Adventures In Writing
I'll never forget when Lila—a psychic medium—told me years ago, "Keep writing. You'll be writing books one day." This was in 2009. I didn't even believe in psychic mediums nor did I ever think of myself as a writer. Back then, I was ramping up Mod Mom, raising a seven-year-old and an 11-year-old, and trying to keep it all in balance. It was long before I started channeling children in spirit and long before I ever thought about writing for a living. I was simply writing a blog about my life as a carpenter/furniture designer called Life In My Garage. It wasn't anything special; I was just enjoying writing about my sawdust life with kids in tow.
Nine years later, I'm working on a memoir. GET THE HELL OUT, right?!?! I KNOW! Me? A writer? Nah. Except three years ago I accepted a job as a public affairs writer for a university in town. And prior to that, I was asked to write for a furniture industry publication. OK UNIVERSE, I get it. That Lila—she was right!! Sometimes it just takes a little while for things to become clear...like almost 10 years. Holy crap, I can't believe it took this long.
Let me just say I DO believe in psychic abilities now. Hard to discount something I now live. And I write A LOT. Not only has it become a love for me (and cheap therapy), I've learned a lot about who I am as a writer. In addition, women and men reach out to me about healing from relationship abuse or sexual abuse, and I write them back. Sometimes, it's easy and I feel good about what I've shared, and other times it's hard as hell because I don't have an answer for them or a bridge over troubled waters. (Side note: Now I have that song in my head and it will be here for a day, at least.) I sometimes offer advice about intuitive children or intution in general, too. It's a mixed bag and I love every minute of it. I would never be where I am without the help, love and support from others who helped me find my footing through it all.
I've gotta say, this memoir-writing thing has been a lot of fun, so far. I know I still have memory issues, but as I'm writing I'm remembering more. Remembering detail about the sudden onset mediumship I experienced in my late 30s. I can see it all in my head like a Lifetime movie. When I share the full story with people—life from age 36 to now—they always say OMG this is movie or a book. I tell ya, I'm really starting to believe it myself.
I'm super grateful for the opportunity to tell the whole story. And I'm really thankful to all of you for riding in the passenger seat on this bizarre adventure. As my friend Kari says, "We can drive!"
And we can write. And write. And write. And heal.
This week, I've heard from four different women seeking advice on dealing with childhood sexual abuse healing/legal matters as well navigating life with an abusive partner or ex-partner. I'm so grateful they are reaching out. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have lived it and hope what I'm sharing is helping.
Part of my healing journey has involved therapy. In fact, I hadn't been to see my therapist in months until yesterday. While I didn't feel I necessarily needed to work on anything specific with her when I booked my appointment, I knew I wanted to catch up. And I'm soooo glad I did.
Deanna Vance—a wonderful therapist I've known since 2012—was a volunteer at the non-profit I founded called the The Little Light Project. She's worked with families and children for roughly thirty years. It's funny to think that I met her because she volunteered her time and expertise for the non-profit, but ultimately, she became one of my life savers. I started seeing her when I was coming to grips with learning about the childhood sexual abuse I endured in early 2014. Then, when Scott and I split, I saw her pretty regularly. It takes one moment in her presence to know her heart is as big as Texas and her heart was bleeding for me while fully understanding that the journey I was on was painful, but ultimately healing.
Yesterday, I happily sat in the calm of her cozy office excitedly relaying all the stuff that's transpired since I saw her last. Let me tell ya, it was a lot!! I told her how Scott and the kids are doing, and about the memoir I'm writing about my life's journey. She listened intently with a huge smile spreading across her beautiful face. After all, she saw a very shattered, confused, crying Kiersten in many sessions over multiple years.
Three years ago, I shared with her that I would get this weird energetic buzzing feeling on my right hip when I would tell her about an incident where I was being shamed. I was perplexed by it but at the same time, much of my intuition had started presenting itself in physical ways as far back as 2009. Chills. Pains. Smells. Sounds. The whole shebang. She helped me understand that the buzzing sensation I was feeling was "Little Kiersten" trying to get my attention. I've written previously about how I felt I wasn't in touch with my inner child and thankfully, both therapists (one at the university and Deanna) said I was not experiencing Dissociative Identity Disorder. I flat out asked and was happy to hear they both agreed—I was not dealing with multiple personalities, but rather with the repression of abuse. I had also buried my little self. They both said my personality was strong and in tact—I wasn't splintered but I wasn't integrated with my child self.
What does that feel like to not be at one with your inner child? Here's what it's like. When I wrote a letter to my childhood abuser telling him I know what he did and how I felt about it, tears started rolling down my face but I didn't feel any build up of emotion. You know how you feel when you're about to cry? I didn't have that. That's how separated we were. When I would endure shaming speak, I would feel the pulsating, buzzing sensation and if it was severe, I would start shaking uncontrollably. That had never happened before 2014 but it clearly took physical signs for me to understand that my emotional pain body was carrying a lot of past trauma that was being triggered—ultimately showing me where I needed to heal.
I told Deanna that I haven't had that feeling in a very long time and that, for me, it points to integration with my little self. I had pretty much forgotten, at one time, I was feeling that sensation a lot. Apparently, Little K needed to be heard. She needed the abuse to stop. She needed me to step into my power again. Once I did that, all of the physical signs disappeared.
My therapy life saver confirmed my revelation and reminded me that when I do feel triggered, it's merely a reminder that I need to let myself feel whatever it is in order to heal it. It's taken almost a full year to get here, but I did it! And I'm immensely grateful.
If you are healing from abuse, pay attention to the physical cues you experience. There's a pattern and a roadmap in the bizarre world of physical, intuitive signs. And it's a life saver, believe me.
Over the years, I've come to learn quite a bit about the unseen world in which we live. Jokingly, I have been described as a ghostbuster when I've helped figure out what's happening within someone's home. I'm cool with that—I LOVED those movies as a kid. Go figure!
With that said, what I share is purely from my own experience and may be complete bullshit but I guess I won't know the truth of it until I'm on the other side. The only proof I have is experiential from the families I've helped, the law enforcement officials who have confirmed what I share matches reality, and my own validations along the way.
So let's talk a bit about energy imprints versus active spirits. I was reminded to share the difference between the two after I helped clear an energy imprint this past weekend. The scientist in me understands that what is created never dies. Even Einstein talked about it years ago, i.e., the quote at the top of this post. It did take me a little while to understand that in some cases, what people are experiencing is simply an energetic replay of something that holds a lot of vibration, like a tragic or an emotional event. Battlefields are famous for this. Other times, they are experiencing spirit who either hasn't crossed over yet and is trying to get their attention/draw energy or one who has, and is trying to get their attention.
This past weekend, I helped clear an energetic imprint. The dog in the home was acting very strange in one room of the house, one area of the bathroom, to be specific. He would go in and stare at nothing (in a specific part of the room) for an extended period of time. Turns out, this was due to the an emotional event that occured in that area. He was seeing it and sensing it. Once I tapped into the energy of the room, I was able to clear it using a few methods. First, I drew upon my Reiki healing training and cleared the room with a symbol called Cho Ku Rei. Next, I simply asked that the energetic imprint be cleared. Similar to prayer, I set the clearing intention and asked the owner to let me know how the dog reacts over time.
She wrote me yesterday telling me the dog went into the bathroom, as usual, but then immediately turned around and left the room—not her normal activity prior to the clearing. It made an impression on the owner, for sure.
In other cases, I've helped spirit move on or channeled the messages meant for the folks living in the house. One of the first times I helped a friend who was sensing activity in her house involved helping two souls—two litttle girls—cross into the light (think the TV show, The Ghost Whisperer) who were attached to the land their house was built on. A home on the property burned down, sadly taking the family members with it during the late 1800s. Once the girls crossed, the strange activity in the home stopped. I was so new to channeling that I literally googled, "How do I help cross spirit into the light?" And by George, it worked! Since then, I've helped many souls cross, all the while still wondering how and why it is the way it is. I will never fully understand but I'm happy to help however I can.
I had NO idea when I started channeling that there was such a thing as an energy imprint or how to differientiate it from active spirits. This has all been a learning experience for me. Turns out, there's quite a lot to learn about ghostbustering and thank goodness I haven't had to deal with a giant marshmallow man...yet.
Here are a few sites/references that talk about energy imprints:
Ghosts, Spirits, and Hauntings
Ever since I was a little, I have been described as a helper, believer, supporter, and optimist. And I love all of those things about me. I come from a long line of helpers, teachers and coaches so it must be in my DNA.
I would always take folks at their word. I had this innate faith that everyone was trying their best. I still have that faith, but a parting gift when a narcissistic abuser walks out the door is the realization you were totally duped.
Another "bub-bye" gift is coming to grips with the fact that you were made to feel less than and there's no way the belittling and condescension didn't seep into the cracks. As confident as I am about who I am, it absolutely unknowingly seeped into my soul.
Last night, Scott and I were watching Mr. Rogers and Me—a documentary about Mr. Rogers and his impact on children and adults, alike—and it occurred to me that my sense of self had been adversely affected by anti-Mr. Rogers. "I love you just the way you are" was turned on its head because it was something that was shouted from the rooftops in the beginning, but over time it changed to, "you're a thick fucking brick" and other not-so-nice declarations with intermittent compliments sprinkled in between.
Feeling loved and safe turned to feeling on edge, confused, and hurt. This led to trust issues for me. I had a hard time trusting my own intuitive guidance about the smallest things in life and I had a difficult time believing in other people. I swore to keep my circle small and only trust those who were there for me through thick and thin. I could count them on one hand.
The truth is, now, I have learned to trust again but it required me listening to my own inner voice and re-learning how to decipher subtle energetic signs.
Here's a list of what to look for when you're in the presence of a new person. If you feel these things, know that it's for a very good reason. With that said, it's hard to read objectively when attraction gets thrown into the mix but it's possible!
Learning to trust these physical intuitive cues has helped me quickly decipher who and how to trust, again.
As Mr. Rogers said, "The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” So be who you are and acknowledge your honest feelings and physical cues when you are learning to trust again.
Trust me—it works!
Scott sent me this unexpectedly this morning. I didn't ask him to write anything. I'm so grateful for his willingness to share his thoughts with all of you. -- Kiersten
BY SCOTT HATHCOCK
From time to time a person or persons who care greatly for me or even people who don’t care at all will ask me this question,
“When is Kiersten going to be done talking about this old abusive relationship?”
To which I tend to shrug off a response as if to say, “I don’t know.”
But, the real answer is that it is not for me to say. This is her story, her path. And, she, as one of these articles suggest is “stepping into her bravery” by talking about it. The difference in us, as a couple, and perhaps you and your significant other is that she has opted to also be public online and in speeches about her past. We will get to the “why?” later.
I recently came across an article online called “How and When to Talk to About Past Relationship Trauma with a New Partner” by psychotherapist Jodee Virgo https://verilymag.com/2016/11/relationship-trauma-sexual-assault-sexual-abuse-survivors-dating-advice.
Full disclosure, I found her article and the next one I will reference just by doing a Google search and asking, “Is it good to talk about abuse?”
As of May 2, 2018, these are the top five most searched articles that came up:
As this blog post is intended to discuss mine and Kiersten’s journey with regards to abuse, I will only be referencing articles 3 and 4, though I am both grateful and saddened that the victim abuse hotline is the number one sought after search followed closely by ending child abuse and talking to your child about sexual abuse.
I first want to refer to this online article, “How and When to Talk to About Past Relationship Trauma with a New Partner” because my initial instinct is to say, “Immediately, once you’ve made a meaningful connection with someone—you should talk about it.” BUT, I think this is where I am wrong because unfortunately we still do live in a society that shames women and men who have been abused. PERIOD. It is still a big deal to have to come out about it. The fact that Jodee has written a “how to” on how one should set the stage for this type of conversation with a “new partner” is in itself proof to my opinion. We as a society still need help framing this type of conversation. By the way, this is a great article and is greatly needed by some abuse survivors.
The next article that came up is called, “21 Things That Shouldn’t Be Said To Sexual Abuse Victims” by Sarah Bessey. http://sarahbessey.com/21-things-shouldnt-said-sexual-abuse-victims-guest-post-mary-demuth/ There’s simply too much here in this article to discuss- please read it. But, I will share her written intention for the article.
“My intention in writing these is not to shame those who want to help or make them walk on eggshells. Instead it’s to help friends and family members of victim’s best love and understand the sexual abuse recovery journey.”
Again, what Sarah is saying is we as a society still need help. Perhaps it is because people just aren’t comfortable enough having the conversation because the conversation doesn’t actually happen enough. As Sarah suggests the sharing and how a person shares are part of their own healing journey. For any of us listeners and partners to advise a victim otherwise is simply hindering their healing process.
Is the way they, or in my case Kiersten, dealing with it the way I would? Of course not! It’s not my journey. Mine is a different path. And, I would like to believe that you too are on a different path which is awesome and the way life was intended.
Now, for the “why?” Hopefully, by now I don’t have to mansplain “her why.” So, I will say this. People don’t choose to be victims. As Sarah points out in her article, “Telling is the hardest thing to do for a sexual victim.” Kiersten is an authentic person. She is open about success, scars, sacrifices and even scandals. This is the woman I love and am blessed to have in my life. When she speaks and writes she may not be talking to you and that’s truly ok. It’s simply part of her healing process and processing is important. I have come to see firsthand, there is a higher purpose for her doing so. It may just be that only one person needed to hear or read her words, needed the validation, the support, the reminder that they were not alone in their story and her voice perhaps gave them the courage to stand in their own bravery.
Note from Kiersten
I am incredibly grateful for Scott's support AND I understand the questions people ask him. And that he asks, too. It's incredibly hard to understand the depths of pain and healing needed if you are not a survivor. I just want to say that—as an intuitive medium—I have gotten used to doing things that go against the grain. I still weigh in my mind, "Is is something I'm feeling guided to write about or is it someting that I will silently push through?" Mainly, I know that by sharing my journey, others who are reading silently might not feel like they are the only ones dealing with abuse on some level. Recovering from any kind of abuse is not an easy road. Recovering from emotional/verbal/narcissistic abuse is one of the toughest, according to therapists and counselors. There's no black eye to point to, but rather a slow and steady tearing apart of the fabric that is you. Many don't make it out. I feel incredibly lucky I'm one of the ones that did.
I've heard from women I know and from strangers I've never met that something I shared resonated with them and helped them get to a better place. Or simply helped them understand they aren't crazy.
As I write this, I know two women who are struggling to leave verbally and emotionally abusive marriages for a number of reasons. I personally know four women who have been granted restraining orders against their spouses or ex-spouses. And this is just in MY circle. I also know ten women who are still recovering from childhood abuse. I know atleast twenty who have endured some sort of sexual abuse during their lifetime.
Sexual, spousal and relationship abuse is an epidemic. In my opinion, no matter how hard it is to wake up to this reality, those of you who haven't endured anything like this must. It's going to take all of us. It's the reality of our world, but one that we can change together. One word at a time. One admission at a time. One compassionate hug at a time.