Bob Faw interviewed about Vital Cycles and how trauma survivors heal

Listen in to an inspiring conversation (interview) with three positive change consultants who volunteer helping those who’ve suffered trauma to transform their lives.

Two wonderful women from Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) interviewed me this evening. What a delight to talk about how people can transform trauma and create vital cycles in their lives.

Powerful learning on her healing journey

This is a posting from a Vital Cycles group member.

In the two years I’ve been working on my healing I’ve learned so much.

I can sometimes see what triggers me and why. And I can choose to leave the room or situation, or change the channel on TV. I can now realize that what has happened to me is not my fault… it’s those that hurt me. And no wonder I feel like I live in hell. Who wouldn’t? I know my anger is really intense. I feel a lot of pain and sadness. I know when the memories are coming in, and it’s ok to sit and feel that pain and cry some of it out… even though it hurts to be there. It’s ok to talk about it now to my therapist, they can’t hurt me anymore. And I will be listened to and believed. I can accept I have been abused and mistreated by the people who were supposed to love me. I mistakenly learned to think of that as love. That’s not ok, but I accept it. And it’s also ok if some days I don’t feel any of this acceptance and struggle to get through my day. It’s ok to be stuck feeling that I’m in hell too. All I can do is the best I can do. It’s hard work and I’m far from done.

It’s amazing how much I’ve changed. All of you, Vital Cycles, and my wonderful therapist have helped me so much. Thank you for listening …   🙂

Vickie

New Year = A New You!!!

I can’t believe another year has flown by. It’s going to be 2012 and I have to say being born in 1983 I’m beginning to feel old!

I hear people everywhere talking about their New Years resolution to “lose weight” “eat better”, “get more organized” or to “exercise”. These are all great goals but statistics have shown few people keep their New Years resolutions. For me I don’t  create New Years resolutions, instead I reflect on the last year and set goals for the coming year. My goals are based on what I hope to accomplish.

2010 was a particular rough year for me physically and emotionally. It took a toll on me and my depression got the best of me towards the end of that year. I was in the hospital last New Years Eve with a concussion and only hoped that 2011 would be a better year.

I had many goals for 2011. To get stronger both physically and emotionally. To find a therapist I could talk to, a support group, to be able to create distance from my family, to build a safety net of supportive friends, and to begin my Masters degree.

Some of these goals may seem small, however for me they were all challenges. I am afraid of being “judged”, afraid to trust, and afraid to let my guard down. Asking for “help” was something I have never been good at. But I knew in order to heal these were the beginning steps I needed to take.

Beginning my masters degree seemed to be the easiest of all my goals. Finding a good therapist I could trust took 9 months and a few attempts with other therapists. Finding a support group took time, but through multiple searches and not giving up I was able to find Vital Cycles (an amazing support group, that focuses on healing).

Letting my guard down, building a support network, and being open with friends has been one of the biggest challenges I have worked on this past year. I now have friends that I can truly be myself with. I can share about my happiest highs and deepest lows. This has helped my healing, and self-esteem grow tremendously.

As I look back at this year it has not always been easy. However I have seen my healing take dramatic leaps forward.  I have taken challenges that I wouldn’t have taken a few years ago. I have set clear boundaries with people that negatively impact me. I am beginning to create balance in my life. I have put myself and my healing as my first priority.

In 2012 I will continue to grow and heal. I will continue with my masters degree, and also assist with growing Vital Cycles. I need to maintain my boundaries with my family, surround myself with positive people, and work on what I can change and accept the things I can’t. I hope to return to working full time,when I’m able.

Each day I heal, I become stronger and happier.

Happy New Year Everyone 🙂

Kerry

 

Find out more about Vital Cycles and a group near you!

Feeling like a grinch when people tell you to be merry

Grinch that Christmas

Acceptance: We honor all emotions and memories.

This healing principle can be especially important during the holiday season. If you’re like me, sometimes everyone around me seems to be saying that I should be “merry”, “it’s the happiest time of the year”, etc., and yet I feel like saying “bah humbug! it’s the hardest time of the year”.  I used to just want to avoid the whole darn thing. I never thought of mixing family and Christmas was a present for me.

To be honest, I still don’t mix the two. Now I spend time with “family of choice”. Dear friends who give me the space to feel whatever “coal in the socking” feelings I many be feeling at the moment. I choose now to spend time with those folks who are fun, relaxed and don’t make me want to run screaming from the house.

I now create my own holiday that works for me.

Here’s a toast to living having a truly merry holiday!

Bob Faw

Make the holidays happy

Create your family

December is here and the hustle and bustle of the holidays are in full swing. Lights are being hung, holiday music is being played, family and friends are gathering, and gifts are being bought. Some people look forward to this time of year, while others either feel like a holiday “Grinch” or simply look forward to the holidays being over. If you love the holidays, despise them, or are in between you’re not alone. In fact for many people this time of year is quite painful.

For myself I feel holidays tend to highlight the importance of family and being together. In my own life, family doesn’t equal being loved, accepted, and supported. It has equaled being abused, feeling rejected, and living with a hole in my heart. It’s why this time of year can be so difficult not only for myself, but also for others that have experienced trauma. Memories can surface, and the feelings of sadness, anger, rejection, and hurt can easily be triggered.

Family can be one of the biggest triggers for many that are healing from trauma, thus it is why it’s important to remember to take care of yourself! You are the one that knows yourself best, and knows what works for you. For myself I journal, I enjoy doing art, and love to cook. My cat Chloe can always put a smile on my face and spending time with friends keeps me feeling upbeat.

There have been many things I’ve learned about myself over the last year; however the greatest of all has been the need to DISTANCE myself from my family. In order to heal, be happy, and reach my goals, I can’t put myself in a situation that is constantly re-traumatizing, no matter how much I love them. Distancing myself has not been easy, (especially during the holidays). Who doesn’t want to feel loved by their own mother? These feelings I believe are completely normal for anyone to have. The difference this year is that I’m beginning to accept that as much as I may want my family’s love and acceptance, the reality of me getting it, is slim to none. By beginning to accept this, I have opened myself up to creating my own “family”, the family I’ve always wanted. My “family” which I’ve created for myself is made up of friends. It’s full of love, support, and unconditional acceptance. It’s filled with hugs, laughter, and quality time together. It’s about cherishing one another for who they are and being thankful for what you have. Family I’ve learned is what you make it. For me my family no longer needs to be defined by “blood relatives”. I’ve created my family with the people who love me for who I am. This Christmas will be in some ways very sad for me, but in other ways very special. I will have a holiday that is full of friends that I love and am thankful for. For the first time in 28 years I won’t feel the need to “pretend” or be “on guard”. For the first time I will have a holiday that is actually about spending time with loved ones and having a good time which is something very important to me.

I hope by sharing a piece of myself will help someone this holiday season. This time of year is not easy for many of us. Beginning new traditions and breaking out of old patterns takes time and being gentle with ourselves. I personally love volunteering and get a sense of fulfillment by helping others. One holiday season a few friends and I went and sang Christmas carols at a children’s hospital and handed out teddy bears. Another year I visited an animal shelter and donated my old towels and played with the animals. Whatever helps you during this time of year DO IT! Bake those chocolate chip cookies, or take a warm bubble bath. Take a hike through the woods. Reach out to a friend or loved one and remember you are not alone this holiday season. Come to a Vital Cycles meeting, share with others how you’re doing as well as what helps you this time of year.

make these the best holidays you’ve ever had,

Kerry Humes

Vital Cycles Blog October 2011

Empowerment:

We shape our own healing process choosing what best serves us.”

 

            In this Vital Cycles healing principle it states, “As we build self-awareness, we discover there are many ways we can begin to meet our needs. It’s vital we become expert in discovering what works for us and adapting it to fit. After all, we are the only ones who can truly know what is best working for us.”

The key word in this quote is “adapting”. There are waxes and wanes, in what one is drawn to at any given time in one’s life to assist one’s growth and recovery.

We are where we are. Where we are today, may or may not differ from yesterday or tomorrow.

As we learn and grow we meet supportive people on the same path. Some have healing methods which may be new to us, while others may be familiar; and therefore, more “comfortable” or secure feeling.

The literature on this principle also encourages the use of one’s own intuition to be one’s guide to decide which methods to embrace, and which to put aside (perhaps for another day and time).

Part of “choosing what best serves us” is acknowledging, what no longer serves us; even if it did sometime in the past.

Being a support to others on the road of recovery sometimes requires honoring another person’s exploration of a method which we might consider a part of our personal “past”.  If and when we are able to do so; we honor our own healing journey as well.

The literature also states, ‘The better we shape our healing process the more empowered we are. The more empowered we are the better we can shape our healing process.” The key to shaping or forming the healing process is found in the choices we make.

It is through our choices, and recognition of our ability to make decisions, which empowers us.

May we all be empowered to strive towards healing and thriving!

Heather Hood

Welcome to the Vital Cycles blog!

If you want emotional healing that also brings more joy in your life, you belong with us.

We’re excited to continuously improve our programs and materials to include the latest research from Positive Psychology, Solution Focus Therapy, Internal Family Systems, cutting-edge brain science, etc. There are constantly new discoveries, ideas and tools emerging to help us heal more easily, quickly and smoothly.

Many people find great help in peer support environments. Come join (or start) a support group, or healing retreat, and find out if it will be a good fit for you.

Regardless of what healing paths you choose, we wish you the best on your healing journey.

The Vital Cycles Board of Directors and volunteers.


 

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