In this episode of The Grass Gets Greener podcast, I'm joined by Heather Durling of The Phoenix Gathering. Heather joins me to share her story of how she has been able to rise up from the ashes of abuse and being kidnapped by her own mother to be able to have inner peace and gratitude in her life today.
Click the play button below to check it out!
Heather was sexually abused when she was 3, taken away from her father by being kidnapped by her mentally ill mother, and emotionally abused by her mother until she was old enough to leave that environment.
Effects of the traumatic experience:
Heather became suicidal at the age of 15. She also had a low self-esteem and lacked social skills. She was very self-critical, angry and withdrawn. To this day, she considers herself socially awkward.
Overcoming the traumatic experience:
Therapy, journaling, playing the violin, and getting support from her friend's parents initially helped Heather. She also focused on educating herself about her mother's condition in an attempt to understand why her mother treated her the way she did. She also tried to educate herself on why she was the way she was as a result of her upbringing. Other things that have really helped Heather include, EMDR, Thought Field Therapy, gratitude, and surrounding herself with positivity.
What Heather does today:
Heather runs a local ASCA support group for other survivors as well as her website where she seeks to empower, inspire, and strengthen adult survivors of child abuse.
Given what you know now, if you could go back to when you were going through the tough times and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Heather's Answer: Don't settle; you're not alone; and believe that you deserve love, kindness and compassion as much as anyone else.
ThePhoenixGathering.com - Heather's website where you can connect with her
ASCA support groups - list of meetings for adult survivors of child abuse
EMDR.com - where you can learn more about Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy
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