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 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!)

I used all my skill as an instructional designer when writing BRAVE. I have read books that throw graphic abuse details at you on the first page. Horrible idea. I tell the hesitant, they can read the first 40 pages and be fine. I foreshadow, leave clues in the section headers, and break up the most significant memories. I also weave teaching throughout and include fantasy and humor. I was thinking about my readers on every page.

My blanket of brokenness had lots of layers. It had the parts I rejected and the parts I created to please the world. It also had a thousand stitches created for the purpose of making all the pieces seem whole and beautiful.

I am well aware that my book and the truth I tell will be a powerful statement about the effects of childhood trauma. The vulnerability required to help others understand those effects makes me wake in the night and think, "What have I done?" Then I remind myself that I made a choice to speak for the children and adults who have suffered the unimaginable.

The day I walked into therapy, I got on a train to a new destination. Scott saw me departing and jumped on board. We have traveled over mountains, spent time in valleys, viewed life from new heights and prayed we’d make it to the other side when bridges we were depending on collapsed underneath us.

When I include the word therapy in my blog titles, I hear crickets. Maybe I should just randomly include ‘God’ in the titles. Maybe that would help, but it would completely miss the point. My journey to fully experiencing God came through the unconditional acceptance of my story while in therapy, not while in the church. (Very loud crickets)

For many abuse victims, there is a sense of knowing without knowing. Sometimes a memory floats around the edges of consciousness, but our defense mechanisms are quick to relinquish the flashes of trauma to the recesses of our subconscious. There they lurk until triggered again, but always filling our being with unidentifiable emotional turmoil. This was my story. It was the unknowing knowing.

Then, I felt it pass over me like a wave. It felt like I was just outside the place where the waves broke and crashed onto the sand. The emotion rose up inside of me, then flowed over my body, and vanished into the air.

Finding a sense of Self out of a conglomeration of children, teens, young adults, and adults who would step in to lead (without warning when triggered) was challenging. Realizing that the splitting was based in trauma helped me search for the core memories each one held. The triggers that shifted me were embedded in the trauma and healing through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) stopped the power of the triggers.

While my journey through therapy was undoubtedly one of the loneliest times of my life, I am grateful for my husband who became my ‘Therapy Tape’ and held me together. We had always been more like best friends than mushy lovers and the bond of friendship between us proved to be exactly what I needed. It is what everyone going through therapy needs—it takes more than a therapist.

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