The Voice Box

The Voice Box

No-Talk Rule - This foundational dysfunctional family rule demands children never tell the truth to outsiders and never speak up to their abusers. Blurry shapes floated in and out as I lay on the operating table trying to wake up. The smell of antiseptic burned my...

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We are Dented Cans

We are Dented Cans

Dented cans are cast aside, although they are not broken. A dent is not the can’s fault, it did not decide to get dropped, or kicked, or mishandled. It just happened. The dent can’t be removed. The dent is on the outside of the can, it cannot be hidden or disguised....

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The Threat of Peace

The Threat of Peace

The Threat of Peace Hypervigilance: The state of being highly alert to potential danger or threat I sat on the floor practicing my Forward Facing trauma techniques as I rubbed my hands across the thick bedroom carpet. Grounding myself in the present, I took a deep...

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The Friend of Love

The Friend of Love

The Friend of Love - Resiliency My best friend is moving away. She’d been dropping hints for months, but I decided to retreat behind a wall of denial and hope for the best. The best was not to be. Ellen is moving, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. We had our...

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves - Emotional Regulation My first grade year was the first time in my life I felt understood. I loved everything about school. The snacks, the smell of mimeographed worksheets, learning how to read and write, the playground, and most of...

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Orange Trees in the Desert

Orange Trees in the Desert

Fight or flight and emotional regulation The desert of the Southwestern United States has a strange, stark beauty all its own. Gorgeous sunsets, rock formations and deep canyons accented with spiky cactus resemble another world. If you grew up back east like I did,...

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The Thumb-Sucker

The Thumb-Sucker

Fight or flight: the instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away. I thought I was safe. At four years old, I believed if I couldn’t see you, you couldn’t see me. I had secreted myself away...

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Facing My Fear With Forward-Facing®

Facing My Fear With Forward-Facing®

I'm afraid. Can I get there and back before dark? Now I’m in a rhythm, going fast, breathing harder, yet still able to inhale the Sedona beauty that never gets old. Last mile now. Steep ascent. Crisp air chilling. Sun descending. I’m here before dark and yeah, it...

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Self-Regulation During Life’s Storms

Self-Regulation During Life’s Storms

The storms have rolled to Phoenix, and with them a heavy inner fog. Gone the temps that warmed and comforted in the 14 days of COVID. Now all the sensory intrusion of six people with ADHD and ACES living in close quarters and teens and special needs and selling a...

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What Is Forward-Facing® Anyway?

What Is Forward-Facing® Anyway?

What comes up when you hear the term “Forward-Facing®”? A quick Google search shows us that the most common perception of “forward-facing” is an option for installing a car seat. But Forward-Facing® is different; it is both a concept and a way of life that is...

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