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Our Stories (15)

One of the things that can be helpful in the healing process is knowing you are not alone. I've found it helpful that, while my story is unique to me, I do have something in common with other survivors. We have invited survivors to share their stories...from abuse to surviving and thriving. We also invite you to share your story, no matter where you are in your journey. Your story can and will inspire others. In this section, you'll find such stories. 

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Did you know that around the world alcohol and abuse is related to over 2 million deaths a year? With over 11,000 recovery centers in the U.S. alone alcohol and abuse is not going away. In this article we explore some of the common myths around this ever so important topic.

You CAN fully heal from childhood abuse. Discover the powerful Inner Bonding process that enables you to remember and heal from traumatic abuse.

In the 37 years that I have been counseling individuals, I have worked with many people who have suffered from severe physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse in childhood. Many who have sought my help were suffering from fear and anxiety, depression, various addictions, relationship problems and sexual problems. Many of these people had no memory of their childhood and had no idea why there were so unhappy. Many had spent years in therapy yet had never remembered their abuse.

During the many years I've been counseling people, I’ve worked with many people who were sexually abused as children. Some of them remember it all their lives, while others repressed it and remember it only as adults. In either case, the resulting harm exists on many levels.

Case #1. Brianna, 32, would get instantly outraged when her ex-husband threatened to file for custody of their two small children. Deciding to respond differently, she bit her tongue, and remained quiet when he began threatening an escalated legal battle.

Unable to get the usual reaction from her, he calmed down and instantly became rational and more reasonable.

Jim and Mary Jones loved each other deeply, but often went into horrific verbal battles over any number of issues. They would argue and yell for hours, often into the night, leaving both of them exhausted, emotionally disconnected, hurt and resentful toward each other.

Both became so upset they were flooded with negative feelings which prevented their being able to repair the damage, to think rationally, or to problem-solve the issues at hand.

Our earliest relationships create blueprints for all of our future relationships. These early experiences create the lens through which we view others. Every interaction that we have with another individual is influenced by our own personal past experiences.

There is much literature on how to parent challenging children these days. Unfortunately, much of that literature does not typically address the child with special parenting needs and a special parenting understanding. A child that has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or even depression, requires anunderstanding not of the behavior itself, but rather of the underlying dynamics driving the behavior.

Living fearless was something I always dreamed of. While that might not be entirely possible I have learned how to live fear less. And that has been something great.

I have, for most of my life, wanted to be fearless. Since I was very young I felt like I experienced more than my share of fear. What caused this I cannot say. Whether it was an anomaly from birth, a neurological misfiring, a spiritual malady or a mix of all of these I won'€™t ever know. This is what I do know, I have always been aware of it, and I have always wanted it gone. Disappear fear! Growing up I felt isolated, especially from other men, all of the time assuming they did not share my experiences. I was wrong. Now I have an idea why.

Author Dan Griffin explores the connections between trauma, violence and addiction and asks what a trauma-informed curriculum can offer men in recovery.

Most of the men I’ve talked to over the years in the journey through recovery can identify some point in their lives when they realized it was not okay to express certain feelings or behaviors, especially if those feelings showed weakness, vulnerability or sensitivity. Crying above all was strictly discouraged.

Learning how to communicate is one of many challenges faced by men in recovery. Author Dan Griffin explores two big questions that form the foundation for both recovery and communication.

It goes without saying that choosing to enter treatment or a Twelve Step program presents a unique set of challenges. One that many people do not anticipate is the experience of entering a culture in which people communicate. For men especially, this can be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable experience. But this is also the beginning of the most rewarding journey they will ever take: a man’s journey through the Twelve Steps.

In response to all the media hype that surrounded Charlie Sheen's very public struggle, author Dan Griffin offers insight into what this struggle can teach us about men's ability to overcome personal problems.

Watching the recent interviews with Charlie Sheen have left me with many conflicted emotions. More than anything: But for the Grace of God there go I.

I also feel sadness, disgust, and pity. I feel as though I am part of the problem – watching the interviews and ogling over the incredibly devastating car wreck unfolding before us. He doesn’t need people taking pictures of him in the car in flames, he needs help. And few of the media exploits in the past week have been focused on that. Because our society sure loves its disasters! His struggles with drug addiction, gambling, and other unhealthy behaviors are legendary. We have been watching an addict kill himself slowly for two decades. And the media and his employers (aka CBS and Warner Bros.) have been great enablers for years.

It is well-known that trauma and addiction are closely linked. Years of clinical research have demonstrated that many individuals who struggle with addiction report exposure to trauma during the course of their lives. It is not uncommon for those dealing with addictions to have experienced any of the following: prolonged physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood, adolescence and/or adulthood; profound neglect; long-term exposure to violence, war or terrorism; and the chronic long-term health problems associated with these things.

Even though the link between addiction and trauma is well known and well documented, the use of trauma-informed curricula in addiction recovery is relatively new to the field. But ongoing studies -- as well as the recent availability of reliable, evidence-based curricula for men and women -- are showing that this approach to addiction recovery has wide-ranging benefits.

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