tells us that we must succeed, but sometimes I wonder if that is what we really need
 Live life, rest and breathe.
 

Going low in order to grow (By Jodi-Anne M Smith 27/9/1998)

 My life I have simplified, I have removed the sources of stress, the result has been remarkable – I am at ease and at rest.
 I came close to losing my mind, before I paid attention to the warning signs.A dangerous situation where I was afraid and upset.
The people around me who saw me so bad, have now come to realise the pain I suffer and this has made them sad
It seems they have realised that I need them so, and now they are there and are helping me to grow.
 Communication is occurring, Our love we are sharing, and together we are finding strength and happiness.It is a great feeling to know they are there and that they care.
 I am healing and blossoming, growing and coming alive. I am happy and relaxed, I’m living my own life.
 It is unfortunate that in order for this to happen, I felt like I almost died.I was so sad and depressed all I could do was cry.
I thought my life I needed to change completely. But this was not true. I just needed to take it easier and to my heart be true.
 Now that I have done that I feel better than before, I feel capable of doing anything. I can take what ever life has in store.
 But one thing I know, one thing is for sure. I won’t ever again let myself get so low.
In future the warning signs I won’t ignore – I will pay attention when they come to the fore.
 But as always does, good has come from bad, and in some ways I had to get so sad, before I could get glad.
I had to get so low in order to grow. But now that I am there, it is go, go, go.
Together with everyone, my love I show.
Bliss and happiness – together we bloom and we grow!
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Healing from child abuse Self help techniques Uncategorized

Personal bill of rights

Put this page in a place you’ll see it regularly. By taking the time to carefully read through the list every day, you will learn to accept that you are entitled to each one of the rights listed. Whenever a thought occurs that contradicts one of your rights, stop the thought process & correct yourself, saying “I know that’s what I used to think, but I now know & accept that I have the right to …………”. In time, you will come to know your rights off by heart & if anyone behaves in a way that infringes upon them this knowledge will help you to know their action is inappropriate & you can then stand up for yourself & your rights.

  1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
  2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
  3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
  4. I have the right to change my mind.
  5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behaviour, actions, feelings, or problems.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
  13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m afraid”.
  14. I have the right to say “I don’t know”.
  15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behaviour.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

 (From: Bourne E, 2000,The anxiety & phobia workbook, 3rd edition, New Harbinger Publications Inc. Canada)

Categories
Healing from child abuse Self help techniques

Free manuals on healing from child abuse.

Early stages of the healing journey

There are a lot of resources available that can be accessed for free to assist individuals with their healing journey. Most focus on the early stages – where an individual may still be feeling controlled by their past, filled with buried emotions and desperate for relief. These can be a little ‘heavy’ as they share snippets of people’s journey – including expressing judgement, anger, blame, shame and grief. If this is the stage that you are at then you may find them extremely valuable as examples of the healing process and how to go about it.

A free manual on healing from child abuse.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) provide a wide range of support services for Adult Survivors. www.ascasupport.org. This includes a regular newsletter and support groups. They have a free manual called ‘From Surivor to Thriver’ that you can download.

Link to download manualCatherine House have a manual for women on healing from childhood sexual abuse. It is called ‘Reclaiming myself after childhood sexual abuse’. It can be downloaded for free from: http://www.catherinehouse.org.au/Portals/0/pdf/research_projects/WomensResource_FINAL_Oct05.pdf

Its not my fault coverRespond SA is a part of Relationships Australia. They provide support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. www.respondsa.org.au. They have a manual for men called ‘It is not your fault’. It can be downloaded free from: http://respondsa.org.au/resources/booklet.aspx

Can I trust my memory coverJoan Spear has written a booklet called ‘Can I trust my memory: a handbook for survivors with partial or no memories of childhood sexual abuse’. It is useful to read when you suspect you may have been sexually abused but you are not sure. It can be downloaded free from: http://ascasupport.org/_downloadsResources/canItrustMyMemory.pdf

Later stages of the healing journey

It has been my experience, and that of those I have interacted with, that as you continue to heal you no longer have these ‘heavy’ emotions. You release them from your body and find a place of great freedom and inner peace. You may even reach a stage where you see what you experienced as a gift – as a great teacher – that was part of your evolutionary journey. I am not aware of any free manuals that focus on this larger consciousness focus. However, it is these later stages that I will be sharing most about in this blog.

The Healing Journey Demystified: Achieving Sustainability One Heart at a Time.You can also read about my experience in my book called ‘The healing journey demystified: achieving sustainability one heart at a time’. It is not available for free though. Sorry!! It is available cheaply as a PDF or e-book. The printed book costs a bit more. You can view and purchase it from: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jodi-anne-m-smith/the-healing-journey-demystified-achieving-sustainability-one-heart-at-a-time/paperback/product-14703855.html

Categories
Healing from child abuse

Welcome to my healing from child abuse blog.

In this section we explore healing from child abuse and becoming a healthy, fully functioning adult. Those of us who suffer painful beginnings in life have to spend many years unravelling the knots we’ve been tied up into. We have to loosen these, drop the armour, shed the fear, grief, despair and rage, to access the peace and love that was our true birth right. Finding peace is possible after abuse. It just takes time as all the buried emotions and trauma need to be relived, felt and released from the body.

If it was too painful at the time of the events we escape through leaving our body, going somewhere else in our minds or a myriad of other distraction techniques. When we do this our body stores the trauma and waits till we’re ready to feel and release it. It’s buried in our cells, locked in our joints and muscles – it is the rigidity, the frozen energy that keeps us feeling stuck in fight or flight. It cannot be avoided. It has to be felt and released. In this section of the blog/website we discuss ways to do this, ways to cope during the painful stages of the healing journey and how to move through them to find peace and happiness.

Once you clean your house – your body – of the past, you can let the light shine in fully. You can see the beauty that was always there, hidden under the dust, cobwebs and shadows. Now we get to redecorate, to add bright colours and celebrate. This is the time of ecstatic joy and gratitude, gratitude for making it through, for the new feelings of bliss and oneness, for the lessons learnt, wisdom gained and love found. It’s my honour to provide insight and support to help people along this path and into their beautiful hearts.

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Healing from child abuse

Behaviours of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA)

  1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at Alcoholwhat normal behaviour is.
  2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
  3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
  4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.
  5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.
  6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.
  7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.
  8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.
  9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.
  10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.
  11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.
  12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
  13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviours or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-loathing, and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.
  14. Adult children of alcoholics often isolate themselves and have few meaningful personal relationships.
  15. Adult children of alcoholics often have feelings of powerlessness.
  16. Adult children of alcoholics may strongly fear abandonment or criticism, retaining an abnormally strong, essentially unmet, need for approval and affection.

 

Compiled many years ago by Dr. Jodi-Anne M Smith from:

  • Ackerman RJ, 1987, Children of alcoholics – a guide for parents, educators & therapists, Simon & Schuster, Fireside
  • Geringer Woititz J, 1983, Adult children of alcoholics, Health Communications Inc.
  • Jorgensen DG & Jorgensen JA, 1990, Secrets told by children of alcoholics – what concerned adults need to know, Human Services Institute