This episode is Part 1 of The BTR.ORG Meditation Workshop series.
Part 1: Brand New Meditations For Victims of Abuse & Betrayal (this episode)
Part 2: Find Peace & Calm With Our New BTR Meditations
Part 3: New Meditations: Are You Ready to Start Healing?
If you’ve experienced abuse and betrayal, you know chaos and despair.
You also know deep yearning for peace and healing – and that’s why Anne Blythe, Founder of BTR.ORG created The BTR.ORG Meditation Workshop.
Pat, a member of the BTR.ORG community, shares her insights after taking this workshop – tune in and read the full transcript below for more.
Empowerment. Release. Safety.
Pat uses powerful words to describe her experiences with The BTR.ORG Meditation Workshop. She was able to process her own trauma in new ways – while also developing a determination to teach her children how to identify and establish safety for themselves.
BTR.ORG Is Here For You
As you work toward safety and healing, know that we are here for you. Navigating betrayal trauma and emotional abuse is extremely difficult – even more so without a supportive community.
BTR.ORG exists to support you on your healing journey. Enroll in The BTR.ORG Meditation Workshop today and begin to feel the peace and empowerment that you deserve.
Welcome to BTR.ORG. This is Anne.
So over the years, I found that for me, meditation was the most healing activity that I could do. I found meditations on YouTube and other places, and I would meditate. In my head, I’d always have to change it up a little bit for my own specific situation because they’ve been so healing to me. I decided to write meditations for you, for us women in our situation.
So the meditations that I wrote and recorded and edited, they are for women who are currently experiencing or who have experienced emotional or psychological abuse. Whether you’re married or divorced or separated, they’re for you and I’m so excited to get these into your hands so that you can start using them to heal. If the meditations sound like something that you want to try for your healing, enroll in The Meditation Workshop. I’ve invited a member of our community, I’m going to call her Pat, and she has been through the meditations and she’s going to share her experience. So Pat, what was your favorite thing about the meditations?
Processing Safety Through Meditations
I love the focus on safety, and I don’t think quite honestly, we talk about safety enough in our culture with women. Also, I appreciated the process of walking the idea of safety in all aspects of my life and then having the opportunity to release it. I found myself during the time that I was listening to the meditations contemplating safety in my life. It really opened the door for me to process.
I realized that I have not felt safe in my environment ever. especially with my ex-husband. but I see how it was a really slippery slope with being numb to safety in my immediate environment during my marriage because in my culture, safety wasn’t the norm. It was very helpful.
“I am feeling more empowered to help [my daughters] process safety in their own lives.”Pat, Member of the BTR.ORG Community
I have four daughters, three adult daughters, and I still have one minor at home. Because I didn’t feel safe in my marriage, I protected them subconsciously from my ex-husband, and now I know why. Now I feel more empowered to really help them process safety in their own lives because they’ve been conditioned as well in the environment that they grew up in to not really process their safety. I noticed that they also are numb to experiences that risk their safety because they don’t process it.
So the meditation helped you be aware of how you weren’t safe?
The interesting thing about the meditation is it is not very specific. It’s kind of general because we wanted women to be able to adapt it to their own situation. Did it surprise you how specific it was to you in your experience, even though the meditation itself was relatively vague?
“I felt a release”
Oh, absolutely. There’s a part in the meditation where you go through many different ways that we can feel unstable, really at risk in our environments, and you name off lots of different areas, and the one area, it was just safety. Safety was huge for me. I had no idea. It was so big for me. I’m almost three years into this since D-Day. I knew safety was big, but until that meditation and you going through the process of using all of the adjectives to name off different areas that we could be struggling or we could have this feeling of oppression, which felt really heavy.
The part that was very hard was when you said, now feel it in your body. And I was like the first walkthrough with the meditation. I was like, I don’t want to do this. And then by the third time I was like, all right, I can do this. And allowing that feeling in the body, which I can see, I just hear Coach Connie voice, feeling it in your body and then having this white light to be able to release it into it felt very uplifting. So by the end of the meditation, I felt a release, but it was very hard.
Why is it important to feel?
Well, and the point of feeling all of the ways that you feel unsafe throughout your body, everywhere in your body is to help you acknowledge it so that you can release it just like we’ve been in an abusive relationship and we did not know it. We’re also unsafe in so many ways, and we do not know it, but our body knows.
And if we tune into that, we’re able to recognize it and then make some progress to release it. But also as we release it, it helps us to make changes in our actual real life, not just in meditative form.
“The oppression is what I’ve lived with for so long”
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s like the onion. The first time I listened to the meditation, I didn’t even want to get into the onion. And then the second time it was like, okay, I can feel this. Even in some groups, I was talking about safety because safety seemed to be the biggest thing, safety and oppression. I also recognize that I don’t like limitations right now, that I don’t like things pushing in on me. I struggle with budgets, I struggle with a calendar.
And I struggle with certain things that put limitations on me because I don’t want to feel that pushing in. I’m starting to feel that freedom of living out and not having this oppression.
And so when you went through the process of feeling the oppression, now allow the feeling in your body. And I was like, this is the same feeling that I don’t like about having requirements on me right now. I need to feel that freedom in my life right now. And it felt like there’s nothing wrong with me for wanting to feel this because the oppression is what I’ve lived with for so long.
Using BTR.ORG Meditations to Process Trauma
I’m just trying to figure out a way to live with a different feeling.
Yes, yes, very much. And so that brought that up to the surface too.
So for our listeners, because there are so many different topics covered by the meditations, she’s actually talking about going through one meditation, the same meditation multiple times, which we recommend until you start really peeling those layers back. So let’s talk about the process of going through the same meditation several times. The first time you went through it, you said it felt uncomfortable. By the time you went through it the third time, did you feel like, oh my word, something’s going to happen here. What was the difference between your attitude about it or your experience between the first time you listened to that same meditation and the third time you went through it?
“I knew I could move through this.”
Going through it the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. I was very guarded and I felt cautious. By the third time I knew what to expect and it felt safer felt in my body because I knew what was coming and I knew I could process this in safety, even though it was difficult to feel the feelings, I knew I could move through this.
Okay, so the first time when you were asked to really feel these difficult feelings, it felt unsafe, but by the third time you were like, this is a safe space. This is a good place for me to feel these difficult feelings and I will be able to process them. Is that kind of okay?
Yes, that’s exactly exactly what I’m saying.
How did the workbook help you?
Meditating with a Workbook
The workbook help me take pauses and process in a legible way. I do well with journaling and getting it out of my body and documenting it. So then it allowed me space to go back and revisit when I had time after the meditation to navigate through the process of what I had just experienced. And so it gave me earmarks during the meditation to really work through where I was at each space.
When it got to exercise three and four where I was writing down what was happening in my body, it allowed me to get it out of my body in a different way and I could really process my emotions and getting it out of my brain so I didn’t have to hold onto it. And remember before the next step.
Trust Yourself as You Use These Meditations
So for anyone who’s like, I want to lay down, or I don’t want to sit and I don’t want to have to fill out a form, what would you tell them in relation to this particular meditation? In this particular workbook?
I would tell them to really move through with your gut and maybe the first time isn’t the best time to write down things. Maybe for them moving through the meditation and just listening is the best that they can do at the time, and that’s okay. That’s okay. It’s really for them and for me personally, it was hard to write down for the first time when they get to a space where they do want to actively navigate the meditation and really get things out of their body and their brain, then use that as a tool for their own healing.
“We heal in different ways”
That’s awesome that you said that that is the point that women use it any way that is useful to them.
Yeah, we heal in different ways, and I know that me, in the beginning, even the part where you went into all of the different adjectives of possible oppression, that would’ve been very overwhelming for me in the beginning. I would’ve really had a hard time processing. I would’ve had to pause that and really contemplate it. And so for some women it might be they can get through half of the meditation. Maybe for some women they can get through a whole meditation and they don’t revisit it for a little while, and they just need to process and everybody processes at their own pace and their own time, and that’s okay.
Using Visualization to Process Trauma
Yeah, I agree. I would recommend that they at least get as far to release it rather than feeling all the oppressive feelings and the unsafe feelings and then just being like, okay, I’m going to stop now. Right, because then they would be left with all of it in there. So see it through to the end. And especially because you said the second and third time you felt way more safe.
Would you mind sharing some of the things that you ended up writing down about the colors or shapes? Did it surprise you what you ended up visualizing about your trauma? For me, when I do it one time, it felt like concrete and then it just fell out another time. It was black ink that dripped out. One of my concerns is that women won’t just go with their gut with whatever they see.
Spending Time in Your Body
Mine was pain, pain in my neck or tightness in my gut, and it felt like my shoulders were high. They weren’t relaxed. Taking a deep breath was really helpful because then I was able to how relaxed I could get, and I noticed my shoulders would drop. I noticed at one point my wrist had shooting pains through it. It can be very small and it doesn’t have to speak really loud; it can be just certain things that wherever your gut leads you to, whatever part of your body that you start thinking of first, there’s a reason why you go straight to that part.
And so it’s almost like, okay, so why am I at that part of my body? Is there something there that feels different than the other side of my body? Is there something tight? Do I feel a shooting pain? Is it itchy? Am I holding it? Am I not rested or relaxed in that space?
A lot of times when you’re not trained to be in your body, when this is a first experience of being in your body, it could be very subtle, but your first inkling go with your gut. And the first time that you go to that space, just be inquisitive and just kind of allow it to come up. It doesn’t have to be work or hard to figure out what’s happening there.
We all process trauma differently – and that’s okay!
It also doesn’t have to be crazy creative.
If I said, did a color ever come up for you? And you were like, no, it never did. And then someone else was like, yeah, it was this weird green goopy thing. That’s okay too. Either one is fine.
Working Through Meditations Several Times
In terms of listening to the same meditation, the I Am Resolute meditation three times, did you find that you actually did make progress in feeling like you deserved safety by of the third time where you’re like, whoa, I actually feel like I deserve safety way more than before I started doing this?
A hundred percent. I wasn’t aware of it. I wasn’t aware of the fact that safety was an issue for me, it was outside of myself. It was always my ex-husband or my father or a friend or a neighbor. But what I realized is safety resides within me. And by the end, I felt stronger in my ability to set boundaries around myself so that I could feel safe within myself. It was almost like it helped me see that bubble wrap is very important.
Pat’s New Understanding of Safety
And did different things come up for you progressively through the meditations, like in one, was it your neck or something? And then next one it was like, oh, this is weird. It’s my knee. Did it change a little bit over time –
Because the situations came up differently? I had different visions where in the workbook you go through exercise three and four, the obstruction spoke differently to me. On one of them it said, the space in me wants to say that I am a human being and I exist. I felt very invisible for so long that just the fact that I am here, I deserve safety simply because I exist. And I don’t have to do anything, be anybody. I don’t have to be productive or kind, compassionate or forgiving to deserve safety. That’s it – I deserve it simply because I’m a human being and I’m here.
I have a right to be here and my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions, I have my own experiences and story, and I deserve the right to fill up the space. So much of my life, I felt like I had to be invisible, and I didn’t even have a right to be in the body that I have.
And I noticed that even with my healing process, especially with my children now, we have some unhealthy patterns that I’m trying to help undo. My environment has been conditioned to accept me not feeling that I deserve my own space. And so even some of the boundaries that I’ve been setting is, Hey, I deserve to have a right to my own emotions because I exist and I’m a human being.
Becoming Boundaried Through BTR Meditations
Have you noticed your real life, waking, interacting with people, moving through the world, have you noticed a difference since you’ve been through the first meditation three times?
Yeah, absolutely. My dad came down to visit this past weekend and was asking some very personal questions, and I didn’t have to overexplain myself. Just because he asked the question doesn’t mean that I need to give an answer. And also with my own children, my adult children. They’re used to a mom that continues to give and give and give and doesn’t expect anything.
They’re used to a mom that will continue to do for them without any kind of reciprocation in relationship. And so that shifted because I have a right to exist and I am a human being, and I have thoughts and feelings too.
“I”m a human being, and I have thoughts and feelings.”
Giving them the opportunity to meet me in relationship now because I’m a human being and I have thoughts and feelings, also allows them to have a different kind of relationship with me. And there are growing pains for sure. The past month has been very frustrating, to say the least. And that’s where I lean into BTR Group Sessions and into the coaches. But it’s good because I’m now seeing them asking me, how’s your day mom? Or Hey, can I do the dishes for you? Or you want to go for a walk with the dog? Instead of just wanting me to do for them, there’s a desire to meet me in relationship.
Were you surprised that these things happened just kind of naturally due to the meditation and you didn’t really have to do much? I mean, besides be there present in the meditation and take the time to do it three times were you surprised that you didn’t have to go to hours of therapy?
“I have a deeper understanding of the fact that I’m a survivor”Pat, Member of the BTR.ORG Community
The biggest surprise to me was I had a deeper understanding of the fact that I’m a survivor. It was in my head the idea that I was a survivor just because of my situation. But having in my heart, it really dropped into my body and the understanding that I was a survivor because of the way I have been navigating my life, there’s grief that comes with that. And the grief is really hard because I missed so much of who I am. I haven’t really been able to grow in myself.
And so that’s where a lot of the healing is going to be coming into where I’m moving through the healing and grieving and being able to really sink into the fact that I am here, I’m here, I’m alive, and I deserve safety and I deserve relationship and I deserve peace. I deserve to have a voice, I deserve to have emotion, and I have a right to be here. I don’t have to be invisible anymore.
Hope and Healing
I would like the podcast listeners to know that there’s hope and there’s healing, and this is a part of the process, and this is a really empowering opportunity. Being able to see the healing process in a positive shift outside of the trauma. It’s all about your interior world and it will help you process your environment in a whole different way.
Thank you. That’s why we did it with me. I talk about this all day long, and so for my own personal work, like going inside through meditation or yoga or prayer is so much more helpful to me at this point, but it was also more helpful to me from the very beginning. I just didn’t utilize it as much and I didn’t know how useful it was.
Knowing how useful it’s been to me, I thought we need to do these specific to the BTR population because all of the meditations that I used, they weren’t gender specific, and so I didn’t feel super safe there. It would be like him or her, and I just thought like, no. And there were other parts of it that just made me feel uncomfortable because it wasn’t specific to this type of abuse. So creating these meditations for basically myself and all of our community members specifically, has given me a lot of joy.
“As women, we’re just becoming more and more healthy.”
And thank you for your work. You saved my life. Your work saved my life. I am just so grateful to you, and I love that you took something and you paid it forward. You just have been invaluable to me. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this meditation. It has completely shifted my life. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you to all the women who have listened and been part of the community. I feel like when one of us learns something, we all learn it collectively. It feels like as women, we’re just becoming more and more healthy. And it’s exciting,
So I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. It goes both ways. So thank you so much.
Thank you so much.