July 3, 2018

I Was Abused by a Woman - Part 1


This week, I bring to you the amazing Johnnie Calloway. He is an author, blogger, podcaster, poet, and teacher. He authored: "Taming the Dragon; The Object Is Not to Conquer the Dragon but to Tame Him and Make Him an Ally", "Dragons to Butterflies; The Metamorphosis of a Man", and "The Bridge; Where Souls Connect". He hosts the podcast ‘Morph Into A New You; Changing Thoughts Changes Lives’, which I've had the pleasure of being a guest on. This month, he will be sharing with us about his healing journey - not to be missed!!

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I first found my heart through poetry, which had been hidden. I teach A Course in Miracles classes whenever possible and I use my podcasting to help others change the thoughts that imprison them.

The desperation of trying to heal from my own broken childhood has led me to many teachings and many teachers. My entire youth was spent discovering ways to prove all the lies I was being told were true. According to one of my many teachers, "We are hypnotized as children to believe as we are told." 

In my case I was told many lies such as, "You will never amount to anything. You will die an early, ugly, drunken death. You were cursed at birth with your name and you will never overcome or escape it."

I embodied those lies with everything that was in me. With them came an incredible anger. I never wanted to be that guy. There was a softness inside of me that screamed for release but my life was fueled by fear, the biggest of which was, someone finding out that I was afraid.


My mother died when I was five and my father was an angry, violent, sexually abusive alcoholic. I grew up in a two-bedroom, single wide, mobile home. Privacy simply was not a thing I knew.  

I was labeled an alcoholic by the time I was thirteen. I first heard the letters PTSD in my late twenties. At one time being told I was a drug addict was like a badge of honor. Later on, when I crashed all the other mental health diagnoses arose: ADD, ADHD, Clinical Depression, and finally the one that stuck, Bi Polar Disorder.


THE TURN AROUND

At the age of twenty-six I was a full-blown junkie but my usage was just a means to an end. I used in such mass quantities that is was only a hidden suicide attempt. One night, Dec. 2, 1984, I truly tried to end it with an accidental overdose. It did not work and the result was I went to my first Twelve Step meeting the next night.

I loved the program and did all that I was asked. I was told very early on that because of my tormented childhood that I would need outside help and I would need therapy. Totally out of the norm for me I followed direction.

We immediately attacked the lies I had told myself about my mother’s death. Then the abuse I had endured at the hands of my dad. The confusion of being told I could trust those that were abusing me and that what was happening to me was love.

Soon I found A Course in Miracles to accompany my Twelve Steps and I discovered the need for forgiveness. I fought it. Even after I learned it had value I fought it. My anger had become a security blanket and without it I would be vulnerable. With the help and guidance of several that had walked this same walk ahead of me I finally let anger go. 

My healing became a new but healthy addiction, I turned over every stone. I went to every healing of your inner child workshop that I could get in. I confronted every hurt feeling, every resentment, and all my own shortcomings that I could uncover.

All except for one that, with the help of Rachel Grant, I now have faced.

After writing Dragons to Butterflies I was invited by Mental Health News Radio Network to do my own podcast. Learning from many conversations with powerful healers and helping others learn to confront their own demons. I was led to meet Rachel Grant and her Beyond Surviving approach. At first, I thought, "I got this."

During our introductory phone call and all the excitement of collaborating with her, she mentioned the possibility of me being a guest blogger for her. My excitement soared. I love to write about things that matter. Then she said, "As a guest blogger you get to blog about one topic for an entire month." And then, "The topic is pre-determined and the next opening is July." I was elated and confident that I could do this. Next, "What is the topic for July?" Rachel’s response, "Sexual abuse when the abuser is female."

Everything in me came to a screeching halt. I felt goose bumps accompanied with tears. Memories raced through my mind and the night with my stepmother was totally relived in two seconds, along with what I have known for a very long time, the scars that came from that night.

There was a real pull to hang up and forget we had talked, but only for a moment. In my healing, I have learned that "fight or flight" are no longer options for me. I knew I had to do it. I rekindled my excitement but for a new reason, I was just given the opportunity to use my own voice one more time to help others heal and to simultaneously also keep healing myself.

These next three weeks will be a journey we will take together and with much gratitude I will expose my healing process to you in hope that it helps in your healing journey as well.  



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Johnnie Calloway believes that all healing is an inside job.


To heal and become a better version of ourselves we must change our self-talk or inner dialogue so we start to believe it.   As Johnnie says…

“If you want to change your life, you’ve got to change your mind about your life.”

To that end, Johnnie has dedicated his life’s work to helping others do this.  He does this through the following passions:



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