Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Jessica Malionek

Introducing Trigger Points Contributor Jessica Malionek, author of Fear. My Constant Companion.

jessica Malionek

1. What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?

When my children were infants, it was so easy for me to give myself wholly to their care and to love them unconditionally. I think I was filling them up with the mother I longed for. My love for them was my sustenance and it nurtured me right along with them. The problem, as they got older, was that I couldn’t sustain this self-negating relationship with myself. I was exhausted and resentful and so far from myself which was profoundly confusing because I was working so damn hard to be the best mother I could possibly be. I had to let go of my old beliefs to see that reacting to my mother’s bad mothering didn’t make me a “good” mother. Instead, I had recreated my childhood family-system; sacrificing my needs and my voice for others’ needs. (Which is one of my triggers by-the-way!) As a child, I was told that if I took care of myself I was selfish and bad. I thought that being a loving and attentive mother meant that I had to let go of myself as an individual and give myself over to my children’s care and development completely. I have learned that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

What has surprised me the most about parenting is that I have to deeply and openheartedly care for and love myself first. By doing this, I model being a healthy adult and woman. By caring for and about myself, I teach my children on a fundamental level that they matter. Their voices matter, their opinions matter, their beliefs matter. They just matter! They know this because they see that I feel that way about myself. When I shifted, they shifted and it’s so exciting to see their relationships with themselves and each other changing as I change. It’s been a huge, surprising, gift.

2. Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments.

Truthfully, every single day. The good days. The bad days. The in between days. Because I have my eyes open and my heart open and I’m so proud of that. I know I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be real.

3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute?

I had no fear about contributing. Which is ironic because my essay is about fear. When the project was mentioned to me I jumped. That’s what I do. I follow my heart and leap first. Usually, when I’m free falling I start looking for the ripcord and parachute. After I’ve done something that makes me feel good and happy and proud I start to second guess and feel self-doubt. So the contributing wasn’t hard. The month before the release was hard. When the release date was given, I started getting nervous and afraid. I felt afraid because I had contributed to something that wasn’t my own. It was a powerless feeling. (Another trigger!) I was a part of something and I didn’t completely know what it was or what it would become. As I saw the unfolding — the book cover, the correspondence between authors and I started feeling a connection to the project and the people who were a part of it, I wasn’t afraid anymore. I was overcome with pride and deep joy. Sometimes when I think about it, I feel like my heart could just burst wide open. There is so much hope in people lifting the blanket of shame together. I’m honored to be a part of it.

4. Do you believe participating in this project has changed you in any way? If so, how?

Absolutely. Through this project I keep seeing that fellow survivors who have shared their stories are some of the most mindful, loving, attentive, honest and real parents out there. They are willing to dig through their own pain and examine themselves over and over again instead of ignoring or disowning the past because they love their children. I think initially all of this work, risking and bravery comes from a place of unconditional love for our children. Our children make us brave. When it gets hard we work harder. We reach out. We ask for help. We believe that we can be more than any suffering we endured, because we have already survived the worst. Now we get to create our own futures. Seeing other survivors embrace their future makes me feel empowered and helps me to continue my own work.

5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?

You will stand up when you are ready to stand. You will walk when you are ready to walk. You will run when you are ready to run. You will talk when you are ready to talk. I can support, love and encourage with all of my might, but we do things when we are ready, when we are capable and when we feel safe enough to try. And, when you’re learning to ride a bike, you’ll fall down. You will. But then you’ll get back on and give it another go. We are all imperfect and that’s not just okay, it’s a good thing.

6. When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do?

I train for Ironman triathlons. Although sometimes that’s more about showing up than loving it; I do love to race! The training takes work, time and sacrifice but I think most things in life that matter to us do.

“When my now nine-year-old son was three years old he would refuse to go to his room for a timeout. I would wail, “How do I get my child to listen to me?” “How do I get him to do what I want him to do if he doesn’t want to?” I wondered — Is it okay for me to make him do what I want him to do or is that a breach of trust and boundaries? Do I need to honor his experience and accept that he doesn’t want to listen to me? What is right? What is the answer? Fear drained me, leaving me in a pile on the floor with my son sobbing. Two frightened, motherless children in a heap of fear and confusion.”

Fear. My Constant Companion.

Jessica Malionek

Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors of Experiences of Parenting

Bio:

Jessica Malionek is a wife, mother of three, friend, Ironman triathlete, and of late, a slayer of demons —  leaping into life and letting go of unhealthy belief systems and inauthentic thoughts about herself. Jessica is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse; through her writing and blog, she’s learning to let go of shame and fear. Jessica has her Master’s of Fine Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University of Southern California. She’s learning to be seen. She hopes that her work and daily living will inspire others to be brave and to embrace their true, authentic selves.

Website:http://thecounterstool.me

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecounterstool

Twitter: @TheCounterStool

Instagram: The Counter Stool


book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.

Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Keri-Anne Livingstone

Introducing Trigger Points Contributor Keri-Anne Livingstone, author of The Beautiful Thing About Triggers.

Keri-Anne Livingstone

1. What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?
That being honest with my kids from the beginning about my own shortcomings, frustrations and admitting mistakes would dissolve walls of confusion, create a connection between us that blew me away (considering their age) and bring forth in them their natural ability to empathize and feel compassion. I realized growing up how many times there was mysterious energy around the truth that was NOT being said and in that space I was led to fill in the gaps myself – usually making it about something I had done. I didn’t want this for my kids. I wanted them to never wonder or manifest a story that doubted their worthiness or value.
2. Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments.
My son (5 at the time) was acting out in school and his PE teacher (not thinking) told him that he should be “ashamed of himself”. She didn’t realize that the words she heard so often and uses now are heard by children that understand what those emotions mean. At first I was a total Momma Bear and wanted to rip her face off for allowing doubt into my child having him tell me that it means he shouldn’t like himself for what he did.
Being an emotional empowerment coach I had to practice what I preach, so I felt all the feelings I had and let them move through me – anger, sadness, guilt and hurt until I felt clear enough to approach the teacher.
The next day I spoke to her directly only to discover that she saw NO ISSUE with the words she used. I was her wake up call. And I spoke from my heart. My open, raw and vulnerable heart. I went into the fight armourless and shared with her what it was like to hear my sons confusion. For her to know what those words do to people and that I was sorry she experienced them as a child. I told her that she didn’t deserve to hear them either. She was older and felt genuinely confused by the confrontation which I had a deep compassion for. I told her that she needed to apologize to my son for her words.
A few weeks went by and she hadn’t apologized. I heard her mom was ill so I let the time slide a bit as part of me wanted to go right back to her and be angry. But I held out and had faith it would happen.
Sure enough, three weeks later she showed up at his classroom door and called him out into her office (which of course made him think he was in trouble). She sat him down and told him how sorry she was. She told him that she would never use those words again to him or any other child. And he forgave her. The connection between them (and her and I) is palpable.
I was proud that I was able to move through that experience with full vulnerability I not only gave my son a gift learning that he is worthy of an adults apology but that there is strength in admitting your mistakes and that it is never too late to make things right.  I see also that  gave her the opportunity to learn from a five year old boy about how worthy she was of forgiveness.
3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute?
Not at all. I found strength in the project itself and to stand with other survivors. Our willingness speaks of the time we live in. NO more hiding. We are worthy and deserve to tell our stories and connect to those who have experienced something similar.
4. Do you believe participating in the project has changed you in any way? If so, how?
Of course. How could it not. I think anytime I step into a place where I am revealing an intimate story, an idea or a piece of my heart it strengthens me and provides a feeling of self love in doing it. Showing up for myself and showing up for others. Nothing feels more purposeful or connecting and I think that’s what we are here to do in life. To be the fullest, most authentic expression of ourselves in the world. The book embodies this from front to back.
5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?
They show me when I’m not being true to myself. When I’m not behaving in a way that honours my soul or true nature they are out of sorts. They are the angelic button-pushers in my life to show me when I need to surrender to resistance, to slow down, tune in and speak up what I’m experiencing. This usually results in me sitting down on the floor. LOL. That’s when they know it’s time for us to clear the air with the truth, admit how we are feeling and what’s going on for both of us, cry (if we aren’t already..lol) and hug it out so we can move forward feeling more connected than not.
6. When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do?
I have taken up painting where I work on a “living canvas” that is just for me to play on. Where it is NEVER done. I just keep painting over it again and again. Taking pictures of images I like along the way but then letting it change again and again. There’s something in there about letting change happen and becoming in better relationship with it. To let go and allow my attachments to things (or images) be less and less. To sit with my intention and be fulfilled by that and inspired to see what else I can create and try.
If Triggers had a slogan it would be… May all that isn’t you, fall away. And in feeling it, you are healed.
So let them serve, liberate and free you on your journey.
The Beautiful Thing About Triggers
Keri-Anne Livingstone
Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting
Bio:
 
After an epic journey of “unsolicited” change, Keri-Anne transformed her disconnected and robotic life from existing to LIVING by pursuing one unconventional concept – DARING TO SUCK. 
 
By daring to tune in and speak up for her desires, she transcended the bullshit (roles, rules, expectations) in her life,  reconnected to her heart, put both hands back on the wheel and came ALIVE again. She demonstrates the power of living an authentic, open-hearted life and the limitless impact it has on the world. 
 
She serves the world as an Empowerment Coach, Impassioned Speaker and “Edu-tainer” facilitating and inspiring re-connection, healing, self acceptance and authentic liberation for those seeking freedom and full expression in their life and business. The ripple effect is real and Keri-Anne is here to help you make waves! 
 

book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.

Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Kelly Wilson

Introducing Trigger Points contributor Kelly Wilson, author of Sorry-in-a-Sack Self.

kelly wilson

1. What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?

How little sleep I could get and still survive. I don’t think I slept for five years. I’m glad I took pictures.

2. Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments.

My teen was giving me grief because I wanted to see his electronic devices, which is what he agreed to when he signed the contract that we had made. In the middle of stomping around and rolling his eyes, I kept my cool and said, “You know, this is so not about you. As a parent, I am terrified on a regular basis by how little control I have over what you may be exposed to. I’m doing the best I can here. This isn’t about me not trusting you, it’s about me trying to be the best parent I can be.” This transparency and honesty totally diffused his anger and we were able to have a really pleasant and truthful conversation.

3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute?

It’s always difficult to be vulnerable, but I have come to the conclusion that we can’t stop stigma and support each other without speaking up.

4. Do you believe participating in this project has changed you in any way? If so, how?

I have gotten plugged into some great online groups that offer support and friendship from those who are like me, and struggle with similar issues that I struggle with.

5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?

Life changes are made with baby steps taken consistently each day.

6.When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do?

Hiking, walking, reading, gaming, and watching TV – not gonna lie, I love my share of the electronics time!

The fact that my kids are exposed to the effects of my crappy childhood haunts me, causing me to question what damage my depression and PTSD is doing to their well-being as they get older.

Sorry-in-a-Sack Self

Kelly Wilson

Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting

Bio:

Kelly Wilson is an author and comedian who entertains and inspires with stories of humor, healing, and hope. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Kelly writes and speaks about finding hope in the process of recovery. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, cat, and stereotypical minivan in Portland, Oregon.

Website: www.wilsonwrites.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KW_Writes


book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.

Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Lyndsay Baker

Introducing Trigger Points Contributor Lyndsay Baker, author of Two People.

Lyndsay Hemphill2

1.What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?

That I wasn’t immediately perfect at it!

2.Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments.

Any time I’ve kept my temper, and listened to my children when I’ve wanted to throw a wobbly.

3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute?

Writing the essay was the easy part. I wrote it in tears when I was feeling really low, and it all just blurted out onto the page. But when it was accepted, choosing to use my real name was terrifying. I don’t want to hurt anyone, I just want the right to express myself and tell my story, but I do know if some family members read it, it would hurt their feelings.

4. Do you believe participating in this project has changed you in any way? If so, how?

It has forced me to stand tall and tell my story. I’ve made the conscious decision to put it out there, not rub it in anyone’s face or anything, but I know if anyone challenged me about what I wrote, or write in the future, I will have the strength to tell them I take none of it back.

5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?

It’s OK to get it wrong, and don’t dwell on matters when you do. Just aim to get it right the next time round.

6. When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do?

Karate! I want to get my black belt in the next couple of years

Eventually, the adult regains control. I pick everyone back up with grace. I smile at my daughters and agree when my four-year-old paraphrases my own words: ‘being bad is just a way of learning how to be good.’ She is teaching me, as I know I am teaching her. I identify as the adult; however, the child remains.

Two People

Lyndsay Baker 

Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting

Bio:

Lyndsay splits her time unequally between looking after her kids, writing, and teaching science. She has been writing stories since she was a teenager; this is her first piece of published work, but hopefully not the last as she is working towards finishing a novel about love and mental illness. She lives with her husband, two little daughters and a black spaniel that never stays still long enough to stroke.


book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.

Meet the Trigger Points Contributors

Trigger Points Contributor: Christina Baird

Introducing Trigger Points Contributor Christina Baird, author of Breaking My Shell.

Christina and Chris Baird

1. What was the most surprising thing about becoming a parent?

I was surprised to find out that I could be responsible. That I could handle the responsibility of protecting my child. I was also so surprised how PROTECTIVE I became over him. I was absolutely, positively “Mama Bear.”


2.Tell us about one of your proudest parenting moments. 
Realizing that I could become a better human being because of Christopher. Working on myself for the benefit of my son is the greatest gift he has given me. He has shown me the possibility to be greater than I was the day before. He inspires me to be the greatest version of myself.

3. Was it difficult for you to participate in this project? What strength did you pull from to get past the fear and contribute? 
It was difficult to confront my fears. I never wanted to hurt my baby; I always wanted him to be safe. After I had my son, I was afraid I would become my predator if I touched my baby in a wrong way. Writing about my fears helped me to see how far off I was in my self inflicted fears. I realized I am good for my son and he is good for me. I realized our purpose in this lifetime is patience, understanding, grace and ease when it comes to growing up for him, as well as myself.

4. Do you believe participating in this project has changed you in any way? If so, how? 
Absolutely, there is ALWAYS a bigger picture, a bigger audience, a bigger participation. We are not and never will be alone. There is always someone going through the same stresses we are going through. I honestly believe it takes a village to make a difference in this lifetime. I am proud to be a part of this sphere of influential survivor writers.

5. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children? 
I have learned humility from my son. I have learned that my own personal outbursts of projections get me nowhere. Listening and understanding is my ongoing lesson for this lifetime.

6.When you are not writing or parenting, what do you love to do? 
I love running. I love accomplishing feats I once thought were impossible. Christopher is right there to push me along also.
I had used my story of my childhood for so long as a crutch to treat people poorly and to be a little tyrant for too long. When Christopher came along, that way of living stopped working for me. He held me accountable; I saw my tantrums through his eyes, through his reactions. Even though he couldn’t verbalize it, I could see him watching me and I wasn’t proud of what he was seeing.
Breaking My Shell
Christina Baird
Trigger Points: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting
 

Bio:

Christina is the author of How Far Will I Run, a memoir which focuses on how she has made a conscious choice to be an asset to society despite her childhood traumas. Her passion for running is in alignment with how she lives her life in a day to day environment. Creating a space to always go a little bit farther, accomplishing feats that were once thought to be unattainable, she appears to continually train for life’s marathon. Her book is her journey as a committed student of compassion and growth, who loves and serves to the best of her ability.

In 2014, Christina became a Facilitator for the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Training on a quest to bring child sexual abuse prevention trainings to her community. Christina works with local non-profits, organizations, religious affiliations and legislation to deter predators from harming today’s youth.

In 2015, Christina collaborated with other life-empowering survivors, who choose to break the cycle of childhood abuse and contributed to the book, Trigger Points: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting.


book cover

The Trigger Points Anthology is now available for Kindle and paperback. Click the link to get your copy today!!

Trigger Points Anthology paperback

Trigger Points Anthology for Kindle

Become a member of the supportive Trigger Points community on Facebook and Twitter to connect with other parenting survivors.