S1E3:  Finding and Making a Safe Space – Part 1 (Tool #2 of the Survivor’s Toolbox)

Season 1 Episode 3 – Part 1


Lets explore the concept of Finding and Making a Safe Space!

If you feel like you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or RAINN’s hotline 1-800-656-4673. I have also listed numerous resources on my website that include online chat hotlines. You do not have to go through this alone.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 2:50  Introduction
  • 00:14 – 0:39  Overview of The Survivor’s Toolbox
  • 00:54 – 01:56  Opening Questions
    • Where do you go when you encounter something that is triggering for your trauma?
    • Do you have a safe space, or multiple safe spaces, that you call your “personal spaces?”
    • Do you have a safe space in the place you call your “personal spaces?” (I guess this is sort of the same question as the previous…lol)
  • 01:56 – 03:07  Hypervigilance, hyperawareness, and the concept of a safe space; It’s importance
  • 03:07 – 04:14  What is a safe space and what does it provide? The focus of this episode
  • 04:14 – 05:28  How to make a safe space at home
  • 05:28 – 07:32  My example of a safe space within the home
  • 07:33 – 10:02  Establishing external safe spaces
  • 10:02 – 10:41  Sneak peak for Part 2 of S1E3 

Homework:

  1. Write it Down:  Write 2-3 specific instances where and when you felt safe. Be very specific.
  2. Write it Down:  Write 2-3 specific instances where and when you felt unsafe. Be as specific as you can.
  3. Write it Down:  Write a list of 10 specific personal “red flags” and signals that tell you that you are about to enter into “stress mode (forgot that last part in the recording!). If any of these come up this week, observe the best time to break away from where you are…to go to a different, and safe environment. Some examples:
    1. The feeling like you would rather be anywhere else in the world, BUT the place you are in
    2. The feeling like you want to scream/yell at someone
    3. The feeling of helplessness
    4. The feeling of losing control over how you act
    5. The feeling of difficulty of thinking clearly
    6. The feeling of having more voices in your head than you usually do
    7. Felling “knots” in your stomach
    8. Feeling like you want to hurt yourself or hurt someone else
    9. Your mind going blank
    10. Feeling like you are starting to dissociate
    11. Having visual/emotional flashbacks
  4. Write it Down:  Write a list of 10 specific personal boundaries. Let this list grow, as you continue to notice when and where you are the most comfortable/uncomfortable

Announcements

  • Thank you for those who have given feedback—both positive and directional. Your voices are incredibly valuable to me
  • Recent suggestions:
    • Spacing out thoughts/concepts with sound bits/effects (thank you Hoang)
    • Consistent recording volume/conditions (thank you Angel)
    • Inconsistent volume levels (thank you Angel…and thank you Jonathan for mixing/mastering my episodes)

Lastly, Is there anything that I’ve missed? If you have the time, I would appreciate it if you helped me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment :).

Until next time…Stay Relentless.

Rambles Series: Dealing with Uncertainty

Rambles Season 1 Episode 4 (R1E4)


How to deal with uncertainty in a systematic way.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 00:46   Introduction
  • 00:47 – 01:06   Overview
  • 01:07 – 02:35   Elements of a healthy friendship
  • 02:36 – 03: 40  Where are the “pain points” in your life, the things you absolutely want to change
  • 03:41 – 03:52  Separating each “pain point” into two categories: 1) Things I can change now, 2) Things I will change later
  • 03:53 – 04:25  Creating time-based tangible goals under the category “Things I can change now”
    • Create a overarching “long term” goals
    • Create smaller, “short term” goals under the long term goals
  • 04:26 – 06:03  Reaching those goals, and falling short from them; Taking each goal one small bite at a time
  • 06:04 – 07:28  Takeaways (Overview)
    1. Find what the “Pain Points” are in your life
    2. Separate them into (2) categories:
      • 1) Things you can change now
      • 2) Things you will change later
    3. Create tangible goals
      • Long Term
        • Sub-Goals for Long Term Goals
      • Short Term
        • Sub-Goals for Short Term Goals
    4. Repeat this cycle every season (every three months)
  • 07:29 – 08:50  Application to today’s pandemic

Other Notes:

Is there anything else you’d want to hear about? Help me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment.

I’ve recently discovered, and have been informed by a trusted friend that the sound levels are inconsistent from one mode of listening to another. Rest assured, I have asked for assistance in this department (the quarantine office partner without the fur, haha). 

I am dedicated to responding to feedback and giving you the best product I possibly can, and it has so far been a great learning journey.

S1E2:  Taking a Moment to Honor Yourself (Tool #1 of the Survivor’s Toolbox)

Season 1 Episode 2



Ladies and Gentlemen, the second episode of the series, where we’ll explore the different ways we may have coped as a result of the trauma. Some of these will be more relatable to you than others.

While today we are just acknowledging what we needed to do to survive, I understand that some of us may not be ready to hear all of this at once.

If you feel like you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or RAINN’s hotline 1-800-656-4673. I have also listed numerous resources that also include online chat hotlines. You do not have to go through this alone.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 2:50  Introduction
  • 00:18 – 0:43  Overview of The Survivor’s Toolbox
  • 04:15 – 05:20  The resources I’ll be using
  • 05:24 – 08:26  Jeanette’s Introduction
  • 08:26 – 32:42  Immediate and Latent (Late) effects of CSA according to Courage to Heal
    • 08:48 – 12:48  Coping Mechanisms
      • 08:48 – 09:21  Denial
      • 09:22 – 09:40  Minimizing
      • 09:42 – 10:11  Forgetting
      • 10:12 – 10:46  Presenting a facade to the world
      • 10:47 – 11:44  Humor (Correction, sometimes…humor can be used in a harmful way toward the survivor, and toward others)
      • 11:45 – 12:22  Dissociation
      • 12:23 – 12:48  Spacing Out
    • 12:49 – 13:29  Coping Mechanisms over the years (personal experience)
    • 13:30 – Latent Effects of CSA / How CSA Can Affect Us Later
      • 13:30 – 15:59  Self-Protection Strategies
        • 13:30 – 14:35  Avoidance of People
        • 14:36 – 15:38  Avoidance of Intimacy
        • 15:39 – 15:59  Avoidance of Sex
      • 16:00 – 24:06  Maintenance of Control
        • 17:05 – 18:08  Hyper-vigilance or Hyperawareness
        • 18:09 – 21:23  The Regaining of Power Disempowering Others
        • 21:53 – 22:44  Safety at Any Price
        • 22:45 – 24:06  Seeking Safety in Religion
      • 24:07 – 26:07  Escape by Any Means
        • 25:23 – 26:07  Distraction Versus Avoidance
      • 26:08 – 32:42  Addictions, Compulsions, Self-Destructive Behavior (with Jeanette)
        • Addictions
        • Sexual Addition
        • Anorexia and Bulimia
        • Compulsive Eating
        • Excessive Business or Workaholism
        • Stealing
        • Self-Harm
  • Immediate and Latent (Late) effects of CSA according to RAACE.org (not all covered in the episode)
    • 32:43 – 38:41  Revictimization (with Jeanette)
    • Flashbacks
    • Low Esteem or Self-Hatred
    • Depression
    • Self-Directed Guilt, Shame, or Blame
    • Sleep Disturbances or Disorders
    • Lack of Trust
  • 38:41 – 39:40  What to do with all this information
  • 39:40 – 45:48  Finding Therapy
  • 45:49 – 53:10  When a therapist isn’t working out for you
  • 53:09 – 54:30  Take Care of Yourself
  • 54:30 – 1:09:13  Self-Regulation versus Self-Care
  • 1:09:14 – 1:13:53  Mindfulness

Homework:

  1. Find a Place to Write it Down:  Find a place where you can safely write about this healing process. While this can be a blog, I suggest a private journal. Find one you especially like.
  2. Write It Down:  Acknowledge and take account of the things you’ve had to do to survive up until now. When have you used these coping mechanisms?
  3. Write a Letter of Gratitude to Yourself:  You have done everything you could in the circumstances you had to SURVIVE. You didn’t know any other way. I challenge you to sit down, and write a letter to yourself, thanking your previous self for bringing you here today. Damaged or still hurting, you are still here, breathing, alive…and that’s all because you did everything you could to survive.
  4. Nourish Yourself: Do a handful of things that feed your soul (no limit here)
    • Have your favorite meal
    • Have a warm relaxing bath
    • Reach out to a friend
    • Have a relaxing long drive to somewhere beautiful

Lastly, Is there anything that I’ve missed? If you have the time, I would appreciate it if you helped me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment :).

Until next time…Stay Relentless.

Rambles Series: 8 Elements of a Healthy Friendship

Rambles Season 1 Episode 3 (R1E3)


Having “healthy friendships” can be difficult after CSA, specifically from having our boundaries disrupted earlier in life. Some pointers from my perspective. 

Did I miss anything? What are your thoughts? Join me in the conversation!

And if you haven’t already…be sure to Rate, Comment, and Subscribe. Your support means increasing the chances of the next victim or survivor to stumble upon resources like this (not just my project, but the many others geared toward ending the silence). 

I have committed to releasing episodes every Wednesday. Ya’ll—if you don’t know me, I’ve got the laser focus and the commitment of a patient and hardworking ant. 

This project means the world to me, and I hope that I can give at least one survivor a voice that they’ve been needing to hear.

There’s hope in healing, and reclaiming your life. We are relentless.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 00:52   Introduction
  • 00:53 – 01:42   Overview
  • 01:41 – 18:20   Elements of a healthy friendship
    • 01:41 – 03:51  The joy, peace, and support in our lives
    • 03:52 – 05:06  Someone that we can trust
    • 05:07 – 08:43  Respect
    • 08:44 – 10:58  Honesty
    • 10:59 – 12:10  Active Listening (Mutual)
    • 12:11 – 14:33  Being willing to accept and forgive the shortcomings of others (not to be confused with keeping toxic friendships…that will be a conversation for later), or “Not expecting everyone to be perfect”
    • 14:34 – 15:23  Recap and Overview Take I…how this relates to the CSA survivor
    • 15:24 – 17:00  Bonus Element! — Being able to initiate as much as the other
    • 17:00 – 18:20  Bonus Element! — Not assuming
  • 18:20 – 19:38  Outro Take II

Other Notes:

Is there anything else you’d want to hear about? Help me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment.

I know I’ve promised a second episode of the main series! Please have patience while I finish the edits for that one (my first interview material!).

I’m trying to navigate how to make sure that the volume sounds the same from one episode to another. Please leave your thoughts about this! Still trying to figure it out.

 Rambles Series: Staying Grounded

Rambles Season 1 Episode 2 (R1E2)


Hear about my personal journey (and my beloved dog deep-sniffing the grass) to figuring out what it meant to stay grounded. At around 4:57 I begin talking about what “Staying Grounded” means to me, and some pointers.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 00:18   Introduction
  • 00:18 – 04:57   A Little Bit About Me
  • 04:57 – 12:38   What “Staying Grounded” means for me
    • 05:01 – 05:20  “Re-centering” Myself
    • 05:20 – 07:05  Artist’s Pages & Artist Dates
    • 0735 – 08:05  Bullet Journaling, Creative Bullet Journaling
    • 08:05 – 09:09  Setting meaningful goals every season and month (I refer to Cultivate Your Life by Lara Casey, her name completely slipped my mind!)
    • 09:10 – 09:54  Caring for houseplants
    • 09:55 – 10:17  Keeping the space clean
    • 10:17 – 10:38  Making my own food
    • 10:38 – 11:06  Going the extra mile for my personal enjoyment

Other Notes:

Is there anything else you’d want to hear about? Help me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment.

Standby this week for the second episode of the main series, where we’ll dive into the first tool of the Survivor’s Toolbox.

The Relentless Project & Social Platforms

Project Updates 


I now understand why companies and small business owners hire a person or team to manage social platforms for them…phew! It’s A LOT of work. But all completely worth it. If the goal of The Relentless Project is to reach as many survivors as possible, why not use what we have available to us via the interwebs?

I now have The Relentless Project connected via the following social media platforms:

  1. Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/therelentlessprojectpodcast
  2. Facebook Group/Community: www.facebook.com/groups/relentlesssurvivors
  3. Instagram: www.instagram.com/relentlessjoanna
  4. Twitter: www.twitter.com/relentlessproj

How exciting! The Facebook Page and Community are very fresh. I envision the Facebook Community being the platform for other survivors to share their art, music, poetry, words with each other as a means to connect and understand this very unique, odd, and extraordinary life we all lead. Helping each other to take one day at a time, learning how to smell the roses and cope with our own thorns.

Let me know what you think! Connect to The Relentless Project.

The Survivor’s Toolbox

Season 1 Episode 1


I’m excited to introduce the first episode of the Relentless Podcast series!

In the first episode of this season, I will give an overview of tools helpful for survivors of CSA, regardless of where they may be in their healing journey.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 00:30   Introduction
  • 00:30 – 00:55   Overview of The Survivor’s Toolbox
  • 00:55 – 02:30   What is The Survivor’s Toolbox? How to Best Use It
  • 02:30 – 04:51   Tool #1:  Honor Yourself
  • 04:52 – 08:05   Tool #2:  Finding and Making a Safe Space
  • 08:08 – 10:37   Tool #3:  Acknowledging and Respecting Where You Are Now
  • 10:38 – 12:03   Tool #4:  Understand What Pace to Take
  • 12:05 – 14:35   Tool #5:  Remove the Excess Baggage
  • 14:40 – 18:52   Tool #6:  Allow Yourself a Support System
  • 18:53 – 21:34   Tool #7:  How to Nurture Yourself
  • 21:35 – 23:21   Tool #8:  Know What to Expect
  • 23:22 – 24:00   Outro

Homework:

  • What does your toolbox look like now?
  • What areas can you work on? 
  • What areas can you work on later?
  • What areas can you create compromise with yourself now, but make note for improvement later?
  • Lastly, Is there anything that I’ve missed? Help me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment :).

Until next time…Stay Relentless!

Rambles Series: About Me & The Relentless Project

Rambles Season 1 Episode 1 (R1E1)


Join me as I ramble a little more about myself, and why I am releasing The Relentless Project: My creative outlet dedicated to survivors of child sexual abuse.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 – 00:36  Introduction
  • 00:36 – 06:00  A Little Bit About Me
  • 06:00 – 12:38  Why did I make the The Relentless Project?

Other Notes:

Is there anything else you’d want to hear about? Help me make this the best for you, and leave an honest comment.

Until next time…Stay Relentless.

Welcome to the Relentless Project (The Blog!)



There is more to life than just surviving. While the first season of Relentless will be geared toward giving you the tools for survival, Relentless is about reclaiming your life after the trauma of child sexual abuse (CSA). Yes, you CAN live a “normal” life. But you can live an extraordinary one too.

Standby for the publication of the first season of Relentless, where we’ll explore the basic tools helpful for every survivor of CSA…regardless of where they are in their healing journey.

In the meantime, if you or someone is seeking help in regard to child sexual abuse, please check the Resources page.