Trigger Points Anthology, The Parenting Book that Breaks the Silence

karen age 3

Me, age 3

When I come across a picture of myself as a child, I fight against what I see. I see her smiling face but most of the time, I don’t remember being her. In my childhood memories, I’m not really a child at all but something other. I’ve been in recovery for awhile now and I still struggle with explaining what that means, what it means to have never really felt like a child. Having children of my own has helped me to see that I was as once as innocent as my kids are now.

Today marks the release of Trigger Points Anthology, a collection of writing by 21 parents who are survivors of childhood abuse. One-third of American children experience childhood abuse, and yet the question is never asked: what happens when those children grow up and have families of their own?

When Dawn and Joyelle asked for submissions for the book, I knew I wanted to contribute. I procrastinated because I was at a place in my life where I finally felt some relief from the pain that had plagued me for most of my life and I didn’t want to write an essay that focused on how horrible my childhood was. I wanted to celebrate the triumphs because they have been hard earned. I eventually submitted my piece and wrote in part:

“It has taken a lifetime to remember that I am whole. I was whole in the beginning. God always intended for me to be whole. My wholeness was never broken or taken away because you can’t break or steal what God gave me. We seek what we think we deserve and I spent a long time seeking the bare minimum of what was available to me. We are all worth more than that.”

But even though I have come a long way in my healing, there will always be things that catch me off guard and trigger me in unexpected ways, especially as a parent. My children trust me implicitly and I hold their trust sacred. As a survivor who is now a parent, I make daily choices to ensure that my children get to experience the authentic me and not the injured child that I sometimes still feel like.

That’s why this book is so important and is such a profound tool for healing. There are beliefs and experiences that we have as survivors that cause us to think we are alone until we hear other survivors say they believe and experience the same things. That knowledge allows us to transcend the isolation we feel and remember that we should be, can be and have always been whole.

If you are a survivor, this book offers hope, encouragement and inspiration. If you are the loved one of a survivor, this book offers insight into what survivors may experience as they tread the waters of parenthood. There is tremendous power in the sharing of our stories and I am so honored to be a part of this book. I’m in awe of the other contributors and their generosity in sharing their experiences. We are starting conversations, bringing shame to light and influencing the future of our families and society.

I wish I had this book when I first became a parent. I’m incredibly grateful for it now. I’m so passionate about this project that I’m giving away a free copy. Click on the link below for several chances to win! I’ll contact the winner on November 21.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  (Be sure to click on the I Visited, I Tweeted and I Commented boxes to complete your entry!)


 

The anthology is available in print and digital formats on Amazon.

triggerpointsanthology@gmail.com

http://www.triggerpointsanthology.com

http://www.facebook.com/triggerpointsanthology

 

21 Comments on “Trigger Points Anthology, The Parenting Book that Breaks the Silence

  1. Oh Karen – I don’t get your notifications anymore (I’ve tried to unfollow and refollow – but to no avail) but it does not excuse me from not having been visiting often. For that I feel sorrow. What a beautiful post – you are absolutely a whole and wonderful person with an inner strength that is so amazing and yet so vulnerable- always seeking to make stronger by mending the rents and tears that living brings. But I think it will never fail you and because of your past, you build a present and future that is always evolving and growing – and adapting all the while being highly conscious about the whole process – which is what I find so amazing about you. I would have that you never experienced some of what you did – but you came out of it like a true Phoenix from the fire. More powerful than before and striving to ensure that you are not crushed by your past. You are a fabulous parent and all around human – and I know this was probably (as almost always) disjointed and bizarre – but I hope you know what I mean 🙂

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  2. I just finished reading your essay in Trigger Points. I believe your words will inspire and encourage many who need the hope of feeling whole again themselves. Children can indeed teach us many things about ourselves, especially what no longer works in our lives. I am so happy that you decided to “only allow back in what was good for” you!

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  3. I find looking back that I can remember and related to some childhood things but then there’s a period where frankly I really don’t recall myself at all. My daughter turned 20 yesterday; my wife was scrolling through some old photos of her. One popped up with me sat in my usual chair in the living room, 1990s large rimmed glasses on, a woolly jumper my wife had knitted me and my two kids on my lap. My daughter about one or so and my son about 6. My wife said “I really love that picture as there aren’t many with you with the kids at that age”. My daughter looked at it and said “Were you sober in that one Dad?”… Ouch… I can’t recall but probably not I lost most of the early years of her life in a drunken haze. I looked into the eyes of the man in that photo and frankly couldn’t recognise myself in him and also saw little spark. For a man with two great fun kids happily hugging him you’d have thought there should’ve been more. Who was he? I hope he never comes back

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    • I’ve looked at pictures of myself with my kids when they were babies and wished I could get the moment back to do again. It wasn’t specifically a drunken haze for me (at that time at least) but a paralyzing anxiety that kept me from being present and from feeling joy during what should have been a precious time. I hope when you look at that picture of you and your kids that you feel compassion for yourself, for that man who went on to turn his life around and help so many with his story. We can’t change how we were but we can keep growing and change how we are. People always talk about not having regrets but I have many and I think that’s a good thing. Regret helps us to remember what we don’t want in our lives. ❤

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  4. I look forward to reading Trigger Points Anthology. I’m glad to see there is now something out there like this. ❤

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  5. First of all I want to jump through the computer, leap back in time and hug that precious little girl. I love that you put a photo of yourself as a child, Karen. It feels like such a powerful reminder to be gentle with ourselves.

    “When I come across a picture of myself as a child, I fight against what I see. I see her smiling face but most of the time, I don’t remember being her. In my childhood memories, I’m not really a child at all but something other.”

    These words made me cry. I thought I was the only one who felt like that. When my daughter shares her experiences with me and then asks, “Did you feel that way when you were twelve?” I have to catch myself so I can stay in the moment instead of being triggered and feeling numb. In my mind I whisper to myself, “No. No, I didn’t feel like that. I was barely surviving and just trying to get through the day.” I have to pull myself back to remind myself, that while my memories are not useful tools to rely upon for examples or relating, I can still pull it off. I can use my life experiences in the here and now to support her experiences in the here and now.

    So much work we survivor parents are doing behind the scenes. Thank you for your beautiful presence in my life and for this moving post! XO

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    • I see my daughter in that photo and knowing her innocence, I feel more connected to the little girl I was. I dread the day when she starts to ask me questions like you described but I know it’s going to happen. I love what you say – “I can use my life experiences in the here and now to support her experiences in the here and now.” Ultimately, that’s what our kids care about. They want us in the here and now and that’s why all this work we do on ourselves is so important. Thank you so much Jessica! I’m so grateful for our friendship. ❤

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  6. Beautiful, Karen. And I’m with you on shedding tears today. So many mixed emtions, but feeling mostly pride and gratitude. Xoxo

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  7. Wow. (Words will be short, as they should be from me.) Your are beautiful beyond measure. You inspire me with your words, style, creativity, and most of all your ability to re-perceive and heal an aching planet. Love you darling, Lisa .

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  8. I am so proud of you. Proud and blessed to call you my friend. I appreciate you passing news of the anthology along – I remember your introduction of the project last year when you wrote Secret Keepers.
    If this comment seems short, it’s simply because I’m without words. There are people who I keep in my heart who would benefit from reading this, and I’m grateful to you and your fellow authors. Thank you. Love you. Xo

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