Structural Damage

I’m talking about the damage that being forced through a system or structure created to serve itself causes. Add any kind of history of trauma and this system tips the scales into crisis.

Name the structure and we can identify the damage it causes to people who have to endure it.

The specific structure of course that I am referring to here is the medical system.

We all experience traumas… Carrying the load of healing is hard all on it’s own; adding the gauntlet of the medical system seems inhumane.

The medical system is funded politically. Funds are allocated by the government based on the decisions of government officials and boards of directors made up of investors and stakeholders with very little regard for serving anyone but themselves; and a narrow scope of how life is lived outside of the top tiers of society.

Decisions are made by people wealthy enough to pay for any private medical services they require, no expenses spared. No deciding between food or medicine for these folks. They are accustomed to the best of the best.

Make no mistake. The medical system is a trauma minefield!

First flaw; a lack of fluidity between mental health and physical health. They are entirely separate!!!

The polarity between the support I needed for my physical symptoms and the support I needed for my complex post traumatic stress disorder symptoms almost broke me.

I couldn’t find anyone in either system that could help me with both!!

I would ask about my central nervous symptoms, and pain… ask about my emotional symptoms with the physical doctor… no one could help me connect the dots. They all left me disappointed and more and more helpless.

The mental healthcare system has been heavily underfunded since it’s inception. People have been forced to suffer through the effects of trauma alone, in fear of the stigmatization and treatment of patients who need mental health support.

Until you have had no choice but to be on the receiving end of this “care” you will not resonate with what this truly means. But those who know, know.❤️

Structural damage starts at the basic care level and extends into every crevasse.

Long wait times amplify symptoms, and symptoms amplify chaos and fear.

The more I connect with others and hear their story of their personal battle through the gauntlet that is the system the more I believe that the structure is causing way more harm than help!

Basic care has doctors booking 10 minute appointments, and throwing their hands up at you for seeking help beyond the prescription pad.

I don’t know any person with a complex chronic illness that can explain everything that is going on with them; and thoughts about how symptoms might connect in 10 minutes; unless you bring notes or a power point or something.

I bring notes, and a whole file of medical documents and my own research with me to appointments. Because intakes cause medical ptsd symptoms for me now.


System damage.

The system that supports the most vulnerable is broken, and it has been for decades.

Long before the thing in which we do not speak of arrived in 2019.

It is because it is a system for the system by the system that has been underfunded and under resourced for decades.

In 2021 I could not be helped because we couldn’t get the emailed req off my phone and into their system by email- because they only use fax. How does this happen?

The patient has insurance to cover the cost of the medications that are prescribed using the supply chain that is the medical system.

When you step back and understand the structure of the systems, it is easier to adjust your expectations about the kinds of help available.

When someone is facing the courageous act of healing, the last thing they need is structural damage on top of it all.

I continue to be an advocate for post traumatic growth…. But if we can bring light to the issues within the structures, perhaps we can advocate for change there too!

I hope sharing my journey through helps you advocate for a more trauma informed journey for yourself!

A component of my complex ptsd diagnosis is medical trauma caused by years of structural damage.

-B. 💋

Consumed By Fear

Consumed By Fear

People have been living in fear for years now, and fear based decision making is the literal path to the underlying condition of self destruction.

For anyone who hasn’t done their own work on fear based decision making… Fear will the most common motivating factor right now because it has been cursing through us for years now.

It starts off fun, like intentional fear maybe scary movies or a roller coaster experience those are examples of where we play with fear, we enjoy the thrill of the controlled hormone thrill. Same happens with addictions. It always starts off as a controlled coping strategy. Fear is supposed to be a short term coping strategy, where the emotion spikes the hormones required for fight of flight survival. Same as the thrill of a rollercoaster, and an accurate analogy of the hormonal cascade.

But what happens when the fear is constant and unresolved is that our bodies adapt to attempt at evolution. Our cells adapt to the hormones that are available and trigger cascades of functions that over stimulate the central nervous system.

This is great for survival… but not so great for maintaining longevity… it’s like running an old engine dry and dirty nothing is going to flow properly and too much pressure will blow a freaking gasket!

When you run your system on fear based decision making you are riding dirty!

Any fear based decision you make will drive you closer to rock bottom. Trust me. I took the tour!

It is true that unless you do some self observation you will stay stuck in the cycle of fear.

Fear keeps you in what in ignorance, refusing to face it.

Fear, and the things we do that are rooted from fear are hidden in plain sight when we are unaware.

The trifecta that occurs between fear, shame and judgment (perceived, or actual) have the ability to keep you frozen in apathy as a vicious cycle. The motivation killers.

Fear and shame have been traditional driving factors they go hand in hand because there is a real visceral fear about being shamed. To the point where people will take actions that go against their own values to avoid being shamed.

The old faithful fear has been used to keep control for generations.

Parents use it.

Systems and society and religion use it.

Governments use it.

We learn to use it and to avoid it at all costs.

If you take a moment to observe your bloodline for a moment, as it applies to fear you can observe where your fears may have come from.

What do you fear? It’s probably a driving factor.

If you grew up poor- you might fear a lack of abundance… and with that keep yourself busting your ass to keep up your abundance; perhaps to the detriment of your close relationships?

If you were raised in a household that was all stuck on survival mode, you may be learning how to break the trauma cycle for the fear that your children will have to repeat the same.

Fear is alive in all of us, it is what we learn to do with that fear and how we respond to it that matters the most.

It is common that we inherit the fears of our caregivers by way of nurture and adaptation. As we look more deeply into the history of our country we can see pretty clearly that we have been living with underlying fear for centuries. As we uncover the truth about the Residential schools, and the mandates it is clear that the structures and the societies built around them have always been fear based.

It’s easy to push people around with their own fears, if you understand them, it’s basic psychology.

Traditionally fear has been used to manipulate and control situations and even people.

Religion uses fear.

Structures and systems use fear.

Parents and guardians use fear.

We’ve adapted to buy in to the fear, so as to avoid the shame of non conformity.

Fear helps us form opinions and judgements of others and stops us from doing what we know is right.

If you have a strong opinion about what someone else is or isn’t doing right now I urge you to sit down and stop projecting your fears onto others; maybe take the time to reflect on your fears and solve them for yourself!

As I approach my 4th year of full time healing and we approach the 3rd year of the dumpster fire that is navigating this global pandemic.

Now would be a good time for everyone to do a fear based decision making check for themselves. Figure out where they are not truly living because of fear. Talk to someone, make the changes. There’s life behind the fear!

My journey afforded me the advantage of learning how to navigate my fear based decision making, and alter it for post traumatic growth.

In order to move through fear, you have to be willing to stare it in the face and take your power back from it.

If you have shifted your ways of living because of fear that has impacted your ability to show up in your life like you desire to, it’s the perfect time to pause. Find the fear, and get some help moving through it.

Living in a constant state of fear, which is also known as anxiety keeps your body and neuropathways addicted to the hormones that anxiety creates.

The decision to let go of your fear is a courageous one to make! Ask for help if you reach your limit.

Fear doesn’t get to consume me anymore, and that’s post traumatic growth!


Safety is a Commodity.

Safety is a Commodity

Safety is a precious commodity that very few have the means to hold.

Safety is not something that should be sold like a commodity, but it is, just like everything else.

How much safety do you buy?

Insurances of any kind, equipment, safety services?

It’s a huge market, because it is a basic human need.

Just like the beauty industry that plays on the basic human need for belonging.

Or the medical industry that plays on the basic need for access;used to be access to care… but they’ve currently bumped it up to access to society.

Billion dollar markets my friends! Think about that for longer than a second.

I thought that perhaps the pursuit of safety was just a cptsd healing thing; but when I look deeper it’s a human thing.

We all need safety, and many of us have no idea how to achieve it. Because it is safety that we need, and fear that keeps us stuck. It is the ultimate paradoxical dilemma… the juxtaposition between safety and fear.

The pursuit of safety for me has been stitched closely together with my pursuit of wellness; because in order to achieve wellness I also require safety, go figure!

It has been the missing piece the whole time for me, and I think that is true for many of us; because safety is something that all of us still seek in one or more aspect of our lives.

We seek financial safety in our abilities and skills.

We seek emotional safety in our relationships, the need is even more with intimate relationships.

We seek the safety of belonging.

We seek safety because we need it to self regulate and reach the rejuvenation advantage. Safety is the secret sauce.

When I can’t accomplish safety for myself I am very easily triggered into trauma responses, that’s cptsd. But it still holds true for all humans. We go into survival mode if we feel threatened or unsafe.

It is when we don’t have that sense of safety; plus we don’t have the tools or help we need to regulate during or after that a traumatic experience is formed.

It’s a simple equation really.

Helplessness and neglect of needs or isolation is “all”it takes for a traumatic experience to form as an emotional blockage.

We cross the line from a feeling of regulation and safety into a space where are not capable of regulating and initiate the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn subconsciously to survive.

We are emotionally designed to disassociate and detach ourselves from the experience of trauma. We will always have a unique mixture of our own emotions, but noticing the ways that you specifically disassociate to cope is helpful knowledge to have.

There are 4 common response paths. Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn. Certain circumstances call for each of them depending on your needs. I’ve experienced all of them, I think we all do to some degree.

That’s all complex trauma responses are built of. Compounded band aided neuropathways created after that unregulated experience. It gets complex when there are multiple experiences that help form many limiting beliefs, but that is the basic structure.

The experience of trauma happens in any circumstance when something happens to you, or around you, where you do not feel safe and don’t have the power to control your circumstances.

This happens quite naturally in parent-child relationships in general. Everyone who was once an infant communicating your needs, without language or ability has experienced helplessness linked to literal survival needs. It’s great if caregivers practice urgency and attentiveness. But it is traumatic if the needs aren’t met with some shared sense of urgency for the one feeling helpless. ❤️

If a child is “acting out” which is a child’s way of asking for more attention, and an adult is having an emotional reaction and say raising their voice… the child has no control over that. On top of that, the child also doesn’t get the advantage of regulation that they expressed the need for. This inadvertently changes the child’s behaviour to avoid asking for support, because it has been proven an unsafe path.

It can happen just once, or repeated times both are traumatic if left unresolved. Unmet emotional needs are traumatic for children to experience.

The same is true for adults unmet emotional needs are traumatic for everyone.

Chronic illness or disease is often a trigger for feeling unsafe because there is no control of what was happening, or when. There often isn’t much choice but to participate in invasive tests. Non-compliance is met with loss of access. Then often the support that is available does more harm than good.

People healing any kind of trauma pathways need safety for their healing journey, and it is hard to come by. The system is broken and it is hard to navigate, and close family and relationships are often tainted with historically charged emotional issues, judgement and unrealistic expectations; so safety is often really hard to find in healing, especially before you learn to create it for yourself.

Safety is a commodity that we exchange trust time and money to create for us the advantage of feeling safe in our lives. It is something we both need, and deeply desire.

There are layers to safety that are not widely understood; yet we know we need it and keep searching as a primal response.

We barter for it.

We want to feel safe, and we seek safety for our lives even subconsciously.

In relation to others we seek safety in their confidence with our vulnerabilities.

In general we seek safety as one of the values we guide our lives with as we meet our basic needs for shelter, water and food. We want safe environments- physically and emotionally. We want safe clean drinking water, and we want safe chemical free food to eat.

We seek safety in authentic belonging; being freed from the discrimination of others.

For ourselves we seek safety and trust from within that gives us the understanding of our implicit worth. We seek, and find that our self worth is always 100%, regardless of what we think about ourselves that day. It is there we find safety.

The emotional needs of humans are just beginning to be understood as mental health education continues to break barriers and spread emotional intelligence among society.

Safety is a precious commodity to humans, like water.

Safety; and the perception of it is dependant on individual perspective.

The feeling of safety is achieved when you get the sensation that you will be comforted in your authenticity, and not shamed. Then it is reinforced when the actions meet the intentions of your life consistently.

Some of us will only every experience the luxury of safety after unlearning the patterns that keep us from it.

If you feel like you are in a position, like me, where you know safety is available but you aren’t in the position to purchase it- I feel the injustice!

For example: Our medical and public health system isn’t designed around safety; it is created by people who can buy it for themselves. The world looks different through their lenses. They take that position for granted, and we aren’t granted safety because we can’t purchase it.

If you are struggling to feel the feeling of safety in any area of you life, know that it is possible to feel safe again it takes practice, and a boatload of self advocacy.

Buckle down and learn your needs, and how to meet them as best you can. Show up for yourself.

Do what you can do. If you have some unlearning to do; cancel the pity party you normally throw and Start unlearning now.

Small steps forward is the prescribed method for any long term change; but you have got to do the work. Seeking safety for your life in all of the areas that you desire will walk you right onto the path of self love.

When you choose trauma informed self love you learn to cultivate safety independently. By leveraging safety as a valuable commodity you learn to trust yourself and honour yourself enough to walk away from people, places, or things that no longer serve you. You begin to trust yourself differently, because you know that you have your own back.

If you have the confidence to do any of that, you’ve achieved cultivating safety independently…. Congratulations you hold safety as a renewable resource commodity; that’s some high level achievement!

Love yourself first, love yourself through it my friends!


An interesting thing happens when you begin to become aware of what is actually occurring in your current life is because your perceptions are skewed from gaslighting. It’s a very powerful acknowledgment.

Once you became aware of it you begin to find it everywhere. That’s the backhand of awareness, you can’t un-find what you’ve already become aware of it just doesn’t work like that.

The experience of medical gaslighting while accessing care for chronic illness needs is a reality for many. The system is not “free”. We exchange our vulnerability and access to our bodies for invasive testing alongside the 18month wait times to be medically gaslit after a 10 minute consultation.

It comes from “friends”, relatives and even strangers. They will shamelessly gaslight you in the name of their personal beliefs and fixed mindset narratives.

Look at any news article right now and then look at the comments. As a coach it is hard to watch so many people be so blindly cruel to other humans over a personal choice.

The government has even taken a liking to the use of gaslighting to feed their narratives these days. It’s literally everywhere!

We as a society are steeped in the experience of being gaslit, so much so that it is nearly a social norm to experience narcissistic behaviours: discrimination and stigmatization are all ways to enhance gaslighting’s ability to debilitate someone.

And if you have done the work of healing from the emotional abuse of a narcissistic person, discrimination, racism, stigmatization, you know exactly how deep the sharp edges of gaslighting cut; because you have survived them.

Invisible wounds from invisible words feeding invisible illnesses. It is its own toxic cycle.

Gaslighting has unfortunately become so trendy that people replicate it unconsciously. It is time to become aware, consciously aware.

Ive had really close friends and even family choose gaslighting over taking accountability for their intentionally harmful actions. Ive had to end those relationships.

Narcissists will always choose ego over accountability; notice that.

Since gaslighting is such a catch phrase that is commonly used incorrectly…. Let’s review the definition:

“To cause a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation”

According to Wikipedia manipulation is described as follows:

“Manipulation or emotional manipulation is the use of devious means to exploit, control or otherwise influence others to ones advantage”

I’ve been taking a deep dive into both gaslighting and manipulation as I am healing from the felt experiences of both in their various forms.

To further explain the experience of gaslighting here are some common indicators that it is happening, or that you might be blindly participating either as the victim or the gaslighter 😬.

✨using intense emotional connection to control the other persons behaviour “but I’m your (insert family hierarchy status) I expect (insert some behaviour that they are demanding) because (insert emotional manipulation via guilt)”.

Example: “but I’m your Father, I expect you, as an adult, to allow me to have authority over your choices because I gave up my dream career and perceived future to marry your mother when she got pregnant. So it would mean lots to me if you would just do what I say, for once”.

✨ playing on a persons insecurities. If a person has disclosed their deepest insecurities to you and you use that information to manipulate them or sabotage them somehow by over sharing information not yours to disclose.

✨ lying and denial. Pretty straight forward.

✨hyperbole and generalization you”always”… “this one thinks the world revolves around her”

✨changing the subject, or not being willing to have conversations that involve emotions.

✨moving the goalposts, or conditions to accessing non-abusive support.

✨using fear to control another person

Look around your life. Everyone’s got people who play with the fire of gaslighting. It has been woven into our society, into our communities and it seeps into our relationships and homes. If you’ve never noticed before it does slap you in the face to find out that it has been happening.

The experience of being gaslit makes the person receiving it question their own self worthiness, and sometimes their purpose in the world. We lose people because the people around them are ignorant to the harm that their words and judgements have when they are practicing gaslighting.

Gaslighting is everywhere these days, all driven by fear basted, anxiety ridden hurt people… all out there hurting other people instead of resolving their need to avoid feelings.

Since gaslighting is emotional warfare, if you do notice that you are finding gaslighting around you… it is a good time to seek some supportive learning communities on the topic.

Ive relied on the support of my counsellors, coaches and psychologist to help support me in my navigation of healing. Of course there are books and videos and lectures by the thousands… but there is something unique that only 1:1 support can offer you.

That is a deeper understanding of your personal experience, you can’t get this doing solo work. You often need the perspective of a safe person to help recognize the patterns of a few key points that are holding you back.

The growth happens beyond the limitations we keep for ourselves. The purpose of gaslighting someone is manipulation and limitation. We can’t grow if we are constantly having to emotionally reconcile the betrayals of manipulation. Growth happens after safety is achieved and self reliance is established.

If this has made you recognize that you are sometimes guilty of some moderate gaslighting tendencies- this is a beautiful opportunity for you to just notice. Don’t judge yourself, some people were raised in environments where emotional gaslighting was called love. ❤️

Noticing now gives you a choice.

Now You can choose not to replicate old patterns. It starts with awareness that it is happening, then a commitment to make changes to stop it from continuing.

I won’t allow gaslighting to be a pattern I repeat.