In the Spring of 2001 I was invited to teach a workshop on recovery from childhood trauma at a National Association for Christian Recovery conference that would be held later that year. I am a survivor of childhood trauma. At that time, however, I had never shared this part of my recovery story in a public way. I had certainly shared my journey with those closest to me and for years in therapy. But sharing it in a public way is a very different thing.
People who are survivors of childhood trauma of any kind know about the fear and shame a survivor can carry about speaking about the unspeakable. Because of my fears, my instinct was to decline the invitation. But, instead, I agreed to ask God to show me if it was perhaps time to share something from this part of my healing journey.
I feel asleep that night, asking God to provide guidance about whether I should give the talk or not. A few hours later, I woke up knowing I had to get up and write something down. What I found myself writing was a simple model of recovery from childhood trauma. As I sat in the quiet of our living room, I looked at what had just poured out on the page and realized that it was a kind of picture of the healing God had done in my life.
I did the workshop that summer at the conference. And I taught it at several other conferences in subsequent years. In 2006 I wrote up the material for an article that was posted at the NACR website. Over the years the response to the article has grown. So many of us have experienced trauma as kids. So many of us live with trauma’s ongoing impact. My heart ached to offer more to fellow survivors.
This last year I created a six part video series based on the original workshop and article. The videos are designed to make this model more accessible. As a part of the series, I added a User’s Guide that can be downloaded and used by people working alone—-or in groups—-to explore their ongoing struggle with the long term consequences of childhood trauma. I also developed audio meditations to go with each of the six videos. The audio mediations are designed to help bring healing to the anxiety and distress so many of us live with.
For the next six weeks I will be sharing this video series with you. This week, I invite you to watch (or listen) to the first presentation. I encourage you to make use of the User’s Guide and to listen to the audio meditation for this session.
In this first video I give an overview of childhood trauma and talk about the tendency we have to avoid self care, and the importance of practicing self care as a vital part of our healing. The audio meditation offers a guide to relaxing and slowing one’s breathing, something that can be helpful to any and all of us.
I hope you find this helpful to you in some way, whatever your journey might be. Do feel free to share this with others.