FOCUS ON YOU, PODCAST INTERVIEW, UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

Healing from Complex PTSD

Heal from CPTSD with Linda Meredith as your guide.

Linda Meredith is Australia’s first Certified Trauma Recovery Coach and the founder of the world’s first Trauma Recovery Academy. She is the mother of three grown children and about to be a grandmother!

Through her own healing journey, Linda has developed a gentle but powerful way to heal CPTSD – at one point, she lost all her cognitive functions. Her recovery is miraculous, but even more inspiring is what she does now to help people.

Linda has made her courses, worksheets, resources and videos available to the public.

She is a coach and a counsellor who is working to make the world an emotionally safer place for all of us, as individuals, parents and children. What a thrill it was to interview her at her home in Brisbane, Australia.

Healing from CPTSD with Linda Meredith

Of course I got the time difference wrong, so I was sitting around waiting for her and had an entire hour free from distraction (what a gift) as the husband and the kids were told to give me quiet time in the kitchen after dinner. I used the time to watch a few more of her videos and ended up getting engaged, the hour went by in a flash. Linda’s videos are short, personable, and accessible. I felt completely heard, understood, and supported. And this was BEFORE I had actually spoken to her in person.

She joined the Zoom call and immediately I just felt, well, safe. She exudes this strong yet gentle, passionate but not overwhelming personality. She has a ready smile and great screen presence. She really knows her stuff and has helped countless people understand what they are going through. In our conversation during and after the interview, she made me feel important and that I had something meaningful to contribute to the conversation.

My journey of recovery from CPTSD has been greatly enhanced by exploring her website, Facebook Community Page, Instagram, and YouTube videos.

In our podcast, we talk about:

  • CPTSD (Complex Post-Trauma Stress Disorder) and how it comes from things like ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), inter-generational abandonment issues, or emotional neglect.
  • How unspoken rules like “When anything bad happens, we don’t talk about it” are so dangerous for children.
  • She shared some of the changes she made as a parent, such as, wanting to know her kids as individuals, even down to what they liked eating.
  • She touches on how unconditional love of children is non-negotiable; otherwise it impedes their ability to keep being curious, which they need in order to develop.
  • Linda knows what it’s like to be a single mom who struggles, has financial barriers, and wants better for her children. That’s why she makes so much of her work available for free.

Her Key Message: Believe in yourself! You have to be willing to make changes where you won’t see results until your children become adults! Your vision as a parent is to make changes that impact not just your children, but also your children’s children.

I hope you enjoy ‘working’ with Linda as much as I do!

DEVELOPING ROUTINES

New Fun Obsession: PRETZELS!

When I first started working with my therapist at the beginning of the year, he asked me what I did for fun.

It’s one of those questions that makes me very uncomfortable.

“For fun~~~?” He pushed me a bit and asked me, what do I do for fun… with NO UTILITARIAN VALUE TO IT. What do I do to just let go and enjoy myself?

“I don’t,” I replied rather abruptly.

“I know,” he responded.

Everything I did was related to “should” or “should not”. As in… I SHOULD do this, because it will help with… or I SHOULD NOT do this because it’s a waste of time. Everything. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything or refrained from doing something without going through that filter. And since everything went through that filter, if I did something I SHOULDN’T, I felt very guilty or if I didn’t do something I SHOULD, I’d feel shame. Exhausting way to live, yes.

“Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is to do something frivolous,” he challenged me at the end of our session. I nodded outwardedly, but inside I felt a bit puzzled as to what I was supposed to do.

So I looked up the word frivolous:

friv·o·lous (adj): not having any serious purpose or value

It was an interesting week.

I used to love reading, so I tried reading, but my brain was vibrating too hard for me to sit still and read. I tried picking up my ukulele again, but it felt more like work since I was/am such a beginner and it made me feel more like a loser than a learner, given the frame of mind I was in. I tried watching TV, but it wasn’t ‘fun’ so much as mind numbing. Plus, a lot of it was stressful. I think I was a bit Trumped out . I tried blogging again, which I do love, but it’s also work… some days I have nothing, which made me feel anxious.

I reported back to my therapist that I didn’t quite find anything frivolous, but I would try again. He said, not to worry, don’t feel pressure about this, just think about it.

Months late, my son declared one night that he wanted to make pretzels and that he found a recipe. So after dinner, the two of made pretzels. Well, *I* made pretzels. *He* experimented with the dough in the microwave, with chocolate, with butter, with sugar, with water… you name it, he *experimented* with it. The Tiger Mom in me wanted to yell at him and say FOLLOW THE RECIPE! And so I said “you know, people usually play with the recipe AFTER they’ve mastered it”. And he responded, “Yes, I know, but I just wanted to try this.” I thanked the Tiger Mom in me for making that recommendation and let him go ahead, even tasting some of his experiments. (Not horrible.)

My first pretzels were *okay*. I did get some feedback from my husband. “You may want to make them a bit thinner, so it looks more like a pretzel instead of a big bun.” To me, as long as it tastes good… who cares what it looks like!?

But then I started making pretzels just to make them. And each time I made them, they looked more and more like pretzels you buy at the mall.

This week… I made my first sweet cinnamon pretzel. And they were soooo good. I’m so proud of them. I realize that making something one can eat isn’t entirely frivolous, I suppose. But, then again, pretzels are frivolous! There is no nutritional value. They just taste great. And making them has become fun. I don’t even look at the recipe anymore! And I experiment with different flavours now, like herb and garlic and now this sweet cinnamon one.

(For those of you who cook, bake and are crafty… please understand that I’m no homebody. On the nights I had to cook, my roommates at university ate such “Sherry classics” as cucumber casserole, KD with cream of corn, and instant ramen noodles with frozen peas…. those were the *edible* ones.)

So now, if my therapist asked me what I do for fun, I can say: make and eat pretzels!