artist, author, consultant
People who have experienced childhood abuse and other traumas often developed creative coping strategies to emotionally survive the hurt and deep confusion in their lives.
Unfortunateley professionals and even friends and family sometimes misunderstand the actions and behaviors. Rather than celebrating and honoring the person's unique will to survive, the system attaches labels of mental illness, ADHD and more.
This richly illustrated book explains in story form what PTSD is and how to live effectively with the aftermath of trauma. It is written for people ages 10 to adult who have experienced trauma or who are helping those who have been traumatized.
What you won’t find in this book
This is not a book about specific abuse. It is about the amazing ways people survive abuse and trauma. There are no graphic descriptions or specific details of abuse in the following pages. The exclusion of such material is a deliberate choice on my part. I believe there is enough trauma and sadness in the world. I did not want to give you any more mental pictures of hurt and ugliness.
Excerpts from the book are presented here
CHRONICLES OF THE UNEXPECTED
April 21 2005 marked a day when our lives changed forever. Before and After were words we had used in the past. We had talked about "before our children were born" or "after they graduated from high school." April 21st was a starkly different kind of turning point. That was the day my husband Bruce died from a brain tumor. All that "was" forever changed.
Three weeks after Bruce died in my arms I drove across the U.S. on a solo journey, trying to find the new me, but mostly experiencing the ruggedness of the land. I wanted to feel alive and being out in the mountains or by frozen streams or in desert heat was a link back to life.
During that trip I wrote Journey to the Land of the After. The book chronicled the unexpected lessons and people I encountered as I traveled the western United States adjusting to life after loss and trauma.
It is presented in serial form, new chapters to be added soon.
We were traveling across country, enjoying the rugged Montana mountains and the feel of the motorcycle on the swooping curves.
Both of us had faced many changes in the years before. We were learning to be a couple, learning to be older, learning to live in the new day.
We did not know what was still to come. . . another death, retirement, marriages and births. It seemed enough had already happened.
We stopped at a rustic bar and restaurant miles into the forest. As we opened the door we heard the sounds of a song that would stay with us ... an anthem we would adopt, learn to sing and play, It was a perfect song for us . . .
A Brand New Day would come.
A POEM OF ACCEPTANCE AND REMEMBERENCE
A video thank you, honoring our connection to each other