from masking & makeup to baggage & barefaced beauty: an incest survivor finds healing in queer identity
"I take the baggage of my body with me: my neurodiversities, my disabilities, my histories, my identities. But this burden I now call beloved. Home. And the rest of my belongings are packed into those three bags. The minimalism of this life invites the maximalism of my experience. A reality always calling me to more. More liberation, more justice, more freedom, more play, more purpose, more pleasure. More of all this and less of all that. Crap."
Harry Potter Helped Me to Heal from Incest Abuse
"Societal taboo around the topic of incest mirrors the wizarding world’s fear of Voldemort: It is the common social problem that still “shall not be named.” [...]
It doesn’t take magic wands or special spells to ensure the next generation of children are safe. It simply requires a community of friends working together with the shared conviction that belief and belonging are bound to love. That love is just. And, most important, that love is safe."
A Trinity of Trauma-Healing: Science, Spirituality, and the Self
"I’m 35 years old now and finally surviving less and living more. I offer my story to help those who share my history navigate healing more easily, as well as advocate for systems of support to improve for survivors. We need an integrated Trinity of Healing: scientific methodologies, spiritual modalities, and self-care models that support us, stand with us, believe us. I yearn for an integrated spiritual and scientific approach that honors the complexity of the selves of incest survivors."
The Safety of a Centaur: An Incest Survivor Finds Healing Through Horseback Riding
"I choose not to be bound to the history of my violent blood, but instead free myself by bonding my body to the back of this brilliant beast as she abandons the confines of her cage through her glorious gait in the wide-open terrains of temporary liberty.
Together, we are as free as we can be."
Three Healing Modalities to Manage Complex Trauma
"With these frameworks [EMDR, IFS, & ACT] integrated into a holistic care approach, I hope that survivors of Complex Trauma can feel confident that they have the tools to simultaneously find and fix the root causes of their present triggers, lovingly manage their competing and unpredictable parts, and compassionately accept themselves into committing to the lifestyle of healing."
Let the Next Wave Be Hope: Navigating the Sea of Healing as an Incest Survivor
"The tides will change. The systems will shift. The perpetration patterns will lift. And we will remain. Those of us who learned to play in the complexities of our pain, to break the chains. To teach the next generation better so that they can enjoy the water without the weight of being tethered. This is my life’s movement. I hope to see you there."
I Free Swim in the Frigid Bay Waters to Process My PTSD
"As I practice these lessons on and off land, I experience my body transforming post-traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth. Shedding the skin of the past, while developing the surface of the future. These circles can be swam and these cycles can be broken. I know because I’m doing it. Because I’ve done it. I am not the first to round the rim from perpetration to healing and will certainly not be the last."
President Trump, My Father, & the American Love of Patriarchal Violence
"I want to witness an America free of patriarchal power structures that justify the victimization of the vulnerable. We now have an opportunity to recreate a safe foundation for all of our country’s residents by restoring the intrinsic rights robbed from the vulnerable by patriarchal violence."
The Spirit of the Ocean: Sunday Swims As Sacred Sport
"Every Sunday, we return to the palm and let it lead us to our collective resurrection. We’ll move mountains as we continue to commit to the miracles that walking on water will instill in us while living on land. Thankfully, we have our Ocean Church to experience in this micro-world—the friends we’ve found so bound to the magic of the sea and devoted to the world we’ll win together. The ocean is calling. And every week we awaken to answer it."
Let Grief and Gratitude Coexist: Ingredients for the Holidays
"This holiday season calls for an act of integration between grief and gratitude of the individual and the collective. We can hold grief gently in one hand and invite gratitude into the other, while we close our hands in thanksgiving or combine them to meet the hands of others. Despite the circumstances of the past year, we can still enjoy the holidays with a celebrational spirit, a conscious attunement, and a collective commitment."
Healing From Incest
“For the futures of our children, I ask that we commit to the constant courage required to create a new world in which it’s safe to participate in the promise of our individual and collective purpose and potential: To be believed, to be safe to belong, to be permitted to be free.”
It's Been Three Years Since #MeToo. What's Changed? What Needs to Change?
“For healing models to be effective, they must focus both on the deconstructive process of violence as well as the reconstructive process of creating systems of safety on individual and systemic levels. Healing individually can’t be successful if survivors are forced to participate in systems that continue to victimize them. Together, we have to exit the trauma cycle on micro and macro scales: stop perpetration patterns, empower victims, and encourage healthy interactions, policies, and legislation that promote the dignity of all people.”
Where the Grass Is Really Greener
“In my own grace-filled space, I am finding the freedom to be fully myself: vocal, uninhibited, powerful. There is no risk to be a free woman within my own walls, so I practice her here. Permission is granted from my insides out. And I feel a type of tickling sensation, like I belong to my body for the first time, like my soul has found a home in my heart again, like my mind is congruent with all other parts of me. It’s confusing. It’s totally and completely new. Revolutionary.”
VOICES HEARD E-ZINE
"My body, brain, and being are finally
finding balance, bounty, and beauty
as my system regulates around the
Love it was meant to receive from
the very beginning. My family consists
of beloved friends who support me
unconditionally and help me to grow.
I’m an author and entrepreneur who
can travel the world while sharing my
story and supporting other women to
do the same. I’m still learning to hold
and heal some deeper traumatic energy
as the gifts of the present still reveal
more grief and grievances of the past.
But I trust myself to do both gracefully."
The Privilege of Telling the Truth
"I believe in the power of healing through the potency of storytelling. It might not be everything someone needs to recover, but it’s a damn good start. Getting what’s on the inside out not only serves as a release, but it is also a natural way to educate and advocate. Sharing stories openly and honestly allows for us to more deeply understand the creativity and complexity of the human experience. It invites us to comprehend our differences more fully and celebrate our similarities more freely."
The Nicest Place in Washington: Bellden Cafe in Bellevue
Nomination by: Anne Lauren
"Bellden Cafe, with Claire as its owner, has truly been a model of servant leadership displaying her commitment to the community in this time of crisis. I am proud to be her employee and her friend and to really live Bellden’s motto that #TogetherWeAreStronger."
How to Manage Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By: Michelle Yang
"'Anne Lauren, 33, said, 'As someone with trauma and self-harm history, it’s important that I keep my survivor-self safe [...]' To do this, Lauren gives herself the compassionate space to indulge in repetitive play to keep focused. 'For me, that looks like playing the Frozen II movie and songs on repeat and playing card games with my roommate and quarantine buddy. These activities bombard my brain with hopeful messages and fun.'”
Shedding Stories & Sharing Light
“'A part of my truth is that I’m an incest survivor, but the truth of who I am is so much bigger than that,' she said. 'I’m looking forward to learning more about that truth now.'”
Survivor Series II
"Today I have been invited to be seen and I am finally ready to say, YES. I am ready to accept myself, my story, and all that I have created from it: my strength, my power, and my wisdom."
What Happened When I Couldn’t Find Anywhere to Be Transparent as a Child After My Abuse
"There is a great need for a communal identity for sexual abuse survivors. So often our traumatic experiences happen behind closed doors. The consequences aren’t seen on the outside. So when we forget, or when we’re intentionally told by our families and our communities it didn’t happen, the visual experience is lost, while the emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual consequences influence the rest of our lives."
I was a Childhood Incest & Illness Survivor Now I Help Others Heal
"In October 2017, the #MeToo movement founded by Tarana Burke in 2006 resurfaced. Immediately, my phone began to ring. Numerous friends asked how to manage their own emerging memories of sexual violence, where to go for support, and how to heal. Suddenly, my recovery felt so much bigger than me. All of the resources explored and wisdom learned in the last decade could now be shared to help others."
A Year After #MeToo, Can We Talk About Incest Abuse?
"I want incest survivors to come forward without fear. I want families and communities to stop denying these occurrences and abandoning their babies. I want perpetrators to be criminalized. I want statue of limitation laws to be eradicated so that I can exercise my right to criminalize my abusers. I want people to stop refusing to address this issue because it’s too hard or it’s too complicated or it’s too intense. I want perpetrators to get treatment. I want victims to recover."
A Cinderella Story:
Reframing Rape Recovery
"This was the moment I fell in love, this was my point of no return- there was no time limit, no clock that would strike midnight, and no magic that would wear off- there was only the truths that recovery is real, that it is beautiful, and that it should be a source of celebration every single day within a loving community."
Reiki for Rape Recovery
"Through Reiki, I have finally been able to slow down and catch up with myself. For the first time, I feel as if I am exactly where I am supposed to be exactly when I am supposed to be there. And to no surprise, doors are opening before me as I develop the clarity, the charisma, the compassion, the confidence, the community, and the creativity to say yes and walk through them."
Building Boundaries After Sexual Abuse
"More importantly, these boundaries have allowed me to rebuild a beautiful family made up of friends whom I have chosen, to nourish my physical, psychological, and spiritual health, to pursue a career that better suits my needs, to choose a healthy romantic partner when the time is right, and to develop a loving relationship with myself."
A Tool for Trauma Recovery
"Metacognition has been one tool of many that has enabled me to recover successfully from the consequences of sexual abuse, fatal illness, furious frustration, and arduous recovery. Because of this unconventional and brilliant psychological tool, I expect now to live a happy and meaningful life, every single day."
The Hesitancy & The Happiness of Thriving After Sexual Abuse
"I am carrying the wisdom learned through the experiences of my past into my present and future. This is what thriving after sexual abuse looks like for me. This is my life."
THE SURVIVOR ALLIANCE
Baby in the Bathwater
"Maybe recovery is available after all. Maybe the body is made to heal. Maybe my world and I are meant to aligned."