Life is hard.
But for survivors of complex trauma, hard is too small a word.
Traumatic, devastating, impossible … these are better words to describe our experiences so far. In truth there are no words that quite capture the feelings that accompany a life filled with pain, torture, abuse, neglect, manipulation and control. What we have endured is unspeakable.
How can we possibly fit in a world of ‘normal’ when nothing about our experiences is normal?
Our experiences have shaped us, distorted us in many ways and yet we try so hard to find joy, to find happiness and fulfilment, and ultimately to find the love that should have been ours from the beginning.
But with no experience of these things, how can we recognise them when they come along?
How can we make choices that are right for us when we don’t know who we are?
And how can we find fulfilment when so much of our life has been lived on other peoples’ terms?
These are just some of the challenges facing us.
We find ourselves reacting in extreme ways to seemingly harmless events.
We struggle to connect with others in a meaningful way.
We find our lives going in a cycle of repeated patterns.
We are anxious, tense and terrified that everything we’ve worked so hard to create, will come crashing down around us.
Does any of this sound familiar?
You are not alone …
Isolation is one of the most powerful tools that abusers use to keep us in line.
If you are alone and unsupported, telling you ‘it’s all your fault’ is very simple and effective. You don’t know any different and of course believe that you’re the problem. It’s your fault that you’re being punished, abused, rejected, neglected, hurt … if you were better, smarter, stronger, nicer, prettier …
These cruel and untrue messages are life defining. They follow us into every interaction with others, into the choices we make and into every aspect of our lives.
Before the age of seven, our brains are flexible, constantly searching to discover the world around us, to learn how things work and what is true and real. It’s a bit like a brand new computer that needs to be programmed to function as it’s designed to.
So if you’ve experienced a childhood of abuse, neglect or trauma then your brain learns this is how the world is …
This is the truth of life
This is what love looks like
This is what happens when you don’t do as you’re told
This is who you need to be to survive
This is all you are worth
These messages, together with many others, become programmed deep in your unconscious mind and drive your behaviour and experiences throughout the rest of your life. Your brain will search out situations and experiences that reinforce the existing programming to such an extent that you often don’t see the truth that’s staring you in the face.
Sounds impossible huh?
But your brain’s job is to protect you and even though your life has been filled with pain, your brain will keep delivering results that feel familiar even if they are devastating. The only way to change your experiences is to alter the programming that is running your life.
But how can you change the programming when you don’t know what it is?
You need to peel back the layers of your experiences to discover the deep seated messages that have been planted in your mind by those who harmed you, to uncover the repeated patterns in your life and to bring awareness to what you are thinking and feeling today.
This might sound simple but those of us who have greatly suffered have also found ways to detach from our pain. And in doing so, we have detached from ourselves
Many of us …
… don’t know how we feel
… have intermittent memory of our lives
… lose chunks of time without knowing where it’s gone
… live in a detached state that doesn’t seem real
If this is you, then you’re in the right place.
You can create a life that is loving, joyful, happy and fulfilling.
You deserve it
You are worthy of it
I believe in you …
Hi, I’m Elisabeth Corey and as a child I was taught to be a helpless victim. I was taught that I had no choices in life. My decisions were made to meet the needs of others. I was not allowed to be the person I was born to be.
In my family, men had sex with little girls. It was our normal. My parents grew up with it. Their parents grew up with it. Most of my family didn’t remember it because trauma caused memory loss. We were a family of traumatized individuals who were doing whatever it took to survive … usually at the expense of the others.
By the time I was 9, I was completely indoctrinated. I had given up. I remember the moment when I realized there was no hope of being saved from this terrible life. In that moment, I made a conscious choice to forget. Not only did I forget my abusive past, but I forgot every abusive experience in the coming years. I could forget almost instantaneously. It is a powerful defense mechanism. And it is a common reaction to trauma.
However, 11 years ago when my twins were born, everything changed. I found myself with flashbacks and their behavior triggered all types or responses in me. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew something was wrong. I went to a therapist, tried group therapy and over the following years I employed various therapeutic remedies, energy and body work, read countless books, wrote hundreds of pages and experienced intense emotions.
All of this has led me to a place where I am no longer a prisoner to my family, I can parent in a balanced way and I have a much better understanding of who I am and what I want.
I have finally found my voice.
So I use it to speak, write and train others.
I tell my story because there is nobody to stop me.
I tell my story so I can heal.
I tell my story so everyone can understand complex childhood trauma is real.
I tell my story so children will be heard … so someone will believe them.
I tell my story so other survivors can heal.
I tell my story because enough is enough!
Have you had enough?
Enough of feeling like a victim
Enough of the pain of the past
Enough of living a lonely shadow life
Enough of the daily struggle just to survive …
You can heal your life.
But it’s taken a lifetime of experiences to get you to where you are now and it will take time for you to alter the deep seated messages of the past and recreate your reality.
That’s why I’ve created my …
Survivor’s Guide for Life
This is not a ‘quick fix’ but a month by month journey to a new life.
A life that feels like living not just existing.
A life where you get to call the shots.
A life that reflects who you were born to be …
How would it feel …
- to have access to a recourse that will help you heal and help you grow
- to come out of your isolation and join a community of others who understand what it is to live with complex trauma, C-PTSD and DID
- to have the support of someone who is dedicating her life to helping others find their own voice through her work as a Life Coach for Trauma Survivors
- to be guided month by month to uncover the deeply held messages that are running your life
- to learn how to change those messages and in doing so, change your life
- to connect with the parts of you that hold your truest potential
- to empower yourself to a brighter future
Is it time to take back your life?
Survivors Guide for Life is a monthly membership that gives you instant access to videos, articles, writing prompts, awareness builders and action steps that can literally change your life.
And not only that, you will be invited to a secret Facebook group where you can join others who are on a similar journey. There is so much relief in knowing that others understand and accept you exactly as you are. That they too have experienced the pain of complex trauma and the invisibility it brings. You can engage as much or as little as you like – nobody will judge you and you will be completely safe and supported.
Each month, I will introduce a new topic which we will explore together. We will look at why certain emotions or behaviors show up over and over again, where messages from the past have come from and how they are impacting you today. Using a series of tools that I’ve designed after years of working with Trauma Survivors as well as those that have helped me heal, you will begin to uncover the truth of who you were without the trauma which stole your identity. You will learn how to recognize what is real today, what is an echo of your past and how to manage emotions that are triggered as you navigate your world both now and in the future.
Imagine you’re packing for the trip of a lifetime. You’re going somewhere you’ve never been before and you have to carry everything you need for the entire trip on your back.
What do you do?
You consult a survival guide. You look to see what you’ll need, you plan your route and you make sure you’re prepared for the road ahead. You know how much weight you can carry and you pare everything back to the bare minimum so you can avoid pain and enjoy your journey.
Now imagine that as well as carrying everything you need for yourself, you have to carry the packs of several other people at the same time. Some of these people will take the journey with you while others will stay behind. But whether they’re with you or not, you must carry their stuff as well as your own.
You know you can’t do it.
There is no way you can carry everything by yourself.
Something’s got to give.
Chances are, that something’s going to be you.
It’s the same for you as a survivor of complex trauma. You start off with everything you need for your journey of life but as you travel, you find that you are required to carry a whole lot of other people’s stuff. Stuff other people give you without asking your permission. Stuff that weighs you down. Stuff that cripples you.
No longer are you free to travel the world at your own pace. To explore the possibilities that exist and to follow your own path. Now you must live with the baggage that other people give you. Loaded down with so much stuff that you can no longer see yourself.
Perhaps that’s where you are right now …
You’re tired of the heavy burden you’re carrying.
You want to be free of it. But you can’t just offload the whole lot because some of it is yours.
Some of it you want to keep.
Somewhere along the way you’ve lost sight of what belongs to you and what belongs to others. It’s all got mixed up in your attempt to keep moving. You need to unpack everything and decide what to keep and what to throw away but it’s all packed so tightly you have no idea where you end and others begin.
You need to go back to the beginning.
You need that survival guide you started with.
And that’s exactly what my Survivor’s Guide for Life is
It’s your survival guide.
But more than that, it’s a tool kit to help you navigate the path ahead.
It’s my way of helping you determine what to keep and what to throw away.
I’m dedicating my life to helping people just like you, discover who they are under the layers of pain they’re carrying.
That you’re carrying.
One of the most valuable gifts I have ever received is the knowledge that I am not weird or mad but that my way of navigating the world is a ‘normal’ response to a life of complex childhood trauma. For the first time in my life, I feel as if I can breathe, that’s it’s okay to be me. The acceptance that comes with this understanding has been profound and life changing.”– Allanah
Are you ready to give yourself the gift of life?
The journey to healing is not a straight road. It has a myriad of twists and turns and just when you think you’ve made huge progress, something new comes along and blindsides you. There are many layers to your experiences and each one carries a message that dictates your future experiences. And as each of us each heal in our own unique way, we need different tools at different times.
Survivors Guide to Life gives you access to all the new and existing content for as long as your membership is active. Every single topic will be valuable to you but you may find as you hit a new speed-bump in the road that a particular subject has more meaning and more value to you than it did the first time around. And that’s the beauty of it. You can simply go back and revisit that specific topic whenever you want. You can even go back to the beginning and start all over again. As we reach new levels of awareness, our needs and our understandings change and we begin to experience ‘light-bulb’ moments where before there was only darkness.
Imagine having a resource that can accompany you every day for as long as you need it to. For as long as you want it to. A resource that grows monthly and brings illumination to every area of your life.
It’s a bit like having a faithful friend alongside you on your journey for life.
A friend you can check in with whenever you want.
A friend who has only your best interests at heart.
A friend who will never betray you …
A friend you can meet for less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee!
Here’s what you will get:
- access to my private membership website
- monthly videos based around a specific topic
- articles that illustrate how the topic can impact daily life
- worksheets to explore how this might be showing up in your life
- action steps to take your healing forward
- physical, mental and emotional healing techniques
- an invitation to my secret Facebook group for support and interaction
There is no minimum term contract and you can cancel anytime you choose.
What have you got to lose?
Why wait when you can start to heal today … will you join me?
As a client of Elisabeth’s, when I first heard about Survivor’s Guide for Life, I didn’t believe I needed anymore help on my recovery journey. However, out of curiosity, I decided to give it a try. The experience was so worth it. The knowledge and wisdom shared – from tips to writing prompts to worksheets – helped me to fill in gaps. And the most valuable aspect to me was the sense of a community working to move forward; it helped a lot with the shame one carries after an isolating life of trauma and abuse.
Thank you Elisabeth for all your hard work! Z. Ahmed
Frequently Asked Questions