|Only the Wounded Heal;
Only the Separated Reconcile
. . . . it is . . .
Time To Pick Up The Pieces Of Your Life,
- but know it happened,
and become stronger from it;
and use what you have been through
to show others hurting
that they too,
can be - survivors -
You too, can be a survivor!
To adapt Dr. William Anthony’s description
of what recovery is we, find that:
recovery is "a deeply personal, unique
process of changing one’s attitudes, values,
feelings, goals, skills and/or roles.
It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and
contributing life even with limitations caused
by a dysfunctional, victimized past.
Recovery involves the development of new
meaning and purpose in one’s life as one
grows beyond the catastrophic effects severe
dysfunction and victimhood."
~William Anthony MD (adapted)
Nicole's Story: Thank you, Nicole
I grew up in actually two dysfunctional families -- first, my two parents and me until I was eleven and a half,
and then secondly, after my mother and I went to live with my aunt and her family. After thinking about it, I
see that I ended up moving back and forth between Lost Child and Scapegoat when I was growing up. I'm
what I am already doing.
I used to bury myself in books a lot, fantasy, and I discovered writing poetry when I was twelve.
You could say that many of us from dysfunctional families have been taught to hide our pain - personality
traits just determine how we do it. In my reading, I've discovered that folks of my particular type, rather than
hide it completely, choose to express it indirectly -- through art, poetry, song, even in more indirect ways
such as personal style in dress and decoration, makeup choices, what art objects we keep around us, etc. I
know I do this. My poetry is my outlet.
My theory: somehow, we think that it's shameful, or "bad" to express it directly (maybe through negative
childhood messages) so we choose the indirect, as I think that we know deep down that we cannot hold it
in forever. But somehow, some of us don't take that next leap to expressing it outward and we end up
destroying ourselves in the process. It's as if we secretly hope that somebody notices that we're hurting and
draws in closer to care -- because of course, it's "shameful" or "bad" to ask for help.
Anyway, I just thought I would share my thoughts with you and thank you for putting up your website. I
think the information will further help me in my journey to heal.
Nicole writes poetry and is engaged in other art forms. She used to have a website called "Raven's Wing
Poetry": it also had an active blog.
More stories below:
Please note the importance of the fact that recovery is a
process where we get - or find back – that which we sought
for, or lost.
Through the process we recover the use of “something”,
or return to an original state
It is a process of convalescence – of gradual healing, that
ultimately results in a return to a normal condition:
something gained or restored in recovering.
* A survivor is a person who has
survived an ordeal or great misfortune,
and was resilient or courageous enough
to be able to overcome hardship,
* one who lives through affliction,
remaining alive; who carries on despite
hardships or trauma;
* Survivors persevere and remain
functional (or regain the ability to do so)
- they learned to cope with a trauma or
setback, or survived child abuse.
|Just to be is a blessing.
Just to live is holy.
~Rabbi Abraham Heschel
Jeanne Ripley's story:
I carry every year of this woman:
faces with no smile and a gaze held fast to the ground
names that carry proud defiance survivor names
identities that protected her
When no one was there to save her, she saved herself
hiding inside her burning shame
red hot anger
deep beneath her mind. Even that was overshadowed
by her need for love
a need to remember a time when she could:
smile without fear
dance without knowing that she might drown in the next
laugh without crying when the darkness came.
This woman finds a sacred space for her girl child. She
wore her striped dress with hues of pink and one ribbon of
It was a blend.
she has champions that support and invite the healing
the integration of woman, girl and child. Tears are honored
held gently in the palm of each heart who hears her story.
These champions know pain. They walk with crooked
stars. And, we are famous. Our beauty is in our courage
and our big love.
Truth has changed with every can of worms that we
opened and released. We experienced authenticity from
uncovering our deepest wounds and all the while
I had been looking in a book.
|"Our outer experiences can seem to tell us that we are
powerless, unworthy, unlovable, etc.
- no matter what our lives seem to be telling us?
The truth is that we are powerful,
and worthy of love - no matter what!"
You are all things.
Denying, rejecting, judging or hiding from any aspect of
your total being creates pain and results in a lack of
What is the most effective way to hide an aspect of
We wear beauty, or beauty with a mask of ugliness.
The mask serves to keep the outer world
from unmasking the original wounds
and aspects of self
that we have disowned.
Enlightenment and healing is the process by which we
unmask our duality to reveal our unity with All-that-is.
You do not need fixing.
Your are not broken;
your self perception,
and broken into pieces,
- not your True Self.
It was not an illness you got –
it was a survival/coping
that was no longer working
You re-assembled it all –
because you chose.
Heal: healing is a process that restores us
to health or soundness;
it sets things right;
and restores us to spiritual wholeness.
The outcome is such that we become whole and
sound and return to health. (Health and holy are two
related words – both coming from the original same
root, "whole", or "wholeness".
It is a life-long process - for everyone
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's
courage. ~Anais Nin
Victim: victims are those unfortunate people who
suffer from some adverse circumstances – a victim is:
- a person who suffers from a destructive or
injurious action or agency
- a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his
or her own emotions or ignorance, by the
dishonesty of others; someone who misplaced
trust or confidence.
- someone who is hurt or harmed by somebody
or something, and was adversely affected by
such an action or circumstance
- a person who is tricked or swindled, duped or
exploited, a target of an attack, or harmed by a
crime, unfairness, or other wrong.
It is not because things were difficult that we did not dare;
it is because we did not dare that they were difficult.
There are stories
that you can tell from your life
and know that they hurt then
and know that they still hurt now.
It's good to have memories
and never forget those stories,
but stop telling stories
that make you hurt,
tell the ones that make you smile!
And you learned that,
If you always do, what you've always done;
You'll always get what you've always got.
How is what you're doing working for you?
If it's NOT working for you
- CHANGE SOMETHING
. . . . and you did
If you aren’t sure of what to change, help is
available here - (pssst - it has to do with
Your attitude is what makes you the person you
are. Sure, sometimes you need to control it better
in certain situations.
But overall - it's what makes you so unique,
adorable, fun unpredictable and just all around so
lovable. It's what makes you - YOU
Compassion - Pain
When we experience the pain of another person,
we instinctively want to take away the pain.
But by taking away the other person's pain,
we also take away his or her opportunity to grow.
To be truly compassionate,
we must be able to share another person's
suffering and pain
- - knowing there is nothing we can do to relieve
it, and that we are not responsible for it,
and yet knowing and understanding what that
pain feels like.
Some concepts or factors that are common (and crucial) to recovery:
Hope is a desire accompanied by confident expectation.
Having a sense of hope is the foundation for ongoing recovery from woundedness.
Even the smallest belief that we can get better, as others have, can fuel the recovery process.
Early in the recovery process, it is possible for a treatment provider, friend, and/or family member
to carry hope for you.
At some point, however, you must develop and internalize your own sense of hope.
Empowerment is the belief (and reality) that one has power and control in their life, including
Empowerment also involves taking responsibility for self and advocating for self and others.
As you grow in your recovery journey, you gain a greater sense of empowerment in your life.
Support from peers, family, friends and mental health professionals is essential to recovery from
It is especially beneficial to have multiple sources of support.
This not only reduces your sense of isolation, but also increases your activity in the community,
allowing you to obtain an integral role in society.
In addition to support from individuals, participation in support groups is an important tool for
recovery. It is well-known that being able to interact with others who understand your feelings
and experiences is the most important ingredient for your recovery.
In order to maximize recovery, it is important to learn as much as possible about your situation
as well as the best treatment practices and available resources.
It’s also important to learn about yourself, including your symptoms so that you can gain better
control over your recovery and your life.
You can educate yourself by speaking with health care professionals, attending workshops and
support groups, reading books, articles and newsletters, browsing the internet (to such sites as
Dawn Cove Abbey), and participating in discussion groups.
While most people recognize the value of professional treatment, self-help is often viewed as the
conduit to growth in recovery.
Self-help can take many forms including learning to identify symptoms and take actions to
counteract them, reading and learning about a situation and its “treatment”,
learning and applying coping skills, attending support groups and developing a support system to
rely on when necessary.
Spirituality is that a partnership with one’s higher power
– a connection.
For many people, spirituality provides hope,
solace during their illness,
peace and understanding
and a source of social support.
Frequently, when we meet new people, they ask "what do you do?"
Whether it is fair or not, what we do shapes others' opinions of who we are.
As a result, it is common for a person's identity to be significantly impacted by what they do.
Likewise, what a person does influences his/her confidence, esteem, social role, values, etc.
Simply put, employment/meaningful activity provides most people
with the opportunity to regain a positive identity,
including a sense of purpose and value.
~Garnered from the net.
Deerfield, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Adult Children, including the Lost Child,
learn to be consummate actors/actresses.
Survivors don't need to do that any more.
Another poem from Jeanne Ripley
To Your Innocence
Black stone lies in slumber embraced by virgin
It’s the same with us.
Just like Cinderella we need to go down
make love to our pain.
Stay a while; hold the child.
Hold her. Hold Her.
Move past the skin
touch your heart within
honor each path you take, every decision you
Here is where you are. You never sinned.
Lick dry your shining tears
call the sun back in.
|What lies behind us
and what lies before us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
|People who really want to heal, will find a way;
those who don't know how yet will find an excuse.
The people who shared their stories here found a way.
|"I am Beautiful and that settles it!"
I refused to be discouraged by the constant negatives
comments of my physique. I refuse to further believe
that beauty is not my very essence.
I pity those who constantly remind me of what they
deem to be unattractive or ugly. Never again will I listen
to the remarks made describing my body in such a
detestable fashion. Words that have cause great
detriment to my thinking that beauty is not found in me.
I will no longer accept that I have liver lips, nor hairy
foot is out of style, nappy hair must be straightened,
long chest needs medical correction, busy eyebrows but
be neatened, narrow hips, nor my posterior portion is
I refuse to believe...
My mind is now settled that the God of all universe,
galaxies, and life, openned my mother's womb, and
made liquid cell to mysteriously form into this beautiful,
captivating and unique frame I bear. He looked into my
future, smiled at His handy work and said, "Wow Melanie
is SOOO Beautiful!"
I am convinced when God said that I am beautifully and
wonderfully made [Psalms 139], and that I bear His
image and likeness. I will no longer struggle to define
beauty by man's judgment, because inside and out....
I AM BEAUTIFUL!!!!
|The Survivors PODIUM:
Survivors of Abuse, Violence, Addictions, Dysfunction
sharing their stories; Letting their voices be heard
The best inspiration comes from hearing/reading the stories of people who survived
horrendous things and situations. Hence, on tis page I gladly pass along the stories
survivors have shared with me: they did this in order to encourage others who may need
a boost - enough maybe to help them become survivors. These folks fill me with awe and
admiration. And I offer them my grateful thanks.
If you would like to share YOUR story here, please send it to me.
Theresa Young-Blue has so kindly allowed me to share this. I am grateful to her. Bravo Theresa!
That's right, I survived! I was kidnapped as a little girl and raped (I managed to escape), lived
on the streets (literally) for months at 12/13 yrs old, left by family when I needed them the
most because it wasn't convenient to take in another little girl.
Been beaten by the man I loved and left for dead on more than one occasion...
all before I even turned 18.
But you know what, I'm a Survivor!
I've beaten the odds, I'm happy, not depressed; stand as a strong woman full of pride. The
best thing about it all, I can honestly show my baby girls how to be strong women! I truly am
Coming across this now hits me a little hard this time, my twins are now the same age I was... I
can't even imagine. I am so thankful my children will Never have to go through what I did!"
More stories below:
|This is a special page for those who
have made (or are making), successful
healing journeys, where they can
share their stories - to help, to
bring hope, and to inspire those
who thought there was no hope.
It has space for recovery/healing
stories, spaced between other helpful,
thought-provoking bits and pieces *
Can adult children and other severely
wounded victims heal? Yes, they can, and
they do – read their stories below:
Some of their stories are in poem
format - it is easier for them to share
their story that way . . .
Do YOU have one to share?
This Podium is for you.
|Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside assistance For Your Journey Through Life
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
|It is always a Joy and delight to hear/read stories that are
Walks In The Light: To read more of these positive, uplifting
and Inspiring stories, use this Navigation Menu
Unfortunately, there are people still walking on the Dark Side, or trying to find their way out; Thus, this site
also presents those stories: they may be helpful to you personally, or they may help you understand the
dilemmas and circumstances of those less fortunate than you.
To read about those, please follow the side Navigation Menus.
Kenneth Gardiner's story
Physical violence does something to
you, deep inside; it creates changes
I think that I most closely resemble
the "Rebel" and the "Lost Child" that
are spoken of elsewhere on this site.
I was born into a home environment
where physical and verbals abuse
were common, and at times, rampant.
My mom was a lovely, loving lady,
but totally dominated by my dad. I
can recall one time when he
threatened to kill her when she'd had
an emotional and physical reaction to
something he did. I know it scared
My early life was one of being immersed in an abusive environment fueled by anger. My father was a man
consumed by anger. For years I thought it was because of me, somehow; not realizing that it came from his
past. I'll never know about his childhood, because it wasn't spoken of; I just know that it had to have been an
horrific one - but I didn't get that insight until later in life. He used to beat me with a cut-off hardwood shovel
handle, whenever I had contravened a "rule" (many of which appeared to have been made up on the spot).
While doing so he'd keep repeating these almost mantra-like words of, "I'll break your will, if it's the last
thing I ever do". And I remember my little mind saying quietly inside my head, "No, you won't". I don't
recall what that beating was for at that time, (I was about 4 or 5); it's a long time ago, and there were
many. I remember telling myself that it didn't feel good, and that if it didn't feel good to me, it wouldn't feel
good to anyone else, either. So I resolved to never do that to any human, or animal, being. And thankfully,
I have never in my life given anyone a beating. That at least is one thing I'm proud of in my life.
At the same time, I heard daily screaming matches between my mom and my paternal grandmother, who
lived in the granny apartment at our house. As soon as I was old enough, I'd slip away for the day and go
roaming, just to be away of the fighting and beatings. My mom told me, long after my dad had died, that he
and his brother, who worked with him in the family business, often had violent, knock 'em down and drag
'em out physical fights in a shed on the property.
It was not a good environment for any child to grow up in. He didn't restrict it to just me, a boy (the eldest
child). Later on he lost his cool one day and chased one of my sisters around the property, threating to kill
her if he caught up with her (she was a track and field long-distance runner, so she was safe. After any of
these events were over, they were swept under the carpet, as it used to be said. No mention of them was
ever made, then or later. Apologies didn't exist. It was like our place was the centre of "denial and enabling".
The result was pent-up anger inside me: anger that built up over many years. So I had a terrible temper and
a lot of hate. It was always taken out on others, rather than facing it and taking it to where it belonged: the
one it all stemmed from. But I never did. In adulthood, I approached my dad a number of times about
talking it out, but he refused. He died of cancer, and I had to resolve all that anger on my own.
Because the anger was such a powerful emotion, it became the only emotion I knew. I lost all sense of
empathy, sympathy and compassion. It was like I was dead to those, inside; for all intents and purposes, I
became like a sociopath. Thus, it is small wonder that I find it easy to identify with several traits of the Lost
I became a loner, an introvert, and was very awkward socially, much of that due to my avoidance of people
while I was growing up, and thus having had no opportunity to develop the so-called "social skills". While
this was going on, my mind had developed into "rational thinking mode" only - and I was bright for my age.
In fact, I was told years later by one of my cousins that they, and the entire extended family called me "the
little professor" (behind my back).
Lying and deception became a way of life for me - to avoid getting "caught", and the subsequent beatings.
And eventually, lying about all sorts of things became a way of life; one that continued way too long. I also
had a total inability to empathize, or sympathize with anyone. It was as if I were totally unaware of those
important human emotions. While I didn't feel selfish, I had actually become very much self-focussed, and
oblivious to others' needs.
The sad part of it is that because I was emotionally stunted, and lacking social skills, I wasn't the dad I
could have been, or the partner I should have been. But eventually, a very special person came along and
helped me connect with my emotions. Some of them have not returned (if I ever had them). The lying and
deception stopped, and I have learned about empathy, sympathy, compassion, consideration and kindness.
The good news is that I'm shifting from knowing "about them", to knowing and doing them. For me this is
huge: it is awesome to have learned to be "loving"; and to do so unconditionally. Hopefully, this is my
redemption. Without this special person, and she knows who she is, I would not have been able to make the
strides I have done - and continue to do; which is now helped by yet another very special person. I am
deeply grateful to both; I am blessed, truly.
I wish you success in your journey, and offer you my congratulations if you are a Survivor, too.
Claudia's story gets a separate
page, because it deals with a very
important aspect of Violence and
abuse: Invisible Violence.