I couldn't be more excited that this is the week of the official release of Triumph Over Abuse on December 30th! Throughout the week, I'll share some quotes from the book to give a sneak preview of some of the concepts I discuss in the book. This quote is in one of the first paragraphs you'll read in the first chapter. I hope the whole book offers tools to help survivors in their journeys toward freedom and hope, while also acknowledging the challenges that can come along the way.
Stay tuned this week for more quotes and updates during release week!
Recently, we launched a new See the Triumph #SurvivorsTriumphing video series to learn from survivors who have inspirational insights into triumphing over abuse in their lives. You can check out the playlist of our first two videos on Facebook or YouTube. You won't want to miss what the two first featured speakers had to share, and I especially loved Eileen's points about finding the right kind of social support and Rachel's insights on forgiveness.
This #SurvivorsTriumphing series is so exciting to me because it's offering a unique glimpse into the stories and experiences of people who have faced abuse, and it highlights the strengths and wisdom that survivors can gain from their experiences. All too often, people focus on the problems and challenges that survivors face. While problems are a part of life for everyone, it's also important to celebrate progress and growth, even after difficult life experiences.
If you're a survivor who's interested in learning more about being featured in an upcoming See the Triumph #SurvivorsTriumphing series, please don't hesitate to reach out over email (email@example.com) or through my Contact Form.
Sometimes, along the long, difficult journey of recovering from abuse, it's natural to face moments when you feel like you're moving backwards or stalled. But just because it doesn't feel like you're making progress, you can continue to keep growing, just in different ways.
Sometimes, growth looks like learning from unpleasant experiences. At other times, growth means celebrating tangible signs of progress. In other moments, you can experience growth just by taking moments for quiet reflection and self-acceptance.
Determine what growth looks like for you, and then keep on growing, no matter what.
I'm so excited to share more of the details about the upcoming virtual book launch event for Triumph Over Abuse!
The lineup of speakers is:
We've also got some great giveaways planned, including 4 signed copies of the book, plus some prizes inspired by coping tools that survivors can use along the recovery process that are referenced in the book.
All who attend the virtual launch will also receive a 20% discount code for the book.
I hope you'll join us at this free, virtual event. Advance registration is required via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triumph-over-abuse-in-2021-virtual-book-launch-event-tickets-130588225899.
Stay connected to the Facebook event page for more details as well: https://www.facebook.com/events/941255646694490/.
It’ll still be a couple weeks before this book is officially released, but I was so excited to receive my author copies yesterday!
This book was one of the easiest but also hardest things I’ve ever written. It was easy because I knew exactly what I wanted to say to support survivors in the process of recovering from past abuse. It was hard because I’m still learning to share my own story as a survivor in a way that feels safe and comfortable to me.
I definitely have moments where I wish I didn’t have those past experiences, but I’m grateful for the chance to bring my personal experiences into the work I’m so passionate about.
I'll share more updates in the coming weeks as the book is officially released. Stay tuned!
This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's a lot more attention to the fact that the holidays can be very challenging for many people, whether it's due to being apart from loved ones, financial challenges, sickness, or grief and losses.
The holidays can be un-merry in any year, though, and that can be especially true for survivors of abusive relationships. Every survivor has a unique set of experiences that can lead to added challenges around the holidays, but a few examples of common experiences are listed below:
First, the holidays could be a trigger for memories of incidents of abuse that occurred around holidays in previous years. It may be easy to put memories of these incidents out of mind in other seasons of the year, but certain events, decorations, music, or other holiday-related reminders can bring memories right back to the surface. For example, if your abuser was angry and violent last year when you were putting out holiday decorations, it's understandable if decorating this year brings those memories back, even if you hadn't thought about that incident in a long time.
Second, the holidays can involve time away from your children if your abuser has custody rights. The holidays can be very difficult for survivors who are parenting minor children but don't have full custody or if their abuser gets time together with the children during the holidays. It can be very lonely to be apart from your children during the holidays, and it's also natural to feel angry if your abuser gets to spend those holidays with your children.
And third, the holidays can bring up feelings of sadness around unmet expectations or disappointment about your life not turning out how you thought it would. For example, you probably had hopes and dreams for your relationship or what your future would be like with your partner. Perhaps celebrating holidays together and building holiday traditions together were a part of those dreams. When the holidays come around, it can be tempting to compare your experiences with those of others, such as when you see pictures of friends in happy relationships on social media.
If you're currently facing a holiday season that doesn't seem very merry, consider how you can take intentional steps to cope with your feelings and practice self-care. A few examples of steps you can take include the following:
For some additional suggestions about navigating the holidays as a survivor of abuse, check out these two archived See the Triumph blog posts as well:
As I discussed in a couple recent blog posts, loneliness is a common challenge for many survivors of abusive relationships. If you're looking for some insights on how to cope during this especially challenging COVID-impacted holiday season, check out this program hosted by the Healthy Relationships Initiative that I direct.
Tomorrow, December 15th, at noon EST, I'll be facilitating the panel discussion in this free, online program. You can sign up to attend via Eventbrite here: healthyrelationshipsinitiative.org/12-15-20-coping-with-loneliness-part-ii-a-panel-discussion.
Along the journey of recovering from an abusive relationship, it’s important to surround yourself with people who will support & encourage you—and have boundaries to guard against those who don’t have your best interest at heart.
In my blog post last week, I shared how presenting a recent program on loneliness led me to reflect on how loneliness is a common experience for people who are currently in or facing the aftermath of an abusive relationship. Although loneliness is a universal experience that virtually everyone will face from time to time, it’s also an uncomfortable--and sometimes--painful experience.
Working through uncomfortable emotions is an important--yet challenging--part of the process of recovering from past abuse. Loneliness is an especially uncomfortable emotion, in particular because it can involve thinking patterns that, left unchecked, can lead to a cycle of more isolation and even greater feelings of loneliness. (You can learn more about the “Loneliness Loop” in the Healthy Relationships Initiative program by clicking here.)
There are healthy ways to cope with loneliness, which include the following:
First, know when to reach out for help. If your feelings of loneliness are very distressing or lead you to feeling hopeless, it’s important to seek professional help. You can find directories of counselors and therapists here.
Second, work on your own personal growth, including intentionally striving to be comfortable with alone time and enjoying your own company. It’s also important to work on your thought patterns and self-talk that may be leading you to self-isolate or self-sabotage when it comes to building new connections with others.
And third, take small but meaningful steps toward fostering connections with others. This could include reaching out to a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while, joining new groups in your community to expand your social network, and practicing basic relationship skills that can be helpful across many different types of relationships.
Finally, work to overcome the stigma surrounding loneliness. Remind yourself that when you feel lonely, you’re experiencing something that’s a natural part of life. You don’t need to add any more shame or embarrassment to the mix by pressuring yourself to get over your feelings or pretend they’re not there. Take time to reflect on what your emotions can teach you about the types of connections you want to have in your life (including with others and yourself) and then identify steps you can take to build those connections.
You can do more than just survive abuse. You can fully overcome & triumph over abuse and define life on your own terms.
If you're interested in learning why the word "triumph" has so much meaning to me and our See the Triumph campaign, read about the origins of the See the Triumph campaign here: http://www.seethetriumph.org/the-origins-of-see-the-triumph.html.