Trigger Points Anthology: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting Book

This is the first book for and by adults traumatized as children geared specifically towards the experiences of parenting.
What I call break-the-cycle parenting.
And it’s available next month!!!trigger points
It includes essays from over twenty men and women survivor parents with children of all ages. 
It’s the heart-brain child of Dawn White Daum and Joyelle Brandt who met in September of 2014 after Dawn wrote about raising a daughter as a survivor in Scary Mommy entitled Raising a Girl as a Survivor.
They had not met or been friends. They found each other through words.
Words shared that made them feel less alone.
Glorious words.

They joined forces to create a book. Why?


Because Dawn and Joyelle had each searched bookstores and online for resources that don’t exist on topics such as:

“parenting as a survivor”
“parent triggers”
“support for parents who had abusive childhoods”
“break-the-cycle parenting”
 “support for survivor parents”
And found NOTHING.
I did this too.
People are doing this all of the time.
It’s a depressing search. Maybe the topic is touched on in a chapter. Maybe there’s a mention in a larger book. Maybe a clinical book takes on the issue. But there’s nothing FOR us. There’s nothing for, by and to us as survivors in the parenting role.
Nothing that is honest, practical and helpful. Even less that is memoir, written, produced and made by survivor parents.
Nothing helpful or practical for parents who are parenting and weren’t parented well.
That’s changing. Finally.

Now, there will be a book to take to bed, to therapy or to share with a lover or partner. Now, survivors who parent will feel less alone and have the chance to connect with others who share the same experiences.

This is a triumph over shame too.
We parent survivors have joined together and we aren’t writing with distance or hiding behind titles or professional labels but speaking openly and honestly as parents in this situation.
Which is part of the reason Dawn and Joyelle self-published. So they would have creative control and get a book out that survivors believe would most help other survivors.
Where we share.
And tell.
And share the truth and the challenges as well as the joys even though it’s about two vulnerable topics.
  1. Parenting.
  2. Childhood abuse and how it impacts us.
We share about parenting without a road map, without a default setting we can lean into, rely on and be supported by.
We share it because it’s what we needed – still need.
We share about creating new patterns, traditions and ways of being, responding, emoting and interacting. And how this is done while breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect and dysfunction.
It’s nice to know others have been there or “get it” and are doing the same work.
These two survivor created the book they wanted, needed, craved and deserved. And in the process they found others.
LOTS AND LOTS OF OTHERS. They helped create an online community too. (…ntsAnthology?fref=ts)
Just this week parents have been talking about if, when and how to share being a survivor of abuse. What’s age appropriate? What’s necessary? What’s helpful or hurtful?
These questions are not easy or intuitive to answer.
But they are important.

There aren’t a lot of articles on if-when and how to tell your kid ‘Mommy has PTSD’ or ‘Grampy isn’t safe. And why. 

In fact, there are more resources for talking to your child about terrorism than a parents trauma history. Guess which one is more likely to directly impact their life?

So we joined our voices, speaking for ourselves and also collectively to listen to each other.
We’re bearing witness, honoring and acknowledging what parenting as a survivor takes.
I believe we break the cycle of abuse, in part, by breaking silence and by talking about the things that impact us: fears of pregnancy, childbirth, repeating the cycle, passing on crazy, the impact of going off drugs while pregnant or deciding to stay on drugs because of the risk of PTSD combined with post-partum depression are too great or about co-sleeping, breastfeeding, discipline, boundaries, managing self care and all the triggers. And family of origin issues. It’s not like we ever stop being related to the people who raised us.
And that’s just me.
It’s important stuff. We share how it feels to learn what we didn’t experience enough of: attachment parenting, healthy boundaries, understanding feelings, attunement, learning the difference between symptoms and feelings or how to nurture without overcompensating or while dealing with anxiety or chronic illness.
Crucial stuff.
This is a book a that honors the journey, the process, the challenges as well as sweet moments of love where safety is savored and joy, health and love shared. We can share about the times we found parenting easier than expected or more rewarding than we’d every dreamed. The miracle moments and full-hearted love.
The celebratory stuff.
And how hard won it is.
And the practical stuff too.
Websites, tips, helpful advice and practical resources that other real survivor parents have utilized. Tested. And we help build the community. Contributors sharing names, stories, writing, advocating and personal experiences of parenting while parenting.
There’s joy, power and strength without avoiding the pain or triggers. The sad and hard stuff when we are not doing as well as we’d like. The bittersweet realization that it really wasn’t our fault because we feel and see how vulnerable, dependent and helpless are children are – and we once were.
How intense the pressure can be to parent well because we know the lifelong difference it can make. How that knowledge is wonderful. And terrifying.
The ache to for what we didn’t have in our childhoods so we could have provided more if it for our children from their very beginning. And also gratitude for all we have learned and do give and how we are able to love, securely.
This is one book with ALL OF THIS ALL IN ONE PLACE!
These two ferocious women started something amazing.
It’s astounding how little we have had until now.
They gave us all more.
I hope it’s the first of countless other books and resources. I hope the resources that already exist can be culled and collected and made easily available to other survivor parents who need them.
So when they search Google for information, support and help they find more than we did.
I hope they find The Trigger Points Anthology. Right away. I’m so proud to be a part of this book, a part of theTrigger Points Anthology community too.
I’m hopeful that other parents doing the sacred work of parenting and healing (at the same time) find this as the solace I do.
Perhaps professionals will be able to offer it to those they work with as well to help remind people how so very NOT ALONE they are? Maybe this will encourage those of us who are ready to talk despite how little talk there still is at playgroups or parks or on play dates?
You are not broken

For others deeply concerned about adverse childhood experiences and their lifelong impact on adults a this is a work you need to know about.

It’s available next month, right before Thanksgiving.
Any survivor knows how brutal the stretch from Thanksgiving through the New Year can be.
This would make a great gift for someone.
Likely, it will be a book survivor can give to his or her loved ones and say, “This. Here. Yeah.”
I’ve never met a survivor needing to recount, blow by blow, every bad memory though much therapy can focus in that direction. What we want, what we need, what we crave is the tools and information and support to live all of the hours outside of therapy where we work, go to school, have lovers, friends and are in families.
And are raising kids in families of our own.
P.S. PLEASE SHARE ANY RESOURCES FOR CHILDHOOD ABUSE SURVIVORS or pass them on to the Trigger Points community.

You Matter Mantras

  • Trauma sucks. You don't.
  • Write to express not to impress.
  • It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
  • Breathing isn't optional.

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