It’s hard, but not impossible for us as childhood trauma survivors to free ourselves of shame, blame and pain. The one thing we must do is find our voice. We must take back our power and tell our story. First to ourselves (journaling is a powerful tool), then to a compassionate, trusted witness (therapy or coaching with me will support this). Then if you feel called, publicly to help others. Survivors feel validated, and understood when you tell your story.

‘We don’t let toxic people tell us who we are anymore.’ Patrick Teahan 

My inner child has already told her story as Ruby Wildheart in Stuck Between Two Worlds.  I’ve sat with hundreds of lovely Wildhearts, old and young while they’ve told me their stories. Most of them are recovering from bullying, abuse and cruel mistreatment at the hands of people who claim to love them. It’s a privilege to be the keeper of their stories. I am not a stranger to the comfort it brings, and am grateful for the friends, therapists and strangers who have patiently listened to me.

To be seen and heard is to be loved.

Yet it takes so much courage to speak the unspeakable, to give a voice to deep dark secrets and free ourselves of the shame, blame and pain that we carry. Many of us have been silenced, threatened and are terrified of the fallout if we were to speak up. This is not without good reason because abusers or toxic types rob us of our voice. Finding our authentic voice and working out what has happened to us is an on-going process. It takes time and patience as we slowly unravel. Only last weekend, on a Gestalt Therapy creative writing course, I wrote this poem.

Barbed Wire Blame

Keep out! Go away…far far away!
We are not listening, to what you have to say.
Your words they sting, the pain cuts too deep,
Unearths places we fear, where dark monsters sleep.
We’ve put up this fence, to keep us all safe,
From the harm that you do by showing your face.
It’s made of barbed wire, all prickly and sharp
To remind you it’s your fault, you’re breaking our hearts.

On the two day course, I put pen to paper and learned some easy but powerful journaling techniques. The course was based on free-fall writing which is sometimes referred to as our stream of consciousness or ‘Morning Pages’ by the fabulous Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

The creative process is fascinating and magical. I’m still amazed at what wants to come through. The heart knows what the heart wants. I still have to remind myself to trust the process after all these years. It’s the same process that happens when you’re healing. It takes on an energy of its own and if you follow the breadcrumbs, the path will lead you back home.

Home to you where your truth lives. 

At Journal in your Jammies (my free monthly workshop and community space for Wildhearts), I teach free-fall writing as an outlet for your mental clutter. You simply write out the voice in your head. I highly recommend it for getting your worries and fears out on paper. It takes their power away and frees up more space inside of you. The magic part is that after you’ve been scribbling for a while, you must keep your pen moving across the page, your energy shifts. It drops down into a much deeper place. These words I wrote came straight from my heart. This is where you find the truth. This is what you must express if you want to heal, no matter how painful or ugly.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

― Gospel of Thomas

Dealing with Unfinished Business.

We don’t always need to express our inner most thoughts and feelings to the person we have unfinished business with. Sometimes, it’s too late. They’ve crossed the rainbow bridge. Sometimes we swallow it down because it doesn’t feel safe. Sometimes we carry the pain because we’ve been conditioned to be the wrong one or we’re overly responsible. We blame ourselves and we say sorry when we don’t mean it, or to keep the peace.

This is standard practice in toxic families, where the rule is to not talk about it, to not feel and to brush it all under the rug. Don’t make a fuss. Don’t cause any trouble. Whatever you do, don’t put the responsibility back where it belongs because you see, abusers are never accountable.

It’s bloody inconvenient when you start telling the truth. They can’t control you when you start running your mouth off. Keep talking ……. you’re doing great!!

Tell your story, let it out!

When we put pen to paper, we set ourselves free. We get it off our chest and hear our true voice for the first time.

I believe you. You know the truth and that’s all that matters. They are NEVER (well, it’s very unlikely) going to call you up and say they are sorry. They can’t. It’s too painful for them to acknowledge their part. They need to blame you to feel better about themselves. 

When I shared my poem with a course participant, she accurately observed, ‘This connection sounds so painful.’ When asked to give me an image for my words, she said, ‘Barbed wire.’ I looked up the meaning of barbed wire and it originated in the criminal world. Prisoners used it to count their time outside of freedom: each spike symbolised one year of imprisonment.

This poem is the calling card of the family Scapegoat. I’ve previously written about the toxic family system and roles we play. I explore this in more detail in my inner child healing circle. It’s the classic projections of a toxic parent onto a child. The Scapegoat is the parent’s emotional dustbin or punchbag. The child is made to feel like they are the problem and are somehow deserving of the mistreatment, when the truth is that the child needs a barbed wire fence to protect it from this parent’s cruel and heartless ways. The child is also imprisoned in the parents’ insane and warped reality and must sacrifice their true self to survive.

In the mind of the toxic parent, they are the eternal victim believing that if it wasn’t for the Scapegoat child who they deem rude, difficult and unruly (read: won’t be controlled or buy into their toxic BS) that the family would be perfect. Nobody and nothing in this world is perfect.

Let’s be clear, a child cannot be a perpetrator. By the time a childhood trauma survivor goes into healing, they have been cruelly and covertly bullied by their family for years. They also know something is desperately wrong, but they think that it’s them! 

It isn’t you! I promise you. It wasn’t your fault.

Recently, a well-meaning spiritual type told me I had to stop blaming my parents and let them go. For survivors, forgiveness is the last thing on our list while we slowly crawl back to life, desperately trying to soothe our nervous system which feels like a war raging within. We don’t need this moral superior finger wagging. What we actually need is more understanding, more love, more encouragement, more empathy and more compassion. We need somebody to believe us, so that we can believe ourselves.

Why is society so quick to defend toxic parents and blame the adult child? It’s dysfunctional and enables the abuse.

In what world would a child want to cut off the very person who made them? A dysfunctional one that enables abusers.

I have taken full responsibility for my healing and made it my mission in life to heal and help others heal. I’m proud of that. I’m not doing it perfectly. I’ve hurt people along the way, but mostly myself. I’m not going to let this crap define me. I’m not here to take any more of it. They tell me ‘I’m pushing away the people who love me.’ When the truth is that I’ve drawn boundaries to protect myself. I’m not here to withhold my love and punish anybody. No far from it. Again that is projection. In fact, I’m usually blaming, shaming and punishing myself. I’m here to love from a distance, from behind that fence where I feel safe and protected. It’s called discernment.

Discernment = The Ability to Judge Well

Not all judgement is negative or toxic. You see, it’s not about blaming parents but it’s about holding them accountable whilst understanding where they’ve come from. Through decades of healing, I can hold both those realities. If you can’t do it now, don’t judge yourself. There is a lot of crap to work through, but it is possible.

Their abusive childhoods are tragic too, but it doesn’t excuse their abuse of you. When a child tells a parent that they are hurting, the parent doesn’t get to decide if that’s true or how much. Sometimes, I have compassion for the wounded child inside of my parents, and I have compassion for the little girl inside of me that took the blame, shame and punishment that was dished out so harshly. Other times, I hate what has happened and I’m frustrated that it can’t be resolved. If I was blaming, I would not have taken responsibility for my life and healed, I would have stayed stuck the eternal victim trapped in my trauma.

I am not trapped, I am free! 

You have the power to set yourself free, but first you must tell your story. Whatever happened to you it’s your story. You own it and you get to decide what the next chapter looks like. Understanding the first chapters of your life will help you work out what happened to you. I can help you with this and want to. Here are the ways you can work with me.

If you’re interested in learning some of these new journaling techniques, check out ‘Journal in your Jammies’, my monthly community workshop for Wildhearts who want to find their inner voice. Here’s a replay of the first workshop 👇 and if you want to join us, be sure to book your tickets here.


Want more self-love & self-compassion and less shame, blame or overwhelm?

Join me for this magical adventure to bring the lost, stuck or frozen parts of you home! ‘The Wildheart Book Club’ is my 6-week healing circle that explores the essence of your inner child through my book Stuck Between Two Worlds. 

It’s for HSPs, cycle breakers, creatives, empaths and intuitives who want to meet their inner child and reconnect to their true self. 

Join me and other like-minded souls on this magical adventure to set yourself free from the past and discover playfulness, creativity and inner peace.

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