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Writing Through Trauma

Students come to my classes afraid. They arrive because of the title and they want to leave because of the title. I understand. Really. I did years of talk therapy before I realized that dredging up painful memories was serving to keep the memories fresh rather than aid me in releasing them. I began a private practice of expressive writing because talk therapy always left me open. Vulnerable. Wounded. Raw. I am an inconsistent journaler at best, so I didn’t treat the writing as journaling. I didn’t treat it as anything other

This morning I found an email in my inbox from the director of the Ivy Tech Center for Lifelong Learning. I teach locally through the CLL and love it. My classes are all nonfiction and cover memoir, narrative techniques, blogging and writing after war for veterans. Most of you aren’t local to Bloomington, IN. No worries. I also teach online. My class for the Center for Creative Writing is a 5 week customized course called Writing through Trauma to Truth. My next session begins January 16. I only have two

I’m so excited to be teaching locally through Ivy Tech this fall. Please join me in one (or more) of these five classes. I would love to write with you. Beginning Your Memoir In a supportive group setting, begin preserving your true stories for yourself or next generations. Shawna Ayoub Ainslie, your facilitator, is an established local writing coach who specializes in writing joyful or difficult stories using expressive writing techniques and prompts. With her help, you will define your story and begin recording it while creating a sustainable writing practice.

Especially when we are writing for release, we should make good use of the writer’s drawer. Writing Traumas to Life I think graduate school was when I felt the most alive as a writer. It was a time of intense transition for me. I was studying what I was the most passionate about (the craft of writing). I began teaching adults for the first time. I found it vastly more stimulating and fulfilling than working with preschool age children. I became a mother, and with that family transition, I discovered

Some traumas have straightforward recoveries attainable with simple goals and actions, such as cleaning and dressing a minor wound. Others cut more deeply and take enormous strength to overcome. Here is my process of healing: write, release, recover. TW: sexual assault, disordered eating The Battle for Control in Response to Trauma When I was 13, I was sexually assaulted by one man, had it attempted by another, my boyfriend was coerced to dump me by the man who attacked me, I was overweight due to an injury, and my family life offered little solace. My

I am so excited because I am FINALLY launching an email campaign. The Survive Your Story Holiday Writing Guide is all about freeing yourself from the stress of the holiday season (and the end of 2016, right?) by using some of my favorite prompts and tools to release and recover. Wondering if this is for you? You DO NOT need to have ANY experience writing to take advantage of this course. You engage the prompts on your own terms. If this sounds good to you, you can join the Survive

Most of my work centers on supporting individuals who are surviving or have survived abuse. I would argue that anyone who has survived trauma is still surviving it, but that’s it’s own writing. What I do is help individuals voice and reshape their stories. I do this because my story is one of abuse and survival. Over the years, I have written and rewritten what happened to me along with–and here’s the heart of what I teach–what should have happened to me. I write myself now into my story then.

Do you have a THQ blog button on your site? I’d love to see you update it with one of the following buttons featuring my new porcupine logo. You know this guy’s been in the honey, but he’s surviving his story one step at a time. These are 500×500 images. To use them with WordPress, right click and save the image. Add it to an image widget with a link back to or to your specific post if you have guested here. Maybe you show up to survive your

I have been a fan of Alexis Donkin’s work with global compassion for the last year. I started reading her memoir, Thrive: How I Became a Superhero, and knew immediately she was tribe. In fact, we connected as two writers whose goal is to sow seeds of compassion beginning with self-love. Alexis writes with intention, with respect for herself and the reader, and with incredible open-hearted love for the world. When you need a hug or to know you’re loved, stop in at her site. Seriously. Recently, Alexis launched an

Trigger warning: domestic violence, gun violence Anniversary Hail to the guardians of sleep, for one year ago last night, they stood at the foot of my bed, or at the entrance to the baby’s room, in shifts, maybe even drugged him out cold on the couch so I might still have my head when I woke. Hail to the living room drywall, which absorbed fists meant for me the next morning, didn’t care if he tore it to shreds, and he did. Hail to my broken laptop, my broken phone, my

I gave myself permission to love my site this month. It’s funny how we have to give ourselves permission to come first. I practice this every day with parenting. If I don’t tend to my emotional needs first, I’m far less able to deal with my offspring. But what about work? Is that also true? What I’ve noticed about myself is that I LOVE working for other people. I will always complete another’s project before my own. Because I enjoy it, I’ve never really stopped to think about how much

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