A Trauma Warrior Learns To Be Her Own Hero Part 2 11/13/21

This is a continuation of Teri Wellbrock’s blog post on 11/7/21, titled “A Trauma Warrior Learns to Be Her Own Hero”.  Go back and read that one if you haven’t already 🙂

….And I dove in. Spending weeks creating content, editing, mulling over ideas, cheering myself on, submitting lectures to my Teachable Onboarding Specialist for her feedback, and launching a pre-sale on the two courses I completed: a Trauma-Warrior 1-Day Introductory Course and a Be Your Own Hero 10-Day Course. I cried tears of joy as they went live, knowing the pain of my past was weaved with the hope of my triumph to create these complimentary healing lessons!

The Course Curriculum for the Trauma-Warrior course, which is intended to give students a sampling of content available in the more in-depth Be Your Own Hero course, includes:

Trauma-Warrior Welcome

Module 1: ACEs Science Introduction

Module 2: Healing Strategies Intro

Module 3: The Positive Effects of Hope

Module 4: Positive Affirmations

Module 5: Mini Meditation

Module 6: Continue Your Hope for Healing Journey

 

The Course Curriculum for the Be Your Own Hero 10-Day Course, which includes videos, challenges, prompts, a bonus gift, and more, consists of:

Welcome!

Day 1: Review of 1-Day Course and Upcoming Content

Day 2: ACEs Science and Writing

Day 3: Healing Strategies

Day 4: Hope Science

Day 5: Power of Positivity

Day 6: A Deeper Dive into Forgiveness

Day 7: Mindfulness & Meditation

Day 8: Creating Your Own Healing Plan

Day 9: Summarizing What You’ve Learned and Additional Material

Day 10: Continuing Your Healing Journey

Warrior Coaching

I also elected to meet with my fellow survivors in a coaching role. Not to delve out therapeutic advice, as I gladly leave that to the licensed professionals, but, rather, to offer a hand to hold in a been-there-done-that survivor role. Only I’ve transitioned into thriver mode and have a plethora of street cred to share. I joke that I have a PhD in trauma survival! My goal with this service is to walk alongside those with trauma history or adverse childhood experiences, particularly those with higher ACEs scores, me on one side, a therapist on the other, both of us holding a hand, encouraging our triver-to-be, “You’ve got this! I believe in you!” as their inner trauma-warrior learns to be their own hero.

Peace and blessings,
Teri Wellbrock

Trauma-Warrior #hopeforhealing

P.S. Register for courses and/or coaching at academy.teriwellbrock.com and subscribe to my Hope for Healing Newsletter at https://teriwellbrock.com/ Also, be sure to join me for hope-filled conversations on The Healing Place Podcast on your favorite podcast audio outlet or on the Teri Wellbrock YouTube channel.

Teri’s online Trauma Warrior courses handout 

Thank you for this wonderful resource that you’ve placed in the TTN Hope Chest, Teri!

There Goes My Hero (one of my favorite Foo Fighter songs of all time)

May Your Day Be Sprinkled with HOPE,

Melissa Adamchik, Executive Director, Tristate Trauma Network

A Trauma Warrior Learns To Be Her Own Hero 11/7/21

This post comes to us from Guest Contributor and Two-Time Trauma Survivor Speaker at our Annual Fall TIC Conference (2017 & 2020): Teri Wellbrock

For those of you working as trauma recovery advocates, I applaud you. And I thank you with all of my heart. I could not have made it to this beautiful place of tranquility and joy without the guidance of my therapists, most notably my four years in EMDR therapy. As healing guides, you know that it is up to survivors to do the necessary work. There is no magic wand to be waved over the adverse experiences and their resulting impact on the brain, body, and spirit. As much as we survivors wish it so. We are the ones who must return to the darkness, and, at the very least, allow the remnants of those bleak experiences to be processed in a healthy manner.

As I dumped my compartmentalized traumas onto the floor in the safety of Dr. Hensley’s office, I was also working in a mental health agency with kids through the school system. There we were, these struggling kiddos and me, learning about breathing strategies for re-regulating our bodies, and silly-fun animal yoga poses, and taking nature walks on the playground searching for treasures and heart-shaped pebbles. I was helping them build their coping skills toolboxes . . . not realizing I was building my own in the process. A beautiful podcast guest on my show once named these skills: complimentary healing strategies. And that spoke to my soul.

I walked away from my Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (that’s a mouthful!) therapy and my mental health agency position feeling empowered and hopeful. Knowing my brain was malleable, due to learning about the science of neuroplasticity, I knew I had to share my story of hope with others in every way possible. A blog. A podcast. A book. Therapy dog volunteer work. Speaking engagements. Online summits. Interviews. And now . . . online courses and coaching!

I had reached out to several of my previous podcast guests, many of whom are #1 best-selling authors and successful therapists, coaches, researchers, and motivational speakers, asking for their guidance on growing my audience, publishing my book, and helping my soul work blossom. Over forty of them responded with an enthusiastic, “Of course I’ll help you!”. I now have a spreadsheet filled with resources, from the names of their publishers and agents, to marketing ideas and free Facebook groups for writers, podcasters, coaches, and healers. What a treasured gift.

Several of them advised me, “Teri, you need to take your incredible trauma recovery knowledge and create online courses.” The survivor in me thought, “Me? Why would anyone want to learn from ME?” The thriver in me, however, did a happy dance and exclaimed, “Yeah, I do!” So, I started researching my options. Kajabi, Udemy, Thinkific, Podia, Teachable, and so many more had my head swirling. However, as I always do, I persevered and finally narrowed it down to Teachable. It helped that I had just joined PodMatch and its creator, Alex Sanfilippo, had reached out to me seeking my advice on improving his platform. As we chatted, I mentioned creating an online course and possibly using Teachable, when he responded, “That’s who I use.” That answered that prayer!

And I dove in. Spending weeks creating content, editing, mulling over ideas, cheering myself on, submitting lectures to my Teachable Onboarding Specialist for her feedback, and launching a pre-sale on the two courses I completed: a Trauma-Warrior 1-Day Introductory Course and a Be Your Own Hero 10-Day Course. I cried tears of joy as they went live, knowing the pain of my past was weaved with the hope of my triumph to create these complimentary healing lessons!

The Warrior by Scandal ft Patty Smyth

Stay tuned for full information on Teri’s Trauma Warrior and Hero courses in the upcoming Part 2 of this blog!

Wishing you a day sprinkled with HOPE,

Melissa

Can We Erase the Stigma of and Shed Some Light on Suicide? 11/2/21

Friends, I must ask for your help on this one. We need as many people as possible to understand this multi-layered message around suicide. On Oct. 30, 2021, in the wee hours of the night, I received the below email from my colleague friend and Board Member, Alison Savage. As you can see she asked me to share the information around her husband’s tragic suicide, so that it may shed some light on the shadows that always envelop such a situation. I am honored that she trusted me with this information and the sharing of it. As a society, we don’t talk about these topics enough: trauma, mental illness, the depths of emotional pain experienced by people. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s talk.

Hi Melissa,

My husband took his own life on Monday. We are devastated to say the least.Here is a link to his obituary: https://neidhardminges.com/book-of-memories/4762093/Savage-John/index.php

I want to take away the stigma of suicide and would love if you could share with our TTN board and network as you deem appropriate.

Thank you for all the support you have given me. It has meant the world to me!

Alison

My response after finding the email:

Oh Alison, my heart breaks for you and your children and his other children and family members. Sometimes the pain of life and its many stressful circumstances becomes so overwhelming that it feels insurmountable and I can imagine what he must have been feeling (and not wanting to be feeling) to be led to take his life. That sort of pain is familiar to too many of our fellow human beings. Some find their way out or past it with whatever magic key and some do not. I was reminded myself on Monday evening of a distant relative of my father’s who died by suicide 8 years ago at the age of 16, I think. It was the first time I’d ever spoken with his mother about it and the disbelief still in her voice of him doing this of his own accord was there. I imagine you’ve perhaps had that sense too.

Yes, I am happy to pass this along for you, and I will turn this into a blog for THe TTN Hope Chest to shed a light on Suicide awareness and true understanding. It’s been brushed under the rug for far too long and keeping it secretive and shameful does not serve anyone.
I will make a donation for the children to the go fund me or perhaps direct to you from TTN and me personally.

My heart is sad, but it is also strong enough to send you strength, love, and support to help you and your young children bear the intense grief of this loss. Please send me an address to which to send my donation for them.

May God and his angels wrap their loving arms around you and your “littles” at this time,

Sincerely, Melissa Adamchik
Tristate Trauma Network

Friends of TTN, I invite and encourage you to talk about this story in a way that honors the victim as well as the survivors’ wishes.

Chris Stapelton’s “Fire Away” written to being awareness to suicide

Hoping your day is sprinkled with HOPE and that you spread that HOPE, so that it radiates out to our community in need of so much healing,

Melissa

Survivor Message to Other Survivors on the Day of TTN’s 7th Annual Fall Conference 10/26/21

“My trauma starts in the generations before mine. I come from a long line of parents abusing their children. Every generation gets better than the last, but none of them were “good.” Because of my family’s past, I often overlooked my own trauma because my life was better than my parents, their parents, and their parents’ parents and so on.

I also am a survivor of child sexual abuse, and surviving that tainted my view on trauma. I thought only the big things were traumatic. I ignored the little things, well, what I defined as little, and by doing so, I hindered my own healing. I thought it was normal to have parents that told you they didn’t love you anymore, because that is what happened in previous generations. 

As a result of comparing my trauma to others, and invalidating the little things, I hurt myself and prevented true healing from happening. I don’t know anyone else’s journey, but I do know, it’s common for survivors to downplay their trauma, and to try to be strong. It’s how many of us have learned to survive. 

I want to encourage others to know that once the healing process begins, to acknowledge the little and the big things; both of them are valid and both of them require healing. It’s not weakness to admit to being hurt, it’s the opposite, it takes strength to admit you have struggles and need help. 

From one survivor to another, know that you’re not alone, healing isn’t linear, and it can’t happen when we’re not willing to be honest and acknowledge the past. Your bravery in surviving will also be the same bravery that will lead you to healing. Be brave, be strong, and know you’re not alone and you can do this.” 

-Anonymous Trauma Survivor

“Brave” song with lyrics

Wishing you a day sprinkled with hope,

Melissa Adamchik, Executive Director, Tristate Trauma Network

Survivor Story #1 – Poet, Prophet, Outlaw, Sage & Trauma Survivor 10/22/21

Introduction to the Survivor Stories section of “The Hope Chest”: There is nothing more powerful than hearing other people’s stories of overcoming adversity. Sometimes we feel we are the only ones battling our way through something, which is very isolating and serves to increase our stress level.  When we realize there are others who’ve walked  or are walking similar paths, we feel a sense of connectedness and of hope. Learning from others can propel us to get “unstuck” and start our own journey of healing. Here, we will be highlighting stories of trauma survivors who have risen above their usually quite complex trauma experiences. They may even be in a place where they are capitalizing upon the survival skills they developed to manage the trauma, and not just surviving, but thriving.  They may have also taken their journey to the point of becoming instrumental in making a difference in other people’s lives.    

And with that, I will introduce you to a man named Philip Kent Church, who I met in 2003 when I was what I call a “baby therapist,” meaning I was young and inexperienced in the field, not too far into being a clinician, and working at a local community mental health center. Philip had an extremely complex and long-standing trauma history that spanned the age range of 2 to mid-20’s.  He came with multiple mental health and medical diagnoses that I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say, he was showing his ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).  The long-term trauma history he had was clearly at the root of all the mental health challenges he had been experiencing and was continuing to experience at age 40. However, this gentleman had built the most impressive set of survival and coping skills, including the gift of writing, and we were able to start capitalizing on those things.  He went from journaling for himself and me, his therapist, to eventually launching himself into the literary world.  By the time of Philip’s unfortunate death in 2020 at age 60, he had written and published close to a dozen books and had been working the poet, storytelling, and dramatic reading circuit for about eight years.

For my first Survivor Story entry into “The Hope Chest,” which I’ve entitled “Poet, Prophet, Outlaw, Sage, and Trauma Survivor,” (a nod to the title of his first published collection of works in 2013) I give you Philip Kent Church’s first poem ever written entitled, “Love, Brad,” dedicated to Brad Adkins (1975-1995) with whom Philip worked as an aide during Brad’s high school years. I dedicate this first Survivor Story blog post to the memory and the legacy of Philip Kent Church (1960-2020).

Love, Brad

From a sea of shame I was tempest tossed,

To a last chance for life, or would I be lost.

I received a sweet, small voice from Heaven above,

To finally get it right, I must learn God’s love.

To know God’s love? What did that mean?

It’s there in First Corinthians, Chapter Thirteen.

For me to live such a life, was an example to be had?

The voice said yes, his name was Brad.

 

Brad’s long suffering could extend to be ancient,

In virtually everything, he would always be patient.

Life was unfair, he knew in his mind,

But he didn’t care, for he chose to be kind.

In acquiring so many things his friends were quite zealous,

Brad didn’t mind, he was just never jealous.

While others reveled, their selfish pride to save,

In an unbecoming way he would never behave.

To him, great and small raised their cups and toasted,

But he was not arrogant, Brad never boasted.

Regardless of the person, their friendship he’d hone,

Brad accepted everyone, not just his own.

Some were mean-spirited, they might’ve been choked,

But he’d just let it go, he was never provoked.

While attacks could be cruel, their intentions unbuffered,

Brad let it pass, counting no injury suffered.

In celebrating wickedness some would make their choice,

In things such as that, he refused to rejoice.

In small things some complained and showed great care,

But it was a mercilessness illness roar he had to bear.

 

Jaded by the world, our hearts’s desires we might leave.

But from Brad’s innocent heart,  he would always believe,

And while those around him struggled to cope,

He would not surrender, he always had hope.

This world, his direction, vexation would send,

Brad never relented. He endured till the end.

 

And so I had from my gift above;

I’ll always remember Brad….He showed me God’s love!

1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 (verses 4-7)

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous: love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth: bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Forever in my heart & always on my mind – miss ya, bud! – Philip Kent Church

Philip K. Church, you are forever in my mind and heart, just as Brad is in yours. Thank you for your courage, your persistence, the inspiration and gifts you brought and shared with the world despite your suffering, and the trust you placed in me to be your therapist for 7 years.  

Wishing you all a day sprinkled with hope,

Melissa Adamchik, Executive Director, Tristate Trauma Network