This is everything I wish someone would have told me as a survivor and I want to share it with you. I never thought I would go to the police. I never thought I would feel the way I felt before. I never thought I would reclaim my power and forgive. I’ve done all of those things now. It wasn’t an easy road but I have walked it. For most of my life I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me, but I knew something wasn’t right. It took almost 33 years before I was able to say it out loud. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by my father. Getting “better” started with me realizing I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t remember a time when I was truly happy, or where I felt entirely safe. It didn’t matter how safe or happy my life was. I was constantly feeling like I was getting ready to escape. Sometimes I was suicidal. Most times I was just really good at wearing a mask that I wanted everyone to see. Who was under that mask, I didn’t feel anyone would want to look at her. She was broken and dirty.
I had to sit facing the door wherever I was. I needed to know how I would get out if I needed to from any situation. I had trouble with flying on planes. Certain smells would make me feel dizzy and nauseous. I tried to maintain power and control in every situation I could. That’s what I learned to do to survive. My experiences in childhood weren’t the only experiences I had.
Unfortunately once you have a trauma such as this, it’s as if we vibrate as prey. It was sometimes like I was a magnet for creeps.
I’d gone to traditional therapists through the course of my life. I’d done some body work. It would help in the moment, but it was I felt like I couldn’t contain the emotions to even begin to talk about them. I didn’t have the capacity. It was like carrying around 1000 extra pounds. Then one day, through a series of synchronicities, that all changed.
I heard about something called a ‘soul retrieval’. I understood it to be a restoration of power. It was a ceremony performed by a shamanic practitioner. I understood it to be through the use of percussion. By that point, I was ready to try anything and I thought worst case scenario, a light worker works on me for an hour or so and that’s not a bad thing. Best case scenario, things improve.
The latter happened. It was as if I was reminded who I was at my core. That feeling of being broken and dirty began to fall away. I began to devour Sandra Ingerman’s book “Soul Retrieval.” I realized something as I was reading it. Sandra Ingerman is psychotherapist who in searching for a solution to dissociation, found that Shamanic healing practices that are tens of thousands of years old (and found in every culture around the globe) provided an answer.
As human beings we are mind, body and energy/spirit. We have a body, a mind and a soul. When we go through a trauma. We experience physical impacts, mental impacts, emotional impacts but we also experience energetic impacts. This can result in anxiety, depression, addiction, and disorders such as PTSD. Typically survivors also describe not being able to do the things they could do before, that they don’t feel the same way they did after the experience.
Sometimes we are medicated, or we go to traditional therapy. Sometimes we do body work, trauma release exercises – but what was missing from the equation for me was the energy work. I simply didn’t have the capacity to feel better. I didn’t have the capacity to process my feelings because I simply didn’t have the energy store.
If you imagine energy is like water, and we as human beings are the vessel. As we experience trauma, illness etc. in our lives we can feel and experience that we somehow have less energy. The Shamanic answer to this is called soul loss, or power loss. The idea that some of the energy in your body actually leaves us during severe trauma and shock and that through ceremony a shamanic practitioner can work to help restore any energy that was lost due to pain, trauma or illness. It made total sense to me, and It worked for me.
It enabled me to go back to traditional therapy, do outpatient sessions with the head of the women’s program at CAMH in Toronto, receive a formal diagnosis of PTSD but it also enabled me to do things I never intended to do, such as forgive my father, try to seek justice, speak out about my story but most importantly. I received a clear calling to practice as a shamanic practitioner. I’ve spent the majority of my life and career as an executive producer. I am an entrepreneur, but i’m also a witch. Making things happen as an executive producer is not much different than working with healing clients. I am here in service to help bring dreams into reality.
Working with survivors of trauma is the most important work I’ve done in my life. It’s better than any of the awards I’ve won, or the campaign results I’ve helped bring to brands. It is life changing and fills me full of happiness and wonder. I never thought I’d feel those things again. I never thought I’d be able to put down my fear. That I’d be able to confront my abuser. Those things aren’t for everyone, they only became goals for me when I got better. I realized I could, so I did.
I was lucky that I found the right mix of modalities to help me heal and reclaim my power. I told my story before #MeToo. It was terrifying but it allowed survivors to find me and for me to find them. In the last few weeks it’s been really challenging for so many survivors. So many of us don’t get the justice from the system that we deserve. I was moved to write because I want every survivor to know. You do not have to stay in the place they brought you to. You do not need to feel broken, stuck, or that you don’t feel like you’re the same person you were before. We are the ones with the power. It is ours to reclaim. When we work in collaboration with the energy that fuels us we can reclaim our joy, our love, our wonder and ourselves.
I’ve walked through the underworld many times, I am here to help guide you out if you need me. You do not have to do this alone. Remember you are three parts. Mind, Body and Spirit. Each part of you matters and each part of you deserves to hold all of your light.
They were the moths, you are the flame. Light that torch.
Let’s light up the dark.