Recognizing Pervasive, Poisonous Power in Marriage

by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch The Shepherd “There are two kinds of power. One kills the spirit. The other nourishes the spirit. The first is Power Over. The other is Personal Power. Power Over shows up as control and dominance. Personal Power shows up as mutuality and co-creation. Mutuality is a way of being with a person which promotes the growth and well-being of one's self and the other person by means of clear communication and empathetic understanding. Co-creation is a consciously shared participation in life which helps one reach one's goals.” … [Read more...]

The Stages of Trauma in the Flowers of Spring: Daffodils Forgotten

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission I grew up in a house that stood at the edge of a small plateau on the incline of a mountain. It was bordered by unoccupied wooded acreage that sloped down behind it. In the spring, the forsythia and the azaleas bloomed in our yard, but we had no daffodils. Down in the woods behind the house however, daffodils poked their heads above the crisp, brown leaves that had covered them all winter. Nineteen plants grew there within twenty feet of the edge of our land on the hill as it rolled downward toward the city. … [Read more...]

Safe Expectations as the Safest Place in Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and  used with permission I used this quote a short time ago, but I read something that brought it to my mind again. There is so much truth to the saying that “we learn what we live.” Alice Miller makes that fact so clear for us by explaining why people who have been hurt often repeat the same tactics that were used against them. But how does this relate to feeling safer? … [Read more...]

A Watershed Moment in Stage One of Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission The message in this meme from The Mighty website speaks so well about how trauma pervades one's life, feelings, and sense of self. I found it to be essential to my own healing, and I often wonder why no one had said this to me much earlier. I'd been to counselors many times before, worked at my recovery, and read about everything I could find. Why didn't someone tell me this during one of my first few visits? … [Read more...]

Balancing Hope and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace and part of her series on healing.All images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission. During the last year in a spiritually abusive Shepherding-Discipleship church, I developed all sorts of allergies, partly because of how my body voiced what I could not through new, more intense illness, and partly because of the general hard toll that trauma took on my immune system. Two physicians recommended that I see a hypnotherapist, but I didn't feel comfortable with the idea. … [Read more...]

Desire for and Illusions of Safety in Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace used with permission.The previous post listed many factors that increase our vulnerability to people who are not safe for us, but what is probably more difficult is that subconscious impulse to gravitate to people who are unsafe. This comes from a complicated mix of many things, most of which are based on feeling in addition to our lack of good experience with healthy people who could have modeled better relationship skills for us. We end up figuring much of this out through trial and error. … [Read more...]

Psychological Socialism – Manipulating by Equalizing Blame

by Virginia Knowles cross posted from her blog Watch the ShepherdWhat is “psychological socialism”?  I’m so glad you asked!  It’s a term I coined a few years ago as rough concept after reading a friend's Facebook status (more on that later). Since then, I’ve done a lot of research on abusive and unhealthy interpersonal dynamics.  What I’ve read about and heard from others is enough to make my hair stand on end, but it gave me a lot of material to finally write this article! … [Read more...]

Vulnerability and Safety in Stage One Recovery

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission One might think that the first stage of healing from trauma involves recounting tragic circumstances, but it is actually about creating a safe place with safe people who can help you heal. In the previous post, I described a situation that I had with a counselor who I don't believe understood trauma very well and didn't use an approach that was helpful for me. … [Read more...]

Trusting a Therapist in Stage One of Healing

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission My husband and I once took in a few feral kittens. He says that it took three years before they would let him touch them. I saw this meme today and thought of the good therapists and the not so good ones that I've seen. It is no easy job to develop trust with a feral cat, and in many ways, I think that traumatized people have much in common with them.  We have forgotten how to trust, and we need someone with great patience to help us remember and learn if we ever knew how to have healthy trust to being with. … [Read more...]

Deciding to Get Help After Trauma

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceAll images by Cindy Kunsman of Under Much Grace and used with permission At some point, for most people, the stress of their trauma alters their lives significantly enough that they reach out for help. It was no light thing for me to seek it myself.  The expense alone can be enough to keep people from seeking assistance … [Read more...]


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