Survivors and Addictions

Survivors and Addictions

Athena: Aloha everyone and thank you so much
for tuning in to another week of Trauma Recovery University. I am your host Athena Moberg and with us in
the green room of course is your incredible co-host—Bobbi Parish; and who are we and
are you in the right place? If you are an adult survivor of childhood
abuse specifically childhood sexual abuse you’re in the right place. We show up here every week and we do live
Q&A every Monday—6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern for the global adult survivor of childhood
abuse community. So every single week we answer your questions—you
go ahead and you tweet those and using the hash tag NoMoreShame and we monitor that hash
tag and we answer your questions and every week we have a different topic. So we have three Twitter chats a week: the
first one is at 10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern and then the second one is this one right
here—6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern on Mondays also and then the third Twitter chat is the
original hash tag Sexabusechat with Rachel Thompson and our very own Bobbi Parish started
back in January of 2014. So welcome, welcome if this is your first
time joining us we are so excited that you are here and that you’re reaching out to get
connected with other survivors. This week’s topic is addiction. Wow! A big topic so our adult survivors of childhood
sexual abuse more likely to have addiction or are people who are addicted more likely
to be sexually assaulted— is it both? Is it neither? What is it? What are the correlations between addiction
and childhood abuse? And we’re going to—I’m hacked this big,
big, big topic. We’re going to dispel some myths; we’re going
to unpack some really healthy and practical tips and strategies on how to cope with addiction
and the safest way to tackle any addictions that you might be living with which are coping
strategies to probably numb, avoid, numb or avoid the pain that you have from your years
of childhood sexual abuse whether it was a one-time occurrence or if it was an ongoing
occurrence for years and years whether the abuse was in your family of origin or outside
of your family of origin. We’re going to tackle all of that; we’re going
to interact with you; we’re going to answer your questions and as always, we are just
so excited that you are here. This is the highlight of our entire week and
as a thank you just for being a listener or a viewer or just an awesome survivor, we have
a complementary OnePage downloadable resource that sort of bullet points are topic of the
week—this week’s topic addiction. You can get complimentary access to tonight’s
OnePage downloadable resource along with our whole library on downloadable OnePage resources
by going to one of our websites either or Simply look for a tab that says downloadables;
click on it and you’ll be asked for your email address and you’ll be given immediate access
to like I said not only tonight’s OnePage downloadable resource which should be closer
to the top but our entire library which there are hundreds of them and we’re so excited
that you want access to these valuable resources that will help you—the adult survivor of
child abuse live out your life with intention and purpose and joy and freedom and-and hopefully
happiness and satisfaction and fulfilling relationships and healthier boundaries and-and
you know, sometimes we get caught up in situations with whether it’s a family of origin or just
some wrong thinking or some old behaviors that were taught to us or modeled for us and
we—Bobbi and myself, we exist here on this YouTube channel to help you—the adult survivor
find ways to live out your life in a more healthier way so that you can have the most
healthy and informed trauma recovery possible because the goal is obviously wholeness and
we want to help you recover from your abuse so that you can feel like you are a whole
person and like you’re not this broken or-or just half of a human wandering around just
sort of feeling sort of, you know, we really want you—we really want to support you and
help you to live out your life in a way that brings you joy and peace and satisfaction. So without further ado, I’m going to go ahead
and hand this over to your incredible co-host—Bobbi Parish and I’ll go ahead and take the Twitter
stream for you Ms. Bobbi and thank you so much for being here you guys and letting us
know that you’re finding the resources and that they’re helpful. Take it away, Bobbi. Bobbi: Hi, everybody. It’s good to see you again and have you with
us here tonight talking about the relationship between addictions and childhood abuse. So before we go a deep further, I want to
issue a trigger warning. This broadcast does mention abuse and specifically
sometimes sexual abuse so please practice excellent self-care strategies while you’re
listening and if you become triggered, just shut down the broadcast or turn off the replay
and walk away and take some time for yourself. We really don’t want to be providing information
that triggers you. So if you need to take a break then take a
break by all means and come back when you’re feeling better or maybe this isn’t a topic
that’s helpful to you at all or you need to put up for a while; whatever you need to do,
take care of you. If you are in crisis right now or need help
urgently and you’re in the US, we encourage you to reach out to RAINN—that’s the Rape
Abuse Incest National Network and they are available at 1-800-656-HOPE, H-O-P-E. You can also reach them through their crisis
chat feature which is available 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year on their website
at RAINN— If you are in the UK and you need crisis help,
you can speak to the Samaritans. They run incredible organization providing
crisis intervention to people across the United Kingdom. You can reach them by phone at 116-123. You can reach them by text at 07725909090
or you can e-mail them at Jo, [email protected] If you are in Australia, your national crisis
hotline is 131-114. I still have to memorize that one and as Athena
said tonight we’re talking about addictions and I really want to emphasize that this can
be a topic that is triggering because there is so much shame surrounding the topic of
addictions and for us survivors who already might be carrying a lot of shame from our
childhood abuse stocking more shame on top of it can be not only very triggering but
a very, very heavy burden to carry. So if we have not completely resolved the
shame from our childhood and we add in the shame up in addiction, it can feel crushing
and unfortunately shame can be self-perpetuating especially when it comes to addiction. Its degenerative behavior were become ashamed
that we engage in our addictive behavior that adds to the shame of our abuse and now we
engage in our addictive behavior to numb the shame that we were feeling. Now, can you see it? It just goes around in the cycle. Addictive behavior-shame; added to the shame
of our trauma; addictive behavior that numb the shame-shame and it just, it goes around
and around and around and I really, really, really, really want to hear have everyone
hear me when I say to you that there is never, never a reason that feeling shame is healthy. Shame is never ever a healthy response or
a healthy burden for you to carry. There’s never any reason for you to feel shamed
for any reason, okay? Guilt maybe; guilt is a feeling that you will
have after you have done something that perhaps was a mistake or something you knew that you
shouldn’t have done and that’s supposed to shame. Shame is feeling that we as a person are wrong,
okay? So guilt is that we feel that because we did
something wrong; shame is we feel that because we are wrong. This is never healthy and it’s never anything
we should be carrying around. We have no; we have no shame from our childhood
abuse and we should have no shame from engaging in any kind of addictive behavior as we coped
to survive and we talked about that this morning in chat and I just want to bring it up again
that if you have engaged in some addictive behavior to help cope with the pain of your
childhood abuse, it’s not your fault and you have no reason to feel ashamed about that. Is it your responsibility to fix it? Yeah, it is and that’s not fair because it
wasn’t your fault that it happened and now you have the responsibility to go through
the hard work of having to fix it but if you’re feeling shame about anything that you have
done addictive behavior, just get that away to the curb because that doesn’t belong
to you. Shame never belongs to you so I wanted to
make sure we talked about that before we went any further because otherwise it can be a
very triggering topic to discuss and it can be very hard for us to admit that we have
addictions. Usually when we talk about addictions, people
think alcoholism or substance abuse but there are so many other things that we can become
addicted to. And we talked about few of them this morning
in chat, people talked about different ones but there is everything we can be addicted
to—love, work, exercise, video games, pornography, food—there’s a big one. I read something this morning as I was doing
research that people can become addicted to tanning, right? Did I say the Internet—the Internet; your
phone, it can become addicted to having your phone with you wherever you go. Athena, are there others; other addictions? Athena: People pleasing. Bobbi: There you go. Athena: People pleasing is a huge addiction
you guys. In fact, it’s a deadly one. I happen to know somebody personally who in
order to please their toxic family member who told them they would be a terrible parent
had an abortion because they wanted to be in the good graces of their family member. So they decided to have an abortion in an
effort to please an un-pleasable toxic family member and then all that did was cause them
to feel shame which shame is a component of every single addiction there is. It’s a necessary component like when you are
addicted to something you automatically feel like you want to, you-you regret what it is
that you did and you want to hide and you shame yourself or you’re shamed by others
and it all is just a circle in a circle in a circle in a circle in a circle in a circle. You do the behavior; you feel guilty about
it; you want to hide; you want to run; you shame yourself in order to numb that pain
that the shame causes you do the behavior and then you feel horrible and then you want
to hide and then you shame yourself and in order to numb the shame, you do the thing
and then it just goes around and around. So people-pleasing is much the same way and
I am a recovering people pleaser addict person. In fact, I still fall into people pleasing
behavior. It’s easy for me to do if someone that I meet;
it’s almost like there’s a chemical response in some way if someone is familiar like the
way they behave or the way they communicate is familiar to me in a way that my toxic family
of origin communicated or bullied or sort of like the same like posture about them or
the way that they form their words or the way that they ask very pointed-pointed questions
that are not real questions and they’re not even rhetorical questions. They are questions that can only garner a
response that would cause me to feel ashamed—that is one of my abusers. My main abusers primary mode of communication
that is asking questions that can only garner a response that would make me look bad and
would cause me to feel ashamed and so then I get on the treadmill of people pleasing
trying to be on that treadmill so that I can please that person so that I don’t feel as
crappy as I felt a moment before when they asked me that question. So the way to get pass that—a people pleasing
addiction is a little bit different. There are twelve-step programs. There are twelve step programs for people
pleasing. It’s called Coda—codependent anonymous. Codependency is-is the overarching. Bobbi, what’s the word? You’re my brain. Codependency is the end result of people pleasing
like its, people pleasing is one of the ingredients of-of codependency is what I’m saying. They’re not; they’re not synonymous. Bobbi: Yes. Athena: They’re not synonymous but it’s
difficult for someone to be codependent if they are not already people pleasing. Bobbi: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Athena: Yeah! So people pleasing’s one of them, you guys. Pornography, sex—we talked a lot about sex
during currency; during-during chat this morning. When we were, when we are groomed as children,
many of us were taught that sort of sex or sort of sultry behavior or like just that
flirtatiousness or that—that attention seeking behavior is just a way of life. That’s like that’s how you live; that’s how
you got what you needed; that’s how you got safety; that’s how you got clothing; that’s
how you got attention; that’s how you got food; that’s-that’s how you live and then…
so that becomes an addiction which you end up then feeling really ashamed of and then
to cope with how shameful that feels you find something else to be addicted to, you know,
like over exercising or controlling your calories or… I know people who like Bobbi was mentioning
earlier—they get really into working out and then working out isn’t enough so they
decided they’re going to take just a couple of steroids or like you know do some Protein
powder. They start with the keratin and the protein
powder first which is totally healthy and good and legal and then they like slip into
some other stuff and then they see someone who’s a little bit bigger and a little bit
more cut and a little bit more ripped and they start asking some questions and they
start Googling some stuff and then they-they find this website and it’s in Canada and they’re
like, “Well, can I get away with this?” and it’s just, it’s a slippery slope, you
guys, like seriously. It’s a slippery slope addiction but while
we, while Bobbi and I are here to clearly communicate to you that we don’t want you
needlessly shaming yourself for the addiction itself. We also are standing here firmly and exhorting
you and encouraging you to take responsibility for your actions. The addiction in and of itself is not your
fault because it happened as a result of your abuse and it is a coping strategy should numb
or avoid your pain. However, the result of her addiction could
be destroyed relationships or like myself I can only speak for me—destroyed immune
system; destroyed body and Colin… I mean I was… not only did I, not only did
I control my calories and I got it down to just a few hundred calories a day but I would
only eat foods that were nonfat and I would only eat foods that had, you know, this many
calories in them. I would only eat this-this many times per
day and then that wasn’t enough. I slipped into from anorexia. I … anorexia turn into bulimia but I wasn’t
brave like the other girls that grow up. I wasn’t brave enough to throw up because
my mom made very; made very clear to me that I wasn’t allowed to ruin my teeth because-because
she spent money on my teeth and if I did anything to ruin my teeth I’d be really sorry and so
what I do—I saved up on money went bought some laxatives. So then while I was controlling my calorie
that took me some laxatives and I then of it came to-to the point where I couldn’t eat
any food without taking laxatives because I couldn’t get skinny enough. Skinny wasn’t enough. I could see my ribs; I could see the bones
in my legs but I wasn’t skinny and I was fat. So, it and then I felt ashamed about that
and so I found something else to be addicted to just like I never dealt with the real issue
until years later—many years later. So I’m responsible for the reprecautions;
I’m responsible for the damaged body and damaged body parts that I have as a result of my addiction. I’m also responsible for the damage relationships
that I have and it’s my responsibility to-to address those things even though the addiction
itself and what I and what I fell into wasn’t necessarily my fault because it was a result
of my childhood abuse and exploitation and sexual abuse and all kinds of other forms
of abuse wasn’t my fault but it was my responsibility to-to take responsibility for my actions and
to make healthy choices. So there’s little tough love for myself—wasn’t
fun. Huh, Bobbi? It’s never fun; tough love’s never fun. Bobbi: It’s never fun; it’s never fun
but I think we have the right to feel angry about that injustice. Athena: Oh! Yes. Bobbi: That we were treated in such a way
that in order to cope; we turn to something that was so dysfunctional that it had the
capacity to take out our entire life and there-there’s no addiction that’s healthy. You know, I don’t think people realize that
binge eating disorder which is an addiction to binging on food is the most lethal of all
eating disorders. I think there’s a societal thought that it’s
probably, you know, anorexia or bulimia but that binging behavior—that Binge Eating
Disorder is the most lethal of all eating disorders and so we need to be aware of what
we’re doing to our bodies; what we’re doing to our minds; what we’re doing to ourselves
and we’re the ones that have to fix it and that’s not fair and all of us have the right
to be angry about that and it’s okay to express that anger and it’s okay. In fact, it’s good to express that anger rather
than sit there and hold it in because sometimes, anger can beat an addiction. I had a couple of questions on the Twitter
stream that I wanted to go ahead and address and Liz asked—she said she used to use alcohol
to numb her feelings of pain but that she was able to stop doing it; realize it was
problematic and stop doing it and she wanted to know if that was an addiction. So I want to clarify that we can use alcohol,
substances, other things as numbing. What’s the word I want? As ways to numb our pain without becoming
addictive to them, okay? So there are people who can drink or do drugs
to numb their-their feelings—the pain that everything that’s one of the shame that’s
fuming around inside them from their abuse that they don’t become addicted; they don’t
develop that physical component of addiction to the substance. There are people who eat to comfort themselves
and to feel better but they don’t become addicted to food. So there is—there is a difference and I
don’t think… I want people to know that not every person
who uses alcohol to numb develops an addiction. Is it a healthy thing to do? Nope. So we’ll just stop doing it? Yup but it doesn’t mean that it is—that
you’ve become addicted to it, that you’re an alcoholic or that you’re a drug addict
and then someone else asked a question. Oh! Joey asked whether or not self-harming behavior
is addictive and yes some self-harming behavior is addictive. It can be a much along the lines of sometimes
we self-harm to cope and to numb but that compulsion component isn’t behind us, behind
it. We don’t feel compelled to self-harm and in
that case, it’s not addictive but it’s still harmful and it’s still something that we should
get help or that we deserve to have the skills—to tell these skills not to do that anymore. So it can be addictive; it depends on whether
or not you’ve got that compulsive—an element behind it and if compulsion is something that
you feel the urge to do and you feel like you don’t have any control over the urge,
okay? Athena: Oh! Or … I wanted to add something. I’m so sorry. I wanted to add something, Bobbi. Either you feel you don’t have any control
over the urge initially or it can also be—you don’t realize you’ve done it until later obviously
because you did not control over it but I’m just, I’m just saying like-like a light bulb
went off for me when someone mentioned this and that is –you don’t even realize you’ve
done something until later. Bobbi: Can you describe that some more, Athena? Athena: Ok, let me; let me give you a great
example. Bobbi: Yes, yes. I love example. Athena: Ok, you’re your visual… So, okay, so you all know. Bobbi: Oh, yeah! Athena: Okay. So Bobbi, right here. Okay. So see how long my fingernails are right now? Bobbi: Yes? Athena: And they’re all-they’re all painted. So I have, I have all my fingernails painted
and I’m so excited because you guys know that one of the ways that I would dissociate when
I was little during my abuse as I was five—my fingernails and I bite them and I was shamed
and I was forced to carry a little zip locked –not even a zip locked; they weren’t even
the expensive zip locks or the red and yellow; blue and yellow make green like it wasn’t
even… it was the cheap fold over sandwich baggies like were like store back brand and
they weren’t even like a name brand build with horse manor to dip my fingers in, okay? So I have a lot of shame when it comes to
my finger nails. In fact, my body dysmorphia started at age
four. I’m-I’m realizing and it was all about
my hands—I would hide my hands; I would hide my hands in my, in my, in my clothes,
in my shirt even if like I had to keep my hands inside my arms of my clothes like this
like a dork like I would just, I didn’t care, I was like needed to hide my hands, right? So obsessed with hiding my hands; obsessed
with my hands. So here I am, 43 years old—43 in a week
and I still have issues with my hands. My body dysmorphia is stronger than ever and
I am not over it and I went to get my nails painted by the girl … I got a gift certificate
from my husband to get my nails, get my nails done. So the gal—the little, the little gal which
it’s already, you guys, it’s already triggering for me to go to the nail salon because you
guys… I already told you about the whole situation
when I got straight into the nail salon like a little Barbie doll. So here like I have like a cuticle, Bobbi? Bobbi: Yes? Athena: Can you? I don’t if you… ok. Bobbi: I can see it. Athena: Ok, so unknowingly, I-I pick … I
don’t even know I’m doing it. The gal goes, “Why are you picking your
fingers? You need to stop.” or like tells me I need to stop and I’m like,
“I’m not.” She said, “Yes. I see.” and I’m like, “I don’t … I
must do it without even realizing I’m doing it then.” because I don’t consciously pick this skin
around my nails. In fact, I go out of my way not to—I put
lotion on; I use coconut oil but here I am days later or however many; however long it’s
been later and someone’s pointing out, “Hey! You’re doing these.” and I’m realizing, “I must’ve done that.” like and it’s, it’s a compulsion like it’s
something that I used to do continually—continuously and it was like my favorite coping strategy
because you have to be fully, fully concentrated in order to bite your fingernails properly
otherwise you’ll hurt yourself or you’ll bleed. It’s like a hundred percent concentration
on biting that finger nail and it takes you away from whatever is going on. Well, I’m still doing something similar because
I look down and she’s right like the whole area of my thumb was completely ripped apart
like I was doing something to it and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. So obviously it is what you were saying like
you don’t have control over it but I feel like there’s another element to some addictions
and this could fall under the category of like a disorder perhaps almost like trick
to… how do you say it? Trick to—when you pick, your pick your hair;
you pick your skin and pick your hair … trick to want something. Bobbi: Yeah! Trichotillomania—something like that. Athena: Trichotillomania… yeah which a lot
of survivors; a lot of survivors but that’s a disorder and not necessarily diction. Kind of like this morning when … I believe
it was Lucy asked if OCD is an addiction which it’s a disorder and it’s not, it’s not necessarily
an addiction but addictions are a compulsions and we don’t have control over them. So it’s like this weird fine line that like
not only do I not have control over it Bobbi but I don’t even realize I’m doing it until
someone points it out like I’m not even realizing that I’m doing it or even remember the self-sabotaging
thing that I did last week when you’re like, “And Athena, why are you leaving? Why do you have to hurry up?” and I’m
like, “Well, cause we have some issues.” And you’re like, “No! What’s today?” and I’m like, “Oh! Yeah. That’s my birthday.” You know? Do you know what I mean about like the component
that’s added on top of the fact that we don’t have control over it but like there’s
like almost like an added like you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Bobbi: Right, right and I think that’s-that-that
definitely can be part of an addiction because it takes into the account how mindlessly we
engage in the behavior like people who abuse food usually or-or in a healthy world; in
a healthy idea world. We eat and we’re fully present and we enjoy
the taste of the food and we’re there to nurture our bodies and to, you know, have a healthy—a
meal with other people to interact and because the food tastes good but when it’s an addiction—that’s
not what it’s about. It does—there’s, it’s not about eating in
community; it’s not even really about –this is going to taste good. It’s about—I am going to eat this to experience
comfort. And so I-I do think there can definitely be
an element of not even being fully present when you engage in it, you know? Your mind is off completely someplace else. You’re… it’s very hard to un-engage in
addiction and be mindful at the same time. Let’s put it that way. I think that mindfulness is something that
is often used in recovery programs to help people as they cope with their addictive behavior
especially if it has to do with anything around the food addiction. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that very often. So, yeah … I-I agree, Athena. I think, there is definitely a part of being
on autopilot, you know, not being mindful. I want to say the opposite of being mindful
is being mindless but that’s a terrible word to use so I won’t use that and I, and
I agree. I agree so let’s see. Let’s check and see if we have any other
questions. People are talking about addiction that …
Athena: Lisa, she twists her hair. I use to do that Liz. I used to sit for hours and just and I even
did it to the point where these little hairs right here were shorter than all the rest
of my hairs because I had twirled it so much that my hair had like broken off that yeah
like I-I literally tore my hair to the point where my hair broke off. So and I didn’t, yeah. Bobbi: Yeah. Athena: I didn’t, I didn’t even realize I
was doing it. There is that—there is … again, there’s
that mindless component to it which is shameful like I don’t want to not be fully present
and like I’m shaming myself while I’m sitting here listening like acknowledging it and I’m
sitting here telling you all not shame yourselves, you know, like we never show up here trying
to say we’ve arrived like we’ve never, we’re not, we’re just, we’re recovering right alongside
with you—we’re just choosing to do it in public but I mean…Bobbi and I do want to
encourage you and encourage our selves not to shame ourselves like nothing good comes
from shame. It doesn’t matter what behavior you’re trying
to change. If you’re trying to change the behavior through
shame—it’s an unhealthy way to change the behavior. If you are fat shaming yourself into exercising
and losing weight, you will likely—almost positively we gain back the weight if not
more; it’s a proven fact—Google it. The statistics are there. If you are shaming yourself to quit doing
a certain behavior and you’re doing it –you’re-you’re using shame-based behavior, it is likely that
you will not only end up doing that behavior again but end up doing it more or worse. Bobbi: Right because what you’re doing is
you’re feeding the root cause. Athena: Yes. Bobbi: You know, and then it’s just—you’re
making it more likely that you will engage in that behavior. So shame is… and I see us do it but shame
is never a good way to encourage yourself to stop doing something whether it’s something
that you think is wrong or unhealthy or you know, sometimes, we can shame ourselves for
doing things that are not actually problematic. You know if you have body dysmorphia—you
might look at yourself and shame yourself because you think you’re fat when in reality
you’re not. So you try to use the shame to-to lower your
thoughts and feelings about eating to restrict your calories even more, to exercise even
more but the reality is that the problem is not that you’re fat; the problem is you have
a distorted view of yourself because of the abuse that happened to you as a child. So now shame is—shame is never a good thing
and it’s never healthy and there’s never ever a reason for any of you to ever feel shame;
there’s never reason for anybody in the world to feel shame. Shame means that you feel like you’re a bad
person and you know, I suppose there might be a very, very, very, very, very, very slim
percentage of people who fall into the sociopath, psychopath column—that it would be hard
to say, you know, there are a lot of freaking qualities in that individual but if you’re
here and you’re listening to this and you soothe this out because you’re a survivor
and you’ve sought this out because you would want to get better—that’s not you. You’re a good person. You’d been food since you were born and
you deserve love since you were born but you got cheated and so one of the hardest things
you’ll ever do in your adult life is learn to love yourself and learn to kick that shame
to the curb. So I want to address a question that Sedra
brought up and she was talking about—do we tackle… she brought up the issue that
she’s seen survivors who have addiction who used 12-step program in order to tackle
their addiction and then they deal with the trauma—and we talked about that a little
bit in chat this morning in terms of—if our child abuse, if the shame and the lack
of self-worth and all of the things that happened to us as a child—the emotional pain are
active root of our addictions. In what order do we tackle things? How do we tackle things? Do we tackle the addictions and then the trauma
or the trauma and then addictions or do we do both the same time and…? Athena: That’s me…sorry! Bobbi: That’s okay. There’s no one-size-fits-all. Athena: I woke up with a cold today. Bobbi: There’s no one size fits all answer
to that question. The only one size fits all answer to that
I have is what not to do and never just tackle your addictions become clean and sober for
a particular addiction and then walk away and never address the underlying root cause
of your addiction because I can tell you what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen is that while you may
be plane and sober from alcohol, you still have that underlying pain, you still need
to numb that underlying pain and you’re going to develop another addiction, perhaps it won’t
be as toxic as alcoholism because you saw firsthand how terrible and how lethal that
addiction could be. So now perhaps you’re going to develop an
addiction to exercising; you going to develop an addiction to caffeine; you are going to
become addicted to nicotine—that’s when we haven’t talked about. We’re going to start smoking… Athena: Oh! We didn’t tackle that this morning. Bobbi: Yeah. So it’s-it’s interesting … when I was
a child, my grandfather was a raging mean alcoholic. I think when I was maybe about ten or eleven
o’clock … What clock where that comes from? … 10 or eleven years old—o’clock. Wow! A little disconnect there inside my brain
… when I was ten or eleven years old, he became sober from alcoholism but then he developed
an addiction to something else and so while he may have been sober on his alcohol addiction,
he just transferred it over to something else and it was just-just damaging and just as
harmful but at-at this age with this generation, you didn’t tackle that underlined stuff. You know you didn’t address your trauma; you
didn’t address your abuse but that’s the one thing I can tell you for sure because
if you deal with your addiction at some point you’ve got to deal with the things that cost
you to return to the addiction that caused that disease to rise up inside of you whether
you and-and –a syndrome. I have heard—I have some therapists who
I’ve worked with some peers who won’t take a client to deal with trauma issues unless
they’re sober from all their addictions. So they want them to get sober first and then
they’ll help them deal with their trauma which isn’t a bad thing to do when you’re
dealing with someone on an outpatient basis. Other people can … impatient rehab is an
excellent place to tackle both at the same time. Tackle your addiction and tackle the underlying
issues at the same time because you have that 24-hour support. It’s very hard and I want, I want to hear
anyone say this if you’re watching this and you have a severe addiction –it’s very hard
to deal with both the addiction and the underlying issues at the same time with any depth. You need help and addictions are something
that we need a lot of help and support to tackle. So I definitely recommend you in getting professional
help whether it’s through therapy or a treatment program or 12-step groups but I’m not sure
those are wrong or right way to do your trauma work and get your treatment for addictions. The only wrong way to do is get the treatment
for the addiction and never deal with what took you to that addiction because chances
are you just end being addictive to something else to easily forget the pain. So, any other questions Athena? Athena: No… not at this time. I don’t, I don’t see any other… Oh! Patricia says, “A support system is important
to healing.” I agree Patricia and it is on our One Page—most
definitely at that. It’s one of our bullet points—having a healthy
support system in place you guys whether it’s accountability. In fact, in fact I left Joey a message today
actually letting her know about the self-harm. I said exactly what you just said almost verbatim
Bobbi about the inpatient and then I-I said, “You know, if you’re seeing a therapist
on a weekly basis and you’re dealing with your root trauma which is childhood abuse
and other forms of abuse that’s ongoing then also ask for… ask your therapist for accountability. Let her know –I’m living with self-harming
behaviors; I believe this self-harming behaviors are addictive. I would like to stop this self-harming behaviors
and I would like you to hold me accountable and help me set myself up for success.” Bobbi: I love it a lot. I love it. Athena: Yeah. I just. Bobbi: Go ahead. Athena: No, go ahead… what were you going
to say? Bobbi: I was just going to say that I saw
something from Matt on the Twitter stream talking about can we become addictive to recovery. Athena: Yeah. To healing—that was just … were going
to say the same thing at the same moment… can we become addictive to healing and recovering? Bobbi: Yes. Athena: Yes. Bobbi: Yes. I think we can be—not, I don’t know what’s
saying is there is that—healing, it’s.. I don’t think it’s an addiction to healing. Athena: No. Bobbi: because an addiction is never about
healing… an addiction is all about coping but I think we can become addicted to the
recovery—the process of recovery in terms of using support groups and resources to numb
and cope with our pain rather than using them to help us move forward in our recovery process. Athena: I agree and the fact that… Bobbi: Does that makes sense? Athena: Well, and-and here Bobbi, like right
here like we-we get addicted to this—the knowledge, the-the finding, the looking, the-the…
it’s kind of like they talk about how heroin addicts … it’s not even necessarily the
feeling of the heroin, the-the numb that they get necessarily; it’s the romantic relationship
that they have when they use the-the band that they use to-to come off there-there blood
pressure … what is that called when they, when they tie off there arm? Bobbi: The turnip pit? Athena: It’s like they tie their arm off,
you know? So that they can find a good vein but it’s
the whole—they, they become addicted and there’s almost a, they romanticize the time-off
and the needle and like they –they romanticize the whole rhythm and system in which they
have to get the end result. So and it’s up here; we like we were … if
we’re becoming addicted not necessarily like Bobbi said to healing or recovery but if our-if
our relationships and our work and-and other people—things that other things in our life
are suffering as a result of us focusing on the knowledge—the knowledge base that we’re
searching to learn about symptoms and learn about things and stuff that can help us recover
and that release that we get when like you’d like-like if you guys have ever seen that-that
movie Fight Club when Edward Norton’s character meets Carter’s character and they’re, they’re,
they’re recovery group hopping—that release—that endorphin release that you get when you tell
your story and when you share and it’s like I honestly Bobbi I think we need to spend
a couple minutes on this because this… I can, I can already see that this is going
to cause kind of like… like uproar. So we’re not suggesting that you—looking
to heal and recover is a bad thing obviously but we are saying that the process—if, if
it is at the expense of relationships or your job or your health then you could probably
want to make sure that you have some checks and balances in place or some accountability
in place so that you don’t become addicted to the process; Bobbi, your comments on that? Bobbi: I want to be really, really, really
careful. I want to be really careful right here because
I can’t tell you how many times I have had the spouse of someone in recovery say to me,
“Will you tell her or him that they’re spending too much time on this and I just I-I need
them you know, back the way they were. I need them to focus on me. I need them to focus on us and she just she/he
is spending too much time doing this.” And more often than not … that’s about
this spouse being uncomfortable with a person who’s in recovery—the changes that they’re
making. Athena: They’re becoming healthy. Bobbi: Right so I don’t want any spouse out
there or I don’t want us; I don’t my—being in recovery when I’m, when I’m working
my program, when I’m getting the help I need. I don’t want anyone out there to sit there
and worry that focusing on themselves—self-care; being in recovery is unhealthy. There’s that—there’s that fine line
and that balance between doing the work you need to do; spending the time you need to
spend on it rather than engulfing yourself in the process as another way to numb your
pain. Does that make sense? Athena: It makes perfect sense the way you
said it. I want to, I want to bring it home and really
repeat what Bobbi just said and that is that if you are using your recovery journey, it
intuitively you know that you’re using your recovery process as a means to be busy—that’s
what we didn’t write down Bobbi—busyness, busyness is an addiction. Bobbi: Yes. Yes. Athena: So if you are using your recovery
or this-this journey as a means to busy yourself, to numb your pain and not deal with your staff
… the way you would know if that was true is if you were not experiencing growth in
your recovery journey. If there is not growth; if you’re not actually
moving along in your recovery journey… this is where I think the-the Moberg-Parish Trauma—the-the
trauma response to model. This would, this would be really, really helpful
as a visual I think because for instance if-if you were triggered to, you go back to the
beginning—you have a new trauma and you get triggered, okay? And you’re pretty far long in your recovery
journey so it takes you back to your root trauma and then you move through the model
again which you know you move through chaos and you move into recovery and then you’re
reclaiming your life and then you-you end up advocating for others and finding a purpose
for your pain. If there’s no growth; if you’re not moving
through the model and you’re moving from trauma to chaos; to trauma to chaos; to trauma to
chaos; to trauma to chaos; to trauma to chaos and you’re not recovering and you’re not
reclaiming your life and you’re not finding purpose for what it is that you’ve been through
and advocating for others; you’re not moving through your recovery journey then that might
be a red flag. Bobbi, wouldn’t you agree that that would
be a red flag because we’re going to obviously get asked the question, “Well how do we
make sure we don’t do that? How do we make sure that we’re not using our,
using this-this recovery as a means to numb our pain?” like I know that that question is going to
come up immediately. It’s going to so don’t you think if it’s a
good way to say … the way that we could safeguard; the way that we could know that-that
we’re not doing that is if we are in fact experiencing growth in our, in our journey
like and sometimes we don’t know when we’re experiencing growth. We made a video about that like video… Harriet, if you can pop up the video that
says, “How do you know if you’re experiencing growth in your recovery journey or if were,
if we’re experiencing… I think it’s experiencing growth in your recovery
but Bobbi don’t you think that’s a good way to know whether or not you’re using your –if
that your recovery is becoming a means to numb your pain rather than as an actual recovery
is if you’re getting stuck in chaos and then you’re getting—you’re going back to your
trauma and then you get it go back to the root and then you’re in chaos and then you
never really move through the like you’re not—there’s not growth; there’s not obvious
growth… don’t you think that’s a good way to numb? Bobbi: Yeah. I think being … I think Athena’s stuck
into chaos is an excellent way to put it because sometimes we can use that chaos to cope and
numb with our pain and that one of the key ways to tell if someone is stuck in the chaos
is if they’re using things to numb and cope and I think not moving past that… you know,
after a reasonable amount of time, it’s definitely a sign that there are other things that you
are doing that are causing you to stay stuck in that cycle. I think another way to tell that you might
be using the process to numb and cope would be the amount of time and the reason that
you spend interacting with other survivors. Do you—do you interact with other survivors
in order to tell your story; in order to…? What’s the word that I want? To … I don’t know. It’s completely lost me and think about
why now. We can, we can go to support groups; we can
be kind of involved in support groups as a way to numb and cope and if we find ourselves
telling our same story over and over and over and over and over again –that is an indication
to that we may be using the support groups for a reason to get something other than moving
forward in our recovery journey. When my father became sober in alcoholism;
he actually became addicted to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the process. So he would stand hours, hours every day at
a meetings. He would man the hotline. I can remember being at-at Christmas dinner
and he was over on the phone for hours and hours and not that we don’t need to go to
meetings; not that we don’t need to man the hotlines but when manning the hotlines
and going to the meetings becomes a way to cope rather than a way to help—that’s where
it all falls apart. Athena: Yeah. Bobbi: So I guess to look at your underlying
motive if you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you doing it to cope or are you doing
it to move forward in your recovery process or you’re doing it to move forward from
being just the survivor to being an advocate for others? So if… it’s a sticky one and …
Athena: It’s a fine line. It’s a fine line. Bobbi: It is. Athena: it is because I mean for instance
I … everything you just said is so valid Bobbi and-and there is also Liz. Liz just said that being busy helps her to
move forward and not get stuck in depression but busyness—is-it’s very sticky Liz because
I am one that can easily fall into busyness and use that as a means to sort of avoid because
I know that if I slow down long enough that I’ll slip into that depression or I’ll slip
into that behavior and that is a good indicator for me personally that I’m not dealing with
the root issue. What I have to ask myself the hard question
which is what am I avoiding. Am I, am I …?
Bobbi: There you go. Athena: You know… what am I avoiding today? Bobbi: Excellent question to ask that can
help you tell the difference too. Athena: Yes. Bobbi: Am I doing this to avoid something
rather than because it needs to be done. Athena: Yeah. Being busy doesn’t need to be done though
like for me—I know that being busy is just another thing that I’m, that I’m using. It’s not –it’s not a means to an end; it’s
not the end; it’s just something I’m going to buy time so that I don’t have to deal with
the real issue and that’s just me personally. I’m not; I’m not pointing you out Liz. I’m-I’m saying for me personally like I
know myself and I have a family member—busy, busy, busy, busy, busy volunteering, doing
and it’s all good stuff, you know, volunteering for the community; volunteering for this society;
volunteering; having this candle party; having this lulu-larrow party; having this pampered
Chef party; going to this event; going to this cancer walk; going and-and volunteering
at Goodwill; going to the Salvation Army; going on Thanksgiving and serving the homeless. I mean, there every single day of every single
month; there is something planned. There is never a moment of downtime and it-it
begs the question—what would you do if you had a moment of down time like I mean, I mean
I’ve asked my family member, you know, like if you ever have any down time and like…
the answer is like, “Well, I’ll Sleep When I’m dead.” You know like, “Okay but what are you avoiding
like is normal-paced life and reality like-like if your thoughts slow down… what is it that’s
facing… that you’re facing? What is that? Bobbi: Yes. Yes. Athena: That you… Bobbi: Right-wrong-right… the slowing down
that cause you distress. You know… that’s a clear indication that
maybe you’re using that busyness for something rather than coping. Athena: Yeah. Bobbi: you know… in a healthy way. Athena: I agree and this particular family
member when I asked them that—whenever they slow down they choose to numb. They-they choose that—Well, every time I
slow down is to go to a party and then the party is usually alcohol and recreational
drugs. So in it like after they’re done numbing with
busyness and they slow down—they numb with alcohol and drugs and then they sleep, wake
up, rinse, repeat, sleep, wake up, rinse, repeat like busy, busy, slow, numb, alcohol,
drugs, go to sleep, wake up, rinse, repeat. It’s like, Wow!” There… we have to … what is that? Who said that, Bobbi? Know thyself. Who said that? Know thyself. It’s like Zach 02 or something. Bobbi: I don’t know. Shakespeare? Bobbi: Know thyself… Zou-Zou something… I know one of our people are on Twitter right
now is going to be like, “Here’s the quote; Here’s who said it.” With the meme—that would be so helpful for
our Storify; someone out there but yeah we really need to have self-awareness. We really need—the only answer to that question
Liz I think is if you need to be able to really do have a very sober self-assessment and unintended
sober self-assessment but I’m just saying… be able to really look at yourself and really
know yourself and know. Okay. Am I numbing myself through busyness so that
I don’t have to deal with something like Athena because that’s what she does? Or am I staying busy because it’s helpful
and I’m actually … there is, I can look back and I can see some growth in my recovery
journey. I’m dealing with my stuff; I’m actually processing
things; I-I handle things differently now; I have different relationships—the healthier
relationship. My relationships are growing; I’m growing. Life is improving overall you know like there
are some indicators; right, Bobbi? Bobbi: Yes, that’s an excellent way to put
it. I love that. August was asking, “Is it okay to avoid
sometimes?” You know sometimes feel … things feel so
overwhelming and we don’t have the resources to feel like we can if we just let all those
feelings and emotions go if we have the resources just stand that they will feel overwhelming
and yeah, it’s okay to avoid sometimes; absolutely okay. It’s a coping mechanism. The problem is when as it is with any coping
mechanism when you overuse it and when you use it to prevent your recovery; when you
use it to undermine your recovery… that’s when it becomes problematic. So absolutely August I give you complete and
total permission to avoid every once in a while. Wrap yourself up in a big blanket, sit down
and watch a movie Perfect. If you’re doing it every night in a week—that’s
another story but yeah… avoidance is okay. Having a glass of wine is okay, you know,
eating five cookies at a time is okay. If it’s paretic and if it’s infrequent, it-the
problem comes when we use those behaviors to cope and to numb. The behaviors otherwise when done in balance;
when done, you know, in moderation—they’re all okay and there’s nothing wrong with having
a few cookies, watching a movie and bringing a glass of wine. There’s nothing wrong with–today I really
need to spend a few hours just to-just to drown out everything else and just focus on
my recovery and maybe that means not going to be on the table at the time everyone else
wants it to be; maybe that, you know, means that I’m going to get the chance to go out
mostly art like I maybe should have today. That’s-that’s okay but when you who isolate
yourself to the destruction of your family and your relationships when you find yourself,
you know, sitting at support group meetings, lectures, seminars, conferences to the point
that there’s no room for anything else in your life then you have a problem. So maybe that’s another line to tell the difference
if you’re doing something in moderation versus it’s consuming, you know, a large part of
your time, a large part of your life. I hope that helps and I don’t want everyone
to be, “Oh no! Maybe they’re talking about me… my own
recovery. Athena: I know. We’re not talking about any of you and you
mentioned two others that are not on the One Page, Bobbi. Sleep and isolation—we can get addicted
to isolating and we can get addicted to sleeping because sleeping is really good avoidance,
really good coping strategy. If I’m just asleep then I won’t have to
deal with stuff—that’s a lot of, a lot of people that are that are dealing with extraordinary
circumstances, extenuating circumstances like if they’re going through recovery from abuse…
hello! I’ve heard so many people; I’ve even heard
myself say this like I just wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up like …
Bobbi: Yeah. I think that is dysfunctional behavior but
I’m not sure it’s an addiction because I don’t see it a compulsion behind that. I mean if-if that person feels like, “Oh
my gosh! I just have to go to sleep. I don’t have any control over the fact that
I need to go to sleep.” Athena: Like it’s an avoidance though like-like
I’m going to go to sleep. Bobbi: It’s dysfunctional… it’s absolutely
dysfunctional. Athena: I’m going to go… okay like if
I’m going to go take a couple of sleeping pills right now and go and go to sleep so
I don’t have to deal with the world. Bobbi: Yup as long as it’s a compulsion; as
long as there’s the compulsive element to that. It doesn’t mean that, you know, sleeping in
ordinate amounts of sleep is-is a good thing. It’s still dysfunctional; it’s just not an
addiction. Athena: Got it. Isolation can be an addiction though. We can compulsively isolate. I know we mentioned that before about knowing
that we like we really like you mention this during self, self-sabotage last week which
… Bobbi: Right –knowing we should go out;
we should get out; we should interact with other people …
Athena: … and looking forward to it; we’ve been planning it. It’s been on the calendar like, “Oh! I’m looking forward to this event.” and then the event comes up and their anxiety
kicks in to the point where they’re like, “You know what? I’m just not going to go.” And they just decide not to go which is fine
because it’s almost like self-care but if it happens every time like that’s what we’re,
what you and I were just talking about last week and this week like everything in moderation
you guys like if-if you are, you know, if something becomes a pattern of behavior and
it is the rule rather than the exception and like Bobbi said there’s a compulsive element
to it. Definitely ask yourself those tough questions. Would you like to …
Bobbi: Practice self-expertise. Athena: Sacrity says, “Know that know thyself.” Bobbi: Yes. Uh-huh. Athena: Who said that? Bobbi: Dawn. Athena: Oh! Good, thank you Dawn. I knew someone; I knew someone would look
at that. Would you like to do the One Page, Bobbi? Bobbi: Yes; let’s. Athena: Awesome. All right guys. So we’re going to transition to the teaching
portion of tonight’s broadcast. If this is your first time here… every single
week we do a OnePage downloadable resource sort of like a blog post. Oh. Oh! What is that? Bobbi: Sorry; that’s a weather. Athena: Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Are you having weather…? Bobbi: I have a weather siren on my phone. Athena: Are you having a weather alert? Are you guys having like a tornado? Bobbi: I don’t know. I have to look here for a minute. I-I silenced it so quickly that I don’t know
what it was going to tell me. Athena: Oh no! We want you to be safe. Hello! Bobbi: Yeah. Athena: So we’re going to transition to the
teaching portion of tonight’s broadcast. Every week we have sort of a blog post—it’s
a OnePage bullet point resource for you that that is helpful for the topic that we’re discussing
of the week. This week obviously is addiction. You can get complimentary access by going
to at or Look for a tab that says downloadables and
you will be given immediate access after. I believe you get asked your e-mail address
and then you’ll get, be given a media access to tonight’s resource which is titled Survivors
and Addiction’s One Page and Bobbi is going to go ahead and do our teaching portion now. Bobbi: I’m sorry, Athena. I clicked present the opt, prematurely there
–my weather siren flustered me. Athena: No. It’s okay. No, no. It’s okay, it’s okay. I have, have you live. I’m looking at it. I see it. Bobbi: Okay. Survivors of childhood abuse are extremely
vulnerable to developing addictions both in adolescence and adulthood and I think it’s
important to-to notice everyone that we have … we’re talking about adolescents as well. So we’re not talking about limiting this to
discussion, discussions about adults. If someone turning to drugs and alcohol as
a teenager, that’s a particular—a particular indication there is that there is some family…
there maybe some family dysfunction or abuse going on at home. Research shows that anywhere from 50 to 90%
of those with an addiction were abused in childhood which is a horrific statistic. To help cope with the debilitating aftereffects
of our abuse, we can turn to a means even a very dysfunctional one to numb or avoid
our pain. Many things aside from the usually stated
alcohol and drugs can become the target of our addictions—foods, pornography, shopping,
the Internet, exercise, love, work, people pleasing, video gaming and we were just talking
in the Twitter stream—nicotine, caffeine… all of those things can be addictions. As survivors, we are susceptible to addictions
for four primary reasons keeping in mind that there are many secondary reasons but there’s
four primary reason and the first is the fears emotional pain of our abuse—the shame; third—the
disconnection from the love and approval we claim, we crave from our primary caretakers
and the fourth is the brain damage that we suffer as a result of abuse. It’s important to remember that our brain
does not know the difference between emotional and physical pain so when we feel intense
pain emotionally we may reach for a painkiller just like someone with physical pain. Unfortunately for us –emotional pain killers
are often very destructive addictions. Okay? So emotional pain is a huge reason why we
may turn to an addictive substance or behavior. We’re doing the same thing that people do
when they have physical pain; we’re trying to numb our pain. Our shame from our childhood abuse is often
a weapon used against us in the addiction cycle. For example: we may have turned the food to
help cope with our emotional pain but when we binge eat, we feel ashamed of ourselves
for doing so … that’s adds to the storehouse of shame already built up in us due to our
abuse, to cope with it—we binge eat again. In this way, addictions can be self-reinforcing
actions; brain damage to our amygdala campus and prefrontal cortex result in our having
poor impulse control, more compulsions and less of an ability to use reasoning and logic
in our decision making. Our emotions feel stronger and we can over
react in emotionally charged situations which can cause us to turn to addictions with greater
frequency than those without brain damage from abuse. And the last one: new research shows a lack
of connection in childhood with our families and most importantly our primary caretakers
can be a significant predictor of addiction and adulthood. We are born with the drive to love and be
loved by our primary caretaker. When this innate need is warded due to family
dysfunction and abuse… it results in both a great deal of pain and intense feelings
of unworthiness. We can find ourselves falling into addictive
behaviors to cope with those feelings. So not only do we turn to addiction to cope
with the pain of the abuse but we turn to addictions to cope with the pain to the lack
of connection in our childhood. This is a relatively new piece of research
that comes in the playbook in addictions –the lack of connection but it makes perfect sense
and it explains why connection is a powerful healing element in recovery from addictions
and in our recovery as child abuse survivors. So the cope with addictions… try these tips
and strategies: never shame. Never shame yourself for any addictions you
have. These addictive behaviors are coping mechanisms
used to help you survive the pain of your childhood abuse. The addictions themselves are not your fault. Own your part; take responsibility for your
addictions and the pain they are causing you and your loved ones. These addictions are not your fault but they
are your responsibility to resolve once you become aware of them. Two sides of the same coin above the quarter. When you get help and treatment for addictions,
it is vital to both eliminate the addictive behavior and resolve underlying cause of having
developed the addiction. If you do not resolve the underlying pain
and dysfunctional thinking core beliefs tied to your addiction, you risk relapse or trading
one addiction for another. For example: you maybe come sober from alcohol
but then develop an addiction to video gaming. Remember: Addictions are coping strategies. Identifying and tackling the root cause of
them is just as important as changing the behavior. Professional Support is best. Seek experienced and qualified help to cope
with addictions. Tackling the duel past of the addictive behavior
and underlying trauma is difficult and can actually be dangerous to do without professional
help and I just, I really want to emphasize this next point because it’s so important. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you
should never quit those substances whole turkey, okay? So just, that’s it. I’m done; I’m not drinking anymore. I’m not doing drugs anymore. I just… boom! Cut it off without medical assistance because
it can be life threatening. Okay? Addiction, stopping drinking after having
been addicted to alcohol for many years can actually result in debt because our body is
so at that point it is completely dependent upon that substance and without it that can
occur. So please never detox without medical support
and intervention. Don’t be a lone ranger. Join in safe community with other survivors
to receive the support and encourage that you need. There is strength in numbers. Being in community with others who have lived
your pain and may also have overcome a similar coping strategy will help you to feel stronger
and less ashamed and it also helps you address that fourth cause of addictions which is feeling
that lack of connection. We have free organized virtual safe support
communities where you can practice new skills and become adept at creating healthy habits. Ask us for getting plugged in to free online
safe support groups for survivors and if you’re looking at this on the site then click there—the
PDF is clickable and you can go to the page that helps you. Yay! Get signed up in our support groups
Athena: Yay! It goes over to our about section of our YouTube
channel and has a lined by line by line exactly what to do and we setup on like when we pretend
I’m actually working here. All right. I’m like lying back at my chair. It is … walk’s you three step by step
by step on how to get connected with us and how to get connected into a free online safe
support groups. So …
Bobbi: Yay! Athena: I… Matt says but-but I love the Lone Ranger. Yeah! Bobbi: What’s an alone ranger feels safe. Athena: Yes. Bobbi: Because we’re by ourselves and no
one can hurt us. Athena: And we don’t have to depend on anyone
because no one is. Bobbi: No! Athena: No. Oh! Alex, Alex Kennan Krill says, “Balance is-is
so. I don’t know… so something so I become the
life of the party extremely social or I am reclusive a long time.” Oh! I think she’s trying to say balance is like
so difficult like difficult to attain obviously. It’s either one of … one extreme or that
or the next; she’s either the life of the party or she’s, she’s reclosing. So I definitely identify with that Alex. Most definitely and I identify with the lone
ranger Matt. Bobbi: Well you know, we have survivors are
good at extremes because we know extremes. We grow up in extremes. If you need an expert in extremes—get a
survivor, we’re just awesome at extremes. It’s that middle of balance that scares us. So in a, in a crisis… I think survivors are some of the best people
out there to depend on. Athena: Oh yeah! My husband calls me a first responder like
and it’s so true like if there is a traumatic situation or something crazy that goes down,
he knows that I’m like instantly composed and I’m like in my element or I know exactly
what to do; I stay completely calm. It’s just—it’s, old stuff kicks in; my reptilian
brain kicks in or whatever. Bobbi: Right, right. Athena: You know? Well, it’s … cause man! You know, if you’re raised in traumatic situation
and you needed to have that game face or you needed to pretend everything was okay. I mean, I remember crazy stuff going down
at my house and needing to be completely composed and keep it together when the cops came to
the door because I was supposed to tell them that everything was fine. I was supposed to lie and say everything was
fine. It’s like oh my gosh. I look back at him like what was I thinking
like why didn’t I just, “Hello! The cops are there to help you.” but like I wasn’t taught that the cops were
the good guys when I was little. Bobbi: No, exactly. You were given your parents worldview is just
that the cops were bad. Athena: Yeah. Bobbi: And dangerous and they were going to
hurt you. Athena: And they were going to take one of
my family members away and then what was I going to do. I wouldn’t have a house. I would have nowhere to go. I would be homeless. I would have no food and it would be all my
fault. So I had to pretend everything was perfect. Wow! Talk about a double bind; talk about a catch
22, right? Bobbi: Right, yup. Athena: Talk about a trauma bond. Oh my goodness! Well this is been a lively discussion on the
topic of addictions and I really want to emphasize what Bobbi said because Dawn brought attention
to it and we put it in red for a reason you all. Dawn says, “What Bobbi is saying now about
is very important—never detox without medical support. Please.” I know we put it in red and I know that Bobbi
used her very serious voice when she was saying it but we just want … I want to look at
you all like I want to look at you like in the face and tell you; If you are dealing
with an addiction to a substance—alcohol, zenix, vicodin, pills at oxy cotton, whatever
it is … some sort of a substance. Do not try to do this yourself. Please. Please. Please. Please reach out and get professional help. You are worth it. Your life matters and you could die. You could just die and even if you’re feeling
like dying is like the only option and it would be the best thing for you. I-I want to assure you that that’s-that’s
a fleeting feeling that you’re having and what you really want is for the pain to go
away not for life to end. So please, please, please as Bobbi mentioned
and as Dawn brought home in the tweet … we, I just want to make sure you guys hear us
loud and clear. Please never try to kick a substance on your
own. Please. Please get professional help. Your life matters and we don’t want you—we
don’t want your body to go into some kind of crazy shock and shut down which it definitely
can do and you won’t even have any warning like it’ll just do it. So I don’t mean to be such a Debbie Downer
like at the end like while we’re getting ready to go into our-our screen shares but this
is real serious you guys. Addiction is serious. This is, you know, we’re light-hearted and
funny and like we approach this serious topic with such levity and ladada but this is your
life. This is your life we’re talking about and
you matter to us and we want you to receive that proper care that you deserve and that
you’ve always deserved. Bobbi, your thoughts? Bobbi: Yeah! You know and if detox… detoxing is so hard. If you’re going to go through that hard
work towards the effort of getting to the end and being successful without the substance,
get the help, you know, don’t—don’t try and detox on your own. First of all because it is just gut wrenchingly
hard and second because it can be life threatening. We want to get you through the detox part
so you can do the work to tackle your addictions and tackle your trauma so yeah that’s important. Athena: There’s-there’s a; there is an
allure to tackling it on your own. I have one fact: my main abuser in their own
words—kicked cocaine on my own so I can do anything but that’s not the smart thing
to do. Yeah, they kick cocaine but there were so
many other… the one—one addiction replaces another; replace another; replace another. Same with my father, you know, heroin, pills,
alcohol turned into nicotine; turned into bullying. He was a bully towards me. He would talk nice to me, to everybody else
and in front of me—he would bully me and tell me I was fat and ugly and stupid and
dumb and you know, whatever. We didn’t even mention bullying but I do believe
that people compulsively without even knowing that they do it… it’s just their modus operandi
Bobbi like-like you said earlier sociopathic and psychopathic people but there can be that
element. I’m not saying someone that is malignantly
anti-social like anti-social personality disorder but I’m saying someone who has that in them
that-that exploitative behavior that is just a compulsion of theirs. They lack empathy and perhaps they’re undiagnosed
but anyway-that’s an addiction in and of itself and it’s just, it’s very damaging
but to kick an addiction on your own and to toot your own horn saying, “I’m so awesome
because I kicked oxy or vicodin or alcohol or cocaine or heroin or whatever it might
be.” It’s not worth—that’s not a crown that
we want you to be wearing like wear a different crown. We want you to be free from the addiction
but we want you to have professional help that you deserve so that you can live your
life to the fullest and have fulfilling amazing relations. Bobbi: Definitely. Okay. Athena: Yeah. But we’re going to; we’re going to say thanks
for being here to everyone who is here every single week and we love having you guys here. This is the highlight of our week and you
guys are the reason we do all of this—everything we do. If it’s your first time here, we’re going
to—for the next like 5 or 10 minutes; we’re just going to let you know how to get in touch
with us; where to send an e-mail; how to get plugged in to a safe group; who we are; what
we do and how often we do it. So Bobbi has some awesome screen shares for
you and thanks so much for joining us here tonight you guys. Come back again next week—every Monday 6
PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern. Bobbi: Okay. Let us look at the ways. Whoopsy! That you can get support within our community. We have 3 Twitter chats a week and we have
our support groups on Facebook. There are all free. They always will be free and you are welcome
to join us in any or all of them. The Twitter chats: the first one is Monday
at 10 AM Pacific time in the US and 6 PM in the UK. The hash tag for that is CSAQT and then the
second one is if you’re here with us live now; if you’re participating with it. The hash tag is NoMoreShame and it is a live
video broadcast in conjunction with the Twitter chat. It is at 6 PM Pacific, 9 Eastern and two o’clock
on Tuesday mornings in the UK. On Tuesday evening, there is Sexabusechat—that’s
the hash tag Sexabusechat. It is at 6 PM Pacific, 9 Eastern and Wednesday
at two o’clock in the morning in the UK. If you would like to be a member of one of
our Facebook groups; they are private; they are secret. No one will know that you’re a member and
no one will be able to see any of the posts that you make within the group except the
members of the group. So I know that there are so many of us that
have privacy concerns and I really want to assure you that our support groups on Facebook
are secure and they are private. If you’d like to join, we ask that you follow
this four-step process and the first is to go to Facebook and like the Trauma Recovery
University Webpage and also that you’re URL for you on the next screen; send Athena and
I both friend requests and then once one of us has accepted your friend request—send
the message, “I like to heal in safe support community.” Or, “I like to join one of your support
groups.” something similar to that. If we don’t already know you, we may ask you
some questions before we maybe even one of those groups and the reason for that is that
we want to make sure that you’re safe and we want to make sure that you are not a predator;
you are not an unsafe person who would come in to one of our support groups and hurt the
people who we protect so strongly to be able to do the work they need to do. So after we have determined that you’re not
unsafe; we will welcome you into one of the support groups and post an introduction that
announces you and introduces you to the group and everyone can welcome you. You can watch the broadcast every week at
Monday evening in US or early Tuesday morning in the UK at and those
capitals do matter. Okay. Hang on. There we go. Now let’s put the other one; one more. These are ways that you can get in content
with Athena and I. Let me make sure I’m sharing to everyone;
present to everyone. Okay, there we go. Let me make it bigger. These are ways that you can get in contact
with us. You can email us. I am [email protected] Athena is [email protected] and
there is also our joint email address [email protected] On Twitter, I am Bobbi L. Parish; Athena’s
Athena Moberg and Trauma Recovery University is Trauma Recovery U—those capitals don’t
matter on Twitter; capitals don’t matter to Twitter. If you’d like to join us on Facebook; there’s
the Trauma Recovery University Facebook page URL right there. My professional page is Bobbi Parish Coaching
and Consulting. My personal page is Bobbi Parish. Athena’s professional page is Athena Moberg
Speaking and her personal page is Dawn Athena Moberg. You can find all of our replays on YouTube,
Roku TV or Goggle plus—just do a search for Trauma Recovery University and you will
find all of them there and that’s it. Athena: Yay! Can I do one little… one little share of
our-our button… where is that button there? There it is. We have our NoMoreShame, November, 2016 button
and it looks like this and if you find us on,
you will see this is our avatar and the month of November is only of the most advocacy work—the
very first NoMoreShame November was in 2014 and that was only published our very first
anthology and in future NoMoreShame November, we do plan on publishing another anthology
and-and other types of ways to raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse. We have only so far published that one—the
one anthology so far but we-we do want… we do want to do more. It was, it was just, it wasn’t a sustainable
situation where we’re able to do all of the gathering of all of the essays and submission
and then also all of the editing and the publishing and the organizing and everything and the
promotion of it all and so looking for some interns who know a lot about the self-publishing
process or publishers out there who may be interested in publishing an Anthology of true
survivors stories from our brave community members. So Bobbi, did you want to say goodbye to everybody
before-before we go? Bobbi: You bet. Have a great evening. Please be kind to yourself tonight or if you’re
watching this on replay. These chats can be triggering even hours afterwards
so use your good self-care and I’m so glad that you spent this time with us and we look
forward to seeing you again. Athena: Yeah. We’re, we’re grateful for each of you
and thank you so much for all of you who showed up tonight on the Twitter stream and a very
special welcome to Alex. I’m not sure if Alex Keenan Krill has joined
us on a Monday Night Live for Q&A before but if not then a very special welcome to her
and just all of you who are here every week. We really appreciate you. We appreciate you supporting one another so
transparently and vulnerably. It makes a huge difference in our community. You guys are the reason that this community
is so powerful and-and just beautiful in every way. So thank you so much. I’m Athena Moberg and this is Bobbi Parish
and we love bringing you everything you need for healthy informed Trauma Recovery. Bye everybody!


  1. i tried the 12 step process and found it very unhelpful … sitting in a meeting hearing people call themselves alcoholics or compulsive over eaters and that these are diseases .. made me feel very shame filled and did nothing for the root cause … if anyone recovers using this 12 step process find it works for them then i congratulate you … it just made me feel awful and because i didnt like it … i felt like an odd ball hope we all find the courage to heal …..

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