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Shining a Light on Shame: A Journey Through Childhood Trauma
Author Judy Lyon
Judy takes you on a journey demonstrating the creation and evolution of shame that resulted from her earliest childhood experiences of trauma and sexual abuse. She candidly shares how she believed she was her experiences, that she was shame. This early imprinting on her identity greatly influenced her beliefs about herself and her place in the world. These beliefs would dictate her experiences throughout much of her life. She then describes her journey of healing from trauma and addictions and the related challenges as she sought help in a fragmented system of care that reduced the impact of childhood trauma to clinical terms and one size fits all treatment. Follow Judy’s inner journey through the ensuing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges as she discovers healing, growth and a new sense of self.
Some hard questions are asked. How can someone begin to forgive? None of it is right or wrong. It just is. Eventually, it came to a place that holding resentment and anger and hatred was keeping Judy stuck and preventing her from moving forward. Forgiveness is something she does to set herself free. And that is not in any way condoning the behavior. It’s not saying that it’s OK that her grandfather abused her. It’s just not. It’s about working through the emotions. We must grieve. We must grieve the losses that we experienced as a result of this. The lost child has lost opportunities, lost joy, and lost potential.
As a young girl I had a dream of being a nurse or a teacher. Life circumstances didn’t unfold as I had planned resulting in my dropping out of high school at 16 years of age. I held a variety of jobs as a cashier and salesclerk, telephone operator, car rental manager and bank loan collection officer. I was insecure, struggling and miserable on the inside, but always presented a smiling face to others. I felt as though I was just existing and struggling to even do that.
I was anxious and terrified all the time and I coped by developing a disordered pattern of eating; using alcohol, drugs, and became a workaholic. I used these unhealthy behaviors to feel, to not feel, to have fun, or to provide me with the ability to feel good about myself or the courage I needed to socialize.
I experienced numerous health issues that seemed to have no specific causes or lasting solutions. I was on a slow, lonely, painful road to death. While I didn’t know it at the time, the day in 1987 when I woke up overwhelmed and no longer able to cope or contain my emotions, was a precious gift. This awakening led me to seek professional counselling and begin a journey of rediscovery.
I learned through therapy that I had never developed a relationship with myself, which made it almost impossible for me to be in a healthy relationship with anyone else. I discovered how I had let others control or guide my decisions about what was best for me, ignoring my own needs and intuition. Before counselling I had no awareness of the impact earlier experiences of abuse had on my ability to respect or value myself. Nor had I been aware of the influence of intergenerational trauma experienced by my parents and grandparents on my life outlook and expectations.
Mike V joins us with his story on the 2nd half of the show, sharing his story of addiction recovery, while suffering with Tourette Syndrome. Mike V faced his challenges of not only addiction and cravings, but his disorder. Tourette syndrome is a disorder that involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that can’t be easily controlled. For instance, you might repeatedly blink your eyes, shrug your shoulders or blurt out unusual sounds or offensive words
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Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. The Last Door produces this weekly radio show discussing the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Talk Recovery is in its 7th Season, Hundreds of guests, thousands of listeners, thank you. Show ideas? Email [email protected]
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