I'm currently working with a wonderful woman who had started my Clean Parenting program in 2018 but was unable to complete it due to extreme circumstances.
And I find myself so grateful that she's doing my program now instead of 3 years ago!
Because I didn't then have the experience and knowledge necessary to skillfully support her in the unique challenges she faces.
I have learned A TON through the 27 Clean Parenting groups I've run over the last 7 years, as well as through my own journey of healing from C-PTSD and narcissistic abuse.
As a result, through the journey of my program, I'm now able to help parents with issues that go far beyond their parenting.
Which is wonderful!!
Deeply rewarding for me (and makes all the shit I've been through worth it!) and impactful for participants.
There are many concepts and phenomena I've learned about since starting Parenting for Wholeness, many of which I've integrated in the program, which are highly beneficial in terms of understanding and supporting children as well as parents.
But I want to talk today about 3 types of childhood traumas, plus one condition, which I've found many (actually most) of the moms who choose to participate in my Clean Parenting program have experienced, and interfere with their ability to function properly, thrive, be the parents they wish to be and which often block access to their most important parenting tool: their inner guidance.
1. The first one is the obvious one: physical or blatant emotional abuse.
This often includes children of alcoholics or mentally ill parents.
This type of abuse and trauma are well documented and commonly understood, so in many ways the easiest to make sense of.
2. More insidious and less understood is narcissistic abuse.
This is something that moms frequently figure out throughout the course of the program, and can often be painful to face. But once we do realize what's happened to us, it's like suddenly our life makes sense and there's a possibility of finding solid ground underneath our feet, where there previously never was (I wrote about this here when first realizing it in my life in 2019.)
What can be especially tricky about this is that it can even happen in families where the parents are not narcissists, when emotionally immature parents create a narcissistic environment (this article and the book it refers were a massive eye opener for me.)
Narcissistic abuse is harder to identify than blatant abuse and often unseen by others. Narcissistic parents are frequently even considered great people and parents by others, leaving their children feeling that they are deeply flawed, struggling to function properly and unable to trust themselves.
This type of abuse is deeply destructive because the gaslighting inherent in it interferes with our ability to understand reality and ourselves (and therefore being able to effectively resolve any problems we have,) and of developing a way of living and relationships that are connected to who we are and work for us.
In parenting, it interferes with our access to our inner guidance, our ability to trust ourselves and ability to set boundaries.
3. The last one is one I've only recently started studying: childhood emotional neglect (CEN.)
I became aware of this one when working with women who had not experienced childhood abuse yet shared a lot of the challenges that those of us who have struggle with.
I've come to see that women who say they've had decent childhoods and think their parents are good parents yet struggle significantly in life, struggle to know their needs and feelings are valid or even knowing what they are, struggle to trust themselves, etc, have often experienced CEN.
Dr. Jonice Webb is the woman who coined this painful and debilitating condition and whose work I follow to educate myself about it.
Becoming aware of what we've experienced and then learning about it and focusing on healing from it can be key in becoming the parents we want to be.
This is something I help participants in my Clean Parenting coaching program start doing, as well as supporting them in developing a plan and finding/providing resources to continue in that journey once the program ends.
In talking about conditions that affect our ability to parent, I cannot NOT talk about HSPs (highly sensitive people.)
Being an HSP has a huge impact on our ability to function in general as well as causes us to be much more negatively affected by any abuse or lack in the way we were parented than non HSPs.
Unlike the three issues I described above, this condition isn't caused by something that happened to us but is a way 15 to 20% of mammals are wired.
I've written and shared a lot about this on my Facebook page and in my writing because it's what I am and therefore info about it speaks to me, but also because I find that A LOT of the people who resonate with my work and in particular who reach out for my help through the Clean Parenting program or one-on-one healing work are those who are also HSP's.
In fact, realizing that we and/or our children are HSPs is so important and so common in my people that we work on identifying this in the very first module (of 21) in my Clean Parenting program!
How many of those conditions are a part of your experience? How do they affect your parenting? I'd love to hear if you'd like to share in the comment section!
And if you'd like my support, read on for some information on how I can help you and to set up a free chat with me where we can determine if we're a right fit for working together. I'd LOVE to work with you if we are!
I hope you've found this article helpful. Make sure to follow me on Facebook for ongoing information on all the topics discussed in this article.
Lots of love,
For many years, women have said that my Clean Parenting program was more of an intensive therapy than a parenting program.
The deeper I dive into mental health, the more I recognize it and understand all the reasons this program proves so transformational.
I am now owning the therapy aspect of the program and as a result will be making changes to its format.
Starting with my May group, it will run over 3 months instead of 2 and I will be limiting the group size to 8, so I can give each participant lots of individual attention and support.
This format is for parents who want extensive support from me, want me to take them by the hand and guide them step by step through each module of the program and what we identify their unique challenges are, committing to resolving (or at least having a clear plan and resources) for every single situation they bring up in the course of the program.
These changes mean I'll only be able to work closely with 24 people per year. So if you would like my support in this, email me to set up a time to chat and reserve a spot in one of my upcoming groups.
Here's what Sandra Galiwango of Boston, USA wrote after completing this program:
"The Clean Parenting program has changed me - or I should say awakened me to myself. I would have continued living in darkness for potentially a long long time. It is seriously a gem what you've created."