Category Archives: Trauma

The Top 10 Needs of Survivors of Trauma

The people in your life who have survived a major life trauma, such as childhood abuse, war, rape, domestic violence, or work place and school violence are all around us. They are called survivors because of their courage and strength. They have come through hell to be here, give them respect, love, and be a part of their support system.
Some of their basic needs that need to be in place for them to fully heal are:

1. To feel safe.
A safe place is the most important issue for all survivors. Find out from them what that looks like and feels like and provide it.

2. To have you listen with your heart
Every survivor has a story to tell. Let them speak about it. Listen gently.

3. Creative Expression Encourage their creative expression in any art form that speaks to their spirit.

4. To breathe, and to learn to relax.

Adrenaline and stress reaction and panic attacks may be deeply embedded in their psyches. Direct them to stay present, slowly breathe, and use self talk to comfort themselves.

5. Time.
They are learning new ways of coping with the life they now face. Be patient.

6. Boundaries.
They need to set clear firm boundaries around everything that is important to them.

7. To be open to build a new life with them, and help them try new experiences.
Activities with loved ones in nature or museums, or restaurants …..New environments will open a space to replace sad memories.

8. Professional Support.
Get them all the support they need. There are many support groups, and specialized counselors for trauma survivors. Do not hesitate to contact Medical or Mental Health specialists if you suspect feelings of hopelessness or suicidal tendencies.

9. Believe in them.
Respect the struggle and the effort as they find meaning and hope in their life, and you will see them transform their lives into something worthwhile and meaningful.

10. To make the world a better place.
Healing can come from helping others less fortunate. When we are reminded of our blessings as we reach to lift another person up…it eases our burdens. Speaking about our lives and our joy and our traumas can help others heal…. It can make the world a better place.

Julie Towers
Stand by Me…..

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Filed under Healing, Trauma

I Believe

This selection of my Top Ten List goes along with my interview of Tomeika Herbert. At the age of thirteen, Tomeika’s mom was killed by her step father. She and her little brother were asleep in the home. She has over come many obstacles and obtained a college education on her own. She is now in her thirties and is planning her wedding. In the interview, she shares how she has honored her mother, Melanie Herbert. Tomeika has inspired healing in many broken lives.

My Top Ten points on what……..I Believe

I Believe- that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe- that just because someone does not love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you with all they have.

I Believe- that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I Believe- that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I Believe- that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret, it could change your life forever.

I Believe- that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are…. but we are responsible for whom we become.

I Believe- that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe- that your life can be changed in a matter of hours…. by people who don’t even know you.

I Believe- that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe – that the people you care most about in life are taken from you way too soon.

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Filed under Healing, Love, Trauma

Remembering my friend, Marilee

Today is the Birthday of a dear friend of mine, Marilee. Today she would have been fifty six years old. To those of us who loved her she will eternally be, fifteen. Forever Young.

Marilee and I danced together three times a week. She was amazing and took to ballet (pointe) with grace and ease and beauty. Every year I have taken my daughter to the Nutcracker Ballet and (now my granddaughers) to celebrate Marilee. She and I were both cheerleaders and we spent many hours practicing. We had planned on her being a sophomore cheerleader when I was a senior cheerleader. I had taught her every cheer we knew so for sure she would make the team.

One day I heard her singing to the song “People”, by Barbra Streisand. She was singing to the top of her voice, she did not know I was there. She loved that song. I still have the album. It still reminds me of her.

Oh my how she loved to laugh. She just radiated joy.

We all grew up fast that cold February day when Marilee was taken from us. It has given me compassion for the broken hearted. The experience has taught me a lot about grieving, coping with loss, and that you will never forget a most wonderful friend.
I am writing my book to share many of the lessons I have learned about life from Marilee’s untimely death.

Who could have known 30 years after her unsolved homicide, that my mom’s unsolved homicide would involve the same possible suspect? How could I have ever been prepared for that to happen? There was a time I was not sure I could survive the pain of it. I did survive and I am stronger for it. Now, I have a story to tell about surviving, loving, forgiving, understanding and saying goodbye.

The strength I have garnered to survive cancer and a near fatal car accident comes from knowing that I still do not have all the answers to the questions my heart still has……

People, People who need people are the luckiest people….in the world. If you see a beautiful angel in heaven who is always dancing….It is Marilee.


Filed under Healing, Trauma