All information and resources at this website have been presented as part of my personal story and does not replace professional psychological care for mental health issues. The only legal and ethical advice I can offer is to seek professional help. 

If you have had or are having suicidal thoughts, please call: 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-8255

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© 2017 by Janyne McConnaughey.                                                                                         

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January 16, 2019

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WHO AM I ?

I am Dr. Janyne McConnaughey, retired educator, wife, mother and grandmother. I have a story. My story is one I repressed until two years ago when I chose to sit on a therapist's couch. Now healed, I am on a mission!

 

My mission is to clearly articulate both positive and negative effects of early nurturing and experiences on lifelong behavior and thinking patterns while promoting effective educational, spiritual, and therapeutic methods for the healing of inadequate attachment and childhood traumas.

I love California beaches, and the City of Seattle, but live in a 5th wheel with my husband, Scott, at the foot of Pikes Peak. 

I have served in churches and church-related ministries in two denominations that believed very differently about the roles of women in ministry. I have friends who support ordaining women and those who do not. In the light of a recent interview of a prominent church leader, I am going to do my best to make this point: I respect your right to have differing views on ordaining women, but differing views are not the root cause of the recent disparaging comments about one woman. Agreement is not a prerequisite for respect.

Except for the people I have known for many years, my life looks nothing like it did five years ago. I do not live in the same place, do the same work, go to the same church, think about the same things, or have the same passions. Not even the story I share about my life is the same. That is a lot of “unsameness.”

When children are traumatized there are always results.This is a well documented and researched truth. The brain scans of those who have been traumatized as small children are different than those children who have been in nurturing safe environments. There is no disputing the fact that these children's brains are being restructured by the trauma caused by our nation's policies. We are not responsible for what happened before they reached us, but we are responsible for what is happening to them now--no matter what we think about how they got here.

(I have been blessed by so many who have written to me and shared their healing paths which included both reading BRAVE: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma. and accessing trauma-informed therapy. Michelle's healing, which she describes in this guest blog, is evidence that deep healing is possible. Thank you for sharing the hope with others! You are BRAVE!)

Our culture’s avoidance of feelings and emotions has resulted in an inability to understand ourselves and why we do the things we do. Both sermons and memes tell us feelings lie to us. Never. That is like saying a potato that calls itself a potato is a liar. A feeling is a feeling. It is as true as the ground you are standing on. It is a body sensation. It is how our body informs us. But feelings do get hijacked by our perceptions of experiences—especially as children. The feeling is not a lie, but the message attached to it may be. In our effort to ignore our feelings, we don’t even know we are living out the messages.

There are lots of us who can’t ask for what we need or want. We have stories that caused this and it affects us in relationships and other humans and with God. Our fear of the shame that we internalized in the process of learning not to ask affects us in so many ways.

We can’t fully help others without addressing the deep impact of mental health in our homes, churches, schools, and communities. Simply addressing the spiritual doesn’t address the physical and mental pain caused by trauma. Our generation has been gifted with an understanding of how the body and brain get wired by trauma—and how it can be healed and rewired. We need to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness so people can feel safe in accessing help.

I found the book to be engaging, thoughtful, and was profoundly excited to find a book that placed the answers to prayers not in a superhuman god who sometimes chose to reach down and stop human suffering, Instead, the power of God can be seen in humans who truly live out God's love in the lives of other humans. My story is both a tragedy and a miracle because of human choices--for evil or for good. My prayer was a great fit for this book! It is a call to action that will achieve so much more than prayers that depend on God to step in and care for the brokenhearted.

It wasn’t just that the Wise Men came and worshipped. They did something much more important than that. They listened to what God communicated in a dream and went home another way. They protected Jesus.

The whole scenario reminds me of my favorite Aesop’s fable—paraphrased. The sun and the wind had a conversation about a man sitting on a bench wrapped in a coat. They decided to have a contest to see who could get the man to remove his coat first. The wind was very powerful and claimed victory before beginning to blow, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man clung to his coat. Then the sun stepped in and began to glow its warmth down on the man. It wasn’t but a few minutes before the man removed his coat.

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