by E.B. Howell · 16 Jul 2020 · 5 min read
A look into the daily struggles of those who have survived sexual abuse and how you can help.
"This is a national crisis."
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
Impostor syndrome — that feeling that you're "a fraud" or that your success is not deserved — has grown new wings during this pandemic. While most of us have experienced impostor syndrome at some point in our careers — it's estimated that more than 70% of people will feel the symptoms — I've heard from so many women who are now questioning their worth and value when they have never before. The reason? We are all overtaxed.
The morning is a powerful time of day. It is during the first moments of waking that your mind is shifting from the subconscious stages of sleep into the more conscious state of reality. During this transition, your mind and heart are open, alive, and just waiting to soak up the energy of a new day.
Resilience, it's a word we are hearing a lot right now.
I close my computer screen, but the headlines remain etched in my mind like the voices of my father and mother when they told me I had to follow their beliefs, or I would not be saved when the fire rained down from heaven When I let in the onslaught of social media and voices of worried friends and neighbors, it brings me back to a frightening time. A time when I grew up with a looming dread of Armageddon. Listening to how people talk about the pandemic has triggered these memories.
The first pic you see of me here is from November 2018, roughly 3 weeks after having brain surgery. It all started one morning in January of 2018. I flew from LA to San Jose en route to Santa Cruz for several meetings I had set for the day. I was driving on Highway 17 heading to Santa Cruz from the San Jose Airport. I was on the freeway for all of 20 minutes, and out of nowhere a car comes out from a residential area to the right of me, attempting to make a left turn onto the freeway where there was a concrete median divider — making it impossible to turn left. The car stops literally in the middle of the highway — in my lane! I was going over 60 mph. Beginning to slam on breaks, I attempted to jump in the right lane but there were cars coming, so I couldn't make it. At that moment I clenched hard because I knew I was gonna have to hit this car!
One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight. In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day...
Michelle was a three-sport athlete in high school. While there was a part of her that enjoyed the camaraderie with her teammates, the sense of accomplishment she felt when setting new records — there was another part of her that participated in the hopes of shrinking her body. Michelle, who is now studying to be a therapist, didn't know about eating disorders when she was younger. She reflects, "I had this idea that I wanted to become a professional swimmer so that I would be able to exercise even more. I would get many compliments on my body during swim season, even though that was when I hated my body the most."The comments Michelle received on her weight and body when she was restricting and compensating fueled her eating disorder.