I grew up in a pretty chaotic and dysfunctional home with a mom who struggled with untreated paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression due to her own untreated childhood trauma. As a result, she was quite abusive toward me. My mom homeschooled me for the first 11 years of my life.
As I grew up - I struggled in relationships, focus and dealt with high-functioning depression and anxiety. I couldn’t seem to figure out why I was so intense, and why my relationships were so chaotic. I was doing well in school (Honour Roll), at work (I was assistant manager a retail store at the time) and even was a leader at church (preaching and leading worship). And yet - my personal life was filled with chaos and struggle and I didn’t understand why.
Somehow I was led to work with a therapist who helped me realize that my home was abusive and that the circumstances I grew up in were not normal. This was the seed that started my journey of healing and regeneration.
The true commitment to healing began a few years after that. I was in a dysfunctional relationship with a man who suffered from addiction - and of course I believed that if HE could change himself everything would be better. I worked very hard on changing him and making him better. I believed that him getting free from addiction would make me happy.
It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Melody Beattie’s beautiful book “Codependent No More” that I realized that it was actually ME who needed to change. I had so much unhealed trauma that was causing me to become preoccupied and obsessed with fixing someone else!
I laid on the apartment floor and listened to the book on audio with tears streaming down my face and committed to changing myself and my life. Over the next 5 years, I did lots of therapy with some awesome therapists. I did rigorous spiritual and emotional work on myself. I studied all I could about family systems, psychology and development.
My relationship patterns had changed tremendously - they were much less chaotic, and my symptoms (dissociation, chronic fatigue, and codependency) had reduced and I was generally feeling safer in my own skin.
Even though my life had changed tremendously for the better in almost every way, I still felt there was another piece to my healing journey. I just wasn’t sure what that piece was! Somehow, I stumbled on Dr. Peter Levine’s book - Waking the Tiger. And once again, my world was transformed.
As I read about the impact of trauma and adverse events on the body and nervous system, I absorbed it like food. I just knew this was the missing piece I was looking for! I had worked so hard on my mindset, emotional and spiritual self but I hadn’t yet addressed the impact of my early life stress on my body!
I dove into the field of new traumatology and began studying the work of the Pioneers of that field. I read and studied Dr. Bruce Perry’s work, Dr. Allan Schore’s Work, Dr. Stephen Porges, Dr. Gabor Mate’s work. I simply couldn’t get enough of this amazing knowledge of the human body and how it can actually heal and regenerate after shock, trauma and the worst of things.