Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

Childhood Trauma Affects Your Entire Life

This. This is the piece of the puzzle from my childhood that I've been missing. This. This is the secret I've been hiding behind my smile. This. This is what countless children and adults in every zip code, every corner of your life face while navigating learning, relationships, careers, and even their long-term health.  Exposure to adversity in childhood by trauma or chronic stress actually changes our physiology, affects our brain development, and even alters our body's transcription of DNA. Childhood trauma does NOT just go away as we grow up. As an elementary teacher for fifteen years, yes, I have lived, experienced the hardships trauma and chronic stress cause for a child. I have seen children struggle to learn, battle for impulse-control, toil to maintain friendships, all while suffering tummy aches, headaches, lack of sleep. But that's not the end of their struggle. These children left my classroom, having learned to read and add and subtract.  But what about their tummy aches, headaches, and chronic deprivation of sleep?  What happened to those beautiful...
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Take Back the “Function” from “Dysfunction”

Take Back the “Function” from “Dysfunction”

I spent years reliving the dysfunction in my past. So much so, that I was unable to grow emotionally. And then I saw this sign in a local coffee shop: I just had to have it, because it exemplified everything that held me back in my relationships, my profession, my life. Let Go to Grow I have successfully survived post-traumatic stress, transitioning to post-traumatic growth.  My dysfunction of suppressing the truth for years kept me trapped in a dissociative state where I knew the truth, but no one else acknowledged it, making me feel silenced, powerless.  Angry.  Until I finally spoke up in trauma therapy, opening the door to my prison of silence.  And I let it go. Function from Dysfunction By reading the text of my past aloud in trauma therapy, it allowed my mind to close that chapter, freeing it of the re-reading I had been doing to try to make sense of the dysfunction that I had survived.  The new chapters of my life are written by...
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Move Forward for a Better Life

Move Forward for a Better Life

I suffer from chronic inflammation and haven’t been able to identify the cause. Sometimes my joint pain is so bad that it hurts to bend my fingers or even walk. But, strangely enough, when I begin moving in the morning, though painful, I feel relief from my symptoms. At noon it is merely an annoyance, and by dinnertime my pain is gone completely. The days I remain stationary, resting my joints to allow healing, the pain doesn’t subside, but gets worse. It made me realize that when life’s challenges seem to be at their worst, moving forward, though uncomfortable, can lead you to a better place. Cheers to shifting your reality past our obstacles! ...
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Negative Perception Leads to Failure

Negative Perception Leads to Failure

“If you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”Henry Ford said that, and he left quite a mark on history.  Sometimes we justify a negative perception of ourselves, our capabilities as being “realistic”. But then, why waste your time even trying? The limit is in your mind only - eliminate negative perceptions. My son spent a week at Camp Woodward, an X Games type sports camp for his BMX trick riding, and my husband and I were speechless when we visited on the last day to see all that he had learned.  After a week with state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside professionals of the sport, he showed us the trick he mastered, No Hands. Yes, I wrote trick. A week.  At camp. Speechless. Dream it, you can achieve it.Reuniting with my son unearthed a lot of information, and insecurities.  It turns out that he put pressure on himself to appear successful, like the pros he was watching.  He told himself that if he couldn't do a trick...
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What’s in Your Forecast?

What’s in Your Forecast?

The Beast.  The best wooden rollercoaster I have ever met.  Each time I ride it, I relive the exhilaration from my childhood - being terrified as it raced me in and out of tunnels, through the woods, clinking, clanging every swoosh, every drop, every turn.  I couldn't have been more proud, more honored than when my tween son declared The Beast his favorite rollercoaster as well.  (Now that I have two "teens", my opinions are rarely seen as 'cool'.)  My son wants to spend any chance he can at our local amusement park, Kings Island, so I take him whenever I can.  But on opening weekend this year, the weather forecast was dismal - 80% chance of thunderstorms.  If you don't live in the Midwest, you might not realize that thunderstorms in the spring can also bring tornadoes.  Not something I wanted to chance, being out in the wide open with large metal structures and an almost positive likelihood of...
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When You Are Down, Go Up

When You Are Down, Go Up

Change is not always easy, but the obstacles we face today make us stronger for tomorrow. As Micah faces the challenge of making new friends at his new school, I brought him back to an old favorite in his new town. This gem was inside an old school building and reminded Micah of all his strength, courage, and perseverance. Keep your spirits up Micah, and the sky's the limit....
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Keep Your Gaze up to the Sun

Keep Your Gaze up to the Sun

I woke up from a very bad dream early this morning, and it put a heavy cloud on my heart.  Although I recognized the nightmare to be just that; a nightmare, I couldn't shake the strange sense of cloudiness over my day.  Nothing from the bad dream was real, but by mid-morning I was still caught in the grasp of the anxious emotions the dream had evoked.  What should an anxious soul do?  Walk.  Breathe in the beauty.  And seek the companionship of another soul. I had difficulty keeping the walking pace of my friend as I struggled with the gloominess that engulfed my mind.  I kept my gaze down, steady on my heavy feet, not able to lift myself to her stride.   I desperately wanted to shake this cloud, lighten my load, so I shared my anxious thoughts with her along that walking path.  Thoughts.  Stirred awake by my nightmare last night.  The same thoughts I have guarded day after day.  The thoughts that have been weighing me down,...
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