Survivors Empowering Survivors

I’m Giving My Children the Life I Never Had, and Allowing Them to Take It for Granted.

mpacchiana1.pngI was going to be a savior of children. As a little girl, I dreamed of growing up and creating a safe haven for lonely orphans and foster kids, set on an idyllic farm in the country where pets and farm animals filled out my brood of dependents, and satisfied my aching desire to nurture.

There was a husband in my fantasy, too. He would patiently co-parent our children, biological and otherwise, and adore us all with a fierce, protective loyalty. Even then, I think I understood that I was pining for the chance to give other kids the kind of family environment that I yearned to live in myself.

Growing up as the youngest of six kids, I never felt safe at home. My blended family was a source of love and fun, but it was also chaotic, short on boundaries, and volatile. The trouble usually stemmed from my father’s frightening bipolar rages that transformed him into an angry creature, who lashed out with words and sometimes hands.

Just as unpredictable was the hostile behavior that might spill forth unchecked from my older siblings. Sexual boundaries were nebulous and confusing in our house, adding to my confusion and anxiety. My misery only increased when I was seven or eight years old. My older brother began sexually abusing me, a secret horror that continued for the next couple of years, and which I kept secret throughout my childhood.

Whenever possible, I escaped to my friends’ houses where I envied the kind of structured, consistent atmosphere that allowed me to feel relaxed. Always on my guard at home, I sought out sources of comfort.

With my dollhouse, I acted out the traditional family I desired and released the frustrations I normally had to hide. Under the soft warmth of my blankie, I felt comforted and secure. And in my daydreams, the promise of a future home and family brought the chance to create safety and protection for others, even if I would never know that kind of upbringing.

Today, I have three wonderful teenagers and a husband who’s a pretty close match to that ideal guy I once imagined. We live in a rural town where neighbors are kind and the crow of roosters is a common sound.

Of course, this is real life and not a fantasy. Our family has had its share of struggles and difficult times. Even so, the life we built is everything I once hoped for. While my husband and I never did foster or adopt, we have managed to create a nurturing, healthy family environment for our kids and ourselves. For all of this and more, I am incredibly grateful.

I am also aware that I need to allow my children to take all these gifts for granted.

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My resentment creeps in  at times when I consider that I was once desperate to live like they do — a cozy, warm house stocked with snacks, siblings whose main offenses are rudeness or cleaning out the chocolate stash, the comfort of appropriate boundaries, and most of all, the knowledge that their parents can be trusted.

The problem is that I am remembering my dream, not theirs. It isn’t fair to expect my children to walk around grateful every day for a way of life they have always known, a life that they – and all kids – deserve. While I won’t tolerate rudeness or entitlement, I keep in mind that they have their own legitimate struggles, and that includes having an imperfect family.

Their dad and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way, and we are still learning. For my part, I am an emotional person. Due to my background, normal family problems can sometimes feel like crises to me, which causes me to overreact. For this and other reasons like impatience and moodiness, I can be difficult to live with at times.

I also keep in mind that my children contend with the regular factors that make kids grumpy –teen hormones, academic and social pressures, and fatigue brought on by having to get up early for the high school bus. There is also the simple fact that they are deep in the process of learning how to live, love and work with others. Heck, we are all works in progress when it comes to understanding and expressing our emotions and getting along with our fellow human beings.

Part of adolescence involves sizing up one’s parents and deciding which qualities to emulate and which ones to reject. Though it might be nice if our kids were a little less vocal about the qualities they want to scrap, we owe it to them to respect their needs to individuate and forge their own paths (even when it’s tough not to take their criticisms personally). In fact, there is comfort in knowing that our kids feel safe enough to behave like normal, ungrateful teenagers.

The truth is, I know full well that my kids appreciate their home and family. I feel it in their spontaneous hugs and when we get the giggles together over our shared brand of humor. I observe their thoughtfulness when they eat the dinner I prepared without complaint, even if it’s not their favorite. On occasion, they openly voice their gratitude; like the day my teenage son told me “I really hit the jackpot with my parents.”

It helps to realize that creating a healthy family is a gift I gave myself, too. Correcting my past has helped me heal from my trauma. Through the support of my husband, therapists and close friends, I eventually learned how it feels to be safe, respected, and loved without condition.

Creating the opportunity to share these gifts with my children has, in a sense, set me free. That scared little girl grew up and found her real home and family. While I still have my issues (just ask my kids), I am genuinely happy today. I am also extra appreciative of my gifts because I know what it’s like to live without them.

For my kids though, home is just home. While it can feel to them like a safe haven, family life can also be annoying, unfair and at times feels impossible. Other days though, home might just be their favorite place in the world. In fact, now that I think about it, I feel all these ways about our home too — and that’s okay.

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Bio:  Miranda Pacchiana is a social worker and writer with a blog on the Huffington Post. She lives and works in western Connecticut with her family.

 

Survivors Empowering Survivors

Know Tiny Secrets

The topic of how we talk to our children about body safety is often discussed within the survivor community. Some may believe that the task is somewhat easier for us because unfortunately, we have first hand experience and know exactly what our kids need protecting from. That isn’t necessarily the case. A conversation about body safety has the potential to be incredibly trigger for a survivor, and also open the door for our inquisitive children to ask questions about our own childhoods. Latasha Fleming shares with us today as part of the #SurvivorsEmpoweringSurvivors series, the story of how she created a book that can ease the uneasiness of this must-have conversation with our children. She lets us in on the challenges she faced, both emotionally and logistically. Know Tiny Secrets is a beautiful accomplishment that not only will help educate and empower our children, but can be a valuable tool for helping parents approach this difficult and potentially triggering topic.


image1My daughter was about 2 years old when I began teaching her about body safety and her private parts. Paranoid and overprotective, I looked at everyone as a potential threat to my daughter’s innocence. I knew early on that I would talk to my daughter about everything and allow her to ask all the questions that I often had as a child, which always went unanswered. I wanted to build a trust with my daughter that no one could break, not even a luring, sneaky, child predator.

I realized that if bank robbers can get away with robbing a bank, and murderers can get away with murder, usually committing the crime again; that meant rapist/abusers/molesters are just as (or more) likely to get away with their crimes, and DO IT AGAIN!

I felt this immediate rush of insane bravery and boldness.

Despite my self-doubt, I knew there had to be more that I could do to prevent children from going through what I went through. From having a support system, to bridging the gap between the “sexual abuse prevention” talk and parents, I wanted to give children all over the world a voice and empower them to speak their truths.

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Click to add Know Tiny Secrets to your personal library.

From my childhood poetry, to my fictional stories that I created, I knew I had to write a children’s book. I started jotting down sentences of how I wanted my book to sound. I did not have a title for months because the obvious title that came to me was already used in another book. I kept taking notes, and researching books. Months later after a meeting with my close friend, the title hit me and I knew it was perfect: Know Tiny Secrets.

KNOW the secrets of abuse, so there will be NO secrets.

I immediately began to draw a logo that had a key which represents having the key to your future, surrounded by love. I knew I had to include all children in the book, because abuse has no color, face or social status.

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I wanted to be certain to include special needs children, as they are abused at a much higher rate, and are many times overlooked when it comes to abuse.

Empowering children with the knowledge to keep their bodies safe and private is the most valuable part of parenting. You can never start too early, and if you don’t teach your kids about sexual abuse, the abuser will.

Know Tiny Secrets was no easy book to release and it came with many tears, fears, and trials. I cried a lot during each phase of developing the book. At times it was shedding tears of joy, and other times it was tears of uncertainty. The fear of uncertainty lurked in my mind and I would play out drama that didn’t exist. I questioned if I was qualified to write, and I shared my thoughts with a close friend, who regularly assured me that I was already trained and hired.

I was dropped from by first illustrator after months of working together and sharing ideas and life. I felt like shit and immediately my childhood feelings of rejection and questions of worthiness resurfaced.

I gave myself the ultimate pep talk and quickly dried my face and decided to survive the storm. That same day, I searched and found my now illustrator via the same website. Reluctant to inquire about her work because she was awesome and over my budget; it’s safe to say I took a leap of faith and it worked out despite my initial doubt. Every other month, I felt like we were so close to finishing and wrapping up the artwork and final drafts, but boy was I wrong.

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Self-publishing allowed creative control but also assured there would be no certain control of time and people. My illustrator captured my vision very well, but it was tough sending countless emails to someone hundreds of miles away; especially since I’m a visual person who likes to see and communicate in person.

We did not always agree, in fact at the very end my illustrator tried to remove her name from my book for the better interest of other well-known clients. I felt rejected once again, and I also knew there was no way I could take credit for illustrations and ideas that I alone didn’t create.

The truth boiled down to writing a book that deals with social issues, which many people hate to talk about and some may not want to be associated with. I had to stand strong and remind myself and my illustrator of the truths of the creation of the book and our history. Thankfully everything worked out and I’m very grateful for her dedication and talent.

What would life be without a test?

From start to completion and release, the book took about 3 years total. To this day it still seems unreal; I have to sit and really look back on everything with gratitude that I was able to endure my life, just to be a voice to help save others.

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I’m now a child sexual abuse advocate and I have a business Know Tiny Secrets LLC, dedicated to helping empower kids. I travel to youth serving organizations, homes, and communities to read my book, and speak to groups of children about sexual abuse prevention/awareness.

Life, love and forgiveness give me hope each day. What we all can be certain of is that healing is possible, and loving yourself doesn’t have to be a chore that goes undone. Healing takes time; it’s a continuous process that you learn to re-train your thoughts and behaviors one experience at a time.

It’s my dream that our innocent babies will know the secrets of abuse, so there will be no secrets to keep.

Bio:

Latasha Fleming is a child sexual abuse advocate, mother of a seven year old daughter and lives in North Carolina. A survivor of sexual abuse, Latasha understands the fear and reluctance that keeps kids from reporting abuse to grown ups they trust. As a parent, she makes sure her daughter knows she can tell her anything silly or serious, especially when it comes to her body. Aside from being mom, Latasha enjoys self help books, sweets, quiet time, long chats and a good laugh.

www.knowtinysecrets.com

https://www.facebook.com/knowtinysecrets/

knowtinysecrets@gmail.com

Buy the Book!!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1518736629

 

 

 

 

Survivors Empowering Survivors

Just Breathing, I Was Enough.

Have you ever read something so simply powerful, that you find yourself holding your breath? That’s what happened to me as I read today’s #SurvivorsEmpoweringSurvivors submission. Anika shares with us a breakthrough in her recovery that truly inspired me to stop chasing that elusive dream to be “better than.” Thank you, Anika…for reminding me that I. Am. Enough. ~Dawn


I was in my early 20s before I could not only hold onto the childhood abuse memories that had always floated around the periphery of my memory, but truly know them. Not just fear an awareness of them, but know them. And, being me, I started reading.

I read The Courage to Heal. I read The Survivor’s Guide to Sex. It turned my world upside down. I remember standing in a little neighbourhood bookstore in shock; I didn’t have dozens of strange issues that didn’t make sense. I had very normal post-traumatic stress.

This changed everything — every way that I had been raised to think about myself. Like many families with scary secrets to hide, my family centered their attention on a scapegoat, me. The one who would be the most likely to speak out. If I was always already dismissed and dismissible, they had less to fear. 

urlI kept reading. I read narratives by Becky Lane, Dorothy Alison, and Anna Camelleri. So many who were queer and as fierce as I aspired to be. I pondered their observations that often survivors were either the really good kids or the really bad kids growing up. We either were able to put on a nice face to cope with life outside of abuse, or we acted out to demonstrate that something was wrong!

Growing up I had been the black sheep of my family–too big, too loud, too many feelings. Often immobilized by the gravity of trauma while growing up, I was unable to do as well in school as I would have liked, or pursue change as I wished. Once on my own, I was determined not to let this stop me or define me. I spoke out. I spoke out against the abuses I’d faced along with the familial and dominant cultural norms that enable them. I spoke out and lost my family. But dammit, I was fierce. 

I was an abuse healing superstar.

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Very fierce. All the time.
I didn’t just read books; I joined a 3 stage abuse recovery group. I helped to lead a 4th stage. I went to therapy. After so many years slightly dissociative, I got massages to find a way back into my body. I hosted massage evenings to make a space for others to be able to feel comfortable in their own skin. I journaled, I went to workshops, I led workshops. I wrote a children’s book about a girl who travels in time to tell her younger self that her body was never bad, that this was not her fault.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this was bad. It was freeing. I could finally live the extent of who I was, without my family’s narrative about how messed up I was holding me back. I wasn’t messed up, I was a freaking badass healer who had been through messed up things, but was ready to take on the world!

The actions weren’t a problem, but the internal narrative was exhausting:

“I am doing so well because I’m separate from the people who hurt me.”

“I am doing so well because the abuse does not define me.”

“I am doing so well because I am bigger than my past.” 

It all rested on something–that I am doing well. So what about when I’m not? 

It wasn’t till 10 years later that I began to build some nuance into this narrative. I was living on my own for the first time and discovering what my rhythms were when there was no one else to be influenced by, annoyed with, or self-conscious around.

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Supported child’s pose…I’ve got nothing to prove!

I made a commitment to myself to do yoga from home every morning for a month. There was no goal to reach, the goal was just to have a practice. It was just me so there was no one I could accidentally compare myself to.

I was mid-sun salutation on the second week and it hit me: I don’t have to be “doing well.” I had needed to end unhealthy relationships and I did. Whether I did better or worse than they thought I would didn’t make my decision to separate from my family any more or less valid. The goal was always already accomplished — I was out of relationships that were toxic for me. 

I finished this practice, mulling over this truth–I had nothing to prove. If I was having a hard time and needed help, it didn’t mean anything other than that. If I was soaring and taking on the world, I still had nothing to prove. I was just as worthwhile, sitting alone in yana mudra in my apartment as I was putting on a symposium.

Just breathing. I was enough.

Survivour work is incredibly difficult. It takes being such a tough warrior to even face the truth of your own experience. All the workbooks, therapy, journaling, and support groups are courageous acts of self-love and society-changing bravery. They help to shift the cultures of silence that make the climate so ripe for childhood abuse.

If you are doing this work, in any capacity, I’m sending you my undying respect. I am also sending my wish that you have moments in which you can experience yourself as enough, with nothing you need to prove.

Your body as it is right now, well or struggling with illness, is doing amazing work to heal and to protect you. 

You are always already enough. 

Bio:

Anika Tilland-Stafford is a chronic Lyme disease healing badass yogi whose blog you can follow at: https://chronicyogiblog.wordpress.com/. She is also an academic and children’s author with a PhD from the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia. She works as a Director of Lifelong Learning at the Unitarian Fellowship in Bellingham, Washington where she lives with her wonderful wife and two odd cats. 

Survivors Empowering Survivors

We Just Have To Be Asked.

Liz Mullinar’s story captures the very essence of the #SurvivorsEmpoweringSurvivors series. She walked away from a prominent career to put in motion a plan to use her traumatic experiences, and the knowledge gained because of it, to help fellow survivors heal. The result is the Heal for Life foundation, which is providing compassionate, empathic and scientifically backed approaches to help survivors get to the root of their traumas, and move forward in their healing journey.


liz-mullinarAfter years of struggling and feeling no one understood us survivors, I determined that the only way to create change was to start our own organization. So, I announced at a particularly irritating health professionals meeting that I would start our own organization which would truly present the survivors view of what we need in order to heal and if anyone wanted to join me, to phone me.

Wonderfully, a few people did and we started Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse(ASCA), and opened survivors groups throughout Australia. Within two years, we had 55 groups running despite a complete lack of funds!!

However, the more we met, the more we began to see the need for more than the validation and support being offered in the groups. We needed a safe place where we could go and unburden our pain. A place where we could heal without judgment; a place where we could feel safe enough to release our fear and be able to move on in our lives, freed from the burden of our child abuse.

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In 1997, my husband and I sold our home and business (Liz Mullinar casting) and built Mayumarri; a safe place for survivors of abuse.

My original concept was that we would charge nothing and anyone could come for as long as they liked. That idea evolved because of a wonderful counselor, Margaret Williams, who devised and implemented a 5 day program. At first we charged nothing to attend, but we found the less people paid the less likely they were to turn up (still the same today), so sadly we started charging $50 for the week.

The program has gone from strength to strength and has now been running for 16 years. Over 6,500 people of all ages have been helped on their healing journey.

I know now both anecdotally and through our independent research that everyone can heal from mental illness and the symptoms we suffer from as a result of our abuse, by releasing the emotions connected with our  childhood trauma.

Everything we do here is informed by our own innate knowledge of what we need as survivors of child abuse to do in order to heal and consistently backed up by the latest neuroscience.

In our model we have 5 steps.

  1. Recall the traumatic moment in time via the right hemisphere of the brain (visualizations, music creative work.)
  2. Feel, and with physical effort release the emotions that were not safe to feel at the time. Encourage the ‘Inner Child’ to talk, and prompt them to stay in her/his emotions.
  3. Verbalize the feeling and whatever needs to be said about what happened.
  4. Re-empower the child.
  5. Nurture the child

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Our program is run almost entirely by volunteers, people who have healed through the program and want to help others to do the same. Our facilitators are paid. These are mainly people who came first to Heal For Life with no purpose in life; however, after discovering that they could heal and how amazing that is, they have become such passionate advocates. Some have gone on to train as therapists, psychologists or other related professions and have returned to heal For Life to help others, giving them hope and assurance that they can heal.

Our office and property are also run by survivors of child abuse, usually people who want to stay for a longer period to heal and help.

We also run camps for kids from 8 years upwards. These are immensely rewarding and worthwhile to change their lives around while they are still so young.

Heal For Life succeeds because it is run by survivors of abuse and we know what we need to do and create in order to feel safe. We know only a non authoritarian, non hierarchical structure works. We know all of us innately know what we need to do in order to heal; we just have to be asked. We know we all can heal. We know no one is beyond help, and that life is a choice. We can choose to heal or we can stay stuck in victimhood.

We now have centres run by volunteers in the Philippines and England and hopefully one day people from other countries will choose to join us.

Come and join us wherever in the world you live, and help us to change the way survivors are healed and help us to create more happiness and hope in this world which we believe can be found by healing from our childhood abuse.

Click to watch Liz’s TEDx: Treating the Core Problem to Childhood Trauma

 

http://www.healforlife.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/Heal-For-Life-Foundation

Bio

LIZ MULLINAR is a survivor of incest, satanic ritual abuse and sexual abuse. She is the founder of Heal For Life Healing Centres for survivors of child abuse & trauma. She co-founded and subsequently ran the first national charity for people who had suffered childhood trauma – Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA).

Liz conceptualized the book “Breaking the Silence” and co-edited it. She also wrote an autobiography with her brother, “The Liz Mullinar Story”. Both published by Hodder Headline.

In 1997 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the community, and in 2000 she was awarded the inaugural Australian Humanitarian of the Year award. She was also honoured on “This is your life” in 2001 and in 2003 received a centenary medal. In 2006 she was a finalist in the Charity CEO of the year award. 2009 she was honoured with an achievement award on Australia day as well as being named as New South Wales volunteer of the year. She was a finalist for Australian of the year in 2010.

Liz is now very involved in helping Indigenous people use the model in remote communities & in training heath professionals in Trauma Informed Care so that what she has learned over the last 17 years can help far more people than the actual guests on programs.

Click here to become a guardian angel and  help  someone heal from their childhood trauma.Liz Mullinar AM, BTh, M. Couns  | CEO & Founder |  380 Coney Creek Lane Quorrobolong   NSW  2325 |  PO Box 361 Cessnock NSW 2325 Australia  | (+61 2 49986003  |  Fax +61 2 49986041;mobile: 0409714372

Survivors Empowering Survivors

Why I’m Not A Total Piece of Shit

In searching for fathers to contribute to the Trigger Points Anthology, I came across Byron’s blog Trauma Dad. As soon as I finished reading his post I Am A Killer, I emailed him because I felt compelled to help him share his voice as far and wide as I could. Although he was unable to contribute to the anthology, he has remained a friend to the Trigger Points community. Good things are happening for Byron and I am so thrilled that he has chosen to share an excerpt from his upcoming book I Am a Killer for the #SurvivorsEmpoweringSurvivors series.

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“I think “I Am A Killer” will help people.  More than that, I think the raw acknowledgement of my corrupt instincts, and how I turn them into positive action, will help stop people from being abusers, and will help them come to love themselves.” ~Byron Hamel

Choice.

There are times in our lives when we have choices, and times when we do not.

When we are children, we are led by those in charge of us.  They tell us to do things.  Mostly, we do what they say.  We believe what they believe, and behave how they behave.  We observe, and emulate.  It’s part of how we learn.  It’s human nature.

A mother is like God to a child.  Her will is destiny.  Fate.  “Do it, now” says the father.  And the child does.  The master teaches the apprentice.  This relationship between parent and child is a sacred trust.  A way to maintain safety, build character, and establish vital life habits and skills.  IF -and I mean a very big IF- the parents use their power correctly.

Essentially, as children, we are led.  And we follow.  When we are led poorly, bad things can happen.

Choices are steered by forces and circumstances beyond a child’s control or understanding.  Children neither possess the reasoning, nor the physical requirements to take command of their own lives in any responsible way.  Their views of the world are filtered through rules, limits, directions…

As children, we are sheep.  And we are vulnerable.  We are as helpless against the wolves as we are against the shepherds.  And that is why so many of us are taken advantage of as children.

We can not fight back when adults hit us.  We WILL not fight back.  We just get hurt.  And that becomes the reality of our lives.  If we are threatened into silence or submission, we will usually concede.  We will usually be victimized until, by some happy accident, a caring person intervenes.

The choice to end parental abuse is not our own.  Not while we are kids.

If we are lucky or clever enough to escape our abusive situations alive, we become adults.  And then we are called upon to make our own choices.  To behave in responsible ways of our own choosing.

But how?  How the hell do we know what to do, if nobody ever taught us correctly?

Maybe we learned when we were little that the correct way to respond to somebody denying us what we want is to punch them in the ear.  Perhaps we were taught that unsolicited fondling of another person’s genitals is the appropriate way of showing love.  It could be that we were beaten every time we expressed emotion, and therefore grew to hold our feelings inside, fearing punishment.

Now that we are adults, our understanding does not magically shift on it’s own.  If our minds and hearts become corrupted, they remain corrupted until we change them.  And change takes work.  Change takes wisdom.

But we are lost.  We truly have not been led to a place of responsibility.  But here we are, tasked with being adults.  Surrounded by other people who seem to be doing just fine.  But we’re not like them, are we?  We don’t GET IT.  We still need to learn all that very basic stuff.

And there’s a lot of it.

We are left to lead ourselves.  To teach ourselves.  But we haven’t been trained to lead.  And we don’t possess the knowledge to teach.

So what do we end up doing?  Well, we follow.  If we do not take control, we continue doing the things we learned how to do, the way that we learned how to do them.

And that is not a good thing.  It is a bad thing.  It is what monsters are made of.  But we’re not monsters.  We’re just grown up kids who got a raw deal.  And now some new kid is smiling up at us.  And we are God to that kid.  That kid is our chance to do the right thing. That kid is why we are not going to follow.  We are going to choose for ourselves.

We the abused stand on the edge of decision.  And we need to make a vital choice.  We can do the difficult thing, and learn how to parent properly.  Or we can do the horrible thing, and continue the cycle of abuse.  We the abused to do not have the luxury of inaction.  We must choose.  One, or the other.

Now that we are the adults, we have the power to choose.  We can end parental abuse before it even begins for our own children.  It may seem impossible to you.  That makes sense.  Ending a cycle of abuse is hard to do.  And I mean VERY difficult.  But the alternative is the continuation of abuse.  And that is worse.  Further, it is unacceptable.  It is inadmissible.

We need to take control.  We need to take the reigns, and choose for ourselves.  We need to parent ourselves.  Correct our damaging beliefs and behaviors.  We need to become the source of love, safety, wisdom, and security that we wish we had when we were children.

This does not happen overnight.

It will take time.  We will need help.  We will need, perhaps, medication and therapy.  We will need to be kind to ourselves.  Patient and persistent.  If we are to succeed in this, we need to learn to love ourselves in all the ways that we were not loved as children.

With this effort, we find our voices.  We make our own choices.  We take our own actions.  We refuse to emulate the wills and ways of those who damaged us.

Choice.

I made a good one.  I make good choices every day.

That is why I’m not a total piece of shit.

————-

BIO

Byron Hamel was raised by a violent man who got the death penalty for torturing and killing a baby.  As a result of his upbringing, Byron dedicates his life to fighting child abuse.  He lives with Complex PTSD, Depression, and Anorexia.  Despite his obstacles, he’s an amazing dad to his two lovely daughters.

An award-winning Canadian journalist, and television producer, his documentary film, “A Breaking Cycle”, is a powerful journey into the world of tough bikers who protect abused kids.

Byron is currently writing for his blog Trauma Dad, and his book “I Am A Killer”, to be released in 2016 by the Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing.  This post is an excerpt from his work in progress.  His writing challenges readers with both depth and simplicity.  It’s raw and funny, but leaves you feeling hopeful and inspired.

http://traumadad.blogspot.ca
https://www.facebook.com/traumadad
https://twitter.com/byronhamel
https://www.facebook.com/GravityImprint