I Share Hope

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Story. Action. Hope.

Stories about hope and ways to share hope

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Bobbi Parish

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“Hope is a belief that good things are ahead of you. I’ve been to those awful places. One of the most difficult task that I faced is convincing a survivor that there is hope by telling my story and letting others know that there is a way out of a horrible situation into the life that you want. I’m Bobbi Parish, I’m a trauma recovery coach and I Share Hope.” –Bobbi Parish

I’m a trauma survivor

I was sexually abused for almost a decade of my childhood. As a result, I felt broken, unworthy, and crushed under an enormous weight of shame. I felt I would never be good enough, deserving of love or valuable unless I was perfect in every way. I tried for years to be perfect, but not only failed but collapsed under the pressure. I ended up with depression so severe I spent many years in and out of psychiatric wards. I survived a suicide attempt in 1994. After that, I found an excellent Trauma Recovery Program and received the appropriate diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Disorder. Finally, I had providers who knew about trauma recovery who genuinely cared about me and my recovery.

Unfortunately, I moved away and couldn’t find another good trauma recovery program in the city I was living in. For another decade I tried to handle things on my own, and did horribly. I married a man I had no business marrying. I ended up homeless and deeply mired in depression once again. Working with a new psychiatrist with excellent trauma recovery knowledge, I finally reached a place of recovery. Now it’s my goal to teach other survivors what I learned to prevent them from having to take decades to recover.

I’m a trauma recovery Coach

I have been a therapist for 17 years. My Master’s Degree is in Marriage and Family Therapy. But in the last year I moved into coaching because I found its collaborative nature to be much more successful in the treatment of trauma survivors. Much of the damage trauma survivors sustain occurs within a relationship (they are abused by parents or battered by a spouse). As a result, much of their deep healing work occurs within the context of a healthy, healing relationship. I work very hard to establish this type of relationship with my clients. I earn their trust. I let them know I genuinely care about them. I empower them to make good decisions in their recovery journey. I guide and advise them, but never tell them what to do or how to do it. I believe every survivor is in charge of their recovery. We may not have had much power when we were in the midst of our trauma. But we do now. My goal is to help my clients grasp that power and use it to their best advantage to move through their recovery and into the space where they are reclaiming a joyful, fulfilling life.



47 Bobbi Parish – Trauma vs Hope – #isharehope

“Hope is a belief that good things are ahead of you. I’ve been to those awful places. One of the most difficult task that I faced is convincing a survivor that there is hope by telling my story and letting others know that there is a way out of a horrible situation into the life that you want. I’m Bobbi Parish, I’m a trauma recovery coach and I Share Hope.” –Bobbi Parish

Intro:

Welcome to I Share Hope! The podcast where world leaders share their real stories of hope and how you can use actionable hope to start changing your life today and now here’s your host, Chris Williams.

Chris Williams:

Well Bobbi Parish, this is a fun conversation because you’ve shared a lot of hope with a lot of people and you’re in a niche market. So, you’re a counselor, therapist, I’m sorry for lacking the professional know-how to make sure I say what you are the right way, but explain what you do professionally.

Bobbi Parish:

You bet. I am a trauma recovery coach. I’m trained as a therapist and I have worked as a therapist, but I have moved from therapy over into the coaching modality because I like the modality of coaching so much better. As a coach, I do one to one coaching, I do group coaching, I teach webinars, I teach classes, I write…Pretty much anything I think you would see a coach do except within the niche of trauma recovery.

Chris Williams:

Okay. So, I’m making notes here. I’m not texting, I promise.

Bobbi Parish:

No, that’s okay.

Chris Williams:

So, you also do a Monday webinar thing on Google+ or Google Hangouts. You actually host a live conversation about this, right?

Bobbi Parish:

Yes, exactly. We have three events that we host every week without fail. The original that we started with was a Twitter chat on Tuesday evenings and that went so well and it grew so large that we developed quite a following in the UK, but 6:00 on Tuesday evening is 2:00 in the morning there so they asked us to start another Twitter chat. Now, we have a second one that’s Monday at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. We have the two Twitter chats and they book-end right in the middle of a Google Hangout that’s on Monday evening. It’s Monday evening, 6:00 PM. If you go to our website, Trauma Recovery University, you can watch it and you can also live tweet. We do both. We interact on the Google Hangout, we take questions, we take comments and we just interact with people as we go along and talk about the topic of the week. We have the same topic on all three of our events that week.

Chris Williams:

That’s impressive not only because you’re helping people and dealing people with some people’s heartaches that will be hard for some people to deal with, but also because you can do that and tweet at the same time. I’m one of those people who, if I’m responding to a Twitter text, I’m like everybody be quiet. Let me focus.

Bobbi Parish:

That’s why it’s incredible that there are two of us. My business partner, Athena Moberg, she and I do – it’s the same way with the Twitter chat because our Twitter chats are so fast flowing and they’re so lively. Sometimes Chris, we’ll get up to 700 or 800 tweets in an hour.

Chris Williams:

Whoa!

Bobbi Parish:

That’s multiple tweets a second. I kind of lead the conversation and then Athena follows around and make sure that everybody gets their needs met, everyone is greeted, no one is missed. With the Google Hangouts, we switch back and forth and so while she’s talking, I’m tweeting and while I’m talking, she’s tweeting.

Chris Williams:

Nice. So, where are you located?

Bobbi Parish:

I’m in Dallas, Texas.

Chris Williams:

Nice. Good morning down there right now.

Bobbi Parish:

It is and right now it’s very wet. I guess we have a tropical depression coming up from the gulf, but yes very warm. It’s not my home. My home is at Pacific Northwest in Portland, so a few more years and I will be able to move back after my little boy launches from the nest.

Chris Williams:

That’s great. All right, well Bobbi you know how this works. What we’re doing, for new people joining and listening in, we’re interviewing 1000 people around the globe that are leading in hope. That means that every 8 million people or so on the planet get one representative in the survey. We’re trying to be as fair as we can on spreading out who’s in the survey, so it really is as much of a global slice as we can get.

Bobbi Parish:

I love that.

Chris Williams:

It’s really fun so far and actually we’re being listened to in over 40 countries today as we’re recording this, so be more areas. It’s just super cool that people are (1) willing to give their time and share their story of hope like you are and (2) I’m not the only person out there who thought maybe I didn’t have any hope and I’m sure getting convinced otherwise.

Bobbi Parish:

Yes, I hope so.

Chris Williams:

I really am. Okay, so let me ask you these five questions about hope and you answer then however you want and I’m here to learn.

Bobbi Parish:

Okay.

Chris Williams:

Question 1: What’s your definition or your favorite quote about hope?

Bobbi Parish:

My definition of hope is a belief that good things are ahead of you, particularly within the genre that I work. I’m a survivor myself of childhood sexual abuse, I work with childhood survivors of abuse. I do anybody with trauma, but not as much with soldiers and things like that. When you are raised in an atmosphere where you are physically and emotionally beat down day after day after day after day and all these lies are planted in your head like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m bad that’s why I’m being abused”, “I have no power, I’m never going to have any power. I’ll be powerless for the rest of my life” and “I am to blame for all these things happening to me”. You grow up as an adult and you take that out into the world – that’s a really hard road to go.

You don’t have a lot of hope. How can you think you’re worthless and sometimes even low to yourself if it should cross your ears even though you were what – 4, 5, 10? Whoever was abusing you was bigger, badder, had a whole lot more baggage to hold on to your head. You go forth into adulthood with this horrible feeling of things are never going to get better. One of the most difficult tasks that I’ve faced was convincing a survivor that there is hope. I think that’s one of the reasons why people receive me well because I’ve been there. I’ve been in those hellish places. I’ve been in and out of psychiatric wards, I’ve been homeless, I’ve gone through two really nasty marriages and had them failed. I’ve been to those awful places and I made it through.

I can sit with them and I say, you know what, I get it. I understand it doesn’t feel hopeful. I understand that you were told all these things when you were a child and have got you feeling like the worst person on earth that could never have a good thing, do a good thing or be a good thing. But, I’m here to tell you, you can. All you have to do, Chris, is just take that glimmer of hope and then you leverage that sucker like crazy to get them to see more and more and more and more hope because the more hope they have, the more that they will then invest in that future of a better place.

Chris Williams:

That’s powerful. It’s powerful because it’s your story and it’s powerful because it’s true. There really is another page to the story coming your way.

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you? Who has given you the hope?

Bobbi Parish:

You know, I have strong memories in my head of when I first started to deal with depression and like I said, in and out of psychiatric wards and the nurses and the psychologists telling me, “no one is going to love you until you first love yourself”. I was always saying that I don’t know how to love myself. Nobody ever taught me how to love myself. What I was taught was how to hate myself. My father told me that I was a whore, I would never be anything other than a whore and that would be the rest of my life. Well, you know, when you are told those things and then the people who are supposed to protect you don’t rescue you from that – that tells you you’re worthless. You weren’t worth being rescued from a rapist. That’s a pretty powerful message to send to a child.

Of course I didn’t love myself and I finally was lucky enough to stumble upon a therapist who understood that. Her name was Gabrielle and she loved me unconditionally. For the first time in my life, someone loved me unconditionally. She threw her love in me. She threw in me that example. She showed me how to love myself and that’s the first time in my life that I really learned how to love myself and then I could have hope because then all of a sudden I realized, guess what, I’m not a horrible person. I can do some good things. I can have good things. I am a good thing.

I think that’s so critical. So many survivors don’t have a clue in the world on how to love themselves. They know how to hate themselves, they know how to self-destruct, they know how to cut, they know how to drink, they know how to do drugs, they know how to sell their bodies, they know how to beat themselves up. The shame and guilt, bottling it all up themselves. You sure can’t have hope with that.

Chris Williams:

I’m really glad Gabrielle shared hope with you.

Bobbi Parish:

Me too.

Chris Williams:

So, tell a story. I know you’ve got a million stories and probably almost all of them you probably don’t want to tell and recount the whole thing.

Question 3: Tell us what life was like and where hope fell through for you and then how did it come back? Give me the background here.

Bobbi Parish:

I did pretty well through my childhood, survived all that with some really powerful dissociation. I went to college and married the man that everybody said was going to be perfect and it wasn’t perfect. When I got divorced, things really, really went down though for me. I had multiple stays in psychiatric wards where I was told I wanted to be sick and that’s why I wasn’t getting any better. I was malingering. If I didn’t get better, they would send me to the state hospital – just horrible, horrible things. I lost a job. I was alone and I reached to a point where I decided that I’ve had enough. It’s not going to get better. I’m not a good person, everything I touch turns awful and here are these people – these people are experts and they’re telling me I’m not even good at recovery. I’m not even good at healing myself and so I tried to kill myself…

I panicked at the last second after I have consumed a lot of alcohol and pills and called 911. It was in that moment, laying there in the hospital bed thinking if something’s going to change, I’m going to have to change it. I’m going to have to look at something differently, I’m going to have to find someone who wants to help. I think it took going right to the very edge of the drop-off and one leg is out and the other toe is just about ready to slip down the canyon and I got just that last push to give it another shot. It was then after I got out of the hospital that I found Gabrielle and worked with her and she found for me one of the few psychiatric inpatient wards in the country that deals exclusively with survivors of childhood abuse. So I borrowed the money and I admitted myself for a 10-day program and that was the first time, Chris, that anybody treated me like I was a part of my treatment team.

They wanted to know what I thought. They understood why I wasn’t getting any better. They knew I needed more support and they treated me like I was worthwhile instead of just a burden. We set up a treatment plan. I left there, I started seeing Gabrielle twice a week and I started grad school to get my degree in marriage and family counseling. That’s when the hope came in. I think when I finally found people who treated me like I was worthwhile and taught me how to treat myself like I was worthwhile and then I knew I was going to be starting a career where I was going to be able to make a difference. I knew somewhere in all that mud and mock up in my childhood was something I could do so that other people’s lives weren’t that bad. I could do something with it and I’ll never ever be the one to believe that that happened to me so I could be a trauma recovery coach and reach out to other people, heard that story, be there, done that. But, I do believe that out of that awful stuff I am able to create something that’s helpful to other people.

That was really my turning point, that suicide attempt and the decision to – if I’m not going to kill myself, I’m going to change this, darn it. You know?

Chris Williams:

Yes I do.

Bobbi Parish:

That was a turning point for me. That was a big pivot point.

Chris Williams:

Let’s just go ahead and toss this one out there. Let’s say someone who’s listening right now is considering suicide as a really legitimate and viable option for whatever reason back there. It may not be the same background story, but for whatever reason. What are you going to tell them next?

Bobbi Parish:

I’m going to tell them that I understand that the pain their feeling is incredible and that I really believe it’s not about the fact that they actually want to die, they just don’t want to feel that incredible emotional pain anymore. They don’t want to be alone, they don’t want to be rejected anymore. I’m going to tell them that that could change, that I know people who had been there, I had been there and we’d been able to make a change. What they need is something they haven’t thought yet which is the right and the high quality help that they need.

Don’t give up and I’m not going to be pithy or give you platitudes about how it will all be better tomorrow because it might not, but there’s hope. If they are able to find the help that they need, get the help that they need, encourage them to change.

Chris Williams:

If I didn’t get the help that I need, if I’m that person and I’ve been there so I don’t mind putting the “me” label on there besides just saying I have a friend who…you know. But seriously, either we’ve been there as listeners or we know someone who has or we wonder if someone we know is struggling with that and we need to get that help, how do we know where to start? I mean, wow you’re pretty messed up when you got that stuff going in your head, so what in the world? Just Google suicide hotline or do I call a friend? Literally, what do I do next?

Bobbi Parish:

I think you do two things, well okay I think you do three things. You contact a friend and you say, look I’m feeling really badly, just come sit with me. I’m really thinking that maybe I might try and do something to hurt myself. I need somebody here with me. This person doesn’t have to rescue you, they don’t have to have the responsibility of anything other than just sitting there with you. Then, I think you contact one of the suicide hotlines. There are multiple websites now where you can do chat, crisis chat. Even if you’re more comfortable with that and see what kind of help you could get in this very, very, very, very moment and then you work on setting an appointment up with a therapist or someone who can help you as soon as possible because I know that you can’t reach a therapist and have an appointment in half an hour, but you have to.

So, have someone with you, call someone, contact one of the crisis lines, we always recommend RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network and they’re at 1-800-656-HOPE. They also have a crisis line on their website and then you call some place and you get an appointment for as soon as possible.

Chris Williams:

That’s RAIN like it’s raining outside? R-A-I-N?

Bobbi Parish:

Exactly, double N.

Chris Williams:

RAINN.org?

Bobbi Parish:

Mm-hm. (dot) .org

Chris Williams:

So, that’s rape and incest sexual abuse type hotline, but if I’m just struggling with suicide for some other reason, is that still a place to call or should I be calling somebody else?

Bobbi Parish:

You could absolutely call there for any reason and if they can’t help you, they’ll give you the number of someone who can. There’s also a national suicide hotline. I’m sorry I don’t know that number off the top of my head, but I know there are also resources in the UK that you can access that have both the chat feature and the telephone feature.

Chris Williams:

Okay, last question on that. When I’ve been there in the past, you can find these stuff online but you have to wonder, yes but I have a real life and all these other stuff going on too. I’m not sure I want to let anybody know what’s going on because what if they track me down, what if the people from the funny farm, you know, they come and try to take me off and lock me up for a month? I can’t afford to lose the income, I have kids to watch after, all those things. I mean can you really do that privately where if I jump online and have that chat or make that phone call, I’m not about to go away for a month?

Bobbi Parish:

Right. I have two responses for that. First is that unless you tell someone you are in imminent danger of harming yourself at that very moment, one of the first things they’re going to do is they’re going to assess the lethality of your suicidal thoughts. They’re going to want to know, do you have a method? Are you holding a gun in your hand? Do you have pills? Do you have razor blades? So, do you have a method? Do you have a plan? Do you have a pretty serious intent? If you’re calling to say look, I feel like crap and unless I can get some help, I think I might try and kill myself. That’s not the lethality that they would need to contact someone.

Two, they’re really not hospitalizing people very much anymore. There are not that many beds left and it’s awful, it’s terrible, but I’ve gotten to the point, Chris, in my practice, when I have someone that is actively suicidal, I would rather sit on the phone and talk to them for three hours than send them to the emergency room because I know the quality of care they’re going to get there. It’s not good. Our psychiatric wards, unless they’re a specialized ward like a trauma unit, eating disorders, have become nothing more than warehouses while they monkey with your medication but they have to get you out the door. So, no one is eager to hospitalize you unless you’re standing or saying “I’m holding a gun in my hand and I’m either going to shoot myself or I’m going to shoot my loved one”.

There are some people that I wish when they call the hotline, they’d call the police and if they said come and get them some actual help, it doesn’t happen that way.

Chris Williams:

Okay, so you can actually call privately and not worry about getting hold off?

Bobbi Parish:

Yes.

Chris Williams:

No reason to be fearful of that phone call? Okay.

Bobbi Parish:

No.

Chris Williams:

Good.

Bobbi Parish:

And you know what? If that phone call doesn’t get you the help that you need, you call the next place.

Chris Williams:

Great. Good point. It’s worth too much to not keep pushing through it.

Bobbi Parish:

I know that in that moment it might feel like that’s a whole heck of a lot of work to go through because I know when you’re that depressed, just sometimes getting off the sofa to go upstairs and check the cat outside or the dog outside, it feels like a whole lot of work. That’s why I think it’s so important that we get a friend. If you have to sit there while your friend makes phone calls to try and find a therapist who can see you on Monday, that’s fine.

Chris Williams:

Yes, that’s right. As a friend, if you’re listening to this and you have a friend who is struggling with that, be that friend. Get in there and spend the hour, two or five and you really may be saving a life.

Bobbi Parish:

Exactly and we’re all worth it.

Chris Williams:

Yes we are. You’re right. Good stuff. Question four and you’re already answering this question.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope with people today?

Bobbi Parish:

We do our Twitter chats, we do our Google Hangouts, I write on Good Men Project, on Psych Central I have a blog, a couple of other places I write. I share not just pieces of my story, but pieces of other people’s story and information so that people are informed and encouraged. I think one of the things that as Athena and I sat down together and put together what would we be doing for survivors, we looked at our own histories – both of us were survivors. I was in recovery for probably a good 20 years and so we look at that and why in the world did it take us so long? We’re both intelligent people here. For both of us, it had a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t get a lot of education about (a) what trauma is and (b) how it affects us.

Trauma and abuse is some powerful stuff. It can create brain damage that looks exactly like a traumatic brain injury. If a trauma survivor, especially if you have sustained serious trauma over a period of multiple years when you’re young, if you give that person an MRI, it’s going to look remarkably similar to someone who has a traumatic brain injury say from a car accident or some other concussive injuries that are coming out of the war zones right now.

Abuse damages the brain. Nobody ever told us that. We didn’t know that. Furthermore, if we didn’t know that, we’d certainly don’t know how to compensate for it. So, a lot of what we do, a lot of what I do is educate. Educate. Educate. It’s the most amazing – sometimes education gives hope because when I say, you guys, you know what? Procrastination is an anxiety behavior. The reason you’re procrastinating is because you have so little self-worth that you don’t want to tackle the task because you’d much rather be known as someone who doesn’t get the job done on time than someone who does a lousy job. Really? You know what? You’re right. Hey! I’m not a lousy person! I’m just afraid!

You know, just that tiny little tweak in the way that they think and in what they know gives them hope because they don’t like what they’re doing it and it’s not because they’re bad. It’s not because they have a weak character, they’re afraid. Who wouldn’t be afraid after what they’ve gone through?

I have a couple of books that are coming out later this year, we have the anthology. Athena and I and Rachel Thompson publish the anthology every year of survivor stories, so lots of ways to reach out to people and it’s many different ways as we can. That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s why we do Twitter, that’s why we do Google. Our Google Hangouts roll over to YouTube and then they roll over to Roku TV. So, we have a Roku TV channel too. Every way that we can think of to reach survivors, we’re trying.

Chris Williams:

You’re literally on TV or we’re going to call it what it is. So, you’re on TV once a week? I’m saying TV meaning Google Hangouts and real TV? I mean you’ve got a lot of TV stuff you’ve done too and like the real stuff interview, but you’re on Google Hangouts once a week and you’re talking about some really awkward, embarrassing, crazy stuff. At what point do you personally start blushing and saying “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m fixing to say this…”

Bobbi Parish:

You know, my training is as a marriage and family counselor, so I’m trained to talk about things all the way down to couple’s sex lives.

Chris Williams:

Okay.

Bobbi Parish:

We do. I mean we’ve talked about healthy sexuality on some of our Google Hangouts because you can darn well bet that if you were raised with sexual abuse, having an intimate sexual relationship with your partner can be a sticky wicket.

Chris Williams:

Yes.

Bobbi Parish:

So, we talk about it. I don’t know, I’ve had people ask me before, “How can you talk about those things?” I think the best thing I can say is, well I’m not ashamed anymore. I spent my life, a good 35 years of my life living in shame. I am not ashamed anymore. I know that my capacity to help others is directly linked to my capacity to be vulnerable and authentic. Directly linked.

Chris Williams:

My capacity to help others is directly linked to my capacity to be vulnerable and authentic. That’s a good quote.

Bobbi Parish:

Exactly. Yes. Because that’s what my people need. That’s what my community needs. They need someone to stand up and say – like I wrote a post for Psych Central talking about when sex becomes currency. For many of us who were sexually abused, sex was how our abuser showed us that they loved us. That was what’s in our heads and some of us were even told that. I was told that “this is the way that daddy’s show their daughters that they love them” and “you’re special that’s why I’m doing this”. “I don’t do this with [my other sibling] because I love you”. So, I grew up thinking oh okay, sex and love click together, right? Fourteen years old, walking home from my job, a fellow who I knew from school picked me up, drove down a dark street and wanted to have sex with me. I did because in my mind, that was how I got him to approve of me. That’s how you bought approval and affection – it’s with sex. I can’t tell you how many survivors out there are like, “I don’t understand why I was so promiscuous when I was a teenager? Why was I so promiscuous in my 20s?” Because you were brought up to believe that sex was the way that you bought affection and approval. So yes, why shouldn’t I go out there and have sex with people with the goal of having sex with you, now you love me, right? Right? You approve of me now, right? Right? No.

What else did we know? Eventually we learned that when sex is contorted and perverted like that when you were a child – I learned to talk about these things because that’s what survivors are carrying in their heart. They are carrying the shame of the fact that I was promiscuous when I was teenager and in my 20s. In their head they’re thinking that proves that my bruiser was right. I’m bad. I’m never going to be good. I can’t do good things. When I can say to them, you know what that’s not true, this is why you were using sex, this is why you were promiscuous and then that doesn’t feel like proof of their badness anymore. Was that a good thing to do? No. Should they have done something different? Yes. But given what they were raised under those conditions, it makes sense and there’s no reason for them to feel ashamed about it.

You got to talk about those things or these people are walking around with these burdens. Just carrying these boulders of pain. If I can tell one person, you can put that down now, it don’t belong to you, it’s worth it.

Chris Williams:

That is worth it. Wow that’s good stuff. You’re just full of great, great points. I wish we could go on for hours. That’s good stuff. That’s a busy world. So, as a regular person like me and like all the great people listening right now, how can we share hope? It’s tempting to get bogged down and oh, tough story and my story is hard and everybody’s story is hard, we can stay in this zone of just dwelling on the negativity.

Question 5: How do we just start taking action to grow in hope or share hope ourselves right now? Simple A, B, Cs, the steps for it. What do I do?

Bobbi Parish:

Reach out to someone who’s struggling. As Athena and I have put together a model on how people respond to trauma and how they recover, the highest stage is advocacy for others. You will grow in hope as you share hope with other people. You will grow in hope as you help someone else and they come back to you and say it worked. You helped me. There are very few things in this world that are more wonderful to hear than someone looking you in the eyes and saying I need help. I need help because you did this and it gets us out of our navel-gazing, you know, out of that always looking at myself and my problems. Help somebody else. Maybe one day it’s as simple as paying for the coffee of the guy in the car behind you. Maybe one day it’s as simple as somebody’s sitting there looking down, just say “Hey, what’s going on? How are you doing?”

It doesn’t have to be a grand, huge gesture, but reach out and help others. I guarantee it will be difficult not to sequel.

Chris Williams:

It is really true. Boy, that’s true. You know, there’s a lot to these interviews that I get to hear because they’re cut at the beginning and the end, you know, when you and I first answer the phone “Hello”, all that stuff that’s not part of the interview and then there are stuff in the end. It’s so common for me to get a comment after. I’m talking to someone like you who’s a professional hope-sharer and the comment whilst we’re talking or in the Skype chat afterwards like “wow that was so great, I feel so good, I really enjoyed that. It’s so great to get to share my story and share some hope again” and I’m thinking you got to be kidding. You’re one of the best and brightest in your field and you feel great about that? You know, when you share something you get way more back in return than what you actually give out. I think that’s really cool. Good advice. Good advice.

Bobbi Parish:

Thank you.

Chris Williams:

So, if you’re listening, simply share this. That’s not a self-promotion of the show because it’s sure not my story, it’s Bobbi’s story, but share Bobbi’s story, share her website, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. So Bobbi, you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Roku TV and YouTube. Lay them out there. How do we track you down?

Bobbi Parish:

You can find me at my website, BobbiParish.com. You can reach me at Gmail at BobbiLParish@gmail.com because somebody already had my name. We also have, Athena and I have together TraumaRecoveryUniversity.com and that’s where all of the things that we do together follow through. I’m at Twitter at @TruthIsHers. I’m on Facebook at Bobbi Parish Coaching and Consultant. We have the Roku TV channel, just do the search for Trauma Recovery University and we have all those same videos so if you don’t have Roku TV, you can watch them all on YouTube, Trauma Recovery University. If you want to binge watch, we’ve got 50 hours out there full of content.

Chris Williams:

That’s hilarious. That’s great. So, good information. Unless somebody literally handed this audio episode to you on an 8-track, you probably have access to the internet and it would be hard not to find you. I think that’s what you said, right?

Bobbi Parish:

Yes. Reach out to me any of those ways. I have secret Facebook groups where you can join for support. I’d be glad to help you get plugged to our Twitter page. There’s 15,000 people on Twitter that interact with us and it is nothing short of magic. Twice a week on Mondays and Tuesdays when we all come together and just… We’ve had people before – just last week participated in a suicide prevention Twitter chat and people are like – are some of these people suicidal? Don’t they talk amongst each other and promote suicide? But…but abuse survivors are so unstable. No, they love each other. They encourage, they support, they talk about horrible, horrible things that have happened to us and other people say “I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’m glad you’re here today”. It’s magic. I tell people its magic, but truly it’s magic to watch them come together and provide for one another hope.

Chris Williams:

You know that is so true. People who have been though something hard, if that’s a support group of people who have been through fire or through a war zone or a car injury or losing a limb or depression or suicide or drug addiction, whatever it is, when you get to talk about here’s what happened, it takes some of the pressure of and then when you get to hear somebody else’s story you realize I’m not the only one. You know, 9 times out of 10, they have it worse off than I do. It’s just good to have some commonality there in a weird sort of way.

Bobbi Parish:

It is because for some of us, shame is the prevalent feeling that we feel over our childhood abuse and shame is isolating. For some of these people, they have carried this burden for decades to themselves. They haven’t talked with anybody about it. They come into these chats and we had a woman one time who was talking about how seeing herself in the mirror, you know, walking down the stairs, she sees herself in the mirror and she is not a child anymore. She is not a child anymore. She is an adult and she looks a lot like her abuser. She said it scares the crap out of me every time. Just subconscious look-see and somebody else pops up and I said, wait you do that? I do that too. I thought I was the only person in the world who felt that way. Those are the parts that I just love seeing people – “Wait, wait, wait, wait. You mean I’m not alone? You mean I’m not this crazy, weird freak that thinks and feels these ways?” And everybody else is going, “Oh no, you are not”.

We had an episode where we talked about money and the shame in handling money because chances are we didn’t get lessons when we were a child about finances or how to balance a check book or how to save. We were just trying to survive. So we grow up, we don’t have money handling skills and people were talking about getting mail and this woman said, you know what, I come home, I grab the mail and I throw it in the corner of my apartment and I don’t look at it for years. I said you know what I do? I get my mail, I open the trunk of my car, I throw it in the trunk of my car. Oh my gosh, I’m not some strange weirdo. This tiny, little, simple thing not only gives you connection to that person that is like, hey, it’s not functional, it’s not a good thing to do, but I’m still not alone.

Chris Williams:

Wow, okay. Reach out to Bobbi if you have some serious stuff you’re working on because even if you don’t sit down with her in a coaching or counseling setting, just to get into a conversation with her and the group she’s part of, that she’s built this little-big community of people who are honest and authentic and willing to be real together, boy that’s just worth so much. There’s so many resources there. Awesome.

You know Bobbi, you’ve just given us so much to chew on here and work with and I am impressed and I’m very thankful for your time. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate and you’re helping a lot of people. Thank you for reaching out and helping me and a few other people who are listening along.

Bobbi Parish:

I’m honored to be here. I’m honored to do the work I do.

Chris Williams:

It’s an honor to have you here. Thanks. Enjoy your evening. Bye.

Bobbi Parish:

Okay, thank you Chris. Bye.

You’ve just listened to I Share Hope. If you’re ready to make a change, head to our website at isharehope.com and claim your free copy of the Top Ten Actions of Hope from World Leaders to use hope in your own life. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

Chris Williams:

So, if you’re listening to music that needs to just pump you up and you got to get out of the couch and get rocking and rolling again, what is the band and the track? Favorite song, favorite band or artist?

Bobbi Parish:

You know what, I’m not a huge music person. For some reason, music has never done that for me, but given that well…

Chris Williams:

How do you entertain yourself to just laugh? If it’s not music, is it Netflix? Where are you going?

Bobbi Parish:

Yes. Netflix. I will watch things on YouTube, I’ll read, big reader. I don’t know why music has never done that for me, but music has just never been one of those get up and motivate me. I don’t know why.

Chris Williams:

I’ve been that way most of my life, but recently it’s come back around for me. So favorite book, give me a favorite book. Nothing counseling okay. Get out of the depths here. I don’t want to cry.

Bobbi Parish:

I was going to talk about Brene Brown.

Chris Williams:

Great author, but I don’t want to cry.

Bobbi Parish:

You know what, I love murder mysteries.

Chris Williams:

Oh yes.

Bobbi Parish:

I love murder mysteries. I think because it takes me to a completely different place. That’s why murder mystery – compelling of it. In the movie Sahara which was written by one of my favorite adventure novelist, Clive Cussler. Things like that that are just so far away from what I sit in 24/7. That’s what takes me away. That’s what refreshes my mind. You know what I mean? It pushes the reset button.

About Chris

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