I am trying to start lots and lots of things and put aside my thoughts and feelings about the starting. I have been working on this for some time, but really plan on committing a lot of time to these efforts once I have moved.

We all compare ourselves to some of the best artists and their best works and to the most healed survivors of abuse or others who were never abused as children or someone else just from the outside looking in and concluding what they are dealing with without really knowing the truth of their inner life and inner struggles. Comparisons like that are very daunting for anyone and cause us all to fear and to pause and to not make small efforts that will slowly, but surely bring healing and competence into our lives.

It’s important to remember that no one starts out proficient at anything, except a very few rare exceptions. Most of us start out as true beginners. Starting and doing are valuable, no matter where we are on our skill levels. No one learns skills or develops proficiency without practicing, doing, effort.

One thing is certain if we don’t start, we will most likely remain in the same place and space. Another thing that is certain is that life and our own soul, and others, will keep bringing us around to face this and help encourage us into doing. Doing may not feel like a healing tool. But it is. Doing is one of the most essential parts of healing, and indeed, in life.


When I first started healing from child sexual abuse, as an adult, I heard tons of commands to use affirmations. They didn’t work for me. They never worked for me. What they seemed to do instead when I used them was to break open a pocket of self-hatred, that would ooze inside me like pus. It was awful. It was one of those things that I always knew did not work for me and that would never work for me. I knew.

Others often made me feel ashamed that it did not work, that it made things worse, and that I did not plan on continuing to use them. That was wrong of them.

If there is anyone that affirmations has helped, I am happy for you. I celebrate with you the healing that affirmations have brought into your life.

They always felt like lying to me and I have always tried to have a scrupulously honest and integrity filled life, with myself, with my inners, and with my life. I always believed that the truth, no matter how hard a truth, no matter how bad things are, if acknowledged brought a light inside and a healing along with it. I’ve known so many other people who did not see the light or did not want to stand in the light with me or did not care for or about me. That is okay, I release all of them from my life. I am okay with standing in the light. I have found others who can stand the beauty of the light and who are facing their own truths as well.

Not every tool works for every person or for every kind of project, or even ever. Or even for most. We need more healing tools rather than trying to make everyone fit into the few techniques out there.

Good and healing light of truth to us all.


What I have learned that has been the most transformative, as a survivor and while working on healing from child sexual abuse, is:


I’ve tried hundreds of things during my process of healing from childhood abuse and this is the one thing that works the best for me; being calm and assertive.

I’ve tried meditating. I’ve tried cognitive therapy. I’ve tried Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I’ve tried over a decade of therapy. I’ve tried refuting the false cognitive beliefs, which was helpful, but not much. I’ve tried increasing my self-love and eliminating self-loathing and reducing self-hatred and that was good, but I always believed that I had to have a reason to love myself and really had trouble finding  one. I would remind myself that other inners in the multiple system all loved me and that they loved me for a reason. Even after all that I was still being bullied and emotionally abused by bullies and abusers almost each time that I went out in public. As a consequence I never felt safe. Safety was an important element to healing.

What I ended up with was a long list of things that didn’t work, a long list of things that mostly didn’t work and a long list of things that triggered me and made things worse. I guess this was a good thing, because it helped me to look elsewhere with an eye to changing things around to suit me and our multiple system. If something doesn’t fit, no shame should be attached, and I should feel free to learn my valuable lesson and move on to trying something else.

What I learned from therapy and from all the things that I tried that were not very effective, helpful or healing was:

The mindset that you had to work from the inner experience of self outward. All that assault on the inner self and my personal beliefs was very bruising. I didn’t feel healed from it, more like beleaguered.

What I’ve found the most helpful, healing and transformative has been exactly the opposite.

What I’ve learned is that I can figure out what is best for me; that I am the best person to do that. What I have learned is that my mind and my heart, my self and selves, that together we can make the best decisions about life and healing and that other ideas are only a suggestion, a stepping stone to what works best for me, for us.

I had heard of the fake it till you make it philosophy. I didn’t find that easy, firstly you are faking something, not being, not doing, just faking. One of the hallmarks of my life is a strong desire to live a life of integrity, honesty, and my own truth. So faking of any kind did not sit well with my soul or us. I didn’t think that it felt right to other survivors either.

What has worked for me is:


I got this idea from Ceasar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. I know I have written about this process a lot on the blog. For me it has been the key. I would start on the bike rides with doggie with the plan of being calm and assertive. Each time a challenge came along, a person, another dog, a squirrel, a car driving too close or too fast; I would feel my fear spike. I would get off the bike, get the doggie sitting down and obeying me and then calm down once again.

Calm and assertive was not a place I found within me. It was a state of mind that I presented to my mind and my body. It wasn’t something that I had to meditate into. It wasn’t something that I spent a lot of time or money on, it was something that I did by myself and for myself. It was something that I did. It wasn’t something that I wore, it was something that I put into my mind and into my body, into all my cells, I think something I did with the force of my will. Something that changed my energy, my vibe. It didn’t have anything to do with how much I loved myself or how much I hated myself or how someone else was treated me or loved me or didn’t love me. Sometimes it didn’t last long, a block or two. Then I got the opportunity to do it again; over and over.

At first I only did it while I was on the bike rides with doggie. And then I found myself doing it more and more in my daily life, even at times doing calm and assertive when I wasn’t thinking about it. What I figured out was that after a while it was easier and that after doing calm and assertive for a while my body and mind would start doing it all by itself, they must liked being in that state of mind. I started seeing myself speak assertively back to others without thinking about it. I’m sure that others who were not used to me speaking up like that didn’t like it or appreciate it, but really I believed they would have to just get used to it.

What I’ve found is that I do calm and assertive a lot. It has helped increase my self-esteem and self-love. The other way of increasing those didn’t work well or much for me, so I am tremendously happy that I have found another way of working on them by being.

What I’ve learned is that all of us are different and things that work for someone else might not work for another. There is no shame in that. We all deserve to have a self-designed healing path. Indeed it is what we all find in the end.


I’m trying to write this month about what works for me as a survivor while I am working on healing. One thing that was essential for me to figure out has been to breathe.

To breathe is one of the most essential parts of continuing life. When you are a survivor who has been harmed as a child, when it comes to breathing and eating, it is a very hard issue to overcome. My mother, a mother-daughter sexual abuser, used to often smother me and also often put me under water when I was in the bathtub. Consequently I and my inner system have a lot of fear and anxiety around breathing. I know I have written on the blog about how hard focusing on breathing is and how non-healing it is, and how it can often bring on a panic attack. This is why.

This is how I approach breath now:

Holding in your breath can fixate you into perpetuating whatever you are feeling. Letting out a long even breath can help you to move onto a more calm state of mind. While breathing out it is good to focus on breathing out the upsetting emotions to help you return to a more calm and assertive mind-set. I do a big inhalation and then blow out the air through an open mouth in a long breath. Sometimes I do more than one breath, as necessary, but not a series of breaths. I got this idea from an episode of The Dog Whisperer where Cesare Millan would do this before he went into a home with a very challenging dog or before starting some exercise with a dog, to be calm and assertive, to bring clarity and cleanness to the work.

I do the breathing like this when I notice that I am feeling anxious or fear, which I can usually feel it in my lower abdomen area. I can feel it in my body, it tenses up, this usually happens a lot when I am around a lot of people or when I am in a tense situation. It helps me to return to a more balanced way of feeling and interacting with myself and the world. I didn’t think that I would find something that worked for me. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to focus on breath ever in a way that was helping me in healing and not being damaging or detrimental. It has been wonderful to find a way to work with breath that is healing, calming, relaxing, and helps me attain a healthy balance.

For me the most important part of this work has happened since I was able to assert to myself that some things do not work, even things that therapists or others believe in and that work for someone else, they don’t work for me, they might not work for others, therapists have shamed and blamed me when things that they think should work don’t and that is wrong to treat me like that.

I have been able to asset for myself that I have every right to find what works for me as a survivor, as I work on healing. As Stella says in the movie Silverado, if the world doesn’t fit you, modify it, make alterations. That is what I am determined to do for myself and to help others by offering what I am learning and saying hey if this doesn’t fit you, if other things don’t fit you, there is nothing to be ashamed of in that, you are a survivor and something that doesn’t work is not your fault, it happens, and perhaps all this stuff I am working on will give you another idea that might be better for  you, that might give you a better fit, a more healing bit of something into your life.

Sleep Deprivation

I never get enough sleep. I never sleep deeply. That started when I was very little. I believe that is due to being sexually abused as a child. I’ve tried lots of different things before going to sleep. Some work. Most don’t. I’ve spent decades half asleep.

Now when I don’t get enough sleep one thing works great for me. I found it a few years ago when a friend of mine, who is also a Reiki teacher, went to the great local rock/crystal shop. I found some great stones there that day that I had picked out intuitively. One of the nice things about the shop is that they had a copy of a great book at the counter for reference, Love is in the Earth by Melody. It was nice to look in the book and find out ways that the stones have been used for healing. Doing that also helped confirm to me that I was picking out the right stones to take home.

One of the stones I took home was pyrite. It is a solid oval, about three inches long and two inches wide and about an inch thick. I hold it in my hand. Here is a photo that looks sort of like mine: pyrite. In the book was a reference to using it when  you need a nap. I thought, this is great, I always need more sleep.

A few days later I was had a weekend class to attend. I didn’t get any sleep on Saturday night, but still had to be up early and at the class the next morning. I took the pyrite stone with me. For the first hour of the class I held it in my hand. It heated up, very hot, and then after an hour, when I didn’t feel tired anymore, it had slowly cooled down. It does this every time and every time it makes me feel as though I had gotten some good sleep and rest. It’s something that has always helped me and been very healing. It’s something that has always worked.

It’s just a good idea to not do it late in the day, because otherwise you will be wide awake for hours.