For Child Abuse Survivors: Pregnancy and Childbirth

For Child Abuse Survivors: Pregnancy and Childbirth


Athena: Aloha everyone and thank you so much
for tuning in to another episode of Trauma Recovery University. I’m your host Athena
Moberg and with me in the green room is your incredible co-host Bobbi Parish and tonight’s
topic that we’ll be discussing is pregnancy. Now this isn’t just for men or isn’t just
for women even though it is the topic of pregnancy. We’re going to be unpacking everything that
there is to do with being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse when there is a
pregnancy with either you or your spouse, you or your partner, the emotions that go
along with that, the triggers along the way, the child birthing process, all of the added
stress of family and if your abuse was in your family and are those family members so
enmeshed and connected, are they wanting to be a part of some sort of celebration like
a baby shower or like a double baby shower where it’s a co-ed. Are they wanting to be
in the labor room? Are they demanding to invade your space? Are they insisting on coming to
stay with you and giving you parenting advice? All of these things come into play when you
talk about the topic of pregnancy. And when you add in the fact that we, on this channel,
are adult survivors of childhood abuse, specifically childhood sexual abuse and when you just lump
it all together any time there is a milestone, whether that be a birthday, an anniversary,
a death in the family, a birth in the family, it is sort of connected because those milestones,
the hallmark card milestones that everybody gets excited about and buy cards for, sometimes
those milestones carry whole bunch of different baggage for adult survivors of child abuse
especially if the abuse was in the family of origin. So this is a loaded topic. We’ve
already had several chats about this and we’re looking forward to openly discussing this
topic tonight. You can tweet us your questions as always to the hash tag #NoMoreShame. And
go ahead and tag myself and Bobbi parish. I am at @AthenaMoberg, Bobbi is at @BobbiLparish.
Without further ado, I want to welcome specifically anyone listening on a podcast platform. So
if you have found us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, Sound Cloud or even I heart radio,
we want to welcome you and we want to let you know this is a video broadcast. You can
find us on our Roku TV channel or our YouTube channel by searching for Trauma Recovery University.
Now as always every single week, we do announcements in the beginning and then we offer you a complimentary
OnePage Downloadable resource and it’s in PDF Format and all you have to do to get that
resource is go over, just complimentary as a thank you for being loyal listeners, viewers,
subscriber or just an awesome survivor. Go to TraumaRecoveryUniversity.com and click
on the tab that says Downloadables. You’ll be given immediate access to our entire library
of downloadable resources. We hope you enjoyed tonight’s broadcast. Please tweet us your
questions or leave a comment on the YouTube channel below. If this video is helpful for
you, give it a thumbs up, forward it to your friends and we’re just excited to have this
conversation. Take it away Bobbi. Bobbi: Hi everybody. I’m so glad that you’re
here. I just want to let you know that I was really sick last week and that’s why we missed
a week, the first time we have missed in 14 months of doing these episodes so we really
appreciate your grace and your patience as we struggle to have both real lives and to
come to you guys regularly every week. So it is NoMoreShame November, the first Wednesday
of NoMoreShame November. Go over to the NoMoreShameProject.com website and click on the tab that says Pinnables
and you will be able to see the NoMoreShame 2015 button that you can use either on your
blog or as your avatar button. Download that and use it. And this is a month that we’ll
be talking a lot about awareness and advocacy for sexual abuse survivors. So I’m not going
to take up time with a lot of different announcements. We’ve gotten a little bit of feedback that
you guys like fewer announcements in the beginning. And so maybe it will start tagging more announcements
on to the end and that way you can stick around at the end if you want to hear them and in
the beginning we’ll just kind of say the ones that maybe are most important.
Sorry my cold lingers on. I don’t know. Athena, what do you think?
Athena: We have gotten back on just a couple of different areas regarding announcements
and I’m okay with putting them at the end. I’ve been a huge proponent of us doing this
broadcast and making it joyful and excitable and have it be very free flowing and that
is sort of what we’ve always done for 14 months and now that we’ve been in the public eye
a little bit more like we’re talking about off the air Bobbi. I feel like now that we’re
in the public eye a little bit more and our channel has a little bit history behind it.
We have 500 or so, 500 subscribers on our YouTube channel and then a lot of Roku TV
subscribers as well. I feel like maybe it’s a numbers game and the more you’re sort of
out there and the more people you have following you, the more likelihood you have the someone’s
going to be critical and sort of want to put in their two cents and just communicate their
needs more. So, let us know guys. Let us know in the comments below. I’m fine either way
Bobbi. Honestly, I just wanted to be enjoyable. I don’t want to feel like we’re trying to
contrive or run on some sort of a schedule or sit here or don’t say this or make sure
we say that, I mean it really just takes the joy out of everything we do if we have to
like be worried all the time. So I personally just want to add value in any way that we
possibly can to this community and talk about the difficult topics that a lot of people
aren’t talking about, provide our take, answer your questions. Whatever shape that takes,
I just need to be okay with it honestly. I just want to serve you guys the best my ability.
So I wish I had a more definitive answer Bobbi. I’m a little bit exasperated.
Bobbi: That’s okay. You guys let us know what you want, what works for you and will marry
that was what works for us. Athena: Yeah. We have a direction and we’ve
been going in the exact same direction infallibly for fourteen months and we’ve accomplished
a lot. We covered a lot of ground, we’ve helped a lot of people and I don’t see why we need
to change everything because we’ve received a dozen out of the thousands of people that
have sent a message, we’ve received a dozen or so that want to complain so I am not sure.
All I know for me personally is we love you guys. We care deeply for each of you. You
belong here with us and we hurt when you hurt. So we’re here because we care. You guys are
the reason that we do this every single week. I do want to issue a trigger warning. This
is a broadcast about child abuse, specifically about childhood sexual abuse. We do talk about
delicate issues on this channel. So if you’re in the UK or Ireland or any of the areas around
the UK, please reach out to the Samaritans. You can email one of the people there on staff
that does crisis assistance and there’s a 24/7 helpline. You can email [email protected]
And I lost my little post at note when I got my computer repaired so I’m not 100% sure.
I know that if you’re in the United States and Canada, you can reach out to. I know the
gatehouse is amazing in Canada and when you’re in the United States, you can reach out to
rainn.org. That’s Rape Abuse Incest National Network. They have a 24/7 live chat feature
on their website. Jo over at Samaritans.org does email and helps you via e-mail so we
want to issue a trigger warning. This is very triggering especially when you have a component
of watching and tweeting at the exact same time. For some reason whether it’s the multitasking,
overwhelmed, whatever, it’s very triggering for survivors. So come back later. Don’t feel
the need to interact with us. We’ll go through our OnePage. We will be here. We’ll add
value. We’ll help you to the best of our ability but we don’t want that to be at the
expense of your mental and emotional well being. So we just love you guys.
And I want to say hi to Jack. Jack is here. I want to say a very special hello to Susan.
Susan I believe if I’m not mistaken, unless I’m misunderstanding the tweet. She’s
a little bit triggered right now and I just want to send her a lot of love. Sending you
a lot of love Susan, we love you so much and we will indeed respond and do all we can when
we’re done broadcasting. This topic of pregnancy, I was not able to
be at sexabusechat last week and as you know, we did not have our video last week on the
topic of our CSAQT which was what we’ve learned in our recovery. But for me personally on
the topic of pregnancy, during chat this morning when we were discussing this topic, I was
really hit with the realization that I was so enmeshed with my family who were mostly
toxic. They were mostly toxic and dysfunctional. I didn’t realize there was a choice in the
matter. I didn’t realize there was a choice of having people present in your delivery
room or not. I didn’t realize there was a choice to attend baby showers or not. I didn’t
realize there was a choice to have healthy boundaries and say “I’m sorry I’m not
attending that. I’m sorry I really don’t want to spend time with you. I’m physically not
okay. I have toxemia, gestational high blood pressure. I’ve gained 30 pounds in three weeks
and my blood pressure through the roof and my baby’s going to be in distress because
I’m around you. So I’m sorry I don’t want to hang out.” I didn’t realize there was
a choice because I was eighteen years old. So you have a choice first of all. I just
want you to know that if you’re watching this, you’re pregnant, you’re expecting you or
you just realize you’re pregnant, you just found out or perhaps you’re far along in
your pregnancy or you’re getting ready to go into childbirth in the next week or two,
you have a choice. Maybe you’re thinking about getting pregnant. Maybe you just got married.
Maybe you and your partner are discussing adoption. You have a choice. You have a choice
on who you allow to hang out with you and who you allow to hang out with your child.
So it hit me square between the eyes this morning. I really didn’t realize I had a choice.
I didn’t realize that that was something, those choices were something I could employ
at the time. I was so enmeshed and so dependent upon my family’s version of reality and control
over my life. I didn’t realize there was a choice. Bobbi, what do you think? Any comments
on that? Athena: I think that’s interesting Athena
because I knew I had choices but my choices didn’t work out the way I wanted them to.
I was in Kuwait when I was pregnant with my son. I actually delivered in Kuwait and I
was the first American woman to deliver in Kuwait from my then husband’s company. Usually
the women, if the American women got pregnant they went back to the States and deliver their
children because the delivery system in Kuwait is so antiquated. The woman goes in. She gets
drugged. She labors and delivers on her own. Husband not allowed to be there. She’s not
even fully aware because she’s sedated and then comes to later and they hand her the
baby and say Mabruk and that’s it. So I was the first woman to choose to stay and
I wish I hadn’t. My birth experience was not that awesome.
Athena: I’m so sorry Bobbi. Bobbi: I chose to stay but I thought it was
the right decision at the time and there were so many other complicating factors. But we’re
going to talk when we go through the OnePage a little bit about traumatic birth experiences
and that’s why I added this in there. I think all of us need to understand that when we
have, those of us who were survivors, when we have a traumatic at birth experience, trauma
is cumulative and so it adds on and adds on and adds on and adds up and adds up and adds
up and adds up. Athena: I hadn’t even thought about that.
When we were tweeting back and forth this morning during chat and for those of you who
are not familiar, we have a chat in the mornings in the United States which is in the evenings
and it’s more for our UK survivors. It’s at 6PM in the UK and it’s at 10am Pacific and
1PM eastern and it’s usually on the same topic that we’re discussing here on our video. So
Bobbi when you mentioned that this morning about the trauma being cumulative specifically
with regards to a traumatic birth experience, I have to say that I was duped into silence
and didn’t even know what to say because the reality of it is that it was beyond traumatic.
Bobbi: I cannot imagine for you what age you were at and how little support you had.
Athena: My main abuser was there with me the entire time, screaming and yelling and I was
so humiliated. The staff at the hospital, security came and got her. She was throwing
her credit cards at the people. Give her an epidural, give her drugs, whatever you do.
And then I had other abusers that were there as well and then my son’s dad was so young.
He was 18 as well. He had just turned 19. I had just turned 19 a couple days, 2 days
before I go to labor. It was so beyond traumatic. It was so horrible. It was really, really
awful. And I always thought that it was because I was young. That’s what I was told. I was
told that the reason it was traumatic and that it didn’t go the way I want it is. What
do you expect you were eighteen? That’s the answer I got every time. What do you expect
you’re eighteen? As if that sort of… Bobbi: What made it all acceptable and it
was your fault Athena because you were eighteen, right.
Athena: Well. That’s what I thought. Yeah. Bobbi: Yeah. It‘s amazing that victim shaming
and victim blaming crap instead of someone saying “You know what, that’s because your
abuser was there and she was in full blown narcissist mode and nobody was supporting
you.” Athena: In her own way, she thought she was
supporting me because but it wasn’t really supporting. It was traumatic and it was awful
and I had a stroke in labor Bobbi. Bobbi: Really? I didn’t know that.
Athena: Yeah. I had no permanent brain damage. It goes away. Yeah. They called it a mini
stroke, whatever that means, mini stroke. You know. But I didn’t have any of the, like
I didn’t lose muscles in my face. I wasn’t paralyzed on one side of my body but apparently,
my heart stopped beating for like 11 seconds or something like that.
Bobbi: Wow. Athena: Yeah. And they induced give me because
my blood pressure was 202/204. Bobbi: Yeah that’s definitely induction range.
I’m surprised they didn’t do a C section. Athena: I begged them not to because I was
told that it would ruin my body. Oh yeah. You don’t ever want C section whatever you
do, it ruins your body Athena. You don’t ever, ever want C section. It ruins your body.
Bobbi: Yeah I can tell who said that to you. Athena: I had a few, actually had a few. I
had several. Interesting but yeah just today’s topic was interesting for me because I think
there were a lot of realizations that I had never really thought. I never thought those
thoughts before. Bobbi: Well you know, I think this is one
of those topics that doesn’t often get discussed when you are in recovery from child abuse.
We talk about the more recovery related topics. We talked about repressed memories. We talked
about coping with emotions but we’ve been doing this for 14 months now. We have covered
most of the big topics and we still have some left to cover. I mean, we never run out of
topics. But some of the things that we’re going to talk about now are the things that
are not normally discussed when it comes to recovering from child abuse and it’s a shame
and it’s one of the reasons why you and I are going to keep putting out these videos
because survivors need to understand that there is quicksand in their lives at various
points. And nobody tells you things like “Be mindful that when you have a child, when that
child turns the same age as you were when you were abused, that this may be very triggering
for you.” Nobody tells you that if you get pregnant and go through childbirth, you may
experience a hard time and so be mindful of that. No one tells you that if you’re a
man and your partner gets pregnant, that you are more liable to develop postpartum depression
than a man who is not a survivor. We don’t talk about these things and we need
to know. Survivors need to know. You guys you need to know that normal milestones for
people who have not been abused, either domestic violence or childhood abuse, like Athena said,
they’re hallmarked card moments for everyone else. Not that you know people don’t go through
the normal stresses and things like that. I don’t mean to deny that but they can be
a minefield for us and there are reasons for that. It’s not because you were eighteen.
It’s not because I chose to make a decision to have my child in Kuwait. It’s because of
the abuse that we suffered when we were children that piggybacked on top of the regular life
experiences that we have had. And we need to talk about those because everybody needs
to understand. All of the survivors out there, men and women need to understand that along
with pregnancy can come some significant issues and you can feel like you’re going backwards
in your recovery. You can feel like you’re stumbling. But it’s not your fault. It’s not
because you’ve done the thing from and it’s not because you’re weak or you’re stupid
or you have character flaws. It’s because you’re a human being who was abused when they
were child. Athena: I just feel like this topic in particular
Bobbi. Remember when we discussed gas lighting and how many light bulb moments, I mean we’re
still receiving e-mails regarding gas lighting and how many light bulb moments gas lighting
is. The gas lighting topic is, people are just having the many light bulb moments on
the topic so when you’re when you’re sitting here with me right now on this hangout and
you’re talking about this, I’m realizing that that gas lighting and those messages that
were given to me and passed off as reality, there were many, many, many, many, many, many,
many of them, with regards to my pregnancy and regarding my delivery and regarding my
son when he was a baby. This is very similar guys when we talked previously on the gas
lighting topic. If you haven’t seen our video on gas lighting and you’re wondering what
is this gas lighting thing that she is even talking about, when you are given a message
and you are told a story that is not really reality, it’s just a manipulative tactic
to sort of divert you from the truth of what happened for whatever reason. I was told my
entire life that the reason that X. y. and z. happened is because I was clumsy or because
I was overweight or because I was a nail biter or because I was not respectful or because
I was fill in the blank. That’s the reason why so many other bad things happened to me
during my childhood and I believed that. And I even had my son and since I was such a young
age when I did deliver my child, I had just turned 19 a couple days prior so I still didn’t
know that a great deal of my childhood abuse was in fact abuse. So for the first almost
year of my son’s life, I knew I needed to reinvent the wheel every day and I knew I
needed to have healthy habits and develop a system of my own and be my own parents to
my own child and do what was right. I still look back and think “I didn’t do it correctly”.
What was modeled for me was actually very unhealthy and borderline abusive. I’m not
saying that I abused my son intentionally for a year. That’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying that certain behaviors or ways that I would speak or ways that I would act
or responses that I would have certain things were in fact borderline abusive because I
just thought it was normal. I didn’t even know that half of my childhood was abuse until
recently and I’m 42. So try not to beat yourselves up you guys.
This is so, so, so, so, so big of a learning curve. When you are in your thirty’s and forty’s
and you’re finally having memories because they were oppressed for so long because your
brain is trying to protect you and now here you are on this recovery journey and it’s
so overwhelming and all the sudden you throw into the mix, these hallmark holidays like
birthdays and giving birth to a child or whatever, it’s just so much. It’s so much to deal
with and it so much to figure out. Like Marie Forleo always says, everything is figure outable.
For the adult survivor of child abuse specifically childhood sexual abuse, while I do believe
that everything is figure outable, I also want to acknowledge that it can be a little
bit more difficult, sometimes a lot more difficult for you to figure it out because everything
that you were taught or that was modeled for you wasn’t necessarily the healthy choice
that you would have chosen to make. Bobbi? Bobbi: Well. And I think the operative word
it when she says everything is figure outable. There’s a huge pile of everything on our plates.
When she says everything is figure outable, I agree but I have about 50 years worth of
everything piled on my plate please. You know. I have a lot. It’s going to take me another
50 years to pick through all of that and figure it all out and it’s not like a lot of it’s
written in plain English. So while I agree, it’s a lot of work.
Athena: Yeah exactly. I just wanted to put the blanket statement out there. It is a lot
of work and like when I’m encouraging you guys or when I’m recording these videos
that I put into our group and so forth and I say “Yes you can. You can do this. You
can overcome. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been
through. You will overcome. You can. You can make it.” I never, ever, ever want to ever
say “It’s going to be easy. It’s going to be fun. And it’s going to be awesome and
it’s going to be great.” No, that’s not I’m saying. I’m saying that you will make
it and when you’re in safe community and you have others reflecting back the good that
it’s in you, it makes it a lot simpler and a lot more enjoyable even though it’s not
ever, ever, ever, ever, ever easy. So I’m glad you’re here with us. I’m glad you’ve
chosen to watch this video. We consider it a privilege to spend this hour with you every
single week. We have an excellent OnePage that’s very comprehensive, very straightforward,
lot of facts, a lot of, just everything’s just very simple for you to go “Okay, pregnancy.
I’m an abuse survivor. Got it. It’s going to be a little bit different.” We have awesome
OnePage for you. You can get that by going to TraumaRecoveryUniversity.com and clicking
on Downloadables. Just page down and look for where it says Pregnancy and Childbirth
and just know that you’re not alone. Please just know you’re not alone and know that we
care. We really, really do care and if it takes us a while to respond to your comments
on YouTube or Roku or emails or on the website or anything, please just know that we’re a
little bit backlog. It’s just the two of us right now and we have a couple of volunteers
that are very, very, very, very part time. But, we care deeply for you and we want to
do our best to add value and to make your lives just a little bit easier because you
deserve it. Bobbi: Absolutely. Should we look at the OnePage?
Athena: Yeah I was thinking that would be good because I know that this is about the
time when you normally. Bobbi: My cursors gone wild.
Athena: Mine was turning into a big huge arrow that was about two inches wide the other day
and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. My cursor, like when I would move it around,
the arrow was like two inches in circumference or two inches in diameter.
Bobbi: Okay. Wackiness or as I tell people I’m feeling wanky. So here we go. Again
our OnePage, the format is always the same. Top half of the page is information. Education
in the second half of the page is going to be all about tips and strategies to help you
cope with the topic that we’re talking about. So this week we’re talking about pregnancy
and again, men and women, men and women so how does it impact both female survivor who
is pregnant and how would it impact a male partner who is a survivor, who is accompanying
their partner through this pregnancy childbirth, initial newborn stage? We talked about that
little bit this morning too. That’s a whole another mess of minefields. It took me years
to feel like I was a competent parent but that’s another video.
Many of life’s milestones become land mines in the life of a survivor of childhood sexual
abuse. For other people, the events might be nothing but happiness but for us, it has
fear and anxiety attached to it. And one of those milestones is pregnancy and childbirth.
And like I was talking about earlier, sometimes that milestone might be the year your child
turns when you were abused. It could be getting married. It could be when your child’s Christened.
Any number of things. It could be when you turn the same age as your abuser was when
they were abusing you. All of these things have can have trips and triggers for survivors.
So, not to tell you this so that you look forward to this with doom but so that you
are prepared in case all the sudden out of nowhere drop some unexpected feelings and
thoughts and memories. Athena: Yeah we just want you to be equipped.
Bobbi: There you go. Equipped, have your tool box full of information. Many of us, who were
abused as children, especially if we were abused by our parents, live in fear of being
horrible parents ourselves. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that your parents had to
be your sexual abuser. Many children who were sexually abused outside the home also had
dysfunctional or chaotic family environments and that contributed to why the child could
be isolated and groomed and abused by someone else. So if your childhood situation with
your parents was dysfunctional, if your parents were dysfunctional, then we often grow up
with that fear that I can’t possibly become a parent because I will not be a good parent.
I can’t tell you how many survivors I’ve worked with who’ve consciously chosen not
to have children because they didn’t believe they could be a good parent and so they chose
not even to go down that road. You know some of us, our pregnancy was a surprise
and we find that we’re pregnant and then all the sudden we’re just overwhelmed with fear
of what kind of a parent am I going to be? Some of us, even when the pregnancy is planned
but the moment that you find out that you’re actually pregnant, again, you’re overwhelmed.
If you are a father and you were abused as a child, the same holds true for you when
your partner becomes pregnant, that might be the moment that you really start to feel
the weight of “can I possibly even be a good father to this child” so instead of
pregnancy being a time of joy and happiness and anticipation, happy anticipation, it becomes
a time of worry and rumination. So ruminating means that you’ve got cyclical thoughts in
your head that you’re worrying about worrying about worrying about and instead of happy
anticipation, now you have worried anticipation. Or now you’re anticipating things not going
well. And none of that makes for a happy enjoyable pregnancy. And keeping in mind that for a
lot of people, pregnancy means you’re going to actually see more of your family than you
would before. Athena: That is so difficult for so many survivors.
Bobbi: Yes. Because now all the sudden, everybody wants to be a part of your life. They all
want to rub your belly. They all want to have baby showers. Or this is lovely, we had multiple
people talk about this in chat this morning and I feel horrible for them. They were told
“You’re going to be a horrible parent. Look at you. You’re going to be an awful, awful
parent. You have never been capable of anything. You are going to be horrible.”
Athena: I was told “I really hope your child turns out just like you.”
Bobbi: I hope that too Athena because you’re a wonderful person.
Athena: That’s not what they meant though. Bobbi: I know. It is painful and then there
is of course the other ugly side to what people say about “Well. You were abused so you’re
going to abuse your children, don’t you? You shouldn’t really become a parent because you
know since you were abused, you’re going to go ahead and abuse your children.” which
is one of the most horrific myths that I think survivors deal with and I shutter for all
survivors who are told things like that when they are pregnant because that is a horrific
thing to already echo the fears that we feel inside our head. And it but it’s not true.
So not true. All I realized that when you’re pregnant and you’re worrying about a million
things, it’s hard to understand that that is not true but it is not true.
And then comes the lovely relationship with our bodies. And this is particularly true
for female survivors who are going through the actual experience of the pregnancy. We
tend to have lousy relationships with our bodies because of our abuse. So much extra
shame, so little tolerance for invasive medical examinations where we’re stressed about breastfeeding,
all of those things have an extra layer of difficulty and shame for us and pregnancy,
you’re going to get it all. You may become used to this one particular obstetrician that
you absolutely love and then you go on for your next appointment and your OB is out because
they’re out of delivery so you get see the fill in. It’s a man and the last thing you
ever want is for a man to do an examination on you but there you are. Or you go in to
give birth and your OB is not available so you get a stranger. It is just the labor and
delivery and obstetrical maternity health part of pregnancy can just be fraught with
minds for survivors to walk through. And so we get it and we understand that and we really,
really, really, really want to acknowledge that for you and let you know that you are
not alone if you’re stressing or if you have stressed about those things. And there are
some ways to deal with it. We’re going to talk about that down in our tips and strategies.
Athena: Hey Bobbi, I have a couple questions coming in that I wanted to address.
Bobbi: Hit me. Athena: Okay so one of them is “I am terrified
of giving bath. I’m not a mother and it may never happen but this fear is still real.”
That’s from Anida. Anida, you are not alone. I was absolutely terrified to bathe my son.
And that it would somehow inappropriate or I was just so, so always careful, door open.
This is my child but I still had that terror. Bobbi, what did you experience with regard
to getting bathe? Bobbi: Absolutely. And I’m not sure exactly
what Anida is referring to but I was terrified that I would drop my child. I mean here he
already is the slippery little thing and I’ve got soap. Right. I mean I was sure. I was
just sure that I would drop him or he’d scored out of my hands and hit the concrete floor.
Athena: I totally I thought the same thing Bobbi. One more question here. Anida, you’re
not alone. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness you’re not alone. We both have experience
with being afraid of the bathe time experience. It’s terrifying especially if you were abused
as a child and I just have horrible, horrible bathroom memories. Yeah I even bathed my friend
in the kitchen sink. I possibly could because I didn’t want him to go into the bathroom
like I didn’t want to do the bathe thing in there. So, I have one more question here Bobbi.
It’s from Grace and she said “My mom was an enabler. What if I am like her if I ever
have children? How do you keep your children safe? It terrifies me.” I think being mindful
really helps like really writing down your goals and checking in with yourself every
single day and making sure that you’re following through with those goals that you have for
your children. What do you think Bobbi? Bobbi: I agree with that and I think it’s
also very important for us as survivors when we’re going through a sticky patch where I’m
sure that we do have a team of people who are in our lives that we can go to and say
“okay I have no idea whether I’m being healthy or whether I’m screwing this one
up. I need some feedback.” Because sometimes when we are in the thick of the middle of
that situation, it’s not possible and sometimes we’re learning new skills on the fly. And
it’s always important to have people that you can go to and say “I don’t know how
to do this”. I think too that you want to find some people who could mentor you. You
know find some people that you look at and you know are good parents and form a relationship
with them so that you can watch them. You can ask questions.
Last week in sex abuse chat, somebody made the comment that if you have the choice; it’s
always good to be in therapy before you have your children so that you can get some of
that important work done. And I think if you are a younger viewer and you’re watching this
or you’re listening to this, I would agree with that. If you have that option, you should
do that. You should tackle some things before you have children. But this is not always
possible. Athena: No. And lot of times if you’re younger,
you don’t have memories. Men that average that they start having memories of like 30
or 42 and for women it’s like, what is it like 33 or something like that. I mean it’s
just an average age that I was reading like when they start to have most of the memories
come flooding back in. And many times you choose to be a parent earlier than that.
Bobbi: Yes exactly. It’s not like we can wait until those memories come and then have children.
We don’t even know that we’re supposed to wait for them. We don’t even know they’re
there. Athena: Oh Jack wants to make sure that we
talk about some things that were mentioned last Tuesday. We have that down in our OnePage
Jack. We’re going to be addressing for men, how this can affect men as well. Bobbi you
were there on Tuesday and I was not able to attend. Do you know specifically the topics
that Jack is referring to? Bobbi: I think. I’m thinking that probably
what he’s talking about is the postpartum depression. And yes we are going and that
in fact, boom next paragraph Jack. Due to our abuse and the long term damage
it does to our brain and our brain chemistry, childhood abuse survivors can be particularly
susceptible to both prenatal and postpartum depression. We put our little statement in
here yes both mothers and fathers. Yes men can get prenatal and postpartum depression.
It’s not just about hormones but they’re starting to really understand that men go through some
hormonal shifts and things during pregnancy too but first of all, there is such a thing
as prenatal depression. You can have depression during pregnancy. I mean it’s one thing if
you’ve been depressed up until the time you got pregnant and your depression continues
in your pregnancy yes. But you can develop depression in your pregnancy. It is called
prenatal or antenatal depression. Okay so be aware of that. It’s not talked about very
often. And then there is postpartum depression which is the depression that comes about after
the child is born. Both men and women can develop the prenatal and the postpartum depression
and you need to be mindful of that. I think so often it’s put down to what they call “oh
the baby blues” but we as survivors in particular need to be very, very, very, very vigilant
to watch for signs of postpartum and prenatal depression. It’s just important because it’s
important for you to get help if you feel lousy. Postpartum depression interrupts the
bonding process, the attachment process between mothers and fathers and baby. There’s also
the risk of it transforming into what’s called postpartum psychosis. And that is ferociously
difficult for moms to deal with. I don’t hear of it very often in terms of men but for women,
it’s rare but when it happens, it’s very severe and can lead to really tragic results.
So please be aware of this and get help and this is why when we talk about tips and strategies.
Athena: I want to really quick mention to really, really, really be on the lookout.
Write yourself a note if you need to but if you are going through any of this right now
or you’re planning on becoming pregnant, really be on the lookout for minimizing dialogue.
Minimization is huge when it comes to any type. You’ll hear people say things like “Well
what did you think it would be? A walk in the park? I mean come on, you’re pregnant.
I mean. It’s childbirth. Of course it’s going to be painful hello.” And you could get
a lot of minimizing dialogue that could happen even from very well meaning caregivers and
professional, even professional doctors and nurses. I remember specifically receiving
a lot of minimizing dialogue coming from my caregivers while I was pregnant. I mean from
the nurses to the doctors to the people at the hospital, it was all very, very, very
minimizing and devaluing and dismissing and that is just not acceptable. You deserve to
be treated with kindness and dignity. You deserve to have a good birthing experience.
Your baby deserves that. You deserve it. So when you start to hear people say things that
are very minimizing or dismissive, please call them out. Please let them know ahead
of time that those things are not going to be something that you’re going to be okay
with. When you interview, if you have a chance to interview your OB-GYN or the person that’s
going to be your baby’s pediatrician, I know that’s very popular these days as I did research,
you get to interview them. So please, please put down on your list of interview question.
Are you comfortable with me dialoguing with you about things if I feel that there is anyone
on your staff or in the hospital that is dismissive or minimizing when I’m experiencing something
traumatic because of my childhood sexual abuse? You have to address it at the very, very,
very beginning. It’s difficult to address but don’t allow your pregnancy and your birthing
experience and the trauma that you’ve incurred as a child to be minimized or dismissed. Please
do not allow that. Bobbi: And if you are feeling like maybe that
is something you aren’t able to do, that’s when you need to bring people with you to
your doctor’s appointments. And that’s when one of the things we’ll talk about down
here in the bullet points. You need to consider hiring a doula for your birth experience.
So we’ll talk about that here in a minute. And it’s very important that you notify your
maternity health care providers about your childhood trauma and that you ask for what
you need to have a successful pregnancy and delivery. You might not know what you need
initially. You might not know what will help you feel better but they might have some suggestions.
But do tell them. Inform them. Let them know. You have to give them down and dirty details.
You can give them just a blanket statement. “I was sexually abused as a child. I still
have some triggers and some trauma because of this and I’d like to let you know.”
Then they can ask any questions that they feel like they might need.
And then the second point: consider hiring a doula. If you don’t know what a doula is,
a doula is a support person for the pregnant mom during delivery and during labor and delivery.
So they’re an advocate for and a support person for the mother. I am just a super, super,
super huge fan of doulas because they are there for no reason other than to help you
have a positive birth experience, help you be supported and help you get your needs met.
I have no clue what the running price is to hire a doula to be present. I know that they
can often meet with you for several times before your birth and then they’ll come visit
you at home usually one or two times after your birth. But I would just, if you have
the capability to hire someone, I would absolutely do it. If you don’t have the capability to
hire someone and you have someone in your life who you know and you trust, then absolutely
invite them to be with you during the labor and delivery so that you can use them as an
advocate. I had a friend when I was going through my
graduate degree program and her husband was a survivor. And she knew that he was going
to have a difficult time during her labor and delivery so I came and I was there during
the labor and delivery for no other purpose than supporting him so that he felt like he
could be fully present and be supported. So that after the whole labor and delivery was
over, he didn’t feel like he didn’t get to fully participate as much as he wanted to.
So don’t hesitate to ask someone to do that for you. It’s perfectly okay. And I would
specifically recommend that if you’re in a situation where you may not get to pick who
is going to actually deliver your baby. You know maybe you have to work with a huge medical
practice and you’re just going to get whoever’s on call that night because of course babies
want to come in the middle of the night, right. Athena: Yes, they do.
Bobbi: So yeah especially you need some consistency and when you get to the hospital, you need
to have this next item but you need to have this during your pregnancy as well. You need
a birth plan. If you don’t know what a birth plan is, a birth plan, I’m sure you can
Google birth plan template and you’ll find a million of them. It is a description of
what you want to have happen and what you don’t want to have happened during your pregnancy,
your labor and your delivery. And this is the perfect thing to put down on things like
“I do not want to have, if at all possible I don’t want to have a male nurse when I labor
and deliver. I specifically would like to have access to a bath tub because I want to
sit and soak in the bath when I’m in labor. I don’t want to have an IV unless it’s medically
necessary.” So sometimes a lot of times when you go in to have your baby, they put
an IV in just in case. And you could ask I don’t want one. I don’t want an IV. I don’t
want you to start one unless we know it’s medically necessary. So that’s what your birth
plan is for. It’s for all about the things that you want to have happened during your
pregnancy and delivery and the things you don’t want to have happened during your pregnancy
and delivery. And this one: monitors your moods during your
pregnancy and after childbirth for those signs of prenatal or postpartum depression. Rip
that one out of the page of that book what to expect when you’re expecting and stick
it up on the fridge. Ask your loved ones to let you know if it looks like you’re having
a hard time. One of the most difficult things for new moms and dads is that lack of sleep
and if you already have a history of depression or a mental health issue, that lack of sleep
can be especially difficult because it triggers that brain chemistry in our brain of course.
So watch for that. And last but not least certainly not least,
go ahead and limit your exposure to your abuser or your family members. If they weren’t
your abuser but your family was still chaotic and dysfunctional at heck, it is okay to not
want to engage with them while you’re pregnant. It is just fine and if you don’t want them
in your hospital room, if you don’t want them there when you’re delivering, let your nurses
know. Put it in your birth plan. It is part of their job to not allow people into your
hospital room that you don’t want there and definitely not in the hospital room on your
delivery if you don’t want there. Athena: Yeah. You have a voice. Anida was
just mentioning. She says “it’s really good she needs to remember that these people are
working for her”. Bobbi: Exactly.
Athena: You have a voice. That’s hard for us guys. I mean it’s difficult, even sometimes,
obviously not on the topic of pregnancy. I mean just communicating your needs someone
that is providing a service, whether it’s someone that is working on repairing your
computer or repairing something in your home or even eating in a restaurant and bringing
you your meal, it is difficult to communicate your needs. So on a topic this big like pregnancy
and childbirth thing, it can be very difficult to communicate those needs that you need to
communicate. And remember that you do have a voice and that you do matter and that it
is their job to do what you tell them to do. That’s why they get paid thirty forty fifty
thousand dollars for a birthing experience or whatever the new price might be. Mine were
extremely more expensive because of my medical complications but very expensive.
Bobbi: You should give birth in Kuwait. I had an emergency C section and I was in the
hospital for three nights afterwards and it was two thousand four hundred dollars. Everyone,
flock to Kuwait and give birth. Athena: Or not because you regretted it.
Bobbi: But that was the one silver lining. It was cheap.
Athena: I love it. So I just want to thank everybody. I want to thank Kate and Jack and
Grace and Anida and Julie Ann. Bobbi: Sarah.
Athena: And Sarah. We just love you guys and we’re grateful that you are here, asking your
very important questions or watching or tweeting or just here to support your fellow survivors.
You guys are amazing and you’re the reason we show up every week so I just want to say
thank you to each and every one of you. We’re going to be transitioning into the part of
our broadcast where we share with you our contact information, our e-mail addresses,
how you can find us on social media, the different ways that you can connect with us throughout
the week on the complimentary, the three live events that we have every single week for
the community of adult survivors of child abuse specifically childhood sexual abuse
although we have a lot of different people that come to our weekly events that are not
sexual abuse survivors their child survivors. So, we’re transitioning into that portion
of our broadcast now. We do appreciate you spending time with us and tweeting us your
questions to the hash tag NoMoreShame and stick around if you want to hear any current
events or announcements or want to know further information about how to contact us personally.
Bobbi: Okay let’s look at ways to join our safe community. I just lost myself. Here we
go. Ways to join our safe community. We have three Twitter chats every week. The first
one is Monday. As Athena said earlier it’s at 10am pacific time and that is 6 PM in the
UK. We just went through our really strange week where we could a half where the British
daylight savings time was different from the US savings time and we were out of whack for
a week but we are back in whack. Athena: We are back in whack.
Bobbi: Back in whack. Yeah we get some really interesting sayings don’t we? Like this morning
when Jack was saying in chat. He said wresting. I read it as wrestling.
Athena: I read it as wrestling also. Bobbi: I thought it was. I thought it was
the most amazing seeing that he had coined this phrase and I loved it and then he said
well that’s not what I said oh. Athena: I know right.
Bobbi: I like it anyway. Athena: We call you you guys friendlies and
we call you beautiful and you’re our framily and yes, they’re made up words but they’re
made of for you. They’re special for you. So, love them or leave them.
Bobbi: So that hash tag on Mondays is #CSAQT and it stands for child sexual abuse question
time. And then there is this twitter chat live video interactive forum that we are chatting
with you right now and that is at 6 PM Pacific Time or 2am Tuesday morning in the UK and
that hash tag is #NoMoreShame. And we try to monitor that NoMoreShame hash tag 24/7
on Twitter. And if we don’t do it usually we have someone else, a member of our community
who will pipe in there. So if you would like to connect with us during the week, that is
the hash tag to use or just tag us and we’ll give you our Twitter handles here in a bit.
And then on Tuesday at 6 PM Pacific Time and 2am Wednesday morning for the UK peeps is
our third and final Twitter chat of the week and that hashtag is #sexabusechat.
Then we also have Facebook support groups. I’m going to make this little bigger and
move it up. And in order to get into those we would ask that you would please like the
Trauma Recovery University page. Athena: Yeah. These are 4 easy steps.
Bobbi: 4 easy steps. And then friend us, I’ll be honest. It helps if you friend both of
us and send both of us a message because sometimes one or the other of us might be having a busier
week than the other and one of us can get back to you sooner than the other. So friend
us and then send us a message saying you would like to heal in safe community. If you send
us a message without friending us first, then you will go into our other folder where I
now have 40 messages that Facebook is blinking and telling me that they are there that I
haven’t checked. So you do not want to go into the other folder it is Facebook message
limbo. So make sure and friend us first and then we, if we don’t know you from our Twitter
chats or from these Google hangouts or from Facebook already, we’ll probably ask you
a few questions. And that is to verify that you are who you say you are so we do not mistakenly
allow an abuser or an abusive person into one of our support groups because we very
highly value the safety of our support group members. And you can watch any of our videos
on, Athena are they all up on the website or just the most recent one and then the other
videos they need to go to YouTube? Athena: They can actually see almost all of
our videos right there on our web site. If you wanted to go to YouTube and they’re all
in the same space, you can just go to YouTube.com/TraumaRecoveryUniversityTV. Bobbi: And there they are.
Athena: You guys I want to show you something really quick. This is a member of our community.
His name is Stu and he is so awesome. So huge shout out to Stu. He just sent out a tweet
saying “This is a face that carries NoMoreShame. Support childhood sexual abuse survivors.”
Thank you Stu. Thank you for kicking off NoMoreShame November Stu. We totally love you. You’re
awesome. Bobbi: He is awesome. And he works with the
gatehouse out of Canada that Athena mentioned earlier so. Absolutely amazing resource to
run several there are support groups and frankly we adore him. So there you go Stu. Present
to everyone. Okay. Ways to contact us. You can email me
[email protected], you can email Athena at [email protected] And I don’t
want to cut off our heads there. You can tweet me at @BobbiLParish or Athena at @AthenaMoberg
and then Trauma Recovery University is @TraumaRecoveryU. On Facebook, we have Trauma Recovery University.
My business page is Bobbi Parish Coaching and Consulting. And my personal page is Bobbi
L Parish. Athena’s Facebook business page is Athena Moberg Speaking and her personal
page is Dawn Athena Moberg. And then you can also watch us on YouTube 24/7, Trauma Recovery
University and Roku TV, Trauma Recovery University and on Google plus, Trauma Recovery University.
And you can always come watch us or the current video at bit.ly/TraumaRecoveryU.
Athena: NoMoreShame November is in full effect. We are so excited to talk about this month
of advocacy that we wait for the entire year. So if you are a survivor, an adult survivor
of childhood sexual abuse, we want to encourage to send us a link to your blog if you provide
any type of services for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Please send us a link
to your website if you are as someone who has written a book about childhood sexual
abuse. Please send us a link and we would love to just add you to our list of awesome
resources. We have several members of our community that are very, very, very talented.
We have blog writers. We have artists like Jack Lumen. He makes all of the sanity signs,
the pinnables and the tweetables and all kinds of awesome things. We have a Pinterest board
we would love to pin things on. We have essays that have been submitted to share true survivor
stories. Just to get out there into the world so that the community that we have for survivors
of childhood sexual abuse which is growing by the way, grew from like 3 people to like
3-5 thousand. There’s so many of you. So if that’s you and you would like to just be
a part of NoMoreShame November, we would love to welcome you to join us. This amplifier
voice, amplifier message, we would love to promote you and just encourage others to follow
you. We could just use all the support we can possibly get. Keep in mind that PSD awareness
month which is the month of June is our next sort of advocacy and awareness month and that’s
only doing a fundraiser for trauma recovery ministries. But NoMoreShame November is in
full effect and we look forward to hearing from you. Send us an e-mail at [email protected]
Bobbi, what would you like to share with everyone? What are your parting thoughts for everyone
tonight? Bobbi: Actually I would like to wish you a
belated birthday because your birthday was on Friday. You wrote it was Saturday. Sorry.
Athena: That’s okay. Thank you so much. If I haven’t responded personally to your
birthday messages, it’s not because I’m not grateful. It is because there are hundreds
of you and I feel so overwhelmed in a good way with love and kindness and support. You
guys are so wonderful and kind and I just want to thank you personally for each and
every one of your birthday messages. I just haven’t responded personally to all of them.
I sort to have to pace myself and you like twenty a day or thirty a day and it’s a lot.
It’s a lot. So I appreciate your patience and thank you so much Bobbi.
Bobbi: You’re welcome. So send Athena good thoughts as she is about to hit the road again
on Wednesday to do some traveling. This time primarily over on the east coast, but then
she will be here in Texas for a few days before we send her home to Maui.
Athena: I’ll be in Alabama in-between Texas. I fly from here to California and my son is
going to come to the airport and my daughter-in-law to give me a hug. In between my layover from
LA to Chicago and then I go from Chicago to West Palm Beach Florida and then I get to
meet several of you guys which I’m so excited about. And then I go Florida to Alabama where
I get to see a few of you guys which I’m very excited about and then I drive on from
Alabama to Texas where I get to see Bobbi. I’m so excited I get to see you. And we’re
going to have our vision casting day for our business plan for all of 2016 topics, how
we’re going to address them, the number of minutes we’re going to have on videos, the
speaking engagements we’re going to be trying to be a part of, the speaking engagements
we are not going to be being a part of. We have to say no to a lot of opportunities in
order to say yes to the one that we know we’re supposed to do. So that’s what I’m doing.
That’s my week. I’m packing tomorrow and leaving the following morning and I really
want to make sure that I can be at sex abuse chat tomorrow. I’m sort of in the middle.
I have a deadline that is tomorrow and then I’m packing so I’m hoping that I’ll
see you guys at sex abuse chat tomorrow before I go, before I fly out.
Bobbi: Yes. If not, you can come see me. I’ll be there.
Athena: Bobbi will be there for sure. I’m hoping that I’ll be there. Thanks for the
birthday wishes Bobbi and I’m looking forward to coming to see you again and to our vision
day and just planning out the whole year. If you guys have some topics that you want
addressed in the year 2016, you know that we always ask you first. What do you need?
What would you like and what would you like us to address and what are the sub topics
and the topics that you want to talk about? If that is you and you have a specific need,
some of our greatest, most valuable and popular topics are ones that were recommended by you
such as narcissistic parents or sibling abuse. We have so many topics that are recommended
by our community members and they have become just almost like subsets of our entire community
where it’s just become way more prevalent. It’s way more prevalent than we knew and very
popular topic for people to just really realize that they’re not alone for the first time
in their life. They’re actually realizing that. So my lighting is a little funky tonight.
I know I’m turning yellow and I’m orange and I am my dark and light and I’m trying
my close and far away. Bobbi: Disco lights.
Athena: I have disco lights going. But I will be, to give you guys a heads up, next Monday
night, I will be broadcasting live from West Palm Beach Florida at covenant fellowship.
I’ll be in some sort of a room. I don’t know where all, what room I’ll be in, but
that’s where I’ll broadcasting from, where I will have just come off of a speaking engagement,
immediately stepping into broadcasting with you. So forgive me if I’m a couple minutes
tardy. I’ll do my best to be on time next week. But I can’t wait to see you guys and
just leave your comments below. If this video was helpful for you, give it a thumbs up,
share it with your friends. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to best support
you because we really do you care. Anything else Bobbi?
Bobbi: Nope, I think that’s it. Good night everybody.
Athena: Yeah. Thank you so much you guys. I’m Athena Moberg, this is Bobbi Parish
and we love to bring you everything you need for healthy, informed trauma recovery. So,
until next week. Aloha!

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